Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She Just Wanted to Blend In

It has been a while since I posted on my blog. I can only say life has been busy mostly with creating some fiber art. The piece below is called, "She Just Wanted to Blend In". You can click on the picture to get a close view of her face and hair. This piece was made for possible selection in the Art in Fiber 2011 show at the Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, TX. I think she needs a personal name but I haven't settled on one yet. When I look at her the thought comes to mind that she just wants to blend into life, other people, what? That is why her dress and figure nearly blends into the background. But, bless her heart, as hard as she tries she can't because of that wild red hair. Maybe it will take her a long time to realize that what prevents her from blending in is the very thing that makes her unique. The PFD fabric was hand painted using Setacolor paints, watercolor pencils and gel pens. The hair is a discharged bleached batik that has been enhanced with gel pens and embroidered yarns and threads.

See my last post for details on the Art in Fiber 2011 show and the Copper Shade Tree Gallery.

Art in Fiber 2011 Show Interpretation Piece

I was thrilled to be one of 24 fiber artist to be juried into the Art in Fiber 2011 show at The Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Texas. Ginny Eckley was the juror. For the interpretation pieces the 24 artists were divided into 3 groups. One group was given a music CD, another group a poem and my group was given a 3D piece of artwork to interpret in fiber art. The piece below is my interpretation of Gerald Tobola's metal artwork, "Forest Floor". You can click on the photo to get a close view of the details. Can you find the tiny little forest gnomes hiding under the leaves? Because I love all things whimsical and magic I tried to add those elements in this piece. You have to look closely. Sorry if there is glare from my camera (operator error?). Santa has promised me a new camera for Christmas. Each fiber artists will have other pieces in the show made specifically for Art in Fiber 2011.

If you have never been to a fiber show at the Copper Shade Tree Gallery you are missing a opportunity to see fiber art created specifically for this show by fiber artists from across the state of Texas. The show runs Feb. 4--March 12. The opening reception is always a lively gathering where you can meet the artists. Gerald and Debbie Tobola, owners and artists, fill their gallery with art that is all handmade by Texas artisans. Even if you have never been there Gerald and Debbie will greet you like a welcome friend. That was my experience. Check out their website on the link above. Hope we will see you at the show.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dyed Fabric and Paper Towels

 These are pictures of my hand dyed fabric and paper towels that were done at the fiber art day at Deanie Jone's workshop. Below is a pic of paper towels that we used to clean up and blot spills etc. Everyone generously handed me their paper towels when they were finished with them. I salvaged some from the trash. My mind was spinning from ideas of how I would use these. I think they will be great to include when I make handmade paper cloth. I could get hooked on dyeing fabric, but then when would I sew?

This pic is of a linen fabric I had found in my stash. The dye colors came out great.
 These fabrics below are white Kona cottons and PFD fabric I used for dyeing.

Fiber Art Group Fun Day

 Recently our fiber art group met at the home of Deanie Jones for a day of dyeing fabric. Below left is Mary Lee Tennant and Deanie Jones on the right. Deanie graciously hosted the group in her fabulous workshop near Boerne, TX. Deanie supplied the dyes and generous instructions and helpful hints. Each person supplied their own fabrics, cottons, linens and silks.

Below, taking a break from the dye processing is, S.J. Derby and Terry Drake. I wish I had taken a picture of Deanie's workshop. It is a fiber artist's dream. I will publish some pictures of my finished dyed fabric in the next post.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Punch of Color

Continuing on my redecorating adventure, I made this pillow cover from a print I have had for a at least five years. Yes, I really do have fabric / stuff in my stash that old. It is a beautiful print on fabric by Judy Buswell which I sewed to a blue/teal fabric.

Now, I will buy or make a new art piece for above my fireplace. A new lamp and shade should just about complete my redecorating project. Unless......? I have a friend who recently moved to Guatamala and has told me about the beautiful textiles she found there. So...., maybe the next redecorating will be the vivid colors of Guatamala and Mexico.

