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Showing posts from 2011

Happy New Year

Mixed Media Post Card Swap To Start The New Year

Friend Judy H. posted about this swap on her blog and I had to have a look at Musings On Reality's swap. I had to add my name to the list as well. I did one other post card swap like this and it was wonderful to get art cards from all over the world to add to my growing collection! Have a look and consider joining in the fun, The more the merrier - or should I say "the art-ier ?!

Wishing You Love, Laughter and A Bit Of Santa-Magic

As this new day dawns  I wish you all a Season of Love, Laughter and a bit of 'Santa-Magic'.   My wish for everyone is that the New Year will bring you peace and prosperity and a surfeit of creative energy!
"Clouds appear and bring to men  a chance to rest from looking at the moon." Basho

Local Craft Supply Access Can Be A Wonderful Thing! Plus My Home When I Am Not At Home !

Most of you are aware that I live on a rural island. Going to a crafts store is an all day 'adventure' and the cost of the ferry service is making all but essential trips off island too costly. My friend, Janet, had told me that a new store had opened on island and that I needed to go and check it out. Of course, me being the laggard I can be, it took until yesterday to go and have a gander. I was thrilled to see a varied selection of many crafting essentials. From card making and scrapbooking to knitting, quilting, painting and paper crafts, we now have a pace to call home in our small community - and it is a very joyful thing ! Shop owner, Bonnie Turman, is ready and willing to help you find the tools you're looking for and is open to suggestions about what to add. She is already making plans to expand her shop! She stocks products from Fiskars, Ranger, Red Heart, and many other well know craft companies. Finally we have a local place to get our essentials - I breathed a…

Happy Solstice To All ! .... and Walnut Inks From Tsukinenko

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Late in November my friend Lauren and I took a girl's day off island and hit some of the art supply places that  we occasionally miss being able to visit as much as we treasure our remote island life. I had been remarkable resolute with my plan to spend money judiciously - at least I had been prior to this visit to Michael's!
I had seen these Walnut Inks from Tsukinenko before and had passed over them thinking that were in, in all actuality, walnut inks - the sort I am familiar with using with dip pens. This time however, I took a look at the box this set came in and decided to give them a try. This was just my first look at the inks on paper and I can see some real play time int he future. They result in beautiful, rich colors in the warm, earthy tones I love. I'll share some play time soon but if you too have passed over these inks in the past you might consider trying a bottle. This set …

Computing Disaster Day!

My Xmas gift this year is a doozie - a new Apple I Mac. I had been dreaming about having one for so long! It arrived yesterday and, at the behest of DH, I opened it and got the migration assistant going - so I thought! According to the assistant I had about 14 hours to wait - so when I went to bed I envisioned that all would be well when I woke up.
When I woke up there was "blue bar" progress but it now read that it would take 56 house and 19 minutes. I decided that something had to be wrong and so I called tech support. My neck began to ache as the hours online with tech grew longer. After a couple of trouble shooting hours he thought that we/I was on the right track - and decided that he would call be back later to check on things. I made progress on migrating things onto the new computer with the help of a flash drive. Mail worked, Internet worked - I was beginning to be happy.
When the tech called again though we ran some diagnostic and discovered that there was only on…

After

I've been admiring the winter look on the land this week. The colors, though muted for the season seem so sensuous and rich - a deep gold played against the evergreen or bare white branches against the skyline.
As I was driving home one afternoon this week I noticed the way the sky looked framed by the gentle bare branches of the winter woods. I had to stop and take a picture. It was such a beautiful sight.
Happy weekend to all and to all a good night !

Machine Embroidered Flowers, Woodlands & Landacapes: The Art of Alison Holt

* * * * * Paperback: 144 pagesPublisher: Search Press (October 1, 2011)Language: EnglishISBN-13: 978-1844483457Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
This is a cross post from my book blog - I had to share it here to because I love this book so much!
For anyone who loves the work of Annamieke Mein or Jane Hall you're in for a treat with this latest book from Alison Holt.  Lush and beautiful are words that just don't quite describe this book that is part eye-candy and part super well done instruction.
This is a book that is really about the art of 'seeing' and translating what you see into poetry made with thread. The instructional part of the book is very well written, with excellent photographs that illustrate the process very well. Search Press has always, in my opinion, spotted good books and publishes them to their full, beautiful, potential.

I am, indeed, quite excited about this book and I know that it will be a "keeper" for. me. I think …

Knitting Addictions & Flat Santas

A friend gently chided me that I had not posted anything since Thanksgiving. How could all of that tie possibly have streamed ahead while I was not noticing?! I have been thinking about blogging though - gathering ideas for topics that I could write about without having something to show that I have produced - since sometimes I just can't keep up when projects take longer than expected or are in the process of being done yet nothing is completed. I have a LOT of book reviews to catch up with as well as some product reviews of some new toys that I've tried. Soon - very soon.
At any rate - these are what I've been up to and I am seriously addicted. This pattern is called the Holden Shawlette and it free pattern from a gifted designer named Mindy Wilkes -  she offers on Ravelry. These are the first two shawlettes that I made as gifts and I am now working on numbers 3 and 4! I've looked at lots of patterns both free and to purchase and this is really the nicest I've f…

