People (and things) certainly come and go quickly around here, Toto!

Things have been busy in my little workshop, with projects coming and going before I have the chance to document them, so here is a little backtracking.

The High Fiber Diet art quilt group's next annual show will be "Heatwave" - its only requirement is the inclusion of the color orange, hence the nickname, The Orange Show.  Ideas came and went, the most tenacious one to do an orange nude looking back over her shoulder.  She would have been a representation of Reina Agüero, a character from the book The Agüero Sisters by Cristina García. Feisty and passionate, she would have been a very apt symbol of Heatwave, but before I ever got around to cutting into my beautiful collection of orange fabrics, it occurred to me that she would end up looking too much like one of those paintings of a nude on black velvet that people sell in empty parking lots.  I rolled up my large charcoal sketch and put her away, opting instead to finish this quilt that I started last year.

I call it Memory of a Tibetan Door - Metaphor for an Unplanned Life.  The Tibetan door memory is a photograph I saw in a book long ago that has always stuck with me: brightly painted and weathered boards that were found and nailed together haphazardly to block the wind from entering someone's home.  I loved every chip, crack, and happy accident of color in that door.  As for the unplanned life metaphor, I leave that to your imagination.

Small color experiments from a class with Rosalie Dace last year were included.  Machine stitches, hand stitches, wandering bits of thread - as I put the bits and pieces up I fall in love with everything that fabric is and does and just want to catch its natural tendencies.

Happily this quilt was almost finished except for a few final touches and deciding how to mount it (you wouldn't want to bind it and trap the edges!).  Good thing, because then a request came from Cactus Gallery to participate in The Love You Make - a Beatles-inspired show.  Cactus owner Sandra Mastroiani invited me to participate and send a piece down in two weeks time!  So the quilt was quickly finished in time for its deadline, and then onto researching Beatles' songs.

Participants were asked to choose a character from one of the songs.  Looking over the list of already picked characters, I saw that my first choice, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, was already taken.  I pondered Lovely Rita Meter Maid and Sweet Loretta Martin (who thought she was a woman, but she was another man), and decided on Lovely Rita.  A bit of research went into the making:

British meter maids from the 1960s

British meter maids from the 1960s

Go-Go boots!

Go-Go boots!

Twiggy!

Twiggy!

All research done with the aim of getting the right flavor for a meter maid the boys might have been attracted to back in the day!  Here is my Lovely Rita.

Close up with a hint of a smile added.

Close up with a hint of a smile added.

Those British meter maid hats are the best!  It was fun figuring it out!

Those British meter maid hats are the best!  It was fun figuring it out!

Rita's ticket book

Rita's ticket book

I made her some zip on go-go boots!

I made her some zip on go-go boots!

The whole she-bang!  (Surprise!  How do you like her London britches?)

The whole she-bang!  (Surprise!  How do you like her London britches?)

Rita is currently visiting Los Angeles and staying at Cactus Gallery, 3001 N Coolidge Avenue, Los Angeles 90039, until August 5th.

Next up: I will be the featured artist for Cactus Gallery's Dollmakers VI show in September.  I'm busy exploring new-to-me techniques and liking the results so far.  Here's a peek:

More later!

 

Cuteness and Light

I seem to be running at full steam from one project to the next lately - so much to catch up on!  I will attempt to get to it over the next two weeks.  For tonight, a peek at a personal project for an overdue gift giving.  Presenting, Three Lil Critters:

I haven't made any Lil Critters in a long time, but I'm hoping they will be loved by the young recipient.  After practicing painting this style of face again, I chose my favorite three, and then had fun in the fabric stash picking out just the right pj's!  Above, this is what they look like before the bodies are stuffed.  And now, here they are finished!

Oh, dear!  Sometimes I like my little characters so much I want to keep them for myself!  But I know they are going to a good home.

xoxo, lulu

Happy Easter!

Yesterday I should have working on my taxes or prepping for classes tomorrow, but I had this idea...

I started painting, and stitching, having fun with the colors, finger painting, free motion stitching.

A mixed media creature was waiting to be born!

The right Easter eggy fabric jumped down from my shelves.  Rapid quilting ensued.

So many urgent things to be done, but the Easter Bunny would not be denied!

