Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back on the Path

Things have calmed down a little and I'm starting to get back into my routine. At the very least, I'm able to spend about an hour each morning "playing" before I start my job-work (as opposed to my fun-work :-)).

The "Painted Landscapes" class at Quilt University is over, and I was able to paint a couple of landscapes. I did want to get one quilted, though, before I moved on to the class I'm currently taking, "Elements in Fabric." I was able to finish it tonight.

This is not my design; it's taken directly from an example the instructor, Michele Scott, used in the class. She's great, by the way--her lessons were very clear and easy to follow, and she responded very quickly to questions and comments on the class discussion board. At any rate, I painted the fabric, then repainted it because I didn't like the way it turned out, then repainted it once more, adding a little more orange and purple. The border is also hand-painted fabric. Then I free-motion quilted it, and decided to add more paint in the ocean area. I also added some angelina fibers to the lightening flash and a few beads in the sun area for sparkle.

I think it turned out well, and I'm proud of it, even if it wasn't my original design. I've started on a piece of my own design for the Elements class, which is much more complicated and will require a lot of time and thought. It's nice to be immersed in projects again, though, and to feel myself flowing into that routine I've missed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Atlanta Finds

Ok, I didn't really find these so much as listen to other people's advice. At any rate, I was in a conference in Atlanta over the last few days, and I was hoping to have a few minutes to slip away for "fun stuff."

That didn't exactly happen, but I did have a little extra time before heading back to the airport, so I went by Fiber on a Whim. What a great place! Jan was very nice and I wish I had visited before I ordered all the supplies for my upcoming class, Elements in Fabric at Quilt University. I bought some Golden quinacridone paints, which I've only read about and never actually SEEN in person, some ExtravOrganza that I've been wanting to play with, and a really great book about painting on fabric, Skydyes by Mickey Lawler. The book has a lot of information about fabric paints, how to mix and use them, and how to create beautiful painted skyscapes on fabric.

Afterwards, I headed over to Nicholas Kniel. Now, when people said I should visit a "ribbon" shop, it wasn't high on my priority list, but since it was next door to Beadazzles, I popped in. I was amazed. The shop itself is a work of art, and the ribbon, velvet birds and leaves, feathers, and glass glitter are stunning. Nicholas was fun to talk to, and is incredibly passionate about ribbons and embellishments. I bought some beautiful feathers and some German glass glitter.

Next door was Beadazzles. I don't buy a lot of beads, since I have tons and don't use them that often. I was, however, wondering what the best thread and needles were for sewing beads to quilts, so I asked. The shop owner or clerk (not sure which), asked a group of women who were working on beautiful beaded jewelry pieces what they advised. One very nice woman gave me her suggestions for both beading thread and needles; she seemed apologetic, as if she were being bossy, but I was thrilled to have her advice.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Where Did My Rut Go?

Some people hate getting into a rut. I actually like it. I prefer to think of it as a routine that keeps me grounded and centered. Alas, my rut seems to have smoothed out into an ice slick, and I'm skittering all over the place.

I did finish my fabric postcards for the swap. When I mail them today, I'll have fulfilled all my swap obligations and be ready to get back to my own work--specifically, the landscape quilting class I'm taking at Quilting University. It's a relatively short class--3 sessions over 4 weeks. We've covered lessons 1 & 2, which were about painting fabric, and then painting landscapes on fabric. Here are the landscapes I've had time to create:

Lesson 3 will be about quilting and embellishing the pieces, so I'm looking forward to that. I have another Quilting U class starting in a couple of weeks, so I've been busy ordering supplies for that.

This has been a month for travel, too. We were back in Galveston last weekend for our grandson's 8th birthday. We had been promising we would take him to the beach all summer, and finally fulfilled that promise. He had never been to the beach, and the look on his face when a wave washed over his feet and shifted the sand under them was priceless. He had a great time and has decided he wants to move to the beach. Our little dog Max loved the beach, too; now she's seen snow & surf, and it's hard to tell which she loved better; we had her on the leash but she SO wanted to chase the seagulls. She usually completely ignores birds, so there must be something about the beach that brings out the runner and chaser in her. We all (with the exception of Max) enjoyed Moody Gardens and the aquarium and rainforest, too. And of course, I was able to get more pictures.

I'm traveling to Atlanta on Sunday for a conference. I'm hoping to find a few minutes to sneak away to a fabric shop, or a gallery, or something soul-nourishing.

And once I get back home, I'm going to start working on carving that rut back into my path. It will take some time and involve quite a bit of coffee, journaling, and deep breathing, but I believe it can be done.

Monday, September 3, 2007


I love that textile & mixed media artists are really into swaps.

As I mentioned before, I'm participating in a fabric postcard swap.

I posted a pic of one of my postcards a few days ago, but these are better. I've finished 1/2 of mine--12 of 24. Only 12 more to go!

I'm also participating in a 3x3 collage swap in one of my Yahoo groups. I finished those yesterday and got them ready for mailing today. I've discovered that I'm not very good at collage, and I really don't like it that much. I like painting, though, so I guess it's not surprising that my mini-collages look more like little paintings than collages.

At any rate, they're done!