Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Odds and End of the Month

Yes, I moved the picture down. There is a real learning curve on this. My husband found a book at the bookstore this weekend. Blogging for Dummies. We didn't buy it. Would take all the excitement out of finally figuring something out. Below is a picture of the original artwork that my Mickey D's painting is based on.

I finished a quilt that's been hanging on the design wall for months and will be sewing the binding on tonight while watching tv. My next project will be my "Dreaming Of Africa" quilt. I never owned any African fabric before starting this project but in November I purchased some fat quarters to go around a portrait I made in the summer for QA magazine. I tried very hard to make a portrait of myself and to loosen up I made a face from scraps--wastebasket again! It turned out better and is now the centerpiece of my African quilt. I practiced making some more in my journal.

I also want to do something with these drawings of butterflys and moths. Susan Carlson does such wonderful beatles. they are huge--four feet high. Vibrant colors and all scraps that she collects from students in her classes and from people like me. I once left a gallon bag of scraps for her on the reserve shelf at the library. She was perplexed and then pleasantly happy about the unexpected bounty. I was pleased to see my scraps in her work. Susan uses the scrap of fabric in the shape and size it exists--she doesn't do any trimming. I trim.

So far this has been a very strange winter here in Maine. Unseasonable warm weather (for Maine) and very little snow. Today was gloomy and the snow from yesterday was brown and slushy on the streets and sidewalks. Ugh. The flu has finally arrived and people are starting to get sick. It starts with a very bad headache. I hope my "Christmas Day" flu shot works. So off I go to sew on binding. See you next month. Ha Ha.

Monday, January 30, 2006

My Robot

J.O.A.N.N.E.: Juggernaut Optimized for Accurate Nullification and Nocturnal Exploration

J.O.A.N.N.E.: Juggernaut Optimized for Accurate Nullification and Nocturnal Exploration

If that's not a Virgo robot! Accurate Nullification! I can nitpick better than anyone. Nocturnal Exploration? My metabolism kicks in at 10 pm. I drove my parents crazy as a baby--never would go to sleep at night. Payback--my son was the same and we walked and rocked the night away...and the 2 year old sister slept, only to be awake all day while he slept. Mom? Well, I was always awake. Ugh.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Friday's Art on Sunday

Remember my husband wanted me to make some art by Friday? Well, I got the full sheet of watercolor paper stretched on the kitchen island and I applied two coats of gesso to the surface. Not both at one time. There was considerable drying time. Like overnight. Then there was the pencil sketch on Friday. Finally, on Saturday morning (for me-afternoon for regular people) I started applying acrylic paints. This is not an original design or idea. Years ago my husband and I saw a painting in the lobby of a McDonald's restaurant. We knew the owner and asked about the painting. The owner hated it. I offered to buy it. He didn't know how much it had cost. I asked if I could take a picture. He said yes. I lost the picture. Now 13 years later I find the picture and make a reasonable facimile. The picture and my painting look like fraternal twins. Not identical but there is a family resemblance. Mine has a water feature to the lower right and a neighborhood in the upper right and cars. The original doesn't. The colors are the same. The McDonald's in our town is in a neighborhood near ( sort of) to the coast and water. I like it. Not the McDonald's--the painting.

Today is Chinese New Year and I have paperwhites in bloom. (Good Luck) Last night the smell got to be too much for me. I tried spraying the flowers with Febreze but they still smelled so I got the plastic bag the watercolor paper came in and covered the flowers and vase. Now they smell but very faintly. As soon as New Year's Day is over, they go out on the sunporch. Or I can cut all the flower heads off and enjoy the green leaves.

I made this in a class I taught at our local quilt chapter. Everyone brought a magazine picture, catalog picture, postcard, calendar or whatever. Some image they really liked. They also brought a small piece of batting (9 by 12 inches--not big) and a scrap of fabric in the background color of their picture. I also asked them to bring glue in stick or bottle and a bag of scraps they had or stuff from the fabric wastebasket and scissors.

When we began the exercise they put the background fabric down on the batting. Then I asked them to stop. I then took their batting and image and gave it to someone else. The new person had 5 minutes to work on adding to the background with the scraps they had brought. They glued the bits down on the background. After 5 minutes (could be longer but check on the interest level of those working), I moved the batting and image to another person. Sort of a "Round Robin". After a suitable number of moves (ie interest level of participants) return the piece to the original owner. Listen to gasps of pleasure or displeasure. Then let them tinker with it or not. I usually had multiple colors of tulle available for "auditioning". Once the fabric assemblage was covered with tulle they could take it home and machine quilt over the top.

