Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arizona writ large

Its still all about Arizona for me so here are the pictures of the larger Arizona morning piece that I'm working on.

I'm using all of the same fabrics as in the postcard. Here's the start of my sky (remember: that orange-purple at the top is actually not so dark.)

A few more layers are laid out and the upper ones are sewn down. I did have some rough sketches for the composition which I followed only loosely.

This light blue is my lowest and brightest level of the sky. Its a pretty good early dawn color, I think.

Time for the horizon to make an appearance. A few mountains in the distance to give the essence of the skyline as seen from Tucson.

The precise number, size, shape and placement of the saguaros is a lot more important so I have sketched them out here on some tracing paper. I could absolutely not get by in my studio without tracing paper--I use it for just about every collage piece. I then cut the shapes out and used the tracing paper saguaros as tracing templates.

And here are the fabric saguaros in the same positions. When placement is critical, I adhere the new shapes with a craft glue stick as well as pins. I am then assured that there will be no slippage as I sew them down or manipulate the entire piece.

Of course, I had to listen to some cowboy music while I was working! My choice: "A Great Big Western Howdy!" by the Riders in the Sky. Between their music and what I was creating and seeing in my mind's eye, I was completely transported for an hour or two to, well, Arizona.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wish you were here (in Arizona, that is)

Today I completed the Arizona postcard and sent it off on its merry way to Tohono Chul Park. Good luck, little postcard! Sissy, I hope you like it!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Arizona as an inspiration

In case you haven't noticed, postcards are really speaking to me these days. So, no big surprise, I came across a fiber postcard exhibit and I just had to enter. For this exhibit at the Tohuno Chul Park in Arizona, artists were asked to design a fiber postcard that represents some aspect of, well, Arizona. See the details in their call to artists here:

The interesting twist: we are to mail our postcards directly there! Then they display all of the cards that they receive. The entry fee and SASE for the postcard's return are sent separately. So all of that was intriguing and I was considering it. But then I looked closer at the entry form and saw that the park is located in Tucson where my sister lives. So then I HAD to enter so that she could go and and see my card in person. Sissy--this card is for you!

A little googling on the internet yielded some beautiful saguaro images. I was particularly struck with sunset and sunrise pictures. I decided to make two pieces: a postcard to enter the exhibit and a larger pieces (mmm-maybe placemat size) with more detail. I'll post the progress I made today on the postcard and save the larger piece for a later post. Here's the progress I made today. One of the fabrics that I chose to use is a lovely batik in orange to purple that just does not photograph well. Its not really as dark as it looks. I'll try to shoot some more pictures tomorrow under different lighting conditions.

I decided on a scene of two or three saguaros at sunrise. The intense colors of the sky contrast with the saguaros and the earth which are both still black. Here are my first few layers of sky streaked with colored clouds.

These are all of my sky layers. I'll have more on the larger piece but this is enough for a 4 x 6 postcard.

And now I've added the fundament. Looks pretty simple so far. Hopefully it will all come together.

I've trimmed the top to size and added two saguaros. I really like it!

Here's a close-up of the saguaro. As usual, I have added all my fabrics with "raw edge applique". I used a courser fabric for the saguaros and some of the thread edges have poked out beyond the satin stitch line I used to anchor them down with. Usually, I try to avoid that at all costs but in this application, I love it--it really calls to mind the halo of spines that a saguaro sports. Gotta love serendipity.

I got a a bit of a start on the quilting. There are lots of loose threads that I have to thread to the back. That will be my job this evening. That has to be my least favorite job, but is necessary for a quality job.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Baldwin Park Art Stroll

Last night I participated in the Baldwin Park Art Stroll despite the ominous weather. There were storms all around us and lots of thunder and at 5:00 pm it looked pretty iffy. But my assigned location was under a generous building overhang so I decided it was worth the risk. My artist friend Cheryl Jones Evans also attended and was gracious in sharing her display panels. We mixed our pieces all together on them and I brought along a table to display my note cards and christmas cards. And, of course, my famous postcard rack!! Here are some pix:

My table and card set-up. That's Cheryl in the black blouse. I couldn't have just that ugly table bare to the world so I covered it with my "Midwest Roadmap" piece. Bright! Those are my smaller pieces and name sign on the panels on the right. I sold the black one on the lower left at the very end of the night when we were packing up.

Here is the front or street side of our "H" panel configuration. We thought one of my brightest bigger pieces would be a good eye-catcher.

My table from the front and there's my awesome postcard rack on the left. It sure caught a lot of people's attention. I ended up selling three postcards.

The back side of our "H" had 2 of my pieces. A lot of folks stopped and read my litany of annoyances that I had written all over the "What really bugs me" quilt.

On the other side of the "H", Cheryl displayed some of her hand crafted journals. She sold 3 of these.

So, all in all, I think the show was a success. Cheryl and I both had some sales and we had a good time gabbing with each other and with friends and family that came by to support us. Thanks Leslee and Julie for coming out! And thanks to the folks who purchased some of our art! Double thanks to friends who came by AND purchased art! In this economy, discretionary spending has dropped off the map, so every sale is a precious commodity indeed. Thanks also to the organizers of this event! Brad Biggs--you did a great job. Hope I can participate again!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I was in the final preparation phase today for the Art Stroll tomorrow. I talked to my friend, Cheryl Jones Evans we seemed to be all set with my table, her display boards etc. etc. As I was chatting with her, it dawned on me that I needed a sign for my display with my name! Duh. Of course, the sign would have to be a quilted hanging--what else. So here is what I put together.

Here's the whole thing. I used several colors of permanent markers to write out the "Celestial Textiles" and the "". I was shooting for several things: #1. my name (!)-- I wanted that to be seen and recognized first and foremost. #2. The fact that my name is actually spelled out as a URL lets people know they can go to there and see more of my works. #3. The title "Celestial Textiles", if googled, will lead to my 2 celestial textiles sites: this blog and my etsy store. So the sign is a sign for the show, some branding of celestial textiles, and references to my websites all in one!

A detail shows the quilting, drawing and gold bias strip for trimming.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

And yet another blue strip...

Today I completed another blue strip. That makes 6 down and 4 to go. I really can't wait to sew all of these strips together and make that damn background already. Cut out some more of the seaweed leaflets also. But I am still in a quandary about what animal form to include with the seaweed in my underwater scene. Realistic fish (or other sea life) is not grabbing me as a concept and mermaids are too cutsey-poo. Some other fantastical undersea creature?? I will have to quickly cogitate upon this and come up with a plan.

I also did some work on The Blade Garden. I need to finish that off as I am considering submitting that in some sort of venue.