Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dallas, the Wonder Dog

Dear Readers,
Our Grandson Hunter has a service dog, Dallas.  Recently, Dallas had to have major surgery to amputate a leg that had a malignant tumor.  He is almost ready to come home, but at a cost... estimated at around $7000!  Our Daughter in Law April posted the following:  It is a site where donations can be made to help defray the veterinary bill.  They have done well raising funds, but the entire bill must be paid when they go to bring Dallas home, which hopefully is today.  I have posted this site on my Facebook page, but wanted to mention it here as well.  If you can make a donation, no matter how small, it will go a long way to help.  Our son Joe is in the Army, so they are on a budget.  Dallas has helped Hunter so much, and he deserves all the help and support he can get.  
Thanks for any support you can give!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Something new

I have been going in a new direction lately, combining a couple of techniques to come up with something a little different.  As you may know if you have been following me the past couple of years, I have been making coiled fabric bowls for awhile, then recently I took the process in a different direction and began making coiled bowls that I then coated with plaster and painted.  The first few were simple - create the bowl, coat it with plaster, paint with gesso, stamp on some designs, and seal.  I have also been working on more complex shapes involving multiple segments that had to be hand stitched together after I created them... all good ways to stretch and grow, creatively.  Well, I decided recently to take this process even further and try painting on one, as I would a canvas.  It's been quite awhile since I did much painting, but I envisioned something that I just had to try... worst case scenario, I could always paint over it if my idea didn't come to fruition.  Well, today I put the finishing touches on it, and I think I'll let it stay as is:

I used photos I took at Monument Valley in 2001 as my inspiration.  It was a little awkward painting on a curved shape, but I am pleased with how it turned out, and will probably try more in the future.  Now I just need to find some mesquite branches to put inside!  And I also need to plan another trip to Monument Valley... if you have never been, it's awesome!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Where has the time gone!

I can't believe I've let almost a month pass without a post... again!  Lots of projects keeping me busy, then the 4th yesterday... time to catch up!
First off, I was busy  writing a series of articles for "...And Then We Set It On Fire" about creating fabric with various surface design techniques:
Here's the end result - you can see how I got there if you follow the link and look for Round Robin, Solo Style posts.
I've also been doing some Autumn Leaves pieces using stamps I cut out of sponges:
And most recently, I did another plaster bowl and embellished with more sponge stamps, this time in shapes reminiscent of the southwest:

In between I had other things to do like housework (yuk!) and a trip to Phoenix.  Then yesterday, I got to ride on a float in our July 4th parade:
I took pix of the crowd along the way - lots of folks turned out for the event! 

And here I am (left) with a friend on the float, with my last minute painted sun visor... had great weather for the parade, followed by a nice monsoon storm to keep things cool!
Okay, time to get ready to visit the local nursery... now that Monsoon season is here, I can think about planting, and I need to find some trees!  Have a great July, and I hope to post more soon!

Monday, June 9, 2014

My New Basket

I have been experimenting more with various bowl/basket techniques, and decided to try something new to finish off a larger bowl that "needed something".  I created some knotted handles that I used a couple of techniques to finish, and I'm pleased with how they turned out:

The bowl measures 10" wide at the top, and 5 1/2" high... a pretty standard looking bowl, almost plain.  I started it with one idea in mind, and stopped midway because the shape wasn't right for the project I was working on.  It sat, waiting for me to think of a way to finish it, for over a month.  Finally, I decided to try the handles.  They are of cord, wrapped with the same fabric I used on the bowl, then knotted to add visual interest as well as functionality.  Then I made a loop on one end, and coiled the other end into a medallion.  That way I was able to loop the ends together ala button and loop.  Then I hand stitched in several places to anchor them to the bowl.
Next, I decided to use MinWax Polycrylic sealer to protect the finish, but also it stiffens when it dries, making the bowl and handles sturdier.  This way, if the user spills something on the bowl, it's easy to use a damp cloth to wipe it off without leaving a stain.
Now I just need to find a shipping box in the garage big enough to house the bowl... then I can list it in my shop!  On to the next project...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Evolution of a process

Several years ago, before I started my tie-dye biz, I used to paint objects - cigar boxes, flower pots, you name it!  Trouble is, they weren't big sellers, so I moved on.  But I always loved doing them, and recently decided to ease back into mixed media a little.
Below is a display of my painted wares circa 1997,

And this is a prayer plant (my design) in a hand painted clay pot... using one of my favorite themes, autumn leaves. 

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have been busy the past couple of years making coiled fabric bowls, first as a stash buster, but later because I love the process as well as the results. This is a sample of one of my typical bowls:

Well, somehow my brain cells collided and I decided to take the bowls  in a different direction, and here is the result of my first efforts:

I have combined the coiling process with mixed media to create a bowl with a hard surface, which allows me to paint it.  I decided to go back to the autumn leaves theme for this one, and I'm pleased with how it came out.  After I took these photos, I applied Polycrylic sealer to protect the finish.  I ended up using a high gloss, which is okay, but I think I would prefer the more subtle look of the matte finish shown here for future efforts.  And trust me, there will be more of these!  Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Works in progress

It's been almost a month since my last post... how time flies when you're having fun!  I have been indulging my love of dyeing on some new summer tops:

Once I got started, I couldn't stop!  And I have more on the way...
Meanwhile, I am working on a piece for the Appetizers Exhibit coming up August 2nd... I know that's almost 3 months away, but I really want it to come out right... here's a sneak peak at what I'm working on for embellishments on the piece:

I just made a prototype feather to see how it would look... I plan to use different fabric, and hope to include some fabric beads as well, but for now, I needed to see if the size was good.
What I should be working on, and hope to get into over the next day or so, is a series of posts for "...And Then We Set It On Fire".  I will be posting about a Round Robin Solo surface design project during the month of July, and I really need to move beyond the planning stage into the execution phase!
On the garden front, I have Lettuce and Peas sprouting:

This is my second year growing lettuce, and my first try at peas.  Everything is in containers so I can keep them above ground - our prairie dogs are very resourceful, and I have discovered they even know how to climb, so nothing is safe in the ground!
As for flowers, I am keeping fingers crossed - in the next few days, at least one of my Lilac bushes will be in full bloom, barring unforseen frost!  I will take pix as soon as the blossoms open up.  And I have a coupon for rose bushes from Home Depot... I sorely miss my cutting roses, and think I will splurge this year - buy 2, get one free!  Hope I can find some that will bloom!  More to come... 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

ACF Spring Artists' Marketplace kicks off 2014 season!

Yesterday was the Artists' Coalition of Flagstaff's Spring Artists' Marketplace, and it was a wonderful event!

We had 25 members there, selling jewelry, paintings, fiber art, photography... a fabulous selection of work!  And our devoted patrons turned out in record numbers, eager to support the artists!
I had a double sized booth this year - plenty of space to display my wares!

My scarf rack, with some of the new rayon scarves - some of them found new homes!

My bowls were also popular... time to get back to work!
My friend Cinde on the left, with our fellow artist Katherine.

Cinde's beautiful beaded jewelry, on her newly created displays.

I have done this show a number of years, and yesterday was my best yet for sales - thanks to all who came to the show and supported us!