Monday, December 31, 2007

Spring is Emerging

Progressing....I have decided not to cut up the whole cloth....this is a closeup of the bottom portion with added foiling and the start of some free motion quilting - if you click on the photo it will get very large and you can see a lot of the far, so good....

You know what I need to do? I need to acknowledge Dixie of North Dixie Designs for giving me a tutorial on the wonders of acrylic paints altered with isopropyl alcohol. Dixie is a great folk artist who creates these amazing dolls but Dixie's paintings are my personal favorite. So much so that I bought one she did of Little Red Riding Hood to give to someone but ended up keeping it for myself (yes selfish...but we all need to gift ourselves once in awhile!). Anyhoo, many months ago Dixie mentioned something about paint and alcohol on a message board we both belong to. I was intrigued and asked her for more info...then I figured why couldn't I do this on fabric....and so the experiments began. Thank you, Dixie!

Spring Emerges

Today's challenge is.....can I take this abstract (that I kinda like) and add enhancements and stitching to further the imagery of spring breaking out from the ice and snow? Or will it disintegrate into a failed mess? My husband certainly hopes it ends up being successful. Yesterday he was telling me that I am much nicer and more fun to be around when I'm having a 'good art' day. Sorry to say I can't argue with him on that one.

You know what? As I'm writing this the screen is cutting all but the bottom 1/3 of the piece off. It looks kind of cool. I wonder if should cut this piece and make it a triptych? Or cut it up and then rearrange it back together. That might be kind of funky and fun.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Country Life

At about 10:30pm on Christmas Eve my husband took our dog out for his last walk of the day. The Blue Dog (as I refer to him) immediately began sniffing around the front porch and driveway, acting a bit more odd than his typical Blue Dog behavior. Steve was wondering what was around - was it the bear that has been paying nightly visits around our neck of the woods? (Do you like how I tied in the photo of the bear shirt I made Steve last year to this story?)

Being the big, brave, not-afraid-of-the-dark man he is, Steve continued down the drive onto the road. It was a very dark & murky night with the thin beam of Steve's flashlight supplying the only illumination. In the very same instant that Steve hears a rythmic clopping and a snort, Blue woofs and our neighbor's very large, black horse stops short right in front of Steve and Blue. All three of them exchange startled looks, various gasps and assorted noises then speed off in different directions.

Steve was the first to gather his wits and was able to notify the neighbors that Charlie was loose and providing a bit of Christmas surprise around the neighborhood. Charlie was quickly caught and returned to his stall, Blue was found busily marking the parameter of our front yard and Steve provided me an excuse to show off his bear shirt.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Greetings

"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.
Action has magic, grace and power in it."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

May your Christmas be exactly what it needs to be, and may the new year bring you the inspiration and resources you need to fulfill wishes and dreams.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Perelandra Landscape

While messing around with paints and alcohol tonight (not the drinking kind, the rubbing kind) this fantasy landscape emerged. I could live in the color of this world, couldn't you? I can't wait to start dropping in some stitching as detailing - both machine and hand but I must be patient and let the piece dry overnight.

Not Those PrePrinted for Embroidery Pillowcases, For Sure

I started this piece months ago. It's the type of thing that gets picked up and put down - often. One minute I love it and then the next day - not so much. I worked on it again yesterday and decided that we can resume our love affair. Abstract embroidery - hmmmm.... I wonder if my grandmother is turning over in her grave?

Saturday, December 15, 2007


My latest passion is collecting vintage wood printing blocks. These blocks can have a huge range of prices with some of the very detailed, ornate, large ones in primo condition going for hundreds of $. Then there are the orphans, the less desirable (to some) smaller blocks that are simple in design and can be gotten for a few dollars - like the one pictured above. I find it amazing what a bit of hand dyed silk, discharge paste and an antique textile printing block can do. More experimentation to come.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Starry, Starry Night

12" of snow fell here yesterday. I left work early and after a 2 hour drive (those icy windshield wiper things are a lot of fun, aren't they?) I was able to snuggle in. My husband's nuclear physics final (yeah well....maybe he can figure out equations but he has no idea what to do with acrylic paints) was postponed until Saturday and he didn't have to travel into the City during yesterday's mess. He shoveled and I did art. Perfect!

This piece was created with acrylics and pigments on cloth, free motion quilting and hand work. A holiday 'card' that will be sent to a lovely friend.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Published? Moi?

The past 3 days have been filled with surprises and all good things. A national magazine contacted me on Friday and I have committed to writing an article that will feature one of my techniques and some of my artwork. Pinch me, please! I am under a crunchingly tight timeline, given the holidays and this busy time of year, but since I typically work best under pressure (ignore the meltdowns please) I suspect that having less time than more time will make me buckle down and get to business! Ummmmm....did I say I was on cloud nine about this?

Yesterday my friend Deb and I had a small art/craft/open house day at her place. The radio was blaring warnings of an imminent ice storm so attendance was not what we are use to having at our little shows. Be that as it may, the smaller numbers gave us the opportunity to chat with the people who did come which made the event become more social than buisness related although Deb and I both had enough sales to make us happy.

On Saturday my husband and I were able to spend some much needed time together. We didn't do anything exciting or thrilling, rather just shared some quiet activities together. I often feel as if the small times are the bonds that bind us together as humans. Anyone can plunk down the money to participate in a big extravaganza, Las Vegas type event - but not everyone is able to appreciate the importance of a hand quietly placed on another's when you know their thoughts are deep and filled with emotion.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Don't have anything new to show since I've been busy finishing up work from the past months. Anyone have a title suggestion for this one? I'm stumped. I'd love a funky, off-center title but the best I can come with is Weeds. If you've ever seen the Showtime series titled Weeds you would know how off-beat and bizarre this word can really be but I'm not sure if it works for this piece. Any ideas from you creative souls out there?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Tools of the Trade

Soooooo.....this is what happens when you use your new Shiva Paintstiks and new discharge paste on hand dyed fabric. Very interesting and worth further exploration. Again I ask the supreme being, the power in control and the ethereal higher energy - why aren't I wealthy enough to be able to stay home and do art all day instead of working a day job?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Funkadelic Dishtowels

I have been busy dyeing and discharging dish towels! I found dishtowels already sewn and ready to dye on dharma trading's site. These are my first attempts and while a bit dark they are still a lot of fun, don't you think? I love having cool items for everyday type of activities - like an assortment of all different pottery bowls to use for breakfast Cheerios or hand knitted cotton wash cloths, etc, etc. I'm going to try to make a bunch more of these to use as gifts and maybe even to sell....we'll see....the best laid plans in my busy world never all seem to happen!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Relics II

More sheer fabric altered with matte medium, tissue paper, and paints along with some dyed cheesecloth, tulle and embroidery. The focal piece is inked, painted, stamped, and burned with natural shell pieces attached. All it needs is a border....actually I have about 5 pieces at the point of "all it needs is a border"....time to finish up some things and get them ready for sale.