Saturday, July 6, 2019

Creating, nursing and recovering

I have been very busy in the studio this month, continuing with my fabric note cards and working on the items I will be displaying in the Prelude Art Exhibit in August, which precedes our annual Flagstaff Open Studios tour the last weekend in August.
Here are some of the new card designs I worked on:

It took quite awhile to get this just right, but then I was able to make 3 more of a similar pattern.  I'm learning how to design, then create the process for replicating once I have the design the way I want it.  Then it's much faster to make more.

The one above was inspired by an abstract I saw on Pinterest, my go-to place for inspiration and ideas.  Again, I finished one, then used it as my basis for the remaining 3.

I have been wanting to do more with autumn leaves, and this one came together fairly quickly because I already had the leaves made for a previous project... these were left over.
I love Sunflowers, and this one is the first of several I have made... mostly with hand dyed fabric, although the center of the flower is a batik.  This design taught me it's not always best to fuse everything before stitching.  Any future ones, I will probably do the stitching before I fuse the center of the flower and the leaf.  Then I will go back in and stitch them and the outer edges.  It's all a learning process!

On the "nursing front", our 15 year old cat Bubba has had issues with bad teeth, which I took him in to have checked a few months ago.  However, the vet discovered he has a heart murmur, and was concerned he might not be able to survive going under anesthesia.  So I have been working to find foods he doesn't have to chew.  I thought I had found the solution with a kibble that was smaller, but he continued to have digestive issues, culminating in a loss of appetite, weight loss and weakness.  I made an appointment to take him to the vets, fully expecting that it would be the last time... but over the weekend, his appetite began to return.  I had bought a new wet food that is much softer, so he can lick it up, and I was encouraged.  Monday, we went to the vet, and Bubba got really stressed by the trip, having his temperature taken thru his bum, and being poked and prodded... he was panting for air, and I was very concerned.  They gave him a couple of shots, some anti nausea meds, hydrated him.  I took him home, let him rest, and started encouraging him to eat and drink water.  Within a couple of days, his appetite came back... with a vengeance!  He loves his new food, is eating like a champ... his hind legs are still weak, and the vet did recommend a joint supplement which I will be starting him on tonight.  We'll see how things go, but I don't think he's used up all 9 lives just yet!

Lastly, I have been working on the 2 items I will be showing at Arts Connection Gallery in August.  They are representative of my wearable art and coiled fabric bowls:

This is one of my rayon jackets.  It's hard to see all the colors on the mannequin, so I hung it on a cafe rod in my bathroom where I normally hang an art quilt.  this is the back side.

This is one of my bowls with a lid.  You can't see the button I used for a knob... I painted it to match the fabric, which is turquoise with gold enhancements.  I'm glad to have them done so I can keep working on my fabric cards... my new obsession!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Another new product!

As if the Bohemian pendants weren't enough, I decided it was time to try my hand at making fabric notecards, something I have admired and wanted to try for a long time, and I have plenty of fabric stash to use up!  Ordered some photo insert cards with envelopes, and clear plastic sleeves, and they got here yesterday.  So far today, I have created 15 cards, which tells me this is going to be a great item to build up my stock for incidental items at the gallery or Open Studios.  Here are a few I have
finished so far:

So far, these have come together quickly.  However, I have ideas for some landscapes and other subjects which will probably take a little longer, but at least I have broken the ice!  More to come...

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

New directions with fabric collage

For the longest time, I have wanted to try making Bohemian pendants... colorful, funky, one-of-a-kind necklaces from fabric, beads... whatever funky things I can put together for the look.  I've been perusing Pinterest for awhile, gathering ideas.  I wasn't able to find any tutorials on them, so I just finally started to play... let's see what happens if I do this!  Well, here are a few that I have created so far:

I created a fabric collage awhile back for a textile background, but decided I didn't like how it turned out.  But there are sections of the fabric that are perfect for these little 2" by 2 1/2" pendants!  Plenty of sparkle and visual interest.  I layered netting, threads, ribbon and other fibers over a black background and used free-motion stitching to anchor it to the backing.  Then I used double sided heavy duty fusible interfacing to give it some body.  The back is black fabric, and I finished the edges with satin stitching.  I added beaded fringe and suspended from black rat tail cord.

I took a different direction with this pendant... layers of fabric hand stitched together, then I appliqued the autumn leaf on top... one of several I made last year for another project.  A few beads enhance the top fabric.  It is attached to a felt backing and suspended from waxed linen cord.

This is another using the collage fabric... more fringe, and beads on top to add a little more color.

I'm working to build up an inventory of these before putting them in the Arts Connection Gallery... hopefully by June.

I have also been busy dyeing... I stopped carrying tank tops awhile back, but have some I listed on my artfire shop.  I had a few undyed tanks left, so figured I would get them dyed too:

Just in time for summer, although we're still waiting for Spring weather here in the High Country!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Spring Expo and experiments

Saturday was the Spring Expo at the Flagstaff Mall... one I hadn't done in awhile.

My friend Cinde and I always try to get our spaces together so we can visit during the show.

I only sold one item, and Cinde didn't sell anything, but we got to let people know that the gallery where we sell, Arts Connection, has moved closer to the center of the mall, so there were sales in the gallery... woo-hoo!  Here are some shots of my displays in the gallery... hope to get a good shot of the whole gallery today when I do a stint of gallery sitting.

So now that we have the gallery set up and I have plenty of inventory, back to experimenting with new things!  I recently bought a couple of thermofax screens from Lyric Kinard.  Yesterday, I decided to test the screens on muslin to see how they come out:

I plan to use these on some of my dyed t-shirts, but meanwhile I got a bug to see how they would look using sharpies and alcohol:

Oh, YEAH!  I'm hoping to cut this one out and use it as an applique on a stitch project.  And I plan to experiment using dye na flow, procion mx dyes, etc. to see what I like best.  Stay tuned for more on my experiments!

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!