Friday, March 23, 2007

More Historical Museum Pictures

Below our some more pictures of our trip to the Idaho Historical Museum. The first one is a bag with Native American bead work. There were some other beautiful pieces with bead work but the battery on my camera was running out and I only got this one.

This second picture is of Native American quill work. I like the subtle colors in this one. Looks like it could be a quilt pattern.

The next picture is of an old slot machine. It still works and you can still use it, but you can only win the knowledge that you are supporting the museum because they keep the coins. Anna got two oranges and a plum.

The last picture is of my husband, Frank, trying to load the canoe without tipping it over.
Could the engineer get all the boxes packed in without tipping it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More Fabric blocks

I haven't made any art recently. The flow stopped and I have been working at the art museum and doing some stuff for Anna's school. However, this is Fabric Blocks on Paper #5 from the last group I was working on. It is a bit different as I stitched around the edges of the blocks using two different variegated threads. I tried to keep the dark parts of the threads on certain edges to create a slight shadow effect.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What's in town?

Sometimes there are things going on right under our noses that we don't even know about. While I was taking pictures the other day of stuff right under my feet (see previous post), I finally noticed a sign that was right under my nose. The Idaho Historical Society is right across the street from the Boise Art Museum. I work part time (intermittently) at the art museum. I have been oblivious for some time as I have missed this advertisement banner that was displayed on the front windows.The Idaho Historical Society must have a small marketing budget as I had not seen any advertising in the papers or weekly paper.

Kokeshi dolls are Japanese dolls made of wood on a lathe and painted. I was very interested in seeing these before the show closed. On Saturday, Frank, Anna and I went to the historical museum. We have lived in Boise almost 17 years and I have been to the museum once or twice (even though I am right across the street very often). Anna has been with classes a few times. They had a nice display of the dolls. All of them were in cases which is why you may see some reflections in the pictures.

This first picture, below, is of the more traditional kokeshi. The basic shape varies very little.

This second picture is of a "creative" kokeshi. That was what the label called them. I guess these have more artistic personality and go beyond the more traditional shape.

After viewing the dolls, we explored the rest of the museum. Here is Anna exploring the way Lewis and Clark did. It is a dug out canoe. I tried to sit in it and I didn't fit. Those guys must have been very skinny from having to live off the land! More tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What's Under Foot?

These are some pictures I took this morning of things I was walking on. Can you guess what they are?

The first one is a path near the Boise Art Museum.
The second one is the design on a manhole cover, I love this one.
The third are some rubber tiles embedded in the sidewalk ramps near the museum. I think they are so people don't slip when it's icy. I think they are fairly new as I had not noticed them before.

A childhood story:

When I was in middle school or high school, our family took a trip to California (we lived in Ohio at the time). We visited the giant redwood or sequoia trees (whatever those enormous ones are). I remember walking through the forest and finding a dime on the ground. I showed it to my mom. She seemed a little astounded that I would be looking at the ground. And maybe a little upset wondering why I wasn't looking up at the trees.

What she didn't understand was that I wasn't just looking down. I was looking up and at eye-level. I was looking at everything! Maybe some people just looked up at the trees as they were walking the path. But it is the ground that supports us and the trees. I bet there were some interesting root patterns and moss colors as well as textures on the bark.

There is a quote that goes something like: "Keep your head in the clouds, but your feet on the ground."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chinese Limes

Here is a piece I call Chinese Limes. I combined fabric and paper, as well as a postage stamp in this one. It is on paper and those dashed lines are not real stitches. They are pencil marks.

The postage stamp was the beginning inspiration and guided the color choices. It has Chinese writing on the stamp which is why I added the oriental writing paper. The cancellation mark is on the corner of the stamp, so I continued the circle with the faux stitching and added some more elsewhere.

Why didn't I use real stitching you ask? Well, the black on the cancellation mark and mostly on the oriental paper is not really black, more of a charcoal gray. I did not want to use black thread as I thought that would be too much contrast. I could have looked through my embroidery floss to find a nice gray but decided that I didn't want the depth of stitches to stand out and draw attention away from the stamp. So, I just used pencil.

