An Artist’s Life: What’s on my Plate

One of my Favorite Books

 

Working on producing commercial patterns
(What would you name this little table topper?)

 

Hand written notes to voters campaigning for my favorite candidate.
(Because this election is make-or-break to end partisan and racial Gerrymandering in NC)

 

A little bit of this.

 

Another table topper pattern in the works.
(Also no idea what to name this!)
I’m taking a fabulous online course that is helping me learn how to create commercial patterns.

 

Getting ready to support these guys for weekend number 3 spent in Wilmington helping hurricane victims. I man the CleanUp crisis hotline. We are taking calls for Hurricane Michael and Florence.
If you know someone who needs help that volunteers can provide (trees, flood muck-out)
please have them call (800) 451-1954

 

Creating a Free PDF for people who sign up for my newsletter:
5 Essentials to Wake UP your Inner Artist

 

Lots of kit making for my upcoming teaching gig in Houston for the International Quilt Festival.
There is still room available in my Saturday class Screen Printing Made Easy!

 

Finding sample sewers to finish up some of the quilts for those upcoming commercial patterns.

And:
Teaching Abstract-A-Licious online
Teaching (and writing) The Artist’s Toolbox online
Working on contracts for 2020: NSNG here I come!
Being Mom. Which is really first on the list.
And driving kids places. And driving some more.
And learning my new favorite song on my Ukulele.

Craft Napa Retreat 2019 – the BEST EVER!

I’ve taught at a lot of quilt guilds, conferences, and retreats.
I love them all but hold a soft spot in my heart for

Craft Napa!

There is just a different energy there, so welcoming, energetic, and creative. I think that is something that can be attributed to it’s creator, Pokey Bolton. It seems everything she creates has an energy that just buzzes with enthusiasm and warmth.

Napa Valley California is an enchanting place that people travel to from all over. It’s wine country, it’s green, and it’s WARM in winter! Can’t beat that.

It also hosts a large group of artists for one week in January. Instructors inspire, students explore, and anyone can come by and shop Friday evening’s Artist’s Market. I’ll be there with my Start Your Art cards, small works, kits, and other fun stuff.

But best of all are the classes. I have to tell you, it’s a heady atmosphere being in the company of so many talented women. The venue is a beautiful hotel and the classes center around a communal courtyard. People gather there, people talk, people oooh and aaaah over all the student’s samples as they are laid out during the day. The hard thing about teaching there is that I want to be IN all the other classes too! I need a clone! Or five.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN

There is still space in both of my classes.
Won’t you join me?

filming for quilting arts tv pt 4: on set

When I arrived at the little studio in Cleveland the first time several years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. Now I look forward to walking in and spending a few days with many amazing artists and technicians who also happen to be amazing people!

The studio, owned by the production company (not Quilting Arts) is very, very unassuming from the outside. It’s just a door in a long string of doors in a long bring building in an older light industrial part of town. It’s not huge and fancy. You walk right into the green room where tables are set up for guests to do prep work. Each of us has one or two tables and we are given giant cookie sheets to organize our stuff for each segment. There is a monitor on the wall (you can see it in the previous post) so that you can see what is happening on set.

Off to one side is an office. There the incredibly organized Katherine Lamancusa mans the phones and keeps everything organized with charts posted on walls. The lovely Jeanne Delpit from Bernina is there all week with the latest model machines and everything she needs to help us look like we know what we are doing. I practiced at the local shop and after I got to Cleveland so that I could do the bits I needed to smoothly. (I work at home on a great little workhorse Bernina 930 Record. Yes, the new machines are fantastic – but I tend to beat mine into the ground and love the simplicity of it’s function.

What amounts to two walk-in closets in the office have become the Make-Up room – where copious amounts of paint are applied to the face just so that you don’t look like walking death under all those lights. There are a LOT of lights on set. On the other side is a “dressing room.” It’s just a garment rack for the bazillion things Susan (the hostess) has to change into with a mirror and room for your things too. There is a list of things NOT to wear on camera – notice how you almost never see stripes? Pure black and white don’t really do well either. Often what you see as a white shirt is actually a very light blue. And you need to not clash with what Susan is wearing. Or with those walls.When it’s your turn on set people swoop in and help you make everything go smoothly and look wonderful. It’s a  big room with the same set the show has used for years. I wonder where they store it for the rest of the year? They raise or lower the table, cover it or not, hang stuff behind you or not… whatever it is you need. The sound guy threads wires up your shirt, clips a thingy onto your pants in back (I learned to wear things that something can be clipped to the hard way once! He had to clip the little box remote thing to my undies while I blushed.) The mike gets clipped to your neckline somewhere where rustling cloth or jewelry won’t make noises.There are at least three (maybe four – it was dark back behind the cameras) tech people making things work in the room with you during filming. Everybody has a job but it seemed like everybody was also willing to pitch in wherever needed to help you get set up. I really loved the way the celtic knot quilts looked on set!Before you start filming a team of folks goes through the plan with you. Kathie Still, the producer is on the right. She can listen to you walk through what you’ve got set up and knows so much about this gig that she can let you know right then if you need to cut something or stretch something out with a little chatter. Vivika from Quilting Arts is in the yellow. Camera/plug-thing-like-irons-in-so-they-actually-work-when-you-need-them guy is in the back. Left is (another curse my brain can’t remember her name moment) also from QA is on the right. She takes lots of photos for marketing, monitors the monitor, and makes sure we didn’t forget stuff.

It only takes a few minutes to get a general road map of what is going to happen then everyone disappears into the control room. You can see a picture of that on this previous post.  I bring printed lists for everyone of my steps. Mostly they are for me so I don’t forget anything. Except that I always forget to put on my favorite pair of earrings. I kind of obsess about what to wear and find the perfect artistic earrings to match, then get there and forget to change earrings. Ah well. Next the cameras roll, I talk as fast as I can, Susan has to keep track of what Im doing AND listen to instructions through that invisible earpiece, and whoosh – it’s all over! Well – except when they decide something needs to change. Then they do what they call a “live edit.” They scroll back the tape to a reasonable starting point, tell you where to put your hands and your things and what you were saying, and you get a “do-over.” I seem to try to pack so much into my time that there isn’t room for Susan to chat much so she just lets me go full steam ahead and says “yes, nice, great” until it’s time to put the brakes on. I admire her ability to work that magic and help her guests look great.

So – stay tuned! I filmed four segments, two for series 2300 which begins airing on National Public Television in January 2019, and two for series 2400 which stars in June or July. Look up your local PBS station to see if it will play in your area, take a peek, and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

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filming for quilting arts tv pt 3: the process

Before arriving both the hosts, publishers, sponsors, and producers of the TV series have a boatload of work to do. The host and publisher work together and find a good group of guests to appear. They need to find varied and interesting artists who are also willing and able to share their work onscreen.Vivika DeNegre with F+W media, Me, Susan Brubaker Knapp, hostess of QATV.

Teams of staff members help schedule all the guests, trying to fit everyone for an entire season’s filming into just under four days of filming. They have to figure out which segments will work together in which episodes. The hostess films a ton of “intros and outros” as well as small segments to fill any time gaps. The guests fly into the studio location, with all their stuff and with the help of excellent staff, get to show off their thing for the cameras.

Suzan Engler’s husband, snapping a quick shot of her onscreen from the “green room.” Another staffer watches through each filming to make sure nothing gets missed. She also takes publicity and still shots for Instagram and Quilting Arts online presence.

The current system is to film three artists per day with each guest shooting two or three different segments. The guests arrive a day early to settle and set up so they have the opportunity to meet the current day’s guests and watch as they film.

I had the great pleasure of watching Suzan Engler film several segments on digitally printed quilts. I loooooooove her work!

The filming isn’t linear so Susan Brubaker Knapp, the current hostess of QATV, has a complicated chart and photos of what to wear for each segment and is changing tops and jewelry constantly all day long. 

Look at the superstars I got to hang out with for a day! Vivika, Susan, Jane Haworth, Luana Rubin of Equilter.com, and Joe Cunningham. There were a couple of other artists there including the Pixeladies (Deb and Kris) and Enid Weichselbaum.

Next post I’ll walk you through set-up and prep for my segments. Feel free to ask any questions you have and I’ll answer to the best of my ability.

filming for quilting arts tv pt2: step outs

So how does one go from a new idea, to being ready to demonstrate it on the magic screen? With lots, and lots, and lots of work. Usually I choose to demonstrate something I am very familiar with. It’s easy to pull out all the samples and spout off the spiel that I’ve said hundreds of times while teaching.

This time however, one of the segments I proposed was a new idea. It doesn’t happen very often that I get a new idea, all nice and shiny and fresh. I mostly teach techniques so coming up with a project isn’t my usual mode of operation. And while the technique is familiar to me, this new project has me ALL excited!

Guess what folks! I’m going to make some patterns!

You’ve heard the term “learning curve” before, right? Well here I am at the beginning of a roller coaster of a learning curve! I started with a small sketch of a celtic knot. Just choosing a couple out of the many, many, many I’ve drawn took forever. Too many to choose from. Which ones would work in cloth? Which ones are easy or hard or would look great on screen?

After a number of false starts I DID NOT choose this design for my main sample.  I personally like this one, but after a few tries thought… not for TV. And especially not in red and black. Did you know cameras really don’t like red and black? I do now.

Instead I chose this. It’s a small and fairly easy knot. Comparatively. I found a talented graphic designer who cleaned up the sketch beautifully and created a vector file that I could print at any size without losing image quality.

 

 

 

I chose commercial fabrics thinking that people would relate more to them in that “I could do that” kind of way. And really, the whole point of the demo is to show the audience that yes, they CAN do that.

Then began the work. You know when you watch a cooking show and they have all the ingredients ready to go in pretty little bowls instead of digging things out of jars and boxes? Then they put the pan in the magic oven and pull the finished product out two seconds later? It’s like that… but a little more. When showing a project for TV you need to have a “step-out” of every part of the process. In my case I only had 8-12 minutes to teach something that could take a couple hours to make at home.

So here you are seeing:

  • The pattern printed, a light box, and tracing materials
  • Fabric half fused, already fused, ready to cut, already cut
  • Cutting materials
  • Partially fused fabric, ready to arrange
  • Batting and stabilizer for the faux trapunto technique
  • Small sample to show various thread choices
  • Sample ready to show stitch techniques
  • Stitched sample, ready to cut away extra batting
  • Trapunto batting cut, ready to layer with thin batting and backing
  • Sample ready to quilt
  • Finished sample ready for shading with colored pencils.

And there you go!


Finished and ready to pull out of the magic oven sewing machine!

Tomorrow I’ll give you a peek at the other pieces I made for set dressing. Because, of COURSE I couldn’t just use one little sample, right? 

filming for quilting arts tv: ideas and preparation

I had the wonderful opportunity last week of filming for Quilting Arts TV hosted by Susan Brubaker Knapp. It’s lovely and long running show that airs on PBS stations in the United States. You’ll have to check your local station guide to find out if it runs your area.

I thought I’d give you a behind-the-scenes tour of the whole process. I know I’m always much more fascinated by the process than by the actual shows sometimes.

The process began months ago when Susan and I were chatting about the different artists she was scheduling and brainstorming ideas I might have for demos. I had to look it up, but I’ve done this gig three times before, filming at least six segments for five different seasons. I know it seems like I should remember something as big a deal as this, but my brain doesn’t work any more when it comes to timelines and numbers.

I had ideas for demos that concern things I’m very comfortable and familiar with, but I also had an idea that would use the celtic knots I’ve been drafting for several years. It’s a great idea. I love it. A month later and two weeks before the deadline when my kids finally went back to school and I could get some work done…. I was panicking! Why on earth did I choose something that I had NO samples and step-outs made for!!!!!

Tomorrow I’ll show you the behind-the-scenes preparation for this demo.

 

On-line Course: The Artist’s Toolbox part 1 – the Elements of Art

April 1 – May 31, 2019

After you have designed the composition, everything else you do is merely execution – not that execution is by any means trivial, but virtuosity of execution is for naught if the composition is wanting.
-John Gargano

The elements and principles of art are the building blocks for every piece you create. It doesn’t matter if you think about the elements consciously or design intuitively. Every single work of art you see is made of various combinations of texture, shape, line, color, and value. They are the basic five-letter alphabet of the visual language.

Registration is Open Now

Early Bird Pricing $149.00 Until December 31, 2018
Full Price $169.00 begins January 1, 2019

One of my favorite courses to teach is The Elements of Art. I’ve been working for a long time to bring this course to you online and it’s finally ready. I’m not quite sure how to describe it to you – it’s fun like kindergarten playtime, but also a seriously informative and in depth study of composition. Gaining an understanding of the elements can be kind of life changing for an artist. Being able to articulate and understand what you already know can help you to see your work, and the world, with new eyes. It can help you move your unique vision from your mind out into the world where you can share it.

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.  -Jiddu Krishnamurti

Whether you have a formal background in art or are completely self taught, this course is something you can truly benefit from. Check your fall calendar and save the date!

Registration is Open Now

Early Bird Pricing $149.00 Until December 31, 2018
Full Price $169.00 begins January 1, 2019

Lesson Schedule:

  1. April 1: Welcome and course philosophy
  2. April 8: Texture
  3. April 15: Shape
  4. April 22: Line
  5. Break/Catch Up
  6. May 6: Color
  7. May 13: Value
  8. May 20: Wrap Up
  9. May 31: Lyric’s last comments on student work.

