Peacock Quilt and the border print.

This is a video update, no words needed  🙂

A year of returning.

Last year I was given a glimpse into identifying too closely with yourself through the making of art. I had not previously been forced to assess the role that making art had in my life or that it was so closely identified with how I think of myself as a person. 

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I lost my ability to connect with and do my art for months at a time, I have never been as blocked as this and I hope never to become blocked like this again. There were a few days when I threw my arms up and asked myself, ‘what and who are you without the ability to make?’ All my normal jogs and pushes didn’t work, trying out new media, going to museums, hanging out with friends, I did these things, but they did not lead me back into the making!

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So, rather than to look at my art as a means to connect to self, I have decided that making is a fun thing I do. One of the many things I like to do. And sometimes, you just have to do those other things.

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Buying Dragon, my Thermofax machine, sure did help. That gave some extra luster to wanting to make the plunge and delve deeply into printing enough cloth to make something with.

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Rather than create new motifs, I looked to my collection of woodblock stamps for inspiration. These motif have the effect of being even more exciting to me because they are nothing like what I would design otherwise.

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This week, I hope to print some semisolids, some cloth that will allow for visual relief, a break from all the colorful clutter and motifs that you see here.

All, while I revel in the fact that my creative drought has broken and I am able to return to doing the creative work that makes me happy. I may yet become blocked again. I may suffer a creative drought, where I wonder who I am without the ability to access my creative center, I hope not. But at least I will know, it does come back! Even if I just have to let it run its course.


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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

Printing we will go

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I have been happily printing, because I am on a quilt top mission!! Each year I attend a pretty awesome retreat with great friends. The next one will occur next weekend. The cloth you see above was printed using dye left over from printing the Breastless Beauties. And, although these printed fabrics are quite pretty, the color is not as sharp or boisterous as I would like to see. I am happy to use up as much dye as possible though!!

This morning I mixed new dyes.  😀 HAHA!

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Do you want to know how very exciting it is to print your own cloth and use it in a quilt top? REALLY freaking exciting.

I mean. Right at this moment, there is a completed quilt, using my hand printed cloth folded neatly and resting over the back of my couch. On a very regular basis, I pet and fondle that quilt and admire my handy work. I feel blessed to be able to do this work.

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The prints I am sharing with you today were made using wood block stamps bought from Coloricious. First, I stamped each image onto paper, scanned these into Photoshop, created a repeat, then for the Peacock image anyway, a background was created.

I burned a Thermofax screen with the images. This, not the wood block stamp, is what I am using to print the cloth you see here. Of course I am printing with my beloved Procion MX dyes on cotton, which is just gorgeous and cannot be compared to any other media.

I bought these stamps perhaps two years ago at Quilt Festival. I like the stamps a bunch, but until now they have been a decoration. I love -using- the stamps, and better still, I really like the cloth I am printing. It makes me daydream about how I might piece and create a satisfying quilt top! Great big sigh. I love this. 


 

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I will be teaching:

You Can’t Resist This, where we will use soy wax as a resist along with paint on cotton fabric.

Small Works, Big Impact, where we will make small works while exploring the use of the sewing machine and some pretty nifty techniques.

Journaling with Embroidery, where we will make a Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, so you can sew, wherever you go!

 

Stitching away the Blues

I am stitching away on this Breastplate. I guess this is called a running stitch, I just pick up a few threads and then continue to stitch, maintaining a similar length of stitch for each. It creates little dots on the back of the work, which is very pleasing to me. So far I have used 4 different colors of hand dyed threads, and I love that I figured out how to eliminate the white spots in the dyeing process. 

My mother and I have a road trip planned for the weekend, we will be going to a craft fair. I am happy about this on so many levels. I need to get out of the house for one. And generally, I have been depressed and down lately.  I need a jog from normality. So, I am packing my bags, bringing my stitch work and hightailing it.

Off to make coffee and pack my bags!

A New Day, A New Week.

Wood Block Stamps and Music

I opened my mail last week to find this CD, sent by Meg Cox. The woman who heads the band is also a breast cancer survivor and although this is not the type of music I gravitate to, this album is really good. It is uplifting, danceable and has been on rotation since its arrival. Great stuff.

You also see some woodblocks from Colouricious in this last photo.

Making rules as I go, Boro Dress, Art Clothing

I have been on a mission. I am defining (redefining?) what clothing needs to be and how I might participate in the making of it. This will be a dress. A boro style dress, made just for me, using scrap, recycled bits of cloth, oak gall dyed organza and an indian sari. In my mind, clothing needs to fit well and be machine washable. It could also be pretty, inspiring, well made,  and interesting. 

I have always wanted to dress differently. I ‘see’ clothing that is not available on the market. It is time to start actualizing what I see.