Saturday, December 31, 2011

New projects

I've had an idea in my head for awhile and have made some samples, this week I jumped in and started a big project. The first three images are of my samples. I'm collaging fabric onto batting, heavily stitching it, washing it and then putting a big circle of paint on top. The first picture is a close up of the white sample.

The next is the black sample.

This is the two samples, both are about 16" square.

My plan is to make a white background about 80" square. I've decided to do it in quarters and then before washing, stitch the quarters together. I'm working on the first quarter and have already gone thru about a thousand yards of thread, and I think it still needs more stitching. It's a good thing that Joann's has thread 50% off - I'm stocking up! This is part of what I'm currently stitching.

My other project will start January 9, but I'm getting everything together so I'll be ready. I'm going to be 65 on the 14th of March, so I'm doing an appliqued and/or embroidered circle for the 65 days leading up to my birthday. This is the start of my collection of materials to use.

I'll be cutting out squares in three different sizes, 9",6" and 3", and each day I will do a circle on one of the squares. Then at the end I will assemble them into a quilt. Today I was noticing my bead collection so I may be adding beads also. I'm only using materials that I already have and I plan on each circle being different. I also plan on posting each one here as I do them. So look forward to Sixty five days to 65.

I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new camera

This is the camera that I've been using for the past 5 years, daily for the past 2+ years.

It has been a wonderful camera, small so that I can carry it everywhere and until a few days before Christmas, very reliable. But it's getting a bit worn from being carried around all the time(the bottom left corner should read Stylus 740) and I wanted more zoom. So I asked for a new one for Christmas, one with more zoom but still small enough to carry around. My little Olympus must have sensed it was being replaced because a few days before Christmas it started taking psychedelic pictures.

While I loved the special effects I got - even my office looks good under a psychedelic influence, I really need a camera to take ordinary pictures. After I got my new one, the old one settled down and is now taking normal pictures. It even took a picture of it's replacement. Meet my new Nikon coolpix s9100.

It's still small enough to carry around and has lots of zoom - I'm in love. Santa did very well.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rubbing Plate Roundup

Earlier this year Shelley Stokes, purveyor of all things paintstik related, asked if anyone had an unusual use for rubbing plates. She was writing a book about using rubbing plates which are normally used with paintstiks to create rubbings on fabric. I've used rubbing plates to add texture to a screen full of thickened dye when I do deconstructive/breakdown screen printing. I did some samples for her, took a few pictures, wrote up how I did it and sent it off to her. She included it in the book along with several other very interesting techniques. There are twelve different techniques included in the book, some of the others uses are, texturing clay, foil applications, embossing metal, flexible acrylic sculptures gelatin prints and paper castings.

My copy of the book arrived a few days ago, along with some goodies that Shelly very generously provided to the contributors of the book. I spent an evening reading through all the different ways to use the rubbing plates and now I'm ready to play!
Shelley has a talent for writing and illustrating very clear directions. I always recommended her first book "Paintstiks on Fabric" when I was vending and doing demos, it was how I learned to use paintstiks. I highly recommend this book also, not because I'm a contributer, but because it shows so many great ways to use those rubbing plates that I have stacked up!

You can get the book here.

My wrist and shoulder are healing, I'm no longer wearing the brace, but still have to be careful of what I do. I did get my Christmas postcards made. I did a very simple wreath using a thermofax screen of circles, stitching and then an added stamp of a bow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A creative repurpose

I found out yesterday that I've also done a bit of muscle and ligament damage to my left shoulder when I fell. Apparently since I was walking very fast when I fell the velocity of the fall jammed my arm bone and shoulder causing the damage. I was given some exercises to do to regain full motion of the arm. One of the exercises uses a 5 lb. weight, I don't have any weights so went looking thru the house to find a substitute. The perfect substitute was in my studio on a windowsill.

I bought this iron at a yard sale a few years ago. The ball holds kerosine and there is a burner in the body of the iron to heat the sole plate. It's very rusted and unusable until now! The handle is easy for me to grip with the brace on my wrist and it weighs 4.75 lbs. , close enough for me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A slight bump in my plans

Thats my left wrist in that big black contraption. Yesterday I fell while taking my morning walk, tripping over the sidewalk in the dark. The wrist is not broken just bent, bruised, swollen and sprained. Luckily it was very cold out and I had on several layers of clothes to pad my fall. I was more concerned about my knee and right hand as I walked home, but knew I had a problem when I got home and couldn't open the door with my left hand. The rest of me is a bit sore today but okay.

