Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Memorium

Priscilla Tucker & friend (circa 1951)

Today would have been my older sister's 64th birthday.  She died in March, 2001.
It is interesting how these things sneak up on me sometimes.  Last night I commented to my husband that I had been thinking about my sister more than the normal amount in the last few days, as I miss discussing books with her.  She was a librarian and a voracious reader.  She read cookbooks like others read novels.   This is a habit I acquired from her.  A Type One diabetic since age 10, her last years were difficult.
I miss her every single day, but some days more than others.  Today is one of those.
Priscilla and I
(circa 1957)

New Garden Color

I spent the afternoon recently repainting my ceramic pots, filling them with an assortment of annual color, and installing 5 knockout roses in a big planter just outside the back door of our living room.  I am not quite finished, but I'm happy with the changes so far.  Take a look:
pot was primed with ceramic paint

over-painted with a mottled amount of "claret wine" spraypaint

pots were filled with a variety of annuals, 
and 5 knockout roses were installed in the big planter.
I decided the planter needs lavender.....

Here is the house sign at the end of our drive,
changed to match the new roof!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Online interview

Please stop by the Quilts, Inc., website to read an interview of Jamie Fingal and myself about the upcoming exhibition, "The Space Between".  It is featured in the spring 2011 edition of "Friends At Festival".
Let me know what you think!
BTW these images have nothing to do with the interview. 
I don't like posting without something to look at!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Look!  You can see the surface of one of my work tables!  This is a rare sighting, indeed!

A few pieces of recently dyed fabric awaiting the next layer.

Below is the front of a birthday card I recently sent my oldest daughter.
It might apply to studio tidiness:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Scenes from Denver

Jamie and I had time before our late afternoon flights home to enjoy the beautiful Brown Palace Hotel, as well as have an amazing dining experience at Rioja.  I enjoyed a wide gambit of weather conditions while in the area:  89 degrees, dry, and windy upon arrival Monday, gorgeous clear skies and perfect temperature on Tuesday (although I was in the studio all day so I missed most of it), and rainy, then SNOWY, conditions on the final day of my visit.  Welcome to Colorado.
Here are a few images taken during my time in the area:
An unimpressive photo taken while I was driving from the airport
into Loveland.  I was trying to capture a tumbleweed crossing the highway.
I saw many!  Take a look at the fence-line on the left edge of this image.

The beautiful Larimer Square at night

Dinner at Rioja.
This is the cookbook created by the chef.

The gorgeous ceiling in the atrium of the Brown Palace Hotel.

The atrium.

An impressive snowstorm began as I awaited my flight home.
Thanks to this storm, I was about 5 hours late.

Helen Gregory takes a photo of Jamie Fingal on the set.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Behind the Scenes of my dvd workshop taping at Interweave

I had such a great time preparing materials, packing, and then taping my workshop dvd for the great people at Interweave.  I loved the challenge of honing the material to present it to, in this case, a virtual audience.
This meant a great deal of preparation of samples, condensing the options for the various demonstrations on  camera, and figuring out how to pack it all up and bring it to a remote location!  My greatest fear was that I would forget a key component.  I think I had bad dreams about this for about a week prior to the taping.
Since I was using some of the materials and tools up until just before I left my own studio, I decided to pack everything into checked bags.  I have heard nightmare stories of the TSA messing around with paint, etc., and the artist arriving at her destination to discover a suitcase decorated with paint (or whatever).
So far, this has not happened to me.  I use a band of electrical tape around the rim of every paint and dye container, all of which is packed in a ziploc bag.  Things like matte medium were not only taped, but also rolled up in Glad "Press and Seal", and THEN put into a ziploc bag.  A girl can't be too careful.

For my printing demos, I created a print surface out of a cut section of pressed foam insulation covered with felt.  These turned out to be unnecessary, as the producer had provided a great print surface, but I didn't know that in advance.  It worked out beautifully:  I used my own print surfaces for a few segments, and theirs for other segments.

Once I arrived, I mixed up my print paste in the hotel room the night before the taping.  The morning of the taping, while Jamie Fingal was doing her dvd workshop, I was outside in the hall mixing my dye colors, making my gelatin plates for monoprinting, etc.
One of the fun things about taping at the Interweave studio in Loveland CO is that the set was customized for each taping.  I brought a lot of my quilts and cloth for this use.  I love that the backdrop of my dvd will have my things in it!

Here is who I picked to look at while I gave my intro:
Am I the only one who loves this version of Johnny Depp?
Cap'n Jack!

Excited to begin the workshop!