Now what was interesting to me. I did this once at an Art Quilt meeting and the results and the participation was AWFUL. I was perplexed to say the least. I did it with my local chapter--strictly traditional quilters-- and the results were SPECTACULAR! So good, that we put a collection of 20 pieces in the annual Maine quilt show and they were very well received by viewers. One participant had made a piece in the "Art" group and used the same image when we did this workshop with the "traditional" group. Side by side, the one the traditional quilters worked on was more vibrant, inventive and gorgeous. We decided the "art" people were trying too hard. Anyway, the traditional group asked for a repeat workshop and made more pieces. They really enjoyed the process--it was so foreign to them. You can do this all by yourself--I make my quilts this way only I use my own line drawings as a starting point.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Journal Pages

The very next thing I have to learn how to do is write text BEFORE the first picture--though I do like to have a picture on the top to grab the reader's attention. Once in advertising, always in advertising. The drawings on the top of this page were for a quilt idea and at the bottom I wrote a description of the "dream quilt" I would make. I had this idea once--I am just FULL of ideas--that quilters could write a description of a quilt they dreamed of making with no barriers as to technique, fabric, time or effort. Just describe the quilt. It would be like a *virtualquilt* and I wanted to display the written work in a quilt show. Viewers could read and imagine the work. I still like the idea.

At this point in time, I am creating mostly floral quilts. I've already made the quilt in the upper left hand corner--made it and sold it-- and you've seen the Orange Marigold in previous posts. A work in progress and needing stamen. The other three drawings may or may not be turned into fabric.

I recently purchased some telephone wire at Radio Shack -50 feet- and inside the hideous beige outer plastic are four slim wires. Yellow, Black, Red and White. All I wanted was the yellow. The Radio Shack guys had never had a quilter in the store before. They were very charming. I told them I was looking for yellow wire and they were creative in their search for what I wanted. I also got to look through the drawers of little connector thingies. Multi-colored and all sizes. None were tiny enough to perch on the end of the thin yellow wires to create stamen. I once took a class in Botanical Watercolor Painting and we were taught to be VERY detail oriented when it comes to botanicals. So I continue to be very detail oriented. Even "fussy". My husband calls it being a "pain in the a**". As I type this, and generally go about my daily business, I am trying to figure out how to attach the wire to the fabric. So I'm at a creative standstill. A fork in the road.

This is a self portrait. Paint brushes, a journal, some string, a rose and a nice cozy bed. Yellow faux finished walls, the sun shining in the white trimmed windows. Maybe I even painted the duvet cover fabric. This is my life.

Keri Smith keeps a running list of items that draw her attention. Today she had hole reinforcements at the top. I bought some a while back and pasted them on a lampshade to make polka dots- my favorite embellishment- and that little dotted shade makes me very happy. I also dotted my big black mailbox out front - with paint not reinforcements. It makes perfect strangers smile. I plan to stick contact paper patterns on my garbage can in the spring (warm weather) and spray-paint polka dots on the can with that new paint for plastic. Think how happy it will make me to drag that can out to the curb each Monday evening after 7 pm (no earlier or the Town police will make me drag it back up the driveway).

I've even considered putting polka dots on my trademark white cotton v-neck t shirts that I wear 365 days a year. I wear solid colored pants or skirt, solid colored linen shirt ( long sleeves rolled twice, unbuttoned) or a cropped solid color sweatshirt with the white t-shirts. No pattern ever. A gardening friend and author of two fine books says I dress like I work for the post office or a prison. He usually sees me on a blue day. Navy blue corduroy slacks, white tee and pale blue linen shirt. After that comment, I bought a white linen shirt covered with very small embroidered black dots. I wear it with black linen pants. I always feel very "out of control" in that shirt. Like fizzy water.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oh, Happiest of Days!

This is the VERY FIRST time I have downloaded my own photos from the camera to the computer and then to the blog. The first time. I am so proud of myself. Now I can post pictures without the Hub being here. He can do his work, uninterrupted. Above. Everyone was working on the "art school projects" and as I was working on my journal, I decided to try a few things with some black construction paper. I tore it up and glued it into my journal. My *signature* tulip and something abstract. You know I just thought of something. I should put my signature tulip on my business cards. "!"

