Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Even More Gelatin Prints

Here are some of the gelatin monoprints from my second attempt. I printed these on a hand dyed fabric that was too blah for use, but I really like how it looks with the turquoise paints. I used variations of light turquoise, medium turquoise and dark blue.

In this first set you can see the positive and negative images you get. I used coreopsis leaves and allowed them to soften overnight before printing with them

In other prints I used morning glory leaves again. The leaf veining shows up exceptionally well on these.

Another pair is made using geranium leaves. These were the least successful. Even though I'd left them to soften overnight they were still quite stiff and actually cracked the gelatin plate.

There's nothing wrong with cracks in the gelatin, it actually adds interest and character, but I didn't want them quite so early in the process. Lesson: no more geranium leaves for gelatin printing for me.

In the remaining pieces I used commercially available stamps for textural interest. I found you had to press down quite hard on the gelatin to get these to show up well. It was easier in my last session, but the gelatin was 2 days older and therefor probably firmer and drier.

All pieces have been heat set with an iron, but are destined for wall hangings which I don't anticipate washing so I'm not too concerned about that aspect of the printing. It was just too much fun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More Gelatin Prints

Here are some more from my first day of gelatin printing. I used a truly ugly hand-dyed fabric for the base. On some I used purchased stamps, others plant material (I found it actually works better when picked a few hours ago since it softens and flattens then). On the Frog piece I did mirror writing so it would be the right way for the print. Who knew I could do such a thing?!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gelatin Printing, the Beginning

Here are my very first experiments with gelatin printing. I followed the recipe in Rayna Gillman's awesome new book, "Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth". It was so much fun! I highly recommend the book. It's the best book I've purchased in a long time and I've only scratched the surface of the techniques covered in the book!

The first piece I laid down too much purple paint on the gelatin and overlaid that with morning glories (living in southern California has some great benefits like year round access to live plant materials!). The top piece which is very dark is the result after we tried to wash out some of the excess paint. The next darkest one was attempt 2 and looks better except for the "volunteer" loose thread that jumped into the mix, LOL.

These pieces were done using PFD pima cotton that I had on hand for dyeing. I didn't realy like the stark background so switched after this grouping.

This piece was done in two different printings. One was on the gelatin after the first printing was done which removed some of that excess paint. The other was the leaves themselves turned over after they lay on the gelatin for the first printing. I was amazed with the detail of the veining in the leaves that was visible.

I printed a lot more than this, but I hope this whets your appetite to come back another day to see what else I did.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts on Quilt Shows and Road Recap

If I had my way I'd probably live at a quilt show. No, not really beacuse then it would become commonplace and not as much fun, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to get to 3 or 4 big shows a year. This year I've been to Road to California and have hotel reservations for Long Beach in July. I'm thinking about Chicago in April and PIQF in October. That ought to cover the year pretty well!

Why do I enjoy quilt shows so much? I think it's a combination of all the friendly people (quilters really are the nicest people), the gorgeous quilts on display (lots of inspiration), fabulous vendors with drool-over new products and just getting away from the daily grind. I love that I can go alone, but not feel alone. At lunchtime I generally choose to sit at a table with others instead of at an empty table, even if one is available.
Yes, I'm back from Road to California and I had a terrific time! I was actually there 2-1/2 days and next year plan on 3 days. It doesn't take 3 days to see the show, like Houston, but by being there longer I was able to participate in 2 of their "events" and spend a day chatting with lots of people while demo-ing at a booth.

I went up with two friends on Thursday and saw the quilts and the vendors. We had dinner at Marie Callendar's (go early, there are long waits after 6) and then went to an event called Party Time. It should be called Laugh Time because we all had so much fun! There was a chocolate fountain (new this year, I heard) and lemonade and each table had a mysterious paper bag as well as numerous piles of fat quarters and party favors at each seat.

Carolyn Reese was the hostess and she started us all laughing by reading us a story. Each person started with a fat quarter and everytime Carolyn said "left" we passed our fat quarter left, "right" we passed right. It got faster and faster and we're laughing so hard.

We also played other games including Price It Right and a dice game. Each person also had a number from 1 to 10 and periodically Carolyn would call out a number and each person with that number could go up to the table up front and select a prize.

