Friday, June 24, 2005

Fiber Girl Goes Out!

Last Wednesday was Crit Group. Except we didn't do much critique. Instead, we made rubber stamps under the tutelege of Art Teacher Extraordinaire, Barb Dinniweth. Making stamps for printing on fabric is a technique that I think about often. As part of my Evil Plan to Rule the World with Fabric, stamping patterns will soon begin to show up in the yardage I make.

Here's my first stamp ever:
This is a giant rubber eraser. I drew the design on freehand (see? years of phone & boring meeting doodling pay off!), then carved it with a set of linoleum carving tools. Barb also showed us how one could draw on computer paper and then press the stamp onto the paper. The pencil transfers easily, just like Silly Putty. Plus any lettering automatically reverses, rendering a readable print.

First print attempts, acrylic paint on paper:
The first print is painted with straight blue. The second has blue grading through purple, into red...just for fun. Can't you just see this stuff on fabric?

Oo! ooo! It could be a medallion! I just whipped this up in Adobe Elements....
I'm jumping up and down now, 'cause this is just cool! Of course, carving the necessary mirror image stamp might make me crazy. And then getting the stamps to match evenly on the fabric might make 'crazy' look like a good day.

So, I see this as the beginning. The potential for fabric design is huge. This spontaneous design could be turned into a repeat, a border, a medallion. Or how 'bout stamping the design and then making a screen out of it? I could stamp with paint, dye, ink or even resist. I'm also curious to explore the different qualities between stamps made of rubber, linoleum and wood.

Now if only the elves would show up to cook my dinner and bathe my children......

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Emily Solo

Not to be confused with Han, of course!

Actually, It's Emily Parson. And right now, she has a solo show in Muncie, Indiana at the Minnetrista Cultural Center until September 4th. Go,go, go!...for her work is stunning live. The images are larger than life and saturated with pure color. If you're a ways from Indiana, check out her website for more quilts or her blog for knitting adventures.

In a new attempt to promote wackiness, I travelled all the way to Muncie for Emily's opening on Saturday. Everyone around me thought I drove to a friend's house to take my kids swimming for the weekend. Hah! That was just a ploy, a cover-up for my evil plan. The friend is Connie and the real reason I drove to her house was to kidnap her and weasel her teenage daughter into babysitting for the day. The innocent fools all played into my hand and we arrived in Muncie with time to spare.

Here's Emily giving a gallery talk:
gallery talk
The tulip quilt behind her is one of my favorites---lots of movement and color. I hold the dubious honor of asking the only stupid question during her talk. It was so long and nebulous that I can't even manage to repeat it here. Nothing like a big, fat, unedited mouth with no circuit to the brain to keep a girl humble. Help, I'm talking and I can't shut up.

Next photo: (left to right) fellow blogger Jan, Emily, and moi.
The quilt behind us has been made into a wonderful little poster for sale.

So now you know. Instead of blogging on Saturday, I was running away with my quiltshow travel buddy, Connie. Seeing Emily amidst her vibrant work was a thrill. I'm so proud of her!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Time Warp

(cue music, sing loudly)...Let's do the Time Warp agaaaaaiin!....Everybody sing!...It's just a jump to the left. And a step to the riight.....

Well, it's happened. I've recieved a note from a faithful reader politely asking, 'Where ARE you, woman?!?' Does keeping a blog mean I have to be wacky and consistant at the same time? No! May it never be! How 'bout consistantly wacky? Will you still love me?

You know, my family claims I have my own time zone: CST. Cathy Standard Time. I prefer to think of myself as devoid of time. I like to move through the moment unrestricted by such things as watches, time limits, or deadlines. I use time like I use caffeine: when the situation dictates it's use. Keeping my body caffeine free means that drinking coffee when I need a jolt really works. Two cups of coffee turns me into a Hamster on Speed. Time is the same way. I use it when necessary.

In the words of Edna Mole, 'I NEVER look back, dahling. It detracts from the Now.'

So, where have I been? Wandering. Not without purpose, though. And my rambling has been all fiber, all the time (with a little dash of swimming and hangin' out). Just to further warp time, I'll be sharing these experiences backwards, or maybe out of order. Yes, I read magazines backwards too.

Let's start with 'out of order':
For me, it's tie dye season. You're looking at a portion of a fifty shirt order, waiting to be washed. The t-shirt gig, no matter how simple the tie, is hard work. But I love it! Love to watch those colors bleed into perfect, white shirts.

Here's a stack of finished shirts:
This order is done and at the silk screener's right now. Will let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Would You Wear This?


