Friday, March 30, 2012

Quote of the Day

"The observation of nature is part of an artist's life.  It enlarges his form knowledge, keeps him fresh, and feeds inspiration." - Henry Moore

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Birthday Artwork

In my post yesterday, I told you about my visit to Linda McLaughlin's studio.  Well, her birthday was a couple of weeks ago and my friend and I each made her a little artwork.

This is the piece I made for her.  You might have noticed yesterday that she likes to work with circles.  So I started with the circle idea and painted those on by painting the edge of a large yogurt container with paint then "stamping" it on the fabric.  The fabric is a piece of linen from a skirt.

Linda also likes to work with black and white and that is where the color scheme came from (although the linen is not white).  For the background, I carved a stamp with the roman numerals LXV and stamped it in gray all over (top side is right side up, the bottom is upside down).  I wanted it to be a graphic pattern, but not instantly recognizable.

For some color, I added the leaf in the middle as Linda said she had liked to use leaves in the past. There is some hand stitching in the circles and around the leaf.

It was nice to work on something inspired by someone else's work, using techniques I don't usual do.  I might have not made a piece like this otherwise.

Although, as we were driving over to her house on Sunday, I was thinking maybe she would have rather liked to have a piece that was different from what she does.

There's always next year!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Studio Visit

This weekend, my friend and I drove to Weiser, Idaho to visit the home and studios of our newest art friend, Linda McLaughlin.  Another of Linda's friends also joined us.  Her artworks look lovely hanging in her home.  I am inspired by leaves and nature, so I especially like this one.

(Photos posted with permission of artist.)

We first entered Studio A (she has two different studios) which is in her home.  Below Kathleen is looking at Linda's piece she made for her birthday this year.  You can read about it on Linda's blog. Leading up to the big day, she had stitched one circle each day for each of her years.  Maybe you can count them all and figure out how young she is.  You can't see all the hand stitching and beadwork in this picture.

Below is another of Linda's pieces and her trophy "tower".  I thought that was interesting.  (The few ribbons I have had have been thrown away).

Linda has started another daily project and here are some of the pieces below.  She is planning to do a year's worth of these.

After looking at all the fun stuff in Studio A, we had a nice lunch; we each had brought something to share.  Then, it was outside to Studio B (in a transformed garage).  Below is Linda in Studio B. Notice how organized everything is and the nice large sink and large working table.  She also had a washer and dryer in there along with lots and lots of other creative stuff.  This is only part of the long studio.

Here is a little sampling of her carved stamps to use on fabric.  

Linda kept bringing out piece after piece of her artwork to show us.  It's a shame it is in the studio. It needs to be out in the world where people can admire it.  I'm sure she is working on that, as we all are.

It was a great and inspiring day trip.  And it's always fun to get together with artists with kindred spirits.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Studio Organization

My sewing studio is an extra bedroom I transformed.  It is still the guest bedroom when people visit, but it gets transformed back into my studio after they leave.  It's not a super large room, so I try to make good use of the space.

Click here to see the pictures from when I first "re-modeled" my studio.  A few things have changed since then, but the basic set up is still the same.  I have been trying to squeeze more things into the same space.

One of the things I had was a basket that held rolled up things - mostly papers and stuff.  I've never really had a particular place for this basket.  Sometimes it's under the cutting table or ironing board. Sometimes it's on top of a table.  I didn't think it was the best storage idea, so when I saw someone (I think it was Melody Johnson) had a different way of storing rolled up things, I wanted to get rid of the basket.

She had an over-the-door hanger for shoes that the rolled pieces went into.  It held a pairs of shoes horizontally.  I have been searching for a while for one of those things.  The more popular shoe storage organization seems to be the pocket version (shoes held vertically).  That wouldn't work.

I had looked in several different stores at several different times.  I had begun to think they didn't make that kind anymore and thought about how I could sew one myself, or something similar, knowing that I would probably never get around to doing that.

Unexpectedly, while I was looking for something the other day at a store, I found the right kind of shoe organizer!  I purchased it and came home excited to get the rolls reorganized.

Clearing the things out of the basket was almost like an archeological dig.  There were things buried on the bottom I had forgotten.  I found a shirt and two knit dresses I had bought to dye.  There were paper templates from older works that I ended up recycling.  Now the basket is empty, the items are put in the shoe organizer and I can see everything.  They are much easier to get to.

At the top, I have rolled pieces of fused fabric.  I rolled them around empty toilet paper rolls; this way they don't get flattened.  Then there is some blank newsprint paper, leftover paper from Wonder Under that can be reused, my teflon sheets, a clear plastic sheet I can use to audition quilting designs on with a dry erase marker, freezer paper, some vinyl Heat-n-Bond (which I'm sure I got for a particular project which will probably never happen) and, lastly, some oil cloth (also purchased for a particular project which will probably not happen).  So, there you have it.

You can see some of my other organization items I've used in my studio during my Open Studio on April 28th.  If you would like more information about that, please click here to sign up for my newsletter or contact me via email.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Artwork (Color Block Series)

For those of you who were guessing where the pictures from my last post were taken, the answer is the Reusem in Garden City - a paradise for geeky people and a scientific, industrial and government surplus outlet.

Today, I am posting another piece that is fused appliqué and is part of what I am calling the Color Block series.  This one is different from the first three in that it is rectangular.

Color Blocks #4: Sail
hand dyed fabrics, fused appliqué
15-1/4 x 10-1/2"
©2012 Lisa Flowers Ross

(Available for purchase.  Please contact me.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Around Town

Can you guess where I took these pictures with my phone camera? (No, I don't have a smart phone so the quality of the pictures are not great).

