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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fiber Post Cards

My DIL and her mom have been doing some 'spring' cleaning and came upon lots of old patterns and fabric that belong to her grandma. So last Wed. Darrin loaded up my car with boxes of fabrics and other great finds! Great finds for any fiber artist for sure! There are dress patterns from the late 40's and early 50's. What a hoot to see the designs of these dresses! So, of course I had to do something to thank Kris and her mom.
I cut a strip of one of the old dishcloths and painted over it with diluted matt gel. Then I tore pieces of the front of a pattern laid on top along with some other pieces of 'stash' I had on hand.

Another coat of diluted matt gel along with some colored tissue paper and then I painted on some Procion dye I had in the frig (I never throw anything out!).

Here's a closeup of the different can see the bubbles on the left top are the dye just sitting there!

Here's Nancy's fiber card.

And Kris' fiber card

I mailed their cards yesterday and hope they like them for a keepsake. Just wanted to thank them both for thinking of me. I will treasure the items from Eileen and use them with respect in my art work.
I did have a small piece left and I made another one for Amber, which I'll give her on Wed. Just a little keepsake of her great, grandma's sewing items.
It's raining again today and windy so Bob is going to start bowling again. So glad he's still physically able to bowl but who knows for how long! He'll still golf, weather permitting. I'm off to get the old roots dyed today then back home to finish working on my ATC's for Weaver's Challenge. I'm having fun with these. I'm also working on another stamping project due in Nov. Trying to keep up with my projects just in case I get another RA flareup! This time last year I wasn't walking or moving well at all! I shutter just thinking about the pain and how depressing it was. Glad that's behind me for now!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gelatin prints

First, Ian update..not new stats to post...due to rain outs but he does have a meet this week, I believe. We're pulling for you Ian!!

I did get lots accomplished yesterday. I finished my CCC Challenge using the snow fencing. I can't show the completed challenge until Nov. but here's a closeup! More to come on that. I also made two fiber postcards which I'll post tomorrow.
At our CCC fiber meeting this past Thursday, one of our ladies, Michelle, did the technique of monprinting on gelatin. This is a fun process that makes you feel like you are a kid again! I've done this type of printing a few years ago at a workshop by Deb Gash but we used paper rather then fabric. I like using the paper and pressing onto the gelatin!
So the process starts with you making up a gelatin mold (4tablespoons unflavored gelatin, 1 cup cold water, 1 cup hot/boiling water mixed into an 8"x8" pan).
After the mold sets up, you use fabric paints on top of the gelatin, use resists, draw, whatever you want to do in the paint then place your fabric on top. Easy and fun. Here are some of my pieces.
I used some leaves as resist.

I used a bath rubber shell matt and tile spacers.

Spacers and a feather


Sunday, September 27, 2009

So who inspires you?

Inspiration...boy, it's all around us isn't it! I was reading about an artist who was inspired by fish skin! Yep, it's true. Fran Reed makes sculpture and baskets using fish parts. I would love to know how she recognized this 'item' as inspiration. At times I am inspired by a piece of fabric, fiber or even a piece of paper, but I am also inspired by my friends and other artists. I have to say one of the first fiber artist that taught me so much about techniques and color was Hollis Chatelain. I still have 10 pages of notes from a lecture class on threads that I took in Houston and I reference those notes often in my work. I've taken classes from some of the best, I feel, and I have learned so much from each of them. But now that I don't necessarily want to travel to the shows, I've found the Internet to be the best resource for me. I can take 'classes' and learn so much and not leave the 'farm' as they say!
My inspiration lately is from the mother and daughter team, Linda and Laura Kemshall. I have always been in awe of their work and now you can watch them on their web site! They started Design Matters TV a few months ago and I had to sign up right away! It's wonderful to be able to watch this team in action. You feel just like you're in a classroom! No, you can't ask them a question (but I bet you could email them if you did have one!) but their instructions are so clear so far I haven't had a question to ask! I have both of Linda's books (Color Moves: Transfer Paints on Fabric and The Painted Quilt) and their thr3fold Journals have so much info in them that you are inspired from the 1st page!

Last October, after being so inspired by Laura's article on mono printing, in one of the thr3fold Journals, I made the pear mono print above. My first attempt at mono printing and it was so much fun. And my art diary was another project that was inspired by this duo! This is rolling paint on your quilted piece.

