Saturday, January 30, 2010

How Entertaining!

This weekend, Anna and I are getting a large dose of some performing arts. On Thursday night we went to see Tap Kids at the Nampa Civic Center. I will never understand why they choose to put a family show on a school night and not have it start until 8 p.m. It takes us about a half on hour to drive over there. So it is fairly late for Anna by the time we get home.

Despite that, I still get the tickets. The show was different than I expected but very energetic and fun. You can get an idea of the show in this video. It made me want to tap my toes on the way out. I asked Anna if it made her feel like dancing and she said, no. But she did enjoy it.

The next night, Friday, we had tickets for the Boise High School Chamber Orchestra concert. If we bought the tickets early through her orchestra teacher at school, they were half price. So for $8, Anna and I got to enjoy some great music. It is was a benefit concert to help them raise money to perform in the Mt. Hood area sometime. They announced at the show that they would be donating a percentage of the ticket sales to help the Haitian people. That was nice.

We went to the show last year and I was impressed with how well they played. They also have guest artists come and play with them. I'm hoping to encourage Anna to keep playing her violin so that maybe one day she will be in the high school orchestra. Although they said they meet at 6:50 a.m. every morning. I'm not so sure Anna would be up for that.

Our last outing for the weekend will be tomorrow afternoon. We will see the Idaho Dance Theatre perform. It is basically the university troupe and I usually get season tickets for me and Anna. I always want to dance after that as well. I guess it is a good thing I found the Nia class, now I can dance every week.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Valentine Collages

Last year I made a series of "Valentine" collages, one of which was donated to the auction. These were done in paper and I have put the remaining collages for sale in my Etsy shop. Each collage is sewn to Bristol paper.

Heart Compass, Mind Soul
image size: 10"x7-1/2"
Bristol paper size: 14"x11-1/2"
2009 Lisa Flowers Ross

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Valentine Cat

Here is the piece Anna made for the Valentine auction. It is a polymer clay cat. She made one similar to this several years ago and it received many bids. Isn't it adorable?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine Piece

Love is Not Always Black and White
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross
Available for bidding at Valentine's for Aids event, Flying M Coffeehouse, Boise, Idaho

Here is the piece I made for the Valentine auction. For some reason, my Valentine pieces are always very different from what I'm currently working on and I'm not sure why. They also tend to be a little more traditional. This one has some hand stitched x's and o's on it. The organizers like you to keep with the Valentine theme, but it is not a strict rule.

Last year they posted pictures of all the pieces online. If they do that again, I will certainly post the link here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sewing Tip: How to Quilt a Curve

I was finishing up my piece for the Valentine auction the other day and wanted to have some curved quilting lines in the borders. I didn't want to do free motion quilting because I wanted to have consistent curves. I could have traced a template onto the fabric and then followed it with free motion quilting, but I did not have a good template.

As I was trying to figure out what I could use to create the lines, I came up with the idea of ric-rac. I have a piece of very large ric-rac that would provide the right size curves. I pinned the ric-rac to the quilt sandwich where I wanted the curved line.

I used my open-toed foot with a straight stitch and just followed along the edge of the ric-rac moving the fabric back and forth. I had to be careful to not catch the edge of the ric-rac or I would have to take the stitches out. Despite how close the needle looks in this picture, I was able to sew without catching any of the ric-rac edge.

And that is how I got my curved line. I will post the finished piece soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Official

I can finally share some good news with you. I will be having a show at the Initial Point Gallery in Meridian from May 21 - June 18. It is a gallery run by the Meridian Arts Commission and is in the city hall building on the third floor. I have known since Dec. but was waiting for my official letter in the mail.

The application was due last November. Even though I had the info. for a while, I did not get my act together. The deadline was drawing near and I was thinking maybe I should just not bother to apply. But one day I decided to just go for it and got all the materials together and mailed that day. I'm so glad I did! And I'm so excited for my first solo show. O.k. technically I am sharing the gallery space with another artist, but it seems like a solo show to me.

It is very low key because I will have to do the installation, labels, price list and all that stuff. But there will be an artist reception (for both of us) on May 26. If you are in town, come on by. Of course, more details later.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To: Earring Holder

I have had pierced ears since high school and have amassed quite a collection of earrings. In the 80's, there were some pretty big ones. Not so much now. Years ago, I decided to make myself something to hold my collection of earrings.

