Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Child

Rejects pile

No, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth! This week I've been literally wrapped up with working on the book. Wraps and foils are the topic of the week. Long hours and lots of fabric...most of it now delegated to the re-use for some other project pile. In fact, when all the perfect samples are complete and the book is written, I can imagine working on these yards of rejects, hopefully turning them into something beautiful.

Today, it's a conference call with my editor and art director. I am getting an education in The Process. I'm learning about Book Maps and BLADs.

My Mom used to tell what she considered to be a cute story about first children. She was always so concerned about whether or not she was doing the correct thing when it came to me, her first child. She was constantly asking the pediatrician what she should be doing. His reply was the first child was the experiment, the one child where you made all the mistakes, had all the worries...and then he jokingly said... You throw them out and start on the second child!  So, just like me, this book is the first child. I'm hoping not to make too many mistakes (though I know that there will inevitably be some) and hope that all the worries will work themselves out. If not this time...maybe in book #2!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Roy Winner, Play Date & Great News!

The winner of the VIOLET Challenge Fabric is... Cindi!

Congratulations, Cindi...if you would please email me ( with your mailing address I'll get this piece of fabric off to you soon.

I thought I'd also post a few photos from Thursday's play date with my friend, Kathy S. This is the second annual studio play date with Kathy. Last year, we did gelatin plate printing. This year, we made animals.

Kathy's been an admirer of my wrapped wire animals for a while now. She keeps asking, When is the book coming out? This time, I had to tell her...well I guess it will be my second book! For those of you who don't know, I just got a book contract with Quarry Books! The book will feature creating fabrics using supplies from the kitchen. The title: Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects. Publication date is October 2014. I'm very excited, nervous and will be very the book has to be written by mid-December! Needless to say, I will be on hiatus from many activities over the next four months (but will continue teaching classes).

But I digress...
Kathy decided that she wanted to make a giraffe after seeing my green giraffe with the sweet face. I also made a giraffe to show her the step-by-step.

Kathy's giraffe
And once again, Kathy provided a scrumptious lunch (with help from her equally talented daughter, Abby!). She even brought the bouquet of flowers for the table!

We had steak salad.

Brownie pie with whipped cream as well as fruit salad so we didn't seem completely decadent!

Kathy managed to get her giraffe completed with the exception of sewing on the bead eyes. We decided that he was definitely the Male of the family!

Kathy's orange and blue giraffe.
What a great time we had!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Searching for Roy G Biv II: Violet Update #3

My Search for VIOLET took place over last weekend while visiting my good friend, Laura and her family in Virginia Beach.

VIOLET could be found in the vegetables in Brian's ever-expanding garden.

Here are some pole beans still on the vine...

...and fresh picked. When they are cooked they turn green and are delicious with a bit of melted butter.

Also from the garden...onions. First in their beautiful translucent skins (almost coppery)...

...and then without the skins...a vivid VIOLET.

On the garden tour, I spotted this leaf with VIOLET spots.

Brian's solution to keeping the sweet potato vines trained was to form a sweet potato tunnel! A cool respite from the hot, muggy afternoon.

The sweet potato is a relative of the Morning Glory with flowers spiraling open in the early morning. This one was already dying in the heat of the day.

There are some subtle VIOLETS in these photos of the sunset that came after a storm. This beach is on the Eastern Shore. We drove over the 20-mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel just in time to see this beautiful sight.

We then drove into the town of Cape Charles and visited a cooperative craft gallery called the Stage Door Gallery. Laura fell in love with this little ceramic plate by artist, Vesna Zidovec. I was so happy to give it to her as a gift and memory of a great weekend together.

Here is the VIOLET Challenge Fabric. Since Laura and I had so much fun printing with vegetables, I decided to use some to create this design.

I hope you will join in with your own VIOLET  photos. Please post them and leave a comment here or on Jennifer's blog and we will link to your blog. You have until midnight (Eastern USA time) Saturday, August 17 to post and comment. If you do, you will be eligible to win the Challenge fabric when a name gets drawn from the cap on Sunday morning.

