Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Studio Day!

Hopefully, by this evening I'll have something creative to post about. For now, her Cranky Highness Madam Karma presides over kitchen chores on this rainy Georgia day - (I am very grateful to not be having real winter weather like much of the rest of the country) . One thing that I did get accomplished early this morning was to list my fiber and art books that have been languishing at Amazon. Here's the list. Most are new, some are quite esoteric. All were rescued from a private library that was forced to downsize. If you see anything that you are interested in, drop me a line and we'll work out the details.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Unlike much of the country we are having mild Christmas weather, in fact, there was a thunderstorm last night to compete with the fireworks up and down the next street. I have the most wonderful gift this morning -the knowledge that all my family and friends, near and distant, are safe in their homes and will feast later today as they share good company. Wishing the same for all of you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Making Mode

I've made all the gifts that I was giving but I've been casting about for something functional to put the Art Mojo onto and have come up with a few one-of-a kind pen rolls, or pretzel rolls if that's how you roll. This is preliminary to, (really a procrastination technique) to putting my stash back in order. It's really, really bad. I won't make you suffer pictures of the chaos, just imagine Santa's workshop the day after Christmas, wood shavings and paint everywhere, elves draped over kegs and hanging from light fixtures - you get the picture. What I really want to be doing is baking but my oven is broken. The truth is what I want to be doing is eating some baking. Not to be undone by mere technology, I made a terrific apple/blackberry pie last week on the gas grill. I wonder how it will work for oatmeal cookies? PS -Thank you Leslie - I wish I could have had this particular brainstorm in time for the holidays, but then again, a nice affordable, functional piece of art is timeless. I'll be moving these over to the Hotcakes site for sale as soon as #3 & #4 are finished. A series is spawned!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spooky Stories Travels

What do you give the man who says he has everything? Art of Course! "Spooky Stories" is on it's way to spend an open ended exhibition as part of the esteemed Charles & Rosalie Useted Collection that includes pieces stretching back to the beginning of my career - 3rd grade: a glued paper & felt tracing of my very small foot with the inscription "Upon my sole I love you Daddy". I can post this because my Dad doesn't use a computer and thinks the internet is "50% voodoo bullshit and 49% nonsense". He'll only credit the other 1% because I do. Here( 1,2,3) are some detail shots of this gen-u-wine machine pieced and appliqued, hand quilted and beaded utility quilt approximately 6 feet square. Can you tell it's one of my favorite and most personal pieces?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perpetual Motion

When it gets cold out, I get the crochet hook cranking and I've finally settled on a stitch/sequence that I plan to see through to the end of this piece. I am fully fed up with making beanies, mittens and plain scarves. This is a boa built from chained loops covered with single stitches and intertwined together like so many cotton worms..well, they look like worms to me and since I make it up as I go I guess I'm entitled to name it. I'm also in the middle of constructing a garment from a pattern and things have changed quite a bit since my last garment making attempt back in 8th grade. The tissue is much finer and somehow, I managed to select a pattern that only has instructions in French. I keep telling myself "This is NOT brain surgery". Also - I'm still giggling over an ad I just read in the Jobs section of Atlanta's Craigslist. 6 On line Criminal Researchers needed ASAP (Duluth GA)!! ".....Knowledge/Skills: Bachelors degree or commiserate experience required...." I think I may have found my true calling.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Production

Lots materialized this weekend. I hope I haven't gone too far on this one with the paint. I look back on earlier images and now I miss those big white cottonball looking areas. It's a path/technique I want to explore in more detail once the demands of the holiday have relaxed. I spent all of today bringing these pieces together to be "of service". Taking my time and auditioning the talent was worth every minute. I can't reveal the finished product because it's a gift in the making but I like it so well, it will be hard to part with.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

video

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On a Roll

Uninspired for anything new, I've been tackling the river grass basket full of UFOs and this piece got soy waxed and overdyed yesterday. Today I started in on it with textile paints and something interesting is coming around. I had forgotten how much I like working close in with textile paint on wet fabric.

