Sunday, December 31, 2006

9 Days to Go and a look backwards

Only nine days to go before Virginia and I hit the airports, head to San Antonio, meet up with a rental car and drive to LaGrange for our month long artist(s) in residency program at Karey Bresenhan's Great Expectations Creativity Center.

To say I am excited is an understatement. I am tripping over boxes that are ready to ship out on Tuesday. I can't decide just what I am going to do so I have to take everything so I will be prepared for everything. Now that's a lot! The dye and chemicals have been packed. Some white fabric has been ripped off the bolt and folded for easier shipping. Paint has been ordered, mark making thingies have been added to the box, two boxes of silk screens are, what have I forgotten? Oh year, the heat gun, the teflon fusing sheets, tim tex for the support for some smaller pieces (I really don't have to do everything really big!). Have to pack more fabric...what else?

Checked with the airlines and I get to take two bags checked in each weighing no more than 50 lbs. Well, my clothes will hardly take up any knit pants and tee shirts with sweat shirts and my Crocs seem to be my way to go in the studio...but I will take something a little nicer so I can presentably go out for dinner, go to church on Sundays (a must since I have so much to be thankful for) and for the open studio and gala party Karey is planning...

So, I can fill up a suitcase with STUFF!!!

But before I go, I have to get a new power point presentation together to show to a guild on Monday, the 8th and get the stuff together for their workshop on the 7th. Come home, sleep a little while and then hit the runways...airplane runways, that is...not fashion (they would never let me in the building!)

I have gone through many emotions this year. It has really been a roller coaster, starting out with the highs of having not one, but two, articles that I wrote published in Quilting Arts Magazine (spring and summer issues in case you didn't see them!), being written about in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, again, being written about in the Surface Design Association's newsletter with two pictures of my work, and selling a fair amount of work this year.

I have always been pleased and somewhat surprised at the interest in my postcards through FFAC. I was able to supply Virginia with a great number both for Chicago and Houston. I also participated in her reverse auction and am so thankful that Tomme Fent spared me from not having my work purchased by adding another piece of mine to her collection.

And the father almost starving himself to forced action on my part which could only happen when he was completely unable to care for himself. I watched him drop down to about 110 pounds and looking like a skeleton, to now outgrowing some of his clothes. We have live in help for him and he is a different person. A mother-daughter team work with him and he is especially fond of the daughter who never had time with her own grandparents, so she now knows all our family stories. But most importantly, he laughs and is enjoying his life....far more so that I have every seen in him. My parents have always been the proper ones...I acted out everyone's emotions!

My grandson is growing, is happy and healthy and fun to be around. My daughter, her husband and my son are all gainfully employed in jobs they like and both have been able to buy houses (of course, my son's house in Ohio cost 1/4 what my daughter's did here in California!). Although I don't see my son very often (once or twice a year) I do see my daughter and her family several times a week. My husband's health is good, he entertains himself well in his workshop working on his metal lathes and doing whatever it is that he does (he shows me metal things he has machined and they look beautiful but I have no idea what they are for but I make the appropriate, appreciative comments)

I have enjoyed the contacts that I have made as a result of the articles for Quilting Arts...I've done some critique work for a couple of people and offered suggestions for improving and helped someone work through her first abstract design. What could be more rewarding? (expect for my grandson's for fiber art piece!)

This has been a good year. I am hopeful that the change brought about by the elections will bring more hope to our country and more of a sense of responsibility to care for those in need, in our country and abroad. I found that the world situation was really getting me down and I now have a more hopeful outlook. My church is working toward more outreach to those in need, a more Christ-centered atmosphere, and a desire to speak out on injustices. Tomorrow night we will have a vigil for those of our soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. I will be there.

So, the best to everyone. May the new year bring you a joyful experience with your creativity, may you recognise your God-given gifts, and may you use them wisely!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Too much fun!

This is just way too much pictures, that is. Now I have to decide what I am going to do with them. Guess I just have to keep on going. This satisfies while I try to pack up whatever is going to Texas...pulled dyes sort of together, now all the rest of the chemicals to go with them need to be packed and then shipped off.

Then to pack up fabric...ugh...Virginia was smart, she just ordered 100 yards of pfd and had it shipped right there...maybe I should do that although I want some canvas also...I have gotten some fine weave canvas which is great to work on.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Painting up a storm, the digital way

I am now adventuring in to the world of digital painting. This is going to be addictive! I don't have to wait for the paint to dry, I don't have to clean all of the brushes that I have used, I can easily correct mistakes. Whooooo eeeee!!!

Thankfulness Multiplied

This is the day after Christmas, a time to be very thankful if things have gone well, or a time to be sad if they haven't.

