"Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose"
John Singer Sargent
"The Lantern Bearers"
Don't we all need Japanese lanterns in our yards this summer? Just sayin' . . .
A couple months ago, on a miserably rainy day I ran into a grocery store to pick up a few items and noticed several boxed up lanterns on the clearance table in the floral department. At half price, I bought two, wondering if they would provide the magic I was seeking. They are solar lights, and since I hung them a couple days ago this one seems to have "powered up" much better than the other. The glow is perfect—exactly what I hoped for. Hanging on the deck, I can see it from inside as well as outside.
I stepped outside a few minutes ago and could see the beautiful crescent moon through the trees, smell the grass and hear the frogs singing their nighttime song. Ahhh, summer. Maybe it really is here. I'm ready.
I remember the first time we stopped at Tolly's, shortly after moving to Ashland, Oregon. Our kids were very small and we were on our way to Portland to take the train back to Idaho for Christmas. The food was so good and the restaurant was beautifully decorated for Chistmas. We still have a Christmas ornament purchased at Tolley's on that trip. They used to have antiques and gifts in this part of the building, which is now a bar.
Sitting outside on the sidewalk was this old trunk. I have one just like it at home.
left to right, work by Amy Hahn, Carol Heist, me, Laura Jennings and Zee Wilks
On the plexi screen left to right, work by Karen Miller, Mary Goodsen. On the back wall left of the screen two of my pieces, right of screen Mary Arnold, Shirley MacGregor and Amy Hahn
left to right, work by Georgia French, Mary Goodsen, Carol Heist and me
It was fun to read the comments in the guest book—all positive and the staff seemed very enthusiastic about our show. So nice to feel appreciated! The show runs through June 5. If you are going north or south through Oregon on I-5 stop in Roseburg. The gallery is just a few blocks off the interstate.
I wrote a blog tutorial about the technique several years ago, which led to my being asked to write the magazine article. The folks who make the Liquid Thread product that I use were pretty happy when I published the blog tutorial and sent me a nice package of their products. They should be even happier to see the printed article. You can see there is a photo of their product included in the article.
The article includes a pattern page in case you'd like to make the little "Bird with Berry" piece that illustrates the article.
Pretty neat, huh?
I can't decide whether to leave the wood as is or paint it. Shiny black? Dark green? I saw some painted wood lawn chairs in the new Sunset magazine today. They looked pretty sharp.
And, Happy Birthday today to our nieces, Melissa and Jessica, both also born on May 23. Big day in our family!
Karen uses the Japanese stencil cutting and printing technique called Katazome and her work is very beautiful and very distinctive. Her background as a professor of marine biology is evident in her special love of sea life as a subject for her work.
Diatoms! I recognized these right away, having just learned that the mystery sculptures I saw in April in downtown Portland were images of diatoms. Isn't it interesting when you learn something new, that you had never heard of before, suddenly it pops up again.
We had a good meeting, then all went into Corvallis for dinner before heading home. It was a much shorter trip back to Portland. I took the freeway.
It was a lovely day all the way around. So nice to spend a beautiful spring day with friends, old and new, see beautiful scenery, eat good food and view inspiring art. And I have saved the best for last. I have a souvenir that will always remind me of this very nice day. Sue gave me a lovely piece of her own artwork. It is sitting next to my computer where I can enjoy it until I find the right frame for it. I'm a lucky person!
P.S. In case you ever need to know—Philomath is pronounced "f-LO-muth". And we taught Sue to say "ORY-gun" not "oh-reh-GONE". Oregon place names can be challenging. Tualatin, anyone??
The bricks and stones are set on a base of sand and when everything is in place, they will get more sand swept across them to fill in the spaces between.
This morning Ray is working on final touches—a wood border to hold everything in place. Of course his faithful companion Gracie keeps an eye on the proceedings.
It looks quite like an arrow pointing out to the lawn right now, but I think when we get the landscaping and pathways in it will be a nice little bit of texture and interest right in front of the house.
Print it, repeatedly, without rotating and you get a secondary pattern of diagonal lines.
This rotation creates a radiating medallion.
Eva asked if the design of the stamp is South American. No, it's my own design, but certainly the kind of thing you often see in Inca or Mayan design, or even African textiles. I was reminded of the patterns I saw in the wonderful anthropology museum in Mexico City a couple years ago. I even remarked in that post that some of them would make great rubber stamps. Hmmm—I think I need to follow up on that idea.
Amy asked what I stamped with. Fabric paint.
The tools I used included block cutting tools and an exacto knife, which was good for sharp corners. The black lines are the design that will print, so I carved out the areas between the black lines. When you cut, the v-shapes cutters work really nicely because you get a cut that slants away from the part that will print. This makes your stamp stronger than if the sides of those printing lines are cut straight down.
Here is the first piece of fabric I printed with it. I love the secondary grid pattern that forms. When you print on fabric the images are never as sharp as on paper, but that is fine for me. I like the mottled texture and inconsistencies.
I think this stamp will have a lot of uses.
What was I thinking?
Well, maybe you still have nothing to say about this piece. Was it a mistake to make those berries so much bigger than life? Do they look, instead, like bloated bunches of grapes? And the plaid. That was quite unplanned, but as I was pulling possible backings out of my stash I came upon the plaid and when I piled things up I sort of liked a bit of it sticking out around the outside. It seemed to finish it, but I was dubious. That plaid dates back to my short-lived, late '80s "country cottage" phase.
This is my collage, "Letter from Mexico" that I donated this year. You can see all the donated pieces here. Mine is on page 20. All pieces are either 8"x10" or mounted on something that size. Today each piece sells for $80. Tomorrow the price drops to $40.
The piece is dedicated to my parents, who were each victims of cancer. It also celebrates a wonderful trip to Mexico. It seems ironic to me that it is the piece I donated just now as Mexico is struggling with so many problems. So many times this winter I have awakened to rain, snow, cold and thought "I wish I was in Mexico!" Well, not recently, but I do hope to return some day.
Ray just planted some of our nice native plant finds on the creek banks. They may be goners.
I put up some shelves in my sewing room yesterday and celebrated by making a small piece, using the trillium photo I took a couple weeks ago as inspiration.
It was fun to do and went together quickly. I have been thinking about small images used in a more abstract setting. I think the trillium might be a little wimpy and overpowered.