Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nuts over netting

I was in the mood to play yesterday, and wanted to do some more experimenting with my net mesh... which used to be a vegetable bag before I tore into it. I went thru my stash and found a piece I dyed using leftovers... not really crazy for the color combination, so I figured "what the heck", might as well play with it! So first I stretched the netting over an area of the fabric, then used a roller to apply dishwashing gel with bleach over the netting. I removed the netting and let the area dry, then washed the gel out. I had been a little heavy-handed with the first try, and ended up with some areas where the netting design didn't show, and the color was mostly discharged leaving a pale area. I repeated the experiment, only this time I used very little gel on the roller, and got a better "print" of the netting design. Today, I soda soaked the fabric and let it dry. Then I stretched the netting over the two places I had discharged yesterday, only slightly altering the shape and direction of the netting. Then I lightly rolled over the area with thickened dye. Yup! That was the answer! I now have layers of netting over the piece, and I love the depth and shading! I'm letting it batch, but may go back and add more layers to the remaining fabric. What a rush! I'm finally beginning to feel like I have a better handle on 'complex cloth' than I ever have since I started experimenting with it!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April Surface Design playdate

Today was our first play-date in awhile, and 5 of us got together to work on monoprinting. Well, 4 of us monoprinted and Melly dyed yarn and knitted... the mad knitter!
Here are some of the results:

This is a leaf stamp that Linda carved from a linoleum block. It was stamped on thickened dye that was applied to her plexiglass surface, then the fabric was laid on top and gently pressed into the dye.

Nora used a pebble-textured place mat, placed under a previously dyed fabric, then applied dye to the fabric to pick up the design.

Ruth is very prolific, and here is a small sampling of the pieces she completed or started today.

This is one of my pieces, using netting to create a design.

I used a 'found' texturizer on this one - a plastic do-hicky that was originally used to coil miniature Christmas lights...

That's Nora on the left, Linda on the right.

Here's Ruth

Here's Miss Melly - teacher, artist, mentor, friend, fanatical knitter!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Final version of my 'Celebrating Home' quilt

Awhile back, I entered Quilting Arts' Calendar quilt contest, and today I found I was not one of the finalists. While that was momentarily disappointing, I am still very pleased that I endeavored to create something to their specifications, completed it and followed through with my submission. I spent many hours designing and creating the piece, and even though it was not one of those selected, I am satisfied with how it turned out. I have previously posted 'snapshots' of it, but here is the completed piece:

I used hand dyed and commercial fabrics, Bubble jet transfer for the cat picture, metallic threads for the fireplace highlights and tools, embroidery for the flowers and leaf highlights and beads for the doorknobs. This was based on photographs taken at my residence in South Pasadena, Ca. It is a 1923 California Bungalo, and I was at home there from the first time I went in.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A sad day

I took my little black kitty, Tink Tink, in to the vets today to have some work done on her teeth, and her little heart stopped while she was under anesthesia. They tried to revive her, but nothing worked. Later, the vet did an autopsy and found she had cancer in her liver and lungs, so it wasn't the tooth decay that caused the problem. She had not been eating well, had been lethargic, and lost weight before I got her in to be checked. The picture above was taken not too long ago, but she was thin and weak by the time I got her to the vets.

We adopted Tink from a neighbor around 1999 or 2000, and she quickly stole my heart. I have had a number of cats over the years, and a few that have been special favorites. Tink was a small female who loved to be held, purred loudly, and occasionally talked insessantly, but I loved her in spite of her chattiness! She was a one-person cat... mine... and detested all other felines. In spite of her small size, she totally intimidated Bubba, my 4 year old male, who is almost twice her size. Tink had a scream that would stand the hair up on your neck, and loved to hide and pounce on Bubba when he walked by. I still have Bubba and Double, our other male, and I love them dearly. But there is a giant bruise on my heart where Tink lived... my one consolation is that she is pain free, and somewhere up in heaven, she's chasing mice and thoroughly enjoying herself. I'll see you again some day, Tiny girl!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

What A Rush!

Last night was the opening of the Recycled Art Exhibit at the Coconino Center for the Arts. I have two pieces on exhibit there, and it is my first EVER art exhibit! We had a huge turnout for the event, and a fantastic collection of art made from castoffs, junk, scraps, you name it! Here are some pictures I took:
Here I am with 'New Directions', my scrap heap entry.

This is a bird made of coke cans.

Mobile made of driftwood and metal 'things', foreground; Scrap metal Windchime, background.

Models wearing clothing of recycled materials, including plastic bags!

This is a fabulous piece! It is a collaborative student work combining hand made dolls representing many cultures.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Importance of Creativity for Children and Other Living Things

Below is a quote from Sir Ken Robinson, "an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources,":

'What TED celebrates is the gift of the human imagination. We have to be careful now that we use this gift wisely, and that we avert some of the scenarios that we've talked about. And the only way we'll do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are, and seeing our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future -- by the way, we may not see this future, but they will. And our job is to help them make something of it. ~ Sir Ken Robinson'

This struck a chord in me, especially the part where he says 'we may not see this future, but they will'. My mother Christina, who died at the age of 42 when I was 10, was the primary force behind the awakening and nurturing of my creativity. She started working with me early, teaching me how to draw, giving me encouragement as I grew to love 'making things'. So often when I am working on a project, especially when I am pleased with how it is coming along, I think of her. She did not live to see the outcome of the seeds she planted in me, but I do, and I think her love and encouragement are still driving forces behind my efforts. Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My first exhibit!

Great excitement! I dropped off 2 of my pieces yesterday at Coconino Center for the Arts for our upcoming Recycled Art Exhibit! It's my first ever exhibit, and I'm really jazzed! Can you tell? The Artists' Reception is on Saturday, so I will be bringing my camera and shooting pix of the event to post here. This is the culmination of a long standing dream, and it has been a lot easier than I thought it would be... just do the footwork! Stay tuned for an update on the event...