Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wow! I'm posting two days in a row. I must be avoiding something. Let's see, paid the bills, took dogs out, worked on Earth Safe Finishes dry cleaning test, answered almost all the morning e-mails, and am on target for shipping 12 pieces out early next week.

But, I digress! The team at CraftEdu has been working non-stop for months to get ready for the official launch of craftedu.com on June 1.

Here is a link to a new You Tube video. It's a quick overview of sample art from faculty members. Enjoy! (I have no idea where the cat photos came from.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

One of the goodies on the coffee bar was a plate of "tea eggs." Don't they look like marble?

Of course, I had to look up the recipe the next day. Interesting! They are hardboiled eggs that are soaked in a solution of tea, soy sauce, anise, and other spices I wouldn't have thought of putting together.

Don't think they'll become a family favorite, but they were really interesting.

Saturday the 15th was perfect! The sun was shining, it was slightly cool, and other than the migraine that drove me crazy, it was perfect for the 10th annual garden party at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Wayne.

Guests began arriving shortly after 8:00 am and were greeted with a friendly smile and a name tag.

There were booths of beautiful flowers. A gorgeous salmon-color lupine and a crimson gloxinia went home with me.

The display of yard art was wonderful!

This is one end of the fabulous coffee bar—and you can see a bit of my Threadography in the background!

The day was filled with speakers, mini workshops, laughter, and a wonderful awareness of conservation and environmental responsibility.

The ladies of the church, dressed in floral aprons, kept the activities on schedule. Susan Wenger coordinated the desserts, and did a wonderful job—as did everyone on the team!

Sue Ellen's talent at the keyboard enriched the experience for everyone.

Lunch included homemade quiche. Can you imagine baking quiche for about 100 people? Wow!

Gentlemen of the church served lunch in a light-filled fellowship room.

To my delight, there were quilts on almost all the walls.

Can you see the goodie bags? They are re-usable shopping bags filled with information about resources in the Fort Wayne area for casual and serious gardeners.

One of the last events of the day was a silent auction.

On behalf of all participants, I'd like to thank the efficient and gracious team of workers at the Unitarian Universalist Church for a job well done! Thank you for including me in the incredible experience.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Whispers On The Wind

After months of work, the new series debuted yesterday evening at the Langhenrich Gallery in the Unitarian Universalist church in Fort Wayne! The series is a tribute to my mother, who passed away May 23, 2009.

The piece above is Voices in the Forest, a digital collage on rust-dyed fabric. The backing is also rust-dyed fabric and includes the quotation: "How quiet the forest would be if only he with the best voice sang!"

These digital collages, such as Secrets of the Butterfly Fairy, above, combine vintage artwork and photographs I have taken.

There are 12 pieces in the series. They all, including Naptime Escape (above) have cold-forged copper "frames" that have been flashed with a propane torch (takes longer than it sounds) and sealed with Earth Safe Finishes Sealer to prevent color change.

You can see the stencil layer in most of the photos, including Mushroom Girl (above)

All collages were printing in black and white, even Invitation to Tea (above) and then color was added with Earth Safe Finishes watercolor recipe for fabric.

How High The Moon is a particular favorite! The delicate rusted tie-dye background enriches the moonscape with texture. The moon is highlighted with a shimmering gold metallic paint, the stars are white metallic, and the tree is heavily textured with free-motion stitching.

Guarding the Gerberas is on heavily rusted fabric. It was one of the original two compositions that led to this series. I learned a lot about printing on rust-dyed fabric!

The background fabric for Flight Lessons (above) was rusted with springs from the seat of an old chair.

Morning of the Unicorn features distressed mylar wrapping paper cut into shapes and then stitched to the background.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Studio Tour

I can't figure out how to move the photo of the cupcake tree to the proper place, but here they are. Aren't they beautiful? Arlette made scads of mini champagne cupcake with champagne icing, orange (my favorite color) sugar, and tiny edible pearls. How elegant!

It stormed in the night and I had visions of an empty studio and sad artists—but no! The rain stopped shortly before the Studio Tour opened and held off until shortly after the tour closed. What a blessing!

This display has Dixie Landis Bradley's beautiful paintings and collages. Notice the waterfall jacket on the dress form on the right. Dixie's husband Norman shaped a coat hanger into the profile of a woman. Isn't it perfect?

The waterfall jacket is an example of a finished Make-it/Take-it. Guests selected a blank silk scarf, rayon waterfall jacket, or poncho and dyed it in the back yard with Earth Safe Finishes spray dyes. The pieces were beautiful and each quite different from the other!

Rosie's gourd and glass pins were a hit. Only one was left at the end of the day.

Amy's raku (on the right) was very popular! She now has her own raku kiln and we're begging for raku classes.

The table at the end held the blank scarves and jackets.

Rust-dyed silk scarves, T-shirts and sweatshirts shared a rack with blank purses. There were requests for a class to make the painted purse—and we'll be glad to oblige. If you have a group of at least four people interested in a class, we'll schedule one at the group's convenience.

The Make-it/Take-it table was busy all day! Amy did a MITI of a pin/magnet made from two slide mounts framing a tiny photo and April jumped right in and guided guests through making a needle-felted pin.

Rust-dyed cotton fabrics were available in fat quarters, half-yard, and full-yard cuts.

Samples of upcoming class projects were displayed on this table, and Rosie kept the area humming with explanations of the classes and passing out workshop brochures.

We sold the last two copies of Altered Photo Artistry from TWO printings! The book is now available as a Print-on-Demand product and will soon be offered as an e-book.

PhotoFabric really needed a demonstration going to show how it's used, but Lori had massage clients until after noon.

We've come full circle in the studio. I really wish there were photos of Arlette's refreshments. She made the most incredible champagne cupcakes and fruit slush punch!

There were five studios on the tour. If you were able to attend, you'll have to tell us how wonderful the other studios were. Thanks for stopping by my studio!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Well, here is the finished Conversation with a Fairy from my new series about childhood fantasies. It's about 12" x 18", which is fast becoming a favorite size.

Thanks to Barbara Matthiessen, who talked me through the process of cold-forging copper tubing for an interesting hanger. I convinced the "helpful hardware man" I could punch holes in the flattened tubing, if he'd just show me which punch would go through the copper (he was doubtful!).

The embellishments are incised clay, made with rubber stamps and clay cutters. (Note to self: two holes keep the elements straight!)

The fairy has a crown of tiny gold beads, and is surrounded by a corona of gold metallic paint, made with my new recipe (using Earth Safe Finishes Colorant, Fabric Magic, and metallic powder).

I love the gold paint on top of the rust-dyed fabric! It's translucent enough that the subtleties of the rust variations show through the paint. I got carried away with the paint for her diaphanous clothing and it's a little too opaque, but that can't be helped now.

This is a close-up of the flamed copper tubing. In some places there are more green and purples, making the patina similar to raku (I LOVE raku)!

Controlling the shape of the tubing is still a challenge. Bending with pliers isn't bad, but the contours change as you forge the tubing and I haven't figured out how to compensate. It must have something to do with rolling the tubing as it's bent and then "unrolling" it as the tubing is pounded.

At any rate, the first three of 16 pieces of the new series are finished and in the copper frames. As with any art technique, it should get easier with practice.

Any tips? I'm open to suggestions!

The opening reception for the show is next Saturday at the Langhinrich Gallery in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30-8:00 pm. You're invited!