Friday, July 31, 2009

Tango Lady

Yet another of the Exquisite Corpse projects has arrived home. This time it is Linda's, you can see the whole figure over at her blog TangoMusings. So this first picture shows my original fabric choices.
I first started in with some heavy satin stitching on the edges of each piece.
But that purple triangle wanted to stay, but it just didn't look right after the stitching. So it was jettisoned in favor of....

Beads! Of course beads, always with the beads. A strange necklace of beads stitched along the neckline.A closeup shot so you can see the bone beads a little better, along with the supporting cast of round glass beads.
Oh, and don't forget to add the words: BELL SWEETLY, this time embroidered on. Made me think of Laverne and her script "L".

For even more Exquisite Corpse action, be sure and check out our group blog.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Deer Follies

Who is that sleeping under my family's trampoline? (Picture taken through my bedroom window).
The newest mama deer that's who. I guess it counts as shade. But it is funny that they crawl under there to hang out. I haven't gotten any good pictures of the baby fawn yet, she moves around too much to get a clear picture.

Here she is, she just loves to pick apples. Amazing to see them balance on their hind legs as they stretch up to grab the green apples off the tree.

Pshew, got one down. Guess they like sour, because those apples are pretty far away from ripe.

Pretty cute huh? Noisy when they're romping around at night, but I am getting used to it.

And very very thorough, they don't leave any green bits or apples behind.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Documenting Exquisiteness

Here's a little sign in book I made to accompany my Exquisite Corpse on her journey. Some of the other artists added in notes or tied on fibers to the outside of the book. I cut this picture out of a nat'geo ages ago, but never found the right spot for it. Thought this was perfect for this group of artists making this complete figures together, piece by piece. The picture is on top of some torn handmade paper that has gold printing on it.
The book I think was made by painter and fiber artist Marion Barnett aka Artmixter ages ago when we were swapping stuff back and forth.
This mysterious looking card turned out to be an evelope containing a spare...

A spare wing from Jan! She had added the two wings to the shoulder area of my piece. This is really cool, so lacy and airy and sparkly, and I can't wait to think of something to use it on. A one-winged doll perhaps? To go with my Studio Guardian Angel perhaps?

A cool unicorn card with stars ( I love sticky stars too and put them on stuff all the time)
If there is another exquisite corpse, maybe I'll use this book again as there is plenty of room left.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Corpse Is Revealed

Another Exquisite Corpse has made it home to its owner, Betty, so I get to reveal what I worked on. I ended up with quite a conundrum, am I really supposed to be making another skirt? Yes, I ended up guessing correctly. It seemed a bit off to be doing hips again, but from the clues that I could gather from the 1/2" left uncovered I thought that the figure had been done up to the waist. (Pshew, I was right!)
Here is what it arrived looking like. White shiny satin with some interesting lumps and bumps already on there and covered up.
I came up with a bubble skirt look using some of my hand-dyed cotton, commercial cottons and batiks, sequin waste, lace and some interesting fibers. I also did a lot of embroidery stitching to give more texture to the entire skirt.
But of course it didn't look done without some beads (a definite trend here with all of my exquisite corpse work).
After the addition of some shiny green beads outlining the "pockets" and some belt height glass beads it looks more like a real skirt.
Here's some beady details.
The word that I chose was SHINY which I embroidered on with my machine in the same color thread as all the other embroidery.
And I collaged a little card for Betty's sign-in book.

The sentence that came out of this one is: Magnificent Angel knowingly see shiny character.
Pretty shiny eh? In the Firefly sense that is.
Go check out our group blog for more Exquisite Corpse action.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Progress On Yin-Yang bag

Well, an update, the Yin-Yang bag is going together. So far so good, the instructions are clear, and I haven't screwed up anything yet (that I know of anyways). I've got all of the parts machine sewn together with the batting and turned right-sides out. Those bag handles were a bit hard to turn, as they got a little smallish at the top of the arc, but with my trusty hemostat it worked out. The Guatemala stripe and the quilting cotton are playing nicely together so far. Although the woven stripe is much more ravelly on the edges.

