Sunday, October 23, 2016

Way Down Upon the Suwanee River...

This is one of the beautiful and traditionally Southern buildings at The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, Florida. It's located along the banks of the Suwanee River and is a perfect setting for a quilt show. That's where we went for one on a beautiful Saturday in October. Stephen Foster is known as "the father of American music", having written more than 200 songs. Some well-known ones include Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair, Camptown Races, My Old Kentucky Home, and Oh! Susannah. He also wrote Old Folks at Home which is alternatively known as Way Down Upon the Swanee River. He took some poetic license with the spelling, perhaps to make it fit better in the lyrics. And, surprisingly, Stephen Foster, a Pennsylvania native, never saw the Suwanee River. It just fit nicely in the song!

Some vintage utility quilts on a fence marked the building where the vendors were located.

And two smaller buildings flanking the main house also housed displays.

In addition to lovely quilts, the park museum has some miniature, moving dioramas depicting various Foster songs, like Camptown Races. Camptown is a community in Pennsylvania. I made this photo large, hoping the line of race horses on the track can be seen.

Oh, look! The Art Warrior Dolls showed up and were on display. These were made by members of a class taught by Celeste Beck. I showed my doll in the previous post.

We usually take our bikes and ride around the grounds of the park after attending the show. This 97-bell Carillon Tower is a beautiful structure that tolls out Stephen Foster songs hourly.

I was probably thinking of the Carillon Tower when I made this cityscape for my art journal. It's one of the lessons in Robin Mead's online class Crazy Colorful Cityscapes. I enjoy learning with online classes, and am discovering lots of new interests. All of which require their own set of supplies. That makes for storage and space issues in the sewing room! But it's all worthwhile. I spend so much happy time in the sewing room.

And here is a "coming attraction." After completing the sewn Art Warrior doll class, instructor Celeste also offered a class in how to make painted faces for the dolls. This is the start of my next doll creation. More to come! Please come back to see.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Let's Hear if for the Art Dolls...

Meet Charlene. Isn't she lovely? Sort of? This was my project in a class taught by Celeste Beck and her sister Merri McKenzie of Goatfeathers Studio on Art Warrior Dolls. It was fun and funky sewing, made even more enjoyable by the fact that students did not need to bring anything to class.

Celeste and Merri had stations and sewing machines set up all around the shop where we could help ourselves to fabrics, ribbons, trims, and embellishments. They made it so easy.

You can see some the assortment of colorful treasures in these photos. I was taken with the shiny cat, among other things. It's on Charlene's backside.

The doll features were cut freeform and fused, then stitched in place on natural canvas fabric. Yarn was sewing to the ribbon headband before sewing the entire piece to the doll to close up the top.

Here are some doll parts for a classmate's Miss Cutie Patootie doll.

We stitched and stuffed legs and arms, leaving the seams on the outside, so there was no picky turning of long narrow tubes of fabric.

Another doll taking shape. Just love those glitzy arms and legs!

I'm often the "slow girl" in class, so rarely finish my projects and have to complete them at home. But I was impressed that this classmate completed her Princess Smarty Pants by the end of our session. These colorfully creative art dolls are definitely in the category of "bet you can't make just one." I've got a stack of fabric for arms and legs cut and ready to sew already. Be watching for Charlene's relatives coming soon!

And I just wanted to share this lovely sunrise photo I took near our farm a few days ago. The morning mist on  the paddocks and the beautiful glow was breathtaking. Things are cooling down just a touch in our part of Florida now.