Saturday, December 19, 2009

Need a quick-to-make last-minute gift? These padfolios are perfect as a hostess gift, exchange, or for a special arty friend who like to keep notes wherever (s)he goes! Once the surface design is done, it takes less than an hour to finish one of these beauties.

These are began with rust-dyed fabric. Some have Earth Safe Finishes Colorants applied, some are stamped with ESF Colorant as a rubber-stamp ink, and some are touch-printed with ESF Opaque Shimmers.

The fabric for this one was sprayed with ESF moss + Fabric Magic while the rusted fabric was damp. The polymer clay pendant picks up the green nicely.

This surface treatment is ESF Colorants + Fabric Magic drizzled on a shaving cream printing plate and swirled for a faux marbled effect.

Bottle caps and paper-towel cores were used as touch-print shapes. The flaps are cut freehand with a rotary cutter and the edges are finished with satin stitches.

This is what the outside surface of the padfolio looks like spread out flat.

Inside there is a pocket for a pencil or pen, calculator, or anything else you want to keep close to the notepad in the center panel.

Directions for the padfolio may be downloaded as a pdf from the margin. Make sure you have the version with the measurement correction! I made a mistake in the first version.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

As promised, here are a couple of photos from the workshop with Hands All Around Quilters in Bloomington, Illinois last Friday.

Becky took a photo of a beautiful poppy she grew, the kind that produces seeds used in baking and cooking. The detail in the center is remarkable, even after altering. Becky jumped right in a did scads of free-motion stitching to outline the petals and detail the center—then proceeded to add borders and stretch the piece and mount it herself! Didn't she do a fabulous job?

Sue’s piece is very different. She took this photo at a hot-air balloon festival earlier in the year and was intrigued by the image of the sun and clouds on the balloon. After altering, she added texture and detail with free-motion work.

Sometimes altering a non-floral image can be challenging, but Sue’s piece is exceptionally lovely. It has not yet fulfilled it’s destiny (it hasn’t yet been mounted or finished). I’m hoping Sue will send another photo once it is bound or framed.

These are just two examples from the group of 16 diverse compositions in the Friday class. Additional photos will be shared as they are available.

If your quilt or art guild would like to have a program and workshop, please contact me. There are a couple of openings in 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A great big thank you goes out to the Hands All Around Quilt Guild in Bloomington, Illinois for a fabulous trunk show and two days of workshops! What an enthusiastic, friendly group they are. It's always fascinating to see how others perceive the Altered Photo Quilt technique and how they each add their own voice to it.

Can't wait to share photos with you!

In the meantime, here is an amusing little Creature Comforts video about “What is art?” It always makes me chuckle, especially the printmaker. He is so serious about his work! LOL!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

You’ve heard of a Fish Named Wanda? Well this is a fish in Paula’s on Main in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Paula’s is a well-known seafood restaurant that is now the site of Indiana’s first indoor cold-weather market.

Lori is setting up the rust-dyed silk wraps and T-shirts next to the table of jewelry.

There was live music. This lady is a lovely folk singer who sang traditional Christmas carols with a folk spin.

Vanilla Bean is one of several food vendors in the market. They have a line of yummy cookies and soft biscotti. My favorite is the Chilean Chocolate Biscotti—chocolate with a little zing. Yum!

There were several food vendors, including Chris’ display of holiday baskets.

Paula’s had fresh bread, frittatas, salads, and crab cakes that made my mouth water just looking at them—even at 8:00 am!

There are many artisan markets at this time of year. I encourage you to seek them out and support “handmade” this holiday season!

BTW: Lori and I will be doing a live demo at Artworks Gallery at Jefferson Pointe this afternoon from 1:00–4:00. Stop by and say hello!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

This is another wonderful (finished) Threadography piece from the Naperville, Illinois group. This colorful hibiscus was completed by Kathleen Herbach.

After stitching, she added borders around the panel, stretched, and mounted it herself! Excellent job, Kathleen!

The detail shot shows some of the textural stitching she did in the center of the piece.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Mail For Heroes

I just received a lovely thank you note from Frank McDade the project manager of Holiday Mail for Heroes at Pitney Bowes! Isn't that amazing? This project involved more than one million pieces of holiday mail for servicemen and women, veterans, and their families in 2008—and he took the time to thank me. I'm speechless.

Pitney Bowes and the American Red Cross are working together again this year to spread holiday cheer to our armed forces around the globe and their families. Would you like to help? Here is a link to the Red Cross website with instructions. I'm thinking fabric postcards and quilted greeting cards!!

Can't believe I didn't take any photos of the cards from last year! They are probably on my hard drive and the files still have the camera number on them, rather than an appropriate label. Sigh! My new year's resolution for 2009 was to do a better job of updating photo files to faciliate a search on the title. I've done much better this year, but still need to remember the resolution each time I retrieve photos from the camera!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The opening reception for the holiday gallery Artworks in Fort Wayne, Indiana was held last Sunday evening.

This is the second year for the gallery and represents the work of 20-some artists in the Fort Wayne area. The work is diverse: beaded jewelry, metalsmithing, fused glass, watercolor paintings, acrylics, oils, digital photographic art—and the fiberart of Two Sipsters (that's Lori and I).

The sassy redhead is Santa Brink. She and artist friend Karen Moriarity put the project together and found a temporary home for Artworks in the lovely Jefferson Pointe shopping village.

Two Sipsters has rust-dyed silk scarves, cotton T-shirts and sweatshirts, and a few Threadography pieces. Since we are the new kids this year, our wall space is limited—but we hope to expand as the season progresses!

