Monday, January 31, 2011

Art Quilt Commission

"But this is only a start. Beyond lies the mystery of time, a new beginning."

Words from a poem written by a dear friend, who will be celebrating his 70th birthday in June.
He has commissioned me to create a wall hanging for him in honor of this milestone in his life.  I accepted and am thrilled.  The poem is just wonderful and I consider it to be the perfect inspiration. He wants to have a small party in conjunction with an art exhibit to celebrate the day.  We laughed when he said that he wants an "unveiling" of the quilt.  It will be a first for me, he's serious! We joked about what type of fabric to cover the quilt and how to "light" it just right. Oh, the drama...I love it!

I would love to post the entire poem, but that would not be appropriate at this time, but he's okay with just one line...

If you have any thoughts on how to make the "unveiling" extra special (or a little kitschy), please let me know! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Extreme Mixed Media

Or...extreme madness?  That's okay, isn't it? We creative types are always looking for ways to expand our repertoire!

Last week, I took on a new challenge at the store - I'm actually on the "task team" that is responsible for receiving weekly shipments (a small one is 100+ boxes). The boxes are loaded onto a mechanical conveyor and we move them along, open each one and remove/sort all the merchandise into bins or onto carts, depending on whether it's crafts and notions, etc. or fabric.

I used to think it was dangerous for me to stock new fabric, but that's nothing now compared to the wonders of stocking the craft aisles.  Yes, there are wondrous things to behold in that department... I'm even looking at those cheap plastic beads in a different way...

I have always loved Beacon glues, so I got a bottle of their "Zip Dry" that's not supposed to wrinkle paper.  Stocked scrapbooking paper and it was 6 for .96, and took home some cardboard discs that held elastic by the yard.
Desperately needed a new ironing board cover, and this one was clearanced to 4.97.  It has a very thick pad, a silicone pad for resting the iron on, and a huge pocket on one side for, you know, other stuff. I may use it for scraps.

Today I stocked yarn. Oh, my...considered it a real victory that I only purchased one skein of it.

After tomorrow, I'll have 3 days off, so I'm planning on getting into lots of trouble in the studio - maybe I'll even do some art...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Alcohol Ink Adventures

I have put the crochet hook down!

All it took was for my Dharma Trading order to come today...actually Jeff had to pick it up for me at the post office - could not believe that Mr. Postman didn't leave it yesterday (maybe he's on vacation).  In the order was my yardage of black silk chiffon for Wednesday's nuno-felting class, small bottle of Pinata Alcohol Inks.

I have most of the Adirondack Inks, but never found a nice mixing blue, so I thought I would try one of the Jacquard Pinata Colors.  This paper started out as a page from last year's boring kitchen calendar - and the process begins!

1 - Citra-solv cleaner spritzed on the page
2 - Alcohol ink and copper metallic mixative (adirondack) dripped onto my special pad (make your own from a small plastic container, cover it with a little piece of hook and loop tape - the hook side - sticky back type, then place a square of cotton batting on it, remove when icky, save it because you never know...and replace as needed)
3 - Swirled the drops onto the page
4 - Sprayed rubbing alcohol onto the page
5 - Held my nose and blew the colors around - this was weird, but the effects
are nice.

Plans are to alter some Nat Geo pages in the same way, seal them, back them with muslin and do some quilting.  I'll let you know how it all works out...

The other fun adventure was to take this vintage gift bag that held a birthday gift and carefully take it apart. Check out that incredible texture and all the gold leafing!  It is very heavy paper and was made in India.  After a little research on the internet, I'm thinking it might be made from banana paper and maybe a little silk.  It smells of my MIL's basement and when it was disassembled, it became a 16x25 inch piece of wonder...

Karen Davis, aka Seamless Skincommented on Facebook that I should scan it to save the design for collage work - what a wonderful idea!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Classes, Classes, Classes

Okay thenMy Nuno-Felting on Silk class is now filled for next Wednesday at Unique Yarns Inc.
so we've added another offering in April.  I told Becky, the owner of the yarn shop, that my brain was filling with possible other classes that I would love to teach there!  She has the perfect classroom, and the fact that there is a utility room with a large sink in it right by the classroom is perfect.

