Saturday, June 23, 2007

Apron Attachment

My vintage apron took center stage for Michelle Czulada when we "posed" for this cute little shot at Katie Kendricks' class here in Saluda. Michelle is an
"apronista" who creates and recycles vintage fabric, tablecloths, clothing and decorator fabric into trendy and usable aprons. I recently acquired a collection of "grandma's aprons" and instinctively knew, when she shared her love for aprons, that no one but her would appreciate their unique character. She especially loved the length of this little, cotton,polka dot number. Don't I look cute? Michelle has inspired me to look at these vintage articles with a more discerning eye and appreciate the history and stories that they tell. I made my first apron in 4-H when I was about 12 and then had to model it at a 4-H fashion show in Crown Point, Indiana. I remember how nervous I was getting up in front of this huge crowd wearing my little cotton apron with
"pulled- thread" fringe carrying a matching scarf. That is how long I have been using a sewing machine and I still didn't know that all bobbins were not created equal. Oh well. That's why I surround myself with artistic and creative and like minded women who teach me something new each and every day. How fortunate am I?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Custom Cuffs

The day before Jen left for her holiday in Sweden, she came in to show me her latest cuff that she created. She used "chocolate" from MOda fabrics and recycled Sari Ribbons in bright cranberry and sand tones. She pulled it all together by sewing it with gold metallic thread and raku faces that she purchased from Janet Lasher at the quilt show in Charlotte last year. Very cool, Jen.

I almost completed my latest one and Jen had a great idea for a closure..... which was my stumbling block to finishing it..... a garter. Finally someone found a great use for that "thing". Only those of us who remember "having" to use it can relate. You young people think of it as a Victoria Secret dating thing.
Anyway, it is such a great closure. I wrapped my longer sari ribbons around the end and stitched it close by hand to secure it.
The other end is cloth and rubber so I slit the cuff and inserted the cloth and stitched it close to the end and trimmed off the excess. How awesome is that? Yeah!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Magical Moments

Words cannot describe the past 4 days that we spent with
Katie Kendrick , however MAGICAL, comes into my thoughts at this moment. Those of you who had the opportunity to meet and learn from her know exactly what I am talking about. Trinka Seals from Alabama told me more than once that Katie was the best teacher she had ever taken a workshop from.
To start the weekend we dined outdoors on my porch and began discovering all about each other from growing up to our creative adventures along the way.
A full classroom of excited women soaked up every word from Katie on Friday as we created our own style of "faces" and then on to collage on Saturday with another full class.
Shown is work on the right by Meg Fowler and on the left by
Port Orange, Florida artist, Michelle Czulada.
Michelle sort of went "outside the box" with hers. (notice the square ones)
Saturday night was play night at West on First in Hendersonville for wood fired pizza with Cheryl Prater and her husband Mark, Paul and I, Judy Sy and of course our guest of honor, Katie Kendrick.
Sunday we made things a little more
intimate as 8 of us met in the Random Arts workspace for Feminine Icons. Some of the images
took my breath away and by 4 oclock
we all had to say good bye and thank
you to Katie for 3 absolutely magical workshops that
nurtured all of our thirsting creative souls. Thank you Katie.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's my birthday!

After a fabulous birthday dinner at West on First in Hendersonville , NC with our friends Katie and Joseph, the sweetest little "thank you" note arrived. Katie told me that she was inspired by the new book that I had given her "Teeny Tiny Cards" ( in which I have a 4 page spread, thank you very much). She used a large paint chip card and folded it over and stamped her Thank You on the front. Inside she cut little banner flags and added the T H A N K Y O U letters on top with a small bit of raffia. Now that took some time. A big thank you should go out to her for all the effort it took to cut each little piece and do all
that attaching.
Very cool Katie,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

All bobbins are not created equal, as I found out last night when trying to fill a bobbin for my little old fashioned , sometimes working, Singer/Merritt sewing machine. One bobbin is thinner than the other one so it wouldn't fit when the cover was closed and another one wouldn't go in at all. I guess I only have 1 bobbin that fits this machine, Yikes!!! How long have I been sewing? Only since I was about..... never mind it has been about 40 years. Oh my, that's hard to say after another birthday this past weekend. After setting them all (3) side by side I realized that there was a major difference so I am thinking that I need to get a few more of those little guys for good measure. All my quilting friends are probably sitting there, reading this in disbelief, right girls? You know who you are. I will get there one day at a time and take these baby steps along the way. My machine did help me make this new cuff although some of it had to be sewn by hand since my needle didn't want to go through all this material. Any suggestions anyone? On the UP side. . .
wait until you all see my closure on this one. A few of us were discussing this on Tuesday and then I showed Jen one of my most recent finds. Her response "closure!". So off I went to adapt that item to my cuff and as soon as it is complete, you will see it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Look! I can draw! I just started doing this and I am having way too much fun. Drawing on these new 6 x 6 papers from Basic Grey makes it feel so easy. I used a black Stabilo pencil along with a very cool white gel pen from Sanford... the Signo UM 153 white gel pen. Love love love it. I am using that for highlights and outlines and it really makes a difference in my work. I really never drew much but with Katie Kendrick coming this weekend, I have been "pre-inspired" !