Lyric’s last comment on student assignments will be May 31st but the classroom will not close. You will have permanent access to these lessons and be able to refer back to them as long and as often as you wish.

Lessons will consist of written material, assignments, and instructor feedback.

FAQs:
Q: How does the class work?
A: You will log into Ruzuku to access the course. Each week a new lesson will open consisting of both videos and written instruction. You will need to have an internet connection to stream the videos but can download the written material to peruse at your leisure. In the bottom of each section of the lesson there will be space for you to post your work and interact with the teacher and other students.

Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will use pen and paper but Lyric will show you exactly what to do. This class isn’t about drawing, it’s about learning to see and understand what it is you are seeing.

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: No, you most likely already have everything on hand. If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Use whatever your favorite medium is to create the studies for this course. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into each lesson if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your understanding as an artist. The more work you put into your individual study, the more you will learn and grow.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. I will comment for two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is a little wiggle room. The lessons themselves will remain open to you permanently.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on posted assignments until November 1st. The more you post, the more interaction you will get. Lyric will respond to each individual student, but also formulate her responses to the benefit of everyone in the course. Please read other student’s questions and answers as you they might ask something you hadn’t thought of.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the written content, available as PDF lessons i available to download. You can download them as soon as they are released or wait until the end of the course when they are available in one continuous file (great for e-readers). The videos are not downloadable but you will have permanent  access to them after November 1st.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. Support@Ruzuku.com is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

Registration is Open Now

Early Bird Pricing $149.00 Until December 31, 2018
Full Price $169.00 begins January 1, 2019

tiny piecing is nothing new: antiques at the international quilt study center and museum

As seen in the
International Quilt Study Center and Museum
in Lincoln, NE

Log Cabin, light and dark setting
Maker unkown
Circa 1890 – 1910
Probably made in New England

Ardis and Robert James Collection

 

One Patch
Belle Ross
Circa 1950
Possibly made in Coffeyville, Kansas

Ardis and Robert James Collection

 

Triangles
Maker unknown
Circa 1860 – 1880
Probably made in the United States

Ardis and Robert James Collection

 


(So sorry I didn’t get the title and maker on this one.)
Ardis and Robert James Collection

lyric made a bed quilt? It’s a miracle!

So, now four out of five of my kids have quilts for their beds. The first got hers at age two, the second at age 8. Both are still in heavy use but neither are dressing a bed. 

This kid got hers two years ago. I’ll tell that story soon. This quilt was started quite a few years ago as a project to teach my son to sew. Both of my boys started quilts at the same time. I cut a muslin square then they just sew strips and flip them. Start in the middle with a green strip and work your way out. Ethan got about six blocks in and was done. That’s fine. The point was to give him enough experience on a machine that if he ever want to touch one again he knows he can do it. Mission accomplished.

I finished up another six blocks or more then put it away. Life. Deadlines. All that stuff. I imagined I would finish it last year for his birthday. Didn’t happen.

 

im telling you friends. If you want to get things done join a quilt bee full of ladies who love to sew. And who have time to sew. Kathy is a miracle worker. She put the rest of blocks together. During our quilt week at the beach I got the borders thrown on. Becky has a long arm and let me use it to quilt this monster. The thing is queen sized (no, I didn’t measure a single thing during the making of this quilt.) it is also ridiculously heavy with a flannel back, wool batting (which is not heavy) and an extra layer of muslin as the base for each of those blocks. I got the monster quilted in about seven hours. Wow. I bound the whole thing by machine. No hand work here. 

Seeing him happy with it, dragging all around the house to wrap up in is gratifying. Worth it? Yes, thank you.

Artist Spotlight: the tailor and the princess

While the artwork I create is very different from most other textiles I see, I greatly appreciate the artistry in every kind of quilt. 

This historical piece displayed at the International Quilt Museum and Study Center pretty much blew my mind. The technical skill is incredible. 

Here is a photographic reproduction of the painting the textile is based on.

The  1860 House of Commons after original painting by John Phillip 1817 – 1867

I’m currently working with a little hand appliqué. I’m telling you right now, my skill level is not even close to this. 

Tiny pieces. Invisible stitches. Beautiful color gradations.

 

artist spotlight: agneta gaines

Seen at the Hotshops Artist Studios in Omaha, NE.

Triticum Wheat
Fiber
44″ x 49″
by Agneta Gaines

abstract-a-licious online

I’d love to showcase the work of two of my online students in Abstract-A-Licious.
Me not Me by Pam Lowe

by JoAnn Camp

The next session of the online course starts August 30th. 
Registration is open now.

art furniture for my new music room

On a recent trip to Asheville, NC a friend and I were on our way back to the car, ready to head home, and I just couldn’t resist stopping in one last shop. 

Green Designs handcrafted wood furnishings. And of course, there in a back corner, was a piece calling my name. What used to be my studio is slowly becoming our music room. It needs hard furnishings for musicians to sit on and have freedom of movement. And so, my first piece of ART furniture!!!!

Sturdy enough to last through the abuse it will surely suffer. I never want to live in a house that can’t handle rowdy kids. Of course I blame lots of the scraped up floors and banged up furniture on the kids, but a lot of it is me. I’m clumsy. I’ll admit it. At some point the room will come together and I’ll show you more pictures.

For now I’ll just show off the only other project I’ve finishes in the room so far. I designed these patterns and had them printed at Spoonflower. It’s just peel and stick wallpaper. I cut chair rail molding and glued it together in frames, stuck them on top of the wallpaper with command velcro strips, and screwed the ukulele pegs into the wall.



The last two are kaleidoscope prints based on pictures of my french horn’s pipes.

student spotlights: quilt nebraska 2018

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days playing with the fabulous women at Quilt Nebraska in Omaha. It was the first time I’ve been to that part of Nebraska and I must say I was charmed. I’ll post a few photos of my adventures later but for now I’d love to spotlight the wonderful creations of my fabulous students. 

Playful Portraiture

This is a relatively new class and involves a lot of “head learning” as well as functional lessons in fusible appliqué. 

Students learn how to use digital technology (apps on our phones and tablets) to aid us in seeing the contours and shadows of the human face.

We learn that it is VALUE that makes the faces work, even  more than color. So you can get away with making a funny green or blue and orange face, as long as you get the VALUE contrast right.

We also learned about proportion and the easy mathematical formulas that help beginners to draw a reasonable looking human face. Really, it’s super easy to get all the parts in the right place!

I loved seeing the faces in progress and coming together. I taught students my personal preference, which i stocks use minimal contours to delineate features. I feel that too many value variations tend to make a face in fabric just look wrinkly. It’s really just a personal preference. You have perfect freedom to choose otherwise.

And….. it isn’t a class with Lyric if we don’t get a little silly at some point! Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans ladies!

Not to leave out an entire classroom full of women willing to explore and create and play with abstract design…

Abstract-A-Licious

These ladies spend a wonderful day working through a whole morning of what i call “brain spill!” Concrete and simple exercises designed to spill out lots and lots of ideas that can then be explored as jumping points for abstract designs. They worked hard and came up with some beautiful designs. It didn’t matter if they were confident designers or had never deviated from the instructions on a pattern. Every single student came up with wonderful designs!

If you would like to take this class with me but can’t get to where I will be, the fall session of Abstract-A-Licious opens at the end of August online. I’d love to see you join me there! 

Registration is open now.

start your art! 48 warm-up exercises to jumpstart your art card deck

Stuck? Blocked? Bored?

Uninspired?

Then it’s time for you to play! Jumpstart your art with 15 minutes of “bad” art so you can spend the rest of your day getting to the good stuff.

Start Your Art is a deck of cards that uses the Elements of Art as a jumping point for 48 exercises to get you going in your studio. Each exercise is meant to be 15 minutes long but you can play as quickly or as slowly as you desire.

Physical Card Decks are being printed NOW!!!
Pre-orders available below.

Until then….

 

Play with a PDF file perfect for use on your smart phone or tablet.
You will be directed to a link where you can download the PDF file after payment.

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
Available Now
$12.00

Pull your smartphone out of your pocket and pull up a random exercise any time you feel the need to jumpstart your creative practice. Any medium, any place, any time.  Take 15 minutes to make “bad art” so that you can free up your creative juices and move on to the good stuff.

Play with your students!

Play on your own!

Play with a group!

Play with your children!

You have permission to throw your “bad art” away. Use scraps or use the good stuff in any medium you prefer. Make a mess! Nobody has to see it. Your playtime. Your rules!

 

Get yourself to your creative workspace. Pull out your stuff, them pick any card. Set a timer for 15 minutes (or more if you wish) and start playing. If you want to go easy on yourself, use the medium you are most comfortable with. If you want to push yourself into the wild unknown, use a medium new to you. Stay within a size that is small enough to finish in 15 minutes, such as 5″ x 7″.

 

Physical Card Decks will be available November 15th but
Sale Price Pre-Orders are being taken now.

PRE-ORDER: physical card deck
Sale Price $12.00 plus $3.50 shipping

All pre-orders will be shipped November 15th.

Physical card decks will be available by November 15th at $18.00
Price will be $18.00 plus shipping after November 15th

 

no such thing as doing it wrong

Most of all, there is this truth: No matter how great your teachers may be, and no matter how esteemed your academy’s reputation, eventually you will have to do the work by yourself. Eventually, the teachers won’t be there anymore.
Elizabeth Gilbert

This quote is absolutely perfect because it is exactly the point I try to get across to my students. The thing I seek most when I teach is to give my students the skills to figure stuff out when I’m NOT there.

The only two rules I have in any of my classes are these: “no masterpieces allowed,” and no “I can’t.” As soon as a student starts to worry about getting something wrong or making something exactly right, then she is inhibited, stalled, and working from a place of fear rather than from a place of creative exploration.

What is the worst that can happen if you make a mistake?
(Seriously – figure it out and write it down. Right now. It probably isn’t nearly as bad as you think.)
Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did.
Neil Gaiman
 
I’m a huge fan of making mistakes. Sometimes they are the most valuable part of the learning process but only if you stop and learn from the mess you just made. The process of analysis is key to progression when you are an artist.

Ask questions of yourself such as, “WHY do I love or hate this?” “WHAT about this is important to me?” and “HOW did this technique go awry and what can I do differently next time” Ask yourself, “Was this really a mistake or is it the next thing I need to add into my work?” You never know when feeling free enough to make bad art will lead to the best art you’ve made yet.

What is the question you need to ask yourself next time you make a mistake?

artist spotlight: robbi eklow

Robbi Eklow was my first friend during the two years our family lived in Chicago.  She picked me up straight off the airplane while my husband went out for some job stuff. As I recall, we went straight to a bead shop. She now lives in Omaha Nebraska and works at has a public studio in the HotShops. 

I absolutely adore my own new studio but I am an extrovert. I really need to be around people and have conversations in order to thrive. Someday I hope to have a public studio in addition to my home space. someday.

As you approach her studio Robbi’s work is immediately recognizable. Super bright colors, overlays, gears. 

After our teaching was done several other teachers came along for the tour.

Robbi is in the middle of moving her current studio up one floor to a larger space.

What would you do with the space? She and I had some wonderfully fun conversations about quilt hanging apparatus. The walls are brick but the very high ceilings have exposed wooden joists. 

What would you do with space like this?

Winner! the hand-stitched surface

Hand Stitched Surface by Lynn Krawczyk

Congratulations to Sue McVicker on being the winner of Lynn’s book, The Hand-Stitched Surface.
(chosen via the random.org number generator)

Thank you to everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment.
If you didn’t win you can always pop over to buy your own copy. You won’t regret it.

ten books every artist should read

1
The Creative Habit

Summary: DO THE WORK. The entire book comes down to that. You can’t find your voice unless you speak… all. the. time. There is no such things as waiting for the muse to speak. You do the work.

“After so many years, I’ve learned that being creative is a full-time job with its own daily patterns.  …The real secret i that they do this every day. In other words, they are disciplined. …In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative.”

2
Art and Fear

I think I have a good 3/4ths of this book highlighted. It speaks so clearly to the reasons we don’t just get to it and make the art. It’s been truly helpful to me in shifting my paradigm from one of “what if they don’t like me/my art” to “just DO THE WORK.”

“The lesson here is simply that courting approval, even that of peers, puts a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the audience. Worse yet, the audience is seldom in a position to grant (or withhold) approval on the one issue that really counts – namely, whether or not you are making progress in your work.”

 

3
Steal Like an Artist

This book is a quick, light, and inspiring read. It’s another iteration of “do the work and don’t worry about other things.” Nothing is original. That was a lightbulb moment for me. Everything builds on something else.

“What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Some people find this idea depressing, but it fills me with hope. If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.”

 

4
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Hands down my favorite book for beginners learning to draw. She sings my song on every page. Learning to draw is like learning to do addition, to drive a car, or to play a scale on a piano. A good teacher doesn’t expect you to know how to draw before you come to art class – she teaches you how to do it.

“Ability to draw depends on ability to see the way an artist sees, and this kind of seeing can marvelously enrich your life. You will soon discover that drawing is a skill that can be learned by every normal person with average eyesight and average eye-hand coordination.”

 

5
The Natural Way to Draw

If you really, really, really want to learn to draw, really, really, really well. You have to do the work. This book is a college text – deep, dense, and amazingly wonderful if you are serious. He is so clear and detailed about every exercise. Blind contour drawing is one of my favorite ways to truly SEE what it is I’m looking at. His exercises have probably done most to further any small skill I have in sketching, but most importantly, have helped me SEE like an artist.