A Punch of Color

The pillow cover in the background was cut and sewn from towels I found that matched my color scheme. I also made bench cushion covers with them. I wanted to add a punch of color because I realized I would soon tire of looking at just two main colors. The pillow cover in the front was made from commercial fabric that has been discharged with a bleach pen. I placed a sketch I found beneath Plexiglas then following the outline of the sketch I traced on top of the Plexiglas with a bleach pen. The squiggles on the side are made free hand with the bleach pen. I let that set a couple of minutes then placed the fabric over the traced sketch and gently patted it down a little. When the colors appeared I liked I removed the fabric, washed it out, let it dry and stitched around the design. Can you tell its a nude? This piece was put away for a while until I decided to pull it out for this pillow cover.

Redecorating From My Stash

I have been wanting to change some of the colors in my living room for some time. It was okay but I was getting tired of the dark colors, mostly browns, golds and greens. I wanted something brighter and decided to go with a blue/teal color with chocolate colored accents in a geometric pattern for these two pillows.

These pillow covers are simply made from cotton fabric in my stash. I decided to make covers for the existing pillows in case I wanted to return to the previous design someday. The old throw pillows fit into the envelope covers. I didn't have to find a place to store the former pillows and they remain available for the future.

I also bought ready made draperies in the blue/teal color and sewed a band of chocolate brown trim across the top to coordinate with the pillows.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Winter Shirts

This is a photo I took of a marble statue in our garden. Keeping with the winter idea, below is a poem I wrote a few years ago. It isn't autobiographical,well, maybe a little. But I have never been to Minnesota. The poem came from my memory of living in West Texas where winters can be harsh. Many days I pulled frozen diapers from the clothes line and hung them all over the house to thaw. It was a great day when we finally bought a clothes dryer.

Winter Shirts

My mother took care of my father's shirts,
the ones that froze on the line during Minnesota's blue Winters.
The ones that smelled of sweat and cigarettes
she washed by hand when electrical lines froze and snapped.

The grey and black with red piping,
light blue oxford cloth with extra starch,
Saturday night polyester,
white linen with button down collar,
quilted plaid flannel ones.

The same ones she laid over chair backs in front of the stove
to thaw, and ironed every Wednesday night since they married.
The shirts she hung carefully in his closet
according to color and sleeve length.
It was the shirts she watched him remove from the hangers
and throw on the floor that made her realize
her life had become a series of unappreciated repetitive tasks.

It was those shirts she took from his closet,
folded neatly in a pile behind the house,
set ablaze, and burned to a cinder.
As she watched twenty years of her life
rise in white clouds of smoke
against the icy Minnesota morning,
it occurred to her she had not felt that warm in years.

Winter Scenes

It is hot and dry in Texas. The thermometer hit 105 degrees two days ago. So I thought I would post some pictures of the last time it snowed in the Texas Hill Country where I live. What year was that? No matter. Just looking at the snow makes me feel refreshed.  The top photo is one I took of a angel statue in the courtyard of our yoga studio.Then tropical birds in Texas snow? They look like they are enjoying themselves. They are a little "plastic"!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Year by the Sea and Other Musings

I recently checked out a book at the local library. A Year by the Sea, by Joan Anderson. Quoting the inside cover, "An entrancing story of how one woman emerged from a stagnant period, finding the energy to renew her marriage and the courage to persevere in the living of an unfettered life." The post title of the book is, Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman.  There are many pearls of wisdon and insights that hit home.

When I came home with my stash of new reading material I decided I would do nothing that evening but stretch out and read. I had nothing that had to be done; nothing urgent tugging at me to be fixed, cleaned, or managed. As I relaxed on the sofa with A Year by the Sea I began to feel very uneasy, feeling guilty for taking time for myself. After reading one page I went upstairs, cleaned up my closet then scrubbed and cleaned the bathroom. Now, that didn't have to be done but I felt I had to "earn" the right to indulge myself. Suddenly the anxiety was gone as I had "paid" for my priviledge.

Where does that "stinking thinking" come from? Chances are from many years of putting everything and everyone elses needs and wishes before our own. I dare say Im not alone in this situation, but, I had thought I had out grown it. I had to laugh at myself.

Joan Anderson touches on these feelings in "A Year by the Sea". In describing her feelings of guilt for leaving her old life for a year on Cape Cod she says, "There's a price to pay for such self-indulgence. I stand here holding freedom in one hand and guilt in the other---." She talks a lot about taking risks and making changes in our lives stating, "Doesn't change occur only when we stop living the expected life?"