The color VIOLET reminds Charlton Stitcher of her very Victorian grandmother. She provides some beautiful and varied VIOLETS from her travels and a Roy G Biv surprise!

Fiona at Paper Ponderings explores the senses (especially the sense of smell) as it pertains to books. A lovely bowl of dried VIOLET petals brings back memories.

Kim at Letting in the Light made a precious VIOLET book to celebrate the last color of the rainbow.

Check out Jennifer's eclectic mix of the yarn bombings!

Visit Lisa at arzigogolare for a look at her VIOLET finds from the seaside and view an exquisite sunset over Venice.

Cindi at The Organic Manic has joined in with her Alaskan VIOLETS...just gorgeous!

Maya at Million Little Stitches found streets of petal strewn VIOLET and a VIOLET house (VIOLET and purple are Vaastu colors in India).

Monday, August 12, 2013

Printing with Laura

Late yesterday, my friend Laura and I did some printing with fruits, vegetables and herbs.

We decided to make some silk scarves.

First we did a knotted resist technique that I teach in my classes. 

Then we took out our veggies and fruits and started to make some print blocks.

Laura fell in love with this salmon orange color...something a bit different for her. I usually think of turquoise blue and periwinkle as her colors.

Here are a couple of photos of Laura's two scarves and details of my scarf sampler.

I decided to have a little bit of fun manipulating color (I think the manipulated color on my scarf is more interesting than the original colors!).

I'm back home now. I had a wonderful time with my good friend. Can't wait for my next visit!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Virginia Beach Kayaking

This morning, my friend Laura and I went on a kayaking adventure. First, we kayaked across a wide stretch of choppy salt water, dodging motorboats and jet skis.

Finally, we came close into shore and ducked under a little wooden bridge. On the other side of the bridge it was like a different world! Calm and quiet.

No, my legs aren't that white!

My trusted tour guide, Laura.
We were greeted by sea grasses loaded with snails!

Tonight, if the weather cooperates we may take a trip to the Eastern Shore via the infamous Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. I've been wanting to travel the Bridge-Tunnel for a while and happy that my friend has made the offer to drive me over. It's supposed to be beautiful on the other side.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fat Quarters and Roy Reminder

In preparation for a collaboration with a fellow gallery member for the September show at Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery, I've been busy painting and printing fat quarters.

I'm continuing to play around with my Confectioner's sugar resist recipe but playing around with salt as well.

And...even a little bit of printing with flour paste.

All those ingredients sound like they could make something yummy!

This is also your one week reminder that Roy is just a week away! Where did the time go? Next Thursday, August 15 features VIOLET. If you're new to the Search for Roy G Biv (the colors of the rainbow), click here for more info.

Tomorrow I'm off to Virginia Beach to visit with my friend, Laura and her family. I'm so excited! I'm looking forward to walks on the beach, kayaking and eating fresh produce from Brian's garden. We also plan to do some fabric printing with veggies. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Exploring Surface Design a la Carte

Barbara H.

Wednesday night was the last session of my summer class, Exploring Surface Design A la Carte. This class is a four session version of my longer Exploring Surface Design class.
Barbara H.
Barbara H.
Barbara H.
Having so few sessions each one was jam-packed with information. Fortunately, I had four students who could keep up with the barrage of techniques!
Amy J.
Amy J.
Amy J.
Amy J.
Deedee M.
Deedee M.
Deedee M.
Unfortunately, my fourth student, Marilyn, wasn't able to make it to the last class but promises to send some photos for a future blog post.

Now that it's August, I'm having a teaching break. Even with that, I plan to have a couple of art-making play dates and one private lesson.

The new Art League School catalog just came out and I'm really looking forward to some of the new classes and workshops I'll be teaching this upcoming year. I always joke that I like to design classes that I want to take! I'm really looking forward to the workshop on Healing Cloth...can't wait to dive in and create work for that class! If you want to see my teaching schedule, check out the left hand column of this blog.