Snow Day

Now that I’m retired from my job-that-pays-the-bills, I can declare a snow day whenever I wish. It’s snowing today, so that was a no-brainer for me. I didn’t even go to the gym this morning and that’s not a habit I want to continue!

It was so decadent to sit around and drink coffee, catch up with emails, take a late shower and then decide if I even wanted to do anything at all! But projects were calling to me, of course, so I headed to the studio to work on them.

Baby Golfer is done except for the label and sleeve. And I am so very happy with it. I think the new owner will be also.

I will be so sad when I use the last of this yarn, though. It is the perfect combo for many of the pieces that I do.

It was one of the remnants that I got from someone, at some time, and I have no idea of it’s origins so there is no hope of finding more. I don’t think it was some that I dyed, but it could be! I may try that when I use this up, though.

I continued on the piece I started during the hockey weekend. I have fused scraps of organdy that I want to use up. They have been sitting around for quite a long time and they need to be gone! So……………

Grasslands. This part is smaller than I want the piece to be, and I have more scraps of these fabrics so I’m toying with the idea of building up a medallion style piece. Might be too busy, though, and one like this one might work better, if I find the right background fabric.

But I still had a ton of the organdy left so I picked out all the green and put it on a purple–yes, purple!–organdy background.

This will be a second piece in a Grasslands series. I have no idea of the next step on this one yet, though. Stitching will be a major part of it, but it could get some cutting done, too. It probably needs some of the same fabric scraps as the first one.

Creating is always so much fun! I have unsewn samples from pattern making experiments, too, that I’d like to get finished. Aaaaaaand I am taking a class at quilt guild this weekend. Lots of good times ahead and it all started with my snow day.

Fun times!

When I’m not working towards a deadline, it is so much pure fun to sit at the sewing machine and stitch! I know that I’ve shown you this before, but I like to make new fabric from string strips.

I use a base fabric or a piece of interfacing and cover it with a layer of strings. Then I pin water soluble stabilizer on the top.

Then it’s nothin’ but stitchin’ until I’m sure everything is secure. LOTS of stitching!

Washing the stabilizer out only takes a few minutes, but I really don’t like to throw the piece into the dryer. It’s small, there may be spots where I’ve missed stitching and I like to leave it flat. Soooooo…like watching paint dry, now I have to wait for the fabric to dry! This will eventually have a design, probably a flower or tree, stitched on top of that newly made fabric and then heavily beaded. It may be hard to believe, but I’m running low on skinny strips…and I have no intention of cutting to make more. These are fun, but they may be done for a while!

And there is nothing like having a waiting-to-be-finished-piece staring you down while you work on something else. This dude really has an attitude and got snarky with me when I hung him on the design wall to wait his turn. Well, he got finished (or close to it!) today and he can quit bugging me!

I have always had a soft spot for the kids who get in trouble so I really like this little smart-ass kid. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you might see someone different than I do! He makes me laugh, so I’m very happy that he is now finished. ‘Sup, dude?

Experiment PLUS Frustration

Yesterday was an entire day spent in the studio, trying to work out a pattern. Of course I thought it was going to be simple. Of course it was NOT.

My first parameter was this gorgeous pile of fabrics for which I need to write a couple of patterns. 10 fabrics in each stack, and the second parameter is to try to use all 10 in each pattern.

Sooooo not the way I usually work. I had the pattern actually mostly written from my pre-book writing experiments. Simple project, then, right?

And I didn’t want to cut into the new fabric until I was sure the pattern would work. Thus it was cut, sew, stack, slash, switch, trim………with 10 of my own fabrics. Pretty fabrics, but using them ALL in the way the pattern was written was waaaay too “crowded”.

My scrap baskets are starting to get refilled! Don’t worry…it’s not a total waste. I can use the pieces of the experiment in a different way, just not in the way the pattern is written.

Back to the drawing board, with another pile of 10 fat quarters. When I say that I have used 20 of my own fat quarters to experiment with this pattern, it sure sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? You can’t even begin to tell where they may have come from in my stacks of fabric!

Second try left this pile of scraps, but I think I may have the issues worked out!

Today I’m headed back to cut into the actual fabric…I think! I may wait for a couple more solid colors to add in, but I still have re-writes to do on the pattern. It’s a bit different from my usual style so I have to spend time actually thinking about what I do and how I do it. And it’s the first of several patterns I want/need to do!

This is stressful, and challenging and FUN all at the same time! Not as much improv as usual, more structure. The discipline required for this is very good for my normal scattered brain approach to creating. Back to the studio I go…with a big smile on my face!

Lake report–final show

This post will be almost all pictures of the wonderful art show that our Blue Lake art department puts on at the end of each session. Our students always produce amazing art…and they are mostly trying new media for which they are totally untrained!

We were soooo happy with our Tell A Story face project!

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And then they had to make a house! We wanted to get the fabric art up off the flat surface and into a 3D project. Imaginations unleashed!

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And were they done? Oh, no–many of them made squash/explosion books and the art minors went to town with needle felting and fabric postcards and 3D fabric treasure boxes. Tons of work produced in this session.

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So far, that’s just what the fibers department produced. Every other department had amazing work from creative kids, too. Drawing, painting, sculpture, metals, printmaking, ceramics………I’ll give you a glimpse of a few other things from the show, because there were aisles of art to enjoy.

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The rewards for faculty are great. We work with creative young minds and get to share our knowledge with them as they begin on their art journey.

And nothing beats the treasure of camp friends for life–both for the kids and for the faculty!

Raku–I love it!

Here’s a quick little look at the magic of the raku firing…

AJ made a house of clay while he was here. This is what it looked like as it was loaded into the kiln.

And now look at how it changed.

Even the inside is shiny and sparkly!

This hasn’t even had the soot scrubbed off and it is soooo beautiful! Of course, since AJ called it a house of destruction, he may not ever want to scrub the soot off of it.

Today is art show set-up. A long and tiring day, but the reward is so worth it. It’s the ‘why’ of teaching…seeing what the creativity of young minds brings to the experience of mature teachers. I shall be taking lots of pictures on Sunday!

Lake Report 2

Things have been very busy at Blue Lake this week. We ask a lot of our students and they (for the most part!) respond with a great output of work. I am always surprised and pleased with their freedom and imagination in design. I’ll show you a quick slideshow of works in progress…

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Can’t wait until we hang the show and can see these wonderful pieces on display. I WILL take lots of pictures and show you one last post after Sunday, when my time at Blue Lake will end with a big smile. Love this, but I’m always glad to get home, too!

One of the highlights for me is raku day in the ceramics studio. The raku kiln is directly outside my studio door so I get to see the whole process and enjoy the results immediately. I loooooove raku. Here are a few shots of the first batch of the day.

So, so beautiful.

In fact, I think the word of the day IS beautiful!

Lace at the Lake

Not much personal free time yet at the lake, until last night. I totally enjoyed sitting in the cabin in the woods, listening to the quiet and doing some stitching. Pictures in the lamp light are no where near the true white color of the vintage fabrics.

I added beads to these sections and rolled the entire piece out to assess what I was doing. What a surprise to see that I only have three more sections to consider for some bead work. Then I will be all set for assembly stitching/quilting. It may still take a little while, but I’m thinking a few days, not weeks!

This project has captured my imagination and I’m totally in love with the slow stitching nature of it. Looking forward to another one as part of an art group challenge.