Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nearing the end

Last week was a full week of excitement, anticipation and exhaustion!  We had our end of the semester Works in Progress Open House with all of us 1st years and 2nd years showcasing what we've been working on.  Since its a new program we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to build our own space to showcase our work (sarcasm).  We were our own curators and builders!  It was a lot of hard work (exhaustion) but we all came together and made it work.  And even though I was so tired I thought I was going to fall asleep in my rocking chair, I had a great time chatting with people and seeing everyone's work come together.

Here are some photos of some of the amazing people I have been working with this year

Katherine Bradshaw - invisible childhood memories

Ali Gradisher - wooden bench and table

Amber Roelfs - compost paper lanterns

Sheri Earnhart - stage model for a play

Selja Ojanne - Fiber games, swing and woven rug

Billy Rueck - wool parasol, sheeps wool yarn, wooden tools

And in addition I attended my first Columbia Fiber Arts Guild meeting, which was full of so many amazing and talented Fiber Artists.  I actually got to meet the amazing art quilter (and book writer) Ann Johnston!  Who I just so happened to discover at the Northwest Quilt Expo, and wrote about right here on my very blog:)  I felt so star struck I barely knew what to say, but I did get a chance to tell her she inspired me to make my first whole cloth quilt, which I showcased at our Open House.

And here are some photos of my installation with my work.

whole cloth quilt, and embroidered photos printed on fabric

whole cloth quilt front - hand dyed, batiked, painted, and stitched

whole cloth quilt back

embroidered photos printed on cotton fabric
And I made this fancy hexagonal wooden frame, with the help of my wonderful man:)

It was a great week that I am sure I wont forget!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Whirlwind!

Boy has this ever been a whirlwind of the past couple of months.  With 4 or 5 visiting artist lectures, making fluffy wool clouds for a window display, weaving, workshops, reading for classes, writing papers (its been a long time), and diving head first into dying fabrics and making art quilts, the first half of this semester has FLOWN by!
So here it is the middle of November and I am just getting around to sharing what I've been working on here in Portland:)

So here is a little taste of what I have been working on so far...

Starting with the dying, this is one of the larger pieces I did.  It was first painted with dye in a gradient of 2 colors, batiked, then thrown into another dye bath.

This is a piece I made in the Jane Lackey workshop I took.  It was a 2 day course at OCAC, where we were challenged to take everyday found materials and create a piece using 56 points and connect them in some way.

Here are some shots of the weaving I've been doing.  So far I only have pics of the loom set up, since we just started weaving last week.  It took about 12hrs just to set up the loom!

This is a shot of my very first attempt at an art quilt.

And these are some current shots of what I am working on now, which I am really excited about!
These are photographs that I have taken and printed out on fabric.


Yay!  Stay tuned as I will be posting some finished projects quite soon.  And after this weekend I will have some photos of the fluffy wool clouds I made with one of my classmates for a window display:)

Leave a comment I would love to hear what you think!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Design Build Complete followed by a Fun Fiber Filled Weekend!

Here is the finished project installed at OCAC temporarily
Design Build is complete! 
It was fun, tiring, frustrating, silly, labor intensive, talkative, difficult, and full of learning.  I think we all came out of it feeling pretty good about the finished product but really good about the friendships we made and the comradery we developed after only knowing each other for 3 or 4 weeks.  I had a great time learning new things and working with materials I had never worked with before, and definitely loved getting to know everyone better!  Job well done:)

Fun Fiber Filled Weekend!
Now that the Design Build is complete I am ready to get to work dying, spinning, sewing, quilting and embroidering.  And what better way to get a "mega jolt of inspiration" than to visit the Northwest Quilting Expo here in Portland!  It was filled with all kinds of inspiring art quilts that had me ooohhhing and aaaahhhhing all over the place.  And I discovered an incredible quitling artist Ann Johnston, whos work I absolutely adore!
"Sand on the Wind" Art Quilt by Ann Johnston
"Sand on the Wind" Detail shot of Art Quilt by Ann Johnston
I am absolutely in love with her use of color, bright, bright beautiful color!  And the stitch detail is just perfect, adding texture from a distance and subtle color details up close.

