Friday, February 29, 2008

Done & done

Here's the big reveal! And no nicks, cuts or scrapes this time. Just blurred vision and a few stab wounds. No blood on the fabric though. Well, the verdict is that I'm happy to have gotten this stuff out of my system and there won't be any repeat performances anytime soon. Making them is kinda like eating Marzipan or Cinnabons - it seemed tasty at first bite but by the time you were finished, you were sick of it. I'm going to re-shoot and measure everything and move it all over to the hand dyes for sale so I can get back to working on things that actually move me beyond the moment. Then again, I might try this one again.It has promise as long as I remember to change the stitch length on my machine.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pell Mell to Hell

Did I just invent an expression that means "here's what happens when you are in too much hurry to read directions or think through processes." On the surface most of these pieces have turned out pretty good for my first time folding, stitching and otherwise torturing perfectly nice fabric. But look at all those stitches that have to be removed. My eyes have given notice that even this computer is more than they want to deal with for a few hours.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dye Day!

A small scale dye day underway due to the constraints of my kitchen. Can you imagine - I had to do the dishes first! This piece has been folded, stitched and had hot soy wax applied before the dye. I want to know just who is going to pick all those stitches out. And just a like a kid at Christmas I talked myself into opening just one present on the Eve instead of waiting until morning. Who can wait wait with a color like this?

nudge, nudge

My brother just gave me a long distance nudge indicating that he's a regular reader (and where's the latest and greatest post?). After three weeks of having a cold I just spent 24 hours waltzing with the flu and today feel great for the first time in ages. Wait, it's early but there's fabric stewing in soda ash waiting for me to make magic. Rob - here's a sneak peek at a blankie in progress that will fall into your possession, maybe not in time for the house warming but I'm working on it. And here's another sneak peek at a PIF in progress. Let's just say it's just the right size for a catass.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Great Saturday

Gifts in the mailbox came first - Nellie Durand's PIF arrived and I am the proud owner of #52.2. in her amazing "Lake Series" series made especially for me. Does this classy packaging tell you what a gem was inside? I'm inspired and reminded that one day last week was the anniversary of my 4th year of blogging. To celebrate I'm finally posting my own PIF declaration: "I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this "Pay It Forward" Art exchange. I don't know what it will be and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week but you will receive it within 365 days. The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your own blog." Later in the day I attended a meeting of the Georgia chapter of the Surface Design Association at the home of artist Leisa Rich (go here for some fabulous eyecandy) where we were hard at work plotting a group showing someplace in Georgia so we can all get a taste of that Whine & Jeez!
Here's the camera does not do it justice

Friday, February 22, 2008

OMG!! My Gills Are Quivering!!!


Reserve your spot today to swim in a 6.3 million gallon exhibit that houses thousands of fish including zebra sharks, sawfish, leopard whiprays, bowmouth guitarfish, humphead wrasses and schools of tarpon, pompano and cownose rays.

Swim Program Description: Swim with Gentle Giants is the only opportunity in the world where you are guaranteed to swim with the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, in Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager exhibit. Guests will swim at the surface with an air supply with the following equipment provided: mask, fins, air supply, booties and wetsuit. Personal masks are permitted.

Cost: $190 for non-members and 10% off for members. Price includes admission to the Aquarium, all equipment, the swim, certificate of participation, t-shirt and souvenir photo.

When: Six spaces available daily at 4:30 p.m. The swim portion will last approximately 30 minutes, and participants will also view some behind the scenes areas of the Georgia Aquarium.

Who: All participants must be ages 12 and older. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult. No diving/snorkeling experience required.

Cancellations: The Aquarium does not offer refunds for the program, but will reschedule your swim.


The "what next" for this piece woke me up at 3:00 in the morning. I should have gotten up and done my mental thrashing in the studio but this lazybones stayed abed tossing, turning and accidentally waking Jimmy up hours before he needed to be. Sorry Darlin'. Somehow I envision lots of texture and dimension happening and what started out as a Queen's collar is looking like a ship's wheel. There will be a stab at trapunto , appliqué and paint. I don't want to get lost in the woods of technique on this one so I'm glad that there's a lot of other stuff to do today to keep my greedy, speedy paws away from it before the groundwork is thought through. Somewhere in the studio (funny how you can't find things when you don't really want to be reminded of failures) is another thing I started and trampled to death a couple months back. yuck.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Working in the Mines

