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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Playing with mixed media

Awhile ago I joined a Mixed Media group. An exchange was initiated in the group to make altered paper. I made around forty half sheets of paper, all with the same technique. I sent my papers through the mail along with my return envelope and received forty different half sheets in return. Each of the sheets includes how-to instructions on the back. They are each a work of art! So many talented people out there, I can't wait to try all of these techniques. I'm planning to try some of them on fabric as well as paper.

Last week at the Minnesota Quilt Show I took a class called Heavy Metal Play Day, taught by Judy Coates Perez. It was a lot of fun, an entire day playing with designs on pieces of metal. I decided to use her techniques to make a cover for all of my altered paper techniques. It isn't quite finished yet but I just started yesterday. I need to buy some inks to add some color, and finish adding some texture to the background of the picture.

I had a wonderful time at the Minnesota Quilt Show, took three full days of classes. I've only taken one class before and that was four years ago. I am almost ashamed to admit I have never been to any show but the Minnesota Quilt Show. I haven't been quilting long, so four years ago was the first show I went to and that was only for one day, half of which was taken up with a class. Last year I went to the MQ show in St Cloud Minnesota but only for about half a day. That was a quick run through and see as many quilts as I could manage. This year I ran down between morning and afternoon classes to see all the quilts. Amazing work! This show is completely run by volunteers and they do an extraordinary job. Next year, I plan to do my part and volunteer for one or two spots. I have several big shows in mind to try to attend in the future. I think the AQS show in Des Moines would be good for a first big show.
Have a creative day

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Encaustic Wax

I have been absent for almost two months but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy creating. Just the opposite is true. Lately I've been working on my house and yard, weeding flower gardens, planting new flowers, painting our deck and adding a few new shrubs. So nice to be outside after a long, cold, extremely snowy winter. I went away for a quilt retreat with Minnesota Contemporary Quilter's one weekend in May. I will have to show you photos of what I worked on while I was there. I went to visit my mom a time or two. One of the visits we celebrated her 93rd birthday! We managed to get 19 of us together at her nursing home for the party.

In between all of those things I finished my quilts for the Minnesota Quilt Show and a challenge quilt for my small group. I have my first solo show at the the City Hall in my town. It's exciting to see my work hanging up in this beautiful space and is inspiring me to do more and make it better.

One of the fun experiments I have done lately is play with encaustic wax. It is very fun and you really can't make anything that looks bad because you can re-melt the wax and change it until you like it. I like the landscape images I can create with the wax. I just like landscapes, and to find a new way to create them is exciting. About a year ago I bought a video and tools to learn how to work with this medium. But, it sat, and sat and sat on my shelf. I kept saying that I was going to get to that project but kept pushing it back.

At our March SAQA meeting we talked about goal setting. My example goal that I wanted to accomplish was to pull out that video and play. I guess writing it down as a goal is what it took. The next week I pulled it out and played for an entire afternoon.

Here are some photos from that day. I have since taken one of the landscapes scanned it into my computer, printed it on fabric and quilted it for the SAQA exhibit at the MQ show.

Here are my rolling hills
These are a little higher peaks
These are higher and more distant
This one is a sunset on a canvas, I like the metallic wax!
This is one of my son's favorites. It looks a little like dracula's castle, way up on the hill.
The video I have was created by Michael Blossom, I had so much fun I just bought another book by him to take my landscape to another level. Can't wait to play again, this time I will pencil it in my calendar in the near future.
Have a creative day