Aug 28, 2005

Here's my entry for the Simple Still Life project. I still can't get the button to show up on my sidebar. Anyway, I decided to do a paper collage, because it's fast and because I'm still very new to paper collage and need practice. I painted and stamped the background, focusing just on the colors I could pull out of the original photo. I did a transparency transfer of some of the original images, but it was horrible, so I scratched it up to make it look more textured and collaged paper images over the top. It looked a bit unfinished, so I stamped a leafy border. I should have stopped at the background! Really, I was super happy with the background, but of course, it didn't have a focal point, so I went overboard trying to create a focal point and covered up too much of my lovely background. Oh well, it was a fun challenge and I definitely learned something from it, yes? Can't wait to see what the next challenge is! Posted by Picasa

Aug 22, 2005

Yay, I accomplished something! This is the piece I painted and stamped earlier this summer. I've been playing around with border-type ideas in odd moments here and there, but this morning I decided to actually concentrate on it until something clicked and this is the result. Of course, I had to get some flowers in there to help me deal with all that scary abstraction. Normally I have to have some sort of plan and once I get going I let the quilt tell me what to do and it usually ends up quite different from the plan. This piece is a departure from my normal process in that I went in with NO PLAN, just jumped straight into the part where I let the fabric get bossy. Challenging and scary, but fun and I'm happy with the result. Posted by Picasa

Aug 21, 2005

Phone calls from AshLee

Ash called me the other night to say "if you could see the moon right now, you'd make a quilt of it". It seems there was a lovely huge harvest moon peeking out from behind a mountain. It makes me happy that she notices beautiful stuff happening around her. It makes me even more happy that she's inspired to share it with me.

She called again today to tell us that she made the varsity soccer team at her new school. YES!! Her mom moved this summer, which means Ash has to start a new school for her senior year. I know, I don't want to talk about it. Anyway, it's a really big school and to come in as a senior with only one year of high school soccer experience and make the varsity team is a MAJOR accomplishment. It makes me happy that she's willing to work really hard to achieve something she sets her sights on.

She's a good kid, that one, making her stepmother happy like that.


Not much blogging this week because, well, just not much doing this week. I've been feeling tired and bleh and not even really wanting to sew. LOTS of ideas running around in the brain, but no gumption to work on them. I started some postcards this afternoon, on the "just do SOMETHING" theory, but it just wasn't happening. A couple of ok starts, but nothing that I want to keep working on right now.

Probably partly adjusting to Ash being gone again, probably partly the ongoing challenge and brain drain of learning a new job, probably partly just needing a day off. The last I can do something about...I'm taking tomorrow off. Not holding my breath about accomplishing anything at this point, but reading a book or watching a couple of movies is a perfectly reasonable way to spend a day off, yes?

Texture experiment from the Richard Box book. I cut fabric pieces from a variety of fibers and stuck them all in a jar of fuschia dye overnight. According to the book, "because texture affects light reflection and absorption, texture and color are directly related." Interesting concept, although in this exercise, fabric content obviously played a role in the relative color absorption of each piece. Starting at the top left we have tulle, cotton machine lace, cheesecloth, an embroidered poly sheer, fusible interfacing, 80/20 batting, acrylic felt, bridal satin, cotton lame, cotton muslin, two more cotton machine laces, paper towel and chiffon. Posted by Picasa

Aug 16, 2005

Wow, check out Dave in his new Joseph Abboud sport coat. He managed 5 years as a newspaper editor without owning a sport coat, but he's stepped up his game a bit for his first editorial board from the other side of the table. Whew, it's enough to make a girl start singing Salt 'n Pepa songs... Posted by Picasa

Aug 14, 2005

Dyeing conversion?

Damn, damn, damn! I've been working really hard to avoid the whole notion of dyeing my own fabric. Painting fabric is bad enough. I SO do not need another process, another pile of supplies, another mess. I don't want to mess around with chemicals. I don't need to hand dye, there are plenty of commercial fabrics that make me drool. Lots of them are already in my house. But I just dyed some fabric and OHMYGOD IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!

I want to state for the record that I was forced to dye fabric through no fault of my own. It's my mom's fault. She bought a tye dye kit for AshLee, complete with Jacquard dyes and soda ash and squirt bottles. And the two of them tyedyed some shirts and then Ash and her friend Jessie tyedyed some more shirts and then Ash went back to her mom's for a few weeks and the dye was supposed to be used up within 2 weeks and she wasn't going to be able to do any more dyeing down there so she told me to go ahead and use up the dye. See, I had to do it, I couldn't let perfectly good dye go to waste.

I think it was the whole squirt bottle part that got me. I just LOVED squirting those bright lovely colors all over the whiteness of the fabric. Maybe I'll get lucky and my fabric will end up sucking rocks and I won't need to do any more.

Aug 12, 2005

This is the roof and tower of the Spokane County Courthouse, about 3 blocks from my office. When I was a little kid I thought Disneyland was up in that tower. Posted by Picasa

No, it's not Jabba the Hutt's summer palace on Tatooine, it's the Spokane County Public Health Building. It's one block away from the lovely French castle shown above. I stood on the same street corner to take both pictures. Posted by Picasa

Aug 10, 2005

Not a quilt, but this is the inspiration for my little embellished puppy quilt, pictured in progress below. This is my parent's dog Emily. She's full grown and smaller than my cat (they love to chase each other). It's tough to get a good picture of Emily because she's always moving. She's friendliest, most enthusiastic dog I've ever seen. It's her exuberance that I'm trying to capture in the quilt. Posted by Picasa

Aug 9, 2005

Greenday made me do it

Ok, I pretty much never rant about politics outside the confines of my family, but AshLee and I have been listening to a lot of Greenday lately and I just have to give props to the fellas for "I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies" from their current hit "Holiday". Yes, that's exactly how I feel about our current government.

