Monday, June 30, 2008

just playing around

These are two thread bowls I've been playing with. Neither will go any further than this probably, but they were good practice for one I have in my head. They are stitched on a base of water-soluble stabilizer, so once that is rinsed out, the entire bowl consists of nothing but the thread from stitching. I totally get in the zone doing these since it's very much like thread painting or free-motion quilting. I do have a timer set for 15 minute increments though so my back and shoulders don't get wrecked for a week by losing track of time. And if I push my machine too hard it overheats too. I usually work for 15 minutes, take a short break, and after 45 minutes I turn the machine off completely and take a longer break. For the 'real, true' bowl I have in my head, I'm thinking maybe solid black rayon (sort of shiny) for the bowl with lots of beading. I like the effect of the fringe on the edge but I'm not sure how that would look with beads mixed into it. I do want a pile of beads in the center, maybe spilling out of the bowl somehow. We'll see. It'll probably turn out nothing like I envision it anyway. And I have another idea for a quilt that's percolating in my brain too. A trumpet/piano combo design. What a surprise, huh? It's a relatively simple overall design, but pretty fiddly so we'll see when it actually gets made.

Friday, June 27, 2008

No pictures today

At least not yet. I got "Primarily Jazz" finished yesterday and wonder of wonders, it lies perfectly flat and perfectly straight and is apparently perfectly square. Of course I decided to use a technique that I've never used before when I quilted it, so I was worried I'd screw it up. And I used that evil monofilament thread too. Between sewing through the painted fabric, using the mono, different color top and bobbin threads and the double layer of felt for the batting I was expecting the perfect storm of bird nests, bad tension, lots of frogging and a back full of pleats and tucks. I got none of those! NONE! Do you hear me? I was in the zone with the stitch in the ditch, the tension stayed right where I put it, the back was smooth as glass and the only frogging I had to do was about 6" where the excess backing got folded back and I stitched through it while quilting. I even remembered to put the sleeve on it! I'm hoping and praying that the relative ease of getting it assembled and quilted is a good omen for it getting accepted to the show. A label, good photos and off goes the submission. Wish me luck!

Now, on to some other ideas I have in mind for the next one. And the next one after that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This is a test

Do you recognize this man? This is a quilt I'm submitting for an art show in New Orleans. Hopefully, I'll have the binding on this evening or tomorrow and then I'll get good pictures of it and off it goes for jurying. Think really good thoughts, really hard, for me to get in. I'll invite everyone to the reception if it's accepted! (Any excuse for a party in New Orleans!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another weekend of Blues

We spent the day Saturday at the Bentonia Blues Festival at the historic Blue Front Cafe' and had a blast. Only in the Deep South can Wonderbread, fried catfish and mayo be considered a meal. With a side of boiled peanuts and a cold beer. The heat wasn't so unbearable as it was at Leland either. Only a few degrees cooler on the thermometer, but it was on grass this time instead of dirt. At one point, the clouds moved in carrying rain and it got downright cool even though we never got any of the actual rain. The trains passing on the very busy tracks directly behind us were a nice touch, and it was funny how people all turned and waved at the City of New Orleans when it came through. The musicians jamming in the cafe' never stopped even though they were about 10 feet from the stage and every time there was a break between songs you could hear the music coming from the cafe'. Nobody seemed to mind either. Duck Holmes' 91 year-old aunt spent the entire day on the stage dancing and nobody seemed to mind that either.

It's great living in a place where we're only 2 or 3 hours away from all these festivals that celebrate the birthplace of so many types of music. A 3 hour drive in any direction gives us Blues, New Orleans jazz, hill country music, cajun, pretty much anything we want to hear on any given weekend is a day trip for us. Our kids think it's "cute" that we go to all these festivals now too. We would have been going to them all along except that we started having kids practically the minute we got married so we never had the time/money/freedom to do much of it until we got them out of the house. My youngest daughter has expressed an interest in going with us and my son already hits the festivals he's interested in. It's pretty cool to be able to talk music with the kids and know that we have a lot of the same tastes. It's also nice to swap CDs with them (except their definition of "swap" is to go shopping in my CDs and then report back how much they love the most recently lifted CD of mine) and to suggest new artists to each other.

No art quilting in this post other than to say I'm really struggling with a piece right now but it's not ready for me to show yet. I have done a lot of the detail work on it and I've started piecing it, but it's a very organic sort of piecing. Add a strip here, a square there, a border around that and then hold it all up and hope it works together at each stage. So far, so good, but it's slow going for some reason.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Congratulations Amy and Gregg!

We missed the wedding, but we'll be around for the marriage! I think I can safely post a pic of their quilt since I intend to deliver it before they see the blog. At least that's the plan. Upholstery fabrics in tapestry, chenille and silk. It will be hung by brass rings on a decorative brass rod.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"The Storm" redux

The pictures I sent in for the submission are much better than these, but the files are freaking huge so I'm not posting them. Use your imagination for color adjustment and cropping.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Storm

I took down the pictures of the artist book in case they have an objection to it being posted somewhere. If it isn't accepted I'll re-post the pics or add them to the photobucket.

My brain really isn't hitting on all cylinders apparently. I sent all the submission info and files they asked for, and promptly forgot to add phone number or email addy to the contact information, and I doubt they'll be sending me anything through snail mail. Hopefully, I didn't hose things up badly enough for them to refuse the submission.

Monday, June 02, 2008

the mechanics of art mind has been racing with all the combinations and permutations of assembling an idea I have for an art project. I have stacks of little test samples pinned all over my work space and 3 pages of notes on what I want to include on the actual project once I get the technical details worked out. I'm actually taking notes for this one since every time I make a new sample I have to wait...and wait...and wait...for it to dry so I can see the final effect. o any of you have any idea if I can add acrylic paint to polyurethane to give it color? I may wind up just buying a can of tinted poly wood stain or something. I'll apparently be investing in yardage of wonder under too. And probably a new printer that will take fabric sheets without totally hosing up everything on my computer. MY fabric sheets, not the commercial ones. The commercial ones are never the right fabric, or the right size, or the right color, or the right texture, or the right price. I have a very specific design that I want to TRY to achieve with this particular piece, so all of the pre-prep work is necessary. Unfortunately, it also has a very short deadline, and a very personal message, but I want to get it right. We'll see. If nothing else, I'm learning the properties of several different techniques for surface design. That's never a bad thing.

Oh yeah, and my dumb ass decided to make a quilt for a gift.....that's due NEXT SATURDAY! Thank goodness I seem to work best under pressure. I would post some pictures today, but one project can't be revealed until the middle of the month, one is in the planning stage and I don't even have the fabric yet for the other one.