Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And sew on. . .

I have been sewing, really. I made my mom two new flannel hospital gowns. Much softer and comfortable than the standard issue version. I swear they make those things out of brown paper towels. I took an old one apart and made a paper pattern. It takes about an hour to cut and sew one up. I found a bowling pin print so now she has a bowling shirt.
And I made my friend Julie's daughter some winter themed flannel baby blankets. Little Lily was born 2 weeks ago. As her dad said, she is a lucky little girl, she already had a horse and a dog when she was born. (Though I am not sure she is lucky with Willy, that bugger tried to bite me today. Skittles does not have the market on cranky evidently!)  
The quilt above is called Couch for short or Sunday, Fort Lauderdale, 3 pm. for long.
I have the background done though it may change. It needs some paint and stitching. And it is big, something like 74" wide and 50" tall. Last weekend I went to the Medina Flea Market and bought 2 1940's photo albums so I have several new ideas lined up. Have to do some scanning and photoshop work and take them out for printing. Staples can print 24 x 36 plain paper black and whites for pretty dang cheap. Couch only has 4 pieces of paper pieced together. When I did the 11 x 17 printer I would have had maybe 20 pieces to piece. Much better! Though it is tricky to get the larger pieces lined up and glued down. But then again I like a funky-not-perfect look. 
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Food Mysteries

My mother was a thrifty cook and growing up in the fifties we had many meals that were concocted to feed six ravenous children. One was called Summer Slungullion. I know! It is stewed fresh tomatoes, corn cut fresh off the cob, hamburger meat and macaroni. All cooked together with a dash of worcestershire sauce. 
My mothers nod to exotic food was chop suey. An extra pork chop was cooked and the next night it was cut into pieces and combined with onions, celery, pork gravy, and bean sprouts. It was served over rice with rice noodles and a hard boiled egg sliced on the top. This accounts for my occasional cravings for hard boiled eggs sprinkled with soy sauce. Strange.
I love chinese food and I have spent many great lunch hours in Cleveland's Asian neighborhoods eating at the local restaurants. I have never seen a hard boiled egg on top of any food, which puzzled me until a couple weeks ago when I was looking for a peach pie recipe and came across the LaChoy pamphlet dated 1949.  Mystery solved.
Now does anyone have a good peach custard pie recipe? My mother made one that had a carmelly bottom and a custard filling with a crumb top. Yummy!
And next time we will talk about jelly on top of fried eggs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The tale of two shows

