31 July 2017

New work on the Landscapes

I have a turquoise horizon that is on white cotton and fairly bright

and a foreground that has two colors that somewhat complement.

Ignore the strip at the top. The foreground has the purple and turquoise but that bright chartreuse is really jarring. I used a weak olive dye bath to knock back the foreground on the piece last Wednesday so I thought I'd try a weak blue (mixing blue) dye bath on this foreground and see what would happen. I may seem fearless but I knew if it was terrible I could just make another although I am almost out of the beige linen.

A chuckle here: I came in to the kitchen and was going to wash out this fabric but just in time I remembered I hadn't added soda ash water to the mix. Saved!! I only let it sit about 15 minutes because I didn't want it too dark.

On the ugly ironing board. This came out WAY better than I ever expected. I know you can't see it from this photo but there is some beautiful mottling from the LWI dyeing. And now another conundrum - which horizon , again!!

This is the turquoise horizon which I was thinking of using but wait. I just found another horizon that might work.

This is the lavender horizon VERY washed out by the light from an open door. It is a dark, rainy gloomy day but I did my best.

Another try

Notice that the orientation of the foreground is different with each horizon. The first is horizontal and the last vertical. Which do you think looks best and why?

28 July 2017

For my followers

Oh Yes, a new book. Leave a comment.

I don't know how "Improvisational" these are but it is a really nice book. 
Winner announced Aug 1st

26 July 2017

In the middle of everything

First, there is some riding lawn mower drama which is taking me to the John Deere dealer in Bangor for possibly a new mower.

Then last summer when I was visiting a wonderful gathering of my newly discovered family through DNA (I was adopted), I volunteered to "do something" with my cousin's grandmothers quilt squares. I though she was talking about her mother Violet, my closest relative but it was her Grandmother (NO relation to me). They were terrible and poorly done which is why (I'm guessing) she never finished the quilt.. I had NO idea what to do with them since they were so poorly sewn and then I watched the current episode of "The Quilt Show". The featured artist was a quilt maker, an appraiser of antique quilts and a curator of shows. I had NO interest in the show but watched a bit of it and believe it or not it was about what you could do with old quilt pieces. I got some great ideas and I will share them and the finished wall quilt when it is done.

Next up is "doing something" with this great piece I made that looks strangely empty. I will cut it out of the frame, add something (tree tops, other birds, something to help fill the vast emptiness) then reframe it MUCH smaller.

I also want to make a few more of these collages (in paper). I just love making them. Photos to follow.

Then the last thing I want to mention is my annual "Maine Event". It is filled this year but next year I think I will try for two separate weekend events. It is three day workshops. I am posting this years events so if you think you might be interested for next year, let me know. I also have room for people to stay here in my home on the Maine coast (Paradise).


24 July 2017

Next day

The fabric is dry and I used the same pouncey sponge to apply the same color thickened dye AFTER adding some mixing blue. Hopefully this will mask all the pink. **Note to self: No more pink or turquoise dots.

Ready to hang in the line to dry (yes, the thickened dye must dry)

More like it (on my ugly ironing table)

Laid out on the bed. Yes, I like to way the colors blend better

A mock up on the floor. This horizon was done on white cotton so it is bright.

But wait. I have another horizon in linen. It looks muted because both the horizon and foreground were done on beige linen. Hum?????  Which to pick??????

I'm listening (hand cupping ear). Please comment and tell me WHY as well.

21 July 2017

Two more in the landscape series

I am still working on this series but not posting. I want to use this foreground but the pink was not working.

I decided to spray some soda ash water onto the pink dots. Then I mixed up some thickened dye with intense blue and a touch of red to make a purple

I used a paint brush to apply.