This is how it all starts with a basket of fabric scraps, mesh ribbon, painted fabric from a class with Gabe Cyr and some ideas that have been churning for the past few days. I loved that organza that I had painted with Lumiere and knew that some day it would serve a very good purpose. The colors were bright, festive and full of energy, unlike my very pensive mood on Sunday afternoon spent on the back porch.
I felt that the cuff needed some altering this time by changing the size, so the first thing I did was to cut it in half lengthwise. Now I had
cuff only 1-1/2" wide which opened up a whole new canvas for me.
The colors of the southwest popped up when I began to use some of the
Sari Ribbon packs and chose some luscious colors to work with.
You can see in that photo that it starts fairly rough with a
simple weaving of fabrics. I also added some of the rusty fabric
that I created a couple of weeks ago. Silver Art Girl Charms seemed to be the finishing touch! I love it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Just one week from today Katie Kendrick
(top photo)will be here in Saluda teaching to an enthusiastic crowd of artists. Those in attendance are coming from as far away as Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee as well as North and South Carolina. We are all eagerly awaiting Katie and I sure am eager to take the drawing class on Friday. Ever since I received the issue of Cloth Paper Scissors and read her article about using your non dominant hand, I was hooked. I had even heard of Katie Kendrick before that. Shame on me. That's ok because I, at least know who she is now, and SHE is coming to Random Arts, right here in Saluda.
One of my dear friends, Katie Marley (bottom photo) is offering a room for Katie while she is here in Saluda. Isn't that sweet of her? When we stayed at her house in Orlando she was the ultimate hostess, providing us with everything we would have ever needed. Now she will be offering the same royal treatment to our teacher, right here in Saluda in the mountain retreat. Thanks Katie.
(Not to confuse Katie Marley, our friend with Katie Kendrick, our teacher from Seattle)

Quilters and those that appreciate hand made quilts are the most generous and thoughtful people, don't you think? I was talking to a woman from Blowing Rock today in my shop and I mentioned that we were going to Blowing Rock in Sept for the Believe in Yourself Retreat with Kristi Steiner and Susan Edmonson. One thing led to another and I somehow invited myself and Jen to visit her home there. I know, I know but she was very gracious and gave me her phone number etc and told me be sure to come by and she would show me her great grandmother's quilts. How awesome is that? Another example of the generosity of those connections made with quilters. Of course I offered to bring a bottle of wine so we could sit, sip and enjoy the vistas of her mountaintop retreat.

North Carolina Quilt Symposium 2008 here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the mail today arrived our invitation and registration for the symposium in Wilmington, NC for next June. WE were invited to be a vendor! Of course, of course we will be there in full color with all of our "assorted goods for creative mindfulness." Details of this event will be continuously posted to our blog and web site but in the meantime look for us in Hendersonville NC for the quilt show there at the end of June. This just gives us one more thing to look forward to in our "adventures on the road".

NEW!!!! RANDOM ARTS T-SHIRT COMING SOON....... Shhhhhh, it's a secret.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I finished my cuff and I love the way it turned out. All those rusted fabrics that I created 2 weeks ago worked really well in this color scheme. I even rusted that piece of eyelet tape and used it as a trim on one end. A vintage metal button with a leaf imprint served me well when I applied it over some rusted scrim. That photo transfer idea kept coming back to me and I knew I had to use it in some way on this piece so it found a happy home along with the other vintage items. Velcro become the closure since it is difficult to make buttonholes in this mesh. Maybe someone more experienced in sewing can find a way to make that happen. All in all I am pleased with the finished project however I still want to add more layers and maybe even do another piece of mesh on top of the first one. Stay tuned and try some for yourself. It is quite fun and it's easy and fast.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

My new ideas for the wrist cuffs have been "percolating"for the last several days so I knew it was time to get started on this before I went stark raving mad, or forgot everything I thought of.
The process of working with color always intrigues me, especially when I have so much to choose from. It is definitely a "process". Using the mesh ribbon as a base, I decided to leave it the neutral color for the rich autumn color scheme that I had in mind. That seems to work well providing me an even, non-obtrusive base. Once I chose sari ribbons that I wanted I began to weave it through the holes of the mesh randomly. No need to go through every hole since you will stitch it later with your sewing machine. (the sewing machine is not a necessity but a lovely option for embellishment) I love using the machine because it tightens everything up a bit.
Now I lay all of my other color coordinated embellishments out on the work table and "take a look at what I have". Wow, I didn't know that I had so many things to choose from... well.... maybe I did. So, off I go deciding what fiber, what button, what bead, what ribbon etc. and how to lay it out. That's the fun part. Actually the whole thing is fun and I can see how I could become drawn to this fabric thing.
This is how far I have gotten on my cuff so this is all I can share right now. I encourage you to try it too and just see the possibilities in this. I am thinking about doing this for my 6" Tree Collage swap with our altered diva ladies. I have to do 12 so each person gets one and if I sew them together and do the weaving and sew on top of it, I think that it will pass for a quilt square. Now, to figure out how to weave the tree into it and as I think about that I am sure I will get more ideas.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Chandra Thomason is the winner!
  • We "randomly" chose a name from the list of those that sent comments to our blog in May. . . and Chandra's name was drawn. We met Chandra at Art and Soul in VA the beginning of May and she has stayed connected to us through our blog and her blog "the next 40 years". You can win too, just by commenting on our blog as many times as you want. First of all we love to hear from you and secondly, you have an opportunity to win something very cool from Random Arts and thirdly, you will get more comments on your blog or web site. How cool is that? She is the one who made the really cool earrings and gave me a pair at Art and Soul. Seeeeee.....