“.. a contour study is not a thing that can be ‘finished.’ It is having a particular type of experience, which can continues as long as you have the patience to look.”

6
The Artist’s Way

I had heard about this book for years before I cracked it open and took a look for myself. I was thinking it was going to by much to schmarmy for my taste. I was wrong. It is but the series of exercises here help you to clarify and solidify who you are and what you want as an artist are truly helpful. 

“As blocked creatives, we often sit on the sidelines critiquing those in the game…. We may be able to defer to true genius, but if it’s merely a genius for self-promotion we’re witnessing, our resentment runs high. This is not just jealousy. It is a stalling technique that reinforces our staying stuck.”

 

7
The War of Art

 

Let me just say that this is in the  same category as Art and Fear, although a little easier to get through. He reiterates another of my favorite soapbox issues… EVERYONE can be creative. That thing where people say “I’m not creative” can be squashed if you buy into the ideas in this book. The minute you say can’t you’ve given up.

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear, then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there’s no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist. What Henry Fonda does, after puking into the toilet in his dressing room, is to clean up and march out onstage. He’s still terrified but he forces himself forward in spite of his terror. He knows that once he gets out into the action, his fear will recede and he’ll be okay.”

 

8
Zen Pencils

Gavin’s graphic illustrations of inspirational quotes have inspired me and helped me keep going during those inevitable days of self-doubt. I actually bought two copies of this book so I could tear out pages and post them all over our walls. I also adore Gavin’s other books, Creative Struggles, and Dream the Impossible Dream.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart

9
Color and Light

I’ve loved everything James Gurney has done for years and years. His amazingly educational and entertaining blog, the hours and hours my children and I have spent with all of his Dinotopia books, Imaginative Realism, just – everything.

“Your paintings can be true to nature but emphasize different aspects of visual truth compared to another artist. The way you paint is a record of how you see.”

 

10
The Little Spark

This book is sweet, and rich with photos that have that beautiful instagram feeling. But it also has a lot of meaty inspiration in there. She touches on all my hot button issues: do the work, make space to do the work, make time to do the work, give yourself permission to do the work, forget about whether it is a masterpiece or not, that creating makes the world a better place.

“The Spark is your creativity, and you were born with it. We all were. Humans have always felt its pull. …your desire to make things is bigger than you. It comes from our human desire to make things beautiful and meaningful – not for the sake of beauty, but because each decorative mark on that cake or that pot celebrates our existence.”

 

(In the interest of full disclosure – if you buy these books through these links I get a tiny little kickback. I hope you find the list worthwhile.)

the hand stitched surface by lynn krawczyk – blog hop

I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to showcase
Lynn Krawkzyk’s new book The Hand Stitched Surface.

Hand Stitched Surface by Lynn Krawczyk

Each illustrations is clear and beautifully rendered and Lynn’s examples are full of delightful whimsy. The projects are fabulous and include Stitched Buttons, Boho Collage Coasters, and a Technicolor Begonia Cushion among others.

hand-stitched-surface by Lynn Krawczyk

Reading this book and being inspired was the perfect reason to spend an afternoon with needle and embroidery thread. For me, there is nothing more playful and relaxing than choosing the perfect weight and color of thread to add little stitches to some small piece of textile work. That is it’s relaxing – until your fingers feel like they want to fall off as you struggle to pull the needle through several fused and quilted layers of cloth. Things can get a bit tough then.

No worries. I’ve got a little tip that will make it MUCH easier to pull even thick pearl cottons through canvas!
Take a peek and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

 

It’s as simple as that. Use a rubber finger to pull the needle instead of pliers (been there – not fun) or a thimble. Rubber fingers are available at office supply stores. Pretty nifty, eh?

rubber fingers are perfect for embroidery

And dear U.S. readers, you have a chance to win a copy of Lynn’s book by leaving a comment on this blog post! On On Tuesday July 17th I’ll choose a comment at random. I’ll post and contact the winner so keep an eye out.

Be sure to stop by each blog on the hop and leave comments because every one of us gets to choose a lucky winner!

Monday July 9 – Lisa Chin
Tuesday July 10 – Ana Sumner
Thursday July 12 – Libby Williamson
Friday July 13 – Allison Aller
Saturday July 14 – Lynn Krawczyk

I think this little guy is adorable.
I call him Little Clown with Dragonfly Wings
He is 5″ x 7″ (plus a little wing overlap)
He is available.
$40.00

On-line Course: Abstract-A-Licious

 

If you’ve looked with secret longing at the world of Abstract Art but have no idea where to begin, this is the class for you.  Lessons consist of  concrete design exercises that are clear and easily understood as well as ample encouragement from an award winning teacher. You don’t need to have drawing or design skills as this course is designed to inspire and teach  both the timid beginner and the confident creative. Lyric’s easily followed  instructions  lead you to create  your own unique and original abstract compositions.

“Thanks for all of your feedback AND encouragement – such a great ‘kick in the ass’ class!” – Pam Lowe

 

Register Now

$69.99
6 lesson modules, 5 exercises, 7 weeks of Lyric’s time

This course includes space for you to share your pictures and get feedback from your classmates. The more you contribute, the livelier class will be.  Lyric will pop in twice a week to give feedback on each picture posted. This platform provides a safe space for a lively and sharing creative community to explore without judgement and competition.

Each week you’ll receive an email with a link to a new lesson. The lessons are available 24/7 and you’ll receive a downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from. There are short videos to show how Lyric works each exercise and to explain the gist of things.

Just like in a live classroom, you’ll be able to see your fellow students work and discuss how things are going. You’ll get encouragement and instruction from Lyric on all the work you post.

Supplies consist of things you already have at hand so you won’t be time or money shopping for things you might not use again. The most important supply is an adventurous willingness to explore, grow, and play as you learn to see and create within the framework of abstract design. Doodles will be scribbled, eyes and minds will be opened, and fun will be had. Won’t you join us?

Register Now

$69.99

  • Introductions: Mar 1
  • What is Abstract design: Mar 12
  • Exercise 1 – Looking through a Window (Gathering Lines): Mar 13
  • Exercise 2 – The Borrowers (Shape in Composition): Mar 20
  • Exercise 3 – Doodle-cicious (Pattern and Value): Mar 27
  • Break Week
  • Exercise 4 – Warping Reality (Shape and Meaning): Apr 10
  • Exercise 5 – Ideas into Art (Working with Studies): Apr 17
  • Wrap Up – Student Gallery: Apr 24
  • Lyric’s last comments on student work: May 1
  • Remember – Classroom never closes, you will have permanent access to lessons

Lesson 1 will open on March 12, 2019
Lyric’s last comment on student assignments will be May 1st but the class will not close. 
You will have continual access to these lessons.

The classroom opens as soon as you register.
You can introduce yourself and familiarize yourself with the online classroom.
Lessons will consist of short video introductions and PDFs.

FAQs:
Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will be using pen and paper to begin most of the exercises but Lyric will show you exactly what to do. It’s easy. Promise!

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Us whatever your favorite medium is to create your studies. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into them if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your eye as an artist.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. There is a gap wee after the third exercise and  classroom is open two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is plenty of wiggle room.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on each posted assignment until May 1st. The more you post, the more you get out of the class. Make sure to read comments on other students work as well. There is as much to learn from each other as from the course work.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the written content, available as PDF lessons. You can download them as soon as they are released or wait until the end of the course when they are available in one contiguous file (great for e-readers). The videos are not downloadable but you can continue to access them online as long as you’d like.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. Support@Ruzuku.com is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

 

Register Now

$69.99

6 lesson modules, 5 exercises, 7 weeks of Lyric’s time

studio shots part 3: welcome to the palace

So you’ve seen a video, side 1, and my ironing table idea hack.
Want to see the other half?

Coming up my stairs and looking to the right is another room full of light and space. My drafting table is my favorite thing in the world. An art professor that I was a Teaching Assistant for one summer (I don’t clearly recall how that happened – I wasn’t an art student, I was in the architecture program) pointed me to a pile of discarded desks outside and told me I could take one. I took it apart, refinished it, and used an old door as a table top for years. A few years ago I finally made a dedicated plywood top for it that fits both the table and my large cutting board. It originally had a light table top but that was gone when I got to it.

Most days I have a print-ready cover on it consisting of a big chunk of felt covered by duck cloth that can be washed. Last week I had white poster board on top and photography lights and photo stands working on getting some good shots for my upcoming Bead It Like You Mean It part 2 online course.

Another window, more fabric and stuff storage. I move my table around as needed and have learned (the hard way of course) to be very careful if it is close to those angled walls. Ouch!

This spot is still under construction. I have to keep the area by the wall clear so that the pull-down attic steps aren’t blocked. The ugly door on the left leads to a closet I had built – filling in the empty space above the stairs. It’s the only thing I thought was badly done in the renovation but I don’t have time to deal with it. I’ll make a quilt to cover it up!!! The closet holds my book/DVD/Packing materials inventory.
On the someday list is to paint the filing cabinets there bright red. On top of it is my thermofax machine and materials.

These shelving units from IKEA were much easier to install here than making custom built-ins. AC ductwork goes through this bench so it felt like lost space. Finished quilts are stored up top and really, this is most of my fabric collection. I think I have more garment sewing fabric than quilting cottons.

The one serious drawback is that I don’t yet have a big design wall. I’ve got two 4’x8′ insulation boards covered with flannel. I’m going to frame them. The only big wall I have is covered with a full wall mirror and I love the light it reflects into the room. I might end up covering most of it anyway. I need that wall. 

Or – I’ll frame up two or three of the insulation boards and put them on wheels so they can move around. I could then use them for backdrops for filming video. We’ll see.

new work: accession, something added

I’m so very pleased to announce that 

Accession: something added

30″ x 50″
cloth, dye, paint, thread

has been accepted into The Best of Dinner at Eight Artists: Celebrating 10 Years of Exhibitions. Each artist selected a theme from the last 9 years for what will be our last exhibition. The exhibit is sponsored by Havel’s Sewing and will premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas in November of 2018.

 

studio shots part 2: welcome to the palace

Here are some overall photo views of my new studio space.

Coming up the stairs you see storage – it’s taken me six months to take a day to look through what was actually in most of these boxes. I didn’t actually get around to clearing them out and organizing them but at least I added a sticky note telling me what was in each one.

The purple sleeper sofa was here before. It’s from the 60’s and weighs about a thousand pounds. I recovered it years ago (it was hideous) when I helped a friend take it off her hands. I paid two seriously burley guys to get it up the stairs to the third floor years ago. They had to hold it straight up on end to get it around the corner entry of the stairs. I realized a little late that filling in the opening above the stairs (turned into a closet) precluded it ever leaving the attic again.

In the foreground you see my pressing/ironing station… the previous posts spotlights this in case you missed it. I spend lots of hours at my computer watching birds land in the tree right outside this window. It’s heaven. To the left you can see my trusty Bernina Record 930. It’s my primary machine these days and I love it. There is a yoga mat under the fluffy green rug that I pull out occasionally.

Next around is my HQ16 – one of the first made. No stitch regulator. Just me and the needle going up and down a million miles an hour. I built in the window seats as a reading nest. Underneath I’ve stored machine cases and a roller table with my wide format color printer and a stool with all my printing supplies dumped into it. My duct-tape-double, mounted in a plaster filled bucket stands guard and I haven’t put my clunky serger away yet. There is a yoga ball that needs a lot more inflating before I see if I can sit on it at my computer.

The closet holds my finished artwork, blank stretched canvases, rolls of fabric, and batting. It’s stuffed. But at least I know where everything is.

This is just half of my space. (Spoiled much!?)
Stay tuned for the other half next week.

Any questions? Feel free to ask them!

studio: ironing table ikea hack

In the category of “my favorite things” in my new studio is my ironing station. It’s the exact height I need and perfectly fits my requirements.

I’ve had these wire baskets in my old studio since, well, forever, and they have served me well. They are an IKEA product that still has several iterations available, this ALGOT style being the closest to what I have. Each of these frames is tied together with zip-ties and clips made just for that purpose so they are rock solid. I’ve just figured out that my hanging container works perfectly on the back corner of the shelves so I don’t even have to walk across the room to find my scissors or a pen.

I had originally intended to build this brilliant IKEA hack ironing table by Brooke over at the Custom Style Blog – the long roll storage she has is phenomenal. She has detailed instructions there as well as links for the Bump Cloth (insulation layer). I just bought my silver ironing board cover fabric at the local big-box place.

Because I had leftover plywood and supplies I was able to make tops for these baskets. If I ever feel like it I will prime and paint each one white. They are in three pieces because I didn’t want to buy another piece of plywood so I pieced these out of other scraps. Good enough. I’ll eventually  paint the wooden legs as well… and maybe screw them down so they don’t scoot. This is what happens when you work on a project for three months that was supposed to take two weeks. “Good enough for now” becomes “done because I just want it to be over.” One fabulous thing about having to unexpectedly gut the space was that I have plugs everywhere – and this on, especially for the iron, is on it’s own circuit. I don’t have to worry about blowouts!!!

The ironing surface is 54″ x 22″ – wide enough, and exactly the same height as the banister so I end up hanging whatever I’m working on over the long stair wall as I go. It works for me. Just last week I took a sharpie to the thing and marked off inches. I have ruler marks on the edge of my sewing table, my ironing surface, and my drafting table. The cloth is just stapled on to the underside of the board. If I end up doing what I did last time, eventually I’ll just staple another layer of the silver stuff over the top of this when it gets too gross.

