Monday, January 29, 2007



Two years old today...sitting in her present from last year!

...and this year

This is one of those bookshelf dollhouses, top shelf and inside roofline showing. I'm sure it will be used as storage for now, but will evolve into the intended dollhouse as she gets older.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Energy Again!

I'm loving this book. This has FINALLY gotten my creative juices flowing. I was going to say it has finally gotten my lazy butt off the couch and into my studio, but then I remembered it's not that I've been physically lazy as much as uninspired to start on new projects. Big difference. This book by Ineke Berlyn is chock full of COLOR and DESIGN help, and so much INSPIRATION. I guess this is the direction I need to head in. I've been fascinated for a long time by the idea of taking a photograph and interpreting it in fabric, but it's NOT EASY for me. I struggle and struggle because I'm so LITERAL. Abstract does not enter my creative vocabulary very often, and when it does it's usually not intended. I get hung up on DETAIL. But I LOVE the way these illustrations look. The color. The simplicity of the design. So I decided to play a little yesterday and this is what my work space looked like when I started...notice the book opened to my 'inspiration'...

I had some wool roving so I started by interpreting one of her designs. I chose my colors, laid them out on my pad and started needlepunching. As I got closer to the end, (the place where DETAIL comes in), those demons started rushing in...that voice in the back of your head that says, "that looks stupid", "what's it supposed to be anyway?" and the other voice saying VERY LOUDLY "it doesn't have to BE anything, this is only FOR FUN" "Have fun!!!" So I did. I just let go and started loving the colors and the feeling of soft...and the design is fine. I decided I didn't like the moon, so that ended up on the floor...

And in the end:

This is how it finished. With a detail shot:

Needlepunching is so cool. It's very sculptural, three dimensional and because of that you can accomplish depth, not by shadowing as you would on a flat surface, but by directing the needle into the fibers a certain way. And when you blend them all together...I turned my masterpiece over at one point

and saw the back...beautiful!

These were done by my friend and fellow Frayed Edger Kate last fall. You can see the sculptural possibilities with these guys. Aren't they funny?! Endless possibilities.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Frayed Edges Monday

In case anyone missed it on her blog, here's another picture of happy Sarah holding the contract for her NEW BOOK. This is very exciting for all of us Frayed Edges, well for me anyway, since I've never seen a book go from conception to reality. It will be a kick to see the outcome. I've already seen the "proposal" and I'm just sayin' it's a work of beauty in itself.

At our Frayed Edges meeting last monday, Sarah was generous enough to share her expertise and her class material she teaches on machine quilting. We brought our machines and followed along with her instructions. I've done a lot of machine quilting, but I learned so many new things. Like wearing these:

As you can see, Sarah never quilts without them, and the dyes from the fabric on the fingers of the gloves prove it. I do 'alright' without them, but if you've ever seen her quilting, this small thing probably contributes to the fact that she wins awards. Along with the fact that she has a huge table with her machine countersunk so she can really "drive" her material all over the place...demonstration here:

You can't really see the action, but what you can see is the beautiful complementary color choice in clothing!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to anyone who's birthday happens to be today...especially someone who has a propensity for purple and green! Such nice colors...

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Million Little Stitches

I'm back to working on this piece I started this past I'm adding hand work and every time I look at this I feel like I'm not doing it right. It looks disheveled and messy to me. Is there a right way and a wrong way? Should I be using a hoop? Should I aim for the same length? When I do the little circles I'm using two strands of floss...if I use more will that make it smoother? Am I really just obsessing?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Of Snow Removal

The plow guy came this morning. January 16th and the first plow of the season. The PLOW GUY. Kinda conjures up images of a scruffy, plaid clad, slightly overweight in need of a shave guy. Who, when he rolls the window down to talk to you smells of coffee and cigarettes. Or worse, cigars. Not that I have anything against cigars. And how often do we exchange words, anyway? When he rolls in at 5:15 and I wake up to the scraping of the blade, the only words are to Bruce, "It's the plow guy".

Our guy is Steve, and he is NOTHING like I've just described, so why does that image come up? He's very handsome, very slim, not too old, not too young. He has beautiful curly brown hair. And I'm pretty sure his truck cab smells more like coffee than anything else. He's a hardworker and a gifted carpenter when he isn't plowing.
He does stairs and banisters, two of the most precise and difficult woodworking challenges I can think of. More precise than putting together a quilt. And he approaches plowing our road with the same quality of care he does to a mahogany handcarved handrail. We're lucky to have him, and I don't mind the early morning call to wakefulness. It just means I don't have to shovel!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another This and That

I got up early this morning because I couldn't sleep (5:15am). That's not unusual for one whose friends make fun of her because she goes to bed at 7:30. But I read! Well, for about ten minutes and then I fall asleep....anyway, my mind was full of things I wanted to blog about, books I've read, cleaning out my sewing room and digging up treasures (not), but I opened my email and found this:

These are little Lenten Roses from my sister Tricia's garden in western Massachusetts. 70 degrees yesterday. Denver has more snow than it knows what to do with and we have poor little flowers getting confused. I'm not complaining. I hate the cold and the mess most of the time, but I love Maine so you take the good with the bad. I probably will complain in the spring though, when my perennials don't make it.

So. Cleaning out my sewing room. I found projects never finished. Even in a very short time my style has changed so things I started last year, 6 months ago, will never see the light of day. What do you do with them? Back into the closet for awhile. Next time I clean they'll go out the door. Baby steps. Like the yards of upholstery fabric I've been saving for who knows what. This time they didn't make the cut. Gone. Feels good to purge. And it's no coincidence it happens at the beginning of a new year. Weight, physical surroundings, clean out, start new.

Books I've read:

Okay. I bought this book because I liked the cover. The colors and the image made me look twice, and made me wonder what was inside. I've never read any Jodi Picoult before so I don't know if this is her usual style or what. I can't say it was a happy read. Actually on so many levels, I found it disturbing. I think it's supposed to be about the father, Daniel, and his transformation from bad boy to the father who will do anything to protect his daughter. But I saw the moody 14 yr old, who lies to her parents, plays crazy sex games with her friends, gets herself and a boy involved in real life drama. Then there's the whiney mother. I don't know. I don't envy the things parents have to handle these days, but I still think, no matter what, with the right parent/child relationship, things don't have to get so far gone. And this book? By the end, unbelievably far.