Merry Christmas to all of you that celebrate Christmas, and Happy Holidays to those of you that celebrate another holiday at this time of year!
I'd like to thank all of you that have supported me this year, whether through the purchase of my artwork or through your encouraging words as I posted work in progress. I truly feel blessed to be able to spend every day in the studio.
The middle stocking above was hand knit for me by an aunt when I was born --- yes, I know that means it is really old now! The left and right stockings were knit by my Mom as I got married to my husband, Jim, and as my son, Nate, was born. Hanging these stockings from the mantle every year is one of our family's traditions. I hope that all of you have time to enjoy this holiday season with your families and celebrate your own family traditions.
Our household rarely has sweets on hand, because my husband is on a low-fat, low cholesterol diet per doctor's orders. However....once a year at Christmas, I bake cookies. This has been my tradition for 20+ years. Here are the first batches --- chocolate chip cherry cookies (a new recipe for our son, who loves all things cherry), double chocolate cookies for my husband (commonly known around here as The Cookie Monster), no bake cookies (a favorite of our son, from a friend's recipe), and rocky road clusters (my personal favorite). Still to get baked today are traditional Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies (everyone's favorite).
This is one of the pieces currently on my design wall. I love the colors and movement in this piece! These are all pieces of Kona cotton that I have painted, cut and layered into a textile collage background. Now to stitch them all in place and add more paint.
Karen Musgrave curated this exhibition, and I was thrilled to have a piece included in it. It was the first Kyrgyz-American quilt exhibition ever. When I received my piece back, there was also a copy of the catalog included in the box. The catalog is very interesting --- each artist's statement is in English, Kyrgyz and Russian. I cannot help but think that this was a fabulous way to create a cultural dialogue between the two nations.
I have been working on some new pieces, and I hit a roadblock last Friday. So I set them aside and went back to this piece. I think it is done now, except for edge finishing. I tried a binding --- wrong look --- so now I am contemplating matting it for framing. Any other suggestions?
This is the Christmas postcard that I received in the mail yesterday, made by Marge Bresel. I love all of the texture she has included in it. There are sequins, and pearls, and yarn, and cheesecloth, and much more.........all glued to the background and painted over. Thank you very much, Marge!
For those of you who have never used a thermofax machine, I am going to show you one of the ways that I use it.
This is an original photograph that I took with a Nikon digital camera. It is an older building in downtown, and I love the lines of the window and the brickwork.
I opened the photograph in a photo editing program and cropped it to what I considered to be the most interesting aspect. I then proceeded to change the color photo into a black and white image and printed it out on an HP inkjet printer. I have always been told that thermofaxes need a good carbon print to burn the thermofax screen, but I know from experience that my HP inkjet printers work fine.
Next step is to run the black and white image through the thermofax with a piece of thermofax film. The film is available from Welsh Products. Many artists attach this exposed film to a plastic frame. I wrap duct tape around the edges and use it without a frame.
This is a sample of the screen print in black ink on a hand dyed cloth background.
This beautiful silver and white Christmas postcard arrived in my mailbox today from Beate Knappe in Germany. It was a fabulous surprise on a day when I really needed something good to happen!
It may be hard to see all of the textures on this card, but it is phenomenal. The white at the top and the tree appear to be a felt-like fabric, and there is silver mesh on the background, with glitter and silver stars sprinkled all over the card. The whole card is wrapped ribbon-style with thin silver wire. What a visual treat --- thank you very much, Beate!
This is a photo of our great niece, Emmerson --- Bennett's older sister. I love this photo because it captures the true spirit of her personality. She always has her tongue out just a tad bit like this and looks at you with her eyes like this as if to say "you can't mean that". Think she doesn't give her parents a little attitude?!?!?
the Christmas cactus starts blooming! This is the first bloom of this holiday season, and it's especially satisfying because this little cactus is actually cuttings from a huge cactus that belonged to my Grammie when she was alive. I have two little pots with cuttings from her cactus, and they are both covered with buds. It feels good to think of her every time I look at them.
Thanks to everyone for their help in identifying yesterday's quilt! The quilt is titled "String Theory" and the artist is Helen Giddens. I haven't been able to reach Helen yet, but I truly appreciate everyone's help.
I am totally enamored with this quilt that was on exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last month. Does anyone know the name of the quilt and/or the artist? Artist contact info? Price? Please help me out if you know anything about this quilt. Thanks in advance!