Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blues & Violets

These pictures just don't show the true colors, but then color is relative.

And so we have had fun with Roy G. Biv. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yellows & Greens

More dyed fabric. Some of the greens don't look very green, but they do have more of a greenish tint in person.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reds & Oranges

Have you met Roy G. Biv? I didn't, until I was an adult but it is an acronym for the order of colors in a rainbow (Red,Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). So going along with Roy, here are some of my red and orange fabrics I dyed.  The pictures can't really convey the true colors, but this is just to give you an idea.

And now for something completely different!  While driving back from the open studio on Sunday, my car overheated and I pulled to the side of the road to let it cool down.  A policeman came by and eventually escorted me to the Chevron that wasn't too far down the road.  As I was purchasing some engine coolant, another young man, who happens to work at a garage, asked if he could help me.  He discovered there was a leak in my radiator.

With lots of engine coolant, I did eventually make it home.  Yesterday, I tried calling a couple of automotive places to see if I could get a quote for a new radiator.  I had taken my car previously to Oakley Moody which is downtown and gave them a call.  The guy gave me a quote while I was on the line.  I said thanks and I would get back to him.  I called another place.  The guy said they would call me back with a quote. I also talked to the guy who helped me the day before.

I decided to call Oakley Moody back because I like them and they are downtown, so when I have to wait for the car for a couple of hours, I can just shop, or look at galleries or get something to eat.  I called back around 2:30 p.m. to see when I could bring the car in.  Eventually they said I could bring it right then.  Off I went!

I dropped the car off and went to the thrift store and the Art Source Gallery.  Went back to the shop and read a book.  I was driving home by 5:30 p.m.  How often does that happen?!  They already had the part and they were pretty busy because there were lots of other cars there, but they got me in.  Awesome!  So this is a little  free advertising for them.  Go there if you live in Boise and need your car fixed.

And that other place, I'm still waiting for a quote from them.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Artist Open Studio

Yesterday I took some time to go to artist Anne Peterson Klahr's open studio. She is a member of the Treasure Valley Artist Alliance and the chair for our exhibition committee. Her home and studio is in Star and there are wonderful views and landscaping for her to be inspired by. It was a beautiful afternoon and I really enjoyed seeing more of her artwork.  Please enjoy better pictures of her art on her website.

Anne (on the right) talks with Pam McKnight in the studio.

Another view of the studio.
One of Anne's works, Kigali Robe, that hangs in the kitchen. Visit her website for a much better picture of this.
A view from her back yard.
Another view of the back yard.
I loved this little corner of the studio.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Clear as Mud?

The fabrics are dyed, dried, ironed and folded. Phew! I was two yards shy of 100 yards.

Above are some of my "mud" fabrics. "Mud" fabric is when you pour the residual dyes from already dyed fabric into a big tub or bucket. The colors all get mixed up so you usually get "mud". But really, you can get some interesting colors and you never know what it will be. They are usually very light because most of the dye molecules have already grabbed on to the first fabric(s).

In the above picture, the color on the far right was a piece of pale yellow fabric that I over-dyed in a mud bath. Now it is a very pretty color. The lavender-ish color in the center was a pale pink piece that I also over-dyed.

I put the strip of white fabric there so you could see that the two palest colors are really colors. I'm afraid the photo doesn't really portray the true colors since I was taking the picture indoors at night.

This week we will be spending some time with Roy G Biv.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I have been dyeing fabric since Wednesday and am in various stages of it still. There are containers of fabric waiting to be washed out, dried fabric waiting to be ironed, fabric still waiting to be dyed. I think when all is done, I will have around 80 or more yards of fabric.

I threw in some embroidery threads while dyeing the fabrics and above are just some of the colors. I didn't do a thread for every color, but I still have some more that are waiting to be rinsed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Color Fields #8

I have finished the Color Fields series, for now. I have 12 pieces in the series. Number eight is below. I am switching gears and getting ready to do some of my summer fabric dyeing this week.

Color Fields #8
hand dyed fabrics,
machine pieced and quilted
15-3/4" x 12-1/2"
© 2011 Lisa Flowers Ross

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I have been known to cut up a finished piece and put it back together. Or I have cut up a piece and never put it back together. But on Terry's blog, she cut little pieces out of a bigger piece to stand on their own. Something I had not done.

So, I thought I would try it. I had a piece I made in 2006 which I spent quite some time on. After it was finished, there was always something that wasn't quite right for me. While I was getting out another artwork, I found this piece again and decided to try Terry's idea.

I ended up with 10 very small pieces (some only a couple of inches wide).  I zigzagged the edges to finish them all. Now, I don't know what I want to do with them. I can just leave them as is or maybe sew each one to a larger background piece. I could put several together on a larger background piece (although they are all different sizes). Or I could put them all together in a montage on a big background piece. I could also mount them on canvas or mat board.

Below are three of the pieces. I don't even want to show you the original, it was so different from what I'm doing now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Conversation

I was talking to my Nia instructor before class on Tuesday.  It came up that my birthday was last Saturday. 
She said, "Did you turn . . .45?"
"No, 43." I said.
"Oh." I think she might have felt like it was a little faux pas for thinking I was older.
I said, "It's just a number.  I don't feel that old."
"But you feel wise." she said.
"I feel wiser." I said.
Then I added, "The wiser I get, the less I know."
(I'm sure Anna will verify that for you!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Several people have asked for "after" pictures of Anna's room. Well, we don't really have an "after" yet because we are still working on it. But here are some pix that are pretty close. This weekend we managed to shampoo the carpet, take out the closet doors, install rod for closet curtains, hang curtains, revamp curtain for the window and make a pillow for the bed.