I doubt that I will ever totally eliminate those feelings of guilt or not being worthy enough when I indulge myself, whether it be time for myself or buying something unnecessary and outrageous. But, being aware of this behavior is a step in the right direction. I can say now, when I catch myself feeling those pangs of guilt I stop and think how inappropriate they are and laugh a little.

A few years ago I tore a page from a magazine and still have it tacked up by my computer. It is an anonymous quote. "When you die God and the angels will hold you accountable for all the pleasures you were allowed in life that you denied yourself." I read it daily.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Softer Side of Art

It has been a while since I created a post for my blog. What can I say? Life has been busy. I do want to post some pictures from the invitational fiber art show at the Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center that was from July 1-25. It was a great show with many talented fiber artist participating.

This  is Mary Lee Tennant who does wonders with fiber. Here she is demonstrating basket weaving.

Debbie Geistweidt stands beside one of her beautiful landscapes. She thread sketches/ paints traditional Texas scenes with a unique eye for detail.
Lisa Kerpoe stands between long pieces of her hand dyed, monoprinted and many other fiber manipulations I can't even begin to explain other than it draws you in to the design and colors.

If you ever get to Kerrville stop by the Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center. There is always a great art show going on and it is a lovely venue.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fly Me To The Moon

I look at this piece and think, "How fun would that be?" Wouldn't it be great to hop on a big soaring bird and fly to the moon? I could dream about that. The background was made from handmade painted paper cloth. The picture uses commerical fabrics, hand dyed and rust dyed fabrics. Machine and hand stitched.

                   Below is a close up of a happy girl riding her mythical bird to the moon.

Flower Dreams

This 8x10 piece was a fun little project. I drew her face on cotton fabric. Then it was enhanced with watercolors and gel pens and machine quilted. I put it aside for a few days thinking it would be one of those pieces that would end up at the bottom of one of my bins, never to be seen again. While looking at other possibilities for making another piece I pulled it out again and she survived, mostly from frustration, but she made it.
Now that I have her put together I like her a lot. She has grown on me. The flowers and leaves are raw edge applique made from hand dyed fabrics on a commercial fabric.

Where Have All The Soldiers Gone?

This piece was made with handmade paper cloth, photo transfer on organza, acrylic and watercolor paints, gel pens, machine stitched. The red "drips" that simulate blood were made with acrylic paint.

I wanted to do a piece that expressed my feelings about the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. My heart goes out to the many families who have lost a loved one there.The title of this piece is from a line in the song, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone", by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Paper Cloth Piece

I titled this Paper Cloth Piece because I haven't given it an official name yet. I just finished it yesterday and was really pleased with the results. I count this as my first "successful" paper cloth art. I had tried doing paper cloth before but it always came out stiff and not to my liking at all. This time I used a different glue / water mixture which made the paper cloth soft and pliable. I used tissue paper, napkins and painted coffee filters glued to muslin then machine stitched. I love working with tissue paper and napkins because there are so many colors and designs to choose from. It is soft enough that it left a interesting texture when applied with the glue mixture to the cloth.

Above is a close up. The door and windows are copyright free images that I manipulated in photo shop and printed on cloth. I then used watercolor pencils and gel pens to enhance the colors. To add some depth I cut the paper cloth the size of the door and windows and glued the fabric behind that.
Now that I feel I have mastered the paper cloth construction I want to make more. It was really fun.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The idea of a chrysalis has been on my mind for a while so I decided to try that idea with some mixed media fiber art. I had a general plan and knew I wanted it to be different from anything I had done before. I wanted to try some different techniques that would be out of my comfort zone. Below is a wire armature with a paper / celluclay molded face.
  I molded the celluclay face over a light wire armature then waited for it to dry. This was the first time I worked with celluclay but I can see it is a great medium I will use to add depth to future pieces.   Below is the finished piece.              
I covered the wire armature with batting the used my hand dyed gauze to cover and mold around that. I wanted to keep with organic, natural colors of nature so there are different shades of greens, browns and golds. To add some color punch I wrapped pipe cleaners with brighter colors and attached those.   Below is a close up of the face.

   I covered the celluclay with many layers of tissue paper using a matte gel medium. The hair is moss, root and lichen I found on my property. I wove some pieces of the dyed gauze in also.  Below is a side view that shows the wrapped pipe cleaners and green dyed gauze. You can click on the photos to enlarge.                             

