Welcome to my Blog, A little art, and a lot of Friendship

Monday, April 6, 2015

Variable Toile Stars Showing At:

My quilt, Variable Toile Stars is on the road again.  This time showing at the Quilt, Knit, Stitch, Show in Portland Oregon, August 13-15.   So if you are in the area, please visit.

This exhibition of  quilts is from the book 500 Traditional Quilts, by Lark Books. It is always exciting to have a quilt featured in a book.

I feel so blessed to have a quilt chosen for the book and now to have it traveling where more quilters will be able to view it.   The photos are amazing, quilts are beautiful  and inspiring, with the variety of fabrics, and techniques.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spots on my Sweat Shirt!

I was nice and cozy warm in my turquoise sweat shirt. Then the spaghetti I was eating chose to jump on the front in nice red blotches. Off to the washing machine with this and a few more dark garments.

Did it wash out as I would have wished... NO!. So all I could do was to dye it.. I did my usual ice dyeing and had a vision in mind.. But then I pushed the release button too often on the Washer and the the washer said, "enough", and stopped working. So for many days the jacket sat in the dyes...and when the washer was finally working, and Vivian was reminded on how to push the safety button  with out jamming it, I plunged the jacket into the wash.  Not, what I really wanted or had in mind for the end result.

A little stencil work was in order.  I used fabric paint, and a stencil I picked up at Joanne's. I must say they make the plastic so thin, I wonder if the  stencil will last through a few applications. I used a silvery paint so it would show against the variety in the back ground.  Now,  what else can I try on the sweat shirt, and should I tell you that I got a little bit of paint in the wrong spot. I tried some dark paint over that, some how that did not work either. hummm now what.

You really can't see it too well, but I glued beads on some of the areas in the design.. Will they wash off? That remains to be seen.. according to the glue, it should last. And that paint that was not supposed to be where it went, it got a dark bead glued over it.. Not showing that goof!  Maybe you will see it if you catch me wearing the sweat shirt.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Towers of Tuscany- book suggestion

In this world of Computers, it sometimes can get very frustrating. So stepping away and reading a book sometimes brings us down to earth or takes us away from earth.  This book might have been a freebee or not expensive on Kindle.

It is about a female artist in Italy, in the a time when women painters were not accepted.  A woman was told by the husband what to do and just run the household. Along with the who to marry and have lots of sons. Thankfully, those traditions are not today in our country.

It also reminded me of the poisons in so many of the paints, and it tells how they were mixed and how they had assistants that just ground the paints.  It is well written, although I was hoping for a happy ending and instead got a surprise ending.  I am not one to read the end first and so enjoy the build up.

All through this book I kept feeling so very blessed that we live in the U.S.A., that we are free to paint and do just what we want, to enjoy seeing a variety of styles, to know that the paints we work with are tested for safety.

 Reading this book also made me think that there are women in other countries that still have issues with signing a female name to art work and others that live under male domination.  Just a little food for thought and lots of gratitude.
Off to the studio.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fabric give away,. Grocery Bags!

Sorry for the delay,, Valentines, came and went, but I have not forgotten. Happy Valentines to the winners of the packets of horse fabric. Love to see what you make out of the fabric or just enjoy petting the horses.   Maureen Egan, Martha Ginn, and Barbara Cooper. 

Now to show you the other bags I made, this project is similar to pop corn, I needed to make one more and then another idea happened, and......
Appliqued the letters of our Quilt Guild and some chili peppers.  Great way to use fun fabric. Now you know that everyone in the store will wonder what SMQA is.. wonderful advertising for the quilt guild and the up coming Quilt show, in June, and an opportunity to sell Tickets for the Quilt.
A friend gave me some French fabric years ago, and I could not decide which part of the fabric to use, so this is two sided.
Each bag was made a bit differently, as the fabric sort of demanded it. Some have straps on the outside, and yes, I did line each one..  I had a great time making shopping bags. There are a ton of directions on the net, but am not patient enough to figure them out. So of course, it took me a bit longer to visualize how I wanted to make these... But so much fun, and now I am ready with lots of bags on hand! Share what you are going to use for Shopping Bags. The SMQA Shopping Bag Challenge is due at the Ice Cream Social in July! Get it made before the quilt show, and you can just relax afterward and enjoy sharing in July.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Graffiti Cauliflower Post Card, Postmarkd'art

