Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hi... Remember Me?...

     Griselda Ghastlie is back, and this time she's got her entire family with her! Just in time for Halloween. She made her first appearance on the blog back in January, in this post, and she was the inspiration for our Fiber Art Bee's challenge. Members purchased one of the four figures featured on the fabric panel by Alexander Henry Fabrics and used it to make their own Ghastlie project. This month was the reveal, and what a fun day it was- a reunion of sorts for the Ghastlie Clan.

There's Griselda, standing in front of several family members dressed in their finest.

You can see a couple of the original fabric panels in front of Laura's Ghastlie trio.

There were even Ghastlie garments. Merri made her jacket using an Indygo Junction pattern and centered a Ghastlie Family in the center back.

In addition to Griselda, I also made this apron using a Sit a Spell panel, the caped Ghastlie to whom I added a derby with a cat sitting atop, some fabric paint, lots of lace and glitter, and some tulle ruffling.

We took a break from admiring the Ghastlies, to enjoy some spider and monster cookies. And then it was back to the festivities.

Joyce used Inktense Blocks to colorize her Ghastlie girl and stitched her into this wallhanging.

Michyle gave her Ghastlie girl a steampunk look by decoupaging her onto a canvas. She used so many techniques to complete her project, that I've lost count. But she foiled her hair and added glitter glue and a feather. She used discarded jewelry to embellish, including toe rings for the arm garters, and a locket for the cat portrait. Watch faces and parts are also in the piece, and Michyle recycled discarded frame corners to complete her asymmetrical wall art. There's even a disembodied, skeletal hand up top and a necklace dangling off the bottom. So creative!

Bonnie couldn't stop and she made an entire family collection, using roving for the hair and adding other embellishments.

Even tiny yo yos and buttons went into her pieces.

Sherry added bat wing eyebrows to the caped guy, and lots of colorful embellishments to the Ghastlie woman.

More family members...

And even more! The two women may be competing for the Ghastlie guy's attention, and I do believe he is blushing. Or nervous.

 And finally me, modeling my apron and holding Griselda. This was so much fun and everyone who participated really rose to the challenge. What will we do next???

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A September to Remember!

Phew! This blog has been sadly neglected for quite some time. Over a month at least. I've been busy creating, but have not shared in awhile. For one thing, we had Hurricane Irma blow through this area of Florida. While we did not suffer any property damage or flooding, thankfully, we were without power for a week. That was a very l-o-n-g week. And hot. Did I mention hot? The day power was restored was a happy, happy day.

But I have been working on projects, and even completing some. One is this Pop-Up Fringe Journal, the project from an online class taught by Roben-Marie Smith. It began its colorful new life as a discarded manila file folder.

The inside pages are full of found images and stitching. What's more fun than sewing on paper?

There are colorful tags stitched and tied with sari ribbon. The black tag has a more colorful reverse side seen in the next photo. There are lots of places to write in this fun little journal, and yet I don't seem to write in mine.

It's funny, because I love to write and make lists, and I love pens and markers, and I love making journals. 

 And yet, when it comes to writing in the journal, I find I have nothing to say! The exception is when I make travel journals. I manage to document places and activities then.

The paper I used for most of the elements in the journal is a piece of artwork made in another journaling class with Tiare Smith. I photocopied it, and enlarged it. Some of the pieces are also from Roben-Marie's Art Pops and downloads that come with the class enrollment.

The end. The back cover shows all the pop-ups and fringe that make this journal so appealing! It was a fun class.

And this weekend at our local library, I'll be presenting a lecture and "trunk show" of the many journals I've made in the past few years. Participants will get to make a simple accordion-folded journal of their own, with no sewing so they should be able to complete it in the time allowed. I made two models for the program which I'll share here in an upcoming post.

During September, a collections of my journals have been on display in the glass case at the library to generate some interest in the program. Apparently there has been a good deal of interest, so hopefully we will have a nice turnout. And hopefully I'll remember to take some photos so I can show you what participants come up with for their journals.

When I loaded the journals up in totes to deliver them to the library, I got a sense of how many I have. The saying "anything more than two is a collection" came to mind and I've got way more than two- it's definitely a collection.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Downeast Stitch Book...

We just returned from a refreshing visit to the state of Maine. It was a welcome respite from hot and humid Florida. It's referred to as "downeast", and in fact, that's the name of a magazine that celebrates Maine's history and culture. Early sailors navigating from Boston to Portland were sailing downwind and to the East-hence the term. While we were away, a brand new online class called "Stitch Bookery" taught by Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from LA began. I watched some of the Week One videos and gathered photos and brochures I could use to make my first class project- this sewn, meander-style accordion book with a nautical Maine theme.

I've enrolled in other classes on Mary Ann's site and have enjoyed all of them. It's fun and relaxing (not to mention messy) to sift through paper and combine images to convey a story, or just to create a pleasing collage.

