Thursday, April 30, 2009

Store Samples Dogwood

I am teaching a colored pencil technique on fabric for these small panels. This one is a very simple design but I did some micro stippling around it to give it a look of trapunto. The design is quilted first, then colored, then quilted again, in this case heavily and borders were added. I also finished up another one with pomegranites and I will post later. The photo is not showing true colors, the border isn't so bright, matching the dogwoog much nicer. My class at Cozy Cottage in Brea, CA on June 7th, will offer this elegant block to paint, along with other blocks and a table runner.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some mans trash is another mans ... artwork?

The joke in my house is that nothing is safe from either my pencils or paints. Everything and everyone is fair game! I was getting excited about my keys and decided to draw everyones keys when I happened upon a pile of peanut shells, wow, how interesting. Although many tried to throw them away as trash I managed to keep this pile until the drawing was finished!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Garden Tours

This last weekend we went on a garden tour of 6 houses in Riverside. The theme of this years tour seemed to be water conservation and drought tolerant plants. I can appreciate these gardens but I was hoping for more of a variety of gardens. Each home was wonderful and we got lots of pictures for painting later. It turned out to be a full day of running or slowly walking with mom. We all enjoyed it so much, I look forward to doing it next year. These were quick watercolor sketches of two of the homes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh these chains that bind us!

My mom has been here since October, trying to get better. I have been caring for her along with Jennifer. When she was the sickest and I was trying to get her back and forth to the hospital she always grabbed her purse, complaining it was so heavy and she need to get a smaller purse. We always tease her because she is always working and usually carries hammers, levels, wrenches in her purse but she swore she didn't have any tools in there. I would throw her purse on my shoulder that also carried my leather purse, another two ton bag as I wheeled her into the hospital. One day, after many tiring hours of hauling the purses, my mom, and myself all over the hospital to different doctor appt's I decided to look inside her purse and see what she could possibly be carrying. To my amazement I pulled out a huge ring of keys and said, oh my gosh, are you moonlighting as a janitor? Which she replied I have another set just as large. What could you possibly have this many keys too? She opened the offices where she still works, she has most of her furniture and possessions in storage units which all have keys. She has containers on her property that also contain her treasures, with locks, and then there are the house keys, car keys and gate keys. Wow, it was amazing. All this time I had been hauling a bag of metal! I am trying to get her to take off her car key with my house key and use a smaller key chain, she isn't going for it though! There is some deeper meaning to all the keys we carry around. I know I have a drawer that has a plastic cup full of old keys I am too afraid to throw away, just in case someday I remember what they go to and need to open it! LOL Here is my drawing this morning, as I drank my coffee and thought about how hard it will be to go through those keys in an emergency to try and find something! I did eliminate some since I didn't have time to draw that many keys.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sumi's Quilt is finished

Well I amazed myself at how quickly I finished this project, since I am the queen of procrastination. I like how it turned out although the picture shows the border fabric a bit darker than it is. I like the contrast and I ended up beading the one side of her shoulder and sleeve to make it look like the light was reflecting off of the dress. Click on the picture to see a close up. Finished size is 25 1/2" x 26". One of my smaller quilts. On to another now, I'm on a roll!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

It's Earth Day today, and in an effort to do my part in preserving our gift I am sharing the things I am currently involved with. My garden is a huge part of my earthday celebration. We have always grown our own food, and for years raised all of our meat and had milk goats. I usually can and freeze for use later as crops seem to produce a bounty of goods at one time. I also have dried zucchini and ground it up to make zucchini flour to use in my zucchini bread. There are so many wonderful ways to creatively be a good steward of our planet. I now only garden a small area, in a raised bed. I use drip irrigation and mulch to conserve water and I compost. This year I bought some tomatoes in peat pots which are directly planted in the ground so there is no waste or trash from plastic containers.