You might remember I enjoy making fabric postcards and have been with the Postmarkd'art on line group for a long time. It is challenging to make a postcard for a theme.  We vote and pick many ideas, and then each person decides how many Themes they want to make.  There is a deadline, of course.
The greatest gift has been the wonderful ladies I have met from all over the world. The postcards have been amazing. It is a wonderful way to try new products, and of course, the sharing of ideas is one of the many benefits.
This theme, I choose Vegetables. And thought, what will I do for this Theme.

 My hubby and I were at a fruit and veggie market, and saw this wonderful gathering of Cauliflower. Some were the white, but what attracted me, were the purple and the orange, called Graffiti. And then there are the Broccoli crossed with the Cauliflower. It looks like a strange pointy green  outer space sort of veggie.
I photographed, transferred the photos to fabric, added other fabrics, and now have them addressed to go out in to the world.. Because several are going to the UK, and I put a little metal leaf on them, I am putting a clear plastic sleeve on them.

Hope the gals enjoy them.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Grocery or Shopping Bags and a give away, Sierra Mountain Quilters Asso.

When you are in a guild, and you have an idea for a Challenge, can you guess what happens?
You have the gift of putting that Challenge together.  Starting at the meeting on Feb.5th. come and see more ideas.

 I thought since Calif. is on a no plastic grocery bag law starting in July, this would be a great challenge..  here I am, in the studio.

What better way to start by sorting through some fabric that has not been used in some project. I did not want to start going through the UFO boxes, however, that could have accommodated this project also.  Besides loving horses, what did I think I would make with this fabric.

I was silly enough to think it would be faster if I just made the bag,
instead of looking up a free pattern or running the 15 miles to town and Bear Paw. They have patterns available.  I spent more time trying to figure out how to do the handles and work out the lining etc.

So you see the end result, now do you think I am going to put groceries in that, I even lined it! Maybe, my knitting.   I love the bag.

 This is a New Year, and here is my thought, Do you like that fabric? I have some left over.

I thought that if you like it and make a comment on this blog, I would send three ladies a piece of the fabric that has two horses on it, and a piece of the border fabric..  You would have to add the extras to make this bag, or what ever you would like to make. Be sure to send me a photo to post.

I have seen blogs that give away fabric, but this is my first. I will take the names in order, and then use the random number generator. Sorry, this is only for the continental U.S.A. Shipping costs are too much for over seas. I only have three packets, so not everyone gets a packet of fabric.

Let me know what you think and if you would like a little bundle of fabric for your stash/ bag project.  I will post the winner on Valentines,, Feb. 14th..
 Deadline is Feb. 13th.
Look forward to hearing from you..

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015, Long List, Clean-up, Organize, Ha!

We all set goals for the New Year, well maybe not all of us, but I try. I am getting the "piecing" bug, something I really don't do very often.

I started in one small area of the studio, very small area, and  looked through the mess, sorting as I went.
 You all know about this if you have a studio or not, there is always something in a mess somewhere, it might be your closet or your kitchen.

I found some plastic bags stuck in a corner, pulled them out and what did I find, but some exchange friendship blocks. Some from eons ago.

How can I consolidate, make 3 UFO's into one wall hanging. I also took another class from Charlotte Rogers on Creating your Personal Face in Fabric. this is the second time I have taken the class because we enjoy her so much, and she is an informative teacher.  It is great fun, with lots of laughter as we combed through the fabrics.

My initial idea was to put lots of my separated earring parts on the piece also.. What do you do with earrings you don't wear any more?
This was going to be my way of clearing that out also.

