Planet Textile Threads

July 30, 2014

Dijanne Cevaal

Pozible Fund Raising

I want to thank the supporters of our Pozible fund raiser so far. I will fully acknowledge you on my blog at the end of the  fundraiser which is in 32 days time. Our goal for today is to get  1/20th of the way in raising the fundraising goal  to self publish  our book.  The money you have pledged for the rewards only has to be paid if the target is reached . So I hope dear readers that you will see fit to support this project which has been a long time in the making.

The book will be about translating things encountered in travel in france into work and will have a beautiful layout quite different to normal craft books ( all the technique information will be on the dvd accompanying the book) . And now it is well and truly in writing stage!

There are still medieval lady panels for sale. This is part of the new project called the Medieval project which will showcase the work of many hands like the sentinelle project and for which I have already secured some venues. Each panels measures aproximately 8" x 18" or  20cm x 45 cm and you can embroider or stitch it any way you like as long as when it is finished it is not wider than 50 cm  or longer than 70 cm. Each panel costs $15 plus postage which is $3. I can be paid via Paypal just
 email me for details.

I have also been playing around with some ice dyeing which seems appropriate for the gloomy cold weather we have been experiencing- my daughter has snaffled this piece.

And  I found this La Semain de Suzette with a cover by maggie Salcedo. I love her illustration style and am really sorry I missed an exhibition of her work late last year. Maybe they will mount it another time.

by Dijanne Cevaal ( at July 30, 2014 06:13 PM

Virginia A. Spiegel

A Week of Painting – FUN!

VBigPaintingPhoto by Karen Stiehl Osborn

The best part of any retreat is to do something NEW and FUN!  It was a very productive week at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City with Karen Stiehl Osborn and Von Biggs.  As you can see above, working bigger was definitely high on my “why not try it just for fun” list.

midwestdetail This is a detail of a big artwork I painted on a 10.5′ by 4.5′ piece of fabric I stitched together from some big chunks of Kona cotton, muslin, and offcuts from other work.  This is a piece that I’m probably going to take forward, but perhaps as two separate artworks. Definitely landscape on my mind.


I really tried to stay away from screen printing since that’s been my focus for the past two years.  But I just had to break out my fav screen to work on a big piece of Lutradur. Detail photo.

I hope to add new artwork to the Boundary Waters series.  I’m always inspired by my sister’s and my adventures in that great wilderness of water, tree, rock.  I painted a lot of similar sized pieces in very earthy tones and then threw caution to the wind and monoprinted on top to add that much needed element of emotion. Again, a detail photo above as I hope to finish some of the artworks in this grouping with stitching.

IN SUMMARY –  Much experimenting, much hard work, much laughter (the biggest moo-latte ever, really???).  You really can’t ask for more than that.  Thanks to the KHN Center for the Arts for the space to create and to Karen and Von for the sharing of materials and a most convivial atmosphere in which to work.

NOTE:  If you are curious about my paints, techniques, etc. for fabric painting, please visit this blog post for more technical info. And here are a series of three posts about painting 200 yards of fabric during an artist’s residency,

by Virginia at July 30, 2014 10:49 AM

Margaret Cooter

"Contemporary crafts" course, day 1

You get some interestingly-marked tables in the art rooms at City Lit...!

The course runs all week and encompases four crafts - textiles, basketry, jewellery, ceramics. But first, an introductory day, setting the theme, showing some slides, and practising some mark-making.

The theme is "growth" - which has a wide range of interpretation, whether organic plant growth, urban growth, growing crystals, decay as the corollary of growth, etc etc.

Slides included some names new to me - Doug and Mike Starn's glass, Brian Nash Gill's woodcuts, Vera Neuman's textiles, Andrew Wicks' ceramics, Kelly Valetti's baskets, Stephen Johnson's baskets, Orlanda Broom's layered tropical landscapes, Arne Quinze's huge structures, Jennifer Mastre's baskets, Beatriz Milhazes, Michael Brennan Wood, Elana Herzog, Junko Mori...

Then it was out with the mixed media, resulting in a sheet full of marks -
Out came the viewfinders ("L-plates)
And next thing you knew, there were tasteful arrangements all over the walls
including the strips
The instructions for the strips were: choose two marks that were very different, put one at each end, and "do something" in the middle to join them together.
After some observational drawing from natural shapes, the day was suddenly at an end. We have a vocabulary of marks to take along with us -
my day's work
elsewhere in the room
a fab frame - resulting from the drawing of a knobbly, spiky twig
Under my cut-out mark sheet, the same marks as at the start of the day -

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 30, 2014 09:50 AM

July 29, 2014

Margaret Cooter

It can be the simple thing

Do you have one of these?
It's a "secure key" for logging on with internet banking. I've recently had a LOT of practice with it, trying to make an extra payment on my credit card.

First I was puzzled by having to enter my secure PIN (this turned out to be my "usual" PIN), and along the way messed up with entering it correctly - honestly, four numbers, how difficult can that be?

Then I mistyped the number it generated, or my password - or both! - and it was back to Square One. Several times.

Then, working from the account and reference details given by the card company, I got as far as thinking the payment was made ... only to be redirected to Square Two by a message saying the account was already set up, go back and make it through that channel.

Having found the right card from a sequence of drop-down lists, I followed the instructions and got as far as verifying the payment - using the Secure Key. And that's where the fun started.

No matter how carefully I entered the (long) password on screen - or the 4-digit code on the Key, error messages abounded - so many times that a phonecall to the bank was needed. And they are very helpful and patient there - back and forth to technical support, and after all the usual things failed and a rogue screen full of html appeared and couldn't be got rid of, I got to talk to the tech support person myself.

She took me back to absolute basics [humiliating? maybe...] and we logged off and logged on again, etc etc...

But you know there's going to be A Moment Of Revelation ... it came with the 4-digit code needed for the Key. Reading "reference" in the instructions - and having a bank reference number - well, I used that. But right next to the word reference was "/card number" ... and, you guessed it, I should have been typing in the last four digits of my credit card number, to which the payment was headed. DUH!

The take-home message ... should you find yourself in a loop of escalating frustration like this ... really is: start all over again. Re-read all the instruction - pay attention!

A tip that might come in handy, if you're using this payment system: if the payment goes to an individual, ie into their bank account, it's the account number that's the "reference number". If the payment goes to a card, it's the card number. Simple - isn't it.

