Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trying Out Fabric Paper...and Another Collage

Continuing my journey in mixed media, I painted and stamped a canvas board, added some collaged papers and lace, and drew all over it with black ink. The brown shading is done with Conte crayon. The text at the lower right was on a bit of scrapbook paper.  It is the first three lines from a poem by Thomas Campion: 

There is a Garden in her face,
Where Roses and white Lillies grow ;
A heau'nly paradise is that place.

I chose to interpret the poem quite literally!  I like the colors and layering on this one, but might do something about that big green leaf that is pointing to the lady's face.

After reading through the Stitch Alchemy book by Kelli Perkins, I was moved to try constructing some fabric paper.  On my first attempt, I ignored the suggestion to use muslin as the base.  I had this old ugly piece of  rust calico that I wanted to repurpose.  I covered it in tissue papers, scrapbook papers, and magazine cutouts.  The big yellow flower is some of my ill-fated hand-made paper that I painted.

This came out okay, but I disliked the areas where I had applied white tissue paper...and I thought the white and black diamonds were a little stark.  I squirted a Tim Holz ink in "butterscotch" over almost the whole piece to give it a kind of glaze.  Here is a section of it.  The lovely lady was from a feature in the St. Louis magazine in our hotel.


This one would be my favorite, except that I got a lot of wrinkles right in the lady's face when it dried.  I attribute this to being a rookie!  I was using a 2-1 mixture of water to Allene's Tacky Glue to attach and seal the papers to the fabric base.

Next up, another green piece, this time intended to be ocean-themed. It is on a muslin base, but the fabric had been dipped in my  turquoise rinse water from painting journal pages.  The seaweed vine was drawn on Golden Threads paper, which I sometimes use for quilting designs on the long-arm.  Everything else but the seahorse is just tissue paper layered over each other.

The next one is a modge-podge of tissue paper, fabric, and a graphic illustration I liked from the Wall Street Journal.

What will I do with any of this?  Who knows?  It's fun!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

All Things Quilty in the Mountains

It did not take long to find something quilty to show you from our trip to the mountains this weekend!

The Upper Mountain Agriculture Research Station has added another quilt barn to the two existing ones on the  farm.  This one is a very striking star pattern on the barn on our side of Hwy 88.

It was so nice to get to the mountains where the temps always are about fifteen degrees cooler.  We went up to the top of the mountain and sat in the Christmas tree farm, where there is always a nice breeze.  We watched the sunset.

When we got back to the cabin, we were greeted by the cheery Christmas lights we left on the garage doors, and a giant orange full moon rising.

Next morning, we went into West Jefferson for groceries and supplies.  Our first stop is usually Welch's Produce.  They have added some carts with green and yellow wheels, and red umbrellas to protect from the sun. 

We bought tomatoes, corn on the cob, cantaloupe, fresh peaches, sourdough bread, seedless blackberry jam, and some mountain honey.  Unfortunately, Charlie dropped the jar of honey when we got home, and it broke.  WAAH!

Our friend and neighbor Ricky had a birthday while we were at the beach.  We got him a bottle of a potent potable.  I couldn't find a gift bag to recycle, so I painted a brown bag from Yankee Candle and added a mountain picture that I cut from a real estate brochure.  The white paint pen that I bought for my artistic journaling class came in handy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yellow and Blue

I was wrong when I said yesterday that it would be 101 degrees.  Our home thermometer registered 105!

Here is the quilt I worked on yesterday...one of those die-cut flower quilts made with the Big Shot machine.  This one is a cool and lovely combination of blue, yellow, and white.  Very cool and serene looking!

I only finished one pass, as these take quite awhile to do.  You have to stitch around each of the three circles that make up each floral applique.  I am free-motion stitching leaves, flowers, vines and swirls in the background and borders.

This combination of colors is very pleasing (except that I am having trouble with the thread blending in those prints so well that I can't see where I 've stitched).  I walked around the yard (before 9:00 AM) to see if I had any of those colors in the gardens.

The lavender growing by my garden pond is a good example.

I have at least three blue buddleigh or "butterfly bushes."

Here is a bee working on a white abelia blossom.

And on the other side of the porch steps, the sunflowers are starting to pop out.

Here is a strange place to find a praying mantis...on the ceiling of the front porch.  Hope it eats all the mosquitoes!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Re-Vision Quilt Project: The Beginning

While I was at the beach, my awesome quilt group, Cyberbee, had an all-day meeting during which the Re-Vision Quilt project was launched. 

We have been toying with the idea for this swap for a long time, since Michelle read about the idea on Judy Rys' blog.

 I sent my project (a Ricky Tims Harmonic Convergence quilt top) along in a stapled brown paper bag, and Jean picked up a brown bag project for me.  When I found out it was from Mary Corcoran, I got excited because Mary is an awesome quilter who uses vibrant color combinations.

Yesterday, Jean and I had lunch, and we opened my bag to see the quilt Mary had bestowed on me.


The idea behind Re-Vision projects is to give away a quilt project that you either do not like or just do not want to finish.  Once you give it away, you lose all control over what the new owner does to it.  And you don't get it back.  Typically, you might give away a project that would remain a UFO (Un-Finished Object) forever.

Our group has set December as the completion date for the Re-Vision quilt projects.  The quilts can be disassembled, cut up, painted, over-dyed, made into jackets or bags...whatever!