I loved this quilt of birch trees and leaves.  I really like that its part literal and part abstract, and of course the colors are brilliant.  I like that she has mixed warm and cool colors to convey a feeling of Fall.

And continuing on with the tree theme, I also found this quilt captivating.  I would love for that to be my backyard, who wouldn't love pink grass!?

And following the Quilt Expo, I explored the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival to complete my Fun Fiber Filled weekend. 

There were Llamas
 and Alpacas
and Goats
and Sheep
and Bunnies
Oh My!
How cute is this face!

 I'll take one of each please:)  I love the idea of having a farm one day where I can harvest my animals fibers, ahhhh one day, one day.

Do you have a dream of living on a farm one day?  Did you grow up on a farm?  Or are you currently living on a farm?  I would love to hear what you think, feel free to share your comments below:)

And now this week I am ready to work work work! 
Stay tuned as I will be sharing some of my fabric painting experiments soon.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome to Portland!

So I've been a bit busy between moving to Portland and starting school, that I have neglected my poor little bloggy blog:(  But worry no more for I will be continually documenting my journey through school, and my new life here in Portland!

For those of you that dont know I moved to Portland at the end of August to go back to school to earn my Masters of Fine Arts in Applied Craft and Design, (a joint program between PNCA and OCAC)... You may say what the heck does that mean?  Well to be honest we are all learning the history of the terms right now in our classes so none of us are really sure the literal translation.  But basically we are getting an MFA in Designing and Making our own work/products.  Its an incredible opportunity as this is a one-of-a-kind degree that is unlike any other out there, and I must say I am proud and excited to be a part of a new revolution in higher education!  Still confused?  Dont worry I will be describing the program in further detail as I go along in future posts.

For now I will share some photos of our first group project that we are working on called the Design Build.  This is a two week (10 day) intensive project where we as classmates design and BUILD a space for a revolutionary condo complex called Eco-Flats.  This is designed into the curriculum as a team building exercise for the class as a way for us to become closer and really get to know one another and our skills.  And a chance to learn some new techniques that we might never have been exposed to.
Here is the layout of the complex.  We are building on the area labeled Stormwater Basin
Site visit to hear from the Developers Jean-Pierre Veillet and Doug Shapiro

A view of the site from the second story of the complex

After the site visit it was back to the studio to brainstorm and build models of our ideas to present to the Developers.

Brainstorming and Building models
Near the end of the Design process we broke up into 2 groups to build on our ideas and presented 2 options to the Developers.

Group 1 - living green wall with a secret garden canopy
Group 1 model side view

Group 2 model top view - a beautiful corner deck with mobile green wall panels
Group 2 model side view

So a decision was reached and we are now building a Living Green Wall and a wooden walkway over the 580 sqft storm water basin.

We just finished our 7th day in the process and are well on our way to completing the project by Wed 9/22:)

I think that is a good introduction so far, stay tuned for more photos of the process and more insight to this brand new program!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth of July Weekend & Birthday Wish List!

Fourth of July weekend means a lot of things to me, but one of the things I am usually pretty giddy about is my birthday being right around the corner:)  I am an August Baby, a Leo tried and true some would say.  So the Fourth of July is usually when I start thinking about my birthday...and this one is significant, not only will I be turning the big ## (hehe, ok heres a hint it ends in a zero) but I will also be moving to Portland OR to start my journey in attaining my MFA in Applied Craft and Design.

So needless to say this is call for quite the celebration...and what better way to celebrate than gifts!
I don't normally want big gifts for my birthday, but this year I am dying to get my hands on a digital SLR camera.  For one it would really improve my shops photographs, and I have been enamored with photography ever since high school, but never thought I was good enough so that dream just sat up there on the "pipe dream" shelf.  Until now, its time to take that dream down dust it off and give it the good 'ol college try!

