Moving ahead

There was progress made in the studio today, but it did not come easily!

Planned on getting all those canvases wired up and ready to hang today. See that drill with no battery pack? I have TWO batteries for it and both of them were dead as a doornail. Delay number 1.

Thought I would relax and quilt a bit while the battery was charging, but that didn’t work out so well , either.

I finished it later in the day, but I broke two needles in the first 15 minutes of working on the background. Thread was catching on the spool and when I got that adjusted, there was a cut spot in the thread so I had to unroll through that…………..sigh! But at least I did finish it. I’m going to add some small beads to this one.

This is the stack of stuff that needed to get ready to go to an exhibition. I needed to get these ready, at the very least. Time was getting short, so I had to screw on the hanging hardware by hand—-oh, the rigors of manual labor!

See the green and black piece on top? 30 minutes before it was to be picked up, I took it off a hanger and discovered that I had NOT made a sleeve for it! Seriously? How lame is that? Thought it was ready to go. I did a quick search in my scrap basket because I thought I had an unused sleeve there–and I did! Phew! Quickly cut down to size and then I pinned it on. Good enough for this exhibition and if someone wanted to actually buy it, I’d be happy to put a real sleeve on it! And ready before the girls came to pick up the stuff. Hooray!

And as I sighed in frustration from a broken needle, my gaze crossed an older, unfinished piece on the design board and I had a lightbulb moment on how to proceed. Much of the problem I had with it was solved with machine stitching, rather than more of the hand stitching I started with, which you can’t see well in this photo. Sometimes letting things sit in time out is the way to find a solution.

Finally, I was able to really relax and the rest of the planned screws and wires can wait until tomorrow. I made this little piece for an example of fabric manipulation and I’m going to use it without any additional stitching, but I’m going to add beads. It’s only a 6″ piece so I’m hoping I can handle it without any more delays or issues!

Today was another case of the hurrieder I go the farther behind I get. Looking for better results tomorrow!

And every day until Oct. 14, this will be on my mind!

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Simply a technique junkie

Since the 1970’s, I have been a constant learner of textile related techniques. Whatever was the latest design fad or invention, I was right in there learning all about it.

A little wacky twist

I bought books and gadgets and took classes constantly. I made quilts and collected fabrics–and embellishment materials–and more recently, beads. I’m learning about stamps and paints and doing embroidery again.

I make textile collages intended to be hung on walls for decorative purposes. Sometimes I can call myself an artist, and even say it with a straight face. However, deep down, I wonder if I’m not simply a technique junkie.

Here–cut it like this, stitch with this thread or add this paper or bead or piece of lace…I know when I make a piece whether it is ‘good’ or ‘nice’, ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful.’

Faultlines

Is it artistic or just a compilation of whatever stream of thought process attracts me at the time?

Or is that what being an artist really is? I don’t make art  to express big ideas, or political statements. I make art because it’s attractive…to me. I like the way the colors and shapes flow together. I like the contrast between the hard and soft of fabric and beads. I like the textures of different fabrics.

Categorizing oneself is not always useful. In this case, does it really matter if I call myself an artist or a technique junkie? I’m not going to stop making. And I’ll probably still tell people that I am a mixed media textile artist. But I DO think about what makes me feel that I can say that…

Taking it easy

Aaah…the smell of lavendar…went to the lavendar labryrinth at Cherry Point Market today after work. Lots of things that I didn’t take pictures of and a few of the things I like, such as shadows and curving paths

and flowers and herbs

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and big, big rocks!!!

Yes, there was a lavendar labyrinth, but it was not huge and overwhelming as I thought it would be. The walkways were small and uneven and I am currently babying an injured knee so I was unable to comfortably walk and inhale the marvelous fragance. I had imagined the plants would be lush and perfectly groomed, but some were good and some were rather untidy. Made me feel better about my few little plants that always look on the brink of extinction!

I was glad that we went and the timing was really pretty good for the blossoms. The lavendar scent was wonderful and the herb garden in the center was marvelous. It was a very pleasant little side trip away from camp and now I can sit lazily watching a movie and sewing, thoroughly relaxed and refreshed!

 

Love this flower!

Hardy hibiscus was a pleasant surprise for me a few years ago. I had no idea that this beautiful flower could withstand Michigan winters, but mine is flourishing. Of course, any plant that thrives on neglect does well at my house! These full blossoms are past their prime, but that adds to the charm for me.

Every year I take a few photos of the beauty I enjoy, fully intending to make an art quilt from them. I have yet to do that!

There is a beautiful orange colored hibiscus at my mother’s house that I would love to have here.

However, that is in Florida and those plants really would not survive that Michigan deep freeze!

The bug-eaten leaves—the potential of the buds and the flowering as it’s opening–inspiration for sure.

But it’s inspiration that stays only in my mind, not committed to fabric. Yet. It could happen. Maybe.

Watching paint dry…

That’s the excitement in my life right now. I finished up this little piece, as much as it’s going to get.

Then I decided to paint a canvas to mount it on.

