Thursday, July 26, 2012

One For the Books

I'm taking another online class ~ Full Tilt Boogie with Mary Ann Moss.  Her schtick is altered books and visual journaling.  And this is my first book, with a Sewn-On Tabs binding.  Primarily Mary Ann uses vintage photo albums and the like, but since they are absolutely not available in my area and too expensive for me to buy online, I'll be using regular old books.

For this first book in the class (which incidentally rolled out last summer although it's still available), I used a very old and falling apart book of large scale black & white photos.  I liked the old text on the cover, but it was bent and kind of I cut one of the covers in half and recovered the pieces in batik fabric.  Some of the photo pages from the original book have been bound inside the new one...along with several of my early collages and tons of other old papers and pages.

Mary Ann is a gal after my own heart -- she likes things kinda funky and she uses stuff in her journals that other folks would likely keep stuck away in a drawer somewhere because of it's possible antique value.  As I am recycling early collages of mine, which are housed in their original sketchbooks in a growing stack that I rarely look at anymore.  Why not use them? especially when paper is so expensive.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Books

I made three books over the weekend, all based on the pamphlet stitch.  The first one, above, with my only piece of rusted paper ~ a single signature pamphlet.

The next is actually four single-signatures individually stitched onto a spine.  The cover wraps completely around and inside the book, including the tabs which form the spine.

The last is a pleated book ~ two single signatures stitched on spine folds in the cover, with a pleat of cover paper between.  The cover is another early painting.

I'm hoping to rust more paper's on my list of things to do that may or may not ever get done.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Stuff

I listed five new fabric bundles on my Shop Blog late last night -- and two have sold already.  So head on over before they're all gone.  The Brown Bundle, still available as of this writing, is shown below.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yesterday's Books

I made two books yesterday.  The one above is 4x5.5 inches.  The covers are halves of one of my early collages.  The stick is a piece of homegrown bamboo.

This one is 10x4 inches, also covered with an early collage.  The book design called for a chopstick ~ I used a piece of local driftwood instead.

I'm having fun with this ~ it must be obvious!

Hope you're being inspired to do creative things. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Works on Paper

This is the first B&W collage in my new series.  There's some fabric in the mix here.

Long-time readers may remember my Sky Journal.  I began it a couple years ago, little homages to the sky in an early practice journal made by Alice Schlein.  (Do visit Alice's blog to see her magnificent weaving and awesome book binding.)  Anyhow, I finished Sky Journal a couple months ago after letting it sit unfinished for well over a year.  Below are two of the final spreads.

While much of the rest of the U.S. is burning up literally or figuratively, it's raining on the North Coast.  This has been the most miserable summer I can remember.  If the sun comes out at all, it only lasts for moments.  Yes, it's frequently overcast on summer mornings near the coast, but in the past that grayness has always burned off by noon and stayed away until the next morning.  Not so this year.  I suspect this is how we're experiencing global warming in these parts.

So I wrote 2012 North Coast Summer Weather Haiku last night ~

Gray skies every day
Summer hasn't started yet
Waiting for the heat

That probably won't be my last missive, at the rate we're going.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lots to Share

I made my first book on Saturday at the NorBAG meeting/workshop.  The book is 4x6 inches sewn with the long stitch.  The cover is a water media painting I did in 1990 that was aching to be repurposed.

Yesterday I made another, same size and also with the long stitch, although I did a few things differently than on the first.

The cover of the second book is a kraft paper bag that I paste painted about a month ago.  I wrapped and glued the paper around cardstock, then lined the inside cover with a piece of dry palette paper from a recent painting session.  The first and fourth signatures are wrapped in recently painted paper.

And here's today's collage ~

In addition to my regular daily collage journal, I've begun another one for black & white work only.  I'll be working in this journal on a less-regular basis, and posting collages as they're created.

I had my fourth printmaking session last week and posted a few more pieces to my Facebook album.  I hope to take another round of sessions later in the year.  For now, though, I'm glad my recent busyness is over and I don't have to go into town more often than a couple times a month.  It is such a distraction from my "normal" routine of artmaking and reading!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Colors of My Name

Family Farm ~ 11" x 24"
Today is Fiberactions' reveal day for our latest challenge ~ which was to choose colors that begin with the first letter of your first and last names, plus black.

As usual, I couldn't stop at just one for each of my names.  So I chose chartreuse, celadon, rust, and rosy-orange.  And two quilts, of course.

The piece at left is Family Farm.  It reminded me so much of rows and patches of vegetables and flowers, hence the name.  I used Rayna's method of slicing and dicing sets of fabric strips, a technique I've been working with lately which you know if you're a regular reader. 

The pieces are so small in this quilt that I didn't want to make it any busier with I HAND quilted all the long seams in the ditch.  This was the first time I've hand quilted a machine pieced quilt, and I like the technique quite a bit.  I'll likely do this again on other quilts.

The second piece, Pinnacles, was actually the first of the two strip sets I'd sewn together.  I liked it so much, though, that I didn't want to slice into it.  Instead, I fused the black pieces on top, then quilted the whole thing.

In both quilts, the colored fabrics are a combination of hand dyed, hand printed and commercial fabrics.

Pinnacles ~ 20" x 22"
Head on over to Fiberactions to see what everybody else did.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Foolin' Around

I've been working with Rayna Gillman's Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts without having anything particular in mind.  I can't remember the last time I just played with fabric and stitch.  It's great fun.

I started by sewing together a set of strips, below.  What you see is 2/3 of the original piece.  The last third was cut into three squares, the first of which is above after having been sliced, diced and restripped numerous times.  The last photo shows the other two squares after two shots at slicing and stitching.

This is a terrific way to use up leftovers, scraps, fabrics I previously hadn't wanted to cut into, fabrics I never thought I'd use...not to mention UFOs and recycled quilt blocks.  Highly recommended!  As is Rayna's book...which might be the only book at Amazon to have a 100% 5-star rating by its 33 reviewers.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tarot as Muse

A year ago I was invited to participate in the Humboldt Artists' Tarot project to create major arcana cards.  The cards would (and have been) made into a deck to be sold as a benefit to The Ink People, Humboldt's indie art center and art business incubator.

The card I drew in our opening ceremony was The Devil.  Although I posted this photo back in January when I finished the piece, I thought I'd repost it today since the project's opening is this evening at Arts Alive! Eureka.  Traditional info about The Devil along with how the card applies to my life can be found here.

For information about Arts Alive!, other Tarot-related events happening throughout July, and how to purchase the cards, check out Tarot as Muse.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

mixed media on paper, 8x10 inches
If you're in the States, have a safe and happy Fourth of July.  If you're in Canada, hope you enjoyed Canada Day.  If you're elsewhere, enjoy the day whether or not you're celebrating anything special.

I hung out at the beach yesterday -- one of Humboldt County's numerous wild, unpeopled beaches.  Here's an image from Table Bluff Beach.

To see a few more photos, check out my Table Bluff Beach album on Facebook.