Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's that time again!

On All Hallows Eve, I fly to Houston for a week at International Quilt Festival. With so much luggage I will have to skip the broom this time and travel by more traditional methods on Southwest airlines.

To get into the swing of things Monday night, Indigo and I will be having dinner with a coven of other talented witches; Susan Bruebaker Knapp who was born on this significant day and my good friends Laura Wasilowski and Frieda Anderson. Needless to say it should be a colorful affair with some enchanting spells incanted by the ever melodious Laura.

I have a very full schedule this year starting with teaching Tsukineko All Purpose Inks on Tuesday, Tea & Ephemera  on Wednesday and another Tsukineko All Purpose Inks class on Thursday. Yes, that's two Inks classes and I was informed they could have filled another, so I will be back next year teaching Tsukineko inks again.

Friday morning I am giving a power point lecture at 9 am, its #552 in the class catalog. If you're going to be at festival it'd be great to see you there.

I talk about the steps I went through making several large quilts, from the initial inspiration to the technical problems I ran into and how I resolved them, learning a lot in the process and often coming up with new solutions and techniques along the way.

In the afternoon I am doing a Quilters Alliance Save Our Stories interview as part of the Lone Star Exhibit that will be at Festival to go with Karey Bresenhan's new book. My Tree of Life quilt is in the book along with a group quilt Flora that I made while living in Austin.

In the evening there is a Lone Star reception to celebrate the exhibit, book and new Texas Quilt Museum opening in La Grange this month. I will have one quilt in the exhibit at festival and the other in the exhibit at the museum.

On Saturday, I am doing a Make it University workshop at 11:45 using DeColourant discharge paste. We'll cut freezer paper stencils and make simple foam stamps to sample a few different ways to use it.

At 5:30 it's Surviving the Runway, the highlight of the festival experience, not to be missed! Fantastic prizes and extremely entertaining for bystanders.

Finally at 7:00 its Gala on the Green. This marks the end of my professional commitments and will be time to let my hair down and get my groove on dancing to vintage tunes in the park outside the convention center with all my wonderful friends.

Last but not least my "Oh Dear, Look What's Become of Me" quilt will be hanging in The World of Beauty exhibit in the painted category.

My Black and Bloom All Over quilt is in the Between the Spaces Exhibit

and I almost forgot about The Artists Village exhibit that's debuting at Festival, where is my head? sheesh.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

8 of cups

While trying to gain perspective on things, the card that turned up most often as an outcome in tarot readings was the 8 of cups. It expresses exactly how I feel and has helped me realize I need to be more assertive in taking control of my life. 

Being a tea drinker, using tea cups felt like the perfect imagery to pull all these disparate symbolic images together to represent this card. After painting deeper shades of the various colors around the cups, to separate them from the background, I painted white around a scrollwork design, which feel like flames and feathers, passion and lightness.

I felt like it needed a strong graphic element, so I added a large 8. Then I used a gold paint pen to add decorative details to the scrollwork design.

The cups still blended into the background, so I added a rough and bumpy (like the road in life) outline to the cups, mimicking the style of the 8 and bringing them forward visually.

Finished painting, I think...

Eight of Cups: Moving on and letting go. Time to change direction in life. Dissatisfied and disappointed, wanting something entirely different, but not knowing what. Finding courage, taking time to rest and heal.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drowned iphone resurrection

On saturday my iphone took a plunge, so  in an effort to bring it back to life I put it in a bag of rice for two days to dry out, then plugged it into my computer to see if it would work. It turned on, but then the battery only lasted 15 minutes before dying.

I called AT&T to ask what to do, but they deferred me to Apple. I called Apple but they said I needed to pay a one time $29 service fee before I could even talk to a service tech, really? Sheesh, I don't think so, especially when I have a new phone on the way later this week or next. I searched the Apple website for an answer and came up with no recommendations other than replacing the battery, but no real info about how to do that. I then turned to the place to find the answer for everything... Google.

I came across a website that that gave two solutions. One, replace the battery for $100, the battery is soldered in to the phone and can't be removed with out changing out the actual phone. The other option was to try pluggin it into iTunes and choosing "restore", after backing up your phone. This removes the software and uploads new software, then you upload everything back on your phone.