We were fortunate to find some shower curtains at Target, that Anna liked, for the closet and her window. I had to cut the window one down and add black-out fabric on the back. With the extra fabric, I was able to make the pillow.

We were, and still are, planning on making a quilt for her bed.  We already had fabrics picked out to go with the colors.  But we found a quilt at Target that also went well and got that.  It's on the bed (and now we won't have to rush to make the other one).

We are still looking for a desk and maybe some shelving for her room. Obviously, she doesn't have everything back in her room yet. (This is the cleanest it will be in the next four years, I imagine.) We aren't sure if we will kept the cubicles, but for now they stay. The room now has a fresh look.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Today is my birthday.  I spent the morning going to the Saturday Market.  I haven't been in a while and it was nice to see it expanded and spread out a little more so it didn't seem too crowded.  There were lots of beautiful flowers and lettuces, among other yummy looking things.

I thought this little girl below was so cute with her pink outfit and pink balloon trying out the "old fashioned" pay phone.

I thought the orange color in this vegetable was interesting.  I didn't get anything as I had some other errands to do and didn't think much would hold up in a warm car. 

I also made a trip to the quilt store, but only got some needles and a spool of thread.  So, I still have some birthday shopping to do (might be some books).

I came home to find Anna and Frank making me a birthday cake.  Woohoo! (There's a first time for everything.)  All week I had been trying to decide if I wanted to make myself a cake and, if so, what kind.  Now, I don't have to.  Spent some time outside on the hammock this afternoon.  We'll go out for dinner and have cake.  It's been a good day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Aside

These are some earrings and a pendant I made with buttons. I just used tacky glue to attach them together. If I make some more, I might do some stitches in the holes before gluing them together. This was an experiment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Do You Do What You Do?

Our Foray show has been great and we've extended it through June.  It's been estimated that around 600 people have gone through the show already. 

I had made an announcement about it in my Nia class when it first opened.  This week, one of the guys (one of a rare few) in my Nia class had been to the show and asked me which piece was mine.  He didn't really remember when I told him, but he kept asking me questions about art.  What I figured out eventually was he was trying to ask me why I was an artist or why do I create art, although he couldn't get that question out directly. 

Why do I make art?  Because I have to, would be my first response.  I'm not happy if I can't create.  I see pictures all around me: beautiful colors, shapes, details others might miss in nature, buildings, objects.  Sometimes pictures pop into my head.  I have to get these things down in my sketchbook or in my camera (but even a photograph is different than what I see in my head; it is just a reminder for me).  One, so I don't forget them (sometimes pictures can be fleeting).  Two, because then that clears out room for more ideas and pictures.  I create art so I can share what I see with others.  Eventually, I told him that I am a visual person and it is easier for me to communicate my ideas through my art.  That was the answer he was looking for. 

Why do you do what you do?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Last Friday I went to the traffic box project meeting. Not all of the artists were there, but I met a few. It was very interesting. There are several different organizations that are involved and/or sponsoring to have the designs made. The Boise City Arts and History Department is coordinating the whole thing (and they are also sponsoring some of the boxes, one of which is mine). The boxes aren't all the same shape and size.

Before the meeting, I made up some "samples" to take because I wasn't sure if my regular way of working with fabric, batting and stitching would be flat enough for the process. I brought one of my regular, smaller pieces. I fused some fabric to a board, with no stitching. And I also made the piece below which is pieced with some hand stitching and machine stitching, but no batting (I ironed some stabilizer on the back). Then I stretched this around a canvas.

An aside note: I like how the canvas gives it a little more presence for the smaller pieces. It also makes it more like "traditional" art that we tend to think about (i.e. paintings on canvas). It might be nice to try this with a big piece, but they are so much easier to store when they are not on the canvas (one of the nice things about fabric).

Anyway, they said I could create my piece the usual way. The selection committee liked the texture, color and pattern of my pieces. The person that handles the technical aspects of the project said to think about the size of my final design piece. If it is fairly small, then when it is scaled up a lot, the texture of the threads and fabric might be bigger and more visible. Something to think about.

I have to submit my design concept for approval in a week or two, then I have until August to actually finish the piece that will be scanned.

I used some leftover pieces in the Color Fields series to create this piece and I wasn't really trying to make a finished piece.  But I really like it, so it is Color Fields #10.

Color Fields #10
hand dyed fabric, machine pieced, hand and machine stitching
10" x 8" 
© 2011 Lisa Flowers Ross

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Today is another of the Twelve by Twelve group reveals. The color theme for this time was "spice". One of the twelves had put some spices on paper to see the colors. I did the same with the spices that I had in my kitchen. There are more colors than you would think. Imagine going to a spice market!

I pulled out some spicy fabrics and started working. I had no plan when I started and working that way is harder for me, but here is what happened. I still can't get it into a 12 x 12" square.

hand dyed fabrics, machine pieced
machine quilted
17" x 16"
© 2011 Lisa Flowers Ross

Go to the Twelve by Twelve blog to see all the spicy goodness.