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 29, 2014 10:12 AM

Neki Rivera

getting the gist of foreign books-tutorial

we all have beloved books in foreign languages that we wish to understand beyond the photos. mine are mostly in japanese and with this system as well as jim breem's invaluable resource page i can more or less get by.

this is a simple tutorial that helps  in getting the gist of things, especially if you are familiar with the ready for some hilarity though as automatic translations don't care for nuances or second meanings!
 what you are doing here is converting a text image to text and working from there. i cannot thank husband -san enough as he put me on this track for my trip to japan. my mobile equipped w. google translate saved my skin more that a couple of times when my reading skills were not enough.

i am using  adobe acrobat for ocr recognition, photoshop for the images and microsoft word for translating the text on a pc platform. i encourage mac users to add their knowledge here as mac is a foreign country to me.

  1. scan your image, 150 dpt is enough.if you can adjust levels in your copier better. pump up whites and blacks and eliminate  in between  grays.
  2. open in an image processing program  (i'm using ps here, but gimp, corel or similar can do it)  adjust levels-you want a sharp image- and save as pdf.
  3. open your  pdf file in adobe acrobat.  edit>select all  or ctrl+A  the characters will be selected and the images ignored.
  4.  go to documents>OCR recognition / click recognize text. you'll see a blue progress line at the bottom. when finished the text will deselect.
  5. go back to edit> select all or ctrl+A copy or ctrl+X. this will put the image converted into text in the clipboard.
  6. open your word processing program. here i'm using word document new >ok.> paste
  7. with the cursor select the part/s that need to be translated, right click on them and click on translate from the pop up menu. select the document's language and the target language from the dialog.
  8. once you have the translation you can select it from the translator, copy it and paste it below the original text. 
  9. save the document. give it a name or the page number if there are more in the operation. it would be a good idea to create a folder for each book translated.good for mental sanity.
  10. if you don't have a scanner available you can photograph the pages, put them through an image program and proceed from step 2 onward.
hope this is helpful.

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at July 29, 2014 08:00 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Back Down the Trail from Mystic Lake

 After spending a few hours of quality time at Mystic Lake, we climbed up out of the basin and headed for the trailhead, 3 1/2 miles away.

 Everyone was still in good spirits and had good energy for the return hike.

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 29, 2014 06:00 AM

July 28, 2014

Olga Norris

And talking of figurative ceramics

The artist whose work I would really like to see for real is Gertraud Moehwald (images here).
I was tremendously struck by a head she made (the first one here) when I saw it pictured in the magazine Ceramic Review, and immediately looked her up. 
I found that she had had an exhibition in Toronto in 2007, and I found this long article about her (please ignore the ad about quilting at the top of the page) - the Gardiner exhibition is the same as the Toronto one.
I find looking at her work even in photographs, small and obscure though the views might be, inspires me, enthuses me to keep looking at people and their emotions, thinking about the stories of human lives, ....  Maybe one day I will even see a piece for real.

by Olga Norris ( at July 28, 2014 05:14 PM

Marion Barnett

Facing Facts...

is a helpful, focus-inducing thing to do.  Fact.  I have too much fabric.  No, don't give me the whole, need a stash, nonsense; it's just not true.  Or at least, it's not true for me.  I have fabric for a number of different reasons.  Some I have, because I like it, some because it is Useful Fabric, the kind of thing that if you do make a traditional(ish) quilt, it makes good borders or backing.  Some I have because I dyed it, or dyed and painted it, intending to use it, and didn't; some because I dyed and/or painted it to sell, and didn't.  Some because it feels good (velvet and silk, in particular); some because I've written about it and am still exploring (lutradur and evolon).  Some, because it's fun; some because someone special gave it to me.  Like many of us, I have more fabric than I could use in three lifetimes.  And that's fine.

Except, it isn't.  It is getting in my way (fact).  When you can't see the wood for the trees, it's time to either go to the optician, or deal with the issue.  What I have realised is that, whilst I am great at finding focus, I'm dreadful at sustaining it, for a number of reasons.  I don't sell my fabric because I didn't persevere in doing just that, and because I find it difficult to believe that anyone else might want it, an inherent lack of self confidence that I thought I'd kicked into touch, but clearly haven't (it gets in my way, too, but it's not so easy to deal with).  So... I thought I would begin with my excess of fabric, decide what to keep, what to sell and what to donate, and I made a start today.  The image gives you an idea of what's what..and that's just the fat quarters...haven't looked at yardage yet... or hand dyes.  There is a hand dye mountain, and it is good... and it's also excessive.  So that too will go.  But wait a minute, I hear you holler... there's some hand dyes at the back, there.  And indeed there are, some muslin that I bought to cut up and sell in packs for embroiderers... you can see that didn't happen.  Sigh.  But I only brought that down so I could iron it and cut it up, honest.

There's some lovely fabric here, but I'm never going to use it in a million years, so sell it I shall.  Two stuffed bin bags are going to the Hub, so that the guys can enjoy it.  And once the stash is whittled down, the interesting work will begin, whittling down the ideas, being honest with myself about what I really want to make, and getting down to doing it.  And maybe after all that effort, I'll be able to walk in and out of the fabric studios without tripping up on piles of stuff (yes, when I've finished with the cloth, I'll be starting on the rest of it...).  It is going to take some time, but I think it will be worth it.

In the first instance, I'm going to set up a Facebook page to sell this stuff... and any that doesn't sell that way, will either go on ebay or etsy.  Email me if you want details.  And when I've done with the materials, I'll be going through the work, and either selling or donating it, too.  Time to take charge.

by marion barnett ( at July 28, 2014 04:48 PM

Margaret Cooter

More slip-dipped textiles from the kiln

Mixed fabrics - the dark colour is metallic organza

Once dipped, the fabric must be re-formed

Flat pieces, stitched, gathered, steamed, released

Close-up, threads left in  (10cm high)

Underneath, the porcelain puddles and sand from the firing tray sticks

Netting has kept its fragile detail

Folded paper, heavily stitched

This work started almost by accident, when I tried dipping folded papers into slip and then looked for ways to help them keep their structure -

followed up in a recent ceramics short course -

I have to think about why (apart from the sheer pleasure of seeing what happens, what to try next) I'm making these objects. They are accumulating on the top of my bookcase, gathering dust, and more are stashed in boxes.

Although I write about the process of making, I find them inexplicable. Which is slightly worrying ... and yet it's not worrying at all ...

