Tuesday, December 29, 2009

boo hiss!

I hope everyone is having a wondeful holiday season!

So sorry for the prolonged absence. And no pictures in this post.

As usualy, the holiday rush caught me more or less unprepared. And now, just when I'm ready to get back on track with the blog and my online shops, my internet is out until January 6th. Boo! Hiss!

In the meantime, I'm going to learn how to use my new camera (yay!), so I'll have lots of goodies to show once I get back online.

(this whole situation makes me wonder how we ever got by before the internet...)

Friday, December 11, 2009

holiday sale : this weekend!

I know I've been lax with the posting lately. As I predicted to myself in mid-November, I was feeling really unprepared for the holiday season, so I've been furiously dyeing and sewing.

This weekend, I'll be at this fantastic holiday sale! You should definitely stop by!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

new fabric!

I've been producing like mad lately, but horribly lax about taking pictures. Yesterday I forced myself to get a photo area set up so that I can work on this, which is something I've been meaning to do forever. Horray for crossing things off my list!

Here are a few shots of my newest patter, hex, which I'm so in love with. I don't know what it is about elemental shapes... first the exes and and now the hexes... but I'm stuck on them.

hand dyed batik /  100% cotton sateen

hand dyed batik  /  100% cotton sateen

For more information, check out my etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Wow- how quickly things get away from me! For some reason, computer work is always the first thing to suffer when I get busy in other areas.

The holidays are upon us, and from what I've been reading, there is a great opportunity for my sales to rise substantially during the month of December. Unfortunately for me, I did not prepare for this in advance. So last week, I issued myself the 50-yard challenge...at the exact moment when 50 yards of pristine white fabric appeared on my doorstep. The challenge was to see how much of the 50 yards could be gotten through in what timeframe, since I have 6 markets coming up between now and December 21. I have a good amount of inventory, but I figure, I can't sell what I haven't made, so I've been busy trying to produce as much as possible at a pace that doesn't make me (too) crazy.

The 50-yard pile, scoured and ready to go.

My studio looks like some sort of textile hurricane recently tore through, which I think is great. I've run out of a few key chemicals, which is not so great, although it does give me the opportunity to take pictures of everything I've done up to this point, and work on my etsy and 1000 Markets shops, which is definitely great, so that equals out.

An unfortunate side effect of all this is that my brain has decided that quitting time is now at its discretion, and not mine. This is fine for things like pressing and sewing, which I don't have to think about too much. But writing...not so much. To make up for it, here are a few more pictures of what's been going on lately.

Boiling the fabric to remove the wax.
I've been thinking a lot about Eskimos while I boil lately, and all of their words for "snow". So, this is the first stage or "flake wax", which seems to be a winter phenomenon. I think that the surface of the water is significantly colder than the rest of the water so that the wax liquefies and comes out of the fabric, and when it floats to the surface it hardens again because of the cold air/surface temps. 
(yes, me = total dork.)

tiny scrap everywhere from mitered napkin corners

Thursday, November 12, 2009

* and art: Nina Katchadourian

I discovered the work of Nina Katchadourian while I was doing some research for my Liza Lou post.

I'm especially loving her Mended Spiderweb series from Uninvited Collaborations with Nature. For this project, Katchadourian mended broken spiderwebs using red sewing thread and tweezers. She worked on the webs until they were fully patched or could no longer sustain the weight of the repairs. Katchadourian notes that she often inadvertently caused further damage during the repair process with her tweezers or her hand.

What I find especially interesting is that the morning after even the most derelict-seeming of webs was repaired, the red thread would be in a pile on the ground, the spider having thrown it out and re-repaired the web in its own way.

Nina Katchadourian
Mended Spiderweb #19 (Laundry Line)
Cibachrome, 30 x 20 inches, 1998

Nina Katchadourian
Mended Spiderweb #14 (Spoon Patch)
Cibachrome, 20 x 30 inches, 1998

Nina Katchadourian
Mended Spiderweb #8 (Fish Patch)
Cibachrome, 20 x 20 inches, 1998

Nina Katchadourian
Marketing Tips for Spiders
Cibachrome, 30 x 20 inches, 1998

Nina Katchadourian
Do It Yourself Spiderweb Repair Kit
plastic box with foam and thread, tweezers, scissors and glue, 1998

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

3- for - Tuesday: Candy Jernigan

I discovered the work of Candy Jernigan a few years ago when I came across Evidence, the book about her work. This was the first time I'd seen someone else that obsessively collected things as a way of documenting her life. Not only that, but the finished pieces are interesting, thought provoking, and visually stimulating. All of a sudden, my collection of seemingly useless detritus seemed more legitimate.

