Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My new blog address is
Please bookmark it, so we can keep in touch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

There will soon be a change in my blog. I'll have a new blog address. When it is set up, I'll post a link here, and ask you to bookmark it, so we don't lose touch.
This change has been a long time coming, and it will take me a while to get to know all the different ways to use the site. I should be able to post with my mobile phone, so can show you cool things I see. And in time I'll offer things for sale too. Since I have quite a number of art quilts, jewelry, mosaics, and felt bags, there will be a variety.
My techies, (kids), have assured me this will be easy to do. Please be patient while I learn a foreign language as quickly as I can :^)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hello, I hope you are having a great day. I'm a little warm, but otherwise good. But my website is having a problem. The service I use to route traffic to the website is not functioning. So, I am posting this link to allow you to look at the website until we get a different routing service.
Please go take a look at my website. If this will not work for you, let me know. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

 As long as we're here, I'll show you what else I've been doing. While waiting for a friend to come over, I recycled a bit of hardware cloth into a doll. She has a pendulum inside, from my sisters' beads, and a button corsage. Her head was supposed to be polymer clay, but the clay I bought was too old and crumbled. So I used a wine cork. Her name is Stella Luna. She holds a key flattened by the train.
And I painted another wood quilt block for the fence. It is 2 feet square, like the other ones. This block is Broken Dishes. I have one more block ready to paint, if I get to it this summer.
These hang with screw eyes, and will be taken in for winter.
 Another new book, Brownies. This one is obviously a box, with gold duct tape on the edges. In person, the tape is very shiny and reflective.
The paper in this book is paste paper I made last year . I did some with wallpaper paste, paint and combing. And the more crinkled paper is made with gel medium and paint. Both are brown paper bags, recycled. The heavier texture is a grocery bag, the thinner, lighter ones are flat paper bags, like lunch bags.
This is all stuff that was lying around the house, waiting for inspiration. I don't know how well regular pens will show on this paper, or the previous book I made. But I think gel pens, especially white, will show up well. Or Sharpies are another option.
 Regardless of how I rant about having too much stuff, I made more books. I did not buy anything, just used stuff I had. So I think this reduces clutter a little, by collecting it in a project.
First, the cover is made from a piece of canvas I painted last year at the Summer Extravaganza. It was just a scrap I slopped paint onto.
 The paper inside is part of a stack I bought for a class I was teaching at Art Salad.
The beads and buttons were given to me as part of my sisters' things, after her death. The beads say FUN.
I had enough of all these things to make 2 books, so I gave half to Nancy Miller to make her own book. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project.
Does this count as stash reduction?

Friday, August 17, 2012

My sister and her husband are moving. She sold her house in 5 days! And they held a monster sale and unloaded 75% of their furnishings. She'll be renting until they buy a home in Florida. While I am very happy for them, I'll miss them a lot. They lived 5 hours away by car. Not close, but easily drivable. Now they'll be an overnight drive away.
Talking with her has reminded me of all the things I own, and do not need. The last few years, I've tried to clear away a lot of my accumulations. When my basement got rain in the windows a year ago, I cleared out 20 boxes of things from the basement. And having a studio tour here this Spring made me get rid of  some more. I have given a lot of the usable things to charity, and passed on some art stuff to other artists.
But we all have collected way more than is reasonable. And I, more than most. On the desktop I'm using now, there is only space for the computer, the rest is stacks. I am setting myself a goal of refining the desk piles I have, reducing it to only beautiful, useful, or things that make me smile. Right now I have things that belonged to my sister that passed away 2 years ago, sorted into piles to send to family members, all around this room. None is valuable, except for memory. I will use September to send off these stacks. There are 6 stacks. It's a beginning.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It seems I have a few free days to work on projects. I want to make some journals (again), using lovely scrapbooking paper for the pages. I have a book of 2 sided paper that I would so enjoy using. I pulled out the boxes of stuff I'll need. It took 2 trips up the steps with heavy loads.
While looking for things I came across some journals I made several years ago, and am delighted I still like them. And I have ideas to use in the new books. And speaking of books, I also got out 3 books on art journals, which have resided in my collection for a few years. I really don't remember what's in them, so this will be like having new books! Yahoo!
The new journals will be less scrappy looking than the last few I made. I hope.
 So that you don't get bored, I am including pix of some things I made too.
This is a weaving on a cardboard loom. It's almost done. I have to learn how to take it off this loom soon.

These are fused glass dishes. I am teaching a class at 212 Arts to make them this Fall. They are about 3+1/2" - 4".
 This is a fabric bracelet. These are very fun to make. And they are easy. This is also a class this Fall at 212 Arts. Every one is unique. You can make many different styles.

