Saturday, March 31, 2007

Painted Cloth

I have a stack of painted and/or dyed cloth that I consider to be "rejects" --- doesn't every dyer or painter?!? Usually these are pieces that can be salvaged, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to do so. Mostly I end up using them for test prints of screens. In the photo above is a brown piece of painted cloth that I used to test the screens for the mixed media piece that I posted yesterday. I think this cloth has potential now. Many times these reject pieces are helped by test prints, and I am convinced that it is because I am in a very free, no pressure, "can't make it worse" frame of mind. I'm painting with no expectations and no worries if it doesn't work. Too bad I can't approach all of my work this way.

Friday, March 30, 2007

March's Project

I have been involved in a mixed media round robin for several months. In some ways, I look upon it as my monthly challenge. My style is very different from most of the others in the group, so it is always quite the challenge to add to each piece, yet remain true to my own style of work. As the months progress and more and more is added to each piece, the work begins to take on a personality, which is both a help and a hindrance.

This month's piece arrived, covered with various leaf motifs, but in my mind it lacked a focal point. It looked like an all-over design that belonged in a wallpaper catalog. I added the woodcut print in the center and screen printed a few leaves in black ink. Hopefully its owner will like my additions.

Detail Shot

Thursday, March 29, 2007

This Morning's Projects

Everything in the yard and gardens is now budding or sprouting, so I was inspired to start some seeds. These are the trays that got filled and seeded this morning. Some are dye plants, and some are simply to add some color to areas of the gardens. Next is to seed the cosmos garden, although it will probably have re-seeded itself from last year's flowers. I love this time of year, when everything is full of new growth and promise!

The other project for this morning was adding two new gourd birdhouses for the wrens. My father-in-law planted a gourd plant last year that yielded 79 gourds! So last night he helped me make two new birdhouses to put in a couple of our ash trees. Hopefully these will entice some wrens to nest in them.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A New Fashion Trend?

I had this pair of jeans, faded and comfy. Then I got some paint on them. Then I got some black permanent magic marker on them. So today I decided to cover them with paint and graffiti in an attempt to disguise the other marks. This is the final result. I kind of like them!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Last of the Sock Knitting

This is the last pair of knitted socks --- I am out of sock yarn, and the weather is getting too warm to wear them. I'm sure I will knit more next winter, but for now I am on to other projects like fabric painting and dyeing. Funny how the seasons influence what I work on.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More signs of Spring...

Today was another gorgeous day --- sunny, temperature hovering around 70 degrees, gentle breeze blowing. I thoroughly enjoyed working out in the yard and gardens. Here are some more signs of Spring from our yard:

Forsythia buds starting to open,

Lilac bushes starting to bud,

Sedum starting to sprout,

And the first Indigo seedling of the season.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


For those of you that have been following my saga, my MIL is now home from the hospital, and my PT is now down to 3 times per week. The result of this is that I got to spend all day yesterday in my studio --- stitching and painting. I put the finishing touches of paint on 3 new pieces, and they are sandwiched and ready for final stitching. The photo above is one of them. It was so wonderful to be back in the studio, and my whole attitude improved --- life is great again, and I have time to appreciate all of the blessings that I have. What a difference a day of art makes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sunset at the lake...

Monday the weather was finally nice enough to walk around the lake again. I enjoy the peacefulness of the lake, and we always see some treasure that nature shares with us. This time there was a white egret much farther inland than usual, and the bullfrogs were in chorus in one section of the overflow waterway. Of course, it is raining and storming today and expected to last the rest of the week, which only makes me that much more thankful for the gorgeous weather on Monday. Today will be a good day to paint cloth in the studio though.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Kansas Art Quilters is preparing for our next exhibition, "Altered Views". We plan to include a focal piece that is being made by several members of the group. The idea is for each artist to make two identical quilted blocks --- one block is left as-is, and the other block is sent to a different artist for embellishing. The challenge for me has been deciding when I have enough on the blocks to make the un-embellished one interesting, yet still leaving room for the next artist to add more work to the second block. Above is a photo of the stage that my blocks are currently at. What do you think? Should I add more, or is it time to quit?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring is on its way!

Last fall a good friend sent me some Giant Darwin hybrid tulip bulbs (Pink Impression). I planted them out back in an area that I could see from my kitchen window, and I was thrilled to look out the window this afternoon and see that they have all sprouted. What a great testimonial to spring and friendship!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Start of a New Series

This is the first piece of cloth painted for a new series --- the working title is "Ocean Journals". I grew up near the coast, and even though I live in the land of cornfields now, I truly miss the sound of waves breaking on the beach and gull cries overhead. I hope to make pieces that share my memories of the ocean --- its changing tides, the debris and marks left behind on the sand, and the creatures that inhabit this ecosystem.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Studio Inspiration

I am a very frugal person --- even with my fabric scraps. I have cardboard squares that I stack the scraps on, sorted by color. When I need some inspiration, they are right at my fingertips to sort, rearrange, stack, collage, etc. These photos are some of the piles this morning.

On another note, we had a full-fledged, shut-down-the-interstates blizzard yesterday. If you don't have to drive in it, a blizzard is not a bad thing. It forced me to stay home, and what a day I had! I dyed a newly sewn outfit in a terra cotta dyepot yesterday. Today I will overdye it in the indigo dyepot. I also designed the first layer on a new piece in purples and golds. It is much bigger than I've been working recently. Stay tuned for photos over the weekend!