Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It has something to do with Home.

High winds and rain are predicted to move in around 3:00 am...so possibly, I could find myself in Oz tomorrow looking for the Wizard.  But I'm hoping all will be well and whatever comes will pass through quickly and without any loss of power and life.

I just came in from the studio. When I rough sketched the quilt out I wrote Welcome Home underneath it and tonight while piecing it, I kept thinking "going home", "returning home".  The center fabric represents a passage, an illuminated door. You know by now, I just listen to what comes and at this time I don't know what it means really.  Before I left I cut the right and left side down to bring more focus to the doorway. and some of the top will also get cut down.  The other idea that came was to place a face at the top.

While meditating on it the idea came to me to make it 3-D and I saw a room with about 50 of them varying between 4-6 feet tall.  I don't think I'm going there but I'm noting it here for reference.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Listening to Public Radio...it's not illegal yet.

I'm really quite sleepy at the moment...but my head is still swirling from yesterday.  The class yesterday was on pricing wholesale and retail.  Do you see see yourself as an entrepreneur or wanting to become one?  If so, are you creating multiples that can me marketed to wholesalers? Do you see yourself as creating one of a kind pieces? multiples of one of a kind pieces?  how quick can you turn over work?  how do you find your target audience?  The presenter's pov is that an artisan should have a foot in both worlds.

I find myself having to adapt much of what is being presented for the way I work when what I really want is to have a business model to fit the way I work instead of me trying to pour myself into what feels like a size 8 dress.  When it comes to business models, does one size fit all?  There has to be various models out there?!  I love the physicality of creating art quilts.  Exploring processes is a dialog that I'm having with not only my mind and spirit, but my body as well.  I try to focusing on doing while at the same time listening and focusing on what my body is doing and learning.  I don't want to loose that.  I think I can take some of the ideas and apply them, just not all.

For months I've been yo-yoing over joining a new co-op gallery at Mellwood that opened last Spring.  Well as of yesterday, I'm in!!!!!  I'll have a place where my work can hang and breath instead of being stored away!  I will gallery sit about 4 hours each weekend and will do a website.  I created the FB page and update it already for The Kore Gallery.  (see why my head is still swirling?).  More info will come as plans crystallize.

Do you listen to Moth Radio Hour?  Saturdays are great for listening to the local public radio.  This American Life, followed by Snap Judgement, The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Bob Edwards (a Louisvillian, btw).  When I'm at the Studio I can listen without interruption while piddling around.    I heard a great story today about a therapist who was challenged by a dying patient and a dying automobile and how both gave her clarity in the end.  Last week I listened to a story about a young white woman whose father became ill and her mother, thinking her husband might not make it, revealed to the daughter that her father had kept a secret...he was actually a black man from Louisiana.  I didn't hear the end of the story and looked for it on the website, but I couldn't find it.  If you caught it, let me know how it ended please.

I think I finally have a plan to feature this fabric in a quilt...

Here is the design I layed out:

The green fabric is hemp.  I ordered 1 yard of it and dyed it when I was all in love with chartreuse.  It is more textured and weighty than the focal fabric which is cotton.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trying to make something stick....

Trying to clear my head and see what I can see...

A gazillion ideas for what to do next have rushed through my mind the last 2 weeks.  When I couldn't settle on any one thing I decided to return to my roots and work with creating texture by couching yarn....
cotton, cheese cloth, couched yarn

wasn't feeling it...I thought about writing on cloth but wasn't up to clearing off any tables.  So after piddling 
this is what piddling looks like...applique and painting

around, I thought I would return to pulling a palette together around the shroud like fabric.  (I've longed to do something with the Shroud of Tourin for some time now, but the focal piece here reminds me of fossils)
various stages of adding and removing pieces
I resisted using a colour wheel, would like to go through the process more intuitively

In pulling fabric, I found the Iron King...this face grew out of seeing the artist, Willie Cole, years ago on tv when he was in his iron phase...I think currently he is in a shoe phase.  I was struck by the his facial features...regal and well defined.  I did an outline in thread as play...but when I saw it tonight I thought I'd try to work with him in a similar way as The Mid-wife.