What a day! What an amazing response to my hand dye sale. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and just had to have what I was selling. I can't wait to see what you all make of this stuff so don't forget to send pictures! I have been running up and down the stairs all day alternating between the ironing board, the design wall and the computer. Apart from selling off fabric that I will never, ever (I keep telling myself that as I iron and fold) and making the money I need to go to Florida in April, I keep uncovering these jewels that got squirreled away without a backward glance! Time passes and the things I took for granted or even common have come back to some kind of new life. I have a growing pile of inspiration for new work and the closet still looks full! Does fabric breed in the darkness like rabbits and wire coat hangars? More about the Yellow Rabbit another day..........

Sunday, February 17, 2008

hand dyes for sale & new works

I've spent some time rooting around in my closet pulling out pieces of hand dyed fabric that I made a year or two ago. It's time I let go and put this things out where others can take a look and maybe bring them to fruition. The pieces are big and the prices are low! And, I started something completely different

Saturday, February 16, 2008

dye day preparation

These are just some of the stitched and clamped resist techniques I'm going to be experimenting with. There are also another half dozen pieces with soy wax on them ready to go. Now all I need is for the weather to warm up just a few degrees. In the meantime, I'm busy digging through past pieces, re-shooting them and posting them for sale on my LikeHotcakes! site with the object of raising the money I need for FOF08- it's a Send Deb To Art Camp Sale! As the new hand dyed pieces emerge from the dyepots they will be going on the block too.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

Here are a few more images of my "slow cloth" work that show the wonderful way that vintage cotton or linen damasks will take dye. This was the last of a piece I called "Tomato Freckles" now in the body of a giant horned newt. Old cotton cut-work doilies are great finds too. I wonder if they take the dye so well because they have been washed so many times or because they were made before the processes that prevent a good dye job? Any notions? The white fabric is lawn cut from an antique Italian wedding trousseau. I wonder when I'll know there's enough stitching on this one. Maybe when I can't lift it anymore. Oh, and by the way, I failed a studio inspection this morning. Voodoo only comes by once in a great while to hurk on something (last time directly into my clever little bobbin holder) and be critical. This morning the criticism was about an empty food dish.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Exquisite cloth!

There is nothing like coming home to a package that was an impulse buy that you had forgotten was coming! I won this incredible embroidered Irish linen tablecloth on Ebay for little more than a song and some postage. It's so sumptuous. I know I'm going to be hacking it apart and dyeing it all manner of colors but for the moment the snowy acres ( 82"x80") has me completely intimidated. Look, Dijanne, it's Banksia! The embroidery runs all the way around the four sides. How to color this stuff? What a problem to have. Can you imagine what the lady of the house would think about my plans for her finery? {{{}}}

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ancient Beings & New Fabric

Between coughing fits and lie-downs I'm finally cleaning up the guest room and I came across this old photo. When Colin was about 7 we lucked into an old Super-8 movie camera and I made this monster from clay with the intention of making stop motion films. There was once a complete cast of characters but Jake decided that they were more fun to play with than look at. So much for our film venture. I did manage to fool with the soy wax and some dye a bit yesterday. Again a strictly experimental process, no surprise that the turquoise is so pale - the mix was cold and it was chilly outside. The white shapes came from pouring soywax over a set of glass cubes and discs. The metallic gold dots were painted on an heat-set with the iron. 23"x37".

Saturday, February 09, 2008

the daily shout out

Good Morning! Melbourne, Westcourt, Tallin, Vilnius, Zebbug, Eyguieres, Dewsbury,Illescas, Rio Branco, Hallifax and everyone in the US from Honolulu to Portland! As a person who hasn't had the privilege of traveling outside of the United States (or inside it much, for that matter) I am fascinated by the placenames and imagined lives of the people who visit my blog. I'm quite likely to wind up paying to continue using the NeoEarth widget that appears in my sidebar. Imagine, someone from Malta has dropped by recently. I have become a computer chair traveler. Someday, I may just get a passport. Many years ago I was telephone operator and I always loved the opportunity of getting someone an international, person to person phone call. How many of you even remember having an operator handle a call for you? Many of the women I worked with had a great deal of stress from that job. I faced the fact early on that nobody calls the operator to tell her to "Have a nice day!" so I rarely took the daily quota of abuse personally. When I was moved into the customer service and sales arena it got a lot worse. For a long time after I left that position I missed conversations that started out with "BITCH!". I'm one of those lucky persons who was blessed with a good phone voice so I took each confrontational caller as an opportunity at lion taming sans chair and whip. I usually won the toss. Yep, the board I worked in 1971 looked just like this one. Hello World!