A fine art landscape with trees and my torn paper tree. Not using scissors was a decision I made so not to have too much control of the shapes. I'm a perfectionist. Virgo. 100%. So if I had scissors--well, it wouldn't look like this.

Journal page. I love the winter scene on the left. It looks so much like my backyard. I live on the edge of an *open space* that has never been built on or used. Well, the Navy did use it to drop "bombs" in the woods. Guess they have to practice bombing things. I don't know when this happened. The Navy has been nearby since the 1940's. We walked around back in the woods and found big X's and found big metal drums, all rusty, near the X's. But I digress. The painting looks like the peaceful, winter scene I see out my sunny back windows. The right hand page has some journal ideas from Keri Smith (Wish Jar Journal). I believe the quote is hers also. I can't believe I wrote something that profound myself.

Pictures of things I just like the look of with a bit of glare off the skylight above the table. I always thought it would be fun to make a series of small quilts with a bowl as the subject. A bowl of cherries. A blue bowl. An empty bowl. A small bowl. You get it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Runway- Be Better???? NOT!

Deja Poo! Santino and Austin with the same fabric and the same crappy result. That fabric should be called "Loser". Where was the ruching??? On this he could have ruched--it was graffitti. He even toned down his HAIR!!!

Daniel's was very well made, finished--except for the collar. If he'd had time I hope he would have cut the neckline and attached a soft ruffled collar. The model had to do a giraffe neck to get a good line. But Andrae's was beautiful, elegant and so inspired by the photograph. He was robbed! The Final Three will include Daniel and Andrae unless they really make a mess in the next few weeks.

Chloe has hit the wall. Her stuff is well made (most of the time) but all the same. The dress tonight wasn't finished--the hem wasn't hemmed. And it didn't look like the building. Maybe if the skirt had more layers. Jay was correct--he had the same time limit and made that gorgeous Chrysler Building dress. Why didn't she use a printed fabric and gather it into "windows"? She never uses a print.

Zulema- What goes around, comes around. Even dogs know not to shit where they eat or sleep. The model--the old one--hated the clothes Zulema made, and that's why she didn't "walk". In a good dress, with some love--and that Nick smile--Zulema's old model strutted. I'm not sorry to see Zulema leave. The African fabrics--color, pattern, and zest were lost on her.

Kara---Keep Out!! Go Away!!! Warning!!! You Are Next.

How Does My Garden Grow

I made this little gem in a David Walker class. A 15 minute composition with an additional 15 minutes for quilting and binding. From the scrap bag. It's only 6 inches square and so wonderful, huh? I placed it in the center of this Spring wreath that hangs up in the kitchen all year long. At one time I thought I'd switch it out for seasonal wreaths but never did. Of course, it never looked this good without the little quilt inside.

This is an oil pastel from a magazine picture. I think it's a tropical fruit of some kind but the luscious color made me want to "make" it. The shadow at the bottom came out perfect and the colors on the "bottom" of the fruit worked out nice also. I did some blending of the oil pastels with a Q-tip. So less of the paper texture is visible. I know some of you like that--it is present in the background. I have to admit to not working at all in fabric now that I have started doing the paintings and pastels. I feel like a "bad mommy" liking one child more than the others.

My husband gave me "marching orders" for the week. No more watching Law and Order CI and sitting on the couch eating pretzels. I have to have a quilt or a painting by Friday. I checked out the audio book of Pride and Prejudice and do have sewing machine work to do while listening. But I have snow shoveling and laundry to do also. And my volunteer shelvers continue to be "no shows" and I have had to go into work and shelve books. Oh, I am SO popular! So conflicted!

I am also so......I don't even have the vocabulary to describe how I feel when I read Mrs. Mel. She has made THREE LARGE FULLY QUILTED GORGEOUS PIECES since December......... it really isn't fair. I know she watches Law And Order.

Finally, my "garden". My paperwhites are blooming and as Mrs. Mel says "stinking" up the house. My Amarillis are to the right and just starting to send up a little tip. Checking things out like a periscope on a submarine. My Christmas cactus continues to bloom--well, really it always blooms because I feed it Miracle Grow in a very weak solution. There are Jade stems rooting in glasses to the left. I bought potting soil so I could get them into pots so they can get going and grow up into nice Jade circles or balls.

