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.

Lake Report 1

Meetings and prep and intro are all out of the way and we had our first regular day with the kids today. And since we figured that their whole day would be listening to ‘classroom rules’, we started out with a bit of fun.

They were a little unsure at first…almost like we were trying to trick them into having a good time! It didn’t take long until we heard some happy laughter, though!

Bubbles…lovely bubbles…sparkling and blowing in the wind…

Catching and popping…playtime was lovely!

And coming back into the classroom and seeing my favorite sight–these aprons hanging on their pegs…….

We did actually get around to the boring rules part and they all made a start on Project 1! It was a very good day in the Fibers Studio at Blue Lake today!

Prep and pack

My focus this week has been to get ready to teach at Blue Lake. I spent part of the time doing one of my favorite things…watching glue dry. Much more exciting than watching paint dry!

In consideration of ratio of students to sewing machines, we need to glue instead of sew some of what we wish to do. Houses will be made with a lot of glue, like this little one.

Fill in projects will include accordion books and soft fold up books like this one.

When it’s cut and folded it is the size of one the squares, and the picture is revealed.

All that’s left is to finish glueing another house together and pack up. I’m READY!

Personal sewing has taken a back seat, of course, and there may not be much to post about for the next 10 days, but I’ll share when I can…not much wifi at camp!

I have been adding pieces to my spool book project.

Sewing on the deck on a beautiful summer morning is heavenly! Last night I think I added the last bits of lace to this project.

Now on to embellishment and beads. And I finally found the type of spool I have been looking for to put it on…when it rains, it pours. None for months and then 5 or 6 at once. I chose these two and plan to make another book on the smaller one, too.

Looking forward to some quiet time in the woods…when not hanging with those wonderful, lively middle-schoolers. Their creativity does refresh me and astonish me so much! Can’t wait to see what they do with the faces project.

‘Sup, Dude?