Several things came home with me...a basting project, gonna try Sharon Schamber's method for basting; more applique, and more embellishments for The Mid-wife.  If the freezing rains come, which are suppose to start around 4:00am, actually come, I'll have something here at home to work on.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let's Barter...I have this...you have _________

The temperature dropped to 12F 2 nights ago and the high was in the low 20s.  I'm taking it in stride but today, right after I pick up my grandson from school, I'm going to the studio...it is currently 34 degrees.  After the studio, I'm heading to the gym for a mile walk on the treadmill.  Mo, has renewed our membership so I've been going 3 times a week. I lay my portable oxygen on the floor and do a quick start on the treadmill at 0 incline but going from 1.5 to 2.2 on speed...I'm able to get a mile in at 40 minutes or less.  I'm thinking about adding water aerobics in the spring or even yoga. But first I want to keep up this routine of going regularly. 

The Mid-wife didn't get stretched.  I damp stretch my quilts on the carpet in the living room and my grand kids are with us at night and sleep on the pull out couch which prevents me from stretching the quilt and allowing it to dry.  

The other night I was thinking that I never shared how The Mid-Wife quilt came to be.  I will in a few weeks, after I finish it, but I can't right now.  I've put a note to myself to remember to do this mid-February.  

I am finished with Secrets of Digital Quilting by Lura Schwarz Smith and Kerby C. Smith.  Doing the projects in the book didn't interest me.  What I found the most valuable was the digital filing system for working with images and the argument  for shooting photos in RAW format.  The 3 files, original, master, and target are organization tools I'm going to work with from this point forward.  It is too daunting a task to do this to the photo files I already have.  Shooting in RAW captures and retains more of the image in without compressing the image...it takes up more storage but if I have an image I want to continue to work with...because each time an image is opened and saved in jpeg (a compressed file) there is some digital loss in the image...probably not readily apparent to the naked eye but over the long haul it with repeated use, it could make it harder to get a rich image on cloth.  

The images I printed out, I'm wanting to make pillows with them so I've talked to Stephanie who has made pillows with her woven cloth and have of course did the google search.  I haven't ordered any pillow forms yet...and am thinking I just need to do the first few with polyester filled pillows to see how it goes before ordering down/feather forms.  

I printed the bottom on cotton and the top on organza and over laid them.  This will be my first pillow.

Now, let's barter...this year I'm about checking my spending and using the tools I've already invested in and not keeping things I know I'm done with.  Keep in mind, I'm fairly easy,...I'd like to trade Secrets of Digital Quilting along with the Fall issue 2012 of Fiber Art Now.  email me at seamless_skin at yahoo dot com and let me know what you have to exchange.  If you want an idea of things I might like...here ya go...fancy napkins, foam for making stamps, paints, mediums, painting knives, bead storage boxes, other books, silk scraps, adhesives, scrapbooking paper, tissue paper, paint, dye, crayons, a flat griddle, videos...just name it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Accountability Sunday

The week was spent with my grandchildren during the day.  I turned them loose with glue, scissors and paper and watched them go at as I sat alongside them and did the same.  They are so free in their approach, not giving a hoot about colour, design...just the joy of working with the materials.  I tried to get in the same head space when I finally got to the studio Friday afternoon.

I began by rummaging through my fabrics looking for colours that spoke to me and threw them at the wall.

Once I got these up, I knew they were too close in value and taking a photo and then putting it in gray scale proved me right.  Dyeing fabric would have been too much of a distraction as I've never been able to dye just what I need and one thing leads to another and I'm screen printing, wax resist...and it takes on a life of it's own.  I left them on the wall as I really want to work with the shroud fabric in the middle. 

The 2 days, 12 hours I spent at the studio minus 3 hours for socializing was spent trying to come up with a design for the fabrics above and then moving into my graffiti fabrics, the start which is below.  I devoted 4 hours here at home to Digital Quilting by Lura Schwarz Smith and Kerby Smith and am completed it with it.  I've made some prints on fabric that I'm considering putting on the front of pillows.

The paperwork did not get completed, I did sew the binding on the jockey quilt and got the baby embellishments attached to The Mid-wife.  I'm going to damp stretch it tonight.  

This coming week the temps are dropping but I'm still going to plan on getting to the studio before Friday for at least 6-8 hours.   Additionally, I'll be hanging out Friday night for Trolley Hop, so come see me.  My goals for the coming week is to get 2 sets of paperwork completed, get the binding sewn on the mid-wife and add more embellishments at the bottom and get the graffiti quilt to the next stage.  These objectives fall under creating more quilts this year.  