My father's health has been excellent and he came to our home on Sunday morning. We spent the day at the house and then in mid afternoon went over to my daughter's house. Her husband's family joined us and we had a tremendous meal of prime rib, cooked to perfection! My father enjoyed himself and talked to several people there...something new since he has finally taken to wearing his hearing aids. Previously he would sit to the side lost because he couldn't hear what was being said, and then would misunderstand things and get upset. Funny what being able to hear does!

Of course, the German side of my daughter's family opened all of their gifts that night.

Santa Claus paid a visit to our home for is so surprising that he seems to find his way everywhere! More train, more train, became the operative word from Jacob as he reaped in Tommy the Train things.

I made a drastic change this year. I had been brought up with very formal Thanksgivings, Christmas Eves and Christmas days. We had taken to celebrating Christmas eve at our home in order to combine our two families after our marriage. Now my daughter has taken over Christmas eve for the same reason. Christmas day used to be at my parents and now it is with us. A generation moves on.

So, instead of the great damask table cloth and seating for 17 at the dinner table with sterling silver flatware, china (the Christmas set) damask napkins, silver and china serving dishes, and Waterford crystal, both water and wine glasses, butter dishes, salad plates etc. I just put the food out on the table, used the Christmas china salad plates with silver forks and paper napkins and everyone grazed all day. Off course, when the shrimp came out there was another stampede to the table and the same when the deviled eggs came out. And then the ham...and this went on from noon to about 7pm when we brought out the ice cream.

I have finally, at the age of 59, learned that I can change my traditions to fit my way of living. No longer are the children held captive at the dinner table until everyone is finished. No longer do we sit around waiting for everyone to be served. No longer do we wait for the hostess to lift her fork. Now we can just enjoy ourselves...oh yeah, the clean up was much faster, too!

It became a very nice, relaxing day. Some of us played Level 10, some of us played on the computer, we all talked and visited and I got to play with my new gift...

I recieved a Wacom Graphire and have been having a blast just playing. Ideas are starting to pop about how I can use it to make silk screens, do fabric to print and all sorts of things.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Big Thank You and family gatherings

I want to thank all of you who have supported me with the purchase of my work! This has been wonderful and has now paid for all the paint I just bought. The first check has come in and the work is starting to leave my house.

Thank you...oh, you can also go to my website anytime to check out other work for purchase! And I have easy time installment plans too!

Last weekend we (my husband, Doug, my daughter, Tori, her husband Dave and grandson Jacob and I all went up to our cabin in the Sierra. We cut down our Christmas trees. Jacob went up with Doug and I first for a couple of days and then his parents came up.

So here is daddy Dave with Jacob and the Christmas tree that they found.

And Granpa Doug with Jacob helping to trim a little off of our tree with his mom hovering in the background!

Yesterday we babysat Jacob...or at least I did. I made a great hit as grandmother by buying McDonald's lunch and sitting in front of train tracks for 30 minutes waiting for a train to go by. Well, it went Amtrak with four cars and traveling 60 miles an hour...we barely saw it.

so we sat another 15 minutes and watched a freight train rolling by which was far more satisfying. Of course, we were parked right in front of the red flashing guard lights which went ding-ding-ding-ding which were added to the repertory of new train sounds!

Then after dinner at which time his parents joined us, it was time to help granmommy make Christmas cookies.
so, every good cookie maker knows that the first thing you do after making the dough is to clean up...

And then, with a little help from mom down on the custom work surface on the floor, cookies got stamped down with sugar and then sprinkled for decoration. What a fun evening!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Uh Oh...

Rosemary Claus-Gray wrote and said she wasn't coming to get in line for the AIR program but really to meet me and Virginia. Virginia thought I might be insulting people with my comment about people only coming to get in line for the AIR program.

My apologies...there is no way you can see the twinkle in my eye when I wrote that people weren't coming to see us but to get in line for the AIR! I really said this tongue-in-cheek, just trying to be funny!

Well, please don't be offended if that really is why you are coming (which is fine with me!! LOL!!!) or if you are coming to see Virginia and me or if you are coming to see Karey or just to see her place. Any of those reasons are good enough and it sounds like we will be having a great party! so, y'all better come on down to see us! For whatever reason!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

21 Days to go/HELP

I have just ordered a bunch of paint and other stuff to be shipped to Karey's for the Artist in Residence program.

There are so many people who have filled the 10 beds (well, at least 10 people) and bunches of others coming for the open studios on January 27. I was starting to have some performance anxiety with all the "name" art quilters who are planning to come.

Surely, they were coming to see Virginia of FFAC fame!

