Friday, July 30, 2010

More Mini Gardens

The fourth piece in this series.  I bet you can guess what the next one will be.  The coloring on this picture is a little off.

Summer Tree
tea dyed and commercial fabrics,
fused applique and machine piecing,
hand stitched and machine quilting
approx. 10"x 6" unframed
© 2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

Here is a detail to give you a better idea of the scale of the stitching and why it took me several hours to stitch the background.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Mini Gardens

Another in the Mini Garden series.

Winter Tree
tea dyed and commercial fabrics, paint,
fused applique and machine piecing,
hand stitching and machine quilting
approx. 10"x 6" unframed 
© 2010 Lisa Flowers Ross 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mini Gardens

Here is another piece in my little series.  Even though it is quite small, it still took me several hours to do the machine quilting on the background.  It also took several hours to do the hand stitching as well.

Spring Tree
tea dyed and commercial fabrics,
fused applique and machine piecing,
hand stitched and machine quilted
approx. 10"x 6"unframed
© 2010 Lisa Flowers Ross 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mini Gardens

At last I have some art to show you.  Before we went on our trip to Ireland, I got together several small pieces of work that I knew was going to need hand stitching.  It always takes a long time to get to Europe (usually over 24 hours) from Boise.  We spend a lot of time getting to the East coast.  Then usually wait in the airport a long time until the night flight across the ocean.  I knew I would have a lot of time on my hands to do something. 

I did get some hand stitching finished, but not as much as I had hoped.  (Because when you have your own little monitor on the airplane seat, you can watch movies and play games as well.)  Below is the first piece completed in this little series.  I am hoping to order some frames in which to put each piece of the series, since they are so small.

Mini Rock Garden
hand dyed and commercial fabrics,
hand applique and machine pieced,
hand and machine quilted
approx. 10"h x 6"w unframed
© 2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

Monday, July 19, 2010

First Thursday

I realize that it is already July 19th (where has the month gone!) and I am just getting around to writing about Boise's First Thursday that was on July 1st.  First Thursday is a day when the museums are free and the galleries are usually open late and have refreshments available.  I do not usually go out for First Thursday as I'm not fond of crowds.

But for this July, I did because it was the opening of the Art Source Gallery's Annual Juried Show in which I had an artwork that was accepted (Winter Birches).  I wanted to see the show and the other selected works.  It will be up until the end of the month if you want to check it out.

In the late afternoon, Anna and I rode our bikes downtown.  Our first stop was the Boise Art Museum so that Anna could see the Audubon prints that are on display.  Then we had dinner at The Brick Oven Bistro (that we still call The Beanery).  We parked our bikes and walked over to the new location of Brown's Gallery and also saw some of the Artists in Residence in the same building.  Afterward, we walked to the Art Source Gallery, which I was happy to see had many people.  I tried to get a few pictures but it was crowded.  I didn't get any of my piece but here are some others.

Growing Strong by Betty Maquire-Hayzlett

Sublime Beauty by Delia DeLapp

I don't have the name of the artist who did this bug.  It was a nice juxtaposition with the shiny metal bug sitting on the rusted metal piece.

Then we headed back to The Basement Gallery to see what the new owners had on exhibit.  I don't know why "Ernie" was riding his bike down the street, but he was.

Even with the crowds, I enjoyed our art date.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dyeing Done

This past week I dyed about thirty more yards of fabric.  Even though I like doing it, it is tiring work because I am often up and down.  I have a card table set up outside which I keep the dyes on to mix the color I want.  Then I put the fabric in the container and pour the dye on.  As I smoosh the fabric around, I don't want any drops to splash out and contaminate something else.  Hence, I sit down on the ground to massage the dye into the fabric.  The little drips and splashes end up on the driveway or my legs.  I'm often multicolored after the process. 

This time I thought about hanging the fabrics on the fence to dry since I didn't want to have to iron them all and was ready for the process to go a little quicker (after having already done one round of dyeing the previous week).  When the temperature is in the 90's, the sun is out and there is barely any humidity, I think it only took about 10-15 minutes for the fabrics to dry!  Much quicker than an iron or a dryer. 

When I took the above picture, I noticed the fabric colors just happened to be some of the same colors that were in the plants in front.  I think I need to study those plants closer and use the fabrics in a future artwork.

Now that the dyeing is done and I have re-organized my fabric shelves.  I'm ready to get back to the actual process of creating art.  I have a few small things I need to finish up.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Last week I was finally able to get around to dyeing some fabric.  This time I threw in some embroidery thread as well.

