Sunday, March 31, 2013

Seder Table Still Lifes

Here are some snapshots...still lifes really...of the Passover Seder Table.

A look at the table just before we all sat down to start the Seder service. Notice the Seder plate with the ceremonial foods of the holiday. One of the reasons I love Passover is the symbolism behind the foods we eat. I also love the traditions--of getting together with family and friends around the table, of passing the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt down from generation to generation as well as the special prayers and songs.

This year, Mom and I decided to go with simple bouquets of spring flowers for the table. We purchased tulips and I snipped some flowering sprigs from the azalea bushes in Mom and Dad's front yard.

I like to think that I channeled my inner-Robbin (and since it's spring, maybe also my inner-robin!) when arranging these spring flowers.

While photographing these simple bouquets, I realized how joyous the colors were. These colors make me happy. I am not normally a fan of pinks but for some reason while looking at these flowers, a smile comes to my face.

Here is dessert, made by my Mom's friend, Sally. Such a beautiful presentation called for a photo. I happen to think that raspberries and rich dark chocolate are the perfect combination (another smile)! They photograph nicely together, as well.

The table is cleared...the holiday candles still burning...another year has passed.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Peace Alphabet: Tracings for Next Letters

Peace alphabet: Letters e and f.

I am way behind in the A Letter A Week 2013 project. I was hoping to find the time to carve some blocks for the Peace alphabet while in Savannah. The carving didn't happen. Time with my parents was more important.

But, I did manage to sneak in time to sketch out tracings of the letters based on sketches from my notebook.

Peace alphabet: Letter g.

I still need to tweak a few of these. I also need to come up with a design for the letter i.

Peace alphabet: Letter h.

Now that I'm home, I plan to work on carving the blocks.

Peace alphabet: Letter j.
Peace alphabet: Letter k.

I'll have more to show by the end of this week.

Peace alphabet: Letter l.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Buckaroo Dad

This week I'm in Savannah, Georgia visiting with my parents for Passover, but also to see how things are going with them.

Over the years, my parents have collected my art and craft work. When I visit, it is like taking a walk through my artistic history.

Today, I thought I'd focus on one piece I created about 23 years ago. I remember working on it quite clearly as I was also pregnant with my son Aaron. This piece, called Buckaroo Dad, was a gift to my father for his 60th birthday.

Growing up, I spent about 2 weeks of every summer on Cape Cod. I have so many fond memories of this very special place. Both my brother and father have July birthdays so we would always have the Big Birthday Bash up at the Cape with steamers (clams), mussels, lobsters and steak.

Hand painted and stitched details of Dad's portrait.

The image for this piece is from a treasured iconic photograph of my Dad. My grandmother used to have it standing up on one of the side tables in the living room of her apartment. The photograph was a cut-out mounted to wood of my Dad in his favorite cowboy outfit. I love this photograph and after my grandmother died, I inherited it. It now stands on a little side table in my living room.

More details...of those furry chaps!

I'd wanted to take this image and turn it into a stitchery for a while. My Dad's 60th seemed the perfect opportunity. I remember that I didn't have it finished for the actual celebration at the Cape. But, I wrapped it up with a promise to finish it. I managed to get it done before the next big gift for my Dad--his first grandchild!

This stitched portrait now hangs in my parent's kitchen where it greets me on every visit.

My Dad's smiling face..a memory of happier times.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More Orange and Roy Winner

Orange Challenge Fabric
I'm happy to report that the search for orange continues...

Lisa at arzigoglare has a luscious sampling of Florentine oranges. She was inspired to sit down at her studio table and create some absolutely wonderful orange (and terracotta and copper) colored paper houses. Enjoy this rich selection of oranges.

Charlton Stitcher has also posted a second day of orange delights. She focused on this year's challenge of finding tints and shades of the color of the month. What an imaginative selection you'll find in her post.

I'm also happy to report that the names went into the hat and Charlton Stitcher is the winner of this month's challenge fabric...Congratulations! Please send me an email with you mailing address and the fabric will be heading your way. (

Thanks to all of you who participated this month and for passing the word along to others. Next month it's yellow...I'm already on the search...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Searching for Roy G Biv II: Orange Updated

Carrots from Golden Harvest in Kittery, Maine.

It's been a crazy month so I had to go to the archives for my ORANGE.

