Sunday, June 23, 2013

I promised pictures.....

The first is a mixed media collage that is about 12" by 12".  Like the next two this started with an acrylic mono-print.  I then tried some rubber stamping, machine quilted it,  and added dyed cheesecloth with my embellisher.

Next is a close-up.

The next piece has had dimensional pieces added as well a a gold metallic ribbon.  I think this is my favourite.
And close-up.

The third caused me a bit of grief. There were originally three black butterflies rubber stamped in the lower area under the dark discs.  The just didn't seem to work and I spent several hours going through all of my "unusual mixed media pieces"  ( read junk) but couldn't find anything that really worked.  I was still worrying about it when I went to bed.  I finally figured out that the actual piece of fabric I was working with was about 16' by 16" but the finished piece was only 10"by 10". My proportions were confused.  In the morning I put the frame I had planned to use over it, and all of the proportions just fell into place.  Mind you, finding the right beads took quite awhile, as well.

And the close-up

The final piece is much smaller, about 6" by 6" before framing.  I had actually been working on this for over a year.  The charm is a sterling silver earring that was given to me by a friend. I polished it up and put lacquer on it to preserve the shine.  Most of the other beads etc were also found objects.

And the close-up

Today was spent doing the preliminary work for not one, but two larger hangings. The first one was the scheduled activity for the day, but I had to paint some fabric first and, given the humidity, it just wouldn't dry.  So I started fooling around with some dyed fabric and managed to get a second piece put together and ready for quilting.  By  then I had decided that I really didn't like the colour  of the fabric that had been painted, so I washed it all out, and painted it again.  Now it may not be dry for a couple of days.

But it feels so-o-o good to be productive again!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Warm weather

Yesterday was the first day of summer and we are certainly feeling the heat.  However there is lots to do in the basement studio. I had just finished three mixed media collages, and had been framing them. Now it's time for things like screw eyes and wire for hanging.  DH joined me and we spent most of the day working on finishing these pictures, and creating hanging devices for quilted hangings that I want to take to the big sale in mid-July. I wanted to find a small quilt to take to my very small quilting group at the local active living centre, but instead found four more hangings that will be quite suitable for the sale and might even be considered for my gallery show in December.  They needed hanging rods, as well, but first needed sometime outside in the breeze as they had been stored in a cedar chest, resulting in quite an odor.

It was supper time when we finished all of this.  That may be the "Royal We", as DH seemed to do most of the work.  Given the heat, and how steadily we worked, we are now both almost ready to drop.  But there is now a wonderful collection of items to be offered at the sale.  Tomorrow I will try to post some pictures.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Last evening I attended a meeting of the local quilters' guild.  I stopped attending meetings over a year ago, as I had been very upset at the rigidity with which the Guild, as a group, tended to reject Art quilting. This particular Guild has gained a National reputation for being very, very traditional.  At the same time, they will invite teachers who are more "arty" in their work, and show respect to individual members who do original work. My distress had been a result of quite a number of comments made by several members, to me and within my hearing, disparaging any form of "art' quilting, during the Guild's very large bi-annual show, in April of 2012.

Last evening's Guest speaker was an art quilter, with fairly strong traditional roots, who had been invited to the area to teach free motion machine quilting. She was presenting a trunk show that demonstrated her traditional roots, but showed how both her interests and skills had grown.  She has now exhibited and taught all over the country.  I was appalled at the rudeness demonstrated by many of the guild members, talking loudly enough, during her presentation, to create problems hearing for others.  ( There was also a bit of difficulty with the sound system that aggravated the problem)  Despite complaints about not being able to hear, and even a couple of loud "shssss's",  this irritation continued for most of the presentation. The situation was further aggravated by one member of the audience who took exception to the techniques being described say, quite loudly,  and heard by many, "Those aren't real quilts!"  During a lull in the proceedings I asked her what she meant, and she told me that the quilts didn't have "two layers of fabric around a layer of batting, and they aren't big enough".

Well, while most definitions of quilts require "at least three layers with stitching through the layers", I've never heard of any requirement for "batting".  Nor have I ever heard of any minimum size requirement.  The speaker said more than once, that what she was showing were teaching samples of specific techniques. Small just made sense.

I had a very specific purpose in attending this meeting ( a reconciliation with a good friend), but I have to wonder how I can continue to socialize with a group  that shows so little respect for the work I do, and by extension, so little respect for me.  Again, individual members of the group have proven themselves true friends, and, after my absence, I was well greeted and acknowledged by several of them.  But, when they are together, "group think" seems to take over.  The guest speaker is an acquaintance, and a fellow member of FAN, but I don't know how I can face her after this rude treatment.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A lot has been happening

I have reached a point where I need to develop a working plan for studio activities over the next 5 months.  I have my sale in July, a two-day teaching gig in September, and the gallery show in December.

After a few panicky days, DH and I went through my stock, and took a basic inventory.  Then I went through all of the trunks and chests where the major pieces are stored, and figured out which would be suitable for the gallery show.  I am estimating a minimum of 25 pieces, but some of them can be smaller.  However, a minimum of 12 of them should be wall hanging size.  I found 10 that could be used.  I tried to select pieces that either had never been shown locally, or had been shown, and received major judged awards.  Of the 10 selected, two could be readily replaced, should I be able to produce something of equal size and quality over the next little while.

But in going through my sale stock, we found many smaller pieces that have been shown in previous years, and now need to be marked down and sold quickly.  Basically that includes anything that has been offered for sale more than once.  There isn't much left.  However, I really don't want to be constantly producing for sales.  The stress involved just isn't worth it.  Among the larger hangings that I didn't select for the gallery show, were several that I can offer for sale, and this will be done.  That leaves a need for smaller framed pieces that can be priced at less than $100.  I have a few of those and can produce  more.

So, as of last evening,  the resulting product list was:
5-8 smaller framed pieces for mid-July
at least one larger quilted sampler for the class in mid-September
Two or three larger wall hangings for the gallery show in December
Replacement small framed pieces for any that may sell in July, for the December gallery show

I have already dyed several pieces to be used in the smaller framed pieces and the quilting sampler, and have started gathering additional supplies to be used with those pieces.  I was considering doing another series of mono-prints to use as the substrate for a couple of the framed pieces, but wasn't sure if I really needed to do that.

Best laid plans etc etc.  Today I received a phone call from another local gallery where I have some shoulder bags that are also made from mono-prints. Can I deliver 4 more bags within the next few days?  Well, I.m not going to say "no", especially when I was just finishing some for the sale in July, and could actually make the delivery.  Since these are good sellers, and we are just moving toward the tourist season and then into Christmas, this made the decision for me, and today was spent producing a series of mono-prints, some sized for more bags, (eventually, but not right now), and some sized for the required  framed pieces. Tomorrow I will cull through what I made today, and make decisions about how I'm going to approach the whole assembly line.

One thing I know, for now, is that I have enough time for just about everything, without making myself crazy.  Or maybe I'm living in a fool's paradise. We'll see.