Friday, February 27, 2009

Mmmm, today is wash and spin fiber... but only after I have cleaned more in the studio...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ah, the Jays...


imes when we toss out the peanuts for the squirrels, we get a bluejay diving in to share in the bounty. Today there were three! They are swift, sure and accurate in their flight, landing and grabbing a peanut, then taking off in a short second. To capture them I had the camera aimed at a particular spot and waited til one showed up. The pic in flight was a serendipitous one, and in the meantime the squirrels didn't hesitate to take their own shares. I do love to watch the little bandits, and they seem well fed, so we are not the only ones feeding them! I am told there is a shortage of acorns this year, but the squirrels around here won't have a tough time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Latest Kitty

Well, here is my latest offering to the world of kitties... she hasn't told us her name yet, but I am sure she will. I made her for my sister, whose birthday is today. Happy birthday, Kris! I couldn't put a pic up until I confirmed she had gotten there in time.
The little feathers are from the cardinal whom I fould dead on our deck a couple weeks ago. The kitty is made from a sweater I felted in the washer and dryer... isn't it great that what used to be a disaster has become a terrific process? I used wool felt for the features too, and a little trim for her collar. Her friend seems fine, must have just been some feathers found on the ground!

Photo Transfer on Metal

I have been playing with photo transfers and this is one of my favorites types... Lazertrans! This is the regular Lazertrans, a waterslide decal. After floating it off the paper, I laid it on an old metal door from, I think, an autoclave and then baked it on in my regular oven. It takes a few hours, you have to bring it up to temp slowly. I love that it shows things through the transfer, it changes the colours and really shows the age.
So today I will be cleaning my studio, in hopes that I can actually use it again! Whenever I do anything, I have so much stuff that I have to shove things around, and inevitabley things get shoved onto the floor or onto the shelves where they don't belong. The pile on my cutting table is up to my neck.... aaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cold Day

Isn't this a tasty looking cup of tea? It is a tea flower from Numi, though other companies carry florals too. This is a green tea, and the leaves are tied into flower shapes. Today has been cold and raw, with a strong blustery wind. I like winter better than summer, but here in northern VA the winters have little snow and lots of cold wet rainy days, not the type of winter I enjoy. Teas like this help me stay warm.

I have been working on my sister's birthday gift, but can't show it yet. Her birthday is Saturday, and hopefully it will make it on time. We live 5 hours apart, but having webcams help us stay in touch. (Thanks Sis!) I guess some of this new techy stuff is okay but I long for simpler days sometimes.

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My kitty seems to be more interested in the inside of the bag than his treats, which I put out to lure him away! Right now he is making my typing very difficult by laying across the desk and hanging his legs over the keyboard so I have to move them out of the way to hit the keys. His brother is on the fleece box again... his favorite place aside from his mom's shoulder! It is the small familiar touches that make a home, isn't it? I have done a bit of thinking about my life and all that is going on... I am not rich, but I have all I need and much of what I want. I have a job, and we have enough coming in to be okay, even in todays tough times. I don't need to be bailed out, I don't want the government to take up a parental position, and I see blue skies down the road a bit, if the slimy media pundits will stop trying to make it worse. If they would just stop frightening people we could get about the business of coming back from the recession. It needn't even have been a recession, if the media hadn't done all they could to bring it about. That side of technology I don't like.
Well, I am going to spend this weekend cleaning my studio, so I can make more fun things, I really need to sort things out. How do you sort things out?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Angel of the Sea

Well, this is what I have been working on for the last ten days. She is for the Woodlawn Needlework Exhibition... my first time entering anything like this. She is based on the head of an angel on an icon, blown up and printed on my inkjet printer. Then I made several phototransfers of marine critters and used composite leaf. I covered everything with organza, stitched the features and hair. I burned away the organza over the face and critters, then I tore organza and used it to stitch seaweed, also silk ribbon. I used a netting at the base, and I painted and deformed Tyvek and sewed it on too. More stitching, ribbon anemones and seed stitched her hair some more. I pleated ribbon and sewed to the outside. The background is rayon-silk velvet backed with 2 layers of cotton flannel, then hand stitched in no particular pattern, then shunk in hot/cold water and the dryer. I supported everything with foamcore board, and finally sewed on a hanger. Phew, done. I am not hopeful of a prize, but want to get new kinds of needlework in front of people. Not many here do this kind of stuff, or at least in public. I shan't be embarrassed to show her off!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Aren't they cute? They pretty much stay with me when I am more or less stationary, this is in the office.... the second pic is of Crosby, who is sound asleep on top of a box of icelandic sheep's fleece (his fav!) and the first and third are of Trouble. He looks rather offput, I think I must have awakened him from he postprandial nap.
I spent the whole weekend working on a mixed media piece that I will enter in the Woodlawn needlework show. Once it is done I will post a pick... sometimes the muse is very helpful, this was one of those times.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is the second teacozy sample for my class... I like the final result well enough but, my, it was a long process. I started by overlaying three cotton fabrics with aqua and bronze organza, and stitching them down (raw edged) with handstitching. I also stitched a spiral, a moon and stars. Afterwords, I used Shiva oilsticks to add color over the stitching. I really didn't like the color much, and decided to use a soldering iron to burn away the organza to de-emphasize the color, and add texture. I had added the lining, but I still didn't like the color where it lay on the spiral and crescent. I ended up adding several layers of fabric over the spiral and moon, and then beads at the tips of the stars arms as well as the appliques. The stitching and beading was done after the lining, and it was really hard to do. Iended up stitching through fold and all, and I am thinking about relining it, but not until after the class. It can serve as a "don't do it this way" lesson. Sigh.