That might not happen this time though as I’ve been really good at using my HOLY COW sized Goddess sheet for all fusing projects. Gotta say, it’s awesome! Hmmm… I just had an idea. two big hooks with a hefty dowel layed on them – screwed onto the bottom of the left side of the board would hold the roll of misty fuse perfectly! I’ll add it to my list. Along with a wall mount for the iron. I end up leaving it on the wall and just know some day it is going to go over the edge.

days for girls, a sewing service project

I had the best birthday party ever this year for the big 50!
(Considering I haven’t had a party since I was a preteen, having any party at all was an accomplishment.)

Becky, lower left in this picture, has started to head up service projects every month or two for the fabulous neighborhood quilt bee I belong to. We looked into, Days for Girls , an organization that increases access to menstrual care and education. I’m so completely spoiled that it never occurred to me that girls who don’t have access to sanitary supplies have to stay home from school during their cycle and often end up falling so far behind that they drop out.

So – I co-opted the project for my birthday and we made 50 reusable menstrual kits. They are sent to India and Kenya and anywhere else (including the US) where they are needed. The Days for Girls  says that retention rates for girls in Kenya reached 96% after receiving DfG Kits, up from a 75% average. Drop-out rates went from 25% to 4% in Uganda after one year. I love that this is a sewing service project that can actually TRULY change someone’s life. I also love that they provide seed money and resources for local women to start making and selling the supplies themselves.

And it was so much fun to have a house full of people I love from all my circles of friends. Neighbors, Quilters, fellow Church members. 

The. Best. Birthday. Ever!

If you are interested in participating, go to the Days for Girls  website and look for a local coordinator, or become one yourself.

florabunda blog hop –

I am a great fan of geometry, gardening, purple and green. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Melanie Testa’s new FlorAbunda line. I’ve seen the precision work that she uses to cut her layered printing tools – and then the absolute beauty of the organic quality that results. There is a mix of control and chaos that speaks to me. The mix of quiet tone on tones and the bolder floral prints makes it easy to blend these fabrics.

I’m also on something of a kick crusade to reduce all one-time-use plastic in our household. I’ve been taking my own bags to the store for several years now and have a number of recycled-plastic totes that are the PERFECT format for groceries. The thing is that they are also perfect for many other things so the bags that are supposed to live in the back of my van end up living in lots of other places instead of where I need them when I’m at the store. Time for a some new totes!

These fabrics are pretty enough for me to want to carry them around with me ALL THE TIME! Now, mind you, patterns and I don’t often get along so I sort of eyeballed the totes I had and guesstimated sizes. I think the hardest part of this project was choosing which of the gorgeous colors to put where. I figured things out by simply laying things on top of and next to each other.

Each piece you see here is sandwiched… a backside and frontside fused to a layer of stabilizer in the middle then stitched like a quilt to give the whole thing more body.

Fusible Web and I are best friends. In this case Misty-Fuse is adhered to the black fabric that I will make all my “binding” out of.

The hardest part of the actual sewing is inserting the sides and getting around the corners. If you sew the sides of each piece first, then trim the corners of the inside/side bit before you try to sew around that corner, it’s not so bad.

I securely sewed each piece together, then carefully fused black strips over the edges. Then I zig-zagged the edge of the binding. This tote is seriously going to last FOREVER!

And there you have it! Doesn’t that make it sound effortless? HAH! I won’t tell you about the twelve (yes, twelve) needles I broke sewing through all those layers. In all fairness, I think my trusty Bernina Record 930 is a little out of whack and I’ve been putting off a trip in to the shop. It only breaks needles when backing up.

I also won’t tell you that I really meant to make the bag wider than it is tall because that’s my favorite for groceries. I didn’t notice I had the pieces cut in the wrong orientation until I was completely finished with the tote. I’m chalking that one up to being so in love with the fabrics that I couldn’t pay attention to anything else. (ummmmm…. right.)

I worked out enough kinks and liked the first tote so much that I made the second tote the next morning. Yup. Love it even more. The bag has straps just long enough to go over my shoulders but not drag on the ground if I’m carrying them by hand. If I were shorter I’d add double straps, short ones to use when carrying it by hand. You should see the crazy mom-thing I do, carrying four to six of these fully loaded bags out from the store or into the house. I call it my workout for the day. (See me rolling my eyes here?)

Anyway…. please do enjoy the rest of the blog hop by stopping by and seeing what the other artists have created.

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

June 11–Kathy York

June 11–Teri Lucas

June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp 

June 12Leslie Tucker Jenison

June 13—Tiffany Hayes

June 13Jamie Fingal

June 14–Debby Brown

June 14–Heidi Kelly

June 15– David Gilleland

Be sure to participate in RJR Fabric’s giveaway over at their instagram account too!

Online Course: Bead It Like You Mean It part 2

I’ve been hard at work putting together a new course for my fellow bead-a-holics.

OPEN NOW

 

EXPAND YOUR CREATIVITY as Lyric Kinard takes you beyond the basics of bead embroidery. Build on what you learned in Bead It Like You Mean It pt. 1 and learn new dimensional beading techniques that jump right off the surface. Wrap cords or walk a line of seeds over a bugle bead bridge. Try out a beautiful Gourd stitch to attach a cabochon or go right over the edge as you add beaded borders to your cloth. Loop your stacks or turn them into crazy twisted or banged fringes.

$29.99
registration is open now
access all lessons as soon as you register

Lesson 1: The Beaded Edge

materials and preparation
dotted edge
beaded blanket stitch
picot edge (two layer beaded edge)
bead wrapped corded edge

Lesson 2: Funky Stacks & Fringes

looped stacks
matting and framing your work
branched stacks or fringes
spiral stack or fringes

Lesson 3: Dimesnsional Bead Embroidery

bead wrapped couched cord
flat beaded belt
standing bugles go wild

Lesson 4: Beaded Bezel

gourd on the ground beaded bezel

$29.99
registration is open now
course never closes
for more information click here

florabunda! a blog hop

One of the really wonderful things about swimming in the pond I do (metaphorically speaking) is that I get to be friends with several fabric designers. When they have a new line coming out they have to provide samples for sales reps to show their work in action. The deadlines are usually impossible for one person alone to meet so the tribe steps in and shares the load…. or I should say we all PLAY together!

 

If you haven’t seen Melanie Testa’s latest line of fabric for RJR, you are in for a treat. I absolutely love her loose, organic designs. It makes me laugh just  bit because she works in such an incredibly precise and careful manner when she carves her printing blocks. She also always has purple and green, my favorite color combination.

Each day a different artist will be highlighted and RJR will be hosting a giveaway on it’s Instagram feed so be sure to follow them there.

Tiffany Hayes http://needleinahayesstack.blogspot.com June 7
Deborah Boschert http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/ June 8
Sara Mika http://mockpiestudio.blogspot.com June 9
Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/  June 10
Kathy York *http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com  June 11
Teri Lucas https://terificreations.com June 11
Leslie Tucker Jenison *http://leslietuckerjenison.com June 12
Heidi Kelly http://www.hkellydesigns.com June 12
Jamie Fingal *http://jamiefingaldesigns.blogspot.com/ June 13
Debby Brown https://www.debbybrownquilts.comJune 14
Susan Brubaker Knapp *http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com June 14
Melanie Testa *http://www.melanietesta.com June 16 @MelanieTestaArtist

Studio Shots: welcome to the palace

Hello Friends, It’s been a while. Life has been overfull the past three years and I’ve neglected this space. I spent a while thinking about my intent for this blog over the weekend and this is what I’ve concluded.

1- I want to document my work on a platform that I own. That isn’t FB or IG.

2- I want to have a space where I don’t feel obligated to constantly speak to the injustices I see in the world. (I feel compelled to do so on FB where my largest audience is. I feel that if I don’t do something to stand up for immigrants, refugees, the poor, minorities, that I cannot face God when that time comes, or my children now.)

Those two things alone are enough. So we will start here.

A very quick tour (part one) of my new palace.

 

I’ll give you a lot more detail in coming blog posts.

For your inspiration: susan else

I’m in San Jose, California to teach for the wonderful Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association. With a little rare free time we visited the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. It was a great joy to finally see the artwork of Susan Else in person. 

When Ponies Dream

Company

After Hours

 

Clocking Out

 

Absolutely Amazing

Lydia, the Tattooed Lady

 

Retreat Opportunity

As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them – to restock the trout pond, so to speak.
Julia Cameron
 

Wonder is not a Pollyanna stance, not a denial of reality; wonder is an acknowledgment of the power of the mind to transform.
Christina Baldwin

 
A retreat can work magic for an artist. You leave your usual surroundings for someplace that is simply – away. A place without your usual household chores staring and your pressing deadlines. You let someone else make the food and nurture you. You have only to walk from your bed to your workspace to begin your explorations. You share space with other artists who spark new questions and help you find new answers and you open yourself up to the magic.

You ask the questions. You do the work. You watch, and the universe provides an answer. Blisters might be involved, but they are forgotten when you find that treasure of inspiration. That flash of understanding, that new way of seeing changes the way you perceive your artwork. You find joy in your discovery and you bring that new vision home to your work as an artist. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Become Yourself as an Artist
a retreat opportunity with Lyric

March 24-28, 2018
Play with Paint: A Design Intensive

http://www.fiberartworkshops.com

Play With Paint is a three day design intensive, offering a perfect mix of surface design techniques and instruction in the elements and principles of composition. Hands on painting and printing techniques, plus some fun and funky foiling and photo transfer, are complemented by learning the basics of the visual language of art. 

Stay at the historic Greenville Arms in the beautiful Hudson Valley of the Catskill Mountains. Let someone else keep you warm, comfortable, and deliciously fed and reserve all of your creative energy for the the studio.


Thrive in the company of your fellow explorers as we encourage and inspire each other.

Creative free time is balanced with clear and structured exercises throughout the class. Students explore and learn to understand design principles with sketchbook studies and also create their own unique cloth for use in a compositional studies.


It’s the perfect combination of making a creative mess, discovering delightful new ideas, then opening new ways to create and see our artwork. The studio is available to your 24 hours a day so there will be time for as much intensive discovery as you have energy for.



Students will create a sample book of each surface design technique for future reference. Then, with good humored and gentle guidance students will work on their own small art quilt using the beautiful fabrics they have created. Learn the basics of the visual language so that you can read your composition and see where editing might create a clearer vision. This is going to be a WONDER-filled workshop!

Won’t you join me?

More Information Here
Workshop Enrollment Form

quilters at the beach: day 3

I only had half a day at the lovely Ocean Isle before I had to leave and go back to my full time job as mother to some really wonderful children. I had packed up the bin and the machines the night before and had some relaxing hand work to keep me busy.

The day began with some speedy catching up on work that needed to be ready for THAT DAY’S online lesson in my Bead It Like You Mean It class. It’s open for registration any time, affordable, and never closes. Go take a look.

The sun was out so we were all determined to take a beach walk that day. A serendipitous thing happened. The night before we were talking about sand dollars and wondered what they looked like alive, how they reproduced, and how they ate. I pulled up trusty Google and we watched a short video about them Sea Biscuits! I love them. 

Sure enough – our walk beach walk revealed not one, but TWO live Sand Dollars. How cool is that!? Plus one little baby sand dollar skeleton that I got to take home.

We learned they are Urchins. 

They can live on the shore and bury themselves in the sand. 

They eat by moving organisms into their central mouth with their thousands of legs.
And they spawn.

And what did I come home to? My sweet girl having her own sewing retreat in my studio. I think she’s amazing.

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quilters at the beach: day two

Did I mention how much I live these women?

There is almost nothing more fun than staying up late and seeing all day with a bunch of quilters. At the beach.

This was a top I finished in 2015 while I was working as a “featured artist” at the Lake Norman Quilt Show. (A post about it here.) Then I sort of lost for a while. (Literally – I couldn’t find where I put it.) Fun dyed and screen printed work. With the recent studio move (I still need to show it off to you all!!!) I found it and added it to my work pile for day two of the beach trip.

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I spent the morning in the laundry closet layering and fusing six small quilt tops (backing, misty fuse, wool batting, misty fuse, top) getting them ready for quilting. Took several breaks to wander out back and look at the Sound. North Carolina’s coast is a series of barrier islands. Really just rolling sand bars, some only a street and a dune wide, with wetlands between them and the coastline. The weather was sort of mysteriously foggy over the sound and the island. I thought it was stunningly beautiful.

Even the dead marsh grasses were fascinating. I loved watching the Heron out there – just perfectly still. Waiting for something to swim by.

The rest of the day was spent quilting and facing this piece.

Any suggestions for titles? Right now it is just XOX: III

I’m finding that this deep grape purple is really hard to photograph. It looks very wine red here. I’m OK if the title remains something simple. Since I’ve done at least two other quilts with this imagery I think it must be part of a series. It counts even if there are two or three years between each quilt?

 

 

For Your Inspiration: quilters at ocean isle, nc

I belong to a Quilt Bee. I’m the youngest of my friends there. They all either live in or near my neighborhood or used to. As far as I can tell they aren’t really interested in going to the local guilds or classes. They just really, really, really like to sew. And they sew a LOT. I love these women so much!

They also spend a week at the beach once a year. My travel schedule has only allowed me to attend twice, and only for a few days, but amazing things happen there. Three of the four other quilters there this year are working a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt together. One is making a slew of baby quilts.

