Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ashe Arts Council Quilt Exhibit

We took a trip to West Jefferson with Kim and Melissa this past weekend.  One of our stops was the quilt exhibit at the Ashe County Arts Council.  This is a small venue, but the quilts looked beautiful hanging on the walls.  They will be on display until March 9.  Here are a few of my favorites, created by members of the Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild.

Sunrise Over the Mountains, by Sara Moore

top:  Sunrise On the Mountain, Linda Gagnon and Gillian A. Winterton;    Below:  Running Free, Gillian A. Winterton

Garden of Flowers, Carol Skroch

Star Genealogy, Janet D. Ward

Tropical Dreams from a Winter Mountain Cabin, Catherine Finch and Gillian A. Winterton

Top  Left:  Dogwood, Gillian A. Winterton; Top Right, Larkspurs and Rubies, Michele Hays; Center,  Garden Splendor, Irene Bebber

The Arts Council is practically next door to the Ashe County Cheese Factory, so we took the obligatory photo of our daughter-in-law and her sister in front of the milk containers decorated like cows.

Kim and Melissa at Ashe County Cheese Factory

Batik Watercolor Art Quilt

I have been organizing my sewing area in our newly finished basement for the past week.  I have found all kinds of treasures...especially UFO's (UnFinished Objects).  Here is one that I started several years ago in a class with Kathie George at Art of the Carolinas in Raleigh, NC.

Golden Flowers, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer

It is actually a watercolor painting on Ginwashi Oriental paper, sort of like rice paper.  Starting from the lightest shades, areas are painted, then waxed to preserve the light color.  There are at least four or five layers.  When all the color is added, you iron the piece to remove the wax, and discover your glowing painting.

I discovered that the Ginwashi paper holds up just fine to being machine quilted, so the painting became a quilt.  I added some beads and Swarovski crystals.  It shines in the sun!

I am just about finished with the unpacking in the sewing room, and am actually piecing a baby quilt.   The Gammill longer machine is now accessible, but I have not even turned it on for about a year while it was all covered with boxes, bags, and bundles from our move.  

It is good to be able to sew again!  

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Here are two new pages that I painted with watercolors in my interleaved Bible.

Psalm 1
 For both of these, I applied clear gesso to the page first.  I also tried using masking fluid to preserve some of the white of the paper.  I was afraid that removing the masking fluid might tear the thin pages, but they held up fine.  The clear gesso makes the page much more slick, so the paint slides around more.

We have a young niece who recently suffered a stroke and had to have surgery to relieve pressure on her brain.  She remains in the ICU.  I painted the next page for those who are anxious and worried about her.  Philippians 4:6-9 has gotten me through a lot of anxious times.

Philippians 4:6-9

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to Paint a Bible Cover

The worship committee at my church asked if they could use my journaling Bible on the altar during the season of Lent.  I was honored...and decided to spruce up the paint-spattered black cover by painting it.

Since we live in a rural community in the North Carolina mountains, I decided to make my cover reflect our beautiful surroundings.

I looked on You Tube and Pinterest for any hints about how to prepare the cover for painting, and just plunged in.

First, I completely protected the pages with saran wrap.  Then I applied white gesso to all of the black  cover, and let it dry thoroughly.  I sanded some of the rough-textured areas.

Notice the saran wrap thoroughly protecting the Bible pages.
 I cut a piece of sketch paper the same size as the Bible cover (front and back) to make a sketch of my cover design.

Using the sketch paper, I made a rough drawing and painting of the mountain design.  I also tried out different white pens, inks, and markers on this paper to see if any would work on the acrylic paint.

Then, I got brave and applied acrylic paint to the actual Bible cover.

 Big Mistake!  I should have checked to see which way the pages were facing.  I painted my mountain scene upside down!

So, I painted over the green foliage and the sky and re-shaped the mountains.  A bit of the old sky became a lake at the bottom.

I added in the Christmas tree farm and darkened the central mountain to resemble Mount Jefferson.

I practiced the text on paper first to get it the size I needed.  After experimentation, the only white pen that worked was the Bic White-Out marker.  It was hard to control.  You have to squeeze the pen while you write.  I then outlined a shadow on the right and lower edges of the letters.  I added the cross as well.

Final step was to spray clear acrylic to protect the paint.  I used Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303.. I recommend setting up a space outdoors for this step, because the fumes are strong. I kept the cellophane wrap on the pages and set the Bible on  the lid of a large Rubbermaid storage container.   I sprayed at least four coats, with long drying times in between.  I kept the Bible outside whenever it was not rainy for about three days to let the fumes wear off a bit.

Last night I delivered the Bible to the church at our Ash Wednesday service.  

I hope the paint will last.  I'm not too sure about the white text, as it is applied kind of thick, and may chip off.  If it does, I can always make a fabric cover!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines' Day

Here is the card that I made for my husband's Valentine...a pair of love-birds!  We have enjoyed watching the cardinals and other songbirds at the feeders this winter.  And this afternoon, I enjoyed watching from my basement studio window as a chipmunk scampered around on the ground underneath the porch feeders.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Bible Art

Last week a member of the Worship Committee at my church asked if they could use my journaling Bible on the altar during the season of Lent.  I am honored!  I have gotten busy adding art to the inside covers and some of the end pages.

Numbers 6:24-26

Inside front cover

Hebrews 1

Art on some of the back pages:  Sermon on the Mount

Pages where I sometimes experiment with pens
I am also attempting to paint the cover, which was plain black.  So far, I have covered it in white gesso.  I will try to do a step-by-step on the process of creating the cover.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Good News from Florida

We left for Florida last Monday to see Charlie's radiation oncologist for a six-month check-up.  I got my big cast off on Friday and was fitted with a Star Wars Storm Trooper boot just in time for the trip. With wheelchair service at the airport, I got along well on the trip from Greensboro to St. Petersburg.

We were nervous about the scans because of the recurrence of cancer last year, but everything looked good this time.  He goes back in six months for the next evaluation.

A big thumbs-up after his check-up at Dattoli Cancer Center in Sarasota!
We are so happy!
 The day after that, we had lunch in Punta Gorda with some other friends that we met at Dattoli last summer.  Bill and John just finished their long three phases of treatment in December and are doing well.  It was so good to visit with them again, as well as John's wife Beverly.   We spent many hours together last summer.

We stayed in Ft. Myers with my brother Jeff and his wife Anna for most of the week.  We had some nice visits with family while we were there.

I don't have much artsy or quilty to report.  Since we flew in and out of St. Pete, I would have loved to visit the Dali museum and Chihuly glass collection, but this was not the right time for gadding about with my cane and giant boot.  Maybe when we go back in July.

Meanwhile, Life is Good!