Thursday, 20 November 2014

A Drop in a Bucket - touring America 2015

From a recent email:
Dear Sandy,
I have the pleasure to inform you that we managed to have Wide Horizons IV to travel in the USA at all 7 AQS shows from January through October 2015.

So, I have done a bit of googling to find out what AQS stands for... American Quilter's Society (I did know it was to be in at least 2 of those shows, but didn't know what the initials actually meant.)

I also wanted to find out where these shows are and when they are on. I discovered this list.
Albuquerque, NM ~ Jan 14 – 17
Lancaster, PA ~ March 11 – 14
Paducah, KY ~ April 22 – 25
Syracuse, NY ~ July 29 – Aug. 1
Grand Rapids, MI ~ Aug 12 – 15
Chattanooga, TN ~ Sep 16 – 19
Des Moines, IA ~ Sep 30 – Oct 3

And why does this matter?

After being part of the SAQA Europe and Middle East Wide Horizons IV exhibition at Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Alsace, France in September, it travelled to Abilmente in Vicenza, Italy.

So, now it is travelling around America.

I really wanted the opportunity to raise awareness of issues for as many people as possible.(Several facts mentioned in my statement at the above link.) So now, not just in Europe, but also in America.

VERY Pleased!

So, if you are planning to attend any of these shows, please let me know! If you live anywhere near the plan to attend!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

ALAW - Burnt Letters

Second ALAW set for 2014 m-p
Still catching up the Burnt Letters

And the Burnt Letters up close...

info about the technique and concept here.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 9-15 November

2014 - Week 46 Daily Beads






I thought the star buttons would be harder to stitch the radiating sets of beads, but actually it was much easier as it was very regular.



I ran out of the purple beads for this and filled in round the edge with the beads I am using for the 4th button of each set. I will substitute a different purple bead for the 3rd button of each remaining set of shaped buttons. The beads for the 5th button of each set is about to run out as well. So I have a back-up plan for that as well.

You never think when you start something that you will find yourself short on the variety of purple beads!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Present idea

This year I have my brother to give gifts to. When you have 8 people in your family and not much money, your parents come up with different ways of restricting the number of gifts each one has to give. Because of course, they provide the money for each of those gifts till the children get old enough to make money of their own, or to make gifts themselves. I think for the most part we drew names from a hat or something.

Anyway...when we started having spouses and children one of the newer parents came up with the idea of restricting the giving again and we all breathed a sigh of relief! It was a bit more predictable as you rotated around the list, having a different person each year til you were back at the top and starting over again. It got a bit of an update when my sister died..(My youngest brother had died about 10 years before.) And so, I have my other brother this year.

...More than you wanted to know....

Back to the present idea. I am not sure I ever showed this piece on the blog. Or at least I can't find it.
I think it was made before I started the blog.

I had used flannel for the wadding and didn't like the way it flopped about. So, it went into one of my 'someday perhaps' piles. I kept moving it around, thinking it was not great. The other day I got it out again because I know my brother likes Scientific things. I am sure he would like this. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as bad as I remembered. Just needed a good press.

So, the aim now is to make a sort of backing quilt a bit larger to place this work onto. I will probably use felt for the wadding because the combination will make it hang better.

Originally I had placed the uneven rectangle onto the very dark grey and used it as it was - uneven. I felt this helped to add to the concept of space not being contained in a box. I am thinking I might place this onto the backing quilt in an uneven manner as well. But I haven't decided what backing colour would be best for it. There is a verse in the Bible about faith and the way the worlds were made. I know my brother would like that as well, so I am thinking about putting words around the outside edge.

So, those are some experiments for next week.
(Have you noticed how I am delaying the start of the Big Project?)

Well, I figure if this is done first, then I don't have to stop to make this and end up sending it to America the week before Christmas like I usually do. and yes the post office reminds me that it won't get there for Christmas! But I have usually been doing too many other things to get the presents sent. It is, however, easier to send to my brother because he isn't married and hasn't got children.

And then, there will be a nearly abandoned "work-in-progress" that is finished!

So, now I will stop running off at the fingers and may possibly go to bed at a reasonable time today.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

ALAW - Burnt Letters

Second ALAW set for 2014 i-l
Catching up the Burnt Letters

And the Burnt Letters up close...

info about the technique and concept here.


And with the decks clear, I have begun! Or at least I have started the fusing part.

One of the reasons I wanted the working table clear is because the size is over 1m both ways. It would make it easier to fuse the fabric if I could use the table. The worry, though, is that the table is actually an old (vintage?) desk. There is a piece of leather set into the wood surround. I didn't want to ruin that.

So, I knew I had a felted wool blanket. Still I didn't want the heat to go through that. In the cupboard with the blanket something made me move a bag on top of a box. TADA! A table protector for protecting dining room tables from heat! I remember now that I had hoped it would fit our dining room table when it was at it's smallest size. But it didn't. However! Joy of was bigger than the fabric I wanted to fuse. So, just right for this purpose.

So, layered table protector with wool blanket on top and Yes, the little heat that did get through to the table protector went no further.

More positives here...
For some time I haven't been using my 'good' iron because the steam stopped working...a little rusty bit fell out.
However, it still heats. I thought that it would be good for this because with no steam, I had even less worry about the desk top. Wow! I am glad I hadn't got round to letting this go yet. It gives out so much more heat than the iron I have been using. So, some of the recent problems I had been having with fusibles not fusing properly were solved as well. So, the 'good' iron is still a Good Iron for this use! Besides the heat, it is heavy - so the weight for the fusing is good. AND it has a long cord which works for reaching from the plug in to the opposite side of the table.

