Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You'll never know what you'll find

When I visit my daughter in "Cabbage Town in Atlanta, we always take these wonderful walks. I don't know how the name originated but it's a very old part of Atlanta and in the process of being gentrified. Her neighborhood brings back memories of my growing up years; I lived in a neighborhood, just a neighborhood, real sidewalks on both sides of the street, no Home Owner's Association, houses close together so you could keep an eye out for your neighbor friends. It's kind of like that where she lives.
 As we walked around, we saw some wonderful and interesting yard art.
 I've always loved yard art, but not the conventional kind.  I like to scour Goodwill and the flea markets
 This was a bit over the top, but really fun to stop and read.
 I loved this metallic sculpture...
and the old hula hoop...
 a red torso with arms and legs growing out of the ground.
 I love the sculptures on top of the slate columns and the rusted iron works.
 This old sign on one of the buildings was one of my favorites - the site of the old neighborhood grocery.
 But this wonderful tree was my absolute favorite. I scanned the picture into Photoshop
and using a filter, made it into a "photocopy" which I'll now make into a silkscreen.
Til next time....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thank You for Serving

In honor of our country's true heros who serve our country with honor and so selflessly, thank you. My uncles, dad, granddads were all in the various branches of the armed forces.  Until the day they died, that part of their life remained a time of pride.  If they were here today, I would hug them and tell them thanks.
 My Uncle Ted Sandell.
 My dad - Ed Sandell - first row, last on left.
Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Dumb Mistake

Well, I am a dummy. I've been ordering silk from this company for years; I know how it arrives, always the same...
 in a roll, wrapped in heavy black plastic, usually a piece of paper in between the paper and fabric (except I was thinking it was corrugated cardboard, not paper). You know - most packages you get in the mail are tightly packed, it takes more than 1 person to open, and this was no exception. After much struggling,  I took a razor blade, and thinking I had plenty of wiggle room..
 I ran it down the length of black plastic and to my surprise - cut through to the roll of silk organza.
 I didn't think it was so bad at first, but then started peeling off the layers and layers
 and layers.  I was mad at myself but then measured out the strips.  Each strip was 9" wide before the next accidental cut.  When I print on fabric, I cut them 9" wide X the width of the fabric, in this case 54" and then I Bubble Jet them.  So now I have ALL this fabric;  I have no choice but use it for printing!
Was it fate?...hmmmmmm....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Walk in the Garden

Well, it's that time of year, some inspiration from our garden for quilt projects.  My husband and son are the gardeners and do a great job. I'm their biggest fan. Here are some of the wonderful spring blooms.

 The peonies are just starting to pop and they will be glorious when in full bloom. There seems to be a hundred buds on each plant so I'm anxious for them to open.
 This is a two-color peony we just bought this year.  My mom and grandmother shared a peony garden when they lived next to each other.  I remember it as a child; I can't look at a peony and not think of my mom and how much she would have loved this.
 The Iris's are glorious, love the two color ones.
 Of all the things in our garden, our Fat Alberts are my favorite.  We have 3 of them and they are named. The first which is now huge is just Fat Albert (its real name), the second is Hilda after hubby's mom who loved the Fat Alberts and the third because it's the smallest is Molly, named after our youngest and smallest cat.  They are spread out; it just helps when we're talking about different parts of the garden to say the name.
 This is our blue bird house which presently has a family living in it. It was also the subject of a quilt I did a few years back.
 Our back garden with knock out roses which give so much color and last so long.
 My son has rigged up a pole inside this flower pot for the clematis flowers to climb on.
 And more roses along the wall...
 and two-tones Iris's...
And my son's touch - taking some brick and growing blue spruce sedum (stonecrop) out of the holes - very clever!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fiber Day

Last Saturday was Fiber Day at the Southern Highlands Craft Guild. During the year, they sponsor educational opportunities at the Folk Art Center in Asheville - one of them being Fiber Day;  Saturday being the demos and Sunday the fashion show featuring garments and accessories made by Southern Highland Guild members. It's always great fun to attend and also be part of.  I try and do marbling with the kids. That weekend is always my daughter's birthday weekend so it involves a bit of juggling. This year I juggled well and did both. 

