Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bad morning

I typed in a very long post about my creative angst. Published it and went to look--then realized that I had put it on the wrong blog--and it certainly couldn't stay where it was!

I did the embellishment on Hidden Treasures yesteday. I don't think I should have bothered. I'll take another look at it today, but I believe I'll just have to consider this a learning experience and move on.

The Fiber Art Connection of Southern California has issued another challenge. We are asked to create a piece inspired by "Inua: The Spirit of Life". While Inua is a Northern diety, it has moved me into the Native American concept of all things in nature being inter-related and each individual plant or animal having a role to play in the life of every other plant or animal. This lead me to more ancient beliefs, and finally to the concept of the Mother Earth/Earth Mother. and the Triple Goddess-maiden, mother and crone. A symbol of this concept is the triple helix--but try to find a picture!! This has really captured my attention and I think I'm going to pursue it.

But there is still the need to produce and sell to keep myself in fabric and paint. Awhile back I made up a "to do" list of things needed for sales this summer. While I want/need to work on the "arty" things, the more mundane still need to be done. So I guess I'm looking at a week or so of "Donkey work"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Morning Sky

Here are two images of the box "Morning Sky". The colour is lighter than shown here. Tucked along the edge of the rusching are tiny pieces of red agate chip beads, as well as warm red/gold seed beads. I'm trying to imitate the rising sun reflecting off the bottom of the clouds. The box top is finished, but I'm just at the point of placing the rusching in the parts that will become the body of the box.


Here are the pictures of the three Goldeye. As you can see, even with the FMQ'g, the three fish really aren't visible. I'm thinking of callingthe piece "Hidden Treasure", in hopes that the future embellishment will draw people in, and then they might see the fish hidden behind, what will be, sea weed.
On the left is the back view, and I don't really think you can see the FMQ'g any better.

Long time coming

I had no idea it had been so long since I've been here. I'm working on two projects right now. The yellow box has been named "Morning Sky". Progress is slow, as I'm working entirely by hand, but I'm taking pictures as I go along and will post some as soon as I can. The other project is one of the fish prints. I wanted to play with one before starting the more important ones, so I've FMQ'd the piece with the three Goldyeye prints on it. I'm going to embellish and turn it into a small hanging. The prints were poor and there was very little value contrast between the print and the background. ( Lesson Learned--pay attention to value before you put paint to cloth) The FMQ'g helped a little, but the result really isn't great. This piece will just stay in my collection as a"poor" example. I'll try to get pictures of both projects up this weekend.

My classes in Photoshop Elements continues. I have more confidence in using photos but I'm really not sure how this will ultimately reflect in my work.

Last evening I attended a "salon" with the Manitoba Crafts Council. Five highly respected artists spoke of their love for craft and the role craft has played in their lives. I would have thought that this group would have reconciled within their own minds the interweaving of the meanings of "craft" and "art", but the debate obviously continues, as each of them mentioned it in some context.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fish prints

Here are the workable fish prints I made yesterday. There were
four more. Two of the rejects were from the smaller Goldeye, and printed on a batik. Those really didn't come out well. I think I'll use them to practise on before trying to work on the ones in the picture. The other two that you don't see here were of the larger fish but printed in bright yellow on darker fabric. They barely show up at all ,but show up enough that the fabric can't be used for anything else. A waste of perfectly good hand-dyed fabric! The three partial fish in the picture are printed on a commercial Fossil Fern fabric and I can think of a lot of use for them, for sale goods. The orange/pink and blue fish will be used for my challenge piece.

Yellow box

This was going so very well. My edges stitches were almost perfect--the best I've ever done. I got the ruching sewn on and then started the beads. Some of my stash just didn't work, and when I pared it down, I just didn't have enough. It looked cheap and contrived. So I spent the evening taking off all of the beads that had been there, and the ruching as well. I now have a different idea of how to proceed with this. I'm not sure whether to work on this today or play with my fish prints. Maybe a bit of both.

I spent some time with Photshop last evening. Either I was too tired, ( a good bet!) or I'm totally confused about the program ( probably). I finally decided that I was just too tired and further work would just end up leaving me totally frustrated.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Today I've been fish printing. I've never done it before and was unsure of how to proceed, but it turned out to be fairly simple. First you get a fish. I chose to use a huge lake trout, since it was the only whole fish I could find. It was in a plastic bag, and I was so disappointed when I took it out to find that the tail was actually in two pieces and I wouldn't be able to print a whole tail--but I can fake it with FMQ'g

Then you have to pick your fabric. I purposely chose fabrics that could be used to create an analogous colour scheme, as I want to use the fish print in a small challenge I'm involved in.

Then you have to put paint on the fish. I used a small foam roller,
(ever try to take a picture of yourself working?), and Setacolor Fabric Paint, undiluted. I used a couple of different colours and on one print used two coloours onthe roller at the same time-side by side

Next you gently cover the fish with your fabric and gently smooth it over the surface of the fish to absorb the paint.