Well, we have decided that they are all really coming to check out the Creativity Center and put in their own bids for an AIR spot. So, now believing that this is really what is happening, I can relax and get ready for Christmas.

But, I need some money so decided to put these pieces up for sale at $50 each and I will pay shipping. What a deal. They are all ready to hang with black cotton duck gallery wrapped and the piece is wired for immediate hanging. Treat yourself to an after Christmas gift to make up for not getting what you wanted in the first place on Christmas!

Red Canyon 10

4x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging

$50 including shipping

Slot Canyon 2

4 x 6 on 8 x 10" stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Open to Interpretation

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Oriental Sun 7

4 x 6on 8 x 10 stretched black cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Red Canyon

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging

Slot Canyon 4

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging

Red Canyon 2

4 x 6 on 8 x 10 stretched cotton duck,
wired for hanging


Actually, any sales of my work will help clear off the bed my son will sleep in as of Thursday night when he comes home from Ohio for Christmas.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

An Invite from Karey

I just couldn't pass up posting Karey's invitation to the Great Expectations Creativity Center in La Grange. Virginia and I will have an open studio on January 27. Just contact Karey at

"You're invited to a casual lunch and Open Studio day at our Artist in Residence studio and Great Expectations Creativity Center in LaGrange, Texas on Saturday, January 27, from 1-4. Virginia Spiegel from Illinois and Liz Berg from California will be doing a dual-artist Residency with us during January, and I want to host a little get-together for quilt artists who might like to come over, up, or down to meet them. LaGrange is in Central Texas about 1:30 hours from Houston, 1:10 from Austin, 1:50 from San Antonio, and I'm not sure about Dallas! It's an easy drive from three of the major metropolitan areas in the state, and there should be very little traffic on Saturday. You can walk our special Labyrinth of Life and get a good start on the New Year, stroll across my Bridge of Stars handmade by my husband over what was once a rushing creek and 6' waterfalls and now is a very handsome rocky dry gully (Central Texas is still in a drought situation!), peacefully ponder the pond where our duck family may once again be in residence, watch the hawks soar and glide looking for dinner, maybe get a glimpse of an early wildflower or two. We'll have a come and go light lunch, very casual, a special quilt exhibit on display in the Creativity Center, and of course, the stars of the party: Virginia and Liz! They promise to open their studio to show you just what they are working on and what they've experimented with during their residency. If anyone wants to fly in for the festivities, the Austin airport is closer than Houston. If you'd like to spend the night, I've got two dorm rooms that sleep 10 total (under quilts, of course!), plus three nice, new bathrooms. The beds are up for grabs till we run out! There are lots of pretty darn good restaurants in the area for dinner Saturday night--you might be surprised, considering LaGrange is a little town of around 4000! I can't promise any fun activities on Sunday the 28th, but I'll come up with a light breakfast--kolaches and pigs-in-a-blanket, coffee, tea and juice--for anyone who wants to stay over and perhaps hike, sketch, journal, visit, relax in one of the many rocking chairs, or just enjoy the beauty of a quiet winter day in the country. Sunday afternoon we're inviting the folks from the LaGrange area, including the local quilt guild, to come meet Virginia and Liz and see the exhibits on display. January in Texas can run the gamut of weather choices. It can be freezing cold and icy (not at all likely) or it can be in the 70's and balmy! It will most likely be 50's or 60's in the daytime and 40's at night. I'm assuming most of the folks who'll come will be from Texas anyway, so you know the weather here as well as I do! I do need some idea of who's going to come so I can be sure I have enough food (and beds if anyone wants to stay overnight), so let me know if you think you'll be able to join us. Then I'll send more information and final details just to those of you who are hoping to be here and won't tie up the list with those messages. There's no charge for anything...even the overnight accommodations, lunch, or breakfast! Y'all come! Karey Bresenhan Director, Int'l Quilt Festival--Houston and Chicago" ------------------------------

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

36 Days to go

Who cares about Christmas? I'm having the greatest time with Advent...contemplating, listening, thinking and finally, doing some art work. (Well, I really do look forward to Christmas but Advent has all the religious meanings for me)

Just before Thanksgiving I came down with a humongous head cold. It put me in bed for three days (which doesn't happen very often) and then finally I was able to go out, buy a turkey and the other stuff and return to bed. Then, each day I did a little bit more towards dinner since we had 14 people coming over. I got the heirloom damask table cloth (which is huge) on to our extended table, which seats 14, and just focused on the food. Things were actually pretty easy as I didn't stuff the turkey and it came out the best we have ever had. Took only 4 hours for a 23 pounder and it was moist, tender and great. The stuffing was cooked in its own pan. Made two apple pies, etc.

