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Archive for May, 2006

My Week-end

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

It has been a happy and productive week-end around here. Friday, June, Terry and I had our monthly art date. The Art Train was spending the week-end in Milwaukie, near our home. The show was contemporary art by native Americans from all over the country. Some of the art was very provocative and some was very funny, but a recurring theme was the conflict that native Americans have living in two cultures and especially the hijacking and misuse of their culture. I really enjoy my time with these two women. We sat for over an hour at Starbucks and just talked. But I had to get home because….

M & M came by to spend the night with us. Steph and Jack got to have a couple’s evening. Here they are in the morning drawing pictures with Grandpa:

Milesartist

Miaartist

Artwork

Mia thought Maggie would look good in the mardi gras beads:

Mardigrasmaggie

We also made pom pom and pipe cleaner stuff, but I neglected to get photos.

After they left, I got to work on fusing fabric. Look at the tables that Steve built for me:

Twotables

Each one is about 4 ft. X 4 ft. One will be an ironing table and the other will be a screen-printing table (and other surface design stuff.) For now they are clamped together so that I have a large surface for working on the liturgical piece. They are on casters so that I can roll them around.

I got all the silk fused with Misty-fuse. It comes like this and is light as a feather:

Mistyfuse

I also purchased a huge sheet of Teflon to use for the fusing. I put half on the bottom. Then the piece of silk with the Misty-fuse cut to fit and another sheet of Teflon. It fuses at a fairly low temperature and rather quickly.

Teflonsandwich

After the Teflon cools, pull it back to reveal the fused silk which is lovely. The Misty-fuse hardly changes the hand of the silk.

Fusedsilk

Today, I shortened the red draperies that used to be in our living room for Mr. C’s office. They look great with his red and black theme. Tonight I cut and sewed the background for the liturgical piece. Tomorrow, I will draw out a basic grid and start cutting the silk into 3 1/2 inch squares. We had thunder storms and rain tonight, and I think it will be rainy all week, but I need to be working in the studio anyway. I hope I have something cool to post tomorrow night.

Silk Rainbow

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

I was so excited to wake up this morning and wash out my dyed fabrics. Here they are ready to go in the washer:

Bluesandpurples
Greensand_yellows

Orangesandreds

And her

e they are washed, dried and ironed:

Rainbowofsilk_1

I decided I needed some stronger blues and greens so I dyed some more fabric today. I am testing fusibles, trying to decide whether to use Wonder Under or Misty-Fuse. Sometimes I fuse directly to the batting. Liz Berg fuses to cotton and then treats that as a layer which she sandwiches with batting and a back. So I am testing that as an option.

Mr C is constructing a large table for me to work on. Hopefully that gets done before the end of the week cause I am getting itchy to start cutting and fusing.

Last night, I went to my first meeting of the High Fiber Group here in Portland. A very talented group of women!! I love to be around really creative people, it gets my juices flowing.

On Friday, I have my monthly art date with Terry and June, more about that later.

I would like to add that it is hot in Portland, unseasonably hot. So I have felt a little cranky today. Tonight, Mr C and Maggie and I walked down to the Rhodie garden. It totally changed my mood. It was shady with some nice breezes coming in off the lake. The goslings and ducklings were in abundance, waddling and swimming close to their parents. There were families and couples enjoying the evening. I came home in a much better mood.

I’m Finally Dyeing!

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

I am one of those people that has to have every thing just so before I begin a project. I can’t work in chaos. I can create chaos. Then I have to reorganized or I will just shut down and play computer games. So over the past few days, I finally have taken the time to get everything under control in the studio area.

Last night I cut silk charmeuse in to yards and then in half. This morning I couldn’t wait to get up and start mixing dyes. Here I am, looking very scary, but ready to deal with the chemicals or wmd’s – whatever may come my way.

Dressedtodye

Fabric is soaking in a soda ash solution:

Sodaashsoak

Here are my supplies: mixing box, dyes in a rainbow of colors, measuring cups and spoons and mixing spoons. I spent the money to buy dyes already mixed as I did not want to take the time to mix dyes to get the color gradations that I want. I did do some mixing so we will see how that turns out?ł1tonight

Dyeingsupplies

Here are my finished containers of dyed fabrics. I ran out of plastic containers so I had to put some in zip lock baggies.