There are two shows I have been wanting to see. One of them was the Ohio Designer Craftsman Best of 2009 which is showing at the Wooster Art Center in Wooster, Ohio until December 19. It opened in Columbus in June and has traveled the state, stopping in Portsmouth and Mansfield on its way to Wooster. It has a wide variety of media; jewelry, pottery, textiles, glass, woodworking, and paper. It's a wonderful show because of the variety. Additionally there is a great variety of textiles, Susie Shie's diary quilt, Sue Cavanaugh's shibori, Rumana Hawa's weaving and Rita Steffenson marvelous thread work among others. Sue is in the Quilt National exhibit that is traveling the US currently. I went on a Wednesday afternoon, all was quiet but the show was in 2 rooms that were warmly lit. I was inspired but some of the fabulous jewelry. Some very conceptual pieces.
Saturday I went to see Nancy Crow's Solo exhibit at the Howland branch of the Butler Institute of America. The show is open until January 10, 2010. Surprisingly there were no visitors on  a Saturday afternoon. I was able to examine all the quilts at close and far range. The show left me a little depressed and puzzled. The quilts had titles such as Anxiety, Yes, No, Maybe. Nancy describes her angst as she ponders a 1/4 of an inch placement of stripes that would change the composition. I was really interested in her whole cloth screen printed and monoprinted quilts. They were great, but the dates of the pieces were smack in the middle of all the strip pieced quilts. It seems she led us somewhere and then dropped the story we hoped to learn. Hopefully there is more screenprinting. Of course, this just my take. Sad, there were no viewers on a decent weather-wise weekend afternoon.
The quilt above is my One Windy Day which is traveling with the Best of Ohio Show.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Life is down to a low hum. 
I started a new quilt project. 74" wide by 44" tall. A big one for you Dorothy. Got the image printed on an industrial printer so I have 4 24 x 36 pieces to paste down. Got those trimmed out and the fabric stitched together. That was my last big piece of cotton duck, so off I go to JoAnns with coupon in hand. I got a couple of base coats on and ran out of ink. Went to the local art store that used to carry acrylic ink and found out they have no ink. What? No ink. How can this be an art and craft store? Well, Dick Blick is now sending me ink. Thank you, Dick! The leaves are falling and all that are left are on our big Schwietzer (sp?) tree, a big yellow maple and the Bradford pear. Everything else has lost their leaves except for a few stragglers on the suckers. I have been keeping up with the clean-up. Of course every time I  mow the whole thing, the wind brings the neighbor's leaves over. And who knew magnolia leaves have a distinct peppery smell?I have been cleaning up all the junk in the house, mom's old clothes and stuff I never wear, books, oh the books! Took 3 shopping bags of books,  CDs and DVDs to 1/2 Price and got $35. Enough to buy cotton duck. Then I decided to clean all my portfolios of paper. Like maybe six of them. Now down to 2 portfolios and a mirror shipping box.Then for some reason I decided to redo the long wall of my studio room. Now this room is small. Like 7' 6"' wide by 12" 9" long with 2 good size windows on one long wall. The blank long wall has shelving, bookcases and my computer plus my big table with the sewing machine. And tons of art on the top half of the wall. It now has no art. But it will have new art. I have to put a sleeve on my Mom Healing piece and hang a piece of paper art I found in a portfolio. I turned it 90° and it struck me as a fun piece so it will go up. I need a kick out of a rut. Maybe this will help.  The photo is the before shot.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baby Clothes

My friend Gayle Pritchard ( gaylepritchard.blogspot.com ) makes the cutest baby clothes.
The dresses and overalls are her own design and she has an etsy shop . My friend Julie is expecting a baby girl in December and inspired by Gayle, I decided to get a pattern and some fabric and make baby Lily a handmade baby outfit. Simple I thought, I used to sew my own clothes all the time. Just a few short seams. And I thought I picked an easy pattern! Gayle you have the patience of Job! But I did get it done in time for the shower where it was admired by all. No one has the time to sew anymore. She did get a beautiful handmade afgan, but I am not touching needles and yarn, thank you very much. 
Now I am going to purge a few more cubbyholes of all the junk I have accumulated, there is stuff in there that hasn't seen the light of day for 40 years. I think I can live with out most of it. And then I have a new photo I had printed at Staples, four 24 x 36 panels. Yep, back to a big piece. I can't wait to start it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Corgi Yoga

  Greet the sun position

  And FLIP!
                                                                                What's for breakfast? Milkbones and kibble?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Details and a USO Followup

  Here is the promised detail shot of Through The Mirror Darkly. I added stitching around the gentleman and around the mirror frame. 
Now I have some photoshop work to do on a new scan that will be four figures and be quite large, at least 84 inches long. I will be looking to output this commercially since I only have access to a n 8.5 x 11 inkjet printer and I will need about 10 to 12, 11 x 17 pages to put the new one piece together.

 And a use for USOs? Here are a few pages from one of my stitch books where the USOs landed. I make these from odd scraps that I like to loosely stitch and then make into a book. There you guys are among the first to see these except for a few close friends. Click to enlarge and see the details. 
Now the questions is, will the weather be good enough to mow tomorrow? Some of my grass is 4 to 5 inches long. It's a 2 and half hour long job.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Finishing It Off

  I found some bits of painted lace which I added around the mirror. Also had some "homepun" type fabrics that became "patches". Glued down the xerox photo with gel medium. This is actually four 11 x 17 pieces of paper.