Happy Easter!

xoxo, lulu

Learning to Paint

The beauty of Art & Soul 2017 was that not only did I get to teach, I also got to LEARN!  I signed up EARLY to be able to take classes from two teachers that I greatly admire: Jenny Doh and Jesse Reno.  Both of these artists teach what I call process painting - the building up of layers and then pulling something out from it.  Their styles and techniques are very different, though, and it was very valuable to me to take both classes.  But CHALLENGING!!!  I find process painting very fun but very difficult in the latter stages.  It's hard to see your canvas go through some really ugly stages.  My canvases were SO ugly sometimes that all I could do was laugh, and push on.  It's also hard to let go of some of the marks that you like, but you know that if you don't do it you won't reach the maturity or the message or the potential that you believe is there.  I have a long way to go, but it is good to begin.

My first canvas in Jenny's class went from this...

My first canvas in Jenny's class went from this...

...to this.  Still unfinished, but I like the energy as is.

...to this.  Still unfinished, but I like the energy as is.

My second canvas had humble beginnings...

My second canvas had humble beginnings...

...had some nice additions...

...had some nice additions...

...some major changes...

...some major changes...

...and ended here.  It was a very emotional roller coaster ride, very expressive of feelings I was working through.

...and ended here.  It was a very emotional roller coaster ride, very expressive of feelings I was working through.

Jenny Doh is a fabulous teacher, very knowledgeable, discerning, and encouraging.  I very much appreciated that when we asked for help, she drew from us our own thoughts, feelings, and concerns before making suggestions.  I would love to learn more from her!

JesseReno was fantastic, too!  He oozes with his own passion for painting and expressionism.  His techniques are immediate and raw, and he brings out a sort of mysticism or spirituality replete with symbols that I enjoy.  Humor-wise Jesse was on fire that weekend!  It was a super fun class. 

I feel so lucky - both classes were full of students who were so engaged and positive.  What a great atmosphere for learning!  Bravo, Art & Soul, for having such wonderful teachers!

Here's Jesse demonstrating how he blocks out parts he doesn't like to bring out the parts he does like.

Here's Jesse demonstrating how he blocks out parts he doesn't like to bring out the parts he does like.

I was lucky to get a "good grab" on my first painting, but then I didn't know where to go!

I was lucky to get a "good grab" on my first painting, but then I didn't know where to go!

So I went a little crazy!

So I went a little crazy!

And then I pulled it back and ended it here.  For now.

And then I pulled it back and ended it here.  For now.

Painting number 2 went through some major changes, starting with this first grab, which I also liked a lot, but I needed to go somewhere.

Painting number 2 went through some major changes, starting with this first grab, which I also liked a lot, but I needed to go somewhere.

So I climbed a tree for a different view.  (See Wolfie's tail is now part of the tree, like a secret entrance?)

So I climbed a tree for a different view.  (See Wolfie's tail is now part of the tree, like a secret entrance?)

Turn the canvas sideways, save some of what you liked, add more, block out again...

Turn the canvas sideways, save some of what you liked, add more, block out again...

And this is where I finished.  It's not a fully matured painting, but a good example of how to use some of the technique's we learned.

And this is where I finished.  It's not a fully matured painting, but a good example of how to use some of the technique's we learned.

Now to find the time to do more, more MORE!

xoxo, lulu

Sew Tina Givens

As mentioned last time, I've recently been asked several times if I knew of Tina Givens sewing patterns.  Oh yes.  In my quest to recreate all the romantic looks of mori and Magnolia Pearl and Les Ours, etc. etc., I came upon Tina Givens patterns.  Loose, funky, flouncy.  Me like.  I signed up for her newsletter and now like to buy her patterns when they're on sale.

Here is a pattern I have bought and made, The Mila tunic:

front

front

I hope you can see the detail of the beautiful fabric, designed by Geninne Zlatkis.  As you can see from her blog, Geninne is a fabulous artist and designer!  I've been admiring her work for a number of years, so when she designed this fabric, I had to rush out and buy it.  The light, flowy voile was perfect for this pattern!  I adore the line drawings and the moody indigo color.  I found an indigo yarn that went perfectly with the fabric and knit up the scarf you see here (the fanciest knitting I've ever done!).

back

back

Here on the back of the dress I added a pocket.  Funny place to put one, I know, but isn't the Japanese bunny adorable?

Shhh!  I went undercover to buy the whole bolt of this fabric to split among my friends!

Shhh!  I went undercover to buy the whole bolt of this fabric to split among my friends!

I have a long list of Tina Givens patterns I'm longing to make, but I think the next one will definitely be the Marcella dress, because I've just found the perfect fabric for it!

