Thursday, January 27, 2011

When things get busy, the busier I get.........

This is the fabric collage art Quilt that I just finished. I came in just under the deadline wire on this one. I am really pleased because I kept on stitiching till it told me that I was done. At other times I might not have pushed myself quite as hard to make the deadline. This piece had me in it's grip and would not let me quit. The title of this piece is "As Color Returns".

I have just been told that it has juried in to the "Viewpoints" National Show at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts that will hang in March!! I am so excited! According to the Curator of the gallery, the Juror was quite tough and only accepted 39 pieces for this show. I am very honored to have my work chosen.

Every year at about this time, I start dreaming of Spring. I start wandering in the garden looking for signs of renewed growth. Are any of the bulbs planted last fall peeking out of the cold soil yet, are any of the buds ont he tree's starting to swell? Last week Becca noticed a huge flock of Robins in our yard scratching around amoung the leaf litter looking for bugs to eat. This is quite early for the robins to be showing up- a definate sign that Spring will be here in Virginia soon. Yet here I sit looking out at snow and ice......
Last year I took the photo that I used in this collage of new ferns emerging and unfurling to greet the warm air. I printed the photo on fine cotton and then stitched it to the background of woven found fabrics. The fabrics include a lovely soft raw silk, linen, rusted cotton and handprinted cotton that was then rusted. I tea and coffee dyed some of the cottons and a linen from a damask table cloth.
I have been inspired to create a collage in fabrics after seeing some of artist Jude Hill's amazing Slow Cloths and reading several of her articles in Cloth Paper Scissors. Looking at her pieces reminded me of simple weavings like potholders and rag rugs. Many of us who are still working with textiles, cut our fabric teeth on the square metal potholder frames and the accompaning bag of loops. As I was putting the background piece together I kept thinking of simple stitching projects and how those beginings in fiber works have led me here.

Once the background was together the stitching began and it was almost hard to stop. It really became a beloved project, one that I looked forward to sitting down to at every opportunity.

I have already started writing down ideas and sketching out plans for several more collages. Some will have much more color than this one but beyond that we will have to wait and see.

I will be back soon to share some of the other projects that have kept me running and creating lately. I have lots to share! Hopefully this snow that I am looking at will melt and reveal some new signs of Spring!!! Fingers Crossed!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Jewelry and Felting Backgrounds with the Kids!

I ahd a very successfual holiday season at Liberty Town this year and had to rush about after vanquishing the dreaded horrific virus , to create more stock for sales. I sold all of the resin earrings that I had delivered right before Christmas so I dove right back into the resin pond as my peices seemed to be so popular- Go with the sure thing right? these pictures are a bit blurrey as the resin is hard to photograph and a flash absolutely does not work!!
The earrings above are made with sterling wire and have images from a vintage dictionary. I embellished them with czech glass beads . It was hard to leave these to be sold- I need to make some for myself!!
This pair is made with a piece of my fabric paper with sheet music and colored tissue as the backing

I think that a real music lover might be drawn to this pair, I know that I would be!

I made these tiny collages with tiny images for hummingbirds and added the snippet of music and a bit of color to each. the beads hang down behind the images on a silver chain. Theya re both different but similar enough to work as a very unique pair. I am finding that assymetrical pairs are becoming quite popular. at least with the buyers at Liberty Town!

Last Wednesday I began my Felted Wallhanging adventures with the fifth grade class at Fredericksburg Academy.
We are going to be working together for the next several weeks to create a fabulous Rain Forest Wallhanging to be raffled off at the Annual Fredericksburg Academy Auction Fundraiser.

It was delightful to work with a nice small group of 14 versus the mob of 45 that I had led back in Novemeber. We split into groups and laid down roving in allsorts of wonderful greens , browns and bits of blue. The kids were a bit dissappointed that we ran out of time. i had to take the pieces home and do the final shrik down and throwing myself.
We plan to rememdy this when we get together again this Wednesday!!!

After steaming, I pinned the panels out on some foam boards to dry. The colors are wonderful!!
Tonight I will stitch all of these panels together to create a background canvas that we will work on tomorrow. We will be making more panels of greens , ropes in greens and browns for vines, colorful panels for flowers and birds and green ropes for snakes. Mrs. Reynolds is determined to create a Howler Monkey for a focal point
. Last week I sent the kids off with a homework assignment. They are to come up with some simple sketches of things that they think should be included in our project. It will be interesting to see what thye come into class with tomorrow.
This is a project that could consume as much time ,energy, wool and ideas as we could throw at it, but we have to keep it under control as the Auction is in early March and we do not have unlimited time and supplies. the kidsa re really enjoying the project and the fact that they get so much say into what we are creating!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Felting Playtime

Potato soup is bubbling on the stove, Matthew's birthday cake (19 tomorrow) is in the oven, the kids are home early because of snow but we haven't had any snow, and I am getting around to posting a blog- it has been awhile!!
LAtely I ahve been playing around with more felting techniques. Tomorrow I head off to Fredericksburg Academy to work with a fifth grade class to make felted wallhangings. So today I did a test run of a technique for making flowers and leaves and a vine. I want to have samples when I run the plan past the kids. It was a very quick project and I think the kids will be excited to try some new things with the felting process that I taught them before Christmas.