There was a blog from Hawaii saying it was good luck in the new Chinese New Year to have paperwhites blooming. The New Year starts next Monday, January 29. I hope I have some flowers then. It's the Year of the Dog and both my husband and I are Dogs. I want the maximum amount of Good Luck this year. We've had our share of "not so good luck" and some downright "bad luck" since our last Dog Year so I would appreciate some extra Good Luck this year. I know you make your own luck. I know that. But.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Where Have I Been?

Collages from my journal pages. I take little bits of pictures--usually from Architectural Digest--things I like the look of and then rearrange them to make something new. These are two of my favorites.

I wanted to post today, but no new pictures and I love posting pictures. This has been a very busy week for me. I worked Tuesday as usual. Then Wednesday I got a call that one more of my volunteer shelvers (at library) was ill and we had four carts of non-fiction waiting to be re-shelved. I co-ordinate the finding, training and keeping of volunteers. So I got dressed and went in to the library and in four and a half hours shelved four carts. I was light headed and rather dizzy.

While at the library there was much discussion of the retirement party for SJ being held on Friday. We had a potluck list but not much else. So I presented a "theme" of Angels and one of my co-workers was willing to make "halos" out of some Christmas trim--wire with little stars- in red, silver, gold and blue. ( they were much cuter and tasteful than party hats).

I went home an gesso'd a stretched canvas a second time and sanded it smooth and then went looking for my acrylic paints. I had brought a book of classic angels home from the library and chose one as my model. My husband prefered the "underpainting" and didn't like the finished angel. It took most of Thursday to paint. Of course, I neglected to photograph the angel. I was scheduled to work again on Friday morning to cover for a co-worker whose husband had a heart attack. So I left the angel with my husband and he was going to make a rough wood, rustic frame for the angel.

When I returned from work at 1:30-Hub was still working on the frame but it looked very nice. A bit too rustic. So I asked if he could sand it a bit to knock off the roughest edges and some of the wood splinters ( for safety sake). He did and the frame was wonderful--in fact later at the party, SJ remarked that she loved the angel but she really loved the frame.

I spent the rest of the afternoon chopping root vegetables for "Roasted Root Vegetables" my entry into the potluck. Turnips, beets, parsnips, rutabaga, butternut squash (not a root), carrots. I was going to add potatoes but I had too much veg as it was. A quarter cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and lots of salt and pepper mixed well into the veg cubes ( about 1 inch), then onto sheet pans and into the 400 degree oven for 90 minutes. Then it was "party time". And it was a very nice party with loads of wonderful food and good company.

After the party I drove to my daughter's house where she was hosting a "Stamping" party. I arrived to find only 2 other guests. Everyone had RSVP'd and then not showed up. DD had made tiny little 1" hamburgers (little bun, little burger, slice of cherry tomato, spinach leaf) WAY CUTE !!!, tiny hotdogs (those tiny cocktail sausages), tiny grilled cheese sandwiches for the guests to eat and no one showed up. And her house looked wonderful in a bohemian sort of way. Lots of velour thrown over the couches and chairs.

So I stayed and made a stamped card and ordered some stuff. I don't plan on using what I bought in the "usual" way. In fact, some of my questionable uses threw the party demonstrator for a loop. These "teachers" need to loosen up--they could sell more if these products had "additional" uses. Then I went home and to sleep. And here I am this morning with you. I don't know what I plan to do today but it will probably involve some more cleaning. I wish it would involve more painting. If it does---I'll take a picture this time. That was a dreamy looking angel.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Runway-Thin Ice

It's tough to pick the "best" skating dress from so much crap. At least last year they made great clothes. This stuff stinks. A cute little chicklet in BLACK???? Where's the mango, raspberry and lime? And sticking stuff from the wastebasket onto the rear end of the model? The models don't eat so they look THIN. They don't want their rear end to look like a stuffed chicken. Could Santino's model have looked more miserable?

