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

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!





Monday, October 13, 2014

Life Goes On



Some days we forget to look around us, and then something really important pops into our lives.
A hungry buck, yes, he munched on my petunias, what is left of them, as I hid by the kitchen window to take photos.  He wandered around a bit, then decided to wander off again.  We leave dishes of water around, because the Fresno River is and has been dry for many months.

I feel both tired and stimulated from the week-end of Sierra Art Trails. Delighted that many pieces of art went to new homes. It was busy chatting with wonderful art lovers that stopped to share their experiences as well as ask about the art.

Today, I am trying to catch up with life, clean the house, and settle my art back into their places. Yesterday I brought items up to Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst for the changing of the gallery. 
Jacqueline and I will continue to show in the Solo Room until the end of the month.
Stop in to say hello. 

I will be sitting the gallery on Oct. 15th.  from 10-4.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sierra Art Trails over for 2014


Judy Andes and I want to thank everyone for stopping in at the Coarsegold Historic Museum. For many it was a first time and we hope you stop in periodically to see the new exhibits.  We are delighted that so many of you choose to take home an art piece and share our love of the arts. 

Judy's pastels are amazing, she delights in painting the local areas. I am sure you connect with these beautiful green locations and views of running water.  We look forward to our landscapes turning green and the sounds of water in the river this winter.

The weather was very hot, but better than rain. Especially for the artists that were at locations where they set up under trees. Now, we are doing rain dances.

I also want to thank the Museum Docents that share their enthusiasm every year by keeping the museum open long hours all 3 days. Our guests enjoy seeing objects from the Old West and hearing about the history of Coarsegold.

 We had several couples enjoy the shade and breeze under the trees.  They had packed their lunches, drinks and even a table cloth.  Something that Judy and I had forgotten, a table cloth. On the list for next year. We also sat under the oak trees and relaxed with cool drinks. We want to thank our special "hubby's" for their patience and luncheon deliveries. Not to say anything about the heavy lifting and sign placement.

Most of the time we were inside chatting with visitors, sharing our art and how it is made.

I have additional art at Timberline Gallery, in Oakhurst and a special exhibit with Jacqueline Kurtt is in the Solo Room for the rest of  October. I will be attending to the Gallery on Oct. 15th.
Stop in and say hello.  We are on winter hours now, 10-4.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Prayer Flag for a dear Friend.

The other day in the middle of getting ready for Sierra Art Trails, I received notice that my Dear  Friend Ruth is very ill and going to need treatment. 

A group of ladies are making Prayer Flags for her hospital stay and treatment.

I dropped what I was doing and thought about the life and friendship for awhile.   Then on to the Prayer Flag. Yes, we were given instructions and I know how to make Prayer Flags, after all, I have taught classes.  But...... I looked through photos I had taken at the retreat that Ruth and Odette had started me on in 1999.

That year they introduced me to Point Bonita Quilt Retreat near San Francisco.  It has been an amazing voyage, with fantastic ladies since then.  This is my first year not to go...But attended  every session since then.

I met Odette many years before that at a Leisure World Emeritus group. I was a new quilter. Ruth is Odette's best friend.  I thought I had a photo of the 3 of us with all our quilting goodies, including sleeping bags, sewing machines etc. but I don't. That was the year we flew up!

But I found a photo of the "roomies" at Point Bonita. Enlarged it, used my hand dyed fabric, paints, stencils and ironed it to wool felt, and of course, stitched it.. so that it would not wrinkle when it is hung on a string.  Also slipping straws around the string helps to keep them straight.

Usually I follow the directions but this time I couldn't. I will be sending this off to Judy to organize and deliver with the other Prayer Flags.

As we all wish when a dear friend is ill, all the blessings for a speedy recovery, love, hugs, blessings, love, more love and hugs, go with Prayer Flags.  Get well soon, Ruth. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

500 Traditional Quilts Book

Just arrived!  Yeah.



 I know this is not the greatest photo, because I just had to show that it is really in a Book.




