Thursday, May 27, 2010

Something Brewing

I've been hoping to do some fabric dyeing, but the weather has not been cooperating.  Supposedly dyes take better when the temperature is over 70 degrees.  I'm not totally convinced of this.  It doesn't really matter anyway because I do my dyeing outside so it does have to be somewhat nice weather, which it hasn't lately.

I'm starting some new pieces and wanted an off white/tan fabric with some slight variegation but didn't find anything suitable in my stash.  Yesterday I decided to try some tea dyeing.  I've done it once or twice before and wasn't that happy with the results.  This time I just soaked some white fabric in soda ash water, made some strong tea and then put in the fabric.  I used different herbal teas.

I think this was a mixture of orange spice tea with something.

This one had chamomile and mint tea.  One of the bags had a hole in it. That's what all the little flakes are.

This had something like candy cane and sugar cookie flavor.

In the end, the flavors didn't make much difference, except the chamomile might have a slightly more yellowish hue.  They all came out as extremely subtle colors and very similar.  Black tea would probably work better. But I think they will work for what I had in mind.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This morning I went for a 22 mile bike ride.  It was in the low 50's and rainy.  I had a long sleeve shirt and my rain coat and was fine, going with the wind.  Coming back against the wind got a bit chilly and I was thinking of hot chocolate on my way home.

I didn't bring my camera with me, because it was raining.  I didn't figure I would want to stop and take pictures.  But I did want to.  I thought I could use my cell phone camera, but after searching my bags, realized it was still sitting in its plastic baggie in the garage at home.  So no rainy day pictures today.  But good training.

I saw a deer along the river, lots of Western Tanager birds, a new type of duck I haven't seen before, small white caps on the river,  several marmots, a wild rabbit, and a beautiful little patch of wild poppies and other flowers on the side of the bike path.

Below is a picture, taken on my cell phone, from my long ride over the weekend, the day after the snow.  The snow is just about gone from view now, but the weather is still cool.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bits and Pieces Again

This is the last bits and pieces I am going to do for awhile.  I need to start a new piece and get back to my regular way of working, which is starting out with an idea.  These bits and pieces came from a work that isn't completed yet.  It is pieced and now I am thinking about re-doing the top of that one into something else.  I did the same thing with this.  It was pieced and then it sat for a long time and I decided to cut it up and make it into something else.

Bits and Pieces V
hand-dyed and commercial fabrics
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

Eventually these will all get listed in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today I have been sitting here thinking that I wish our fire wood wasn't wet so that we could build a fire.  What? Yes, you read it correctly. Even though I believe we are in the month of May (because that is what all the calendars tell me), it is snowing here in Boise.  The morning temperature started out around 43 degrees and has since dropped.  Last I checked it was around 38.  I hope my new plants and vegetables make it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Bits and Pieces

Here is another bits and pieces work.  This one is fused and pieced.  After I had the top pieced, I thought I would just stitch in the ditch because I liked the simple design. But then I thought that would be boring and decided to emphasize the flow of the lines with the quilting lines.  It is very textured.  Did I go overboard on the quilting lines?

Bits & Pieces IV
hand-dyed and commercial fabrics
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bits and Pieces III

I had a bumpy start to the week, but now that we are on the "hump", I hope it will be smooth sailing the rest of the week.  I would have liked to have gotten this up sooner, but it is here today.

This is another bits and pieces work. These bits had fusible web on them, so the entire design is fused.  I like fusing because it seems a little freer in the shapes you can cut.  I didn't cut any curvy shapes with these bits because some were already in a stripe pattern.  Since it is basically straight lines, it probably didn't need to be fused.  But those were the bits that were laying around.  So I think maybe I need to try something like this with piecing, too. There is something I really like about a pieced line.

This piece doesn't have a lot of quilting on it.  I just did a random grid across the entire piece.

Bits and Pieces III
fabrics hand-dyed by artist
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bits and Pieces II

On this next piece of bits and pieces, I decided to add some lines with hand stitching. 