I decided to square it up a bit, it just wanted to be squarer. What can I say. I also stitched around the mirror part and around the man. For some reason it kept breaking the thread, I guess it was a bit tougher than I thought which is funny because I can stitch through the built up areas where I used modeling paste with ease. Next post I will give you a close up with some of the stitching. I titled it Through The Mirror Darkly. Finished size 35" H x 29" w.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

And the bead goes on

  Sorry but I couldn't get the title to this post out of my head. And the bead does go on and on. This is a piece that is fun to pet. And when you turn it over to tie off a thread it makes the most satisfying clatter as the beads hit a hard surface. It still needs more beads and stitching but it is a lot closer to being finished. Then I will have to figure out what frames it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Following Up

  This is the canvas with  a coat of  white paint, gel medium and water. Previously I had painted it with patches of coal tar gel, and gel medium which I scribble on through a nozzle bottle.

 Added a coat of paint to the sides over the dried modeling paste stencils. There is a piece of the painted tissue paper on the left side, not sure I am going to use the paper. Perhaps some but there maybe some lace and other fabric pieces added to the side. And some paint sticks on the stencils. I placed the image and painted tulle on top to see how it will look together. I think this will be a companion piece to Edith Ann for sure.
Stayed tuned. More work coming.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bad, Bad Blogger

Where, oh where, have I been? Yikes, I just realized its been a month since I wrote anything!
Well, I have been around, here and there. I finished two quilts and entered two shows. Mostly trying to take care of my mom who is fading slowly away. Dementia in the elderly is a slow, torturous way to go.
On the plus side I have been working on my website, teaching myself Dreamweaver. Evidently I am not a real good teacher.  I have the layout done, and some of the pages done. I have a page for each of the 18 quilts I want to show with a short story about the inspiration behind each one but I need to do the gallery page to link all the other pages and I am having trouble lining everything up. I know it shouldn't be so hard to do so I bought a new instruction book today and I will be studying again.
And today we got my mother to get out of bed and did a major clean of her room. She even ate dinner with me, homemade fresh tomato soup from the garden. I canned 9 pints of tomato juice today and had enough left over for soup.
Above is a piece I did for myself called Book of Hours. It has rust stains, bronze metallic embroidery thread, and beading coated with thick gel medium. 

Friday, July 31, 2009


What is it?!?
Unidentified sewn object! I'm not sure what these will turn into, but they are rusted, embroidered with random stitches of metallic thread and then coated with gel medium, the really thick stuff I put on with a spatula and let dry over night. It makes the cloth like plastic and really makes the stitching stand out.  
An entertainment while I am putting off finishing my new web site, why? I don't know but I am a page closer, but I really need to do the gallery page.  And finish it. And finish the new piece I started this week and the QSDS piece needs a back and photos, entry season is upon us!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where have I been?

Well I have been working on my beaded, embroidered piece. A few stitches at a time. And. . . I started a new piece today, a big piece about my grandmother. Not much to see yet. Patched cotton duck with gel medium and a few random fabrics attached with gel medium and white paint splotches. Next some staining on it and I will paint some tissue paper to paste on. I have the palette of colors picked out. No photos yet. 
AND!!! I rode my horse (Skittles) Sunday! Just got the nerve up and the time to do it and climbed on. I haven't ridden Skittles since last fall and I didn't canter her at all last year. Climbed on in shorts and tennis shoes asked for a walk, trot and canter and got it with no fuss. There is much to be said for an old horse, she's trained and we know each other. This photo is not Skittles. This is my prior horse, Doc. He looks good, and I didn't look too bad but he was not comfortable to ride, my knees used to ache. I'll have to get a picture of me on Skittles, uh oh, another project!
Andl, I have been busy with mowing, trimming bushes, weeding, cleaning house and the front walk is now 6 inches wider since I edged it. More room to roll a wheelchair down it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

QSDS The Results Show

 From the hallowed halls of QSDS 
At least I hope it is!!!
Dut, da da DAH!!!!
A different kind of look, I am excited to see how I can develop this into pieces about human relationships and communications.  Definitely click on this to enlarge it, it has more detail to be seen. I definitely need to play with the scale of things but I think it is an interesting start. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Progress on some fronts

