Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My life is running along a smooth

road of late with no adventuresome twist or turns to report. I haven't blog for some time because there really has not been anything of interest even to me to report. But since one of my friend sent an e-mail wondering how I was because I had not blogged for a while I thought I'd better check in. I am back to be alone. Justin is still in Louisville and called to say he will not be on his way back until Friday. Being alone, I have gone through a number of books on Cd's and I am liking Harlan Coben's books a lot. Even listening to them out of series order has not diminished them. I finished quilting one of the tops I had painted, but have not cropped to square or face it. I started on a second top and was working on it when a friend from Louisville came to visit for 6 days. She arrived on Tuesday and left on Sunday. During her stay I was contacted to do a commission piece that I want to have finished before I leave for Louisville on April 13Th. So I stopped working on one piece and began designing the commissioned piece On Sunday on my way home from the airport I stopped to buy gold metallic thread and gold metallic fabric. The commission requires the use of them. That should be fun! Or not... Will let you know.

While my friend was here, (non-quilting friend) I was perplexed as to what to do with her. A trip to the beach came to mind so off we went on Thursday. Collage below images from Dayton Beach. On Saturday we walked to the movie theatre to see "The Lincoln Lawyer" fifteen minutes into the movie I knew I had read the book that the movie was based on. It was followed so close to the book that there was no surprises. But all in all not a bad movie if you have not read the book.
So if I don't blog for awhile just know that I am keeping busy and listening to more books on cd's. Oh yes, I like using the Glide thread. It has more of a sheen than Isacord, but maybe that is just my eyes. While it and Isacord are labeled 40 wt the Glide is thicker and it works really well for me using a matching Isacord in the bobbin and using a #14 Embroidery needles, just in case you decided you want to try it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another productive day

Three while cloth painting so far. I decided to add strips to the hibiscus bloom painting. Because I have so many tubes of red paint, I decided that I needed to paint a color sample board so I could make better choices of which color to use, so the paint sample board was the next thing I did this morning before starting and completing the piece using snow drop flower shapes, which I know are white flowers, but you can't paint white flowers on white fabric and I did not want to do a dark background. Yes it is far more delicate looking than what I normally do, but felt that I needed to explore using more pastel colors in order to get a feel for handling them. I must admit, while I like this piece I much prefer intense saturated color best. So my next piece will let me use some really yummy colors tomorrow.
I have a piece of fabric stretched on my paint surface propped on the easel ready for me to get started again tomorrow. More than likely my tomorrow's painting will be one using my abstract blooms, no brainer to give myself a metal break while I think of another flower to paint on Thursday. I have listened to two book so far, neither one of which were spell binding, but neither were they boring.
Karen:  I do like my easel.  This one is great because I can raise and lower the area where the paint surface rest.  I can stand or sit on my stool to rest my back or feet.  It is light in weight and I can pick it up to move it when the paint surface is not on it, but it does have wheel that don't roll to well on the carpeted floor.  Would be great on tile or wood or a solid surface.  And yes it does allow for me to step back and get a better prospective of what I am painting.
I'll close for now as I am trying to decide if I want to walk to the other side of the building to see if there is anything in my mail box. Justin did this for me every day as well as pitch the trash which I am having to do too. I really must un-spoil myself.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's still a little strange

