April 29, 2007

New Blogger Heading

Just posted a new graphic heading on my blog. I couldn't find any instructions on what size it needed to be, so it was a matter of trial and error. It took four times to get the size correct. So, what do you think? Do you like it????

April 28, 2007

Friendship Mandala

I recently joined a Yahoo Group to discuss and explore the book The Artist's Muse by Betsy Dillard Stroud. Sue B and Joanna are the moderators of this talented group.
While everyone was waiting for their book to be arrive, we were given some general guidelines to use in creating our personal mandala. Generally mandalas contain a lot of symbolism and meaning to the maker.
We each chose a subject and explored our personal symbols and the meaning of colors to express our topic. My mandala, below, is based on friendship.

I am the small blue (loyal) circle in the center surrounded by the friendly (orange) circle. The pink (loving) open hands are a sign of welcoming. My friends are represented by the blue (loyal) stylized figures in the outer circle. The quilted spirals represent femininity and fertility. The yellow (happy) circles symbolize infinity, eternity. I have used circles in my artwork for many years, so the circular mandala was a very comfortable shape for me to work with. However, packing so much meaning into every section was quite the challenge.
I started with a bluish-yellow piece of hand-painted fabric for the background. I cut the hands out of organza with a hot pen tool which fused the edges. I laid them out to determine how large the circle needed to be. I then made a stencil out of freezer paper for the stylized figures. I used dye sticks throughout the piece. The red and yellow circles on the outside edge were made using tissue paper that releases its dye when wet.
The final piece was quilted. It measures 17" square.

You can view all the mandalas at http://webpages.charter.net/sbleiweiss/muse/mandalas.htm

April 26, 2007

Fun with Photos

I really enjoy photographing nature. It's always fun to play with Photoshop to see what happens. Sometimes, an interesting photo becomes spectacular with the help of a few filters.
These palm trees were shot on a very cloudy day. It created a very moody, almost eerie feeling.

This is a photo of a flower on a Lily Tree. The flowers are around 12" long. I tried growing one in my yard but didn't have much luck.

This is a close-up of a Canna leaf. The colors and stripes are magnificent, I love them the way they are.

April 17, 2007

Baby Quilt Finished

Yeah! I finished the Once Upon A Time baby quilt. I barely finished it in time for Marcy's shower. So what else is new? I always seem to be working right up to the deadline. The quilt came out really cute and Marcy loved it, so what more can you ask for? It should prove to be a lot a fun for the whole family.
To begin, choose a starting square and follow one of the pathways, making up a story as you go. It sounds easy, but depending on which path you take, you may have to get really creative.
Rather than buying so many novelty fabrics, try swapping with a group of friends.

April 15, 2007

New ATC Group

This week has been a whirlwind! I got a lot accomplished and had some fun too!
One of the things I did was join an ATC Group. It meets one time per month at a local coffee shop to trade cards. Everyone was really nice and made me feel very welcome. There is an interactive ATC exhibit planned for later in the year. More news on that later. Several of my ATC's are directly below. They were painted on water color paper with the major shapes inked on top.
Here are the cards I received in exchange. There was a wide range of materials used. One was made from a brochure at the doctors office. Several were collages which used a combination of papers, magazine images, fiber, thread and ink. Some were completely painted, one was all fiber and one has been stamped and foiled. They are all wonderful and very unique.

April 1, 2007

Film Reel Design

My friend, Kathy, and I are organizing a Quilt Challenge for our guild. We chose "LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION" as the challenge topic. Kathy loves to write, and is reel-ly having fun with this. Anyways, somebody found an old film reel at a garage sale and thought we would be able to use it as a prop for our challenge.
I hadn't planned on starting a new quilt design, but when I saw the film reel, ideas started flowing and the next thing I knew, I was at my computer drawing the reel. I LOVE circles. I don't reel-ly understand why, but they seem to be in most of my quilts. And if one is good, more is better!
This will probably become a quilt at some point. I imagine the background as hand-dyed fabric and the reels will be organza or tulle. I think the overlapping of shapes will make some great secondary designs.