This top was not quite big enough for a working quilt so I rummaged about in the stash and came up with a bizarre piece of hand dye that seems just about right. The flannel back on this one had been waiting for this job for about 25 years.

And finally, maybe best of all, the rain stopped and the sun came out just long enough to get a shot of these prayer flags that I finished early this morning. Here's a modern interpretation of Tibetan Prayer Flags - the images are contemporary, the language unwritten except in the heart. This set, $SOLD. More when I can.

Putting Art to Work

I loved Kim LaPolla's description on the QA list of how her daughter favors their old, raggedy dog quilt because of the memories associated with it. I daresay I won't want to see the same Art (any Art!) hanging on the wall for twenty-five years. But to snuggle under a warm if worn blanket with all that family history is another good thing. Time to rethink what I am doing and why I am doing it. This discussion about Quilts & the Economy (read 'sales and lack thereof') and functional quilts has me wishing I worked even larger than I already do. I'm seriously contemplating taking three or four of my dye-painted, finished pieces and whacking them up and then "Frankensteining" them into something functiona along the lines of this digital example with three pieces from my gallery. What a challenge - first, the letting go of the "Art" and then rebuilding something both useful and lasting. Taking some 3x4 footers and going Queensized! I'm happy that I haven't wandered too far from traditional quiltmaking when it comes to construction techniques. It will make the transition easier. And pursuant to sending folks off the QA list to blogs to read all about it, I like the idea of having some discussion out there in public if it's relevant to the group in general and posting it with eye candy here the the blog.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Creature Series

Here's the roundup so far. I've been doing this kind of doodling for as long as I can remember. Giving life to circles, lines and squiggles. Having them congregate, interact, work, war, dance, love - all the things that beings do but these are my beings doing my bidding. Many of my larger pieces depict similar beings in action. Think there's a power tripper lurking or do I merely observe closely that which others cannot see?

Later, I found this other pair tip-toeing about.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

fresh starts...

...can come from a combination of things for me but usually a confluence of fabrics is the first spark. (day's end update: I struggled to no avail at the design wall most of the morning with this gang of unruly thugs and gave up around lunch. Later on, the cartoon fiend got loose in the studio and the fifth 12"x12" that I needed for the APW show materialized.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I feel like an Elf in Santa's workshop

I've got four large *things* to get accomplished in time to be shipped elsewhere as holiday gifts and numerous smaller ones in varying stages of completion. Looks like coffee will be my best friend in the coming days. In keeping with the Handmade and Buy Art movements (I know there are official names and linkages I could hook to but I don't have time to root them out) I've broken out some vintage pieces and am putting them up for sale at prices guaranteed to start or grow someone's art collection!

From 2005

"Needleturning at Sunrise"

16"x 12.5" unmounted

Machine pieced and hand appliqued cottons that have been hand dyed and painted with metallic acrylic paint. This piece was exhibited at 2006 - Considering Quilts '06" at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

$140

please email me for availability

Two other pieces "Stigmata" and "Blues Bound" are now up on the Like Hotcakes site also at gift giving prices!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fiber Potato Chips

Yep, bring on the dip, the potato chips are coming fast and furious. I knew this was going to happen. Does anyone know of a rehab/spa joint for fiber art postcard fiends? Please, only facilities that have well equipped craft centers, heated pools and five star chefs 24/7. These are all 4"x6", perfectly mailable naked (be bold!) and 15$ each. I've moved them all over to my crass commercialism site, Like Hotcakes, complete with wicked PayPal buttons but since each of these are one of a kind, please email me for availability before you PUSH THE BUTTON! Substitutions are a sad, refunds are worse!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I owe you more than Eye Candy

How about some Eye Champagne? This graces a full sized poster in my local Post Office and I have decided that I like it better than any of the Christmas Stamps this year. The religious one is just banal and the secular ones are downright scary. I've finished a fistful of holiday themed postcards and have abandoned the red and green for some take-offs on my Creature series using scraps from those same works. Here's the first with bits of damask, linen and a commercial cotton print, the reverse is a cream colored and lightly rusted cotton. 4"x6" and ready to mail. This one is for sale. $15.00 US plus postage depending on where you are in the world. Email me (deborah@lacativa.com) and I'll let you know the total. There will be a handful more over the coming days.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just because I can...