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 28, 2014 09:18 AM

Neki Rivera

a heads up

a store bought silk scarf from thailand. bought it for the color because i wanted to add ai to it.
while ironing it on wool setting to create the itajime folds some of the warp disappeared. this oddity , because wool  setting is adequate for silk with my iron, set  the sherlock in me on observation and this is what i found:

the warp was an almost invisible nylon  thread.
cheaper than silk of course.

two thicker thread ran parallel to each edge not really  catching the warp, but the real objective was

to create a false twisted fringe.
the bottom line: beware of those inexpensive silk foulards from thailand. not only are they probably produced in sweatshops, but also they are- how should i put it?
examine each piece closely and then proceed.
i was gifted another and upon putting it in hot water to dye it it developed oil like spots in many places. close examination determined it was paraffin, probably used to join nylon warp threads. SIGH.

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at July 28, 2014 08:00 AM

Dijanne Cevaal

Pozible launch

I have been talking of writing a book about France since my return in 2010 after nearly a year living in France and the time has come. I have done quite a lot of writing and research and even made a Blurb book to try out my photos and just the idea, but now its come so far, as to try something serious- a beautiful art house style book with an accompanying dvd which will contain videos and pdf text of the techniques used in my work. The book itself will hopefully inspire and make you want to transform journeys into art. The book will contain much of how I think and work and will be in English and French.

I have previously pitched the idea to a well known publisher even going so far as to write a sample chapter etc but it was decided that the market for the idea was limited ( they off course publish a greater number of books than a self publisher would). Anyway every time I go to France I discover more  and it only gets better and it has started to infuse my work.

To create the book  I am working with my daughter Celeste Galtry  who is a final year Visual Communication and design student at RMIT and we are calling ourselves the Musing in Textile team, because if we can get this book funded the intention is to make more books.A friend in france will do the translation. We are excited about working together, and we hope th ebook will be a beautiful object in itself and a little different to what is normally out in the textile market place.

We have offered some really good rewards for the Pozible fundraiser  including the book at discount and some one off experiences and artworks.  You can see the rewards , our idea and video ( and yes I do have an Aussie accent) here We hope you will be excited enough to support this project and of course any pledges will only be paid if we reach the targetted fundraising amount of $20,000.

Already Shirley Goodwin (NZ), Shirley Jacobs ( NL) and Marie-Thérèse Persoon-Klingelhefer (Ger) have my heartfelt thanks in starting things rolling.

by Dijanne Cevaal ( at July 28, 2014 08:38 AM

Gerrie Congdon

This, That and The Other Thing


It was a beautiful day today and so, after church and some mega grocery shopping, I headed to the studio to print some fabric for a special project. (seen above)  I don’t have AC there and it is too hot to work there on most summer days.

I found a piece of fabric on which I had done some previous printing – think if was discharged. I used one of my stencils and daubed on some red paint.


Then, just for fun, I spatter painted with white paint.


It was fun to spend some time in my studio. I sort of cleaned up from the quilting frenzy for the blue show.

Speaking of the blue show,  the Blue Picasso Woman was juried in but not the sky blue pink piece. I was not surprised. I rushed that and I knew that the dyed cheese cloth was too centered. So, here is my plan. When I get it back I am going to do a major crop on the top and also some on the bottom and redo the flying geese. I think I can get it ready to enter into a different show.






On Friday, Mr C and I drove my 3 quilts up to Tacoma to The American Art Company for the exhibit which opens on August 16th. I had to add sleeves to the bottom with slats so that they will hang better, I guess. It was kind of a pain.




I hope I can get up for the reception on the 16th. The gallery  is very spacious, and I have seen the show in the past and it looked great. Quilt Knit Stitch is happening that week and Kristin LaFlamme, one of the Twelves and my art quilt daughter is coming for the week. She has one of her Army Wife Aprons in a show here in Portland. It was curated by Marci McDade, the SDA Journal editor. Just before that, we are going to CA to hang out with Paige for a few days.

I have 3 exhibit receptions in August! The Simply Red show is opening in Newport down on the Oregon Coast, the Columbia Fiber Arts exhibit, Fiber Inspirations, is opening here in town at the ArtReach gallery and then the exhibit in Tacoma. Pretty cool!



by Gerrie at July 28, 2014 04:56 AM

Terry Grant

A Fine Week

Balancing lots of plates this week, but somehow everything seemed to keep spinning and there were a couple nice surprises in the mix.

These are my two entries for High Fiber Diet's "What's Blue to You?" exhibit. Could they be any more different? I got word this week that both were accepted.

Work continues on the 12x12 book and I think I will meet my self-imposed deadline. It is slow work, but it is coming together.

My lovely Sofia came for a studio day, following swim lessons on Thursday. We made headbands. The red one she is holding was our first try. It turned out OK, but the elastic on the back of her head is uncomfortable. So we came up with a better idea. The one she is wearing and the blue one she is holding turned out much better. I found a wide, softer elastic in my stash of stuff. She sewed long tubes of the fabric and we threaded the elastic through, gathering the fabric onto it, then sewed the ends together. Quick and easy. Good practice at sewing long straight seams and she pronounced them perfect—comfortable and cute. She fills my heart with joy, that girl.

I also got word this week that the segment for the online "Quilt Show" with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson started airing this week. You may remember this post from over a year ago, when it was taped. Though it is a subscription blogcast service, they have made it available for me to allow my friends to watch it for free until August 3. Click on the icon to see it.

You will have to register as a user on the site, but it is free and innocuous.

I haven't had much studio time this week, but managed a couple hours this afternoon and did a couple quick little sewing machine "drawings." I just picked a few bits of foliage on my way to the studio and "drew" from the subjects spontaneously. Drawing, whether with a pen or a sewing machine always has such a more immediate, natural look if you don't plan or sketch it out ahead of time. Maybe if I keep making these little guys, I will build up confidence for such unplanned work on a larger scale

Can you believe we are into the last week of July? Grab summer while you can....

Have a good week.

by Terry Grant ( at July 28, 2014 12:28 AM

July 27, 2014

Thelma Smith

Siberian – Miss Blondie

Miss Blondie is a Siberian Forest Cat, born 22 september 2011.  She is a golden and rather sassy.  Her picture was taken before she got her summer haircut.  She is spayed.  Miss Blondie is looking for a new home.  POA

by thelma at July 27, 2014 09:06 PM

Margaret Cooter

"It's just like school!"

Anyone who's worked in a school will immediately relate to the feeling exuded by Phyllida Barlow's sculpture at Tate Britain, which fills a 100-metre-long gallery.
The title, "dock", helps the viewer make sense of it, picking out the containers and pylons and other forms of dockside furniture.
"When I'm actually in the process of making the work in my studio I never consider the audience" says Barlow in this interview - but installing the work is "the moment of maximum fear, because I'm entering the space almost without a script. ... it's a form of choreography: who is the audience, and how will the work entice..."
The audience is choreographed into a certain kind of looking. They become another component of the work.
"Sculpture as a restless object" - yes, it is.

