Monday, April 27, 2009


I've been feeling the need to finish some very old quilt projects lately. I pulled this out several weeks ago and realized it just needed to have the quilting finished on the border and binding put on it. Easy peasy.

I got the last of the binding nailed down over the weekend and can call this one officially finished! Yeah!

This quilt is my original block design after the Freeman Ford chair, designed by the architects Greene & Greene and built by the Hall brothers in 1908. I started working on this quilt in 2003 after Darrell and I went on a fact-gathering trip (vacation for me) where Darrell was going around to get information for his since published book. Greene & Greene: Design Elements for the Workshop.

We stopped at the University of California, Berkeley's architectural archives where Darrell had made an appointment to look at original documents from the Greene's, circa 1900-1915. We had also made a few stops at quilt shops in the area, where I bought some of the fabrics that ended up being in the quilt, including the beautiful paisley border fabric, which I used as the 'jumping-off point".

When we left there, Darrell was very excited about the Freeman Ford chair so I designed my block as kind of statement about what I liked about the chair: the curve of the back going up to the crest rail.

Here is a close up of one of the blocks. It shows the four pieces that make up the block. At the top is the crest rail, the gold fabric represents the sensuous curve of the back leg as it splays out and connects to the crest rail.

Here is the chair - Greene and Greene 1908. This chair now lives in The Huntington Museum.

Darrell designed a chair after this one, also. His Aurora Chair.

The border on the quilt gave me fits. I didn't have enough of the fabric to make it all the way around, so I decided to 'make do'. I took some of the other fabric and made little blocks and used them to fill in the blank spots. I'm not real excited about it, but it turned out okay. Note to self: don't be skimpy when purchasing border fabrics!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Yesterday after I finished printing I loaded the dog and my bare necessities into the car and headed out. First stop was my parents house, where my sister, her husband, me and Lucy went to have lunch with Mom and Dad. Lucy got her first ride on a Washington State Ferry (I guess). She enjoyed watching the seagulls.

It was kind of a late Easter lunch with ham and everything. We had a nice visit, except for when Lucy was harrassing their poor cat, who was hiding out under the bed. We sat on the deck and were bombarded by tiny, flashy little hummingbirds. And then we dashed-off.

It was a case of eat-and-run, because my ultimate destination was Port Townsend, where my husband, Darrell was teaching a class at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. I told him I'd meet him after his class ended for the day at 5:00pm. We arrived a little early and the class ran late, so Lucy and I walked down and then back up Water street, looking into all the shop windows.

The next morning, after a nice breakfast, I followed Darrell up to the school at Fort Warden (you may remember it as the place 'An Officer and Gentleman' with Richard Gere was filmed). After a short visit and look-see around the benchroom, Lucy and I left the men to their class and we went for a great walk up to the old bunkers.

If you've never been there, it's a must-see.

At one point, I let Lucy off the leash to take a picture of her, and I thought for a second that might be the last time I'd ever see her.

Although, she was a little overcome by all the beasty-scents, she did come back and hook back up to the leash.

We continued our adventure, wandering through the underground bunkers - pitch black! I made Lucy go first, just in case there was a drop-off! Hey, I would have pulled her back up with the leash. It was fun, scarey and exciting!

Here are a few pictures:

This is where the Big Guns where installed, they removed them unfortunately. There are lots of little deadend rooms where I guess the Big Shells (?) where stored. Lots of really great Big Iron Doors. Lots of stairs and tunnels and up on the top, a wonderful view of the ocean. I think I've heard you can see Canada.

And then Lucy and I left about 10:00am and headed home, Lucy in her little dog-seat. We had grocery shopping, laundry and housework to do yet before I have to head back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Okay, I spent Saturday morning putting the final layer, the so-called keyblock, on - the black ink. I was surprised how well everything lined up! Like I said in the last post, I had adjusted the alignment of the third layer, the orange, and I was worried about how the last would go. It's the most important, since it outlines everything.
I still have to weed out the bad ones, tear them down to size, sign and number them. Then I've got to make up a colophon (description, statement, facts, info and name) and stuff the whole works into plastic bags - which I don't have! Yikes!
I ordered some more, so now they are going to be even later than I thought, while I wait for the bags to be delivered. I must send an email to Four Oceans Press and explain.
I'll reiterate my theme.
In this series of the Elements, Earth, Water, Air and Fire, I wanted to show how we come into contact with them in our modern society. Imagining someone who lives in a highrise in the city - when they want air, they turn a knob and adjust to whatever temperature they prefer.
Here's my latest Classic Element - Air.