The class offerings at the Rockford Art Museum are coming up next month and will run throughout the spring semester...and...I had to send in my proposals for the summer semester last week.  They have this wonderful program for children called "Whiz Kids" that's been around for 25 years now, and they were looking for week-long classes for the summer.  Wasn't too painful to do that since I've been working with the children at Emmanuel for 10 years, and the curricula that we use there is a rotation (multi-intelligences) program.  Last year we hosted two "Five Buck Art Clubs" for when the children were on breaks from schools...

One of the week-long class proposals I came up with was a kids' quilting week that is mostly put together with fabric adhesive (i know, it's a little scary).  I will do the final quilting and sewing of the final piece and then we'll donate the quilt to a childrens' organization. I'm excited about this, since it will force me into that mode of which I have been away from for awhile... 

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Nuno Felting 2011

No, just learning and laughter, and maybe a little tightening of the upper arms (we can only hope, right?) during the rolling process. Who knows, this could be an added benefit from creating what I call "Of Wool and Silk Bondage"...

I just heard yesterday that my upcoming class on January 19th is now filled, and since there are two more opportunities for nuno-felting coming up through Rock Valley College's Spring Semester 2011Community Ed springce-2011.pdf (application/pdf Object) , I'm hoping that others can come and experience this wonderful process.

Speaking of laughter, my fabulous friend, Bobbie, treated me to a birthday lunch yesterday at a great little place downtown Rockford...Bamboo is the place for the best spring rolls.  Should've taken a photo of the artful plate before I started digging into the feast.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Healthy OCD?

Light is on. I am definately home. And...these are fun on a hook!

The rhythmic movement of crocheting is healthy, just like almost all other handwork. I am determined to keep my hands from looking (and ouch, feeling) like so many of my female relatives. There's so much rheumatoid and osteoarthritis is my family, and I'm hoping that by this creative form of regular hand and finger exercises, I won't suffer that pain, stiffness and loss of motion. Please don't tell me that it could possibly bring it on and/or make it worse...

When I found out earlier last year that both my knees are "bone on bone," the orthopedic surgeon told me to continue walking and to take up water activities (I hate pools, so you'd be surprised what I can accomplish in the tub). He's right - whenever I've missed a few days of walking, the knees are worse.

I found the link for the pattern from the Ravelry site: Crocheted Heart Pattern « Hinzpired

Oh, and there's always relaxation and clear thinking involved, especially after you have a pattern memorized.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

On the New Year

"Reality runs up your spine, and the pieces finally fit."

Those words woke me up some months ago, and I've been trying to figure out what it means. The words are actually from an Elton John song called "The One" that I've always loved listening to. So it's in my soul somewhere. I hadn't listened to it for a long time because I had lost the CD that it was on. It's probably buried in a stack of Jason's music somewhere.

Challenges in the workplace...Jason's engagement to Ashley...end stage arthritis of both representation in Chicago...full time messes in the studio (too many projects started, never finished), going back to teaching art classes for Rock Valley College...learning how to crochet and having it take over my creative life (why? because it's easy, color filled and I can sit on my butt and watch "Mad Men" on demand)...frustrations over enabling others with volunteer projects and doing the work myself just so it gets done and makes for a satisfying outcome (why? because I was always taught to be nice to others, even if it's makes you miserable)...I haven't quilted anything in many months (a year maybe).

One thing I am sure about is that I need to develop and define my artwork and be disciplined with the business of marketing myself at a more professional level. I have the perfect photographer, but need to get it all arranged. I need to get away from checking e-mail and Facebook 3 or 4 times a day when it's mostly junk. I am such a night owl and would be perfectly happy creating all night, and sleeping till noon every day, but the rest of the world doesn't work that way.

I could've written this in my journal, but wanted to post it here on my blog in the hopes of being more committed to it. What comes along with this is reading others' blogs that I haven't checked in a long time.

The photo is of my quilt "Together" - it was my very first piece that was published - The Houston Quilt Festival catalog in 2003.