Saturday, July 31, 2010

Night and Day

If you have been following my blog for several months you may remember this piece of fabric I created by dyeing and stamping with one of my stamps I carved. At the time I showed these fabrics I had no idea what I was going to do with them. The colors in this begged to become an accent in my living room.

I created this skinny decorative pillow that is equally at home on the black or burgundy chair. It is a nice size to place behind the small of your back for comfort. It is also just lovely to look at.

When I start doing something in a room, one thing leads to another. I removed some items from the bay window in the dining room and carefully placed the stain glass window against the window. Soon we will hang this window here which will make it even more effective. The art doll is one of those items that I have placed so many different places in my home. The brown glass vases echo the colors in the window.

And it's puzzle time again for those of you who love them!
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Bushel and A Peck

Did you think I forgot to blog today?

I was waiting to bake these amulets so I could put them on the scanner to get a better picture for you.

These are SOME of the amulets I baked today. I am going to be doing other things for a while as I have enough to last me for a long time unless I a lot more company than I expect!

I left the file size very large so you can click on it and see them up close and personal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting To Know You

I have spent a fair amount of time the last few weeks getting my new computer and other devices set up and working. Today I thought we were done. Not quite so!

One of the issues we ran into was the fact that colors that looked close to perfect on my old computer showed up almost neon on my new computer. We made 2 changes to the color system.

It was a challenge to figure out how to really see what was happening.

I decided the best way to evaluate things was to take a picture of this particular quilt "In Living Color" which I made from Jinny Beyer's original 100 palette fabrics.
I then downloaded it to each computer rather that cutting and pasting from one to the other.
With the quilt in hand we held it right next to the new monitor and tried to see how close it came to the colors of the fabrics in the quilt.
We were able to see where the colors were off and adjust the new computer to closely replicate them. I have to say I am still not 100% satisfied with the way I see them on the new computer.

I had heard how different monitors show color differently and this made me a believer. I am still using the old computer to do my blog posts but I will switch very soon. When I do I will note it on the blog and I'd appreciate it if you let me know if you notice a big difference.

I posted this quilt in a larger size than normal. If you click on it you will be able to see the colors and fabrics very clearly. If you have some of Jinny's original palette fabrics you may want to compare them to my rendering.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

There is a man in my life who has only been part of my life for a short time.

Sometimes I wonder if he really loves me or if he only loves me for my amulets?

This is the new container I found to present them in. It has a place of honor in the center of the table in the informal dining room.

Each time he visited me he showed an interest in the large yellow amulet. I told him my friend Sally has one like that and I think that is one of the reasons he is attracted to that particular one. He and Sally have a common link - or do I mean had a common link. In fact last time he was here he even used my phone to call her long distance.
He did go home with that one tonight.

So who is the mystery man I wonder about?

Yes, it is my grandson Cooper. He found this hat in the donation box and had fun modeling it. He doesn't mind if you call him a cute little girl, so long as you call him CUTE!
And his connection to Sally? She raised his puppy Murphy that he is in love with. What a great boy meets dog relationship they have. He also is taking horseback riding lessons and Sally also has trained horses. His phone call the other night was just imaginary. It is so much fun to hear a 4 year old play make believe on a phone connection. He talked to her about training the puppies!

I am still busy getting all my tech stuff working and adding new things faster than I can figure out how to use them. My quilting is taking a back seat as I get things set up.

I'm also listing more things on eBay which is making the studio neater and less cluttered.

So that is a day in my life, even though lately each day packs several days of activities into one day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tessellation Tutorial - Lesson 6

If you are working along with me you should have all your shapes traced and cut out.
You have NOT removed the paper from the back.

These are all the pieces I have cut out. I had 10 fabrics and I cut 8 or 9 from each which means I have about 85 shapes to design with.

You will need some fabric to iron to the the fusible side of your Pellon fusible fleece.
(I did not include this in your supply list as I felt if you already are a quilter you probably already have something you can use.) If you don't you will need to purchase something for this.

I like pretty backings on my quilts. I also like fabric that has enough pattern to it that it will hide less than perfect quilting.
This fabric does not coordinate with my choices enough to be used on the front of the quilt, but it makes a perfect back. It was something I had in my fabric collection.

Make sure you follow the directions for fusing this to the wrong side of the fabric and fuse it very securely to stabilize the fleece for the next step in the next lesson.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Decisions, Decisions! - Work In Progress

This is number 4 in a Series.
The first was a jacket and 2 and 3 were quilts that are hanging in my guest room.

This piece is fused. At this point the fabrics are fused to a sheet of Wonder Under.
I will be fusing it to batting, adding a backing and quilting it, all hopefully in the near future.

I still have to decide if I want to turn this 180 degrees before I finish it.

Another option is to crop something off the top or bottom.

I could also choose to hang this crosswise.

These are just a few of the decisions I make when creating art. It is important to listen to the piece and let it help me make my decisions.

