Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

In Honor of all the men and women who haved loved and served our country so well - Have a safe and happy holiday.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Great Textures

During the rehearsal for the wedding, I had a chance to take some "non-wedding" pictures of the beautiful grounds and textures. I love old architecture, stairways, cement walks; there were some beauties on these grounds. I'm hoping the photographer took pictures of the Bride and Groom on these stairs, they are wonderful. I'm hoping to layer them with other photos to print on fabric.

And the posts on each side were so interesting.
I really like the effect that moss gives to each post.

I don't know how I'll use them yet but have them stored in a "textures" folder for a future piece.
And the walkway - isn't this crazy wonderful!
Hope you're enjoying this Memorial day weekend - Happy Barbequeing!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fabric Dumpster Diving

Yesterday, our Fiber Junkies group went on a great adventure, one we've done before but worth repeating. You know it has to involve fabric! We went to KRB Fabrics on 4571 Hwy 9 in Inman, SC (864) 578-0734, where you often have to dive for fabrics. They have some really good and some not so good fabric. You just have to search, that is the fun part. There are bolts, rolls, flat folds and fabric in big bins everywhere.

You'll never know what you'll find and you have to keep an open mind. I'm usually on the lookout for fabrics to print on.
There's a lot to look through and right next door is a thrift shop. Sometimes there's treasures to be found there but not this time around.
After that, we headed toward MaryJos in Gastonia and a great thread place @ 5 mins away. It was worth the trip. It's Long Creek Mills on Webb St in Gastonia, NC (704) 864-6651. The lady who works there is lovely, friendly and helpful and goes around giving each person a goody. We all got thread, buttons and some other little doo-dads. The threads are mostly decorative, polyesters and rayons. There's also large cones of cotton thread used for crocheting dishcloths and potholders. There's bins of loose buttons, lots of trinkets and other crafty type items, but the thread was luscious!

There were aisles and aisles of every color thread you can imagine, all arranged in values - kind of like a color overload!
These rayon spools were a great deal. Each spool is 1100 yards for $2.00! I have color cards I got years ago from Sulky where I can check what thread colors I have. I have so many but didn't have the cards with me so I didn't buy much but plan to return and "fill in the gaps" I LOVE thread almost as much as fabric!
And then onto MaryJos in Gastonia which was great fun.
We had the least amount of time at MaryJos as it was our last stop but we were women on a mission and managed to do some damage to our wallets.
Here are some of the interesting treasures I picked up on our first stop. This was a synthetic but reminded me of a "snake skin". All of these I plan to run through the printer.
Lace really does well in printing, especially if it's thinner which this is. You can put another fabric underneath the lace for a lighter "ghost image" - an interesting effect.
This next one was my favorite; each side is different, the goldish side had a shaded effect and the whole thing was crinkled lightly. I'm anxious to see how this will work in the printer.

This next piece is also crinkled but with a floral design. I think it might be interesting to use in a print.

And this last piece - I think I have this already but it printed nicely, has a slight crinkle to it and somewhat transparent making it good for overlays.
So I'm off to Bubble Jet these fabrics and give them a try.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gardenias and Bootens

I can't believe our daughter's wedding has come and gone; it was a wonderful weekend. The facility was gorgeous and has a great story behind it. The property houses a beautiful mansion along with some amazing gardens. The man who owned it has long passed but requested of his best friend to open a school for mentally challenged children and adults, since his friend had a child that was mentally challenged also. His friend fulfilled his wishes. There is a school on the grounds along with these beautiful gardens. It's non-profit so most of what you pay goes right back into the school - pretty nice feeling.
The night of the rehearsal when it was still relatively calm and a good opportunity to take pictures.
I happen to love the flowers that bloom in May so the gardens were perfect for my taste!

Foxglove being one of my favorite.

This is a path that winds around the back which the bride walks on to get to the back of the gardens.
I loved this area with the statue - still the same path.

All set ready to go and no raindrops, not a single one!
And now for the Gardenia story - you know there's always a story. Jill wore one in her hair and also presented me with one to wear. When my kids were little and we would visit my mom in Florida, one of the bedrooms had a Gardenia bush right outside. It must have loved the spot because it was monsterously big with hundreds of blooms. It was amazing; you would wake up to the wonderful fragrance of Gardenias. My mom also put them around the house. My kids can't smell a Gardenia without thinking of my mom, so this was a tribute to her.
And here comes the Bride..
Okay, so as a mom, I went through a check list of important things to bring and comfortable shoes were at the top. Her wedding shoes were beautiful but didn't look too user friendly so I said "just in case" have some comfortable shoes along - no one will notice if you change. Well I remember as a toddler one of Jill's favorite things were her boots which she called bootens because they had to rhyme with mittens.
So was I surprised when she whipped out her pair of cowboy boots? - not a bit and she had a great time dancing all night - Moms know best!
It was a great weekend and think we'll be floating for a long time.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fiber Collages

I've been doing little "fiber studies" a fun thing to do when you're short on time. While making the wedding gown, I often needed a break to work with some color and also something quick and easy. These are different from the fabric postcards as they're a little bigger and the edges are unfinished. They're a standard size so can be matted and framed easily. There is some machine stitching but mostly hand stitching using large stitches and floss or decorative thread. I've really enjoyed the handwork. I used to love doing handwork but developed a "benign essential tremor" many years ago. It's not life threatening nor does it hurt - just a nuisance. My hand is shaky which makes doing fine handwork a long lost luxury, but doing large stitching is fun and easy for me.
Many of my fabrics are those I made but will go back and add "more" interest to the surface. One of my favorite stamps/stencils is the material below, found at construction sites and used when laying tiles.  It gives the most interesting effect (see above, lower left corner).
And screening which is fun to use for overlays and also tones down areas of color.
Gauze is another great choice; it works like a transparent fabric. I like to pull threads from different areas and leave long threads. It's great for overlays.
I've saved stamps over the years from far away countries. My cousin was a missionary in Indonesia so I have a lot from there. I finally found a place to use them.

Been having fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hello Again...It's official, I'm now a Mother in Law!

Hello again, it's been quite a while I know. It gets harder and harder to bounce back, even from wonderful weekends! The wedding was amazing - 3 days of great fun, many hugs, a few tears, tons of smiles, reunions with family members and old friends and making wonderful memories. It couldn't have been more perfect. We were all a little nervous with the weather as it was an outside affair. The hourly report was 10% chance of rain until it reached 5:00 when it changed to 30% chance. Guess what time the wedding was - 5:00 but luck was with us and although very hot, we had beautiful clear blue skies. I've been dragging this week and only have the 1 picture to share. I will share more later in the week. The bride was gorgeous, the groom very handsome, the gardens amazing, food yummy and so on and so on.
In the meantime, I did go to my fiber group in SC. I haven't seen these gals in so long and it was such a great day. I wanted to share some of the fabulous yard art from hostess - Barbara Tennysons' beautiful gardens. I love the heads on these poppies. I think I want to throw this into photoshop and make it into a line drawing and perhaps a silk screen - the shape is great.
This might be a better candidate for a screen.

Wow, I know things grow big in the warm climate of SC but really now! I love this metal sculpture of a rose
which is right next to this structure of an old window standing upright with a sitting area in front.

I've always wanted a bottle bush, they add so much color.

And what to do with some big logs - make it a haven for some lazy frogs. How cute is this!
Promise to return soon with more wedding photos - thanks for joining me.