Archive for July, 2011

Where have all the fireflies gone?

July 31, 2011

Last night we went out to catch lightning bugs (or do you call them fireflies?) to no avail.   I saw a very few in the distance but was never able to get close enough to catch one.  Seems like all the lightning bugs have vanished so I googled it to find out if something has indeed happened to the vast numbers I use to see.

We  might be using too much pest control.  The chemicals can be indiscriminate about what they kill.

Or, we might just have too many lights turned on at night.  The bugs like the dark so they can flash for a potential mate.  Now all the streets are lined with  lights and while it may make some feel safer at night, I prefer the night dark.  – Have you ever noticed the number of lights on in your bedroom when you turn off the lamp?  Between 2 alarm clocks, TV gadgets, and the seldom put away iron,  our room is never pitch black.  I spent the night in my sister’s guest room recently (she lives way out in the country).  She didn’t have a clock in the room and no outdoor lights were on.  I think the darkness of the room was instrumental in a deep satisfying sleep. –  

What has that to do with the butterfly?  Nothing.  But I haven’t seen too many butterflies lately either…

Butterfly is free motion embroidery on water soluble stablizer, approx. 7.5″x6″.

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InStitches

July 27, 2011

I come from a family of smilers.  We nod, we laugh, we smile,  but seldom are we openly very enthusiastic.  I feel it on the inside but just cannot make my body react. That flutter of excitement stays deep, it doesn’t bubble to the surface so all the world feels excited with me.  But, forcing myself to show it, I want everyone to know that I am excited, I’VE BEEN PUBLISHED!!!

I am honored to be included in the Quilting Arts e-magazine, InStitches!  Yay for me!

Okay, settle down, enough of that.  Still smilin’ inside, though.

That upper right piece of art is mine.  In the article, I show how I use color pencils on a drawing and then turn it into fiber art using free motion machine embroidery.  I really was thrilled to be asked to contribute to this issue.  And, there are several other artists who show you their work and how to’s.  Some great stuff.  Here is the first page of my article.  I love the graphics the magazine editors/designers put together to title my work.

InStitches is now available here (at a $5 decrease, yes, I said decrease, from the last issue’s price).  It is an interactive magazine, you can click through to websites, increase picture size to study up close and even watch videos.  They managed to edit the 60 minutes of tape I sent (what is that called now that it isn’t tape?)  down to 7 minutes. It is hard watching myself talk with my hands, stuttering over words, not finding the correct one, and  sounding so so Southern.  But as my sister pointed out, I am Southern!

Evolution of a Bird (paper sculpture)

July 21, 2011

Inspired by watching David Attenborough’s “The Life of Birds”,  motivated by the desire to work three dimensionally, and restricted by supplies on hand and the ability of my hands, I set out to create a paper bird.  I was really inspired by some beautiful birds in paper, cloth, felt and maybe even feathers I have seen recently online but David and his birds made great accompaniment as I worked.

This albino crow was done by creating a simple wire armature, tearing paper and tying it to the armature or other bits of paper.  I used a waxed heavy thread bought for bookbinding but I think it is a little too heavy looking.  I switched to cotton quilting thread and started a wren.  Both are torn from inexpensive watercolor paper but I painted the paper I used on the wren.  I probably could have spent more time on depth of color, etc.,  but remember I wanted to work in 3D so I hurriedly covered the paper in watercolor already on my palette.

I have discovered  my fingers lack the dexterity to tie knots anymore.  (Where did it go?  Is it a sure sign of aging?!!!!)  So I gave up on the thread and knot tying and returned to the much easier task of applying glue with a paintbrush.  I can still hold a paintbrush.  Heaven help me if I ever lose that!

The crow is 5″ tall and 11″ long.  The wren is 6.5″ to tip of its tail and 6.5″ tall.

fabric as verse

July 19, 2011

After reading the last post,  my extraordinarily talented Mother sent me a verse she wrote years ago.  Read it aloud.  Great iambic pentameter.  I am proud of my mother and her accomplishments.  And I am proud I remember what iambic pentameter is.