Sisters Alice Martin and Lisa Chiddister collaborate on digital photography, which captured our attention, of course!

Alice (left) describes a Photoshop effect to Lori (right) at the reception.

Finally, we would like to recognize the contribution of the artist's spouses. They welcomed guests, poured the wine, and kept the holiday music going. Thanks!

Artworks gallery is open 10:00am-9:00pm Monday through Saturday and Noon-5:00 pm on Sunday throughout November and December. If you're in the area, please stop by and say hello!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lori and I traveled to Naperville, Illinois on Tuesday to visit the Riverwalk Quilt Guild. What a fun group of ladies! The trunk show went well Tuesday evening and the workshop on Wednesday was very productive.

Each participant sent their photo to us ahead of time, so we could alter it, print it in sections, and have it ready for the workshop. This is Catherine Redford's finished piece—bound and beaded!

Catherine was familiar with free-motion work and jumped right into the project.

She used flame-shaped stitching to add color and texture.

Sharon Racibozynski (apologies for the spelling Sharon) had never done free-motion work before and found it easier to work with the feed dogs up. She said this is the first piece she has finished in a long time and the guild would be surprised to see it at the next show-and-tell!

Pegg Hislop spent much of the workshop outlining the many petals in this flower, but it was well worth it! Pegg, we can't wait to see the finished piece!

Beth Hunter adds detail to a cone flower before moving to the color sections.

Ladies, thank you all for a delightful day! My heartfelt hope is, even if you don't plan to make photo quilts, you found something to enrich your own work.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I drove to Longmont, Colorado today—to a charming little bungalow on a street lined with small businesses housed in what used to be a residential neighborhood.

My destination was the studio and gallery of KC Willis, cowgirl and mixed-media artist. I've admired KC's Lipstick Ranch artwork for years and was thrilled to find she lived so close to my daughter and her family.

KC (left) and ranch hand Betsy (right) greet visitors with brilliant smiles and a real enthusiasm for their work.

KC stands beside a fabric collage made to honor the spirit of painter Georgia O'Keeffe. KC values strong women—women with skills, women with heart, women with sass!

The light streams through the windows of KC's gallery, dancing on the walls and calling attention to the fabric collage.

KC, Betsy, and sometimes KC's mother work together to create more than 1200 mixed-media fabric collages for catalogs, shops, and private commissions every year!

Recently, KC has opened her studio to workshops, in addition to the other work.

Notice the beautiful frame on the wall and standing on the floor. KC's husband handcrafts these beautiful wooden pieces!

Part of her secret to success is offering collection pieces in various sizes and various prices. This is just one tip from her upcoming online marketing seminar.

Faithful companion Fiona greets visitors with a friendly wag of the tail and keeps KC company in the studio.

For more information about KC's Lipstick Ranch collection and online workshops, visit her Ning website
Facebook page

My only regret of the day is that KC's studio is so far from mine, I won't get to see her very often! She is a kindred spirit and I treasure the time we had together today. You can bet I'll be making my way back to the Denver area again ASAP!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It was more than 70 degrees in Denver today and the snow is melting. What unusual weather they have here!

DH and I went to several art galleries today in the Santa Fe Art District and in the Museum District.

One of the high-profile galleries is owned and run by an astute woman and we fell into conversation about fiber art. She said one of the most-attended and publicized exhibits they ever had was a fiber-art exhibit about two years ago. Convergence, the international weavers association convention was in town and they coordinated an exhibit at the gallery.

The gallery is in a fabulous building and has well-known client all around Denver and beyond. The exhibit was covered by all three art critics in Denver and by magazines and news organizations as far away as Sweden.

Sadly, they sold only one piece during that exhibit! What is the deal? Fiber art is just as time-consuming as painted art, in some cases more time consuming. Fiber art requires just as much skill, design sense, vision, command of technique and materials but is considered a craft, rather than an artform.

This is no surprise to me, or to most art quilters for that matter. I was pleased the gallery owner/manager had the vision. Maybe we're making progress! What do YOU think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

There are three images in this posting: sky, golden leaves, and a textured wall—all altered with displacement maps.

My goal is to blend the three together to create an abstract background.

Also, don’t miss the video tutorial on replacing colors! It’s the top link in the column to the left. Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DH and I are currently in our beloved Santa Fe. My heart soars to the heights of the rugged rock formations and thrills to the colors of afternoon light glancing off the mountains.

Yesterday we visited Chimayo (apologies for the spelling), a tiny village tucked into the mountains about an hour north of Santa Fe. The village is home to a tiny church, built in 1816 that is called the American Lourdes. So many faithful have come here for healing of the body or spirit.

The adobe walls are surrounded by candles and makeshift crosses people have fashioned from anything they could find (twigs, popsicle sticks, cut tin cans, nails, and the like) and then fastened them to the fencing around the parking lot. Fascinating.

There was snow here in the high desert yesterday and we woke to a beautiful dusting of powdery precipitation on the pinon trees, adobe walls, and grasses. What beauty there is here! It is so inspiring, I've been working on a concept for a new book.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remember the altered photo of parrot tulips I used for the padfolio project? Here is it again, with some of the color changed to purple. It was fun and easy to do using the Replace Color feature in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.

It has been printed on fabric and is just waiting to be stitched!

This is the way it looked after altering using the pebbles Displacement Map (#8 on the CD in the back of Next Steps In Altered Photo Artistry) + watercolor + poster edges.

This is the original photo—just a snapshot taken in the gardens across from the courthouse here in Fort Wayne.

Let me know if you're interested and I'll prepare a tutorial on Replace Color!