More adventures in dressmaking to come - I'd love to know what YOU'RE stitching up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tactile love

Yesterday morning in a state of grogginess I suddenly remembered I had a regional SAQA meeting to attend.  I threw on some easy clothes and fled the house, leaving my mocha behind.  I arrived about 10 minutes late and heard the group in the middle of sharing what they LOVE about making art quilts.  When the question came to me, I found my own answer inarticulate and lacking, which, as always, caused the question to circle around and around, and this is what I WISH I had said:

I LOVE dipping my hand into the color and texture, I LOVE manipulating the material and watching the colors play and dance as I place them together.  I LOVE the tiniest details of frayed edges, a straggling thread, a sketchy line, embroidered X’s and French knots in a wobbly row.  I LOVE a mix of folklore and modern abstract.  I LOVE a LOT of things about making textile art!

I realize one of my biggest joys is the TACTILE.  Do you remember that tiny scene in the movie Amelie when the narrator is telling us all the things Amelie likes, and one of them is dipping her hand into a big sack of lentils?  That is me.  I LOVE to touch things and enjoy their texture!  Lentils are especially delightful, but I also like running my fingers along rough brick walls and tree bark, and I LOVE holding smooth river rocks.  I am obsessive about touching, squeezing, and nuzzling soft yarn.  Truly, when I hear knitters talk about yarn porn I know exactly what they mean.   It’s embarrassing.

ok, so in this image she's not dipping her hand into a sack of lentils, but she IS about to tap tap crack the crème broulée, conjuring up all sorts of sensory pleasure, including the tactile!

ok, so in this image she's not dipping her hand into a sack of lentils, but she IS about to tap tap crack the crème broulée, conjuring up all sorts of sensory pleasure, including the tactile!

Going all the way with luscious yarn!

Going all the way with luscious yarn!

I’ve been losing myself on Pinterest for the past couple of days – it’s my escape from the daily political news which has been making me insane and irritable and irritating to others.  I whisk myself away to wander in the forest of the mori kei – the lovely Japanese idyll of quiet girls living in nature with layers and layers of fabric that probably wouldn’t do so well in the real forest.  My love of the mori kei style began before I knew that it was a style, several years ago when I bought like this dress from REBE at Crafty Wonderland and combined it with a polka dot skirt and cute boots.

Rebe dress with Goodwill polka dot skirt

Rebe dress with Goodwill polka dot skirt

  I was up and running with something that was very me.  Shortly after that purchase I saw a pattern book at the Japanese bookstore inside Uwajimaya called Stylish Dress Book and found that I could make a similar dress, and then I found out about mori

mori kei

mori kei

And lagenlook

lagenlook style

lagenlook style

magnolia pearl

magnolia pearl

And NOW Östebro!

Östebro

Östebro

And Une Fée dans la Citrouille

Une Fée dans la Citrouille

Une Fée dans la Citrouille

And whatever THIS piece of gorgeousness is!

Be still my heart!  evdokiyah.livemaster.ru

Be still my heart!  evdokiyah.livemaster.ru

At the end of the SAQA meeting yesterday another member asked if I knew about Tina Givens patterns – it was the second time in a week I’d been asked the same question!  She said I could model for them, based on what I was wearing – the easy clothes I threw to rush to the meeting!  This is what I wore, on the left, and look what I found on Pinterest this morning, on the right!

My outfit on the left: layered dress from Mexico, petticoat from an estate sale, sweater was on sale in a shop on Haight-Ashbury, about 4 years ago.  (I knit the scarf.) On the right: Une Fée dans la Citrouille

My outfit on the left: layered dress from Mexico, petticoat from an estate sale, sweater was on sale in a shop on Haight-Ashbury, about 4 years ago.  (I knit the scarf.) On the right: Une Fée dans la Citrouille

Oh, and YES!  I do know about Tina Givens!  But I will save that for another day!

patience and intention

Last night the LOLAS gathered to celebrate friendship, Christmas, and the Winter Solstice!  Upon Sonya's suggestion, we lit a miniature fire and set our intentions for the coming year.  I am always hoping to find my true path.  My intention is to continue seeking it.

Sometimes things of great beauty require great patience.  

I am feeling inspired by so many different things right now.  I have an idea, but I don't know if I have the patience required to bring it to life.  We shall see.

It's Not Easy Being Green

It's Not Easy being Green, an exhibit of art quilts created by members of the High Fiber Diet art quilt group, has landed in its first venue.  Now showing through Oct. 27th at the Visual Arts Gallery at Mt. Hood Community College, the opening reception is TODAY!

My quilt, The Green Gate, will be on display in the exhibit.  I was surprised and really pleased to see my name mentioned in the gallery announcement!

I'm looking forward to seeing the whole show and everyone's interpretation of the Green theme!

The Green Gate

Website Live!

Hallelujah!  I think the new website (this one!) is finally working!  Fingers crossed.