Friday, March 29, 2013

One More

I did one more daily fabric composition after the fact to go with a few of the others.  Here is it unfinished.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More Finished DFCs

Here are a few more finished daily fabric compositions before and after pictures.

This after is very similar to the before picture because I just did outline stitching.

I added some hand stitching to this one and I'm not sure I like all the stars.  I think I liked the calmness of the before picture.  What do you think?

That is all I have finished at this point in time.

Friday, March 22, 2013


This is my 1,000th post on my blog!  If I had written a post everyday, that would be about two and three quarters of a year.  But I don't write every day, so it has been a bit longer since I started this blog.

What should we do to celebrate?  How about a give-away?

Leave a comment on my blog anytime from now up to midnight on March 31st telling me if you would rather have one of my finished daily fabric compositions or a zipper bag if your name is chosen.  Only one comment will be counted, but you are welcome to leave more comments.  It just won't improve your chances of winning.  I will pick a winner on April 2 and mail them their choice.  Tell your friends, everybody is welcome.

Speaking of finished daily fabric compositions . . . I have been finishing a few of them.  Here are a couple with the before and after picture.

This one looks very similar as I only did some outline stitching and a few rows of stitching on the bottom.

This one looks more different because I had to crop a lot off. I did lots of stitching on this one and used a fused binding on the edges.

Another one that looks very similar to the before picture.  But I like the texture the stitched lines add.  The stitching in the green area is with a blue thread.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Linda's House

On St. Patrick's day, I spent most of the day with several artist friends, Linda McLaughlin, Kathleen Probst and Barbara Huck. We talked shop, shared artwork and enjoyed a nice lunch. Always a fun time.

Here is a piece of fabric that Linda printed and it was featured in an article she wrote for Quilting Arts magazine.

As we were at Linda's house, we got to look at her art book library.  This is just a very small section of it.

And this is one of Linda's daily project pieces.  I love the colors in this one.  You can read more about her daily projects (yes, she has more than one) on her blog.

I had Linda make me a thermofax screen and we played with it a little to see what it looks like.  Here it is printed on fabric.

Yes, it's just lines, but I'm excited about the possibilities of this screen.  I can do so many things by overlapping and turning the screen.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Zipper Bag Tutorial

Do you remember back in October when I posted some pictures of some pencil bags I made and I promised to write a tutorial on how I did it?  Well, better late than never!  Here it is.

Zipper Bag Tutorial

I don't really start out with a finished size in mind.  I start by selecting a zipper size.  The smallest I could find at JoAnn's was 6".  You probably wouldn't want to go any smaller than that, as it would be hard to get things in and out of it.

- zipper
- fabric - I used decorator fabric which has a little more weight to it and is a little stiffer.  Plain cotton might be too floppy but you could always stiffen it with interfacing. About 1/2 yard.
- thread
- sewing machine
- plastic for front - I found an old clear plastic shoe organizer at a garage sale that I have been cutting up and using the plastic.  You could also use those bags that blankets come in or I think you can just buy clear vinyl at JoAnn's.

1)  Cut several lengths of 1-1/2" strips from your fabric.  Whatever the length of your fabric is fine.  We will be cutting these down eventually.

2)  Cut two 4" lengths from your strip for the zipper ends (4" x 1-1/2").

3)  Press both ends of each 4" strip under 1/4" (wrong sides facing).  Fold each in half, wrong sides facing and press.

4)  Place the end of a zipper in between the folded edges and sew across.  Do the same for the other end.  Now you should have something that looks like this.

5)  Measure length of zipper between fabric ends and add 1/2".  This number equals the width to cut your plastic.  Cut the height to whatever you would like.

6)  Cut two pieces from your strips of fabric the same height as the plastic (1-1/2" x whatever height you chose in the previous step).  Sew with a 1/4" seam to sides of plastic (right sides facing).

* At this point, you might want to zigzag the edges of the fabric so they don't fray and leave little strings inside your bag.  I would do that for every seam you sew.  

Finger press the seam open and topstitch near seam edge.  You will want to do this for every seam as well.  Now, you should have something that looks like this (the white strip is just part of my plastic).

7)  Cut two strips the same length as the plastic plus the fabric sides (or leave long and trim after the seam is sewn).  Sew one to the top and one to the bottom (1/4" seam, right sides facing.  Don't forget to zigzag edges.)  Finger press out and then topstitch near edge.

8)  Trim fabric zipper ends even with the edge of zipper.  Sew top edge of plastic window unit to one edge of the zipper (1/4" seam, right sides facing).  Finger press out and topstitch near seam edge.  Now you should have something that looks like this.

9)  The rest of the bag will be one piece of fabric.  The width of the fabric will be the same as the width of the bag.  The length of the fabric will be 2X + 2-3/4" (yes, you have to do a little math).   So if my X was 8" then I would cut the length to 18-3/4" (2 x 8 + 2-3/4).  

