Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm always at a loss for an image. I struggle and procrastinate and usually settle upon something I'm not really happy with.

Then once the image is created, I have to figure out how to translate it into a print, and make them.

I did manage to come up with an image I liked. I found a piece of mahogany plywood and even carved it out. That's when I realized I had picked the wrong wood. The mahogany was too splintery. I needed a good wood with a different grain. I ran into problems trying to carve out such fine lines. It didn't work....see the image below. I was so disappointed and frustrated I didn't even bother to put any ink on it and try it. So....

This year I'm saying to hell with it. I'm going to buy some and mail them out at the last minute.

So, if you are expecting something different, I'm sorry but I was just too (insert adjective here).

P.S. if you want to be surprised next year, forget you saw this.

Friday, December 11, 2009


This is the initial drawing of a few lines in a small square, where every line must touch the edges.
I colored them, then cut them apart, reversed some, and moved them around into different designs and patterns.

Then we drew our initials in a square, repeated the pattern, rotated, reversed and generally had fun with our initials.
Mine are TSP...I didn't like the curves, so I straightened them out into this:
Then I repeated the square and went nuts.  I would really like to make a quilt with this block someday.

I colored the block, took it to a copy machine, made a bunch of little squares, cut them out, laid them out and started twisting and turning.  I laid them on a table and took pictures with my camera.  I didn't notice until later that there was a shadow across them.  Oh, well.  You get the idea.  

And there are even more!  It could go on forever.

I really need to make this quilt SOMEDAY!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Our assignment for this week was to make three Snitzels - one Achromatic, one Monochromatic and one with Complimentary colors.
I didn't have any idea how to start, or what was really needed or even meant by Snitzel.

I really didn't want to cut up fabric for this.  I really didn't want to get into my stash of black and whites for the Achromatic.  I was thinking it's a waste of fabric (more on this later).

I know...I could use paper.  I was at work and started cutting up my copy of The Stranger.  I tried freeform. It looked horrible.  I can't just pull this out of the sky.  I needed a direction.  So, I went with a quilt  idea.  I started cutting out triangles - with a rotary cutter and ruler.  Easy.  I cut out dark triangles and light triangles.  Then I just started moving them around.  Not too many different ways to arrange triangles.  It wasn't beautiful, but I pinned them to a piece of paper, and called it done.  

I like the way the pins look!

Next up, back at home was Monochromatic - all one color.  Which means to me that value is what is going to do all the work.  I pulled out my greens.    I eliminated all the fabrics with more than just green, which left very few that I liked.  I was a little surprised that I didn't have a lot of choices.  I had different shades of green - mostly yellow-greens and blue-greens.  I went with the group of fabrics that had a good value range, the blue-greens.

Jean had asked us not to use rotary cutters, but to free-form cut with scissors.   Oh, my.  I'm no good at free-form anything.  I need a plan.  I cut some strips (with the rotary cutter) and sewed them together, and cut random sized squares.  I figured if I didn't think about exact sizes and seam allowances I was headed in the right direction.  I was loosening up by stages.  Hey, I'm making progress.  I laid them out with other strips and this is what I got:                                                                                                                                                              

I pinned the strips to batting, and called it done, too.

Next up, the Complimentary colors.  I was looking forward to these colors.  I took an idea from my friend, Becky and used one of the more abstract photos I had taken while on our trip and used that as a 'plan'.  

Trying to find fabrics that look like the photo is very difficult, so you have to go with what you've got.  I found some interesting fabrics right away and had a lot of fun putting this together.  I don't like using fusibles, I don't like the way they feel.  So, I just cut out the fabrics...hey, is this 'free-form'?  Maybe!  But, I'm following the 'pattern' of the photograph, so I can do this.  I wanted to sew it all together, but Jean had said, no, just pin the pieces to batting.  

So, here is the photo, and the Snitzel I made:

Pretty cool, huh?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Every year my husband Darrell packs up his furniture and we trailer it to Pasadena California for the annual Craftsman Weekend put on by Pasadena Heritage. He shows his furniture and we try to make a vacation out of it. This year, being tired of going up and down I-5, we decided that after the show we'd head east to Arizona to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, and then head north going by the Grand Canyon.
We recently got new phones, Palm Pre, with which not only can we take pictures, we can instantly upload them or email them or whatever. We are connected! Darrell loves getting his emails as they come in. I would read his emails to him at 60 mph while he drove. How 21st century.
So, here are some of the images I captured of our trip. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

This last one is of Lucy, so happy that we are finally home, she's running around the yard as fast as she can. HAPPY DOG!
We are very happy to be home, too.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Darrell and I really enjoyed the Wayne Thiebaud show, me especially. I think Darrell probably enjoyed the prints of Francis Gearhart more.
The Pasadena Museum of California Art is a very interesting building. Its something you'd only see in Southern California. Its an opened plan, no window glass, exposed to the mild elements.
Although we couldn't park in their first floor gara
ge because of our trailer, we entered through it experiencing the graffitti/art on the walls of the garage. The walls through out the museum are curved, and soft white. The stairs wind up to the open balcony where you enter the exhibits.

The Thiebaud show occupied the main galleries, with the smaller taken up by drawings, an educational glimpse into his process and early work.

I was so excited to see Thiebaud's work up close, the way he globs on the paint and pushes it around. I've seen a short video of him painting, and seeing the paintings helped me to understand his process a little more. There was a docent in the large room, and photos were prohibited. But, with my little phone camera (no flash) I took a few photos, most of them were fuzzy because I was in such hurry!
I was amazed at all the colors, side by side, without mixing together or changing hue. How does he do that? How would I do that? Could I do that? I've never worked in oils, and I've never worked with such thick paint. Maybe I should give it a try.

After walking through and discussing each painting, we sat and just soaked up the wonderful atmosphere and daydreamed about which one we would take home.

Afterwards, we went into the museum shop where I discovered a few other artists who's work I was attracted to. I bought the Thiebaud book, "70 Years of Painting" celebrating this exhibit, with images of the paintings in the show. I also picked up a book by Paul Karlstrom about Raimonds Staprans. His work is very similar to Thiebaud's, simple images with large shapes of color, using bright clean hues.