"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I've finally finished the piece. I'm calling it "Solstice". The name came popping up while I was working, so that's what it will be. I really love this piece. It incorporates four items that I might otherwise not have used. The first is the main body of the sun. It was supposed to be a forest fire piece for an online class. I tried twice to make it work, but I just wasn't pleased with the results. In times past, I would have tossed it in a box or drawer and let it haunt me until its dying day. Instead, I threw some extra sparkle on top, cut it into a circle, and it became the sun.
The fat quarter African print is the second item. It was part of a fat-quarter pack, and although I loved the colors and the images, I have not been using novelty prints in my artwork lately. I didn't know what I would ever use this fabric for. But hey! That sun sure looks good on top of it! An idea was born.
For the suns rays, I decided to duplicate the process I used to make the border in my Crashing Waves piece. I chose a gold batik for the base. This batik was the third item. It was gold with butterflies, but it was obviously a misprint. The butterflies were flawed and there was a huge blank spot in the middle. Actually, it only had butterflies on one edge - there was something different on the other edge, so maybe this was the point on the base cloth where the printer changed the design pattern for the batik. Who knows! Anyway, it was a creatively folded waste of money! So I covered it with a dark red sheer, and some fused Tintzl and now it is just right!
I added the beads and created (by hand!) the shell fringe border. I bought a piece of bamboo twisted with a vine and painted it black, and used drapery hangers for the hanging piece. Almost finished ... but that circle of the sun is awfully big! It needed something. I tried beading it twice, and took the beads off both times. Recently, my husband's grandfather (who is in his late 80s and is just now thinking about leaving his condo for an apartment) sent us a box of things he had cleaned out from a closet. Most of them were knick knacks that his wife (my husband's grandmother, who passed away a few years ago) had bought and saved to give as gifts through the years. One of the items was a box of butterflies on metal sticks, made from painted feathers. One of those butterflies alighted on that sun (much to my husband's delight) and the piece was complete! Item four!
The last bit of adventure with this piece is finding a spot to hang it.
This week I have also finished quilting the baby quilt for my son's teacher. Yesterday I took a picture of the class with the quilt, which I will print for a label. I have a few other projects in the works, so hopefully I'll continue to find time to create and I'll post again soon.

Friday, April 20, 2007

When Life Gives You Scraps ...

I swore I was not joining any more postcard swaps for a while, but, what can I say? I'm weak! A swap came up to use scraps - so I challenged myself to use only the somewhat small bag of scraps I have which already had the fusible on them. Many of them are from the "Falling Leaves" quilt I recently completed. These two are my favorites. I did not really plan ahead to do a sun pattern, but the pieces needed something and the triangles seemed to be it. I like how they came out, and I really do like this combo of fabrics. They are on their way to the UK and New Zealand. Can't wait to see what comes to me in return!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Peacock Feather Postcards

Only 3 posts so far in April? What is the world coming to??? Despite not posting much, I have been busy. I have come to realize that creating art IS exactly what I want to be doing. It's not paying any bills, but maybe someday it will.
I made postcards using peacock feathers and sent them to the ladies who made my Round Robin quilt for me as a thank you for all their gorgeous work. I made three different types of cards. I found it challenging to find unique ways to present the feathers, when they took up so much of the space to begin with. I also found it a challenge to make sure that the feather stood out well against the background. The pink background is a painted dryer sheet covered with Tintzl and Mica dust. The multi-colored on is fused fabric, again with Tintzl and Mica dust.
This gold one is a gold cotton lame' fabric with angelina fibers and mica dust. I fused the feather to the background, and fused white tulle over the top to protect it in the mail. It's difficult to see in the photos, but the beads are not black, they are iridescent and contain all the colors of the feather. A lucky find!

Friday, April 13, 2007

My Amazing Round Robin Quilt!

WOW - Isn't it amazing??? I passed the pink center block (now on point, and altered with a gorgeous star in the center) along to 7 friends over a year ago, and this is the quilt they made for me! What a tremendous experience working on a round robin was. All the quilts are gorgeous, and I'll post pics of the others another time. We set a "theme" for each round (triangles, curves, squares, 2" border, applique, embellish, anything goes) and passed our quilts. Please click on the photo and look at this beauty up close - there are dimensional flowers, beads and sequins and ribbon knots, and that gorgeous peacock in the corner. It is truly spectacular! It's going to be a joy to finish it. I just love it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blog?? What Blog??

Well, you throw hosting a holiday and a visit from out of state family into the mix creativity goes right out the window! Actually I think it has more to do with having to clean up the art "stuff". I really need to find an out-of-the-way place to work. Somewhere other than my living room!!! I haven't made a "normal" quilt in a while. This one is for my son's 5th grade teacher. She is expecting her first baby - a boy - in June. I used Dye-Na-Flow paints, and with the Art teacher as my conspirator, I had each child in the class "tie-dye" a square. I had them use squirt bottles of paint, and work over a piece of muslin. The muslin took the excess, and with a little beefing up, became the fabric that I used for the border. I think the quilt is adorable. I'm not sure why it is bowing in at the sides, because it is squared correctly, so I need to do a little investigating on that. I'm planning to take a photo of the kids with the top and then transfer it to some muslin and have them sign around the photo and this will be the label. I think she is going to love it!!! I'll be sure to post again when the quilt is done.
I have another painting in the works, and it is almost finished. And a wall hanging that just needs its embellishments. For the past year I have been participating in a Round Robin with my local quilt group and we get our completed tops back tonight. I'm so excited!!! The quilts are truly incredible. I'll post lots of pics when I can. I'd love to post a pic of the one I was in charge of putting the finishing row on, because it is absolutely stunning, but alas - my good friend Janice is the owner of this marvel, and she pops in here now and again to see what I am doing, so - sorry, Janice, but no dice! You'll just have to wait until tonight like the rest of us!!! ;o)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Catching Up

I've had a productive week, just haven't found time to post. Here's a look at what's going on:

This is my second piece done on canvas, in the same fashion as the ferns. In Guatemala there are these gorgeous flowers than hang off the rooftops like icicles. They were my inspiration for this painting.

In the Elements in Fabric class, after I made the water piece, I attempted a fire piece. The objective was to create a forest fire. I tried twice and just could not get it to look right. Maybe I didn't have the right fabrics, but it wasn't worth going out and buying more. So, I dumped all sorts of sparkly stuff on top, covered it with a layer of tulle, and stitched it together. Then I cut it into a circle and made it into a big bronze sun. I love it! The background piece is a fat quarter that I've had for a while, and it finally found it's purpose. It's quilted, but I'm still planning to embellish it with beads and fibers. I'll post again when it's done.

I swapped 1" charms with about 30 people around the world. They are all just beautiful and I decided that I needed to find a way to display them. This is also a work in process. I am going to mount it on a wood frame so that it stands away from the wall and the charms hang freely. I only wish I could have included all the charms on the piece.

Finally, you never know when inspiration is going to strike! Last night for dinner, I dumped a can of black olives into a blue and white bowl, and it was gorgeous! So my next adventure (when I finish with all my current adventures!) is to design a piece using cobalt blue, black and white.