27 November 2015

My art show and sale

Pictures from my art show and sale last weekend

The watercolors above and below were done by my good friend Rita.

These are handmade clay beads, glazed and fired

I took the pictures after quite a few things were sold, sorry.

24 November 2015

A cautionary tale

This is just a quick warning. Never thought this would be possible but here it goes.

I have old eyes and I purchased 5 magnifying glasses and sprinkled them around the house. I especially like the one I use to thread my sewing machine needle (smile).

I also have one in the kitchen for reading labels and ingredients. Here it is in a cup/pen holder on my counter 

Then see what happened.

I thought that only happened to Daffy Duck and Elmer Fud. Guess not. It is now out of the direct sun.

20 November 2015

Framing Tutorial

First a story about how I invented this framing technique. Yes, I invented it. For once I didn't steal any one else's ideas.

My massage therapist offered to give me three free massages in exchange for 3 insulated window panels for the night time. It gets cold here in Maine! She wanted them out of Styrofoam and covered in pretty fabric. I custom dyed some fabric to coordinate with her room.

I was scratching my head trying to think of a way to attach fabric to Styrofoam and I suddenly thought of straight pins. I upholstered the panels like wrapping a package and used straight pins in the place of "tape".

It wasn't until much later that I thought of using this method to frame my art work. This is the first piece I used this method and it wasn't quilted. I used inexpensive acrylic felt under the fabric for padding and to block the color of the Styrofoam. If you use this method on a quilted piece you can skip the felt layer on the Styrofoam.

Using this method eliminates a lot of the weight on large pieces and if they were framed with glass you would have to contend with glare as well as additional weight. The Blue piece above weighted less than 5 lbs and was 48" X 48".

I use 1.5" thick Styrofoam and cut it to the size I want the piece to be. I need to allow for at least a half inch to one inch amount of fabric to wrap around the sides of the Styrofoam panel.

I use a disposable razor cutter and a straight edge like this aluminum ruler to score half way into the Styrofoam.

Slide the panel over the edge of the table and snap off the waste part. It cracks into a straight cut magically. 

I use these kind of straight pins . They are the same ones I used in the olden days (1960's).

It may seem like an easy task to push a thin pin into Styrofoam but you can experience resistance. I keep a thimble handy.

With BOTH the felt lining and your finished piece, start pinning in the middle and move to each side. Smooth the felt. After pinning both sides, pin the top and bottom. 

When applying the fabric after the felt pin in the same way but put some tension on the fabric so it doesn't look baggy. 

Make sure you come at LEAST a half inch over each side. An inch is better. The frame isn't that tight and you don't want to have Styrofoam exposed.

Prop up your pinned piece and make sure it is the way you want it. After adhering the frame there is no going back.

Next cut two strips of thin wood to exact length of each side. I use 1.5" finished wood moulding from the lumber yard. It looks like very pretty smooth yard stick wood. You can also use lath which is very rough for pieces 48" or smaller if you like that look. Either way paint or poly all the wood, letting it dry over night before cutting to length.

I apply three "pinkie" size pieces of Styrofoam adhesive to the edge of the piece where the Styrofoam is exposed. I use PL300. This is especially formulated for Styrofoam as other adhesives can actually melt the Styrofoam.

I place the first two wooden strips of moulding cut to size to the sides on the piece making sure the front edges of the wood are flush with the face of the piece. As you press the wooden frame pieces onto the sides with a conservative amount of adhesive, hold in place and screw the slates in place with a 1.5" dry wall screw. DON'T over tighten. Allow the screws to hold the wood in place while the adhesive dries, about 2 hours. I let it sit over night to make sure.

Next take a length of painted or polyed wood and lay it on top of the piece as though you were using it like a yard stick, making a pencil line to mark the length. Measure the bottom. If the pieces are different lengths, label them. Next glue and screw the top and bottom pieces keeping the edges flush to the front.

Lay the piece face down on a clean surface and adhere two scraps of wood to the back for hangers. 

Next day you can can screw in eyelets and attach a wire for hanging.

If you have any question just leave a comment or use the contact form and remember, I need your email adress to reply.

18 November 2015

Making a gift for my cousin

I have a cousin, Patricia. She and her husband John live in Ohio. I wanted to do something special for her so I decided to make her a quilt using the QAYG method. I do not use commercial fabrics in my art work but I have a HUGE stash of very expensive fabrics from way back when I did. This has been an opportunity to use some of those fabrics. The QAYG method is so user friendly. I don't have any pressure, no big quilt hanging around taking up space and making me feel guilty. I am enjoying this. 

I am making 16" squares. To facilitate trimming I had a 16.5" Plexiglas square cut at the glass store.

I decided to cut 2.5" strips of most of the fabrics and try to come up with some interesting patterns for the squares.

 This is an Aroostook County Potato Basket made my a MicMac Indian friend. Aroostook County is the top of Maine and is famous for their potatoes. Now they are the largest producers of broccoli on the east coast.

First three done and "discreetly" set on a shelf so they couldn't shame me (smile)

Last Zinnias of the season.

I'll keep you updated on my progress.

16 November 2015

DMTV Art Journal

The hardest part so far in starting my DMTV art journal was coming up with a name. Laura and Linda Kemshall started theirs September first. I was still hunting for my mojo back then. It took me long enough to make a dedicated book for the three month project but finally......Now I had to come up with a NAME for my journal, Since it was almost November (when I started) I decided to call it Falling into Winter.

I had this cloth sitting on my table so I thought I would glue it in.

This is a thermofax screen I made from a photo of one of my feathers. I probably have over a hundred crow feathers but I still have the original 3 that I use so often. I got the feather off of my monitor where some of them live and sketched it directly in permanent ink.

Then I did a watercolor wash over it. Nice?

13 November 2015

More framed work

I fell upon an interesting way to frame my art work. It's too long a story but let's just call it kismet.

I start with 1.5" thick Styrofoam. I cover it in flannel.

I iron the piece

and attach it to the flannel covered Styrofoam.

Then I make a frame. The piece above is framed in Natural pine and the piece below is getting it's frame painted black.


Bonus picture of the full moon over the church in my back yard.

10 November 2015

Laura Kemshall's art journal challenge

I have been a member of DMTV (Design Matter T V) almost from from the first show. Laura and Linda are making art journals to capture events from this fall. They started in September during my dry spell and I have just made a sketchbook for this challenge. OK, so I'm a bit late

I made this paste paper with Marcella a few years ago. I used water soluble crayons to scribble on the wet paste paper. The wet paste paper caused the crayons to melt. Yummy lines!

It's hard to see in that artificial light but the scribbles are a multitude of colors. Guess my art journal will be called Winter