Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 31: 2012 in Review

Salt and glue resist

 A review of 2012:
Starting with the presentation of my Conant grant project, Kitchen Resists: Using Common Household Materials as Resists on Fabric. In the end, 64 resist recipes and up to 16 application techniques per recipe! This led to several workshops and presentations throughout the year.

Fabric created by printing with recycled foam containers.

A re-focus on this blog and the birth of my free monthly online newsletter, Julie B Booth Surface Design News. The Newsletter focuses on the kitchen as a resource for surface design on fabric techniques.

Textures from the kitchen.

A year of Searching for Roy G Biv and the creation of monthly Challenge fabrics.

Sampling of some Roy G Biv Challenge fabrics.

Working on a series of weed fabrics for my group F.I.N.E.

Prints and rubbings with weeds.

Crazy about hamsas! Creating them for family members and friends.

Poppy's hamsa

Jean's hamsa

The death of my dear friend, Martha. I am missing her.

Being able to honor Martha's memory using a hamsa I designed for her to create peace flags as part of the Flags for Peace Project.

Peace flags honoring Martha.

Travels to Maine, Virginia Beach and San Francisco.

Queen Anne's Lace in Kittery Point, Maine.

Driftwood, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Looking forward to 2013 and all the creative possibilities it holds!

Monoprint with uncooked wheat flour paste resist.

Hope we can all strive for more Peace this next year.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 30: Browsing for Ideas

 I've been a homebody this weekend. It's been chilly with a brisk wind and some snow. I've been happy to stay inside puttering around.

I've been thinking about future projects and sketching a bit.

Today, I pulled out a selection of quilt books.

I like the contrasting white tied threads.
A flower garden or people joining together?
This grid idea might work well with some of my printed weed fabrics.
Exes turned on their tips could become stars.
  I like to browse through these books to get inspired by the color and see how others tell their stories with cloth and stitch.

I love the suns/stars and the little house in the middle. This might be a good jumping off point.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 29: Making Some Artistic Plans for 2013

My mind was racing in the middle of last night's sleep. Ideas were popping. Mostly, I was thinking about A Letter A Week 2013.

I found out about A Letter A Week last year. Click here for a link to last year's blog. The project started in 2010 and was meant to be a way to have fun experimenting and to keep the participants working on a small project each week of the year.

The goal is to create two complete alphabets by the end of the year. Each letter must be presented in a 7 cm x 7 cm format. There is always a theme for one of the alphabets and the other is up to the participant. This year's theme alphabet is about Peace. Fiona Dempster, who is a fabulous book and calligraphy artist, is the organizer and originator of the project.

I've had lots of ideas flowing. I've gone through a number of ideas for the Peace alphabet in my mind. In fact, I was trying to locate a small dove pin that I had growing up and found myself side-tracked going through my jewelry box (and no luck yet in finding the pin). I would like that alphabet to somehow memorialize the 26 shooting victims in Connecticut.

The other alphabet is a lot clearer in my mind and may end up being the first alphabet I tackle. After experimenting with cardboard this month in my Newsletter, I've decided to make an alphabet of cardboard print blocks. I'm excited about this concept as not only will I have the printed alphabet, but I think the print blocks could be put together to form an additional alphabet. On the Ikatbag blog, LiEr links to a blog with amazing signs and logos using cardboard by cardboard artist, Mark Langan...a great source of inspiration!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 28: Wonderful Cardboard

It is Day 28 of this Advent blogging is also 10:30 PM after a long day of working at the bead shop.

Needless to say, I am a bit tired. I have realized that trying to post a blog entry each and every day of a month can be exhausting!

Those of you who subscribe to my Newsletter know that this month I had a bit of a play date with cardboard. I barely scratched the surface (so to speak). I know I have many more hours of cardboard play within me.

As I was wasting a bit of time on Pinterest, the other day, I came across a How To tutorial on cardboard. This led me to a wonderful blog called Ikatbag. I've put it over on my Inspiring Blogs list. For those of you who have young children or grandchildren, I suggest you stop over and take a look. Lots of interesting tutorials and cute handmade toys. But what she does with cardboard is just simply a lot of fun. Even though, my focus is using cardboard for creating print blocks, I am so taken with the idea of making structures (and toys)...I might have to give a few of her ideas a try!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 27: Stitching Up Loose Ends

I meant to get some stitching done during our trip to New Jersey. I brought along a project that I've been meaning to get back to... another series of the Peace Flags based on the ones I did this past fall for International Peace Day.

I am doing an artist's trade that I am very excited about! I decided to make extra flags...just in case.

Needless to say, the stitching didn't quite get done over the Christmas holiday. So today, between mundane things such as a hair cut and a food shop, I got down to some stitching.

I enjoy the rhythm of hand stitching. It is a slow way to go, but somehow it makes everything more personal.

What's interesting about stitching by hand is that there is often a memory associated with it. I can look at some of my hand stitched work and I can remember a movie that I was half-watching/half listening to. Or I can pinpoint an event in my old my son was when I stitched up that doll...that he had the chicken pox and was quarantined in the family room (since my husband had never had them) and I sat with him for hours just stitching away...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 26: An Afternoon for Tea

Just got back home from New Jersey today. We had a merry Christmas dinner (the largest roast I'd ever seen!) and enjoyed time with family.

The weather was not so friendly today for our trip home to Virginia. We opted for the coastal route, one we haven't taken in decades! Our usual way through Pennsylvania was predicted to be a snowy one. Despite our change in plans, we still hit snow and eventually slush and rain. It was a long 6 hour trip with traffic and tolls.

So now I'm home with only enough energy to brew up a couple of cups of mint tea with honey. They really hit the spot!

Hope you are all enjoying some time with family and friends...and hopefully some quiet, creative time as well. I'm looking forward to getting back in the studio tomorrow.

But for now...a warming spot of tea.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 25: The Best Gifts

I received two gifts the other day from my 5-year-old twin nephew and niece (Kai and Poppy). They are by far the best gifts I've received as they were made by hand and heart...

A book by Kai

 The right hand page was a game with multiple pages to get to a surprise.

 And two family portraits (of my family of three) by Poppy. I found out that she asked for photos of Uncle Mark so she could draw his likeness. The tall one is my 22-year-old son, Aaron. Poppy was so thoughtful, she made two of them so Aaron could take one back to school with him.

Hope those of you who celebrate are having a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 24: 9/11 Memorial

Yesterday evening, between seeing my brother and his family and seeing my husband's brother and his family, we decided to visit the recently opened 9/11 Memorial.

It was extremely cold and windy and dusk was settling. I just managed to get a photo of the Freedom Tower which is still in the process of being built.

Both my husband Mark and I were looking for names of particular people. The names surround the edges of the pools that are the footprints of the two towers.

It is really a spectacular memorial. You are mesmerized by the waterfalls and then you notice that the water starts as a quiet pool just under the carved names of the victims before it flows over the edges. The other thing you notice is the rushing sound of the water. At one point the wind picked up some of  the water and sprayed it over us.

I hope to get back there again someday to see it in the daylight. I'm sure it will be a completely different experience.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 23: Winner of White Challenge Fabric

The color WHITE was quite popular! Between Jennifer and myself, I was able to put 11 names into the hat this month for the WHITE Challenge Fabric.

Congratulations to Karen Anne !

Next month, it looks like we will be doing Black & White combos. Post your B&W photos on your blog on the third Thursday of next month. I'm sure to have another Challenge fabric to offer next month...just to entice you!