I love so many of Jernigan's pieces, it was hard to pick just three. For more detail, click on the images.

Candy Jernigan
The New York Collections: Blood of a Vagrant, 4.13.86
(left side)

Candy Jernigan
The New York Collections: Blood of a Vagrant, 4.13.86
(right side)


Candy Jernigan
Homage fo Freud: Two things tthat are pretty much the same thing, 1985

Candy Jernigan
New York City: 24 Cheez Doodles, 3.10.86

All images from: Dolphin, Laurie, ed. Evidence: The Art of Candy Jernigan. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1999.

Monday, November 9, 2009

binding woes no more!

Recently, I posted about how much I dislike the method I've been using for applying binding to my quilts. I've been casually trying to come up with a different way for a while, but never got very far with it, and to be honest, never put that much effort into it. But my dislike has been growing stronger and stronger, and I was at the point where I needed to make a concerted effort to come up with a solution.

As is so often the case, I was making things much more complicated than they needed to be, and the answer was right in front of me the whole time.

First, I thought hand sewing would be the answer. I machine stitched the binding to the front so that I could pull it around to the back side and hand sew it. For whatever reason, I have no trouble hand sewing paper. But fabric... not so much. This was not the solution for me.

I ripped out the stitches on the back, but before I took the machine stitches out of the front, it occurred to me that I could stitch on the front of the quilt in the ditch created by the binding itself. If I was careful, I figured the stitching should be invisible from the front, or might even subtly frame the quilt.

I left the corners alone while I stitched the sides. Then I flipped the quilt to the back side, arranged the corners, and basted them in place using a long stitch. Flipping the quilt again so that the front was facing up, I shortened the stitch length and sewed the corners in the ditch as I'd sewn the sides. Once all four corners were sewn, I ripped out the basting stitches.

I'm so happy with the results. There are a few small adjustments that I want to make, but overall, my bindng woes are over!

Friday, November 6, 2009

link love

Happy Friday! Just a quick post for today while I finish getting ready for the Arts Market tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous so I'm really looking forward to it!

Here are a great blog that I've been looking at this week. I found it a while ago and let it get buried in my Google Reader (ah, Google Reader, i love and hate you so). I'm so glad I found it again while I was working on getting organized.

I've been really inspired by Heather Smith Jones' blog, which is one of my favorite things about blogs; the bits of thought and inspiration that I take into my day. I love Heather's art and thoughts, and her writing and photography are excellent. And did I mention that she cooks and bakes! What more could you ask in a blog?

Enjoy! Happy weekend  : )

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

thanks! and a bit of random

First things first, 5 o'clock crows Watermelon Shibori Coasters were featured on Wednesday's Wish List yesterday. Thanks Audrey!!

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I've been getting new 5 o'clock crows work packaged and ready to go for the Arts Market this weekend. If you're in downtown Baton Rouge on Saturday morning, stop by and say hi! : )

New patterns, new colors, dinner napkins, woohoo!

While I've been folding and wrapping, I've been OCD listening to this song on repeat. I'm completely addicted!

I'm pretty addicted to the video too. I love the unreality of it, the feeling that time is not moving at the usual rate. There's a sense of things not being exactly as they seem, and a Gatsby-ish feel to the whole thing. And the the costumes. And dancing in the fountain! yes!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

monthly goals

I can't believe another month has gone by already! Time to see how I did with last month's goals and set some new ones for November.

October Goals:
* display improvements for November market (underskirt, vertical display, styling)
this is going to be an ongoing thing, so I get to cross it off and it has to stay
* online/shop improvements :
    - continue with b2b suggestions,
    - weekly critiques
    - new photos (packaged shots, styling)
    - approach bloggers
I pretty much avoided the computer all month in favor of working in the studio, so I didn't get far with this one at all. grr....i'm not feeling the computer love lately.
* follow up on September contacts
* develop 2 new contacts
mmm....not so done. I have some ideas, but nothing definite.
* add to deadline list - shows to enter, other opportunities (surrealism show)
Another ongoing goal. Once I can make habits out of these, they can move to another list. But for now, it's a cross-off plus remainder.
* new quilt set: "skew" (play with pattern direction (Farrow?))
* new products: zip bags, throw pillows (Farrow plain, Farrow directional)
Did the zip bags...meh. I think they're not the direction I want to be moving in.
* new colors: teal, emerald, eggplant, peachy pink, pagoda
Horray for new colors!
* new batik pattern (horatio screen, fleur)
Horatio is done!
* Farrow spec quilt (lake/red, eggplant/?, teal/pagoda)
* Farrow demo to KD (teal)
almost done...having binding woes. partial credit.
* write up 1st drafts of quilt patterns (eclipse, basketweave, hourglass, chevron + stripe)
I started this, and then realized this is more involved than I thought. So I need to break this down into some more manageable steps.