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 27, 2014 09:44 AM

July 26, 2014

Olga Norris

Still admiring from afar

It should not surprise anyone who regularly reads these posts that I am drawn to figurative art.  I am also a lover of ceramic forms, and so figurative art in ceramic form attracts much admiration.  One ceramic artist whose work I have followed from afar for some time is Claire Curneen.
 In the Tradition of Smiling Angels
One of these days I shall be fortunate enough to see the work for real, but meantime I make do with the magic of the Internet, and excellent catalogues and magazine articles.  For anyone near the Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire in the next couple of months a treat could be in store.
There is an interesting short video here.

by Olga Norris ( at July 26, 2014 04:01 PM

Marion Barnett

Changing Things Around...

is always an interesting thing to do.  I found some scraps from a jacket I made, years ago, cotton which had been hand dyed, then discharge dyed, and then painted, using freezer paper shapes as a resist.  It looked a bit like this...

I wanted a lot more detail on it... so started in with a silver pen... and ended up with this...

 In terms of contrast, not that big a change...that will come later, but I've certainly added a lot of detail...

It looks a lot bigger in the photographs, than in real life; it's three quarters the width, and slightly longer, than an A4 piece of paper...that makes it a contender for a small Linescape... so watch this space...

Up in the top studios today, I found a little quilt...

It is made from transfer dyed lutradur, which was then embellished with cotton fabrics, backed and stitched into.  It lacked something, so has lain around for ages.  I tried adding buttons, and got this result...

Starting to be a bit more interesting.  What I think it needs, though, is some mark making in pen on the surface...not sure quite what, perhaps.  Or some hand stitch.  I'm leaning towards the pen, but I can imagine that both will eventually occur...  As I have to go into Dereham today, I may well pop into the bead shop, and see if they have a large purple bead to use as a focal point...

Two pieces, both changed, neither finished.  I'll let you know how I get on.

by marion barnett ( at July 26, 2014 01:26 PM

Margaret Cooter

Stripey painting - colour sources

Being away from home means the painting hasn't been "daily", but it continues. This week I found the "white bristle" brush in my hand, rather than the nylon bristles, and have been making both gradations of colour and very thin stripes -- both done very quickly, without agonising over decisions.
Pink changes
Adding orange
More orange!
Colour still shows through the fresh layer of white
A magazine cut-out of  a Gillian Ayres print is still floating around near the tubes of paint, and when I get stuck for a colour to add next, I choose one from the print and see what happens. The latest addition was the white and the mid-blue; next, another layer of white perhaps?
"Tivoli" by Gillian Ayres (via)

More prints by Gillian Ayres
Another good colour source would be a painting by Ivon Hitchins - I love his colour combinations and especially the balance of colours in the compositions, whether vivid or sombre -

And then there are the flower paintings of Winifred Nicholson. "Honeysuckle and sweet pea" (via)  especially sings out to me ... the exuberance of the yellow, offset by the pale blue-green -
More of Winifred Nicholson's flower paintings 
Some of her work is on show at Dulwich Picture Gallery till 21 September, along with the work of her husband Ben and their friends Kit Wood, Alfred Wallis, and William Saite Murray; a review is here.

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 26, 2014 11:06 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Mystic Lake Views

 It is always thrilling to climb up over the ridge and get that first view of Mystic Lake, the largest lake in the Beartooth Mountains.

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 26, 2014 06:00 AM

July 25, 2014

Sarah Ann Smith

Syncronicity and a new exhibit

Today it is my turn on the Dinner@8 blog which is profiling the artists in this year’s juried invitational exhibit, Reflections.  Please do click on the link to read their interview with me!  Fittingly, it is also Eli’s first Cross Country practice (to his dismay at 7:30 am!) of the season.  Why?  Because my quilt this year is of Eli’s 2013 Cross Country season:

This year's Dinner@8 quilt:  Eli, Cross-Country 2013, (c) Sarah Ann Smith

This year’s Dinner@8 quilt: Eli, Cross-Country 2013, (c) Sarah Ann Smith

Four years ago, I created a portrait of Joshua for the Beneath the Surface exhibit also created by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison, the artists behind Dinner@8.

Joshua when he was 16, from four years ago.  (c) Sarah Ann Smith

Joshua when he was 16, from four years ago. (c) Sarah Ann Smith

This year it was Eli’s turn to have a portrait done at the same age. The theme this year was Reflections, and for once I didn’t want to do something literal.  I’ve always loved looking at children and seeing features from their parents in them, as well as getting to know them and seeing bits of personality that come from their families.  With Eli, he has brains (from both of us but I’ll take credit), athletic prowess (totally from his dad!), determination (stubbornness?  we’re both guilty on that one), the broad shoulders of my dad and brothers.  So Eli is running headlong into his future, a Reflection of his past and a hint of his future.

At long last, I’m happy to share with you some in progress photos, too. First I had to take reference photos (since I can’t remember all the angles!).  There were decisions to make:  head on?  from behind (since he’s usually at the front of the pack)?  sideways?  On the Camden Hills course or not?  Scale and composition….

Many decisions:  Close up of Eli (top left)?  Heading out of the frame (top right)?  Burning it up hill (middle left)?

Many decisions: Close up of Eli (top left)? Heading out of the frame (top right)? Burning it up hill (middle left)? Powering around the corner (middle right)?  at Festival of Champions, in a fast-moving pack (bottom left)?  Running away in a small crowd (bottom right)?  Right click to view larger.

I knew I wanted to have him running on the home course, which is why I took these photos:

The avenue into the woods, behind the softball field, at Camden Hills.  I knew I wanted this overall composition, but when I realized how small Eli's figure would be on the 24 x 60 h. required size, I knew I would have to adjust.  It just wouldn't have the right impact if his figure was maybe 12 inches tall out of 60!

The avenue into the woods, behind the softball field, at Camden Hills. I knew I wanted this overall composition, but when I realized how small Eli’s figure would be on the 24 x 60 h. required size, I knew I would have to adjust. It just wouldn’t have the right impact if his figure was maybe 12 inches tall out of 60!  Right click to view larger.

I decided to use a photo of Eli running from Festival of Champions, coming around a corner at about the same angle they run into the forest in the photos above.   So I first worked on creating Eli, then I designed a background similar to the photos above.  The path and trees were easy, but getting a middle-ground in the right scale for the ferns and whatnot at the edge of the path proved tricky without an actual photograph (by this time it was mid-winter and covered with snow, so couldn’t go take another look).

