Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Took all of the sunprints and collages into the framer to get matts. They appear to sell so much better when they're properly presented. We chose coloured matts to suit each individual piece. Ca-ching! Ca-ching! $$$ But, hopefully, I'll get the money back when they sell. When I went in, all of the machine work was done but not the beading. The framer kept all of the pieces so that he could match each matt and piece, and make sure the right one went with each. I feel bereft! So now I have to find something to work on until I get them back in about a week. I had imposed a July 1st deadline on myself to have all of my show stock finished, but I guess I just have to be more flexible.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Boy, am I ever on a roll! The sunprints are almost all FMQ'd. The first two just weren't right, so I cut off as much of the hand painted fabric as I could salvage. I'll turn that into a collage, but the parts that were actually FMQ'd were garbage. Then, when I was looking for thread to FMQ the rest of them, I stumbled on my Sulky Blendables. WOW! Does it ever work well in the sunprints! They are much more subtle than before and, IMHO, much more pleasing. So today I embellish them. I think I'm going to try strategies other than beads on a couple of them.

Today on the internet, a lady was talking about how to wash painted fabric so that you don't lose colour. The secret is to minimize the agitation--wash on a gentle cycle and avoid the dryer. Well, gosh, I wish I'ld thought of that! Do I ever feel like a dummy!

Well, I've set a deadline of July first to have all of my summer sale stock ready to go. I may make it, although a stumbling block will be finding the $$$ to buy matts for all of the collages and sunprints. Making the bigger pieces first lets me use leftovers for the smaller pieces like the coffee cuffs and small purses--the best sellers. Then I have to spend time dealing with other aspects of my life, such as preparing for teaching--first class is in early October--and show entries. I'm very comfortable working with sunprints and collages, but, if I'm going to grow as an artist, I have to try more challenging things.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What a week.

Monday turned out to be my only day at home. Tuesday I suddenly had to go to Pinawa for a meeting about the formation of a regional arts council. While this would have no impact on me as an individual, as Chair or the Eastern Manitoba Artists' Co-0p,(EMAC) I needed to be there as a representative. Wednesday we helped hang the EMAC show at Cre8ery Gallery. Thursday ws the opening recpetion for the show, and I had to be there most of the evening. Then yesterday was a showing of the documentary film "Handmade Nation". I had volunteered to sell admissions. The film was about the DIY Movement in the USA. I had no idea that this weekend there was a "Do ItYourself" (DIY)festival in the city. The fact that attending Solstice celebrations was part of the festival made me a little uncomfortable. In none of the literature was there any indication of a spiritual component to the movement.

So today was to be my quiet day. Garage sale down the street and we found a little table that is just perfect to use with my needlefelter. This would allow me to leave the needlefelter up and ready to use all the time. So this afternoon was spent re-organizing my entire studio to accomodate the little table. It's been awhile since I worked as hard as I did today! But, it was probably time for a general clean-up in any case.

All of this activity has psyched me up, so once the needlefelter was in place I started working on the latest set of matted collages. They should be pretty well finished inthe next day or so, but then I'll have to buy matts for them--$$$. Then it will be on to the sunprints I made last week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sun! Finally!

with very low wind, a perfect day for sunprinting! I tried a couple with paint that had been diluted last November, and they were quite pale when wet, so I threw out the paint. I know it's only supposed to be good for --at most--six months once it's diluted. But--I couldn't just let it go. So I put 2 or 3 colours in a pot and submerged a piece of fabric. Then repeated the sequence until all of the paint was gone. On put each piece out with a leaf mask to sunprint, and they look quite fine. I tried a finer grade of salt this time and I really don't like the results so I won't do THAT again. I've heard that , when they are dried in the sun, there is no need to heat set. Better safe than sorry, so they will all be heat set with the iron before I wash them. Now I just have to hope that I can make myself wait a couple of days before they get washed. Ten pieces altogether, as I have a couple of clean-up cloths as well.

These may not all end up processed and matted for sale. I'm teaching a course in this process next spring, so I think a couple of the painted pieces may end up embroidered to use as class samples.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quilters' Picnic

Our LQG had a picnic today. Along with the picnic there were "garage sale" tables for members. I took quite a bit of fabric, and got rid of about half of it. Sold some patterns and threads, even sold a couple of my Journal Covers. Now I've got an e-mail from someone enquiring about the rest of the fabric, so it may turn out to be a better day than I had thought.

