Fun idea

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…………….oh, wait. That’s another story. Anyhow, one of my inspirations was the work of Jan Mullen of Australia. She kind of dropped out of sight at some point and I haven’t heard anything about her in years. The other day I ran across a blog that she started a couple of years ago and I tried one of her ideas.

She quilted some feathers on paint chips for a project she was doing so I thought I’d try it.

It’s not great, but practice will make it better, and I HAVE paint chips!

I have no idea what I’ll do with them, but I’ve held on to them through several color decisions over the years and I simply could not throw them away. So, I’ll play!

These little pieces came out of the last workshop I took with Deborah Boschert. I love the way the mixed paint looks on the hand dyes.

I’m not going to force them into being something; I’m using them just as they are. I’ll be adding some stitching to begin with, using these thread colors.

And then there is another piece that I cannot cut up into smaller pieces. I want only a border around it, with the raw edges of the piece showing.

These colors are not true…the light color is a pale turquoise and the three colors on the right are what I am considering for the border right now. More thinking to do on this one, but I know which direction it will be taking. I’m not sure if this will be an all machine project or if there will be hand stitching involved.

It’s so much fun to have new ideas and projects on the design wall. Makes me impatient to get into the studio every day!

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Time to finish

There are a ton of unfinished projects sitting around my studio. I seem to get them almost done and then a distraction pops up. It’s really time to buckle down and have a pile of finished projects sitting around for a change.

This series is first up–because it was at the top of the pile! Need to decide on background colors. I am not using the fabric I show in the pictures, but I will paint the canvas as close to the colors shown as possible. Navy blue paint is hard to find, but I guess that’s what black is for when mixing!

Just like at the eye doctor—which is better, number 1 or number 2?

DB Grid 1

DB Grid 2

Number 1 or number 2?

DB Third 1

DB Third 2

DB Line 1

DB Line 2

DB Mod 1

DB Mod 2

DB Dance 1

DB Dance 2

DB Land 1

DB Land 2

And finally, there are actually 2 that I’m sure of, right from the beginning!

Tomorrow I have to go out and get the size of canvas I want to put them on, find the paint and get the job done!

Hoping that as I look at these pictures, all my decisions will become obvious…though right now I’m leaning very heavily towards painting all the canvases navy. Maybe. I think. Possibly.

For sure, this is the hardest part for me!

Lazy and loving it!

This was a decadently delicious lazy day today. We started out with breakfast with my niece, her husband and their daughter and my sister-in-law. Bacon…need I say more?!

All I did for most of the day was play on the computer and a little laundry. Aaaaah…the sweet sound of no responsibilities.

As I passed a pile of “stuff” in the studio, I decided to play a bit. It was a container of spilled and dripped alcohol inks, which I have never played with before. Well, alcohol is easy so I tipped some into the container and started laying down some deli papers.

I am thrilled with the results! The first ones, of course, had the darkest colors.

And it took several times of adding more alcohol to use up all the ink that had spilled.

Of course, I didn’t scrub or mix the colors much. I wanted all the variety I could get.

Even at the end, when I did scrub and mix, the color was beautiful.

Don’t ask me what colors were in that box—I can’t even read the labels on the bottles that were in there! And don’t ask me what I’m going to do with these papers, because I can’t tell you that right now either. All I know is that I need to get a new, full bottle of alcohol and play with everything left in the little treasure box.

Supposedly alcohol inks will stick to anything, and I have a few old tiles that might get a bit of paint thrown their way. Wish one of those ‘famous name’ teachers that know all about this stuff lived in my neighborhood!

There is research to be done, and fun to be had! Hooray!

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.

A step at a time…

I don’t usually like to drag out a subject or project that I’m blogging about, but this may take a while. In Deborah Boschert’s classes this weekend, we created fabric (which I haven’t touched yet!) and then eight small pieces illustrating design concepts. I’m working on finishing the eight pieces and it won’t make sense to show them all and then every step along the way. I’m working on them as a group right now and adding machine stitching to the pieces.

Some of them are getting some stamping, painting and additional fabric. I will try to show what I’m doing as each piece is finished, so you will see this particular group of fabrics quite often until they are done…and I have a teaching trip to Blue Lake for 10 days starting next week. Could be a while!

The first composition I did in class was this landscape.

I knew that I wanted to add a large leaf or tree on the right in paint. So I went through all my stencils and stamps and couldn’t find one that was just right. Simple solution to that issue–freezer paper stencil!

Practiced on a scrap and didn’t like the opacity of the white paint and decided to go with orange. I also hate to waste paint, so after stenciling the piece, I flipped it over and pressed it onto another scrap for the reverse print.

This was after I played with oranges on a green scrap, with stencils and a screen.

This is where I’m at right now.

No stitching on it, but I’m pleased with stencil and orange paint.

I’ll continue working on this series, but I won’t detail each part like this! That would bore both you and me! More later, and I know that it will get done————–a step at a time, bit by bit!

 

I’m terrible at choosing!

This weekend I will be taking a couple of classes as well as teaching one. For the one I’m teaching, I could not bring myself to select a single fabric and make identical kits for the students…so I’m bringing a boatload of fabric! And that’s not so bad, because I won’t have to make the final decision of what to choose.

However, the class I’m taking has choices and decisions that are up to me.

Choose a focus fabric, the teacher says. HA HA HA! Typical dilemna for every class I take–whatever I bring is the wrong stuff for what we are doing. How do I know today what I’ll be inspired to work with on Sunday? Oh, well—here goes nothin’!

Went through the stacks of fabrics on the shelves and managed to get my selection down to less than a dozen. That’s a success.

Eliminated the very bright and the very graphic–oh, then found one more that I’ve had for a long time and I gave it some serious thought.

Nope–here are the final four.

Each has pros and cons—this one has the bright colors I like yet it’s very representational. I am NOT representational.

This one has lots of color, is muted, but might be ‘mushy.’

I really like the way the colors dance and flow across this piece, but it might be too directional and better used in a larger chunk. And it has purple…mmmm, not so much into purple.

I love the mood and soft colors of this one–perhaps not enough of a focus, though.

So, I chose the first one with the flowers…but I’m bringing the second one, too! And now we are supposed to pick 4 or 5 fabrics to go with the focus fabric, making sure to have both light and dark. HA HA HA again!!

I have 17. I think I will survive.

That only took all morning…………………………but I was a little bit distracted because these blocks went missing…nowhere, and I mean n.o.w.h.e.r.e. to.be.found!

I started looking for them last night and they did not mysteriously reappear this morning. I gave it up for a lost cause and went to get a canvas to check size on another piece and guess what was hiding in the stack of canvases…ooooh, you guessed it!

But that meant more choices, because I have decided to mount them together in one piece rather than small and separate. Which fabric will support them the best? I will spare you the dozen or more picks that I started with and only show what I am dithering between now.

Which looks better–number 1

or number 2

That’s the point where I quit for the day. Could not make even one more choice! It would be nice if I were swift and decisive,  but I simply am not. I tell myself that being thoughtful results in better work, but sometimes–no, most of the time–it would be better if I spoke sternly to myself and said, “Just pick one already, for goodness sake!”

Maybe tomorrow.

 

No discipline at all!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have absolutely no self-discipline when it comes to fabric. I try to avoid going to fabric stores anymore for just that reason!

My goal is to only use fabric for which I have artistically created the design. That’s why I dye, paint, stencil, stamp, print…

But I love, love, love fabric and commercial designs keep calling my name and I keep answering.

There is no hope for my addiction–and I obviously don’t care, ’cause I keep going to those darn fabric stores!

I now need to spend more time sewing and less time wandering to those stores!