Thursday, May 28, 2015

This and That

Just catching up with a few pictures, activities and thoughts...

I found this image on my camera. Even though it was just recently, I don't know exactly what I was working on here.
It had some potential, I guess. But it was abandoned. I think maybe it was a possible SAQA Auction donation. But I went a different direction with that. I'll share that with you soon.

My kids have been doing taekwondo for about eight years (minus the three years we were in Maryland). I finally decided to join in. Benjamin and I both got new belts after the last testing. He is now a full first degree black belt and I am a yellow belt. It's fun. I am definitely learning a whole new set of skills. Good for the mind and the body.

I'm working on a quilt with some red fabrics. I thought I didn't like red too much. But I love these pieces.

I helped coordinate an art exhibit at our church last month. There are some really cool things happening at Annunciation Episcopal Church.  We have lots of members who create in various media and this seemed like an exciting way to share and connect with each other in a new way. It was a big success. Here's the reception table from our opening night.

I made these name tag ribbons for all the artists.

Here's one corner of the exhibit. You can see my quilt Haze and Hope straight ahead. My quilt Just Sitting in on the left.

The best part was getting to know some members of my church family in a whole new way and sharing our creative spirits together.

I could add a bunch of pictures of Claire from all the events she's had lately with end-of-the-school-year activities. But, I'll just share this one from the Band Banquet.
Claire made the difficult decision not to continue with band next year. There are just not enough slots in the academic schedule for her to take all the classes she is interested in, including band. We loved the two year band experience and we're all excited for her remaining two years of high school.

More pictures of art and family and other random stuff coming soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lyric's Screen Printing DVD

Lyric converted me! I can hardly believe it myself. Generally, I avoid art techniques that seem too complicated or take too much time or require me to plan ahead. Thermofax printing definitely fell into this category, so I never tried it.

Until now...

My friend Lyric has a new dvd workshop out and she really wanted me to test it out from the point of view of a complete newbie. So, she sent me the dvd plus a screen and a frame for the screen.

Honestly, I would have no idea how to proceed, but I popped in the dvd and Lyric explained and demo'ed everything. Even putting the screen in the frame seemed complicated, but once I watched Lyric do it, I knew I could manage. Ta Da!

Actually, even before I received and watched the dvd, I read through the excellent tutorial on Lyric's website about designing images for your screen. And I was able to do that myself too! Who knew?! So, I sent her this pomegranate image and that's the screen she prepared for me.

Then I watched the printing techniques chapter of the dvd and was ready to print. Lyric's personality and professionalism is so likable and listenable. She's a great teacher and all of that comes through on the dvd.

Here I am ready to pull the paint through the screen!

Check it out! I am really pleased with these images. They are not all perfect and I can definitely imagine that more practice and experimenting with various paints and fabrics would yield different results... but I love these and I'm eager to use them in fabric collages.

The dvd is not just how-to technique stuff. There is also excellent info about design, layered imagery and using the screens with materials beyond paint! 

65 minutes of thorough instruction
Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
Finding Images: find and design your own
How to Print: printing techniques and tools
Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery
You'll love the sweet story about the dragon fly, too! Don't miss that. Order it today and expand the techniques you use in your own artwork.

I'm giving away a copy of Lyric's dvd. So just comment here and I'll pick a winner on May 21. Plus, check out all the other artists who have made cool prints with the information on Lyric's dvd. They are all giving away copies of the dvd too. (But, you could just buy one today and start printing now. You won't regret it.)
April 24 Cheryl Rezendez
April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  
April 28  Sue Bleiweiss
April 30  Judy Gula 
May 1  Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson
May 2  Judy Coates Perez
May 4  Linda Stokes
May 6  Jane Davila
May 6 Melanie Testa
May 8  Carol Sloan
May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp
May 12  Desiree Habicht
May 14  Deborah Boschert
May 15  Sarah Ann Smith

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sun Printing

Lincoln helped me with some sun printing last week.

It was a little breezy and I was worried my fabric and stencils might fly away. So, I put down lots of rocks.

Check out StencilGirlTalk where I'm a guest blogger and I've written about the whole process and shared the super cool results.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sue's New Book Is Awesome!

Have you see Sue Bleiweiss's new book? It's really fabulous! 

Sue has filled her book with lots of wonderful stuff including where to find inspiration, using a sketchbook, ideas for free motion quilting and embellishments. There is even a super easy method for dying fabric.

Some art quilt books are filled with techniques and information about process, but Sue's book also includes real projects and patterns including a backpack and pillows. This makes the book a really excellent resource and source of inspiration.

