Friday, December 27, 2013

One little picture

The dinner is over and the place tidied up again and now I can get my projects back onto the table!!  I have taken a line drawing I did some time ago and enlarged it.  I've then tried to replicate it using graphite.

The image I worked from was taken from the second image above, and I cropped it somewhat for the graphite image.  It is sort of my playing-around version of one of the activities for the Kemshall class, which I guess I'd better get to.  This was fun to do.  I am enjoying having just one class on the go at the moment.  I don't feel quite so fragmented!!  We'll see how long I last!
Back soon.....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Another project done!!!! Yay!!

I have finished the growth chart!!! Oh my!  I'm glad it's done.  There were some interesting moments.....first of all, the fabric that I chose to use has a very high thread count and is really not very pleasant to hand stitch into.  Also, when I tried to free motion stitch around the lettering, the thread broke constantly (it's a 12 weight thread) and I was mighty frustrated.  I ended up putting a hoop around the work and was able to free motion stitch at that point, but clearly that meant that I couldn't free motion onto the rest of the quilted top so I had to settle for straight lines, for which I used my walking foot.  This fabric takes the dyes beautifully but won't be much use to me if I can't free motion stitch onto it nor enjoy hand stitching on it.  And I was planning on using it for my quilted pieces for the Kemshall class.  We'll see if I can wrestle it into submission, but I have my doubts.  I did use my dyed fabric for the measuring 'line' and for the binding but that was all straight machining.  Very interesting.  And I have another 20 yards of it!!!  Anyway, here is the finished chart.
I also finished one of the needlepunched pillows that I showed you earlier.  I used my dyed blue and green fabric for the  background (it was supposed to be brown and green, according to the dye labels!!) and even though the front is brown and green, it doesn't look bad since the values aren't too outrageously different.  I used an envelope finish, which is something I hadn't tried before.  Unfortunately, it finished up slightly too large for the smaller sized pillow form and slightly too small for the larger one.  I opted to put in the larger once since it'll get compacted over time and so will finally fit!!  It's all good!

I quilted up the back (with batting etc.) with some free-motion shapes to make it a bit more interesting.  It's another Christmas gift, so hopefully it will be well received.

So now, there is no longer any way I can ignore those pesky dust bunnies.  I have picked up the 18-pound bird and all the extras for tomorrow evening's dinner and I shall make the place somewhat presentable for a fun evening with my kids and their families (fortunately they already know about me and the dust bunnies!!).  Off I go to begin.  I wish the very best of the season to you all........

Friday, December 20, 2013

Another project because, surely there's time!!!???

I am starting a new project (what??? I have lots of time, don't I???) because of course everything is finished and ready for the holidays.  NOT!!!!  But, call me crazy, I can't seem to get excited about vacuuming and dusting (although truth to tell, I'd better get excited pretty soon or the Health and Safety Board will be visiting!!!).  Anyway, I want to make growth charts for the wee ones, at least before they enter their teens.  So I'm using some of my hand dyed fabrics and I am going to have a go.  I have no idea where I'm going with it or how it will turn out but I have a few ideas.  I'll let you know if it all works out.

And perhaps it will be a New Year's gift!!  Just not sure yet!!

I'll be back.....

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kemshall on-line classes

I am currently making my way through the Quilting and Patchwork class that the Kemshall's offer as an on-line course and I am loving it.  The classes are so well done and really lots of fun.  I also subscribe to their DesignMatters TV and consider it very worthwhile as well.  And in fact, the videos often dovetail quite nicely with the work that I am doing for the online class, how handy is that???!! They offer a couple of free 'tasters' that are worth checking out here:

So, here are a couple of pieces that I have been working on in the last while.  I'm not really a hand-stitcher so I am enjoying the learning thereof!  Yes, yes, I hear there is some kind of a holiday looming but I've been rather obsessed with getting this module finished.  And I have!!! Yay!!

