Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Recent Stuff...

Hi there! I thought it was time to check in here just to share a few things I've been working on lately in my creative zone (more like Twilight Zone?).  I came across these fabric baskets on one of the blogs I follow and learned that the pattern was available for free at the Robert Kauffman site. The designer's name is Anna Graham.

These are super easy and fun to make. The use of heavy fusible interfacing (Pellon 71F) give the tray and bowl a rigid structure. The addition of leather tabs or handles attached by rivets adds a nice finishing touch. Really, you don't want to skip this step!


I ordered an inexpensive riveting kit from Amazon which has a setting tool and a package of rivets in two finishes. Very easy to do. There are several resources online with tips for setting rivets but the kit comes with all the basic instructions you need. I had some leather scraps on hand to use to the handles; it doesn't take much.

So, I also made some painted papers to use for an upcoming project. I used Tyvek, which you can buy in large sheets at some art supply stores. You can also re-use Tyvek envelopes--or get lucky finding some around building sites as it's what they use to wrap the outside of homes before siding. Anyway, it takes paint well and is very tough. Will let you know how it works. The fabric at the top is by designer Marcia Derse; will be using this on my project, also.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Travel: Alaska

For me, travel is always an inspiration. I come home with new memories, ideas, and feeling mentally refreshed. My spouse, Scott, and I just returned from a week cruising in Alaska aboard the ms Westerdam. The scenery was nothing less than spectacular.

We visited the ports of Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan and spent a day cruising in Glacier Bay National Park. Most of these areas are only accessible by water or air so taking a cruise makes complete sense. Was everything perfectly wonderful? Um, no. There was a relatively small outbreak of Norovirus on the ship and Scott was one of the unlucky victims. This meant he had to stay in isolation in our room for almost 2 full days. Having a balcony made this experience a little more bearable. Who says you never stay in your room on a cruise?

By far, the highlight of the trip was Glacier Bay and seeing Margerie Glacier calve...and catching a few photos of that event. Too bad I just had my iPhone but not bad! You can see the big chunk of ice falling into the bay. The face of the glacier 250 feet above the water. It's hard to realize the scale, even when you are not very far away.

We were lucky to have a sunny day here and there were so many beautiful sights.

We saw several little islands during our time on the water. These were near Sitka and had private homes on them.

Some islands were wilder looking; these on the way out to open seas from Ketchikan.

The scenic port in Ketchikan.

We decided that a return trip is necessary; next time taking the inside passage route from Vancouver BC...and hopefully without any illness!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Travel and Journal

I've learned from some of my talented friends that making travel journals is the best way to save memories. Everyone has their own way of creating a journal; mine is a mish-mash of photos, decorative papers, brochures, business cards, and just about anything that will fit between two
pages. My favorite way of putting things together is to create individual pages and join them with binder rings. This is the journal of my recent trip to New Orleans. The covers were taken from a free guide book. I added some washi tape and book cloth on the

inside to reinforce the edges.

            Brochures make good material for collage, like this one featuring the Antieau Gallery.

                 I like to add postcard pages, which is easy to do when using the binder rings.

More brochures, photos, and postcards from Whitney Plantation, the only plantation tour that is focused on the experience of slavery.

My friend, Cynthia, helped me document my tattoo experience.

Having a travel journal to look back on is so much more meaningful than a pile of photos. It 
really doesn't take many pictures to tell a story.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Re-entering the Blog-O-Sphere

Hello out there! This blog is so dusty...a result of blog neglect. Actually, this is a new blog that never got off the ground. Anyway, I've felt inspired lately to brush it off and give another go. I've noticed that a lot of bloggers have given up or greatly reduced their posts; or just switched over to facebook and instagram. I do those things, too. It's so darned easy to put up a quick photo or link on facebook where your friends are sort of a captive audience. :-)
So, here are a couple of things up on my big ol' portable flannel design wall. One is a fabric collage that is being hand-stitched. I'm using some of my sumi ink art pieces that I've printed onto fabric, along with solid black Kona cotton.

This scrappy, improvised work-in-progress is influenced, in part, by the work of quilt artist Victoria Finley Wolfe of "15 Minutes of Play" fame. The original inspiration is this photo I took at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin last year. My intention in finishing this quilt is to add borders that refer to the areas surrounding the square wall in the foreground of the picture. I found some black-to-white ombre fabric that will be used to accomplish that goal. You can see some of it in the center of the square. Not sure yet if I'll try to quilt it myself, or send it out. We'll see!