Thursday, October 31, 2013


.....because I'm a quilter.....I'll begin my next San Francisco trip related post with......ta da......fiber!

  There was a big family gathering during my visit, which included my DIL's brother's family who traveled all the way from Argentina.  His MIL gifted the hostess this adorable Tic-Tac-Toe game.  (Hope you are following all these connections?!?)  

But....what may be clearer is the photo of this felted game board, complete with felted playing tokens.  I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it......made by an Argentinan artist.
 Because I'm a quilter, I see and appreciate color!
 Because I'm a quilter, I enjoy delicious food such as brie and a zippy spread.
 Because I'm a quilter.....I LOVE desserts.  Even the young & single party goers brought food (a LOT of food).  Jon (a 20 something) doesn't bake, but his contribution of this super rich red velvet cake was a big hit.
 The Argentinan contingent got into the kitchen and turned out some of their favorites.....brownies, topped with whipped cream (the real stuff) and fresh raspberries.
 .....and this best ever lemon tart.....
Because I'm a quilter, these homemade chocolate truffles didn't escape my attention.
 Because I'm a quilter......who happens also to be a Mom......having a moment to see two cousins (who live a continent apart)'s very memorable.
.....And because I'm a quilter who is also a very proud Grandma, documenting Raiden's love of water (even in late October) was a given!

Warning....more trip reports to come.......see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I mentioned that Oct. was a busy month for me with lots of travel, but THE BEST trip just concluded.  Is there anything better than a grandma trip? Even though our only grandchild lives about 2,000 miles away, the distance won't stop me from getting to know him.

Our 'granddog' Nali also now resides in San Francisco too. next few blogs won't be strictly fiber I'll begin with one that is and perhaps it may give someone inspiration. 

  Several (many several) years ago we provided occasional doggie care for our son's dog. It became known as Nali's Wisconsin Vacations, which eventually got documented into a fabric picture book.
 I was clearly practicing to be a this agreeable dog was 'treated' to lots of activities.

Here Nali was dressed with an old shirt...buttoned up the back...sleeves rolled she was engaged in 'art therapy". I know how crazy that sounds....and it was a total riot.  I smeared her paws with finger paints and had her walk over sheets of white paper.  Much of the time (if truth be told) I had to drag her...she hated the feel of the paint on her paws and sitting down wasn't uncommon!  Once the paint and dog hari dried, (don't laugh) I cut it into sections and framed them for family members.....  (I suspect you are now actually laughting!)
 Ring toss was a favorite game....
 It only took her a few minutes to understand the concept of an Easter egg hunt! 
 AND....what would a vacation be without a swimming pool and ball?
 Nali is now older and a bit creaky.....but can still manage going out her doggie door.  Raiden (the grandson...pronounced Rye din) thinks the door is fun too.
Now I have a new 'subject' to play with, is there another fabric book in my future?  Yes, of course!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Words are really unnecessary.......and to think, these scenes 
are right outside my doorstep!

Friday, October 25, 2013


......continued.........The following photos of completed collage paper cloth were taken as they were drying on the blacktop driveway.

  Gen clearly has this concept down pat, as the final touch, she's given her pieces (above and below) a light blue color wash.....

 Kate had a great idea to work on a plastic tray which made transporting the piece outside to dry much easier.
I love this very happy piece Kate made using all tissue paper and paper napkins.
 Above and below are the pieces Judy made.  She let loose after lunch and very quickly (without agonizing or a lot of thought) made the bottom design which we all thought looked exactly like a "Judy" piece.  After seeing this one, we decided that too much thinking wasn't always necessary

 Denny made this one which we all LOVED.....we were dumbfounded when she sprinkled coffee grounds on the wet glue.....FABULOUS!!

Val, who always blows us away with her designs came up with this clever idea.  She used tissue paper on scrim fabric with a golden dye wash.  Isn't the texture she achieved by manipulating the tissue paper super??

Again, and I know I say this every month....I'm so grateful to have such a great group of creative pals who think it's big fun to get our hands messy!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


The Fiber Junkies October meeting was held at Val's home.  We were lucky to sneak in one last outdoor play day before the winter cold drives us indoors.