Maybe it was just because I was too lazy to take the time to do stitches? Anyway, I like it and see the postage stamp as a start to a series. I did use one in the "Me" collage and have done a couple more. Pictures later.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Playground Shadows

It has been cloudy the last couple of days. But earlier in the week, we had a couple of sunny days. When I went to pick up my daughter at school, I took some pictures of the playground.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Fortune Cookies

I love chinese food. After dinner, you usually get a fortune cookie. I don't usually care for the cookie that much but it's interesting to see the fortune. There is a running joke with my husband and friends that I usually end up with the most pathetic fortunes of the bunch. Several times, I have not even gotten a fortune. The cookie has been empty.

Despite that, I have saved many fortunes from the cookies (mostly everyone else's). They are stuck in my cork strip in my studio. I guess I think that someday they will make it into some art. Well. . . today is the day! The collage below contains one of the mental morsels. It happens to be a very nice fortune and I'm not sure if I was actually the one to receive it or not. (It says "You have a deep appreciation of the arts and music.") But it certainly applies to me. Not on purpose, the papers and fabrics I used seem to apply to me, too. So, when this collage was finished, I titled it, "Me."

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sunset Strip

Here is another fabric on paper piece. Does it need stitching? Right now, I like it the way it is. But that's what I said about the other one and then ended up stitching on that. I will live with it for a while and see what it says to me. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

More Fabric on Paper

Here is another fabric on paper piece. The x's are stitches. I'm not sure they work as well as just the straight stitches in the previous piece.

Spring might be on its way. We had a beautiful sunny day today and the temperature in the 60's. I'm not sure how long it will last but it was nice to be able to open the door and let some fresh air in the house.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Fabric Blocks on Paper

Here I tried the fabric blocks on paper. I just fused them directly to the paper. I thought it was fine the way it was, but then I decided to add some hand stitches. Below is what is looks like now.

Do you think the stitches help? I think it changes the focal points some. Does it need more stitching? I used just one variegated thread for all the stitches.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


This is another paper collage. It has that same waxed paper with front and back. The back part reminded me of a tree. The strip on the bottom is the back side of a piece of ribbon. I sometimes like the back of things more than the front. There are also some stitches with embroidery thread that are a bit hard to see. Also hard to see is some writing on the lighter colored paper. It is part of a Robert Frost poem. Here is the entire poem:

Tree at My Window

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.

Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.

But, tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.

That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Blocks and Dots

Here's something different.
Here's something new.
These color blocks can be done with paper, too!

Anna is too old for Dr. Seuss books anymore (can we ever be too old for Dr. Seuss?). But sometimes the rhythmical rhymes still pop into my mind. I think today is Dr. Seuss' birthday.

I decided to try the color blocks, like I did in the Spring Block series, in paper. Above is my first attempt. Although the papers, themselves, have some textures, it still seemed flat to me. I mean that literally. Working with hand dyed fabric and stitches even on Peltex, still gives it some physical depth.

The transparent pieces with dots on them are actually some type of interfacing with Shiva paint sticks rubbed on a texture plate to create the dots. I think I want to explore more of combining the fabrics and paper together.

Here is the second attempt. I'm liking the interfacing with dots. The dots on the paper are french knots I did with embroidery thread. There are also some other hand stitches. The paper with the squiggles in both pieces is a special paper. The squiggles are wax. The other side of the paper is actually the front and has some colors on it (the dark strips are the front side of the paper). I liked the back a little bit more because of the contrast the wax created with the rest of the paper.

Here is Spring Blocks #6. It is fused fabric, quilted on Peltex and it postcard size.

This is Spring Blocks #7. It is also fused fabric, quilted on Peltex and postcard size.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

A Peek into My World

Here is a corner of my sewing room. You can't see much and this is the clean part! It is also the guest bedroom so whenever anyone comes to visit, the sewing machine, ironing board and projects have to be packed up and put away.

I also have an art studio (an extra bedroom) which I now share with my daughter. It holds the fine art stuff, craft stuff, scrapbook stuff, mat cutter, art books and lots of misc. stuff. It is always messy and I am hoping to re-arrange and re-do it this summer. My husband says it is continually being re-arranged. It has been several times but usually just to make more room for more items or storage in any way it will fit in. I would really like to get it completely organized, like a make-over.

I have a table/shelving unit that is used, which I just purchased, sitting in the garage (instead of my car). Maybe I need to get on it a little faster than waiting for summer!