Monday, March 30, 2009

casting about for direction

We had a solid week of gray weather and rain here. I've been hard put to think about any larger creative issues beyond what I could hold in my hands under the lamplight. I spent most of yesterday torturing this little piece of black wool. Now I wonder what will become of it if I try to iron/steam it flat. Last weekend's dyefest took a lot out of me and now the pile of bright colors mock me from a corner of the studio. I started another one of these at the office the other day but the fluorescent lighting was giving me a headache. It's one of those cube farms where you sit wherever when you get there, our schedules vary day to day, and I made the mistake of getting used to a particular seat and the lighting there. Several days last week I had to sit in strange places with bad chairs and worse lighting. Now I have to take the time to go to my doctor so she will write me a note saying I have to have an ergonomically correct chair and have it committed to a seat where the lighting suits my needs too. Whine, whine, whine. Next!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

gross commerce

It's hard to see due to the color scheme but this is a little bag I crocheted from ribbon for my tarot cards. I started it at work and finished off while we watched "Wall-e" on Sunday. Of course, I wept. A lot of folks have been asking about the sugar dyed damasks so I went through what was left in my stash and put together some sample bundles. They are for sale on my resurrected Fiber Fandango (Raw Materials for Fiber Artists) page where I sell the fabrics I make that I don't hoard for myself. Not much to show these days.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Opening Day at the Lawrenceville Frankenstein Dyeworx

It's a good thing I have really tolerant neighbors. All they have to do is step outside and look left or right to see what I'm up to but in all the years I've been doing this there's been nary a peep, bless 'em.The deck reminded me of a few scenes from "Slumdog Millionaire". This stuff is all wet of course but since these pictures were taken, the sun has set and the dryer has tumbled and everything is very nearly as bright and intense as you are seeing it here. Not everything was perfect as is (see some murky looking buggers up there) and other "things" will be happening to even the perky colors. I'm not in an entirely perky mood design wise but I'm grateful to have all of these as a starting place. The Chino came out wonderful after I gave it a healthy dose of Golden Yellow. Jude sent me a piece of gauze like cotton weave that came out glorious with that blend. I even overdyed a blouse from last year that was disappointingly and unbearably a rich leaf green.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oh Baby!

Linda look! These are still wet, but Yowsa! Even though these dye powders were over 5 years old, they still seem to have most of their steam. I rinsed and washed these little tests by hand but won't commit to larger pieces until after a good thrash in the washing machine. The Scarlet is the first red I have ever dyed that I really liked. Follow-up. Here they are after machine, dry and iron. Very tasty.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What we need & when we need it.

Is it my imagination or is a certain famous brand of crayons seriously lacking in pigment these days? Maybe it's the smoothness of the paper in my Picadilly but there are three or four layers of color here trying to reach for the kind of intensity I like best. Still, this one was enough to ring the bell and remind me that life is short and since when did ever I wait for perfect anything, especially when it comes to dyeing fabric. The first load is in the washer getting prepped with Dawn and tomorrow it will go into the soda ash solution for at least a 24 hour soak. Saturday, I'll go with the colors on hand, fresh mixed and if it's not warm enough I'll be bagging stuff into a black trash bag greenhouse. I almost forgot, "Hope Rising" is home safe from the exhibit and I have a page in this book.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

scribble Wednesday

I keep dreaming about great floating drifts of fabric on the wind. Great flags of fiber flapping and snapping. Elizabeth has recently written about knowing one's own taste in art. Her posts always provoke me into paying attention to my thinking (or lack thereof) about my work and I traced my notion of motion series back to my very first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I came around a corner and was knocked flat by "The Horse Fair" by Rosa Bonheur. I almost hesitate to link to it because nothing you can see here on a computer can compare to the incredible reality of it. Over 16 feet wide, it's a river of motion and vigor.I might have been 12 years old at the time and I think I've been looking to capture the motion of life in my art ever since. It's a wonder I didn't become a sports photographer. In place of getting Zone A work into play, I'm lucky to have the time, materials and headspace for the Zone B stuff like crocheted scrap rugs and free pieced lap quilts in simple, MARKETABLE color schemes all set for some Art fair someplace in the future when folks are out stimulating the economy, buying local and appreciating slow cloth (well, slower than store bought) and hand made by artists.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

still fiber going on

Yes, I'm still farting around with these little make believes but that's just how it's going to have to be for a while. I don't think I have a piece of hand dyed fabric that's big enough to wrap a grapefruit anymore. Until I can rev up the wet studio, I'll be composing with scraps...hey, just remembered that's how I got started with fiber in the first place. Some excitement - this piece that I made for an early Quilt Art Challenge has been requested for a Day of the Dead exhibit planned for later this year at the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science and Art in Scranton, PA Guess I better get busy and finish the edges somehow and get a sleeve on it. And tack it down a few places on the skull. Finish the thing for it's public appearance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Bicycle

