Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Collage Mania"Collage Mania"

These are samples of some of the images I've been playing with for "Collage Mania" for Fiberart for a Cause. I still have work to do, but they are coming along. Digital images, paint, Caran d'ache neocolors, some hand-dyed and commercial fabric are used. I think some stamping is in order; that might be next.

The holidays were great and then the dreaded birthday. I knew I shared it with Melody Johnson but found I also share it with Denzel Washington. Good company to be in.

I also did more painting on a piece for an upcoming show and then I was going to quilt some. But then I got terrible cramps in my good hand. I got cramps again tonite while I was cropping these photos. Does anyone else have this problem? Any solutions? It sure put a dent in my great plans to finish things. Oh, and Happy and Healthy New Year to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday greetings

Merry Christmas to all! The picture is of a glass ornament on my all glass tree. (ornaments only) I've been collecting glass ornaments for many years with the goal of dressing a tree in only spun glass ornaments. Well, I reached my goal a few years ago and enjoy the family room tree. My living room tree is filled with ornaments collected from around the world, and many were gifts from friends. I always enjoyed unwrapping them and remembering the giftor. I ran out of time to get my Christmas postcards done and sent, but completed my presents, which included chenille scarves, painted and stamped tee shirts, a handbag and the wallhanging shown below. I have to get a better picture of it. The wallhanging was received with tears of gratitude, so I think she really liked it! And of course, I tried my best to help outthe economy, but was careful in my spending. I host a large gathering on Christmas eve, so I'm pretty tired after cooking all day. I hope everyone enjoys their special holidays. And some of us have birthdays coming up this week. Some even share a birthday! Happy Birthday Melody! And have a creative New Year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh Deer

Remember the cute pair of twins that were born on my property? Well, I have been enjoying them. Yesterday I noticed the circling vultures and later found that they were feeding on a dead fawn. Today there seemed to be many more buzzards (vultures) flying around and they were driving my dogs nuts. When I finally finished my seven hour marathon of sewing, I looked out my kitchen window and saw several of the buzzards under a tree and many more waiting on tree branches. It was like a horror movie. The worst part is that they were feeding on the other fawn. I don't know how or why they died. They had lost their spots and grown by leaps and bounds. They had plenty of food and water. In spite of my sadness at their deaths, it was interesting to see the circle of life in action. I had never seen this side of life. It is rather haunting.

So here is the fiber art piece I finished. It will be given at Christmas and now I have to finish the rest of the gifts. Happy holidays!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tag, You're it.

Ghinko tree in full autumn splendor. I've been watching the change with wonder and joy. This ghinko was recently planted in an old pinot noir wine barrel in my front yard as the last three I planted in the ground were ravaged by gophers. I know they deserve to live, but when they take my prize roses and expensive trees, I'm all for capital punishment of the little critters.

I've been tagged by Carol Larson and I have duties to perform. The five bloggers I must tag will follow, but I must say that I would tag Rayna Gillman, except Carol beat me to it. Her blogs are instructive and informative, and her book is excellent.

Here's what I must do:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.

2. Put a link to the person you got the award from in your blog.

3. Nominate 5 blogs.

4. Put links to the blogs.

5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Here are my choices:

Liz Berg just blows me away with the amount of work she produces, and she willingly shares it on her blog and with readers of her various articles in quilting publications.

Jane Davila is another blogger who is fun to read. Her "Chary Sprouts" blogis filled with information and amusements. In her book, "Art Quilts At Play", she and Elin Waterson set out a course of instruction that is great for the novice art quilter and a good reminder for the rest of us.

Gloria Hansen shares her wealth of knowledge of digital media in her blog and in her newly-published book "Digital Essentials." She design beautiful quilts on the computer.

Jamie Fingal frequently delights on her Twisted Sister blog. She comes up with great ideas for gifts and I get a kick out of her use of embellishments.

Kay Sorenson has kept my interest with her Quilts Plus Color blog. She is not afraid to try new things and even shares her mistakes.

So all you bloggers out there, check out those great sites if you haven't found them already.

Last nite I went to the opening reception by the Petaluma Arts Council where I have a piece hung in this exhibit. There were onlt two other fiber pieces. It was so crowded I couldn't take pictures

Friday, November 14, 2008

Autumn colors

Autumn vineyards is my latest work. It is not completed yet and I am actively requesting critiques. Also, check out this site: http://dianedidit.com/stayathome.html. It chronicles the pieces made for the Ami Simms Alzheimer's challenge by those of us who didn't get to Houston. And if I don't get back to my blog, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes, we can and we did!