As carefully as possible pull the fabric off the fish and you have your print. Again, it is isn't perfect, and I'll have to "tart" it up a bit with FMQ'g and thead work

I did quite a few--enough to keep me busy for a couple of weeks. I would try it again. This time I used real fish (guess what I'm having for supper), but I have a couple of wooden fish sculptures and would like to try those, if I could be sure that the paint would come off afterward. I've heard of it being done with rubber fish, but Ihave no idea where to get one of those.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I've assembled most ofthe stuff I need for the yellow box, and fogured out how I think I need to put it together. I need to finish the edges of the sections of the top before I start to bead, but I didn't have the perle cotton I needed. I phoned both of the stores in town that carry it. One didn't have the colour I wanted but the other told me she did. While we were on the phone I heard her checking the drawers. So off we went, all the way across town, a half hour drive each way, and longer in construction season. She didn't have it. I asked what she had meant when she told me she did, and she held up a totally different colour and nymber and said "I thought this was what you asked about" I tried to be patient, and responded that there was a second colour that might do --colour number 3047. You have to realize that I was holding the fabric--a pale yellow silk--in front of us as we spoke. So she reaches up and pulls out colour number 346--a brick red. Now I'm getting a little "testy" So I went to the right drawer for 3047, but they didn't have it. ( I once worked in this store and knew my way around) So I asked if I could see the DMC colour chart to see if there was another colour we could use. She wasn't sure what chart I wanted and gave me one for tapestry wool. At this point another customer spoke up-and not in a pleasant voice--saying "not that. She wants perle cotton" The clerk then pipes up with " well, what's that?" I lost it and said that it looked like I should shop somewhere else, and that I certainly wouldn't be back. This clerk has worked inthis store for almost a year. So I went to the other store, the one that didn't have the colour, in hopes that she might order it in for me. While we were there she let me rummage through what she had, and I found the perfect colour.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Plugging along

most of the hand sewing is done. Still a bit of binding on Moonglow. I pulled out all of the yellow ruching that I was working on a few months ago. I have some Duipionni Silk that it matches quite nicely, and some beads. I need perle cotton for the edging and to put it together. I think it will be a casket-shaped box, and I'm trying to figure out the techniques needed to have the ruching and bead on more than one surface. I don't know if my hands will be able to bead through the Flexi-firm interfacing that I need to use to stiffen the whole thing up and support the weight of the beads. I want to find some other beads that are slightly different in value. today might be a good day to try stitching through Flex-Firm as my hands are quite sore from all of the hand sewing yesterday.

I've been selecting fabric for the fish printing. I want to take pictures as I go along so that I can post them here, but the actual printing won't be until Monday

Friday, May 15, 2009


are catching up to me. I have two hanging to get in the mail in the next two weeks and they both need to have their hanging sleeves changed--and that's all hand work. Both Chaos Theory and Baby Hoard Dragon are off to travel the USA for a couple of years. I hope they do well. I doubt that anyone will actually buy them, but who knows. Red Box is finished, and the markings are not nearly as bad as I had thought. It's been re-titled Tree of Knowledge. I'm still going to get started on a new box, as there is another, higher profile, show with a July deadline that I could enter it in, if it isnt finished by mid-June. I'm still trying to come up with a title for the golden circles on black piece. My sister thinks it resembles moons--maybe as seen from Jupiter--so I'm auditioning moon-themed titles--and leaning toward MoonGlow.

But yesterday I bought a fish. Yes--I'm going to try fish printing. Finding the right fish is a problem, but I have a lovely lake trout. It's far bigger than I had anticipated, but the choice was that or a very small Goldeye--so I bought both. Guess I'll be eating fish for the next week. I plan to try to develop a piece around a fish with an analogous colour theme for a challenge I'm involved in. The deadline isn't until October, so I have lots of time to plan it all out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Changes afoot!

The time has come to make some changes here. I think this would be better as a blog more dedicated to my fibreart, and everything associated with that part of my life. My sisters and I now have a more private, family related blog, where we each be able to contribute. I thank those who have been following here, and hope you will continue to do so. I welcome comments and advice about my artistic work, and would love to be able to communicate with anyone with similar interests.
Pat F

Monday, May 11, 2009

Name this piece

This is the latest quilted hanging. It's trimmed and blocked, and ready for binding. I tried every way I could to get the lines in the circles vertical. I measured and twisted etc., and was sure I had them right, but when I looked in the picture, I saw how off vertical one of them is. I had quite a time quilting this one as well. It's quilted in vertical lines about 5/16" apart. In the black I have the outlines of small circles, just for visual interest. Every time I came to a circle, I had to stop sewing and tie off the ends. Then when I started again there was another place to tie off. I won't ever enter it in a show, but I really like it.