Back before people were asking "What would Jesus do?" or "What would Buddha do?" I was asking my self "What would Jiminy Cricket do?". I am part of an entire subset of Baby Boomers who relied on the Disney insect for their common sense training and the development of a healthy sense of self-preservation. Even before it was trendy, I has a suspicion that my parents were clueless but I would listen carefully to the bug. That being said, here's my new-to-me beach cruiser and me with no beach. Still, I'll wear out the neighborhood and my knees on it now that we can step outside without drowning. Nifty, eh?

The song may be "I'm no Fool" but that was the card that fell from the deck in the full moonlight last night and I find it happily appropriate.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

still Babu to me

Here he is, Dallas , the star of the show and serene in the love and protection of his family. Mom  and Dad  are doing fine.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

some history please

I fell asleep thinking about the fact that this "new" fabric that I brought home has almost no history unlike the vintage damasks that have taken over my studio in the past year. The label says that it's imported which means it's traveled further than I have but it hasn't lived anywhere or done anything, yet. Fabrics that gets made into garments or other things of utility get to make some history but once we take fabric and make it part of art, things slow down too much. I'm half inclined to drag this piece around with me for a while. Lay it in the parking lot at work. Stuff it in the mailbox. Slam one end in under the trunk lid of my car and drive downtown at night dragging yardage behind me. Colin and Voodoo helped me with these pictures. I just went over to Judy Martin's blog and decided to add this last photo:

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Just got back from OHCO in Covington, GA where I rescued these poor fibers for a mere $1.50 per yard. I had to wait in line for a parking space! Once I started figuring out how much fabric I could buy based on the money I brought with me, I had to stop and recalculate based on how much I could actually carry. The piece on top was unmarked so I only gambled 10 yards worth.A burn test since I got home confirms it's 100% cotton. The rest have 2 to 3 yards on each bolt. I have dyed these in the past and they Love the Color! Although dingy around the edges, everything was dry and mildew free but I will be taking the whole lot to the commercial lavanderia up the street rather than give my tired old Maytag a breakdown.

There was an entire aircraft hangar sized building where it looked like someone had used a bulldozer to push piles of fabric into long rows. That stuff was being sold by the pound (1.50 per) and I got about 40 feet of 300 count, king sized sheeting, white, printed with a .50x 1.50 beige grid...BACKING fabric for the straight-line challenged! There was also a huge piece of sanded cotton duck and another damask tablecloth.

I'm especially excited about the giagunda dimensions of some of these pieces. Big things in the works.

I dreamed that I was working on a piece that was very large - feet by feet large - and someone was telling me that I was committing Fiber Art Career Suicide by working that big. My reply "What career?"

Friday, March 06, 2009

Welcome Babu Coconut

Welcome Little Babu Coconut! I have a new nephew. This picture is to hustle his dad into taking and sending a picture to me so I can make a proper announcement!

Monday, March 02, 2009

a distraction

I spent most of the day in the studio yesterday trying to put my feet on the ground and get something going while the Notion of Motion series takes the back burners but I kept looking out the window at the freakish snow. It fell relentlessly all day long but never added up to anything more than a cold headache this morning. It will all be gone by noon. I've been hoarding these pieces of cotton for ages. Some time last summer I folded, stitched, waxed and dyed several pieces and sold all of them except this one. Once I cut the grid apart I was lost. So here is the grid again, reorganized. From here there will be more wax resists and over dyeing. For the moment, I'm just satisfied (for the first time) in the layout. (51"x24")

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Something you don't see every day in Georgia

Jim hasn't lost his touch. This snow has not yet amounted to anything much more than pretty frosting even though it's been coming down fat and crazy all day long. There was deep and distant thunder too a few times. The sound reminded me of the noise that the town plows made when they were coming through the park on a winter night. The sounds were glad tidings that meant there would be no school the following morning. Yesterday I had the pleasure of a phone call inviting me to be a vendor at the Norcross Fall Art festival this coming October. I had just finished looking a some old jpegs of the velvet scarves I had for sale at the same festival back in "05 and thinking I might be up for doing it again. Is that serendipity or what?