Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flower Time with TAP

The sun has finally come out here in Southwest Washington, and all my flowers (who have been holding back through weeks of cold rain) are yelling in unison, "Now!!!" "Now!!! "Go!!!!"

These are all perennials and volunteers--it's been too wet to get out there to dig and plant.

The little patch by our front door has some "ephemerals" though.

They do seem kind of leggy but they are bravely trying to make up for lost time.

We're ALL enjoying the sunshine!

Naturally the flowers' overdue arrival has been quite inspiring to me. I worked up some new 3-D flower ideas for an upcoming article for CQMagOnline.

You'll be able to read the complete "how-to" for these when the next issue goes live at the end of July.

The garden has also inspired me to experiment with a new product called TAP, or Transfer Artists' Paper. It was developed and is marketed by Lesley Riley and C & T Publishing and you can order your own here.
It works on the same principle as the old T-Shirt transfer paper but supposedly is a big improvement, without the plastic rubbery surface you get from the old stuff. It is also supposed to be much nicer to stitch through, and that is what I plan on testing out.

So far I have transferred some photos onto fabric using the TAP, and it is very easy to use. The imagery is quite sharp and not too much color is lost in the transfer either. After washing out the extra polymer from the fabric, it does have a softer hand than I expected as well.

I started with photos of my garden and some of my flower collages....making a mock-up of them on paper first, and then printing them onto the TAP paper, which is what you see below.

I thought I would try framing a landscape shot with the actual flowers that are in the landscape, then embroidering over the printed imagery.

I'm not sure the concept is a great one, as the frame is pretty overwhelming at this point.

It may have been better had I used all one color of flower rather than this chaotic mix in the frame. But I couldn't resist all those pretty blooms after waiting for them for so long. They made me do it!

It's going to take some trickery to pull that center image out and make the frame recede. Wish me luck and stay tuned....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Family Travels and Rain

...not a lot of stitching going on this month but I thought I would check in. We've been dodging raindrops, welcoming family, and visiting family too; as this will continue for another week or two (not the rain, I hope!) I don't expect to be back here blogging until July.

But here are a couple snaps of the "kids"....

My boys, Chad and Max, kicking back at my sister's house in San Diego.
And then all the guys but one (who had to work).....

It's a tradition in the family for them to be photographed lining up, crossing their arms, and looking as tough as they can. This is the face of Twenty-Somethingness in America and I'd say it looks darn good!

My sister's daughter Qwen and Max's girlfriend Esther hit it off immediately and ran off to do their nails.

A little girl energy, yes ahhhh....

We came home to more and more rain. *Sigh*

It's still beautiful in its way, but this weather has the garden in slo-mo.

Hope you're enjoying your June...see you in July!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

for Reba and Vince

They are old friends of mine, and Reba is feeling poorly, so I thought I would send them a present.

This mounted block is about 7" X 8".
The fabric with the roses on the lace is a photo printed on cotton...actually, the hummingbirds are too.
I'm becoming more and more interested in the graphic quality and composition of my crazy quilting, rather than just over-the-top stitching. I'm trying to let print, texture, weave, balance, and contrast do a lot of my work for me. I must be getting lazy!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tracy's Totebag

I made this for my cousin to commemorate the wonderful visit my sister and I had with her last month in northern New Mexico.
The batik is from our Grandma's "Travel Room", where there were artifacts and bits of folk art up on the walls from the countries she had visited. Tracy always loved this souvenir fabric from Indonesia....

I'm still dreaming of Wagon Mound...

...but have actually been very busy working on a little professional assignment that suddenly plopped into my lap, and I am not allowed to blog about it. Wish I'll hopefully see it someplace special next year!