Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm a Cover Girl!

Wednesday brought a package in the mail of Patchwork Professional, a German magazine. My piece, Mossy-Cup Oak Quercus Macrocarpus, is on the cover. And inside there is a six page article with photos of my quilts. The article is in German, so I don't quite know what it says. My pony class of German taken 50 years ago is way too rusty to be much help. I am absolutely thrilled to be on the cover and the coverage of my work in a well respected international magazine.

The magazine looks very good with lots of interesting photos of other artists' work and some projects.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happiness Coming across the Pond - A Package is on the Way!

Just got a post from Karen Ruane that she finished the pin pillows that several of us purchased from her and mine is in the post from England. The excitement builds!

One of the lovelies here is going to be mine.

Check these out they are exquisite!

I have been taking some on line work with Karen over the last couple of months and have learned lots! but my work still does not compare. Can't wait to get my hands on one.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Making Weeds - In threads and fabric

Spent the afternoon working on creating an overlay of weeds for 3 quilts that I am making for the SAQA Earth Stories exhibition. Using a technique I learned in the Simply Stitch class with Karen Ruane, it is free motion embroidery on the sewing machine using scrim as the base.

In Karen's class that was not a class according to her, we used white scrim and white threads with bits of lace and delicate prints to create a froth to add to our embroidery work.

I am adapting the technique to indicate something much more rough and ready -- a weedy over grown area that kills plants who need light.

Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Does this look weedy to you? What would you suggest? 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Where Did My Parsley Go?

Late this afternoon, I went to the deck to take some photos of recent embroidery work and noticed that my parsley mainly consisted of stems, few parsley leaves were in view.

If the deck were not on the second story, I would assume it were the dang blasted %*##?! deer who eat everything to the point that I only try growing plants on our deck.

Here is what I found.

Notice the stems in the top of the photo. Once I figured out the dang blasted deer had not climbed up the deck steps to strip my parsley I knew what it had to be: a caterpillar- specifically for the Black Swallowtail butterfly.

Here is a close up:

Isn't h/she beautiful? It is nearing maturity when it reaches this color. Love the stripes and the yellow dots are just too much!  But the plant is unlike to keep this one going until it is time for it to become a pupa. I am going to buy some parsley tomorrow.

Do you like butterflies? how about caterpillars? 


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Adventures in Embroidery

The past six weeks has seen me stitching in very different ways than usual. I am taking a class that is not a class with Karen Ruane on Contemporary Embroidery. This is one of a series of classes in embellishing fabrics for me. Most recently I created my first fabric book to contain samples of earlier stitching. Some years ago I completed a series of samples of all the ways I could think of using the Fly Stitch and wanted to contain them in a book.

If you have the time, please let me know what you think.
The opening page. A scattering of fly stitches looking like a feather stitch on top of pink Angelina.

There is drawn work on the left sample. It has layers of fly stitches with a variety of different thread weights. The page on the right has fly stitches inside fly stitches to create a more solid surface.
More layers of fly stitches on the left with some purple gilding underneath. A scattering of fly stitches on the right. Pages are bound with bias hand dyed ribbon.

Left page has layers of fly stitches over fabric appliques. The page on the right has fly stitches and more drawn threads.
The outside of the book with hand embroidery, beads and a jeweled closer.
Details of the cover showing running stitches, fly stitches and beads.

I have a couple more small collections of embroidery samples. I am pulling fabrics for them as well.

Do you like fabric books? This was my first and I had a lot to learn - and still do.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Blue Copper Butterfly - A New Experiment

Tried my hand with doing a butterfly yesterday. Creating this 6 inch square was a full day of work including some of the work done by my intern, Callie. It was terrific to have some company and assistance in the studio. Callie used some photographs to create the pencil drawing I used to create the piece.

A bit of hand stitching marks the body and puts the white dots on the antennae. Love the dots!

Once I began looking at the butterfly, it is amazing how many different blues there are on it.

Thanks for reading, and if you have time and inclination, please leave a comment. Comments help me know that I am not talking to myself.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My First Attempts at Contemporary Embroidery

As noted in earlier postings I am enamored with Karen Ruane's work in contemporary embroidery. Having a collection of vintage laces and textiles, and years of experience in embroidery I am trying my hand. Here are photos of my first attempts.

Detail area of work in progress

full size image of work in progress

We are going through our home and getting rid of "stuff". Some of it brings memories of the original lace makers or collectors and seem too precious to simply discard. So finding a way to honor these women of my family seems very special. My thanks to Karen Ruane for the inspiration.