* nice quilt photos
* design stationery- (shipping suite, general correspondence)
* trifold brochure
* single page website
* business plan
nope, nope, nope, nope

I would say that I need to scale things back in November, but then I feel all panicky about not making much of a list. I'm going to keep things pretty much the same. I think the challenge this month will be in maintaining my focus and seeing how much I can accomplish. I do well in the beginning of the month, and then I try to cram as much as possible in at the end of the month. I need to concentrate more on the middle, and spreading things out more evenly.

November Goals:

* display improvements for December markets (underskirt, vertical display, styling)

* online/shop improvements :
    - continue with b2b suggestions,
    - weekly critiques
    - new photos (packaged shots, styling)
    - bloggers

* develop 2 new contacts

* business plan- FINISH IT!!! so close....it's so very close to being completely written and then I can edit it, which I actually enjoy, and then it will be DONE! I think that's a Christmas present to myself- not having to think about it any more.

* add to deadline list - shows to enter, other opportunities

* new quilt set: "skew" (play with pattern direction (farrow?))

* new products: throw pillows (Farrow plain, Farrow directional)

* new colors: emerald, cranberry

* new batik pattern (fleur, improve 2-color patterns (dvf ad))

* Farrow spec quilt (lake/red, eggplant/?, teal/pagoda)

* write up coaster patterns, make demos.

* nice quilt photos

* design stationery- (shipping suite, general correspondence)

* trifold brochure

* single page website

* conceptual work:
     -finish October piece (reckoning),
     -start new piece due end of December (excess?)

So, pretty much the same. Focus, focus, focus!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

3 - for - Tuesday: Angela Adams

I discovered Angela Adams' wonderful site on design*sponge a while back and fell in love with her work. I'm especially partial to rugs, and these are really wonderful.

 (I want to run my hands all over this rug in the worst way)

I especially love the movement and gestural quality to the patterns, and I always appreciate a feeling of playfulness.

Angela Adams
hand-tufted wool rug

 Angela Adams
hand-tufted wool rug

Angela Adams
hand-tufted wool rug
spike / pool 

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Monday, November 2, 2009

layers and layers

I've been pulling prints this weekend so that I can finish up a piece, which I'm pretty sure is going to become an artist's book.

 (I got up ridiculously early this morning. 
This picture was taken shortly after the sun came up. )

These prints are supposed to be waxed and folded down into envelopes, although I'm kind of liking them as they are now.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

* and art: liza lou

I first fell in love with Liza Lou's work when I saw a picture of 'Kitchen' during art history class my freshman year in college. What obsessiveness! I was fascinated.

Liza Lou
Kitchen, 1991-1995
168 square feet
glass beads

Liza Lou, Kitchen, detail

Liza Lou, Kitchen, detail

While writing this post, I discovered something new about this piece; this fragment of an Emily Dickinson poem.

Liza Lou, Kitchen, detail

She rose to his requirements, dropped 
The playthings of her life
To take the honorable work
 Of woman and of wife.

Visit here to see the whole poem

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This is one of Lou's more recent pieces, Continuous Mile, a mile long coiled rope woven from white glass beads and cotton. This piece was made by both Lou and her team of South African studio assistants using traditional Zulu bead technique.

Liza Lou
Continuous Mile, 2007-2008 
glass beads, cotton 
freeform sculpture approx: 77" d, 32" h  

I really like 'Continuous Mile', although I like it differently than 'Kitchen'. 'Continuous Mile' resonates with so many of the themes that interest me in my own work: counting, distance, measuring, obsessive and repetitive and time-consuming work.

More about Liza Lou at lmgallery, the Met, and deitch gallery.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

this and that

 I've been trying my best to enter one show every month, as a way of giving myself deadlines and building a  body of work on the object multiple/art quilt/conceptual work side of things. I've had a piece in limbo for the past few months, and I decided to finish it up for my October (really November, but we'll pretend it's October) deadline.

Whoops! I read the application form wrong and I've been thinking the deadline was November 13. Nope, it's November 3. Ultimately, this is better, but I'm scrambling a bit now. Just like applying to the arts market, this is last minute enough to light a flame under me, but not so last minute to be unrealistic.

I've been carving some wood blocks and I'm hoping to start pulling prints this afternoon.

Believe it or not, all of these pieces will come together by Sunday.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Project Printed Matter

I'm sure I've mentioned my background in printmaking before. And I'm sure you know how much I love needlework and textiles.

So of course I'm in love with Project Printed Matter, which is the work of Evelin Kasikov. 

