Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Wall Quilt Finished

I finally bought some fabric to finish off this little sampler from the summer. I had layered tissue paper, paints,  pine needles and netting; added some trim and hand stitching and then was stuck because I didn't have a sewing machine this summer on vacation. I added some machine quilting when I returned home and put it aside waiting for the right fabric and inspiration to finish it off.

 I always enjoy the action shots so thought I'd include one of my own. Here's my machine doing its thing! I chose to echo the quilting I had done on the original piece so half the border had semi-straight quilt lines and with the remainder I had fun free-motion quilting. (my favorite)

There's always that decision in a quilt on how to finish the edges. After adding the wide border I laid different options behind it trying to decide if I wanted a binding or whether facing was the way to go. I settled on the dark binding. The quilting shows up better on the back of the quilt than the front.

Although I usually hang my small quilts with pins I decided to include triangles at the corners so that I could insert a flat hanger. I simply cut a piece of balsa wood to fit. I included the triangles at all four corners so it can hang in any direction.

I found with the balsa inserted I could hang this little piece from one of my clay wall boxes! No pins needed and it stands out from the wall. (photo at the top) Perhaps I'll make a few clay box frames just for this purpose????

On a recycling note .... I finally used some of the Styrofoam plates that I can't seem to avoid accumulating as
much as I try not to buy food packaged in them. I used them around some of the parcels that went out to the post office this month. Hopefully they will end up someplace that recycles Styrofoam; something our city does not do yet. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fitting in Some Creative Time

Wow, December is flying by! Perhaps it's time I learned that it does that every year and that yes, time does pass quicker every year. Will I remember that next fall? Probably not. But there is always a chance so I will try.

I have more than a bisque load of clay work to be fired. I'm hoping to get it bisqued, glazed and fired before Christmas.
Whenever I get a chance I go gallery hopping between blogs. I 'ou and aww' (?? how does one spell that expression??) before I continue with my day totally inspired. One such gallery day led me back to my sewing room where I decided I'd make a set of cards for some dear friends who have a LOT of my pottery and baskets already.

 I started several years ago stitching petals, seeds etc together with fabric to include in my clay work. But I also love the combo without clay. This one is a simple combo with petals and rosemary. The rosemary scent adds a nice surprize. Below lavender adds a nice aroma with a little glitter from the angelina fibers.

Here is one of my clay wall boxes with a 'natural fiber study' with some candy wrappers. The clay hand that was cut from the box makes a fun piece for a studio wall.... in this case my sewing studio.

Hope everyone is enjoying a creative and fun holiday season!

Oh if you are searching for a quick and easy gift here's an easy tasty one. No shipping cost or wait as it is a downloadable cookbook. This illustrated & colorful digital cookzine includes 26 yummy vegan and vegetarian/easily-made-vegan recipes. All proceeds from the sale of the ebook will benefit Farm Sanctuary , a rescue for abused and neglected farm animals victimized by factory farming. At only $3.50 it makes an excellent stocking stuffer or little hostess gift.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A bit from the studio, a bit from the kitchen...

 I've unpacked what came home from the FAU Potters' Guild Holiday Show and Sale. I've been trying to get into the clay studio but time just escapes me. I did experiment in the sewing room on this postcard. I should have called it finished after I quilted it but decided to add the layer of heart print cellophane. At least I have that idea out of my system!

My soy milk maker has been the big hit in my kitchen this fall. Making fresh organic soy milk a few times each week has become a habit. With the soy milk comes the by product of okara which I hate to throw away so it makes its way into lots of goodies. I've used it in place of the eggs and fat in chocolate cake, added to my veggie burgers, and every week I make a batch of granola. I add the vanilla and ground flax seed to the okara before mixing in oats, nuts and other ingredients. It adds a lovely light crunch and added nutrition to the baked granola!

And here's one of my clay and fiber pieces; a clay box with quilt and seeds, etc. Notice the fine crack .... makes it a 'keeper'!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shopping with a Cause

Through December 6th my Claynfiber shop is participating in the EtsyVeg promotion to raise funds for 'A Dollar for Peace', a campaign by the volunteer organization "Food Not Bombs". Participating shops are donating ten percent of all sales to this cause. In addition several shops are offering further shopping offers. I'm offering free shipping within the United States on all purchases over $50 and reduced shipping for outside the US. Check EtsyVeg for a list of shops and offers.

If you're looking for other shopping options where your money will help charities of your choice, consider charity wines. I received an email from Cocker Spaniel Rescue of New England, with a link to wine with their label. Seven dollars from each bottle sold goes directly to help the animals they have rescued. There are many other charities you can support through the wine site. This has solved a couple of my tough gift shopping decisions. Now to decide which bottles to order .... oh and then there's the etsy shops to check for the handmade gifts .....oh that's Cleo and Nicolas above; our two adopted rescued family members.