I am thrilled to be taking a class from her this summer called Simply Stitching.

Please leave a comment if you have the time and inclination. Really appreciate comments as they help me understand that I am not just talking to myself.


Karen Ruane Contemporary Embroidery

Here is the contact for Karen Ruane Contemporary Embroidery

It is worth checking out.

Oops, that was her old blog. Now check this one for more recent work and information.


Monday, June 3, 2013

A New Fiber Hobby and Getting Hacked is No Fun

Will have photographs on the next blog about my most recent venture into fiber art. I have signed up for an 8-week on line class with Karen Ruane of Contemporary Embroidery called Simply Stitching. Her work is mesmerizing to someone like me who has collected and inherited vintage lace and textiles for decades. She uses these treasures for the foundation of her embroidery and applique work.

I think I now have a hobby. Since quilting became far more than a hobby, I  have not had one. Seems right to have another form of fiber art for a hobby. Now when I need a vacation from creating in the quilt art media, I can turn to contemporary embroidery.
Well, I have finally gotten my emails back and the contents of my folders. Did not get back my contacts in my contact lists. Bother!!

Also have not been able to send emails from my I Phone since I changed my password even after redoing my password on the I PHone email account. Double Bother!!

The hand stitching I have been doing of evenings does relax me and takes my mind off of the frustrations of getting everything back up and running again. 

Please leave a comment if you have the time and inclination. Reading your comments helps me know that I am not blathering to myself.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Scam Alert!

My email has been hacked. I am not in London desperately needing money from friends far and near to pay my hotel bill. I have changed my email password, now to figure out how to change my google account password as blogspot seems to be hacked as well. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Saturday - Big Day at Random Arts Saluda NC

Packing up the car today with boxes and bins and bags of art supplies to take to the art sale at Random Arts tomorrow. The car will be so filled that it will pull hard going up the mountain to Saluda! Check it out here;

Putting lots of like items together to make it easier on the shopper.

I think I have something for every type of artist - painter, sketcher, dyer, collager, quilter - traditional, crazy and contemporary.

Had fun yesterday with a friend putting together some packages of materials that will be great for collagers, mixed media, quilters, even crazy quilters. Here are some photos of some of those packages. Sorry for the glare they are in 1 gallon containers. Each has some special hand dyed fabrics, assorted related fabrics, embellishments, threads and beads.

Another friend is coming over today to help me package and price.

Any suggestions for pricing on these 1 gallon packages?

Would love to have your comments. It helps me know that I am not talking to myself. If you have the time, please leave a comment.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yum, Yum! Valdese Weavers at Caldwell Arts Council Exhibition

Yesterday I wrote about the three downstairs galleries at the Caldwell Arts Center and the exhibition of my art work and Sondra Dorn's artwork. Today I want to explore the fascinating exhibition of fabrics upstairs from the designers at Valdese Weavers.

Before lots of folks were downstairs I had the opportunity to spend some time upstairs with the exhibition and the designers. It is eye candy for fabric lovers of many persuasions. Around the room were exquisite framed artworks that were weavings, paintings and embroideries and next to each artwork were examples of the contemporary fabrics created based on the artwork as inspiration.

This is a good example of the antique embroidery work used as inspiration for the hanging contemporary fabric on the right.

Above is a painting that inspired the fabric to the right.

The antique silk above has lots of motifs to be used for inspiration. The designers selected one small motif in the border to create the large scale floral fabric used in the dress to the right. The photo shows how the design can be interpreted in contemporary colorways.

Two of the Valdese Weavers Designers were at the exhibition to discuss the fabrics and their company. It was really interesting to see the commercial aspects of fabric design at the exhibition.
One of the most fascinating aspects were the books of vintage and antique fabrics on display that the viewers could go through. I would love to spend a few hours with them for inspiration and education.

Great exhibition. The curators and placers of the art did a great job. If you are anywhere near Lenoir NC during May I highly recommend spending some time on both floors of this delightful arts building.

Please let me know if you find this interesting. Notes from readers help me know that I am not just writing for myself. 


Monday, May 6, 2013

What Fun! Opening Reception of Fabric Fascination

The curators at the Caldwell Arts Council put together a varied and interesting exhibition that showed a lot of variability in how fabric art is handled today.

Today I will focus on the great job done by the volunteer "Placers" who decided which pieces of art went where. And tomorrow I will focus on one of the exhibitors -- the Valdese Weavers Designers.