Did some basic collages with the embellisher yesterday. I've beaded some of them, but there are a couple that I think will do better with added "silk" flowers, and some FMQ'g. I had bought some cheaper matts, but didn't have any pieces with me, so picked a colour that was slightly "off". Had to juggle a bit to make up stuff to go with them, but I think I'll have about five 8" x 10" collages. The embellisher makes them up in about half anf hour--about 1/3 of the time needed when I do them with the sewing machine. I still have to finish them by hand, so the time is in them, and I will charge the same price for them, regardless. I'll try for a picture as soon as I have them mounted.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Sewing machine is in trouble. So today it goes in for servicing. I had four pieces lined up for FMQ'g, and started getting skipped stitches with the first one. I had a hunch the time had come as it had been behaving poorly lately, so off it goes. If it hadn't been sending signals before, I might have tried other strategies such as adjusting thread and such. I was using a pre-wound bobbin, which has a much lighter thread than the 30wt Sulky I had on top. I think in future I'll use regular cotton thread with the Sulky. But I didn't want to change part way through the project, as that would mean adding a false back.

This may mean that I can take some time to play with my embellisher. I haven't touched it in awhile, as my skills aren't good enough to produce saleable product. I can maybe play enough to get some pre-work done that I can FMQ when the Pfaff comes home.

It's also time to make some collages. I haven't done this in ages. I scheduled to teach collage class in October, so some new examples would be in order. Time to start preparing class notes etc. as well

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Help Please

Here is a picture of the type of hanger \i'm looking for. The actual width can be anywhere from 14: to 24", but I'm looking for lengths between 15" and 22". The little end pieces screw off and the chain is slipped over the rod using a plain ring. These used to be sold to hang embroidered pieces, and I used to be able to get them in a local embroidery shop. The owner told me that the wholesaler she had bought them from no longer carried them. She has now retired, and can't help me anymore.

Catch of The Day-Lake Trout

Catch of the Day-Lake Trout is the first of the fish prints that I've finished and actually plan to show in public. This will be going to the EMAC gallery show at Cre8ery next week. The background fabric is hand dyed using a low water immersion process.

Here are 13 of the mixed media joiurnal covers I've made in the last few days. I'm glad the job is done, and I hope to sell some of them during the three sales I have scheduled for this summer.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Knit Bombing

has hit Winnipeg. There was an article in yesterday's paper about it, and the poor tree on Main St. that had been knit bombed. As it happens, the knitters have been busy for several months at a monthly meeting at a local artists co-op group, and yesterday was another scheduled meeting. They stockpile their knitting until there is enough to knit bomb something. As a result of the newspaper article, there were several people new people show up. So here we are, about 7 ladies very busily knitting away, and me working on the binding of a little quilt. This co-op is a formal group actually called Mentoring Artists for Women's Art (MAWA), and has proven a good contact for me.
Yes, "Hidden Depths" is now finished, and "Catch of the Day-Lake Trout" is finished to the point of hand stitching the binding on the back. Once that's done, I'll post pictures.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


back to my fish prints. Started a big one yesterday. The FMQ'g went well, but I had to get out and buy a special thread for the background quilting. A friend came by yesterday and told DH that she liked what I had done so far. I've arranged to put it into a show a a local gallery, so I better get it finished asap. Today will be dedicated to book work. My office is getig backed up so a clean-up and sort day is indicated. DH is away for most of the day, so I won't have to fight over the computer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


met here lst night. This group is a real support to me in my creative life. There were only three of us at the meeting, and two of us worked on crafty stuff rather than arty stuff--but the bills have to be paid,and that takes donkey work. One lady told us how much success she is having selling things from her blog. She has a Paypal account, which helps tremendously, but her prices are generally quite low. I never thought of selling off the blog, but I'll have to give it some thought.

Earlier in the day I had tried something I had heard about on the internet--using alcohol to modify Sharpie inks on fabric. I did two experiments. With both, I stretched fabric on stretcher bars before sketching a primitive design with the three colours of Sharpie I had in the house. With the first one, I leaned the stretched piece up against a wall and sprayed it with the alcohol. It took a lot of alcohol before I say any change, but once the change started it took over, and I lost control. All of the inks ran downward, and blended, leaving a strange piece. So I decided to try with a flat piece and far less alcohol. Worked in theory, but my spritzed didn't cooperate and I got too much alcohol on, again. So I want to try a third piece, but with much more control of the amount of alcohol I use. Have to buy the alcohol first, and maybe a package of several different colour Sharpies--and use a different spritzer.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Donkey work

Spent yesterday working on journal covers. I made the fabric paper some time ago, but just started processing it now. I'm finding that I can make about 3 journal covers a day, as long as I have a high tolerance for mess in the studio. I have to have all of the embellishments, the felt etc visible for the creative process. I'm finding that I want to add a coat of gel medium to each cover. This means that I have finished, but wet covers spread all over. They dry quickly, but I don't want to stack them in case they are soft enough to stick to one another.

Today the mess is working against me. Ravenesque, my art quilt support group may be coming here tonight, so the studio needs to be tidy enough that we can all find a place to sit. In my internet groups there is conversation about using Sharpie pens to decorate fabric and then adding alcohol , which changes the ink in some way. No-one is saying exactly how the ink is changing, but I'm curious. So today I want to get some alcohol and find out. It would be neat ot have something like that for Show'n'Tell if Ravenesque actually shows up.