Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Renovated bedroom

This is our newly renovated bedroom that I've been working on the last couple of weeks. The bed is made from old wood doors that have been painted and collaged with torn pages from the books 'Jane Eyre' and 'Gone With the Wind' in the panels. The floor is plain plywood that was cut into 8" planks, stained and sealed.

The bed is something I've been wanting to make for a while and finally got around to actually doing it. The doors came from Old House Depot and I stripped and painted them black. I added the posts and finials from the decking dept at Lowe's. It's a platform base so no more sagging box springs! And plenty of open space under the bed for the cats to play in. The lights are mounted to the posts at the headboard so Gumbo, the foppish cat, can no longer knock the lamp off the bedside table to alert us he is ready to go outside. He'll have to figure out another way to let us know.

The chest is a solid wood $20 find from the Salvation Army that I repainted and changed out the hardware on. My night table (not visible in the photo) is the cabinet from a 1926 Singer sewing machine that I added legs to, painted black and collaged the book pages to the top center part. The other night table is a cheapie book case that I added a more substantial top to then painted red. I bought the fabrics yesterday for the quilt so we'll FINALLY have one that I've made to actually keep! The fabrics are black, beige, tan and shots of red.

It is such a joy to walk into the former cave now!

ETA: More photos of the original pieces and the finished sewing machine cabinet.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

New Class Coming!

Beginning January 31, 2013, I will be teaching an extension course class at Millsaps college! The class will be once a week for 2 hours, running for 6 weeks. I'll also have additional time scheduled at the studio during the week for students to work on their pieces. We'll be making wall hanging quilts from photographs, from the pattern stage through to the finished piece.

I am unbelievably excited about this opportunity. I love teaching as much as I do sewing and I am really looking forward to this class. I have posted some pictures of completed pieces using this technique. Some of my own and a couple from students. Gwen Harris did the Cypress Swamp piece while working with me in the MS Arts Commission apprenticeship program and it won a blue ribbon at the Pine Belt Quilters show last month. Rynetta's piece isn't finished yet, but hers is absolutely stunning. The rocks are insanely realistic.

Gwen's finished quilt.

Rynetta's in-progress quilt.

My friend Sally's house in New Orleans.

From a Wyatt Water's picture, used with permission.

The Cedars on Old Canton Rd.

You can see the original pictures that the quilts were made from at http://photobucket.com/Photo-to-Fiber.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Mississippi Roads" tomorrow night

Bottletree Studios will be on tv tomorrow night! Anne and I were taped several months ago in connection with our participation in the Project Rezway show and the "Mississippi Roads" episode is airing at 7:00 on ETV Thursday evening. I believe you can watch it at http://mpbonline.org/ after it airs.

We put a lot of work into our submissions and had so much fun doing it! Our imaginations ran wild and it paid off with some wins. We had a group of drama students from Brandon who served as our models during the show and they did a wonderful job. We're looking forward to participating again next year and already have some new ideas.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Storytellers Ball juried art show

4th place win! I am over the moon excited about this. Not only was I the only woman to win, but mine was the only fiber in the show. The three pieces were apparently judged as a tryptich since they didn't single out a specific one by title.

The Jackson Arts Council had a nice artist reception and opening last night and it was great to meet people and chat with the other artists and viewers. The artwork was all so gorgeous I can't imagine it was easy to judge it. After seeing what I was up against, I was blown away that I had won anything! Just being accepted to the show was a boost for my confidence to begin with, so you can imagine what an actual win did for it. It gives me hope that another piece currently in the judging stage for an art show at The Cedars has a shot at being accepted also.

So now to the pictures. The three pieces in the "Blame it on the Blues" show at the Art Center of Mississippi, 201 E. Pascagoula Street, Jackson, MS 39201 (hanging through Aug 31) are Kona cotton and batik reverse applique. The quilting is the lyrics of signature songs of each musician. BB King "The Thrill is Gone", Muddy Waters "Rollin' Stone", and Buddy Guy "Damn Right I Got the Blues"

Well crap....I can't get the photos to load so here are the links to the photobucket pics.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Sally's house quilt

There have been some comments on the MQA list about landscape quilts made from photographs, and it has motivated me to post one of my own made recently. I had a grant through the MS Arts Commission to work with an apprentice and we decided on quilts made from photos we took. Mine is from a picture of my friend Sally's house in New Orleans. The finished quilt and the reference photo:
And this is a commission I did a month or so ago from a Wyatt Waters watercolor (with written permission!) and the original painting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Photos of the new studio!

