Thursday, August 31, 2006

Clearing the Clutter

Maybe I'm revealing too much here. I don't care anymore. Something about turning 40 - yeah I said it. I am it.

Picture this: I'm between jobs for the next couple of weeks and have just begun to relish in the delight of time. Get Thee Behind Me Clutter! Here's my sewing/studio room now. Consider it a "before" photo.

Hmmm...let's see, where did I put that...uumm..what was I looking for again?
I cannot bring myself to enter any of these sacred tools into the garage sale next weekend. I think I'll just sell the bed to make more room!

Never know when I might might need to cut pictures and words out of Fortune magazines.

For Mom: My "doll-in-progress" you asked about. She's not "hoed up" enough yet but I will try to keep her tasteful.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom! We made it through Monday!

I had lunch with my mom today and it is her birthday! I thought this day deserved over-running that ugly anxiety fabric below with an empty tequila bottle on a Mexican beach! Since my mom encompasses about 98% of my readership I don't want her subjected to my stressed out brain below. (: I love you Mom!!! : )

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Anxiety Art

I painted this chunk of fabric with straight black dyes the other night. It's a good picture of Sunday night anxiety. Since it bothers me to look at, I'll post a prettier piece once Monday has come and gone so as not to bum anyone out all week. I painted left-over ebony dye onto dry fabric thinking I'd get black on white but the red traveled out of the black. Maybe this is what my brain looks like when stressing out. Not pretty.

Actually, this weekend turned out several twisted pieces of ugly things and I can't post them because I abandoned them at a friend's house. I'm sure she appreciates that!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Art for Quilters

It's been another over-creating weekend. I nuno-felted onto cheese cloth, the little corset for my latest doll - it is perfect. I dyed clouds, a stormy day and two sunsets in multiple colors last night. And this morning, the above Lesson 1 from Art for Quilters online class! Somebody stop me!

The good news is that I used my plethora of hand-dyed pieces for the background (stormy skies) the leaves and the pear.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nuno Felting with Gika Rector

We had a GREAT time tonight at Part II of Felt Play at Jung Center. Gika showed us how to go "Nuno" on cotton which means to felt on a fabric base. I've found another medium to obsess about! The results are just incredible.

All of the pieces pictured are wet and are they ever beautiful! We rolled the wet felt on cotton about 100 times in those big blue bubble things. Then, we wadded them up and gently dropped the wet cloth...check it...hmm...not quite, needs more kneading. Drop it lightly a few times, say 456 times (I'm so exaggerating) and by the end of it, once the felt starts to be real good friends with the cotton, we chunk it hard on the table. When it's done, it looks like a piece of imported altered fabric you could not afford to buy from a screamingly famous artist. This stuff is so cool that I almost want to keep it a secret!

You can make scarves, garments, art fabric or whatever you want with this stuff. Mine happens to match my shirt so I look like Miss Nuno Pageant winner. Gika Rector is a fiber artist worth stalking so look for her October workshop at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
and make felt slippers like no other slippers on earth...not even in Marshall's.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Felt Play with Gika Rector

I spent last night at Houston's Jung Center playing with fuzzy raw felt and silk roving in Gika Rector's class. She taught us how to mold felt into shapes and pouches using only our hands, water, and ivory soap. Thursday is Neno Felting and I can hardly wait! My Houston friend from Art & Soul Dallas, Linda Hughes, took the class also. We both agreed, "we love this!!!" Pictured is the pouch, felt balls, spiral cord and bracelets with sliding felt beads. Tonight I made a cool sunglasses case (top photo)! This craft is not supply-heavy or technical. You just need a BUNCH of colors of wool and silk rovings and even yarns for embellishment. Gika is just a wonderful teacher and a very cool artsy chick: Check out her work and Jung Houston:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Finished Faces from Barbara Willis Workshop

Amazing results after we applied stretchy fabric to our paperclay masks! We took back all the bad things we said about Barbara after we saw just how lovely the finished and painted faces came out. I guess we all look a little better with our "faces on". My rough face looked much like monkey girl but I corrected most flaws with her makeup. My face is the one in the center not yet attached to her body.

