Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two Finished Pieces

I have tried mounting two of my finished art quilts on gallery-wrapped canvas.  These will both be donated to a Labor Day charity auction.

Sweet, 2011, on 8" x 8" canvas

Someone may want this one for a baby's or a little girl's bedroom.  First I painted the canvas in pink and blue, and stamped in Titanium White.  I thought that was a little too busy, so I painted over the colors with Titanium White, allowing just a hint of the pastel colors to peek through.

On this one, the quilt covers the entire canvas, which is painted black.  When seen from the side you can see the dimension added by the gallery-wrapped canvas.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Embellishments in Progress

This afternoon I played with my little "shards" art quilts- painting and embellishing.  My sewing room is on the third floor, and it was kind of cool to be up there and see the tree branches blowing around outside,  thanks to Hurricane Irene.

Here is "Reflection," before...

and after embellishing.

To play on the word reflection, I added more quilting with a shiny turquoise thread.  I used an aqua silk sari ribbon to form a circular space that could represent water, and ironed on lots of Swarovski crystals.  I painted some of the quilted areas with metalllic Lumiere paint.  The edges are zigzagged with metallic thread.

Here is "Sweet,"  before...

and after.

I used Lumiere paint to add some color and gleam, as well as Swarovski crystals in the center of the flowers.  The outer edge has a funky pastel fiber zigzagged for finishing.

Here is "Spirit," before...

and after.

I liked these before, but I like them after, too.  I have one more to embellish, and I'm still trying to decide how to hang them.  Tune in!

Checking in During Hurricane Irene

So far, we have only experienced rain and gusty winds from Hurricane Irene here at home in Wake Forest, NC.  The power is still on.  Our North Carolina beaches are experiencing flooding and some damage, so I am praying that everyone will stay safe.

Yesterday afternoon, my husband got the urge to go shopping at his favorite store in the outlet mall in Smithfield.  We were just about the only ones heading southeast on I-40, but check out the congested traffic leaving the coastal areas!  It was congested for miles.  We took Highway 96 home instead, and had no traffic at all.

It actually felt great this morning to sit out on the front porch, drink coffee,  and feel the breeze.  My dog Kasey was on "Hurricane Watch."

I used to have a hurricane routine when I would clear everything off the porch and deck, lay the rockers on their sides, and bring in the decorative flags and things from the garden.  One year it seemed that every Atlantic hurricane was hitting North Carolina.  This time, I left everything in place. A wreath blew off the porch wall, but everything else is still where it belongs.  We are lucky.

And it is a great day to stay inside and work on some projects!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekend Works-in-Progress

I am sometimes asked to contribute art quilts to charity auctions.  Recently I was asked to contribute an item to a silent raffle that would normally retail for about $25.00.  I thought of these WIP's that have been lingering since I took a guild workshop with Larkin Van Horn back in November 2010.  During the workshop, I fused several small tops with Misty Fuse, but nothing was sewn.

I have now quilted four of these- on my long-arm machine, even though none of these measure more than seven inches square!

They all have a word denoting an emotion or character trait, printed on Extravorganza printable fabric sheets.

At the workshop, Larkin gave each of us some of the words printed on organza, and I printed two more pages of them at home yesterday.  She also showed us how to cut the spirals from fabric.

On the first three of these, I zigzagged or used a decorative stitch around the fused elements on the quilt tops.

When I got to this last one, I realized that I did not have to do that if I heavily quilt the fused patchwork.  The only thing I stitched down on Sweet was the Extravorganza text and the piece of white lace that I added to the lower left.

If Hurricane Irene does not knock out our power tomorrow, I will probably finish the edges either with binding or possibly zigzagging some fibers to the edge.  They might also be subject to further embellishment with fabric paint, embroidery or beads.

Another possibility is to sew or glue the finished tops to a gallery-wrapped canvas that has been painted with acrylic ink.

You can see Larkin's examples of this type of quilt, which she calls Shards, on her website gallery.

Here is hoping that all of you in the path of the storm will be safe, your property undamaged, and your power still on!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grow Old With Me Collage

Here is a journal page I finished yesterday.  It has many layers.

