Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well, my first self portrait is finished for a challenge in The Thread Society Yahoo group. It began as a photograph and I removed all the background in Photoshop, put the eyes on top of the hands (from a second photo), and then printed it on fabric.

All the paint on this is Earth Safe Finishes Shimmering Gels (some opaque and some translucent). They handled very well on fabric and didn't change the hand of the fabric very much, considering the coverage.

The final step was to drop the feed dogs on the sewing machine and use free-motion stitching in the hair, to outline the arms and hands.

I'd like to do this several more times to refine the technique, but this will have to do for now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

DH and I went on a photo safari Saturday. It was the first beautiful spring day we've had this year and the warm sunshine after weeks of cold rainy weather really made the flowers and trees pop open.

One of my favorite local photo spots is Foster Park, in southwest Fort Wayne. The golf course and gardens are very well tended and often have the first flowers blooming in spring.

This is tulip season, the jonquils and daffodils are almost past, but the tulips are at their peak.

These altered photos will be printed on fabric and stitched as door prizes at guild presentations and workshops.

I'm not sure which I enjoy more, taking the photos or altering, printing, and stitching them!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Finally, we have some spring-like weather! After what seems like months of cold, dreary, rainy weather we have a day in the 70s—and wow, did that sunshine bring out the flowers. DH and I went to the park this afternoon and took scads of photos.

I'm working on a self portrait for a challenge among members of The Thread Society Yahoo group. This is the original photo. A little creepy, isn't it? Hopefully, once it's printed on fabric, painted, and embellished with threads and fibers it will be more whimsical than creepy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Have you heard of Earth Safe Finishes yet? It is a woman-owned (USA) company that manufactures and sells paint, colorants, and media with no or low VOC (volatile organic compounds) content. The purse above was made from a piece of rust-dyed fabric over-dyed with the dye recipe and surface design added with opaque shimmer gels.

I really love the colorants, fabric medium, and shimmer gels on fabric! They are environmentally friendly-and space friendly. The colorants mixed with various media will produce dye, ink, or paint in any color you want. That means less space occupied by multiple colors of dye, multiple colors of ink, and multiple colors of paint!

The monthly newsletter is packed with ideas, tips, how-to projects, and useful environmental information. The link to the newsletter page is
http://www.earthsafefinishes.com/Newsletter.html Check it out! With the focus on environmentally ("green") responsible products and reducing one's carbon imprint, this is especially timely.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This is a little quiltie (8" x 10") going to a fundraising silent auction for my godson Tyler's Future Farmers Of America in Iowa. He loves horses, so I hope he likes this.

It started as a photograph my studio associate Lori took during a snowfall last winter (the one that's still lingering here in northern Indiana). She altered it on the computer and printed it on fabric. I then dropped the feed dogs on the sewing machine to outline and add detail with free-motion stitching.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It’s Earth Day! And here in Northern Indiana there is a promise of spring. It’s been cool and rainy for way too long, but the sun broke through today, calling me to a photo safari. Yards and fields are verdant from the rain and the temperatures are suppose to be close to 70 in the next few days. Boy, are we ready!

You've heard of sand sharks? Well, this must be a yard fish! It's actually a catfish that a bird (probably a blue heron) dropped in the yard this morning. It's about 16" long, weighs about 1 1/2 pounds, and was causing a lot of excitement with the dogs! Little Elsie (our miniature schnoodle puppy) isn't much larger than the fish.

I need to finish stitching a small art quilt for godson Tyler's FFA (Future Farmers of America) banquet on Saturday. Hopefully there will be time to photograph it before it has to go to the post office this afternoon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Extreme Needle Felting class on Quilters Keep Learning is finally under control. I'll never be finished with the projects—that’s the good news!

The piece above was an exercise in following a pattern, creating an abstract design, blending fibers, and two embellishment techniques.

Quilt Festival will be held in Chicago this weekend. I’ll be traveling there to work in the Rust-Tex booth. So, stop by and say hello, if you’ll be there Friday afternoon, Saturday, or Sunday!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The first cards for Clotilde have begun to trickle in. I've extended the deadline until June 1, because contacting her friends, fans, and business buddies has proved daunting. She touched a LOT of lives and I don't want to miss anyone!

The needle-felted piece above is 5" x 7" and sits an interesting little frame. It is a class sample for my online Extreme Needle Felting class, but was made for a friend who is going through a tough time.

The tactility of the roving, yarns, velvet, and beads just makes me smile! The next step is dyeing the roving and yarn with Earth Safe Finishes Colorants. Initial tests were most successful and I can't wait to dye enough for an entire project!

A gallery has already expressed interest in carrying these for Mother's Day. Yahoo!

Friday, April 3, 2009

“It’s been a quiet week in my home town...” Actually, it hasn’t been quiet at all! Two magazine projects, several tests with Earth Safe Finishes’ Generation Green products, an opening at the Yale School of Medicine (trying to get a link to some photos now), and getting ready for an opening at Sozo Studio and Gallery in Kendallville, Indiana.

Studio partner Lori and I took 19 pieces to Sozo yesterday. Although Kendallville is less than an hour from my studio, I was not aware of the studio/gallery until a contact at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art (FWMoA) passed along some information about an upcoming fiber show.

Here’s the link to Sozo’s website http://www.sozoartstudio.com/ Sozo is the Greek word for “new life.”

To make a long story a little shorter, the owner Peggy Tassler is a fabulous portrait painter who works in oils, but is open to other media as well. Her busy shop has an after-school art program for children and provides a number of services, including portraits and faux finishes for commerical and residential customers. It’s amazing and encouraging that this small town can support an art studio and gallery. Hooray for Kendallville!

This is a scene inside the gallery during the take down of a photography show and getting ready for the fiber show. There will be an open house with a live demo of my Threadography techniques on April 23 from 6:30 to 9:00 EST. So, if you’re in the area, please stop by!

Sozo will also be hosting our Joys of Rust Dyeing workshop Friday, June 5th!