I Think It’s Back….

…my get up and go, that is. After mushing around last week and spending a last weekend off with my husband, now that harvest is starting, I made a piece of art this morning. In less than two weeks I have an art festival to be at. Nothing like a little deadline to get one going, I suppose. I had one more transferred photo laying around, so I decided to play this morning.

A little home dec fabric, hand dyed fabric, discharged fabric and the photo transfer. But who knows…it might not be done!

I was doing some reading last night. You’ll never guess what about. I started thinking about making my own yogurt again. I think Tanya’s blog post got me thinking about it. Years ago I used to make yogurt. It’s pretty easy. My friend, who had previously had breast cancer, had turned to natural foods and taught me a lot about it. She had a book called Stocking Up, How to Preserve the Foods You Grow Naturally. I happened to stumble upon a very well kept copy at a second hand store. It has just about everything you need to know to prepare and preserve your own food…the food you are not buying from the grocery store. Not that I do a lot of that, but it’s good reference if you do want to do something. So I was reading about making yogurt last night…and thinking that if I’m going to eat a lot of it, I could save some money!

I grew up on a farm. We always had a milk cow and a milk separator, so we always had homemade butter and home made cottage cheese. I learned something from this book about cottage cheese. Know how it got its name? It came to be called that because people made it in their homes…their “cottages”. Hey, how about that? I love learning bits of trivia like that!

Friday This ‘N That…

It has been a strange week since I got back from the E-town show. I have been tired, interested in nothing, and wondering what I will do next. I did finish some work on a textural collage on canvas, but other than that, I can really report that I did next to nothing, creatively. There has been discussion on some of the other blogs about down time, thinking time. I think that is where I have been. I have wanted to work creatively, but ideas didn’t really come, not in a cohesive way. For the two weeks prior to leaving for the show, I was totally focused on working, making samples and getting everything in order for the trip. I did manage to get there with most of my samples, all except for one. Now, mind you, I wear two hats. This was a retail quilt show I was vending at, so the focus is different than an art event, but it requires everything from my mind.

I did go to Evansville today to pick up my pieces from the textile exhibit. There was interest in one piece, Southwest Impressions, but no buyer yet. And there was talk of the possibility of a client wanting proposals for a commission. We shall see. I am not getting too excited yet. My brain just can’t go there!

But I do think I am in that foggy place in my mind of resting…and possibly, renewal. I also describe is as “floating”. Of waiting for new ideas, which were already coming today, and may be a direction I will pursue. I am reluctant to talk to people very much this week. I want to be left alone. Please don’t require something from me. I was scheduled to teach the little kids at church Wednesday night, so I had to brainstorm something for that. The children are sweet and I love doing that.

I used to date a guy, who shall remain nameless, who used to say to me…”Wherever you are, be there.” So I guess that’s what I’m doing this week…just being where I am…and then, not sure where the next place might be. I’m sure all of you creative souls out there in blog land can relate.

"Vines and Berries" in the Members Textile Exhibition

“Vines and Berries” in the Members Textile Exhibit

Back Home…And Some Instructions

This has been an interesting trip.  For one, I was sick in the night before I left and didn’t get much sleep.  I was sick driving the 3 hours to get there.  Once I got there and got to work setting up, I wasn’t so nauseous.  I was in a different time zone, so I guess I went to sleep VERY early every night.

There were two quilt guilds last year that put this show on.  This year only one guild hosted the show.  They did a wonderful job, hanging more than 200 quilts.  I marvel at all the work they do for three days.  One of the girls purchased some discharged cloth from me last year and used it in a small art quilt that was on display, adding her own touches.  She is very creative.

I was going to blog while I was there as I had the laptop with me, but, gosh, I was just too tired to think at night, preferring to sit and mindlessly watch a movie that I barely had interest in.  Interesting how the tv can take over your mind and lead it around!

There were a couple of ladies interested in the samples I made using dryer sheets.  I told them I would be blogging about the process I used to make these, so here goes.  This piece was posted in a prior post.

I started with a piece of off white cotton twill or canvas.  I used a black calligraphy pen and did a lot of handwriting on it, completely covering it with writing.  I chose a white background because I was going to be layering sheers over it and white or off white makes sure you can see through the sheers very nicely.  The twill was a bit brighter than I wanted since I was going for an antique look.  A pot of coffee sitting for too long was the impetus for coffee staining the twill.  I simply swished the cotton in the strong coffee, rinsed and ironed dry.  It stained it enough for my purposes, but it could sit in the coffee longer if desired.

Any type of sheers will do for this project.  I used an analogous color scheme choosing colors from one color family.  Again, this works well for the antique look.  I had a home dec sample piece in tan colors and a piece of rust colored dryer sheet.  I used BoNash bonding powder to fuse my pieces, but glue stick would also work just fine.  You only need enough to hold the pieces down until you can stitch them. But I fused the first sheer, using a pressing sheet so that I would not get fusible on my iron.  I also used dyed cotton scrim and dyed cheesecloth, arranging and fusing them in a pleasing manner on the twill.