I'm smiling along with a lot of the world and now hope we all will work together to make this a better place. We need each other to move forward.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Alzheimer's Quilts Plus

I had to start with this photo. This is my grand niece, Addison. There is a photo of her baby quilt in a previous post. She is one of the prettiest babies I've ever seen, si I thought I'd share her with you all.

This has been an interesting and productive week. At Tuesday's Pointless Sisters meeting, we played with stamping fabric. I brought dyed, discharged and overdyed fabric to play with. I also brought my own handmade stamps. This piece includes fabric stamped previously. New pictures at another time. This is one of my Alzheimer's Quilts for AAQI. It is hand-dyed, stamped and painted fabric fused and soft-edged applique. I called it Sailing thru Life. If only we could.

IThis is another one of my Alzheimer's Quilts for AAQI. Paradise is Not Lost. It is hand-dyed and painted fabric fused and soft-edged applique. A message of hope.

Another AAQI quilt. Circle of Life. Hand-dyed and commercial fabric, fused and soft edged applique. With a gorgeous piece of rusted fabric from Lois Jarvis, donated specifically for AAQI.She also is dinating $5.00 per quilt using her Rust-Tex fabric and registered before 11/5. I made the cut-off date.

On Thursday I attended a Community Service "retreat" with guild members. I quilted 2 baby quilts and 6 doll quilts, all of which will be donated to needy families and children. Our group is very active and has donated 1050 quilts so far this year. Some go to Wounded Warriors, others to YMCA shelters and hospitals. If you ever need to purge your stash, our group would welcome the donation. Everything is put to good use.
On Friday, I attended a wonderful lecture and demonstration by Claudio Jiminez Quispe, a Peruvian artist who specializes in creating Retablos. The pieces he created for this exhibit focused on Day of the Dead scenarios and some Frida Kahlo works. He will be exhibiting and teaching next at Shasta College in California. Check their website for info. He does amazing work with few tools (small toothpick, large toothpick and small knife). There were also beautiful alters done by various artists included in the exhibit. I learned a lot about the creation of the Retablos and the tradition of the Dead ceremonies.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bath Time

Bath time for Bichons.The actual bath only takes about 20 minutes each. But it takes hours to comb outthese fluff balls. This is a chore I used to love doing. Now I can only help. My daughter Vickie was a champ and did most of the work. Her daughter Sierra added her own two cents to the way we were doing it. These two Bichons are mother, Sylvie, top photo and daughter Allie (short for Allez vous mademoiselle, which means "You go girl.". I will make a fiber art piece about them one day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

EPU II Cultures in Cloth

EPU II challenge and artist statement.

My photo-transfer collage features a Sonoma County sunrise, my love of horses, the strength of my Italian grandmother, the wisdom of my Irish/English mother. I actively participate in my world . I’m now “Unbalanced” ( my quilt title in the collage) but my art is still my passion in spite of my disablity.

Look at this cool rusted fabric from Rustex by Lois Jarvis. It will be used for the Alzheimer's auction after I use it in my piece. Lois is donting $5.00 to the cause for every piece registered. Hooray, Lois. I have a couple of pieces finished and an idea for this one.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Header Edit

"Unbalanced" came home from the Pacific International Quilt Show with really good comments from the judges. I knew I wouldn't get a ribbon because my techniques are under par now (damn stroke). I was so stoked to see my quilt hung on a space all bt itself. Usually, they've been hung with other pieces. This time I had my own space and it just popped! I was told that means they liked it. Cool. I put new batteries in my camera the nite before and then left the camera on my kitchen counter. (damn stroke or old age?)

"Trees and Birds" was created for a Black and White online challenge. It will also be exhibited in two International shows next year. I don't have the dates yet.

The trees and large birds are made from original stencils and painted with Shiva Oil sticks on cotton. silk and organza. It also has tulle and window screen overlay.

"Asian Elephants" is the second piece in the above challenge. These pieces will also be exhibited in a few galleries. Dates and places to come.

I've finished a piece for "Cultures in Cloth" today. It is a five-layer reverse applique. I need to photograph it and send it off. I also finished a piece for Ami Sims Alzheimer's project and have another started. They will be auctioned for research funds. These are small pieces and fun to do. I need to finish my butterflies quilt, butI think I am making a change on it.

