Monday, October 19, 2009

News & New Thread tree Art Quilt

I mentioned a while back I am having a baby. According to the sonogram a few weeks ago, I am having a girl. I have two boys right now and am looking forward to experiencing a girl. We haven't decided on a name yet so suggestions are welcome.
My family will be moving, probably next summer, to the African country of Mali. I understand there to be a vibrant arts tradition in Mali and I am looking forward to exploring it. It will be exciting to share it with you.
Lastly, I have made some updates to my earlier Early Spring art quilt and have nearly completed another. The newer quilt is another thread tree quilt. I still have leaves to add, more rocks in the water and a bit more color in the right tree. I am still trying for the goal of six fiber arts pieces by December. I have two more art quilts in process. The new quilts are not thread tree quilts but different takes on the tree theme. Will I get six pieces done? We shall see.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Handicrafts Fair

I have been asked by my talented friend, Laura Bergstresser, handcrafter, jewelry maker, printer, painter and proprieter of Antlered Rabbit, to assist her at the South Silver Spring Block Party this Saturday, October 3rd. You will find a map at the website. Come out and see us if you are in the area. We will have handmade semiprecious stone jewelry, hand dyed scarves, and handmade ornaments.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thread Tree Art Quilt

I have been working on this art quilt all summer. While that may be hard to believe, given the quilt's small size (aprox 18 x 15 inches), if you have seen my earlier post, you know why. Shown here is another art quilt in my thread tree series, this time depicting a foggy early spring morning in a forest. All of the quilt's elements are hand sewn and quited except the border and then I machine quilted many of the elments again. The background is a commerical batik and I have layered fine tulle to suggest fog and the light green dusting the ground has in early spring. The trees are made from threads as my title suggests and also yarn, archival markers, as well as strips of commerical and handpainted fabric. I am considering additonal quilting over the tulle and also beading small transparent beads to suggest dew.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why I haven't been blogging lately...

Above is a sonogram of baby #3 at 14 weeks and my excuse for not blogging much recently. I expect to resume more regular blogging soon on the theory that the 2nd trimester of pregnancy I will have more energy. This coincides nicely with the beginning of the school year for the boys and I hope that will help too. Never fear, despite the fatigue, I have been working on projects (albeit slowly), and I expect to have something to show for it soon. Happy Summer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Children's ATC Swap

My older son recently noticed my Artist Trading Card collection and thought they were neat. He asked if he could make a couple. These are the designs we came up with; the upper left card is my younger son's "The Space Alien A", upper right is my older son's "Falling Ball" and the bottom card was designed by me, "The Trip." Artist Trading Cards are little baseball (or Pokemon) card sized artworks that are created to be given away or exchanged with others. Many cards are made of collaged items or stamped but I have cards of almost every media that can be put on some kind of paper. If you are collaging materials, I suggest recylcling some of your more interesting looking junk mail. Mirkwood Designs has a really great ATC template to print out onto cardstock to get you started.
The kids were excited to trade their cards and see what came back in the mail. I am a member of Swap-bot, so I logged on to my account and have set up a swap for the kids. Please feel free to join our Kids ATC swap. The account is free and they have many fun activities to participate in.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Silk Scarfs for Spring

These are my newly dyed scarfs for spring. I intended the red be more pastel. Oh well, that is how tub dyeing goes. In fact, all my dyeing jobs have resulted in surprises with no two batches being alike. I can predict a little of how it will go, for example, I know that the first dye takes the best on the back ground and the overdyes will mostly take on the foreground. I am especially pleasedwith the color combination shown on the the lowest silk scarf--yellow, turquiose and azure blue.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dotee Dolls