I model it for my honey and ask, 'Do you like it?'

Husband: -pregnant pause-'It's not my favorite. Where are you going to wear it?'

Me; 'To church on Sunday.'

Hubby: -flat- 'Oh.' -pause for thought-'Do we have to go together?'

Me: -posing in front of mirror- 'Does it make me look fat? Does my butt look big?'

Hubby: -hesitantly-'It's not my favorite.'

Me: 'Worse than the pink swing coat?' (early 90's, pepto-pink---he loathed it, I loved it)

Hubby: -flatly-'It's not my favorite.'

I reveal that the dress has been purchased for it's fabric content, not for use as a garment. A visible wash of relief floods over his entire person. But what a good boy! He never said, 'That is butt ugly and you look like giant, bad reuppholstery,' or 'I didn't know the Tent and Awning did florals!' Never even came close. Bonus points for tact and self control!

Then I model purchase #2, a size 2 dress that, thanks to the high lycra content, I can pull over my head and down to my waist (I'm an 18/20).

Me: 'What do you think of this one?'

Hubby: 'It's better. Looks trendy. I like the print.'
He thinks it's a top. It's's fabric.

Next up: A nightie I actually intend to wear.

Me: -holding nightie by shoulder straps- 'Who'd I buy this for?'

Hubby: 'I don't like this game any more.'

So where'd all this 'fabric' come from? Thrift stores, of course. And since I've been a Salvation Army dresser since highschool, who could blame the man for being confused?

Here's a collage of new stash aquisitions:
Grand Total: $10.00
God Bless the Salvation Army!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hey, Norden!

Why don't you 'SuperSwede' the situation by sending me your e-mail address?!?

For the rest of you, I believe an old highschool buddy left a comment yesterday. The above is a private joke that you're not suppose to understand, but that will conjure up in her mind an image of herself running through the halls of our highschool with a Swedish flag worn as a cape. I'll stop there lest she backlash with some truly sordid stories about moi. Whew!

Since I'm commenting on comments, let me tell you all how much I love to recieve them: I absolutely love your comments. It's like hearing from a bunch of girlfriends who 'get me'. I like to respond, too, if I can get to your e-mail address from your post.

The one problem has been Teri Springer....sheesh, Teri, it's always you;)! I've been trying to respond to you, but for some reason your address is being blocked by my server. They're implementing new spam software, so maybe that's the problem.

Bye for now. May The Horse be with you.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Mexico Mission

Last week, my husband and 41 other volunteers performed a house building blitz in Anapra, a region of Juarez, Mexico that used to be a landfill. People actually live there, often in shacks made of palettes and cardboard. The houses built by volunteers are not much bigger, but they're made with real building materials: concrete, 2x4's and roofing. They have electricity.

I am imensely proud of my husband who organized this event and of all the people that volunteered time and resources to it . If you care to read more about their week, go to Scraps of Grace

Thursday, June 02, 2005

About Grandma

My Grandma Anne has been a huge influence in my life, regarding textiles and many other facets of womanhood. She now lives with my dad and stepmom, making the transition from her independant life to that time when she shouldn't be left alone. Part of that transition has been cleaning out her home. And that's what I did with my holiday weekend.

Grandma's passion is lace crochet.

Believe me, this is a fraction, a mere drop, in the body of work my Grandma has generated. She didn't just make a doily. She made sets of doilies....and maybe a coordinating table cloth. She made curtains. She used chunkier yarns, too. Her couch often sported new matching afghans. The number of crocheted slippers and blankets for the VA hospital renders one speechless.

She could chain smoke, talk on the phone, armchair coach the Chicago Cubs, keep a toddler from breaking knick-knacks, and whip up lacey confections all at the same time. Many of her patterns were memorized. Her attention to detail never slacked.

And she worked full time, often overtime.

Grandma worked for General Foods. Her job was to seal bags of dogfood, either with glue or with thread. You know the string that holds a bag of pet food closed? It's cotton, right? Well, why pay for cotton when your employer is throwing away perfectly good end spools of it right before your eyes?

Grandma had stashed enough dog food cotton thread to crochet lace to the moon and back. If you look closely, you can see one of her favorite hooks, with the handle wrapped in medical tape (now yellowed with smoke stains) for better ergonomics.

Don't get me wrong. Being SuperWoman had its price and Grandma certainly paid in full. But, as my dad often says,'That was then and this is now'. And right now, as I contemplate the care that went into each little stitch, I love my Grandma. And I know she loves me back.