Saturday, November 27, 2010

The mail has brought me many things

over the last week or so.  My PFD fabric arrived.  A box with two large cans of 505 came.  Have to drive 40 miles to Kissimmee to get it.  Online ordering is the balm.   My wonderful assortment of Isacord threads came and sent me on a search in the studio for some way of storing them in a manner that made them easily accessible to me as I sit at the sewing machine.  A temporary solution was found, but I will look for something different and more efficient since I see more and more spools of this threads in my future.

The mail also brought the latest issue of the AQS magazine and the Iowa show winners.  There I am, fat face and all with my quilt pictured upside down.

New of note or not.....
I am doing an online class with a lady in California.  This will be my first try at teaching machine applique online.  I did a screen printing, thickened dye painting class with a lady in Canada a few months ago and she thought it went well.  So Charlene, look for your kit one day next week. 

I am batching the fabric for the kit on the balcony.  oooohhhhh  I forgot how much I like dyeing fabric.  The light orange/peachy color will be the backing on my next quilt that I am painting.  Will give you a peek at it later.   I started painting it yesterday and love the way the light comes in this apartment much better than my previous place. 

If anyone else would like to take part in this online class, send me an e-mail and I will give you the details.  The kit will contain everything you need to finish the wall quilt  pictured above except for a sewing machine, your own bobbins and sewing machine needles. :)
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Finished another book by Mary Kay Andrews " Savannah Blues" .  While not expensive to buy at Barnes and Nobles, I am however going to the Library to get her other ones on CD so I can paint and listen instead of flopping in a chair and reading until 3 in the AM, thus getting nothing done.

  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We by-passed the  turkey and went for grilled steaks. 
I dared not leave the building yesterday.  Living next to the Altamonte Mall, the traffic was bumper to bumper, but I am going to venture out in a few minutes to Joann's in the opposite direction for some Pellon stabilizer and mosey through the store to see what else catches my eye.
I've blogged enough for today and you are all caught up on whats going on here in apartment 434.

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Working in a series

 The bottom left is my latest piece.  It still needs squaring up and a facing applied. Working in a series sort of sneaks up on you. Sneaky blooms should be what they are called because I never intentionally set out to make these shapes again and again.   I call the series abstract blooms even though each piece has a title that does not suggest it is part of a series.  While whole cloth images they are not all done with the same medium or technique.  One was painted with  MX dyes thickened with rice paste. I did one (not pictured and sold and I have no image of it) with a screen printing technique and sodium alginate thickened dyes. The largest and latest one to date is done with watercolor pigment and soy milk on silk broadcloth. One in the collage below was created by deconstructed screen printing. Two others bleach discharge and paint sticks.
I think of them as my fall back work.  Designs I can try different techniques with and know in the end that I will still like the end product simply because I like the image that I am working with.  My own personal motif so to speak.   I draw these abstract blooms almost unconsciously, like when some others  doodle circles or stars or interlocking boxes - on the phone when someone has you waiting for the next available customer service person. As I think back there are more in this series,  See below  that do not match the color scheme above but they too derived from my poppy series that now number around a dozen.  I'll show you my poppy series another day
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Note the color difference.   All but the bottom right one was done in Missouri.  The blue checkered background  was one of the first pieces I did in Florida and all of the ones in the first collage were done in Florida with the exception of the piece - top middle  - which goes to my belief that I am a red/orange/yellow person no matter what part of the world I live in... but I am more of that red/orange/yellow person when the sun shines.  Yeah for the sunshine!!!!  Now I don't feel bad for blaming my color that were less than happy color choices on the mid-west. 
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Monday, November 22, 2010

I've had a wonderful last few days.

I went shopping for furniture for my balcony. The weather has been great for sitting out there, having a cup of coffee and reading. Isn't that a gorgeous blue sky for late November.  I've been on a reading spree too. I finished the latest book in the Lee Childs, Reacher Series which made for interesting reading as did the latest in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, then there was the latest in the Death series by J. D. Robb and lastly a book by Mary Kay Andrews, Savannah Breeze introduced to me by my daughter-n-law Mel.
I also went flower shopping. I can not get over all of the poinsettias that were for sale for outdoor planting at my local Lowe's store. I did not buy any. I did buy a Christmas cactus for inside the house even though it will do nicely outside.
I also did two days of movies. "Unstoppable" about a run away train was very good and the latest Harry Potter, which I enjoyed. As you see I have been all over the place in what I am doing. But I really must get down to painting.
The fabric has been prepared with soy milk, pressed and stretched on the design wall waiting for my choice of what to do first. The paints I ordered to resupply my palette arrived on Friday.
I ordered fabric to dye and some dyes from Pro Chemical that I was either out of or running real low on.  So I have no more excuses for not getting down to it.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Looking for a thread-a-holic

In my efforts to streamline both my life, my art and not horde; I am getting rid of the above and below pictured threads.  I will send them to a good home for the cost of a  large flat rate box from the USPS. 
The threads are a variety of the brands on the market.
Superior Bottom line, Masterpiece, Nature Colors and Rainbow.
Some YLI's
Coats and Clark Trilopal Polyesters
 Aurifil 50/2 and heavier weight Aurifil
Sulky rayon mostly
Mettlers 50/3, 60/2 and machine quilting weight
Quite a few have never been used and are still in their plastic sleeves.  Some were loved and used a lot but most have many many yards left on the spools. 
Why am I getting rid of them.  I have decided that I really really like Isacord for machine quilting in both the top and bobbin so I have ordered every color that I think I will every use and I am making room for them and awaiting their arrival.

