Saturday, May 30, 2009

Through The Curtain

Here is what I made with the Bag-o-Stuff aka Baggo that I received. A gallon bag of quite an assortment of very lively happy colorful fabrics. Mostly cotton prints, some velveteen, a piece of flannel, satiny stuff an African gold stamped print. I don't know whose this is yet, as no one has claimed it at the time I'm writing this. If no one does, I may just keep it, because I like what I came up with.

The first thing I cut into was the African fabric, and I cut around the motifs it reminded me of a curtain swag, so that got stuck up at the top of the design and I was off.

Included in the bag was a rayon or maybe some synthetic teal fabric with fusible diamond shapes on the back. So I cut those out and made a few more to add into the design. I sewed around them with metallic thread.
The velveteen got cut up into decreasingly smaller rectangles, these also got a diamond on top.

The central image is a small square of flannel backed with a bit of the purple satin. I think it looks like a boat or a flag. Here you can see some of the free motion quilting I did, airy swirls in the "sky, and watery wave curls in the "water".

Here's how the whole thing looks.

For some reason I don't recall now, I randomly started piecing the back together which I never do! But it was fun to use the fabrics that hadn't made it onto the front. Also you will note the "frame look" around the edge of the back, it is the facing which was completely and totally successful and easy thanks to Jaye's instructions, thanks for explaining this technique so clearly Jaye.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Afternoon Snack

How about this for an afternoon snack?
Sliced sourdough baguette, drizzled with just a bit of olive oil, topped with slices of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and a fresh basil leaf. Salt and pepper if you want.
Just like Insalata Caprese, but with a slice of bread underneath to help carry it to your mouth successfully. I think I could eat this every day without getting tired of it. The flavors and textures are so perfect together.

Oh and Make Sure To Fight with your brother about how many you got to have.

Finding fresh mozzarella can be hard, not all grocery stores carry it, we just noticed they carry it at Costco of all places (3-pack please and thankyouverymuch). It is supposedly not too hard to make, although I haven't tried it, only have made feta so far under supervision.

By the way, don't bother making this if you don't have fresh mozzarella, the flavor and texture just doesn't work. But if you do make them up that way with the non-fresh type, I'd heat them up to melt the cheese. Which would be totally yummy also just different.

Now my mouth is watering and I'm out of basil.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baggo Cornucopia

I just received a great quilt in the mail from my Fiber Pirate friend Marie. She got my bag-o-stuff or Baggo in our recent swap and had to try and make something out of the crazy assortment that I had stuffed in there.

I think she did an amazing job, and I'm really looking forward to hanging this quilt up during my favorite season of the year, which is obviously, fall.

I love the wheat stalks and leaves shape. And look at how she used the hand-dyed fabrics for the pumpkin.
The details she added are really great, using the fuzzy eyelash yarn, and some leaves after the quilting was done.
And look at this amazing quilt label on the back. That's all machine embroidered, isn't it fancy?!

Thanks so much Marie!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Not the Most Exciting Post Ever

I haven't been posting much lately because I'm working on a few projects that I'm not allowed to show you quite yet so I don't have any pictures to post. But soon.
That and I've been either out in the garden beating back the crazy-huge weeds or holed-up in a dark room having a migraine. Or going to the movies with my family. We've been on quite a movie going binge lately.
Also, I've been reading a lot more than usual for some reason.
None of these activities lend themselves to much picture-taking either.
So, life is getting lived, stuff is happening, but nothing is getting documented...
Hopefully that will change soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'll Take Three Kaleidoscopes To Go

Time to go vote. But before I go perform my good citizen duty, a picture or two.

I realized I was really missing my kaleidoscopes.
Since switching to the new computer with Vista, the Kaleidoscope Kreator program doesn't work on it at all, and I'm too cheap to buy the new version which supposedly will. Well, not too cheap, just not wanting to spend the money on that particular unnecessary and frivolous item. After all it is still on a working computer, which is hooked up to the backup drive where all my photos live. I just have a few more steps involved to play with it.

So, it is nice when I do remember to go play with that particular tool. I really like this one, based on a photo of my quilt As Above, So Below

Monday, May 18, 2009

Corpus Continued

Here is my latest finished piece, Corpus 3, which is the third in my Corpus series. You can see Corpus 2 here,. I had to get off my duff and actually start and finish the quilting on it so I could enter it in the Santa Cruz Art League annual fiber art exhibit. Hope it gets in!

The name of the series came from me listening to all the talk about artists needing to have a "body of work" and I've always loved the Latin word for body: CORPUS .

This series of work is all made with a tightly woven, smooth surfaced, recycled cotton/lycra which is discharged with various bleach agents, sometimes straight bleach, or dishwasher gel, or even bleach pens.
The fabric came in a gigantic bag from a local clothing manufacturer. I saw their operation and they would have 10 layers of fabric stacked up, and cut out through all the layers for a pair of pants with these amazing industrial cutters. Instead of throwing away the excess they thought to recycle it. I use it as is, whatever shapes it is in when I take it out of the box, I sew the ten or so matching pieces together.
This makes for a lot of lumps and bumps and long bits, but that is a big part of what I'm going for in this series. As I deal with the increasing number of lumps taking over my very own Corpus, I'm trying to communicate how that feels and seems from the inside. Which is mainly not good. Which is why this work looks so uneasy and intense. At least that is how it looks to me.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Time Wasters rUs

Besides the usual time wasters of Twitter and Facebook, here's some of what I am doing on the web instead of what I'm supposed to be doing(besides reading all the blogs on my blog list)
We used to laugh when our kids would be out on the soccer field looking around and spacing out instead of paying attention by saying they were "chasing butterflies". This is my version of that!