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thread Sketched Nude

I wanted to try some more thread sketching but didn't know exactly where I wanted to go with this attempt. So, this piece was a practice piece.I first found a sketch I liked then printed it out on copy paper. I layed muslin over the copy of the sketch and traced over the lines with a light pencil making some alterations in the sketch as I went along. Next I thread sketched the figure with black thread.

Seems my photos always come up too dark but you can see the sketch lines. Moving along. I decided I wanted to do something else to her so I used some acrylic paint to add some detail. Now, Im no painter so this effort is more of a trial for myself in what not to do. I forgot to add a texture medium to the acrylics that makes the paint suitable for fabric. Ooops!  I stitched the background and used some diluted setacolor paint to add color to it. Below is the finished piece.

Below is a close up of the sketch. I haven't named her yet.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let Me Remind You of Beginnings

I have been reading a lot about goddesses and their origins in history. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd is about her journey to find the Sacred Feminine. I found When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone at the library book sale which tells the story of the role the goddess played in Judeo-Christian attitudes toward women. It isn't fiction, its history. I have probably posted this sometime in the past but I wanted to do it again to go with a poem I wrote a few years back. I made this piece to accompany the poem. The photo doesn't show the whole piece but below the goddess is the poem I wrote which I transfered to fabric.

Let Me Remind You of Beginnings

Sisters, let me remind you of beginnings,
of the first warm blood that flowed
with the cycle of earth's fertility,
of those wild vines of passion that were
a prelude to your power of seduction,
setting you free to ecstasy.

Remember sisters, the awakening
of your woman spirit,
your rebellion against sameness
that sent your fire into the world
leaping and searing complacency.

Oh sisters, you were not born
to struggle for mediocrity.
You came from fire and ice,
from the belly of Nuit,
goddess of heaven and earth,
you erupted dauntless and shameless
your very breath igniting the cosmos
in the dark night of oppression.

In the beginning of the beginning
you spoke of wisdom and justice
from the mouth of Themis
to save us from the riotous throng
of prophets and saviors,
to lift us above obscure predictability.

Sisters, let me remind you of your true genesis.
You are the infinite mother,
heiress to the universe,
diviner of your own destiny.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cultures Past and Present

This was my entry into the Texas Museum of Fiber Art exhibit. Sadly, it did not get accepted but it was fun to make and I experimented with some new techniques. Oh well, on to the the next one.

This is a close up of my interpretation of pictographs I have seen in caves in Val Verde county that were painted over 7000 years ago. They are machine and hand embroidered on silk fabric, layered on hand dyed and hand painted fabric.

The lower picture shows fabric weaving using hand dyed silk (upper left) and below that machine stitched symbols of our different beliefs.

The faces were machine stitched on silk fabric(sorry the photo is dark). Details were done with a micron pen. Strips of fabric were torn and cut then attached to wrapped pipe cleaners.
The hanging cord was painted then wrapped and knotted with yarns and threads.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fiber Art Workshop with Lisa Kerpoe

I recently attended a fiber art workshop at the Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram, Tx. with fiber artist, Lisa Kerpoe.The three day workshop included dyeing fabric using prochem dyes, single and double plate monoprinting, gelatin monoprinting and much more. Lisa taught us many techniques within all those methods. You can see her website and blog by clicking on her name on my blog lists. I have included some photos of the fabric I dyed, painted and monoprinted in the workshop. The top photo shows a double plate monoprint on black fabric with metallic paints. The one on the left was dyed then monoprinted. The lower photo is a group of small pieces that were dyed.

Painted Silk and Cotton Fabric

I love resale shops and thrift stores. I find the most interesting things there. Don't disregard the discarded or recycled treasures. I found some 100% silk shirts recently and had to give them a new home. I cut up the white one and painted the pieces using pebeo setacolor transparent paints(in the lower photo). I lightly sprayed the pieces with water and painted some with a foam brush and others with a bristle brush. I have to be careful when I put colors next to each other that they don't turn into mud. Yikes!! I used paint straight from the jar to get more vibrant colors. The marbled one was done with shaving cream marbleing. The upper photo shows some cottons that were done the same as the silk fabric. They may not show well in the photo but I was pleased with the results.