It is inspired from the book Journal Fodder Junkies by Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler.  The support is a piece of watercolor paper.  It features watercolor paint, collaged found papers, watercolor pencils, a packing tape transfer, Sharpie paint marker, and a little bit of gold paint pen.  I stamped some circles using a beer muff, a wine cork, and some utensils from the kitchen drawer.

I had no theme or idea in mind when I started. I started the background in the mountains last weekend. I made a stencil from a piece of waxed paper for the word LIFE. The small red squares were stamped with a silicone potholder that had a grid of some dimensional squares .

It was looking very blue and purple, so I added the neutral colored sea turtle (upper left) and the older couple (bottom center) from a magazine.  That gave me the idea of a couple contemplating growing old together.  The clock was an obvious symbol, and the Adirondack chairs represent a phase of life when there is more time to sit back and enjoy!

I think this looks a little busy.  It will take some practice to improve my compositions when just adding elements to a collage.  Perhaps I will cut this up into smaller sections and matte and frame them.

Painting backgrounds is one of my favorite pastimes!  Here is one with green and yellow acrylic paint.  I stamped some bubble wrap to add texture.

This background has some dimensional texture.  I applied some gesso before painting with acrylic paint.

This one looks like a dreamy landscape.

We are still wondering if Hurricane Irene is going to have an impact on central North Carolina, where I live.  Of course we are worrying about our barrier islands, where it looks like the brunt of the storm will pass.  Between the hurricane and the Virginia earthquake that rattled my windows the other day, Mother Nature has provided an interesting week.

Tonight will be a Quilty Night.  One of my groups, the Cyberbee, is meeting in Cameron Village.  Several of us are meeting for dinner.  I am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Journal Pages and Business Cards

Today the mailman delivered my new business cards printed by Vistaprint.  You get 250 free cards.  I also received a coupon for 24% off of my next order.

Along with the cards, I ordered a t-shirt with a similar design.

I am thinking of adding some embellishments to the shirt.  Maybe some Setacolor paint, too?

Here are a couple of Zentangle journal pages that were inspired by Sandy Steen Bartholomew's book, Totally Tangled.

I recently purchased the book Journal Fodder Junkies by by Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler.

They are going to be among the presenters at Art of the Carolinas 2011 in Raleigh.  I was trying to decide if I wanted to take one of their classes, or perhaps just glean what I could from the book.  It is a helpful book.  I have learned a few new tricks, and have started a few new pages which include painted backgrounds and collage elements.  The musicians on my first page are The Kruger Brothers, a talented trio whose music we have grown to love after seeing them at Merlefest.

The one above is really bold and graphic.  I made a packing tape transparency which I might add to it.

The next one has a watercolor background with salt sprinkled while wet to get the frosted effect.  I have added the most beautiful illustration of a little girl that was in my husband's old French textbook from college.  Inside the book I also found the ticket to a basketball game between NCSU and UNC from January 1970!  I doodled some designs with watercolor pencil and a Sharpie paint marker.  Now it needs some text.

These are so much fun, I could play with journal pages all day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quiet Mountain Weekend

Compared to our last trip to the mountains, when we had an abundance of guests and had a pig-picking, this past weekend was quiet and restful.  We went to town Friday morning to buy our groceries.  It began to downpour as we entered Ingoll's, but the rain had stopped by the time we got out.  The road home from West Jefferson is a scenic byway, and we always enjoys the views.

By the time we got back to the cabin, it was sunny.  We went for a ride up the mountain on our Gator.

Then we did a little yard work.  The zinnias and marigolds I planted from seed have survived the hot summer very well. 

They attracted lots of butterflies.

The window boxes looked terrible back in July, but after I cut them back severely, they are trying to make a comeback.

I noticed a red maple leaf on the ground

and sure enough, the maple trees are turning their fall colors already!

And the mums by the cabin door are spectacular.

Wildflowers in bloom include Queen Anne's lace,


a tall variety of wild sunflower, and the towering purplish Joe Pye weed.

