Saturday, June 30, 2012


 Number two-- I think.

Painting Studio Relocated

The heat has turned my studio into an oven. I've set up camp in the TV room near our downstairs window unit.  It's not as glorious of a space, but at least I'm not baking.

Mitch and George Settle a Bet

I finished the first painting!  Although I struggled with the tiny faces, I relished creating the background.  My painting teacher from CCA challenged me to include more atmosphere in my paintings which too often resembled stagnant fabric designs.  I feel like I had a break through with this painting in that regard.  Any suggestions for a title?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Boxers in Boxers

Here are some pics of two projects in progress.  I have to say it feels wonderful to have a brush in my hand even if said brush is miniscule, and I have to paint like I'm performing surgery.  Abe said to me today while painting watercolors "Sometimes it's fun to just paint!  You know?  instead of trying to make it look like something?"  I told him I know exactly what he is talking about.  I'm always alternating between the big brush and small brush techniques/styles.  Perhaps a blend of the two is the best recipe.  Anyway, the painting is a rough start featuring a scene drawn from a photo taken at an actual camp run by Joanna's Great-Aunt.  I'm fascinated by these black and white photos that are so wonderful on their own.  It was hard to imagine how I could find an entry point.  The other project will result in a soft-sculpture including some applique and embroidery.  It's meant to capture (no pun intended) the whimsy of my youth fishing in tiny, fish-less Minnesota lakes.  Thanks Dad for teaching me how to worm my own hook!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Living in a Plaid Paradise

 Here's the big boy all trimmed up and ready to go.  Forgive me for the poor lighting.  I hung the blanket up on the wrong side of the clothes line.  It was such a struggle to get it up, I just left it.  I will need better pics if I want to post it on Etsy.  The pictures at the bottom give a better sense of the rich colors.

Here's my official word on the project:
In designing this quilt for “Behold the Magic Bandana” I was thinking about camping textiles.  Plaid was a natural choice and flannel a practical one.  Joanna Goss gave me two vintage plaids:  the bright orange and a bright blue.  These became the foundation for the color scheme.  As for the design, I took inspiration from the plaid itself.  The concept of intersecting bars and lines is referenced directly from one of the plaid shirts I cut up for the quilt.  Following a pattern is a departure for me.  I usually piece a quilt with a general plan, but look for organic deviations as design surprises.  In this camp quilt, there are only a few deviations in the assembly process.  The shirts had to be scrapped together in some cases to make enough fabric to complete the design.  In addition, my unscrupulous piecing allows for things to not match exactly and create an overall wonkiness that I cherish rather than reject.  I used a peacock blue thread to quilt and unify the piece. By following the lines I accentuated the design.  Finally, the backing is a houndstooth pattern reinforcing the woodsy nature of the quilt.  The result is a cozy, campy cover-up appropriate for smoky firesides.  

Bits and Pieces

I've been piecing and quilting all weekend and today.  I need to finish trimming threads and take some photos before I post the final product.  I didn't realize how big and heavy it was going to be.  I suppose most quilt makers have an idea if not an exact understanding of how big their quilts are going to be before they start.  For me it is a total surprise.  Anyway this big boy (and it is a boy quilt) will be great at picnics and campfires.  Here are some photos (for now) of things that surrounded me while I worked.  I apologize if you saw these on Facebook already.  I wanted to share to many audiences.  Now I've overstated their significance.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project Scraps

 Above are scraps from current quilting project.  Below are buttons saved from the shirts I used in the quilt.  Sometimes I think the remnants are as interesting as the product.  In the background is my Underwood Champion--still not repaired. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weaving Tools

 Through a local listserv (do we still use that term) called Mom Mail, I obtained these beautiful weaving tools free!  I love the wooden boat shuttles; I have plastic ones because the former can be expensive.  In general I find the tools involved with weaving to be inspiring in their own rite.  They are a perfect union of elegance and wholesome.  I cherish that no electricity is used.  (I even have a hand cranked bobbin winder.) Sigh--I miss weaving!  I should be back at the loom in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mysteries and Surprises

 A friend from the Oak Park Women's Exchange thoughtfully considered my children when unloading some of her own children's Playskool toys.  She called me about a small loom that was her daughter's.  I am very excited to teach Abe and Pen how to weave and on a loom sized for little hands.  The only problem is, I want to experiment with some ideas of my own.

Below are obscure pictures of projects that I am working on for the upcoming "Behold the Magic Bandana" show.  I can't tell more about them without revealing the theme of the show.  So, to build suspense and intrigue. . .

Finally, there is a picture of a recent inclusion with my Etsy orders.  I created a card for attaching the pinwheel button which is the secret swag I like to send. 
Project #1


Project #2

Project #2

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekend Wine Down


Pink Blooms


Soft sculpture everywhere--even Anthropologie

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Farmers Totes Ready for the Market

 I'm looking to add these totes to my Etsy shop soon.  They're great for new baby gifts!

Studio Redo

 A new hutch purchased from my parents' neighbors for ten big ones prompted a studio rearrangement.  Another new development, I painted some chairs adding more yellow to my life.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cuckoo Pillow

 I finished the embroidery for the Cuckoo Clock pillow.  I've been thinking a lot about how things take a long time and doing things slowly is undervalued in our culture.  Despite this understanding, I couldn't help but question my sanity while sewing this.  What am I doing with my time these days?

Summer Market at Nido + new merchandise

Nido, Dot to Dot, and Pinwheel Anna Tent
This past weekend was the Nido Summer Market.  We set up our tents in the parking lot and lawn to enjoy the strong breeze and sunshine.  I have lots of photos posted.  Some pictures are of new items from Dot To Dot collective and others depict a couple new things from Pinwheel Anna.  Shortly I should have them added to Etsy!  My camera's battery was gone at the Hop Juice Festival, but these pictures give you the general idea.  Lots of big picture ideas are kicking around in my head.  I'll share them when I have a clearer understanding. 
Catnip Beer Bottles, a feline treat

My Old Man's favorite, Old Style (also pictured un-favorite,  PBR)

Aurora/beer coasters

Vintage Coasters

Promotional Post Cards

Cuckoo pillow, Farmer's Market Tote, Bird Ornament

Lisa's Love Dish

Rag Tag Rugs

old Heart Ornaments , but I like the photo

Quilt--acting as a sail

T-shirts for sale!

Soft sculpture beer bottles and a Nido tank

Nido Tie-dye socks, shoelaces, Pinwheel Anna Garlands, cards

 It was "World Wide Knit in Public Day" yesterday.  Nido had a spot for knitters and crocheters to relax and work.  I love the colors!

Yarn Bombing Nido's tree.  The robin's nest is empty now!

other vendors and the Henna table