 

CALICO, CAMBRICK, BLACK BOMBAZINE,

 

Dimity, denim, gray gabardine,

Mackinaw, madras, loud tattersall—

Make Sarah a dress to wear to the ball.

 

Taffeta, terry, herringbone, tweed,

Wrap her in velvet, whatever you need,

Paisley, percale, or Pima broadcloth,

Pick any fabric, cut a wide swathe.

 

Organdy, pongee, silk or sateen,

Moire or muslin, faille or nankeen,

Poplin, pique, mohair or lamé,

Burlap, brocade, batiste or bouclé—

 

Bias-cut, pucker, featherstitch, dart,

Thread all your needles, practice your art,

Make Sarah a garment of sackcloth or lace,

Make it of scarlet or make it of puce—

 

Cover her up from her head to her toe,

Let her dance with a partner she never can know—

Her true love has left her to dance in her shame—

Her true love has given another his name.

 

Julia Evatt, Jan. 27, 2002

 

I did ask her why she gave this verse a “sad ending”.  She didn’t answer me, maybe she will tell us.  Julia???

 

Do you know what linsey-woolsey is?

July 12, 2011

Working on fabric I bought several years ago, I stitched a crow using free motion machine embroidery.  I thought it would make a great pillow but when I placed it on my pillow form, it looked boring.  So I pulled out a needle and thread and started making French knots.  There are a lot more dots that don’t show up in this scan. It still may not be exactly what I wanted but it is growing on me.  Now to make it into a pillow.

I was curious what this cloth is.  I don’t know that I was aware of what it was when I bought it, I bought it cheap!  It feels like cotton, is very heavy and has a loose plain weave. I went searching for a name for this fabric.  I know some fabrics like batiste, broadcloth and buckram from my days working for Singer Fabric store at Cumberland Mall (did you even know that Singer sold fabric along with sewing machines?) way back when I was college, but I had no idea that there were as many different classifications of fabric as there are.  Here is one site with a long list but it doesn’t have pictures.  Any ideas what mine might be?

Poppies

July 6, 2011

 
I have been wanting to do some poppies for some time and was motivated after having bought poppy pods from the Marietta Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago.  Actually, I wanted to do the pods themselves but went looking at poppy photos and the reds were screaming to be subject matter.  I have long admired the work of Lisbeth Zwerger and used her illustration of a famous poppy field‘s grey background for my own.

They walked along listening to the singing of the brightly colored birds and looking at the lovely flowers which now became so thick that the ground was carpeted with them. There were big yellow and white and blue and purple blossoms, besides great clusters of scarlet poppies, which were so brilliant in color they almost dazzled Dorothy’s eyes.

“Aren’t they beautiful?” the girl asked, as she breathed in the spicy scent of the bright flowers.

“I suppose so,” answered the Scarecrow. “When I have brains, I shall probably like them better.”

“If I only had a heart, I should love them,” added the Tin Woodman.

“I always did like flowers,” said the Lion. “They of seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these.”

They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.

(You guessed that was from The Wizard of Oz, didn’t you?)


My printer/scanner died a couple of weeks ago and this is the one we had in reserve.  The colors are much more subdued than  in the original, the orange in the edging doesn’t even show.  It uses the same color ink cartridges as the old one but the printing quality is lacking also.  Guess I will put up with it for a while.  Just believe me when I say the poppies look lush on the original!!!

Summer Afternoon

July 2, 2011

I have had a free day today and I have spent it playing!  I saw a cute little idea here  surfing the web via stumbleupon and/or pinterest, can’t remember which.  My daughter and sister introduced me to these two ways to see cool stuff.  These are small river pebbles (I bought mine a while back at Lowe’s) painted with acrylic ink and varnished.  What a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

I made different words out of these letters (letters limited to a one time use considering I only did one alphabet).  My favorite word based on visual interest only??? Joy.  With such brevity,  an ascender beginning and descender ending, and that balanced little “o” in-between, I think it may be the perfect word without even considering its meaning!