Posted in beading, creativity, quilting

Blogger’s Quilt Festival


It occurs to me that I still haven’t posted the quilt I made in the Ana Buzzalino workshop that set me off on my current explorations.

And since it’s the Spring Blogger’s Quilt Festival, this is the perfect opportunity to share.  So do hop off  over there and vote for your favourites.  This is in the art quilt category and is 12 inches wide and 39-1/2 long.

And on the topic of voting … I put a poll which is just two posts back from this one, requesting artistic feedback, so please feel free to vote on that and help with a current project too.

Ana is a very encouraging teacher who brought many of her pieces to the workshop where we could study her techniques as we went along.  There were several examples of the Birds on a Wire that we made in the workshop, also others using the technique of piecing mixed fabrics straight onto foundation, batting and backing and then overdyeing the whole piece.

Mine includes white on white prints, black and white cotton, broderie anglaise, upholstery fabric, heavy cotton that feels like wool, assorted trims, and seersucker.  Some of these were fabrics I never thought I’d really be able to use.

beading, assorted b/w prints, eyelet trim at top
beading, assorted b/w prints, eyelet trim at top


I mixed peach and tangerine fibre reactive dye powders from Dharma to achieve my colour.  It’s fascinating to see how each fabric dyes differently, yet everything goes well together.


This detail shows dupioni silk, a strip of hook tape which I bought for the workshop because it’s polyester cotton blend so I knew it would take some dye.

It also demonstrates Ana’s saying that there’s always a fix for everything.  A hook fell right at the edge and I had to snip it out to be able to sew the binding down.  This left an ugly hole because of the way the hooks are sewn into the tape.  I found a couple of beads and covered the hole with a trim.  There’s a row of seed beads towards the bottom of the piece (below the sitting birds) but sewing through all those layers was quite tough so I left it at one row.

Posted in Art, creativity, journaling

Raw Art Journaling in Action!


Here’s TJ Goerlitz demoing raw art journaling techniques from Quinn McDonald’s book Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art, which just coincidentally happens to be launching today.

If I were still in Phoenix that’s where I’d be tonight!

I met Quinn in Phoenix and have taken classes, both in person and online, and know that her book is a distillation of everything she’s been working on over the past few years.  This is an exciting day!


Once I have my mitts on the book, I plan to challenge myself to translate some of the concepts and exercises into fibre art.

Posted in Art, creativity, journaling

Bare all? Thoughts on Journaling

At my fibre arts group meeting the other evening we were discussing journaling.

Some of us do morning pages, myself included.  Others find it not to their liking.  Mine are illegible scrawls half in shorthand and sometimes I can’t read my own writing even that same day.  Periodically I recycle old pages as I feel the need to do that.

I do review them right after writing and  mark anything with creative potential with orange pen. Why orange, you ask?  just because.

If it’s quick to do, “sketch coffee mug in pen and ink,”I put it on my to do list for the day.  Longer projects are noted in a sketchbook, e.g. “make pillowslip with new green fabric.”  If my morning pages have gone into more detail I will photocopy the page and stick it in the sketchbook, “what if I made rectangular blue and green blocks and sashed with peach batik?” especially if I drew a diagram to jog my memory.

One fellow artist shared that she’s afraid of keeping a journal because people might not like to read her opinion of them.  I can empathize with this, and actually recycled all my teenage diaries realizing they could cause embarrassment.  My morning pages are illegible and disjointed with very little narrative content so I don’t think they contain any surprises.

Then I remembered the book Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods and Karen Denino.  One of their central ideas is to develop a personal visual code for people and emotions in your life.   So your unreliable cousin Bert could be a yellow spiral criss-crossed with purple zig-zags for example.  Then when he shows up three hours late for Thanksgiving dinner, you draw a table with a turkey on it, with yellow spirals and purple zig-zags on the tablecloth.  This is just an example, I don’t have a cousin Bert unreliable or otherwise!  I blogged about this back in 2007 here, and here’s one of my visual pages.

However when I clicked on the blog link, the most recent post (January 26, 2011)  by Linda is painfully honest.  I admire her courage in posting her deepest feelings about her mother.  Tried to link directly to it, but the address doesn’t change on their website, so you’ll just have to click on the blog link from their site.

There will be more about journaling in an upcoming post, and some exciting news, so stay tuned.

Posted in Art, productivity, Writing

Raw-Art Journal appetizer

Here’s a study page I made in my sketch book to try out ideas for the loose leaf pages I’ve made for Quinn McDonald’s raw-art journal project.

For the journals to circulate in libraries, Quinn owns the copyright to the actual pages but this is just a study.  The finished pages bear only a slight resemblance to this.trapped snowflakes study0001 However other than signing and dating the pages, I restrained myself and included NO TEXT.  Hopefully I’ve conveyed some meaning without it.

And they will be posted by Quinn when she receives them.  I would say “shortly” but let’s be realistic, we’re talking the tender mercies of Canada Post being involved here!

Will post more about my trip to AZ last week ~ for a variety of reasons it has taken longer than I thought to settle down and hit my stride since my return.  I saw so many people and although I dealt with many loose ends, I also generated more contacts to follow up on, and some of the loose ends themselves generated further to-dos to be dealt with here.

Of course no one dies with an empty in-basket.

Posted in Uncategorized

Inspired by Hundertwasser

This is stiffened fabric that was used as a stencil for monoprinting with Lumiere paints. Behind the cut outs is a small fabric collage with Lumiere paint brayered onto commercial fabric with a sheer fabric appliqueed on with metallic thread. To the right is the same sheer fabric with journaling text on it in Fabrico marker, with no backing fabric.

The irregular rows of squares and funky colors makes me think of Hundertwasser. Here is an image of the Hundertwasser House in Vienna.

This is a scanned close up view which better shows that there is text on the sheer fabric behind the window.

The journaling is the transformative aspect of this piece. I still need to trim around the edges and somehow make them more finished.

Posted in Art, creativity, journaling, quilting, surface design

Force Field

Force Field is my second contribution to the challenge. It’s fused applique, regular applique, and acrylic paint on fusible web.
The symbolism is an exploration in progress — EIP
Doesn’t that sound better than work in Progress!
The wedjet eye is a symbol that has been with me for years. Before we moved across the continent from central Canada to the SW US I had an image of a wedjet carved into a wooden picnic table that came to me while I was having acupuncture treatment.
The dots and bright colors remind me of Mexican folk art. I usually stay away from natural/neutral tones but this batik is so beautiful that I bought a pack of fat quarters last time I was at JoAnne’s.
Up to now I have not used human figures much in my art — I sense this may change. The force field around the main figure resembles a Picasso-style head in profile, this was unintended but I could see it even before I fused the paint onto the fabric.
Posted in Uncategorized

One down, 99 to go!

My first mixed media piece for the challenge. It’s a door hanger, one side says
and the reverse says
I hope to set a positive tone for this challenge and use the appropriate side of the hanger as needed.
Wooden door hanger, acrylic paints, commercial stickers and tag, oil pastels.
Did not buy anything for this one (the hanger has been hanging around for about 3 years!) and it’s Wednesday today, not that that matters, but now I have until Sunday to create my next piece.