Gen organized and guided us for this paper cloth project and we are all so grateful to her! 

 The supplies were items we all already had on hand; fabric (any kind as it would be completely covered), paper products (magazines, any kind of printed material/old or new, tissue paper, gift wrap, maps, brochures, colorful napkins, to name just a few.  Other items:  white glue, foam brush, paints/dyes, and plastic to work on.
 Gen brought a French magazine to share with us, and I brought a lot of colorful maps.
Pieces of a variety of paper items were torn and auditioned on a small piece of white on white cotton fabric.  Once satisfied that there was enough 'design' to cover the fabric, the pieces were set aside and the fabric was painted with diluted white glue. 
 Next, the paper was rearranged onto the fabric, coating with glue/water mixture until it adhered to the fabric.
 Here's the result to that point.  It can be left to dry or given a thinned paint/dye wash.  Which I did...using a pale blue color.  I'll post a photo of that final addition when it dries.
My second attempt was made using only tissue paper and paper napkins.  This one was not given a dye wash, but I may change my mind and do it later.  The great thing about this technique is that one can continue to add as many layers (paper and paint/dye) as necessary to achieve a successful design.  Once dried, Gen suggests rinsing the excess glue from the piece and allowing it to dry flat to provide a more flexible product.  It's easily machine stitched!

So...the big question is, "What on earth does one do with paper cloth?"  Well, Gen cut up her previous experiments and treated it like fabric patches, incorporating the pieces into a pieced design. I think I may cut mine apart and mount them on card stock to use as note cards.

Check back tomorrow and I'll share the exciting designs other Fiber Junkies created. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I almost hesitate to post this since it's so far from completion...however, my very busy month of Oct. is keeping me away from the studio more than I'd like.    So, squeezing in small periods of time to work is better than none.
Along the road to our closest town, there's a metal fabricator whose garage door is always open.  It's called me every time I pass.  So, recently I stopped in, hoping to find some metal pieces that could be rusted.  Unfortunately, the metal he uses is quite thick and due to its weight, won't incorporate well into fiber art.  

He explained that anything smaller than the 7" x 1.5" piece above automatically falls into the water holding area of his plasma laser cutting machine.  Too bad....I'll bet there is some good stuff there!

 He kindly gave me two of the smallest pieces he had.....and I've been pondering ever since about how I could use it.  

 My plan is to create a landscape....though I'm woefully under skilled as far as perspective etc. goes, but I'm going to try.  Using the stem stitch, various lines have been embroidered onto a heathered felted wool background.
Next, I'll attempt to use cross hatching to develop the shapes/shadows/colors.  This will be time consuming...(fine by me...I love handwork) so be patient, updates will be forthcoming as the work develops.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Frankly, I don't know why I'm bothering to blog about my weekend at Road's most likely as boring for you to read as it was for me to experience.  Well, it wasn't totally awful but Saturday's weather was awful. Even with 4 layers I was still freezing in the cold and on/off rain.  For anyone who is a car race fan, you may know why this was such a big deal.  It was the final, forever, race of the American LeMans Series which is merging with the Grand Am Series.  Okay, enuff of the back delete or close now if you wish, or read on for a peek at what this world is all about.

 Luckily, we are members of a car club that has a hospitality tent, with parking...a big deal at these huge events.  They do a great job of have tech talks and personalities who share strategies and insights.  This is team Falken....who ended up coming in 1st place in their class.....Yeah!!
 Friday was a beautiful day.....nice to stroll the rows and rows of vendors and team outdoor 'garages'.

 As I mentioned, Sat. was cold with on/off didn't take long for one of the cars to spin out into the gravel right in front of where we were huddled in the hospitality tent.
 One aspect kept me amused.....I swear there was hardly a sq. foot on this huge race track facility that wasn't filled.  Creative camping, no??
 Bumper to bumper tents.....