While I couldn't find an apple, I did find small filigree beads in both gilt and silver. Adding three of them on the left side re-balances the piece. I've actually added them with stems made of a chain of seed beads.
Here is the embroidered box top for Red Box--tentatively re-titled Tree of Knowledge. As you can see it is a little skewed to the right, which was never my intention. So I searched all over the city for a small charm shaped like an apple--no luck.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Gotta do this fast!

We are having some real problems with our internet access. We've finally traced it down to the modem, and Shaw will be sending someone out Tuesday to fix it. Now, someone is coming out Monday to fix the phones, which aren't working either! We're really finding out what it means to be "out of touch". But this all results in my not being able to play poker. Can you imagine a worse fate??
So I've been in the studio. The Red Box is at the put it all together stage. I was mounting the sides of the bottom of the box onto stabilizer and found---OMG--What the H--- is this?? The markings won't come out! I don't have enough fabric to re-make them, and the show is June 17th. @#%&%*##. So I'm going to put it together, as I had planned to use it as a teaching sample after the show. If I work very, very hard, maybe I can get another one done for the show. My black circle hanging is quilted and blocked. Now it just needs binding. The title "Golden Jet" keeps coming to mind, but I know that refers to something else entirely--some hockey player (LOL) So any suggestions for a title would be welcome. I have pictures, but won't be able to get them up for a day or so.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Mammogram yesterday. 'nough said! Also had to take the car in. Hopefully we're going to get the problem of the horn honking off and on during the night fixed. It could be quite expensive, even with the extended warrantee, and we had to get some saved before taking it in. I have real hopes that they'll discover that the problem is covered.

Hope to spend time in the studio today, but DH already has a list of chores to be done, and every joint in my body hurts. The forecast is for snow today or tomorrow. We have the patio tomatoes in the garage for protection, but I'm thinking we may end up with them in the house if it gets much colder. I'm gearing up for a quiet weekend, which translates to time in the studio. DD and her children will be here for supper on Sunday, and I still done't know what we'll be eating. My cooking has really gone down the tubes over the past couple of years. Now I just worry about fast and easy. I think cooking skills are like any other skills--use it or lose it! But I bought mangoes! Love mangoes! Don't know how to do anything but cut them up and eat them--doesn't get any faster and easier than that!

Computer class remains a horror. Tried to do some work yesterday, and got all screwed up. Now it's too late to get my money back. However--ta da--it looks like the government is going to be forced to refund a speeding ticket I got last summer. The only speeding ticket I've ever received. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Feedback says---

that you want more pictures on the blog. Somehow, I can't see that anyone could get excited of pictures of me, but what do I know? Having said that, I should have taken pictures last night of my quilting group, Ravenesque, while they were here. There was some great "Show'n'Tell"!! My homework for my Elements class is to take four pictures, and I have to do it by tommorrow evening. The camera is ready, but my brain isn't in gear yet.

The discussion during the Ravenesque meeting was interesting. We all seem to be at a crossroads in life. Some of us are making small changes, such as learning ASL for use in the workplace, another is in the process of retirement, and all that entails, including a household move. Yet another is mourning the loss of a friendship, and all of the navel-gazing that can accompany and/or follow such an event. I wonder how this will be reflected in our work?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Yesterday we tried the diversion strategy. We ended up tending to all those errands that aren't important enough to actually make time for. I ended up at the framer buying bits of matt board to use in my box making. I also found some black, pre-cut matts that I can cut in half diagonally to use as viewing frames. And then we talked about fish. I want to try some fish printing, and we were wondering where to find a fish. So DH has taken on the chore of finding me at least one fish by May 18th. For what I have in mind, I would prefer two fish, one larger than the other, but, while Manitoba does have a fishing industry, I think it is more wholesale, and processed frozen fish. And certainly there is no question of going to the docks as the ice isn't off the lake yet. So this should keep him busy and off the streets for awhile. And, a miracle--- DH is actually going to a retirement dinner for an old friend tonight.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Still tired

I've been reading over some of my recent posts and I think my depression is obvious. So--what to do about it. Last time I felt this way, I wore red for a couple of days, but I have to wonder if that just chased it underground--so to speak--and it just keeps coming to the surface. I haven't really been creative for almost six months--time to get my act together. Over the past few days, I've been trying to make little stump-work leaves by machine. It's not going really well, but I have almost enough leaves now for the project I have in mind, although I think my machine now needs servicing. So today I'm going to actually try to start putting the box together. Wouldn't it be great to have it done for my Ravenesque meeting Monday?

My Photoshop class was quite intense this week. I learned things about my camera that blew me away. Homework is to take 4 photos, and record all of the data associated with them. I figure this will take me most of one day--although others may get it done in 20 minutes. So, even though I may not learn a lot about Photoshop, I am learning about my camera.