In putting the different blocks up, I noticed that maybe just maybe I can somehow, make all the blocks and the Personal Portrait into one "art" piece, wall hanging.

And so it hangs in my studio, now to find my sewing machine! What did I put that under?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Art Quilt for Road to California- done- sent

My Personal App
"Vivian's Journey "

Oh, wow what a challenge, where to begin?  I had to think about this, get it completed and sent by Jan. 5th. 
And so the process began. I usually don't work with a full size paper drawing, but this time that is where I started. Had to be 36 "x 36", and have rounded corners, the normal 3 layers, 4in. hanging sleeve, write a statement.  Thankfully, it did not have to work as a real app on my I pad.

I am not an artist that gets to work and runs for 8 hours with all falling into place immediately. With each step I have to think about the possibilities, then leave it on the design wall, so I can ruminate about where this is taking me.

Next I pulled some of my hand dyes and other fabrics. Making a mess of the studio as I went. However, "Organization" is one of my words for the New Year,, but I digress.

I took photos of the tennis shoes that I had hand Painted months ago. Jamie Fingal is putting her fabric on shoes, I just painted over white shoes because they looked dusty and I could not get them clean.
Living on a gravel road and ranch style area, you have dust.

Then the cutting, layering, placing, sewing, couching of yarns, quilting, applique, beading etc.
Did I miss anything?  Oh, yes, I tried a Kaffe Fasset fabric for the binding. It is amazing fabric but a little slippery, and had to use my brain to figure out how to connect every piece with the stripe on the diagonal. Yes, rounded corners mean cutting strips at a 45 degree angle.

I stamped words on the path, and added flowers and beading where I felt it would work.  What I wrote:

"Living near Yosemite National Park, I have a love for our rolling hills and wooded areas. We live on the Fresno River and can view the wild life first hand.. I am blessed with the path through Life being filled with so many positives.  There are the ups and down, depicted in the rolling hills. Remembering that the bright sunshine and blue skies out shine the difficult times, and I am graced with many flowers, ( friendship) blooming along the way."

I used many of my personal hand-dyes, and commercial fabrics, yarn, beading, and photography.

Now I am clearing my head, for my goals for next year, coming soon.. Why does it rush by so fast when there are so many wonderful things to create, so many things to learn, lovely people to meet, laughter, and love.. Next time I might tell you about Ralph and I saying our wedding vows again..
15 years married, 25 together. But that is another story.

If anyone is going to Road could you take some photos of the other App quilts for me? I don't think I am going to be able to go.    Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Time, a Sharing Time

Beautiful Flowers, Sparkling Trees, lots of packages with ribbon and brightly colored paper. Is this your Christmas?  I am sure it is the sharing, the hugs, tears and love that goes with this season that is really foremost when all the craziness is done. Oh, did I forget the food?

I watch the weather report with everyone traveling to each others home, some in the snow, some tucked warmly in front of the fireplace. Some people are going to sit in airports.  If you are there I hope you make a party out of it, and find some wonderful new friends.

Ralph and I will be at home, and then go to Fresno for afternoon buffet with a friend that does not have family close by.  Our usual is to go to the Casino, for their wonderful buffet, but due to a tribal difference of opinion they are closed. I am saddened for all the people that lost their jobs in this "transition", yes, I am saying it nicely.

We have many blessings all year, but tend to focus on them at this time.  I put spouse, family and friends at the top of the list, pets, home,  and this is not in any order.  You can make up your own list.

We are all human, and probably no matter where you live or what you do, the lists would be mostly the same.. for some Food and a warm bed top the list along with Peace.

Peace for all man kind would be a wonderful gift for the world.  But sadly our World is not made up that way, and so we must find Peace closer to home, with in ourselves.

There are many ways to find Peace. It involves so very much, and yet so simple.

May the Christmas Season bring you Joy, Love and the Peace that you seek.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

River Water- Fresno River

Many things to be thankful for each day, sometimes we have to look hard, but they are there.  Family, Friendships, Love, Caring, and the basics of life.   I could go on but I am sure you have many personal feelings about Thankfulness.

