Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Eco Cards

The leaves are blooming again and time to get back into Eco Printing...so I managed to squeeze in a day to play with this wonderful technique. I've explained in previous blogs how to do this so today's post is just a short show and tell...
 I love doing bookmarks with all the smaller pieces left over. I didn't know how popular they would be with so many people owning kindles or listening to audio books (myself included) but...

They do well and people seem to enjoy them ........

I loved doing the large prints that make into cards - some Maple and Redbud above...
Maple and fern....
More Maple
Oakleaf Hydrangea on left and Eucalyptus on right.
All are good for printing and make into beautiful cards or book covers.
A happy camper now that the leaves are on the trees again....I look forward to doing lots this summer.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Break from my Studio

Sometimes a break from your studio compells you even more to get back in it. My husband's cousin came to visit recently and never having been to NC...we gave her the royal tour...for 9 days!...We were all so tired but happy campers. Here are some highlights...
We do love to go to downtown Asheville...such a pretty and manageable city. This is the Grove Arcade...
and of course the famous iron sculpture of an iron. Every quilter that comes here wants to see the iron.
We love the Battery Park book exchange and champagne bar. We have some of our PTA fiber group meetings here...You can reserve a space like the one in the upper left, sit and read, have some sweet goodies and wine...it's a wonderful idea. You are surrounded by used and "in wonderful condition" books.
We also went to the Biltmore Estate....everyone needs to see this at least once.
Our luck, they now have an exhibit of the costumes from the movie - Titanic
They also feature a picture of the scene the costumes were used in.
Eating lunch in the stable is always fun....food is good and the ambiance - wonderful!

Very impressive...more than 250 rooms in this estate..only a small percentage is open to the public. The rooms chosen for the tour give you a good idea of life on the estate from the upstairs aristocrats to the downstairs help.

The hothouse is one of my favorite things...plants are lush...
And as luck would have it, we got to see the tulip festival going on...only lasts a short time so we picked the perfect time.

We also went up to Little Switzerland on the Blue Ridge parkway...a beautiful ride but avoid 226A...My husband knows how badly I react on these twisty snakelike roads...apparently I'm not alone. Not only do they have a sign and large snake (on right) but t-shirts you can buy saying you survived 226A...that about says it all.

At such high elevations on the parkway, we saw some beautiful sights with fog and ice crystals on trees...

I got some great pictures of trees for my file...lots of possibilities for quilts and silkscreens.
Another place we like to go to is the Grove Park Inn...a nice way to end the week.
We have been going to this place since our Marietta Georgia days...we happened on it on one of yearly leaf peepin trips to Asheville...we've been going ever since...a magical place.
You can see the city of Asheville from the back of the Inn....and it never gets old. It was a busy and fun week....now time to get back in the studio.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Painter's Nursery

Our yearly trek to Painters Nursery in Old Fort, NC happened once again - come rain or shine....this year, it was SHINE fortunately. Every year we're wanting to cut back but it never happens.
It's a huge place, only open from March thru July...the rest of the year is spent getting ready for the following March opening.
Beautiful annuals and perennials along with vegetables (which is my favorite).
There is outside space and indoor greenhouses, beautiful hanging pots and other colorful offerings.
We bought some of those vibrant Asiatic lilies in orange...they are almost flourescent.

So just starting to pack up...every year we wish we brought 2 cars...
Packed very tightly...

And the front seat....... crazy...I drove home with my knees touching my chin....well it was worth it...Garden tour to follow as soon as we have the planting done. Of course, the highlight of the trip is ending up at lunch somewhere. My son likes Papas and Beer so that is usually our choice...a great day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Fixer Upper

I share a booth at Woolworth Walk in downtown Asheville with my 2 buddies - Kate and Mary.  It's a wonderful place to visit and see so many beautiful and interesting pieces of art. One of the quilts in our booth is this one made (by me0 quite a while back. It was originally made for an invitational exhibit of fiber artists. We were each given a picture of an antique quilt and then challenged to make a piece inspired by that. My piece was an old Dresdan Plate quilt done in the colors seen below. 
I used to do Toll painting and my favorite artist was Jo Sonja...this quilt, not only inspired by the antique quilt but also the works of this very talented toll painter. Over the years, although kept in a safe place, it somehow managed to acquire a stain on the upper left side....what to do.

I decided since it was so whimsical to add some hearts to cover the stain...we quilters are always thinking on our feet...since I added the one heart to the upper left, I added some more below and one on the right. The great Roberta Horten once said...if you make a mistake, repeat it 2 more times and then it looks intentional. I can't tell you how often I've taken that advice...Thank you Roberta!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fiber Junkies - Gelli Printing

Fiber Junkies met a while ago and a wonderful and inspiring meeting as always....Days seem to fly by lately,.....so a late report but some beautiful things to see. Denny always amazes us...not only is she so prolific but also such a talented lady. This piece was shown in progress the meeting before and here it is finished and quite wonderful at that.

Denny was cutting the flowers for this the meeting before...the background was done. I love how the dress form and it's vibrant colors work so well with a subtle and interesting background....a perfect balance.
 And look at the backing fabric...how cute and appropriate is that!

Denny and Kate have both been taking a batik class and now they are in semi-private lessons. Their work is amazing and looks far more advanced than a beginner could produce.  I love the art form but find it totally confusing - waxing the areas of color you want to keep, adding more color, waxing again. Kate was saying that in some instances, they wind up with 10 layers of wax...
All were breathtaking...
and look at all the tiny dots of color...each color a different layer of wax.
Gen finished her bird collage to show and then it was on to gelli printing.
Denny brought extra gelli plates...
some had paint residue on them which only added to the overall look. This plate is laid on black plastic which you can see through the clear areas.
We were trying a new technique Denny found on You Tube...looked interesting but a bit difficult to achieve. It involved transferring an image from a magazine to paper or fabric but a lot depended on the paper used so results were varied...but always great to try something new...Above is something Gen went back to working on...
I didn't have too much success so I went back to stencils...
It was a great day with some pretty fabric to take home...
I love experimenting...sometimes it works and sometimes not but always time well spent.