Sunday, February 28, 2010


An internet friend has decided to celebrate posting her 333rd post on her blog by having a give away. Check it out at Sort of a neat idea. I wish I had thought of it.

Reading back in my posts I realize that I hadn't let you know that the second of my classes in May had also been cancelled. Be careful what you wish for etc. But this means that I have another class that I can market in any way I want. This has been quite a ride over the past few months, preparing these classes, and forcing myself to become proactive in marketing them. In the past people would come to me and say "Can you teach a class in(fill inthe blank)? I would say yes and then work like a dog to get something ready in time. Now I have half a dozen of them all prepared with supply lists etc, ready to dust off whenever an inquiry comes in. The two I had planned for May will have to be cut down to one day classes to be marketed successfully. This will be easy for the first one, but a little more difficult for the second.

However, I am locked into teaching a "test Class" for the Box Making, at the end of March. Since I have a contract that was arranged when it was a test class, I won't be paid, but there are already several people signed up and I must respect the contract. It will still give me a chance to work out the "bugs" inthe class. These test classes are sure a good idea. The beading class I taught yesterday will be changed before I offer it again, but overall worked well.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Silly fun

Over the past few weeks I've been working on a "fun" project. During my fabric painting class in late January I painted a piece of linen with dark black and cardinal red paint, but when it dried I had a "dirty" purple/brown. I found a block-shaped ornament pattern in Quilting Arts Gifts 2009 and decided to try it out. I have changed the concept a fair bit, but the basic technique is the same--six, stabilized fabric squares sewn together and beaded--or in this case, beaded and then sewn together. I've tried to show the four different sides, but I see now that one side doesn't show up very well. This uses the same box construction technique as I teach in my box making class.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Another project

Sorry for having to break this into two posts, but adding pictures always caused me problems.

A couple of weeks ago, my support group-Ravenesque spent some time playing with Lutradur. I also experimented with Tee-Juice markers. I've painted Lutradur in the past and didn't like the texture after it had dried, but these markers are something else entirely. They leave a smooth, and an almost parchment like, finish. I didn't want to waste an inch of the coloured Lutradur, but felt that the trial piece would show best against navy blue. Since I didn't want any shadowing to ruin the effect of the colour, I fused the Lutradur to a second-uncoloured-piece and then cut out my design with an electric needle. I then fused it all to the navy blue cotton. I love this visual image and now have to figure out how I'm going to secure it all together, as the Misty Fuse is not holding it well. Obviously I need to stitch, but I was thinking of silver, and I fear the silver would fray very quickly going through the two layers of Lutradur. This is about 14" square.
On the whole, right now, I would rather play with dye.


Went to the most interesting dyeing class yesterday. It was given by a lady who has made a living involved in theatrical costuming at some of the top levels. We learned the difference between multipurpose dyes, fibre-reactive dyes, and acid dyes. I had always thought that the difference was only in the fibre content of the fabric being dyed, but there is also a rationale for being able to control the depth of colour and the speed at which you colour a fabric. After making samples with the different dyes we were allowed to do one piece for a personal project.

While I didn't have a project in mind, on Friday I had tried some snow dyeing that had gone wrong. I had ended up with two pieces of very pastel lavender spotted fabric with big dirty-looking whilte sections. Since I had used a lot of olive green dye, this was a bit of a mystery. so I took it along. During the class we had talked about Shibori techniques, so I tried a very simple accordian fold of the fabric-two ways. I used a multi-pupose olive green, and had to hold the folded fabric in the dye bath with the edge of a spoon, but with the multi-purpose dye, I didn't have to leave it very long. I got a wonderful piece. I was absolutely thrilled, so repeated the process with the second piece with the same results. Each piece is about 1/2m.

I have seen pictures of Shibori-type work but was never impressed with any of it. I am liking the pieces I've done, probably because the colour is more intense and the pattern itself a little more organized. I notice that one of them is a little off-grain but still useable.

Friday, February 12, 2010


One of the two classes I was contracted to teach in May has been cancelled. I haven't been notified yet, but but a person who had originaly registered for the class has been told that it's cancelled. And, of course, it is the one that I've put the most work into --so far. Official notification is supposed to be by March 1st, but they are usually a few days late, so I have to carry on with the preparations for the second class. Last night I spoke with someone who has taught at these events before and she told me that the group is far more demanding than other groups she has taught for. She said that, not only do they expect to be kept active and busy throughout the class, they expect to be entertained at the same time. Almost makes me wish that the second class be cancelled as well.

Last evening was a social event at the gallery where I currently have three of my pieces hung in a short-term exhibition. I had thought that two prominent artists were coming to talk about various pieces in the exhibition, but instead everyone in the audience was involved in the discussion. As a result, it went on for ever. Listening to as much of it as I could hear, the word pretentious came to mind. One of my pieces--Spiral Collage--received the most notice. The recommendation was that it should have been much larger (it's 12 by 12). After thinking about this for awhile, I remembered the larger labyrinth pieces I've tried to make over the years. Maybe this concept is something I could resurrect.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We bought a tripod for the camera yesterday. This is on top of the camera itself--a good digital one, and the PhotoShop Elements program, along with the course on using it. So you would think that I could now photgraph any piece I wanted, for both show entry and to put up here on the blog. Well, we tried yesterday and it didn't work very well. So now we're talking about taking yet another course on using the camera, with a second one on photgraphing-specifically--2 dimensional art work. Then, getting the photgraph as well as the write-up on the same CD will become an issue.

To me, the time it will take to develop the necessary skills, is the problem. I don't want to loose that studio time. I'm starting to see the results of having divested myself of most of my commitments. More ideas and plans. Many of my ideas have a basis in previous projects. This makes me wonder if, maybe, I only have half a dozen original ideas in me and keep re-cycling those. But-you know- so what if that's true. I can kep working and finding pleasure and that's really what it's all about.