Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Please visit me at my new blog here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We went to the county fair.
The birds and the beasts were there.
The fastest Hollywood Pigs. . .
the smallest horse. . .
the tallest giraffe . . .
the quickest tongue. . .
the bravest high-wire artist.

But my favorite was in the 4-H building where we had the pleasure of watching the loveliest 5th grader present demonstration on making a south western snack dip. She was serious and determined standing before the judges panel. My heart went out to her at blip and bump that she encountered but oh my goodness, she just kept on keeping on ...... a real little trouper. And how I hope the judges were kind in there marking of her work in organization and presentation.

In the crafts building, I was wowed by some beautiful quilts and quilted things. A colleague of mine at school entered a lovely country-styled christmas tree skirt in tans and browns embellished with yo-yos and buttons.

In the end, I did not enter my quilts but chose instead to enter my concertina fabric book made with African fabrics. Happily, it took a second place ribbon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Of Quilts, County Fairs, and Hippy Wanna-Be's
I have never exhibited a quilt (or anything else) at a county fair.
But I always wanted to.

This summer I began thinking that it was time to have a go.
I mean, if not now, when?
So tomorrow, I am bringing two quilts to the Rochester County Fair which runs from September 12 until September 21. One is the quilt above called, Churn Dash with an Attitude. Each element was hand-drawn and hand-pieced; it is bed-sized. And was machine quilted.
There is a nice story behind this quilt, I think. A number of years ago I took a week-end quilt class with Diane Hire. It was a technique class, learning to draft and hand-piece. I was intriqued as I had only done machine-piecing until then. Diane learned these old techniques from her Kentucky grandmother with whom she stayed one summer.

The class was to make one Churn Dash block. I loved the slow, patient drawing, cutting and sewing and so I just kept on making blocks. Every where I went, I carried these little plastic baggies with parts of blocks in them. This quilt took several years and was worked on in quite a few states, on business trips, on family vacations, in cars and on planes.

I am also taking the wallhanging above which is based on a children's book called the Egg Lady about a ditsy, hippy-wanna-be woman named Mrs. Penntwort whose chickens lay eggs that look like everything the chicken looks at: the sun, the clouds, a Picasso and lots more. Obviously, Mrs. Pennywort and her colorful chickens become the hit of the town.

And that is the beginning of the story.

And this is Mrs. Pennywort.

You can see that I have taken broad artistic license with the poultry!

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

....... from my first altered book .......

This is the cover from my first altered book. I experienced a lot of difficulty with the text block and had to sacrifice the work that went into the project. The learnings and take-aways from this project were many......among them:

1) be patient and let the project evolve;
2) be certain the text block and binding on an old book is sufficiently intact and strong enough to withstand the glue, paint, and embellishments;
3) embellish the inside cover pages -both front and back- LAST....... there will be so many more options for covering and embellishing the completed work.

Most of my work did make it into the new book but I have never figured out what to do with the cover....which I like very much.

The little squares decorating the cover are pieces of glued and painted antique lace, a fun project that produces an entirely new material. The background is home dec fabric, rather silky. And I like the framed face of the woman.....she is somehow restricted by the frame and yet her large expressive eyes are so open and curious they suggest freedom.

This page too was sacrificed.

The background is layers of paint printed with bubblewrap.

Over top of the background is painted card.

The focal points are the word 'faith' ---- a commercial piece that I cut and glued.

The little square beneath is made of fabric and fibers with a tight satin stitch border which is glued to the card beneath.

I was really sorry to lose this page.......

And think it can stand alone but I haven't put the time into figuring out how to display it......

This is my TS Eliot page based on Prufrock.

In addition to paint and paper and glue, it is embellished with sea glass, beads, fibers and more.

I am open to ideas about how to display these orphans and would welcome any suggestions.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pages from an unfinished altered book

This page started with leaves I printed onto fcotton fabric and embellished with
thread work,
rick rack and fibers
flowers and ephemera.

My images, my inspiration is almost always women.

This page is based on a Virgina Woolf quote,

"One is not born a woman
but rather becomes a woman."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This year I joined a couple of Yahoo groups, altered books (AB) first, and then clothpaperstudio (CPS). Both are populated by warm and friendly, talented and generous individuals whose work is inspiring. I've been a 'lurker' for most of the time I've been a member on both groups but just this summer I decided to participate in the 'themed swaps' on CPS. The current swap has a simple theme: PINK. This evening I rummaged through my stash to assemble some nifty items to mail on Monday.
I chose a silk blank (hand-dyed with cochineal);
a commercial garden print in pink-orange tones;
pink and pink & white ribbons;
an array of papers of various weights - solids, prints, florals, stripes, and borders; victorian, post-modern and atomic patterns;
some ephemera and found items in shades of pink.
In June, my family celebrated my Mom's 85th birthday with a surprise party and family dinner at the Old Mill in Westminster, Massachusetts. My 5 siblings; their spouses and children and even great-grandchildren brought the party to nearly 30 strong and ranged in ages from 2 years to 92 years. It was a fine, happy day.

I created a memory-lane guest book with places for each family member to leave a personal message.
I used a commercial spiral bound scrap book that I found in JoAnn's.
I used a variety of things to embellish the pages:
pictures both original and reproductions;
purchased and found objects;
fabric flowers;
buttons, rub-ons and more.

It was fun sorting through old pictures and making selections;
playing my own solitary memory lane game.

In the book, I traced my mother's journey starting with the earliest picture I had through to the present year.
Images showed her as a young girl of 16;
as a bride;
as a new mom in 1944 and 1946;
and with her expanding family in the 50s and 60s when 4 more children were added.

In addition to the pages with pictures,
I left space for personal messages.
On this page I affixed ephemera from World War II for the message.
The V-Mail is pristine and never-used from a stationery set that I acquired at a yard sale.
I left some pages only minimally embellished;
these were designated for memories or stories.
Each section of the memory book, is divided and identified by its contents.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I've been making small, clutch bags from collaged fabric, vintage Edwardian silk, wool blends, and narrow wale corduroy.
Some of the motifs I am using include Japanese, Southwestern and African. I am hand-beading and using antique buttons for embellishment. All are lined and have magnetic closures.

This one began as a fabric collage. After cutting the shape of the bag, I used my sewing maching for some 'thread play' . The bag has a pale satin lining and hand-beaded embellishment.
The two bags below are also fabric collages with a Japanese motif. Again, there is a lot of 'thread play' throughout. The linings are black faux suede; the buttons are a stacked mix of vintage and contemporary.
I am quite pleased with the simplicity of this one made from a vintage linen that has a homespun' feel. The button is circa 1920s, painted celluloid.
I just love this one created from a collage of antique laces sandwiched between a base of antique damask and contemporary chiffon. Once the sandwich has been made, I continue with the 'thread play'. The laces offer interesting textural opportunities that are not available when using a collage of fabric because of the raised designs below the chiffon.
The image below shows the satin lining as well as fringe and beaded embellishment on the inside.
The three quilted bags below are all hand-beaded along the edge and embellished with vintage buttons.
This weekend, I am weaving narrow bits of fabric, fibers and ribbon onto rug canvas. Once the canvas is prepared, I take it to my sewing machine for the first pass, which is just to hold the strips in place. Then the fun begins. Again using the sewing machine for some 'thread play', I complete the surfaces and then assemble the parts. I'll have some images to show soon.
The bag pattern is free and downloadable from Kwik Sew, #5001.
It is a simple little purse that offers a lot of scope for the imagination (a la Anne of Green Gables).