Thursday, December 31, 2009

new link

Sorry, Susan Sorrel's link isn't working in my last post and blogger isn't letting me change it. Try this.

Winter updating--Online Classes

I'm resting my eyes from an overload of sparkle and enjoying the simple patterns of winter. I love how the leaf stains on the sidewalk collect the frost:

And the stages of rain drying in the streets:

I'm beginning my year end clean-up and direction setting by doing some updating on my blog. I am thrilled with all the online classes and workshops that keep popping up and decided to start a list of them in case others are interested. I have taken three online classes now and have found all of them to be excellent. Since teachers are not able to rely on charm and personal interaction so much online, they seem to put more energy into developing interesting exercises to keep people engaged. The online classes I've taken have had more depth than many of the "live" classes I've had.

Several years ago I took Susan Sorrel's "Developing your Personal Symbols" online class. She takes you through a series of exercises that have you look at objects around you, sketch them and abstract them to come up with symbols that are meaningful to you. She then teaches you how to incorporate those symbols into a series of small fabric pieces. It was a lot of fun, and I also ended up with symbols that I come back to over and over.

I also enjoyed LK Ludwig's "Point and Shoot Journalism" class, although I confess I didn't have time to finish all the exercises. I do have them stored for later and can do them at my own pace. She has fresh approaches for working with all the photos we have piled up in our libraries, as well as ideas for opening our eyes to take more.

I recently completed Stephanie Lee's online journaling class and recommend it for anyone who wants to do more writing. I've been keeping morning pages for about 15 years after reading "The Artist Way" for the first time, so I was a little concerned whether I would get much out of an online class at this point. Stephanie provided lots of new prompts to help push my journal writing in different directions, and her own writing and reflections are a joy to read.

Besides the online class list, I've also added a list of sites that I find full of useful information or instruction. And I'm just starting to update my favorite links as I catch up with my blog reading. You can find all of them in the side bar.

Please let me know of other online classes or instructional sites that I can add to my list.

Happy New Year to Everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Garland Tutorial

As I promised early, here is how I make the garlands I use for display in our show.

Step 1: Gather white and cream fabrics. Use light weight pieces. I especially like those that ravel. A little netting is nice for body. Avoid satin or double knit polyesters--the heavier fabrics will droop.

Step 2: Cut fabrics across the width in 6" strips. Cut one strip each of 6 different fabrics:

Step 3: Crease one piece in half lengthwise to use as a guide. (Don't iron on your Olfa mat):

Step 4: Stack all 6 fabrics on top of each other with the creased piece on top:

The lengths will all be a little different, don't worry about it. You can trim the ends later if they bother you:

Step 5: Pin along center crease to hold all 6 layers together:

Step 7: Stitch 1/4" from either side of the center crease:

Step 8: Cut strips 1/2"-3/4" perpendicular to the stitching. (Ignore my tape marks--that's a different project.) Cut close to the stitching on either side, but do not cut through it:

Step 9: Run the garland through the washer and dryer, and this ruffled loveliness will come out:

I'd love to see variations of this if you try them. I keep meaning to try some colored ones, but haven't gotten around to it.

My family is arriving in two days to spend Christmas with us, so I will probably be silent until after the holidays. Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Grand Show!

Our Portland Art Collective "Open Doors" show was a grand success! Word of mouth is spreading quickly, so the show was lively and full of customers for both days. I want to thank everyone who came and added to the gaiety, and a special thank you to those who stopped and said hello.

It's always a big surprise to all of us to see how the show comes together each year. We get glimpses of each other's work throughout the year, but don't see the full scope of it until we are all set up, minutes before the doors open. I quickly got a few photos, but didn't begin to do justice to all the wonderful items in the show. Even after being there for two days, I discovered new bits of artwork that I never noticed at first. And the displays with the old doors as backdrops and all the imaginative use of cream, white and silver are always a highlight of the show.

Here is my display:

My big hearts:

And my little ones:

My garlands always get a lot of attention with several people wanting to buy them at every show. They are easy to make, and I've promised I will put a tutorial up here once I catch my breath and have time to get some process shots. You can see them at the top of my doors here and used throughout my display:

Other bits of fabulousness--

Cynthia Mooney's chubby, felted birds and colorful tassels:

Jan Harris's lovely photography and painting:

Lorraine Jones' meticulous collages. This one includes butterfly wings, leaves and pods, and I'm happy to say it made its way home with me:

Darlene Veltman's funky sewing machine covers:

Gaelyn Lakin's whimsical danglies:

Jennifer Campbell's clever use of old tins:

Tory Brokenshire's breathtaking use of black-and-white. Those are the most amazing lanterns on the table and paper cuts on the doors.

Paula McNamee's wonderful soft sculpture:

And Suzanne Reynold's fun pillows, which disappeared in minutes:

You'll be able to see many more photos on our group blog over the next few days to get a more complete view of the show. Check back soon for my garland tutorial.