Kind words are also appreciated.

Californian's are especially "Thankful" in the mountain and farming areas for the coming rains. We have had a tough Summer with many fires and devastation of our beautiful hills. Families have been left with just the charred ground where their house used to be.

Today I want to show you what we are very Thankful for, Water in the Fresno River.

My husband was on what we call our "Island" and on the far side, the water has made an appearance.
This is a busy season, time to do lots of trimming in the trees, but also a time to just look at the magnificence of what we are blessed with.

A quiet moment to reflect.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving, Toys for Tots, Toys R Us.

Fall is almost over, our trees are fluttering with the leaves that will soon drop and be blown away.
At this time of year I give thanks for so many things.  The beauty that surrounds us, the blessings we share with one another, and the magnificence of each day. 

We are blessed to gather with friends and family for Thanksgiving. So many don't have the plump turkey and all the trimmings or the smiling faces to bless at such an event. We wish that their lives improve with understanding, love, kindness, and appreciation for living in this amazing country. Where there is opportunity, if a person is willing to work with caring and consideration for each other.
This last week  Ralph and I participated again in gathering toys for Toys for Tots.  The Griswold Mountain Detachment 1121 of the Marine Corp League was in front of  True Value Store in Oakhurst. watch for them next at Von's in Oakhurst.
It was so much fun to chat with our neighbors in the mountains, to be part of their generosity for the Mountain Area children. New Toys were bought at True Value, and  True Value donated toys equal for the ones purchased.  People that did not purchase toys, donated monies that is used for purchasing toys and gifts. California has been very dry for a long time, and that day it was raining, it did not dampen anyone's enthusiasm for participating in this wonderful tradition.

Yesterday, Monday, many of us got up in the dark to drive to Fresno to Toys R Us..  They opened early, especially for  5 Marines and spouses to pick out gifts for Boys and Girls, ages, 3-18. Trucks and Vans were used to haul all the goodies to a ware house, named the North Pole.

 Baskets were filled with lots of fun items, Balls, Dolls, Bags, Toy Cars, you name it went into the bags.

Hello Kitty, seems to be popular this year ..

Thank you Toys R Us for supporting this project.

Just a few of the Marines and their spouses before we left with the cars, vans, and trucks full of toys.
There will be more work in the weeks before Christmas. Toys will be picked up at the various locations around town, all toys are then sorted according to age, and gender.  Then delivered to the various places that give the toys out. Some have Santa's in attendance, a party, and refreshments. 

The Big thanks goes to all the Marine Elves and their helpers, and the generosity of all the people that donate to make children smile at this time of year.  

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thank you- emails!

Ever feel like these fish at feeding time?  But this is how I feel about my email entries at the moment.
I hate apologies, but in saying this...

If I miss a few days of emails,  and blogs they back up.  I really find them all interesting and important to read. 
Each gives me thoughts for the day, or ideas, and then the mind wanders off.

There were 2 very large fires recently in our mountains, thus with lots of emails about donations, homes to stay at, clothes to be given away to those that lost their homes, and general help in relocating.
And many  fund raisers.
Not to say anything about voting for local run off's, and the need to be educated in what local government is doing... VOTE.
Then Sierra Art Trails, and the preparation for that, the fun of the 3 day week-end, and the week after exhausted.
A house, yard and studio that has been neglected because of the heat, too much, now the rush to get things done before winter. Trimming the yard, dusting the house, etc.
I am sure we all have these sorts of things.. but my mind/ heart is in my studio.

And I have some things that really need to get done in the studio, not just need, but my fingers are itching to work on the projects that are stacked up. 

My apology, is if you sent me an email and have not heard from me.. I am slowly going though the 800+ if I have missed sending you something important, I am sorry. And hopefully I will get to it or contact me again.
After the quilt retreat I am going on next week.. 4 days with the YoYo ladies.
I know that internet is almost non existent there.. However this time I have my I Pad. I put cellular on it, but have no idea how to send any blogs on it. I hope to keep up with the current emails.