Green Light

Well, that was gratifying! Sharon of Granny's Hands & Quiltgranny's Shoe has liked Golden Spirals so much she's already got it into a piece in her head. I can't wait to see what she makes of it given what I've come to find out about her and her art through her two blogs. Thank you Sharon. It's enough to make one want to get out of bed in the morning provided she wasn't up coughing all night long, again. I have to keep reminding myself that I only cough when I'm lying down. I had to fold this one up quickly when it was sold because I kept finding little interesting things in it. The good part is that I know it's just the first of a series. This type of gesture is one of my natural moves - something I can do with my eyes closed I've done it on paper so many times. I used to draw spirals with my fingertip on the babies foreheads to help them go to sleep. Lots and lots of practice. And the Golden Monkey Brown was the only color recipe I ever committed to notebook. If Georgia grants me a warm enough day soon I will have a big dye day before I ever get down to Focus on Fiber 08 and I then will have to come up with a whole new game plan for that week.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Soy wax update

No surprise that I ran out of personal steam before I could take these pieces any further. In fact this is the only one I even bothered ironing and photographing. Looks like that nifty soy wax in the oven trick is a heard it here first. After 30 minutes at 300 degrees I unrolled the yardage expecting gooey pattering - what I go was a snowstorm of unmelted soy wax flakes to sweep up and comb out of my hair. I am happy that I didn't lose my recipe for Monkey Blonde! This piece is 50" long and 30 to 32 inches on the short side...a sloppy tearing job too. I shoulda stayed in bed but will post this one for sale on the Hotcakes site tomorrow. I MUST NOT ADD TO MY STASH!

art anyone

With two consecutive non-art related posts I am ready to move on. Never mind that I have a 5 star cold with sore throat & fever that cost me a dental appointment yesterday (but NOT my vote - apologies in advance to all other voters who I may have infected- mission accomplished). And never mind that we are under a tornado watch here for the same set of storms that caused such terrible loss of life in the states due east of us. It's muggy, the sky is heavy and dark and thunder mutters in the distance. I am laying out fabric for some soy wax experiments and if the roof is still on later, some kitchen dye magic. This is two yards of fabric with soy wax crumbs sprinkled between the layers. The bundle is bound for the oven for a few minutes. Fever makes me crazier than usual.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

No unfinished business

I've been in New York all week sitting at my Mom's bedside in the same hospital where I was born. She is busy at the work of dying. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon. I think she is satisfied that she has no unfinished business. Then again she could fool us all and be imperiously bossing her way around the nursing home by Spring but I think not. My sisters and brother have been with her round the clock because she gets anxious and disoriented if left alone despite the best efforts of the nursing staff. I spent my shifts talking with her and doing a lot of hand stitching on this piece, more than I expected to. More slow cloth, the stitches marking out the moments as they passed. My Dad was well enough to visit with her one afternoon and she spoke to him on the phone the next day briefly.These days she always ends her conversations with "I love you." Northern Westchester is a wonderful facility and with a retired postal worker's medical insurance, she's getting the kind of treatment usually reserved for movie stars. Christopher Reeve, Superman himself, lived his last days right down the hall from her room. There is art on the walls everywhere. This installation by Kim Tamalonis is across from the main elevators on the Lobby floor. At first I thought they were glazed tiles but on closer inspection each element is a separate canvas. It's called "The One That Got Away". Much thought has been given to the needs of caretakers here. There is a center where they can go and rest, have a snack, use the internet. There's a massage chair great for having spent the night sleeping in an upright chair and a quiet room with deep leather chairs and waterfalls on the wall. There is a baby grand piano just outside the doors of these rooms and a talented man was playing something from the Standards songbook, I forget exactly what but it felt appropriate. Somehow it didn't feel right to luxuriate there but the music was enchanting.I guess I haven't been at the caretaker thing long enough. Meanwhile,upstairs, Rosalie was sleeping peacefully for the first time since I arrived. I got home to Georgia late last night and my Mom goes back to the nursing home for Hospice care today. Many thanks to all the kind folks who are thinking about us and helping first hand with this, Life's final project.