Dyebuckets

Tonight, I am going to High Fiber Diet with Terry. This is a group of art quilters here in the Portland area. Their big event for the year is coming up – a show and sale of art quilts at the Japanese Gardens in August.

I am also excited to say that Kimono Collage is going off to live with Dee in Northport, NY and Aspen Reflections is going to Teri in Michigan. How exciting is that?

These Boots are Made for Hiking

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Hikingboots

And that is just what they did today. We did a 5 1/2 mile hike, climbing up above Multnomah Falls in the Columbia. Gorge. Here are some views of the Falls from ground level. Click to see larger view.

Multnomahfalls_1   

Multnomahfalls2       Lowerfalls_1

    Topoffalls_1

Our first destination was to the top of the falls. First, we had lunch by the bucolic Multnomah River:

Lunchspot

Lunch was BBQ chicken, Citrus Jicama salad and Cucumber salad ?Ǩ yumm!

Mdlunch

Here is a view from the top of the falls:

Lookingdonwtostart

Here is a view of the Columbia River:

Columbia_river_1

Then it is onward and upward. Here are some shots from the hike:

Fairyfalls_1   

Fordingstream    Morefalls

The first photo is Fairy Falls – just a gorgeous spot. Second is spot where I had to ford the stream and as my kids will attest, I hate to cross moving water!! The last is another shot of one of the many beautiful falls we saw today.

Wildflower1   Wildflower2   Futureraspberries

Some of the wildflowers we saw. The last photo is of future raspberries or maybe Salmon Berries.

This was not an easy hike and tonight, I am feeling pretty proud of myself. There were times on the hike up that I just wanted to quit and be instantly transported home!!

Now, this is what I need:

Grandma_1
Naproxen_aleve

I’m sleeping well tonight!

Critiquing, Studio Sneak Peak, Mom’s Day

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Yesterday was a wonderful day. Our new little crit group met for the first time: June, Terry, Kim (a new friend!) and I met at Terry’s house for two hours and then went out to lunch. June very expertly got us on the right track and it was an amazing experience. We spun the bottle to see who would go first and I won!! I brought my Mallory Brook: Ripples and Reflections, which is a very personal piece. I could not say anything until they had finished the critique. (Someday, I will post more about our process.) It was mind blowing to hear people talk about your work and what they saw without any of your own input or bias. Here is the piece:
Mallorybrook_3

What do you think of it, like this?

Mallorybrookvertical

My critiquers felt that it had better balance of the brown areas. What do you think?

Today, I have really been busy in the studio.

I sorted batting. I now have a piles for post cards, small quilts, large quilts and full pieces yet to be cut. I had more batting that I realized. It is nice to have it contained.

Batting

Here is Maggie guarding my empty plastic bins:

Emptybins

It is so nice to have stuff out of bins and organized so that I know where it is. Yesterday, Mr C picked up some foam insulation for the design wall which will run the width of one wall. Whoopee! Can’t wait. I have to go out and buy some felt to cover it.

Designwallfoam

And here is one end of the studio:

Sewingarea

The wainscot has a little shelf at the top and so I have organized all my quilting thread. Isn’t it cool? You can see the reflection of one of my full spectrum florescent lights in the window.

This morning we took a long hike around Reed College Campus. They have a very woodsy area with a trail that is called the Reed Canyon. It has a small lake at the base. Tomorrow, we are going out to the Columbia Gorge for a picnic and hike. I am here in Portland and childless for mother’s day. Steph and her family have gone yurt camping at the beach. I must admit that when she first told me she would not be here, I had a little twinge of sadness. But I got over it. When we lived in Santa Rosa, Mark and Lisa usually came up to spend the day with me and so I was looking forward to a day with Steph. I hope they are having a fantastic time at the beach – the weather is glorious here in Portland.  For many years, Mr. C was usually in Tokyo in May for some annual conference, and so if I wanted to do something special for Mother’s day, I had to organize it myself!

I always think a lot about my mother at this time. I was the oldest of five children and I know how hard she worked to give us a loving home and the necessities of life. After I graduated from college and was earning a good living, I used to so much enjoy indulging my mother with nice gifts for mother’s day and her birthday. I bought her furniture, dinnerware and nice clothes. She has been gone for more than 20 years. She was my age when she died in an automobile accident. Sometimes, I really wish that she could see what I have done with my life and to see what wonderful human beings, my children have become. And she would just adore M & M. She loved the little ones so much.

Happy Mom’s Day to all the moms and all those who have moms!!