Next step is hand-sewing up the turn openings and then the parts all get machine sewn down together. So I'm within hailing distance of a finished bag!

I can see already that this is going to be much smaller than I thought, like it is not going to be big enough for my current wallet, so I hope it will be useful somehow. Or maybe I just need a smaller wallet. And hey, if I have a small purse then perhaps certain young gentlemen will stop giving me things to carry "since I have a big bag" when we are out and about.

Yang and Yin instruct the mind in Wisdom, teaching Consequences. ~ Lao Tsu

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Tail Artist's Heart Became Bounteous Night

I was so thrilled to receive my completed exquisite corpse home this week! Here she is in all her glory.

She began with just a head, and four empty squares outlined in black thread. Part of the game this round was to add words in a certain sequence to hopefully make an interesting poem by the end. The background fabric was a white-on-white print that I'd dyed years ago and never used for anything. I thought it had a lot of movement and interest for a background, and I liked the colors.

This is the face that I created, a self-portrait of sorts (me and my big mouth, and ever present pony tail). Words are: A TAIL
This is the neck/chest that Jan made. How do you like those lacy wings, the breast is dimensional by the way. I really love that the heart is right at the throat chakra, one of my key points that I'm working on (ie expressing myself verbally and clearly). The words are: ARTISTS HEART

This is the torso/waist that Betty made. I love the sequined belt, so pretty and flashy, and if my waist were this small in real life, I would totally be wearing one to call attention to it! The word is: BECAME
This is the hips/upper legs that Joanie made. How about that apron, and jeans, I love how this represents a big part of me being the housewifey type and all. The word is BOUNTEOUS
And finally the lower legs/feet that Linda made, dancing away the time of the night. Isn't that beaded watch and parts a cool addition? The word is: NIGHT

Here is the whole thing (click picture to see it larger). The poem reads:
A Tail Artist's Heart Became Bounteous Night.
I'm considering switching out the "i" in tail for an "l", because then it would wind up being a very descriptive self portrait!
I'm thinking this would be fun to hang on the outside of my studio door so visitors will know who they're going to encounter...
This was a really fun round of this project, I'm glad that I talked myself into participating and can't wait to see the other three completed corpses from my group as well as all the others, which will all be posted in some form or another at Exquisite Corpse Textiles
or at our Flickr Group.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...

This is a tangled tale of what happens when a bookshelf all of a sudden is empty and ready to use somewhere else in the house.

After a weekend of permanent shelf building in the hall closet space, a spare bookcase was freed-up since it was no longer holding the contents of the former hall closet waaaay back from before the house remodel.
I also was able to get a Gorilla Rack that was formerly mine for the studio reclaimed from the garage. It wasn't really being fully utilized there, and it was pretty easy to consolidate stuff onto another shelf. was doing stuff that had been put off for quite a long time around the house (hooray!).

So after all that reshuffling, I was able to move that Gorilla Rack into position in my studio room, as well as as the white bookcase in the above photo.

So...that meant that thirteen bankers boxes of books and magazines were finally able to come out of storage in the master-bathroom-to-be and back into my studio. Does this remind you of "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" yet? I also went a little crazy with my lable machine and labled all the magazine containers.

Gosh that was a lot of work. But it got done, and now my studio room feels much more like my studio room instead of just a room in the house where some of my work stuff is.

I'm not too happy now that I think about it that this Gorilla Rack is next to the window, because that direct sunlight is going right onto the boxes of fabrics. I can either figure out another configuration for the entire room or make a curtain. Guess I'll make a curtain!I also moved my desk stuff from the gigantic one downstairs in the dining room area, upstairs to our desk-nook area in the master bedroom. Gawd, was that ever a hassle, all the tangled computer cords and excessively large collection of office supplies. I was complaining about having thousands of paper clips on Twitter, and it truly was not an exaggeration. Then Robbi Eklow commented they were probably for a quilt, and she was right. Years ago on QuiltArt we wer talking about office supplies used in quilts, and I did do one with staples, and had bought a big supply of pretty gold/brass paper clips to make one with those, but never got around to it.
My handy dandy husband made the desk top for me, to put on top of this nice two drawer filing cabinet that I found at Goodwill for not much $$. I think there is a plan for some shelves of some sort on one side or another of top of the desk for all the cd's and dvd's that one accumulates with a computer system, but I am not waiting for those to appear and getting on with organizing without them. That blank wall needs a quilt hanging up though doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Life Has Been Your Art

Here's the most recent altered board book that I've worked on from the round robin collaboration I'm participating in. One more book is left to work on, almost done!
This book's theme is that it is to be a book of inspirational quotes. I found a quote I liked and then chose an overall green theme as you can of course see right away.