I don't envy the judges--not much to work with here. Again, the better stuff walked off stage with Daniel and Nick. Nick got my vote. I hope Jay "auf wiedersehns" Santino next week.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Snowy Sunday

My husband is away on business with an additional day to spend with friends of ours in North Carolina so I've had five days on my own. I haven't been very productive in the "art" department but I did manage to clean up the storage room in the attic where I keep my silk florals, craft supplies, extra bedding, and just assorted "stuff". It was so jumbled up that you could not even walk in. Things just piled up. Now you can waltz in there. I'm very proud of myself. The picture has nothing to do with anything-- a journal page of fences.

Now I was hoping this picture would come up last. I call it "Fish Salad" and it is a combo of found objects. The background another David Walker "created fabric" and the fish from a Susan Carlson class. There needs to be more work on this but at least there is a plan in the works. It's amazing what happens when you clean up a room!!!!

If ever I would make an "altar" quilt--and I am very self-conscious about this type of thing. They seem like "copy" work. Can an altar quilt really be original? I have clipped out many magazine pictures of clock faces and eyes lately and I just love the paper heart in the palm of the hand. And who doesn't want to live their dreams? I'll just SEE if I have TIME.

Now here is a dream I would LOVE to see come true. The kitchen of my dreams. If I could go back in time and make a career decision (knowing what I know now) I would study to be a chef. I love the stainless steel of this pictured kitchen, the containers of tools, the chrome mixer, the hanging pans and the really cool sink stuff. My actual kitchen is very nice---all cherry cabinets, custom fit with nice appliances--the new ones in stainless, the older ones in reflective black. The kitchen came with the house when we bought it 14 years ago. There is even a cathedral ceiling and cooking altar. The range is encased in this altar like area. Very odd. It is SO not me! I have even drawn the plans for the remodel of this kitchen--with stainless steel or concrete counter tops and a Viking Range. The cooking altar would be GONE.

I'm actually a very good cook--I just don't cook very often. My husband doesn't have the same taste in food as I do. So I end up cooking the same things that we agree on--over and over. And that is so boring. When he's away I cook for myself or not. These five days I have not cooked at all. Reheated soup, pasta and made salads. Oh, and pizza from the road side shop--- not as good as mine but ready made.

I plan to do something arty with a full sheet of watercolor paper, gesso, paint and oil pastels today--in the kitchen on the island counter top. Before or after I shovel the snow off the driveway. Then I'll reheat some baked ziti and make a nice salad with balsamic vinegar and mixed "spring" greens and perhaps a nice glass of red wine. A very nice snowy Sunday.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Going Postal--My 2 cents

This used to be a failed workshop sample. David Walker. I chose the wrong fabric and a design that was too "picky" and ended up with something I didn't like. While cleaning my workroom, I found this again. And since my worktable (see the WOOD!) is clean I could actually do something. So I cut the sample up into postcards. Four inches by six inches. I used the extra to add details and then looked in the fabric wastebasket for new stuff to add. I covered the cards with my favorite red/orange tulle and then quilted them. Last night I added (not in this photo) some hand embroidery. Now I have to go back to DebR's site and look up the postcard instructions. I don't know what goes on the back.

Now to the "going postal" rant. The Post Office is the best example of a corporation with it's head in the sand and it's ass in the air. They keep charging more for stamps to cover the shortfall because people don't use the mail like they used to in years past. But does the Post Office notice and CHANGE? Oh, No! Just raise the price of stamps.

Bills are paid on line. Seniors drive to the supermarket and give them the bills to save on stamps. I have never understood why the supermarket wants to take care of the bills? Our library patrons hand deliver the Annual Fund donations when they check out books--to"save the stamp". How many Christmas (or Holiday) cards did you get this year. I got very few because most greetings came via the internet. It's even easy to send photos now.

You know what they should do? I'll tell you anyway. Cut the price of stamps to half. Stop delivering mail on Saturday. Raise the price they charge the catalogs. I don't know about you but 80% of the catalogs I get go straight into the trash can, without even a glance inside. So if it cost more to mail them--maybe they would STOP sending them.

Hire people who are even ruder than the ones they have now. That will cut down on walk in traffic. The electric company and everyone else should start sending the bills by email. Other than catalogs, the majority of my mail is bills. They don't have to come in the mail. So by eliminating most of the mail, we can begin eliminating the Post Office. The Post Office in Washington DC that is. That's where the problem exists. All that "administration". Don't be fooled. That extra 2 cents---they got a raise.