The Caldwell Arts Council has a very active group of board members and volunteers who work to produce top notch exhibitions for the community. In the downstairs there are three galleries, and two artists - Sondra Dorn and I - were in those galleries.

While Sondra works with fabric, her collage style and processes could not be more different from mine. She uses a lot of surface design techniques combined with applique and stitching to create her collages, many of which are also treated with acrylic medium. Her abstract work referencing natural objects is very appealing.

The curators were quite courageous to choose these two very disparate art forms into one exhibition. Their courage was borne out well with very careful selections of which art would be combined in each room and on each wall. 

A wall of blues and violets

The top photo shows four pieces of Sondra Dorn's work and one piece of my work, Mimosa Dancing, in the center. I think the placers really brought together work that relates well. The photo above has another wall with both our artworks - Dorn's art are the four pieces to the left - and my work, Ligustrum Twilight, is on the right. the work really goes well together. The balance is good in both color and form.

The photo below featured three of Dorn's collage pieces above the fireplace and  one of mine - Pinus Virginianus II on the left.

One gallery had primarily Dorn's art and another had primarily my art. I took several photos of walls featuring groups of my work.  Love the way Winter Fruit looks between Teasel Morning and Teasel Twilight.

The photo below is another wall. I love the way Mossy Cup Oak looks over a fireplace. 

 I was impressed with what a great job the placers did in selecting work to go together when sizes differed and styles of art differed dramatically.  Overall a really great exhibition.

 The Lenoir Woman's Club hosted the reception for the opening, and a lovely reception it was! My artwork was on several of these walls.

Hope you have enjoyed a peak at this exhibition.

Tomorrow I will cover the fascinating exhibition by the Valdese Weavers Designers that was in the large gallery on the second floor.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Arts Thrive in North Carolina Counties

Recently I have had the opportunity to visit public art centers across North Carolina, and they appear to be thriving with great respect for fiber art! Communities are creatively using their former court houses, an abandoned tobacco auction warehouse, auto salesrooms and large homes.

Yesterday we delivered over twenty pieces of art to the Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir NC that is in the foot hills of the mountains.

I took some photos of the building to share.

Love the wrap around porch. Note the colorful panels between the second floor windows. Note also the pig on the roof peak and the colorful sculptures on the right lawn.
Each colorful panel has the logo that conveys arts with boldness and charm!

These larger than life size musicians greet the visitor the Caldwell Arts Council.

A real first for me is an outside sign announcing the exhibition.

To further demonstrate the community support of the arts, the Lenoir Women's Club hosts the artist reception. 

Really looking forward to the opening. Hope you can come by if you are in the area.



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Be Still My Heart

I love Spring! The flowers, the warm spring breezes, the bird songs....

This was the first pot of daffodils to bloom. They are Tete a Tetes. They were our second daffodil to bloom. The first was a hillside of February Gold. This winter lingered so they began blooming late February and hit their stride in March.Some years they bloom in January and are gone by February. They are good for our wooded garden as they bloom out and harden off before leaves come out and shade them. so they can set buds in their bulbs for next year.

Last year my husband brought all our various pots up to the front of the house and planted some gorgeous pansies in them. They lasted less than 48 hours -- deer dessert.

Remembering that almost nothing eats daffodils, I planted the pots with a variety of daffodils last fall and we have been enjoying them for about a month.

Are deer eating your garden?

I would love to have some venison, my very favorite meat. Low in fat and cholesterol so very heart friendly. Venison on the hoof in our garden, and not a hunter in the family.
Virginia bluebells

These lovelies are my favorite wild flower. They are called spring ephemerals because they will die back during the summer. They bloomed a bit after the Tete a Tetes but February Gold. 

In this photo on a hillside going to the creek at the bottom of our garden, you can see two colors of wood hyacinths, some old Lenten Roses (helebores) and a little bit of Epimedium roseum.

And how does your garden grow? 

I have been out in the garden taking photos for inspiration for quilts. I don't do flowers, as everyone else does, but I have some super lovely buds and seed pods to use.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Art for Art

Last week I picked up my artwork at the NC Arboretum minus one piece.

Southern Hospitality sold! It is always lovely when someone responds to my work with enough commitment they want to take it to live with them. And when they chose a favorite, it is even better.
This piece traveled to Britain, France, NY NY, CA and Atlanta. It is better traveled than I am.

