Monday, November 28, 2011

Bright and Cheerful

I am happy to say that I'm finishing up details for our show this weekend and have allowed myself a couple days of relaxation before the big event. These things are always more work than I remember, but I'm happy for the intense creative state it throws me into, and even happier when it's all over!

Lots of bright colors lately.

Some fiber bundle jewelry:

And more prayer flags. I always love black and white with colors played off of them for sheer cheerfulness. Here's a nice shot on my paint-stained table.

And finally some fiber heart cards.

Hope to see you at Multnomah Arts Center in Portland this Fri. and Sat. Please say hi if you stop by!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Colors

Fall is my favorite season and this one is absolutely spectacular in Portland. The weather gods got together to have it turn cold quickly without the rain. I've been absorbing all this beauty everywhere I go.

A red waterfall:

Been spending lots of time wandering around downtown. The city parks are all color.

Love the window in this boho shop:

And the cabbage thingies in this bouquet at the farmer's market.

No surprise that fall tones are popping up in my work. I'm working on a new line of fabric jewelry this year for our show. I'm always trying to find a way to include fabric with jewelry without it getting too cute. I'm really happy with these bundle beads I came up with.

Some necklaces--

And some earrings. I also made some bundle beads on hoops for larger earrings. I thought I was working with pretty small scraps when I was making my prayer flags. Now I'm down to smaller snippets yet.

Working away on the prayer flags. Here are a few of my favorite fall ones.

And tonight we got the first bit of snow, so it all comes to an end.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Color Play

I haven't had much to show lately because even though I have been working, it's that somewhat repetitive phase of getting things ready for our show in Dec. The result is I ran out of my favorite dyed threads and ribbons, so I took a little dyeing break.

I've been using hand-dyed rayon bias tape as the ribbons to join my prayer flags. It's abundant at thrift stores and takes dye beautifully.

My favorites are the variegated dyes.

Here's how I do it. Start by making a hank of the seam binding and put a loose wire twist to hold the two ends. Keep it loose or you will end up with a white spot there. Soak in soda ash solution.

Holding the wires, dip the middle into your first color.

Then dip each of the ends into a different color.

I drape the dyed ribbon over two sticks placed over a plastic bin to catch the drips. After I leave them over night, I rinse out the excess, let them dry and they are ready to go.

I've also been playing with color with the teens in my Art and Design class. I gave them a word prompt and had them cut colors out of magazines to form a palette for that word. Some designed their pages carefully.

Some added explanatory notes:

And some went wild and came up with their own words. I love the exuberance of this one. She filled her whole page to show "the whole world."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Art and Design Class

I used to teach quite a few art classes for all different ages, and I stopped a few years ago to take a break. I've had this one particular class in mind for some time though, so I was really excited when the opportunity came up to teach an Art and Design class for teens. I love working with this age group because they are highly creative and old enough to be able to take on challenging work.

This is such a fun class for me because I've been gathering examples from the design world--fashion, architecture, comics, video game design, etc. to illustrate art principles. Gives me a fresh perspective on things.

And the students' work is inspiring!

Here are some of the results from a negative space exercise I gave. Students start with a 6" black square, cut out shapes and flip them onto a white background.

The next 2 started with a black rectangle.

For the first two weeks, we worked on an exercise on finding variety within limitations. Starting with a leaf shape, they cut no more than 5 straight lines out of it.

Then the next week they repeated the exercise using curved lines.

They really astound me with the range of ideas they can come up with!

Friday, September 30, 2011

More Prayer Flags

Still playing with new color combos. then hanging these on my porch to capture a few last minutes of sun. They make me happy, both to make and to hang. I keep picking a favorite set, then switching when the next comes along.

This black and white with brights:

Or maybe the deeper, earthier tones?

Or the warm and brights?

And a few new contenders in progress--the purples:

And the greens:
I just really love color--all colors, including black and white!

I was so happy to win a blog prize from the wonderful Jacky at Stitchworks. I received this fun journal made of paper and fabric with funky stitching on it. It's very much my style and I love it.

And look at the clever way she attached a pencil on the side.