Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back Home from J C Campbell and a Bit About My Class

Okay, I've talked about all the other classes at J C. Campbell, now it's time to show what my class accomplished during the week.

Our class was small but that turned out to be a blessing.  This class is very intense, there is a lot of information to process in five days.

We begin the class by creating the canvas, which in the case of this class is a landscape.

We have two days to get it under construction.  We then move on to the eight layer/value portrait.

I always work with my students before class to help them select a photo/photos that they want create.  Often we go through many photos before we come up with just the right one.

We can use a photo with a portrait/background/landscape that is the original photo or we can take two different photos and overlay them so that they make one.

Debbie M. had this photo of her husband Jim in a beautiful setting.  We tried isolating him and putting him in other landscapes but this one was by far the most satisfying.  Keep in mind that these are unfinished pieces.  The white around Jim will be cut away and he will be attached to the landscape and then quilted.

We discussed that I thought Jim's eye color was too blue but she can correct that when she quilts the piece.  I can't wait to see this one finished.
This is Gretchen and her piece.  Gretchen's landscape was by far the largest in the class.  We had a problem in the beginning because she didn't have the best sky fabric.

I always bring fabric from my stash just in case.  This piece just made her landscape.

When we do our before class prep I have the students have their photos enlarged so that we get the proper proportions.   Gretchen had a friend enlarge the landscape and then the portrait.  The portrait was enlarged a little smaller than the landscape so this was as far as Gretchen could go in the class.  Really, it's all she had time to do anyway.  She will have the enlargement done again in the right size and finish out her body.  Great Job.
Jane took my class last year.  She was going through a difficult time in her life but did a great job finishing her landscape and the portrait of her granddaughter. (show about her head)

She had chosen quite a large project for a beginner to portraits.  Three people in one piece takes a while to finish.

Jane decided that she wanted to come back this year to refresh her memory.  She has the second one almost done with one more to go.  This is going to be stunning when it is finished.
Jane is going to either quilt or applique sea oats behind the kids. 
Jan really moved along with her piece.  She has the background almost finished quilting.  She used some roving to add a little sparkle to the water and a shadow by the drift wood on the beach.

Jan was worried, for a while, that the portrait wasn't looking like her grandson, August.  Look at the two of them side by side.  See any resemblance?   She wrote this week that the piece will soon be done.  I love it when a student get's into the class so much that they keep going when they get home.

Lucy came to the class just a week before it was to begin so she had a lot of work to get done in a week.  She was having trouble finding digital photos because they usually only take photos of landscapes.

I totally understand that because I tend to do the same thing.  However, I finally decide to have her take a photo of her husband and he one of her and we came up with a merged image that worked.
Lucy's husband had something to do with the restoring of the lighthouse in the background, I hope I'm getting this right Lucy, so this landscape was important to them.

Lucy had the most incredible piece of batik that worked beautifully for the trees in the background.  That is one piece of fabric cut into shapes to resemble trees.  I might give my eye teeth for a yd of that fabric.   Lucy wasn't happy with the sky fabric but she left it there for this class.  When we were almost through she said the fabric was growing on her and she might leave it as is.  I'm kind of agreeing that this looks pretty good.   Lucy is an artist and it usually doesn't take me long to spot my artist.  This was very apparent in the placing of her light and dark against each other to make the trees look realistic.  Another great job.

What a great class.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back Home with lots of tell about my week at J C. Campbell

The last day of classes everyone brings what they have made to Keith House for Show & Tell. Basic ladderback chair was taught by Lyle Wheeler.

 Mind you the chairs started our as trees and were whittled down on these wood horses.

These baskets started our the same way teachers, Mary Ann & Bill Smith brought the trees to Campbell in their truck.  This is what happened during the week.

 The Blacksmithing class, Forging Your Ideas into Reality was taught by Lucas House.  The Blacksmithing class is always one that is highly sought after.  Show here is a press.  Below are flowers made out of iron.

Aren't these beautiful?  Returning students have learned not to sit at the dining table with the blacksmiths.  Meals are served family style and the blacksmiths always come in very hungry.

Felt Making, rugs taught by Beck Walker is another class that starts from the beginning.  They use raw wool fresh from the sheep.

My husband doesn't always go with me when I teach but if they are offering something he's interested in, then he signs up.

Glass: The Magic of Stained Glass Open Work taught by Karen Reed was one of those classes.  This was a really unique way to work with stain glass.

I saw my husband come out of a funk, our children/grandchildren has just left from visiting for a week, to being fun and having fun in this class.
This is my husband's finished piece.   Karen gave them a selection of different patterns from which to choose.  These were traditional stain glass patterns.  They were told to redesign them to make the piece 3-D and to be incorporated within the oval ring.

Karen then gave them a styrofoam ball and cone shape and they were to make an armature and design a stain glass piece.  This, again, is my husbands design.

 Rugs, Weaving taught by Christie Rogers produced some beautiful rag rugs.  This class is in the Fiber Studio, which we share, so we always get a little sneak preview.

Wood Turning: Turn and Embellish a Deep-hollow vessel taught by Steve Sinner also produced some really beautiful wood work.  

For some reason I forgot to take photos of the beautiful chocolate made by Robert Reeb's class.  Could be I was only interested in tasting.

