Saturday, July 26, 2008

1969 - Again!

I know I posted this in an earlier blog entry (Saturday, October 6, 2007, if you want the full five-part harmony song-and-dance), but I just popped it up here because it was relevant to a current and amusing discussion on the Complex Cloth group. Made Back in the Day - ah, the heady smell of melted crayola crayons, paraffin wax, and Schaeffer Permanent Black ink for fountain pen...! My first so-called batik - and the only one from that era of Rit dye and paraffin wax that is still around, as far as I know (the tye-dyed Carter's Spanky-Pants that my mom and I cooked up are long since gone to their reward!).Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fun Stuff!

I'll stop posting these here quite soon, I promise - there are dozens of them, though, and all still sitting around waiting for me to decide what to do: add more layers & techniques? cut them up & combine them with their cousins, or with unrelated co-inhabitants of the fabric shelves? or embroider and quilt and embellish them and call it "art"? or keep them as they are as records of my processes, or...? Anyway, for now they feel like something between a heap of riches and a flock of worries on my shoulder.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

More handmade fabric pieces -

Now what the heck am I gonna do with them? And there are many more from my current batch of spending way too much time amongst my playthings!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

more hand-printed & dyed cloth

Another piece from the same batch of experiments. This one is monoprinted over hand-dyed muslin, then printed with my own hand-carved stamps. I like this piece a lot; it seems much more useable than some of my more far-fetched pieces (which of course I can't show you right now because of the previously-mentioned computer issues).Posted by Picasa

Some Complex Cloth (well, not too complex)

I've been playing with layering monoprinting, stamping, fabric & dye-painting in various combinations for the last week or two, making what Jane Dunnewold calls "complex cloth" ( Some of my experiments are coming out as murky disasters, others as appealing if sort of odd bits & pieces. Whatever - it's the process that's utterly addicting.
Here's one of the simpler pieces: monoprinted with green & blue dyes, overpainted with diluted Pebeo fabric paint (the yellow), and stamped with my own hand-carved stamps (the leaves) & a chunky foam stamp from Michaels (the dark bird-shapes).Posted by Picasa
I'll post more results as my technology allows; currently, it is all in revolt. Both of the computers I use for creating, saving, and sharing my stuff have given up the ghost, or at least are entering a prolonged rebellious stage. Too frustrating - better to go back to my dye & paint pots until Mercury comes out of retrograde, or the resident Wizard has time to fix it all!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Prayer Flags - from my daughter's wedding

When my daughter Liddy & her husband Chris got married in 2004, I and my mom & my other daughter Molly - Liddy's twin) made dozens of what I thought of as "prayer flags" - like the brightly-colored Tibetan Buddhist flags that carry prayers of thankfulness on the winds to the Buddha - to surround them with the love and blessings of all of us who love them so dearly as they walked into this next stage of their life.

The wedding was held outdoors, under the long covered pavilions of our local Farmers Market. No, silly, it was in the evening; all the local cabbages and brussel sprouts and apple vendors had gone home. It was magical - we transformed the space with hundreds of candles and Chinese lanterns and locally grown (from Market vendors) fall flowers, all in the marigold colors that they had chosen, and handmade tablecloths, and the whole scene just glowed with home-made love and celebration. Not to mention Hippie Chic! I strung dozens of these flags, all carrying messages of love and hope and blessing, some meaningful, some rich with quotations from the songs that surrounded Liddy as she grew up, some just plain goofy, all along the sides of the pavilion, with the intent of surrounding them with all the love that followed them in their journey. was all very beautiful and meaningful, but after the wedding most of the flags got packed away in my basement studio, and of course in all the excitement of the wedding I knew they hadn't really had much of a chance to take them all in. This past Christmas, I finally got around to doing something that had been on my mind all along: I joined 4 of them together, added just enough more embellishments to make it seem united, and added hand & machine quilting in a beautiful copper metallic thread (it doesn't show up that well in the pic, but ooo-la-la baby!), beading, and a few doodads here & there, and gave it to them to put up in their place in Philly. I hope that every time they see it, they will remember how much love they are cradled in - and also that some of the thoughts of love that are expressed in it will help to remind them where they started through those married-life days when the troubles sometimes make you wonder "what was I thinking?" You know what I'm talking about!

So that's what this funky thing is. The picture in the upper left corner is a little painting Chris made for Liddy on their first Valentine's Day together, and they used it as their wedding invitation. Doesn't that kinda melt your heart?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Little Art Quilt

Here's a little art quilt I made for my mother for Christmas this year - I'm quite infatuated with it, actually. The background fabric is my very-first-ever venture (well, my first intentional one, anyway, not counting various bleach spots on favorite jeans over the years!) into discharging; I think it was discharged using Palmolive dishwasher gel, painted along the fold lines of the fabric. Or maybe Soft-Scrub with bleach, or possibly a Clorox bleach pen - anyway, you get the idea - not anything too high-tech or artsy! The circles are Dupioni silk, fused to the cotton background. The little piles of squares & rectangles are watercolor paper, variously painted & stamped & ripened in the box where I throw all those things for future use; they have a beautiful metallic sheen, and are very lovely, if I do say so myself. They're secured to the background by some of my handmade paper beads, which are also very special. (Well, at least my mother and I think so...) Then came both machine & hand-quilting, done in gold Kreinik thread, and various random beadings.
Too bad I don't have something more profound to say about it. It just started out as a little sampler, to see how Thing This combined with Thing That. As it evolved, I kept thinking of how my mother is always telling me to "just hang it on the wall and call it art", so that's where it ended up!
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