Sunday, June 30, 2013

This is My Brain ...

Here's the story so far.

I have the front stitched and joined in the center.

Now I'm stitching on the back. 

Obsessive? ha ha ha ha

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Latest Obsession Plus

It started out as a skirt thing. I was just going to sew up a few skirts made out of old T-shirts. Then I thought I'd embellish one of them Alabama Chanin Style.

Here are the skirt panels laid out with some of the stenciling and stitching and cutting done.

Even the simplest design takes forever to complete.

Forever being relative of course.

For this one I stenciled and stamped some of the panels.

Horrible photos; sorry folks. Right now it's all about the projects.

Of course one things leads to another. Especially when you're online looking at all the great stuff other people have made.

So in preparation for a "real" Chanin challenge I sewed up this short tunic to make sure of the fit. Raised the neckline. Snipped 1" off each strap because I'm short waisted.

It's all about the comfort and fit. Cotton jersey. Soft like your pj's.

I did a chain stitch around the neckline, etc. and I'm sure lousy at it. I'll try a different stitch next time.

Okay, I've got the fit, now to start on the big project.

I've got a long skirt, 2 layered long sleeved bolero and 2 layered long tunic started. I'm going to be stitching all summer. Oh, and that stencil? On heavy paper, really hard to cut. Took me an entire day just to cut it out. Aargh!!

But hey, there's all kinds of other stuff happening too. 
Painting stuff. 
The thing we do that makes us so very happy and that's an exploration, a discovery, a dive down the rabbit hole of "what if"?

I'm going to be teaching a one day class on painting here in Portland at the Collage store on NE Alberta in December. It's the first Saturday; yes, a long way off from today but we can start to make plans and reserve spaces. I'll talk a little about how I get my ideas onto canvas and we'll all have a go at mixing colors and making discoveries together. To me, the best thing about painting is that the idea in your imagination is never the image that's manifested on canvas; instead we get a surprise, a search and a revelation. It's more than just paint.

I hope some of you can join me in class. Mark your calendar.

Go here for more details.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The In-Betweens

My next teaching gig is at EncaustiCamp (July 23-28) where I'll be teaching a wax printmaking class. I have lists drawn up and supplies I've been gathering for that. This year the camp is moving to much nicer quarters in Federal Way, Washington, on the water, and some folks from Northlight will be in attendance to gather photographs for a book that's being published on the event. If you want to give yourself a midsummer lift, it's not too late to sign up. Here is the class information. (My classes are filled but I believe everything else is available.) EncaustiCamp is the highlight of my summer.

After that on August 8-10 comes a retreat with my good friends; Katie Kendrick, Misty Mawn and Stephanie Lee in Layton, Utah. We've been planning this one for over a year and we're all very excited about it. Stephanie will be giving each attendee a CD of her metalsmithing class and we'll all be presenting projects that we ourselves love. We're planning on a small group so you'll have lots of time with each of us and we get to take each other's classes as well. Bonus!! It's going to be a party. You can read more about it here.

I'll have one more class announcement in a few days. Something right here in Portland for you painters. Yahoo!

I've been sketching here and there and congratulating myself when I can wedge one in. The garden is doing well but we're back to rainy, cool weather again. 

The strawberries and cherries are ripe. My daughter is moving. I made a new journal and will show you the Australia pages in a later post. Everything is moving so fast around me. It's life as I love it. When it gets too hectic I chill out by pulling weeds and deadheading roses. The smell of the earth always brings me back to a quiet place.

To be continued ...

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Australia Pt. 4 - Jervis Bay

When I arrived at Tracy Verdugo's the first thing she asked me was if I wanted to see some kangaroos.

The answer was a resounding "yes!"

So she drove down to some nearby houses and there they were. Lots of them.

On people's lawns.

Hello kangaroos.

They were curious about us too.

Look how powerful their back legs are. They are locomotion machines.

Check this off my bucket list. Kangaroos. Yes, thank you.

We take pictures.

Set up the room together for the class tomorrow. 
Tables, chairs, lots of prep and Tracy helped me make a big job easy.

Then we had a little beach walk.

Past these pastel cottages.

To the pellucid sea.

After a short walk on the white sand beach we retrace our steps past this wonky tree back to Tracy's.

(Seriously - isn't this something?)

Share food, wine, conversation and then turn in early to rest up for the class in the morning.

 On Saturday and Sunday we meet together for the Cold Wax Class. Thirteen of us exploring and discovering together. Making work in cold wax is like solving a fascinating puzzle. You interact with the materials in a dance of control / no-control. You keep dancing until the piece tells you it's done. It's addictive.

This was my lunch on one of the days. The best bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich I've ever eaten. It's called a BLAT. And a sanga. Sandwich = sanga. Aussie talk.

We took a class photo as well as photos of more of the work but this is all I have to post right now. Tracy posted images of the cold wax paintings she did in class here. It's worth hopping over there to see them. She's a fast learner and her paintings turned out very well.

The image above is one of my sample pieces that I did in class.

The next day we went to see birds, water, trees and a de-commissioned lighthouse. Nature. 

First the birds.

This is the bark of the "Scribbly Gum" tree. Little insects chew these beautiful marks into the bark.

This is a turpentine tree. 

And this rubble used to be a lighthouse. Check it out.

It puts our lesser errors in perspective.

After a full day of exploration, eating, and talking ourselves out it was time for another sleep.

And early the next morning after hugs all around I was on the road back to Sydney. That will be the next and last post on my Australian adventure. 

Addendum: As I write this report I'm aware that I'm only telling you the story in pictures. What I'm leaving out is enormous. Like how kind the women in the class were to me and the strong connection I felt to more than a few of them. The lovely presentation of a card and gift that Tracy gave me at the end of the class. The fact that when I plugged my voice amplifier into the wall without a converter attached I fried it so that I had to start the class off in a wobbly manner. I was so worried that my voice wouldn't hold out in such a large room with so many students that I really lost my footing for the first hour. But everyone was gracious and I found out that I could survive without the amplifier in a pinch. So thank you dear women. And forgive me for not conducting introductions and the sharing that I usually try to initiate.

There were so many instances of kindness on the part of strangers. When I got lost in Albion Park how the young postal delivery fellow (handsome too) stopped and gave me unerring directions. There will be several Sydney stories of kindness (boy is that city easy to get lost in). Every U. S. citizen I know who's travelled to Australia remarks on the kindness and open heartedness of the Australians. I read this week that Australia is rated #1 in terms of happiness in the world. And maybe that explains it in part. When you are fulfilled in your life you can reach out more graciously to others. Also I think it has to do with being a "we" country instead of a "me" country.

I'll sign off now. xo