I have just had a moment to glance in the book. I am overwhelmed  that my quilt was picked to be part of this collection.
 
As I look at the amazing quilts that were entered and are shown so spectacularly,  I am humbled.

This is exciting.  Check out Amazon, perhaps you can buy it there.

Now all I need is a cup of Tea, and rainy day, and a cozy quilt, and this book, to drool at all these beautiful pages of quilts. Many of the quilts are traveling, so you might see it at the Houston Quilt Show coming up soon.

Thank you Karey Patterson Bresenhan for the opportunity to have my quilt shown in this book and thank you Lark Books/ Sterling Books for publishing Quilt Books.
Thank you David Hoffman for being the photographer of my quilts!

Thank you all my friends for supporting me and my obsession, and yours Quilting!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Preparation for Sierra Art Trails 2014

Watch for the Orange signs with arrows and check out your catalog for more details.




Laying out some of my goodies, fabric bowls, framed items, silk scarves, and book covers
and lots more.

Judy- #29,  will be showing her beautiful Pastel Art.
We are behind the gate, and up the drive to the old Barn, then follow the short path to the School House.  Great Parking, easy side walk.
Bring your lunch and sit under the beautiful Oaks and visit a bit of the old West by seeing what is at the museum. Ever seen a wooden washing machine?
We are in the Green School house, look forward to seeing all our friends and making new friends!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sierra Art Trails, Oct. 3,4,5,-10AM -6PM

This is an exciting time of the year, and a busy one for the artists. Weather looks like it will be wonderful, just perfect for exploring the Mountain area and the towns of Coarsegold, Oakhurst, Mariposa, and North Fork areas. Don't forget to purchase your catalog only $18.00 for 2 people, and it is a keepsake for years to come. Maybe ask the artist to sign your book. I asked visitors one year to sign my T. Shirt!

Many artists including Judy Andes #29 and myself #28 are on Highway 41. We are near the Chuckchansi Casino Turn off, in the school house at the Coarsegold Historic Museum.  Watch for the signs.

"Reflections" is on display at the Stellar Gallery in Oakhurst,  although I will have many pieces of art at our Museum location.  Fiber Art, Scarves, Jewelry, and Mixed Media pieces are also available. 

Judy will be showing her marvelous Pastel Art, capturing the beauty of local destinations and her love of nature.


"Who Me" is a piece expressing my love of the Garden. Is this something you would enjoy making? I give several classes during the year. Would you like to participate in fabric dyeing?  There will be an interest list for future classes.
Check out the catalog with all the pertinent information. Above is the ad for Gallery Yosemite and Timberline Gallery. All this in Gallery Row.. don't get lost there, this art is up now, come check it out and find the artists you want to visit, set your Trail and enjoy a week-end in the mountains. Laughter, and getting to know the artists in person makes for a wonderful experience.

Have you seen the Art Quilt Mural on the back side of Timberline Gallery?
70 ft X by 2 stories high.. Each piece is 4'x4' in size.  I painted the Star within a Star, of course, fiber artist. The idea came from the Barn Quilt Art. However ours is unique, we have artists showing their paintings, and a variety of art mediums.  Would you like Barn Art on your home, in your garden, or on your Barn or Tuff Shed... ?

When you enter Timberline there is so much art to see.  Each artist from Sierra Art Trails and so much more from our local artists.  I will have many pieces on display, along with my jewelry.

AND Jacqueline Kurtt and I have a display in the Solo Room. Jacqueline is known for her weaving's, and we will have some surprise art in there also.

Spend a memorable and enjoyable week-end in the mountains near Yosemite National Park. Check out Sierra Art Trails, Timberline Gallery, Yosemite Western Arts and Gallery Yosemite on your computer for more information of our artists.   Any questions, contact me at vivianhelena@sti.net.
 
Don't forget many of us are open on Friday,, start early. Stop in and say hello, there will also be docents to show you the museum if you wish.   See you soon..




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