One of the traditions I started is that when I sell a full size piece of art, i buy art from another artist - either directly or in a gallery.  This time I fell in love with jewelry by Michael Michaud for Silver Seasons. It is inspired by the vivid purple bean of the lablab purpureus, known at the Purple Hyacinth - a vine.

The beans are purple hand cast glass supported by patinaed bronze.Wearing a seed form really appeals to me.  Love the shapes and the color (not showing well in my photo) is great.

How do you celebrate?


Thursday, April 4, 2013

SAQA Benefit Auction Donation for 2013

Onions Galore will be my donation for the SAQA Benefit Auction this year. It is from a small watercolor made a couple of years ago. It was really fun to turn this little piece into a 12" x 12" quilt.

This auction raises money for SAQA to support a number of art quilt exhibitions around the world each year. Last year over $60,000 was raised by selling these little quilts. They are sold in a reverse auction starting at $750. Each year there are quilts sold by artists who get more than that for their small work. The final amount is $75. Artists donate hoping their work will sell for a goodly amount.

Many wonderful quilts are donated each year, and I think they get better and better each year. Some are already up on the SAQA website and this year looks better yet.

Here is Onions Galore. Hope the hand stitching of the stem and the roots shows up well.

Would love to get feedback on the piece.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Suzanne Golden Presents - A Book of Beaders

Received a fascinating book on beading artists called Suzanne Golden Presents Interviews with 36 Artists Who Innovate with Beads.  While some of the artists do a variety of jewelry, the art of other artists in the book would be classified more as sculpture. Even the jewelry is art and highly sculptural.

The cover of the book gives a tip of the iceberg on the variety and exceptional artists and their work.

Several artists stand out for me.  I was not familiar with Betsy Youngquist's art. She uses porcelain doll heads and beads to create her humorous and slightly menacing sculptures.They are most intriguing. Kay Dolezal creates both pieces for political commentary like Prayer Run #1 and some for her own fun like Bubble Wrap- Unpopped. This last piece looks like a roll of bubble wrap for wrapping something precious instead of being precious. Marina Dempster creates some of the most imaginative shoes I have ever seen using beads and other other a variety of other items, like feathers, antique false teeth, fur, thorns, antlers and others.

This is definitely a book for the lover of bead art.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SAQA Donation Quilt Underway

For the last several years I have participated in the SAQA art quilt auction by donating a piece of my work. They are all 12' x 12" and the finished pieces are posted on the SAQA website. Each year they raise more money to help SAQA with exhibitions featuring art quilts from around the world. Last year they raised over $50,000.  It is one of the few places I am willing to donate my art. Other places get other stuff or money when I have it.

This year I am basing the piece on one of my watercolor sketches. Let me know what you think of it.

I found the color variations in these onions to be quite intriguing. And If I had drawn from memory, I would not have put the lateral lines in, but they are there. The shape of the two was different, one flatter and one more rounded.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Be Still My Heart - A New Book

I am delighted to be a recipient of Martha Sielmans' newest book by Lark Crafts: Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits. I had been reading about the book for about a week, but a copy came today that is beautiful.

I have just thumbed through it so far, and it has a similar format to the one she did on Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World. The book is divided into seven chapters, for example: Happiness, Contemplation, Community. In each chapter, she has in depth interviews with three artists whose work illustrate the chapter titles and a gallery of additional artwork. Some of the artwork is highly realistic, some is whimsical and all are well grounded in art. 

Sielman has selected some of my favorite artists working with the human form in many different styles. Techniques and materials are given for each of the beautiful pieces. While I love photos of lovely quilts, I find that books with artist interviews are far more interesting in the long run as there is always something to learn about each of the artists.

The photography inf the book, and the look and feel of the book are wonderful. I really look forward to reading it cover to cover.  Sielman and Lark Craft are to be congratulated on the second book in the series. It stands up well to the standard set by her earlier book. 

If you are interested in art, art of the quilt, or art of the human form, you will enjoy this book.

This goes on my bed side table for leisurely reading. 

Please let me know if you enjoy these book reviews. Getting comments lets me know I am not talking to myself.  


Monday, February 18, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count

I took part this weekend in the Great Backyard Bird Count. giving me a great excuse to sit in the kitchen with binoculars and watch the birds coming to the feeder and the side yard over the creek.

Here are some of the photos. Enjoy and let me know if you enjoy birds.


Eastern Bluebird pair - we have 3 pair who frequent our yard

this mockingbird guards the feeder and chases off the robin who likes to come and stay

Great to get a shot of the red belly that this woodpecker is named for

Pine warbler sharing the feeder with a bluebird