I did it and it WORKED! My battery now has a full life again, amazing! I wonder how many people think their phone is dead and pay for a new battery when this is all it may take to fix it.

My 4 year old ipod touch has not held a charge for over a year, so I tried it on it too and it has restored it to full battery life as well. Incredible!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Making progress in life and art

This is my initial drawing on fabric as the base for my painting. I started with an anatomical heart from an old medical illustration engraving. I extended the arteries into curving vines to represent new growth and life. Below I have drawn veins from a heart, going upwards, which feel like barren trees, but also have the symbolism of roots to me. The fabric is about 3' x 6'.

Using acrylic inks and a 2 inch wide brush, I painted over the drawing with large brush strokes of color.

The only way to get a photo of the whole thing was to stand on the table, unfortunately there is a large shadow falling across it from the window.

Now the thing to keep in mind is, I really don't have a definite plan here. I am just doing it. I am trying not to worry about whether it will come out "good" or not, because really that is not the goal. For me right now it's about processing feelings, thoughts, aspirations hopes... just what's going on personally.

Cicadas, I love the way they buzz in the trees, communicating with each other in circular pattens of sound and I think the growth cycles and transformations they go through in life are fascinating.

The Moon: deception, disappointment, dishonor
Strength: acceptance, courage, optimism, heroism
2 of Cups: resolution, harmony, partnership
2 of Coins: need to balance, energy, amusement

The World: new life, the end of a cycle, attainment of purpose
Cancer crab: represents someone
3 of Swords: betrayal, separation, clearing the way for something better

Grieving the death of relationships, closure and renewal

Hanged Man: suspension, meditation, transformative thinking
6 of Swords: letting go, moving beyond sorrow, the road to recovery
Wheel of Fortune: positive change, progress, beginnings

The cards represented are ones that have come up multiple times in recent readings, so I think their meaning is significant and so very apropos.

More painting and layers of imagery to go.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finding my way out

Thank you so much for all the words of support and encouragement, I appreciate it so much. I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends and kindred creative spirits in my life. I needed to find perspective over the last week and realize that although times are difficult, I am not alone and things could always be worse and for that I am extremely grateful.

I am also grateful I put in an order to upgrade my phone a week ago, because I managed to drop my existing one in the toilet saturday night. I was wondering if this was the universes way of diminishing some of the guilt I was feeling about spending money on an upgrade right now even though my phone was cracked, lol.

I made a point of taking a much needed break from obligations this weekend to make some art and process the turmoil I've been going through. It's always the best way for me to work through things and come out the other side in a stronger more positive place. I've had so little time to make art this year, this is much over due.

The illustration above is a small detail of an image I am drawing on fabric with Copic markers. This is intended to be a base image that will probably end up pretty obscured once I start painting. It's a pretty elaborate drawing to end up covered up, but that's ok, I am hoping little bits will show through here and there in the finished piece. The important thing is it's part of the catharsis, the imagery and symbolism I put into the work helps me to take the intentions in like a meditation and lift my spirit.

I'll post more pics as I make progress.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Caught in the weeds

I am sorry I have been so bad about posting lately, I have been having a very difficult time in my personal life on almost all levels. I have felt overwhelmed and am trying to pull myself out of it. I need to look at the spaces between the weeds in my life and see the light and beauty and try to regain my optimism and hope that eventually everything is going to be ok.

I am focussed on preparing for my classes in Houston in a couple weeks and am so anxious to spend a week with some of the very best women I know. It's going to be exactly what I need, some joy and laughter and a lot of love.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Making Felted Pumpkins tutorial

To make felted pumpkins you will need:

wool roving in pumpkin colors
left over yarn, wool works best but other fibers will work too
orange and green embroidery floss or pearl cotton
long embroidery needle

You can also make Dia de los Muertos skulls too, by making white felted balls. Cut 2 oval pieces of black felt for eyes, then stitch a nose, mouth and decorative designs like flowers and x's with colorful embroidery floss.

By the way, one of my favorite sources for wool roving is Outback Fibers located in the Texas Hill country.


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