Then it was time to dye the fabric to match the photo of him in his Camden Hills uniform.  Thank heavens I’ve taken those Carol Soderlund classes–I got the right color the first time:

Dyeing the fabric and the results.  These fabrics I knew I would use for both my Eli quilt and the Amaryllis entry for Living Colour Textiles.

Dyeing the fabric and the results. These fabrics I knew I would use for both my Eli quilt and the Amaryllis entry for Living Colour Textiles.

The remainder of the fabric got used in this quilt:

Amaryllis by Sarah Ann Smith (C) 2014.  See the Living Colour Exhibit at

Amaryllis by Sarah Ann Smith (C) 2014. See the Living Colour Exhibit at

So now it is time to go dye fabric for another quilt!  Do surf over to the Dinner@8 blog to read their interview with me and the other artists in this year’s Reflections exhibit.


by Sarah Ann Smith at July 25, 2014 02:24 PM

Marion Barnett

I Take A Lot...

of photographs.  A couple of days ago, Clare and I went to Burnam Overy Staithe, for a walk on the marshes.  I thought I'd give you a few snapshots of what we saw...pure eye candy, quintessential Norfolk.


We are, we agreed, privileged to live here.

by marion barnett ( at July 25, 2014 11:17 AM

Margaret Cooter

Monoprint and handstitch

It's been an exciting three days in room 305 at City Lit, as we printed and bonded and stitched. Where to start? With Amarjeet's samples -
and the aims of the course -
The first day was all about printing, using binder and pigment, mixed and spread on acrylic plates ... and making marks additively, subtractively, or with drawing on the back of the paper/fabric ... not to forget stencils and ghost prints - 

My theme started out as Labyrinths ... and was modified by whim and "found marks"
Monoprints on paper
... and on fabric
A collection - I was trying to be adventurous, starting with the light yellow, and found
 it needed a lot of "layering" to knock it back
Layered favourites
At home that evening I tried out my idea of glueing paper to linen to make a concertina book, and did some digital prints of "feet" from the V&A series to make a small maze-book. I also found some local maps to be cut and used as stencils. So by lunchtime on day two a lot of yesterday's results were overprinted, with greys and some black (I was getting back into my comfort zone) -

The drawn marks are a loose adaptation of the maps
They worked really well on some deconstructed linen trousers
Technical stuff -
After the stencils have been laid on the rolled-out ink and printed on paper, they are lifted off and the fabric printed

The brayer helps transfer all the remaining ink to the fabric

On other prints, using my hand to smooth the fabric onto the ink resulted in some
mysterious dark marks - which turned out to be caused by my ring
Following on from a maps-grids-hatching sub-theme,  the "lazy Sunday afternoon" drawing was scanned, front and back, and printed out at various scales -
Nice heavy paper will make this useful for endpages of the floppy books
Other favourite prints -

A roomful of people getting on with some stitching -

On the final day, a group session looking at works in progress - some  of my favourites -
Wolfgang started a scroll
Michelle combined forest-inspired prints into a book
Lisa printed onto sleeves ...
... and bravely grappled with insertion stitches
Jeannie's delicate piece is based on poppy stems with their tiny, glowing bristles
- it brought to mind a print by Gego in the RA's "Geometries" show
Planning two books to use every scrap of the grey-on-yellow print -
The papers are bondawebbed onto fabric
At the end of the course, this collection of books - some are ready for a bit more stitching -

The sequel

Next day I got out all the papers and planned more little books for "the feet suite" -

Lots of pages ready to add to fabric, or to both sides of "mazes"
The newest book includes mazy stitching on the supporting fabric, and awaits more stitch -

The "adventurous" yellow, so disastrous at first, is working out ok!

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 25, 2014 10:54 AM

Neki Rivera

stitching a story

have a good weekend!

neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by (neki desu) at July 25, 2014 08:00 AM

Rayna Gillman


What a day!  Before I get to it, though, I put a link on the picture of Elaine Stritch on yesterday's post that will get you to the fabulous video.  Click on her photo and you should get there.

NOTE: here are my comments for the two people whose profiles don't have their emails. I hate that I can't get in touch with you individually. For any of you who leave comments but no forwarding address, please hit the contact me link at the top of my sidebar and shoot me an email so I can put you in my book and contact you.

Janet - thanks for the recommendation for Shoot Me!  I knew there was a subsequent one and I'll look for it.

Kara - glad you enjoyed JoJo Moyes -- I'm keeping my eye open for her newest book.

OK - back to today.  It was a two-hour drive up the NY Thruway and worth every minute to see the exhibit of Amy Sillman's work: One Lump or Two.  Click on this link to see more of  her work on Google images.

 She is prolific, talented, and has a most wonderful sense of humor. Here is the exhibit we saw today (no photos allowed) but you can get a glimpse of the exhibit and hear Amy talk about her work.

I was so inspired that I high-tailed it over to Jerry's art supplies tonight to buy gouache, brushes, and paper.  I've been wanting to play with painting and after I pick up a couple of graphite pencils tomorrow, I am taking my larger suitcase and throwing in art supplies, fabric, and who knows what else, along with my clothes.  

Bedtime -- before I get my second wind and it is too late to fall asleep!

by (Rayna) at July 25, 2014 03:05 AM

July 24, 2014

Sarah Ann Smith

tea and ink, creativity and watercolor

Of late I have been busy with many things, one of which is Sketchbook Skool, an online cast of a gazillion students and, each term, six different teachers.   This past week’s lesson was with Brenda Swenson, and the use of single colors of watercolor on paper, letting them mix and play has been a revelation.  Since my last post, about the new Series 1400 of Quilting Arts TV, featuring little ol’ me in three episodes talking about making a quick bag as a gift, machine quilting, and correct needles/thread, was the last post, I thought I’d continue with the Series 1400 theme, creativity and inspiration.  (To see the information on the series and the ongoing bloghop, please click here to read about the series and visit all the creative, inspiring bloggers who just happen to be guests on this season!).

The completed sketch by me--contour drawing with fountain pen with non-waterproof ink and watercolor.

The completed sketch by me–contour drawing with fountain pen with non-waterproof ink and watercolor.

To begin at the beginning, we were to do a contour drawing, 3 minutes, of an item.  Then 6 minutes for two items, and 10 minutes for three.   Here’s what I did in my “everyday” sketchbook, which happens to be a Stillman & Birn Epsilon, 7 x 10 inch size.  This sketchbook has a hot press finish, about 100-lb paper; they are available at Binders Art Supply in Atlanta (google up the website) and Dick Blick (ditto), among other places.  I didn’t know where I put my Tombow marker (water soluble), so decided to use my Flex Nib (Noodler’s Creaper pen) fountain pen with R&K Alt Goldgrun ink (LOVE); both pen and ink came from the wonderful Goulet Pens.  (Note:  I’m not advertising, just anticipating questions!)