The pages were already gessoed, so I laid down several colors of green acrylic paints, did some texturing with various papers while the paint was wet and then added some gold brushed on the edges and center of the book. There was a card that I'd saved that I cut the Redoute' flower from, which is over the top of scraps of lime green cotton/satin left over from my Halloween costume. Redoute' is one of my favorite botanical artists, if you haven't seen his work, it is definitely worth the time to check out.
On the right hand page, you can see a stamped image of a woman, some green lace, sequin waste and green cotton fabric which was stitched before being glued to the page on top of some green ribbons and a painted tag. The dots are a puffy paint which started out orange but dried to this nice greeny-gold color.

The quote says: "Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music.Your days are your sonnets." Oscar Wilde

The left page has the Redoute' flower and the fabric scraps.

Now on to working out what to put in the last board book I have left to finish...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three Sparkly Patches

A very cool store that I always liked was closing down in Santa Cruz, The Best of Everything, and I picked these three embroidered patches up for pretty cheap. I wouldn't have bought them for the original price, but for half off, sure why not?
They are rather stiff, like there is cardboard of thin wood inside them.
They may actually be ornaments instead of patches. I don't think I can use them on a shirt since they are so inflexible, but maybe a bag or a jacket?
I guess I'm such a magpie that I couldn't resist the sparkly bits, glittered edges, sequins and glass beads.

The designs look Tibetan to me, but there aren't any Made In: tags to tell where they were made.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Hills Are Alive, Well, With The Sound of Music

Pshew! Well, that was quite a week or so there. I've spent many hours now, watching my son Alex perform in a local summer musical theatre production of The Sound of Music. At least I wasn't involved with costume making this time around, so it was pretty hands off except for all the driving around, and finding dress black pants, shoes and socks at the last minute. It is amazing how quickly this show went together, they had 74 kids ranging in age from 6 to 16, and did four rotating casts all within 3 weeks. They did 8 performances over the last two weekends, and I saw 4 of them, oh yes I did.
I'm hoping to have the Lonely Goatherd song out of my head soon...

Alex's main role was Rolf, the seventeen year old, telegram delivery boy/oldest daughter's love interest/ and oh yeah, Nazi Youth. The best part was seeing him up there on stage singing and dancing to "I Am Sixteen, Going on Seventeen." Such a romantic song and scene, he really was acting too, and just going for it, which was great to see, I was really proud of him. No, beyond proud of him. A mother's prerogative, right?
After taking drama as his elective last year in middle school, it looks like he's got the theatre bug. Cool! I hope that he gets into it in high school, drama kids are always so much fun to hang out with.

Who would think my half-Jewish son would be doing this particular salute? Oh Irony how you do test us so!
Oh, and an aside, thanks so much guy in front of us, for setting up your giant videorecorder with its nice bright screen, so my camera can focus on it since it is the closest brightest thing...grrrr...

At least Rolf gets to make the right decision in this version of the stage play, and let the Von Trapp family escape from Austria over the border to Switzerland.

The relieved Rolf and Liesel take their well-deserved bow at the end of the show. Alex asked me why the grown-ups in the audience seemed to like this couple so much. The audience reaction of ahhhh and so on didn't compute for him. I told him that we were all remembering our first romances, the first promising blush of love to come, etc. and that was of course, skating a bit too close to TMI for him. So I stopped blathering about that and just said, we grownups were just remembering what it was like to be a teenager. He is of course a teenager, but a young one, and he is not yet 17 going on 18 like his character.
It is amazing to think of what just a few years does at this age. Terrifying too. Time to burst into a song you sing when you're too worried "when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things...etc..