I'm discovering all the things I can't do, like finish the fingerless gloves I was knitting for the texting teenagers on my Christmas list. Oh well, they may get them late. I have been able to do a bit of hand stitching and a whole lot of reading.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scrappy Christmas Quilt Top

The quilt top is all pieced, amazing how quickly it went together after sitting around for over a decade! Of course part of the reason it went together so fast is that sewing is my way of procrastinating. I will have a house full for Thanksgiving weekend and haven't started cleaning or baking or any of the stuff that really needs to be done. I guess I'd better start.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas blocks and more black & white

When I lived in Reno I was a member of the Truckee Meadows Quilt Guild and every Christmas we did a Christmas block exchange. I participated in the exchange from 1990 to 1999 and tucked the blocks away because I had no idea what to do with a bunch of miss matched blocks. I pulled them out this week and am in the process of putting them together. These are the nine blocks, all of them are 12" finished size.

These are parts that I have been making over the last couple of days to add to the blocks.

I have them about a third of the way done and I promise to show you what I've done with them real soon.

I'm also working on yet another black and white circle idea, this one has a pieced and quilted white background that I then squirted paint on. Here's a peek at it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quilting, knitting and sewing

It's been a few weeks since I've posted so I thought I'd give you a peek at what I've been doing.

Adding hand stitches to a quilted piece

Working on my sweater, that's sleeve #1 almost finished on the needles. the back and front are done.

I've cut up, rearranged, and sewn together several of the mono printed circles I did in March 2010.

And made a dozen gift card wallets for Christmas.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn leaves, red and some stitching

I really like the changing of the seasons, especially autumn leaves. I pick up leaves on my daily walks and put them in a large book to press them. After they're flat I photo copy them, on paper usually but sometimes also on to fabric. I never use them, just keep them. Here are some from this mornings walk.

This one I picked up because of the wonderful patterning.

Generally it's color that attracts me, especially red. We don't have quite the color of a New England autumn, but we have our fair share of trees that put on a show for me.

Speaking of red, Kathy Loomis and I are doing another photo collaboration for the next 2 weeks. This week the theme was my choice and I chose red. You can check out our pictures all week here and here.

I've also been stitching up more white pieces and dyeing them - here's a couple of the latest ones.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fiber and dye experiment

I've been playing with some ideas that involve stitching different fibers and fabrics and then dyeing them with a dye color that I know will split and dye each type of fiber a different color. I also wanted some texture so most of the fabrics were not pre-washed before stitching. I stitched various pieces of silk, cotton and rayon fabrics to cotton batting with both cotton and silk threads, everything was white or off white to start with.

I dyed the piece with golden brown dye (Dharma's #113 procion mx) that I knew would look much redder on the silk. Here's the results. I'm not sure where this experimenting will lead, but I'm quite pleased with the results.

I also finished up the t-shirt quilt for my grand daughter and will be delivering it soon. Don has baked a batch of cookies so he'll have something to deliver also.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where have I been???

It has come to my attention that it's been almost a month since I've posted. While I have been busy, I haven't been that busy. Shortly after my last post in August we took a trip to Tacoma with some friends and we stayed at my sons house. The purpose of the trip was to go to the Pacific West Quilt Show (at least it was for the female members of the group). We spent most of an afternoon there and enjoyed wondering around looking at the quilts and vendors. The guys spent the day on a charter boat fishing in the sound. While there we also went to the Tacoma Art museum and the Glass Museum. Here's a couple of pictures that were taken on the Chihuly bridge, a pedestrian bridge that goes over the freeway to the Glass museum.

A few days after returning home from Tacoma we left on another trip, this time to visit friends in Montana. We had a great time relaxing on the ranch and the drives to and from were spectacular. The only down side was the forest fires in the area. In the photo below there is another mountain range lurking behind that veil of smoke.

Since returning from that trip, I put together a slide presentation and talk for the Boise Basin Quilters. I was their guest speaker last Thursday evening. My new presentation is called "From White to Wow", and I show step by step how I dye and print some of my fabric.

My other project has been assembling a t-shirt quilt for a grand daughter who has gone off to college and left a bag of t-shirts from her high school sports activities in a garbage bag marked Grandma Linda. It's ready to be quilted and when finished I'll have to take another trip to deliver it!

The pieces that I last showed on my design wall have been taken down and tucked away. Now I have this pile of silk on my table and have been playing with several different ideas to use them in an abstract fall themed quilt.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A peek at my designs wall

I'm getting ready to take a little trip and this is what I left in Studio A (the sewing studio) on the design wall.

On the left is a piece that I think may be about ready for quilting, I've been working on it off and on for awhile. The center pieced part is made of scraps of my first years worth of hand dyeing fabrics, from the early 90's, I couldn't part with them and so finally used them. The other two pieces I dyed this week with some leftover dyes just to use them up. I like both of these pieces but have no idea what I'll do with them, something for me to think about while I'm gone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Idaho Senior Games

On Saturday my friend Barbara Huck and I went to Boise and participated in the 5k walk at the Idaho Senior Games. I came in first place overall!!! and won a $25 gift card to a running store. We both got gold medals for being first in our age groups, here we are showing off our medals.