I am also having fun using my hand-dyed fabrics and threads.  And the next module starts off with some more drawing so I am working away on that as well.  But that holiday, I have obligations around that too, so I have quite a bit to get done.  I'd best get to it....
I'll be back...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Busy working

So, my guy has left again for his winter in warmer climes (this time off to India, much warmer than here!) and I am busy working on my projects.  He'll spend his time meditating and traveling and I will spend my time working away on my projects...our winters seem to suit us both.  I am slowly losing all available table top spaces and there are even projects pinned on to the backs of several chairs, sort of inspiration panels that also allow for sitting....sometimes.

These are a couple of needlefelted pillow tops that I am working on.  Just playing about with colour and shape and line.  (The top piece is inspired by a piece that Laura Kemshall prepared several months ago in one of their DesignMattersTV videos.)  The fabrics are some lovely pure wool pieces that I got on a recent trip to Port Townsend.  Yummy.  I dyed fabric yesterday to use as backing for the bottom piece but what I had expected to be brown (well, the label said so!) in fact came out blue.  Well, at least the parts that I dyed green were accurate anyway...but what to do with all that blue and green fabric!!!???  (discharge experiments perhaps??)

And I also finished this piece for an upcoming show.

This piece is soy wax resisted, silk screened (using another soy wax imprint on the screen) and then hand and machine stitched.  The pears are hand-painted onto a separate piece of fabric and then stitched onto the pillow top.  I'm pleased to be finished it at last since it's been kicking around for about a year!!  I had done a similar piece as a Christmas gift for one of my sons last year.

And I've been dyeing more fabrics and thread.
And more fabric and thread (you'll have to trust me that there are tons of skeins to go with these gradations as well!)  All of these fabrics and threads are prepared so that I can keep pushing through on the Kemshall class.  I had hoped to get the present module finished by the end of December...I'm still hoping but there's quite a long way to go yet!!

So I'm off.  I'll be back....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dyeing a colour wheel with Procion.

I've spent the last couple of days dyeing a colour wheel (well, ok, a colour 'line') using procion dyes.  I've made a strong mix of dyes (perhaps too strong, I was rinsing forever!!) but I'm pretty pleased with how rich the colours are.  I've used the cotton print cloth from Dharma Trading.  It's a mercerized cotton and seems to take the dyes quite well.
Oh, and I dyed a bunch of threads as well.  I wound them up on my Ashford "Niddy Noddy" and it worked a treat!!
I seem to be ignoring some of my other courses but am pleased to be making a bit of progress with the Kemshall class!!  At last!!
I'll be back.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Monoprinting daisies

This is detail of a small quilt that I made last year.  I started with a monoprint using fabric paints of some daisies that I had earlier painted in watercolour.  I stitched like crazy and bound the little quilt in black with red accents.  I called it "The Space Between" and it was juried into the Canadian National Quilt Show last May. That was exciting!!
Today I have made up another batch of dyes and I feel as if maybe this is the start of some fabric work again.  I really haven't done much in quite a few months.  I'm still working on the Quilting and Patchwork class offered by the Kemshalls on their Design Matters site (it's a great course).  So far we've been working with paper and paint so this is my first go at fabric pieces in a while. I'm trying to settle on a colour palette....such a hard job because I love all colours, pastel colours to jewel colours.  And who can forget the drama of black and white??!!  What a decision.  I'm still floundering about trying to decide.  More dyeing tomorrow to see if I can come closer to a satisfactory solution!!
I bought Ann Johnston's new DVD on dyeing fabric (available on her website).  It is SO inspirational.  I have taken a few classes with her and she is a wonderful and wonderfully generous instructor.  And her DVD is also exceptional.
I feel as if I'm wandering here.  I'm going to wander off and press my rinsed out fabrics.
I'll be back.  In the meantime, check out these links.....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

To blog or not to blog...Is that really a question?