My Post Office employees aren't really pleased when customers come to the Post Office. They shuffle paper and refuse to make eye contact. When you ask for something, they say "just a minute" and disappear into the "back". Sometimes they return. I always ask to see all the "new" stamps before making a purchase. They love that. Today I'm going to stop in and ask for 2 cent stamps. They won't have any. Why would they?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Journal Pages

Mrs. Mel, DebR and now me. I have several half or three-quarters full books filled with scribbles, recipes, phone numbers, and last but never least-- drawings, and pasted in art pictures and a few collages. The one above is of a little house. I love making house quilts for people. Houses with huge flowers all around. Usually the house has one big door (welcome) and one window--over the door. Below the house are some flowers--my "signature" tulip on the right and some loopy lollipop flowers to the left.

When I saw Deborah's guardian angel in the latest QA, I wondered what an angel of mine would look like. Clocks (time is always an issue isn't it), flowers, leaves, dotted wings and a heart on the chest. I like the striped legs also and of course red shoes. I, like DebR, love red shoes. I have my red slippers on right now.

I borrowed a lovely book on Japanese decorative art from the library. Instead of quickly photocopying the items I liked, I decided to sketch them into my book. As you can see I found a number of things to like. Way over to the right are folded wish or dream requests. These folded strands hang down from temple roofs. As with anything Japanese, the appeal is in multiples of the same simple shape. One beautiful tan reed umbrella with a turquoise paper cap is nice but 8 of them? sublime. I copied out a few of the calligraphy symbols and checked the index to make sure they weren't "bad" things. I'd hate to add one to a quilt and have it say "poop" or something.

While clicking through the channels looking for something to watch, I came across the Travel channel and a lovely hotel on Nantucket. I noted all the things in the hotel decor that called out to me. Now I want to go there on vacation. In the spring or fall. After the tourists--oh, I would never want to be one of those--go home. Since I live in a place where tourists come in droves--oh, I am so very happy when "they" leave -- I know exactly when to book. The Hotel has complimentary breakfast, port and cheese in the afternoon, shuttles to Town and a lobster boat cruise. They even have complimentary movie rentals that come with a silver bowl of fresh popped popcorn. What do you think? $400 a night? $750 a night? $1000 a night?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Project Runway

Well, I got 4 out 0f 5. I thought Emmett and Chloe would have won because of the window art which was fabulous. The dress was second in my opinion. I'm happy for Daniel and Andrae-they worked well together and it showed in the great dress.

Zulema and Kara---what a mess--I think Zulema plays for the camera. Bossy, know it all. I'd love to see her teamed up with Santino. I'd pay to see that.

Santino and Nick. Does it get any better to have Santino standing on stage with the object of his disgust--Diana-- and know he is 4th to her 5th? I think not. Santino may have been saved tonight by the fact that the judges LIKE Nick. Also their dress was over designed and Diana didn't design at all. Too much entertainment!!! "It's just fashion"

Monday, January 09, 2006

Experiments With Ink

The little art group I belong to--just three of us--meet once a month and share the work we're doing and demo new techniques and materials. "B" likes to know about and try everything. Just in case she ever has a need for "something". "A" just wants to know how to use the stuff she already owns. No buying of any new supplies this year. I just love art supplies.

I purchased a set of six acrylic inks about a year ago and was not sure what to do with them but the colors were pretty and they came in cute little bottles so---I bought them. A&B wanted to know how to use ink. I had read in Gabrielle's blog that she had used ink so asked her a few questions--and experimented. The above piece was made with the--***please note that I have descriptive issues and I am trying to be a better communicator but it's still early days****--- suction top of the ink bottle. The dropper. ( also known as the sucky thing) I filled it with ink and drew circles on the fabric which was on top of a plastic bag. Ink is permanent when dry. I used the dark blue--too much dark blue. If I did this again I would dilute the ink with some water first. Then I added some orange ink. It mixed and spread while it dried. I used dry fabric and things may or may not be improved with damp fabric. Could also be squirted with a spray bottle of water. Salt could also be sprinkled over the wet parts. See...lots to learn here.

Later, after it dried, I ironed the fabric. Some of the orange wasn't dry and got on the iron. Then because it all looked so dull I got out my bleach pen and drew circles on the darkest spots and waited 5 minutes. There are faint bleached areas. I could redo the bleach and hope for a better result and I may yet do that.