Oh, I didn't mention prizes? There were terrific prizes: books, charm packs, yards of fabric, patterns, paints, rulers, etc, etc., and lots of chances to win. Everyone went home with at least one prize plus an assortment of fat quarters and their party favors. Lots of fun and more than worth the cost of the event.
Friday I went to the Bead and Button show in Pasadena. What a disappointment. The beads were mostly the big necklace kind and very few buttons. The wearable art was the flowy Bohemia type that someone has to be stick thin to wear well and definitely not my type of thing. There were some beautiful necklaces etc. all made up but I could begin to afford the ones I liked. I did find one vendor with smaller beads, but it was hardly worth the trip.

I left early and went over to Road again since I had a 4 day wristband. It was less crowded on Friday (or maybe it was because it was afternoon and some of the buses had left) and I was able to see inside the booths more instead of just peering over shoulders. Friday night I went to Roundabout which is a sampler-type event. You get to sit (yay!) and watch demos which are restarted every 10 minutes (they have a whistle) so you know when a new one begins. Of course you may leave early or stay if you wish. More cool ideas and there was a booklet with a handout from each demonstration.
Saturday I demoed in Embellishment Village's booth. I was quite nervous about this since I had never met Betty and had no idea what she wanted me to do. I demoed Angelina fibers and film and had a blast! Everyone was interested and she told me to give away the samples I was making. After awhile I got bored of just making sheets of "fabric" so I started cutting them up and combining colors. It was so much fun to play with someone else's stuff and not have to pay, LOL! I also received many compliments on my jacket and handed out quite a few business postcards. I will definitely do something like that again.

My daughter was at the show and had a great time. I was a little worried because she's not a quilter, but she enjoyed running the cash register and she loved it that so many of you came by to say hi! It made her feel quite welcomed. Thank you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Road to California!

It's almost time to go to Road to California or as we affectionately call it around here: Road. This is a great show that's not too far from home (maybe 2 hours). I look forward to ogling the quilts, spending money at the vendors, helping out in a booth (Embellishment Village, stop by and say hi!) and attending one of the events (Party Time). I will review the show and my purchases next week.

If you happen to be at the show, my daughter (who doe NOT quilt) has been asked to help out in the souvenir booth cutting the souvenir fabric. Stop by and say hi to her (here's a picture of her so you'll recognize her). I want her to see how friendly and nice quilters are so she will want to learn how to quilt :-) Her name is Elisia and it's pronounced el-EE-see-ah. Say hi and it will make her day!

Friday, January 09, 2009


Thanks to everyone who made last night's fashion show a big success. Even if you're "just" part of the audience it makes a big difference what your attitude is. There were some great questions and lots of oohs and aahs which always inspires me to make more jackets!

I wanted to talk a little today about my list of goals and how I plan to accomplish them. I am a born procrastinator. If I put something off it's not likely to get done. Ever. The good news is that I realize this about myself and I do my best NOT to put things off (although I have to admit I don't always do my best about getting to the dentist...). I try to keep my objectives firmly in mind and to at least take baby steps towards them even if it seems insignificant.

I am a list maker. I've come to realize that at this point in my life, with so many different things going on seemingly at once, that if I don't write them down I am likely to forget.

Lists are important to me and I truly enjoy being able to cross things off the list every day. Because of that I tend to break things down into smaller portions so I can cross more things off! It may sound silly, but I'm more likely to clean one bathroom or vacuum just the downstairs than to get them all done at once. In the same way I tend to write things like finish jacket back, a much more doable task than finish the whole jacket. And a list with lots of things crossed off makes me happier which means I'm more likely to get more things done! It's a great feedback loop.

I can now cross off blogging on today's list!
See you soon,

P.S. My daughter forgot her dress shoes last night for the show. She was wearing neon green Converse sneakers! No big deal for most of the jackets since they're meant to be worn casually, but the sneakers did look a tad strange with the Bernina ensembles!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

January 8th Fashion Show

I will be presenting a fashion show of my wearable art at the Diamond Gateway meeting on Thursday, January 8 at 7 pm. The meeting will be in the Riviera room of the Doubletree hotel in the Rancho Penasquitos area of San Diego. Free admission. Come see what I've been up to!