Saturday, June 27, 2009


is the name of a challenge our WAQ group is doing for a gallery show this fall. It's only a small piece, 5 X 7, mounted on a 9 X 12 painted canvas. I've had an idea percolating in my brain for awhile, and this week I finally got started.

First, I painted a bunch of the dryer sheets I have been saving for months.

I only did a couple of colors, since that's all I'm using for this piece.

I've wanted to use my soldering iron to cut the dryer sheets, so I pulled this book out of my library where it has been sitting for months, and read up on the basics.

This morning, after a yummy breakfast of homemade sourdough pancakes and strawberries, I sat down to play. I learned that the best way to iron the dryer sheets is between two sheets of parchment. I made a base layer on a piece of white fusible felt, then started playing with shapes and mark-making.

This was enough to make me decide that it's fun, and if I do anymore of this, I'll need to get a respirator.

Next I decided to play with the same colors on black felt. I also did some stitching on these; the green is cotton thread, the pink is polyester. I wanted to see if there was any difference if I hit it with the heat gun.

I definitely prefer the black as a base layer. I was also glad that the polyester thread did just fine under the heat gun, since I have more colors in that than I do cotton.

So now it is on to the actual piece. I decided I'm not going to cut the dryer sheets while they are on the felt- it is too easy to inadvertently cut the felt in the process. So I've layer several of the sheets, and fused some Misty Fuse to the bottom piece. I'm thinking I can cut my shapes, and then fuse them to the felt.

I also think that next time I paint dryer sheets, I will use a foam brush instead of just smooshing the paint around in a bowl with a bunch of the sheets. I want more control of the color, and that seems like the best way. It will definitely take longer to paint, but I think it will be worth it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Quack, Quack

Our cool, rainy weather continued all week. I couldn't do any more on stripping the garage door, it's just been too wet. Yesterday we had a downpour- not a Florida downpour where it rains hard for hours on end, but a Utah downpour that lasted about half an hour at most. My potted herbs are soaked, and the lavender we bought to plant in the yard will have to wait until it's dried out some. Fortunately, the weatherman is telling us it will be dry this week, and actually get up into the 80's. Summer may finally be here!

And, I got the curtains done. Here you are, Sean and Marly- Michele Sofia's curtains done and ready to ship off to you!

Yes, they hang from a rod just fine!

They'll be in a box from the post office tomorrow, along with a couple of other goodies for Marly.

I still have the crib bumpers to do- but I think I am going to take a little break. I have got to get my dryer sheets painted, and start playing with designs for our Surface Design show in October. Neither of the pieces is that big, so I'm hoping once I get going they will come together quickly.

We've also been cooking for Father's Day. We're making shrimp liguine, with home-made Caesar salad and home-made garlic bread. Look at this yummy sourdough loaf Shannon made this morning!

We'll be making a special garlic spread with this roasted fresh garlic--

Last night we got some fresh rhubarb from a neighbor whose plant is growing like crazy. The rhubarb-raspberry crunch we made was yummy!

That's right folks, if I don't have any artistic content to blog about, I can usually come up with mouth-watering food images! Here's hoping your Father's Day (or Daddy-to-Be Day) dinner is as good as ours!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer, Where Are You??

I'm having a hard time believing it is mid-June. Usually by now I'm complaining because we've gone from the 70's straight to the mid-90's. We did have a nice, slow warmup spring- and we've stayed stuck there.

Thursday night we went to a Kelly Clarkson concert at UVU- outdoors, in the baseball field. DJ and a friend stood in line for four hours so we'd get on the field in the first rush. Bentlee and I joined them about an hour before they opened the gates. It rained off and on all day- then cleared in the late afternoon. Still, it was cold for June. I dressed in four layers, all long sleeve.

We started out on the field, closer to the stage. Then we figured out that the only way we'd see anything would be to stand, so we moved to a hill where we could see sitting down. (I half thought about taking a picture of the lovely butts surrounding us- but refrained!)

It stayed dry through the opening act, then started to rain when Kelly came on. Here's our view of the stage-

And here's the view towards the stands where the expensive tickets were. By this time, I was not only in four layers, I was under an umbrella and had a blanket wrapped around my legs!

It eventually did stop raining, and I got this great shot of a rainbow off to the south.

I continue the work on the baby curtains. All that's left is the tabs, and sewing them in the curtains.

And, Shannon and I dyed two shirts that got stains on them that wouldn't come out. My tank top used to be yellow, now it's cafe au lait- which is what I stained it with! Shannon got chocolate on her white shirt, and decided a purple one would be great.

I need to get stressed about some upcoming deadlines. Our WAQ group met Friday, and Kathleen showed some awesome fabrics she did playing with marbling materials. Her Microscopy piece is almost done, and it was awesome too. So why am I feeling so bereft of inspiration? Maybe this crap weather has something to do with it- here's the view from our street just an hour ago, looking west.

Depressing, no?? Where is the SUN???

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Baby Curtains, Part II

They are cut out and ready to sew- curtains, lining, lining facing, and tabs. Thankfully the directions Sean emailed me answered a problem I'd been trying to solve in my head.

Nothing else interesting going on here! It has been a cool, cloudy, and sometimes rainy day, with more thunderstorms predicted the rest of the week. Let's just hope they hold off on Thursday, since we have tickets to see Kelly Clarkston up at UVU. Outdoors, on the ballfield, so the weather matters!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Curtains- Part I

It has been a singularly uneventful week, not much going on here that is blogworthy. I finally got the dye studio cleaned up today, the last set of "dishes" is drying. I can see the top of my cutting table. The fabrics I dyed last weekend have been sorted and stored, after cutting off inch squares for the record book.

The only dyeing this week was a long piece to line the curtains I am making for Sean and Marly's baby, due next October. We don't know what it will be, so Marly picked a fabric that will work for either a boy or a girl. I agreed to make simple tab top curtains, and decided to dye a muslin for the lining.

For the first time, I used measures that were based on the weight of the fabric. All of them were calculated to get a pale shade of yellow. What I got was a very bright, pale yellow!

So today, I dunked the fabric in ecru dye, hoping it would knock the brightness back a few notches. Here's what I ended up with- the print I'm coordinating with is next to it.

My yellow is more lemon than the print. I've thought about using a very pale shade of violet in another dyebath, but I'm not sure that will be any better. It is for the lining, and won't be seen much except from the outside. So maybe I'll decide to leave well enough alone.

I learned something else last weekend. I had an extra piece of soda soaked fabric, so I started using it to wipe up my spills. I think it turned out kind of cool!

You can definitely tell what colors I was using. Anyway, I won't be wasting paper towels on cleanup any more- this is much better, I could end up with a piece of art!

That's all that's exciting from my end of the world. Not very,is it!!?