This year I didn’t have a pressing deadline to meet so it was completely my choice what to bring. After dithering and waiting until the last minute I gathered up five or six finished tops, threw my entire thread cabinet and my HQ16 in the back of my van, almost forgot to pack clothes, and took off. My goal was to work on things as fast as I could for two and a half days. Things that I knew would be at the bottom of the list to get done here at home because they didn’t have a deadline and because they were all at those sticking points in the process. You know, the parts you don’t love the most. For me that is layering and machine quilting. I’ll admit it. I don’t love machine quilting. I love designing and painting and sometimes even sewing – but my love always comes to a screeching halt with the machine quilting process. I am fine once I get into it and it’s definitely worth doing because I love the way things turn out. But I have to push myself to get past that point.

By 9am Monday morning I was sewing.

This poor piece has been quilted and unfinished for around five-ish years. It was experimental and I didn’t love it and there were always other deadlines pressing. My tiny little Elna Lotus fit into my bin so it came along and helped me get the facing finished. I think I might have put the hanging sleeve on the bottom of this piece. It wouldn’t be the first time. And I think I’ve thought of a few more things I want to do to it.

Let me tell you a funny story. All my kids have been taught to sew. Some love it. Some don’t. My current 18yr old high school senior was interested enough to make about 6 of these blocks. Simple sew and flip on a foundation. No measuring or fussing. I was interested enough to make six more blocks. Then my dear friend Kathy felt sorry enough for my quilt-less son to make a bunch more and put them all together so I could finish the thing for his birthday. (I also paid her well with several boxes of thread.) Uh. I didn’t finish it. So I pulled it out, sort of kind of put big borders on, realized I didn’t have quite enough so I slapped together some terribly made blocks for the corners and there you go. I’m going to schedule a date on Becky’s long-arm and knock this thing out before the kid graduates from high school.

And this was just day 1. Amazing how productive I can be at the beach. It helped that it was raining so I wasn’t tempted to run away to the water.

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bead it like you mean it kit

Welcome to my Bead It Like You Mean It on-line students.

A comprehensive kit with everything you need to learn the techniques taught in the class.

 

Kit Includes
1 tube of #11 Foxglove Cottage Straw Needles
1 bag of beautiful fiesta colored beads
1 bobbin of beading thread
1 beautiful handmade glass cabochon
2 6″ squares of hand dyed fabric
1 6″ square stabilizer
Pattern sheet with flower options

$30.00
$3.00 U.S. domestic shipping

 

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On-Line Course: The Artist’s Eye

This course will run in the spring of 2019. Please sign up for my newsletter to stay informed about it.

In this one-on-one basic design intensive, individualized coursework is designed to help YOU see your artwork in a whole new way.  As you learn to systematically analyze your work using the Elements and Principles of art as your foundation, you will begin to understand your own unique design process.  

Becoming fluent in the visual language lets you critique your composition in process and arrive more quickly at a successful design.

There are only 6 spots available – sign up now!
Lyric is taking on a very limited number of students to ensure that each has her full attention.

Introductory and evaluation materials for the class will be available beginning when you register and the first lessons will open on January 10th.  A minimum of two weeks between each assignment gives you time to work deeply into your art, in the comfort of your own workspace. Coursework and calls will be completed by February 24th.

This course is for you if:

  • You are serious about advancing your work as an artist
  • You wish to grow past your current level
  • You wish to become confident in your ability to analyze your artwork 
  • You have a desire to seriously engage in your artistic practice for a sustained period of time

“Lyric  made the mystery of art  easy to understand. I’ve gained confidence in being able to describe and analyze what I’m seeing, whether it is my own work or the work of other artists. Now I better understand why something is or is not working in a composition and my own art has grown and improved as a result.”

As a part of the course curriculum each student (within the states) will be sent a copy of Lyric’s book to use as a study guide. International students will receive a link to a digital copy of the book.

Sign up for Lyric’s Newsletter so that you can hear about it as soon as it is offered again.

What to expect from Lyric:

  • The course begins with a series of questionnaires that help Lyric understand what it is YOU need from this course
  • You will have six individualized lessons designed to help you develop your artist’s eye
  • Two of those lessons will be private video conference calls
  • You will have up to two weeks to complete each assignment
  • Lyric will work with your schedule to schedule assignments and calls (even internationally!)
  • Calls can be made through Skype, FaceTime, or GoogleHangouts
  • Lessons will include pre-recorded videos and PDF material
  • Lyric will check in once each week with comments on assignments you have completed
  • Students will have access to a private and moderated FB critique group
  • You will be expected to work through a series of design exercises

“This class is the equivalent of a college basic design course! I wanted to spend time truly working on my design skills and Lyric pushed me in a gentle and encouraging way to get really out of my safe little box. She pulled material from her writings and other classes that were exactly what I needed to learn. Her critiques were pointed and accurate but I never felt like I had done something wrong. She makes it easy to understand. I got a little frustrated that she wouldn’t tell me how to ‘fix’ things but she taught me the right questions to ask so that I could see and fix it myself.  It was an investment well worth making!”

 

$525

for six weeks of personalized instruction

Prerequisites:
The ability to take sharp, clear photos of your work and upload them to the classroom space.
You should have the  technical skills to create your assignments in whatever medium you choose (this class does NOT include technique instruction)

About Lyric:

Lyric Montgomery Kinard is an award winning artist with a passion for sparking the creativity that she knows each of her students posses. With playful support and gentle encouragement she will take you through your first steps on a new path, seeing the world through the eyes of an artist. As an artist, author, and educator she transforms cloth into art in her studio and timid spirits into confident creatives in the classroom.

Lyric was recognized for her talents as the 2011 International Association of Professional Quilters Teacher of the Year and is the author of the book Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises. She has written extensively for Quilting Arts Magazine, appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has two DVD Workshops, Surface Design Sampler Platter, and Bead It Like You Mean It. She has studied with many well known textile artists around the country and continues to expand her skills in the area of surface design. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Utah and has also formally studied music and architecture. She currently lives in Cary, North Carolina with her husband and some of their five children.

For Lyric’s complete Resume please click here.

Refund Policy: 
Class size is very small so that Lyric has time to pay full attention to each student’s individual needs. Because of this, once you have paid for your spot Lyric is counting on your participation and there will be no refunds. If there is a waiting list and Lyric is able to fill your spot you will receive a refund minus a $40 processing fee.

Got questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer right away.

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On the town with tutors in Christchurch new zealand

I know my New Zealand trip is long past – but I’m realizing that I never did post all the fabulous pictures I wanted to share. On such a very depressing political day (the tax bill will kill my business if passed in it’s current form) I wanted to enjoy the colors and memories I found in kiwi land. 

Judy Coates Perez and I trying to figure out the bus system.

Before the Quilt symposium started Judy Coates Perez and Susan Brubaker Knapp and I enjoyed a day exploring the city. Christchurch is a wonderful town. The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu had beautiful exhibits, one by Matisse whose work I am familiar with, and one by Lin Ley, whose work was new to me…. and I’m in love with.

I had a print of the Matisse in the upper right corner hung for years.

Judy watching a kinetic sculpture by Lin Ley.

Christchurch was in full bloom for spring.

This photo feels so much like the essence of Christchurch to me. Scaffolding – still everywhere years after the devastating earthquake. Beautiful new architecture. The tendency to beautify everything from construction fences to plain walls to empty lots in the most community oriented friendly way possible. 

We passed this lovely little community garden and – because there were three artists involved – got sidetracked for a very long time. Again, in the best way possible.

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special pricing – Picture It Framed online class

register here

 $29.99

UPGRADE YOUR ART by learning a variety of professional presentation options for textiles. Award winning artists, Lyric Kinard shows you mounting and framing options. Learn which factors to consider to present your work in the best possible light.

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens June 19th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

register here

 $29.99

Lesson 1: Basic Framing

  • When to use a mat – edges showing or covered
  • Mounted with gel medium, matted
  • Mounted but not matted – edges exposed
  • To glaze or not to glaze
  • Sewn to a mat board and framed – edges exposed
  • Flush mounted then framed – edges covered with no mat

Lesson 2: Gallery Wrapped

  • Wrap that thing!
  • Wrapped and fused
  • Sewn and stapled
  • Glued and wrapped
  • Glued with painted edges
  • Sewn with painted edges
  • Wrapped and stapled
  • Wrapped, stapled, staples covered
  • Gallery wrapped with a canvas floater frame

Lesson 3: Mounting Variations

  • Hidden mount on gallery wrapped canvas
  • Hidden mount on wrapped stretcher bars
  • Cradled wood board with velcro wafers
  • Sleeve for a standing tabletop frame
  • Plexiglass mount, sewn
  • Plexiglass mount, velcro wafers

Lesson 4: The Frame as Art

  • Painted gallery wrapped canvas
  • Design considerations
  • Integrating the frame into your artwork
  • Extending your design onto the canvas
  • Molding paste for texture
  • Screened canvas with molding paste

 

 

FAQs:

Q: Will you include links to suppliers?
A: Absolutely yes! If you are an international (outside of the US) student and have links to share, please do!

Q: What are the lessons like?
A: Each lesson includes several short video links as well as written supply lists.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be open to you permanently 

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will answer questions through August of 2017. After that this will be a stand-alone video course with FAQ sections included in each section.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: No, but you can access them anywhere you have wifi or a data connection.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to be able to save the URL and password for the Ruzuku site. That’s about it!

 

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Online Course: Bead It Like You Mean It

Open Now

$29.99

Register Here

 

BE INSPIRED and get creative as fun-loving artist Lyric Kinard guides you through the basics of beaded embellishment on cloth. 

Make straight or curved solid lines, split or join them, or simply add one bead at a time. Cage a beautiful cabochon, or get silly with stacks, the perfect finish for your favorite funky flowers. 

Are you a quilter? Foil the quilt police and learn to bead from the top of a finished quilt with no knots or mess on the back

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens January 17th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. 

After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

open access course – get all lessons immediately
$29.99

Register Here

 

Lesson 1: Materials

  • beads
  • needles
  • threads
  • supports

Lesson 2: Seed Beads

  • dots
  • straight lines
  • curved lines
  • corners
  • joins
  • splits

Lesson 3: Bugle Beads

  • singles
  • lines
  • fans

Lesson 4: Chunky Beads

  • options for hiding the thread

Lesson 5: Stacks

  • short or tall
  • funky stamens for flowers

Lesson 6: Beaded Bezels

  • beaded bezel for caging a cabochon

Lesson 7: Working from the Top

  • bead from the top of the quilt
  • no knots or mess on the back

 

course never closes, you will get continual access
$29.99

Register Here

 

FAQs:

Q: Will you include links to suppliers?
A: Absolutely yes! If you are an international (outside of the US) student and have links to share, please do!

Q: What are the lessons like?
A: Each lesson includes several short video links as well as written supply lists and occasional illustrations.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be open to you permanently 

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will answer questions. This is a stand-alone video course with FAQ sections included in each section.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: No, but you can access them anywhere you have wifi or a data connection.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to be able to save the URL and password for the Ruzuku site. That’s about it!

Q: Is this the same as your DVD?
A: Yes. The video content is coming directly from Lyric’s DVD of the same name. There will, however be additional written content and… direct interaction with Lyric if you have any questions.

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The wedding dress!!!

Avia sent me a link to her formal wedding pictures shortly after I arrived in New Zealand and I immediately foisted them upon every soul who sat still long enough for me to pull them up. I’ve been dying to share them with you but wanted to wait until she shared them publicly first.

Even though I have solemnly sworn to never sew with silk gauze again, ever. Ever. Never. The happiness I see in how beautiful it makes this funny, wickedly smart, and hard working young woman feel makes it worthwhile. And we adore Chase. They are a perfect couple.

Monika Ottehenning now lives in Los Angeles but grew up in North Carolina with my girls. She is a spectacularly able photographer and she has worked diligently to become so.

Its enough to make a mother cry. 

Portobello antiques at the tannery in christchurch

The tannery is an absolutely lovely shopping are repurposed from, what else, a tannery. Full of amazing shops such as a Marinello fabric store, hand spun wool shop, cafes, “op-shops” (thrift stores), and an amazing antique shop with thinks that made me laugh or wonder every time I turned around.

Around town in Christchurch

Christchurch cathedral

A memorial to the lives lost during the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch. It’s a beautiful and peaceful walk along the river.

 

Nowhere is he heartbreaking devastation resulting from the 2011 earthquakes more visible than the in looking through safety fencing around the Christchurch Cathedral.

But everywhere we look there are new buildings and new construction and beautiful architecture going up. People are resilient creatures, are they not!?

 

Akaroa New Zealand

This entire trip thus far has been breathtaking! Today – almost literally. The wind as our boat travelled through the harbor was quite brisk. But to have a large pod of Hector’s dolphins come play under my feet for a very long time was pure amazement and joy.

New Zealand is sheep country. And spectacularly gorgeous.

Jenny Gillies Wearable Art – Christchurch Botanical Garden

Kia ora from New Zealand airports

I cannot possibly overstate how much I geeked out about this.

Art in the Airport…. Jennie Gillie’s wearables!

almost ready to go….

Class supplies sorted?

Check.

(We won’t mention the weeks of sourcing and ordering supplies overseas – thanks Kerry!)

 

Class suitcase organized, packed, and weighed?

Check!

 

Ten billion things that I also want to bring that will never fit?

Who needs to wear clothes anyway?

 

I keep having this idea of sewing up a quick tote bag. My American carry-on is too large and the limit is 15lbs anyway. I’m told they actually weigh it. I’ll tell you a secret. Because I’ve never had my carry-on weighed in the states it often weighs more than my checked bags. This is going to be a challenge!

