Saturday, January 28, 2006

They're not Postcards

Way back in last November I was suppose to clean my art room up. It didn’t happen. Since the January journal page is done and over with and I have a start already on my February one, which isn’t due for several weeks, I thought I would get in there and tackle the mess. I mostly wanted to clean up the clutter that was every where and clean the windows on the inside while I had everything out of the way and I could get to them.

I did go through some stuff as I was straightening up and threw out some junk (probably should have thrown out more but you know how it is, you think that someday you just might need it, so you keep it).

I now have all of my UFO’s in one place and I have told myself that I am going to attempt to finish most, if not all of these this year. There are a total of twelve.

So now for your viewing pleasure I thought I would show you something I started on back in 2004 and finished January 2005. At first glance you probably will think that I am showing you a bunch of fabric postcards, but it is not. In fact, at the time I don’t think that I was even aware of the postcard craze. I knew more about ATC’s than postcards.

(click on images to enlarge)

When I started on this project I thought I was going to be making an “art quilt”. I decided that I wanted to do a sampler of different mixed media techniques. Not wanting this to be a humongous piece I decided that I would make each sample measure 5 x 6 inches. Before starting, I went through my books and magazines and picked out a bunch of techniques that I wanted to try and made a list. From there I would pick one idea and work on it and so on until I had them all made.

Since it was such a conglomeration I decided to attach them to the black background in just a simple layout. It really wasn’t until sometime after I had completed this that I realized that it does look like a collection of postcards.

Some close up pictures:

Lavender piece: Bond o’ Web was applied to organza; laid on Angelina fibers; then applied gold foil and another piece of organza; free-motion stitched all over; added beads

Green piece: Painted brown paper; crumpled paper; fused a layer to Wonder Under then fused second crumpled piece on top; applied gold rub n’ buff; copper wire and beads

Blue piece: machined stitched onto blue felt using built-in stitches from sewing machine; cut apart strips and wove strips together then fused piece to base fabric

Landscape: Collaged garden photo using PSP8; made freezer paper pattern, cut out shapes and fused to Wonder Under; statue from garden was printed out and added on.

Pink piece: crayon rubbing made from texture mat; crochet covered rings; beading

Blue and Purple piece: wrapped wire frame with Grilon thread wrapping in both directions; covered with chiffon and laid various scraps of fibers, lame, bulky yarns, threads, etc on top; covered with tulle and free-motion stitched all over; piece was then cut from frame and plunged into very hot water to shrink Grilon threads and draw piece up; stitched to felt base.

Stamped piece: masked off areas on fabric, painted white; painted over with Lumiere paints; when dry, stamped on images using paint

Green piece: folded fabric flower; button center; free-motion machine stitched leaf design on background

Red piece: stitched lace to background; dabbed on Xpandaprint and used heat gun to puff up paint. Couched cording on top of lace; painted with acrylic paint, dry brushed with metallic gold; added bead made from tyvek wrapped with wire and beads

Crazy Quilt block: various fabrics done in log cabin style; machine stitched embellishments; heart charm

Lavender piece: free motion embroidered piece made from image manipulated in computer onto hand painted background

Brown piece: stamped images onto light colored fabric using Xpandaprint, heated with heat gun; paint raised images and dry brushed with metallic bronze paint; machine stitched to background fabric; hand stitched using metallic thread

Flower piece: photo transfer using T-shirt photo transfer paper; stitched to background fabric

Blue piece: laid plain muslin on freezer paper and sprayed with water to dampen, hand dyed fabric using Dye-na-flow paints; scrunched up plastic wrap and laid on top of fabric and left to dry; stamped pear image with black acrylic paint; dry brushed the image with bronze and green

Green and Gold piece: used wadded plastic wrap to apply 3 shades of green on plain muslin, let dry; applied thick layer of Mod Podge for fabric over the paint; let set for 20 – 25 minutes then imprinted design and let dry over night; applied gold foil

Heart piece: hooped 2 layers of Solvy, solid fabric and 1 more layer of Solvy (on top with heart design) and straight stitched outline of heart going around 3 times; removed from hoop and cut out the heart from top layer of Solvy and solid fabric only; added another layer of Solvy and rehooped then free stitched across opening filling in the heart; washed away Solvy, added print fabric layer and stitched around outside of heart; cut away excess print fabric. Satin stitched around heart outline.

