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Murky Colors on a Sweltering Summer Day

I started a fabric dye session yesterday, and by dusk I was ready to call it quits with dyeing.  It is a physically demanding task, and with each year, I feel it more and more in my muscles and joints.  It is has also been frustrating for me not to be able to get the fabrics I’d really like, not yet anyway.  I’m still using mostly vintage damask tablecloth and other vintage textiles.  Today, I began the rinse out, and oh my, I take back all the thoughts I had yesterday:

Tea Leaves


Brushed Steel


Black, Brushed Steel and Tea leaves Blend

I also have three different batches of black to rinse out, another day!  My back needs a break before it feels broken.

The Brushed Steel and Tea Leaves have a habit of separating, resulting in some surprising random effects.  The color separation is something that I find attractive.  It adds visual interest and lends ideas for embellishing – think along the lines of trying to find images in the clouds.

Off to do some more laundry… I can’t wait to see this batch of fabric dried and ironed.


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ICAD Week Three

A very quick  post to document my progress on the index-card-a-day challenge.

The prompts for the week were storm, chandelier, bench or wood, yearbook, yellow, vitrina (display case) and guitar.  I am intrigued by the way the guitar card came out.  I simply played with individual shapes from an image of an electric guitar, this is a technique I’d like to explore more someday.

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Zanesville – Ohio Annual Art Show

I am inspired, perplexed, encouraged and concerned after my visit to the opening reception of the Zanesville Museum of Art’s Ohio Annual exhibit.

Inspired – I always find a couple knock-my-socks-off pieces that either are a visual delight in of themselves or introduce me to a new technique or idea.  I also need to get working and make something to submit to this show in the future.

Perplexed – Of course there’s always a piece or two of art that just makes me wonder… obviously the artist was pleased with the result, the jury felt the same way, but I don’t always see what others find in a given piece.  The things that any of us make are not always going to resonate with all of the people that see them.  Is it more important to please a greater number of people, or only satisfy oneself and not be concerned with the viewer?

Encouraged – Zanesville is not a big city.  It looks like it has seen better times.  I’m still amazed that is has an art museum, small as it is.  I applaud their mission to promote the visual arts, past and present, in a region that desperately needs cultural events.  I am also encouraged by Zanesville’s support of fiber and textile arts in this show, offering a cash prize above the usual award amount for the other prize categories.  This show always has a good mix of media, of course heavy on the painting, but it is crucial to support and encourage the artists working in other media.  Fiber/textile art and art quilts have really struggled with the ongoing art versus craft conundrum, and I think the line between art and craft continues to dissipate.

Concern – What concerns me is the future of support for the visual arts and fine craft.  I wonder how many people at the opening were there who did not have a connection to an artist in the show. It is tough to convince a population that is struggling with basic living expenses that art is something essential in their lives.  Personally, it is the skills I have in creating something, even just something to hang on my wall to look at, that get me mentally through difficult times.  I feel the same coping effect when I go to look at the collections of a museum or go to see what others have made at an art fair.

Go, get out and make something, or look at something beautiful!  I’ll see you back here on Tuesday with my latest ICAD adventures.

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ICAD Week Two

Another successful week for me in week two of the index-card-a-day challenge:

The prompts were: goggles, macaron, sapphire, palm, tapestry, balcony and thread.  I’m not sure if “macaron” was supposed to be macaroon, the cookie, or macaroni, so that card became a combination of both, plus a new word I learned in the process.  “Macaronic,” ironically, means, “involving or characterized by a mixture of languages…”It also has an obsolete meaning of “mixed or jumbled” according to the 1962 Webster’s Dictionary that I used in the collage.

Normally, I do not advocate the destruction of a book, even to use in a piece of art work.  After all, isn’t writing a form of art?  A book, even though existing in many copies is the art of the author.  I consider the monetary and cultural value of the items that I repurpose.  In the case of this dictionary, the value was about nil, especially since the text block was ripping away from the spine and had some water damage.  In this case, better to rip it up for collage than throw it in the trash.

Check back on Friday this week, as on Thursday, I will be attending an art exhibit that I will review here.


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Funky Felted Flowers

As I mentioned in my last post, I took a class recently to learn how to felt flowers out of wool.  I’ll just cut to the eye candy, here is a bouquet of all flowers from all of the participants:

Flowers courtesy of R. Hosta, B. Hosta, A. Baker, J. Mack, J. Fassinger and J. Campbell


I have been trying out all sorts of techniques to make fabric flowers with a future series of vases in mind; this felting technique will be a nice addition to my repertoire.  It is not too difficult of a technique, but since it is wet felting, it can get a bit messy.  It all starts out with wool roving.  The most fun part for me is selecting colors.

Yesterday, I felted some more flowers.  Joining the stem and sepals to a flower is tricky, you have to get the timing right and be sure that flower hasn’t been worked too much in the early felting process.  Otherwise, the two parts won’t join.

I have lots and lots of wool roving around, and until now, I have not been very inspired by working with wool.  That’s all changed now, many felted flowers are in my future!

I’ll need to take a break from the flowers, I am already behind in the ICAD challenge.  What will I have to show on Tuesday?