Now the final scramble. Find my favorite swim top. Pick up my new glasses – it will be delightful to be able to see, won’t it? Finish up errands that will keep my children cared for while I’ve abandoned them. Deep tissue massage to undo a knot or two before I crunch down into a plane. Maybe i’ll get out a newsletter. (My apologies for not having time to update the calls for entry list.)

Lyric is away for a bit…

THE SHOP WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL OCTOBER 25TH.
Meanwhile enjoy pictures of Lyric’s New Zealand adventure on her blog.

Lyric will be teaching at the New Zealand National Quilt Symposium in Christchurch – and exploring some of the islands. Much, much, much too little of the islands for her taste. She wishes she could stay for months as see it all. 

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watching vs. doing

DOING wins!!!

I love glass as an art form. My first stop in Seattle was the Chihully museum. I’ve watched glass workers every chance I’ve had, one of my favorites of all time was at the Blenko Glass Factory in Milton, West Virginia. There was something fascinating about a team of big bearded dudes in overalls without shirts doing a complicated choreographed dance and creating something delicate and stunningly beautiful.

On a lovely day in Utah when we were to meet my sister and her family from Portland we ended up at Thanksgiving Point and parked in front of Holdman Studios and Glass Art Institute. We wandered in for a peek. My two youngest weren’t entirely thrilled although they thought it was fairly interesting. Mostly they wanted to go back to the donut shop we had just passed. Thanks to a chatty sales clerk I learned that they offer classes. Being from out of town I didn’t really pay attention until she went on to describe them as a one-time project. You only have to wait a day for the glass to anneal and we happened to have a couple of free days later in the week. I signed all three of us up!!!

So here we are. Little guy sits and rolls the first gather on the pipe. The artist pulled the gather out of the crucible… that furnace was so white hot inside that you almost couldn’t see where the fire and the crucible and the glass began and ended.

Next step – rolling out your glob into more of a cylinder.

The artist gathers another layer of glass, you roll it out again, then roll it into little shards of the coloring agents.

This then goes into a furnace and you turn it while the shards melt into the gather.

I’m telling you – even when the fan is on- they open that furnace door and it’s instant burn time! The wooden paddle he is holding will rest on the pipe and shield her from the heat just enough that she stops squawking.

After another layer from the crucible is added, more rolling, more shaping, a second layer of coloring shards and melting, it’s time to flatten out the cylinder. You roll and press it with a steel paddle. It’s fascinating how quickly and suddenly as the glass flattens that you get a hard edge on the molten glass.

Now, with a little help, giant pliers pull the edge. It’s a pretty thick and heavy glob of glass and the edges cool quickly but you keep pulling. Imagine a two pound hunk of cooled taffy. The red color is just the HOT glass.. it will be blue when it cools.

After pulling out the edges, the kids used what looked like a giant pair of tweezers to dent the back of their dish. The glass was placed on that pile of white stuff behind me in the video – a tap on the rod broke it off and they paddled the bottom flat. My project was a flower vase. I think it’s fascinating that as the edges cool the rest of the glass is still molten.

It’s not something I was purchase if I saw it in a shop, but all of us are inordinately in love with the glass we made. Little guy uses his for everything, from potato chips to legos. Little girl carries hers around or just looks at it. Me too.

Like I said – DOING wins hands down. Our second trip through the gallery the kids were fascinated by every little detail, trying to imagine how you spun out such a heavy gather of glass into a two foot wide platter. All of us now noticed every little detail and appreciated colors and shapes in a way we hadn’t before.

I wonder what other art forms and skills I could gain a huge appreciate for by giving them a try?

avia’s wedding

Avia was married in Utah in the Provo City Center Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The building has an amazing history – starting life as a tabernacle – burning horribly just a few years ago.

It was a beautiful day. Things turned out beautifully. I didn’t have time to make my own dress – I didn’t even care. It was a day about Avia. And about being with my family. My gorgeous son Ethan was such a lovely young man. My family took pictures – I was too busy. I’ll have to wait for the professional photographs to come.

I got to see family from Montana, Idaho, California, and Illinois! My Washington family was in Utah the week before but my sister is a teacher (my heroes – teachers) and had to be back before the wedding.

Nephews and sons and my mom.
So many of my favorite people in one place.

And now for the bride.

And the dress…

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avia’s wedding

Hello Friends… I’ve been missing in action for several months. Maybe longer. The keyword here might be action. I’ve thought about many a topic for blog posts and have quite a few in que but want most to share this one with you first. 

My second daughter, Avia, was married last week. She is my picky girl. Or more precisely – the girl who knows exactly what she wants and is patient enough to wait for it. When she was a toddler she would work diligently for an hour on a drawing then have a sudden meltdown because of a minuscule error that we couldn’t fathom. She still is a perfectionist – an excellent quality for a talented graphic designer. The meltdowns are a thing of the past… or at least very quietly internal instead of external.

When she told me she was engaged I worried only the tiniest bit and only because I worried that she had let her cool, analytical self make the decision without enough of her heart involved. That’s only because I only got to see them together for a very short couple of days. She wasn’t feeling well, it was super hot here in NC when they came to introduce themselves as a couple. It just wasn’t enough time to get to know them together. But I TRUST my grown daughters. They are intelligent young women who are balanced and have made wonderful decisions so far.

Funny story – when my oldest, Haven, got married she came home to North Carolina for a few weeks and we made her wedding dress together. I patterned, we cut and sewed, we both made really stupid mistakes. I also called Avia at that time and had a conversation about making dresses. We both agreed that it would never work for me to make her dress. She’s too picky and I’m not patient enough to make the perfect dress.

Or so we thought. Avia searched and found the perfect dress – in a photo of another bride. Fortunately the photo was taken by a photographer she knew. The enterprising young lass contacted the other bride and asked if she could rent the dress. An arrangement was made and the dress was shipped but it didn’t fit and couldn’t be altered. Sigh. Enter me and my big mouth as I sat talking to her on the phone. I happened to have a bunch of patterns out at the time as I was getting rid of most of them. She had continued her search but couldn’t find anything close because the dress was too simple. I said it really wouldn’t be that hard to make.

The pattern WAS simple. The fabrics we chose were another story altogether. I layered silk habit in between two layers of silk crepe de chine for each pattern piece. She didn’t want shiny and this sandwiched silk was perfect, but needed body and stability – and a little less transparency. I cut out, layered, and serged the edge of each piece. She wanted a floaty sheer layer on the top of the skirt and we chose silk gauze. Here’s a little hint for you. Use chiffon. NOT gauze. It’s beautifully light. It floats in the air – enough that it took forever to lay out each piece and weight it down so that I could even cut it out.

Krista and Scott Lewis – the very best in-laws anyone could wish for!

Enter a miracle. I took the pieces with me so that I could fit them on and Krista, my new son-in-law’s mother, happens also to be a sewer. She invited my two youngest children and I to stay with her and use her sewing studio to work on the dress. I thought it would take a day. It took almost four. And those four days settled my heart with serenity as I got to know Krista and Scott and as I watched Chase and Avia in their element. They were happy. They were delightful. They were a perfect match. And they also happen to live in an extremely beautiful place.

Krista’s hospitality (and her steamer and serger and sewing machine – as well as a willingness to  keep my two youngest occupied) got the job done. It took most of a day to hand roll and hem the silk gauze layer, and all of 40 minutes to hem two layers of the crepe. The machine simply couldn’t handle the gauze and we never could get the serger to work for it.

I think Avia was 95% satisfied – especially after I agreed to cut down the sleeves into cap sleeves after she tried it on and thought about it for a day or two. Everyone is entitled to change their minds and it was the only thing really doable at that point. Her beautiful smile made it all worth while.

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get a photo of the finished product.

sale – the quilting arts book by patricia bolton

The Quilting Arts Book
techniques and inspiration for creating one-of-a-king quilts
by Patricia Bolton
145 pages

$7 + 4 domestic shipping

Short Story: I have a box of books to unload. It is a collection of articles from Quilting Arts Magazine. Chapter two is entirely my article series on basic design. The very same articles that led the indomitable and persistent Miss Bolton to call me several years in a row and tell me I must write a book. 

The book includes articles from many of my favorite quilters including:

Melanie Testa

Linda and Laura Kemshall

Natalya Aikens

So help a girl out here – I don’t want to carry this box three flights of stairs up to the new studio when it eventually gets finished. You can get the book new for $15 on Amazon but only $7 here.

$7 + 4 domestic shipping

 

 

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still yearning

Still Yearning
2017
21″w x 14”h
Printed cloth, batting, thread, embroidery, hope
Exhibit Schedule Here

From it’s very inception, the privilege of citizenship in the Unites States of America has been denied to group after group, based on race and religion. African Americans were not granted citizenship until 1868, four years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Native Americans were not granted citizenship until 1924. Chinese immigrants were not allowed citizenship until 1943. We have turned away people after people who have sought refuge and opportunity. Now our leaders have chosen to vilify Muslims fleeing massacre and Latin Americans fleeing unbearable violence and seeking a better life for their children. 

We as citizens can choose to better live the highest of our American values; “that all men are created equal.” Through our individual actions and with compassion we can stitch our country into a tapestry of great strength and beauty. Through our votes and by encouraging data based civil dialogue, we can mend the tears in the fabric of our society.

Flag photograph by Stuart Seager used by permission
Immigrant photos by Augustus Sherman
Manuscripts and Archives Devision
The New York Public Library: public domain

You can hear me speak more about this piece on the
Threads of Resistance website here

History of Racial Discrimination in US Immigration Policy

1790 Any free white person can apply for citizenship after two years of residency.

1798 Alien and Sedition Acts require 14 years of residency before citizenship and provides for deportation of “dangerous” aliens. Changed to five year residency in 1800.

1857 Dred Scott decision declares free Africans non-citizens

1868 The Fourteenth amendment to the constitution grants citizenship to African Americans, four years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act suspended Chinese immigration for 10 years and barred Chinese in the U.S. from citizenship.

1888 Provisions are again adopted for expulsion of aliens.

1891 Bureau of Immigration established. More classes of aliens restricted.

1892 Ellis Island opened on the east coast, Angel Island on the west. Women traveling alone must be met by a man, or they were immediately deported.

1902 Chinese Exclusion Act renewed indefinitely.

1906 Knowledge of English becomes a basic requirement for naturalization.

1907 Head tax on immigrants is raised. People with physical or mental defects and unaccompanied children added to the exclusion list. Japan agrees to limit emigrants to US.

1910 Congress assumed inferiority of “new immigrants” from southern and eastern Europe.

1917 Immigration Act established “Asiatic Barred Zone”

1921 Quota Act of 1921 limited immigrants to 3% of each nationality present in US in 1910.

1922 Japanese made ineligible for citizenship.

1924 Quotas changed to 2% of each nationality based on numbers in 1890. Jewish emigres limited. Border Patrol established. Native Americans made citizens.

1929 Annual quotas of the 1924 act made permanent.

1943 Chinese Exclusion Laws repealed, China’s quota set at token 105 immigrants annually.

1948 Displaced Persons Act allowed 205,000 refugees over two years, gave priority to Baltic States refugees. Technical provisions discriminated against Catholics and Jews.

1950 Grounds for exclusion and deportation are expanded. All aliens required to report their addresses annually.

1952 Immigration and Nationality Act eliminates race as a bar to immigration or citizenship. japans quota set at 185 annually, China’s at 105, the Axian countries 100 apeice. Restrictions placed on immigrants from British colonies in order to stem tide of black West Indians.

1965 Hart-Cellar Act abolished national origins quotas. Categories of preference based on familiy ties, critical skills, artistic excellence, and refugee status established.

1978 Separate celings for Western and Eastern hemispheric immigration combined into a worldwide limit of 290,000.

1980 Refugee Act removes refugees as a preference category.

1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provides amnesty for many legal aliens.

1990 Immigration Act of 1990 limited unskilled workers to 10,000 per year. 

2001 USA Patriot Act amended Immigration and Nationality Act to broaden scope of aliens ineligible for admission or deportable.

2017 President Trump attempts to ban muslims from entering the United States from seven so-called “terrorist” countries in spite of the fact that not one single American life has been lost by a domestic terrorist attack from an immigrant from those countries. There is no ban placed on travel from countries that HAVE attacked the United States. In fact, President Trump greatly admired the dictators in Saudi Arabia.

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Dialect

Dialect
40″ x 40″
hand dyed cloth, batting, acrylic, thread

 

Premiering at the International Quilt Festival in
Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Cloth
presented by Dinner@8
created by Leslie Tucker Jennison and Jamie Fingal

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a lovely look at faces – it’s all about value

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite quilt artists – Virginia Greaves. She recently created a piece for Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Fabric curated by Dinner@8. It will premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.

With some of the recent tutorials I’ve given you and using apps to make photo patterns I’d like to skip ahead and show you how important it is to work carefully with VALUE when working with faces. Remember, VALUE is how much light or dark is in the color you are using. In Ginny’s case, the scale and density of the VISUAL TEXTURE (pattern) in the cloth creates lighter and darker  value as much as the actual color does.

Click over and get an in-depth look at Ginny’s process. She has created a beautiful piece of work and I know you’ll enjoy it.

 

You can learn more about the elements of art in my book, Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises, available here.

On-line Course: Picture It Framed


UPGRADE YOUR ART by learning a variety of professional presentation options for textiles. Award winning artists, Lyric Kinard shows you mounting and framing options. Learn which factors to consider to present your work in the best possible light.

