Wednesday, February 27, 2008
And, this weekend begins the online quilting class I signed up for with Pamela Allen through the website Quilters Threads. Bad timing- of course I had no idea I would be getting a new job when I signed up. But I am looking forward to learning some new ideas and techniques from this quilt artist! Here is the description of the class:
Think Like an Artist- Have you made the transition from traditionally designed quilts to ART quilts? Would you like to? Then this is the class for you. There are two parts to every art quilt....one is the technical expertise of stitching, applique, quilting, blocking, binding. And we all continue to improve in this category simply by making work . The other side ... the ART part....is more ephemeral, as it requires many years of questioning, risk taking and imagination to develop. Pamela has designed a program that will start the student along the road to that development. Students will hone in on the whole process of art making using a series of hands on exercises which focus on the important elements of creativity.
And this additional information is provided on the page about the class:
I met Pamela Allen on an online email list several years ago. She started out making collages out of fabric and this past year, she has been adding intricate quilting motifs that she free hand quilts. She has been doing this on a lower model Kenmore and has just found out that she is the recipient of a new machine from Janome of Canada. Pamela lives in Kingston, Ontario with her husband who is also an artist. Pamela gave me this message to you - I favour a rather informal style where the image is developed as a sort of "stream of consciousness". By that I mean each element grows from what has taken place previously. This attitude works well with my drawing-with-scissors technique, which allows me to put down background, primary shapes with prints and recycled fabrics, and then develop the narrative by additions and reductions depending on how the composition is developing. I have a largish collection of books on folk art, outsider art, and non European art which inspire me. I can relate to the kind of art that is spontaneous and unselfconscious. It’s as if the idea goes directly from the heart to the hand, bypassing the brain and it’s preconceived ideas. Emulating this philosophy allows me to keep an open mind right to the very completion of each project I look for the personal element in art, where the artist seems to have direct knowledge or experience with her subject matter. When I am working, I have to have a personal stake in it to maintain my interest.
Check out Pamela Allen's website to see some of her work.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
It is sometimes a custom to offer a drawing of a blogiversary gift to those who leave comments. I promise I will also do that, but must postpone until a later date. My sewing room is all torn up due to recent painting and re-organizing, and sewing machines in the shop! I will announce a nice give-away when I go back into production!
Today I spent a yawning morning in orientation back to the school system where I worked for 24 years. I am now officially "hired," and will start work tomorrow morning at a nearby elementary school. I am looking forward to working with kids again and being part of the friendly faculty at this school.
Here is an organization tip: I have been looking for pegboard-type solutions for the new sewing room. Wal-Mart has a pegboard starter kit, already finished white, with lots of hooks and connectors. You can configure the four pegboards any way you like. This is much more workable for me than buying a huge pegboard sheet at the big box home improvement store, painting it white, sawing it to fit, and inserting spacers and hanging.
And my $5.00 file cabinet from the side of the road is now rust-free and painted a bright creamy almond color instead of the ugly dull putty. It took a bit of work, but it's done!
Wish me luck tomorrow in my new job!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Here is my first pink camellia. And first daffodil!
How about a nice little cluster of crocus?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Since both my machines are in for servicing and the sewing room is OUT of service, I thought I would feature a little art quilt I did a couple years ago as part of a challenge by the Cyberbee, a group I belong to. Several of us signed up for the challenge, which featured a monthly inspiration such as a poem, song, or piece of music, and one technique drawn from a hat. This one was based on a poem by Maya Angelou called This Winter Day, and the chosen technique was Shiva Paint Sticks. The Shiva Paint Sticks were used to create the orange and green vegetables. I did some woven strips for the background. I like the back better than the front, since I prefer bright colors. Anyway, since many of you are experiencing heavy snow this weekend, here is my version of This Winter Day. The back has the poem written on the hanging sleeve. This little piece is only about 81/2 by 11".
The kitchen is in readiness
White green and other things
Leak their blood selves in the soup.
Ritual sacrifice that snaps
an odor at my nose, and starts
my tongue to march,
slipping in the liquid of its drip.
The day, silver, striped
in rain, is balked against
my window and the soup.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Here are the rules:
A. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
B. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
C. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Okay, now for seven things I have never mentioned about myself in my blog.
1- I used to slalom water-ski.
2- I was terribly near-sighted until I had Lasik corrective surgery in 1999. Now I only need glasses for prolonged reading or close-up work. (But it made it hard to water-ski when I could hardly see the boat!)
3- I once was almost fluent in French.
4- I love the outdoors. (Okay, maybe you know that!)
5- I have a green thumb. One of my houseplants, a schefflera, has been with me for 24 years!