I look forward to each new issue and web video. Just gives you that jump start to get inspired! I did finish my CCC challenge yesterday but I can't post pics until Nov. after our Christmas Party! Yes, it was inspired by Linda and Laura! So if you're looking for inspiration, you just have to go to their web site and check out the new Design Matters TV. So now I need to go 'surfing' and see what other inspiration I can find today!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NICK! Here's the birthday boy last night at the Red Wings Hockey game his dad took him to. Nick told me this a.m. they left the game at 9:30 and arrived home at 10:14! He's very exact isn't it! Such a doll!!
He got his skateboard along with padding!! Thank goodness!!! I can see broken arms now! Yikes...but grandma's and mum's do worry! We can't help it!
Nick is having his birthday party next weekend and it's a costume party at that! Amber asked if I was busy making any quilts and if not, could I make her American Girl a pumpkin yesterday with my JoAnn coupons in hand I headed to the store. Well, I could find any costume pattern so I got a dress pattern for the American Girl doll and made it into a pumpkin dress! Last night while watching the Tigers I knitted a little hat for her. I just have to finish stitching the face on the dress and it will be done. I think it turned out ok..let's hope Amber likes it!

I haven't sewn clothing for years! and who knew..they now use 1/4" seam instead of 5/8" like in the old days..or maybe that's just on doll clothes?? I prefer sewing art quilts for sure.

And speaking of quilts...if anyone has a quilt they would like to donate or make to donate to a good cause....Cyndee, from the Lansing area, participates in our MQAI exhibit each year. She does a lot of work with Habitat and is looking for donation quilts to give to the new home owners when they get their house. If you would like to donate check out Cyndee's blog and get in touch with her.
Rainy today and of course, headache day! Go figure! I'll clean today so I can play the rest of the week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What I'm working on

This is a picture of Mandy's BFF, Cody! He was over for his weekend visit with 'grandma and grandpa' this past weekend. I just think it's a hoot how much Mandy plays with Cody! She's such a snob with other dogs!
With heading to Florida come December, I have to get my projects finished. So the first one I'm working on is the challenge for our CCC fiber group. We were each given a piece of snow fencing and the challenge is to make something using it. Of course, my piece would be quilted so I'm working on that.
I also started quilting one of my fabrics that I used my own cut stamp on for my natuare journal for Oct. This is the piece I did in Dijanne's online stamping class. I did start quilting it and I bought some beads yesterday. The quilting I did isn't showing up and I'm thinking of painting some areas to give it the contrast it needs.

On this same note of stamping, you have to check out Ruthie Powers Next Signal Designs web site and blog. She has some great stamps and I'm looking forward to reading more on her blog about her methods and ideas. She has some cool stamps on her web site as well.

Tonight is our CCC meeting and we're going to be doing some printing using gelatin and fabric paints. Should be a fun evening and of course we meet for dinner before hand! It's still been quite warm and muggy here in good old Michigan but beats the cold winter so that's fine with me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shibori Testing

Here's my shibori process that didn't quite work out. I started off with this hand dyed pastel piece (white/blue) which I used for my other shibori pieces (that turned out great!). This isn't the piece I did but just want to show what I started with. My piece is approximately 20" x 40".

Here it is all tied up! This took quite sometime to stitch but was good TV work!
Here it is getting its 'roots' dyed! I used black procion dye...and lots of black!

Here's my finished piece. As we were driving to Ann Arbor this weekend and ladies were looking at my piece...Mary asked what kind of thread I used. I bought some 'button' thread which is quite strong...I thought I was doing good using this...but Mary gave a good opinion that it looked like the threads took the dye..hence, the dye ran in between my stitching which ended up not giving a good contrast. The areas that appear white here are actually gray. So I think Mary hit on something. I just purchased another four spools of this thread but I'm taking it back and sticking with my quilting thread (which is quite strong). Live and learn!

This music clip is for my friend, Karen...It's Cecilla!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another week begins

I had a very good weekend starting out with Carol and Mary and trekking to Ann Arbor to listen to Nancy Eha's bead lecture. Of course, we had to have lunch at Zingerman's Roadhouse! Yum!! No, I didn't take pics this time of our lunch. Was that good or bad?? After lunch, we took off to U of M Hospital to see Mary's exhibit hung through the hospitals Gifts of Art program. Mary's art quilts look SO nice hung and I'm sure will give pleasure to lots of folks walking the halls.

Here are some of Mary's pieces....I didn't take pics of all of them. If you click on the pictures, you'll see the pieces better. They are beautiful!
They display very nicely!