I belong to an online doll making club know as Dollstreet Dreamers. The Street hosts a friendly and helpful list serve, doll competitions and sometimes swaps. The Dottee Dolls above are made for a swap coming up on Dollstreet. They basic idea for the doll was started by Dorothy Christian (Dot) and the dolls have really taken a life of thier own. A pattern to make the dolls can be found on eHow. Or you can watch a video on Youtube. If you want to take part in a swap check out swap-bot, last I looked, there were 16 Dotee Doll swaps.
I really enjoyed making my Dotee Dolls freehand. I took some fabric scraps and just began sewing a little shape. These quicky projects really make one feel good and are nice in betweens. I took mine to the doctors office and handsewed the bodies of three of them right there! I did the stuffing and beading at home. I predict more of these dolls in my future.
Congratulations to Donna, she won the blogiversary giveaway. My son drew her name randomly from the list of commenters from his lucky leprechaun hat.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My One Year Anniversary Give Away!

Hey, I have been blogging for a whole year! To celebrate this milestone, I am doing a giveaway. That's right, post a comment on my blog in the next week if you would like to be considered for the book Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists by Ray Slater. This book is eye candy with beautiful photographs and simple patterns to get one started in dollmaking or just learn new fabric techniques. I will contact the winner for address information.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mosiac with the Kids

I have mentioned in an earlier post the Takoma Park Mosiac project. I did not find that I could work on this project during the times available due to conflicting family schedules, however it did inspire me to do a mosaic project with my children. I have wanted to create a permanent piece of art for the house with my children for some time. My youngest son is very good with color and I thought a mosaic would be a great way for him to use this skill. My oldest son is very interested in birds and when I asked the children what the theme for the mosiac should be, they said bluebirds.
As a first step we went to Color Me Mine and each painted bluebird on a 4 x 4 in tile. We then ordered virteous glass seconds and colorfusion crystal glass tiles from Maryland Mosaics. In the first picture, the children and I have each placed our 4 x4 tile and then selected the colors of tiles to place around that tile on the wedi board backing. My four year old did the area on the left and 6 year old the area on the right. I did the midle area and the adheasive and spacing. Placing the tiles down was a pretty long process and so I did not include the children. My youngest did help with the grouting once the adheasive was cured.
The second photo is the completed mosaic project mounted as the backsplash behind our kitchen stove and shows my children and a neighbor. Great Job kids!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Samples for Fabric Painting Class

On Saturday I taught a fabric painting class. Above are several samples I made to illustrate techniques worked with in class. The second picture is a fabric painting my four year old son did. I just had to include it. My first exposure to many of these techniques was by June Silberman of the Ithaca Doll Club.
My class focused the techniques shown above: painting, scrunching, rock salt effects, heat effects, and gel glue resist (not shown, see Quilting Arts Feb/Mar 2009 for a sample.) The sun did not shine down on our group and we were unable to do a sun print. These techniques are all accomplished with Setacolor fabric paint by Pebeo. We painted on prepared for dye (unsized) Pimatex cotton. One doesn't need a class to purchase a couple bottles of Setacolor and do your own experiments.

A very good overview of many of these techniques on silk is found on the fascinating Canadian website Maiwa Handprints.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Glass work

Recently I took another class with the wonderful Tina Van Pelt of Artist on the Avenue. The photo above is what I brought home. On the top left piece is silver foil on white reactive glass. The yellow color in the pendant is all from the chemical reaction of the foil with the glass. The sea themed piece with the little seahorse is created from copper foil; the color of the copper deepens to the deep red in the kiln. The lower left piece is a simple piece of dichromatic glass fused with a red background. The lower left is another fused glass face. I am still working with a fused glass face from last year to make a embroidered, beaded stump doll which I hope to have done in the next month or so.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Becky Holloway's Willow WispTake 2

It has taken me ages to complete my second doll from Becky Holloway's Willow Wisp pattern which I have been working on since the summer. I have plans to do a third as well. What I love about this pattern is the form of the body, beading and the chance to play with shear layers. It is such a romantic pattern; look how those legs peek out. I skipped some of the sculpting suggested in the pattern because I like to look she has with out the sculpting. I also changed the shape of the wings to more of a moth shape. She is an evening fairy after all. If you get inspired, the pattern can be picked up from Dollmaker's Journey.