Back in the sewing room I found some stamps I've been saving for the moment of inspiration. Here's my first in the stamp postcards. Now I'm searching the kitchen cupboards for interesting labels!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tea Time

 About a year ago I started collecting my teabag wrappers. I've been using them but not as quickly as I collect them so I decided to make some postcards this weekend.

I noticed that my tea preferences have limited my color palette so I bought a sampler pack .... I'm looking forward to using these wrappers .....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tissue, Paint, Fiber and Clay

I've been wanting to try painting on tissue ever since reading Terri's article in Sue & Terri's "Creative Ways With Fiber and Stitch". Then last week I was reading Sandy's blog post about her cards inspired by Sue and Terri's lesson (one of their free online classes) and I actually thought of it while I was in my sewing room putting away some tissue paper. So I laid some tissue down, got out a couple tubes of acrylic paint. a tub of water and started spreading paint. I am so impatient when trying out something new, so got out the heat gun and quickly dried it. That was the first I've ever used that heat gun! Oh first I ironed the strip of tissue to some fusible stabilizer, making sure I had it nicely crumbled to hopefully add some freebie texture. Then I painted.

Some dried flower petals were sprinkled around with netting on top before quilting with the metallic thread. The piece was not large so thought I'd cut it up and make some ATC's. But I had my larger clay wall piece sitting waiting for it's fiber addition and I liked how this looked next to it. So I cut a piece off, found some fabrics and started piecing to add to the tissue fabric. This is how it ended up.

Today I used up some of the scraps to make this little ATC. They are so much fun to make! Maybe a clay ATC is doable? With some stitching of course.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Wall Approach

I've been really happy with my clay quilt boxes but want to create something 'outside the box'; a clay frame for fiber work but with dimension. So I placed my textured slabs over cylinders. Here I used an oat container and for the larger slab I used a plastic pipe from the hardware store. (I know there is a technical name for it but the term escapes me.) Molding the clay on these will give it the dimension I'm looking for and allow me to wire the backs to hold firmly against the wall. I cut some holes for the wire and then stitching holes where I will attach my fiber art.

So far I've worked on the small piece. Rather than create a little quilt I decided to use one of the papers I made this summer. This one has turmeric, onion skin and a few wild flowers. I stitched an extra piece of paper to the side to create the size I needed and then realized I liked the interest it added.

I tired out the heavy cord just inside the clay, going off both ends and off just one end. Now that it is complete I think I would prefer it going off both ends.  *** What do you think?  I also discovered when I looked at the photo that there is a little loop of thread caught up so now I'll be re-stitching the paper too!  Do I continue with this idea? Explore the handmade paper with it or go with my original idea of mini quilts? Always decisions to make as we move forward.

I'll end with a couple more quilt show pieces. "Freedom is not Free" is by Pat Kumicich. The last one I'm sorry I don't have recorded but images of the seal hunt came to mind and I wanted to scoop that little guy right up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

more from the Quilt Show .....

 Does this remind you of Marcel Duchamp's 'Nude Descending a Staircase'? It does for me! Heather Jean Glennon of Florida created 'Falling Pins'.

Here's one of the 'glove ladies'. Because the quilts cannot be touched but show patrons love to see the back of quilts, several gloved ladies were available to carefully life the quilts to reveal their backs. One quilt created quite the curiosity as to how the subtle shadow effect was created. Here the glove lady explains the technique to a captive audience.
Here's a close-up of that quilt. Can you see the technique?

Here's another South African quilt by Shirley Prakke, 'Come to MY Garden'. 

And one of my favorites .... I thought I was always attracted to bright colors in fabric art and earthy colors in pottery but seems the earthy wins out in the end as I found this one to be one of my favorites. I think a lot has to do with the colors. Wouldn't it fit nicely next to a collection of pots?

Monday, November 16, 2009

World Quilt Show

Saturday was a wonderfully exhausting day from walking the quilt show in West Palm Beach. Jackie was caught on camera early in the day here ....

Belinda and friends study the quilts .....

The "One Woman Show" by Robbi Joy Eklow was fabulous! Here is one of my favorites - of course with pots.

I wish there had been more wearables but this kimona is stunning.

Sheila Walwyn from South Africa created "Egoli". This reminded of the musical performance of "Gumboots".

Another south African quilter, Shirley Prakke created "Storm Warning". I wish you could see this up close to see the details of the words and appreciate the concept.

I'll get a few more together for later this week. Coming up ...the 'glove ladies' were fun!