Aqua piece: painted piece of tyvek with aqua and gold acrylic paints; hooped Solvy and made machine lace with aqua rayon thread; rinsed away Solvy, dried and then stitched lace to tyvek; couched silk ribbon to strips of tyvek and stitched to lace; applied heat with heat gun to shrink tyvek some; base fabric was fused to piece of non woven interfacing and then tyvek piece was stitched on using a twin needle with aqua and gold rayon thread in a free motion style.

Purple and Gold piece: base fabric is purple felt; cut out gold design from a piece of very stiff “silk paper”; did some stitching on the gold piece first then stitched it down to purple felt; free motion stitched on felt background.

Coppery Bronze piece: embossed copper shim with image; heated to change color of copper then sealed with a coat of glass paint; stitched metal to base fabric; machine stitched accents

Multicolored piece: covered Bond o’Web with metallic threads and Angelina fibers; covered with second piece of Bond o’Web and fused together; placed on Solvy and free motion stitched all over; lightly foiled over entire piece; rinsed away Solvy and let dry; heated with hot air gun to melt away some of the Bond o’ Web to create lacy effect; stitched to black felt and then stitched to a piece of wine felt.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Just a quick explanation to the previous post about why I compose in Word (usually). I do it that way because I am one of those still on dial up. By doing it offline I can take my time and then come in and I can usually get it posted in just a few minutes.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Too Much

Have you ever kept track of how much time you spend on the computer each day? The past few weeks or so I am sure I must be averaging around 4 hours (around 2 hours in the evening and about another 2 hours late at night).

Not all of this time has been surfing the web. Besides checking email at 3 different areas daily, it has involved a large number of hours getting set up in one ring site or another. And of course, nothing ever goes smoothly. Just when you think you have the hang of something that is when everything goes wrong and you have to start all over and spend that much more time doing it.

Like this past Friday night for instance. I spent 2 hours trying to get the piece about my January journal posted to the blog. Whenever I am going to add a new article I compose it first offline in Word, fiddle with any photos in my imaging software and then I will go online and paste into the blog. Sounds fairly simple right? You expect to be in and out in a few minutes. Well I don’t know what it was that time, but I know it took forever to make that post take. Talk about being FRUSTRATED!

Well hopefully I am getting close to having everything set up right in all of the right places and can cut back on the computer time and spend more time in the studio. I don’t know how some of you manage to do all of the things that you do (work full-time, teach, travel, make quilts, manage a household, surf the web and write a blog) just to name a few things. I remember what it was like before I “retired” 4 ½ years ago. Now I have just about all the time (but not money) in the world and still have trouble getting some things done. (I can hear you all now “Drag your butt away from the computer and blah, blah, blah”). LOL

I intend to do that right now!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

January Journal 2006 Reveal

We are having our journal reveals this weekend. You can see all of the journals by visiting here over the next few days or so.

Those of you who have been reading my blog over the past months know that I have been in a creative slump and have been frustrated. So when I was invited to join the Journal Quilt Challenge 2006 I accepted hoping that this would help me get past this.

For January’s journal I decided to do a piece that depicted these feelings.

It is appropriately titled “Frustration”.

That is a silhouette of me sitting on the floor hugging my knees surrounded by question marks.

I did the silhouette instead of an actual photo to convey emptiness. I chose the colors for their meanings. Black often is associated with unhappiness. White is sometimes associated with sterility as in “No Ideas”. Red stands for the frustration/anger that I have been feeling. The question marks symbolize all the unanswered questions of “why can’t I come up with a good idea”, “why doesn’t this work”, “why am I so hard on myself”, “why, why, why”. I thought the busy look of the black and white prints also helped to convey this.

I made a few attempts to draw an image of myself but wasn’t happy with them, so I came up with the brilliant (LOL) idea of sitting on the floor in front of the mirrored closet doors and snapping a few photos. After resizing the photo in PSP8 I printed a copy, cut out the silhouette and traced the image onto Wonder Under, fused it to my fabric, cut that out and fused to my background fabric. The questions marks were also made using Wonder Under and fused. Using a Micron Pigma pen and a stencil I wrote Frustration onto a piece of denim and frayed the edges. I was going to connect the broken parts of the letters but decided to leave them. I felt that this also helped with depicting this frustrated feeling. I then stitched this to the background.

