Sunday, April 29, 2007

Haiku's and Internet poker

It is getting more and more difficult to get my DH away from the computer, since he discovered internet poker. I have a bunch of stuff I need to do and this morning is the first time I've been able to sit down and actually do anything. I have to confess that I enjoy a game now and then, but not for hours at a time! Yesterday I went to a guild meeting and there were vendors there. I found the neatest little book. It is "Poetry and Patchwork" by Gyleen X. Fitzgerald and James W. Pryde, Jr. Each page pairs a picture of a quilt and a Haiku. I bought it for my friend, Dianne, who promptly loaned it back to me so that I could read it. She often writes Haiku's and actually incorporates them into her quilts! Maybe I'll even get inspired! Dianne and I met with a lady yesterday who wanted some of our stuff to put in her shop on consignment. Both of us feel that we would rather make the stuff than spend time trying to sell it. But at the same time, we have to find venues that support the type of work we do and the prices we feel are appropriate. Dianne took a booth at a high profile show a couple of weeks ago and it turned out to be most inappropriate in terms of price range. Her stuff is quite unique and really does belong in an art show, where the price range is within line with her prices. My stuff rarely sells anywhere, no matter what price I charge--so maybe I should just be happy with making the stuff and entering shows.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Still at it!

It seems like just yesterday that I last wrote here, but I see it's been a week. A busy week. I've had meetings every night, and this afternoon I had my third drawing class. I feel that I need to develop skill in drawing if I'm going to be designing my own patterns and preparing hand outs for classes. This class has four weeks of drawing and then four weeks of watercolour instruction. Today we worked with charcoal--and I hope I never have to use it again. I didn't like the way the pictures looked when we were finished, and I hated the mess it made not only of my hands, but of my clothes as well. I'm really looking forward to the watercolour classes. I'm hoping that they will help me develop an eye for transparancies that I can use with fabric and other fibres. I've always loved the look of transparancies in quilted things and would love to be able to make them myself.

My boxes are coming along quite nicely. I've been making stumpwork leaves for one box. These are worked with densly stitched overdyed silk thread--a single thread at a time. I've chosen a colour that is reminiscent of maple leaves in fall- oranges and deep pinks and dark greens-- and plan to call the box, "Maple Leaf Box". It will be made of a very deep red Dupioni silk. The other box will be embroidered and based on a warm, dark brown Dupioni silk. I'll be using several different threads for that one, but I've painted lace motifs to applique under the embroidery. It should be quite nice.

Tonight I have a satellite group meeting. This is a small group of other fibre people who get together once a month to encourage each other and to share skills. This group is primarily quilters. Last evening I went to a similar group of stitchers, and I also belong to a group of embellishers. They sure keep me busy, but I don't think I could be nearly as productive without their encouragement and support.

I guess that's what all of my efforts are about, sharing ideas and support with groups of like-minded people.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It Worked!!

After several months of pain and frustration, I think I've worked out a method of constructing a fabric box, that has minimal impact on my poor, arthritic hand and wrists. This is very important to me, as I have been making boxes for years, derive great pleasure from it, and was so very sad at not being able to sew them together. I have taken box making from an excellent teacher, and read many books about many different methods. So my method is an amalgam of all of my reading and experience over almost 40 years. I am now going to set this up as a class, including hand outs, and will post pictures as I get them. The next step is to make a box using a different pattern to the one I've experimented on. I need to prove the method works! I have actually been asked to teach box making, and had deferred answering until I was sure that I could handle the physical work. Now that I know I can do it, I can accept the offer( the shopowner knows what I've been doing), and get to work. I'm very, very excited. I also have plans to enter a box made with this method into a fine art competition. That will be an interesting experiment!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

what next?

The past few months have been very busy for me, and now I have no urgent pending shows or sales, and I don't know what to do with myself!! There are shows coming up, and, of course, I have nothing ready to show, so maybe the problem is getting my a** in gear and get down to business. But it's spring, (I think, at least the calendar says it's spring, --I'm still wearing a parka) and I want to walk in the flowers, and smell the fresh air. (Maybe next month.) The down side of spring is spring cleaning, and as I look around there sure is that to be done. There is nothing like sunshine coming in through a window to show the dust that has accumulated over the past few months. My biggest job will be taking down all of the Venetian blinds and washing them. It's a "once a year" task and one I dread. The new rugs are now about 16 months old and may be due for a cleaning. We've noticed the area rug in the basement is looking a little shabby. So many things to keep me from my needle work! Or maybe the house work is just an excuse not to get down to business with my needle work. I'll let you know which one comes out on top.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Busy, busy

Time sure passes quickly, and I can't even say I'm having fun. We had a family funeral Tuesday and another death on Thursday, so things have been a little hectic, but I was able to relax with friends today. Three of us made it out to Steinbach for a day of sewing and gossip. The things we found out about each other!! And we discovered some "feel good" machines that gave everyone who tried them a good "shake down". Other than that, we were making wallets. The wallets turned out to be more difficult than we had anticipated, but we had so many laughs along the way that it really didn't matter. We discovered head cheese--obviously an acquired taste, and we discovered pecan tarts--and easily acquired taste. What else do quilters do when they get together? They gossip and eat. But I think I was very tired after a hectic week and by the time I got home, I was absolutely exhausted. Thank goodness my DH cooked supper for me or we might have had to get by with tea and toast. We heard from Roseanne, who made it out to Dauphin for the week end in a car that is almost as old as she is and needed help just to get started. We were worried about her and glad to get a phone call that she had actually arrived. I'm having trouble finding time on the computer to post on the blog as my DH has discovered on-line poker. Our son set him up Monday around noon and he's been playing ever since with short breaks for sleeping and the bathroom. While I'm glad to see him find something that he enjoys, a bit more moderation might be in order. Now he wants it back, so good bye for tonight.