28 December 2011

New Projects for the New Year

For various reasons, I decided to start some new projects. I bought four new books, actually 5. I bought Rayna's new book and lent it to Judith who fell in love with it hence the January  Technique of the month on the fire blog.
I just really glanced at the book, knew Judith would be enamored (who knew to what extent) and I haven't seen it since. Judith and I are getting together this weekend and I'm sure she will bring the book back since she bought herself a copy and has been sleeping with it under her pillow. Can't wait for this great blogging experience with Rayna Gilman !!!!!
I also bought four other books: Rayna's first book on surface design techniques, Color by Accident, Color by Design and Colour on Cloth. The two of the four that I really found helpful were Color by Design and Rayna's, "Create your own hand printed cloth".
SO, in the spirit of going back into pieces perviously worked I am taking this pile of fabric that I dyed, batiked or in some other way "touched" with a surface design excluding paint and DO MORE.

                                                            and more neatly stacked

In that spirit, I did a thermofax on some LWI (space) dyed fabric for something like a book cover for my friend who is a fiddler.

I ironed this piece of silk I made in Jane Dunnewolds "Soy Wax Crayon" class at ProChem this year onto some felt with mistyfuse in preparation for some quilting.

and I did some discharge on a space dyed piece of olive cotton with Jacquard Discharge Paste. First I used some stamps (Eric and my feather/crow/circles)
a bit smeary and indistinct. Then I used a thermofax screen I had made by Lyric Kinard from my own images.
Very nice indeed!  Poppy heads from a neighbors garden and my famous feather. Love how the discahrge paste worked with the thermofax screens. Note to self - make more screens...

I have invited Meagan, who I am mentoring in Fiber Art, to join Judith and I this Saturday to "play". Should prove to be a great day. If the inspiration from these new books is any indication, this should be a fabulous year.

26 December 2011

Ocean's Harvest - part of the Becoming Series



25 December 2011

Sea Smoke

This is what happens when the ocean is warmer than the ambient temperature which was 0. This is my meditation spot where I walk each morning between 5 and 5:30. Since I had no where to go this morning, I walked at 6:30, just before sunrise. Now that it is post solstice I can sing, "Here Comes the Sun", just not around anyone who might hear me.

24 December 2011

Happy Holidays from Maine

                                                        From my house to yours

22 December 2011

More fun than you can imagine

I was contacted a few weeks ago by Waterfall Arts in Belfast, ME, the town next to mine. They asked me if I wanted to "mentor" a young person who was interested in fiber art. I was a bit hesitant since in so many peoples perceptions are fiber art = wool. I gave her my email address and was later contacted by a 13 year old young lady named Meagan. OMG, am I having fun or what. Our association is to create a collaborative piece with the theme of Water and have it ready for a show in two months.
At our first meeting I probably scarred the poor child to death lobbing every form of fiber art AND surface design at her like a ball throwing machine on the tennis court. Well, she came back - showing her bravery or foolhardiness - makes no difference, and we made a silk screen and padded printing surface for ONE idea I had for a piece. She will return Tuesday because it is Christmas vacation and we can spend the entire day together silk screening. I am using Jane Dunnewold's Interfacing Stencil.  I am hoping to get another full day in with Meagan before she returns to school (serious lack of daylight up here in Maine) so we can do some pole shibori. These are the two surface design techniques I thought of for making a "Water" themed piece.
We don't really know where we are going with this but the journey should be fun. I am hoping this "collaboration" is the beginning of a friendship and mentorship that will last more than 2 months. I will keep you posted.

And by the way, there are a few spots open in Jane Dunnewold's class at ProChem so check it out. I'll be there.

18 December 2011

Kindle Carrier

When my cousin Margo was here recently, she hinted at having me make her a kindle protecting slip to keep her kindle screen safe from scratches. I used the flip and stitch method on a large piece of synthetic felt which I frequently use instead of batting because it is so much easier to pass a needle through. When done, I cut a strip about 6" X 16" folded to about 6 X 8 and sewed a flat seam wrongs sides together. Oh, I also quilted the 6X16 piece with metallic threads and applied some hand made stamps. I zigzagged the seams 3 times (one row on top of the other building up thread) with a shiny rayon thread and added a binding and Velcro at the opening.

I was so excited at how it came out that I threw it in an envelope without taking a photo. My cousin loved it and sent a picture for the blog:
The stamps really don't show up at all but they are there!

