Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Today's Treasures

Secret Journals
3" x 4"
Artist: Marion Barnett

Today my mailbox held these two little treasures. These exquisite little journals are made of hand painted watercolor paper that is folded in a special way to create two-sided pages. They are almost too pretty to write in, but I will enjoy adding haiku poetry and little sketches anyway. Click here to see Marion's blog.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Artwork

Like A Child #5
4" x 6"
Artist: Beate Knappe

This is my newest acquisition, and I love it! I matted and framed it this morning, and it is now hanging on the wall. Beate's use of color and texture is exquisite --- the photos don't do her justice. I love the playful use of crayon rubbings and stitching as a child might draw. It reminds me of my great niece's drawings. Click here to see Beate's blog.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Postcards

I am tired of hand stitching bindings and sleeves, so I took a break and made more postcards. These are three that are finished --- a mini series for FFAC. I love the play of the colored shapes on the neutral gridded background.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Praying Mantis Sighting

This seems to be the year to spot praying mantises in our gardens. Until this month, I hadn't seen a single one in the 15 years that I've lived here, but now I've seen three. The last time I saw any praying mantises was when I was a teenager living with my Dad. He had yew bushes out front, and every year they were covered with little mantises in the spring. Since this month is the anniversary of my Dad's death, I am starting to see these mantis sightings as symbolic, and I am contemplating a new series of work based on the praying mantis.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today's Harvest

While I have certainly been canning and freezing all sorts of vegetables and fruits from the garden, today's harvest photo is of one of the dye racks. The yellow jars are varieties of coreopsis; the orange jars are cosmos; the darker jars are logwood; and the stainless steel pot is full of goldenrod. It's still a little early in the harvest for the goldenrod, but the coreopsis and cosmos are in full bloom.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Did I paint it or not?

I almost never shop for commercial fabrics, but today I needed a binding for a wallhanging that is almost finished. I looked through hundreds of bolts of fabric in 6 different stores with no luck, atleast no luck for a binding fabric. On a clearance table though, I did find the deal of the week! This fabric was marked down, so I got 2 yards for $3. I love it as a background, and I can't dye or paint it myself for that price. So, the answer is no, I did not paint it --- atleast not yet.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Today's Design Wall

This is the newest project on the design wall, or should I say the design floor, since that is where I am actually working today. It is a bigger piece about dialogues and communication. I am still adding pieces of cloth to it, and it will get more painted features once I get a background layout that I like. Any opinions?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's Official!

The Fall issue of Quilting Arts magazine has been mailed out to subscribers and will be in the stores early in September. Beginning on page 36, there is an Artist Profile about yours truly. When Patricia Bolton (QA editor extraordinaire) first approached me about the article, I was a little apprehensive. I am very comfortable speaking about my work in person, but I wasn't sure how I would come across when a writer got done with my words. Cate Prato quickly put me at ease, and I feel like she captured the essence of my work very well. Kudos to the staff at Quilting Arts magazine!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Yesterday's Dyepots

After exchanging notes with another natural dyer, I gathered several varieties of leaves to experiment with shades of brown. Starting on the left, the top row was dyed with pear leaves, black walnut leaves, and apple leaves. The bottom row was dyed with peach leaves and locust leaves.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

This Morning's Visitor

This morning, as I was picking coreopsis for dyeing more yarn, I discovered that I had a visitor in one of the clumps of moonbeam coreopsis. This little praying mantis was only about 1" long.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Old Market

Old Market is a renovated part of downtown and one of my favorite areas to spend a day. There are more galleries per city block than anywhere else in the city, plus fresh flower vendors on the street corners; musicians playing wherever the mood strikes them; coffee houses and bars with brews from all over the world; trendy, upscale boutiques; horse drawn carriage rides; and artists everywhere sketching, painting, and photographing. The photos here were taken in the underground passageway, early in the morning before they were open for business.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sharing Garden Space

Today I thought I would share a photo of someone else who appreciates my cosmos garden. Picking the cosmos each morning for the dyepots is sometimes a tricky proposition. I try not to disturb the bees, but ultimately I remove their reason for being in my garden. Too bad they aren't yarn lovers --- then they would understand that the sacrifice of the flowers is for a worthwhile cause!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sore Shoulders & Wrists

