Monday, March 27, 2006

Dyeing to Share

Inspired by Melody's and Pam's photos of the fabric they dyed this weekend, I decided to share my efforts with you. As usual, it's a small batch - everything I do is small, due to lack of space (and time). I have been over-dyeing fabric for Chicago. It is all so beautiful that I want to keep it for myself. But pieces will appear in some of the fabric bundles if I have time to make more. Time, time, time...time to get back to work.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

One More Thing...

As I was working on the previous blog entry, I received notice that four of my Journal Quilts had been accepted for publication. The Journal Quilt project began in 2002 and consists of 8.5 x 11" quilts - one per month. The resulting quilts from hundreds of participants have been exhibited at all of the Quilt Festivals every year.

Karey Bresenhan, President of Quilts Inc. purchased my 2002 Journal Quilts for the Quilts Inc. collection. These four quilts are the ones selected for the book - just four among hundreds that will be published by Quilting Arts, LLC. It's sure to be a "must have".

This one's for Corey

Corey asked where I was ~ I'm here, I'm here. I've been busy preparing for the QUILT show. This is the first time I will sell anything other than my fragments. Don't get me wrong - I've had visions in my mind of things I would make and sell for a very long time. I love to "play store." It was one of my favorite games as a child. My sister and I would play all the time. We tried to play "office" but that was pretty boring (what did those grown-ups do all day?) I also used to write, direct, costume and star in plays, but that was time-consuming and hard to do, as I had to round up my sister and a friend or two to find enough people to round out the cast.

I've always had the entrepreneurial spirit. My frist business was making and selling potholders around the neighborhood. I soon acquired regular customers with special orders (purple and white for Mrs. Case across the street, blue and green for Mrs. Jarboe.) Ten years later, with a baby of my own, I made and sold appliqued baby quilts on congignment at a local handmade craft store on MacArthur Blvd, in Washington, DC.

Over the years I've watched my children play this very same game of store. Instead of ringing things up on a cash register, they would "ne=neet" them, trying to imitate the sound the scanner makes as an item is pulled across the glass. When the local supermarket opened the first self-checkout lines, they were among the first in line to scan their own items. When you are feeding a family of 8, it takes way too long to self-scan everything. In fact, it proved to be so bothersome to customers and employees alike, they are no longer in the store.

So to answer your question, Corey, I am busy preparing to play store again....making tags and labels; overdyeing my barkcloth fabrics with luscious, yummy color; making Fragment cards (little Fragments stitched onto 5x7" cards); figuring out my booth design and yes, still appraising some real estate. That used to be my real job, well, OK, it still is, but now along with the artist's & appraiser's hats, I'll be wearing a shopkeepers hat. I better get back to work on my inventory!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Look into the Future

How funny that I never have any time, but now here I am making 3 - yes, three posts in one week. Most likely I'll disappear for the rest of the month as things get busier and busier. Why? Because, for the first time, I will be a vendor and not a teacher. I will have a booth at a very big show - the Chicago Quilt Festival. It's all part of the collaboration with Cloth Paper Scissors and Quilts, Inc. to marry the world of fabric and mixed media ~ something I have been advocating for years. Why can't we all just get along? We all love to create, so why limit ourselves to just one medium, or lump ourselves in to groups such as quilters, scrapbookers, or collage artists?

Paper by Basic Grey

Who can resist the lure of scrapbooking supplies lining the shelves of the local crafts store....handmade papers and the amazing new paper designs from the scrapbook companies. I can't. You can see them popping in frequently in my art.

So I will be there, selling some of these little treasures and (ta da) fabric bundles from my very own stash. I am making color coordinated packets to go with my Fabric Altered Books DVD. I'll have my Fragments, and new for me - Image Transfer Kits that will include a CD of images from my personal collection, transparencies and ColorTextiles printer fabric.

I'll be doing transfer demos on the show floor in the "Make It U" section, Saturday afternoon from 3-4 on April 8th. And when there's time, I'll be working on fabric altered books in the booth. I hope you can stop by.

I have really enjoyed putting the fabric bundles together. I could just play with and combine fabrics all day. Imagine an endless supply of color and texture. Is there a job like that anywhere?