... don't mean I should. At the office,I have been teaching myself the basics of a nine-thousand dollar sewing/embroidery machine. In the user's manual I could find no chapter heading that says "Remember good design principals" Go figger.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

nothing like a timely Repost::::

There are two apple pies in the oven tonight so there will be no mid-oven collisions tomorrow morning. While the turkey is cooking, I will try to get some studio time in and do that "mounting small works on canvas" documentary. Until then, this blast from the past:

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Crack

My husband just called with the good news that he had tracked down a store that carries Bell's Seasoning, without which it just ain't Thanksgiving. I should have done this weeks ago. Once again, Jimmy saves the day. He bought five boxes and I bet I could stand out on the corner of Gloster & Highway 29 and sell it for 10 bucks a box to the rest of the Yankee slackers living in this neck of the woods but in my pity over their weeping gratitude, I would give it away.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

meme resistance

I've been tagged with a meme.

You know, the one where you are supposed to reveal seven little known things about yourself.

These memes have always made me uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. Who cares and if they do, why? These questions niggle. Who wants read that I was a dancing duck in a third grade ballet? Who cares that I pick up hitchhiking turtles if the traffic will permit.

And then, there is the writer in me squealing to rise to the writer's challenge which is (in my opinion) the challenge to lie compellingly, provocatively, and spectacularly.

Hard to resist that challenge especially when the thing many people already know about me is that I am easily amused. I have told myself jokes in my sleep and woken up laughing, tears streaming from the corners of my sleepy eyes. My Goodman will attest to this.

That's three things already and two too many.

leaving well enough alone

"Jellies Matriculating" 2008 12"x12" Hand dyed silks, cotton damasks and flannels machine stitched with silk, cotton and rayon threads.

Monday, November 24, 2008

in the morning, it's all potential

The morning sun gets into my studio first thing. Everything is dazzled with potential. Strewing stuff around is enough to get things perking. As fabric and ideas fall into place, it's time to nail things down and the work starts to bristle and balk. The background for this piece started out a dark grey, then I transferred it all over to a piece of plain muslin. Still no satisfaction. More rummaging in the stash for the stage. Because the color and energy of the elements of this piece it became clear that the background was going to have to step up and have something to say also. More stitching is on the agenda but "Jellies Matriculating" is solving it's own riddle nicely as I go along for the ride.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

brewing

Here I am with a pile of potential art in front of me and, for the moment, it's just too much. I should probably put 90% of it back in the bag but that leaves which 10%? When I first started to use crayons I always had to use every single color in the box every time I colored. Something about not wanting to let anyone feel left out (or they would get out of the box at night and Get me while I was sleeping. Another reason I never slept much as a child) I also got sucked back into 4"x6" postcard country yesterday thinking I could whip up some holiday cards while here at work but what normally took me 15 minutes on my machine at home took over an hour on an unfamiliar machine who did not much care for silk. update - it never fails. Set me parameters and I start grinding my gears. I made a 14 inch square design boundary to complete a fifth piece for the show and how those fences are chafing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gonzo Glass

Since I've gotten nothing exciting in the works at the moment, take a look at what my buddy Jan Thompson has been up to.
A while back she abandoned fiberworld for the Hot Glass Darkside and has become a total convert to glass bead making. Check out her work here.
One day soon I expect she will pull up to my house with a large dumptruck full of her fabric and make a deposit on my front lawn so she can move her glass studio out of her cold basement into her cobweb strung former sewing room!