Timed contour sketches of fiestaware pitcher, tea-for-one teapot/but from my friend Marie many years ago, and a bottle of deAtramentis Roses scentted ink (heavenly color AND scent, also from Goulet Pens).  I used R&K Alt Goldgrun in my fountain pen.

Timed contour sketches of fiestaware pitcher, tea-for-one teapot/but from my friend Marie many years ago, and a bottle of deAtramentis Roses scentted ink (heavenly color AND scent, also from Goulet Pens). I used R&K Alt Goldgrun in my fountain pen.

Today, I rushed a bit and the pitcher is seriously tipsy, but I’m pleased, especially with the way the reds and black merged on the label on the bottle.   And the more I practice / make art, the more I am embracing  the idea that I do not need to be absolutely freakin’ perfect, that the wobbles and imperfections are what give something individuality, just as our handwriting varies from those cursive letters above  the blackboard back in second grade.

Here's the in progress, with the items behind the sketchbook on a dining table that I should have tidied before the photo but of course did not.  Truth in blogging.....

Here’s the in progress, with the items behind the sketchbook on a dining table that I should have tidied before the photo but of course did not. Truth in blogging…..

Notice the difference between this page and the one at the top–what a difference a little “framing” makes!  And I LOVE that green ink!

And for more inspiration, I just had to add this.  Last night thunderstorms rolled in, so of course we lost satellite signal and everything started to pixillate.  Immediately I tried taking a photo with my iPad (on which I was trolling FB or playing solitaire), but the camera just c ouldn’t capture the incredible colors.  So I dashed madly for the camera in the next room and got this photo at the last second before the picture returned to normal.  THIS is inspiration…aren’t these colors glorious?  I’m not much of one to enjoy abstract art, but this is enough to make you want to grab tubes of paint, several palette knives  and go to town.

Our pixillated TV screen.  Isn't this incredible?  The COLOR!

Our pixillated TV screen. Isn’t this incredible? The COLOR!

So that’s my life the past 48 hours (plus helping to hang the quilts for Maine Quilts, the annual quilt show here).  Art and inspiration!  And check out my previous post (link above) if you’d like to scope out the bloghop for the new Series 1400 of Quilting Arts TV, featuring yours truly in three episodes!

As for sketching and watercolors and contour drawings, I have a lot to learn, but it is so much fun, and it inspires me to make more art, including of the textile kind!


by Sarah Ann Smith at July 24, 2014 09:11 PM

Olga Norris

I couldn't leave it alone

I just could not settle to do anything else, but must fiddle with what should have been left to simmer.  I think, however, that I've taken it to a point where I can leave all the options so far.  This morning I took another photo - Marja-Leena's comment  on my last post but one about my using a realistic background was spot on: I tried it, but was definitely not happy.  So, this photo was used
to lead to this:
And then, of course, I just had to play further to add an another acrobat to my files!
Perhaps now I shall be able to get back to the work I planned to do.

by Olga Norris ( at July 24, 2014 04:24 PM

Marion Barnett

Look What I Found!

As a rule, I'm not a great fan of galleries...which may seem like an odd thing for an artist to say.   A lot of them are Very Serious.  Some of them are really crowded, so you can't see stuff clearly.  And then...occasionally... you find one that is None Of Those Things.  Here are a couple of pictures of one of the best galleries I've been in for a long time.  It's tiny; I've been to Burnham Market before, and not realised it was there, tucked away as it is.  It features the work of one (very friendly) artist, Andrew Ruffhead, and it is called 'Fish And Ships Coastal Art Gallery'.... it's a wee gem.

What struck me first was the colour; the work glows against pure white walls.  There's a great range of work, much of it quirky, or just plain fun... I had to buy a whale fridge magnet (it's okay, Andrew, it got home in one piece, thanks to the careful bubblewrap).  This is how he sums up what he does (from his beautifully designed leaflet):

'Andrew opened his Studio/Gallery 'Fish And Ships Coastal Art' in 2006, producing prints, coastal maps, cyanotype photography, pen, ink and gouache drawings and paintings, and lobsters, crabs, whales, prawns and fish made from driftwood and pieces of old marsh and beach-found boats.'

Trust me, the work's amazing; if you're in Norfolk, run, don't walk... I had a whale of a time! And if you're not...check out his website.

by marion barnett ( at July 24, 2014 04:09 PM

Olga Norris

Excited recollection and anticipation

The work of sculptor Thomas Houseago gave me a tremendous thrill of the kind that made me feel I must continue to push myself to create.  It is also such a positive to respond thus to contemporary art, especially when increasingly I feel I can engage less and less with what is being lauded.
Pour-Head/Portrait Study
On seeing a note of the current exhibition of Houseago's work in the Hague, I was reminded of the exhibitions I saw in Oxford a few years ago, the pieces I saw in Wakefield, and look forward to seeing more in the future.
Once upon a time, with an artist whose work had such a strong effect on me, I would have booked a trip to the Netherlands.  There was a time when I would travel all over just to see an exhibition, but now I am much more discriminating - and I manage my excitement better!
Now that my dutiful daughter years are over, and I am recovering from them, I find that the importance of trying to make my own work is increasingly taking over.  There comes a point when one can see too much of other people's work and there's a desire just to work, work, work and think about work.
Of course that does not exclude reading about and seeing artists' work; but I'm finding it good to be discriminating, and to choose to revisit where an acquaintance was too superficial rather than constantly be pursuing the new.  So, while I often turn over in my mind my memories of Houseago's work, and look forward to having the opportunity to learn what he is doing, and see more at some point - I am content to work with what I already have.

by Olga Norris ( at July 24, 2014 01:17 PM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - Walking in the City by Yvonne Rainer


Yvonne Rainer: Walking in the City

I can still love this time of day
east from Chelsea
south to St. Marks
a toothless moon
clearing the autumn towers
each aglow in the sun's spent light

As long as I can pass tattoo parlors
palm readers, Greek luncheonettes, bodegas
there may still be room to breathe
in this devouring town

Keep moving


Born in San Francisco in 1934, Yvonne Rainer [dancer, choreographer, film maker] began training as a modern dancer in her early twenties at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City. By 1960 she was taking experimental workshops at Merce Cunningham’s nearby studio, where Robert Dunn was applying John Cage’s chance-based compositions to dance. The same year Rainer started choreographing her own work, and by 1962 she and several others had founded the Judson Dance Theatre. Though the troupe had disbanded by 1964, their performances at the progressive Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village gave rise to an influential new style that resisted the showy virtuosity of ballet in favor of more commonplace movements, such as walking, running, and speaking. Rainer developed a philosophy of performance that, like the minimalist ethos percolating simultaneously, eschewed hierarchy. No single element—moment, body part, form, person—should appear more important than any other. Moreover, spectacle, which generated detached and unengaged viewers, should be avoided. (source)

Of her Poems (2011), a reviewer said: "the fact that Rainer has been stealthily writing poems can’t be too much of a surprise. She is, famously, an acute observer of behavior and condition. While the physical in her stage work is neighborly with text (sources for the piece at BAC included Rousseau, Lydia Davis, and William James, among others), so it is the other way around in Poems."