So walking the hallway the Gift of Art program has lots of exhibit ongoing at the hospital. These were beading sculptures by Betsy Youngquist. They are fabulous!! You know how much I love beading but putting beads on a sculpture is beyond me! She calls her work 'sculptural mosaics'.

Just look at the detail she did with her beads! Wow!

Most of my friends know how hung up I am on Margaret Ball's book 'Embeadery'. I do go to her blog almost daily to see what's new in her bead life. On her most recent blog post, she showed how to do a twisted ribbon w/beads. So I had to try this new stitch! Of course with Margaret's instructions it's very easy to do. So I did! Here are my ribbon stitches w/beads. I used some cheap bugle beads I picked up at a flea market along with cheap seed know the old saying 'don't do as I do, do as I say'...well, DO NOT use cheap beads. I keep my cheap beads for testing stitches or fiber cards or ATC's..the stitches would be more even if you "use Japanese beads" (per Margaret's email to me). But I'm still happy with the stitch.
I did finish over dyeing my large shibori piece which I'll show tomorrow the do's and do not's! But after seeing Nancy Eha's pieces and now learning this new stitch I have some idea on what I'm going to do with that piece. Pics to follow tomorrow!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Wasn't she just the cutest baby!

I made this fiber card and mailed to her for her birthday! Hope it makes up for the picture above! Sorry, honey! I couldn't resist! LOVE YOU!

Just running around

Yesterday was Dr. apt., guild meeting, errands and just plain running around. Today, Carol, Mary and I are headed to the Ann Arbor Guild to listen to Nancy Eha lecture. Nancy is a wonderful beader and of course I just love to use beading as an embellishment on my work. Should be a great day and of course lunch out! Yippee! It doesn't take much to make us happy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I'm so lucky to have so many great friends and acquaintances and one of those women is Teresa...back in '99 Bob and I took a cruise to Alaska and we met a delightful young lady named, Teresa. Bob and I decided (ok, Bob decided!) to take a float plane ride and let's just say I was a little apprehensive to say the least! Teresa sat in front of us (in this little box of a plane!) and gave me some words of wisdom. For the life of me, I can't remember exactly what they were but I sat back and enjoyed the ride! It was awesome!

At that time, Teresa was living in California and guess where she ended up moving to a few years ago! Oxford, Michigan! Go figure! Only 21 miles from our house and within 2 miles of the kids! Now I believe in soul mates and all that and I also believe Teresa's friendship was met to be! I mean, come on...moving to Oxford! Teresa married Curtis in 2007 and Bob and I were at the wedding...which was WONDERFUL! Curtis is a very, very nice man and they fit together so well! They are both a joy to be around...a lot of laughter and love. Here is the cute couple back in 2007 at their wedding.

Teresa and I met for coffee yesterday and it was an enjoyable hour spent with a delightful young woman. She is a technical writer (I believe that's her day job!) but she also writes fiction and non fiction stories! Her first story I read was about a genie and I thoroughly enjoyed it - even with two different endings!! Yesterday, Teresa told me her idea for a non-fiction book which is terrific!! I really hope she continues with this endeavor! It's a wonderful premise for a book!!!

I thank you Teresa for the bright spot in my day yesterday and I am 'grateful for the time I spent with you'. And I'm 'grateful' for your friendship!

I know there's a saying "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" but I disagree...keep your friends closer and closer!!! Our friends are like family and are so important in our lives and enrich us in ways we don't even realize. Just like our family, friends are part of our daily life that we may take for granted and not fully appreciate. You don't know what you have until it's gone so maybe we need to start appreciating our surroundings more. I know I need to do that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just another Wednesday

Did some more sewing yesterday (surprise!) and finished up a stencil/rubbing piece. I added some beads last night (while watching Tigers lose big time!).

Here's finished piece...the small circle on the right was filled in last night. I used some rubbings and a stencil from Tim Holtz along with the oil pastel paintstiks. I've been using these paintstiks and oil paste crayons for years. You can make a piece rather quickly and they do make a nice hostess gift.
Closeup of one area. This was using a rubbing plate.
and here's the beading I added to fill in the empty space. Boy, I sure need to do something about the color with my camera. I tried taking this without flash and it was really dark...flash just made it too bright..but at least I can see what I did - have to have those pics for in the nursing home!

