Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hippie Chic Bag

Today was like a combination of Christmas and my birthday. I got a surprise package in the mail today from my friend Kate, in Texas. She is, in addition to a being quilter, artist and doll-maker, a knitter. Well, I don't know a knit from a purl, so I admire her skill and creativity. She made me what she calls a "hippie-chic" bag. She knitted it (without a pattern, just listening to her inner artist) then felted it. As of today, it is absolutely my most treasured possession. Thanks Kate!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I loved the pink pup photo so much I turned it into my journal quilt for October. I printed the photo on Coquille watercolor paper, sprayed it with fixative and overpainted it with water-soluble oil pastels. I sprayed that, and stitched it to batting and backing, and framed it with an old pink Javanese batik I bought in SoHo years ago (when I was both single and childless...way long ago!)

Monday, October 27, 2008


What if the world were only black and white? That was the question presented by Fiberartsconnsocal aka Fiber Arts Connection of Southern California to the art quilt world. The result of pondering that question and trying to work in only black and white is here: my quilt entitled 'Shattered'. The name came to me as I was shuffling 8.8" x 11" sections of the design, trying to decide whether to put it back together the way it was on the computer or shuffle the pieces around, and whether to connect them with wire, beads, wool, buttons or chain link. The old Rolling Stones song "Shattered" ran through my head, and it seemed an apt title.

I started with an oil painting, a self portrait that I did of myself a few years ago, scanned it into the computer, and played around with it in QuarkXPress, adding other designs of mine and drawing over an eye and mouth with the program. Next I converted the color piece to b/w in photoshop. I then blew up the piece by about 400% in Quark and printed (from the computer) each section on some cotton that I had ironed to freezer paper.

It will be part of fiberartconnsocal's black and white show, and be on tour for the next two years.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Lately there has been a roving band of birds hanging out in my neighborhood. Where they came from is a mystery, but they seem to wander out from the woods and on to the lawns of the neighbors, then across the road to the other wooded area. We live right at the end of a greenbelt, so there are often unusual animals around. I think these are wild turkeys...can anyone identify them? I snapped this shot on my neighbor's front lawn.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pink Pup

Today I had a big chunk of free time, so I thought I would seize the day and do some batiks. I gathered up my supplies, melted the wax, painted wax on white fabric, and prepared some dye baths. I set them out on the sunny deck and yard and moved the chairs away to prevent nosey dogs from snooping around.

Then the phone rang, and I chatted a while with my college-student daughter. After I hung up, a living candy cane whizzed by me. Needless to say, some little Maltese named Coco was popped in the bath before the dye could set.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eight Out of Nine Isn't So Bad

Now that I have finally gotten my copy of Mixed Media Self Portraits, by Cate Prato, I see that they used 8 out of my 9 in the self portrait series. Soooo...I am posting my Frida tribute portrait here. I prefer to think that they didn't use this 9th portrait because somebody else did a Frida tribute, rather than thinking it wasn't so good. Well, I love it. That is my face, circa 1977, overpainted with watercolor, colored pencils and markers. I have always loved sock monkeys, so a little printed fabric monkey slipped into the piece, and I added my own drawings and stamps of flowers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Backflips with a Half-twist in my Happy Dancing

No, I am not actually doing backflips. But I SOOOO want to. And if the old rotator cuff wasn't so weak and wobbly, I would, even with my half-century self. Today I got my shipment of MIXED MEDIA SELF PORTRAITS and I am celebrating both the book's beauty and creativity and my own contribution to it: 3500 words and 9 pieces of art. I can't post the pieces here though, it's forbidden by contract with the publisher. But you can get a discounted copy on Amazon, and they even let you take a sneak peek. I have a piece on the back page and the inside cover, oh, and one on the index page...look for the piece with the half white face and rainbow eyes, and the other one with a fuzzy, dreamlike face with net and a turban. And even if I didn't have work in the book, I would still highly recommend it. It is full of creative, innovative work and lots of 'how-to's.


Inspired by the mid-20th century modern design of my local YMCA, I started this little geometric color play piece. It is only pinned together at the moment. I am also working on a bigger version of this theme. The Y has a kind of Scandanavian simplicity, with cool angles and room dividing panels made of circles cut into wood that made me feel like going retro-modern. I used commercial cotton calicos and also some of my own hand dyed or hand batiked fabrics. Of course, me being me, I couldn't do something really precise; I like the off-center and lopsided squares...I think it makes it more interesting and appealing in a child-like way.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

OMG: October already?

October 1? Wasn't it just 4th of July? Well, I have been busy, but don't have any photos ready right now. I've been working on the Rock and Roll Challenge, some stuff for FAT (fiber art traders), mulling over the Sacred Threads project, and mostly puttering around, leaving a trail of threads and fabric scraps wherever I go. I did an interesting self portrait yesterday...gave myself red hair. I always wondered how I would look as a redhead; my hairdresser said 'don't go there' and after I did the painting (on fabric) I knew she was right. Of course it didn't help that I painted half my face orange and the other half yellow, but still, the red hair is a big fashion 'don't'.