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 24, 2014 12:41 PM

Neki Rivera

nothing that an aquarium warmer can't solve

it's all about temperature. weather's hot, ai vat is being heated with my god sent aquarium heater and  the vat is rolling. very nice cotton yarn after three 1 min dips.

this one even looks better. thrilled with the blue
after 3 dips. more to come today.

 and also this one is being processed.
feels good to be so productive albeit the heat.
life is good.

neki desu
Creative Commons License

by (neki desu) at July 24, 2014 09:53 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Mystic Lake Trail

 The trail to Mystic Lake is 3 1/2 miles each direction.  Here are a few trail shots taken on the way up.   The temperature was good for hiking.  Maybe high 60's or low 70's.  And no bugs!

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 24, 2014 06:00 AM

Rayna Gillman

guilty pleasures

Every so often, you just need to treat yourself nicely.

Last week I was very sad for a couple of days after Elaine Stritch died.  I have never forgotten her performance in Stephen Sondheim's "Company," which I saw in 1970 and have adored her ever since.  The NY Times article and video this morning reminded me that I had never seen her one-woman Broadway show done when she was 77,  and I put it on my "look for it on-line" list.

Guilty Pleasure #1: spending the afternoon watching a show
This afternoon, after coming home from a condolence call to a dear friend whose husband died last weekend, I needed a lift.  Changed into my hot weather clothes, sat down at the computer, and spent 2-½ hours watching Elaine Stritch at Liberty.  I never do that.  Never. I am not a tv watcher, as anybody who knows me, knows.  But I couldn't tear myself away from the small screen.  You don't have to see it all in one sitting, as I did, but do not miss it.  Funny, poignant, revealing, and honest to the core. Pure joy.

Guilty Pleasure #2: iced coffee with heavy cream

It has been hot and over-the-top humid here this week, so I have been going out for my walk at 7:30 or 8:00 at night.  Last night, not bad.  Tonight, I was toast by the time I got home after ½ hour.  Now there is thunder and lightning, but no rain.  Remember the days when we did not have air conditioning? I knew my leftover coffee from this morning was there for a reason! I normally drink it black, but had some heavy cream leftover from making ice cream last week:-). Heaven.

Guilty Pleasure #3: ice cream and a book

Another glass of iced coffee, this time with some vanilla ice cream and some just-made whipped cream. And I will leave the computer for a book as soon as I finish posting this.  I've been reading Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.  I read the first couple of books some years ago and am now catching up on the rest.  I have put this confection in the freezer until later.

Guilty Pleasure #4: new Birkenstocks in a color I couldn't resist
Greeted with some snideness by one of my offspring, who was shocked to see some of her child's friends' moms wearing Birks - but cool, kind of dressy ones. Sigh...guess I will have to look for some dressy Birks. An oxymoron??

Guilty Pleasure #5:  playing hooky for an art day with a friend.
Tomorrow (although it may be tomorrow by the time you read this) driving up to Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson for an exhibit and then a visit to Hudson, NY.  I will report back tomorrow night.

Guilty Pleasure #6: leaving the work under the needle and walking away
You will notice I have not mentioned anything about my work. Nevertheless, I have been slogging away at stitching my latest piece, which is taking me longer than usual.

Ok, off to read for a while as I promised myself, while the caffeine from the iced coffee wears off. Enough guilty pleasures for one day! But really, I don't feel the least bit guilty.
Why should I?  Life is too short.

by (Rayna) at July 24, 2014 02:34 AM

July 23, 2014

Sabrina Zarco

Monsoon Rains and Bee Rainboots

After experiencing thunder, lightening, cold breezes, and hail for an hour; we stepped out on the deck. The amazing smell of wet earth and ponderosa and piñon trees was intoxicating. Among the usual symphony of after rain sounds we could hear a familiar yet rarely heard sound. 

I quickly put on my favorite rain boots the "bee boots" to investigate. Off for an adventure in the mud we went.

The usually dry arroyo, creek bed, or seasonal creek as it is called was fiercely flowing giving off all those ions and awakening the senses. The beautiful red clay of the lower Rockies was creating my very own Willy Wonka chocolate river! (One of my fav movies)

It was exciting to see our usual paths for walks were well under water. There was evidence that there was a much higher flow earlier in the storm. Small trees, branches, and shrubs were over turned along with forest floor debris all making the journey through the once dry sandy rocky path. 

The precious gift of moving water and the ever present little girl that resides in me are a magical combination. I was flappy happy and giddy. Moving water is the only real medicine that can immediately release all of my anxiety and stress. For someone like me on the Autism spectrum my anxiety and stress are naturally high all the time. I am not able to quiet it. Meditation/prayers, the outdoors, making art, and select other things can calm it but nothing like moving water can cleanse me and set my spirit soaring. Immediately I am set free. 

Living on the mountain in a drought has been tough new experience. A dry well that I pray will be restored and water shortages in the state make for little to no time for me to get a water healing. So I couldn't help it. It was time to shed the bee boots and step in.

Because we have a relationship with this path and the rocks and trees we could recognize favorite spots where we would sit and soak in the universe. Only this time they had water spiraling around over and through them. A beautiful red clay chocolate swirling.

The water was cold, cold like a melted snow cone and it was magic. It swirled around my feet and splashed on my legs and I knew at that moment all was right with the world.

Mother earth, my curandera  washed away my worries and reminded me that she is always here for me even when I can't feel it. She cleansed me like she washed the trees and the rocks. This limpia reached mind, body, and soul. I felt a release and was immediately filled with peace and a joy so deep within. I was ready to start fresh. The rain always brings new beginnings.

I stood in the middle of the rushing water. I could hear the magical sounds. I could smell the wet earth. I could feel the cold wet movement across my body. All of it dancing around me like sweet sage smoke on a full moon night. I was present I was nowhere but in this moment.