Mandy is still going to Hospice and she did really well again on Monday. Funny, if I take her most places, she just drools and drools but when I tell her she's going to "do her job", she just sits in the car very quiet and no drool! Maybe she knows she's going to make folks smile. I just wish Mandy weighed's really hard to keep lifting her up and down...but that's ok...we'll keep doing our 'job' as much as we can.
Our humming birds are on their big trip south! We didn't see any for a few days and they are always at the feeder. Then suddenly, we saw a female. I think she was just stopping on her way south. They have such a long trip it's so hard to believe they can fly that far and make it all the way back to Michigan! Tough little birds!

Monday, September 14, 2009

More shibori

Do Not Laugh! OK, so here's the scoop..a few weeks ago I did some shibori in red...making leaves, etc. Well, one of the 'leaves' looked like a bug! You may have to click on the picture to see his looks like a bug to I cut out the 'bug' and then cut one of the larger fat leaves in half and gave him wings!

Here's my 'shibori bug'! It's my Art of Nature journal (8 1/2" x 11") for Sept. Not sure what kind of bug it is but it is a bug to me! Although, he almost looks like a fish now that I see it at a distance! I added beading and put him on a black/white background. I have to get used to the camera and using different settings to get the colors correctly. Guess I need to go to my daughter and ask for advice in the photography area! She's the expert in that field.

Here's a close up of the beading...I think he's cute..and I even gave him two eyes! You stopped laughing, right!

My next shibori work was stitching a sample piece so I could try Sue Cavanaugh's technique of using thickened dye rather then immersion dyeing for shibori. I started off with this commerical fabric which was a very loose first mistake. I stitched it up then...mixed up some print paste; added dye concentrate (per Ann Johnson's formula) and spooned dye on my stitched piece. I was using black dye by the way.

Here is the stitched piece after I rinsed out the the dye...looks blueish here but it actually turned picture, please!

Like this! Go figure! No white for me to try thickened colored dye on! Hmmmmmmm I think in part the loose weave may have had some impact on the process....I wanted to try this out before I dyed my large shibori piece I'm stitching. I think I'll just stick with immersion dyeing then if there is any white left (which there should be!) I 'might', just 'might' use the thickened color dyes on some of the white areas. I'm just not sure but I don't want to waste all the stitching I've done on the larger piece. I have to think on this a little more.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Date Night!

Saturday was date night and what a great date night I had! Date night with my daughter and grand kids! I got to Darrin and Kris' mid afternoon and even had time to sit and talk with them by the pool. Even Alley and A.J. got into the pictures yesterday. I knitted Amber a skirt for her American Doll last winter but forgot to give them to her. (Nick got a new matchbox car!) Alley got to wear the skirt first! This is A.J. with it on (this was taken late Sat. night).

This was Alley modeling the 'skirt'.
So as soon as Darrin and Kris left for their date night, Amber made a dash to call Auntie Dawn and say "mom and dad just left". There was a surprise the kids and Auntie had planned, which was to take grandma to dinner somewhere special. And it was! We went to Italian Gardens in Oxford for dinner! I LOVE this place. Bob and I used to go to their restaurant when it was downtown Flint. They opened another restaurant in Davision and one on Miller Road in Flint. The downtown one finally closed but then they also built in Oxford! They have the best sauce, bread,!!!
So wouldn't you know I, who always carry my camera!, left it at the kids house. Anyway, thank goodness for cell phone cameras! This was Nick rolling out his own pizza dough! Isn't that great they allow the kids to do that! The 2nd pic is Nick putting the toppings on!
The food was GREAT! And so nice I got time with Dawn. I feel so bad the kids are so busy all the time and I hate to bug them on the weekends so this was wonderful to have time with her and the grand kids! After dinner, Auntie took us to the park and the kids played for over an hour! Then to Cook's for ice cream!!! Yum!! What a great day!!!
This is Amber with her newest American Girl she got for her BD (her mom and grandma and Ginny took Amber to Chicago to American Girl store).

And just another pose with A.J. Yep, Amber's as bad as her grandma (when I was younger) at squeezing the animals! That's A.J.'s eye popping out!

I love this shot of natural. I got some of the best pictures of her last night...but NONE of Dawn and I together! What's up with that!!! I need to start taking some pics of my kids with their old mum!!!

And here's our little man! All showered and ready for bed! NOT! We did sit and read some book and magazine ads then we read each of their books in bed. That was fun as well.

I had one of the best date nights yet!!! Thanks, Amber, Nick and AUNTIE!!! I think Darrin and Kris enjoyed themselves as well. It's nice for them to get a night out and be together.