Saturday, August 28, 2010

Design Group - Day Trippin'

On Thursday last, my design group had a day trip planned to head off to Pasadena, take in a couple of museums and have lunch. Well, the day went perfectly, we all had a great time and took home a bit (or more) of inspiration.

Here I'm going to start off by sharing one of my favorite parts of the current exhibit we saw - Action/Reaction at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

My reason for starting here is really my love of Sister Corita's book Learning By Heart -- funny thing how something seems to be in the air. Just last month someone mentioned a second printing of this book, and I chatted about the book in my August newsletter -- then wham, I run right into a wonderful (Sister Corita would be proud) exhibit showing a new generation using her graphic arts methods and just how much impact words, color & action can have. My own first printing copy of this book is well worn and dogeared -- a great guided journey to teach yourself how to see.

The pictures here were taken of the current exhibit... Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Treasure Box - The Opening

Yesterday, Sunday, turned out to be a very lazy warm summer day at the Hughes and after a wonderful workshop out at the SewN'Sew in Glendora on Saturday I just wanted to do - well, nothing. This is usually pretty hard for me, but I came very close. One of those little pleasures I did take was spent opening a package that appeared without warning in my post office box on Friday.

In this day and age where most things pop up electronically (not complaining here at all-love it), it is especially nice when some special thing arrives in that physical mailbox. I was so jazzed I could hardly wait to open the envelope.

This was no little white envelope, but a bigger manila envelope and it had a big lump in it, that told of grander opportunities. So there I was standing in line with a unexpected envelope from a special (twitter buddy) friend of my-arriving all the way from Ireland! Not being able to wait-- I opened it right there! And, there inside was a little 'treasure box' for the note said 'shells from her beach'-- Well, the treasure box called for special opening - special attention, and I tucked it away back into it's envelope.So, that's what I did... waited for time to enjoy opening this little box on my lazy Sunday, I pulled out my camera and well... you get to share the opening here.

The little box was wonderful all on it's own - covered with maps (love maps) with fun, exotic sounding places, like Fairy Castle, and there was wisps of grasslike stuff peaking out.
With the box open came the nestlike layer of grasslike material and bits of wool roving...

When the protective layer was taken away there inside where little beach treasures... shells, a piece of beach glass and a few non-beach treasures... a large glass bead and several small is wonderful, and the one thing that kept running through my mind as I opened it was how I felt like I peaking into a nest and finding all sorts of things that were picked

up and carried back and treasured....

so, my little treasure box collection will probably work its way into becoming a nest quilt....

I say probably, only because you know how these things can change and transform each time they are opened.

Thank you Roisin!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fall=A Bouquet of Sharpened Pencils

I don't know about where you live but fall in Los Angeles is our time of 'hot'. Unlike other parts of the country where things start to cool down and leaves start to turn, Aug-Oct in LA can be the hottest time of the year. But hot or cold, fall does bring thoughts of back-to-school and for me (one self-confessed office supply crazy person), I always think of the line from You've Got Mail where there is a shared appreciation of the thought of A Bouquet of Sharpened Pencils.

And, I know I am not alone! I started this blog entry wanting to share one of my favorite products I have started to use this year. They are not new... just new to me, and I have been having a wonderful time using these in tons of ways. The pencils are the InkTense Watersoluble Pencils by Derwitt. And, I do have a bouquet of these sharpened up and ready to use.
In the past I have used these on fabric and love the color saturation you can get and how easy they are to work with. But, I've been having a great time lately using these on paper.

When my little art group met last year we started each gathering by picking words out of a hat and either drawing or fabric playing with designs these words conjured for us. These were great fun and lately I have started taking some of these further and coloring them up with the InkTense pencils. The time spent on the initial drawings was enlightening, and adding color nudges some of these drawings in new directions.
The pictures here show how I have been using the pencils on drawings created from the phrase - 'bad pharmaceuticals'. (we do take turns coming up with the words thrown into the basket...)

After inking the original drawings I pull out the pencils & my little color chart that I made up. It makes color selection easier.

Then I color in the drawing with the selected colors:

And finish them up with a fine brush and water.
Hope you get to try out the InkTense pencils... What's your favorite art or school supply?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Youngest Woolie Maker!

As most of you know one of the techniques I shared in my latest book was how to make small wool objects to embellish up and put on quilts. I have been using these myself for several years and affectionately call them woolies...