I tried to edit my Blogger header with this gorgeous sunrise, but it came out too big. I've tried to fix it to no avail. Any suggestions?

I'm still painting and am working on a piece but haven't gotten it right yet.

Well, it's after 1 am and I'm finally sleepy. Good Night!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stolen photos

No pictures tonite. I'm trying to unravel the mystery of who is stealing others' pictures for their own gain. Mine wasn't the only piece ripped off. I recognized paintings of Melody Johnson and Elin Pendleton and Lots of others works that didn't belong to the person who posted. Unfortunately, I don't have much to go on as I deleted the email when it locked up my laptop. My time wasted!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I entered an online challenge, which, if I'm juried in, will be exhibited in at least 4 locations over 2 years. These are just details of each. They really show nothing, bit I remembered to post a photo. I'm horrible at posting. I'm not sure why. I used to write for a living. Maybe it's the one-hand thing. Frustrating as.... you know what. I've been getting my studio back together. Finally! Pictures to come. I'm still working on my fine art painting as well as finishing up some fiber pieces I've been working on for what seems like forever. I never got my auction piece into SAQA. I found it yesterday almost complete. I'll try to remember it for next year. There are some fine small compositions in there. VP debate tomorrow nite. Can't wait. Tina Fey will have enough work for a year.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Painting Paradise

My brother and sister-in-law have fallen in love with Hawaii and recently redecorated their room with faux painted walls and a tropical theme. They were looking for something with a tropical theme for an empty space on their wall. I offered to check with my art group if anyone had anything like that available. I was in the mood to paint and thought, why not? So here is the almost finished piece. The flash really dimmed down the brilliant colors. What do you think?

I also basted 2 art quilts and hope to get them stitched tomorrow for the black and white challenge.

David Letterman had Obama on tonite. Excellent and thoughtful questions and answers.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Lovely Day

I spent an absolutely lovely day at San Francisco's Legion of Honor Museum. Those who know San Francisco know that it is frequently shrouded in fog. A wonderful heat spell is currently bathing the bay area in warmth and the views of the Golden Gate Bridge were spectacular.

We were greeted with blazing bursts of orange, yellow and red glass twisting and shimmering in the sunlight. Dale Chiluly's glass-blown sculptures are amazing.
The Legion also offeres a large blue piece which must stand close to 15 - 20 feet tall.
The piece that really caught my eye is a large three piece chandelier which hung from a domed glass ceiling. Fabulous!

We went to see the Women's Impressionists exhibit. We were not allowed to photograph anything, but I carry the images with me. If you can, get to San Francisco to see this amazing exhibit. Mary Cassat, Berte Morrisy, Eva Gonzalez and another whose name I unconveniently forgot.

We had time to visit the main galleries, where I found Rodin, Cezanne. Picasso and Sissely among others.
Horrible photography, but you get the idea. I've spent the rest of my time recreating my studio. It's an enormous amount of work and I really wish I had 2 working arms.
A little shaking going on in the Bay Area. A 4.2 earthquake just shook us up. Just a big jolt. No damage here.

A very late dinner awaits. Enough for now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fawning All over

Today I completed the lining for the Obama market bag but nothing was as interesting as visiting with the newest inhabitants on my property.
Their mother had been around for a couple of months, but I couldn't tell if she was pregnant. I've got the answer!
They are quite cute and haven't touched my roses yet. I haven't seen mom for a week and I hope she is out with her boyfriend as hunting season opened last week. Don'cha love the spots on their backs?
I spent yesterday at a Pixeladies www.pixeladies.com demonstration with my Pointless Sisters group. I arranged the demo and we invited guild members to attend. We learned so much about digital printing on fabric and had a great many laughs. They are not only fiber artists and designers, they do great custom printing. I've seen their work and I recommend them.
I missed Bill Clinton's speech tonite. I was so bummed. Joe Biden did a great job. It's a good ticket. We've got to get the vote out. Off to bed!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Breaking Traditions piece previewed

Check out the Breaking Traditions Blog for its preview of my Maya Angelou piece, "Still I Rise."
Or check it out here!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Garden Delights

I tried to upload pictures 3 times and Blogger seems to have a problem. I had a horrible day today trying to rework my black & white piece. Nothing accomplished except frustration. So I took a lunch break and visited my "garden" and picked 2 fresh tomatoes. Luscious to look at; yummy in the tummy.
(Okay, the 4th time was a charm.)