According to Kasilov, "Printed Matter is a project about craft within the context of graphic design. My aim
     is to bring together craft and modern technology, and explore the possibilities for printing processes to be
     integrated with textile techniques. My main influences come from Swiss typography, Dutch book design
     and Estonian language – in no particular order. By mixing high and low tech, screen based media with
     slower crafts, I investigate different ways of seeing and experiencing visual messages."

first experiment with handmade CMYK half-toning (May 2007)

Letter Posters
584x821 mm | Hand embroidery on paper. 
All three posters are now in private collection

Set of hand embroidered posters based on Gill Sans Light. First poster shows the combinations of four CMYK colours. Second poster shows the increasing resolution through letterforms stitched with Cyan and Yellow thread. Green colour becomes visible from a distance as the blending of colours takes place in the eyes of the viewer. In the third poster a single large scale letterform is hand stitched using conventional screen angles and the equal blend of four CMYK colours.

There is so much interesting work in Evelin's site, it's definitely worth a good look. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

binding woes

I've been experimenting with the binding on the last few quilts I've made, and I've yet to come up with a method I love.

I don't like to machine stitch the binding to the front and then hand sew it to the back because I feel like hand sewing takes too long. Instead, I've been machine sewing the binding to the back, and wrapping it around to the front and machine sewing it again. But I'm not happy with the way the corners turn out when I do that, and the front ends up showing more of the binding than the back. It's one of those things that nobody's ever commented about, but drives me crazy.

My latest experiment was another exercise in what not to do, as evidenced by this bit of surgery:

For this binding experiment, I tried to cut 1 3/4" strips for a double fold binding, so that the wraparound to the front was the same size as the back. Big mistake! The binding was too narrow and difficult to apply evenly. So I thought maybe grading the seams would help. No dice. The only thing I could think of at that point was to take the whole thing off and start again.

If anyone has a good method for applying binding, I'd love to hear about it.

In the meantime, I need to put this quilt away for a few days before I drive myself crazy.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

that's a whole lotta graphs

I love graphs, charts, tables, and whathaveyou.

 The Visual Display of Quantatative Information by Edward Tufte is one of my all-time favorite books, and I keep my copy close to my work table. 

I'm a total dork, I know.

So I was thrilled to discover the Transparency Department at Good.

So many different graphs! I could spend all day looking at them.


...contented sigh...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

new fabric! well, almost

Finally, I've been working on some new fabric!

unboiled batik fabric
 little flower / harvest gold

Except it's been raining every day lately, so I haven't yet boiled out the wax.

unboiled batik fabric
 little flower / harvest gold

Maybe I should say it's new fabric (waiting to happen)?

unboiled batik fabric
 little flower / ocean / harvest gold

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3-for-Tuesday - What If?

I stumbled across What If? (exploring relationship with cloth) a while ago and didn't have much time to look at it, so I made a note about it, which I promptly lost. My "office" (aka the overflowing binder next to the computer) has been seriously out of order for weeks, and when I finally gave it some attention and organized it, I found all manner of little notes I'd left myself about all sorts of things. It was like getting a bunch of tiny presents.

I am so happy that I didn't lose What If? in my mental shuffle. Jude Hill is doing some really interesting work with cloth. There are so many things I love about this blog and this work. The spirit of experimentation, the journaling aspect,  and the scientific/documentary approach all speak strongly to me. In the studio, especially in the dye studio, I like to work very methodically and scientifically, and I'm fanatical about documenting my results. So it makes sense that the voyeur in me loves watching someone else work this way too.

 from What If?

from What If?

from What If?

I especially love the entries with notes.

I'm feeling very inspired. So many ideas flying around my head.

If you work with fiber, you should take a look at What If?. You can even start at the beginning to read all the entries in chronological order.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

glass microbiology

I love science. I love graphs and technical drawing, counting and categorizing, measuring, microscopy, dissection, and hypothesizing. The highlight of my foundation drawing class was visiting the anatomy lab.

Needless to say, I gasped aloud when I saw these sculptures from Luke Jerram's Glass Microbiology series over on MVSEVM.

To quote Jerram's website, "These transparent glass sculptures were created to contemplate the global impact of each disease and to consider how the artificial colouring of scientific imagery affects our understanding of phenomena. Jerram is exploring the tension between the artworks' beauty and what they represent, their impact on humanity."

e. coli


 swine flu

Ah, yes, the tension. Beautiful, clean sculptures of devastating and dangerous things. So often the work I like best has a tension, be it between art/craft, beautiful/dangerous, or whathaveyou.

These pieces are so clean, so isolated and scientific, so removed, so clinical. But they're so tactile, to me they beg to be touched, which adds another layer of tension. What textures would be under my fingers, and what coldness?