Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Post Blizzard.....

We had a major blizzard here in the frozen tundra last week. Really intended to update my blog during the time that I was snowed-in but never got any further than the title.  Obviously plans to post more on this blog for the 'new year' are not going very well.  I could beat myself up for it but it wouldn't do any good. The great news is -- even though I'm not posting any new work I HAVE been very busy.
I am now in week 5 of my 'Personal Revolution' program at the yoga studio. It's going quite well. Good news is my body doesn't feel like someone beat me up when I leave yoga class anymore. I'm starting to reap some of the benefits like my jeans fitting better and I'm not feeling stressed out about all the little things that used to send me 'over the edge'.  Hopefully when Week 6 is over I will be able to retain the knowledge that I've learned during this program.

On top of all the yoga I've been working on projects for possible exhibition. I spent several days just dyeing fabrics, including using snow as a resist since we have an abundance! I spent a day discharging color from fabrics and I also created some more rust dyed fabrics. Below is a discharged piece.
I'm really obssessed with the colors from this process.

I am currently working on a piece where I sketched a face on paper, scanned it, then printed it on fabric and used acrylic paints and pastels to color. I will show that technique in a later post.
The piece below is the only photo I took of a project that I mailed already... I was in such a hurry to get it in by the deadline that I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished piece. That one is probably one I could show you since it isn't a juried show. It's for an exhibit hosted by SAQA titled "This is a Quilt!"
It had to be small  ( 9x11) and be some form of quilt. You had to write an explanation as to why you thought this qualified as a quilt. Kind of hard to tell from my ONLY photo below but it ended up have 3 layers-top, batting and backing and it was machine quilted. It had a pieced border surrounding this piece and I did a LOT of thread painting on the ragged old tree, plus I added some texture with painted, distressed tyvek. And of course you can't see any of that in this photo since this is a BEFORE. This photo was taken during the inital process of painting layers of paint onto white fabric, then applying painted wonder under as well as painted silk chiffon and of course the ragged old dyed cheesecloth
for the tree.
Hopefully, this little quilt will return to me one day and I can
photograph it then.  That probably won't be until 2013 as I think
that is how long the touring exhibit will run. They plan to mat
and frame all the quilts that were sent in and photograph them as
well! They may even come out with a book composed of some of the quilts. So even though I FORGOT to photograph it, at least
they will do so.

Oh well, live and learn... Seems to be my motto. Always making
mistakes which inevitably teach me a lesson.

This is one of my rust dyed pieces which I did a little differently from past rust dyeing processes. This time I wrapped the rusty pieces of metal in the fabrics and almost completely submerged the fabric in water in a bucket for about a day or 2 and I got a lot more bleeding of the rust, which I really like. Plus all that water really rusted up my pieces even more, so that next time I do this it shouldn't even take a whole day.

These are some of the fabrics I dyed with procion. Still haven't photographed all the fabrics yet. I dyed a lot of silk dupionni and I love the way that takes the dye. The pieces that I dyed using snow as a resist
came out pretty cool. I'm really getting into the dyeing process, now I need to get out my disperse dyes and do some surface design.

That will have to wait, as I have to finish up the projects that are due by
Feb. 28, then I can take a few weeks to play before I need to start on a few other quilts for possible shows.

Another thing that has kept me busy is a photoshop workshop with the sweet & lovely Kim Klassen. I am really LOVING the process of layering and altering photographs. Even though I have been really slack about photographing the dyed fabrics and the artwork that I'm working on, I have been carrying my camera with me everywhere I go it seems. Just about every time it snows, except for the BLIZZARD, I have gone out for a drive to capture some of the wintry scenes. Llike anything else,
the more you do it the better you get. So I'm working on
my photography skills as well as my photoshop skills. You can check out some of my photography/
photoshop images here.

Rather than hibernate in this land of snow and cold, I have chosen to stay active. I have found that
it helps beat the winter doldrums much better than sitting around and whining!
I must return to my sewing machine as it doesn't run by itself and my deadline is getting closer.
Until my next post...live your life creatively~


  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous fabrics! (I was going to get all sorts of things done during the blizzard, but ended up only getting one snow day, so back to work :o)

  2. Thanks Carolyn! I had plans to do more snow resist dyeing but it's been so cold the snow is more like a block of ice.

  3. Your work is very inspirational...rust dying is just a journey that I do not ever tire from. The music on this post is so serene... Indian flute soothe my heart. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  4. Beautiful fabrics Cathy...love all the colors in the silk and I especially love the little quilt. Cute photo of your "resident fabric expert" too...You truly amaze me with your talent! xxxooo

  5. Thanks Mary Helen! I just love the rusty effects on the fabrics, always different. And yes, this music really soothes the soul.
    Thanks Lucy! Emmy the fabric expert loves to get into the really sheer fabrics and play around. She likes to hide under them.

  6. Cathy what lovely fabrics! Everything you do has a touch of magic. I know your exhibition will be fabulous!

  7. Thank you for sharing your lovely process...magical walk down the yellow brick road. Thank you, Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  8. Hi Miss Cathy! Sounds like you are one busy busy person and getting lots and lots done. I feel like I am working all the time but get very little done so I have to say I am feeling some envy.

    The fabric is just gorgeous and can't wait until you can share finished projects with us soon. I loved seeing your photographs for your class. Taking pictures has been a goal of mine for this year and I've done some, but not nearly enough. I just bought a beautiful bundle of PS actions from Paint the Moon that really add some magic and can't wait to play with them.

    Hope your happy positive productivity continues on and on. I am inspired just reading all you're up to.


Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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