Blogging is such a bizarre thing.  And it weighs on one, whether one is posting or not.  It speaks of one's work output, or lack thereof.  Of how one spends one's time.  And then there is Facebook and Twitter and all those other ways to pass the time or to get lost in time or maybe just to lose time.  (It seems I have a facebook account but I don't post anything there...either!)  My goal this year was to enter two shows.  I've entered three juried shows and  got into all three (not boasting, I'm pretty amazed! and while I haven't sold anything, truth to tell, I'm pretty relieved about that actually) and I've been in two other shows besides.  And there are two more coming up.  But then that brings up the whole question of showing and selling and pricing and all that maddening stuff.  I find it all pretty overwhelming.  And then there is the pressure of needing more work for future shows.  And I feel as if I've lost some of the fun along the way. So I'm working on the idea of working and keeping it fun.  Not pressured.  I feel that if showing is all about selling then maybe I need to rethink the whole thing.  Retirement should be about fun, I'm pretty sure! Maybe all I need to do is show up.
So I'm going for the cups of tea (and coffee, of course) and the good reads.  I've really enjoyed my garden this year and I'm taking a photography class and a drawing class.
I've finished a couple of the modules in the Kemshall's Quilting and Patchwork class and I'm itching to start the next module.  I've discovered that I love dyeing fabric and I'm still having fun with watercolours.  And there are those two precious little grandsons not to mention their mums and dads.  And my guy.  Life is good.
I'm back.....

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Finding colours and continuous line(s)

I am slowly working my way through the activities in the Kemshall's Quilting and Patchwork class.  Slowly.  Been pretty busy doing the day-to-day living stuff and that seems to have been taking up most of my time.  Which isn't a bad thing, to be sure.

I have messed about with trying to replicate some colours taken from various yellow swatches found in magazines.  I have a watercolour palette of colours I have been using for some time now and am trying to find the various magazine yellows (and blues and reds, truth be told) based on those colours.  I have found it a really excellent exercise and I am going to try and do the same thing, using Procion MX dyes.  I have a much more limited palette of procion colours that I work with, so we shall see.  I'll post those experiments when I get them done.
I have also messed about with a continuous line drawing using the other half of a photo I worked with last week.  This stitching was all done as one line, starting in the top right.  I believe this was meant to be in pencil but I thought the stitched line would be more fun. Now I just have to remember to replace the needle since I suspect the paper stitching was a bit of a death knell for that particular needle.
That's it for now.  I think I'll get the procion out and see what I can come up with.
I'll be back....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kemshall's Quilting and Patchwork

So, in a bold and daring move (really??) I have decided to sign up for the Quilting and Patchwork class offered on-line by the Kemshall's.  I already subscribe to their DesignMattersTV and I love it.  I have taken their Sketchbook class, and I loved it as well.  So I have decided to go for their two-year quilting class.  Yikes!!! But I really do love their classes and find them very professional and very inspiring.  So, here we go!  I have completed a couple of the activities in the first module and since I really haven't done much else in the way of art, (sigh), here they are.
 This first one was completed using pencils only, from HB to 9B.  I really enjoy messing about with pencils and found this exercise a lot of fun.
This one was completed using watersoluble pencils (from Derwent) and I find these a bit more difficult to manage (not the pencils themselves, but the managing-of-the-water part).  Even so, it was a lot of fun.  I enjoy drawing very much and wish I was inclined to do it more often.  I certainly do it more than I used to, however, so that's something, right?
OK,  that's it for the moment.  I'm going to move on to working with colour and hopefully developing some sensitivity around that so I should be busy with the next exercises for a couple of days (or maybe the rest of my life...).
I'll be back...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Interesting times with so much to learn.

Well, my guy is back and we are settling into being 'two' again, but certainly nothing has been routine.  Whilst working in the garden the other day we made an awful guy in anaphylactic.  He was stung twice by wasps.  We hastily set off for the pharmacy to purchase antihistamines, then quickly decided on the clinic, then the hospital, but by then, (in a space of a few moments) things were progressing far too quickly, so I called an ambulance from the car and waited on the roadside for help.   It seemed as if it took forever to arrive but I suppose they were quite quick....we weren't too far from the hospital, thank goodness.  Because he nearly died in the ambulance.  Too scary.   But they managed to get him stabilized at last and after about four hours in the hospital I was able to take him home. Not a pleasant experience for anyone but least of all my guy.  How quickly things can change.  So we are wrapping our minds around this new 'normal'.  There is so much to learn.