being here by myself, but I am adjusting. It was so nice getting up this morning and not finding a body asleep on a air mattress in the middle of my living room area. And had forgot how nice it was to listen to books on tape on a "Boom Box " style CD player. For some months now I have had to be attached to a CD player in my apron pocket when Justin was here so I wasn't interfering with what he was watching on the television. Yes I am a considerate person. Years ago when I worked late in the studio and the grandsons were younger and had school the next day I would use wireless headphone to keep from being tittered but for me listening with no encumbrance is sheer delight.
Sundays about once every three weeks or so is my day with my daughter Rene' to make the trip to the Library. Knowing I could listen til my heart was contented I brought home 10 books on Cd's. Two by Harlan Cobin who I have not read or listened to. I saw a display of his books maybe a dozen or more in paperback at Barnes and Nobles yesterday when I was there picking up the latest issue of "cloth-paper scissors studio". I picked up and read the back cover of a couple of them as I was waiting my turn in line for the cashier. They sounded interesting.
Besides the two by him that were available at the library I checked out several other authors, mostly cops and mysteries and I think two light romances with a twist of humor. At least the one other book by this author I listened to was light, charming and in spots down right funny. So I am looking forward to seeing if these two by her are as fun to listen to as well.
Several weeks ago. Well more like a little over a month ago, I did some straightening up and organizing of my stuff. Remember me telling you all about finding these great DMC thread boxes back last Fall. Well they are great. Now everything is labeled. I thought I was putting stuff away logically. You know pens with paper and envelopes. Colored pencils with watercolor paints and brushes. But no. I find myself standing in front of them saying "Now where is ...? I think now I should rearrange the drawers in alphabetical order since my brain seems to want to find stuff in the manner. The missing drawer has watercolor paints, well my brains says it should be in bottom of the three drawers in the third box down on the right.
Started painting on this piece today. It still needs some more shading, but not to total finished state since I like adding thread in matching or a little contrasting color for veining and I can always work back into it later if areas need to blend more or highlights are needed.
This one hour ahead thing has caught up with me so I think I will call it quits for tonight and go off to bed.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Home alone once again

for now.  I would be shouting with joy,  but I am of mixed feeling about the fact that I am.
I've had Justin with me more or less non-stop since last October.  He left last night for a driving trip to Louisville to see friends and family before he raises his right hand and swears himself into the Navy on April 12th.   He will also make the drive from Louisville to Missouri to see his Mom and brothers before returning here to Florida on or about April 3rd or 4th.   If I am missing him some now, I know I will miss him a lot when he goes off to basic training. 
I didn't sleep as soundly as I normally do since he was driving through the night, but once I knew he had safely arrived in Louisville  I spent the morning cleaning and returning my place to my space, more or less a studio where I live and can be more productive  in rather than a place that accommodated another person in the space.  So I am going to take advantage of my alone time and works, work, work before he returns.
I finished painting a 44" x 36" piece last might.  I want to paint 2-3 more pieces in this size range or a little larger in the next few days. Then I will quilt, quilt, quilt.
I borrowed my daughters little Mini Cooper ( haven't had as much fun driving a car since my VW bug died in the mid 70's) and drove myself up to DeLand for the opening reception at the DeLand Business and Conference center.  It was very nicely done.  The usual cheese and fruit assortment, assorted small cakes that I dared not touch and an open wine bar and cash bar for the harder stuff.  I had water.
It was 90 minutes well spent looking and talking to those who had come for the opening which included some of the other artist with work in the show.  I reacquainted myself with a couple of the artist that I've met here and there.  
 One of my students from the Kissimmee Quilt Shop class was leaving as I arrived and we passed a few minutes chatting.  Most of the work on exhibit were  small pieces in the 18" sq inch or less size.  There were two "Whisper Challanges"  I think.
What is a Whisper Challenge?  It is a group project with the lead person being the only one to see a picture that will be the design influence.  That person make a quilt from that influence and passes her finished piece to the next person to be the influence for their piece, who in turn passes their piece on to the third person and so on and so on.  It works like the game we placed as children with one person whispering something into your ear and you turn and whisper what you thought you heard to the next person in line and the last person says out loud what they heard and yes, the last quilt in the process had no visual relationship to the picture that influenced the first work.  For that fact as I was looking at the progression, the influence was lost totally by the third piece.  Interesting concept.  I wonder if you could play the game with yourself with any success?
My work and some woven pieces and some really interesting silk tubes that hung from the ceiling were the largest pieces displayed.  Sorry did not get the name of the artist who created the tube or the woven cloth pieces or a good image of their work.  The lighting wasn't good enough.
I took some pictures of a few of the pieces that caught my eye and then there was the rocks in a garden in front of the Business Center.  WOW... They looked planned, like art but they were real.  Work of the Master Creator.
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I have two grand children with birthday this week, Joslyn in Providence turned 18 on the 6th and John Christ in MO turns 20 today.  Boy they are getting old.  Happy Happy sweeties.
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Monday, March 07, 2011

Two good things

came by mail today. Well  more accurately one came by US Mail and the other was delivered by UPS.

