Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Colors

I really like the colors in my newest mini embroidered art quilt, which is a part of my ongoing abstract series that I have been working on and posting in my Etsy shop. (This one is "Abstract no.8") The colors make me feel all happy, and remind me of early morning sunshine, green fields, pretty flowers, and blue skies!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Little Bit of Vintage

Here's the 7th mini embroidered art quilt in my abstract series. My youngest daughter, who shares my love of sewing, declared this one to be her favorite. And at least one other person felt the same way, because it sold lickity-split! The black flower print is vintage, I believe from the 1930's.

I tend to hoard my vintage fabric, and only use it when I feel it is truly needed, (it's not like I can run to the store and buy more!) Below you can see that I used a strip of the same fabric in this illustration quilt I did 2 years ago. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but this quilt is completely covered in embroidery stitches, and is one of my personal favorites.

It's called "Walking to School in the Garden of Eden". It is semi autobiographical, and deals with the loss of innocence. The only part I have never been satisfied with is how I drew the snake in the grass, in the lower left panel. A bit to cartoonish, I just could not get it right. I used Tsukineko all purpose inks to color in the girl, the bird and the snake. They are wonderful as you have a lot of control over their application, and it is very easy to build up the color just so.

Other vintage elements in this piece include The red flowered fabric along the sides, the green fabric used for the flower petals, and the background is done on a vintage piece of feedsack. If you look closely you can see the printed text of the feedsack, but the embroidery stitches have somewhat obscured it. The button that represents the sun is also vintage, along with the crocheted buttons in the center of each flower.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Everyday Pleasures

Note: I originally did this post with different images, but apparently the pictures were not showing up for people visiting my blog, (a big thank you to those who let me know, as I could see them fine!) I am starting over with new pictures, and will share the first batch next week when they feel like co-operating with me! Please let me know if anyone is still experiencing problems seeing my images, thanks!... And now for my post!

Last Friday I did a post on why I like the Green Dragon Farmers Market. Over the last 12 years, during the spring and summer, we have gone there almost every week, yet last Friday was the first time that I had ever brought my camera along. Looking for blog inspiration, I was encouraged to zero in on and capture snapshots of what made this a happy place for me, and that made it into something extra special. In keeping with that intent, to step out of my head a bit more, look around at my surroundings and zero in on what brings me joy, I have decided that every Friday I will do a post on everyday pleasures.

The way the farm woman around here all hang their laundry, way up high, on long wash lines.

A beautiful horse peacefully grazing on dandelions.

A mysterious old, blue lock box in the middle of a field. I wonder what's inside?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Abstract no.6

I started making "Abstract no.6" on Tuesday, Earth Day, and looking at it now, I believe I must have been influenced by the day, even though at the time I wasn't consciously connecting the two. That is one of the things I love most about the process of art, the way in which our moods, thoughts and feelings all have a way of finding there place in what we work on, whether we consciously intend for it or not. And that is also why I am so drawn to stitching. It is a whole language in and of itself. Every line, cross-stitch, and french knot is gently communicating something old and ancient, unspoken, yet understood.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Abstract #5

This is my fifth mini embroidered abstract art quilt. (That's why it's called "Abstract #5"... such a clever little title!) I am having so much fun with these! All of the applique pieces on this particular quilt are of japanese chirimen fabric. This type of fabric was developed in the 16th century and has a lovely subtle "wrinkled" texture to it, which comes from the way it is woven.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Green Dragon

Here are six things that I really like
about the Green Dragon Farmers Market:

The sign

The view

The produce

The timelessness

The flowers

The variety

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Abstract #4

This is my newest little abstract mini embroidered art quilt. For this piece, along with the bright colored solids, I added some japanese chirimen to the mix. I really like the added pattern and texture of the chirimen fabric.

The hand stitches are what give these little pieces their personality. I never really know how these abstracts will turn out until I finish the embroidery, which I just make up as I go along. That's often the best way to work!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pretty Pink Trailers, (Beauty is Everywhere)

Hubby and I went for a drive today, and we went past one of my favorite sights, this old pink trailer, with the wonderful curved metal porch roof. (Yes, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder!) I actually had my camera with me, (I usually forget to bring it along) and finally got a photo of this old slice of americana pie.

