Monday, April 23, 2012


YAY!  My quilt entitled 'Moon Sisters' was accepted into the 'Black & White with a twist' exhibit for Quilts On The Wall!  The exhibit will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach
July 26 - 29,  2012
and will continue on to Pennsylvania National in the fall of 2012 and then to Pacific National in 2013! 
Here it is!

The lyrics of Sting's song, 'Sister Moon' is 'woven' into the branches (via my handwritten calligraphy) as I envision music floating in the night to settle and catch on tall trees where it entertains their inhabitants.
And the back: 

I loved that white raven on black so much all I can say is:   
stay tuned...
Thanks for looking!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sea Dragon

I had such a strong interest in my Lionfish piece that was shown at the Orange County Fair last year,  it was wonderful!  The piece was purchased but there were many who were disappointed, so after discussing some possibilities I had been toying with I decided to make a Leafy Sea Dragon.  

I am now prepared to share some prelim shots.  There will be heavy beading as in the prior piece but different motifs will be used.  Also, this is a slightly darker piece in terms of the water variant.  I love how the background has light bars running down into the depths. 
Size is 20"W x 30"H (so far) 

I will be machine quilting today laying in some foundation, then... Onto the beading!!! 

The sea dragon was first water colored on Organza then overlaid onto some chartreuse silk.
 He will be heavily beaded to accentuate the orange & white patches on him.
 Specialty yarns & beading materials.  I can't wait to get these final embellishments on.
 My assistants

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Still playing with paints (and calligraphy inks)

Long ago the Easter Bunny stopped coming to our house, it had something do to with my child becoming a young woman and the Spring Celebration gifts went from plastic eggs with candy and chocolate bunnies to more grown up things like;  "I will make you breakfast in bed if you get up before noon" , or  "I' will toss your laundry in with mine if you get it out to the garage before I start mine" or simply, "You can sleep in as long as  you like." Which truth be told is a self serving gift... I am then able to secret myself away in my studio to play with paints & stuff~ Happy Easter to me! 

I started with some pieces that I had actually put washes on last week.  They still lacked some depth and drama so I got out my stencils and dry brushes.  

Here they are after I stenciled some inks and paint.  They needed to dry and this is the only thing in my backyard I can put them on.  

 Here are some close ups of them
The one on the right has some clock stencils in rich bronze.  The mustard yellow was the wash from last week.  Today I got bold and just grabbed my dry brush and globbed a bunch of the bronze acrylic paint and made some swipes.  In my mind and I am trying to 'see' some calligraphy but I try not too really.  I prefer to let the paint and ink go where ever and let the rest happen by chance.  
(the reason for this is that if I try to 'plan' it all out first, if it doesn't look exactly right I will scrap the whole thing in frustration- that is the wrong attitude to have, so for me this way works best)
 I simply adore anything with that Harlequin pattern. 

I simply laid it down, painted some areas, switched colors, laid it down again added more
color.  At the end I added some bright gold metallic very sparsely for some added umpf. 

 On this one the black & pink watercolor wash was last week.  Today I put the stenciled branches & circles on.  The circles (or bubbles) quickly caught my imagination on fire and I had to force myself to stop before I over did them!

Here again the mustard and brown wash was done last week.  You can tell it's the wash  by the way the ink is running off edges (I love that).  So today I added some circles.  What I tell myself to remember is that I most likely won't use the piece as a whole so "stop trying to plan the scale". 
 i.e. just this section looks promising to me.  

 I dyed this blue & green piece a waaaaay long time ago.  

Friday I decided to throw caution to the wind and use it!   A song I love from a group called '30 seconds to Mars' wrote a song that was very popular a while back with the opening of a wonderful film called 'The Guardinans of Gahoule'.  This particular verse holds meaning to me 
 the 'darker' part of verse is written vertically. 

*updated 5pm sunday- couldn't leave well enough alone*

I've laid out some stuff I plan on sewing onto it.  I will be doing hand embroidery with some wonderful hand dyed floss from

ok, time for me to get back to it. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

WOW! Santa Monica Hangar Gallery Excitement!

I'm so excited!  Opened my email this morning after wrestling with having to get up and look what I found!  My work 'on the cover' as it were of the postcard for the Santa Monica Hangar Show!  
Well it was certainly worth getting out of bed!!! 
Thanks Guys!!!

Here's the back detail:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Play Time!

Had some fun over the rainy weekend.  It was fun to play and experiment on a small scale to see results that might later be incorporated into large work.  Check it out!

Started with a piece of cotton
I find that trying to create nice washes is difficult.  I need more practice on this.

Next took some stencils and some shiva paint sticks & laid in some tree shapes.  I LOVE the way this turned out!  I got both 'positive' and 'negative' stencils of the tree branches and really enjoyed playing with those!

Next added some calligraphy.  This particular fabric is very rough and the ink was not as smooth as I'd like but the effect was ok and after all, I was just screwing around.  No, I hadn't picked the theme or passage until after I had put the bird & branches on.  It was then I was reminded of Oscar Wilde's 'The Nighingale & the Rose' story.  (yes, I know I mispelled it on the piece but since it's scrap I'm not worried.)

I had so much fun I continued with another piece of cotton.  I used my FW Acrylics to slash in some color.  Then drew the dancer.  I knew I wanted to make this one into a larger work so it was fun to play on a very small scale.  (16" x 16")
The quote is Martha Graham.  I just LOVE it and how it translates from the dance world to the art world.

I just love the position of the dancer.  I found a photo of a dancer online and simply traced the outline. 
Not crazy about the colors & uneven text size but again, it's a scrap, just to see how a piece might look in the scale of 30" x 40" or so. 

Let me know what you think! 
If you have any tips on creating a nicer wash I'd be happy to learn them.  It's one thing to simply tea dye fabric and another to get a really nice watercolor wash with splotches and shades to work. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Quickie!

I have been wanting to make a cover for my Kindle Touch 
I grabbed a piece of fabric my friend Lynn Douglass sent me last year that I have been coveting and saving for something special! 

I cut the size slightly larger than the Kindle

put some timtex on either side, added two pieces of batting over those then put a piece of fabric over that to

make the inside pretty

to give it some umpf.

I didn't do a separate binding, I just did an old fashioned 'rolled hem'. 

next I stiched down the elastic straps. 
  I only had white elastic so I used my black acrylic ink & dyed them , it worked a treat!

quilted in the ginko leaves 
and sewed on the original Kimona button my friend
gave me for Christmas a long time ago. 

 I did give it a few dabs of ink to darken the red to match the red in the fabric better

I thought the script on the fabric was way too perfect!  The alphabet!
When I make another one I will add more batting on both sides to make it easier to quilt. 

I stopped the top stitching and carried the thread to the other side of the word block.  Once done I liked how it looked so much I left the threads connected.