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens June 19th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW
$29.99

 

Lesson 1: Basic Framing

  • When to use a mat – edges showing or covered
  • Mounted with gel medium, matted
  • Mounted but not matted – edges exposed
  • To glaze or not to glaze
  • Sewn to a mat board and framed – edges exposed
  • Flush mounted then framed – edges covered with no mat

Lesson 2: Gallery Wrapped

  • Wrap that thing!
  • Wrapped and fused
  • Sewn and stapled
  • Glued and wrapped
  • Glued with painted edges
  • Sewn with painted edges
  • Wrapped and stapled
  • Wrapped, stapled, staples covered
  • Gallery wrapped with a canvas floater frame

Lesson 3: Mounting Variations

  • Hidden mount on gallery wrapped canvas
  • Hidden mount on wrapped stretcher bars
  • Cradled wood board with velcro wafers
  • Sleeve for a standing tabletop frame
  • Plexiglass mount, sewn
  • Plexiglass mount, velcro wafers

Lesson 4: The Frame as Art

  • Painted gallery wrapped canvas
  • Design considerations
  • Integrating the frame into your artwork
  • Extending your design onto the canvas
  • Molding paste for texture
  • Screened canvas with molding paste

 

REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW
$29.99

 

FAQs:

Q: Will you include links to suppliers?
A: Absolutely yes! If you are an international (outside of the US) student and have links to share, please do!

Q: What are the lessons like?
A: Each lesson includes several short video links as well as written supply lists.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be open to you permanently 

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will answer questions through August of 2017. After that this will be a stand-alone video course with FAQ sections included in each section.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: No, but you can access them anywhere you have wifi or a data connection.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to be able to save the URL and password for the Ruzuku site. That’s about it!

on-line course: abstract-a-licious august 16 – september 30

If you’ve looked with secret longing at the world of Abstract Art but have no idea where to begin, this is the class for you.  Lessons consist of  concrete design exercises that are clear and easily understood as well as ample encouragement from an award winning teacher. You don’t need to have drawing or design skills as this course is designed to inspire and teach  both the timid beginner and the confident creative. Lyric’s easily followed  instructions  lead you to create  your own unique and original abstract compositions.

registration is open now
$49.00 for 6 lessons

This course includes space for you to share your pictures and get feedback from your classmates. The more you contribute, the livelier class will be.  Lyric will pop in twice a week to give feedback on each picture posted. This platform provides a safe space for a lively and sharing creative community to explore without judgement and competition.

Each week you’ll receive an email with a link to a new lesson. The lessons are available 24/7 and you’ll receive a downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from. There are short videos to show how Lyric works each exercise and to explain the gist of things.

Just like in a live classroom, you’ll be able to see your fellow students work and discuss how things are going. You’ll get encouragement and instruction from Lyric on all the work you post.

Supplies consist of things you already have at hand so you won’t be time or money shopping for things you might not use again. The most important supply is an adventurous willingness to explore, grow, and play as you learn to see and create within the framework of abstract design. Doodles will be scribbled, eyes and minds will be opened, and fun will be had. Won’t you join us?

Lesson 1 will open on August 16th
Lyric’s last comment on student assignments will be September 30th but the class will not close. 
You will have continual access to these lessons.

The classroom opens as soon as you register.
You can introduce yourself and familiarize yourself with the online classroom.
Lessons will consist of short video introductions and PDFs.

registration is open now
$49.00 for 6 lessons

FAQs:
Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will use pen and paper but Lyric will show you exactly what to do.

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Us whatever your favorite medium is to create your studies. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into them if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your eye as an artist.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. The classroom is open two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is a little wiggle room.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on each posted assignment until September 30th.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the written content, available as PDF lessons. You can download them as soon as they are released or wait until the end of the course when they are available in one continuous file (great for e-readers). The videos are not downloadable but you can continue to access them after September 30th.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. Support@Ruzuku.com is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

Jamie Fingal’s Hopscotch Fabric Line

I have the BEST friends! The kind that say, “I’ve just created a fabric line. Will you help me make samples?” And then you get this gargantuan list of amazing fabrics to choose from and then they show up in the mail and then you get to play!

And play around I did… with no serious plan in mind

This was a “fun” project so I had no real interest in carefully planning ahead. The only requirement was for the finished quilt to be 18″ square.

A few squares and a few seams later I had a big stack of mostly good half-square triangles. Piecing is definitely not my forte´but every once in a while the mindless repetition is a nice way to meditate along to the hum of a machine.

Next a little fusible web…

And a little playful fusing. See how I added enough border that I didn’t need to measure until the very end? That takes all of the stress out of it for me.

And there you go. Some kisses and hugs to Jamie in appreciation of her creativity and to RJR for printing such a fabulous line. Look for it in your local shops soon!

Jamie was kind enough to let my fabulous quilt bee, the Material Girls, get in on the action.

Kathy Ackerman

Kathy Ackerman … again! Sew girl sew!

Becky Harbour

Cris Brookheart

 

If you want to take a peek at all the other fabulous little quilts made from this line click through this list of artists. With “blender” fabrics like these you can make pretty much any style of quilt, as you’ll see.

hop, skip, jump blog hop
4-24 Jamie Fingal https://jamiefingaldesigns.blogspot.com/
4-25 Cindy Cooksey https://cookseyville.blogspot.com/
4-26 Sue Bleiweiss  https://suebleiweiss.blog/
4-27 Lyric Kinard  https://lyrickinard.blogspot.com/
4-28 Susan Brubaker Knapp  https://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
5-1 Leslie Tucker Jenison https://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/
5-2 Deborah Boschert https://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/
5-3 Libby Williamson https://libbywilliamsondesigns.blogspot.com/

a week long design intensive – i can’t wait!!!

Does your creative brain wake up with the rest of nature like mine does? The trees budding seems to pull the sap out of hibernation in my own spirit. When that happens I get all excited and start making plans! Some of those plans are for my own artwork but many of them include classes I want to share with my students!

Have I got something wonderful for you!!!! 

This summer I’ll be teaching a FIVE DAY workshop at one of the most venerated institutions among artists who work with textiles as a medium. ProChemical and Dye has been a primary resource for many of us working in the field of surface design. In fact, the very first class I took when I decided I wanted to DO THIS was with Don Weiner, the founder of the company. I am very excited and honored to have the opportunity to be part of this great company for a short while.

I’ll be giving you glimpses of what we will be learning in this class over the next couple of weeks but let me tell you this – it is going to be FUN – INTENSE – and very, very, EDUCATIONAL! In one week we will play with a great variety printing techniques such as 

  • stamp carving
  • stencil cutting
  • screen printing
  • photo transfer
  • foiling

Mixed all in with that we will play with design exercises that will teach us more about the Elements and Principles of art.

  • how to create pleasing and well integrated designs on our cloth
  • how to create whole cloth focal point art with printing
  • how to create art with the cloth we create

I know you would love this class! Won’t you join me?

You can REGISTER here!

When it gets quiet here…

It means life has ramped up behind the scenes. Sometimes good. Sometimes less so. A little bit of both this time. I’ve spent the past two months furiously working to meet each weeks deadline to get a lesson up in time for my online class. I’ve learned a LOT in the process! Nothing like a forced deadline to get my rear in gear!

One of the things I learned was that every once in a while my squirrel brain had to have break from the intense focus – just to play. I was setting up a photo shoot to illustrate one of the exercises for the online class (remember the scissors-to-abstract-art challenge a while ago?) and got a little carried away. I hope you enjoy the results.

 

Why I Resist

I have thought long and hard about what to say here about my involvement with the Threads of Resistance exhibit.

I have never posted about anything controversial here in this public forum, keeping my business and political life entirely separate. If you follow me on Facebook you know that I have been unable to stay quiet about my political opinions there. I strive to engage in civil dialogue. I strive to honor and listen to all points of view. I strive to promote kindness and love and light. So why would I help sponsor an exhibit that to some might be offensive? I hope you will do me the kindness of reading with an open heart and mind.

WHY?

BECAUSE in my naive youth I wrote an essay that explored ideas of xenophobia and wondered if immigrants could be America’s best asset if we would embrace them. This was before I knew more than a handful of people that didn’t look and talk and worship just like me.

Since then I’ve gained experience, learned the story of the “other” in America, been privileged to be let into the hearts and lives of those who love this country but have not been fully embraced. I have been the privileged recipient of the kindness of immigrants and refugees in my life. I have witnessed the sacrifice of parents fleeing bombings and war or no way to support their children at home. Parents who give up everything they know to provide safety and hope for their children. Parents who believed America when she says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I was born in a city surrounded by a wall and a death strip erected by dictators and have lived to see that divisive wall come down.

I cannot support a man who uses words to promote fear of my fellow Americans, who demonizes the “other” if their skin is brown. A man who wants to build a wall that we cannot afford and that will not matter to the safety of this country.

I resist because I have HOPE.

Hope in seeing the crowd at the airport that welcomes the refugees fleeing terror and war. Hope in seeing the compassion of the American people. Hope in a new generation that does not believe the color of your skin should determine your educational opportunities or whether you will survive an encounter with a police officer.

BECAUSE I remember being a very young teenager, walking with my sister. A boy, bigger and older than me got out of a van, came up behind me and roughly grabbed me. There. Then walked away laughing. I was so shocked and frightened that my sister and I turned around and walked home. I changed out of my new pants and undid my new hairdo. I had worn both for the first time. I never wore those pants or did my hair that way again thinking somehow that I was at fault for looking like that. I never told anyone. My sister and I never talked about it.

I cannot support a man who through his actions and words thinks that sexual assault is acceptable.

I resist because I have HOPE

My daughters will have someone to tell who will not brush it off or blame what they wore. Men and women are standing up to say that sexual assault is NEVER acceptable.

BECAUSE I grew up spending hours in front of our family’s National Geographic collection, reading about all the wonders in the world. I longed to see the beauty of nature and her amazing creatures. As an adult that same magazine has been full of the heartbreaking disappearance and destruction of those resources.

I cannot support a man who values short term profit for the very few over preserving the finite natural resources that will not last another generation.

I resist because I have HOPE.

I see scientists coming out of their labs and onto the streets. They are sharing data and knowledge and trying to help us save our world. I see a young generation trying to salvage this mess that we have bequeathed to them. They value community and world citizenship.

I resist.

Because America is not meant to be ruled by a king or an oligarch.

Because I love the constitution of the United States. 

Because I value the checks and balances of the Judiciary branch.

Because I honor the sacrifices made by those who fight for our freedoms. 

Because I believe in the freedom of religion for all Americans.

Because I believe the press must be free to expose deception.

Because I believe educating ALL our children is vital to our future.

Because I seek truth and will not condone lies.

Because I feel I must speak for those who are denied a voice.

Because I value love and compassion and kindness.

Because I love America.

Because I am an American.

 

I RESIST.

Because I HOPE.

If you would like to join us please look here for more information and an open call for entry.
Entry deadline is May 1, 2017
Juried artworks will travel from July 2017 through at least October of 2018

 

I welcome your respectful comments, whatever your view.
Aside from this post, this blog will remain, by and large, non-political.

making faces….

I’ve got a new class on the docket, Playful Portraiture. As is always the case with a new class I’ll work and tweak and refine the class material and process for at least the first couple of years. This morning I got a bit carried away making patterns for my students to use….


 

A day off…

I had one of those days yesterday. Not enough sleep and a headache. Heartache too. Then a wonderful friend reached out to me. Just a simple texted conversation but it helped me get off my duff and get moving. I knew I had deadlines to meet but I had just enough room to put them off for a day or two and work on something just for fun. I turned off the news and turned on some happy music.

I’ve had a bit of an impulsive buying spree lately. I really, really love linen clothing. The wrinkly loose and comfy kind, not the tailored starched, don’t-sit-down-or-you-will-wrinkle kind. I’ve gained enough weight in the past couple years that most of my clothes no longer fit. Along comes Fabrics-store.com and I’m in trouble because their linen is luscious. Don’t sign up for their newsletter, whatever you do. Every day they will send you a new sale item and you sit there imagining the things you want to make and somehow you end up buying the stuff even though you know you have no time to actually sew.

I turned off the news and cleared off my work table and spent the day playing. My favorite shape to dress my current body (skinny legs, pot gut) in is a loose, swingy top and leggings with boots. I took two of my current favorite tops and sort of cut around them to create a pattern. Well, actually, I didn’t even make a pattern first. I just laid the sleeve or the body of the shirt onto the fabric and cut away. I figure if it’s loose and big enough it will work. I followed the hood from one top and the raglan sleeves from another and just improvised on the shape from the bust down.