So one piece is fused now and I can begin working with it. Well, I do need to do a few sketches now that I know what size fabric I am working with.
I used Misty Fuse black for the fusible. And I used baking parchment to protect the iron. The fusible peels away from it easily if you let it cool first. I have some of the Teflon baking sheets I used to use sometime ago for fusing. (but hard to get things right because you can't see through.) I didn't want to fuse to the wool blanket accidentally, so I used the Teflon sheets under the fabric at the sides for just in case there was fusible over the edges.

For now it is hanging up on the design wall to keep it from creasing. While I have the fusing set up, I think I will fuse the other half of this fabric. Then it will be ready if I am able to do two designs. (The call for entry allows 2 pieces to be entered.)
Raring to go!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Still Life update

Some time ago I made work to enter into an exhibition. Two pieces that were my response to the idea of aging. However, they were declined.
Still Life: Feel the Beat and Still Life: Moving On

I had thought before entering, that if they were not accepted, I might donate them to my mother-in-law's care home. But when I said something to her, she was Not Keen on the idea.

Fast sister has been involved in a project to create a place (where she lives) where seniors can meet for companionship and entertainment. It was part of her work for her degree. It has become very popular and now they have been given a no longer used bank building to house the centre.

So, I mentioned the Still Life pieces to her. She asked one of the managers who works with her. They were both very welcoming as they had been thinking of a wall for art. And since I grew up there, it would be of interest to the clients.

SO...I am getting them ready to send off to the Senior Centre in Lincoln, Maine!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Studio shift

Finished sorting the biggest part of the studio on Saturday evening. I have rearranged some of the tables and drawers so I don't have to move my chair from here to there past ironing boards, etc.

The beading station is not near the window now (it and the set of drawers next to it was where the blue table is now. That was fine when it was summer and the sun streamed through the window. But now that it gets dark so soon and rainy days can seem like it is going dark at 2:30pm, I needed more light.
The blue table had been where those were; the thought being that it would extend the cutting table/desk. But it only ever ended up as someplace to park piles. Current piles, but still, not useful. So now I have little stacks of the current projects ready to hand, but in an orderly fashion. AND, the overlocker isn't perched across a corner gap on a piece of acrylic!

The microwave had been on the top of the large office drawer chest. But again, not used because all the ironing accoutrements were on top and around it. And a carefully balanced row of books at the side. The roll of paper at the side on the floor next to the door and a bit of a mess. So, now the microwave is down on a level I can reach and use for microwave dyeing - I can move the stuff on the table and use it like a kitchen table which it is! Or put a plastic cover there. The bit by the door is tidy. and behind the roll of drafting paper are the books plus more that were piled awkwardly on top of one another on the shelves to the right of the sewing machine.

All the 'hidden' boxes of fabric and so on that made it hard to get into the cupboards behind me from the photo view - where I arrange things for photos - are now organised into places that mean that pathway is clear. Yet the needful things are in places I can still get to. All the teaching paper work that had been under the blue table have been put on the top of the cupboards in the photo. I stacked the C+G folders that were up there, rather than standing up and that made room for a strong man to lift the lesson plans and so on up there with them.

And underneath the cupboards have my inspiration photos and my large notes of what is due when. Rather than on the cupboards that serve as a design wall (when a sheet is strung across on skirt hangers)...which was also right across from the door and someone in this house was always closing the door to the mess.

So, wow! It feels like a new room. I can get right round the cutting/working table to access all of my 'big project'. SO that is good. I still have a few things in other places to sort, like stacks of magazines, but I can do that at some other time when I have a bit of a break.

Enough of a ramble. Now it is time to get on with starting!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

"And the Bead Goes On and on..." 2-8 November

2014 - Week 45 Daily Beads
A bit late today due to the upheaval and rearrangement of the studio! I finished Saturday's project today.

I showed the development of November's project on the 1st of the month.
This was no.305

As I said, there has been a bit of refinement as I go along.





And just as you get a bit comfortable, the shape of the button changes!


But really the changes are more obvious with such a close photo. When they are all together the differences apart from buttonshape aren't noticeable.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Beading advice update

The other day I asked for advice. I am looking ahead to some projects for next year. I want to learn a few more 'proper' beading techniques.
New bead ideas

Deanna was the only one who replied. Great wisdom. Basically "Try it out first and then decide." Ummm. Yes, you are right!

Also, yesterday was blog post 1600. So in honour of that... Deanna, if you can email me with your address, I will send you a little something(s?)!

The past few days I have been having quite a clear out in my studio. I am clearing the decks for a major project. I got the table space sorted. But I really needed to go further. I still had a box of paperwork and lesson plans from when I was teaching stored under a table. Very unsightly random bunches of scrips and scraps of things which could be used for the Design units and so on. Oh how I ache! But when it is done, I can concentrate on the big project without the clutter weighing on my mind. I know if I don't do it now, it could be next Autumn before I get a breathing space again. The first part of the year is generally right out straight with other projects in the run up to various exhibitions.

Once I get started on this project, I am not sure just how much I can show. So, the posting frequency may be somewhat reduced. Still doing the daily beading though!