I did very minimal quilting on this piece, another way that conveys my frustration and the creative block that I have been experiencing.

This is a copy of the label that will go on the back.

The reason why it is not on there yet is I just printed it today using Bubble Jet Set 2000 and it has to set for another 24 hours before I can rinse it out with the Jet Set Rinse.

Though this piece looks quite simple, I agonized over it for awhile. Not the piece but what I was going to do. Once I figured that out, I had a relatively simple time creating it.

Hopefully I can come up with a cheerier subject for February. I haven’t really settled on a theme for these journal pages. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

No Quilts, But There Is Some Art

You may recall that I signed up for the Journal Quilt Challenge 2006. The January reveals are coming up this weekend. Mine has been finished for awhile but I will wait until then to post a picture.

I haven’t worked on any other quilt related projects as of late. Since the holidays, I have been so obsessed with getting an idea and turning it into January’s journal page that I just haven’t felt like committing to doing anything. I really need to clean up my art room but I keep coming up with excuses not to start just yet.

Well I know how you all love to see pictures of art of one sort or another, so I thought I would post a couple from a paper journal I started a couple of years ago.

These are just your basic painted backgrounds with magazine/catalog pictures collaged onto the page.

Well, as you can see by the time that it is quite late and I need to get my butt in the bed.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Four Meme

I know I'm a little late jumping in on this, but here goes:

Four jobs you've had: consession worker, shoe store stock clerk, retail sales clerk, Human Resource assistant manager.

Four movies you could watch over and over: Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Phantom of the Opera”,The Last Samurai, Always

Four places you've lived: only two different cities in Kentucky

Four TV shows you love to watch: McCleod’s Daughters (love this Aussie import), CSI, Lost, Invasion, and I may get hooked on The Book of Daniel (new).

Four Places You've Been on Vacation: Chicago, Disney World, Ormand Beach, Gatlinburg

Four Websites You Visit Every Day: e-Quilter’s Fabric Forum, JQC2006 webring, a number of sites on the Artful Quilters ring, and other meanderings.

Four Of Your Favorite Foods: Grilled Chicken, Grilled Steak, a good chef salad, popcorn, chocolate

Four Places You'd Rather Be: In the summer any place with less humidity, In the winter somewhere sunny and warm.

Four Albums you can't live without: I seldom play albums/CDs but I do enjoy tuning the TV to the New Age music channel late at night.

Four People you'll pass this on to: Is there anyone left?

Monday, January 09, 2006

I am Still Here!

Just checking in. Not much to report on. The weather was decent enough over the weekend so DH and I spent the biggest part of the day on Saturday working in the yard tidying things up, meaning cutting up more tree limbs and burning them. He was back at it for awhile on Sunday, but I stayed in doing the laundry and what not. Today we were both back at it again for a couple of hours during the afternoon. I really do need to go outside more instead of staying in all the time during the winter months.

I have been working on my January journal quilt and finished it this morning. I will wait until the reveal later this month (January 22) to post a picture. I still have the write up to do for it and haven’t decided whether to attach it to the back or not.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Postscript, and Some Thoughts

While making the rounds and reading everyones blogs I realized that there was something else that I left off of my list from my last post. I don’t know how I could have forgotten this one. In October I submitted two pieces to a show that is coming up shortly. This was my first time to submit any of my work. Sadly to say, a few weeks later I received a rejection letter. I was kind of nervous about making the submissions and didn’t really expect to get accepted, but of course I still hoped that maybe at least one of them would.

Many of you have been listing your goals for this new year and one of the things being listed is to enter more shows. I got to thinking about this and when you get to adding up all the entry fees, the cost of having photos and slides made, and postage for return as well as sending in submissions that this can get to be fairly expensive. Then there are the additional costs if your work is accepted and you have to ship and insure each of these. I guess when it gets right down to it I won’t be planning on entering very many shows.

I am not going to make a list of goals for the coming year (at least not now), but one thing I know is that I hope that I will be able to continue to create things if not on a daily basis, then on as regular a basis as is possible. I intend to experiment and try new techniques this coming year. And even though they will be small pieces, that is why I joined the JQC2006. By doing these journal pages, hopefully it will help to get the creative juices flowing again. I just hope those juices get their butt in gear, cause right now I am all dried up!