I started gardening in Earth Boxes several years ago when I hurt my knee. They are a godsend now, as I cannot work in a garden since my stroke. I've got them lined up on my deck. I had fresh strawberries the last two mornings (2 boxes). I have four tomato plants, (2 boxes) six pepper plants (1 box) 3 crookneck squash (1 box). green onions (1 box) and a box with basil and beets. It is so nice to step out and pick fresh, organic produce.

So after lunch, I took out my pastels and worked on a tree study. I'll post a pic if Blogger fixes itself. Better luck tomorrow on me black & white.

Thanks for all the gracious comments on the Obama totebag.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vote 2008

So. When I go shopping, my public knows my politics. One of my Art quilt groups (Pointless Sisters) have a challenge going to make some kind of green shopping bag. So I decided to combine the challnge with my desire to have Obama elected. Someone on the Art Quilt list posted about a Move On challenge. Maybe I'll check it out. I stencilled the letters with Shiva paint sticks and painted the photo with Setacolor paints. I made extra long handles as I need to shlep things over my shoulder on my good arm, or else everything hits the floor.
I was extra lazy today and watched movies. I had lower intestinal ouchies which seem to have made their way out of my system. I plan to work on my Black and White challenge tomorrow. I'm supposed to be working on my Olympic challenge but the marathon is so boring, I'm bailing until something more exciting comes along.
An aside, the baby quilt above was delivered last night and was well received. Thank goodness! Ta ta till next time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Silver Medal, Addison's quilt

It's finished! But I only get a silver medal because I haven't put on the label yet. and I can't seem to sew a straight seam. I wonder what's up with that? I challenged myself to do this and it's done.
I'm only surviving the Olympics because I'm taking a nap during the day. These late nights are getting to me. It's been hot during the day and I can't seem to handle the heat as well as I used to. I'll blame it on my stroke, because God forbid if it has anything to do with age.
Well, at least I got something on my blog. Does anyone care?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just Moving Along

The piece to the left was one I made for Quiltswap. Since it got cancelled this year, I'll put it away for another day.

I'm moving along with my Olympic challenge. I marked my circles for stitching. My circles are as unbalanced as I am. I wonder how it will turn out?

I have the basics of the new baby quilt stitched and should finish it tomorrow, a day ahead of schedule! Of course I spent most of today stitching it. I need a life.

The kimono piece below was made for an oriental exhibit at a local winery. The silk is directly from Japan and came in a 14 inch wide roll. That is how kimono slk is produced. It is interesting to work with.

Enough for tonite. Oops it's early morning. Night all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Baby quilt for Jemberee

I completed this quilt for a baby adopted from Ethiopia. I added her picture on several places on the quilt so as she grows, she may be delighted to find herself on her "blankie".

I started the quilt for Friday's shower. I remembered a Judy Cisneros pattern, but I coulddn't find it in my files. So I'm trying to do it from memory. Wish me luck.

I'm working on my Olympic challenge as I watch. I sure hope Phelps does it. They are sure hyping it. Why can't the male volleyball teams play without shirts? I would be more interested.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sneak peek

I'm well into my Olympic challenge. I doubt if I'll medal. Just completing the challenge on time would be great. Just watching the athletes is exciting. If they can do it, I can do it!

I got a baby shower invitation for THIS Friday. Can I come up with something by then? It's for a little girl. I just finished an original piece for my neighbor's first grandchild. I think I showed the basic design some time ago, but of course I added to it. I'll get a new picture tomorrow. If I pull this off, I should get a gold. Off to sketch...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm back again

Since I've been watching the Olympic coverage, I thought I would try to work on a special project only during the Olympics. I've finished a few pieces since my last post. I never think I have much to say. But I enjoyed the pageantry of the opening ceremonies and have been keeping up with some of the sports. The men's relay just finished and I was actually glued to the screen. What a finish!! So the good can balance the bad. I was sorely disappointed with the news that a certain presidential candidate had cheated on his wife and lied and lied over and over to the American people denying his transgression. He was the candidate I really wanted to win the nomination. Now, do I question not only his judgement, but my own?
Another good thing happening is that I'm finally getting my studio back. It will take awhile to get it all back together, but I am stoked.
I had my latest piece critiqued at our regional SAQA meeting (great critiques by Susan Else, Carol Larson and Miriam Nathan Roberts) and I got some excellent comments and suggestions. Unfortunately, it didn't get juried into New Quilts of California. But I'm biting the bullet and submitting it to PIQF. I have to complete my black & white piece for Anne Copeland's exhibit, I like where it's going. I've completed painting the background for my large butterfly piece and need to decide what's next.
I'll try to get some pics up next time. Till then...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tulle time