I think one of my biggest weaknesses is Costco, which I feel is not the best at being an earth friendly company. They over package things, package some perishable foods in over sized packaging which you can never eat fast enough. But for some reason I love to shop at Costco. They carry some very cool things. Last week while I was shopping I saw that they had a composter for sale, Oh wow, an easier, smaller way to compost. It was only 99$ so I bought it. Today, my husband is setting it up for me, an appropriate way to ring in Earth Day. I keep a plastic milk jug with its top cut off in my sink and as I chop or peel I just add the pieces to the jug and I can easily carry it out to the composter to empty. I have always had the giant pile of stuff that had to be covered and turned and watered. This is all self contained and has a handle to turn it weekly! Yippie, I can't wait.

As my garden grows, and my fruit trees start to set fruit I will be thinking of all the good uses I will have for my new crop of "black earth".

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter/Spring fun!

I love to decorate, both my house and for all the holidays. I also love to have family and friends over and set a formal table, serve a huge meal and fellowship. This year I made this little quiltlette (as termed by Jane LaFazio) for this little wire hanger I found at Gingers Quilt shoppe. I painted the fabric with many different methods, using paints, inks, glue, tape, stamps LOL and anything else I could grab. I think it turned out great! If I do say so myself. I can only say that because it was just a miracle it turned out at all. I hated it at the beginning. Originally I used glue as a resist, not realizing that I would have to soak it for hours to remove it. I have since learned what kind of glue washes out easier. So in my frustration I decided to leave it, as I painted over it I loved the way the paint seemed to light up as I painted over it. I then decided to bead it, ok that didn't work out very well. Just incase you don't know, a needle will NOT go through dried glue. So I embellished with beads around the glue, in areas that I could and the glue wouldn't effect the overall design. This is one of my samples for my "Fabric Playday" class I teach. I am happy with it and used it for Easter with my bunnies. LOL

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sumi, Another test for a quilt idea I had

I saw a picture of a friends mom and was just called to paint it. I want to paint her for in watercolor but I thought she would make a great art quilt. I decided to use Acrylic Inks on really wet fabric, this kept it loose and challenging to retain the shapes while the inks bled all over the fabric. I really like how it turned out. I did manage to figure it out and gain some control as I continued on. I will now quilt and finish. I love these inks and plan to do some other things with them. What was interesting was that the dark brown I used for her hair bled the red that looks like a glow around her head. When the inks are diluted with water things begin to happen! Sumi is 80 years old and she has been playing the violin since she was twelve, she plays with the Palo Alto philharmonics. I thinks she is just so beautiful! Another woman with an incredible story!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New art supplies!

I just love buying new art supplies, it doesn't even matter what it is, I love them. I happened to be teaching an art quilting class all about different mediums on fabric. One of my students said she found these cool pens that didn't seem to bleed on fabric and the colors were great. I decided that I needed to go get some and play. Many of you have probably already used them but I haven't so they are new and fun to me! They are called Faber-Castell Artist Brush Pens. I think they use them for coloring comic book drawings or illustrations, I guess. I opened them the other night just to peek at them and decided to try them on paper first. They are just small markers but they are waterproof and have good color that doesn't bleed when you draw over it with another marker. For instance, I did all the black lines first then colored over them with the yellow marker, nothing bled and my yellow marker is still yellow. We are trying them on fabrics to, once I wash it I will let you know how it goes! Here is my quick practice sketch of Lemons that Marta brought me from her tree.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Diana's Companion

This week on Different Strokes for different folks our challenge was to sketch the statue of Diana. This is my quick sketch, not great, cut off her feet, but my sketch non the less. I took so many pictures of statues at the Getty to draw as value studies and never did! I need to get my photos out, it is really a great exercise.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day!!

The most holiest of days, this day when Jesus rose from the grave, he became the sacrifical lamb for you and I.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Easter is on its way!

Well I organized another Easter card exchange with one of my watercolor groups! What fun it is to get an original watercolor card from someone who's art you admire! I sent mine to Germany, it had to travel fairly far and took about two weeks to arrive. Sherry got my hen trying to hatch her eggs. The inside read" Here's hoping in Miracles".
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