Archive for December, 2006

The New Year

Posted in General on December 30th, 2006

‘Twas the eve of the new year,

And all through the house

Every creature was coughing,

Yes, even the mouse!

That’s as far as I’m going with that thought!  Yes, Van and I are still fighting whatever this bug is.  We had very nice holiday gatherings with family and friends, spending more time on the mainland than we have in a long time.

For the last few days, I’ve been playing with my beads and my new organizational set up.  Something I’ve wanted to try was beading over a bottle, and I’ve puttered away at it a bit.  Tomorrow, I will start cutting out the pieces for the Bernina Fashion Show 2007 ensemble, and, if my energy holds up, start a bit of the background sewing.  We’re not allowed to talk about what we’re making, or show pictures of it anywhere, before the show in October, but I may comment on it from time to time.

On Monday I will put pen to paper and write a couple of lists – one of what I have actually accomplished in 2006, and the other of what I hope to accomplish in 2007.  This will encompass not only my artistic work, but other areas as well.  Some of it may get posted here, but I’m one of the few people left in the world who believes in the preservation of personal privacy, so some will most definitely not be posted here.

For now, let me wish you all a very joyeous, peaceful, and contented new year.

The Big Storm

Posted in General on December 19th, 2006

The Pacific Northwest got hammered last week by the biggest windstorm in four decades, and over a million households were without power.  There are still almost 200,000 without power, and the shelves at the stores are empty of propane and things that would help keep folks warm.  Gas stations are out of gas, from folks driving around in their cars to stay warm. We were luckier than some, and were only in the dark for two days.

Van and I both depend on electricity, but there were some low-tech things I could do in the studio during daylight hours.  I had already assembled the materials during the last power outage, so I started the cutting and pinning phase on a couple of garments.  One is a vest (pattern by Marcy Tilton for Vogue) and the other is my own tunic pattern.  I’m creating the background piecing in something I’ve been calling “rag patch” for about 20 years.  (I am sure that someone else out there uses that term to describe a totally different technique, and I’m also sure that someone else does just what I do and calls it something else. C’est la vie!)

Basically, largish chunks of fabric are cut out and laid down on a foundation (in this case, flannel) such that they overlap slightly.  This is done in a very assymetrical layout, and rearranged until it pleases my eye and covers the foundation piece.  Then I pin like crazy, and when the power comes back on, I stitch the pieces to the foundation along the raw edges with invisible thread.  This will allow me to remove all the pins, and I can start the top stitching/machine embroidery/quilting.  What this gives me is a background on which to do embellishments.  The vest is in mustardy/golden tans with purple and burgundy, and the tunic is in tropical snake greens and burnt orange.  The vest is primarily batiks, hand dyes and hand marbled cottons, and the tunic is some Chinese brocades, linens, and silks.  Still no photos, but I have hopes of getting some soon.  Stay tuned!

Weather and Work

Posted in General on December 4th, 2006

It was an interesting weather week, here on Whidbey Island.  We got a fair amount of snow, slush and icy roads, that stayed around for a few days.  I did a couple of 360s on the highway and Van ended up in the ditch, but for the most part, we did pretty well.  We just didn’t go anywhere all week.  Winter here doesn’t begin to compare to winter elsewhere, but because we so seldom see snow in any significant amount, no one is prepared for it.  All is back to normal now, though – just rain and wind.

All that enforced staying at home did allow me to get some work done in the studio.  I have a solo show of my wearable art coming up next fall, and really need some new stuff!  I am also doing the Bernina Fashion Show this year, which means that my time will be tight.  So, while the snow kept me home, I started prepping several garments for my show.  I cut out foundations, chose fabrics, cut and fused appliques, and now have a rack of in-progress pieces that I can grab when I just can’t stand to look at the BFS garment.  (I’ve done the fashion show 5 times, and it always happens – I get sick and tired of the color scheme, and need a break.)

I also have a solo show of my quilts scheduled for early 2008, but I think I’d better hold off thinking about that until after the BFS garment is finished and shipped.

Meanwhile, I still don’t know how to post pictures here, and Van is down with the flu, so it may be awhile longer.  Bear with me.  It will happen when it happens!