And I have some time to finish an art quilt for the Above and Below show, which will be hung for the months of September and October at Two Twelve Arts Center. Please think positive thoughts, and send them my way. This is the project I have brain freeze on. I have made several false starts. Now, with a new perspective, from my daughter Jen, I will try once again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our basement has had a small flood this week. The water heater valve sprung a leak. While that is easily fixed, the tiny unnoticed spray of water swamped the carpet in an adjacent room. That's the room all my paper arts supplies are stored.
Only 1 shelving unit had to be unloaded and moved, and all my things were off the floor anyway. But the wet carpet and resulting humidity may cause mold. We frantically sucked up water with the carpet cleaner, and got at least 15 gallons up that way.There are 2 fans running, and a dehumidifier, which has pulled another 5 or 6 gallons from the air since last night. And there is a fan running in the room with the water heater too.
Mind you, a tiny stream of water, like a pinhole in a balloon was all that caused this. It must have been spraying since at least last Thursday, when I thought I heard the sump running.
And that brings me to this picture. All is disarranged down there now. I have been trying to find a sketch of boots to show a friend. I made the sketch when Karen was in college, and I went with her to drawing class. I've kept it, because I don't expect to ever make such a fine sketch again. It isn't very good, but my best. Digging through the piles I can reach did not show it. But I found this.
This is a tracing of my granddaughter, Mary, at 8 months old. I wanted to make her some sunsuits, and needed her size. I call this her Dance Fever pose. There you go, Jackie, the best I can find.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brain Freeze?

Do you ever have a mental block about a project? Sometimes I am very creative, and interested in doing all kinds of things. But give me an assignment, and a curtain falls before my brain. I can think of 50 things I want to do instead. And there are at least as many things I should do before I start. Why is this?
It isn't a new phenomenon. My sisters joke that they should never ask me to make something, but take what I offer them quickly. They know about the difficulty I have when I must do anything, even if it's something I want to make. It feels like my mind has already played with that idea, and it wants to go in a different direction.
Since I have had a certain assignment, I have made 3 little Fragments quilts, 6 rock mosaics, 5 small purses, 6 collaged books, 4 fused glass dishes, a weaving, numerous small sketches, 1 quilt which I adapted to fit the assignment, and 2 starts on the assignment, which I then chose to make not according to directions.
I choose to call this Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I know that is a real diagnosis certain other people suffer from. I suspect it may be behind my feelings of " You can't make me" whenever I am told to follow the rules. It would be nice to benefit from the many fine associations and opportunities that would be available to me, if I could toe the line. But I get a feeling of having to catch my breath, and step away when faced with rules or an authority figure. I have an urge to slip out of the room, become invisible.
So, if you want me to make something, don't ask me to do it, or I never will. And if I made something you like, just like it as it is. Because I might make variations of it, but not if you ask me to.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fragments- part 2

 A few weeks ago, I decided to make paper collages. That was part 1, which I did not blog.
 I cut them into 9 pieces, and used the pieces as guides for little abstract quilts. On most of the fragments, I drew pencil lines. Here you see the paper fragments, with the resulting quilts.
 I chose a group of fabrics to represent my paper colors, and used them in all the quilts. I did not exactly replicate the colors, but chose some based on the visual texture.
I am happy with the results of this project. Next, I plan to make paintings, based on the quilts. I want to use actual textures and partially blended colors.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Take a look at this. Thoughts With Thread. It's a fiber art exhibit at the Northville Art House. It is filled with wonderful eye candy made by very talented fiber artists. The show runs August 3-25. The Art House is open Wed. - Sat. from 1 to 5 p.m.
 It is a lovely place, and has a great gift shop too. I have 2 pieces in the show, which you may have seen. But the other artists will change your concept of what fiber art can be. It's educational, and entertaining. And I just know you can find a good place to have lunch nearby.

Monday, August 6, 2012

 This is the group that went to Nancy's Palace of the Sun and Moon. Of course, one stop was made at the Country Cone Shop aka Mooneys.
 We made some quilts, and burned them! It was great fun. We used both a woodburner and a heat gun to get delicious results.
Not shown are the wonderful soaps, and sugar scrub we made. And the paraffin dip we did on our hands.
We also made very artsy books, and did creativity exercises.
We watched the sun rise, and the moon rise. And documented it all in more than 400 pictures. We stayed up late, and slept until 8 or 9 or almost 10.
We swam, walked the beach, hunted for Petoskey stones, shopped Richards' Pharmacy, the great all-in-one store for art supplies. Also stopped in at Fabric Fair in Bay City, Bittersweet Quilt Shop in Pinconning, and Hollyhock Quilt Shop in Harrisville.
 One of the many wonderful meals we made, Bruschetta with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, basil, and fresh mozzarella. We also had grilled marinated veggies, and grilled eggplant, followed by fresh cherries.
This is how sad we were to leave at the end of our intensive art camp.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

 After we hunted for wild faces, we found some that are camouflaged right in our home.