I started with some thin wood and built myself a small cabinet with doors. Since I prefer the earrings with hooks, I put lots of small dowel rods inside to hold those. On the inside of the doors I put some strips of raised balsa wood with notches to hold the post type earrings. It has served me well.

Since Anna has had her ears pierced, she has started her own collection of earrings (yep, she's got that collector gene, too). Of course, I said we could make a holder for her, but not like mine. I'm sure if you searched the internet there would be lots of ideas. I know I have seen picture frames with screen attached to the open area. That would work well with the hook earrings, but not so great for post earrings, especially if you wanted to hang it on the wall.

Here's what I did for Anna:

I had a picture frame I was not planning on using anymore. I could have drilled holes right through the sides of the frame for the dowel rods, but I did not. I could have just drilled a hole partway from the inside. But I chose to put some eye screws on the inside of the frame and put the dowel rod into the hole of the screw. If I ever want to use the frame, as a frame, then I can unscrew them.

I used the same balsa wood strips with notches for the post earrings and just used a little wood glue to attach them. I hung it on the wall and it was ready to go. It didn't take very long to do. But I won't tell you how long Anna waited for me to get around to doing it!

Apparently it works for necklaces and other things as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am sure you have all heard about the tragic earthquake in Haiti. Above is a picture of Labadee, Haiti where we stopped on our cruise in 2008. It is a beautiful place with wonderful snorkeling. It was Anna's favorite place.

I tried to explain to her that we weren't seeing the much of the real Haiti, that the place had much poverty. This beach we were at was a private area owned by the cruise line. But that is so hard for her to understand, being so young. The only locals we saw were in the market area and they were very agressive with their selling.

Hopefully, organizations will be able to mobilize quickly and get help to the island.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Leaf, 25-1/2"x31"
hand dyed and commercial fabrics,
machine pieced and quilted
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross


This is a piece that came together fairly quickly. Partly because it was kicking around in my head for so long while I finished up the last piece. And partly because it is fairly simple. It was inspired by a leaf that I had found and scanned.

I love how you can see the different sections and break down of the leaf. This is what I based the quilted shapes on. I am thinking of doing another piece, also inspired by this photo.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Spring Green

Spring Green, 38-1/2"x31-3/4"
hand dyed fabrics,
machine pieced, fused appliqué, machine quilted
© 2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

This piece is finally finished. My first piece for the year, even though it was started last year. I know some people like to hear about the artist's inspiration and intention for a piece. Although sometimes I think it is better not to know. Then, the the viewer can bring their own vision and experiences to the piece. But I am going to talk about my intention here. So if you don't want to be influenced on your impressions, read no further.

This piece was developed from an impression in my head of sunlight shining through new growth of spring leaves and grass. I decided to go with the circle stitching as, to me, that represented sun spots and also the energy of the new spring growth. As I was sewing on the circles, I realized that they reminded me of the growth rings of trees when they are cut. I thought that fit in perfectly and added another dimension.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wasting No Time

These last few days I have been finishing up the quilting on my latest piece. In this post I showed you some different ideas I had for doing the quilting lines. I decided to go with the circles. However, I have not done much free-motion work with big circles. (For those that don't know what free-motion quilting is, it is dropping the feed dogs on the machine and moving the fabric around to create the lines. It's like drawing with the needle. )

To help me with my circles, I decided to cut out some freezer paper circles that I could iron on to the fabric and use as a guide. You can see the cut-outs below and some of the stitching I have already done.

I finished the circles today and I just need to finish the edges and I will get a completed picture up here soon.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

2010 is here. I managed to get the Christmas stuff put away just in time, last night. Usually this is a time for review of the year and setting goals/intentions for the next year. I did review my artistic goals for last year and did fairly well in accomplishing most of them. I will not elaborate here. I hope this year will be even better and I have new goals to work on. The sky's the limit.

The new year always has me excited about what I might accomplish for the year. It's like starting with a clean state. Speaking of clean, it is also a time where I have an urge to clean out things and get the house in order so as to have a physically clean slate as well. That doesn't always happen but I will at least try to get the pine needles vacuumed up today and things put back in place.