Me and Barbara Willis (above)

After the 3rd torso I sewed, I finally did it. Then, today we made the cutest little leather shoes (but our dolls will have no feet!) Hey, those itsy bitsy shoe-making skills are very nice to have. Once I get her completed, I'll post her lovely picture.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Barbara Willis Class Dolla PaLuza

What cute faces about to be baked in the polymer clay toaster. Can you guess which is mine? We're taking Barbara Willis "Whisper" Class both Sat and Sunday. We spent about 5 hours sculpting and making a mold for the doll's face. Tomorrow, somehow we're going to cover the face with stretchy fabric and finish the costume. In the future, I think I will paint the face on the cloth or buy the paperclay face already done! Tonight I've got to resew her torso and cut and stitch those tiny little fingers. This is advanced-skilled stuff. More on part II of class tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Oobi Bag

This Oobi Bag was my inspiration to go for linings. Linings have always intimidated me but fear not! Mom and I picked up the Oobi Bag pattern at Quilt Fest about 2 years ago and it's pretty easy by most sewing standards but again - lining phobia. I could really use a serger for the light weight and slippery fabrics like this bag. I hope I find something in my fall wardrobe to wear with it.

My machine is in the shop since I jammed it using metallic threads last night. I hate to bring it in because I always have to test drive embroidery machines while I'm there and fantasize about making a million dollars sewing or at least justifying the purchase with promises to have it "pay for itself" Then there's the serger I looked at today and the straight stich powerhouse and quilt frame combo.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Dyeing Pics and then I'll Quit

I know, I know more darned dyed fabrics. My machine broke tonight while altering a tulip appliqued piece that should be here instead. I had a mini fit because my husband is suppose to fix everything and he can't do it. Will cost me a trip to the sewing vet in the morning.

I promise not to post any more unless they are exceptionally brilliant OR I make something out of them. The top set are supposed to be hair colors and water scenes. The only time I ever had brown hair with green highlights was that "One time in band camp"...when I went from bleached Sun-In blonde to brown and got a wicked green, much like the far left brown and green spotched piece in top pic.

The names of these color mixtures evoke soothing rural country mountains and crystal ocean moods. There's Deep Mountain Blue, Early Meadow Green, Clear Ocean Blue....ahhhh sooo nice. But as you can see from my Galveston post below, our beaches don't look nuthin' like that! We need our own Houston pallet, Painful Traffic Jam Gray with Ambulance Siren Light Specs, Tanker Sludge Ocean Sand-Like Substance and Wicked Hot Concrete Jungle.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Last Beach Trip of the Summer

Today we took Chloe and Sara to Galveston even with the threat of rain. The girls made mud castles and played with Jim in the water for hours. I sat on my beach towel and read the entire Summer 06 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. It never rained on our sliver of the beach.

I read about abstracts in detail and think I will try their "Abstract Challenge" using my hand-dyed stuff and dump fabrics. I'm so interested in line, tone, composition, harmony and all that scientific design stuff. The abstract will be a little 8 1/2 x 11 mini quilt so I can finish it quickly. Or! I can do like another artist I read about that made a mini quilt per week for 5 years. Oh, she couldn't have had a day job too?!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Past

Today I realized a great something simple in a powerful gathering of humans.

There are two places God will not follow you.

1. Your Past
2. Your Future

So He's with me now. And if I'm dwelling on my past hurts and mistakes, I have to go alone. And if I'm fretting about the future and tomorrow, I have to go there alone too. That's why it's so damned scary. I'm not saying to live like tomorrow isn't coming. Planning is important. Just working on letting go of my bad yesterdays and chilling out on those scary tomorrows. I wrote this little poem several years ago and am not in the same "place" today. I'm glad that I documented where I was "at" so I can see how far I've come. Peace Ya'll.

Secrets whisper

whispers of shame
under hidden
layers in you
secrets drive memories and tears
baked in blood
broken words
wrecked minds

Whisper secrets

minds wrecked
words broken
blood in baked tears
and memories drive secrets
you in layers
hidden under
shame of whispers


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Battle of the BAQ

I couldn't figure out why, all of a sudden I couldn't move the quilt during stitching. I'd just changed the needle. Oh, must be this cheapy machine and if I only had a Bernina. Is gum stuck up under there or nasty thread nests snagged to the feed dogs? Ah, just Sammy the daughter's cat napping on the corner. This thing follows me everywhere. He loves to nap on the computer keyboard but only when I'm typing. What is it with cats and quilts? And did you know you can dye kitty fur? Yeah, no joke. People do it and I've seen it with my own eyes. No one knows what she'll make with it, but I do hope she sends me an email of her finished project. It is kitty kitty!

I've committed to finish a minimum of one square of stitching per night, maybe two. My goal is to finish before the cold of winter. In Houston that'll give me until..hmm that one weekend in February?