It may look OK in this picture but WAY too much pink still showed through 

Next I am applying soda ash with a round pouncy sponge and letting it dry for another try tomorrow

19 July 2017

Earth, Wind and Fire

MANY years ago I made this piece called Earth, Wind and Fire. No one liked it (like I cared) and this past week, I removed the binding and framed it. I decided I will hang it here where I can see it and enjoy all the work I put into it and the wonderful textures created. There are so many techniques used and I love the combination.

**Remember you can click twice on each image to magnify.

16 " X  25"

First I removed the binding

The original label

The Wind
The backgound for the entire piece was actually the very first deconstructed silk screen I ever made. I remember Judith being there and how excited we were to learn this technique. The wind was blue dyed gauze with white gauze wisps stitched in place with cotton thread stitched in curvy wind gusts

The Fire (Sun)
This was yellow dyed gauze covered with an piece of monoprinted organza then stitched with sun rays and with a horizon line of green gauze couched in place. Notice the changing thread colors in the rays.

Detail of the sun

The Earth
Was made by couching Sari Yarn in changing colors of stitch. This is one of my favorite elements and I have used this method of varying stitch color many times.

I framed it with clear #1 pine and it will soon grace my studio wall.


17 July 2017

Something I always wanted

As many of you know, I also paint using various mediums. I have had watersoluble colored pencils, pastels and color blocks. They all "turn paintery" when water is added. However, there is one brand of watersoluble colored pencils that become permanent after wetting and drying and those are Derwent. Their real claim to fame is that they are not effected by water after drying so that layers can be laid down. I have avoided buying them for years even though I wanted them. As a matter of fact, I had them on my Amazon Wishlist for years. Their price recently dropped to about $25. and then this past "Prime Day", they dropped again to $16.95. I bought them. I am SO ANXIOUS to try them out in a piece so stay tuned for that!!

14 July 2017


 The commission is finally finished and framed. The last step, attaching the frame with gooey mastic, is a nail biter. Anything can go wrong including getting the turquoise mastic on the front of the piece. Thank God, no problems with this piece.

Finished but before attaching it to the back board. I had to add a strip of sky and a strip of "grass" because there wasn't enough fabric to wrap.

Framed laying in indirect sunlight

Framed and hanging on the wall. 

This is the first time I used a thinner backing board and one inch maple mini-blinds as framing material. It came out great!!

I free motion quilted some words under the arch. It says, "We are building an arch through which we will walk to freedom".

12 July 2017

The piece shaded

This would look pretty amateurish and flat without any shading for dimension.  Here I have started on the right side.

I used Water-soluble watercolor pencils 

I also had to resort to colored chalk for the shading under the arch. These are cheap ones from A.C. Moore.

Here is the shading with three colors of greenish brown colored pencils on the stones. The shadow under the arch is green followed by terracotta, then 2 other shades of green, one on top of the other all in colored chalk.

The arch with "Base Extender" from ProChemical and Dye to wet or liquefy the watercolor pencils as well as make the chalk permanent. Both the pencil and chalk would wash off if wet.

Finished with the base extender and waiting for it to dry. May take all day since we are socked in fog. The wet chalk shadows look much better after "wetting".

10 July 2017

Free motion stitching the rocks in the arch

Ask me how many mistakes I made because I either rushed or was too lazy and short sighted to "practice" on a scarp before touching the finished piece? Too many to count!! 

Here I am with a quilt sandwich scrap. I want to see how the Solver feels under the free motion presser foot and how the stitches are going down. I like!

Starting in the center I am working my way around the arch.

As you can see the Solvey isn't perfectly in place. It is stretchy and a bit hard to handle over this big a spread - 24". However the charcoal marks do give me a good idea where to go and are a good guide.

Stitches completed (I thought)

Close-up of Solvey and stitches

Here is the piece with the Solvey trimmed away. It is very gooey so the less on the fabric the better.

This is the piece in a lukewarm spa bath while the Solver goes wherever Solvey goes. This was followed five minutes later with a rinse and gentle squeeze. I hung it in the Art Greenhouse to dry.

This is the Art Greenhouse where I hold workshops.