This second piece of fabric was layered under the still wet first piece in hopes of soaking up the ink puddled on the plastic. It did and didn't do what I imagined. I then drew the grid lines over the piece with black ink. Using the dropper with less ink. It looked best when fresh and still wet. I thought the piece lacked definition. While stuffing things in the trash, I noticed the cling wrap cardboard tube. Interesting plastic end pieces. So I got some white paint and dabbed it on the ends of the tube and stamped over the surface with these odd white circles. I like what's happening. The second piece has more variation of color/light blue and dark blue ink, tones of orange ink mixing with blue and the black and white over the top.

I may stamp some white over the first piece and see what happens. I may not.

There's lots of discussion on creativity on the posts. Finding meaning in your work, expressing ideas and that sort of thing. Art is something I do. Intuitive. Not much in the way of expressing what actually happens while I work. That lack of being able to communicate verbally. Oddly enough, when I show my pieces--people leave me notes. They will tell me how the "meaning" of the piece moved them--and then they tell me of the meaning they saw in my work. What they find in my work amazes me. They actually describe feelings I know I have had while making the piece. They also put themselves into the work-describing how it makes them feel, what it makes them remember. The important point here--I never try to make the piece say anything. I just make things. And I never throw anything I have made away. I have bits and pieces of things made years ago that are finally ready to become something. You just never know.

I guess if I had any advice for people wanting to "make art", it's don't try so hard. Make what you like. Look at books, magazines. Tear out pages of things you like. Read books. Write down the words or ideas that make you think, smile, laugh or cry. You're like a stone, rolling over impressions and ideas. Sometimes things stick. Even to a rolling stone.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Me Me--Mine--Mine

Four Jobs I've Had
Stock Checker/Price Marker; Advertising Layout/Design for a local newspaper; Library Lending Desk ( my favorite so far); Sales and distribution for Sampler Publications

Four Movies I could watch over and over
Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Shakespeare in Love, Pride and Prejudice (new)

Four Places I've Lived
St Charles, Illinois: Fischbach-Kelkheim, Germany: Plantation, Florida: College Park, Georgia

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
Survivor (Kay calls LD and we talk through the whole thing), The Closer, Law and Order/CI, That's Clever (but it usually isn't)

Four Places I've Been on Vacation
Greece, Russia (Kiev just before Chernoble),Paris, London

Four Websites I Visit Everyday
HGTV-I want to win the dream house, Deborah's Journal and Red Show Rambling, Excite to read my horoscope

Four Favorite Foods
Right now: BBQ Chicken Nachos, Oriental Chicken Salad at Applebees, my own recipe pasta made with my own frozen cherry tomatoes, Blueberry pancakes

Four Places You'd Rather Be
When I'm at work/rather be home, always like to be on vacation in Georgia, I'm really very happy with where I am right now.

Four Album Can't Live Without
Soundtrack to "Sleepless in Seattle" Patsy Cline---gosh, I just don't listen to music all that much. Sorry!

Four People You'll Pass This On To: Now this one I have to think aabout cause as a new person-everyone I know has already done this.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

This Child Has Some Cleaning UP to Do!!!

You know how when you clean one small spot......The Hub said "You know if we move that bench in front of the window of your sewing room, we could move the sewing machine closer to the window for better light and you'd have more room on that side of your worktable." I was like running back and forth; trying to take a shower, watch a television program, get dressed and leave for work. Like this AAA battery operated handheld video game the kids had. "Falling Babies". These babies were falling from the sky and the Fireman (my projection) ran back and forth and tried to catch the babies. If he missed they hit the ground and splatted. Even back then, in the Caveman Era of video games--there was so much violence and death. I digress.

As I sprinted past the sewing room, glanced at the bench--said okay move it and made a grab for the Bernina and got it safely to the other side of the room. I said to the Hub--only move stuff here. Touch anything else and I go upstairs to your work shop and sort through your drill bits. And what a tale that is--for another time.

