“My” Picasso…

I finally figured out how to make the center image smaller in this photoshopped image.  It actually wasn’t as hard as I thought.  I had to do some reading on the reflection tool  🙂  (If all else fails, read the directions.)


FYI this was done using the Distort filter, Liquify function, and the reflection tool. I think it is much better now.

And BTW, a friend called me while I was in Paducah and said she loves this image and wanted a copy of it, so I guess you could say I have “sold” my first copy of this image.  (Even though I’m not charging her for it–she didn’t necessarily want it in cloth.)


I’ve been to the AQS quilt show at Paducah, KY this week.  On Tuesday, I drove down and met up with friends from back home.  We hit Hancock’s, then went to Eleanor Burns, then to downtown.  My friends, Betty and Steve Cummings from the Village Mercantile quilt shop in Boonville, IN were vending in the downtown area.  I hung out with them a bit and saw the fiber art show across the street at the Yeiser Art Center.  We spent the night at Drury Inn and Suites which graciously provided us with dinner of pizza and salad, baked potatoes with the trimmings, nacho chips and drinks, as well as breakfast the next morning.  It’s a great place to stay.

Wednesday morning we left for the quilt show.  The one major thing I noticed about the show was the extremely high quality of a lot of the quilts.  I think this year, the competition must have been much stiffer to get in, just because there were so many high quality quilts.  I roamed through the vendors, finally finding the ones I really needed to find (that would be Pro-Chem for dyes).  In the afternoon, I went to the Embellishment Village booth and worked for Greg and Betty Blais, doing Angelina demos.  Met up with my friends for a great Mexican dinner and then found my new “hotel” for the night, staying with a very nice couple for the night.  I then worked again for Embellishment Village on Thursday and came home that night.  I didn’t buy much.  My work for Embellishment Village paid for  a few things I wanted to stock up on for my own booth.  I got some new Botanicals stencils, new Angelina colors, the new Happy Holidays rubbing plates from Cedar Canyon Textiles.  I also stocked up on glitter towers and foiling glue and patterns.


For myself, I purchased Kerr Grabowski’s dvd on Deconstructed Screen Printing.  After watching it yesterday, I am anxious to get to work!  This morning I am working on printing silk scarves.  It feels good to be getting back in the creative mode!



We had SO much fun last night at the Photoshop class. We worked with layers and then we did touch up on a photo of a guy.  We took out his wrinkles and made him look 20 years younger.  I found the bloat tool and made his eyes really big and bulgy and fattened up his lips.  My friend who was with me declared…I can have bigger “you know whats”! (meaning in her own pictures)  I told her she could probably have whatever she wanted.

So today I took this picture…


…and abstracted it in to this…!


I love this…doesn’t it look like a Picasso?  Do you see the faces in it?  (Well, maybe not a Picasso….)

Update 4/19/09: I printed this out on a piece of 8.5 ” x 11″ cotton and wow, that part in the center with the white really takes over.  To my way of thinking, I would like to shrink that down a bit and increase the surrounding darker areas….I’m working on it, but it might take some time to figure out how to do it.

Odds And Ends…

There are times in my life (and I’m sure in yours too) when there are too many little detailed things to have to take care of…I think it must be called…Life. Tax time is one of them. For some reason, I can never be early. I have to be getting them out right around The Day. I even took them in a bit earlier, but I guess my cpa was pretty busy this year so it took her awhile. I finally got them out on the 14th. I also have to pay sales tax this month and have been waiting for checks to arrive so I can pay that. One of my election judge friends last week begged me to take a Photoshop class with her because there was a bit of a drive and she didn’t want to go alone. The price was definitely right ($20), so I signed up. We went Tuesday night and I learned SO much. I’m glad I went. We will do the second night tonight. Now, I only have Photoshop Elements 5 on my computer, but I found many of the same functions we learned about in my software and I am very pleased about that. Some of them are in different places, but I was able to locate them and do the same things we did in class. Let’s see if I can show you a photo I played with. My neighbors planted a bunch of sunflowers next to our yard a couple of years ago. I photographed them green as well as when they turned.


I take a lot of pictures. I have always been a bit of a nature nut, seeking out the woods and the river whenever I wanted to be alone and think. And I have always taken pictures of things in nature. This hobby now comes in very handy with my art also. I love to take a photograph and use it as a jumping off place to start a new art piece. I don’t do realism, but I like to abstract whatever is in the photo. I think Photoshop will be another tool I can use in making my art…all for a $20 bill and a few hours well spent with a friend. (Well I did pay for the software too, but that was minimal.)