The photograph was done with a June Tailor product called “Print ‘n Press”.  I don’t usually use the iron-on transfer product, but I had some sitting here and this was a sample so I used it.  This product is used in an inkjet printer, with instructions for using on the package.  The photo is a copy right free photo I got somewhere on the internet.  It also has an aged appearance.  I never got around to stitching it down, so it is just glued for the moment.  I used another small piece of taupe colored home dec fabric below the picture with the word SEA stamped on it, using the “weathered” stamp set. That is also glued on.  I did some hand stitching around the outside edge and intended to do more, but ran out of time.  An old piece of grosgrain ribbon was glued on.  As you can see, the handwriting still shows through the sheer parts.  Since the word SEA was used, I had to attach a blue button, and blue and orange are complementary colors, so that worked well.  I sewed an old piece of crocheted lace on it.  I really didn’t get time to finish this piece and was going to add more stuff to it, but this is where it stands at the moment.

Kim, I hope this small tutorial helps you to make your own small wallhangings.  There was another girl interested in this too, but I didn’t get her name.  All I know is she said I “rocked”, when I said I would post the process on my blog.  A bamboo placemat, purchased at a yard sale and disassembled, giving me lots of small bamboo rods, provides a hanging rod.  I used the rest of the grosgrain ribbon, tied to the bamboo,  to hang it with.

Making More Samples…

I am trying to finish up samples today.  I have fabric to paint and the afternoon looks like it will be warm enough.  This morning was cool as a cool front came in behind Ike’s wind and rain.  I showed this kimono block the other day, but now it is quilted and beaded with a few ceramic beads.  I didn’t want to make the whole wallhanging, but just  a couple of blocks to show off what the pattern looks like with my hand dyed fabrics.

This next one is made with just one fabric, a multicolored hand dye.  I used some heated Angelina film for the center decoration on the obi.

Friday This ‘N That…

Today I was up early and got some fabric dyed to fill out my inventory. I am preparing for the quilt show next week. I will also have painted dryer sheets for sale. Since all my art that uses painted dryer sheets is either in the arts council show or sold, I decided to make a couple of samples so that quilters at the show can get an idea of what they can do with those painted dryer sheets. That’s what I have been working on…that and getting my brain organized of what all I have to get done before I leave. I’m still waiting on important orders to get here! I also spent a good part of yesterday trying to get a hotel room. Who knew a military graduation, the Rider Cup (?), and a Coca-Cola convention would all converge on the town the same time as the quilt show?

Canvas, ink, coffee stain, painted dryer sheet, home dec sample, dyed scrim, photo transfer, old buttons, perle cotton stitching, dyed cheesecloth, very old ribbon.  The next one isn’t totally finished.  I am going to put some more stuff on it, but here’s where it is now.

It’s got pretty much the same stuff as the other one, except I haven’t done the embellishing yet.  These are not quilted, in the interest of time, so they have raw edges.  The home dec samples are the perfect size to use in a small hanging like this, and I have so many of them…I should really use them more in my work!

I am also watching this hurricane as it comes closer to shore and praying there will be no loss of life.  My sister lives in Dayton, TX and has already evacuated to Louisiana, although they could find no hotel room or campground to park their camper.  This morning they were still in the Walmart parking lot in Alexandria with their two dogs.  The news is saying this one is bigger than Katrina.  And that would be a shame.

More Painted Cloth…

This piece was done by stamping soy wax onto white cotton with a potato masher and the lid of a film canister.  Then I brushed turquoise and black dye paint on it making sure to get in all the little cracks and crevices.  I think I am going to brush other colors over the white areas.

For this design, I tore strips of freezer paper and ironed them to the back side of a screen.  Again, I used turquoise and black paint.

This is a screened design made with soy wax.  I used yellow and fuchsia dye, and also picked up some turquoise paint from the table.  These three fabrics all go together now.  I will have to be careful what other colors I add to the first one!

This one is made with the same torn paper screen, except that after printing the design in one direction, I turned the screen and printed it in the other direction too.  Looks like I used yellow and black dyes, maybe some turquoise.  The next one was done the same way, except with more turquoise and some fuchsia paint.

Another Sample…

I made another sample last night. I made this one to show one way to use Angelina film. It’s not terribly artsy, but I did put some creativity into it. Since I will also have Tsukineko’s Fabrico markers for sale, I used those on the sample too. Thanks to Gerrie Congdon’s advice I was able to photograph it without a lot of glare. (Thanks, Gerrie!) I think the Angelina film is interesting to work with. The background is gray hand dye cotton.

Now this morning I think I am going to get outside in this glorious weather and dye paint some more cloth!

The town-wide yard sales on Saturday netted me a very nice Scrabble game with a story for $1 and a Singer sewing machine for $1. (and it works too!) I was almost in heaven.