Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shisha 3 and Art at Emmanuel

Well, I've moved up to a larger embroidery hoop and have started working with larger circle mirrors (like the one that didn't make it in the shot very well), and some small square mirrors. I didn't even think about the fact that those could present a challenge, so I just started with the anchor stitches the same way, then went around all the edges. On the corners, I put the needle in the fabric just to the left of a corner, then did it the same way just to the right of the corner. I finished with a few more fill-in stitches. I could now go back and do more fill-in, but I'm happy with how it looks. More texture, more dimension, yes...

On another note, our "Art at Emmanuel" group met this evening to brainstorm some upcoming events. We do have a trio of workshops already scheduled: encaustic collage, art from digital photography, and the shisha embroidery.

Our current exhibit, which is up until February 15th is called "Inner Passages." We are planning for the next exhibit which opens February 29th, and for our exhibit as part of Rockford's Spring Artscene, which will be in April. We got excited at the prospect of hosting an outdoor arts festival in July...

The First Couple

I can't resist...aren't they cute?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shisa 2 and the Kid

It's been a challenge photographing the mirrors. If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know...
I've now finished 12 of them for the denim vest, having added beads to these two. I like. The process is fun and easy, so it could make for a nice art workshop at Emmanuel before Lent, and have the participants create a few to be added to a piece that can be displayed at a future exhibit in our Celebration Gallery.

Jason's self-portrait in a 4-part stencil. Very nice and cool.

Did he shoot this himself? I found it on Picasa. I'll ask. I know he was bored yesterday because he cleaned his room. It's been so cold here that school was canceled, so that has put off the rest of his finals until next Tuesday. I think he's okay with that, since he has been rehearsing his monologue for Drama class.
UPDATE: he DID set the camera up himself...

Stay warm if you're cold, you know, cuddle up to someone nice, or the quilt you may be working on.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shisha Embroidery

Amazed 25 years ago when a co-worker embellished one of her Folkwear garments with shisha embroidery, I can't imagine why I waited so long to give it a try. There's this great tutorial on the process: Tutorial: Indian Shisha (mirror) Embroidery » Joyful Abode

I've done 8 of them so far and like most other hand work it's been very relaxing. Each one gets better looking. When I had the basic technique down, I found that I didn't like when the stitches were too close together and uniform (oh, there's one of those words that bug me). I experimented, still starting out with the basic technique, but letting go of having perfect stitches. If nothing else, I'll say that I love my mistakes, at least with the adventures in shisha embroidery. Fabrics with a looser weave, such as flannel, have worked better for me. My favorite threads, you ask? Laura's Artfabrik: Extraordinary hand dyed fabric and threads,
DMC #5 perle cottons, and I just picked up a couple of the "Watercolours" 3- ply cotton floss by CARON Collection Threads at our local stitchery shop. The mirrors are from Jo-Anns.

The photo with the striped fabric in the hoop are mirrors that I hope to embellish a denim vest with. Using one strand each of the Watercolous and DMC Perle has worked very well and is giving me the texture that I crave. My plans are to cut around each one, leaving enough fabric to gather to the backs of the mirrors. Plus, it's more fun sometimes, to look at your little creations when they're sitting in a pretty container just waiting to be incorporated into your artwork. Last fall when I altered those denim jackets (and they were popular), I of course, didn't do one for myself. Jason found the vest in his closet of all places, and now that I've lost some weight, it fits me well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Congratulations, Susan Lenz

CyberFyber is here! What an amazing exhibit that Susan Lenz has put together. You must check out the video...


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy Surreal Birthday to Me

I turned 54 today. It has been a most surreal day so far. The doorbell rang this morning and a florist delivered this beautiful floral arrangement that was from my sister Sharon and hubby Bob in Minnesota. What a delight! Then...this afternoon when I went to move it, the container broke in my hand - yes there was a little blood. Jason rushed to mop up the water and pick up the glass and I was scurrying around trying to find a substitute bowl (it was shaped like a small fish bowl). After the mess was cleaned up, then I looked at my finger. Lots of blood, little cut. Whew! I'm sure I'll find some blood on the kitchen floor later. Strange.

Our beloved Heather had died earlier last year and we just hadn't given much thought to getting a new kitty. I was really missing her, so I thought since it was a new year and my birthday was soon approaching, I'd check out the local shelter. I fell in love with this sweetheart after she nuzzled up to my nose and checked my hair out. She's a black and brown tiger tabby with gorgeous markings and the shelter's vet said that she was about 3 years old. A stray who's owner did not come for her after being called. I guess the Avid Microchip is a good thing. When we got her home last night, she hid under the bathroom sink most of the night, coming out a few times to eat, bless the litter box and let us know she was there but still a little skittish. Okay, flash forward to this morning. We couldn't find her. My friend Bobbie said that their Linus hid out for 5 days before she made her presence known all the time. I was trying hard to think of that, but was panicked when I thought she might have sneaked out when Jason ran to get the school bus this morning. We all looked. Before I left the house today, I memorized how the pattern of the food in her bowl looked. Jason looked when he got home. No where to be found. Well, when I got home, I noticed the food in her dish looked different!!! Hurray - she was in the house! And where do you suspect she was hiding? Right where any quilter's cat should the studio! Definately surreal.
11:30 pm. update: We have named her "Elsa" ~

My other sister Barb, who I haven't talked to in a very long time called. It felt good, boy was that needed.

To finish up my birthday story, I found out that 54 years ago, someone famous was born this day...are you ready for this? Mr. Bean. End of story.