I have made a little progress on my monoprint piece. We have had rain over the past days but there is  a break in the weather today so lawn mowing is in order. It's a good time to meditate. Just you, the mower and 2 acres of grass. Thinking time.
I think I have figured out enough Dreamweaver to start playing with my website. I have it laid out in InDesign, so the designing is done, the writing is done. I need to photoshop a bunch of photos so I can start placing the correct images. I need to take the outlined images and make them lo res. I never seem to do anything square so outlining is needed to make them look clean. Fortunately color correcting and outlining were 2 essential things I did in my previous job. I can also photoshop your wrinkles and fix your hair! Or add mustaches and blacken your teeth. Don't mess with me! 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Monoprint

To the left is the monoprint I made with Lumiere paints on black cotton duck.
I have started to bead it with what I call bead soup. Just a bunch of beads in the colors I want thrown in a plastic plate and applied randomly. I am also adding gold embroidery thread in a random pattern with bead spacers and large aluminum jump rings.
I find hand work calming after a stressful day. Not that I was stressed that much today. But I am realizing that a job search needs to be started in July, and I don't think here is much out there right now. That's not a pleasant thought.
But next week I will have 7 whole days to work on art at QSDS. I have four projects and the monoprint to take down so I can pick and choose what to work on. Hopefully besides artwork, I will get more insight into what is good and bad about my work and areas to improve. Sometimes I have so many ideas its hard to pick what will be the best. Usually I go with what appeals the most to me.  But I am not sure I have the greatest ideas. I think my work is not cerebral, it's more emotional. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I look at some of the great cerebral work out there and sigh deeply .
And I had a talk with a friend tonight about a great plan to unite all the regional fiber groups in a website and eventually to have a gallery, work and classroom site in one local building to promote fiber. It's a big, grand, wonderful idea, hopefully I can get in on the ground floor of this. Any Northern Ohio fiber artists we are going to enlist you to start providing us info on your events for starters so we have one site to link up events. We need to start promoting the local fiber events!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Getting Ready

Between yard work I have been gathering fabric and ideas for my master class with Elizabeth Busch at QSDS.  I made a small piece for the auction that is really a sample for the new direction I want to head. 
I made a sample with an image I have been playing with and it hung on the design wall for months. I finally finished the piecing but by then I have lost the desire to quilt it. Of course it will probably get quilted "someday."
In the meantime here is my auction piece. 12" x 12". I printed the head in 2 8.5 x 11 pieces and then pieced them together and placed them on top of the pieced background and then did a lot of freemotion stitching around the head. The question was what to do with the black and white portion of the head? I think the threadwork came off subtly enough to work.
So far I am pleased and ready to print out a full sized figure. My mom is wearing the most interesting coat. Of course she has no memory of it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pictures tell the story

Here is the one of the front beds by the front door with trimmed bushes (sweat equity) a new butterfly bush and begonias.
Next is our well top with geraniums, snapdragons, petunias and begonias. Yes the weeds have already returned with the rain.
And last is my monoprint. I just poured paint on a piece of plastic on the table top and placed the fabric over it and pressed it down. Spritzed the remaining paint with water and placed another piece of fabric on it. I plan to embroider and bead this piece and make another quilt like The Secret Life of Black Holes. Which is the top picture.

Monday, June 1, 2009

This and That

Busy, busy, busy.
I have planted all the flower beds. Actually that wasn't hard. It's weeding them that is hard. Many full garden carts and 5 flats of flowers later, I'm finished for now. And the fish pond is cleaned, plants and fish out. It was a cesspool full of mosquitos. Yuck.
Now I can start weeding!!!
The garden is up, at least the corn and the beans. Peas, carrots and spinach to follow.
Next is the TAA newsletter.
And I delivered 5 pieces to The Pop Shop Gallery for the Art of Lakewood Walk on June 13th. 4-9 pm. The Pop Shop is hosting the Fifty Dolla Holla. All art is $50 with 50 artists contributing up to 5 pieces. It's an interesting place to purchase a variety of affordable art. With a great mix of styles.
See www.artoflakewood.com for further details and a map.
Shame on me, no photos. I will take one of the front of the house and post. Or better yet I will photo the monoprints that are drying. I did sneak some art in while I was draining the fish tank today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Forget that previous plan