Thank-Full

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and I am full of thanks for so many things.
There is so much to be Grate-Full for. Not just the 'big' things like comfortable shelter, family, stability, employment, friends, health, heat, food - but for the myriad small things that make up my life. I'm grate-full for my IPhone that lets me be creative even when I am on the go, for the people that support me, and for those that allow me to review their wonderful books or products, for the paints, pigments, stencils stamps etc that fill me art table with inspiration, the cup of tea that warms me, the birds that flock to our feeders and fill me with joy, the soft purr of my cat in the middle of the night, the vintage fountain pens that I use with pleasure and that have been held by so many hands before, the comfort of long time friendship, the sound of my husband coming through the door after work.  You get the idea - there is so very much to give thanks for that it's had to fi…

From Felt To Fabric: New techniques In Nuno Felting' by Catherine O'Leary

* * * * * Paperback: 128 pagesPublisher: Lark Crafts; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)ISBN-13: 978-1600596674Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches  When I was given the opportunity to review this book Lark I was excited. his book is right up my alley! Nuno felting has had a wide following for many years and this book takes the nuno felting process into a new direction. Catherine O'Leary has produced a beautiful volume - and introduces us to using a variety of fabrics (silks included of course!) on top of felt to create a wide range of fantastic textures, modular units and endless possibilities. I think this book will have wide appeal for all textile artists, felters, clothes mavens, and, most certainly, nuno felters! I love finding a familiar technique used in a fresh, stylish and utterly delightful way!  This is really an excellent book and it should have a place in your permanent textile arts library!












Happy Veteran's Day! In Memory Of My Uncles!

I was closest to my mother's family. My uncles were my heros. My special uncle, Jim, was in the Army ,  Jack was in the Army and garnered several purple hearts and a Silver Star. Billy was in the Air Force and continued his aviation career after leaving the service. They all gave during World War Two. My grandmother carried a life long aversion t o telegrams and telephones. She was so worried about them all. They are all gone now but I al am glad for them every day - proud that they were my uncles. Here is the oldest, Uncle Jack enjoying a little family time - you can see how young Jim and Billy still were when Uncle Jack joined the services! The other two wonderful people in this photo are my beloved grandmother and grandfather. Hero's all in my heart. I wonder if my mother was taking the photograph!
Let us all remember the sacrifices made on our behalfs.

New Eco Dyeing Experiment

I couldn't resist some of the Japanese Maple Leaves on the lawn last week. I felt like I wanted to gather them all up and save them for the winter. An unpractical idea of course! I wanted some prints that actually showed the images of the leaves. I used some silk charmeuse for the bottom layer and then placed the leaves down and topped it with a layer of bleached harem cloth - something that I was pretty sure wouldn't take the leaves dye. I used hot processing/ hot immersion technique and was tickled with the results!
The big surprise was the fabulous leaf prints that showed up on the harem cloth. I had used some alum on it and was quite certain that it would not act like the more normal soda that one would normally use for cottons. The silk charmeuse came out rather lovely although I did make a mistake and printed on the wrong side of the charmeuse. The right side is pretty but the leaves are not as distinct.
Another surprise was the lovely silk chiffon below. I had wanted s…

Nature Made Going To Work A Beautiful Thing This Week!

The people who know me well know that getting up in the morning is not on my "favorite things to do" list. I've had this difficulty since I was a youngster so it is unlikely to change! I do love mornings once I am up however. This week the drive to work just truly made my day and made getting up in the morning a special treat. I've been doing some photographic experimenting in how to angle the camera and still be able to obtain a decent photo through my windshield glass. In photography school we were taught that a photo can, in fact, be taken through glass, if an angle is used to minimize the reflective qualities of glass. This simple trick has enabled me to take these photos through the windshield of my car this week. Of course, being in a car traveling 45 MPH adds an extra unknown quality- but sometimes - like this week - its worth it to risk taking a photo in the hope that at least one photo will be good enough to capture the feel and quality of moment.
When I sa…

All Aglow

The sunrises this week have made getting up to go to work worthwhile! Today's gift from nature was truly awe inspiring!

You should be able to double click for a larger image. I'm experimenting with mobile posting. Tell me how it is!



- Posted using BlogPress from my IPhone!
Location:San Juan Island Wa

Eco Dyeing: A Small Success Can Become Fuel For Further Experiments

You never know when a chance bit of information can your current direction on it's ear. When my friend Janet and I went to Tacoma, Washington for the Association of Pacific West Quilters she was reading this book by master eco dyer India Flint. Janet had mentioned the process to me when she returned from her silk studies class in Japan but I'm not sure how much I understood.  The book made the process a bit more clear to me and I had to buy the books. If you've never read any of India Flints work - you should. She a casual, slightly humorous style that is fun to read and the dyeing information she relates is really fascinating...another whole dyeing concept. It made me wish for some local eucalyptus leaves to play with! India Flint's blog is a treat as well.
I do have to admit to quite a being discouraged by the results I had gotten with my experiments  before today. The colors I got tended towards muck and the leaf imprints were iffy at best. I considered returning t…