In the meantime, we are doing more normal things and they are a lot more fun.
 We are babysitting and we are learning lots here as well:  for instance, we now know that it is very important to choose the right footwear when one is setting out on a walk.  For everyone involved, apparently.
And sometimes no footwear is appropriate!  I did a photoshoot for my neighbor the other day (he's a retired potter who has moved into painting) and he has allowed me to use the photos.  So this one I stitched. Not sure where it'll go next, but the continuous line was fun.

Oh gosh.  I must clarify....I am behind the camera.  Most definitely NOT on the bench.  Yikes, perish the thought!!!  'Scuse me....hey, stage props....can we get the bigger bench over here???'

I am still moving along at a snail's pace with the rest of my work.  Starting something new today so hope to have something to show you in the next little while.
I'll be back...I promise...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What's on my book pile?

You know those fun blogs that show 'What's on My Work Desk" or words to that effect?? Well, on my work desk just now?....nothing.  But I do have a lot of books as anyone who knows me well would tell you.  Piles of books actually, because I have pretty much run out of bookcases (and I have lots of those!!).  So next to my favourite chair I have a pile of books, about coffee-cup height if I just reach out my arm.  (I know I have to start re-shuffling when I have to reach up even slightly to set down my coffee cup.)  And there on the pile one can find the books that have held my interest most recently.  It is sort of all I can show you regarding what I have been up to lately.

And my guy, who has been travelling all winter, is now home safe and sound.  And we are getting used to being 'two' again.  It's all good.
I'll be back.....

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weekend trip and the big tidy up.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the pictures taken this past weekend on my trip to the Interior.  I traveled with a very patient friend who kindly snapped some pictures while we were driving  and some other shots that I took whilst pulled over to the side of the road.  We drove up through Manning Park, stayed in Vernon, visited the Canadian Quilt Association's National Juried Show in Penticton, went down to Oliver and Osoyoos (and drove and drove and drove) and came back home on the Coquihalla Highway!!!  1500 kilometres in three days.  Which for me is HUGE!!!  But it was a great show and it was fun to see my little quilts hanging in a 'real' show!!
And now I'm home.  My guy is coming home tomorrow and I have spent some time in the last couple of days trying to put my house into some kind of order after spending the winter with various art projects scattered all around.  Really, All Around!   Well, now at least he has a chair to sit in!
So that was my weekend.
I'm not up to too much art-wise at the moment but I'm wanting to get back to my Red Bench project, so I'll keep you posted.
I'll be back...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stitching Daisies

I am leaving in the morning for the interior of the province, I'm off to Penticton, to see the Canadian Quilt Association's National Juried Show.  It will be interesting to see my two little quilts hanging with the 'big guys'!  Seven hours of driving tomorrow, three on Friday and then another 7 to get home on Saturday.  And that doesn't include the couple of hours of ferry rides to get on and off the island on which I live.

But it means I've been doing very little textile-related for the last while.  So I'll leave you with a piece that I did a couple of years ago, based on the daisies in my back yard.

The background is painted wunder-under and various other fabrics with the flowers fused on the top and then stitched.  It was fun to do...I might just do another one!
I'll try and take some pictures while I'm gone.   The landscape of the interior is quite different from here on the coast.
I'll be back.....

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dye painting with thickened dyes