So far this one hasn't spoken up loud enough to tell me how it wants to be seen. I'm listening and soon it may say something important.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Amish Pathways Revisited

Amish Pathways is another quilt from the class Quick Kids Quilts.
The piecing on this was done in a very short afternoon.
I used a very unique group of colors and did not make it for any special place.

The thing that makes this quilt work so well is the original motif I designed and used in various configurations on both the squares and the border.
When it was done it worked perfectly in our kitchen.
The kitchen is open to the sun room and at the time I made it the furniture was covered with the same fabric you see used as a tablecloth.

Both the sun room furniture and the dinnerware and table linens are now at home in Florida. The furniture is now mint green and resides on our lanai!

Of course Amish Pathways is tonight's puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How Long Does It Take To Make a Quilt - Rerun

I decided to look at what I had posted a year ago today. I think this is worth sharing with you again. I know many of you were not reading my blog then so this will be new to you.

The answer to the question can be a day or years.
This quilt took several years as I couldn't decide what to do with the simple irregular curved pieced center square. I made that square as an exercise in a David Walker workshop. It was not interesting work without a lot of additions. It was only a base to use as a starting point for something that would work.
I added yarn, applique leaves and spirals to add interest. The entire center section was done with fabrics I had painted with the exception of the spirals.

At this point it was put on hold for a few more years while I decided what to do next.
The next addition was 2 more squares behind the original square. Fast forward another year. The orange square was added at that time and it was all appliqued onto the background. Almost finished? NO.

It also took quite some time to decide on the quilting pattern. Grids in central squares and curved lines on the background created the quilting. It was finished with facings rather than binding. Whew!! That sure took a long time.

I don't know if you suffer puzzle withdrawal when I miss posting for a day or more but I do. So here is Contemplating Sea Leaves as today's puzzle.
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sometimes Life Gets In The Way

This post is being written Thursday night to be posted Friday morning.

I had a message tonight asking if I was going to post another Tessellation lesson.

I certainly am. I have a new computer that is being set up and Windows 7 has created a few issues which are taking time to resolve. That has taken the time I could be working on the lesson.

I am sitting here watching a BIG rain, thunder and lightning storm. There is no TV connection available so my entertainment is watching the storm.

The electricity is flickering on and off. Let's hope it stays on and then the only thing I'll have to do is reset a few clocks.

Even with the camera set for night snapshot I can only get almost black photos so you won't be able to see what I am seeing.

After weeks of cloudy rainy weather I knew I needed a bright stylish raincoat. No tan trench coats for me. I made a raincoat out of this bright print and sprayed it with a water repellent. It was really a sharp coat but I gave it away years ago. When I was excavating the attic recently I did find the hat I made to wear with the coat. I had to have made this in the late 70's or early 80's.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Me And My Shadow

My grandchildren have done polymer clay with me from time to time.
They leave their leftover clay canes or projects here when they don't want to work with them anymore.
Many of the amulets I have been making include some of that clay.

My oldest granddaughter has done some great things with clay but seems to have lost interest in or outgrown what she created.

While cleaning out a drawer today I found these discs she created. I decided to string them to make a bracelet for her. If she doesn't like the bracelet she can easily take it apart and do something else with the discs but at least they are out of the drawer and won't be spilling each time I open it.

I strung the discs on a transparent stretch cord. It is long enough to go around my wrist twice and I'm sure on her wrist it will do this and be looser.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch Are Back And They Are Doing Dinner

Tonight was an absolutely perfect evening to enjoy dinner at the Lighthouse Bistro.

We chose a table on the deck overlooking the water of Lake Michigan.

The shrimp were as good as you would get in Florida. The sauce was excellent.

Kathy let me taste her quesadilla and it was the very best I've ever had.

The view across the harbor from where I was sitting.

It was a great time and now it's time for a little drive around the lake front.

The view of the lighthouse was particularly beautiful this evening to a sunset kind of girl - me!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now

I got a lovely message from a long time friend about my blog and the amulets.
She said she enjoyed the post about the amulets even thought she didn't really understand what I did.

I'm not trying to do a tutorial on making amulets. I'm just trying to share a little about how I make them so you can see a little of my process.

This is a side view of a group of canes.

In this photo you can see the end and the tube shape of the canes.

This is a cane in the process of being reduced in diameter.

Here are 3 different sizes that have all been created from one cane.

I hope this gives you a little more insight into what I am doing. This is just a small part of the process.

Working with clay is similar in many ways to working with fabric to make quilts. They both depend strongly on color - the choosing, blending and coordinating of colors.
They each work with pattern - sometimes repeated and sometimes random patterns.
They can both be creative artistic processes. I feel both activities help me grow as an artist and inspire me in my other creative and artistic pursuits.

I hope this has given you a little better understanding on what I am doing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Too Young

I had a busy day yesterday baking all the amulets I had made and making a few more.