The canvas had been used and abused, but I thought I could rescue it. So it got a coat of paint and I had to wait for it to dry…sigh!

After drying, it still looks in pretty bad shape and it’s in an area that will show.

Now I’m trying some molding paste for texture to cover over this. I started with just smearing with a palette knife and then thought I’d stamp in some leaf shapes. Now to do this properly, it should be a smooth, thin coat of the paste. I abandoned that idea in favor of making texture that might suggest a leaf shape.

So now I get to wait for the paste to dry…sigh. And then I can paint again and wait for it to dry…sigh. So much excitement I can hardly stand it!

I need to mount this project from the Knot Even Quilters so it can be hung in an exhibit. I’m close to making a final decision and then, all of a sudden, I’m stuck. Do I want the pulled out piece at an angle or straight up?

Such a tiny spot to get stuck on…but that’s where I’m at. Spending a whole bunch of unexpected free time doing nothing. Well–a little cleaning, a little reading, a little gardening, a little computer time–lots of little bits of this and that. Nothing too productive, so I’m calling this my recharge week. I’ll try to ramp it up a little bit————–after a do-nothing weekend!!!

As usual–

–there is not enough time in any day to do all that we want to do.  I spent all day yesterday trying to clean a path through the studio. I did manage to find the floor and made some progress on the tabletops.

I mowed the lawn last evening after dinner with friends. It’s supposed to get very warm again today and we have lunch with friends, so I wanted to get that chore out of the way!

There is a ton of other gardening I need to do. Bushes to be trimmed, some new-from-a-friend plants to be put in, weeding, watering. But, as I said, it’s very warm! I think the cool of the basement studio is calling my name much louder than the outdoor chores. I think I’ll do my weeding with weed killer and then head for the cool!

There are class materials that need to be organized, both for classes I’m teaching and classes I’m taking.

I’ll report back to you right after I do that–and maybe find time for a nap…

Yep, we need more hours in the day, just to be assured of that nap time!

Liebster Award?

Hollyhocks–winter dreams of summer days…

Have you heard of it? I recently received this comment and went to Tracy’s blog to check it all out. That led me to the Liebster blog and lots more blogging info. (By the way, I don’t like to blog without pictures, so I’m throwing in some random pics, just for fun!!!)

Tracy from It’s A T-Sweets Day—-Hi Kathy! I have recently been nominated for a Liebster Award. I don’t know if you have been nominated before, but the details are on my blog. I am nominating you because your creativity is so inspiring to me. I am in awe of your colors, your designs, and all of your bead work. You truly inspire me! Thank you:)   http://itsatsweetsday.wordpress.com

This is so nice and a good way to include more blogs in your life, to meet more nice people. Part of the plan is to provide 10 facts about yourself and answer questions so people can get to know you better. I’m happy to do that, because I’m vain enough to like to talk about myself! Part 2 is to nominate others whose blogs are not well-publicized with huge followings and ask them to participate, too. And Part 3 is to ask them questions about themselves so that we can get to know them, too.

I’m finding this a very difficult assignment to complete. The intent is great, and it’s nice to learn more about people through their blogs. The best I can do, though, about lesser-publicized blogs is to recommend a link-up that I use: Off The Wall Friday by Nina-Marie Sayre. Checking out these kind of link ups, and there are many, is a great way to ‘taste-test’ the offerings of others.

Here are the questions that Tracy asked, with my answers, but I’m just not able to nominate others at this time.

How did you get started quilting or sewing or crocheting? In my teens, it was fun (and economical!) to make your own clothing. I fell in love with fabric and have been working with textiles ever since.
If you could have one present, what would it be? At this point, I’d like to be able to use all the things I have in my stash–paint, dye, fabric, stamps, stencils, beads, yarn–so I guess that would be a gift of time!
What is your favorite sewing tool? It has to be my rotary cutter, closely followed by my sewing machine.
What has been you favorite blog post? I can’t say that I have a favorite. Some I like better than others, but it’s all simply a running commentary on my work and life.
Who has been your inspiration? Oh my gosh, there are so many…every quilter and art quilter whose work I have ever seen inspires me every day.
What is your favorite food? Hmmm….salmon…shrimp…steak…ice cream…lemon meringue pie…any vegetable there is…pasta…I pretty much like it all!
When do you blog? I don’t have a set time to create the blogs, but I try to publish early in the morning when I have one ready.
Did your mother sew? My mother did a little sewing, and I had a grandmother who quilted, but Grandma was gone before I discovered textiles. So I am mostly self-taught–not even a Home Ec class in school!
What makes a perfectly SWEET day at your house? Time for sewing, time to relax and if there is bit of grandson time in there, it’s a beautiful day!
What advice would you give to future sewer/bloggers? Don’t be afraid to TRY anything that catches your fancy. The only way to know if it’s a keeper is to DO it and the more tools you have in your toolbox, the better your work will be!

Thanks for the nomination, Tracy. I hope anyone reading this will check out your blog and all your other nominations, too.