I finished reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  The first book I've read by this author.  For me, it was an epic read.  I never thought the book would end and even after it ended, there was an interview with the author (10th anniversary edition), a reading group discussion guide, and words by the author.  The first 1/3rd of the book I was going to give it up...but a little further and I was beginning to "get it" and it had me pondering and wondering and questioning about our society and how it is structured and what drives it.  What does it mean for a country to call itself a melting pot and what happens to the cultures, beliefs, ways of life to those who melt?  It was a very visual read that created a world that engulfed me in the last half of the book.  The movie, The Book of Eli, is a good companion to this read although they are two separate worlds but the theme of faith and belief strike through both of them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blues with the blues

With the dip in temps and the ice sleet that started this evening and the car troubles that faced me yesterday morning and the pain in my muscles and joints, I started fighting the blues today.  In asking myself what I need to turn my mood around, I'm longing for meditation in colour.  While I've been looking at old and current family and friends' photos, and vintage photos from the Schomburg and Library of Congress for the next portrait quilt, I'm thinking my next piece should reflect my need for calm, balance and flow...the excavation of emotion and conjuring of ideas that happens for me when I'm lost in music or energies of some poems or the solitude of following a train of thought until it cocoons me or communing with history. Something abstract...until I can see my way clearer and feel joy and gratitude. I have some fabrics in grays and blues that I dyed 2 years ago and a warm rusty colour that are calling me and I'm thinking about lines and shapes that arch over as if I can pass through a portal to feeling better in spite of these earthly demands on me.

the green fabric at the top is hemp with a beautiful drape

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Accountability Sunday

It is a light gray sky with a steady rain. The perfect day for blogging, reading, napping, drinking coffee and being in the studio...4 out of 5 here since I have to drive 10 minutes to get to my studio, but I did bring the jockey home yesterday to sew down the binding since I was not sure if I'd return today.

I found these clips in a drawer yesterday that I had forgotten I had.  I don't like using pins and I'm finding these more comfortable than the office clips I typically use to hold binding down.

I took advantage of the warmer weather and was in the studio for a total of 23 hours working on 2 quilts + 2 hours here at home today.  I didn't do any zentangles, weekly photography, or textile experiments or learning curve.  Other business energies were spent submitting a bio, images, and talking with a grant writer of a local non-profit who is aiming to extend outreach workshops to seniors living in nursing homes of which I'll teach 3-4 sessions if the grant should come through.  My mind has been all over the place with ideas of what would be interesting and fun to do with seniors who might be facing some physical and/or mental challenges.

On another note, what is the difference between kombucha and apple cider vinegar? I had a bottle of kombucha a few days ago and I swore it is nothing but apple cider vinegar.  The bottle I had, had ginger in it, and the kombucha wasn't as fermented as vinegar, but taste wise, they are siblings if you ask me.

Next week:  I need to complete paperwork, embellishing and binding The Mid-Wife, 2 sleeves and Digital Quilting.  The photography and zentangles I'm moving to the first of Feb. to start.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

slow like molasses

January has been a slow moving month...not that the time has moved slow, but I've been aware that in spite of returning to some regularity with my art, I'm moving slow...steady but slow, slow like molasses slow, but not as sweet.

Mo has been dragging me to the Y and the 40 minutes on the treadmill has me sleeping better but I'm not yet thinking this is going to be a routine and is more than likely her new year resolution that will fade around mid February.

I found my iPod, but the cell phone is still missing and I can't find my point and shoot camera.  The iPod was in my desk drawer...a drawer I open almost daily! What was that about?

I do believe I'll be completely finished with The Mid-Wife and The Jockey (I work on my quilts for a very long time and yesterday self-doubt set in on whether I'll even come close to my creative goals this year). The 23rd of the month is my time frame so that they can be professionally photographed on the 25th.

I'll be back tomorrow night to do a summary of my week in the studio...peace

a ufo from my throw back days

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday night summary

I've been setting up spread sheets to track my goals and I think for me to ump it up this year, a weekly summary is best for me to be accountable. I'm not going to track time in additional administrative task just yet.  I've printed off my goals and they are taped up here at home and will be taped at the studio and on my tablet and pc calendar.  This might be overkill but I know me and its not.

  • I spent 7 hours in the studio; 4 of them spent on working on a quilt for exhibit.  
  • 3 hours w/ Digital Quilting and working with my photo files, printing, transfering methods for a minimum of 10 hours last week.  
  • I snapped a few pictures with the tablet and did a short in-studio video, but not with the D40. 
  • I prepared paper and fabric for zentangles but didn't do any.
Here is a short video of results printing on foil using Golden's digital grounds.  I used a brush to apply the grounds, but I'm thinking a foam brush will get a smoother even application OR either I need to apply more than 2 coats.