Today we made a stop at the ( only) Mountainair drugstore called "Meds and More" to pick up some last minute things for our cross country vacation. I found this item and thought "my Mother really needs to have this!" In reality the bag contains "chocolate covered pralined peanuts". The whole idea, along with the cute packaging gave me a laugh!
Monday, May 19, 2008
I have spent many hours over the past few days stitching on the challenge quilt. My finger tips are sore but I love this part. Most of the top of the first layer of the quilt is now stitched. The next step is to secure the top to the back around the edges with, you guessed it, more hand stitching. I am really happy with how the words developed with metallic paint and red embroidery thread. After the top quilt edges are secured, it will be time to adhere the large red fabric heart, the planet and the tiny red flower. I am leaving these elements for last so they won't get worn with all of the handling that goes on with hand stitching. I think most of this art quilt will be finished while I am on vacation back east. I am quite happy with it so far.... Postscript: How did my Mother's hands get in my photo?
Friday, May 16, 2008
I think not! Recently Roy built me a wonderful closet to hold my many bags and boxes of fabric. As he was getting ready to put the sheet rock up I had a wonderful idea. "Wait"..."wait" I said. "Can I please have all of those wonderful shelves for my paints?" You see, in between the studs are these tiny little shelves. All we needed to do was add a few more at the right intervals and I had paint storage! I LOVE these! Good idea, huh. Oh, I do have room for more paints now.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Oh yea! Finally it is raining. I realize in other parts of the country this is not a reason for celebration but here in central New Mexico it is an event. We have had weeks and weeks of dry blowing dust and low humidity. We have just lost almost 14,000 acres of our beautiful Manzano Mountains to fire. Our dirt road has suffered and as a result the sharp stones that eat tires appear to have risen to the top as the anchoring dirt has been pulverized and blown away. So, we have rain! Here is a photograph of the back porch edge and steps showing real rain drops. It is a blessing......may it continue all day.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I have been mulling over a project for a couple of months now and it is starting to take on a reality. The inaugural issue of "Art Quilting Studio" will come out in June 2009. I received an e-mail from the editor at Stampington to consider submitting a quilt in response to a particular challenge for that issue. The challenge is to create an art quilt inspired by the following excerpt from the famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "The Little Prince":
"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes".
I generally do not assemble any art work with such a thoughtful theme and this is really stretching me in ways I have never considered. Pehaps this is the purpose of a challenge, to encourge/force the artist to look at their work in new ways and to focus on a theme never before attempted. So, the fabrics have been dyed and the general composition of the quilt has been determined. My submission will be entirely hand stitched. The fabric will be hand dyed, the lettering will be free form and painted. And there will be beading (of course!). One of my greatest joys is to hand stitch and bead. I do wish I knew more about beading! I just muddle along and learn the hard way, trial and error. Maybe I should get a book about beading? Good idea Jude.
Anyway, here is a photo of the beginnings of the challenge quilt. I am looking forward to the stitching part! First though, I need to let the paint dry.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Since I continue to be amazed that I grew a flower, this piece was dedicated to the amazing dahlia! It contains two photographs printed onto fabric sheets and lightly colored with pencils. Then I added text with my Pigma Micron pen and did lots of stitching around the large letters and around the text sections. The larger letters are painted in and the outer edge of the entire piece is painted with purple acrylic paint to provide a stiffer edge. I added some beading (naturally) and added four studs in the corners for interest. The ideas for the next quilts are formulating in my head already! Stay tuned!
Monday, May 5, 2008
I have been influenced and impressed by the art journal quilts of Rice Freeman-Zachery (http://www.voo-doo-cafe.com/) (http://www.voodoonotes.blogspot.com/) and have started my own journey to create fabric wall pieces that tell a story. Right now I am experimenting with different ways to put the written word on fabric. Rice's pieces ( that sounds like a candy!!) are dramatic in their use of stamps. I have tried stamps as well as actually drawing the letters on the fabric with my Pigma Micron pens. If I make the letters large enough, I can then paint inside the lines with some really fun results! If my text is a bit longer, I can just print the smaller letters on the fabric using those same pens. I also have 3 sets of stencils that work really well if I want only a few large-lettered words. Another way to put text on fabric is to create the words in a word processing program on your computer and print them off on fabric sheets to then cut in pieces or strips and sew them on the quilt. That is the process I used in this art journal piece called "Secret Garden". The large words were done with stencils. After I stencilled the words on using the green acrylic paint I had chosen, they started to look kinda military...so I took a small paint brush and closed in those parts of the letters to make them solid. Much better! I took a digital photograph of my own "secret garden" and printed it off on a fabric sheet. I printed it in sepia tones and then added a bit of color with colored pencils. I did some stitching on the photo using black quilters thread to give it some dimension. After I stitched the photo on the piece, I used 2 different leaf stamps to stamp all over the fabric. Then I added some beading as a final touch. As I finish other pieces, I will post them here with an explanation of the process. Right now I am enjoying the discovery!
Sunday, May 4, 2008
This bunny comes into the courtyard every day to eat and drink. He is one of several who have adopted us it seems. They let us get pretty close and are quite tame.
They share the courtyard with many different kinds of birds, a couple of really hungry squirrels and a family of chipmunks. Occasionally we see a roadrunner walking along the top of the adobe straw wall. We have a pair of them living on our land and have named them "Alice" and "Cooper".
My favorite courtyard creatures are the doves. We have two pair of mourning doves and two pair of ring-necked turtle doves. They are so sweet, often jittery and always show up in pairs. I don't suspect I will be able to get photographs of them!
Every morning I put out an assortment of bird seeds and some dried bread crumbs as well as two pans of water and a shallow pan for bird bathing.
My south facing windows in my studio allow me to observe all of them all day long. They bring us such joy!
Friday, May 2, 2008
I am trying very hard to cultivate (get it?) a green thumb and maybe this is the year. The problem is I tend to forget the plants....actually believing they should be able to take care of themselves. And, then they die. Who knew. So, here you can see a row of terra cotta pots I painted over the winter in preparation for planting flowers. In this case, a row of dahlias. And, as you can see, one has bloomed!!! It is a miracle.