Friday, March 31, 2017

Marching On

Yesterday morning we awoke to this.  This winter just doesn't want to let go!
Just one year ago yesterday (according to Facebook memories), Josh stopped by after work and knocked together our planter boxes.  They tell us that every winter is different. Today, the last day of spring break, was blessedly sunny and people came out of the woodwork to enjoy it!
I moved a peony today which is no small feat when the ground is rife with lava rocks  I ultimately dug up a rock and used the cavity for the plant.  These guys are preparing the ground for the last section of the nearby Bridges subdivision.  First they have to do something with the rocks.  Click for big and you'll see a small pile of them on the right.  The big tan thing is a rock crusher and there are two. They've been keeping them both  busy for several weeks now.  The rocks are fed in from the right and crushed gravel spills from the left.  A front loader scoops it up and dumps it into a truck.  I have no idea what happens to it after that.
The Fiber Market Day event was disappointing this year in terms of sales, plus spring is not a good time to sell scarves.  People are looking forward to summer.  So what am I doing?
I'm weaving more scarves and still playing around with iridescence.
Things have changed at the A6 gallery as far as ambassadorship positions go - that's what volunteers are called.  It's pretty sweet.  The $80 monthly fee is waived in trade for four hours once a week.  Interest in the gallery and classes has increased membership and more people would like that opportunity.  We are all now half time but that frees up a block of four hours for me, so I went in the other day to work on my own.  I didn't know what I wanted to do and hoped inspiration would come.
Last week I had painted a piece of cardboard with acrylic medium to seal it.  So I decided to start with a print of that.  I cut up some pieces and laid them around, including a strip of the netting vegetables come wrapped in.  I printed on newsprint as a proof and wish I had used Rives BFK, a mistake I won't repeat.
 I cleaned up my cardboard plate and inked up a plexiglass plate instead.  I pretty much used the same elements and ran it through the press, this time using Rives.  Much better, but I used graphite black since someone already how it out on an inking plate and I am unfamiliar with how it works.  It's transparent and just not quite black.
Beal was working next to me and asked me if I was going to print the ghost.  That's a print with the remaining ink and a few new elements.  I told her I didn't have any paper in the soaking tray.  That's okay, she said - use mine.  I'm leaving and you can just have it.  She saw that my previous print was very close in value and suggested I introduce some this time.  I inked my template with carbon black this time and holy cow, it's a punch in the face, but I like them both.
I'll leave you with this.

Friday, March 24, 2017

First Craft Fair of 2017

I am semi-frantic.  I really don't know where the time went, because here I am today, one day before the Fiber Market Day show tomorrow and I'm finishing towels.
With the help of my demented assistant Maddy, I was able to get these hemmed and into the washer while I ran errands.  I ran four errands including picking up some cash for tomorrow and still was back home within the hour.  I could get used to this small town living!
I'm making lists and piling up the things I need to take.  Maddy is looking on with displeasure.  She does *not* like change of any kind.  They're drying now, then need to be pressed and labeled.  And from there into the car.  I need to leave here at 6:30 in the morning so need everything done today.  Prineville is only an hour from here and to think that's what I drove one-way to work every day until I retired.  I can hardly fathom that.
I am taking a warp-painting class in four weeks.  These yarns are all a variety rayon/cotton that I've been given over the years.  I'm going to ask for help in determining the sett so I can get started winding these guys.

This is the forlorn warp that's been hanging from Arthur for the past couple of weeks.  I'm anxious to try some other laces and scarves are a great way to sample.
My workshop loom is ready and in the garage awaiting a Supplemental Warp workshop next Saturday.  I'm proud to say that I warped this from the back following the Web's YouTube video on  my iPad, pausing between steps.  It was helpful that the loom is so small but I do want to try it again on one of my Gilmores.
I was feeling flush with the anticipated sales tomorrow (probably deluding myself is more like it) that I took my print down to Denise to get it framed.  She did various combinations but I couldn't get past the traditional standard white mat - so she brought out her "white" samples.  Holy cow!  I finally opted for a minimal mat with painted bevel and a minimal frame.  It's going to hang in the bedroom so most people won't see it anyway.

I started this day with an hour video chat with my daughter who is in Massachusetts visiting her oldest son and his family.  Her daughter-in-law Shannon told her this morning that FaceBook has a video/chat option, it's how she talks to her sister.  It's not as smooth as FaceTime but Chrisssie doesn't have an iPhone.  I got a tour of their house and lots of kid action.  Olivia was happy to help with the tour.  Owen was just happy - he's one :)

Okay, 'nuf of this.  I'ts time to label the towels and pack the car.  Then it's pizza and NCAA basketball.  My bracket isn't dead yet!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to RePurpose a Hand Knit Sweater

Step 1:  Put the sweater on a chair and walk around it for three months until you can no longer ignore it.

Step 2:  Identify a pattern that will be a suitable replacement and without the annoying attributes of the original sweater, i.e., too large and gauge too dense.

Step 3:  Start snipping and ripping.