But what makes me even more crazy is where our priorities as a society are. It wasn't that long ago that we had a national obsession about a blow job, but now nobody gives a rip that someone in the White House committed treason for political gain?

Oh, and don't give me any of that crap about it being "unpatriotic" to criticize our government. Ever read the Declaration of Independence? I have. It's a big long list of complaints about our government from back in the day when King George III was the boss of us. If it was really unpatriotic to complain, then all us "patriotic" Americans would still be loyal British citizens.

It's the history major stuck inside me. Every once in a while she busts out and rants a bit about the general ignorance of history in this country. I'll go chase her down and we can return to our regular quilty bloginess.

Aug 7, 2005

OK, that's better. That whole "not having accomplished much" yesterday was getting on my nerves, bringing back the itchy, restless, there-are-500-things-I-want-to-make-and-I-don't-know-where-to-start feeling. The solution for this yuckiness, as always, was to pick something and work on it. This red collage was getting a bit pushy, trying to get my attention, so I stopped for an hour and put it together. Those red bugle beads are yummy...I must go back to see if I can get them in more colors. Posted by Picasa

Sheesh, this blog needs some pictures! I puttered around quite a bit yesterday and didn't produce anything worth looking at, so here's a picture of my little embellished puppy in progress. It still needs more embroidery, but I think I'll do some beading next. Posted by Picasa

Aug 6, 2005

Prank call?

I had the house to myself last night, but I was too tired to do much about it beyond watching a Sopranos episode, eating some s'mores and going to bed early. Dave and AshLee were both out with friends. My first thought when the ringing phone ripped me awake at 10:30 was that one of them was calling because something was wrong. I hate that.

So I ran downstairs to answer the phone and nobody was there. All I could hear was some VERY haunting music in the background. WHY THE HELL IS SOMEONE PRANK CALLING ME ON THE ONE NIGHT ALL SUMMER THAT I'M HOME ALONE!?!

Feeling quite a bit creeped out, I grabbed my cell phone and called Dave to demand that he drive home RIGHT NOW.

He answered right away and in the background I heard THE SAME HAUNTING SONG FROM THE PRANK CALL! "Umm, did you just call me?" "Oops, I must have bumped the speed dial button for home and accidently called you...Listen!" He was in Sandpoint at a Ryan Adams concert. He held up the phone so I could hear Ryan singing Oh My Sweet Carolina, a song I happen to love, a song that is slow and spare and umm, yeah, haunting. "Yeah, that sounds great now, but when the phone wakes you up at 10:30 and you're home alone and there's nothing on the other end except that song in the background IT'S CREEPY AS HELL!!"

He laughed and apologized and I went back to bed. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to listen to that song again.

Aug 4, 2005

Excellent mail day and some learning projects

Now that I've recovered from the Bird Incident, I'll return to my regularly scheduled blog program. I'm actually a bit behind schedule here, I've been suffering from a bad case of teenagers-hogging-the-computer.

It was actually a couple of days ago that I had my excellent mail day. It's not often that you get a fabulous piece of art AND the key to the city in the mail on the same day!

First, the art: I bought Bundle Study XVII from the superfantastic Sonji Hunt. This is my first fiber art purchase and I couldn't be happier! I LOVE this piece and really, gorgeous as it is in the picture, the picture doesn't do it justice. I didn't realize that Sonji paints all her own fabric, but wow, beyond all the cool embellishment, the fabric itself is wonderfully detailed with metallics and other little bits that just don't show up in a picture. Oh yeah, and she sent an extra piece of her painted fabric! Thanks Sonji!

OK, the key. Dave and I live in the small college town where my grandfather was a doctor for 40ish years. Both my grandparents were very involved in the community and did a lot of volunteer work, both here in Cheney and in the surrounding region. A year or two before my grandma died, they had a thing to celebrate her contributions and the mayor presented her with the key to the city. In sorting through my grandparent's things, my family decided that my husband Dave, formerly the editor of the Cheney newspaper and currently university spokesman at EWU would be the most appropriate caretaker of the key. So the other day we opened the mailbox to a whole pile of cool packages!

And now, for something completely different, I have joined the Simple Still Life project, but I'm having trouble getting the icon thingie to appear on my sidebar. I'm also working on another project with Deb Roby, working through Color and Design for Embroidery by Richard Box. This is a great book, just loaded with good information and exercises on color and design principles. And like so many great books, I've been procrastinating about working through it. So, we're starting this week with the section on texture, starting on page 44. Hopefully we'll get through a section per week and post pictures of our completed exercises.

And now it's time to go be a case manager for a while.

Ugh, Bad Kitty!

Ohmigosh, my little Pistol cat just caught a hummingbird. First things first, the bird is ok. It was shaken up and rested on the porch for a few minutes, but then it zipped off to its hummingbird home.

Ugh! Yucky bad kitty!

Some background here: Pistol is an indoor cat. He goes outside with me in the morning in the summer while I water the plants. He likes to eat the cheatgrass. Never having known anything else, and being terrified of the neighbors, he's fine with this plan. He's happy to trot back into the house after 15 minutes.

OK, yeah, I know, he's a natural predator, it's his instinct to hunt, blah blah blah. Please, no lectures. I understand all that stuff, but I don't have to like it. I like the part where he's my sweet little cuddlebug who comes up and gently taps me on the shoulder when it's time to go outside to water the plants. Ha! Not bloody likely buddy!