Once my daughter got here she organized the other two young women who got the table set. My dear daughter figured out all the serving bowls, etc and put labels in them so we could keep it straight. With 14 at the table, we have two of everything so you don't have to wait forever to get your food. Then my son-in-law came in, mashed the potatoes, carved the turkey, and away we went to the table. It was a nice gathering and it was nice having my father with us...not only alive but looking good and with a sense of humor.

Well, two weeks later and I am still coughing but finally am not sleeping more that I am awake. I also have some energy coming back.

So, yesterday I started doing some discharging. About a month ago someone posted a web site that had tire treads on it. I downloaded pictures, and then started tweaking them in PhotoShop and printed out copies to make thermofax screens. What a hoot! I have printed a bunch of them with ink and now have discharged a bunch. They are ready for the next layer to make complex cloth. And then I worked on even more...including a picture of barbed wire, bark, and all sorts of other things, including the air vent in the hallway at the convention Tire treads warped

center in Houston which I took last year. So much fun!

Barbed wire and the air vent at Houston

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

49 Days to go

I'm on a count down. Only 49 days to go.

Obviously not to Thanksgiving which is tomorrow.

Obviously not to Christmas which is in 33 days.

Not until a new would have heard about that already!


On January 9, 2007 I hit the air for LaGrange, Texas. This is a small town between Houston and Austin and not too far away from San Antonio, my hometown. I'll fly in to San Antonio, meet up with another artist and rent a car and head to La Grange. The two of us will take up residency until February 5 at which time we will pack up and head back to San Antonio.

La Grange is a small Texas town in hill country that has about 4000 residents, one of whom happens to be Karey Bresenhan. Karey and her husband own some acreage just outside of town and have their country place there. It is an animal sanctuary as well as a Creative Center. They have a studio for a residency program. And...we are going!

I am starting to think about all the things I want to do. I think I will work on a new series I have just started, but then I've been thinking about some other things also.

Got to figure out what I am going to do so I can get things shipped.

Virginia and I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Where Have I Been?

It seems like forever and ever since I have graced these pages...oh, doesn't that sound fancy? Well, fancy, I am not!

Went to ArtQuiltTahoe and didn't feel very sharp the entire time. But I do have a couple of pictures!

The top picture shows Carol Suto, my roommate and buddy, at her table with stuff ready for class.

The next picture shows one of our desserts...then a picture of Gerrie and you can check her blog for more pictures of desserts and she will tell you what day this was...I don't remember.

And then, there is a picture of my space all ready for class. Looks pretty clean, Huh! That isn't how it remained.

And, of course, the gratuitous pictures of the he is with his first piece of fiber art which I discussed in an earlier post.

Two years ago, I left ArtQuiltTahoe and on the road home, learned that my daughter was going in for an emergency C Section. I arrived at the hospital just after Jacob was born. Last year I went to ArtQuiltTahoe and missed his first brithday. This time, I made it! Jacob at 2 with his Elmo birthday cake!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Postcards and first fiber art

Post card #16 $30

Post Card #39 SOLD

Post card #15 SOLD

Post Card #13 $30

Post card #14 $30

These five postcards are all that remain from a series of postcards that I made for my exchange group at Art2Mail. They are available for sale.

I had my grandson for the day a week and a half ago. We ended up in my studio and he sat down at my ironing board. I put down a piece of white cotton and then reached into my bag of prefused scraps from various pieces I have done. I cut up some of the bigger ones. My grandson is 21 months old and he has now completed his first piece of fiber art. He would pick the pieces of fabric he wanted, stuff them into his little hand, pull one out and flatten it carefully on the cotton and then tell me "hot" and would put his hands under his bottom so they were safe. I would then hit the piece with the iron to fuse it down, and then another, and another until he decided he was finished. What fun!

Jacob's first piece of fiber art! Age 21 months.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


So here are the first two of this series. I painted a piece of canvas, did multible printing on it with various found objects, created my own black and white fabric and used a commercial fabric for the red (Sherril Khan) and also for the solids. There are also discharged fabrics in some of the pieces which were my hand dyes. I think the one on the right is sideways but I am still trying to figure that out.

Here are another two. The one of the right also contains some monoprinted fabric...the blue/green/black and white piece.

And these are the last two of this series. Still open on the orientation.

All of these are about 8 x 8 or so and will be mounted onto stretched canvas to a size of 16 x 16. I think that will look nice.

Finished my postcards from my group at Art2Mail and got them all addressed tonight and will drop them off at the post office tomorrow. That sure feels good.