I got some wonderful felting books for Christmas and I decided to try a scarf technique, excepyt I did not have all of the nec`essary supplies. Instead I asked myself 'What if..?" and forged onward into the felting fray. Here you see what I am calling my Dred Locks Scarf. This is a version of Chad Alice Hagan's Airey Fairy Scarf that is made completely out of roving. My problem was that I did not have enough roving. I used the roving that I had for the warp (the pieces that run down the length of the scarf) and I used handspun wool yarn and some wool yarn for felting from the craft store for the weft pieces. The kid's are calling it my worm scarf but I ran into a friend today, when I was wearing it, and she said "your scarf is so cooool, it looks like Dreds!" I said "Thank you very much that is actually what I am calling it!!! I am amazed at how something that is so stringy can be so warm around my neck!! I am going to wear it tomorrow and see what kind of a response I get from the kids!!
My next project began as a needle felting project that I started at a Demo day last month at Artistic Artifacts. I started by needling yellow, red and orange woll and silk fibers and fabrics down onto a piece of orange plaid flannel. I was really inot circles atht day and added some yellow and red mohair yarn down to really pop up the circle design. Once I got home I added some more silk fabrics and started sewing circles on it using yellow thread and my regular sewing machine. this is what it looked like when I was done with the stitiching. I am calling this my Sunspot piece.

Then I wet felted it to shrink the wool and to see if I could get some more texture going on.
You can see a bit of texture difference here on the front but it is most noticable on the back.

Here you see the back of the piece after the wet felting process. I took this photo without the flash so you can really see the texture. The flash really flattens out the texture.

The flannel has really disappeared into the wool that was punched thru with the needles of the felting machine. there is no evidence of the plaid pattern. Perhaps I should have used the yellow thread in the bobbin!!! Live and learn!! I Still like the front but I do think that I like the back a bit more especailly as far as the texture goes!! I am not sure what will happen with this piece but it will become something special. I hope that everyone enjoys their snow storm !! It looks like this one has passed us by!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Wooooooonderful Way To Start My Year!

I had a wonderful day today, and it was a Monday at that. I began my day helping my friend Lorie McCown hang her upcoming Fiber Arts show. (Post to follow very soon!!!) Then I went on to Liberty Town to see if I needed to restock after Christmas sales. In my box I found this card with a note attached telling me that I might be interested in it. It looked strangely familiar to me, like it was something that I might have made. It was very odd, really.
So I opened the card and saw the message inside.
Then I turned the card over and saw this!

It turns out that this is a photo of a felted collage piece created by Miss Nellie Brady, one of the students who participated in the Felting Workshop that I taught at Fredericksburg Academy, this past Fall.
Underneath the artists name, you can see that I am credited with teaching the workshop as one of the Visiting Artists. For that little paragraph to ahve been included at all is such an amazing compliment to me! I am truely overwhelmed and very grateful to have been included! What an amazing and totally unexpected gift.
You can read more about my felting adventures with 90 4th and 5th graders here.

I am thrilled for the student who did the work, what an honor to have her work chosen for the schools Holiday Card!! I am tickled that the chosers picked something from the workshop that I taught and that I, as the teacher, had been given any mention at all!! (I have a bit of an inkling that the wonderful art teacher, my good friend Mirinda Reynolds, might have been somehow involved in this in some teeny tiny little way! (big Smile)
It so happens that I am returning to Fredericksburg Academy on Wednesday, to work with one 5th grade class. I absolutely love the time that I get to spend with these kids!! We will be working with this group to create Rain Forest themed wall hangings to be auctioned at the annual school fundraiser. So there will be much more felting mess mayhem and magic to follow shortly!!
In the meantime, this little discovery really really made my day!!!!
So I want to thank the Academy( I am perfecty aware that I am not recieving a Gold statue, a la Oscar) and artist Nellie Brady for the honor of being credited in your wonderful holiday card creation. It sure feels like a great big Art Award. You began my artistic year with a wonderful surprise!!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails