Thursday, April 18, 2019

Spring is definitely in the air!  We've had rain, some light snow flurries, wind, now temps in the high 60's... how typical for Springtime in the High Country!  If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes!
Recently, on a very windy day this lovely was seen holding on for dear life on the stoop outside our front door:
I kept an eye on him throughout the day, and I think he survived... gone the next morning.  You have to be a hardy lot to survive the winds out here!
On the gallery front, we had our Opening Reception April 6 for our 17th annual Recycle Art Exhibit at our new gallery location in Flagstaff Mall:

As you can see, we had a wonderful turn-out for the event, and the exhibit is fabulous!  Below is a piece created by the sixth grade class at one of our local middle schools, using Picasso for their inspirations:

This one captured my heart and imagination... such a wonderfully colorful piece! 

On the home front, I have been very busy in the studio, continuing to work on adding to my inventory.  Our regular exhibit at the gallery will open May 4, and I am also participating in the Spring Expo at the mall that day, so no rest for the weary!  Below is a bowl I finished the other day... the bright, cheery colors had me giggling with joy as I created it!  Which reminds me, if you are in the Flagstaff area and are interested in learning how to make these bowls, my next class is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 at Odegaard's Quilt Store.  Stop by and sign up!

I've also been listing some of my work in my Artfire shop on-line, so take a peek... you might find something you can't live without!  

Okay, time to get back to work... the days are flying by, and I have lots more to do to prepare for our summer rush!   

Friday, March 22, 2019

Changes in the air

Lots of changes happening these days... our gallery is moving to a new store in the mall, starting April 1st.  No pictures of the space yet, but does the phrase "this old gallery" bring images to mind?  Lots to do to prepare for the move!

Another change is that my friend Cinde and I are both now selling at a gallery in Williams, Az as well!

This will give us both exposure to visitors coming to see the Grand Canyon or visit other areas of the state.

With Spring here, it is time for me to start creating more items for both galleries, so I have been dyeing shirts and scarves and making bowls:

Bright colors are the order of the day, can you tell?

I recently got to visit with my friend Sherrie who was in Sedona enjoying the sunshine (visiting from Washington State where it's all gray, much of the time!) and we took a drive to the Phoenix area to visit fabric shops and enjoy a little warmth.  Sherrie did a great job of recounting the trip on her blog... you can read about the day and enjoy her photos  here.  The day went way too quickly, and she might not get back this way for awhile, so we crammed in as much visiting as we could... will have to hold us for awhile!

In my last couple of posts I shared about doing stitch meditations and fabric collage.  Due to my need to beef up my inventory, I have had to back off from doing too much in that area for the time being, but will not be putting my needles, floss and fabrics away for long... here is a picture of the meditations I did in January: 

I have grouped some of these into small panels suspended on scraps of wood, and a couple are displayed in shadow boxes.  The rest are waiting for me to find just the right way to use them.  This is my favorite so far:

I have considered offering this for sale at the gallery... even gave thought to giving it as a gift, but so far I can't part with it.  This is an example of what can happen if you just suspend thought, and let the creative muse guide you.  None of these were pre-planned, they just came about on their own.  Doesn't get any better than that!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Snow Day Coming!

So, the forecast calls for a 2-day, "20 year" snow event.  We are due for 13-19 inches in our area, 9 miles northeast of Flagstaff.  The Storm Warning says travel will be very difficult to impossible.  So I changed our grocery store day from Friday to today to make sure we don't run out of supplies, and now we have absolutely no need to leave the property!  I will be out shoveling periodically (have to be able to refill the bird feeders!), but otherwise, my plan is to spend time on my fabric collages... yaay!  I have 3 foundations in progress.... two ready for hand stitching, one ready for decorative
machine stitching, something I have wanted to try for a long time!
Here is a quick sampler I made up to test the stitch variations:

I have had my sewing machine for 11 years, and other than the zigzag stitch and a few brief
experiments, I have never used the decorative stitches!  Time to spread my wings, right!
Here is the collage I plan to machine stitch:

And I am trying Mistyfuse for the first time - I usually use Wonder Under to fuse fabrics.  Mistyfuse reminds me a little of spider webs... clingy and a little sticky, but I hear it is fabulous to sew with, so I will see how I like it.
I have pulled together a collection of threads to try, so I'm all set for the storm.
And here is one of the other foundations I have combined for hand stitching:

It seemed to take a very long time for me to find just the right combination of fabrics for
this, but a) I have a ton of fabric scraps to choose from, and b) I couldn't just throw together
any old fabrics... they have to play well together!  
Lastly, this is a work in progress - I have stitched down the oak leaf and done some other hand stitching since I took this picture, but it still needs more work.  