I have been dyeing my own fabric for some years now (sorry I don't really know how many).  When I first did it, I remember it taking me a long time to do about 20 yards of fabric.  I thought that was a lot.  This time I dyed about 50 yards in a couple of days.  This seemed like hardly any colors to me.  Just like paint, there is an infinite number of ways to mix the dye colors.  These fabrics are my palette that has to last through the winter.  (Since I do my dyeing outside and it's best when the temperature is above 70 degrees, I do all my dyeing in the summer). 

So I went out and bought some more fabric so that I can do another round this week.  The above photo is only some of the fabric I dyed.  I don't follow any set measurements for getting some specific repeatable color.  Part of the fun for me is just mixing things up and seeing what comes out.  The more I dye the more I know what colors to mix to get the type of colors I want. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Pictures from Ireland

Important Update: Before the picture show begins, I just thought I would give you the update on the Chalk Art event.  Anna's piece was awarded first place in the student category.  Yippee! Her artwork was published in the newspaper and is on line along with the other artworks at the Idaho Statesman site. I got lots of nice comments on my piece.

I've had a request for some people pictures from Ireland.  I promise I will bore you no longer with the trip pictures after these.

Meigan, Dannie and Ian

Me and Carin on my birthday. Her birthday is only eight days before mine.

Anna and Meigan getting friendly with some horses.

A few more scenic shots.  This one is in Killarney National Park.

This was in Inch.  I love how the sand was wet and reflects the sky.

Looking down on anyone who might try to invade this ruined castle.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope everyone is enjoying their day.  We have had a very nice day so far.  This morning Anna and I did a little art - sidewalk art, that is.  The Idaho Statesman is sponsoring a new event this year which is a Chalk Art event in Ann Morrison park.  Anyone could have signed up to create an artwork.  There was a $10 fee to raise money for the kids' programs at the museum, but they also provided some artist pastels and regular sidewalk chalk.  I thought it would just be something fun to do and I would also get to see what other people were doing.  I asked Anna if she wanted to do it as well.  I signed both of us up online.

When I arrived at the park this morning, they had sections marked off and each spot had the name of the person and a bucket with the chalk and pastels.  The bucket was also there to collect tickets for people's choice awards.  I wasn't really concerned about the "contest" part.  I arrived a little after 8 a.m.  (Anna was coming later as she was sleeping over at a friend's house last night).  We had from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. to work.

When signing up online, they asked what theme you were going to do.  I didn't really know yet, but had an idea of looking down on a river.  I used a similar idea of looking down from above on some previous artworks and am currently working on some small pieces with the same idea (will show you sometime on the blog when they are finished).  I was pretty much going to make it up as I went along.  I did one small sketch when I got there and then just went at it.

It took me about four hours to complete.  I spent a lot of time blending chalk with my fingers and had it not only on the sidewalk but also on various parts of myself.  Anna came later and it did not take quite as long for her to finish hers.  They had several guest artists that were invited to make big works and they were roped off in a different section.  It was fun to do.

materials and brief sketch I made

Anna and I working, along with others

Very messy hands!

A group of people were working on this one.

Another group effort.  Can you see the face?

This guy was just getting started after we had finished, so we didn't get to see the finished piece.

Anna working while a local news person is filming her.  We hope to see if she makes the final cut tonight.

Anna's finished piece.

 My finished piece.  The fishes look like they are on top of the water but I was afraid to go over them with some blue in fear that I might ruin it.

Invited guest artist, Rick Thomson

Work by invited guest artist, Ward Hooper (we have some of his prints in our basement).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Artistic Interlude

I thought I would give you a break from Irish pictures today because the Twelve by Twelve group has revealed the latest color challenge artworks with purple and yellow.  I thought I would not be able to do a play-along piece this time because our trip consumed much of my time and thoughts in planning, preparing, packing and actually going. 

But since we have been away for a couple of weeks, I've had withdrawal symptoms for making art.  The day before yesterday I decided to see what I could do quickly with the theme.  I wanted to use scraps of fabrics and started pulling them out.  I had lots of yellow, but not much purple (not surprising).  I also noticed that most of the commercial prints I have tend to be with small scale motifs.  I don't get many fabrics with large prints.  Anyway, this piece is not twelve by twelve inches.  I seem to have trouble with that. But it does have yellow and purple.  I still need to finish the edges.  And that dark strip is a deep purple.

Golden Days
hand dyed and commercial fabrics,
machine pieced and quilted
19"h x 11-1/4"w
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

The back of the piece showing the quilting.

Be sure to check out the group's pieces by clicking on the Twelve by Twelve link above.