These are the before and after photos of the new studio. My art group met there yesterday and I fully intended to get photos of everyone working, but I was so excited I forgot to! We obviously have lots more to do, and we're not doing anything to the individual studios (we'll let the artists do their own spaces) but at least it's useable space now.

We've gone from this...

To this, in just under 2 weeks...

This is our studio "suite" before ...

And after...

Our HUGE classroom/workroom space...

The kitchen/community area...

We've done everything from painting to laying now plywood on the floors to installing 26' of counters in the studio, not to mention all the general cleaning up and moving stuff around.

In addition to the the 4 studio spaces inside, we also have a greenhouse, storage shed, pool and 2 bedroom guest house, all on a double lot with a creek along the back property line.

Our next order of business is to get the rest of the shelves and bookcases and storage stuff put up and arranged and then get all of our supplies sorted and stored. We will be moving the last of our stuff from the old studio at the MS Craft Center this week, and then we'll be diving into the organization at the new studio. It's a pain that the fully-loaded shelf units from the other studio are the last things to be moved but the first things needed at the new studio.

There is no way to describe how excited we are to have the new space! Based on our limited use so far, we think it will be perfect for our needs. Ultimately, we'll have 3 other artists in the studios, and the workroom will be available for other artists to rent for classes. Judging by our art meeting yesterday, the space can easily accomodate a dozen people working on projects.

Friday, September 09, 2011

We have a studio!!!

Closing papers were signed and keys were handed over on Aug 29 for the new studio space! It is unbelievably perfect for what we want to do with it too. Anne and I will share a large studio and storage room at one end of the house, and there are 3 other studios at the other end, with a HUGE classroom, kitchen and den in between. Our first "event" is going to be tomorrow when my art group meets for the day in the classroom. We've been working ourselves silly getting it ready and have made great progress on it. Today is reserved for just small details and cleaning up to get ready for tomorrow. The location is perfect, plenty of parking, plenty of room, large double lot, fenced, a pool, a deck, tons of windows and good light. There's not a single thing I would change about it.

So far, we've installed 26" of counter space in our studio, painted, added shelves, paint racks and power strips, and started sorting and storing all our supplies. Much, MUCH more to go, but at least we can get in there to work. We laid sheets of flooring in the den and then floated out the kitchen, den and entry floors before painting the whole thing lime green. Yes, an unbroken 40' expanse of bright lime green floor! The area looks huge now, even with furniture in it.

We took 3 full-sized louvered bi-fold doors and painted them orange, teal and lime, then mounted 2'x3' black numbers on them for the address. The shutters will be lime by the end of the day, and the back door will be orange. The 4'x5' crawfish painting is hung, the 2 fluorescent shop lights and 2 industrial wall fixtures are up in the classroom and the 4'x8' table is ready to go. The wall of dry erase board will go up today, as will the chalk board.

We're not sure what the floor in the classroom is going to look like, but we're leaning towards painted foot prints. It's bottom of the line laminate that was badly installed so we're not ruining anything nice if we paint over it. And we LOVE color. The more the better. The hot pink sewing cabinet we're using for a table by the back door looks great against the lime floor.

Even as excited as I am now, I think I'll be more excited next week when my time again becomes my own and I can get in there and sort and store and actually start working on real art again! I did get a bunch of before pictures, but of course my camera is someplace else, so those will have to wait. I'm also getting "during" phoros and will take "after" photos too, if we ever actually finish. I'll try to get some of the pictures up later this evening or tomorrow.

We are officially "Bottle Tree Studios" and will eventually have a facebook page and website, but for now, the really cool bottle tree in the front yard of the studio, and the 2 hanging bottle trees on the porch will have to do.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lots of news...

