Monday, January 30, 2012

I Had So Much Fun Today

I've been at my Mother-In-Laws for a week with no Internet access. Thus the reason for no post last week.

This is Hannah one of four beautiful granddaughters. I've decided that I want to try my hand at thread-painting faces. I've done quite a bit of thread-painting but never a face. My interest in creating portraits has lead me to try many different techniques.

This portrait of Barefoot Jackie is made with a four-layer method. I create a pattern on PSE and go from there. I teach this in my Fabricating Faces class.

This portrait was made with a totally different method. I also created the pattern in PSE. This uses eight values of fabric and is constructed with a different technique. I teach this in my Personal Places: Portraits in the Landscape.

I'm working on quilting another piece but I can only spend so much time in a day quilting or I go mad. I know that quilting is part of the creative process of making a quilt. However, I don't get the same creative high when I'm doing that process.

So this afternoon I decided that it was time to create a portrait in thread. Don't ask me what the difference is but in my mind I am creating when I thread-paint but not when I am quilting. I'm very excited about what I've done so far but tomorrow morning I go back to the quilting and then thread-painting in the afternoon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Over-Thinking a Design

I've been working with this design for over a month and I finally came to the conclusion yesterday that I should leave well enough alone. I composed the photo in PSE by combining two photos. One was of the ruins at Sheldon Church in the low country of SC. The other photo is of a beautiful maple tree, without leaves, located at the public library in Seneca, SC.

I did a few other manipulations in PSE, mirror imaged the design and ended up with this piece. It is rather large about 56" x 36".

I was so excited by the secondary design I saw after the mirror imaging was done that I thought I needed to add more to the piece.

I worked for a couple weeks with the other images to the extent of actually printing them on fabric. I just couldn't wrap my head around what I was seeing. It just didn't do anything for me.

I took it to my Focus Art Group on Wed. and they had even other suggestions for me to try. I worked on those yesterday and finally decided that what I have is a series. I think this piece needs to stand on its own.

This is a close-up of the center area. When I was at the ruins of Sheldon Church I had the most wonderful feeling of what the place must have been during the days of plantations.

After the printing was completed on fabric and I saw the large piece I knew right away that I wanted a ghost to appear in the piece. For some reason I saw this ghost as a woman running.

After a lot of manipulating to a copyright free photo I found on the web I came up with the ghost in the above photo. I'm thinking she might be a little to ghostly. I might need to add a little more substance to her. I hope I'm not over-thinking this too.

More later.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

J. C. Campbell Folk School Art Exhibit & Auctions

I've been teaching at J. C. Campbell Folk School for about six years. It's always such a pleasure to teach there. This year for the first time the school has put together an exhibit of work from some of their instructors.

The exhibit is at The Coca-Cola Corporate Offices in Atlanta, GA. The exhibit will hang through January.

I felt fortunate to be asked for two of my pieces to hang during this exhibit. The above "Love" will be offer for auction in Feb.

"Summer's Bounty"

This quilt is also in the show and will be offered for auction. On Feb. 4, 2012 J. C. Campbell will offer all the work that is now on display at Coke Corp. The auction will be held at the Atlanta Fine Craft & Art Auctions at the Woodruff, Arts Center in Atlanta.

If you are interested in more information please contact or go to their flicker site.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January HiFiber Meeting

HiFiber met Thursday afternoon and the technique for the month was Notans. Ann Hanewald presented the program and we had so much fun cutting up paper.

Notan is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark as they are placed next to the other in art and imagery.

This photo show Beatrix, Penny and Diane cutting their design. As you can see the paper is folded into four sections. It can be folded on the grain or on the bias.

I think this one was by Shirley W. As usual I thought I would remember who did what, but.........

While you can draw your design and then cut it out. I found it more fun and came up with what I thought were better designs by just cutting. I just realized I didn't take a photo of my most successful one. Maybe I'll post it when I make it into a wall hanging.

A fun afternoon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Project

I had quite a few emails about my transfer problem. They all told me I couldn't transfer an image on dark fabric. I had several people suggest ways I could accomplish the affect that I wanted. One was to paint the image on, but I really wanted a realistic look. Another was to print the image on organza. I've done this many times in the past with success. I use Misty Fuse as a web then cut out the image and iron to the dark area.

I enhanced this image in photo shop. Made several sizes and then using Word, inserted them on a template so that I could print many different images on one piece of 8 x 10 fabric.

I haven't photographed the image on fabric yet but will post on it later.

