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New Work…

Remember a very peaceful red/blue-green piece I was working on a few weeks ago?  Well, I  decided it was too one-dimensional… so I painted a very diluted layer of black paint on it.  I like layers.  It still wasn’t done, so I rolled some white gesso over the black paint.  Too much white streaks..still wasn’t done and didn’t have a name either.  I got out the paintstiks and brought some color back in over those two layers…AND got a name!  Now it’s finished and ready for the Arts Council exhibit.

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Weathered Places

I have to say, after working on this piece, Linda and Laura Kemshall’s practice of working everything out on paper first makes a ton of sense.  It got pretty scary adding subsequent layers to this piece after all the quilting was done.  I knew it wasn’t done, so I took the plunge, but it did almost take my breath away and make my heart race.  I haven’t developed the practice of planning ahead of time…that just doesn’t seem to be the way I ‘m working right now, but sometimes I felt like I just had a very close call…

Friday This ‘N That…

I didn’t get to follow through with my plans for my birthday yesterday.  The plans were that my friend from the St. Louis area would meet me approximately half way, we would do some shopping, some antiqueing, exchange gifts and have lunch.  But due to the weather reports….we didn’t meet up…and you know what?  The weatherman was WRONG again!  They’ve been wrong all week.  So frustrating, especially when you are trying to make important plans, like a birthday meet-up.

So instead of that, I did the other things I would have to do today, like go get some groceries.  I decided to have some Birthday Shrimp for my birthday.  I love shrimp cocktail, so I bought a bag of big shrimp and that was my celebration…as well as  the wonderfully flowery, mushy, big, wordy card my sweetie hid for me in the morning.  It’s  a game we play.  He gets up early to leave for work and leaves the card for me on the kitchen table.  Unfortunately, I frustrated his usual plan, because I got up before him…couldn’t sleep…had to blog…so he had to leave the card on the couch where I would find it later, all nicely topped with a miniature peanut butter cup…it’s like a message, you know.  (I was wondering where that card was.)

Another thing I did yesterday (see prior post) was to start on a piece for a show coming up.  I went ahead and painted the Lumiere paints on it, and either used too much paint, and/or didn’t realize just how opaque those paints are, because I totally covered up the quilt blocks, except for the puckery places in the seams.  Not sure I like that, but I did like the ability to make a new design with color on those quilt blocks.  But the white places bug me a bit.  I think if the background was black, perhaps the Lumiere paints would look good on that.

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Ok, back to the idea of the transparency provided by gesso on the blocks…and another idea.  Here’s what the original blocks look like with nothing on them.

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Now with white gesso.  With this piece I am thinking of layering with transparent paints, fusible web, dryer sheets, etc.  Hopefully, I can keep some of the original design showing.

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This section I flipped over and used black gesso on the BACK, thinking it might be nice to be able to see the orginal blocks on the back side of the quilt.  I will be painting this with the Lumiere paints to see how they look on the black gesso.

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Now I have three different pieces to work with…if they work out, I may put them all in the show.  This is all I got done today as the gesso takes time to dry and I am cleaning house and finishing cookies.  My neighbors are coming over tomorrow for my annual cookie exchange.

Thursday This ‘N That…

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. He turned 49 and I made him a New York cheesecake. I haven’t made one of those in years…too much fat! Even though I used the 1/3 less fat cheese and low fat sour cream it’s still a lot of fat. Then I quilted the Rosa and Friends sample and put binding on. Well, that part is over. Now I just have to get fabrics dyed for the kits. I was going to dye on Tuesday, but a water main was broken and we had no water all day.

On Saturday I am doing a presentation called All That Jazz at Sew Tech. They asked me to do a trunk show as well as show quilts for classes that I teach and my hand dyed fabrics. I will also do a small demonstration of a technique. I plan to visit Dick Blick and Joann’s while I am in Evansville.

Not much else going on as I have lately been spending so much time on this sample. I have to get in gear and start working on pieces that I want to put in the textile exhibit next month. I have less than a month to go before everything is to be delivered to the gallery.

Some pulls from a soy wax screen. I love using soy wax! These were printed on the back of fabrics that had gesso and paint applied. The white areas are from the gesso.

Stuff I’m Working On….

I am working this week. I am preparing for a fabric dyeing class this weekend at the Rend Lake Visitor’s center. I have been studying and writing my handout and getting kits ready.

I have also been playing/working in my room. My new best friend is gesso. A friend of mine had given me several books of home dec samples. Being the little hoarding and can’t-waste-anything person that I am, I have found a use for some of these pieces. I usually work fairly small, so these do come in handy. (When, oh, when will I work larger?) I am taking the large florals and painting them with gesso, then painting over that with the Adirondack iridescent paints. I love the whitewashed feeling the gesso does to the fabric. The paint is not put on solid, but a bit randomly. You’ll see. I am using these pieces to frame other small pieces of art. I like the look. Now to find a way to mount them for hanging. I glued (PVA, acid free) the gessoed, painted home dec fabric to matboard, but have stopped there so far. These pieces are not stitched yet. The only problem I see so far, is that the lovely gessoed florals are mostly covered up, but I do like the “framing” look of it.

I am thinking “Fragments of a Life”. What do you think?

Again using scraps…home dec fabric, gesso, acrylics, stamping, dyed craft paper, torn paper from a photo, screening, painted dryer sheets, hand dyed fabric, calligraphy pen. This started with a georgous earthy hand dye I wish I could repeat.

I think I will be adding more to this one. I am thinking more background texture. The home dec fabric pieces have a lovely ragged edge on one side (shown here on the bottom), from cutting them out of the book. I would like to utitilize that.

I am looking forward to soon spending a few days dyeing, painting and screening with soy wax out in my patio…if this cold, rainy weather ever clears up!