Here I am explaining why I think the best use for this complimentary AARP 
credit card is as a squeegee for screen printing!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Gelatin Plate monoprinting

In preparation for filming my workshop dvd for Interweave I needed to create samples of the various techniques I would be demonstrating on-camera.  One of my workshop segments is showing how one tool can be used in a variety of ways.  The following images are using using a gelatin plate to create monoprints, and the same tool is subsequently used as a stamp.  

 Recipe to create a 9x12 gelatin plate:
6 tablespoons gelatin powder
1.5 cups cold water
1.5 cups hot water (almost boiling)

In a pan, place the cold water and add the gelatin.  Mix until it is well-blended with water.  At this point it will be very thick.  Gradually add the hot water and continue stirring until the gelatin is dissolved.  Try to remove any bubbles on the surface.
Place in a refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.  The gelatin sets up quickly.
Carefully remove from the pan.  If you have a disposable pan, such as the one in the image, you will need to avoid working on the bottom side of the gelatin because it will pick up the marks of the pan.
bok choy leaf

used as a stamp (left) and monoprint (right)
printed on cotton broadcloth

bottle lid (left) as stamp and monoprint, gum packaging (right) as gelatin monoprint
printed on cotton broadcloth

what do you think this is?

hand-carved stamps on old book pages
(gelatin monoprint)

hand-carved eraser stamps used as stamp over gelatin monoprint
printed on paper

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Warehouse 104: Part of the Artist Village!

Artist Village Project

I love a great challenge, and Kathy York provided just that a few months ago when she invited me to construct a 3-dimensional building for an "Artist Village".
The Rules:
1) It must fit onto a footprint of 12 inches square.
2) It must fold flat for shipping (I believe this rule might have been amended a bit).
3) It must have quilting.
4) It should reflect your own personal style.

Here is what Kathy has to say about the project:
This project began last summer.  I was inspired by Judy Perez and the 3D houses she had made.  I thought it would be an interesting project to see how different artists would interpret the challenge to make a 3D house. And as I thought about the inspiration and support I have received from others, it seemed the perfect fit to make a collaborative project and build a village. It reminded me of the old adage..."it takes a village to raise a child".  
Each participant was asked to make a 3D  fiber art house or houses using any techniques, but to include quilting in some aspect of their house. I asked participants to attempt to make a house that would fold flat for shipping, but slightly less than half of the houses fold flat. What can I say?  Art doesn't conform well to rules.  I personally was not able to make mine just didn't turn out that way! Please join us for a close up tour of the houses.  Be prepared to be amazed and inspired by this wonderful collection of visual treats!

Oh fun!  This project resonated with me.  I think my late father, an architect and structural engineer, would have loved this!

Welcome to Warehouse 104.  This is my contribution to the village:  my take on an old semi-abandoned warehouse that is being converted to a series of artist lofts.  I hope you enjoy the progression of images leading through the construction.

Using my dye-printed upcycled facial wash cloths fused to lutradur, I began stitching
across the surface, adding "graffiti" to the walls.
I started stitching this in Open Studios at IQF Houston last fall!

walls were cut, then quilted to Peltex

grommets added to create funky windows on one side of the loft

another unusual light source: a used vitamin packet!

Each side was glued to corrugated plastic.
Look what I had to resort to to weight the pieces in place!
Even my 1530 Bernina was called into action-now there's some weight (like an anvil!).

Roof added by creating a pleated flap of heavy cloth, pleated and stitched to black felt, 
then painted with black gesso.  More grommets added for personality (and light, of course).
The walls were held together by fused, stitched lengths of facial cloth-covered lutradur at each corner.
The building is held in place by a strip of velcro that joins the two end-pieces.  The roof flap folds over.
The building becomes entirely flat.

Seen from all four sides, and top.
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please be sure to visit the others involved in this fun project!

Susan Else (website)                       May 2
Frances Holiday Alford                   May 3
Pamela Allen (website)                    May 4
Frieda Anderson                             May 5
Lisa Call                                         May 6
Jane Davila                                     May 9
Naomi Adams                                May 10
Jamie Fingal                                   May 11
Barb Forrister                                May 12
Vickie Hallmark                             May 13
Connie Hudson                              May 16
Leslie Jenison                                 May 17
Sherri McCauley                            May 18
Judy Perez                                     May 19
Melanie Testa                                May 20
Laura Wasilowski                          May 23
Kathy York                                   May 24

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Workshop dvd for Interweave!

I traveled to Denver this week to tape a surface design workshop dvd for Interweave.  I had so much fun working with Helen Gregory and the videography staff @ Interweave.  It was a pleasure to be in Denver again, even if the visit was quite brief.
Here are a few shots taken on the set by Jamie Fingal, who had taped a project workshop in the morning.
my first "set up":  a discussion of some of the tools needed for dyeing

getting ready to begin....

here is a view of the studio set