Well, yeah, just step over towards that painting table.
Let's see. . . TAA Fashion Show Database around 1000 names and addresses typed. QSDS Brochure formatted and off to printer. Mom now enrolled in Hospice. Dentist appointment for crown. Lawn mowing. Oh yeah, ART!!!!
Well I am getting back to art hopefully. I spent $39 at JoAnn's for supplies so I better!
And I did finish 2 pieces and will have 5 pieces in the Lakewood Ohio Art Festival in a couple of weeks.
Plus I got a mention in our local paper and The Columbus Dispatch for my piece in the Ohio Designer Craftsman Best of 2009 Show (Yay!) And the Quilted Surface VI opens this week in Columbus.
So the rest of this week, art. Of course there is garden and flower planting. that's an art too!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Creativity Jumps!

I had a good week. I figured out that when I go down to feed my fish,  (I have HUGE fish) I need to step 6 feet over to my paint area and do SOMETHING, which gives me a kick start. 
I have 3 Sweet Suites in the first stages of paint, painted up a bunch of tissue paper, put rod pockets on "For the Mother" quilt which needs to go to Columbus this week. I started the brochure for QSDS 2010 and started the database for the TAA Fashion Show and got the lawn mowed, house cleaned, supplies and groceries stocked and helped with my Mom who is having some issues with panic attacks.
Panic attacks in a 94 year person who never had them before is a scary thing. Mom is not sure what is going on and gets very confused. Plus the brain damage from the fall has affected her short term memory. The constant questions about the weather tomorrow can be draining. Everyone needs a break, aides and me.
For those who don't know, my 93 year old mother fell March 5 2008, at 5 in the morning and suffered a brain trauma, which resulted in a stroke that affected her left side. The day before the fall she was bowling 3 times a week and driving her big old Caddy to the bank, grocery, bowling and church. She lost all of her independence. She is at home now with 24/7 aides and enjoys being wheeled out to sit in the sunshine. 
Life got very interesting, to say the least. But in essence, my mother and I switched roles. She is now the daughter I never had.
Photo to the right, three Sweet Suites in the beginning stage of paint. Next is stitching and additions of paper or whatever else adds interest.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Suites

I have been working !!!
There are two things I like to do art-wise. Sew and paint. My mixed media textiles do that. 
I sew pieces of cotton duck together to create the base, add layers of gel medium and paint 
and then add the photo copies to the base. Then more glazes, paint sticks and whatever 
else will add to the story I want to tell.
But what if I left out the photo copies and accented the sewing?
Made them not just a painting but a textile. 
Mounted them on a stretcher but with some thread work? 
And made them small and affordable?
Called them Sweet Suites?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thinking about QSDS

Quilt Surface Design Symposium is my hot vacation spot every year. It has spurred my art quilt career in surprising ways and in directions I would have never thought to take. And it has brought many new friends. I treasure the friends the most.
This year I have signed up for a Master Class with Elizabeth Busch. Seven days to work on art. Period. Well the Wednesday trip to Quilt National and I will HAVE to make at least one run to Dick Blick's. But the rest should be all art making.
I thought with my layoff I would make a lot of art and I have been working on it a lot but I always have some excuse. Cleaning, errands, yardwork, time spent with my Mom. 
I think I have to start making some rules. Get up at eight, breakfast and make art until noon or something. And then hit again from 9:30 pm till 11:00. I am so used to the 9:30 till 11:00, when I was working it was the only chance I had.
The photo is from Ned Wert's wonderful collage class at QSDS.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

The First One!

Okay Gang, here goes the first post! 
Currently working on something different for me, a pieced quilt. Quite different from my usual patched duck that is painted and collaged. 
Since I am not working, I have been doing a lot of yard work and paperwork. And cleaning up all the messes that get piled in a cubby hole for later. Later is now!
And I have to finish a quilt that is due to be sent for display in Columbus for QSDS's Quilted Surface V. This is my 8 foot tall homage to my mother. It was quite a feat to photograph this one, it involved the garage, a ladder and nails.