Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hamsa Redux

Remember this?

Remember my saying that I thought I liked it better than this?

I've decided to redo the hamsa piece for F.I.N.E.

The first thing I did was to enlarge it. It will now fill out most of the 12" square canvas.

I also decided that I would create three separate fabrics, back them each with a fusible, cut out the needed shapes and fuse them together. I want this piece to be bolder than my original concept.

Today, I worked on the orange fabric that will be used for the hamsa hand.

After a wash of color with Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paint, I applied Pebeo Opaque Fabric Paint with a piece of scrunched plastic wrap.

I decided that I wanted to create a hot glue block with circular designs that would fit within the hand.

At first, I made one print with the hot glue block on the orange fabric. I used light orange Opaque paint. It was barely noticeable and very boring.

 I then decided to print the fabric with the block multiple times, changing the orientation of the block as well as printing it in two different shades of orange.

This is how it came out.

Orange fabric detail

Definitely much more interesting!

Tomorrow, I work on the other fabrics.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Grids and Weeds

 After my visit with M on Wednesday, I was motivated to get back to working with the weeds.

Last weekend, I picked up some supplies from Home Depot that looked like grids. Since my theme is weed maps, I thought it would be interesting to create some art pieces using grids.

First I did a couple of test samples.

Then I moved onto a larger piece of fabric. My first grid was chicken wire fencing. I used it as a stencil and applied Pebeo Setacolor Opaque Fabric Paint with a foam dauber.

I then used Hardware Cloth and deer fencing as stencils to create more grids with different paint colors.

I applied washes of diluted Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paint over the fabric.

After the color washes dried, I collected some dandelion leaves. I applied Opaque paint to the backs of the leaves with a foam dauber and printed the fabric.

I'm happy with this piece of fabric. I plan to do some more.

Detail of Dandelion and Grid fabric

I can imagine that final art pieces will be combinations of several fabrics.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Healing Power of Color and Friendship

That's how she described it. A Glorious Yellow with a deep Velvety Brown. And large like a plate. A perfect specimen...a perfect sunflower...

I visited with my friend, M, yesterday. This is her last week of work. After nearly 20 years, she is retiring. She needs the time to work towards getting well, and if not, she needs the time to do as many of the things that bring her joy as she can. This week it was taking in the beauty of a sunflower.

M is also an artist. She works with color and texture...mostly paper.. which she cuts and tears and pastes into abstract collages. She takes great pleasure in moving the papers around, in finding the perfect bit of color and placing it in just the right place to make her pieces sing.

I brought along my prints from Tuesday's play date with gelatin. I always try to bring something art-related that we can talk about. I think it helps her to take the focus off her cancer and reminds her that she is still an artist...still someone curious and creative.

I gave her some gelatin prints I made with rice paper.

"You know", she said, "I will be tearing these up."
"I know", I said.
"And that red, I think it's just the red I've been looking for. I think I'll call it Julie's Red."

In a recent phone conversation, M, in an almost joking way, told me about her last visit to the doctor. There was the good news...the cancer in her lungs seems to be getting smaller and then there was the new news, she has a blood clot in her lungs.

It amazes me that she can have a sense of humor about it all.

M seems relieved to be retiring. She is excited to get back into her home studio. To get back to playing with the paper, with color and texture. We talked about how time is different when you're creating. It seems to open up, to broaden.

Yesterday was the last time I'll be visiting her at work. We are making plans to get together at her home. But first, she wants to have something to show me...artist to artist.

So she is will be working in her studio tearing, cutting and pasting paper and I will be working in mine painting and printing cloth.

 I am hoping in the healing power of all things colorful, in the healing power of art and friendship and that we will be getting together very soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thank You, Friend

Thank you blog mentor...
I have been negligent...I received your fabric gift a few days ago and haven't made an official declaration of thanks! How wonderful to finally own a rusted beauty.

Initial impression...the colors are so much softer, really lovely muted colors...not my loud color palette...but a subtle one that I can fully appreciate.

Then, as I was unwrapping your fabric gift...voila! Hidden inside a brightly covered journal, The Being There Diary...where every day it asks, "What was the very best moment of your day?"

Clearly, the very best moment of that day was receiving your gift.

Thank you, friend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sharing a Day in the Studio

A selection of Kathy and my gelatin prints

The work table in my studio was put to good use today.

I invited my friend Kathy over to do some gelatin printing.

We made a whole day of it!

Here are some of Kathy's prints.

