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...