Back To Work…

After a few days out of town with one day on the lake….

Barkley Lake Vac. 043

…I am back getting to work…time is short as I have a show in less than two weeks.  I spent Sunday evening and yesterday getting some cloth ready to make into little bags…it was fun getting back to  surface design and matching zippers to the cloth…some samples but there is more…

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I am starting to list my bags in my  etsy shop here if you want to shop.

Moving Right Along…

I love it when I get on a schedule where I can work steadily. It feels good to be getting things accomplished.  Working from home guarantees lots of interruptions! Now that I’ve said that, let me show you what I finished today…the “Kemshall Bag”.  My progressive work on this bag has been documented in previous posts.  The sample in Quilting Arts had square beads hand sewn on the edge and there were lots of them.  I had already put so much handwork time into this, I wanted to finish the edge in a more timely fashion, so I chose a pre-packaged beaded trim.  A little ribbon for the hanger and it’s finished and ready for gift giving.

This next project is in process.  It all started with a piece of rust dyed cotton sateen.  That was the inspiration along with a piece of screened cloth with turquoise and black dye.  I have had the pieces laid out together so I could stare at it for a couple of weeks.  Today I went into action to implement my vision. In the book The Painted Quilt, by Linda and Laura Kemshall, they document how they never start working on the cloth until they have sketched, painted, and mapped the initial idea out in a journal.  I love their journals and that is a wonderful idea, and I will do sketches and doodles, but so far they have never emerged into anything full blown.  I was enjoying the colors of the rust and turquoise together along with some discharged black cotton sateen.  So I took pictures of the layout, ran some photos out and then proceeded to sketch my ideas onto the photo.  For some reason, I find that photographing the layout and seeing it on the computer screen helps me to better see and finalize the initial composition.  Having photographs of that gives me the opportunity to sketch onto it more layers of what I see as the final look.  If that look doesn’t work for me, I can make another photo to work on.  I use 4″ x 6″ glossy photo paper from Epson.  Every time I order ink from them, I get a free packet of 4″x6″ photo paper, so I’m not really out anything but some ink.  I have done this a couple of times and find the idea very helpful for me.  I wish I were as organized and thoughtful as the Kemshall’s, but at this point, I’m just not.

The piece is larger than what I have worked on recently.  I decided I needed to do something larger.  Since I’m not sure what I will do with this or where it might be entered, if at all, for now I am going to hold out on the full view and just show a few closeups.  It is ready for quilting and I am excited to get it to this stage.  I don’t know if it’s good or not, but I love the colors and I’m happy with the theme and it does look just like my sketch on the photograph.  The name of it is….But Words Will Never Hurt Me. (You know the old saying..sticks and stones may break my bones…)  And who knows…maybe the start of a series?

Rust dyed cotton sateen, dye painted screened cotton, discharged black cotton sateen, stamped, discharged, inked.

New Piece of Cloth….

I purchased this awesome piece of cloth the other day. I am supporting my local artist! A girl from Indiana made it. She has an etsy shop here. It is rust dyed and then overdyed. Isn’t it the coolest?! I haven’t done any rust dyeing myself yet and I doubt that I ever find a cool piece of rusting metal like this one. So it is now in my growing “collection”.

Rusted and overdyed cloth

Rusted and overdyed cloth

One Of Those Weeks…

Ever have a period of days where you feel like you are just messing up everything? That’s how my week feels so far. And yesterday I said I was looking forward to a productive week…that was before I washed out my dye painted silk scarves and found they were much too light. I was dyeing the way I thought someone said on a list, but I must have missed some things or totally misunderstood what they were saying. They will have to be done over. Then today, determined to get back to work on the kits for Rosa and Friends (see post here) and finish them, I attempted some discharged black cotton this morning. Evidently, my dishwashing detergent is too old, because that didn’t work either, and they will have to be discharged again. And these were fairly large pieces. Sheesh…maybe I’ll just go back to bed! And both days it was hot and sweaty to be outdoors. I feel like I am getting nothing done this week! I hate it when this happens. Well, one bright spot in the week…I made this piece of cloth yesterday that I think turned out pretty cool…the only thing wrong with it is that it is a really cheap thin piece of fabric!

Previously painted with red, yellow and blue Dyna-Flow paint, I screened (soy wax design) it with Lumiere pearl turquoise and black Setacolor paints. It looks very rich in person.

I Just Had To Do It…

Ever since my round robin piece of fabric arrived home, I have been thinking about writing on it.  (See post from April 26 below.)  When we were doing the round robin, I wanted to write on one of the pieces as a layer of surface design, but I was afraid to…afraid that whoever…would not consider it as surface design. So, tee hee, I get to do it on my own piece of cloth!  So here is layer #8…and I’m not sure it’s done yet!  I may do some other things to it.  I did large and small handwriting with a calligraphy pen.

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!

Wednesday This N’ That

Ahhh…..it feels good to be home and working in the, ahem, “studio” (aka the 9’x 9′ shrinking spare bedroom). The Arts In Harmony art festival is this coming weekend. I have been experimenting with some ideas, altering fabric, and going back to some pieces that have been started, but somewhere along the way I had gotten lost and did not finish it. First, the cloth, because it led to what I did with an unfinished piece.

I took this rather dark clean-the-brush-cloth….

….and turned it into this….

…took this fabric….

…and turned it into this.

See my new stamps in there?

I started this piece back in the winter (not so long ago). It is mostly painted dryer sheets, but there is some cheesecloth and scrim and painted fusible web in it too. I got to a place where I was not satisfied, but lost interest or got busy with other things. It needed more….more depth…more something.

Yesterday, I gave it a go using the same technique I did on the cloth. When you are a week away from a show, starting new work is not an option because of the time factor, but pulling out unfinished pieces and finishing them is! A show is a great motivator for getting stuff done.

I am much happier with it. I’m not sure it is done, but it sure is better!

Another One?…..And off to Paducah We Go

I just heard on the news this morning that another earthquake occured in this area shortly after midnight this morning. It was measured at 4.5 and the center was 45 minutes away from me at Mt. Carmel. I slept through it, but it woke my husband up. You can check out all the recent earthquake activity at the USGS site here. It is very interesting to read. I never knew that Alaska had so many quakes.

On another, unrelated, topic, I leave for Paducah tomorrow to spend a couple of days with my friends there. Tomorrow we will shop, shop, shop…and on Wednesday, we will probably shop, shop, shop…and see quilts. I don’t think earthquakes will stop us.

I have been spending my weekend installing a new email client and getting it up and running and connecting with my server. Outlook Express has totally fallen apart. I still can’t get one of the email addresses working, but kathy@katherinesands.com is working, hallelujia. My 70 gb hard drive filled up over the weekend, so I bought a 320 gb external hard drive to put all my photos on. (There, that oughta hold me for awhile.) I have so much computer work to do, I can’t see straight. But…first things first…Paducah.

Here is the last photo I saw of my fabric making its way through the Round Robin #1 circle on the complexcloth list. It will be interesting to see the final outcome in person! See ya’.