Tuesday, June 15, 2021

25 Years in the Making

Weeks before my 65th I sat wondering what type of celebration I wanted to attempt in this time of covid, and then through my friend and owner of Ephemera of Paducah, Kristin, the idea struck.

She had set in motion a gathering of vaccinated folks to help christen the reopening of the workshop space. It worked out so nicely and was so much fun, it struck me that this would be a way to bring some friends together for my birthday--- and it would give me the chance I had been waiting for for 25 years. I would finally pull out the hand blocks that were given to me for my 40th and make 'my birthday quilt'.

That old sketch was pulled out, updated and turned into a working plan. I created the special top section of the quilt top, designed a few cats (cause you have to have cats) and got to work on making all the different size hand blocks into one size so all could be stitched together, choosing red as my neutral (an entirely different tale).

Below is a series of photos of the whole experience, but take special note of the amazing friends that showed up to help me celebrate and who took everything in hand to create the full quilt top by the end of the day.

I used all the remaining hands on the back of the quilt and spent the time needed with that big ole quilt under the needle for quilting.

Thank you to friends from way back and newer friends from my life in Paducah for the help in making 'it sew' and making my 65th one for the books.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

100 Days of Doodling

Last year about this time I, like everyone else, was beginning the pandemic lifestyle changes. Like many artists I was not really feeling a call to create. The need to turn my brain to something other than pandemic news was there, but there was no creative fire being lit in any direction.

In order to keep muddling through I decided to just do a little doodle each day. I dug out some index cards, cut them in half, along with a variety of black markers and pens and set off.

In this way I doodled my way through spring and into early summer. These little drawings kept me going until I found my way into on-line workshops that sparked a bit of creative electricity.

I knew that something small could lead to something big, something to just keep a toe in the pond.

The collection of cards hangs in a prominent space, but it is wild to lay them all out and see where my mind went and how many marks could be conjured out of thin air.

As the year progressed I happily found inspiration in things big and small.

I'd love to see something that kept your creative energy flowing during our crazy time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Have you missed me?
Well, life has been like a spinning top
and I have been spinning around
trying to take it all in.

Will be trying to catch up a bit soon.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Which Came First

The destination cannot be described;
You will know very little until you get there;
You will journey blind.   T.S. Eliot

Creating art is a process. Working in a series seems to open up creativity streaming in from multiple directions. While there are parts considered foreground, and others that are background, it has become very apparent during the making of my “Little Metals” series that one can never tell which comes first.

When you start creating,
which come to you first?

The answer is "it depends," sometimes I find a beautiful embellishment that needs a wonderful background to set it off. Other times it is fun to sit down with a bunch of fabric and let it spontaneously create wonder-filled background quilt pieces that get my mind spinning up various shapes that may ‘be perfect’. Sometimes its a combination.
When working on the ‘Little Metals’ pieces I find myself working in both directions at once. I note shapes that come to mind in my sketchbook, but right alongside might be ideas and sketches for backgrounds that might be Fast-Piece Appliqued, painted, or improvisational pieced. All begging for some special copper enamel piece.

I am loving how this process of working in a series seems to work from either direction.

Are you thinking of working on a new series --- have you found some recent inspiration from a special color, mark making, stitching in a fun new way, or some other idea just spinning in your head?
When nothing seems to spin do you have things you do to kick start everything?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pulling The Little Metals Together

Well, I promised Thursday, but I was chilled awake at 4am. I headed out to the thermostat and knew I was in for a long day. As it turns out the furnace is out -- and will never come back for the part that needs replacing is no longer available. Never easy. Even getting a whole new one will take a week... a week of temps in the 20-30s.

That was yesterday, and I typing this in the warmth of my bedroom where there is a space heater. The cats are laying across the bed and we're only headed out for food or coffee for now.

This 1st batch of Little Metals Pieces were so much fun to create they needed a fun way to show them off. In the past I have stretched small quilts over frames to hand them, and like how the hang. For these I chose to make the stretcher frames just a bit larger than the quilts and use coordinated silk and batting as stretching bases. Once the bases was made I mounted the Little Metals Piece and finished off the back.

14 pieces were part of this 1st batch and all are now for sale.
Take a look at these small pieces... maybe you'll want to call one of them yours.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What Next?

...or how to incorporate all these 'little metals' into my textile work.

This has been a fun year full of mark-making, slow-stitching and now turning a wide corner with playing with metals... but, the love of silk and thread has a strong pull on my soul.

So with each group of 'little metals' I have turned to playing with fabric in ways to incorporate them or feature them in textiles. I some cases I have created specially designed canvases using Fast-Piece Applique.

 this combination became one of my favorites so far.
when using Fast-Piece Applique for these I use invisible thread and no couching... which was one of the many ways I showed in my last book.

These poppy pieces are now done and ready to prepare for hanging. Yes, this pieces are shown off in a different way and made ready for hanging in a special way as well -- (more on this tomorrow).

Besides using Fast-Piece Applique I have had a blast stitching up some great canvases using improvisational piecing which I show how to do in my first book-Dream Landscapes.
More on how these pieces are finished tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Disappearing Act

Hi All!
It is hard to believe that it is December already, and even harder to believe that I have not been sharing all that I have been up to since September. It has been hard at times over this period because I had injured my back and am only know getting relief.

It has also been a pretty creative time for me, too. Since last May I have been taking a few workshops relating to metal and resin work, and taking a college sculpture class at Paducah Art & Design.

The biggest change brought about by all this infusion of 'metal stuff' has been the building of a metals studio in my basement. There is plenty of room down there so back in July I had my trusted handyman Bob begin the transformation process by installing new lighting and separate circuits to handle my kiln.... yes, folks my kiln. The first thing discovered on putting up the lighting was just how much the floors needed to be swept.

With lighting up, clean up done the space was fitted out with an exhaust system and a new sink installed. Purchases made of enamels and equipment -- (a new close bond with the UPS guy) and the play began.

This is what the space looks like -- one side for enameling -- the other for metal working.

and, the pictures below are some of first pieces that I have made.

When I began this newest journey I had wanted to mix these in with my textiles. Tomorrow I will share a bit of what steps I have taking to mix it up with these 'little metal' pieces.