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!