After I got home, I noticed this one particular artist on the front page treasury of Etsy. I checked out
Aliette's wonderful shop and to my surprise found this terrific print of a delightful pretty pink trailer! Love at first sight! Bought it immediately, and can't wait to get it, frame it, hang it, and adore it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Glorious Color!

Outside it was gray and overcast again, but inside I focused on glorious color!

A bowl of thread on my sewing table

A pile of paint chips on my cutting table. They provide wonderful inspiration for new color combinations, and the best part is they're free!

My latest embroidered mini art quilt, photographed against a vibrant piece of yellow paper.

Show me your colorful inspirations! If anyone has recently posted something bright and colorful on their blog, feel free to add a link to it in the comments section!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung, or at least is in the process of sprunging, (yes I know that it not a real word, but it should be.) All of the colors around me are changing and I simply love what I see! The two little art quilts above are the first in a new series of small abstract works where I have fun, (it is all about having fun, you know) with playing around with simple colors, shapes, lines and textures. The wonderful crisp clear newborn colors of spring inspired these two pieces. The baby blue of the sky, and the lovely yellow green colors of the leaf buds forming on the trees, excite me each and every year as if I am seeing them for the first time. It's nothing short of magic.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Growing Older

Molasses, my beloved pooch, and I are growing older. She turned 11 this past December, and I hit 45 last Sunday. I generally shy away from the camera, but today I thought I would take a few pics of us and pay tribute to growing older. (Note I say growing "older" not "old". There is a difference!) Ever since I was a little girl I was determined to view the aging process as a thing of beauty. I loved the dignity and assuredness of Georgia O'Keefe. I adored the spirit of Ruth Gordon, especially in her role as Maude in "Harold and Maude". (If you have never seen this movie go rent it now!) As a 10 year old girl I vowed that I would be a woman who embraced what ever age she was, and who wore her wrinkles with pride. As a 45 year old woman, this is proving a bit more difficult to master than I had thought it would. The changes that I see in each passing year have alarmed me at times. Things aren't as toned, and it seems that age spots are appearing everywhere. I wear bifocals now! But it's all good. I look forward to each birthday. I love that I am still here! I really enjoy the process of growing into myself. Maybe it has to do with being fortunate enough to have a birthday that coincides with the arrival of spring. It's all about hope, rebirth, renewal and joy. That's how I view birthdays. I sincerely hope that I get to celebrate another 45 birthdays, and I wish that Molasses could, too.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

1970's Boob Tube (They Just Don't Make Them Like They Use Too)

Our 1970's boob tube died last month. We knew that it would eventually have to go to that big appliance store up in the sky, yet it was a sad day when it finally happened. It was a mammoth boxy thing with fake wood veneer, and ugly silver plastic dials. Conspicuous looking amongst our more refined retro items that stood nearby, like my cool 1920's Westinghouse copper heater, my sleek 1930's art deco Paymaster machine and our lovely old 1950's Smith-Corona typewriter. I admit I was horrified when my in-laws gave us this old set of theirs. It was back in the 80's when we were super young, newly married and barely scraping by. The folks took pity on us, as all we had was a tiny black and white TV that I brought to the marriage, (and which I still have!) The big boob tube was a dinosaur, even back then, and just screamed ugly. My husband was in heaven. At the time, I figured it was bound to die soon, I mean how much longer could it last? And we'd either go back to the tiny old B&W, or save up and by a new set. But it didn't die soon, and after a while it just became a part of the family. And after a while longer I grew to find it beautiful in it's own hideous way! When the day came to put it out for the trash collectors, I had to turn away, I couldn't bare to watch. And when we went shopping for a new TV, I turned my nose up at every ostentatious looking big screen and flat screen I saw. Finally we settled on a small retro looking new TV, and with each passing day I like it more and more, but I know I must refrain from getting too attached, as they just don't make them like they use too.