Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all of you and a good - and creative - New Year!!

Another Piece of the Plan Arrives

As you know...I've been gathering bits and pieces, dyeing fabric, and generally getting things in order for Pecans - my series for 2013.  Just had a great addition, a nice FedEx package of REAL pecans from my dad's pecan tree in Texas. The people who now own the land were so gracious to send some to me. When we were there for my dad's funeral, I had asked to take some twigs from the tree with the plan for stencils and thermofax screens. They asked about what I was doing and I described the concept to them. So when I called and asked if the pecans were still on the ground and could I have a few, they were more than delighted to send them.  They even sent enough for me to have some to eat!!  I'll be using them for the series after the first of the year so check in then to see how I am incorporating them.......

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More and more faces

As time goes on, I seem to be settling into my 'faces' more and more. And I seem to (still) be in love with my oil pastels too. Here are some that I have finished over the past few weeks.

Most (if not all) grandmothers, adore their grandkids, so I have had two commissions to draw/paint a gran and her grandkids. I think this will be my new passion in 2013, more grans and grandkids.

I feel enthusiastic about next year and still hope to broaden my arty knowledge and try lots of new things.

For now, I wish you all and your families a wonderfully happy Christmas and a very healthy and arty 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Themes 2013

By now most of us have decided upon the theme they will work with during the coming year. Joss and Renée, please let me know which theme you choose.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pecans - the series

For the challenge this year, I decided to do a series on Pecans.  This fall my dad died. He was a wonderful man and a great loving dad. And one of his passions was pecans.  They had a HUGE very old pecan tree in front of their house and he even planted a pecan orchard.  He subscribed to magazines for pecan growers.  Oh and he enjoyed eating them as well!!  (something we had in common!!) So, I decided to do this series in honor of my dad.

So far the series will depict the  different stages of the pecan.  1) sapling, 2) a grown tree, 3) mature pecans on the tree limb, 4) pecans on the ground at the base of the tree - ready to harvest 5) a barren tree after all the pecans and leaves are gone 6) pecans harvested and halved, etc and 7) the piece honoring my dad - it will have his photo in B/W transferred to silk organza, pecans, perhaps other photos, and my mom's pecan pie recipe.

Well....I have done a bit on this series already.  Ordered screen prints, cut out templates, etc.  But dyeing the fabrics felt like the project is actually underway.  After a couple of days of are the basic fabrics I will be using in all of the pieces in this series (6 or 7 planned)

They are all dyed in a 6 step gradation.  Here is one of the brown all set up to batch.

And here are the completed dyed fabrics --

Browns (yes I know some of them don't look brown but they are named "brown" something) -  From left to right...Tobacco, Cocoa, Golden Brown and Dark Chocolate Brown

Greens - Left to Right...Emerald, Dark Green and Forest Green

And Blues - Left to Right... Well actually they are so close it is difficult to tell the difference even in person! But I used Cerulean and Intense Blue.  I took these down a couple of gradations because I wanted some light blue sky with "clouds".  I'm very happy with the results.

Ordinarily this would be the end of dyeing...however after just completing the snow dyeing for another challenge...I HAVE to do some pieces for this series!! Hopefully I'll get to that tomorrow if not starting some today.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today I dye

Just completed a half step gradation on the 4 browns I'm planning to use for the Pecans series.  They are all put to bed in their nice warm batching closet.  Tomorrow I'll wake them and give them a wonderful Synthrapol bath!!

Then start with the three greens and a couple of blues.  I think any other accent color I can get from my stash.

At least I hope so.  My shoulders are killing me.  Out of dyeing shape I'm afraid.  But...I had forgotten how I love the smell of dye.  Brings back very fond memories of first discoveries when I dyed my first PFD fabric.  Ah those were the days. But my stash was dwindling and I wanted to be sure I had the same colors throughout the the dyes came out, the mask went on, and the mixing began.  I might have gone on to do the green but I ran out of ziploc bags (my favorite dyeing tool!)

Tomorrow is another day.......

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Best Laid Plans....

Yep...a few things changed the end of this past week.  Found out that a size requirement in another group changed to smaller than I had anticipated.  Was going to do the Pecans series for that one.  However, since Pecans is all about my dad and his pecan passion, I was not ready to relegate it to a smaller size.  It deserves   to be larger.  So.....I'm moving that series to here...where I'm FREE to make them the size I prefer!

With that plan in mind...I got out my dyes and cut up several yards of fabric which is now soaking in soda ash solution in preparation for dyeing.

I have to say, I'm really much happier having Pecans in this group.  It is very special to me and I want to do it MY way.  Now I can!

I'll be moving the Manhole Covers project over to my SAQA visioning project goals for 2013.

No photos today guys.  But next week I will have my fabric dyed for Pecans and will post that!

Hope you are all having a safe and wonderful December!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Silent water

Late 2010 I made a journal quilt using stitched lines and paint. The fabric was folded and stitched like that, next step was to paint the fabric, let it dry and remove the stitched lines. This is how the journal quilt looked when it was finished:
 I really loved this technique and wanted to do it again on a bigger scale. So I picked a half yard of fabric which I had dyed. Don't ask me which color I used because this was somewhere in 2011. Stitching all those lines was so boring that regularly it was put away to do something more interesting :-). After many months the stitching was finally done (July 2012) and this is a detail picture of how the back looked like:
 And this is how it looked from the front:
Finally it was time to play. I pinned the fabric on top of a foam board and opened several Lumiere paint bottles, shimmering pearl, blue, turquoise and a bit of pale green. This is how it looked after the painting:
And now the fun part, removing all the stitches and ironing it. At last you could see how it was going to look: 
Time to start quilting. As the main focus of this top was lines (and this was months before I decided to work with this theme) the quilting lines just followed the painted lines. Interesting, but it needed a bit more. I decided on adding turquoise beads on it. But before I could add these, the quilt had to be blocked and sleeve added as well. I did not want a traditional border around it, but decided to do a facing. This made the quilt a bit narrower, but that was okay. When this was done I ordered several different types of turquoise beads - and of course did not use all the different ones - and this is how it looks now:
From beginning to end it almost took 2 years to complete it, but I am happy with it. The title Silent Water refers to the reflection you see on water, not knowing that the falling beads will disrupt the silence quite soon.
This quilt is the first one in my series of Lines. Size is 17"x37".