Saturday, October 14, 2017

Monthly Quilt Block Lottery

This month's block was player's choice in holiday fabrics, so I made this "Indian Star" 12 1/2" block and will send it in. I hope to make more blocks for additional chances (to win all the blocks sent in), but this one took me a long time, so maybe not. ;) It only takes one chance to win anyhow! If this sounds like fun to you, check my post just before this one.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A New EASY Quilt Block Group!

If you have a Facebook account, you may want to know about this new quilt block group that a friend just started! It’s very simple, no rules, yet it will be great fun! She needs members to get things rolling so please check the link below, spread the word, and join the fun with me. I hope to see you there! 

Quilt Block Lottery

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mini-Quilt Swap 

I just received this 14”x18” mini from my swap partner today. It’s my favorite scrappy style with appliqu├ęd and stuffed hearts. I love the 30s fabrics!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Blog is Back

I’ve been trying to find my way with blogging for months since having health issues that made it near impossible to use my hands to create things. I’ve gone from deleting my old blog, to creating a new one with a different focus, to deleting that new one, to resurrecting this old one! Chatting about my frustration with my friend, Penny (of “Art Journey”), has helped. Among other ideas, the thought to simply relax more about all of it has taken hold. Plus, I missed my blog-roll that makes it so easy to follow all of you!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Paper from Cattails

Harvesting about 8 cattail heads ("punks") that have matured, then going through the cooking and papermaking process with them, yields one sheet of paper.

I don't really think the result is very pretty, and making paper this way is a lot of work; but to do it the same way it was done centuries ago feels pretty special!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

More Paper from Nature

I started with a pot of dry Forsythia leaves, soaked them in water overnight, then added soda ash and cooked for 3 hours. After thorough rinsing, I had a soft glob for making paper pulp. It yielded one sheet. First photo is laying flat on my desk, then flipped over and held up to sunlight in second photo. The textured lines are the stems and veins of the leaves, but it really is mostly paper-thin!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Corn Husk Paper

Four ears of corn yielded two strong sheets with sizing added to the pulp, so it will take ink and paint with no blotting or feathering effect. It's not exceptionally pretty, but it's so traditional that I love it. I could see pages in a handmade book or journal like this, but mine may become backgrounds for small works of art.

Cotton Paper

I'm sorry to be out of sync with posting here, but each day brings a different ability for my hands. In the meantime, here is a sheet of cotton paper I made from cut-up white cotton fabric using scissors (my hand never should have done that!). It wasn't good for my blender either, you can still see threads, some of which wrapped around the blender blades. It's interesting though, and treated with a gelatin sizing so it can be written upon. However, I'll probably use it as a mounting sheet for a piece of my artwork. I've learned making fabric paper needs an industrial Hollander Beater to chop the ingredients into good pulp. It's an expensive piece of equipment, large and very strong. So I think I will stick with plants that my blender can handle. Next I'll show the results of my corn paper effort.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Handmade Paper From Plants

This is an ancient art like the process that produced papyrus. I'm making "corn paper" from the leaves of husked corn. They are washed and cut into pieces before soaking overnight in water (above). The next day they are drained and cooked with a soda ash solution for 2+ hours to break down the plant fibers. Cooking causes color changes from light green to brown. After cooling overnight, I'll use my usual handmade paper-making process and post a photo of the result tomorrow. I try to avoid cooking, but my healing hand likes it better than sewing and knitting. I may have enough pulp to make 2 whole sheets of paper, wish me luck!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

From My Doll Quilt Swap Partner

This beautifully detailed doll quilt was just received from my swap partner in Massachusetts. Its about 13"x17", and she titled it "Mother's Love". I adore it!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Doll Quilt Swap

I made this mini for my swap group July partner. Luckily, I had some orpahn blocks, so putting it together wasn't a big project for me. Just enough though, you should have seen me trying to sew on the buttons! Finger dexterity is still pretty absent. Patience is a virtue!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Small Knitting and Felting

I'm still in PT, but I was able to knit and felt this wee vessel (1-1/2 x 2") using very bulky yarn and large double pointed needles. I'm getting there!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Life in Our Yard

A very long Northern Black Racer snake common in the NJ Pinelands, but I will never be a friend of snakes!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Coming Back

It's been a long time since my hand surgery, and physical therapy goes on, but I needed to try doing something creative again. So I joined a Facebook group for making and swapping 4.5" paper-pieced blocks. There is a specific color theme for the outside triangles each month (yellow-orange for June), and the inside triangles/fussy-cut centers are sewer's choice. These blocks aren't hard, but I had to re-learn paper-piecing. After numerous "duh" mistakes, I was able to get these 3 done and will send them off. I will then receive 3 others in return. Fun!