I Dream My Heart Has Wings

I wanted to try something different using papers and paints. I read a article somewhere about cutting a niche in a stretched canvas to add more depth so I decided to try it. I have never been a accomplished painter but since this piece will probably never get out of my work room I just did what was fun. A layer of gesso was applied to the canvas then painted with various paints then another layer of gesso was added. After it was dry I drew the face and painted the face details. Torn pieces of old music sheets and birds were applied using matte gel medium. I cut the niche out in the form of a X and folded the pieces back and glued them to the back. I used a very small picture frame to enclose the niche. I covered it with fabric, made the heart and wings of polymer clay, glued them to the small frame then glued the small frame to the back of the large canvas over the niche. Her hair is made from handmade paper that was stamped. Her dress area, leaves, flowers were tissue paper applied with matte gel medium. She isn't perfect but I have grown to like her. Now, what should I name her?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Inspiration From Nature

We are fortunate to live in a lovely part of Texas known as The Hill Country. Over the years we have operated two bed and breakfast on our property, Elm Cottage and The Canyon House. Our property is named The Hill Country Sculpture and Meditation Garden. We just call it"the garden". It has been a inspiration to me in my exploration into fabric / fiber art and to my husband who works with wood sculptures and teaches yoga and mediation in our yoga studio. We have also been fortunate to meet many wonderful people thru the B&B and yoga practice. I continue to look for methods to incorporate this beautiful naturescape into my work. The photo to the left is The Canyon House which is actually built into the side of the hill. You can see more photos of both Bed and Breakfast by clicking on the link above.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another Queen of Arts Creation

I found this text printed fabric and wanted to use it before it ended up buried beneath my stash. It "said" it wanted to be a queen. I like this lady, even if she doesn't have any arms. Her face tells me she is a woman with heart. She is authentic, gutsy. Her face was drawn on fabric. The crown is a piece of painted lace that is beaded. Her big red heart is fabric that is painted and brushed with fabric stiffener then beaded. Without arms, she creates art in her heart and soul. After all, that is where it begins.

Postcard Reader Swap

This is a postcard I made to participate in the Cloth Paper Scissors magazine reader swap, "pass it on, Mail Art Affirmations". The invitation was for readers to create an original postcard with a favorite art-related affirmation, quote, or positive message. They will swap and mail out cards the week of April 26. I can't wait to get my postcard and hopefully get feedback when someone receives mine. This was the first time I have participated in a reader swap and it was a lot of fun. My postcard was made with commercial fabrics, fast2fuse, angelina fiber, embroidery and metallic threads.

Fiber Art Show, Round Top Texas

I just returned Sat. from a fiber art show at The Copper Shade Tree gallery in Round Top, Texas. This was their 4th year for the fiber art show and it just keeps getting better. The juried show featured 24 Texas fiber artists. Round Top, Texas is close to La Grange, TX and is nestled among rolling hills and farms. It is a great place to visit. The people are friendly. The scenery is beautiful and the food is delectable. Give it a try!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Funny Food Lady

These are always fun to make and a easy way to use up some of those small scraps most of us never throw away. This piece was made as a donation for a silent auction at the local senior citizens center, The Dietert Claim. The piece is raw edged appliqued using the magic of Wonder Under. I love that stuff! After ironing the wonder under on the back of a selected scrap of fabric I drew the fruits and veggies on the paper , cut them out, peeled the paper off and ironed them to the background piece. The same process was used for the face features. When every piece was where I wanted it I machine stitched over it all. The quote at the bottom reads, "I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes." I may make a series of these because they are such fun.

Blue Madonna

I wanted to try some fabric sculpting and face drawing. I usually only have a hint of a idea when I begin. The process of creating a piece sometimes evolves from one idea or technique I want to try. Blue Madonna began by painting a stretched canvas and stamping it with stars and moons using gold acrylic paint. The vintage trim around the edges was painted with acrylics and glued on to the canvas. The face was drawn and shaded with colored pencils. I padded it to make it stand out then it was hand tacked down to the patterned fabric. Tiny lace was sewn around the bodice and hair line. I did some hand quilting on the patterned fabric which I thought looked like stained glass. The blue fabric surrounding the face was hand sewn over some stiff netting to help form the shape I wanted. Then I applied fabric stiffener and let it dry. It was highlighted with gold acrylic paint. Gold cording was glued around the patterned piece.