So I have been doing a bit of research on digital SLRs and shopping around Amazon for one that will suit me. 

Here are few digital SLRs that I have been eying on Amazon:)
The Canon EOS Rebel so sleek and sexy...but I believe the Rebel line is their starter line and I would really like something that I will love using for years to come.

Ohh and the Nikon D3000 shes awful sexy too!  I actually got to play with a Nikon in Canada that a friend brought with them, it took some amazing photos.

  Then there's the Nikon D90, and she's pretty pro, I mean she gets 4.5 stars for 298 reviews, people like this camera:)

Do you have a digital SLR camera?  If so what camera do you have?  I would love to hear some feedback on what digital SLR cameras you like and why.  Are there any you can recommend?  Leave me a note in the comments:)

Last but not least I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Fourth of July weekend where ever you may be celebrating!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh Canada and Patchwork

Well hello there:)  Since its been a while figure I'll give a little update on what I have been up to.

I had my first vacation of the summer a couple weeks ago up in good 'ol Canada, which by the way Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian peeps!  This was my 3rd trip to the Great White North and I must say I fall more and more in love with Canada every visit.

This time my fiancee and I went to visit his best friend who was getting married, as he had the honored duty to be his best man:)
This wedding was not only beautiful, fun and love-filled but was also quite DIY (which I of course admire).  And the best part was the entire wedding was a complete no-fuss, hassle-free celebration!  Both the Bride and the Groom were extremely laid back, relaxed and care-free the entire time which was palpable to everyone there making for a truly beautiful day.  I can only hope for the same for my wedding:)

The ceremony was set in the Grooms Aunt Lilly's back yard garden which was absolutely breathtaking, I cant even imagine the upkeep!

 Here are just a few close ups of some of the beautiful flowers that fill Aunt Lilly's garden

The Bridal bouquet was handmade by the bride with gorgeous Peonies freshly cut from Aunt Lilly's garden!  They had the most wonderful scent, and were some of the largest Peonies I have ever seen!

I had the honor of making the boutonnieres and corsages which although I had never done was thrilled and excited that the bride trusted my mad skills.  
Here is a shot of the handsome best man wearing one of the boutonnieres I crafted:)

And of course following the ceremony there was good food and some boogies on the dance floor!  Overall the week was a lot of fun and I truly enjoyed hanging out with the bride and groom and all of their friends and family.  It really was a memorable week and I felt honored to be a part of it.

After a relaxing trip to Canada I returned home with only 5 days until the big Patchwork Long Beach Indy Craft and Design Festival, where I would be displaying my wares.  This meant a lot of craft show cramming!  I have been working hard on some new designs for my shop to premiere at the Patchwork show, and I am happy to say I got everything accomplished and cant wait to share my new designs with you.  They will be premiering in my Etsy shop early next week.

Although I was much happier with my table set up this time, I definitely feel that it is always a work in progress! 

As a shopper myself I always try to keep that perspective in mind when setting up my booth, and attending a craft show.  I know I definitely have some pet peeves and do's and dont's for craft shows like;
#1. Dont ignore people who walk up to your booth!  I really think this is the most important for me, I find it a real turn off when I walk into someones booth or up to their table and they dont even acknowledge my existence...they loose a sale from me for sure!
#2. Have all of your prices marked on your items or on signs.  It just makes it easier to shop.

Do you have any Craft Show tips?  Pet Peeves, or Do's and Dont's?  I would love to hear them in the comments section below.  Its always great to get other people perspectives especially the shoppers:)

Well finally the sun has really come out today so that means no more playing on the computer, its time to go outside and play...aka knit:)
Hope you all have a wonderful day, and stay tuned for my B-day wish list tomorrow!