Friday, February 12, 2016

IT'S TIME TO GET CREATIVE AGAIN - Part 2

.....Apparently my 'artist block' hasn't disappeared quite yet.  After feeling rather giddy over the pieced background, (meaning I actually did something) the style of leaves and color of fabric still eluded me.
Auditioning motifs cut from paper saves wasted fabric!
 Okay.....so now I have a plan......but......I don't know.....it seemed too predictable.  (Yet in a way, sometimes these pedestrian pieces can sell quicker than a more 'arty' approach.)  Decisions, decisions.......
 Oh heck....I changed my mind.  Using tracing paper, a new plan is mapped out.  It's an approach I rarely use.  I'm more of a 'fly by the seat of your pants' designer.
 I've never used ginkgo leaves as a motif in my work......but the numerous hand-dyed green fabrics in my stash seemed suitable for that theme.

Now......have you noticed anything about this piece now??  Yup...though I originally planned and pieced the background for a vertical orientation, it's now horizontal.  Truly, I'm VERY directionally challenged....and I believe this spills over into my work as well.

As you are reading this post......I'll be in AZ attending our 5th annual "Girlfriend Art Camp". A big bonus of travel teaching on the quilt circuit for over 2 decades are the friendships that developed along the way!!  

This unfinished piece awaits my return....when I'm sure to have lots of photos to share with you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

IT'S TIME TO GET CREATIVE AGAIN - Part 1

Now that my aches and pains from being rear ended on the interstate a couple of weeks ago have pretty much disappeared.....I'm ready to start creating again.  However, my 'lay off' generated some 'artist block'.

I wandered around my studio, choosing and rejecting dozens of fabrics and ideas.  Just when I was to the point of major frustration......two painted pieces caught my eye.
This was done in the fall using thinned mx dyes.  The vertical spot in the upper right side is actually a flaw in the fabric.....I like to call things like this, "design opportunities". The piece is now on my design wall.....waiting for further inspirations....
This is what is left of a larger section that was also painted using dyes.  With all the deconstructive screen printing/and surface design we do at our Fiber Junkie meetings......I purposely set out to make some interesting 'solid' fabrics.
 That fabric was cut into random size rectangles, along with a variety of commercial batiks to create a background.
Happily, several pieces earmarked for an exhibit I'm participating in this spring at the NC Arboretum have sold.  So I need to make a few more featuring nature themes for the display.  

I was excited by the color combination/contrast of the pieced background and the black and white batik fabrics.  However, even before I actually cut out a leaf from the fabric I KNEW it wouldn't work.  The print is too busy for the detailed shape of the leaves.  So.....I'm either going to change the fabric OR perhaps try to change the leaf style.  BUT....that's what keeps us interested isn't it??  One-of -a-kind art is challenging to create.....yet the rewards can be so great.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FIBER JUNKIES JAN. MEETING

A few short months ago the 6 Fiber Junkies members were all blissfully enjoying our monthly meetings together. Life does have its ups and downs....member Denny has had to pull away for awhile to handle a long term family emergency, and member Gen's husband is now seriously ill.  Member Val's situation is not bleak....she spends a couple of her winter months in Florida.

That left Judy, Kate, and myself to gather for our January meeting.  We've been wanting to devote a meeting to problem solving projects we are having difficulties developing.  It was VERY productive.  In part because we are such good friends and could be completely honest, allowing three different minds to build upon each others ideas. Not a single proposed project was left without some suggestions about how to proceed.  We all went home feeling very positive!
 Here Kate and Judy are viewing options to complement the larger piece of shibori dye painted fabric on the right.  Adding, subtracting, shifting locations all contributed to a new plan for the piece.
 This is one of Judy's workshop samples, dyed & painted silk. She offered to give it to one of us.....but it's sooooo Judy that we encouraged her to develop it further herself. After quite a bit of discussion.....there's a plan for this piece too.
 We three are members of another group of 14 that will be sewing up some charity quilts at our April meeting.  We decided it would be more productive if we made up kits ahead of time. So we donated colorful, theme based fabrics and spent the afternoon cutting.
Each kit has all the pieces for the blocks, plus the backing and binding. It's rewarding to see fabrics we've fallen 'out of love' with being used for such a good cause.

Monday, February 8, 2016

MOUNTAIN MUSIC

I've talked about our love of Bluegrass music many times on this blog.....the proximity of great nearby shows/concerts was definitely in the 'pro' column during our discussions whether or not to move here.