That is in between, laughter, food, ocean, shopping and more laughter. Oh, yes, knitting, quilting, writing, meditating, laughter, oohing and aahing over the ocean. Can one do that all in 4 days?
And then Halloween. 

Thank you hubby for all the help, love and support that you give me!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ice Dyeing in a Strainer

I decided to go through boxes that are labeled by color. My thinking was that I would donate some of the fabric to the Thrift Store. I had a nice bag already to go..  Then took a second look. Mistake, after all it is just fabric and I could dye the fabric and then deconstruction printing and if I mess up, no big deal. Not fabric I am in love with.  Till now.

I use strainers from the Dollar Store, they fit nicely on the buckets.

and leave it all over night. Of course, I did soak everything in Soda Ash first.

You can probably see the little orange flowers.

Oh!  got a photo of my foot also.. Two  buckets have the strainers, the third I just put in the bottom of the bucket and let it soak.

This fabric has blue dots. They show up one one side very strong, and on the back side just barely.

See the little sprigs of flowers in this one.. love the swirling orange color.

I folded this piece over.. Now, do I really want to print over these?
Into my stash again, but a different holding area.

Sorry, Thrift Store, maybe next time!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Quarry Books, 1000 Quilt Inspirations

Exciting news, A new book coming out and I have some fiber art pieces in it.. I don't like to say which ones yet.  I just received a letter that the book comes out in  February 2015.

It is so much fun to be accepted in a book and many of my email /blog friends are in this one also.

One of the benefits of being a SAQA member is receiving notification of entry dates and wondering which piece goes with the theme.. Or even rushing to make something that might be considered.

Sometimes the author has strict guide lines. For me it means choosing or making something special, having it professionally photographed and following the exact wording of what they want on the entry.

However in saying all this, it also means that I could misinterpret what the author or juror is saying . I might think something fits and it doesn't.  I have learned to send in extra photos unless a specified amount is listed.

I sent in an entry the other day for a book, and I was really stretching my thoughts on the theme,, Now I am having second thoughts would something else I have fit the idea better.

Authors have a vision and the artist might have another idea of what is being said.. Does not mean the art is not good, it just is not fitting with the general theme of the book.

So I feel really blessed to be in many beautiful books, it is a thrill for me to be included with so many amazing artists.

Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry, with my little gourd necklace "Heart and Hand"
1000 Artisan Textiles "Shine to Land and Sky"
500 Traditional Quilts- "Variable Toile Stars"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tee Shirts, transfigured

It is the time of year that we start to think about changing out the closet for winter clothes.  That means to move T Shirts from one place to another.   And I am getting sick of some of the T-shirts with wording and pictures on them. Also I have a collection of Sierra Art Trails T Shirts. Ok.. so I hate to throw out a good shirt, but they are taking up space in my closet.

California has a new law that will go into affect in Jan... no plastic grocery bags.. I save mine for other uses, so not sure how I will replace them, but I now have a use for all those Colorful T- Shirts.. Make them into bags.. and here is how I am doing it.

Yes, I am putting the good ideas that I Googled together,, lay the shirt flat and cut around the sleeve leaving the seam for strength. Can use the sleeve for dust cloth later.

Use a dinner plate and lay it over the neck area. Size is your choice, marking with pencil the out line, and cut the neck out. 

That is easy so far.  Next for the bottom.

Turning the shirt inside out, I pinned the bottom together. I left the seam on at the bottom for strength, and rolled it up and machine stitched  both sides together, then rolled it up again, or you could double stitch for strength.

Now I have 3 bags that I can put anything in.. groceries, or what ever. Thinking I might fill one with my yarn project and sketching projects to take with me on retreat. Also one for the paper towels, and paper goods to take along..  These fold up nice, or just stuff in the back seat.. Off to check out my husbands closet.. his T- shirts are bigger!

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