Saturday, December 21, 2013

Honing my skills, Holiday wishes

Now that my shows are done for the year, I promised myself I would work to learn some new skills, in this case, learning how to make bowls in different shapes.  I have been doing round bowls with sloped walls for over a year now, and wanted to branch out and try some new shapes.  Yesterday, I put the finishing touches on an oval bowl:

 The 3 shots above were taken before I added a small embellishment, shown below.  But they give a good idea of the color and fabric patterns.
The bowl measures 10 1/4" long, 7 3/4" wide and is 4 1/8" high.  I am sure I will be making more of these in different sizes.
I also finished a crocheted shawl in homespun yarn:
This yarn is a soft homespun in a variegated Seafoam green that is just yummy!

And finally, I got around to dyeing a tank top I started sometime last summer - I painted a heart shape on with soy wax to resist the dye, and ended up using Burgundy and Maroon in a scrunch dye:
Little by little I am finishing up projects and trying new techniques, in preparation for next year's shows.  I hope to spend a little time in the next week or so, planning what I hope to tackle and accomplish in 2014, as well as reviewing what all I have done this year.  That's what I hope to post about next.  Meanwhile, I hope you all have a Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day or Kwanzaa season, and a very Happy New Year! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

ACF Gallery

I just saw this picture on FB... it is the Artists' Coalition of Flagstaff Gallery, and they are ready for First Friday Art Walk!  They are featuring gift items for $25 and under as well as a beautiful selection of items from our members...

I am very pleased to have my Shabby Chic Scarves on sale there (see right side of picture) as well as some affordable gift items.  This is a fun gallery, and we have a very wide selection of many mediums available... if you happen to be in the Flagstaff area, I encourage you to stop by!  The gallery is at 111 E Aspen Ave., just east of San Francisco St. north of Rte 66.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Early Winter and projects

Well, it's here, folks!  Winter has come to the North Country with sub-freezing temps, arctic winds and the promise of more snow in the forecast!  I just started the first fire of the season:
Then I braved the elements again to get this shot of the icicles hanging from the front of the patio room;

Earlier, I went out and checked the thermometer on the front of the garage, and it was about 24 degrees at about 10:30am!  Brrrr.... however, a quick check of the greenhouse thermometer showed a toasty 65... think I'll be spending a little more time out there to warm up!
On the creative front, I am experimenting with a few new coiled bowl shapes:

The one above has a trim along the top of beads... they don't show well in the photo, but they catch the light nicely.
This one is wider at the bottom than I usually make them, with sides that are gently sloped.  I curved the top row inward slightly to make it look more rounded.  I am spending time right now learning some new techniques to make different shapes... hopefully I will find it easy to adapt, because I really want to expand my offerings in this area to include some new looks.
Lastly, I got a baggie of fabric in the mail yesterday from Deb Lacativa, a fellow fiber artist and dyer:

I pressed them this morning and sorted into colorways, although most of the first batch I put together because they are hand dyed damasks.  Deb uses a lot of these in her hand-stitched fiber art creations, and I have been intrigued by them for awhile now.  I don't yet know what I will be doing with these gems, but I'm hoping to come up with a special project to use them on.  I'll be sure to post results here, so keep a look out!  Okay, back to work I go, Heigh-ho, heigh-ho!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Scarves in ACF Gallery

They're up!  My brand new mini-boutique area is hung in the Artists' Coalition Gallery on Aspen in Flagstaff!

I have been a busy bee, and finished 20 scarves for the display, just in time for First Friday Art Walk this Friday, Dec. 6th.  I have some nice gift items available there as well, for under $25, as will a number of our members, so it's a great place to go for affordable holiday gift shopping!  
Meanwhile, I'm heading back to the scarf works... need to start cranking out the next batch!  See ya...  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Count down to the last show of the year

The flier says it all... and it's coming up next weekend!  I've been busy stockpiling scarves, bowls, short and long sleeve shirts... even finished crocheting a shawl:

I love how this came out, and ordered some more yarn so I can make more - yet another item to add to my list of products!
Hope to see you at the show if you are in the Flagstaff area 11/23-24!  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Clearance Sale!