I have been continuing to play with my next piece, albeit slowly, and have started to sample the 'floor' part of the piece.  I am wanting to learn more about painting with thickened dyes so this is more a case of documenting my progress so far, and you get to come along too!  I stretched a piece of soda-soaked cotton onto a frame.  I had previously used my light box to draw the image onto the cotton and I used Derwent Inktense pencils to do this. I thought that if nothing else, the lines would disappear under the dyes and not be visible in the end and this in fact was the case.  That part worked really well.  I mixed the (room temperature) procion dyes with the thickened alginate (manutex) and thinned it with chemical water.  In this case, I mixed 2 tablespoons of urea into a cup of hot water and poured this into a plastic container with a squirt lid then let the mixture cool.  (The urea is a humectant and I thought it would help to keep the fabric damp, since the procion won't continue to fix if it dries out. This mix has more urea in it that one might normally need, but I will keep it separate and use it only for dye painting.)  I put a piece of plastic underneath the frame to help keep it moist as well.  (You have to remember however, that I don't live in a particularly dry part of the world, so that helps as well, but I was painting inside, so there was some control there.  It was a sunny day, but not too hot.)
As a side note, and also just to satisfy my own curiosity, I have been keeping a running tally on the hours I am spending on this project.  So far, I'm at 8, including such things as mixing dyes and rinsing fabrics.  It adds up, doesn't it?  I'll let you know how it adds up as I go along, mostly because I'm curious.
 The above picture is of the painted fabric before I washed it out and below is the same fabric after washing, once with a cold water rinse followed by a hot water rinse.
I'm pretty pleased with the results because there wasn't a lot of dye on the fabric yet it seems to have retained the colour quite well.  Not sure if it's the right colour, however, or the right values, so I think I'm going to have another go.  But I'm pleased with the colour retention considering the fabric felt quite dry to the touch.  I did cover it with plastic for the batching time, however, which was over 24 hours.  I think it might need a longer batching time than fabrics immersed in the dyes.  I think.  Haven't done an experiment with that just yet.  Still so much to learn.
If anybody out there has any thoughts to offer on all this, I'd be thrilled to hear from you.
 Fortunately, my studio assistant is a picture of patience and is willing to sit through any amount of sampling, as long as I feed her.  That's love, right???
Speaking of which, this little guy (now we are two!!) would love to be a studio assistant, for food or not!!  And while I'm pretty sure he would be a wonderful help, I might postpone asking for his help until he's a wee bit older!!  In the meantime, however, I've been spending quite a bit of time with both of my sweet grandsons and having a lot of fun.
More fun to follow....I'll be back.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Forecast: Slow progress but sunny

While I seem to be creeping along, spring is moving along at a rapid pace.  Thank goodness one of us is!!!  I was out early this morning to capture this sun-drenched clematis.
And I also spent a bit of time preparing a tracing of my next project using my trusty lightbox.  I just love that more leaning against a sunny window....which works just fine, mind you, but the lightbox is so much easier on my shoulders!  I'm hoping to push on with this one a bit more today but I still have a dentist appointment, with freezing, oh my, to get through.  I am always so SO impressed by you folk who seem to get tons of work accomplished even when you're under the weather.  I am such a wimp....but then there are all those murder mysteries that seem to need reading as well......
This pic also features a new dvd by my friend Susan Purney Mark.  Last summer she asked 5 of us if we would like to participate in a soy wax workshop and our 'fee' was to create a couple of pieces using work created in the workshop.  NO PROBLEM!!!  Everyone bent to the task and created some really wonderful, very diverse work.  And most of those pieces appear at one point or another in Susan's dvd .  And what a great dvd it is!  148 minutes absolutely filled with lots of methods and ideas from using the soy wax with numerous different tools, to using it with dyes, thickened dyes, silk screens, various resist methods, stitch and discharge.  And if you're not into procion-type dyes there is a section on using Dye-Na-Flow and also on sunprinting.  It's a Studio Galli production.  You've got to get it!!!  I've put a couple of links below.

OK, that's it for today.  I'm hoping to be further along when we meet again!!!  'Til then, I'll be back.....

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The impatient patient

I really don't like being ill and this last couple of weeks have been really frustrating for me.  Well, I got to read a lot of murder mysteries (Jo Nesbo, Ann Cleeves, Trevanian, Louise Penny for starters!) but the worst part is how really tired I was.  No energy.

Still, I'm back at it now and on to my next project.  It's entitled 'Red Bench' for now, and is still part of my France series, but I tend to change my mind about titles as I go along.  So I have started 'going along'.  I have chosen my picture, had it enlarged (I'm trying a slightly larger size this time) and I have started working on colours.  I'm adding a black into the mix but of course blacks are a mixture of other colours so I have to make sure that the underlying tone will give me the right effect (in this case, Black 39 from Dharma and it seems to be a bit green once all the red has washed out).  I'm using it here with an orange that I've mixed as well so lots of factors coming into play.
I'm ok with some of the greyed colours (which have a sort of green cast to them) since I really only want them in small quantities to use with sodium alginate but I feel as if I want to play around with the golden colours a bit further.  And then I have to mess about with some mark making as well for which I will also use the thickened colours.  And I always throw some silk organza into the various dye pots because I love the nuances of colour that it adds.