 Some of the stumps have new dentures.

 This one grabbed some food.

 There are a lot of tree stumps in the wild.

 My grandson and I went on a hunt for faces in the wild. Here are some we found.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A doorstop mosaic rock. This one has a frog, in water. I'll be doing a class on this in the Fall.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

 Red Rose book, for a gardening friend, Deb. I used a napkin that I had wiped my paintbrush on, to cover the box. But first I put a layer of gold tissue all over it.
 Back and front. It says "The future is bought with the present."

Be sure to zoom in on the words, wisdom cut from magazine pages.
The cat says Meow. The orange writing says "this book belongs to Deb, and she wants it back!".
The vegetable paper covering the inside is a little bag from a  local store.

Monday, July 23, 2012

 Electric Motor book! Why not?
While cleaning the cottage, a virtuous act, I came upon this box. It once housed a motor kit, made by a grandson. Since it was nearly empty, and had been for a couple summers, I repurposed the box. When you do good things, you get the reward, a cool box to play with. Remember how your kids play with the boxes on Christmas?
Since it's such a masculine idea, (motor), I decided to equalize things a bit, and added butterflies on the first page and inside cover. Now I want to go out and collect all the cool patterned napkins I can find, it went on so nicely.

Next week I get to play with my peeps for 3 days, and make stuff. I must have done something else virtuous.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

 This book is White Rabbit. It is made from plastic grocery bags ironed together, in a stack of about 5. I pressed them, trimmed and folded edges, and pressed again. The cover says White Rabbit, and Curiouser. It has 2 heart charms sewn on the front, and a heart embroidered on the back.
 This page is the reason for the name. It refers to an art quilt challenge I am entering.
You can see I folded up the bottom edge, to make a pocket, and to fit my pages.
Below is an inside page. I colorwashed the paper, and collaged torn bits of wrapping paper, patterns, and maps on them. Then I whitewashed them, enough to be able to write.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

 Hello! I am back from vacation. Too bad it had to end. While there, I made several books. This one is for me. I used a Special K granola box as my cover. I stamped, stenciled, painted and drew on it. Also, I stuck down a paper doily, and a couple stickers with gel medium.
 This is the front and back covers. I carved my own stamps and used them on this, thanks to Leann, of the blog Leanderthal.
 This is the inside front. It says "Ready, set, Smile. Being a clown is hilarious, love it! make smiles from everything you know. Switch off time! You'll love giving your little artist muscle a sense of balance, 'cause the fun stuff just can't wait."
All the wisdom I gathered from cutting words from magazines.
 This is inside the first page. There is a Lady of Guadalupe, my favorite icon. And I used an antique wrapper from Rick Rack. Around it I wrote,"A reliable product. I have used my own personal Rick for many years, and he has performed admirably in almost all circumstances and conditions." (Rick is my sweetie of 45 years.")
More stamps I carved, and one my grandson did. And a cute little skull from a paper napkin.
My book also has tabs. One says Samuel Johnson, the next Road Trip, then a Gala color paint chip, and a couple strips cut from a watercolor painting.
This book project was the first, and you know I never make just one.
More tomorrow.
p.s. Remind me to show you my abstracts too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just got back from Art Camp. Five of my grandkids came to our cottage, and we did a lot of fun things. Mary and Beckie taught us to make Pysanky Eggs, a Ukranian traditional art. First you draw lines on the egg with melted wax. Then you dye the lightest color, yellow. Then you draw some more, and dye orange. Repeat with turquoise, then red. The final dye is black.
Then you use a little tool to blow out the egg contents, and rinse with vinegar water.
It was our first try, and we are very happy with the results.
I think we'll make this a family tradition, three generations of Pysanky artists.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

 I'm going to show you my day yesterday. I went to Deb's house. First we painted newspapers. We left them to dry....
and we worked on some stacked, layered, velvet, felt, organza pieces. We piled them up, quilted them with designs, and burned away the parts we didn't want. This made the yellow felt look like Colby cheese. It was a fun experiment. The only cotton thread I had was gray, black would look better. Mine is the yellow one, Debs' is black, red and gray.
 Then we stacked the newspapers, with layers of organza, a map, and some magazine papers. We quilted channels all over them.
 Miss Bibbs, the cat, watched us manipulate the trash. She understands the impulse.
 After sewing, the channels have to be cut open. This was VERY HARD. My hands were limp puppies from the effort. I had 15 layers to cut through, without cutting the felt on the back.
 Deb found it hard going too. She used scissors on the whole thing.
This is her finished piece. She used paper as the top layer.

This is my finished piece. I used organza as the top layer. I will distress it more, as soon as I get a wire brush.

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