Well, while I have been busy this week working on drawings for some new work... and missing fabric just a bit I received this wonderful email from Pam GB-- (I'm just going to copy it here!)

This is miss Sophie who is 6. She will be in first grade. She came to my bee with her Grandmother when I was showing the others how to make woolies. She loved them! She got the process very quickly..except she put lots and lots of roving into each one...not wisps. This is how they came out! We all loved them! She is not sure what she will do with them, but was very happy with the process...except for the fact that they had to be washed and she had to wait to see them. I am sending you her other photo too. Is she the youngest person to make them or are you doing this with lots of kids? Pam GB

The picture was so much fun that I had to ask if I could share it-- Mom said yes, so here is a picture of Sophie.... The Youngest Woolie Maker!

They certainly look GREAT!
Thanks for sharing these with me, Pam & Sophie!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Day Just Like Today

It has been a fun-filled busy summer and I have been enjoying every moment. I have especially enjoyed this past week--time at home--time to catch up with some paperwork--time to organize & mess up the studio with some new projects buzzing through my head. Some have had me purchasing wood, pulling out the saw, nails and hammer....
no, I haven't given up quilting...

I will share some of these things later on this week, but today I wanted to share some other photos.

My husband & I went on Sunday afternoon to the local park..picnic lunch in hand, he with a magazine and I with my sketchbook. This is what summer is about-- enjoying the glorious days, relaxing and having a great time. When we got there all was quiet but you could tell that the park had not been long deserted for the remnants of a huge balloon archway had obviously blown (just out of reach into the trees). The colors of these fun shapes up in the trees were enhanced by the sun shining through -- so, I had to take some pictures & share. You'll just have to imagine though sitting in this quiet serene place and every once in while hearing a "POP!" of the summer breeze having its way with the balloons.
I wish for you all a day of relaxing, enjoyment taking shape for you in your own special way.
Or, as John Denver said -
"If I had a day, that I could give you -- I’d give to you, a day just like today"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ethereal/Material - Moving Forward

I believe that I am pretty much caught up with most of fun spots from July -- though you never know when something else may slip in. This past Tuesday was hanging day for the latest exhibit I am part of - Ethereal/Material in Anaheim CA. Everything went up beautifully and it was great having a hanging staff there.

At the end we had to borrow a couple of hammers in order to take our traditional 'hammer shot' of all us. Linda Carlson joined us for this exhibit and it's wonderful to have her sculptural pieces as part of this exhibit, too.

Behind us are four 12x60 pieces created specially for these niches -- mine is the one on the furthest right. A small slice of a labyrinth that I call 'A Piece of the Puzzle'. The opening reception is next week, but the exhibit will be up through September -- hope you can stop by if you're in the area.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Bit More Sharing from Seaport Quilters

Still working on sharing some of the memories I collected on my recent teaching trip. This time one of the workshop attendees 'Ginny Clark' came bearing quilts she had already created using my Fast-Piece Applique method... and boy did she ever create some beautiful 'heartfelt' quilts. I hope you enjoy these and forgive the photographer for not being able to show these to their absolute perfection!

Thank you Ginny!

Wishcasting Wednesday: What do you wish for your creativity?

Jamie's fine Wed. question comes to me at just the right moment. I have had an incredible summer so far. Traveling to fun, new places - meeting great people and having the opportunity to do the things I love best... I love to learn and explore - a gathering of images, things and experiences, for nothing feeds my creative self more than this reaching out and exploring/ Then to make it even better I have the flip side of this special opportunity of gathering & learning... I have been able to share the things I have found through my teaching...

What makes it the right question at the moment is that I find myself home - at a point where I can spend time sorting through all the recent collecting of ideas, people, places and feelings and using them as stepping stones to new creative projects or file them away until they pop up... ready to used and enjoyed.

So what do I wish for my creativity... more of the opportunities to continue on this path of learning and sharing... a never ending pathway to life's treasures.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Steppin Back to Idaho

Way back at the beginning of July I posted some pictures of my travels through an incredible area of the country called the Palouse and I mentioned Seaport Quilters Guild... what I didn't have a chance to share at that point was photos of some of the workshop participants. They were a great group and their landscape quilts were certainly inspired by the area surrounding their homes. I just had to share some of these with you. Seeing them here makes me want to visit them again, SOON! Enjoy....