about the artist

Archive for February, 2009

Meeting My Deadlines

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I am looking forward to a week of kicking back and catching up with my self. I have been on the run since we came back from the desert. I am beginning to feel a little cranky. But, I have to remember that I am doing what I want to do . No one is holding a gun to my head!!!

The binding on the piece for Fiber Art for a Cause is almost finished. Tomorrow, in the daylight, I will take a final photo for Virginia. I took it to STASH today and everyone said it looks so different than it does on the web. It really is a very rich piece with some lovely vintage Japanese fabrics. Thanks to Dee, it has a proper title: Noshi Ribbons.

Tonight, I finished my piece for the SDA Off the Grid conference member’s show.



I have had the base fabric for some time. It was a brown fabric with orange in the mix that I discharged with torn masking tape resist. I added turquoise dye to the discharge paste. That orange glow always looked like a sunset through a fence. I added the other fabrics to the mix and call it Sunset Composition. I also added some hand-dyed Perle cotton to the mix. I need to sew a hanging sleeve to the back and get it ready for shipping before I leave for Eugene tomorrow.

The Silence…

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

was deafening. I got  no really positive feedback on the collage I posted last night. As I sat in the dentist’s chair this morning, I knew what I had to do. I needed to add more color and get the sweep of linear design elements more organized. I also decided to add a tiny border of one of the turquoises.


Here is a detail:


I will take this to STASH tomorrow and stitch down the binding.

The SDA piece is on the sewing machine, almost done with the quilting.

FAFC Collage

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

I have a deadline of Saturday to get my piece finished for Virginia Spiegel’s Fiber Art for a Cause Reverse Auction. I took the work in progress to California with me, but never took it out of the bag.

The first thing I did today was to add lots of orange and some brighter prints over the base fabrics.


I did some very simple grid quilting, using a wonderful turquoise/orange Sulky thread.


While I was on vacation, I took my poor overworked Janome 6600 in for a tune-up. I picked her up today, and she is purring like a kitten.

For the final layer of the collage, I cut strips of the turquoise fabric which I have arranged on the collage. I worked really hard to get these so that they made a statement, but didn’t look like a haphazard mess. I still have to do some quilting on these.


Then, I will trim it and do the Sue Benner satin stitched edge.

Next, I have to finish my 18″ X 18″ piece for the SDA conference member’s show. It has to be postmarked by March 1, which is a Sunday! Since I am going to Eugene on Friday to attend an Oregon SAQA meeting on Saturday, I guess I have to get it in the mail on Thursday – Yikes!

Tomorrow, I have to get my teeth cleaned in the morning and then take down my show in the afternoon. I am supposed to attend a STASH get together on Thursday, but I may not make it.

And now, I am going to work on SDA registrations awhile before I go to bed. Ta!

Home Sweet Home

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

After two long days on the road, we arrived home yesterday afternoon. Mia had been sick all week. Jack and Steph both got sick on Friday. Only Miles, Maggie and Chester survived the week untouched by the viral crud. Steph pulled herself together enough to have a nice clean room and freshly made bed ready for us. Let me tell you, sleeping in my own bed was wonderful.

Today, I had to hit the ground running to get caught up with SDA conference registrations and updating the website. Plus there was all that laundry and food shopping — back to reality.

We managed to get from the desert to Redding, CA on Saturday. The weather was not bad – partly sunny most of the way. On Sunday, we had to do a lot of rain driving. I entertained myself doing drive-by photography. I love photographing tree silhouettes that I can use for thermofax screens. All photos are clickable.



The sky is also a source of inspiration:



And the colors of spring always inspire me:



And so so structures:



All the photos are on my Flickr site: Sights Seen on our Trip to CA

Here are some fiber photos, in case you are bored with my drive-by shooting:

This was my Valentine gift from Mr C, from Lisa’s shop, Rare Device, felted rocks.