I had originally planned to attach a real oak leaf from one of our Gambel Oaks, but decided instead
to use it to create a pattern.  I used some hand dyed cotton twill to make the leaf, then used variegated quilt thread to create the details.  

I think these projects should keep me occupied over the next few days and beyond.  If I really get tired of stitching, there's always housework, but who am I kidding?!  Snow Day =  Sew Day, right?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

More stitch meditations

This has become my new obsession, and a lovely way to get back into doing hand stitching.  I spend time each day adding stitches and perhaps some embellishments to 4 inch squares of fabric:

I'm enjoying the process, and it is very calming to an overactive mind!  
But being who I am, I started wondering what I could do with these little squares... other than have them pile up and clutter an already insanely chaotic studio:

So here are a few groupings of the meditations:

I also trimmed one down and mounted it on a 4 inch canvas:
I'm sure there are other ways to use these, and will continue to mull that over... just not
while I'm stitching.  I am really enjoying the time I spend on these!  Plenty of time to hatch new
ways to use them... later!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

More explorations

One of the things on my "Try this" list has been silk fiber vessels... something I have seen on Pinterest which really intrigued me.  So I finally gave it a try recently, using a square of hand dyed silk draped around a glass vase:

I put an LED tea light inside, and have since bought some votives which are a little larger.  Makes a nice glow, and the vase can also be used for floral displays.  Here's another one I made, using a fish-bowl shape:

The one below combined hand dyed silk with various fibers, and I removed the glass bowl after the vessel was dry.

I have ideas for more of these, and may even try making some with silk fibers, instead of the silk fabric.  

On another note, I recently saw a video by Liz Kettle, artist, on 15 minute stitch meditations and it caught my fancy.  The idea is to just stitch, with no outcome in mind, to just relax and enjoy the process.  I have done a few 4" x 4" squares so far, using scraps of fabric and various threads... I love making these!

I have wanted to get back into doing hand work for quite awhile, and just never seemed to be able to transition into it... kind of like a block.  Now I have a daily exercise to get me to put needle to thread and play, and it's helping me find my voice again, stitch-wise!

On the gallery front, sales have been brisk this month... the hot pads and mug rugs have all sold, most of my Pine Cone ornaments are gone and several bowls are going to new homes, along with some shirts & tops.  I have 2 more shifts at the gallery for the year, then the slow-down period will be here and I plan to bring my stitch meditation squares with me to while away the hours in the next month or so.
Happy Holidays to all, and hope you find time to feed your creative muse during the winter days ahead!

Friday, December 7, 2018

I've been busy!

Nothing new there, but I have had lots to do this past month, and I feel like I'm breaking new ground for me again! 
Of course, there's been the push to make items for the gallery... holiday shoppers have been making the rounds ever since Black Friday, and items are being scooped up, leaving gaps in my inventory to fill.

In addition to creating more inventory, I have been starting to learn wet felting techniques.  I have found some tutorials on line, but also signed up for an on-line course from UK fiber artist Jackie Cardy, who makes fabulous wet felted work, and has created a 12 lesson course that is very informative and easy to follow.  In addition to wet felting techniques, she demonstrates how she uses machine embroidery and hand embroidery to create her beautiful work...  here's an example of her lovely work:

Isn't this amazing?
I'm in the process of working on a small wet felted piece that has been machine embroidered, and is now in the process of being hand embroidered.  I'm sure at some point, I will be adding some beads, but for now I'm working to highlight areas with hand stitching, something that has been on my list of things to get back into:

While I have been following her course, I have also been trying my hand at wet felted vessels, something I really want to learn.  I won't show the first 2 attempts... totally learning pieces, but the third one came out pretty nice:

It's pretty small, only about 3 1/2" high by 5" wide, but it is a good start, I think.  Again, I found a great tutorial by a gal at Living Felt:  It's actually a 2-part video, well worth the view for anyone wanting to learn how to make these.

And that's been what has been keeping me busy this past month!  

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Holiday gift items

I've been busy of late, beefing up my Holiday gift items for the gallery.  Here are some recent items that will be in the gallery soon:

Pine Cone Ornaments

Devore Cutout silk/rayon scarves

Coiled fabric hot pads

Mug Rugs, back by popular demand

Fringed silk/rayon cut velvet scarves

If you are in the Flagstaff area, I hope you will stop by the Arts Connection Gallery at Flagstaff Mall and make us your "go to" place for holiday shopping!  If you are out of the area and interested in my work, please contact me via e-mail (see my profile).