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Archive for March, 2007

Working on Passage

Monday, March 26th, 2007

The working title for this piece is Passage. I had alays thought that the boulder formations, which recede in size, form a sort of passageway. Today, I re-cut those forms so that I have used the same hand-dyed silk. I then cut some square to delinieate the passage. Here is a photo of them pinned in place.


I had to make an early dinner and go to our EFM class at the cathedral. During the class, I had an epiphany. I needed to make the squares recede in size so that the perspective would be right. I came home and watched Dancing with the Stars which I had taped. Then, I re-cut some new shapes. I like what is happening. I have fused the thing, so I better like it!!


Now, I have to decide if it needs any more design elements or surface design or just machine quilting. Sometimes, less is more. This fabric is so rich and complex.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Sunday, March 25th, 2007


This is on my design wall. I started it at Art Quilt Tahoe. When I was back in my studio, I put it there and have been contemplating what I will do with it. The other day Mia was in the studio with me and said, “Gramma, nobody is going to buy that!” So, my mission is to turn it in to something that Mia thinks is marketable.

I am also going to make some changes in this one that has been languishing on the design wall since AQT. I am going to remove the cut work on the right and do something else for that end. I will turn the cut work piece in to a small piece by itself.


This week-end, Mr C had a retreat with the Outreach Commission from the Cathedral. It was raining on Saturday, so I spent the day working on a newsletter/brochure for the Arts Commission. I thought I was just going to do the layout, but I met with the Arts coordinator last week, and her assumption was that I was writing it. I finished it this afternoon. I think I did a pretty good job. I have sent it off to the chair and the coordinator for their comments.

M and M and their parents have gone camping on the coast of Washington. They will be back on Tuesday. It is spring break. I am hoping they can come over later in the week to make some Easter decorations and plan their mom’s birthday.

Mr C and I loved all the comments on our possible food stamp diet! The whole outreach commission is planning on participating and they are going to encourage members of the parish to participate and then get together to discuss the experience. I just realized that for part of the week, I will be going on retreat to the beach with the STASH quilting group. This is going to be interesting.

Could You Survive on a Food Stamp Diet?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

First, a postcard that I finished today. This is hand-dyed fabric with Angelina fibers and copper Tinsl with a tulle overlay.


Now, the question of the day. Mr C went to a volunteer training at the Oregon Food Bank. He came home and asked if I would be willing to take part in a program sponsored by the Food Bank, eating on the equivalent budget of those who receive Food Stamps. The program is designed to help people understand how difficult this is so that they can be more effective at fund raising for the Food Bank and lobbying the government for more help.

A very lofty goal – right? How much do we get to spend? $3 per person per day so double that for the two of us. You can’t use food you already have in the freezer and pantry. I suppose you can use some staples – like seasonings and such.

Could you do this? I have real doubts that I could do this and not turn in to a low blood sugar witch – maybe change the beginning letter to b. When I went to shop this afternoon, I started looking at the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. A small head of cabbage was 2 pounds and cost $1.49. A can of black beans can range from 49 to 98 cents. Bananas were 49 cents a pound ā€” I didn’t weigh them, but I suspect that would be about 1.5 bananas. Wholewheat bread was around $4.00 a loaf and would last the two of us about half a week for peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. I could cook up some brown rice. A whole chicken costs about $4.00. I could roast one and stretch it for 2 or 3 days. I would have to give up yogurt and pomegranate juice and have oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast. And coffee! What will IĀ  have to use to make coffee?

If we do this, it will be at the end of April. Mr C says he wants to do it whether I do or not. I said, you know that means no vodka or wine! I thought we could adopt M & M for the week because that would double our funds and they don’t eat much!! So, let me know what you think. Share your ideas with me. I know I would want to clip coupons which I don’t normally do. But do most food stamp users have access to coupons and can you use them with food stamps? Come to think of it most coupons are for those fancy over-packaged and over-processed foods.

Here is the other post card I finished today. This one has hand dyed fabric with a turquoise screen print and Angelina fibers and tinsl captured under tulle. Beads have been collaged with Golden’s gel medium.


Embroidered Ethnic Textiles

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Today, I attended the Columbia Stitchery Guild. Our guest speaker was Michele Wipplinger . She is an expert in natural dyes and travels extensively to theird world countries where she lives and works with artisans, sharing her knowledge of dyes, color and design, to help them produce goods that are marketable. We saw a wonderful slide show of beautifully dressed people from several different countries. Then we got see and touch some textiles she brought with her. With her permission, I am sharing some photos of these. To see the full set, you can find them on my Flickr page.

Here is a sampling:

This is the sleeve of a top. The dark blue is pounded indigo and the cicle designis batik. The red section is embroidery.


This is a section of a sari from India. The section on the right is exquisite emboidery and on the left, is block printing.


The next two pieces are quilts with wonderful hand stitching which has really inspired me.



The next two pieces are examples of very fine embroidery. The second one looks like printed fabric from a distance, but the design is all from exquiste embroidery.



Michele is teacching a 3 day workshop which I did not get in to. She will cover the natural dyeing andsurface design markings.

We had informal show and tell before the meeting. Those with work to show put it on tables for others to see, up close and personal. I almost didn’t take anything. Then, I almost didn’t put mine out. Then, I did. So glad I did because i got such wonderful feedback o Fragments and The Thin Place. People were most interested in Fragments.

We are going to have a show in a gallery from mid-May to mid-June. This is the first time that they have done a show like this. I think it will be lots of fun. We are going to have an artists’ tea on one Saturday with demonstrations. I am going to do Altered Trading Cards and Postcards.

After the guild meeting, High Fiber Diet met to work on plans for the Japanese Garden Show and Sale in SEptember – with a Wabi Sabi theme. We also have a couple of leads on pther places where we might have shows. I guess I better get to work and make more stuff!!

Spring Has Sprung

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I am having a touch of spring fever and a burst of energy. After a lapse of a couple of months, I got my hair colored and cut. While my color was curing, Joseph and I perused my website. He seemed genuinely impressed with my work. He even suggested to the owner that they buy a piece for their newly painted waiting area wall!

I have even been thinking about buying some new clothes ā€” there must be a change of season in the air.

This afternoon, I did a little more work on Fragments. After meeting with my crit group, we felt that some embellishment should happen in the upper area to balance the things I had used on the bottom. So I added this the painted copper mesh, lace and skeleton key.


You can see the altered piece by clicking on New on my website on the upper left menu.

Today, another Amazon box arrived. It happened, again, Sarah Smith blogged about the book, “Design!: A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists & Craftspeople” by Steven Aimone. So, I had to order it and the Great know it all Amazon wizard told me I needed, “The Surface Designer’s Handbook: Dyeing, Printing, Painting, and Creating Resists on Fabric” by Holly Brackmann.


The design book has many quilts throughout the book to illustrate the design principles – I like that. It also has some exercises in the back which I will try to get to some day!! Holly’s book is a wealth of information for doing surface design on cloth ā€” I have already found some projects.

While I was ordering from Amazon, I thought I should get this book, “The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)” by Scott Kelby. This is a very visual how to book, which I love. I think it will help me make better use of my Photoshop software.


Tonight, I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to get some fonts into Pagemaker for a newsletter I am doing for the Cathedral Arts Commission. I was trying to avoid reinstalling some software, but I can’t do it. Now I can’t find the disk so I have to plead with the powers that be to let me download the software. Hopefully, I can get that done tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will be attending the quarterly meeting of the Columbia Stitchery Guild with a guest speaker and High Fiber Diet following. I am going to take a couple of pieces for show and tell.