Ogling the Mmmmounds of various things (or people).

Checking out Image Bookmarking at FFFFOUND. Collections of web images, very interesting way of looking at images.

Being amused and sometimes saddened by Your Everyday Life Stories at FMyLife

Marveling at the first ever photo of the Hubble Space Telescope AND the Space Shuttle transiting the sun. Mind-Boggling!!

Reading some of the best political commentary and genuinely awesome rants ever at Hullaballo

Saturday, May 16, 2009

From The Land of Sky Blue Water

Another Altered Board Book that I've done recently. This one has the theme Land of Sky Blue Water.
I laid down blue tissue paper, which then was painted over with some blue and gold paints. A library pocket with tags inside was painted and then some cancelled stamps were added.
I recently discovered my old box of stamps to be put in my stamp collecting album which I was into as a kid. They're all just crammed in there, so I found some animal and landscape and American Indian related ones to use here.
This image has a postcard from the Dover postcard collection of kachina dolls on top of some handmade paper and a stitched fabric message.Walk In Beauty was stitched out on my sewing machine and then I used Tsunieko inks to color the muslin. Also, I intentionally frayed the edges.
Here's a close up of the tags. which were base painted with the library pocket. I used some vintage American Indian faces from one of the Dover collections and catalog pictures with their labels. One says Medicine Woman, and the other says Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight.
I found some interesting prayers that I thought would be interesting to add in and put them on the back of the tags.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Motley Mother's Day

Mother's Day this year was kind of weird. My husband wasn't feeling well, getting a very rare for him cold, so he didn't do the usual corralling and orchestrating of the day. So I got to have a quiet breakfast I made myself, which was just fine by me.

Alex was busy for quite a while with his door closed and the sewing machine going, so I figured he was making me something.
Hey I was right. Instead of a Squabster(tm), I got an M. I love the tag that he made for it and sewed into the seam. He's getting really good at just making stuff, I'm glad that he isn't getting stuck and letting himself just be creative, screw perfection!

We made the usual pilgrimage to the plant sale at our local CSA farm, Camp Joy. I was so enthralled with the plants (as usual), that I handed the camera to Zach and said take pictures. So these are all his. Gosh that is nice to be able to do. He really loves taking pictures, and it is nice to be able now to trust that the camera will survive, and there will be good photos to look at.

The unibrow look here cracked us all up when we saw this picture large on the computer screen. It is a just a lock of his hair, Alex doesn't really have a unibrow (Pshew!).

This is me checking out the honey table, they had a lot of different varieties, but they weren't from Camp Joy, and we already have a honey jar almost full, so I didn't get one.

This is a great view of the glass greenhouse where they start all the seedlings.

There are a lot of random places to sit down, which is good when you are doing garden/farm chores out in the sun.

The bees were very happy and busy.

We got there kind of late, on the last day, so there were many holes in the offerings. But we got plenty of plants, which I still need to actually plant in the actual ground in the actual garden. That's a whole other story though, believe me.
After Camp Joy we went over to see my parents and took them out to see the excellent movie Earth. If you haven't seen it, go. It is inspiring and beautiful and moving. Yes, the narrative is a bit clunky and manipulative of your emotions, but that is easy enough to ignore with all the eye candy. If you've seen the BBC series Planet Earth, you'll recognize a lot of the movie. But it was super to see it up on the big screen.
Zach was so excited to score a helmet from Grandpa. I told him this picture should be his first album cover. We've been saying that a lot lately, (no pressure! Heehee). He is hoping to get a Vespa scooter at some point in the near future, so now he is prepared with a helmet at least. Now just to get the $$, oh and the license, and insurance, and the parental permission...

We popped into the grocery store to get some goodies for an early dinner and I took this spy shot. I think this is one of my favorite pictures of late. It captures something about my family that I can't quite put my finger on. And I love the orange in the foreground and on my husband, and the arrangement and expression of my boys.

All in all a pretty near perfect Mother's Day.
Creative Children, Beautiful Plants, Fabulous Parents, Family Together, Cool Movie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doorways & Passages

Back into doing some collage in the Board Book Round Robin. Board books are fun to do altered book collage in, there isn't as much of a worry with buckling of the page. This book's theme is Doorways and Passages. This is how the two page spread I did looks. Sorry for the confusing background, photographer error. I started with the background magazine ad image of braided yarns (it was from a Target sweater ad of all things), I just loved the texture and depth in the image.

Closeup of the lefthand page. The handmade paper is so lovely to work with. This one has multiple colors of threads embedded in it, so when it is torn they stick out in unexpected, but texturally interesting ways.
A closeup, this is a catalog picture of a favorite print that I almost have bought many times, the words were written with calligraphic pen and ink "Behind every doorway lies" "Miracles and Mysteries." A truism yes, but still a bit of an inspiration or reminder to open those doors to SEE what is actually behind them. Instead of relying only upon ones assumptions.

Here is a view of what is behind the door.

I love how this looks in this picture, so 3D!

My sign-in paper was meant to be a doorway done in watercolor crayon.