Am I the only one who gets a little thrill from only having this much fabric left over? There is something supremely satisfying about puzzling out the most efficient way to cut the cloth so that pretty much every useable bit is used up. Have you seen Dorothy Turnham’s book, “Cut My Cote“? Published in 1973 but my mom had it (and it sort of came to live with me) and I was always fascinated by the detailed diagrams of historical clothing and how every bit of cloth was utilized. That makes perfect sense when it might have been your own hundreds of hours that picked and prepared and spun and wove the cloth you were using.It’s been a while since I’ve sewn something to wear. I took pleasure in going slow. Well – actually – I almost never sew slowly. Perhaps deliberately is a better word. You can do “deliberate” pedal to the metal, right? I sewed interior French seams beautifully finished and pressed even though I had a serger sitting right there next to me. Although honestly – I probably just didn’t want to mess with changing the thread from black to white. And here’s a tip – do you use an edge stitching foot when making hems or topstitching seams? It’s the BEST. I end up sewing almost the entire garment with that foot on.So after wearing it around for a while I think I’m OK with it. I had no expectations of perfection and knew I was taking a chance without making a muslin first. The V neck spread wide instead of down so the arms and the hood are shifted back farther than I’d like. I thing I have just enough left to make two ties so that I could attach them at the front of the hood and tie them if it bothers me. The pocket openings are cut on the bias so they are gapping as well. I sewed clear elastic inside the hem there but I might add a decorative tuck. I sewed the same elastic inside edge of the hood because I didn’t feel like making a long linen tie and threading it through. Deliberate and lazy at the same time. Or – I just know where I choose to intensify my efforts and where to take short cuts.

Can I encourage you to do something? Reach out to a friend. You never know how much that simple gesture can make a difference. Send a text. Pick up the phone. Write a letter. The world needs all the kindness it can get right now.

Tutorial: How to Paint Your Shoes

Question?
 
 
What can a person do with some acrylic paints, brushes, some nifty new paint markers, and a favorite pair of old but comfy shoes?
 
 
Answer!
 Get some STYLE my friend!
 
Ready? Find a pair of shoes, preferably leather. My favorite comfy shoes were my first try – they couldn’t look any worse so there was nothing to lose eh? My next pair were a great pair of  NAOT’s (one of the very few brands that fit me.) I think these were as cheap as they were on Ebay because they were kind of an ugly color. Maybe you’ll have the same luck as I did there.
 
 
 
 
 
 
You’ll need: shoes, fingernail polish remover, gesso, acrylic paint, spray sealer. Optional – sharpie, paint markers.
 
 
 
 
 
Take the shoes and clean them up as much as you can then rub a little nail polish remover all over them . It roughs them up and removes any finishes so the paint will stick to the leather.
 
 
 
 
Prime the shoes with a layer of gesso then let them dry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chose one or several base paint colors and block them in. That just means put the colors where you want them. I used textile paint because those happened to be the paints I have on hand. I did choose opaque paints rather than transparent in order to get better coverage.
 
 
 
I like using the paint markers next to doodle in some shapes. You could also choose to start out with the sharpie and doodle designs onto your color blocks. On the blue shoes I painted blue first, purple next, used the sharpies, then filled in spots with the paint markers. For the red shoes, I knew I wanted them to be RED, RED, RED so I kept it monochromatic. I was so excited about the paint markers that I played with those first then filled in around them with the sharpies.
 
 
 
Loved what was happening here so I kept going and doodled more with the sharpie. Uh… didn’t like it much. Hey – not a problem! Now I know what I want. Paint back over it and decide that for this particular shoe, less is enough!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Take the shoe outside, stuff the inside with newspaper, tape off the soles if you’d like to then spray a thin coat of sealer to protect the paint.Wait patiently for the stuff to dry then wear with STYLE!
 
 
 
 
 

Tutorial: Stamp Carving

Thought you might like a little tutorial on stamp carving. This is a short video excerpt from my Quilting Arts DVD workshop, Surface Design Sampler Platter.

sdsp

This is just one of MANY surface design techniques taught on this DVD.

Tutorial: Mounting Small Textiles on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Let me tell you a funny story. My husband loves me dearly and supports me in every way. He is, after all, Mr. Almost Perfect! He is also an engineer and has admitted that he does not “get” art. He’s happy I do it but it has yet to touch his soul. The first time I showed him one of my small textile works in a frame his exact words were, “Wow! That looks like ART!” I had to take more than one very deep breaths thinking, “What did it look like before?” As soon as my head cleared I had something of an epiphany… or at least a “duh” moment. Most people have no real life experience with textile art. If they see a fancy little bit of fabric they might only have grandma’s potholders to relate it to. Framing your small textile works presents them in a format that is immediately understood by everyone as ART!

canvas 08Over the next week I’m going to show you a few of the ways to present your smaller textile art pieces. First up is mounting your work on gallery wrapped canvas. Begin with a small, finished textile piece. In this case it’s an abstract piece, fused and stitched to timtex with a satin stitched edge.

canvas 01

Gallery wrapped canvases are fairly inexpensive – especially when you use your half off coupon at your local craft store. I like to use the deeper canvases, usually 1  3/4 inches or so. Choose a size that is several inches bigger than your textile work all around – it’s especially good if the wooden frame on the back isn’t overlapping your artwork. You’ll see why in a minute. I paint my canvas to accent the artwork, in essence turning it into an integral part of the overall design of the piece. In this case I played with layers of paint, sometimes sponging them off with a wet paper towel before they were all the way dry. When the piece was fully mounted I went back in with india ink and doodled a continuation of the black stitched motif. I love to bleed my textile work out onto the canvas.

canvas 03

Place your work on the painted canvas and pin it in at least three, preferably four spots so it won’t move around while you sew it down. I chose thread the same color as the satin stitching on this piece so that I can just sew right through the edge. If your piece is faced or does not have an edge treatment that you can sew through, you just carefully catch the back edge with each stitch you take. A little tricky but not impossible! I use a thin but fairly sturdy needle and use a thimble on my “underneath” finger and a secretary’s rubber finger on my “topside” pointer finger to help pull the needle through. Painted canvas can be tough but these two tools will help a lot!

s canvas 04Make sure you knot the thread well. See how close the stitching is to the wooden frame? I learned the hard way to make sure that frame isn’t right under where I need to stitch. Again – you CAN angle your needle under that frame but it’s a royal pain in the rear!

s canvas 05I fuse a label or use a sharpie to create one on the back of the canvas. Sometimes I’ll subtly sign one of the sides of the canvas as well but on works of this size I rarely sign the front. I feel the signature competes with the composition. You do it whichever way you feel best but always, always, ALWAYS sign and date your work – somewhere. Now I screw in the eyes and wire the work for hanging. I like to wrap the ends of that wire with a little bit of tape. The ends of picture hanging wire make for nasty little scratches and cuts when you handle it.

s canvas 07

 

If you enjoyed this tutorial I know you will love my online course:

UPGRADE YOUR ART by learning a variety of professional presentation options for textiles. Award winning artists, Lyric Kinard shows you mounting and framing options. Learn which factors to consider to present your work in the best possible light.

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens June 19th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

registration is open now
$29.99

 

 

Here are a few of my recent works that utilize this technique.

leaves-fullwebGLORY

Click this link to see how this series was created. In this case the leaves were simply glued onto the canvases with gel medium.

600px.FT_.Full_FAMILY TIES

When I mounted most of the pieces in this series I did need to sew them onto the canvas by catching just the back edge. I also chose not to paint the canvases. I did texture them with modeling paste. I pressed lace into the damp paste to get an imprint then when it was dry I used a white acrylic paint over the whole thing. Isn’t it cool how you can take a bunch of tiny pieces and turn them into one bigger work with PRESENCE through this mounting technique? You can see details of each piece in the series by clicking here.

SoarII.400pxSOAR II

This mounting technique works just as well for larger pieces as smaller ones. Works II  through IV in the  Soar Series are mounted on 20×20 canvases.

Tutorial: Satin Stitched Edges for Art Quilts

I have lots of little abstract tops floating around from my Abstract-A-Licious class and recently was able to layer and stitch a few of them up. They make great “to-go” embroidery projects when I’m at a meeting or waiting at one of my kids classes.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_00When I work small (under 18″ or so) I leave my back layer off as I do all of my stitching. Yes, that means top and batting only while I do my machine and hand stitching. Then I fuse a backing on to cover up all the mess and trim everything nice and straight …. if it’s the kind of piece that wants to be nice and straight.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_01

Next up is a very important little bit if you want to satin-stitch or even just zig-zag your edges as a finish. A little triangle of fusible craft stabilizer gets ironed to each corner. If you are a person who thinks ahead – you add this little triangle of craft stabilizer to the back of the quilt-let BEFORE you fuse the back on – so it hides between the layers. As you can see, I’m not a person who things ahead.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_02Next up – choose your thread color – it will become an integral part of the design. I thought red would tie this little piece together without overwhelming anything. You can always pull out and double (or quadruple) up the thread and and lay it out on your quilt before actually choosing which color to use. Audition it. See what works. Take a picture of each option and look at the thumbnails all together if you can’t choose.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_03

Now start in the middle of an edge. A few short straight stitches then a good wide zig-zag, although not your widest. I set the needle to just barely miss the right edge and head on down towards a corner.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_04When you get to the corner, stop the needle on the right, leaving it down. Carefully lift the presser foot and swing the quilt-let down without moving it away from the needle.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_05Now slowly make the next couple of zig-zags on top of the stitching that is already there. Carry on in the same manner all the way around. You can see in the photos here that I’m already on the second layer. My first layer of zig-zag seems to just hold the edges and everything together.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_06On the second go-round I shorten my stitch length to satin stitch closeness – but widen out my zig-zag so that it is just wider than my first go-round.kinard_satin_stitch_edge_tute_07When you have gone all the way around a second time, end with a couple of very short straight stitches and back stitch just one or two stitches. I cut my thread then flip over the piece and give a good hard yank on the back thread to pop the front thread through just a bit. I trim the thread right there at the fabric and it leaves no fuzzy little tail on the front.

And – there you go. Enjoy!

What I’ve been up to….

It’s long past Christmas and the world has moved on, but I  thought I’d share a few links anyway. In 2015 I got a little carried away with origami stars… something that I’ve been toying with for a number of years. Stars symbolize several things to me… light in the darkness, wishes and hopes, and guidance toward goals.When it is very dark outside I love to look up and see that the sky is still there. Sometimes I can see a familiar constellation – sometimes it is just a twinkling smattering of light. When I can see the stars I can see beauty.

Here is a link to the blog post showing this star (my fall time favorite) in process along with a link to the video tutorial I followed.

Children wish on stars. (Anyone else singing like Jiminy Cricket here?) I have wishes and hopes and dreams. I choose to hope, to believe in good triumphing over evil. Perhaps it’s childish but it helps me through the days.
Here is a video tutorial in case you want to make this 8 part Robin Star.

Stars symbolize guidance and hopelessly out-of-reach goals that get you to an amazing place anyway. You never actually expect to reach the North Star when you follow it do you? yet you walk in it’s path and reach a mountaintop right?

This year I didn’t have time to make another tutorial although I met with a group of local women and I showed them how to make the five pointed star as a tree ornament. Here is a video tutorial in case you’d like to make your own. 

I decided that making an origami star was a great way to use the maps and tour guides from various trips. I’m not sure if this picture shows the Paris Subway star or the Mesa Verde, CO map star. Then – one day while I really should have done something else…. I went entirely overboard.

Kusudama Electra sphere designed by David Mitchell
The link leads to a video tutorial that isn’t in english but is very clear and slow – thank you “Easy Origami” for sharing your work.

I made the units for the red sphere here much by cutting each origami square into quarters so the finished star is much smaller than my first one. I admit that my stars are still up. I took down the garland and the Christmas tree quilt, but the stars bring my a spot of hope when I walk by them.

I see them and I wish for peace, and hope, and kindness. Then I go out and see what I can do to make it happen. My own North Star…….

What do you wish?

Tutorial: Mounting Textile Art – gallery wrapped canvas

As promised – here is part 2 of my process in creating a series of works for
The Art Box CSA

Art Box work by Lyric Montgomery Kinard

(part 1 on the process for these works can be found here)

Position your unstitched top on your canvas and trim it down – leaving enough cloth to wrap to the back of your gallery wrapped canvas. In this instance I’m using and 8″x8″ canvas, 1.5″ deep.

Adhere fusible web (regular weight Wonder-Under is my favorite) to the back side of your finished top.

Trim the cloth and remove the release paper.

I’ve placed batting on the canvas with just enough to cover the edges and cut out the corners.

Carefully position the cloth on the canvas

I use the release paper on each side to protect both the iron and the board as I make sure the fusible web is well adhered to the cloth and the batting.

Quilt or stitch and embellish your cloth with the batting but no backing. (yes – it’s a different top in the series from here on out – the pictures were better on this one.)

Here is the stitching from the back – yup – no backing cloth – just the batting.

Pull each of the four corners up and fuse them over the back to the wood. I trimmed the corners where they overlapped into the middle as per the next picture.

Cut the cloth along each side, almost to each corner. Leave just a bit connected.

Tuck in the cloth on the corner, carefully creating a little pleat, pulling the edge of the fold cleanly to the corner edge of the frame.

Iron the side of the canvas, making sure the iron  only touches the side, not the back of the canvas. You need to hold the pleat in place – but be very careful not to burn your fingers.

Cut and trim out any excess cloth, making sure to leave enough cloth with exposed fusible to be able to tack it down. Sometimes I’ll pull a little of the batting away and trim it as well.

Pull each flap in to the wood and iron it down, making sure the corners are cleanly folded. There should be enough exposed fusible web to seal the fabric to itself on the corners and the wood around the edges.

Press all the flaps of fabric to the wood. Sometimes I leave the cloth long enough to press into the inside of the wood frame to give it a really clean look.

 

One last press of each edge.

Lovely clean corners.

If you enjoyed this tutorial I know you will love my online course:

UPGRADE YOUR ART by learning a variety of professional presentation options for textiles. Award winning artists, Lyric Kinard shows you mounting and framing options. Learn which factors to consider to present your work in the best possible light.

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens June 19th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

registration is open now
$29.99

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