As some of you know, I love working with wood almost as much as I love working with fiber. This love sometimes makes me do crazy things --- like bring home pieces of furniture that needs lots of work just because I can imagine how magnificent they once looked. My current project is an antique mahogany dropleaf dining room table that was given to me recently. It has scratches and water stains on the top. But it was FREE, and it is MAHOGANY. Both words that I have a hard time resisting, especially when they relate to a piece of antique furniture. So now I am in the process of sanding it in order to refinish it as a sewing table. And my shoulders and wrists are sore. But it is a good kind of sore --- one that comes with a certain amount of pride at how the table is turning out.

P.S. I'll be sure to post photos when it is done.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Messages #1

linen, hand painted cotton cloth
hand stitched with cotton threads
mounted on acid free watercolor paper

11"h x 11.75"w

This collage is the first piece in a new series of work, based on notes that were written in old family autograph books. This message is written in Danish and is from an autograph book belonging to my mother-in-law's mother.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another Artist in the Family

This is Emmerson, another great niece, painting with an art set that we gave her. She loves to draw and paint. Right now her favorite thing to draw is balloons with strings. How wonderful to watch her create with no rules to constrict her artistic expression and no fear of failure. To her, every picture created is a masterpiece and worthy of hanging on the refrigerator.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Who Lives Here?

As I sit here in the living room this morning, drinking my second cup of coffee and surveying the sights, I have to chuckle and be thankful that you are a fellow artist and will understand the state of this house. My beautiful handmade mahogany coffee table is totally covered with yellow marigold blossoms, drying out for the dyepots. The fireplace mantle has numerous skeins of yarn hanging from it --- various shades of yellows and oranges from the summer cosmos and coreopsis dyepots. On the floor is a huge sandwiched art quilt, waiting for inspiration to strike concerning a quilting design. In the dining room I have a gorgeous cherrywood dining room set, only right now it has a thermofax machine sitting at one end of it, and the rest of it is covered with woodcut prints laid out to dry. The kitchen is no better. The sink is full of painting utensils, washed but not put away. The breakfast bar is covered with four small wallhangings that I painted this morning, waiting for the paint to dry so they can be heatset. (You would think I don't have a paint studio!) Outside the deck is covered with dyepots, and jars of more flowers and leaves for dyeing, and the clothesline has even more yarn skeins hanging to dry. And all of this is before you ever look in either of my studios! Lucky for me, you will understand and appreciate all of this. Anyone else would think a lunatic lives here!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Clematis Color

Last year we added a stone wall to our property, complete with a set of stone steps. This year I decided the steps needed an arbor, and of course, the arbor needed purple clematis on either side of it. I've never grown clematis before, so I was thrilled when it actually climbed up both sides of the arbor and BLOOMED!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Postcards Needed

Celebrate Life #7

Fiberart For A Cause: Fundraising for the American Cancer Society
International Quilt Festival - Houston
November 2-5, 2006

Fiberart postcards are needed for the fundraising effort at Houston this fall. The postcard above is one of the Early Bird Awards. Winners will be drawn from all postcards received by September 6, 2006. To date, we have raised over $53,000 for the American Cancer Society!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On The Design Wall

This is one of the projects currently on my design wall --- four small 12" square cloth collages. The text on these pieces is taken from old family autograph books, one belonging to my great grandmother and one belonging to my husband's grandmother.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


8.25"h x 7.5"w

This piece was created for the Tiny Textiles exhibition. It is inspired by a photo of the North Face of Kangchenjunga. Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. Located in the Himalayan range in Nepal, its elevation is 28169 feet (8586 meters). I loved the irony of making such a small piece about such a huge mountain!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cosmos Galore

This year I dedicated a flower bed to growing cosmos for dyeing yarn. For those of you that don't know, I was bitten by the natural dye bug a year ago, and I thoroughly enjoy dyeing natural fibers with various plants that I gather. The photo above shows some of the colors that I have dyed this summer with cosmos from my garden.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Our Newest Great Niece

Presley Ella
born August 1st
7lbs 11oz

Welcome to Studio Notes!