My quilts arrived back from the Mancuso show in Florida.  One with a Blue Ribbon.
I still have one piece out of the house at Rice University.  That exhibit should end in a week so I am expecting that piece to return before Thanksgiving.
I got back from my travels late on Monday and had to do all the things that one does when one returns from a trip. Laundry, grocery shopping, unpacking, yuck!!!
There is nothing on my schedule for the next 6-7 weeks and I am looking forward to getting some painting and quilting done. 
Several quilt show deadlines are looming and I am challenging myself to make something new for AQS Paducah.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

I drove to Southbury

on Wednesday afternoon and arrived about 5:00 PM as it was getting dark. The Heritage Hotel was as I remembered. Well run, nice room and great food. The retreat remains a popular venue for quilters in the north east. Most of those attending are from NY and PA. Some come from further away, D.C., SC, NC, NJ, IL and me from FL. A few computer suave quilter's husband round out the mix and make things run smooth for almost 100 women who are attending more as a relax and retreat place than as a workshop stop.
Since I arrived I have not left the hotel and I was glad to find my class room had a window to a courtyard and this tree with peeling bark
was as close as I have come to communing with nature.

Here are 4 of my student in the paint it portion of my Paint-it/Quilt-it/Finish-it 2-1/2 day workshop. Ellen, Renee,Beverly and Barbara.

When I checked on line for the result of the Mancuso Show in West Palm, FL I was pleasantly pleased to see that I had won the Best Machine Workmanship Award for Kissimmee Garden which I have shown you in past blog post. Yeah!!!!!!
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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Today I was a tourist

for anyone who is not familiar with the Cranston/Providence area of Rhode Island, all I can say is you have to be a native to know when you have crossed the city limits from one city to the other. I am never really sure when I have. But at any rate, I drove into downtown Providence with the help of the GPS to find "College Hill" a section of Providence where Brown University is and all I can say is, it is a really charming part of the city and really on a HILL. I parked and walked UP HILL to the Art Museum where I spent some time walking and looking. It was a very eclectic collection of stuff housed there but the four images above represent some of what caught my eye. The Buddha was HUGH. The oil paintings were not to my liking but I did catch a little of the talk one of the Rhode Island Art Institute professors was giving to a group of students. The lecture was on the need to practice and that it takes a certain amount of applying and practicing your trade to become proficient and an artist. DUH!!!
From there I drove up one street and down another, looking and stopping and looking some more. The collage above and the one below are some of what I saw. The leaves on a tree outside of the museum was an amazing color. I LOVE yellow.

Then with the help of the GPS I made my way back to my son Myke's house and we had a late lunch.
Tomorrow I am driving over to Southbury, CT. If I see anything interesting I'll blog about it.
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I arrived

in Rhode Island and knew immediately that I had traveled into the coming Winter. The wind on Sunday definitely had the feel of snow in the air. I have not been away from north long enough to lose that "knowing feeling". Mind you I did not want it to snow, not when I had to drive 2 plus hours from Cranston, RI to Lowell, MA. So I was very relieved to see only this much snow when I woke on Monday morning.
It was a very selective snow as I learned because Framingham, MA, about an hour away north of Providence got no snow and there was none further north in Lowell.
I was one of the jurors for the regional SAQA exhibit that will open in January of 2011.
I am always pleased to see what others are creating on one hand. On the other hand it is evident that too many or doing work that is not truly theirs. There is still too much of noted quilt teachers work apparent in the entries. And there is still too many that enter competitions with images that do not do justice to their work.
All in all the exhibit should be on your must stop in and see if you live in or near or can travel to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA
I was amazed to see that while Thanksgiving is still weeks away, the Christmas/Holiday decorations were being installed in Lowell.
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Friday, November 05, 2010

If all goes as planned

I will be in Rhode Island by this time tomorrow.   More likely than not shivering from the chilly weather.  Of course all is not "summer" here in Florida so I don't have much to complain about.  Woke this morning to mid 50's and a brisk breeze.   No coffee on the balcony for me this morning.
I have managed to get 10 days worth of clothes and 3 days worth of class supplies into one bag that will be checked and one carry-on computer bag.  I also carry on my quilts, which are rolled and so far have had no problem getting the roll to fit in the over head bin.
Will check in from time to time in the next days from New England if I have Internet connection.

Monday, November 01, 2010

My new residence

Looks down from the third floor into the garden. I have enjoyed waking up the last two mornings and having my coffee on the balcony. I can hear the hear the sound of the water flowing in the fountain from here. I could barely see it from the windows of my other apartment and never heard it there.
Now that I am here, despite some unpacking that remains to be done, I am glad that I moved.
But you all have my permission to commit me if I suggest that I am moving ever again. That is (unless I have some one(s) come in, pack it all up, carry it into the next place and in total down to the last spool of thread, unpack and organize it). I'm sure for enough money that is possible. To take a break I am sitting here blogging when I should be putting away some more of the studio stuff. Then I need to get the pictures and quilts back on the wall and my design wall attached. The rest of today and the better part of tomorrow morning should see it all in place and me back to living as if all of this never happened.

From the third floor I am looking out at the palm trees instead of looking up at them. Nice having this perspective.
Wednesday I will plan to get my teaching supplies, samples etc organized and packed. I'm off to Providence on Saturday morning. Not sure if I will blog more before I leave, but I will blog while traveling if I have Internet connections along the way.
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