Cut your fabric to your measurements, then turn one of the edges that is the width of the bag under 1/4" (wrong sides facing) and press.

10) Sew the opposite, unfolded edge to the exposed side of the zipper (1/4" seam, right sides facing.  Don't forget to zigzag.)  Finger press out and topstitch near seam edge.  It should look something like this.

11)  Flip the bag over and fold the folded edge toward zipper about a third of the total length.  Like so.

When you fold the window side over on top, the edges should match. You may have to adjust the folded edge to get it to match. Once you have the right placement and the edges match, carefully unfold window side and topstitch down the the folded edge (just as you see it laying here in the photo).

12)  Make sure zipper is open.  Now, you should be able to fold in half, right sides together (if you picked up the fabric in the photo above, you would fold the right side back toward the zipper side), match all three edges and sew around the three edges (don't forget to zigzag edges if you don't want it to fray).  You won't need to sew the edge near the zipper as it is already attached.  It should look something like this.

Trim the corners and turn inside out through the zipper.  You're finished.

Use your bag for travel projects, to store art supplies, as a pencil bag or give as a gift.  Enjoy!

If you use this tutorial, and have any problems with the directions, please let me know so I can try to make them clearer.   I also find it more efficient to make more than one at a time.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Linocut Print

I managed to get 14 prints completed and turned in on time for the print exchange.  I had to hand print this linocut.

hand printed linocut
image size: 3 x 3-1/2"
©2013 Lisa Flowers Ross

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reduction Linocut: Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about printing the first color of a reduction linocut I was making for an exchange.  I showed you the first color.

Last night I went back to Wingtip Press to print the second color.  I was much less optimistic about the second run as I knew the registration would be tricky and had to be just about perfect.

Here is what the second color looks like on it's own.

And here is what it looks like on top of the first color all lined up.  It's snow on branches.

I managed to get 8 good prints (I had many more prints that the registration was off).  But I need 14 prints for the exchange.  I cannot go back and print more of these as I already carved away the linoleum for the first color.  That's the nature of the reduction linocut.  You use the same plate for each color, reducing the linoleum as you go.

So, I need to make another print (they don't have to all be the same print).  I have carved another linoleum block and will print it by hand.  They are due tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


For the past couple of weeks I have been spending more time at my computer than I have in the studio. I have been revamping my website.  I took a big dive off the deep end by switching formats from Joomla to Wordpress.

For the first few days, I felt like I was reading a foreign language with all the different code talk and unfamiliar terms.  Several times I had to just walk away after hours of working on it as I thought my mind might explode.  But coming back to it later, or another day, always seemed to produce some good result or understanding because my mind was calm and fresh.

Now, I feel like I have a better grip on the workings of Wordpress and my new website is up. Please check it out and tell me what you think.

Maybe the blog is will be next.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


This weekend I have been working on getting some original prints framed that I have had for, um, . . . a while.  I like to buy art as well as make it.   I like to buy it unframed if I can because I like to frame them myself.  That way I can chose the mat and frame colors.  My preference is simple mat and framing to let the artwork shine.

Below is my mat cutting station - the floor.  I keep my mat cutter (that I have had for years and is getting worn) in the cardboard box you see in the corner of the photo.  I usually set it up on the floor when I need to cut mats.  That may be why it sometimes takes a while to get around to framing things.

Yesterday as I was cutting mats, I realized I needed to get more of a particular white.  There are quite a few different white mats; warm whites, bright whites, cool white, off white.  So I took scraps with me and went to Quality Art.  

It has been a while since the old mat cutter has been out and since purchasing mats.  But I was lucky to find the same colors I was looking for.  Back home and all the mats are cut.  Now I am working on mounting the artwork and getting them in the frames.

Here are some prints waiting their turn.

I hope to get them finished and actually up on the wall soon (which may require some rearranging).  I'll have eight new pieces to display.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hemingway & Women

While I was at BSU for the Opening Doors exhibition,  I also got to see the Hemingway & Women exhibition which is on display in the Special Events Center.  This exhibition was put together by my friend Amy Nack and is a portfolio of prints that explores the relationship of Ernest Hemingway with women. Twelve Boise artists each created a print based on this theme.

Disclaimer:  All these photos are not great.  The artworks are framed with glass and there is a wall of windows and glass doors opposite the artwork.  This should be inspiration for those in town to go view them in person.

 Hemingway and Women, drypoint by Judith Lombardi

This artwork above is probably my favorite of the exhibition.  I love the expressions on the faces.

I did not realize until I grouped these photos together here below, that they all use a similar color scheme in their print.  They are not displayed side by side at the venue, but obviously the colors help make it a more cohesive group.