It wasn't long before I had my first visitors. My son and youngest grandson came over to fix my TV.
While my son was finishing up the TV I brought my grandson downstairs to chose TWO amulets. This photo is a little blurry because I don't think he ever sits still so I did the best I could.

When you are four years old and someone puts over a hundred pretty things in front of you and tells you to pick only two it is a VERY hard job. These were some that he was considering. When I told him he could only keep one and he would have to give one away that was even harder. He did finally pick two - one for himself and one for his mom.

Then his dad came down and very quickly picked his two. It's easier when your 50 and have had to make choices all your life.

The next thing my grandson wanted to do was make some himself. I told him he'd have to be about 9 or 10. So he told his Dad he'd like to be 9 or 10 NOW. His dad told him it doesn't work that way!

They'll be back for more tonight! I also showed him some photos of how friends have displayed them so he will treasure them and keep them as a collection each time he gets more. Then he decided he wanted to go to Florida and see my friends collections and also to Norway to get a boat like one friend is using to display theirs!

I also spent quite a bit of time today working on listing some things on eBay. I realized one reason there is still clutter in my studio is because there are 4 or 5 big plastic bins of things I've been saving to list. It took me longer than it used to because it's been at least 2 years since I've listed anything. I did get 6 items listed and hope to add more soon.
After getting all that done I wasn't even sure I'd have the energy to do a post for you but somehow I did and I hope you've enjoyed it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

Rainbows are all about color and happiness to me.
My polymer clay amulets are also about sharing color and happiness with my friends.

These are most of the 80 plus amulets I have made in the last two days. I'll do a few more tomorrow while I am baking them.

If you would like to see a larger version of these photos just click on them and you will be able to see more detail.

As I make more of them I get more and more ideas of ways to arrange things and colors to combine.

Much of what I am doing is serendipitous as the finished design is created as I swirl the clay.

I use no paint when creating these. All the color comes from combining basic colors of clay to get the colors I desire.

The shapes you see as part of the designs have been created by making canes. A cane is a tubular shape with a pattern that goes all the way through the tube. You can slice off a segment anywhere in the tube and it will be the same. You can also take that cane and make it skinnier or fatter but the pattern will not change.

These particular amulets have made use of a lot of canes that are mostly transparent.
By cutting paper thin slices of these transparent canes you can see the design that is beneath them. It took me quite some time to be able to cut those slices thin enough so that you could see through them.

With a few more amulets added to what I have already made I should have a good supply for this year. If not, I can always have fun creating more of them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Ultimate Puzzle and Tessellations

I know many of you are disappointed when I don't include a puzzle.

I am challenging those of you who do my puzzles with this one!

Click to Mix and Solve
I have never used this cut on a puzzle before.

Click to Mix and Solve
How about this version of the same puzzle with less than half as many pieces?

Click to Mix and Solve
And now less than half as many as the previous one.

Hopefully I have included something for you, no matter what your skill level.

Two of these puzzles are tessellations. Can you tell which ones are?

New Polymer Clay Amulets - WOI

I Play,
With Clay.

My studio is in good working condition after several weeks of organizing, purging and donating. It is, after all, a working studio rather than a show place.

Tonight I decided to make some amulets to give to guests in Wisconsin. I had taken all those I had here to Florida. I started a tradition there of giving each guest 2 amulets on their first visit. One was to give away and the other was to keep. On each subsequent visit they get one more. It has been a fun way to share my art with many people and the recipients seem to enjoy getting them. Today I got a photo from one friend who has 4 of them showing me how they are displayed. I thought the idea was too good to just do it in Florida so I am also starting it here.

This is a tray of amulets ready to bake in my toaster oven.

I'd like to share close up views of some of them.

You will see a variety of colors and patterns in this group. Each time I make them there are more variations in what I do. Eventually I will have a varied collection to pick from,

I think the seredipitous variations are what make me want to make more, more and more!

It is always fun to see what appeals to each person. I have one friend I know so well that I knew before they picked what their first choice would be!

It's really enjoyable to get back in the studio and do something creative again. It will take me several more trays and many hours to have a supply to last the season. It IS a labor of love.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Newest Arrival -- 2 weeks early

Isn't it great when things happen sooner than expected! The date I was given for the arrival of this book was July 28th. It arrived today, almost 2 weeks early.

It's the biggest and best yet of my blog books. I can't wait to share it with my friends and have more time to look at it myself.

I had a hard time photographing the pages as there was a reflection from the lighting in the room. It was so neat to be able to see all of this group of friends on the facing pages.

This shows several steps in the creation of Bordering On A New Millennium on facing pages. It's great to view them together.

Do you remember my blog posts about quilt cars? They were the most popular posts I ever featured on my blog.

If you have a blog I can't image not wanting to have a Blog to Print book made from your blog. We put a lot of time, thought and ourselves into doing this and it's great to be able to open a book and realize what we have accomplished.

I've made it easy for you to find the site to make your book.
Just look to your right and you'll see a link to the site where you can make you own blog books so that you can save your blog forever.