Tomorrow I will post five new postcards that are for sale...taking a clue from Claire Fenton!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More new work

So here you go with a new series. These are all done on canvas and are not quilts. I don't even think that I want to use batting and quilt them...I am thinking about just mounting them on mat board for framing. The canvas has been painted and stamped with found objects like a test tube holder, the back of a cutting board, etc. The white background fabric with the blue and green is a monoprint that I cut up. I then added the turquouise and red to add some know, there wasn't enough color. These are all (6) about 8.5 x 8.5. I love the way the color pops...unfortunately I took with pictures without proper lighting so have to get them off to the photographers for righteous photos! This one is Around and AroundThis piece has a yellow piece that had been dyed and then discharged using found objects for the stamping of Sunlight dishwasher detergent. I also had found a neat hot pad that is flexible and had the wavy lines...
And in this one I started stamping on the black fabric and also used another monoprinted fabric that I had cut up to make postcards with (the green piece) which is also canvas. I used a bunch of my hand carved rubber stamps made out of erasers.
Sorry, this one is really out of focus...I must do better but I really like it and wanted to show it off. It has three red small sqaures on the rust and in person the color is fantastic. I also did a bunch of stamping on this one, too, both with found objects and with some of my hand carved stamps. I did all the painting of the background fabrics at my dad's house when he was about four good size pieces of canvas painted. Then when I was able to come home for an overnight I spent one day doing monoprinting and the next day discharging my fat quarters that I had previously dyed.
And this is the first one that I did when I was at Asilomar last week. I did all the stamped while I was there, usually after I had cut up the piece of painted canvas to the size I wanted...well, more or less wanted.
And finally, the last one of this series. I had only brought some variegated thread with me as I really didn't know what I was going to do with the canvas and the monoprints and the discharged stuff so a big storage box of acrylic paints (brought the tubes because I could bring more for the space) and all the printing stuff (well, not really all since I left all the silk screens and tons of stamps etc at home) Then I just decided what I wanted to do and had at it.

I did three of another series but these were the last that I did while there. They are bigger, I'd say, without measuring them that they are about 12 x 18". I had gone to Back Porch Fabric in Pacific Grove and found this red and black and gold Sherrill Khan fabric which I just had to use. I also decided that I needed some black and white so bought some PDF white fabric, and used sumi ink to write on it and then cut out parts that I wanted to use. It is so much fun to determine what you need and then to create it yourself when you need it!I call this one below my Aspens...really fences with squares but squint your eyes and pretend that you see fall colors...of course, I know aspens don't turn red but they do turn every color of green and yellow....not that I have any yellow in it either. Come to think of it, why do I think of aspens when I see this? Again, some of my balck and white fabric, carved erasers, satin stitching, etc.
Now this one I just love for the utter simplicity. The dark fuschia fabric is dyed and then monoprinted with lots of texture. The green circle was dyed and then discharged and then you have my black and white pseudo characters. And of course, the background canvas which is painted and stamped several times. It looks great either in a verticle or horizonal orientation.

I went over to see my dad today, to collect bills, take him out to the grocery store and to get a power of attorney signed and noterized...another step away from his independence...this is really hard but not as hard as watching him almost die. Then went to the back and opened up on-line access to his checking account. When through a lot of stuff and he and I shredded a big bag of papers and old bills.

Felt like I have accomplished alot and felt good to be able to leave. I told Saane that I really appreciated her being there, got teary eyed and headed off to the freeway.

Two miles down the freeway the traffic came to a quick stop and I didn' car is now totaled. My seat belt kept me in my seat but I now have a huge black and blue bruise across my boobie. My back muscles will be sore tomorrow. Had the car towed, after a nice CHP took all the information, and then Doug and I went out for Chinese food. Came home and I got into our huged bathtub with the foot massagers, brought my Nano and Bose speakers in, had a small glass of Streaga (an Italian liquour) and relaxed in the hot water for half an hour. Feel much better but know I will hurt tomorrow! Oh well, didn't get any cleaning up done in my studio today...but there is always tomorrow.

Mixed Media Work

These are the pieces of mixed media that I did at my dad's house.
I worked on these usually in pairs as I needed to let each layer completely dry before I did the next one. It was low stress and yet I felt like I was accomplishing something.This piece is No Entry as the door has a heave grill in front of it...really looks like a jail cell.

This is actually the first door...simply called Door.

And this is Painted Door.

The doors, which have been transferred from inkjet images of my own photographs.

Somehow my fences creep back in to almost all of my work. These two pieces were the first that I did, about the second week while I was at my dad's. Sorry about the glare...these are all acrylic, papers, and image transfers from my own photographs.