But mostly, here's what next on the agenda.
So I'd best get at it if I want to start again with dyeing more golds.  Making up for lost time.
I'll be where is the ReDuRan???!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tulips, sunshine and mail

We have been having some lovely spring weather here dampened slightly by rain but to a greater degree by a bad cold that's put a bit of a spoiler on thing for me.  But still, it's hard to feel down when one is met by these cheery beings just out the back door.
I spent a couple of lovely days in Port Townsend last week visiting with a friend and have come back with lots of ideas of things to be going on with but also with this bug which is definitely slowing me down.  Hopefully I didn't leave any of it in the States with my friend.  Not on the 'how to be a good guest' list!!!

But now that I'm home I am getting ready to send off two of my little quilts that have been juried into the Canadian Quilt Association's show taking place in Penticton next month.  Pretty exciting!! I've prepared a couple of covered rolls and a couple of bags to slip them into before boxing them up for shipping.  And I've had some help with the preparations from my studio assistant who is always trying to 'help' in her own special way, bless her heart!!
But for the moment, there is nothing else new on the horizon.  I have to get busy with something or else I will bore myself to death.  I'm still reading, however, so that's fun.  And going through the loot I purchased at the Akamai art store in Port Townsend, that sadly is closing its doors at the end of next month (the owners are moving back to Hawaii).  It is just the best art store, so if you live nearby it's worth a visit to stock up....I certainly did!!!
That's it for now.  I'll be back.....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

On to the next one.

OK, so I have finally finished that large-ish piece that was giving me so much grief!!  I have worked on pieces this size before but never with the amount of work that was involved here. Still trying to decide how I feel about it.  I'm ok with the piece, in the end, but I'm still trying to decide if I think this particular process is what I'm wanting to pursue at the moment.  I fussed over its various parts for over a month and I have many (many) hours invested in the piece.  So I'm thinking I'll go back to one of my smaller pieces for the moment and see how that feels.  This whole art-making thing really is such an interesting process.  But I realize now that I'm not happy if I'm not creating SOME-thing.  So that's good to know.
So here is part of the just-finished piece, part of the one I'm going to be starting next and some of my very favourite books to be moving on with.  Since the first thing I have to do is dye some more fabrics I've got some decisions to make.  And I do love the researching parts because I get to poke around in all my books.
For me that's the equivalent of 'messing about in boats'!  Nothing could be better.
Off I go....but I'll be back.....

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finding my way through

I have kept working, albeit very slowly, on my latest piece.  I'm not sure why it has had me so stumped, but it certainly has.  It is possibly the size, although I have done pieces this size before.  Certainly I have been second (and third and fourth) guessing myself.  Finally I just decided, again, to simply jump in.  And so I have been planning my way through, across and around the piece for the final stitching.  Still not sure, but pushing on nonetheless (don't you just love words that aren't always brave enough to stand all by themselves!  That need a little friendly support.  Just like us!!).
Anyway, enough of that.  Here is where I started today.
Who knows where I'll finish.  No doubt with more second (third and fourth) guessing!
Furthermore,  I'll be back..... (ok, ok, I'll stop!!!!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A bit rusty

Oh sigh.  It's been a while since I got out my watercolours and I seem to have come adrift in terms of the brushes and the paint.  No matter, I am encouraged to keep on trying.  It is spring here and SO beautiful.  I read blogs from folks in the UK and it seems as if their winter just doesn't want to quit.  We are very fortunate here.

I have continued to stitch on my latest piece but honestly, it's like pulling teeth.  I stitch for an hour and then I have to stop and evaluate what I've done, or not done.  Such a slow process.  It's a much bigger piece than I have ever done before and so the stitching requires a somewhat different approach  (I'll show you a bit more next time).  But the great part is that it is helping me to evaluate what I like to do, in terms of my own work.  So I shall press on, and paint on as well.

So I apologize for the rustiness, and the dustiness (oh my!), but I just had to show you that I am doing SOMETHING!!!!
I'll be back.....