6- I have taught every grade of public school from K-12!
7- I have a terrible sense of direction. Hard to find my way out of doctor’s examining room, find my car in a parking lot, and I could surely use a navigation system in my car!
No tagging- almost all of the blogs I follow have been tagged already. But if you would like to play along, consider yourself tagged!
And here is Sweet Sue, the Suburu, loaded down with Goodwill parcels in the back seat, and trash dump bags in the back. I had no idea there was so much unused stuff in that room! Bryson, if you are reading this, I did save your baseball cards!
And no, I am not throwing away a case of Jack Daniel's...it's just a box!
So today, it is off to the post office to mail Bryson his missing wallet, to the Goodwill, to the dump, to the County Schools office to pick up more paperwork, and back to the doctor to get a mini-physical for my employment. Busy, busy!
Monday, February 18, 2008
So, I am trying to complete a big project before I head back to the world of the employed. One of my goals when I retired (in 2005) was to re-organize my sewing room. That still has not been achieved. My sewing room is one of two attic bedrooms that we had finished when we bought our house. Being under the eaves limits your space, but I had definitely outgrown my little room. We just moved the queen-sized bed out of the second bedroom, and I am going to take over the entire third floor! So this weekend I have been painting the first of the two rooms. It is now a sponge-painted peach with golden tones, sort of like the roses in this photo. This is going to become the new sewing room. When I move the stuff out of the former sewing room, I will paint that room as well. It will be the painting room/book room/non sewing stuff room for my projects. I have purchased a work stand with a slanted top to use for fabric painting or drawing. All the paints and books and other non-sewing or fabric stuff will go in here. All my son's remaining belongings from his old bedroom is going to the Goodwill since it has now been more than four years since he moved out. (Speak now or forever hold your peace!)
So, painting and storage solutions will take up most of my week before it's hi-ho, hi-ho time again. Anyone have an alternative to the Koala sewing furniture? I think it is about time that I replace my tote bags and Rubbermaid containers and get something workable.
Friday, February 15, 2008
One of the favorites that I kept is called At Piece With Time: A Woman's Journey Stitched in Cloth. This is a lovely book with watercolor illustrations, many charming and inspirational quotations, and a series of blocks that make up a sampler quilt. The author is Kristin C. Steiner and the illustrator is Diane c. Frankenberger. I had never heard of this book, but highly recommend it as beautiful eye candy and feel-good inspiration. I love the style of the artwork, and have been copying some of the sketches for drawing practice.
The UFO's include a partially finished lap quilt with a golf-themed fabric surrounded by mitered framing strips. It is long and skinny, so it either needs more blocks or borders. She also has made some lovely rose and green blocks, which I will use for something for the girls.
And yesterday, I bought another book because I am trying to learn as many techniques as I can to transfer photographs to quilts. This one is called Photo Album Quilts, by Wendy Butler Berns. I think that I learned of this quilt artist from The Quilt Show. Can't wait to discover her techniques.
I also got Charlie an electric toothbrush for our mountain cabin. Before long, we will have all the comforts of home in our little retreat! Another non-traditional Valentine. Last year I gave him a gift certificate to DaVinci's Pork store!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Now I need to remember to add a five-inch sleeve to Something "Girly" since it currently has only the usual four-inch hanging sleeve. That should not be a problem. Last year I was still painting this one a week before its debut at the Capital Quilters Guild Show!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Anyway, Jean H. brought me her gorgeous applique top to quilt yesterday. I decided I better get right on it. She wanted wonky flowers, hearts, and an informal, whimsical look. That is what I love to do! Each block is different and has loads of cute fabrics and motifs. Here is what I have done so far. Please excuse any basting stitches or hanging threads that have not been trimmed yet.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Do not worry about this little duck frozen to our pond- it is a decoy!
On Saturday afternoon we took a trip to West Jefferson to visit some friends from college who also have a mountain home in Ashe County. It was so nice to sit with old friends and get caught up. We will probably see more of them in the mountains than we do at home, since our Wake County homes are at opposite ends of the county.We took another ride to the top of the mountain on Saturday night. There was no moon, and the stars were shining so brightly! I saw two shooting stars. I also spotted something I had never seen in the wild...a great horned owl! He was just sitting on a branch of a tree near the Christmas tree farms. He just sat there letting us admire him, blinking in the headlights of our Gators. Then he flew soundlessly over our heads.
Sunday morning, Charlie and I went for a long walk. We went up the road, then up the mountain and across the tree farms, back down and home. My legs got a good workout!
I got about half of the binding done on James' quilt. A great weekend!