This is what I've been spending my time creating in the studio this week. I have spent every day working on images in the computer. Every time I do one image I see something else I want to try.

The biggie this week has been trying to figure out how to make mirror images in PSE. I finally gave up and made these images the old fashion way. Cut and Paste. However, I was determined to learn how to do this is PSE.

I emailed Gloria Hansen, she wrote "Digital Essentials", to ask her if she could help me. Gloria is such a sharing person always answers emails and shares her knowledge. She came up with the solution for me today. Hopefully I will have time to work with this later.

A few of the images I created today.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Planning Stages of a New Project

For the last two or three days I have been in the planning stages for a new piece of art work. I'm not yet ready to show the entire printed fabric because I still don't know for sure what I'm going to do with the image.

The image is printed on a piece of cotton sateen that is 36" x 60". I sent it to Spoonflower, an online printing service. I had done quite a bit of manipulation in PSE to achieve the image I wanted. When I entered the image on Spoonflower's web site I elected to have the mirror image printed. This provided some really intriguing secondary images. This photo is a very small part of the whole but one that I need to get settled in my mind before I proceed.

This image was taken in CA at the Huntington Gardens. Again I did some manipulation on this image to drop out the background as well as add a little to the image by cloning. I want to place this image in the dark center of the photo above.

This image was done with paper to explore the size I needed for the opening as well as the light/dark of the statue. I like this but felt the statue was to bright and wanted to dull it down a bit.

I printed an 8 x 11 piece of cotton sateen with the close up image. The dark area came up to light but I wanted to go ahead an explore using TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) to transfer the image of the statue to the background. I found the image to be too dark. I played around on the same piece of fabric transferring the image just to see what it looked like on different areas.

I reprinted the image on fabric again after darkening it a bit. I also lightened up the image by using the opaque control in PSE. As you can see the image hardly shows at all and I get a glossy/smeared look where the image was applied. I also tried different areas on the fabric print to see show the image looked on various locations.

Now to my problem. I love TAP, it transfers better than any method I've ever used.
However, it finally occurred to me that the transfer is ink and when you try to transfer black ink to almost black fabric it just isn't going to work. I hope someone out there has a solution for me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Uncle Dave is Finished

There was a time when I didn't think I would finish "Uncle Dave". When I first started the quilting I kept breaking needles, my thread would fray and break. I became so frustrated with the project that I put it away and decided I wasn't going to finish the quilting.

I had finished quilting the face at that point and I knew that the piece was not one that I would enter into a show. The unfinished piece lay in my spare bedroom, I use it as a sample when I teach. I really don't have many UFO's and this one really bugged me.

I'm about to start quilting on another piece and needed to practice to get back into the swing of free motion quilting. So, I decided to pull out "Uncle Dave". I'm glad I did. The piece actually ended up being Okay. I still don't think I would enter it into a show but it does make a good sample for my class. I learned a lot on this piece. I know that next time I use real clothing, as I did for Dave's shirt, that I will cut away what's left turned under. There was a lot of fusing on this piece so between fabric and fusible web the layers really add up.

I don't really think my pieces through like a lot of people so I learn by making mistakes. This is one I hope I don't have to repeat.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Inspiration outside my back door

We have had unusually warm weather for this time of year here in NW South Carolina. That is about to change. It is suppose to dip into the low 20's tonight. When that happens the open blooms on our camellias will freeze and turn brown.

If we are lucky and the cold doesn't last a long time the buds will open up with little damage.

My husband brought me a basket of these in this afternoon so that we can enjoy them inside.

When I was photographing my arrangements this afternoon the sun was coming in through our great room window. The angle was such that I got this interesting sun-flare in the photo.

I've been having sewing machine problems, breaking thread, tension, and skipped stitches. I've done all the usual. Changed the needles, several time, changed and rethreaded the machine and bobbin. Cleaned the dust out, etc, etc. Spent a very frustrating day Saturday trying to get the problem solved. No luck.

I started the day today with a fresh outlook and was determined to solve my problem. Aurifil Thread Co. gave samples of their thread to our state guild, Quilters of SC, for our Fall Retreat. I decided to open the packet and try new thread in my top and bobbin.

It worked. Don't know why, I tried many brands on Sat. but nothing was happening. I'm still not sure what was wrong. I did have to change from the Aurifil to another brand because I didn't have the right colors for my project and the machine worked fine. Who know!

Hopefully, tomorrow I will finish the quilting on Uncle Dave. Yes, I finally dragged out Uncle Dave to finish. If I do you will see it right here tomorrow night.