On Saturday, it was so nice that we spent a couple of hours fishing in the pond.

Charlie caught a bass, a brim and a little trout.  I had a few bites but didn't catch anything.

Saturday night we went to West Jefferson to visit our college friends, Art and Mary, who have a cabin there.  We went out to eat at a great new restaurant in an old house called J & J's Chop House.  When we went back to their house, their dog Lucy was enjoying her leather recliner.

We got our dog, Kasey, a bed for the cabin.  At first she just sniffed and ignored it, but the next morning she was enjoying some nice zzz's in her cozy new bed.

Sunday we took one more ride over the mountain.  We just can't get enough of the gorgeous scenery, mountain breezes, sound of crickets and birds...heaven!

It was sad when it was time to cross the creek and go back home.

We hope to go back next weekend, but a lot depends on whether Hurricane Irene decides to pay the Carolinas a visit.  It is looking like it is heading our way.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pets on Quilts Contest

Sew Cal Gal is sponsoring a Quilt Pet Show...or a Pet Quilt Show, on her blog.  I decided to enter my art quilt, Maggy Trees a Coon.

This quilt tells the story of our late dog, Maggy.  She was with us for thirteen years.  The week before she died, we took her with us to our cabin in the North Carolina mountains.  To our surprise, she got the energy to tree a raccoon at the edge of the woods.  We had never even seen a raccoon up there in the daytime.  Maggy kept her vigil as the raccoon cautiously made its way down the opposite side of the tree.  It would stop and look around to see if the dog was still there.  When it finally got to the bottom of the tree, it just calmly walked away.  I don't think poor Maggy even noticed it was gone.

The quilt is raw-edge applique, hand-stitched with embroidery floss and Perle cotton, and quilted in black thread on my longarm machine.  After quilting, I used Tsukineko inks to fill in some of the tree trunks in the background. 

I love the colors in this quilt and the memories of a beloved dog.

You can visit the links on Sew Cal Gal's blog to see all the entries.  Voting will be on Saturday, August 19, and Sunday, August 20.

Looking Back

Sometimes having a blog yields some lovely surprises.  My father, Pete Turner, is a retired artist who no longer has a web presence.  Sometimes people who Google his name will find my blog, and contact me.  I sold a print for him when a lady came across an advertisement in a ten-year old copy of Our State magazine that she flipped through in a doctor's office.  I also was recently contacted by an old colleague of my father's from his days at Ferree Studios in Raleigh back in the sixties.

Bonnie Lang was one of the artists he worked with.  When she was expecting her first child, she and her husband Bert bravely volunteered to stay with the very large Turner family when my mother and dad went out of a town for a weekend.  She sent me this picture via e-mail.

That is skinny me in the striped sweater in the back row, holding my little brother Jeff.  My sister Katy is reaching to pet our family dog, Dolly, a springer spaniel.  Bonnie and Bert are behind Katy, and the rest of the gang are brothers John, Tim, Chris, and Patrick on Bonnie's lap.

I was able to get Bonnie in touch with my father.  Sometimes the Internet is wonderful!

Speaking of brother Jeff, his birthday is on Sunday.  We will be at our mountain cabin, so here is a shout-out to Jeff down in Florida to have a Happy Birthday!  I hope it is a good day of boating, fishing, beaching, or just relaxing with the fam!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Nice Walk

After a broiling hot summer, the weather has suddenly cooled off to pleasant temps in the 80's and low humidity.  I decided it was time to try a walk around Forgotten Pond, which is at the other end of my street across Rogers Road. 

This is part of the newer Heritage neighborhood.  There is a nice, fairly level paved walkway all around the pond.

The geese were out in droves.

These two groups look like they are playing Red Rover, Red Rover, Let Lucy come over!

Towards the end of the walk my ankle arthritis kicked in, but the ankle sprain and blood clot were not a problem.  The blood clot sends out a twinge with every step, but it is not bad.

The fake swan is still in place, covering the overflow pipe.

Kasey was so happy to be going on walks again.    Me, too!