"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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It would have been a good blog post...

I've done something I haven't done in a loooooong time ... finished a fairly large (about full size) quilt. I free motion quilted it, with much denser quilting than I have ever taken the time to do. It's for my daughter's bed, and she loves it, although she keeps the bright orange and aqua batik I used on the back as the "up" side. lol. I need to take a picture of it on her bed - it looks great in her aqua and lime bedroom!

As I was quilting (and quilting and quilting), Robert Frost kept popping into my head. "Miles to go before I sleep" ... and then I thought, yeah, more like miles to go before SHE sleeps (with this quilt!). Of course this all transpired over the last few weeks when my computer was down in the dumps again and I did not have the capability of posting photos. So I took the above photo, thinking I had my next blog post lined up, and as it turned out, the quilt was completed before the computer was fixed!
So this is the finished quilt. The pattern is called "Yellow Brick Road" and I actually pieced the top a few years ago. The pattern is crib size but I enlarged it. I quilted blue free motion flowers over the entire top and then went back in and stippled around them in orange. I was inspired by the book Quilting in the Limelight by Philippa Naylor, which was given to me by my good cyber-friend Joanna. I have a long way to go before my quilting is as inspired as Philippa's, but I'm just glad that I actually completed the quilt before my daughter's tastes changed! Hopefully she will love it for a long time.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm IN!

I received a box from Quilting Arts the other day. In it was the bracelet I submitted to the Cloth Paper Scissors "Life's A Beach" reader's challenge. Also in the box was a comp issue of the July/August issue of CPS, with my bracelet on page 78!!! It was so exciting to see it there on the pages of a magazine.
I'm not going to show the bracelet just yet ... when the magazine hits newsstands, I hope you'll check it out! But here's a photo of the box I altered to send it to the magazine. I figured I will hold onto this piece and it needed to have a happy home.
I am really thrilled to be published, and hoping this experience will give me more confidence to put my work "out there".

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sometimes, Something's got to give

Unfortunately, that something has been time in blogland. Jenny (DD age 11) finished 5th grade last week. She is on a year-round calendar so she finished a week earlier than her brother, who will finish Wednesday (he and I both wish he was already done!). Here, elementary school is K-5 so finishing 5th grade is a big deal. There were many "fun days" and celebrations. I created a bound memory book (nothing artsy, more like a yearbook) for the 5th graders, which took up quite a bit of my time. Pablo, our Guatemalan student, finished exams last Wednesday, and we put him on a plan early Saturday morning. He gets to spend the summer with his family and will return mid-August for his sophomore year. I think his family gets the short end of the deal with this, as they only get to see him for a couple of months a year. What a sacrifice for them to make so that he can have a better life.

Rosi and I have been out for some good walks *almost* every day for the past few weeks. I really enjoy it, and I think she does, too. I try to go every day, but when you get a 6 am phone call that DH and DS have been in a car accident, some things just don't happen. That was last Friday, and I thank God that they are ok because it could have been really bad. Joseph (DS) banged his elbow a little, but he played 4 baseball games yesterday and was able to pitch well in the last game, so I think he's ok, maybe just a little bruised.

Here are some things I finished up recently. Unfortunately I haven't been able to accomplish much art beyond my obligations. Soon Soon Soon...

This is a "meditation room" (8x8) that I did for a "Dream House" swap. The person it is for said she wanted a place of peace and solitude. The Shoji screen is crinkled silk and has a pretty sheen to it that you can see in the photo. The paper lanterns were made from tags colored with alcohol inks. The floor mat is stuffed, and I wish I hadn't used a fabric with rectangles on it because it sort of ruins the point of perspective. Oh well! I hope she will like it.

This is the "Victorian House" I made for the Textile Challenges year-long exchange. I didn't want to do traditional gingerbread moulding, bay windows and all that stuff, and someone already did tea dyed lace and roses, so I tried to think - what's Victorian? Of course the clothing came to mind and that led me to the corset. After a few failed attemps, I finally put a plan into action that I was quite pleased with. The contour lines on the corset are wire stitched into the bodice...might as well go for accuracy! The photo below is the back ... a photo transfer of Queen Victoria (ink jet and heat and bond lite) and a famous quote of hers ... which I imagine was probably exclaimed on a day that the corset was tightened a notch...
I have another room to make in June, and hope to start on it shortly. I signed up for a beading class on Quilt University and it has just started. I am gearing up to do some painting ... of the wall variety ... and will share my progress with you.
My friend's three young kids are coming over in about an hour and staying for the morning while she goes to work. Rosi and I are off on our walk as soon as I close here. I want to thank those of you who still pop in to see what I'm posting, even though you are seldom rewarded these days. I really appreciate all of you very much! I'm hoping to spend some time in blogland today catching up with all of you.
xo ~ Michelle