Saturday, April 30, 2011

Maple leaf finished

"Maple Leaf" is done and ready to be turned in for the Art Guilds raffle. The picture not the greatest because it is leaning against a wall and I took the picture from an angle. Unfortunately I have no where to hang it to get a good picture ( I don't want to put a nail thru my design wall).

It has been mounted on a frame and finished on the back as though it had been professionally framed. This is a side view, you can see how the facing wraps around the frame.

I'll hand it over to the Art Guild at the meeting on Thursday, I think ticket sales start in June during the Fiddle Festival. The drawing for the winner will take place in November.

In my efforts to try and organize some of my stuff I pulled out a bag full of paper towels that I've used to mop up dye.

I love some of these but have never found a way to use them. So I tried a sample of one fused to a piece of muslin, backed with flannel and the stitched with pearl cotton.

I'm rather liking the way it looks and it seems to hold up well with the stitching. This sample will probably be made into a postcard and mailed to a young friend of mine.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Playing with Encaustic

I've been curious about Encaustic work for a few years and I'm finally doing something about it. I had several Encaustic books and dvd's listed on my Amazon wish list and between Christmas and my birthday I got them all! I bought a small package of encaustic medium from Dharma Trading company, some small (6 x 6) support boards and made do with items already in the studio, the heat gun and hot pot. I approached it as a way of doing a collage and gathered "stuff" I thought I might use. Below are the two pieces I did. The one on the left needs more of something, but I think the right hand one is done.

After playing I realized that I probably really need a bit more hands on guidance and lots of practice. A few days later while bouncing around checking out blogs I found a link for an Encaustic camp; I'm now signed up and ready to go! It's July 13 - 17 in the Portland ,OR area. It's a good six hour drive, maybe a bit more from here in Idaho. I'm excited!!

I haven't done any quilting lately, but I did make a doll for my youngest Granddaughter. She will be two next week.

Still very cool here, several morning well below freezing, so getting a garden planted has been on hold. I'm so ready to get something in the ground. My tulips are just now starting to open so it's looking like spring.

I'm off to lunch with some creative friends today - so I know it will be a good day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is it Spring yet?

This morning when I went out for my walk it was 26 degrees, I'm so ready for a bit warmer weather. Actually it has been in the high 50's during the day and we have had some fairly nice days to get out and about. Over the weekend we took a long drive up Brownlee Reservoir on the Idaho side and back home down the Oregon side. Saw some beautiful scenery and took photos from the passengers side.

Yesterday we went out with friends to a "secret" spot along the Snake River to pick wild asparagus. There's not much ready yet but we did pick enough for a few meals. It's one of my favorite flavors of spring.

I did pull a few books out of the bookcase last week, gave a few to a friend, have some more ready to be donated and still have way to many in the bookcase. I decided that it was more fun to go thru fabric scraps and use them, so that's what I did. I made one top that eventually I'll quilt and donate, probably to Project Linus or a local group that collects quilts for children with cancer.

This one was made from leftovers of a quilt that I donated last year to a local breast cancer fundraiser. The yellow fabric is a piece of antique drapery sample that I've had for many years. Feels good to finally use it.

I'm doing some hand stitching around the piecing on this one.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Leaf skeleton

I have this fascination with leaves, almost as serious as the one I have with circles. Last week I found a leaf skeleton while walking and have been taking pictures of it ever since. It's a rather large leaf, the picture below shows it on a piece of copy paper and it pretty much fills the page.

I've pressed it between books trying to get it really flat. I want to get some really good pictures of the leaf structure or veining, but because it is so delicate and won't lie completely flat I get shadowing. I've also tried to photocopy it an have the same problem. The shot below was a close up that I then cropped, so it is magnified quite a bit.

I would like to enlarge the image a lot more and make some thermofax screens, but I need a cleared,darker image for it to work well. I suppose I could sit down and draw what I see, but I'd rather have a good copy of the real thing. I'm open to any suggestions.

Of course part of the reason I'm obsessing over the leaf is that it is a great way to avoid what I really need to do; clean up my reading corner of the studio! At least find a place for the stack of books on the storage chest. There are many books in there that I know I'll never use again but I'm having trouble parting with them. I thought it might be good to donate them to the local library so that if I did want to read one again it would be available. Doesn't work that way at our library - any books donated end up in the annual library sale and get sold for about 50 cents each. There's also another bookcase out in Studio B, it's filled with books pertaining to surface deign.

There's also a used book store in town, the owner has an interesting payment arrangement. You get credit for books that you bring in to use on ones you purchase, but it's only a certain percentage of the cost. I've never quite figured it out and have never been able to use up the "credits" I have. So I think my plan may be to go thru what I have and offer them for sale here on the blog, see if anyone is even interested in what I have. That means I have to stop playing with my leaf and get that corner organized!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The big leaf quilt(actually titled Autumn Leaf) has been accepted at the Denver National Quilt Festival, which is at the same time as the AQS show the end of this month. Then in June it will be going to the NQA show in Columbus ,OH.

I've finished quilting the not so big leaf and now have to get the facing on it so that I can mount it on stretcher bars. The art guild needs it by June to start selling raffle tickets during Fiddle week. The actual ticket drawing will be in November.

Then yesterday I felt the need to do something entirely different. I have several bundles of odd pieces of fabrics that I've put aside for such occasions. I used a group of silks yesterday and pieced them together in a rather freeform manner, then quilted it this morning. It's about 14" x 16".

I've finished the back of the sweater I'm knitting and started the front last night, but at the rate I'm knitting it will be ready for next winter.