That's Barb on the left and me on the right. We plan on doing this every year and since I'm 5 years older we will always be in different age categories. We were both very inspired by the competitors in the 80 -84 age group. Afterward we celebrated by first going to a Quilt shop and then out to lunch. After lunch we met up with Barb's husband Bill, and they went on to compete in the Table Tennis Tournament and they both won medals!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Garden bounty

I love summer's fresh vegetables and fruit! This is what my garden gave me this morning.

Yesterday a neighbor gave us a dozen ears of fresh corn and a huge bunch of freshly pulled onions and a friend shared blackberries and freshly caught brook trout. I love it all!!

I've been busy in the studio, but don't have much to show. I've made and quilted six small quilts that I've donated to Project Linus and St. Lukes Childrens Cancer Center. I have two more to quilt. The pile below is the six finished quilts, one waiting to be quilted and a quilt on the bottom that needs repair.

Last week I taught a very fun creative group of women my method of pole wrapped shibori,a few other resist techniques and some dye painting. Unfortunately my camera was in the house and I never took a picture!

At the same time as the class in the backyard studio, the house was having central air installed and insulation being put in. We have a house that was built in stages, the first part around 1904, the last part 1940 and then various updates and changes since then. Since we bought the house in 2005 we've replaced all the windows(23 of them), remodeled the kitchen,and done various cosmetic changes. This summer when we went to start up the old swamp cooler it was obvious that it wasn't going to last much longer, so we figured it was a good time to install central air. While the air system was being installed we discovered that some areas of the house had no insulation at all, therefore we had insulation installed. Now with the new ductwork for the air on the second floor we will also have heat in all four bedrooms! Winter will be much warmer and summer is now pretty cool.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Last week I drove over to Salem, OR and spent a wonderful three days learning about encaustics. I don't even know how to start explaining all that I experienced and learned. Fortunately others have written about it much more eloquently than I can. Start off by going to Trish Baldwin's blog, Trish organized this whole experience and did a fabulous job. Also check out Roxane's blog and Jess's blog

My first class was with Michelle Belto, who taught us how to use encaustics with handmade paper. Many years ago I use to make paper so I was very excited about this class. We spent the morning making paper,then in the afternoon used paper that Michelle had prepared for us ahead of time and started applying wax and color, also torching it. Here are two of the pieces I did in that class.

The next day was making a book of images using encaustic taught by Bridgette Guerzon Mills. As I learned to transfer my images(all from my photos or drawings) to the encaustic medium my head just started swimming with ideas. I have thousands of photographs and this is the first process that really felt like the right way to use some of them. This is the accordian folded book that I made.

The last day was the class with Trish Baldwin, oh my, oh my!!! We played not only with the wax but with tar, plaster, pan pastels, stencils, torches, heat guns, oils and probably a few things I've forgotten. I loved this class!! The picture below was taken during class of some of what I had worked on that day. Most were just samples so I could try them and then remember them.

This is my favorite piece from the three days. It's a cradled wood panel with plaster which was allowed to dry, then the piece was torched so that the uncovered wood would burn, then I added multiple layers of wax and color.

I came home wanting to change one end of Studio B into an encaustic studio, but it will have to wait at least until after next Wednesday because I'm teaching a dye class and we are going to need all the space.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Joy in the garden

I made a little banner to hang on the fence in my garden area that simply says "joy". That's what my backyard and garden bring me daily.

This is today's harvest, or at least what made it inside the house. Grazing in the garden is one of my favorite things and it's even healthy eating!

I have done some playing in the studio; some deconstructive/breakdown screen printing.

Mostly I've just been enjoying the wonderful weather, going to the pool for water aerobics, and just put-zing around, which brings me joy also.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

1st Place and a rejection

My "Autumn Leaf" quilt (aka, the big leaf) came home from the NQA show yesterday with a great big 1st place art/innovative ribbon on it!!! I was very pleased, especially since I had gotten an e-mail earlier in the week telling me that it had not been accepted in the Pacific West Quilt show. So that's 2 rejections and a 1st place for the same quilt.

I've been MIA from the studio for the past 2 weeks, last week because we were having a wonderful time with all my kids and grandkids and this week I've been volunteering at the annual fiddle festival. I'm ready to get back into the studio, I have a few ideas percolating and I'm ready to jump in.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A new jacket

Earlier this week I decided I needed a new light weight jacket to take with me on a trip this coming week. So I knew I had a 3 + yard piece of rayon already soda ash soaked, ready for dye. My print paste was rather runny, so my first step was to mix some with teal dye, put it into a syringe and squirt it over the fabric.

The next day I thickened up the print paste, mixed up some aquamarine and chartreuse and started printing.

The finished fabric.

The finished jacket( I won't be wearing it with my black t-shirt and pink jeans).