And using the sewing machine on paper scraps is indescribably soothing. The number tag 862? That is a piece of street litter. I walked by it every day on our way to the beach, and it caught my eye every time. Finally I said to myself, "If that's still there on my last beach walk, it's going in my journal." I was kind of half hoping it would not be there because I love using "found objects" in my projects, but road trash? Not so sure about that. But, there it was on the last day, so here it is in my book!

I used a canvas paper base for the book, and found it easier to bend and get under the needle for sewing than stiffer watercolor paper would be. The photo is of beautiful Perkins Cove, Maine, a pretty small port on the Atlantic.

Because of the way the book is folded, some of the pages needed to be stitched as panels before securing them into the book. That way the stitching of the page behind it is covered up.

Lobster is a recurring theme in the Downeast book, too. We had a few, and they do taste so sweet right there at the source. I did read that studies show that lobsters are migrating to colder waters of northern Maine.

This is the back cover, and features a lobster image seen through the clear window of an envelope. This is a four week class, so lots more ideas are in store. I'll be stitching and whistling my way through more stitched books.

Another class project is a small accordion book. I made an abbreviated version of stitched together panels on watercolor paper (gelli printed) layered with dyed cheesecloth and sentiments of healing for a friend undergoing surgery.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How About a Field Trip? Let's Go Where the Art Is...

If you live within driving distance of Dunedin, Florida, there is still time to see this wonderful Quilts & Textiles exhibit at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center. It's on until the 18th of August. If not, then enjoy an armchair visit with me. Happily the Center allows photos of the works exhibited. This piece is titled "Maria Rosa" and was made by artist Karol Kusmaul.

The DFAC entrance is inviting with a decorative tile wall and this appealing teapot outdoor sculpture.

But it's what is inside that will make your heart beat a little faster! Several themed exhibits of wonderful quilts and fiber art. "Shirt Tales: Portraits by Karol Kusmaul" is a solo exhibit of many quilts Karol has crafted using re-purposed thrift shop clothing. This one is titled "Elizabeth's Wishes".

In the "New Quits from an Old Favorite: New York Beauty" from The National Quilt Museum, this is "Gotta Dance" by Cathy Geier. There were so many fantastic interpretations of the curved and intricately pieced New York Beauty block.

Included was "Exotic Enchantment" by Jean Brueggenjohann. 

 Karol's quilts were a highlight for me because I loved the expressive characters and the source of her varied fabrics. "Song" is shown at top. All that wonderful shading is done with snips and bits of fabrics. This bottom photo is "Grandma Magic". Did you have a Grandma who mixed batter by hand and had chickens? I did, so this was a fond memory.

"SAQA Florida: Growth" was another exhibit. SAQA is Studio Art Quilt Associated. This piece is titled "Urban Maul" and is by Annette Boncek. Looking down from the top, you can see the inside is filled with park-like imagery in contrast to the buildings.

And one more by Karol- this is titled "Motherboard" and it has a background fabric that resembles circuitry. I am impressed by how prolific Karol is. There were many more of her portrait quilts on display, and that's not all she makes. Do visit her website to see more of her work. The quilt is also known as "Emerald". So many techniques and materials were a part of the quilts on display that it is endlessly fascinating to study them.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Is it a Quilt? Is it Quirky? Yes to Both!

This quilt creation (yes, it is a quilt- three layers with quilting to secure it) doesn't have a name yet. That's because I'm still speechless over it. Maybe that should be its name? Speechless. It began as a class project taught by Dianne Hire at the American Quilters Society show in March. When I walked into Dianne's classroom and saw all of her class samples, I thought, "Oh, this is going to be great fun!" And it certainly was.

Dianne may be the Queen of Quilt Enhancement given her creative addtions of curvies, tabs, dangly things. All of them are stitched and inserted into the seams of a pieced base. And then comes the embellishment of the enhancements! There are two felted beads made in a mini-class in my Fiber Art Bee group, along with other beads and bits I've collected along the way.

There are two more little geckos like this one hiding in the layers of the quilt. Can you spot them all?

Even the smallest scraps and figurative motifs can find a home in this style of quilt. Add some black and white prints for accent, and the whole piece invites you to lift, inspect, and examine it. I know I'll make at least one more of these projects! Oh, and by the way, the display rod is a simple dowel cut to size, painted with black craft paint, and dotted with white Posca Paint pen. Two wooden beads glued to the ends, and I've got a lightweight hanger that coordinates. Below are some of Dianne's class samples and the inspiration for elements to add to the project.

You can hardly count the layers and elements in this quilt. Dianne also uses stacked beads and buttons along with broken jewelry like those banana-shaped yellow beads on the dangling flower.

Prairie points, large and small, and tabs upon tabs- so much to look at in Dianne's quilts!

Also, the Queen of Curvy Piecing, you can see (almost) how the base piece has irregular shapes pieced together before the dangling bits are added. Even those have curved seams. Dianne's book is show below.