Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Before and Afters

 I've been doing a lot of marbling, getting ready to work on a series for an exhibit coming up. I was mainly interested in marbling on top of Stonehenge fabric by Northcutt but while I had all the solution, decided to get out some of my "not so great" pieces - to re-marble over them.

So most of these are the before (on left) and afters on right. I always use a printed or colored piece of fabric. I do a lot of "veining" when I marble allowing much of the original fabric to show through. The one on top was already busy but I do like the additional marbling on top.

This one was marbled (on left) over a hand dyed fabric - pretty but wanted to try more so I soaked it in alum again and over-marbled it with blue veining. 

This is one of the Stonehenge fabrics which I wanted to add a little more interest to. I think it needs to be marbled again. I was most excited about the grays, but they turned out to be my least favorite when completed.

The piece on the left had been marbled years ago, pretty but a little boring. I marbled over it with a dark blue or black to create more interest; I like it better now.

These are some trees I did with silk screens at one of our FJ meetings and decided to try some marbling over it done in grays and blues.

This piece of fabric was an old piece I had "shiboried" and decided it needed something else. I did some very light veining over the top.

I never cared for this piece which was shiboried with wall plates soooooo I marbled on top; I'm still not crazy about it. Well you can't win them all....right !

These are the pieces I was most interested in - the Stonehenge. You can see in the top left picture, the patterning as it lay on the marbling base. I used Createx air brush colors in metallic gold and black. I never use black straight. I always mix it with something like dark blue or brown to soften it a tad. I was happy with the results.

Thes next 4 pieces are Stonehenge which were marbled with the patterning on the left. I am happy with the results, especially the dark blue. As I work with this fabric new ideas come to mind like adding a pop of color using a paint stick, stitching with metallic thread etc. I've done several and will share next time around.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Spinach Anyone?

Wow, this pile just kept getting higher and higher - the last of our wonderful crop of spinach. We had to clear out the bed to plant butternut squash. I couldn't believe what a beautiful crop we had this year; and we all love it.
So lots of spinach dishes coming up in the next week...Yum!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Day at a Nursery

For the last couple of years, our PTA group has adapted a new rule that each person takes a turn planning a meeting. This month was Dorts turn. Dort lives out in Leicester surrounded by beautiful farm land and old buildings so it's great fun to go there. She planned a trip to Sandy Mush Nursery - quite the adventure.
The ride there was an adventure in itself; myself having one of the SUVs was a driver and it was a white knuckle all the way. A stretch of a couple of miles...one lane - total,  with lots of brush of each side, many gullies, bumps and rocks - no speed traps needed on this road. Of course all that bumping and the first thing out of my mouth upon arriving was "do you have a restroom"? "Well of course darlin...we have several outhouses out back". Well gulp, last time I was in one of these was when I was a child and attended the Greenville Baptist church in upstate NY. Actually this outhouse wasn't too bad (does this qualify as an oxymoron?)
The grounds were luscious with plants and woods everywhere.
There were some wonderful ponds stocked with fish. The owner told us he had a hard time keeping the snakes away....SNAKES...YOU SAY.....
Okay, so catching my breath and moving along...more gorgeous foliage and both man and wife were so knowledgeable.
This plant fascinated me, I wanted Linda to put her head down for scale but had to settle for her fist; the leaves were huge.
And the woods...how I love forests and think it was mentioned there's something like 400 acres of this. Wow, what fun to explore.
As always, I'm on the lookout for texture for quilts and making fabric and some of the trees were amazing....
like these two.
I'm also loving doors and the wonderful weathered look so many of them provide.
Here are 2 beauties...
and little out buildings
with more interesting wood planking
and doors; I love this one and was able to get a good close up shot.

This was another old and very charming empty barn we all had to stop and take pictures of.

And of course what nursery wouldn't be complete without a dog who had lots of personality and knew how to get us to give him a belly rub. It was a really fun day. We all left with treasures - no snakes and then went on to Dorts for lunch and lots of laughs. A great day was had by all. Thanks Dort!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Clay Day

A few weeks back, I was talking about Fiber Day in Asheville sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. I was doing fabric marbling with the kids. The guild sponsors several different craft weekends held during the year to acquaint the community with the art and crafts of the Appalachian mountain region of years ago. I had never been to Clay Day and heard it was great fun....soooo....I decided to give it a try.
 It's held in the auditorium and outside on the grounds of the Folk Art Center in Asheville. The first person I ran into is my dear friend - Judy Brater. I met Judy at the first fair I did; you are assigned a mentor - someone who is situated next to your booth and can "show you the ropes" as the saying goes. Judy was mine and we became good friends during those long 4 days we were together. She is a clay person who makes the most beautiful decorative pottery. She was demonstrating "building a pot/bowl" which is fascinating to watch.
 And another gal was "throwing" a pot on a wheel that's also quite fun to watch as the pot should be kept an even thickness as well as being symmetrical - harder than they make it look.
 One of the best parts of all these special days is the many kids stations they have. Here a little girl is learning to make a pot using a wheel...
 and this little guy (I remember from fiber day and marbling) who was building a pot - 2 very different processes.
Sandra Rowland always works with the kids table. She's adorable and a bundle of energy - kind of a big kid herself so of course, the kids love her.
 The kids table is all set up and ready to receive the next batch of little ones. Rolling pins, clay and other various child friendly tools await them.
 People usually mill around inside before venturing outside in the back.
 There are several story boards explaining many of the processes.
 This was my favorite and I hope to take part in it next year. There is a table of pottery in need of glazing. You can buy a pot for $10, choose your glaze and voila. It is all types of Raku and it takes around an hour; I found out too late but next year, I'll hit this table first...
 and head on over to the Horsehair Raku which is one of my favorites. The pottery is heated to very high temperatures, removed and before cooling, strands of horsehair are carefully placed on the surface. The strands immediately melt into the surface giving the most beautiful spidery like lines. I've always wanted a piece of this type of Raku and to make it myself would be the icing on the cake.
 Outside on top of the hill were lots of vendors something new for Clay Day this year.
It was a beautiful day with lots to see and do and I'll definitely be doing this again next year.