Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
After committing myself to The Sketchbook Project yesterday, I decided that I should probably do some more entries in the journals I already have. There is one lesson to go in my Artistic Journaling workshop. I have made some backgrounds, but need to work on painting a face.
Meantime, I ate lunch on the front porch today to enjoy the sunny, mild weather after several days of rain. Our box of baby bluebirds had emptied out recently, so I just dumped out the old nest yesterday. Along came Mama and Papa Bluebird, and promptly began Nest #2 of the season. (At least, I am guessing it is the same pair...who knows?) So, I got out my watercolor pencils and Moleskine and did a quick drawing. I later blended the colors with a wet brush and added details and text with colored pencils and markers.
Usually one bird stands guard on top of the box or on a nearby branch while the other works on the nest. Bluebirds use pine needles almost exclusively, at least here at Chez McBrayer. If my five children had just left home, I don't know if I would have the heart to start another brood so soon!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I signed up today for a project that I hope will be a spark for my creativity for the rest of the year.
"It's like a concert tour, but with sketchbooks."
The Sketchbook Project is sponsored by the Brooklyn Art Library. Participants will each receive a Moleskine sketchbook to fill with any kind of art they desire. Choose a theme and a color for your book cover, fill it up, and send it back by January 2011. The sketchbooks will then go on tour, can be checked out, even offered for sale if desired. Each book will have a bar code so you can track it online, tell when it is checked out, receive comments. Pretty cool!
I chose the theme "In Flight." Birds, butterflies, clouds, angels, ideas... want to come fly with me?
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Last night was a wonderful night at the Capital Quilters Guild of Raleigh. It was the first time I had attended guild since we moved to our new location at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh. We have tripled our space, and the room was much more light and airy. Two raffle quilts were on display.
The first is the Carolina Longarm Association raffle quilt, which will be raffled at our show in September. The amazing machine quilting was done by Rosemary Cushman. It features gorgeous feathers, duplication of the applique motifs, pebbling, McTavishing, piano keys...just amazing.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
In the large center striped area of each block, I used Pam Clarke's Designs With Lines circle stencil to freehand a rose wreath. Inside the wreath I added additional leaves and a swirl.
In the pieced square area around each block, I quilted what I call "Swirly-cues", or reversing C-curves. You can see the quilting better from the back.
The pink sashing strips got a curvy leaf vine, using Pam Clarke's Leaf Border stencil. Martha added some glue-basted butterfly shapes, most likely die-cut from her Big Shot machine, since she used this method on her flower quilts. I just followed the shape of the butterfly wings inside the edge to fasten these down. The will have the "shabby chic" look of a frayed edge.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Last week before we left on our trip to St. Louis, I spent a day or two playing with TAP artist transfer paper. This product is similar to other iron-on transfers in that you can print your digital images on it. However, this one can be ironed on to other materials than fabric. It claims you can transfer to wood, metal, and glass. I produced several transfers of my photographs on to white cotton, white silk, gessoed canvas, and untreated canvas board. All were very successful and printed perfectly with no change in hand. The only exception was the canvas board. Perhaps if I had continued to iron a little more. The image was just a little scratchy on the board, but I am using it to make a collage.
The collage above features a photo of my grandmother Polly and her sister back in the days of horse and buggy. I used coffee-stained laces and a pin-tucked shirt with lace and bows that was also coffee-stained. This little piece smells good! Cafe au lait!
I used a glue-stick to mount the photo onto a piece of canvas, and then just started adding lace and trim until I liked the look. I used some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine, and also added a few touches of hand embroidery, silk flower petals, and buttons. The word Joy is made by painting with acrylic paint over adhesive scrapbook letters that I stuck on black fabric. I'm not sure the text exactly matches the nostalgic look, but I wanted a little contrast to all the beige and natural tones.
After fraying the edges of the canvas by picking out threads, I made a backing by fusing fabric to a piece of Timtex, turning under the edges, and stitching to the front. I would advise being sure that you do not want to embellish further before attaching the backing. It is not easy to stitch through the stiff layers of interfacing and fabric, especially by hand!
This little piece is 7.5 inches square.
I am on the last border of a custom quilt I have been working on a long time, so will try to have pics of it soon. Another little accident slowed me down a bit. I was weeding the garden on Sunday afternoon when I tripped over a shovel and fell face down in the yard. After that I spent the afternoon applying ice packs to my black eye and wondering if I should go to the ER. I decided I did not have a concussion, but I do have quite a shiner!