11 December 2011

Deja Vu

Ok, OK, no more absolutes about being done.

This is a monoprint called "ERIC One of a Kind"

This is a solvent transfer with watercolor pencils called "ERIC Soft"

I am writing an artist statement about this series to accompany the ERIC tab on my website. I will also put it on this blog when done. I plan to show these pieces as a cohesive body of work in the future.



Looking back over my life, I have seen myself as many different people in both time/age and situations. I have been a mother, a daughter, employee, student, young and rebellious as well as older and milder.

I have used the motif of Eric, my fabulous brother, to capture the changing nature of who we are or could be at different ages and in varying situations. I have chosen title for these pieces that reflect characteristic of being.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
 Soren Kierkegaard


10 December 2011

Gossamer and Fire

Here is ERIC Gossamer framed. I zigzagged the edges and made a frame from a hardwood dowel cut on my chop saw at 45 degrees and glued. Nice.

This is the December technique on the Fire blog
Check it out. I ironed 4 layers of shopping bags (no.2) together under parchment paper with fine scraps of fabric between layers 2 & 3. The bags didn't like the fabric and I had to iron on 2 more layers on the "iron side" of the piece. Here are the pics of my process:

This is the "iron side" of the piece. I have parchment paper on the ironing surface, 2 layers of bags, hand smoothed, fabric scraps then 4 layers of plastic bags. I covered all with more parchment paper and ironed - not too much because it wants to ripple.

This was the side touching the ironing surface. This ironing took place by my window with the huge exhaust fan on since the fumes are most probably toxic and these irreplaceable lungs are keeping me on this side of the grass so....
For some reason this reminded me of pampers (which I never used - always cotton!- aah fiber)

So I decided to free motion to flatten the plastic puffs down and add more color.

Then I made an envelope with a gold elastic and button closure. This will be nice for keeping flat memorabilia like cards.

09 December 2011

Penultimate ERIC (I hope)

This is a three layer (quilt by definition) ERIC: an organza sandwich with metallic caramel colored tulle filling.
Image is free motion stitched

08 December 2011

ERIC again and again

Dreaming (finished)

 This is a couched sketch. When the FIVE had a recent playdate, I was rummaging through some of Charlene's goodies when I spotted this skein of thin cotton (yarn?). It was like crochet thread but had intermittent wrappings of black thread - very yummy. I thought of doing a sketch using this material/yarn and couching it down. Must say I like it.

In the spirit of explaining the process. I did the sketch with the sewing machine and white thread then used the stitches as a guide to lay down the yarn/thread and couched it with black sewing thread.

04 December 2011

finishing the transfer dyed pieces

Here are the two pieces I finished from the transfer dye projects
Hand quilted ( chicken scratch) very close near image and larger stitches farther from image

Machine stippled very close next to image and looser as the distance increased
This is a photo of the sun coming from the side of my quilt, shining through pink beads and their reflection on the quilt. Very cool.

01 December 2011

Hand made book

Watched a DMTV show about hand sewing books and thought I'd try this again since this process was different than the one I tried before. I thought I had blogged about my leather sketchbook but I can't seem to find anything so here is the new book.

The cover is made from a hand felted "purse" that I made at a felting workshop at a gallery that I have shown and sold in. The workshop was great but I really had no great desire to make a purse, just learn to wet felt. I cut the purse in half and half again and stitched it along with 20 signatures into this book of 80 pages. I made a few mistakes along the way and want to do a few more books since thay are great projects to keep my hands busy at night so I can't snack. Win-Win.

Here is a picture of the book I made last year (or so). It is open and shows the 3 kinds of paper I used (white sketch, tracing and brown wrapping). It has a glued on leather cover.

Excuse me while I have a senior moment... I just took some photos of the leather book (what was I thinking?) to post. This first is the cover which is glued on with the signatures stitched to strips of felt (must check notes on how I did this).

This is a picture of the book open and obviously in use

You can see the sketch paper on the left, tracing paper on the right with brown wrapping paper under it.

 This is a brown wrapping paper page which I added as a fold out page. This was lots of fun to make and I hope to make many more.

OK, It's a few hours after I originally posted this and  I have a new book. I just made this using the sewing technique from the first (black leather) book along with the tried exposed linen stitches that I once saw in another book. The beads were my idea. It is also about 20 signatures (80 pages) in length and larger (9 1/2 X8) than the felted cover book(9X6).