the first spread in my newest cardboard journal...the page on the left is a print of a mixed media painting and poem i had created in an earlier journal (the photograph of the crows in the trees is taken from my front porch) combined with an collaged Alice, all on cardboard. The painted and collaged page on right is on watercolor paper.
here i looked into the painted clouds and found a story in the threads.
i love the texture the painted corrugation contributes.
and here is my newest crazy quilt block for the CQR (Crazy Quilting Revisited) Collaborative Challenge. I thought what if i use only silk for this block and what if I basted first?? i don't baste, i pin or hold tight with my fingers and wing it. i had always imagined this to be a time-consuming and unnecessary step, one that prevents me from flinging myself headlong into the project at hand. what i learned from this what if is i much prefer basting to wrestling with sharp metal straight pins - i'm a basting convert.
Oh, and another what if.... what if I fold my blocks in half and turn them into pages in one of my mixed media journals?
i pull out my quilting when i'm too tired to do anything else . here are a few sweet spots from the blocks i'm working on ala Spirit Cloth's CQ square 'what if' challenge. i'm keeping note of the 'what if's' that pop into my head as i'm working. the top block is a combination of cottons and kimono fabric - all stuff that has been on my shelf for years. most of it is pieced by hand, i've not planned anything out in advance but am flying by the seat of my pants as i most always do. a future block where i plan is an interesting 'what if' for me....
from my stash of vintage kimono fabrics - my favorites are the worn ones with patches, holes, and raggedy edges. neither of the blocks are square or the same size as that felt too confining for me right now, but i can straighten everything up with additional fabric when the time comes.
back to my day joy (freudian slip, i meant job) of putting together class kits, handouts, and working on samples. I leave for Valley Ridge in two weeks, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. There are still a few openings if you feel like doing something delicious and impulsive ...
I'm creating another cardboard journal - here is the front cover. You may recognize the face, it's a print of one of my paintings and I built the body and background around it. Unlike my other journal (the one featured in Cloth Paper Scissors), this one has a recessed window and is covered by a piece of mica.
now, on to make the pages....
as i sat in the woods, by the river, piecing a crazy quilt block, the shadows danced on the sand.
it has been relaxing and stimulating to work with fabrics these past couple days, even as my list of 'to do's' to get ready for upcoming classes looms over me. my heart melts to this song today
and a photo of last night's sunset against the hillside, the colors are totally unaltered, this is straight out of the camera.
A couple new samples for Picture a Window, a class I'll be teaching at Art and Soul Virginia in May 2009. I started work on my cigar box shrine, part of a silent auction fund raiser organized by Rebecca Brooks, all proceeds going to help the street kids of Oaxaca if you are interested in participating.
Marissa, Mick and Brody took off early this morning for their return trip to Denver - such a lovely week we had. This was year old Brody's first experience swimming; once he got over his initial fear, it was hard to get him out of the river.
It's always so hard to see my grown-up 'baby girl' leave, the tearful goodbyes repeated generation to generation. i have vivid memories - visual and sensory - of my mother's tearful "may God be with you" hugs each time we would part in the airport. now at least, long distance is so cheap it doesn't have to be doled out minute by minute on those precious Sunday phonecalls, and airfare is affordable enough that a couple trips a year are doable.
I babysat the three grandkiddles last night so Heather and Marissa could celebrate a girls night out with some friends. Because it was so much fun for them, it turned into quite a late night and Marissa and I didn't get back home to our place till after 3:00 a.m. Hmmm....i feel a bit old to keep such hours, my body (mainly my head) complains about such schedules, so I'm going to give myself a lazy day to rest in bed, out in the sun, down by the river in shade, listening to this, and start piecing a crazy quilt fabric block, the Spirit Cloth way. Jude, the creator of this blog and this one, is such an inspiration; her work is non-traditional, curious, free-form and refreshingly original. Whenever i read one of her blog posts, all i want to do is to rummage through my bits of old fabric scraps and start a project. well, today is the day.