I have been going through my ever-growing inventory, marking things down, and moving them to a new section in my artfire shop!  Click on Clearance Sale Items to browse the selection.  Note:  I will be closing the shop Friday and Saturday to attend a local Arts/Crafts show where I will be offering the clearance items, so now is a good time to get first dibs on some great bargains!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Coming soon!

I'm really excited!  I have been wanting to sell my coiled fabric bowls on-line for awhile now, but was concerned about how much shipping would cost.  Well... I did some research, and discovered I should be able to ship them for a reasonable amount, so I ordered some boxes.  I should have the bowls in my shop before the end of October... woo-hoo!  Here are some of my Autumn bowls:

I'm busy making some Christmas bowls now, then hope to get a few more non-holiday bowls this week.  I have a show on Friday and Saturday, so will get to see how the new ones sell.  Okay, back to the salt mines!

Monday, September 30, 2013

More bowls and sunset

I finally got caught up with making scarves for the upcoming show October 11-12, and I'm now making more bowls.  Here is a series in autumn colors I just finished:
I love the copper fabric I used here, against the light print and darker autumn themed fabric.  Unfortunately, I got the last 2 fat quarters of the copper fabric at our local quilt shop, so I had to supplement with a batik fabric for future bowls.  I'm sure it will be fine, but I get so attached to certain fabrics!  I ran out of the light print, and went to our local Jo-Ann's about 20 miles away... lucky for me it's one of their exclusive patterns, and they had it in stock... safe for another day!  Now I need to head back to our local Home Depot to get some more clothesline... always something!
On another note, I got this shot the other evening from the front of our house:

I just happened to glance out the window at the right time, grabbed the camera and headed out the door. We actually had a dusting of snow on the upper peaks after a sudden storm and drop in temps... gonna be an early winter this year, I'm thinking!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sky Art

Autumn has arrived, and along with it, the winds we get here in the high country.  We are in for a blow today... but along with the winds, I was intrigued by the wonderful patterns it created on some clouds to the north:

We do get some awesome clouds here, but this was special because of the textures the winds created... almost like arashi shibori!  And just as quickly as they came, the textures were smoothed away by more wind... glad I got the camera out in time to capture these!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Autumn Leaves...

I have been hard at work the past couple of weeks, feverishly creating new things for my next show, "Autumn Leaves & Holly" at the Woodlands Hotel here in Flagstaff:

This is the time of year that I try to make up "Autumn Leaves" shirts using soy wax to batik leaves in a garland around the neck and down the sleeves... a very popular item with my customers.  This year, I haven't had too much time, but hope to have at least a small selection for this show.  Here is one of the finished shirts:

I used a mixture of browns to overdye the body of the shirt after waxing the leaves... came out really rich and dark, making the leaves glow with color.  
I'm also working on building up my "Shabby Chic" scarf collection for the show.  These sold really well at our local Artists' Coalition Gallery this summer, so I've been working overtime to replenish my stock!  Here are a few I made recently that will be available at the show:
 I still have lots to do to prepare for the show, then I have 2 more shows coming up in November... stay tuned!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

One more piece for the show

Yesterday, I put finishing touches on a piece I started about a month ago, and I'm going to try and find a way to display it at Flagstaff Open Studios Tour this weekend:
I call it "Meandering" because that's what it made me think of when I looked at the finished piece.  It is a fabric collage in the same style as "Study in Contrast" that you can see here.  With "Meandering", I decided to bind the edges and remove the fringe I originally started with.  I have suspended it on a piece of Juniper wood as I did with "Study in Contrast".  Having completed two pieces using this technique, I hope to explore more ways to use fiber collage to create wall hangings, perhaps incorporating found objects and/or non-fiber objects in the pieces, so stay tuned. 
On another note, we are due for some heavy Monsoon weather this weekend, and I'm hoping it does not discourage art lovers from attending.  We have 65 artists displaying their work at 34 locations throughout the Flagstaff area both days.  This is my fifth year participating in the tour, and I  am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as new visitors! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Getting ready for the show

I have been caught up in a whirlwind of activity of late... trying to finish up a lot of projects and prepare for the 16th Annual Flagstaff Open Studios Tour August 24-25.  This will be my fifth year participating, and it is one of my two biggest shows of the year.  Here is some of what I have been working on:
Arranging some of my wall art on my grid - later, I made up a black backing fabric to attach to the back and block out any distractions.