And here's the first two I did - Water

and here's the first, Earth -

Friday, April 17, 2009


Here's the third color, I had to do a little adjusting to get it go line up right.
I just love this color! It's Akua intaglio ink Scarlet Red and Yellow Ochre mixed together. I'm using the same basic colors through the four different prints in this series. And yes, that's a cheap-o Speedball brayer. Use and abuse and toss it out and get a new one when it's used up.

And here's my Ettan press showing my easy to make three-hole-punch registration system using a 99 cent three-hole-punch made to fit into a three-ring binder and lots of blue masking tape.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I got the second color printed today!

I can't go too fast or I'll hurt my neck - running things through the press takes a lot of turns of the press's wheel. I'm going to do one color a day, giving them some time to dry and not pushing my muscles. I gotta tell you, I don't feel guilty not getting them in on time. So far, every exchange I've done with this group I've been on time, only to have to wait and extra month for the stragglers to get theirs in. This time, I'm a straggler. But I should have them in the mail by Monday, only 5 days late.

Here's a great shot of Lucy, busy watching the driveway. She looks so sweet! What a tough life. Lucky dog.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Yikes, I got an email last Friday reminding me that my next print for the series, Classic Elements, is due on the Wednesday.

Ha! I haven't even thought about it, let alone got it ready to go.

Prints are not an easy thing to just whip out.

I started working on the drawing at work over the weekend. I pretty much had the drawing down and finished it up Monday morning.

I carved the keyblock on Tuesday, transfered that to two more linoleum blocks and left them to dry.

Wednesday, I went to Daniel Smith (my favorite store) and got my paper and ink that I needed. I returned home, carved the other two blocks and tore the paper to the right size.

So, that takes me to today, the day it's due!

I started printing, and put down the first color on 40 pieces.

Here's a picture...
I know you have no idea what it is, but if you watch, you'll eventually see!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Wow, what a great weekend. Finally, some nice weather. The husband and I took advantage of it both days. Saturday, he got the bikes out (after a long winter's storage), dusted them off and aired up the tires. That lead to some general cleaning out of the garage first. We loaded the bikes up and grabbed the dog and headed to Alki. We knew it was going to be crowded, but my goodness - it was crowded! I've got a plastic milk crate mounted on the back of my bike for the dog. She wears a harness and gets cross-tied in so she can't get out (even if we go down!). This was only the second time she's done this, the first time was right after we got her, way back in November, when she was being on her best behavior. Well, those days are long gone. Lucy immediately started whining and trying to get out. We went about a mile, and then stopped. I couldn't take it anymore. I tried letting her trot along side. That worked better than I thought, although it slowed us down quite a bit. We didn't get even 50 feet, when she stopped suddenly and pooped...I guess that was the problem all along! (yes, I had a bag) We let her trot along side for another half mile or so, until it got too crowded with walkers and bikers and skaters and we put her back in the box where she rode pretty good the rest of the way.
Sunday was another beautiful day, even warmer. We took the bikes to Fort Dent and rode down the Interurban trail, where there are very few walkers, and it was early enough that there were not many bikers, either. We let Lucy trot alongside for quite a while, she did great. I worry she'll cross in front of me and I'll run over her, and bounce on the pavement (not good). But she stayed straight and true, like she's done this somewhere else before. Who knows? Maybe she has.
When we got back from the ride and did our chores I headed up into the studio, I was once again inspired to work on the dreadful painting I'd left on my easel. So, I think it's looking better, but its one I really don't care for. And I think I know why, finally. I'm doing this from a photo I took in California, the LA area I think. The freeways down there are different from the ones I see here all the time. And I don't like it's supports.
Have you ever noticed that all the freeways are individualistic? The supports and rails and under-stuff is all different in different areas. I can pretty much tell you about the freeways in King County, especially the older ones. And I have my favorites.
Anyway, here's the latest version of my last post, I completely changed the sky and the coloring. I'm liking it a lot more, although I had to get out my itsy-bitsy tiny brush to finish up some of the bad parts.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Here's my painting of the day. First image is the underpainting, basically laying out the lights and darks. The next image is the second layer I put on. I started playing with the coloring.
I had to quit because I was not happy with it. It was tedious and boring. (And my neck and head ache so bad I can't concentrate). The second state seems lifeless at this point and the clouds seem contrived...
This is acrylic on canvas, 9"x12"