headed to Crane Estate

Milkweed and staghorn sumac finished, framed and ready to travel. The first weekend in November is the Crane Estate Art Show and Sale, to benefit the Massachusetts Trustees of Reservations. There’s a fancy meet and greet Friday evening, (nice canapes) and then the entire thing is open to the public and free on Saturday and Sunday. I’ve been lucky to participate for several years now. Seeing what other artists bring is amazing, and seeing what people buy is educational.

I have these two small pieces (6×6″) for the small works section, and I’m bringing the shell button river for a large piece. I hope someone will want it!

Shell Button River

Bench notes: using tiny frames

Frames, laser cut from 1/8″ birch plywood, in various shapes. A different interfacing interfacing – this has no fusible on it, so I will fuse the fabric with Wonder Under.

Cut the interfacing to the size and shape of the interior shape. It works better, ultimately, if the interfacing is juuust slightly smaller than the inner shape.

Interfacing gets fused to the fabric backgrounds.

The interfacing adds a nice layer of padding when the frames are attached, and also works to keep the embroidered image smooth.

I like one more layer of interest on these tiny things, so I add a bead (or several) by hand. Then the work is placed over the interior shape, and the outside frame pressed gently into place. If it isn’t going to fit with minimal persuasion, make certain the fabric is smooth around the edge between the inside shape and the frame. Once it is in place, run a bead of liquid super glue on the back around the place where the fabric comes through from the front. Liquid superglue is important, because it soaks into the fabric between the pieces of frame, and holds everything together. I have done it with the gel super glue but the results are not satisfactory. Cheap superglue works really well.

Once the super glue is hardened, trim off the leftover fabric using whatever is handy. If you can’t find a sharp blade, a brisk application of sandpaper also works.

And behold! tiny scraps of fabric, small amounts of embroidery and some loose beads turned into something magical.

first finished piece for the new year

river abstract 5 false color

There is a reason why I try not to make resolutions until February – because January always disappears so fast it makes my head spin. Sometimes I am on top of the change, and I can leap into a new year with new projects and new enthusiasm. I think this year my energies were elsewhere. But! I finished a new abstract river, and started the Finished Work 2015 folder, and things are looking up!

the needle eater is finally done

snowstorm

I'm not sure why this one took so long to finish, but it might have had to do with breaking ten needles on it. Generally the needle body count ranges from zero to three (they do run in threes) so I am not entirely sure what made this one so voracious.

I'm leading with it because I am really proud of it. I still need to finish the edges and stretch it, but the piece itself is finished.

I also started Book 5 – white pages for the next two books/four weeks.

feb 25

 foolishness with circle stamps, and thinking about rivers (again)

feb 24

sugaring off

feb 19

Half the fun with stamps is combining them with other stamps to make patterns and repeats. Although I still have the story stamp I made with some friends. Each of us got an eraser, and using all six sides, we had to carve stamps to tell a four panel story. Mine had to do with lightning, and a forest fire, and rain putting it out. I remember Lynne's better though – a princess lost her cats. It was funny, and the faces were all characteristically hers.

I also managed to break four needles tonight, and finish a small piece:

 

sugaring

 It will be 5×7" once it is cropped and the edges finished.

 

distracted and bemused

three circles and a pair of socks

I must admit to feeling like Edward Lear’s old man with a beard, because it is just as I feared – while I have no birds in my beard I am watching the snow melt under the (lovely lovely warm) weather and the strong contrasts are vanishing and flowing downstream.

The lower right is Friday, when Alice and I went to see the high school musical Grease, and came home too late to post anything. It shows the small patches of snow left in the shade of the pine woods.

The lower left is a pair of socks, finished Saturday and included because the palette is similar.

Saturday had no post because Alice and I got up waaay too early and drove to Cambridge with friends so she could go to a bunch of interesting and distinctly offbeat classes with other extraordinay middle and high schoolers. She took classes in Greek and Roman mythology, Maxwell’s equations for middle schoolers, introduction to soldering and explosions in chemistry. By the time we were done and home, it was well after everyone’s bedtime. I did finish the socks, and a circle. The circle is the one top right – it looks different because MIT has no sewing machines, so I used some black and gray markers to sketch in what I was thinking about.

The last one is from today, another reflecting tree, with the snows of yesterday upon it. The snows of yesterday are melting like crazy, and I’m going to have to work from memory or modify my point of view.