...and a bit of shameless self-promotion, as my friend Marilyn says. First up, my entry to the Hoffman challenge was juried in for their traveling show. It's in Quilt Trunk B, so if you're close to any of the shows, check it out! I had a lot of fun with this but only decided at the VERY LAST minute to even do a submission, so I'm amazed it was accepted. Her face is dupioni, the mask is velvet, pink lame' lips, some sort of green sequin stuff for the hat and of course, the challenge fabric for the headpiece. The large mums around her face are 3-D, first mounted to Peltex and quilted, then fussy cut and only stitched to the quilt in the centers of the flowers. The edges are finished/sealed with gold metallic paint. Lots and LOTS of free-motion thread painting on the wisteria, leaves and flowers. Most of it was done with metallic Sulky in a variety of colors. Some beading and sequins on the smaller flowers and across the top of the mask. I drew off a sort of Art Deco looking feather to use for the background quilting. Little puffs of some kind of weird gold metallic mesh, and finished off with the gold ribbons in 3 different widths.

GSQA had their quarterly meeting in Lafayette yesterday and they introduced the new group of circuit teachers. I am one of them so I got to get up on stage and talk to a captive audience. One of my favorite things to do! Everyone was very polite and acted like they didn't even mind me showing a huge stack of work and talking and talking. I'm really looking forward to seeing what opportunities come from this. One thing I noticed yesterday from the comments was sort of a surprise to me also. Because this is what I do, and I partly do it because it's SOOOO easy, and I'm used to doing it, it sort of took me by surprise at the complete lack of knowledge of the techniques and supplies I use. Of course, I'm basing that observation on the questions I got after the program, and obviously, the people who are already familiar with the process wouldn't be asking questions. Still, the number and type of questions struck me. Maybe that will translate into some classes! One can hope....

These are a couple of the pieces I showed. Painted, stitched, stamped, resisted, etc.

One fat, and one skinny envelope from MAC (MS Arts Commission) last week from my grant applications. I was accepted again for the Master/Apprentice program, and will begin working with my new apprentice Gwen next month. I am really looking forward to working with her. She has her traditional skills well in hand and is a very open-minded and enthusiastic explorer of quilting. Can't wait to see what she comes up with to work on! A little background on how it works: We start off by designing a quilt, go from there to choosing our fabrics (Yay! Fabric shopping!) then the construction, quilting and finishing. So we basically go from a piece of graph paper to a finished quilt in 2-3 months. Marie Yonko (last year's apprentice) and I have pieces hanging at the MAC office in the Sillers Building until the end of Aug if anyone has a reason to go by there.

Marie Hull Gallery in Raymond contacted me a couple of months ago about doing a show down there in Mar 2012. My mind is racing with all the work I have to do between now and then, and coming up with enough interesting stuff in the same style, but I'm very happy to have that kind of worrying to do. And I always laugh when they start the conversation by saying "Would you be interested..." like they expect you to say anything but "YES! YES! A thousand times YES!"

Leslie Silver, over at the Attic Gallery in Vicksburg, has asked me to do a piece for their 40th anniversary invitational show. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be asked to do this, although I won't even be able to make the opening reception! She is assigning each artist a specific number as their inspiration, and the rest of it is up to us. The best part about it to me is that as soon as she explained the concept, I had instant inspiration for what I wanted to do. Every other time that's ever happened, I wound up with a piece that I was extremely happy with. No reason to think this time will be any different.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

asymmetrical shirt and pattern

This is the completed shirt that I demonstrated yesterday at the MQA June Gathering. I'm also including the pattern that I passed out. If you have any questions, or need more info just let me know. I'd also love to see any shirts you make for yourself, and any other variations you might come up with. Happy sewing!

Friday, February 18, 2011

in-progress floor cloth

Not done yet, but making good headway.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, July 23, 2010

MS Arts Commission

A little late getting this posted, but I'm still excited about being approved for a grant through the MS Arts Commission a couple of weeks ago. The grant is for an apprentice to learn quilting. My apprentice is Marie Yonko (thanks for the recommendation Marilyn!) and she's doing a great job. At our first meeting we designed a medallion quilt and only used about a ream of graph paper doing it. Then we went shopping! Boy, did we go shopping! A trip to Stitch-n-Frame in Vicksburg, with a side jaunt to Diane Jordan's. $200 later we were ready to go. We intentionally designed the quilt to use a variety of techniques, some of which Marie has used before, some not. And because it's me, the first traditional block we used in the center is a 'variation' of the Bear's paw. Then we move onto some log cabin-ish trees and some HST mountains and some machine applique, and some other stuff as we build out with the borders. Each border will use a different technique and what we've already done looks great! We met this past Monday in the lobby of the Craft Center to work on it and Portico magazine was doing a photo shoot. She got a bunch of photos of us working and called back the next day to check the spelling on our names, so I'm hoping that means the pictures might actually show up in the magazine.

