Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Caution: humans at work

Yesterday I decided to make a field trip to Princeton Art Museum to see the Newcomb Pottery exhibit, very exciting stuff to aficionadas, of whom I am one, of American art pottery.  A couple of my treasured possessions are Rookwood pieces, same concepts, same period.

And got there and remembered too late, the museum is closed on Mondays.  Oh.  Well, nothing daunted and at least it wasn't raining, I went next door to Prospect Gardens 

lovely formal garden area in the backyard of Prospect House, where Woodrow Wilson lived when he was president of Princeton, before he moved down a step to become POTUS...

Anyway, for once I saw the gardeners at work. Usually they're an invisible army, always keeping the place looking wonderful, but unseen.  So I had a nice chat and thanked them, discussed the tulips they were taking out, they use them as annuals, and the younger man gave me a handful of the petals he was adding to what will be compost I guess.  

I was wondering if they would make good dye material, bright colors and that.

And found on trying it out at home, with silk squares, that the bright color is about optics rather than about pigment. Almost no color transfer at all.  So, nothing daunted again, I went outside and picked a few sprigs of rose leaves, and cherry leaves, and a few begonia leaves, and rolled and steamed the lot, and here are the results.

 I rolled them together, same leaves working differently on each, interestingly. I may stitch into them maybe not, but I'll show them to my stitcher buds tomorrow evening.  At the moment I have no stitching to take in with me, the only unfinished piece I'm interested in pursuing right now being on the floor stand.  But there's no harm in chatting.

I think I'm a bit stitched out, after the push of getting everything up to speed for late May, and making it with a bit of time to spare. 

And when I manage to get to the Newcomb Pottery exhibit on a day when it's open, I'll report back. Meanwhile, here's  a link to remind you what this lovely stuff looks like. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Eye candy, old and new

One of the Guild stitchers, Maureen C., brought in a few great buys she'd made at Etsy, including a wonderful piece of Tenerife lace, and I thought you'd like to see

Then there's probably the final series I'm exhibiting in June, newly finished, a Linen and Metal series of three: 

                                silverwork on silk on linen

                                         goldwork on linen

                         copper and metallic indigo on muslin

all dyed with various natural dyes and methods, all dowelled to hang. What you might call traditional, the Etsy finds, and new, the latest series.

I now have thirty works completed and I think I'm declaring the exhibit full!  a lot of work over two years.  But it will give me an inventory aside from this show, of items to send out to exhibit elsewhere too.  And who knows, some pieces may get a new home. I have a nibble on one of the Planet Suite series already..

When all's done, I'll put the complete catalog up in here, pix and prices and all that. 

And now I'm off for a pot of tea and a browse through whatever's on the Kindle.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The embroidery stand, more adaptations!

I really love this toy!  to date I've taken it apart and reconfigured it about four times, to suit what's happening, and it's great. No tools required except my gnarly old hands do need a bit of help from the slipjoint pliers.

So here are two successful configurations to date:


The light is the stand light from my music stand, a neat little LED job, with a flexible neck, so I can aim it exactly where I'm working and with the shadow on the other side.

I found that I sometimes like to use the slanted way, as below,  but that my back likes it better when I use the flat version, seen above.  But so easy to change as needed.  I also made a new pair of front legs, 22 inches, so I can sit on the sofa and work. The 25 inch legs work for a higher chair.  As you see, no end of playtime with this.  

And I have yet another configuration, where I dispense with all but the three way joiner things at the top, and can put it either upside down or downside up, depending on the size of the canvas I'm working on. No picture of that, since I imagine you're waiting for me to stop banging on about this latest Boud the Builder craze. 

I must say, though, that for less than $15 dollars, I'm getting my money's worth in entertainment as well as usefulness.  Already wondering if I can build a nice summer canopy for the patio, using pipe and clamps and canvas, to make up for the lack of shade with the loss of most of my tree..it would fold down easily at the end of the season...I could use more of that striped material I made the curtain out front with last year..hm.

Creative Collective and the Artists of Homefront exhibit at West Windsor Library

Creative Collective and the artists of Homefront just hung a really strong show, thirty two works in media ranging from cast metal to glass to oils to acrylics, to pastels, to watercolor, to pen and ink to collage, and ceramics, in an explosion of color and style and meaning. This exhibit is worth a trip to see.

It's open all the hours the library is open, and you see it right where you enter. Hung alongside the artworks is a catalog of prices, titles and artist bios.  For directions, and opening hours, go here

It will be up to late May, so seize the day. It's  a great antidote to a wet cool Spring.