Thursday, December 15, 2011

Artist Imitation

One of the challenges presented to my Seams Unique group this year was to pick a famous artist and compose a fiber piece to imitate the artists' style or color palette.  My artist was Salvadore Dali, a truly prolific man, if a little mad.  In researching his work, which spans many different styles and color palettes, I decided to focus on a couple of his iconic images.  Specifically, his melting clock from the Disintegration of Time and also the crutches he used in several of his works.  In my piece I used the crutch to hold up his identifiable mustache.  The piece I constructed is small, only 14 inches, but we were allowed to do something as large as 36 inches.  Dali worked extremely large for his religious works,but also very small for some of his later works.  
 We normally never show our challenge pieces in the group until the hanging of our exhibit at a local quilt shop, but since we all selected a different artist to imitate, I felt that showing this on my blog wouldn't be able to influence any of the other members in the execution of their pieces.   Several of Dali's later works were done in a gold/brown/beige palette, so I used those colors in my piece.  To add a bit of bling, I surrounded the two clocks with a gold sparkly fabric.  And just to be a little "out of the box", I let the major clock melt out of the piece!  I'm not sure what Dali's intention was in portraying  the melting clocks; perhaps he saw time slipping out of his grasp, but the melting indicates a slow dripping to me, and I find that as I get older just the opposite is true.  Time seems to speed by faster as we get older, don't you think? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Who doesn't like chocolate???  I recently did a chocolate piece in fabric.  As you can see, I included dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.  And just to make it mine, I added candy wrappers to simulate caramel and raspberry, my favorite chocolate additions!  The swirls are copper wire that I hammered into a swirl shape, and couched down.  FUN.

Pastoral Aspens

I did a piece for the Dirty Dozen Fiber Artist exhibit in October and have decided to donate the piece to a fundraiser for Melissa Brooks.  The piece is titled Pastoral Aspens and I made the fabric for the aspen trees using black Webbing Spray by Krylon.  I really love the effect the spray has on fabric; in fact a group of us played with it and it can even make an ugly piece of fabric sing!  I used a couple of my hand-dyed fabrics in the piece, as well, and the water is shibori discharge.  It was a fun piece to do and I particularly like the shadow effect with the gray fabric. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A sign for my studio

While in Arkansas, we attended a wonderful art and craft show in Bella Vista, and I found a woodworker to make me a sign for my studio.  It arrived not too long ago, and I love it!  Tatonka is the American Indian word for Buffalo.  Why did I name my studio Tatonka Studios?  Well, I like the sound of the word, and I've always admired the buffalo for its strength and devotion to the group. 

Colors in Arkansas

We got some great color while at the cabin in Arkansas, although my picture doesn't do it justice.  Living in Florida doesn't allow this kind of diversity in color, so it is a real treat to see! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Couple of Pictures

Bull Shoals Lake View:
I am currently in the Ozarks and have taken a couple of pictures of the lake outside our cabin.  The lake is Bull Shoals.  I don't profess to be a photographer, but the views are a sight to behold.  I'm hoping that with the cooler temps we are expecting later this week, that we will get a change of colors before we leave at the end of the month. 
I'll be taking more pictures if the change happens before we leave.  Here is a picture of the small cabin we are in.  Very cozy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kathlyn's design and my quilt from it!

This is a quilt my daughter-in-law, Kathlyn designed.  She is very mathematical, and she pieced all of these squares and rectangles, which, believe me, is a real nightmare!  I loved the idea of the quilt, and decided to do it, but I wanted to put my own spin on the design.  Of course, I had to downsize the quilt; I don't do anything that large!  See my quilt below, and notice how it looks so completely different.

I did my squares and rectangles in graduating shades going from dard red to orange to yellow on a black background.  I did try piecing them, but the black background made that look awful, so I hand appliqued the pieces.  It sat on my design wall for awhile before I could figure out how to finish it.  Then I decided to hand embroider circles with rayon thread in cool colors, to offset the heat of the warm fabrics.  I love the small strip of gradated fabric on the outside of the quilt, I almost didn't want to cut it up, but I'm glad I did.  The resulting quilt is so different from Kathlyn's that it is hard to realize they are basically the same pattern, don't you think? 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

White on White Challenge

Also as part of the Dirty Dozen, we have a challenge each year which must be completed if you wish to take part in the yearly exhibit.  This year the challenge is White on White.  I started with white Dupioni silk onto which I used irridescent white Paintstick to add texture.  The two end pieces and the middle strip are crinkle cloth.
In the detail of the piece you can see that I added tiny beads, some couched metallic cord and free motion machine quilting.  The resultant piece has more of a beige look rather than pure white, so I have titled it "Not Quite White", but I really like the look of the piece.  I enjoyed doing this challenge and may attempt another piece in all white. 

Alien Tech

Our Dirty Dozen show is this October at a local quilt shop, and in preparation for it I have created a stand-alone book as part of a group challenge to make a book of some sort with fiber.  I love working with metal, and wanted my focus to be using the metal in different ways, so I created this book.   I used different metal techniques, including weaving strips of metal, crimping the metal, and using metallic mesh.

On this panel I painted a washer with bronze Lumiere, and added a metallic button in the center.  I used French knots throughout the piece in black and white crewel thread.  The background fabric is a piece of fabric made using wash-away stabilizer and bits of different fabrics.

Here I used some paper beads on the sides and a bone bead in the middle
On the panel above I weaved strips of metal and added small beads at the junctures.  The lightweight metal is easy to stitch through on the machine, using a sharp needle.  
On this last panel I have used a bone bead and some of the metallic mesh.  The rods holding the book up are just skewers cut to size, painted with Lumiere paint and topped with wide-hole beads painted black.  When I finished the piece, it reminded me of circuit boards, and my husband said it looked more like Alien Tech, so the name of the piece was born!     

I really had fun embellishing my three women, and I used items gifted to me by Bev O'Connell as the hair and turban.  The dress on the left was stamped with a stamp pad, the one in the middle was using Lumiere paint with different size bottle caps and the one on the right was Lumiere paint on a stencil.  I then traced around the stencilled area with a permanent marker.  That is a process I think I will use in the future, as I really like the effect. 


I belong to a group called the Dirty Dozen Fiber Artists, and we have a group therapy project each year at our annual retreat.  This year, (my first) we had to stamp fabrics and then use them in a composition.  I decided to create a scene of three women dressed in the stamped fabrics, and joyfully dancing. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This is one of the pieces that turned out in the beige range; I really can't wait to start making something with all the designs! 
I use a fairly thick cord to wrap the fabric around the PVC pipe, and I keep my pieces to around 12 x 18 inches.  I also use full strength bleach, and make sure I have lots of ventilation.  Plus, I usually use a mask as well; the smell can be overpowering. 

Discharge Shibori

I spent some time this past weekend doing some discharge shibori on several different black fabrics.  The colors don't show up as well as I'd like, but one or two of the fabrics discharged almost pink, and some more in the beige/rust range.  All are very nice, though. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

I had a challenge to do for my Fiber Fanatics group called Abundance.  I had an organic garden several years ago that yielded tons of veggies, so much so, that we couldn't use them all.  I remember the picture I took of the overflow, and attempted to render it in fiber.  The broccoli is made up of french knots, and the basket is dimensional.  I had created the background with another project in mind, but decided to use it for this one, and I think it works. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

My first blog!

Well, I have entered the realm of cyberspace!  I will be posting pictures of some of the work I have done as soon as I figure out how.