 The demos at Fiber Day are very varied with lots of hands on - especially for the kids.  Kathy Spencer does wonderful needlefelting, starting with a base fabric, adding rovings and using a felting machine, does some magical and very colorful things.
Georgia Bonesteel was also one of the demonstrators showing her wonderful piecing techniques
Sandra Adair does beautiful tapestries; this is a commissioned piece she is working on.
Martine House, a lady of many talents is doing something with adults. Her beautiful work is hanging behind her.
Laura Spreitzer was most impressive with her knitting skills - making very detailed clothes for Barbie - yup - that Barbie. I've always thought anyone who can make doll clothes that small has the patience of a saint. The little girls thought they were very cool.
Charlie Patricolo is known for her crazy, adorable one of a kind dolls. She was demonstrating some wonderful techniques.
The Blue Ridge Spinners were there with their looms showing how fiber is spun into yarn.
There was some beautiful lacework and tatting being demonstrated.
This picture is blurry but I HAD to include this Monkey Doll. It brings back memories when we used to make them in my Home Ec Classes. There were just so many sewing machines to go around and often students had nothing to do so we had lots of projects to fill in the gap - the most popular was the monkey doll made from Sears Roebuck socks.
Connie Brown had a table of all kinds of buttons, trims and fabrics for kids to stop by and make pictures - they loved the great assortment and an excuse for getting their hands mucky.
Here is the marbling table and my little-est artist.  She's only 4, totally adorable and looking quite serious while waiting for her print to be picked up.
This fun couple stopped and chatted and I noticed all the badges on their fronts and just as many on their back. Everywhere they go they get a badge but the coolest part is they are mounted on his old army shirt from The Korean War -  He made it into a vest and his wifes had to be cut a bit smaller but also from his old shirt. He told me, that's the very last of army gear.
The highlight, without even trying is the animals outside. This baby was so adorable and sweet and let all the children pet her. Some of the animals participated in the sheep sheering.
There were also goats, alpacas and above the fluffy French Angora rabbit.
Just a great day for everyone.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

More Silkscreens including I'm a Geat!

That's right - a Geat....not a geek.  My husband is into geneology and getting ready explore his own family ancestry and some of mine. My dad's family was from Sweden and when looking into their birthplace, we discovered that Sweden was divided - the southern end was Geatland and people from that area were Geats. The northern part was Sweden and eventually, it all became Sweden, but my family was born in Geatland. 
 So upon seeing this map, I decided to make it into a silkscreen - for personal use only. I had never heard of Geatland and thought it an interesting story.
 I also wanted more screens with writing, so I found more of my grandmother's writing - this one for Carrott Pudding - carrot spelled with 2 ts. My son asked me (grinning) if you use this on a quilt, do you think people will buy it just to get the recipe....hmmm...
 And a screen from a drawing my son did - totally love this drawing and wonder how it will work into one of my quilts.
 This next picture is an ancestor which I scanned into photoshop and using filters
 was able to make an interesting screen, not filled in solid but I like it this way as it gives it a more aged look.
 This last one is my favorite, the picture is around 90 years old; it's of my mother in law when she was a toddler. I scanned it into Photoshop, made it into a line drawing, did a little filling in here and there
 and here's the finished screen.
 I always screen the image on a heavier piece of clear plastic and keep it in the folder with the screen.  I can lay the plastic over fabric or a quilt to see how it will work before screening.
As always, til next time.

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Silkscreens

Yesterday was a perfect day for indoor projects - rainy and cold outside, almost felt like the beginning of winter. I had a number of silk screens I was itching to make. They take very little time with a Thermofax machine but then I go back and tape around the edges as the screen film is thin and needs the support of duct tape. I also make an image on the outside of the folder it's stored in and an image on clear plastic so I can preview them on top of quilts. 

 This is actually a remake of one I use so much, I wore it out.  The image is a picture I took on the Blue Ridge Parkway years back.
 This next image was from a Dover copyrite free coloring book. I really liked the image.
 And more trees with the image on clear plastic to the right.
 Looks like the same group of trees, a different angle.
 And more of the same; I do take lots of pictures of trees which I use so much, nice to have a variety.
These were tombstones in a cemetery; I took the picture years ago.  I do like cemeteries with old tombstones and crumbling rocks. I thought these were wonderful.  It was a challenge to get them to this point to make a silk screen. More to come soon.