Later, I returned home to find my five dollar garage sale sewing cabinet 8 inches from the window. Next to it, and under the hinged apron, two small IKEA cabinets with drawers. The Hub, like a friendly car salesman, was showing me the "details". He had used double sided tape (!) to stick the legs of the wiggly table to one side of cabinet A and then more tape to stick cabinet A to cabinet B. Then he had taped a cut 2 by 4 to the underside of the apron so it was level--making a neat little covered shelf for "storage". Cabinet A had been in the room, but elsewhere, and cabinet B had been in the garage for a while. He hadn't cleaned it off. Men never do. The Hub had also installed the Bernina in said sewing cabinet and somehow got my light attached to the table. The wiggle was gone--only momentarily. Once I rev up the machine that table will wiggle again. I digress.

All the stuff from the bench was now piled up in the southwest corner of the room. The northeast corner was all perfect. Little table taped to cabinets, sewing machine, chair, light. Vaccumed carpet. Just there, no where else.

I started on the first wicker basket. Those organizer shows always mention storage containers like wicker boxes and baskets as "perfect places to use as storage". Lies! The first basket contained a mix of unfolded animal prints and batiks. I refolded and separated the batiks---I tried (in the past) mixing them in to the general fabric population in the closet--but it just didn't work out. So I keep them across the room. It's a texture/thread count issue. Then I folded and stacked the animal prints and piled them up on the back-up Bernina. I realized I needed big plastic bags. One labeled "Give to a New Quilter" and one labeled "Give to the Garbage Man". The next wicker basket contained "The Land of Blocks Begun But Never Enough To Make Anything And Now I Have Forgotten What I Was Making" All that went into the New Quilter bag. New quilters have so much positive vibe. They love UFO's. So did the cut strips, half square triangles and assorted fabrics I no longer even want in the house. The rest went in the Garbage Bag.

I got close enough to the bookcase to work on those wicker baskets. At one time I was in love with Crazy Quilting. I was going to make an Amelia Peabody Victorian Crazy Quilt. Nine blocks. A portrait of Amelia in the center, parasol over her head and belt of accruetrimond (phonetics is good) around her hips. Emerson would be in the upper right corner, sapphirine eyes flashing. Ramses in the upper left; Nefret lower left with some mention of Isis and I was trying to decide between Sethos and Abdullah for the lower right. But since Sethos looks so much like you know who, I chose Abdullah. The other blocks would have scenes from Egypt: pyramids, the Nile, mummies and of course "dead bodies". Elizabeth Peters, upon hearing of this wonderful quilt, would offer me a great quantity of money and I would never be hungry again. Oops, that's the Gone with The Wind Quilt. Also a Victorian Crazy Quilt except Scarlett is in the center square and Rhett, Ashley, Melanie and Mammy fill the corners. Lots of reds. Atlanta burning. I digress.

All the accruetrimond for crazy quilting called for my special two gallon Hefty ziplock bags (Target). One bag each for satins, velvets, silks, #5 Perle cottons, #8 perle cotton, Yarns for couching. All bags standing on end in the large flat wicker basket. Tucked along side--the old New York Times I use to stablize fabric when topstitching and the doctor's exam paper I ask for every time I visit the doctor--they only let me have 3 or 4 feet. Great as a stablizer. Buckram for ribbon flowers. My bead box. Really a fishing tackle box.

Next shelf. The wicker basket with the handle. Hefty two gallon bags filled with on going UFP's. The pink girl's quilt in case someone has a baby girl. The Macaws in applique. The Crow Quilt. The Road Trip Quilt. So many projects--so short an attention span.

Next shelf. My Longaberger basket filled with patterns I paid good money for and will NEVER use. My Mickey Mouse lightbox. The big bag filled with my Master Gardener textbooks and important garden related papers.

Next shelf. Buttons. Sorted by age and color. Old red buttons being my favorite. Thread. Maderia Polyneon being my favorite-especially the Neon colors. The neon lime green rocks.

And that's as far as I've gotten. I filled one huge garbage bag with garbage and one very large bag for the New Quilter. After breakfast---opps it's almost lunch time--I'll get right in there and work on the African stuff, the floral stuff and sort the stuff in the Sterlite bins once more before taking them up into the attic for long-term cold storage.

Aren't you happy you're not me? I still can't see the carpet in my room but the bookcase looks fine. The sewing table looks fine. I found about a dozen straight pins I could use.

In a completely different vein---several quilting friends have stated that in 2006 they are going to use what they already own and not purchase any more stuff. Is this going to affect the economy???? The end of civilization as we know it???? I love the hunt. Without the hunt for supplies--what is the meaning of life?