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Art and Fear

Have you been wondering where I was??  Me too.  I have fallen into a black hole and have been trying to dig my way out.  Good grief, what is wrong with me?????
I have had my next piece of work sitting staring at me for some time now and that little, no, BIG voice in my head kept telling me that there was no way I could complete it, that I would totally wreck it, that it couldn't possibly be a success.  Well, I haven't completed it yet, and I might totally wreck it, but one thing is for sure.....if I do nothing, it will never be a success.   Or anything else.  And I won't have learned a thing.  
At the same time, I started reading a little book called "Art and Fear" and it is incredible.  It seems to address all those questions I was throwing at myself, and all the doubts as well.  And I felt encouraged to just get up and get at it.  So I did.  And I might not complete it the way I want is way out of my comfort zone.  But at least I will know that I can venture into my dis-comfort zone and still breathe!!

So I am off to do a bit more stitching, and a bit more breathing.
I'll be back.....

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Starting again.

I am starting a new piece and as usual have run flat into a brick wall...felled by all the usual excuses as to why I cannot begin, including the library books that I only had a limited amount of time to read before they were due!!  Not because I should be vacuuming (which I should), because I couldn't go quite THAT far, but there were all those books that needed reading.  And I did.  So I started on the piece today....but now I have run out of I shall have to read some more, until the shops open tomorrow.  Sigh.

In the meantime, here is a snippet of the one I just finished.

And I have another one I want to get started on, but I need to dye some more fabric and I am waiting for the right colour of black (#39) from Dharma, (en route, but won't be here for a couple of weeks) so I shall have to read some more.  A girl's gotta do......

I'll be back, well, after just a few more chapters.....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Painting with thickened Procion MX dyes

I am working on another piece using procion MX dyes, thickened with dye paste (from ProChem).  I am trying to decide if  I want to create certain images using just fabrics and thread or using 'paint' on fabric.
I am not displeased with the results but I am wanting to do quite a bit more sampling before I decide.  LOTS more sampling to be done.  But it is fun to mix up the various colours and to play around with different intensities and values.
More work to be done.
I'll be back.....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Such a week!

I am working through some of the exercises in the class I am taking with Dionne Swift.  This one is about creating sketchbooks and is another of the on-line classes that Dionne offers. So far I would say that each class is totally excellent and well worth taking.  Maybe even twice!!!  So far I have only done the first two lessons for this class and so I'm a bit behind but am hoping to make some headway this weekend.  Here is where I am at so far.

Another huge bonus of the classes with Dionne is all the fabulous people that one gets to meet in class (and so a huge welcome to my new followers from Dionne's classes!!  Such fun!).  It seems that quite a few of these wonderful artists have blogs that I have already been following, some for a few years.  It's so great to meet them 'in person' as it were.  Now if I could just get over that big ocean once in a while to really meet up in classes it would be perfect...but this is a fine substitute.  Do check out Dionne's classes

So I can't decide if I've had a busy week or not.  I didn't get done nearly what I had set out to do, but I wasn't totally idle either.  I have dyed some new fabrics for the next picture I am working on.
My goal is to create the pictures using one blue, one red and one yellow.  So far it seems to be working out all right.  I ordered some new threads (oh, the indulgence...and honestly, who needs to eat???) and am looking forward to playing about with these new and totally delicious colours.

And I stitched onto one of the screen prints that I created in the class with Dionne on screen-printing.  It wasn't the best of the prints I got of these little pears but provided a fun surface to practice on.  I am going to cut this down to postcard size and send it off to Jane Davies.  Jane is trying to save her little post office in Rupert, Vermont and is encouraging people to send mail there to see if that will help.  Check out her site for a fun story around this project.
 and also at
for a great little video of her post office and her 'girls', her chickens.  Sweet!
Here is my pear piece before cutting it down to mail
As I mentioned, this wasn't the best screen print I got from this screen, but it was perfect for practising.
OK, that's it for me for today.
I want to get at the next lesson for the class with Dionne and I am wanting to work a bit more on some of the stitched picture I am busy with.  And I have sick kids and grandkids to get some things done for....sigh....
Note to self: take vitamin C and echinacea!!!  Too much to do to get sick...
I'll be back.....