My postcard ad, which went out to my mailing list.

fabric bracelets... I plan to demonstrate how to make these, and they will keep me occupied during the event.  I don't do well just sitting there!

One of two of this style of dress that I dyed for a friend who is coming up from Sedona - hopefully, she will take at least one with her!

More "Shabby Chic" scarves... these have been selling like hotcakes at the Artists' Coalition Gallery in downtown Flagstaff, so I have been working feverishly to build up my stock for Open Studios.  I have a busy week ahead, and hopefully, a busy and productive weekend!  If you are in the Flagstaff area next weekend, I hope you will stop by!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Fire Storm" and "Vision Quest"

Awhile back, I decided to do some experimenting with dyeing cotton twill using my "Freeze Dyed" method.  I liked how the fabrics turned out, but never came up with a project to use them.  Well, last weekend, I pulled a couple of pieces out and put them on my design board, and suddenly I saw things!  I do have a very active imagination, but these 2 just screamed out at me.  I decided to try framing one:
See if you get the same vision I did: I'm standing in the middle of a charred forest, with blackened tree trunks above.  Through them, I see clouds of smoke, and the sun a white disk barely shining through.  Down below, the flames still lick at the dwindling fuel.  I call this "Fire Storm".

This one is a little harder to see in a photo, and I haven't mounted or framed it yet.  But as I look at it, I see walls of red rock, a waterfall, faces, a lone figure with face looking up, appearing to have hands over the face... and as I look in the enter, I see other faces looking out of the mist.  No, I'm not on drugs, folks!  Just seeing images in the dye... it's why I love the medium!  I call this one "Vision Quest", and hope to find a way to present it.  "Fire Storm" goes to the Artists' Coalition Gallery today and will be on display through August.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Prelude Exhibit Opening Reception

Last night was the Opening Reception for this year's Prelude Exhibit at Coconino Center for the Arts.  What a great collection of artwork from this year's Open Studios participants!  If you are in the Flagstaff area between now and August 31, take a few moments to drive over and check it out.   You can get directions here if you are not familiar with the Center.   We had a nice turnout, even had about a 20-minute blackout compliments of the evening's T-storm!  Amazing how many folks whipped out their cell-phones, turned them on for light, and continued to browse the exhibit!
Here I am next to "Study in Contrast".  I got a lot of great compliments from folks... even met an Interior Designer who was quite interested in the piece.

My friend Cinde, who is a fabulous Bead Jeweler, is showing her necklace to a couple, with my other friend Wendy smiling in the background.  This is a great way to visit with friends and see what the other members of the Flagstaff Artists' Coalition are doing.  I think this is my 5th year of participating in Open Studios, and I think it has helped me to grow as a Fiber Artist.  Wish I had taken more pictures, but I was busy chatting with everyone!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2013 Quilt Shop Hop!

My friend Joyce and I made our annual pilgrimage yesterday to 5 Quilt shops between Flagstaff and Prescott to spend money, bring home lots of fun treasures, and have a "girls' road trip"!  We took off around 8am, headed down to Camp Verde to get some English Toffee flavored coffee, then proceeded to the first shop in Prescott.  Participants in the Shop Hop purchase a "passport" at one of the stores, then each store they visit will stamp the passport, and you get a free gift - usually a fat quarter of fabric - and a 10% discount off regular priced merchandise.  Then you turn your passport in at the last store you visit, and it goes into a drawing for prizes.  There was one store that is too far away for us to make it, so we won't be eligible for the grand prize, but might still win one of the lesser prizes!  At any rate, after a lovely day including lunch in Presott, here is my haul:
As you can see, it mostly consists of fat quarters - some purchased, some gifts from the stores for participating.  My big purchase, and one I'm thrilled that I found, is the book "It's a Wrap II", by Susan Breier.  If you have been following my posts this past year, you know I have been making coiled fabric bowls from my fabric stash, and I love making them!  Plus, they are selling well at the shows I have participated in, so it's a win-win product in my opinion.  This book is going to help me broaden my horizons by teaching me how to make different shapes and create my own designs... woo-hoo!  Christmas in July for me!  Stay tuned... I hope to have some new items to show off soon.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Taking it beyond Shabby Chic - Study in Contrast