this is the painting that will be turned into prints for marissa and mick's wedding invitation. i always have a lot of angst and hesitation about starting a project when it's being made for someone special and in this case for a very special occasion. i've been working on 3 different paintings while marissa and mick have been here, i feel much less pressure when i can pick my favorite instead of pinning all my hopes onto one. this is the one that started speaking to me, the one where i feel i captured some of the innocence and sweetness of their love. the words are taken from an old chinese poem i just happened upon today, when a book in the thriftstore full of love poems practically jumped off the shelf and into my hands. i quite shyly showed it to them a few minutes ago and they both liked it. whew.... i still have the invitation itself to design but i've gotten a pretty clear direction where i want to go there, so i'm excited.
we drove to pacific beach yesterday - it was 20 degrees cooler there than on our front porch - windy, foggy-magical, beautiful. here are some of my favorite photos of the day...
they really are lovebirds...so sweet
violet liked brody's 'lets-dig-to-china' idea
the prince saves the damsel in distress from the wolf
i love to see my two girls together and i love this photo
topping the day off with ice cream - violet ..what a ham!
artUnraveled was wonderful - i couldn't have imagined a more fun and satisfying experience as the 5 days I spent there. Linda and Chuck do a phenomenal job putting this retreat together - things seems to just flow smoothly and effortlessly during the event, every conceivable detail has been worked out in advance. i look forward to going back again next year.
judy and i shared a spacious and affordable suite, where there was room enough for us both to spread out and sort our class supplies as we needed them for the 3 classes we were both teaching. we had a little balcony with 2 chairs that looked out over the city with the mountains in the distance, and i was thrilled to experience an intense rainstorm one evening and a sky full of lightning - very rare here in the pacific northwest.
and all of my classes were just wonderful, my students the best- kind, warm, and generous. they would willingly try the multitude of exercises i would throw at them and find delight in their creations. my only regret, is that i didn't take photos in two of the three classes - we were working hard till the very end and past, and just ran out of time. if any of you reading here were in my cardboard journal class or picture a window and have photos of your work that you'd like to share, email them to me, and i would love to post them here on my blog. the work that came out of each of the 3 classes was beautiful.
here are some (but not all) of the photos from my poetry in motion class - i love how each one is unique. they were so hard to photograph - these photos do not do them justice in the least - the light wasn't right and the wax made for a glare, but i think you'll be able to see through those things and capture the essence of each one....
heather, my oldest has had the flu since i've back, so i've been driving the hour to her place to help out. i don't know how she does it - 3 little ones, 1, 3, and 7 - with a husband who has been out at sea for the past 6 months. he's scheduled to be home the end of the month, thank goodness! i can watch/play with the kids but can't keep up with the house as they take it apart with toys strewn and spills, chocolate milk smiles and still in pj's when it's noon. i only had two and now i marvel at how i managed to do it - not nearly as well as heather, that's for sure. my goal was to get a few good photos of each of them while i was there but how to fully play and be photographer is not possible for me, so i just played most of the time. i did snap a couple while we were outside taking a stroll down the drive, lillyanne loves been driven around in her little car. these were the best i could muster...
lilyanne may, one happy little girl
violet summer on an expedition
my suitcases sit by the front door still, unopened and where walter put them on monday when i arrived home. tomorrow marissa, finance mick, and granddog brody arrive from denver for a much anticipated week long visit. i have a lot of cleaning and preparation to do between now and then. we'll be talking about their upcoming wedding in tulum, mexico, in december - coming right up! I'm designing the wedding invitations which is now at the top of my creative "to do" list.
Oh, and the workshops for Artfest went up this week, so check them out. I'm teaching a class on Thursday called Symbols Shaping Space and I haven't yet decided which ones I'll be taking the other two days...decisions, decisions.... such fabulous offerings as always. Remember, if you want to get in, it's important to send your registration in on September 2nd, your odds of getting in drop dramatically after that date. It a fabulous art event with heart and community spirit, a camp for adults. The event takes place on the grounds of Fort Worden State Park, high upon a bluff overlooking Puget Sound. it's just 1+ hours from my house so it's especially nice for me, i can load my old '90 Buick Park Avenue to the gills, and cruise on in....
i leave you with a photo of the baby swallows that are nested on top of a post on our front porch...they're feathered out now and could leave the nest any day, such a perilous and exhilerating time in their little lives, imagine - flying for the first time. i've become quite attached to them, as i do to each batch of babies that nest on that same post each year. i so hope they all make it.