Kathy brought lunch over.

More art!

It was almost too beautiful to eat...but we did...we worked hard and were hungry.

It was delicious!

I really enjoyed sharing the studio today.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Back in the studio yesterday, enjoying my cleared off table.

I'm putting together a number of ideas for magazine articles. All center around surface design with materials from the kitchen.

I started playing with some of the recyclables again. This time it's cardboard and brown paper.

Enjoying the textures.

I did manage to get to Home Depot  yesterday and found a whole section with grids... burlap, deer fencing, even metal fencing for chickens! I also found rolls of the weed control fabric that I talked about in an earlier post.

I bought a selection of materials and will try experimenting with some of them this week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

And the winners are...

Winners of the Roy G Biv fabrics

My husband pulled these winners of the Searching for Roy G Biv Challenge fabrics out of his JMU baseball cap...


Lisa, please comment here to let me know whether you would like the red cats piece or the oranges piece.

Kathy you will get whichever piece Lisa doesn' t pick.

Yesterday, I started work on samples for some magazine articles I'll be proposing. I had some fun with brown paper and cardboard. Slathered on the Mod Podge to hold it all together.

This morning I took a look and they are ready for printing and rubbings.

I have some other sample ideas in the works. Want to get these proposals off soon.

I also hope to get over to Home Depot today to finally get a look at some of the possibilities in the gardening department. I especially want to check out anything that looks like a grid or could be made into a grid. I'd like some grids to go with my weeds!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Orange you glad there's still time!

Here's another orange entry for Roy. This one is from Kathy S., my friend and colleague at Star's Beads, Ltd.

So far these are the eligible players for free fabric:

 Jennifer Q 

Fiona at Paper Ponderings

Lisa at arzigogolare.

Joan S.

Kathy S.

There's still time...up until midnight tonight...that's Saturday, June 23 Eastern time (USA).

Tomorrow is the name drawing from my husband's baseball cap.

The first name pulled will have a choice between these two fabrics.

The second name pulled will receive the remaining fabric.

Thanks for off to mess up my clean studio!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Julie's Studio Reports, "I Feel Years Younger!"

Julie's Studio: Yes, I feel year's younger after my purge and organize diet!

Look at me disorganized...I couldn't wait to shed all those layers of excess stuff.

Now that I've lost all that weight, I feel so spacious, so full of creative energy. Look at my work's like a clean slate!

I'm so ready for Julie to get to work creating her beautiful fabrics and works of art!

 Julie would also like me to remind you that the second issue of her newsletter, Julie B Booth Surface Design News will be coming out Saturday, June 23 at 8:00 AM Eastern time (USA). If you haven't yet signed up, you can go to the upper right hand column of this blog and fill in your info. Julie's newsletter focuses on using the kitchen as a surface design resource. This time, she'll be talking a bit about me (her studio...I'm so honored!) and will continue to focus on getting readers set up to create some amazing fabrics. She will also send you a free list of Ten Kitchen Surface Design Ideas...just for signing up!

Also...the Searching for Roy G Biv Challenge continues through Saturday midnight, Eastern time (USA). Leave a comment here and Julie will link to your blog. She is giving away some of the fabrics she printed on my table. The drawing will be on Sunday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Searching for Roy G Biv Challenge: ORANGE

Skidaway Island, Georgia
Seed bead hanks from Star's Beads, Ltd.
This one's for you, Jennifer! Skidaway Island, Georgia
I know it's not all orange but I loved the play of colors between the flowers, stems and leaves. Skidaway Island, Georgia
My orange challenge fabric: Printed adhesive craft foam and hot glue block with nature printing
 Looking forward to seeing lots of ORANGE today! Remember if you play, you are eligible for this orange challenge fabric. Post your orange photos and leave a comment here by midnight Saturday, June 22 Eastern time USA. I will continue to update this post to link to your blog, website or Flickr page (or if you are emailing me photos, will post them here).

The drawing for the ORANGE fabric above and for my RED cat fabric below will be made on Sunday, June 23.

Be sure to check out Jennifer's blog to see her orange too! Jennifer is offering some of her beautiful rusted fabric if you can correctly guess her orange by midnight, Saturday Eastern time USA.

Fiona of Paper Ponderings has a lovely orange poppy.

If you want to be dazzled by orange (Italian orange at that!) visit Lisa  at arzigogolare.

Here are some photos I received via email from my friend Joan. She's been spending time in her garden. It is definitely lily time here in Northern Virginia.