Today I received an envelope full of tulle samples from Montana. Yummy! but what? Then I remembered I had requested this package after reading about the Salvaged Threads challenge online. Cynthia St. Charles has put this challenge together. It is on my TO DO list. Too late to think about it now. Still exhausted.

Smokey summer

My local paper states 842 fires in Northern California. And on tonite's news there was a flare up on a previous fire. None of the fires are in my own immediate area. But I have not seen blue sky for 3 days. It is so smoky here, I can't see the Sonoma Mountains from my deck or kitchen window. Mount St. Helena has also disappeared. Air quality sucks. My vehicles have ash shrouds. I cough.

Because of the gas problem, we are all looking at our driving habits. Because I live in the country, I always packaged my trips "into town." Gas up first. $65.00! This so sucks! I needed to attend today's Pointless Sister's Art Quilt group meeting, not only for inspiration, but because I was teaching today's workshop, based on Jane Davila and Elin Waterston's "Art Quilt Workbook". All went well and the participants not only had fun, but learned some design techniques, Then it was off to complete some chores.

I've been looking for a substantial room divider for some time now. I had gone online and Target had some listed there. Of course, none in the store. Go online, the clerk said. But my brain focused on SHIPPING CHARGES. Not going to happen. I needed some Golden liquid Matte Medium and Cost Plus was on the way and I found a fabulous divider there. I'll post a photo once it gets out of the box. Great design with banana leaves. On to Michaels where I focused on the Art Dep .and didn't look to my left or right. Coupon in hand, I got my matte medium.

Next off to to Great Clips to have my locks shorn. Great cut and on to the supermarket. I am hosting the Xtremes Art Quilt group meeting Thursday nite and I needed to stock up on some special items. Of course, I forgot my shopping list at home and had to fake it. I got it purchased, bagged and loaded. No one home to help unload it. I need a hunky bag boy here. I'm exhausted! I have a little cart I use to schlep things in and out. I filled it to capacity and wrangled it into the house and unloaded it to a ringing telephone. Oh heck. I'm supposed to go to an AWS salon tonight and have not unloaded my groceries yet. Send my regrets. Check email. Try to blog. I'm done!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another failed experiment

Caran d'ache neocolors on Lutrador doesn't work for me. I like the design, not the technique. I wonder what I'll do with it next?

I spent today trying to stay cool. The San Francisco Bay Area homes are not built for this kind of heat and many of us have no air conditioning. 104 degrees is just too much for me unless I'm in water and I can't swim anymore, so I stayed inside and melted. It's after 6pm now, I'm sitting here with a frozen ice block down the front of my shirt and it's still 99 degrees. I have several things I am working on, but unfortunatelty they are at a stage that needs ironing. NOT TODAY. So I printed out some images I'll be using in my Pointless Sisters shopping bag challenge. Enough for now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Slow to Post

I haven't been posting much lately. For one reason, this one-finger-picking gets old really fast. Also, I've learned that quilts published, even on the net, are disqualified from entry in many competitions. And my health took a downturn, but a change in medication has me up and running again. This photo is not a quilt - yet. It is the start of a pieced I am doing for a Black and White Challenge. Comments and critiques welcome.
One thing I learned from this health downturn is that my physician trusts my judgement. My health plan changed a medication (to a cheaper generic brand) and it didn't k for me. After several scary weeks of unusual physical behavior, I emailed my dr. with the symptoms and my former medication was mailed to me post-haste.
I've been doing some painting also, but it's hard to juggle the two. I thought being out on disability would give me so much more time, but it takes me so long to do anything now that I get frustrated. But I continue to push on.
Our weather has been wonderful and as I read about the fires, floods, earthquakes and tornadoes around the world, I am grateful that we in Northern California, have been extremely lucky to escape these problems. But I saw hi octane gas at $4.75 today and it cost me $65.00 for my last fill-up and I don't have a SUV. Enough for now. On a positive note, I had a lovely day.