And, here are the turquoise Japanese fabrics I bought in Healdsburg:


Last Day in the Desert

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Our rehab in the desert is almost over and we are both feeling rested and ready to get back to Portland and our activities. So I am posting some activities from yesterday and today.

First, I want to share Mary Anne Jordan’s artist statement from the Quilt Vision’s former jurors show. I sort of paraphrased it yesterday, but here is the actual quote.

I have always been interested in allowing the human mark to be obvious in the work. I draw by hand and measure by eye. I allow the process of fabric dyeing and mark making to be obvious in the work. One can see brush strokes, smears, drips, colors running together. I am very interested in making “beautiful” quilts from fabrics that might be considered ruined. I see this as a kind of positive reaction to my/our impersonal world.

I just love this artist statement and feel a kinship to this woman!!

Now, on to the adventure we had yesterday. What in the world was a die hard peacenik doing at a Marine base, you ask? Steve’s brother and wife insisted that we would enjoy this tour, which we thought would last for half a day, but went from 0800 to 1500.

We were with a group of community activists – mainly environmentalists – from the surrounding area. Our first stop was at the mock Iraqi villages where the recruits train for 30 -40 days before heading to Iraq. We were told that we could take photos of anything except those who play the parts of Iraqi citizens. We did not see any so no problem!! You can see all my photos at my Twenty Nine Palms Marine Base flickr site. I decided to see how many arsty photos I could take on a Marine base!!



We climbed in and around these buildings and saw hidden tunnels and other weird stuff that one would find in such a village.

Next, we had an education in IED’s — improvised explosive devices. We sat in the IED classroom and saw some examples of the devices. We took a walk along a road and saw the many ways that these devices are hidden. We then got to see the incredible armored vehicles that these brave men travel in, along with the robots that go out and search for devices. They let us play with the computers that control the robots.

We then had lunch in the mess hall with the Marines. It cost $4.25 for all you can eat of a huge variety of food. We were impressed that the uniforms for enlisted and officers is the same. There is only a bit of insignia on the collar to denote their rank. The bus drove around the base to show us the housing, schools, community centers and other amenities on the base. Never having visited a base, I was quite impressed with every thing. They are getting rid of all the water reliant landscaping and replacing it with desert plants. Here is a beautiful Palo Verde tree. I love the green color.


The afternoon events were what the tour group had come for. A visit to the recycling plant and the solar fields. The Twenty Nine Palms Marine base is way ahead of any other military base in becoming green and sustainable. They have created a very impressive recycling program. Where Marines train, there is a lot of metal trash left — out in the training sectors. The recycing is run as a Department of Defense program. The workers are government civil service workers. They sort, cut up and prepare the different metals to be purchased by US recycling companies who then melt it down for reuse. They take brass shell casings, clean them and crush them into little brass nuggets.



I brought the above to Ann to use in her jewelry making. She likes to make jewelry from found objects.

I loved the bales of concertina wire. I am going to make a thermofax screen of this.


I found some other inspiration in the recycle yard:



Our last stop and the most interesting to the activists was the solar field. This is just a small portion.


They are able to produce about 40% of their power from the solar grid. It was quite amazing to see these blue panels with their faces turned to the sun. They have also installed quite a bit of solar powered lighting and are adding motion detected lights where possible to cut down on the power use and the light in the beautiful black night sky of the desert. I asked the guide if the drive to become sustainable and green came from within or from pressure outside. He admitted that the activists who surround the base and care about this fragile environment have been the driving force, but they are very proud of what they have accomplished.

The men on the base are so young and beautiful. They are each some mother’s son, and I was relieved to see the seriousness of their training and care before they are sent off to harm’s way. It was bittersweet.

Today, we did something we love to do when we come here. We spent some time hiking, having lunch and taking in the beautiful scenery that is Joshua Tree National Park. You can see those photos in the Flickr set. Here are a few of my favorite photos from today.





Here are some intrepid climbers.