Balsam Range is a local group that has hit it HUGE.....each winter they host a concert series in a small restored theater in the paper town of Canton, NC. Most of the members have been playing music professionally all their lives and luckily for us, they feature some of their very talented friends at the shows.
My photo isn't good but that doesn't reflect on the quality of these two guests.  Trey Hensley's voice was like no other I ever heard......so very powerful!  But his guitar playing was nothing short of unbelievable.  Truly genius.  I'm guessing he's probably in his late 30's......but get this....he played the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville when he was only 9, plus played at the White House twice before he got out of his teenage years!!

Rob Ickes has been awarded the International Bluegrass Music Association's 'Dobro Player of the Year' award 15 times......having the opportunity to hear the best of the best will not be forgotten soon.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

In the spirit of good sportsmanship............
wishing the Carolina Panthers the best of luck tonight.
(but can I say, I'm sad it's not the Packers?!?)






Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ONE LAST BOWL

One final bowl......all remaining bowls from this recent batch will be posted in my online gallery shop shortly....email me if you are interested now.  Click here for more.

SOLD


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

PUSHING PAUSE

Like so many of us.....spending 24-7 creating is only a wish, though of course that's not practical or probably not even healthy. 
 So, for the 11th year in a row....the pause button was pushed as we headed to Daytona Beach, FL for the Rolex 24 hour car race.


video
****I'm not sure why the video isn't showing up....will continue to try.  Yes, I said 24 hrs. - 12 of which are run in the dark.  Mercifully, we don't stay for all 24 hrs. but normally spend a good 14 hrs. there each day.  I'll admit I'm less and less interested in the actual race.....on a scale of 1-100....I spend less than 10% paying attention. If you dare.....you can see why....it's LOUD (even if you have your computer speakers on high it won't come close) and the cars go FAST - 140 MPH at times.  Snapping my head back and forth to watch makes me dizzy.  We arrive before it's light just to get a parking place along the fence line in the Porsche Paddock....they can accommodate only 190 cars (must be a Porsche) so each year it's a effort to keep track of when those tickets go on sale.
It's dark when we arrive and dark when we leave....but how lovely is this sunrise on Saturday morning?!?
 In fact, on Saturday we are there so early the garages aren't even open yet!! The race begins at 2:40 PM on Saturday and ends at 2:40 on Sunday.
 So besides reading 3 books during my 3 days at the track....I marvel at the spectacle.....can you imagine the skill it takes to park these huge vans, nearly touching.  All the transporters are immaculate.....chrome wheels shining...the teams take pride in every aspect.
There are more darn rules than the IRS for theses races.  Here's the inspection station where cars are weighed, equipment is checked.....they go over every inch of the car before giving it the okay to race.
This is why we get up so early.....by mid. morning the Paddock is full.  Only the first row faces the track (north) ....all of these cars are facing East.
 This is the coveted first row......and THIS IS a $200,000 special edition Porsche!!
Think that's unbelievable??  Well....This is a MILLION dollar very, very, very, special edition Porsche.  We saw the owner being helped out of the car...he was about 90, had to use a cane to walk and stand, plus one wrist was in a brace.....sure hope he has good insurance.
 These are not million dollar vehicles but they are valuable....for those who don't know.....Porsche's are a derivative from a VW bug.  'The husband' claims if a car was made....ever.....you can see one here.


A major number of attendees spend 4 days at the race.....$100,000-$200,000 fancy motor homes are common....as are $50.00 pup tents.  This is a rental....pretty fancy I'd say...they even had a big screen TV on the top deck...

I spend a lot of time rubber necking as we walk, walk, walk around the facilities.....  Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI is still my favorite track.....mostly cause I love the food....but this one has made big improvements in that area.....including good coffee..... so until next year.......



Friday, January 29, 2016

THROUGH THE GARDEN GATE

It's such a validation when someone gives one of my pieces the honor of hanging in their home.  Thank you Eleanor!  

I'm preparing for a large, two month exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC which begins in April.  If like Eleanor, you've had your eye on a piece in my gallery.....consider making a decision soon..... many of the pieces will be unavailable shortly. 
THROUGH THE GARDEN GATE 15.25" X 25.75"
Artist hand-dyed, ice dyed, and deconstructed screen printed cotton. Machine stitched.  
Detail


Thursday, January 28, 2016

MORE FELTED BOWLS

Another new batch....which will eventually go into my gallery shop.....for now if interested, email me using link in right side bar.  CLICK on photo to enlarge.






Wednesday, January 27, 2016

SO DARN CUTE

Okay....I'm being a proud grandma here......

Our oldest grandson....3 months shy of his 4th birthday....getting outfitted for his first black tie event!