What's in Your Writing Folder taught by Dana Wildsmith presented a reading the night before in the library at Keith Hall.  The last post talks about the Beginning Guitar class and the Muppet class.  The only one left is the Quilting Class.  Personal Places: Portraits in the LandScape taught by me.  That's gets a post all to its self.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back Home with lots to tell about J C Campbell

J. C. Campbell Folk School, of and on, offers a class titled  "Unique Offerings"  this year I was lucky enough to be there when a class in Muppet making was in session.

David Stevens seen here with his assistant teacher Lobert taught this class.  David by himself was funny but with Lobert he was hilarious.  He's also a great banjo player and singer.

 On Wednesday evening David and Lobert presented a muppet show for anyone who wanted to attend.  JCC offers some kind of entertainment each evening at seven.  Lobert is actually making announcements here and one of the announcements was to not take photos during the performance.  David offered to let us take photos later.

Oops! I already had this one taken before he made that announcement.

David and the Muppets performed several skits and they were FUNNY.  Though focused toward children, the adults laughed and enjoyed the show,  perhaps even more, than the children.

During Show and Tell on Friday, all the classes display their projects made during the week.

I believe the top row of Muppets are Davids but the ones on the bottom are student's work.

I was amazed to see two finished Muppets for each student.

This class had only three students.  I'm not sure why more people didn't sign up, but I have a feeling that if it's offered again there will be many more students.  Me for one.
  One of the students got way-laid, by these children, on her way to Show and Tell.

I can see a wonderful use for these Muppets.  Perhaps to a child psychologist, a children's ministry, a special education teacher, a librarian or just for someone to have fun with.

 The music class this week was beginning guitar taught by Rick Taylor.  The students had shown their new found ability just before David's class presented their Muppets.

The guitar class accompanied the Muppets and their humans in two songs.

David carries his Muppet theater all over the US.  He specializes in presentations to libraries and 
schools.  If you are interested in getting in touch with him go to his web site,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Off to Teach

I'm off to J. C. Campbell Folk School tomorrow to teach for a week.  Hopefully I will have a little time to post if not I'll have lots to talk about when I get back.

The view from the back deck of Keith House at JCC.

Friday, August 10, 2012

PayPal and Gift Certificates:Do not bother

Last year I had gift certificates to Spoonflower on my Christmas list. My two daughters give me generous ones. I used part of one about three months ago but had to get on the phone with PayPal before they would honor it. They told me Spoonflower was responsible and when I got in touch with them they said it was PayPal. It was PayPal.
 I tried to place an order again a few weeks ago but PayPal would not recognize my ID or password. I didn't have time then to pursue it further. Yesterday I spent over three hours on the phone, first to get my ID straightened out and then again when they would not honor the GC, with PayPal.

One person told us that the GC had been deactivated but could give no reason for this. They told me it would be rectified and  to try again. I did, to no avail. My husband called and talked to a "Specialist" and he said to give them over night that they were doing some updating, yada, yada, yada. I tried this afternoon and the same thing happened.

In the mean-time I emailed Spoonflower and they graciously offered to honor the GC without PayPal. After trying PayPal again this afternoon I decided to let Spoonflower take over since I felt that I had exhausted my avenues.

I'm writing this because of my frustration with PayPal and I want other people to know that this is happening to PayPal customers. I will never order anything through PayPal again. Just wanted to share this experience it might help someone not have to waste their valuable time to claim something that is rightfully theirs. Sorry to be so long winded, but this is the short version.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Two Exhibits this Weekend: Art Quilts Lowell 2012: Music and Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition

The Music Maker

The quilt is showing this weekend at Art Quilts Lowell 2012:Music.  It will be hanging at The Brush Gallery & Artists' Studios from Sept 9-12.

Wish I could be there.

The Everchanging River

Opens in Taiwan Aug. 11-Sept. 9, 2012.  This exhibit has been very successful.

When we put this together we couldn't have dreamed that it would end up in Taiwan or at the Museum of Quilts in Paducah, Kentucky.

When it arrives back in this county it will be retired after four very successful years traveling.

My contribution to this exhibit is Colman, Venice of France.  It is the piece in the center.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sanctuary finally Finished

Sanctuary, or Is It?

I've been working on this piece for a while had it almost finished when I put it aside to spend this past week with our family.

Sanctuary came about after we had been to Harbor Island, SC to stay with friends.   There is a bird sanctuary within walking distance of their home.  Often we sit out on their back porch when the sun is setting and watch the birds fly over our heads on their way to roost.

We often go down to a landing for a little bird watching.  Sometimes the nest are close enough to see the babies.

Birds are not the only animal we see at the sanctuary.   Great big and tiny alligators.  Turtles and a few snakes.

I chose to add the alligator to show that sanctuary doesn't always mean  "A place of refuge or protection".

More on the construction in the next post. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Teaching Grandchildren

Our family is visiting this week and we were able to keep them out of the lake long enough for a few lessons.  Here my husband is teaching Connor how to turn a pen.  He did a great job.

He also taught our to be grandson, Andrew to turn as well.  Unfortunately I was fixing dinner and missed getting a photo of himl.

Granddaughter, Sydney goes fabric shopping in Nana's stash.  With help and guidance from her Mother she made the cute little skirt that she is wearing.

Sydney's birthday is the 18th of Aug. We always have a big Birthday celebration for all the grand-kids when we can all be together.  On the top of Sydney's wish list was a gift certificate to JoAnn's Fabric store.

Does this make me happy or what?