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