Caribbean Art Heart

Grab yourself a comfortable seat, 'mon, while I tell you 'bout my trip. That colorful chair is right out front of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville in Jamaica. Too bad it was 10am and I'm not a fan of margaritas. It was my first foray off the ship and about 15 minutes aftr we stepped foot on land, the heavens opened and we were in the midst of a tropical rain pour. But as
Laura remarked, "You'll get better photographs without the glare of the sun." Ture, true. The color was so vivid, even with the steady rain. But because we were unprepared (no umbrella), and the rain was heavy and steady, we never ventured further than the very commercial visitor's compound (barbed wire and all). While we waited for the break in the rain that never came, I spied this bus stop across the street. If I were an adventuresome lass I would have gone and hopped the bus in search of more color and beauty, but alas, I am a timid, 50-something, girl who has never strayed far from home, and whose adventure is usually from an armchair. But there is beauty right at your feet in Jamaica. Look at the mosaic tiled floor on the porch. Some of the tiles were iridescent and glistened in the rain. Even the painted concrete looked like water.

So, next day was Georgetown, Grand Cayman. I took a look at the island - flat, many, many buildings in sight. The cruise director said there were many banks in Georgetown which made is sound too much like home, so I opted to lay by the pool on the ship and have Strawberry Pina Coladas delivered to my chaise....well, OK, not till 4pm. It was perfect for me, because when the ship is in port, most of the people get off and do their excursions, leaving the ship fairly empty. So I enjoyed the quiet time...something I never get at home. Actually, it took me several days to be able to kick back and relax. I taught on Sunday, the first day at sea, so the rest of the week was pure vacation. I brought 3 good books but only got through one (Colour - Travels Through the Paintbox by Victoria Finlay. The perfect read for this trip.) I also worked on a new fabric altered book - but that was really play, not work. Like the Jamaican juice booth said, life was EASY. (Check out the left side of the photo - I got a big thumbs up from the owner. He was happy that I found his booth photo-worthy.)

Now Thursday was a different story. It was my day of adventure.Our day trip was toTulum, Mexico to see the Mayan Ruins. We took a ferry from our port in Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and walked from that port to our bus. What a colorful town. We wanted to stop at all the shops and drink in the color but there was no time. The long bus ride down the Yucatan Pennisula went quickly as our guide, a Mayan native, filled us in about the Mayan culture and history. He called our route the Mayan Riviera as the road ran along the coast which was dotted with gated luxury resort hotels and spas. The land is relatively flat and the vegetation sparse. Hurricaine Wilma did a number on this part of Mexico. Playa del Carmen appears to have been spared but along the coastal highway to Tulum, there was still evidence scattered about. It the port at Cozumel, the docks platforms were lifted right off of the footings!

Tulum was beautiful, but I was disappointed that we could not actually go "inside" the ruins. This specific site is about 1000 years old, not that old as Mayan sites go. There were still vestiges of paint on one of the frescoed walls that I was only able to see by enhancing the color saturation on my photo. The sunlight and shadows and the distance from which we had to view the wall prevented us from seeing any color while we were there. Apparently the whole city was once a riot of color.

The ruins were home to many iguanas, creatures that bob their head as if to say "hello."

The Mayans told time and seasons but the shadows cast by the sun through these holes. There are not windows, but clocks! The whole city was situated according to the sun.

I took this next picture because I saw what appeared to be random carvings in the stone. It wasn't until I was working on the photo to upload it to this blog that I saw the face, a Mayan warrior! Can you see it?I also enhanced the color saturation in this photo and that's when the face popped out at me. I think we were all too close at the time to recognize it and our guide had let us roam on our own by that point. Each structure was built stone by stone, but I can see that the stones were carved to achieve this relief. I want to go back and see it in person, now that I know it's there!

The Mayans built their city high atop the cliffs, with a view to the sea below. There are many, many steps to travel down to the beach below. I wasn't prepared for a dip, but I couldn't resist the call of the sea, so I navigated my way down, took off my shoes andstepped into the Caribbean Sea! Pacific Ocean to Caribbean Sea in less than a month. I am blessed and amazed at my fortune. I am fulfilling dreams I never knew I had. Perhaps this is a lesson to me to dream big.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

DVDs Ready!

I just got word that my DVD is ready! I am so excited. You can watch a Quicktime preview HERE and see Creative Catalyst Production for more info. If you love collage or fabric, or collage AND fabric, then this is the DVD for you.

I have a nice long post to make about my cruise and the sun (and rain) and the beautiful sights and colors I saw in the Caribbean. Here's a sneak preview. Stay tuned for more soon.
P.S. How does anyone ever find time to keep their blog updated?????