The USPS Mailman brought me an acceptance letter from AQS for the Paducah Show. Yea!!!   That's  5 shows, 5 acceptances and 2 Blue Ribbons so far.   And yes I am counting.

 Not bad for an old broad who decided to get back into the quilt show competition game.   
And the second good thing; UPS brought me 30 spools of wonderful colors from the makers of Glide thread. Glide is a 40wt polyester thread that I had read good reviews of after I had decided to focus on using Isacord thread exclusively.
You know I've been buying spools and spools of it  and now have all the colors I wanted so why did I decide to venture in another direction. Mainly, curiosity.
I was going to purchase only one or two spools of Glide at first just to try it when Francine, one of my Chicago students read my blog and decided to bring a spool of Glide with her when she came for classes so I could try it.
I did and I liked it very much. I didn't put it in the bobbin, just through the needle and I had Isacord in the bobbin.
Glide and Isacord are both marketed as 40wt threads, but on close inspection the Glide is noticbly thicker. Perfect for thread painting applications since it fills in faster than the Isacord does.  I has the look when stitched that is closer to what Robinson Anton  Rayon looks like when stitched.  I like RA too on the rare occassion when I used it. 
Disadvantage--- Glide does not have as many colors. So when I decided to purchase some I went on line and selected thirty spools; buying all the colors that I thought I would find useful for what I am currently doing.
Will let you know if I am still happy with it once I use it on something I want to create for my next quilt show entry.
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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Kissimmee Class

A comment to the last post asked what I was teaching in Kissimmee. So to answer that question; this is the class sample for that two session class. It features a multi-fabric pieced background with machine applique, some thread painting and highlights and shadows accomplished with color pencils and acrylic paint.
This is a good class for a quilt shop because it sells a lot of fabric, at least 11 different ones for the top and then there is the backing, batting, thread and other stuff.
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Saturday, March 05, 2011

I went to Kissimmee today

to teach a class at Queen Anne's Lace Quilt Shop.  It has been a while since I was there last. Despite me not using a lot of commercial fabrics anymore in my work, there is still something about a quilt store.  Maybe its all the color that surrounds you and all the samples of patterns  and samples of stuff you "could" make and the books, not that I need anymore and the.... you know. All the stuff....  It really isn't about need.
I find most quilt stores to be happy places to be and who in these times does not need at least one place in the world where you feel happy.
There were 11 ladies in the class today, twelve is about all the room will hold when everyone is using a sewing machine and a cutting mat.  One of the ladies is  a "snowbird from Canada" a repeat student of mine from a class I taught there last winter.  she will begoing back to Canada in April.  We have retired RN status in common. 
Mary Ann from my in house three day class was there as well as one of the members from the local quilt guild, my patron, Nancy.  She brought one of my quilts at the quilt show last month.  Yea!!!! for patrons.
You know me.... yes I took my camera, but no I didn't take any pictures. 
Session two of the class will be held the first Saturday in April and I promise I will take pictures of what they did.  Today's session ever one was creating a multi-fabric pieced background to use for their large scale flower and there will be 11 very different looking backgrounds.  Can't wait to show you.
Latest news:  Mary McBride the SAQA President for this area has curated several exhibits that are in different venue in the central Florida.  Collectively these exhibits are titled Volusia Wrapped in Fiber.  She took 10 pieces of mine on Thursday to  consider for hanging at the DeLand Conference & Business Center.  The opening reception for that is March 11 and I think she said she was going to put one or two of the ten pieces at the Rose Room Gallery, Peabody Auditorium too.  That exhibit opens March 10th, no opening  reception by an "art talk" is scheduled for March 25th.  There are six venues in total and I have only seen one so far so, the one at the Gateway Center for the Arts.   I think next Saturday I will make a trip up Interstate 4 to the furthermost point and make my way back, stopping to see the other five.  Yes, I promise, I'll take pictures. :)