 And this is just a tiny snippet view of how the upper crust 'camp"!
No track can come close in quality to the food at Road America in Wisconsin...but then perhaps I'm biased.....but we are now in the South and folks here love their BBQ......
 We found a nice cafe for dinner on Friday night that had this creative, almost patchwork, wine cork wall covering. The race on Sat. is 10 hours long, ending about 10:00 PM.  Ya, I know....10 hours...just think how much sewing could be done in 10 hours! The above BBQ stand provided our nice cozy cafe for me Saturday night.

The 2013 season of attending races is over for us, but 'the husband' is already looking forward to the Rolex 24 Hour Race in January.  Yup, I did say 24 hours!!  I cringe at the thought already...but thankfully we do not stay all night....the whining on my part would be unbearable.

Thanks for reading this....and for what I know is your pity......

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Fall attracts a lot of tourists to our area, all trying to time their visit to view the peak leaf color.  Everyone seems to have their opinion about when that will be and why.....we've had a wet reportedly there will be less reds and more yellows.  Yadda,'s all beautiful and I get to watch the daily transformations.

My plan was to document the overnight changes to share with you.  Well....I'm too impatient and upcoming travels will not permit this ambitious idea. Here's two views off our front porch on two consecutive days....  DAH...due to light conditions (though taken at nearly the same time each day) the differences are not very apparent in the photo but in person it is.

I hope this inspires you to go out and enjoy the scenery.....wherever you live!

 Day 1
Day 2
 Day 1
Day 2

Friday, October 18, 2013


Okay, okay....after FAR tooooo much over thinking about the finishing treatment for this piece.....I jumped in yesterday and just did it!  The width has been narrowed a bit and facings added to finish the edges.  

The indigo dyed silk noil provides an 'otherworld' feel.....thus the title. Hand embroidery draws the eye around, while the ice dyed cotton fabric adds sparks of color, and the beadwork adds texture.....all merging together in one successful piece.   

Click here to see and read the back story....

Available Here  Sorry - sold
Artist indigo-dyed silk noil, pieced, hand embroidered,
and bead embellished.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


The problem child....which I blogged about here and again here has sat long enough...... indecision had overcome me.  ENUFF.....let's move it along...

 I advocate beading and embroidering in a Q-Snap frame....anyone who has ever taken a workshop from me knows I'm rigid on this subject.  Working in a frame (rectangle or square) is preferred over a round hoop since you can secure the piece into the frame 'on-grain'.  

Sometimes the frame isn't as wide (or long as you need)....if so, simply make a muslin sleeve, with a 2" extender flap. (Think a tiny mini skirt with an elastic waist band w/o the elastic). Run one of the PVC pipe pieces through the opening and reassemble the frame.

Now you can pin the edge of your piece onto to the muslin extension...providing  the extra width/length required to secure it into the frame.

 It's especially important to stabilize limp/thin fabrics for handwork.  This indigo dyed silk noil is not tightly woven, so there's very little body to it. Distortion is guaranteed to happen during the embroidery or beading process if it weren't properly stabilized. 

Here are a few more details of the hand work I've added.....

Size  14.5 x 16.5 (yet to me, it appears more square than what it measures)'s been my dilemma......what finishing method would best suit this design?  I've considered facing it or mounting it on a canvas covered frame.  The later is where I'm leaning....and of course if I owned such a thing, I'd probably have done it already.  But, living in the boonies will require nearly a 2 hour round trip to get to an AC Moore store and I'm not sure I can even find a ready made one in the appropriate size. The other negative about mounting it is the added difficulity of storing/hanging in some exhibit spaces/and bringing it along when I teach....not to mention the extra cost of shipping if it's sold through my blog shop.

(I'm talking out loud to myself here, aren't I??)

I like the fact I like it a lot but there's something a little off balance about it...which is another reason for my stalling.
So today.....I loaded the photo into my photo program and did some cropping......and decided I liked this much better.  It's a simple remedy really....requiring about 1.5 inches trimmed from the right side.  The bigger issue will be making sure all the embroidery threads are super secured before I wack that side off.  

So....whatcha think???  Love the original size or the trimmed version???