Aha!  I just found another way to inspire creativity.  If you can’t get to an art exhibit for real…go visit Ragged Cloth Cafe.  I haven’t taken the time to get over there for awhile.  Wow.  I was just there and now I’m pumped and writing down notes and ideas.  There are some wonderful new posts over there. I saw something on tv yesterday and was thinking about photographing it, but photos of the television screen do not normally come out well, so I have committed it to memory and would like to create it.

Oh yeah, another thing I did this morning is take a few pictures of some textures and items I found interesting.  Here’s one for your viewing pleasure and inspiration. (pssst…The flowers are fake, but pretty nonetheless.)


Creativity…Or Not…

Just to be sewing and in an attempt to jump start creativity this week, I decided to start on a new sample for a class I will teach at the shop. ( I did create on Wednesday, but it didn’t translate to cloth.  It was a story for my little kids class at church.)

I purchased the fabric for this sample last Saturday. Now I  will need to sell the class to recoup my costs.  Anyway, I decided to work on what was in front of me to hopefully start the juices flowing.  Here is the block and the fabrics I am using.



I bought 4 fabrics for the blocks, which will alternate and the sashing and border will be the yellow fabric.  The blocks are woven.   The collection of fabrics is called Serenity and is by Don Baker (?) it looks like (it’s hard to read).  Clothworks makes it.

I liked making the block and writing down notes for the class….but I don’t feel the juices flowing yet.  It was good to be sewing and experimenting again, though.  I have read one suggestion to “just show up”.  I guess I could try that.  But today I think I will read an article in the new QA magazine by Jane Davila…called “it’s About  Time”.

BTW I will be putting in some work time at the Paducah quilt show on April 21 and 22 (that’s Wed/Thurs).  I will be working for Betty Blais at the Embellishment Village booth.  Come by and see us!


I finally made up my mind to WORK yesterday, but of course the phone has to ring.  When I am mentally geared to get something done creatively, I simply cannot give my focus away by answering the phone.  I am not wired for that.  And with struggling to get back on a schedule and really wanting to get some work done…I can’t handle interruptions.   Does anyone else feel like this?  I have less than a month before the art fair, and I know how fast that month will go.  Of course… I will have to leave and go to the Paducah quilt show this month too…it’s only for two days…

Anyway, yesterday was a day to explore some new ideas and techniques for me.  Sometimes when I explore I am pleasantly surprised and pleased with the results.  Some days I am not, and then I feel like I have “lost time” because I really want to get something accomplished, but I have no results in order to guage that by.  Does anyone else feel this way?

There were two pieces that had been bugging me…they were mounted on plexiglass, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were “unfinished”.  They actually needed a “framing” look.  So I did play around with some ideas and came up with this.  I think they look better.  I guess at least I got that “done”.

Fragments of a Life #3
Fragments of a Life #3

Sometimes after not working creatively in my “studio”  for awhile, it can take me some time to get back into the flow.  March was very busy what with traveling, teaching and vending, so there wasn’t much creative time.  But I am ready to get back into it!  I think I did manage to get another piece in a series started.  I did some screening on a piece of rust dyed fabric…no picture as I need to save that back while I do more work on it.

Back Home…

I’m back from the Decatur show and trying to catch up on things here at home.  This show is put on by mostly traditional quilters, so my sales of artsy supplies weren’t as good as I would have liked. I’ve done better in past years, so it could be the economy.  The previous weekend I had a knockout day at the National Quilting Day event in our area.  It was like there was absolutely NO recession.  So who knows why you can sell better in one area than another.  It’s good to be home after 4 days gone.  April is the month I plan to do lots of new art for an art fair the first weekend of May.

I had an appraisal done of a new art piece while I was gone.  Sandy Sweitzer of PAQA is always the appraiser at the Decatur event and she appraised my new piece, “…Words Will Never Hurt Me”, which will go into a museum show this summer.  Her appraisal value exceeded my expectations!

In addition to getting an appraisal, I bought a few things…thread marked down cheap and some hand dyed cotton thread.  Of course, I could have dyed it myself, but I like supporting other hand dyers too.  Look at all the colors!