Bits and Pieces II
hand-dyed and commercial fabrics,
machine pieced and quilted with hand stitching
© 2010 Lisa Flowers Ross 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bits and Pieces

For the last few days I have been doing some "housekeeping".  I pulled out pieces that were in various stages of finishing and have been working on completing them.  I had about seven pieces.

This one is called Bits and Pieces I, as I decided to make something without a preconceived idea or plan, using the bits and pieces of fabric that were laying around left over from previous projects.  This type of working is much more of a challenge for me, most of the time.  Once in a while, something will come together without too much thinking and arranging.  This was not one of those times.

Bits and Pieces I
 21-1/2" x 9"
hand dyed and commercial fabrics,
machine pieced and quilted
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Vintage photo: Lisa and Anna, Mother's Day 2001

May you get to sleep in, 
have chocolate for breakfast, 
be pampered,
have a sunny day,
get lots of hugs
and feel like the special person you are! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Breakfast of Artists

What is the breakfast of artists?  I don't think it's Wheaties.  Maybe it's cold pizza.  This artist made a new discovery for breakfast that I will share with you.  I do not consider myself a "foodie" and I really don't enjoy cooking.  That's mostly why I have cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. 

One morning this week, I was fixing one of the usuals: five grain oats with milk, microwaved for about a minute.  Since these are the regular oats, I usually add a spoonful or two of some homemade blueberry jam, that's a bit on the syrupy side, to make it a bit sweet.  Since I had used up a jar of jam, I decided to add dried cranberries and a tablespoon or so of dark chocolate chips, after heating.  Delicious!  The chips melt and it kind of tastes like warm oatmeal cookies.  And it's healthy, right? A yummy way to start the day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Modern Mayhem

Yesterday was First Thursday and the Modern Art event, among others. The hotel opens its rooms to artists for them to do what they want (within reason and not destroying the room).

In the morning, bundled up in my polar fleece coat with several layers underneath and my fingerless gloves, I helped install the TVAA's sixty panels on the outside of the main stairwell at the Modern Hotel.  It was quite chilly (it is May, right?) and took us a couple of hours.

Mike Chambers with the completed installation.

The event was suppose to be from 5-9 p.m. I had volunteered to help take down the panels that night as well.  I left the house around 8 p.m. so I would have time to go through some of the rooms and see what it was all about. I haven't been to the event before because I knew it would be crowded.  And it was, just as my title suggests. The halls were wall to wall people and it was very hard to get into some of the rooms for all the people in there. Drinks and cocktails were being served in the parking lot and they also had tables set out.  It was basically a big block party as one street was also blocked off.

The event is called Modern Art, but I thought it was a bit surreal.  There were some performing artists singing and acting on the balcony of one room and also having a bizarre tea party in the rock garden. A graffiti artist was working outside on some panels.

There were some artists that had their art just set up for display and sell (a creative feat without having to put holes in the walls).  There were installations in many of the rooms, transforming them.  The one below is a neon murder scene.

One ceramic artist even had her wares in the bathroom, which was quite effective since she did sea-like creatures and things.  

I have to apologize for not having the names of these artists.  It was just very crazy there and I didn't think of grabbing a business card after I snapped a picture.

It was after 9:30 p.m. when we started taking down the panels and there were still lots of people hanging out at the hotel.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Purple and Yellow

The Twelve by Twelve group's next color challenge is purple and yellow.  Complimentary colors that I rarely use together.  But I think I can find some inspiration somewhere.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kilauea Colors

May 1st was the reveal day for the Twelve by Twelve group's latest color challenge.  (Go to their page to see all the interpretations.) The colors were Hawaiian volcano colors: chartreuse, oranges, reds and grays.  That combination of colors was very interesting to me. One day while I was going through some of the pictures on my computer, I found this one again.

I thought it had a similar color scheme and used it as my inspiration for my "play-along" piece.

Sorry the photo is not so great.  Since I just made the piece today, the edges are not finished.  I will take a better photo when I get the edges done. It is a bit different than the sketch I did first.  I started piecing it and decided that would take forever.  This is all fused. I started with the vertical orientation, but in the end, I liked this horizontal.  My mind might change again after the edges are finished.  I think I will call it Yucca.