The ultimate goal is to have a finished quilt, from design to binding, in time for the Quilting Heritage Day on Sept. 18. Marie wil be doing all the work herself, including the machine quilting on her full-size quilt! We are usually in the lobby of the Craft Center on Wednesdays from about 10-noon if anyone wants to drop by and see her progress or watch us work. The periodic stops to talk to visitors gives us a little break now and then.

Other than that, I need to get myself in gear and get my submissions together by the end of the month to re-up as a member of the Craftsmen's Guild. There are at least 3 locals who I know are applying too. Good luck to all of you. Knowing your work, I have no doubt you'll all be juried in!

For anyone interested in the Quilting Heritage Day, we'll have a quilting frame set up at the center and you are all invited to come by and take a few stitches on a quilt. We'll also have exhibits and displays and demonstrations and vendors. It's like a county fair and we always have fun doing it.

For those of you who have asked about a surface design class, I'll be teaching a 3-hour introductory session over the Labor Day weekend, on Monday, Sep 6 from 9:00-noon. You can see the details at MSCrafts.org or call Sheri Cox at 601.856.7546 for more info and to sign up. If there is enough interest I can add a second class with different techniques.

And my oldest daughter made it to S. Korea safely and is well on her way to world domination! She seems to be settling in nicely and is incredibly excited about getting into the classroom, although she will be teaching elementary students rather than high school. If only everyone could have the same passion and excitement for their chosen profession.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Houston bound!

Houston, here I come! Well, here comes my quilt at any rate. Still not sure I'll be able to visit it since that's the weekend before the Congo Square festival in New Orleans. Speaking of Congo Square, we (Anne and I) got the official notification last week that we've been juried into all 3 New Orleans festivals that we applied for. Blues and BBQ in Oct, Congo Square in Nov and Treme' in Dec. We did well at the 2 we were juried into last year and we always have a ton of fun! The music at the festivals just makes it 100 times better than the money!

OK, back to the Houston quilt. A call for submissions went out a while back for NOLA: Still We Rise Again and I put it off and put it off submitting anything until a friend mentioned it in passing and I went back and read the guidelines. A full-blown design immediately popped into my head and off I went with it! Two days later I was overnighting the CD so it would get there on time. Nothing like last-minute scrambling. After all that, the notifications were 5 days late, but I was juried in so at this point I don't care! Marilyn Rose was also juried in with the Katrina quilt she made right after the storm with the NOAA hurricane maps on it.

A little about the inspiration of the design. The traditional jazz funerals in New Orleans have what are called second-lines, which follow the casket, the family and a brass band. The funeral procession to the burial is somber, with dirges being played. After the burial, the music is upbeat and faster in celebration of the life of the deceased. The second-line consists of friends and acquaintances and mere observers, who join in the parade. Umbrellas and handkerchiefs are often used by the second-liners. The call for submissions specified the theme as: A juried exhibit featuring quilts that celebrate the unwavering spirit of New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, rebirth, renewal and the recovery of a city devastated five years ago by Hurricane Katrina. I can't think of anything that personifies the spirit of New Orleans more than the second-line. What most people consider one of the saddest times in their lives is instead celebrated as a new beginning. After the devastation of Katrina and now the bleak future of the coast and wetlands due to the oil guyser, many people across the country expected her residents to give up. I never expected any less from them than to throw a party.

I used commercial batiks for both the coastline and the Gulf, and black Kona for the silhouettes. Hand-beaded umbrellas, mixed Angelina fibers for the "oil slick" and free motion quilting on the whole thing. Finished size is 36"x40" and there is a beaded spiral (hurricane) just below MS on the coastline.

So without further ado, New Second Line.