You can find inspiration anywhere.  I especially like the highlights in the first picture.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Little Recycling

Yesterday, I dropped off this little package at the Boise Art Museum for one of my co-workers' birthday (which was actually Thursday).

The wrapping is some recycled brown paper that came in a package.  I crumpled it up and then dragged an ink pad across the surface.  I made the fabric tie from little scraps of fabric.  I saw this idea here quite a while ago and have been meaning to try it.  This gave me the perfect excuse to do it.

I did mine a little differently, as I sewed it all by machine and I only sewed down one side of the strip.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Art Opening

This evening I went to a friend's art opening: Anne Peterson Klahr - Full Circle.  She hung some of her work at Mind Body Fitness in Eagle.  It is the place where she takes yoga.  The building seemed very new and the owner had done a good job of creating a nice soothing environment.

Anne's paintings worked well with the color scheme of the walls and I think her themes tie in with the spirit of the place.  The place is bigger than it looks from the outside so there was quite of bit of artwork to fill the walls.  I estimate there were almost 20 pieces on display.

My pictures will not do the artwork the justice of capturing the texture, depth and luminosity of the paintings. Anne told me the artworks in the hallways will stay up for a while but not the pieces in the yoga room where classes are held.

If you want to see more of Anne's work, you can visit her website as well.

 The Power of the Feminine 
(photos posted with permission of artist)

 Seeking Angels

 Inner Beauty (left) and Square Pegs (right)

The artist, Anne Peterson Klahr, on the left.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Open Studio

It was a busy weekend.  On Saturday, Anna and I went to my friend Kathleen Probst's Open Studio. I had helped her get ready for it on Wednesday.

Here is one of the first things you saw as you came in the door.

 Then it was upstairs to the studio with several finished pieces and paper templates on the walls.

Some works in progress on a design board.  I can't wait to see the ones with leaves finished.

Below Kathleen is on the left talking about her work.

She happen to have her Open Studio on her birthday.  I had used some of her "signature" shapes to make this little piece with her initials as a gift.  Unfortunately, the surprise was a little spoiled because I had forgot I still had it on my design wall when she stopped by my house the week before.  She was still surprised though, just a little early.

What I admire about Kathleen is that when she gets an idea, she just does it.  I often need to think about things for a while.  So, while I have been entertaining the idea of having an Open Studio since last year, Kathleen has gone ahead and done it.

That inspired me and I am planning to have my own Open Studio in April.  (I also have been waiting for better weather since we live on a pretty steep hill).  If you would like to be one of the first to know the date after I determine it, you can sign up for my newsletter.

(Photos posted with permission of the artist.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Leaf Metamorphosis 3

Now back to our regularly scheduled art program.

I did complete another Leaf Metamorphosis piece to go with Leaf Metamorphosis 1 and Leaf Metamorphosis 2.  This piece is not as vibrant as the other two as it represents the time from late autumn when leaves are already brown, through winter and then springtime when the leaves begin new growth.

Leaf Metamorphosis 3
hand dyed fabrics, hand stitching
machine pieced and quilted
20 x 12"
©2012 Lisa Flowers Ross

Friday, March 9, 2012


I don't like to talk politics here much, or anywhere for that matter.  It's just too frustrating to me.  But I will step on my little soap box for today.

As those who live here in Boise and Meridian know (at least I hope you know),  there is a levy for each city up for vote next week to create extra funds for education.  This is to help cover some of the budget cuts made recently.  I have already sent in my absentee ballot. Please go vote next week (preferable yes, but it's up to you).

Related to that, I just read an article about costs for higher education here, and the Republican candidates' views on that.  Anna is just three years away from college.  I have a niece who started this year.  Although we have been saving for Anna for a long time, and I started a small account for my niece some years ago,  I am still very anxious about the high and continuing rising costs of college.

My niece will not escape incurring some debt.  I hope Anna won't incur any, but I don't know.  From the article, it doesn't look like the situation will be helped by the Republicans anytime soon.  Instead of trying to help America, it's politics as usual.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Work

I finished this piece last month and have been trying to come up with a title for it.  I think I have something, but will take suggestions.

This is also a little bit of a departure from my usual "thing."  It is all hand stitching on linen (from an old pair of pants).  I also went in and added some colored pencil.  I had intended to mat it and frame it, but all the mats I tried seemed too stark against the linen.

So, I decided to put a fabric border around it.  What I did was create the blue border as an entire separate piece.  I quilted it and then attached the linen piece on top (like machine appliqué).

 hand dyed fabric, hand stitching on linen, colored pencil
16-3/4  x 15"
©2012 Lisa Flowers Ross

detail of stitching

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yard Work

Yesterday, we had a few visitors come help us out with a little mowing and pruning.  Four helpers all together.

Friday, March 2, 2012


March came in like a lion.

Today, the snow is mostly gone in the valley.

It's the beginning of a new month.  Hard to believe it is March already.  I have set myself a big challenge (for me) for this month.

Those who know me very well know that I am a fan of diet Coke. It is my "comfort food."  But knowing that it is not the best thing for me (with constant reminders from my teenage daughter),  I am attempting to give up drinking any kind of soda for the entire month.

That might not sound too hard for some people.  But I don't drink coffee or iced tea.  I like juice, but don't like to drink it too much because of the calories.  Of course, I try to drink lots of water, but I do want some variety.  (Yes, I do drink milk, too.) I suspect I will be experimenting with different drinking concoctions this month. If you have any great low-cal drinks you like, feel free to leave recipes or links in the comments.

One day down, thirty more to go.