Here is my problem...I already love this quilt. It has fabulous borders, precise piecing, and is made from batiks in teal with bright accents. My living room happens to be teal with bright accent colors...

Why cut it up or paint it?  I think I may add an additional border and quilt it and have a gorgeous quilt to snuggle under while engaging in couch potato-ing.

It is going to be 101 today.  Can anyone really even be thinking about quilting?

Oh, yes!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthday Queen

I discovered that I like being the Birthday Queen!

My darling husband showered me with nice things, including these quilt-related items that I am looking forward to reviewing.  I think I will have enough new ideas and techniques for a lifetime!

We discovered the Amazon Wish List last year, which allows you to add items from any web site to your wish list.  When I find something of interest while reading e-mail or browsing, I add it to my wish list.   When Amazon talks, people listen!

We went to dinner with Dave and Emily at The Melting Pot.  This is one of my favorite restaurants.  It's a slow, kind of romantic dinner. 

Vegetarians, close your eyes and scroll down a bit.

Okay, now on to the chocolate amoretta flambe for dessert.

I got another surprise gift from Charlie that is quilt-related and I will show when I figure out how to use it.  Yes, a new gadget! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Big Six-O

Today is my sixtieth birthday.  Yikes!  How did I get so old so fast?

I got a great card from BIL and SIL Richard and Phylis at the beach last week.

I got a good laugh out of this.  So far, I can relate to Rocky, Wrinkly, Squinty, and Saggy; but I'm not looking forward to the others except maybe Nappy.  :)

Here is another great gift from Dave and Emily.  I love the color combination, which is more aqua and coral than the picture shows.  Dave pointed out the special stitching- a true son of a quilter!

Tonight we are going to a great fondue restaurant called The Melting Pot in Raleigh, but I feel like I have been celebrating for a week! Party on!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stitch Alchemy book

I have a wonderful new book that was an early birthday present from my son and daughter-in-law.   Stitch Alchemy by Kelli Perkins is all about combining fabric and paper for mixed-media art.  The author refers to the resulting product as paper-cloth.  I have also heard it called fabric paper.  This is a process that I am anxious to try out!

Why paper-cloth?  For one thing, you can create colors and designs that are uniquely original, rather than depend on commercial fabric.  For another, you can cut paper-cloth and applique it without turning under the edges.  Paper-cloth can be stitched, painted, and embellished to your heart's content.

To make paper-cloth, you can use cheap, plain muslin, white craft tissue paper, and white glue.  Once you get the base prepared, you can add almost any surface design technique, such as stamping, stenciling, texturing, and almost any paint technique.  There are pages and pages of instructions and ideas for "saturating your paper-cloth with juicy color."

I can't wait to get started!  Even the pages of the book are juicy and inviting.  Great gift!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers' Day Love

My father has seven children- all of us are in the above picture, which also includes my Aunt Billie.  And every one of us think we had the best father in the world.  That is saying something!

Dad has 14 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren so far.  That's a lot of father's day love!

And here is some Father's Day love for my husband.  He is a big man to look up to, and our children and grandchildren certainly do.  Well, except Dave is now about four inches taller.

Our oldest son, Bryson, is now a single father.  He does an amazing job with his two little ones.  I don't know if I have ever seen such a devoted Daddy. 

Our other son, Dave, does not have any children yet, but the way he cares for his fur-kid lets me know that he will also be a good daddy some day when the time is right.

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We're Ba-a-a-ck

We left our rented beach cottage on 40th Street, Sunset Beach,  behind this morning.

We will miss being with our kids, grandkids, and grand-dog.  And the other four houses of Turners and McBrayers in the neighborhood.

Both of the grands were so delightful and well-behaved.

It was a wonderful week, very hot but usually with nice breezes.

The one-lane drawbridge to Sunset Bridge caught us on the way home.  It opens on the hour for pleasure craft, that have to wait for the bridge to swing open. We had to wait an additional twenty-one minutes while sailboats and other craft went through and the bridge swung back.  There are usually interesting sites to see in the marsh while we wait. Today there was a guy net-fishing, several interesting birds, and some jet-skiers in the Intracoastal Waterway.

Here is the ramp to the almost-completed new bridge.  It should be in use by this fall.

So this was probably our last passage over the rickety wooden bridge that goes up and down with the tides.

The new one is almost ready.  The charm and slow pace of the drawbridge will be a thing of the past.

On the way home we cross the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC, the setting of the two scary films by the same name.  When I looked at this photo, one of the clouds looked like a giant seagull.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fun at the Beach

The beach house does have WiFi, so here are a few pictures of our vacation so far.  The first night is always Hat Night.  This is my grandson Avery in his daddy's hat.

Sunday was my granddaughter Lily's fourth birthday.  She got a new dress

and a princess outfit

Can you tell that I enjoy having a little girl finally?  Here she is in her mermaid tail.

They are charging us extra for this being a "dog-friendly" house, so we decided to let Dave and Emily bring their little dog, Roo.  So far he is being an excellent house dog, and he loves being able to go on the beach and crash through the waves.  Dogs are only allowed on the beach early in the morning and after 6:00 PM during the summer months.

This is our view from the deck as we drink our morning coffee.  The next-door neighbors put their kayaks into Madd Inlet early this morning, since it is high tide.


It is so nice to feel the ocean breeze and enjoy being here with my loved ones.