The world was made right again and my strength renewed. Our four legged family member soaked it all in as well. And we didn't mind that he was a clay red dog at the end of the experience. We were all feeling blessed.

I am thankful for the everyday miracles, healings, and time spent under the trees and in the water. Take the time to stop, let go, and embrace the moments when they appear. These transformational moments are all around us. Its up to us to make the most of them.

The lightening returned in the distance. We decided it was time to make our way to the house as the sky began to fill with more clouds. We are blessed to be stewards of  this land where we make our home. We washed with the fresh rain water and settled in to reflect on the days events. 

There are many days I grow tired of the tasks,  the new skills I must learn, and the physical toll of living life on the mountain. But its days like this that remind me I belong here and there is more for me to learn from this sacred place on my journey. 

by Sabrina ( at July 23, 2014 09:25 PM

Terry Grant

Words and Pictures

I am currently immersed in a project that takes me back to my pre-retirement work as a graphic designer.  I am laying out a book, to be published by Blurb, of the second Twelve by Twelve set of challenges that we called the Colorplay series. Our first book was published by Lark Publishing and was a popular, commercial success. It told our story and showed our first challenge quilts and was a big, juicy, wonderful labor of love. This second book, which we are creating mostly for ourselves (though it will be available for purchase) is mostly photos of the little art quilts—mainly a record of our beloved second challenge.  It is, in a smaller, quieter way, another labor of love. We have been talking about it for quite awhile and I agreed to do the layout, but I always seemed to have something more urgent on my radar. But now, finally, I am deep into it, working several hours each day on it. 

Most graphic designers I know hate book and long document design. It isn't flashy, like advertising or hip and current, like web design. It can be tedious. But I love it. My former job was at a national non-profit and consisted mainly of producing informational brochures, books and newsletters. Words and pictures.  It sounds so simple, but the process of designing a book is an exercise in clear and elegant communication. Readability is the byword. Choosing typefaces and line spacing that reflect the spirit of the work and complement each other, creating a balanced and logical composition for each page and maintaining consistency and flow through the pages. Then visually scanning each page for spacing and flow, tweaking the type to eliminate awkward placement and inelegant alignments and odd gaps. Type, on the computer screen, is alive and willing to accept the designer's nudges and manipulations. And the trick, of course, is to make it look like it all just landed, beautifully, on the page, without anyone's help. 

I'm a little rusty, but it's all coming back to me!  If you need me, I'm at the computer...

by Terry Grant ( at July 23, 2014 07:06 PM

Olga Norris

Back burner progress etc.

A short while ago I developed an image to stitch when my sea pictures ran out.  The last picture of it published here was this:
I was not completely happy with this however.  Somehow there was not enough of an audience, and also I was unhappy with the base border.  So it developed into this below which I have printed onto A3 silk and am already stitching.
Today I felt an itch to design.  The news, how we are informed about it, and how we respond to it, how it affects us, has been sloshing around in my mind for a while.  My work is most often an amalgam of allsorts of input - the thoughts (conscious or subconscious), new or previous drawing (often adapted), photographs, scanned work... all collected over many years, and frequently used again and again.  What comes out is an expression of how or what I think or feel.
With these ingredients:
  a design for a previous small stitched work,
  and a digital scribble done during an especially low time a few years ago
 I now developed this as my starting point (and which may well become a basis for a linocut later).
My 'crayons' to 'colour in' were the following:
 a scan of an embroidery design from at least 60 years ago,
 some notes I made when researching in an art library over 20 years ago,
  a photo I took this Spring, and
 the digitally developed extra element I had recently added to my last design. 
I came up with this, which I now have to keep on the back burner for a wee while:
 Read and recycle
After a short ponder, I have made a first edit:

by Olga Norris ( at July 23, 2014 05:29 PM

Margaret Cooter

Ancient trees

From Nineveh - murals from the palaces of Sennacherib (630-620 BC) and Ashurbanipal (c.645BC); now the Assyrian reliefs are in the British Museum.

 Outside the museum, trees look much as they always did -

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 23, 2014 09:47 AM

Neki Rivera

more geekery

low tech, but much better that making bias tape by hand. bought the small tape maker because :

  1. it's too hot to be in the studio sewing. in this way i can pretend i'm sewing because i'm handling sewing tools.
  2. i bought 3 patterns that require bias tape finishings instead of facings. not all is escapism here.
  3. clover is a japanese company therefore i'm feeding my japanophilia. (^_^)
the weather forecast says it will cool off for a couple of days and then zoom back up.
have to  take advantage of the cool spell.

neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by (neki desu) at July 23, 2014 08:00 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

West Rosebud Creek Trail

Summer is here and we take every opportunity to get into the back country.  This day, we took our two grandsons on their first hike of the summer to Mystic Lake.  Airus is 8 and Breckin is 5.  We were not sure how the day would go, but it started out with a lot of enthusiasm and rushing water!

by Cynthia St Charles ( at July 23, 2014 06:00 AM

Thelma Smith

Feedback Please ! ! !

I have a theory.  The best place to live would be a town where one could walk to take care of one’s daily needs:  grocery, bakery, butcher shop, coffee shop, pub, friendship, banking, news, and all the other little things we don’t actively think about.  That town would have good bus service to and from a near by  train line that runs between fairly major cities.  This town would have things like city water and sewer as well as decent electrical and gas service.

And, oh, did I mention?  the climate should be mild all four seasons with no outrageous extremes and there should be water close by.  Water could be fresh or salt or it could be a river, stream, ocean or sea.

Now that I’ve laid out my specifications let me throw a curve:  there should be liveable but old housing stock.  One should be able to buy a simple place to live for less than €100,000; where would that be?  How about less than €50,000; where would that be?  The monetary unit could have any name; euros were used as they are fairly universal.  The language could be almost any language.

please send suggestions to thelma scudi at out look dot com.  Oh, did you notice?  I have taken back my maiden name.

by thelma at July 23, 2014 12:09 AM

July 22, 2014

Neki Rivera

all that pink

i saw this spring had to come out one way or another.
cochineal on cotton gauze. first step for shibori scarf. more later.

neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by (neki desu) at July 22, 2014 11:35 AM

Margaret Cooter


The British Museum is famous for housing the Elgin Marbles. Rather less well known are the marble columns that are part of the staircase in the extension at the north side of the building (King Edward VII galleries), opened in 1914 -

Huge columns, sparsely - and mysteriously - veined. How many times have I walked past them and never seen them? I noticed them after spending a little time drawing the profuse veining in this marble jar-
Minoan, 2500-1800 BC; about 10cm high

by Margaret Cooter ( at July 22, 2014 09:30 AM