Plus, there are nine contributors who all created quilts especially for Sue's book using their own fusing techniques. I'm thrilled to be included! 

Here's my quilt Windows Arise. It's 12x12 inches.

I wanted to show that you can fuse bits of sheer fabrics like organza and chiffon to create interesting layers in a fabric collage.

You know when there's a Blog Hop there's a giveaway! So, I'm happy to give away a copy of Sue's book. Just comment here and I'll pick a winner on May 14. Plus, Sue is giving away a whole pack of goodies. Check this out.

Leave a comment on any of the blogs in the blog hop for a chance to win Sue's giveaway. Or you could just buy the book today and have it in a couple of days. 

May 4: Sue Bleiweiss:
May 4: Jamie Fingal :
May 5: Leslie Tucker Jenison:
May 6: Terri Stegmiller :
May 7: Deborah Boschert :
May 8: Desiree Habicht :
May 9: Kathy Sperino :
May 10: Barb Forrister :
May 11 Kathy York :
May 12: Lyric Kinard :

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Printed Fabric Bee: Geometric Forms

Time for another reveal with The Printed Fabric Bee. This time Gerrie Congdon chose "geometric forms" as our theme. She left the color palette up to the artist. 

After scrolling through ideas and possible bits of inspiration on Pinterest, I settled on the idea of over lapping shapes. I printed this inspiration image and four shapes that I could cut out to make stencils.

Here you can see I've cut out the shapes and begun tracing them onto some yellow fabric.

You may also be able to see the registration dots that I measured out on the fabric before tracing the shapes. I wanted them to be aligned at regular intervals, so the dots provided a good guide.

This is the 12x12 inch piece that I've sent off to Gerrie. I wanted the shapes to fill up the space in a somewhat irregular pattern. Aligned, but filling different areas of the space.

Then I used watered down acrylic paint to fill in some of the spaces created by the shapes and the overlapping areas.
You can see the 12x12 piece in the foreground here and the 6x6 that will be a part of our monthly give-away on the other side of the table.

I wanted the paint to bleed over the shapes and into the other colors just like this! (I used this same idea for my Old World Maps theme.)

For one additional layer of detail, I stamped numbers in each shape. The numbers correspond to the number of sides for each shape. Does a circle have one "side?" I wasn't sure, so I left it blank.

When I joined The Printed Fabric Bee, I decided I'd make notes each month about what worked and what didn't work with my process for each theme.

  • Printing the shape on card stock, cutting it out and tracing it using the Pigma pen was simple and effective. Lots of potential for future uses.
  • I really like the overlapping and the shapes created by the overlaps and adding paint to some of those areas... but not all.
  • I also like the watered down paint and the bleeding combined with the black lines.

Less Than Successful:
  • This color palette is pretty uninspired.
  • A less random configuration of shapes might have been more interesting. (Something more like the inspiration image which you can see printed on the paper with the stencil shapes.)
  • I might like the whole thing better without any color... just the outlines.
Leave a comment on Gerrie's blog and/or The Printed Fabric Bee blog to win a collection of "geometric forms" fabric from all the member of The Printed Fabric Bee.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Big News!

I've been asked to write a book with C&T Publishing! So exciting! (And overwhelming!) It will be a book for beginning art quilters -- but with my own personal spin.

Here's a peek at the three-ring-binder where I'm keeping my info. Yes, that's a pink post-it note on top of a yellow post-it note in a green binder. Colorful!

I'm posting lots of updates on the progress of writing the book on my Facebook page. You can check it out here.  Usually, when an artist writes a book, she's all hush-hush and doesn't a single image of the stuff she's creating. Not me. I'll be sharing the nitty gritty of the process and lots of sneak peeks of artwork.

I hope you'll join me in the excitement of the process. What would you like to know about the process of writing a book? (And what do you think I should definitely include in my book?!)

I've been making lots of notes too.

Plus, this is cracking me up. (The box about the slow boat from China? Actually completely true.)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Early Spring This and That

My mom was visiting during Spring Break and she taught Claire to knit. Or should I say, retaught. I think she's had this pink scarf in a tote bag in her room for years. 
Every now and then, when Grandma is visiting, she pulls it out. This year she actually found a pattern for a Tardis scarf and she and Grandma bought yarn and got started. (Now it's also in the tote bag.)

Benjamin celebrated his 13th birthday also! He chose a restaurant that serves bento boxes!

This odd little dog wandered into our yard one day. He was very timid and sweet. He staggered around the house a little while I called the owners. They came to get him and said he is blind and had a stroke. That's why he was so wobbly. Poor little guy.

Cool graffiti.