After my last post, I decided to try the technique I used on my "Shabby Chic" scarves with a new twist:  A wall hanging.  I love the layered look of the scarves, and I love how easy the water soluble stabilizer is to hold all the bits and pieces together while I sew them down.  I decided to see if I could create a piece of wall art that would be more than a hodge podge of fabric and yarn... something I was a bit doubtful I could pull off at first.  But in keeping with my theme of "Play" for the year, I decided the worst that could happen was that I would have something to throw in the stack of UFO's, to be pulled out at another time when the inspiration hit.  However, I'm happy to say that I am completely satisfied with the results:
I decided to name it "Study in Contrast"... not a very original or sexy name, but it does seem to describe the piece.  Light/Dark, Shiny/dull, Straight/Curved edges, Solid/Fluid.  I used a piece of Juniper wood from the woodpile to suspend it from, and finished the outside edges with a zigzag, just to reduce fraying .  But it is a raw-edge applique, so it's different.  Of all the pieces I have done over the past few years, this may well be my favorite!  And I'm quite sure this will be just the first in a series of wall hangings using this wonderful technique!  More to come...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Shabby Chic scarves - Group shot

I have been busy snipping and stitching new mixed fiber scarves again... just can't seem to get enough of these! I'm trying to build up my inventory for our annual Open Studios Tour at the end of August. I have posted a couple of pix recently, but thought I would take a group shot of what I have done so far:
As you can see, they come in many sizes and colors.

I'm working on number 7 as we speak, and have loads of fabrics and yarns waiting in the wings... or all over the floor to be more exact!
Below is the scarf I'm currently working on... snippets of fabrics, yarns and ribbons sandwiched between layers of Sulky solvy, a water soluble stabilizer.

Once again, I must give credit for this wonderful technique to my blogging and FB friend, Sherrie at "Sherrie Loves Color!"  If you go to her blog and do a search on scarves, you will find many of her posts about her technique, and fabulous examples to inspire you!  Thanks again, Sherrie...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Which one?

For the past 4 or 5 years, I have participated in the annual Flagstaff Open Studios Tour... a two-day event with an average of 75 artists who participate at about 40 studio locations.  To kick off the event, we have a 'Prelude' Exhibit at the Coconino Center for the Arts, starting with an Opening Reception.  This year it will be Saturday, July 27th.  Each participating artist is allowed to show one piece, representative of their artwork to allow patrons to see their art and decide which studios they would like to visit during the Tour... we are spread out all over Flagstaff and the county, so it's a challenge for patrons to get to all the studios!
Having said all that, I have been working for several months on two fiber art pieces, thinking that one would be suitable for the exhibit.  I finished them both yesterday, and now I have to decide which one I will submit:
"Snippets and Squiggles" is done using raw-edged applique, machine and hand stitching with a few buttons as embellishments.  I stitched it directly to batting, then zig-zagged the outer edge.  It is mounted on gallery wrapped black canvas.  Dimensions are 16" x 20", mounted.  Fabrics are a combination of commercial prints and hand dyed fabrics.

"Carnival" is a batik fabric that I have embellished with hand stitching and beaded accents.  The batik fabric was backed with solid color fabric, and I fused the outer edges, then mounted on a 12" x 12" gallery wrapped black canvas.
I have not yet determined what price I will be asking, but each piece took at least 20 hours from beginning to end.
I would love to hear input from anyone who wants to give me their opinion.  Right now, I'm leaning toward "Carnival", because I think it has more artistic merit.  But whichever doesn't go into the gallery will be offered during Open Studios, so they will both be available.  I just know that a larger crowd will see whatever I put in the gallery.  I'm very glad to have 2 to choose from, and that I have finished them so soon.... now I have time to beef up my stock for Open Studios, as well as a slew of other things I'm working on!