Heirloom gourds from the local farm stand.
Red peppers from the Farmer's Market outside of the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
Pumpkins also from the Farmer's Market, San Francisco.

I seem to have a thing about produce!

Just a few more photos for a bit of variety.

Nasturtium, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Andy Warhol from the Modern Art Museum in San Francisco.
Yardage I designed and printed for Caos on F Gallery.

Looking forward to seeing your ORANGE this month. Leave me a comment, and I will link to your photos. If you don't have a blog, website or Flickr page, send me an email and I'll post your photos here. Just a reminder that I will continue to update this post through Saturday midnight (or add a supplement in another post).

Here is the ORANGE Challenge Fabric. It fits with this month's produce theme. The background texture is made from a lentil block and the blue shapes are carved grapefruit rind. I'll be drawing names on Sunday morning for the lucky winner. Remember, you have to play in order to be eligible for the drawing.

For more ORANGE, check out my cohort, Jennifer Coyne Qudeen's blog.

Take a look at the variety of ORANGES over at Charlton Stitcher. Love that stash of fabrics!.

Be sure to stop by Kim Henkel's blog, Letting in the Light  for some very artful ORANGES.

Maya at Million Little Stitches has some wild ORANGE.  

Lisa at arzigogolare is experimenting with copper wire (close enough to ORANGE for me!). The freesias have made it into a beautiful bouquet of ORANGES  and pinks. 

Deb at salt-bush-stitch was out and about for her ORANGES.

Be sure to visit Susan's blog to see all the marvelous close-up ORANGES.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yay Spring!

A splash of Spring...

 ...then back to Winter tomorrow...

Don't forget we're Searching for Roy tomorrow...ORANGE to be exact.

See you then.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Story in the Making

Butterflies by Kate G.

I am back home and ready to report on my test drive class of A Story in the Making: Creating Story Cloth in Print and Stitch.

First, let me say, that I had a wonderful group of four adventurous women. As usual, I crammed in way too many techniques, but this group forged ahead...

We may not have made it to the stitching...but what a great beginning to some stories! I only wish that we could have had a couple of more days...well maybe next time...

The gelatin printing seemed to be a hit, as I knew it would. I am a big fan of that technique as a way to open up students to experimentation. I was not disappointed!

Gelatin prints by Judy G.
Gelatin print by Judy G.
Gelatin print by Parvin S.
Gelatin prints by Margaret M.
Gelatin print by Margaret M.
We then added block printing and stenciling to our backgrounds.

Block prints on knotted resist by Kate G.
Block prints on salted fabric by Kate G.
Freezer paper stencil and printing on wipe up cloth by Kate G.
Freezer paper stencils by Judy G.
Adhesive-backed craft foam print on gelatin print by Parvin S.
Block printing by Margaret M.
Adhesive-backed craft foam block prints and gelatin prints by Margaret M.

My students have promised to send photos of what they do with their fabrics. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Roy II Reminder: Orange

Just a reminder that we are a week away from another Search for Roy G Biv (the rainbow). This month's color is ORANGE. Hope you will join in the fun!

You'll find the rules here.

I've been alternating between being chained to my laptop and spending innumerable hours in the studio. Hooray! The handouts for my 2-day workshop, A Story in the Making are complete! The samples are in various stages of completion...which is actually not a bad thing as it means that I can demonstrate techniques on them.

Here are some in process:

A note to myself for the future...try to avoid teaching two new workshops two weekends in a row!

My trip to Savannah in a week and a half is looking very inviting, at the moment....

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Beyond Potatoes

Fabric detail by Julie B Booth

Today, I taught my new class, Beyond Potato Prints.

It turned out to be a private lesson. Perhaps that could be blamed on the time change or the unbelievably beautiful day.

My student, Haleh and I created our own beautiful and colorful day: Cutting, carving and printing fruit and vegetables.

Haleh A. printing a colorful fabric.
Fabric by Haleh A.
Fabric by Haleh A.
Fabric by Haleh A.
Fabric by Haleh A.

I continue to be amazed by the versatility of this simple concept.

I'm considering challenging myself to create one-of-a-kind yardage with this technique. Just like a monoprint, it could never be repeated, as the fruits and vegetables are perishable...within a day or so, they start to soften and change. I would have to work quickly finishing a yard or two in a day.

Fabric detail by Julie B Booth
Fabric detail by Julie B Booth

I wonder...would that process be considered a form of wabi-sabi?