Step 4:  Wind onto a Knitty Knotty and tie into hanks.  This is a twitchy step because the wild and energized yarn is wild and energized.

Stage 5:  Put the hanks into the sink and given them a nice warm soak.

Stage 6:  Squeeze out the water, blot in a bath towel and hang to dry.  This will be my NCAA knitting and I'll have you know that I placed my $5 pool entry on Gonzaga for the win.  Go Zags!!

Scoff if you  must, but over 20 years ago I placed my $5 pool entry on the Arizona Sun Devils and I won.  I bought this watercolor from Jodi Rossi, author and illustrator of the children's book, Gully Washer.  (Sorry about the reflections) My scientific method was to choose the team most westerly of the two in each game which in the end came down to Arizona.  This year I picked Catholic schools.  Go Zags!  I look forward to this tournament and the connections I have to people in our pool, and yes, we go back 20 years
I know I showed this in my last post but I kept thinking about it, wanting to see it, not wanting to pay for another frame.  Last week I finally resolved this by using double-stick tape and attaching it to a framed picture already hanging in our bedroom.  It's a watercolor that belonged to Ian's dad, one that his dad really enjoyed.  After I couple of days I asked him if he noticed anything different in our bedroom.  It took him quite a while, we both laughed, and we left it there.  I call it Ginkgos in Love.

Today I hung another of my prints.  I used this frame that was upstairs, trimmed down a monotype that I like and call it Sunlight on the Bayou.  As you can see I've been bitten hard by the printmaking bug.  I'm also weaving up for storm of dishtowels for Fiber Market Day in Prineville in two weeks, same old, same old.
Point of Celebration:  Our snow is gone, melted away.  Also the construction machines that have been noisily in process behind our house are getting ready to put down pavement.  I think the end is in sight, or hearing :)

Saturday, March 04, 2017

It was a productive day

Thursday was the fifth and last session in the Introduction to Printmaking class.  Our final subject was Monotype and since I took a class in it last fall, was happy to have the refresher.  I printed six times that night and this one is my favorite.  In fact, I hung it in the bedroom.  I'm waiting to see how long before Ian notices something is different.
This is the "ghost print" which is an option if there's enough unexhausted ink on the plate.  I turned the ginkgo leaves over since they still had ink on the underside and put them back on the right side.  I like this print too.
I couldn't print my Lino Cut plate last week since it wasn't finished.  I finished it Monday on my volunteer shift and printed it before class.
I asked Michelle for permission to take a photo of her shirt.  I really do need one of these!  We work hard during our class periods, standing the entire time.  There's just no time to sit.  I've made good friends in each class and since we can use the studio as members, these friendships have continue to grow - yet another reason why I love Bend.
I've come down to the final week before the final session of Pat Clark's drawing class.  Our actual class ended a month ago but Pat came up with a little something extra.  On the last class we were all given a 16" x 20" piece of watercolor paper and put our initials on the back.  Pat set up seven drawing stations and we had 2 minutes to do a contour drawing of the object.  The thing on the left is a chicken foot.  The piece of stick was my contribution to this collection of lines.  At the end of 2 minutes we passed our paper clockwise to the next drawing station.  I was stumped because I need a center section to remain unpainted and don't have enough skills to know how to do that.
I met with Pat at her open studio session on Wednesday afternoon and got some answers.  I bought some masking fluid thinking I'd just have to mask the whole area but reading about it, realized that it's only for small areas.  Pat told me to make a template and attach it with blue painters tape.  I attached this yesterday and did the wash background.  Today I painted in figures, watercolor on the left side and acrylic on the right.  I'm starting to feel more confident with watercolor, especially since I've discovered I can manipulate it with my finger.
I removed the template today and it's pristine - huge relief!
I explained to Pat that I had to keep that area white so I could collage this piece on but she just shook her head and said, no collage - no glue.  Gleep.  I'm pretty content with this project and obviously it's not a work of art, just a work of learning experience.  She had listed three directives for this:  1) Dominant color - yellow ochre; 2) Must have an architectural detail - window; 3) Must have an element: earth, fire, water, air - clouds, ala Rene Magritte.  I was feeling pretty smug until she said - No glue!
As for Maudie Mae's broken wing, I bought mountaineer webbing from Gear Fix, a business right next door to the A6 studio.  I was dropping off my Tai Chi shoes there to have the forefoot stretched when I realized that the shoe guy might be able to put in a rivet.  Here's the old and new webbing.  He was impressed that the 60-year-old cotton webbing had lasted as long as it did.
This is the unbroken webbing but as you can it was just a matter of time before it broke too.
The new webbing is perfect and there's that wonderful rivet.  I got everything back together this morning and was able to weave two towels and start a third. I didn't realize that the old webbing had started to stretch so that the apron rod wasn't square to the breast beam.  I noticed the difference today almost right away.  

I was devastated when the webbing snapped and I was at a loss what to do next.  I can't help think how both of the things I worked on today had that in common.  I didn't know what to do to fix things but when I dug in and went to work, the solutions evolved in the process.  It was a productive day.