Monday, November 17, 2008

more creature gestures

I've been researching and documenting (in my mind) gestures for years. Fancy myself pretty adept at reading body language which gets pretty interesting when there's no body. "Waltzing Asses" takes shape and when it's done I'm going to do a step-by-step of securing this one to a stretched canvas. I won't call it a tutorial because that seems to indicate I know what I am doing. That remains to be seen. When I started this piece I made the base sandwich about 15 inches square and basted a 12"x12" boundary inside to contain the design elements.

As you can see by the overlay of my trusty 12x12 studio assistant, I came pretty close to staying "in bounds" so there will be a little design dribbling off the sides of the canvas once this one gets stretched.

Charming, ain't he? He looks like my brother-in-law the Hunyak.

new presentations

I've just finished my first attempt at wrapping one of my finished pieces around a pre-made canvas and am quite pleased at the way it turned out. The best part is cropping by positioning the image to fit the canvas, in this case a 12"x12". This one and four others are destined for the "World of Imagination #2" at the APW Gallery in Queens, NYC, NY. The second best part is getting the canvases one by one with 40% off coupons at JoAnns.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Computerized Embroidery

This is my first attempt on one of our computerized embroidery machines, the Viking-Husqvarna Topaz 30, to be exact.

Now that I have the process down and know what the machines require of me (change the thread color and push the start button) I plan on investigating the limits of the software package that comes free with this model.

The software is supposed to be able import almost any digital image and convert it to a design that the machine can then stitch out...now, that intrigues me as much as duplicating the pre-set designs leaves me yawning.

Of course I tinkered with the color scheme offered with this hummingbird and you have the ability to mirror or flip the image but that's it.

When I go back to work on Tuesday I plan on seeing what the Topaz30 will make of my "Waltzing Asses"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

a note about the Bookstore

For those of you who have made a vow to buy useful holiday gifts, you can never go wrong with a good book, a good USED book! A note about the "Bookstore" link in my sidebar. I was lucky enough to be around for the sad downsizing of a major fiber and craft library. This is a link to my Amazon bookstore where I have an amazingly eclectic group of fiber, art and craft books available at the lowest prices on Amazon. Most of them are new, the rest hardly fondled. If you see something you like and want to negotiate the price, drop me a line.

Never mind the Great Pumpkin...

....it's the Great Ass of Gaffney, SC. Well if you are whizzing by at 70 mph it's an ass for most of the southbound view. The Leaf shows up better going the other direction but that new restaurant sign really completes the scene. Raquel snapped this on our way back from dropping Colin off in NC on his way to a job in NY. The things we have to do to make a living these days. Today, I'm taking my featherweight and whatever materials I can carry over to their house to wait on the cable guy. I'll see what "11 to 2" can come up with and post it here later. I've committed myself to a 5"x7" piece for the Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock and five (yow!) 12"x12" pieces for another show that's in January. Got to busy myself.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Still here, still stitching

Life and working for a living have sniped deeply into my "free" time formerly frittered away on the computer. I've been working on free piecing a small top so I can learn how to use the MegaQuilter that will be set up at work soon. You would think I could find a better, more creative way to take advantage of this amazing resource. I'll work on it. This could become a "creature" backdrop! I'm a bit stunned with lack of sleep. For unknown reasons I woke up in the middle of the night and started to watch "Windsor Castle - A Royal Year" on PBS....and couldn't stop watching. For those of you who might have a nodding acquaintance about where and how the British Monarchy does the day to day, check this program out.It was mesmerizing! To all my friends and readers in the UK. I was just astounded at the depth of pride in the tradition of service expressed by the people whose work keep things running smoothly at the Queen's favorite home. It was marvelous to see people costume and conduct themselves with such purpose, each pleat, fold and flourish having a meaning that reaches back into history.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Clearing the Decks

Everything listed on my Like Hotcakes site is priced to sell! All the bundles, all the single pieces are now $10.00 including postage in the US. All of these items are one of a kind so please email me for availability. Paypal to me at deborah@lacativa.com is preferred but, we can work it out, as the song says.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I missed opening night!