 Love's Dark Sister Fills in All the Forms, drypoint on monotype by Odessa Leedy

 Characters in Search of a Role, mixed print media with chine collĂ© by Maria Carman Gambliel 

An Onion, three color relief by William Lewis

The exhibition will be up through July 12th.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Opening Doors

Last week I was able to get over to BSU for the opening of BOSCO's (Boise Open Studio Collective Organization) opening art reception.  The exhibition, Opening Doors: A Glimpse into the Artist's Mind, is on display in the student union gallery.

What one might notice when first entering the space is how colorful and energetic many of the works are.

On the left: Radiant by Barbara Michener.  On the right: Landscape of the Heart by Betty Hayzlett.

Self Portrait by Kelly Beach

This unconventional self portrait above makes great use of complementary colors to move the eye around and create an intriguing sense of atmosphere.

There were a few artworks that were more subtle in color.  

 Blue Car by Karen Bubb

There is no blue in the artwork below, that is a reflection.  Those of you in town will have to go see this one in person as I'm afraid the photo does not do it justice.

And God Said by Sue Latta

Old Oak Jar by Jerry Hendershot

There is a variety of media and styles represented in the artworks.  The exhibition will be up through March 25.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Daily Project Review

I put together a little composite of all the daily fabric compositions (plus one).  It took much longer than I intended as I was having issues of Photoshop getting stuck on one tool.  (Anybody else have this happen?  I've read on the internet that others have, but none of their tricks seem to work except for restarting the computer.)

Here they are all together in order with the extra one at the end.  Do you notice any patterns?

My thoughts:

-  I thought they would be more cohesive as a group since I started out with a limited number of fused fabrics.  But later I started adding some more fused fabrics that were leftover from some other projects.  That made it more varied.

-  I thought some progression of pattern might occur, but it never really did.  Every morning was just looking at the pile of fabrics and see what I come up with that day.  Maybe if I had done three or four in a day, the thought pattern would be more progressive.  But since I did one and then waited a day, it wasn't a continuous idea.  Except for when I created a little motif on day 20 (that looks like a door, house or gate).  Then I worked with that motif for several days in a row and even came up with an extra one.

-  For the most part, I started working on the piece as a whole, picking some fabrics to start with and then building on that.  Working with the motif was a slight shift in the thinking process, sometimes, as I started building the motifs and then figured out how to put them together to work.  Other times, the motifs were envisioned as a whole piece from the beginning.

-  There are no curved lines in any of these (except for the screen printed stitching on fabric I used in a couple of pieces).  I did cut all the straight lines without a ruler, so they are somewhat organic.  I thought about trying a curve, but my natural inclination was to just play with straight lines and shapes.

-  There are no diagonal lines or shapes.  I did try turning sections on the diagonal a few times while I was working, but it seemed too dynamic or unstable for such a small piece, and for my preference.  I often like to seek the balance and "stability" in an artwork.

- Obviously, some pieces turned out better than others.  That happens.  Not everything can be a masterpiece and these were just exercises.  I will finish some of them with machine and/or hand stitching, but I probably won't finish them all.

-  I had no preconceived notions of subject matter before starting the project.  It was a way to "play" with what was in front of me.

-  It helped to have the fabrics all fused and batting all cut before beginning the project.  I also had a sheet for fusing on that had the finished dimensions drawn on it as well as some outside dimensions.  I also employed mat board as a viewfinder while working since I knew they would be cropped down to a certain size when finished.

-  As I was working at the museum a lot (for me) during the month of February, this was a great way for me to work on a little art each day.  I think it really kept me from getting cranky.  I realize I do get cranky when I can't do anything creative for a while.

-  I noticed I had a really hard time working with the white fabric that had the screen printing on it.  I think maybe the white was just too much contrast or too bright for me.  That might be something to challenge myself with sometime, as I rarely use white in my larger pieces as well.

-  I particularly like the color combinations in #8 and #26.  I liked using a little bit of the intense "jewel" colors (like deep fuchsia) as an accent, but too much "jewel" colors together (as in #23) is too much for my tastes.  I realize some people really like that.

-  Some nice coordinated groupings can be made with these pieces, but they won't be in numerical order.  It will be mix and match.

I think I could do this again during a different month with some different parameters.  But for now, I have to work on getting some of these finished.

Feel free to tell me which numbers are your favorites.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Daily Fabric Composition

I did it.  I completed a fabric composition for each day of the month of February, plus one bonus one.  I will get you caught up with the last week.

Daily fabric composition #28

Daily fabric composition #27

Daily fabric composition #26

Daily fabric composition #25

Daily fabric composition #24

Daily fabric composition #23

Daily fabric composition #22

Tomorrow I will review some of my thoughts on the daily project.