...because I was home in the studio most of the day working on this piece, and I'm in Georgia. But I do hope someone scarfed up my portion of wine and cheese. When I have my first solo show I'm serving hard apple cider, raw cookie dough canapes and fried clams. If anyone got to go to this show, drop me a line. Two of my pieces, Exubera and Limbo are taking up a lot of wall space there. Prayers go up to all the gods that someone feels the deep urge to take one or both of them home, paid. ‘ART QUILTS XIII: LUCKY BREAK’ ON EXHIBIT AT CHANDLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS NOV. 7 – DEC. 31 CHANDLER, Ariz. (Oct. 16, 2008) – Art Quilts XIII: Lucky Break, a juried exhibition of contemporary art quilts, will be on display Nov. 7-Dec. 31, 2008, at the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. An opening reception featuring many of the artists, and the music of jazz guitarist Pete Pancrazi, takes place Friday, Nov. 7, from 7-9 p.m. Admission to this special event also is free. “This year’s exhibition includes works of artists from four countries, the United States, Canada, Belgium and Israel. The pieces were selected to represent the very wide range of techniques and design solutions artists use today to create contemporary pieces. Those techniques range from painting and monoprinting to photo transfer and machine piecing,” says juror/organizer Diane Howell, a Chandler resident. “The image for our promotional postcard this year, Drawing on the Mist by Linda Colsh of Belgium, blends both new and old. It is machine pieced and quilted, but the surface design is made from computer images and screens created by the artist from her own photographs and drawings.” What’s the lucky break? The main image was an unexpected photograph caught while Colsh was photographing street pipes in Berlin Art Quilts XIII: Lucky Break continues the fall tradition of presenting fiber art at the Chandler Center for the Arts. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 people view the show every year, some of them arriving on buses and many of them out-of-state visitors. The Bernina Connection, located at 4219 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, is sponsoring two prizes for the judged portion of the show. Cutting Edge Quiltworks, 1949 W. Ray Road, #33, Chandler, is sponsoring a third-place prize. Honorees will be named by an independent third-party judge. For more information about Art Quilts XIII: Lucky Break, call 480.917.6859. ________________________________________________________________

Friday, November 07, 2008

Shiny things and Sunny Days

I love it when the morning sun can make it through the cobwebs into my studio. In the chaos lurks creativity...somewhere. Until then, here's a little patch to go on the back of a quilt so when the quilt police come looking, there's something to see... And here my magpie brain takes delight in page after page of pretty things to wear. I'm not really a jewelry girl but if I go out without putting earrings on I always wind up grabbing my ears and muttering "NAKED EARS!". Gets me some strange looks and more personal space when I do it in the grocery store line. Reminds me to go buy a lottery ticket.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

day-late doodle

In the midst of this "creature" series I thought I would post this drawing that probably dates from sometime in the late 60's. I honestly don't remember, I've held on to it for so long (and have probably posted it in the recent past). It's usually up on my wall of "Things To Look At & Ponder" and now is insinuating itself into the fiber work. There is definitely a kinship to some of my 3D work which is being reconsidered.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

running wild

Finally, I got back to some fiber and stitching. I think Big J somehow knows that I have been consorting with a variety of Vikings. There was some crankiness this morning that called for a big time cleaning but then we settled into some creature work and things are shaping up in an appealing way. Later...finished.

Oh Yes We Did!

There is much to say but much more to do. Right now I am deeply grateful to the American voting public who seems to have finally grown up, set aside fear and not squandered this opportunity to elect a leader with a different perspective on the challenges this county faces. Now, as a people, the hope is that we can put away childish things, thoughts and behaviors - the endless gluttony of self concern and self indulgence that has falsely driven our culture and economy - and work together to restore our country's self respect.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's Done

What beautiful weather we are having for Election Day! One of the two hours I spent in line was standing in a light breeze and strong sunshine. Hope your day goes as well as mine - and remember, if you don't vote, you don't get to complain!