Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas with the Kids

2 year old Airus on Christmas Day. See that mischievous twinkle in his eye? That's the sugar talkin'. Yes, he had sugar on Christmas - cookies, actually. He was pretty wound up.
Right after I took this picture, he wrapped his arms around my neck for the biggest spontaneous hug I've ever had! Sweet!

After endless days of snowfall and sub zero temperatures, the sun finally came out the Saturday after Christmas. It was still really cold, but all that powdery snow was such fun for the kids.

Kaija and Airus played outside till we made them come in on account of the cold. (15 minutes for Kaija and 30 for Airus)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Gift for Mommy

As I mentioned before, we had our grandson, Airus (age two) for the weekend. Saturday morning, I took the opportunity to put a paintbrush in his hand with some white cotton taped to the table. He picked out his colors - blue, yellow, green and silver (very adamant about the silver, which I was not encouraging). I measured out some Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints - diluted 50% with water, but used the Jacquard Lumiere silver straight from the bottle.

There was a constant monologue while he was painting. He painted a couple of suns, several motorcycles, a river, and a girl.

After a bit of debate, I decided the best thing to do with his artwork would be a set of placemats for the family table. One for each Mommy, Daddy, and Airus.

It didn't take very long for me to do some free motion quilting and stitch up a binding of some hand dyed broadcloth that sort of coordinates with the painting.
I have some quilted placemats that I made for daily family use 14 years ago when I first got back into quilting. They are fraying on the binding - which is a homespun fabric - very cheap - even so, we still use them. I wonder how long these will hold up. They are made of much better fabric than the ones I made back in 1994.

What mommy wouldn't love such a gift?

Tractor Ride

We took a little overnight trip up to the Coffee Creek / Denton area to visit with family.
Joe and I were lucky to be able to have two year old Airus join us for the visit. His mom had to stay home and work. The weather was very cold -11 (and windy so not sure what the wind chill was, but you could not stay out in it for long) when it was time for my dad to feed the cattle. Airus and I got to ride along! The dog is Beau - he runs along beside the tractor while Dad feeds.

Dad feeds these round bales and he has this special trailer that lifts each bale onto a rolling fork that breaks it up and spits it out as he drives along. We rode along to feed the calves, bulls, and horses. There were also water holes to chop. Very interesting for little Airus!

We also had a chance to visit with two of my sisters and their families. Airus loved visiting with family! He is such a social little guy. He had hugs for everyone.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quilting Added

It has taken several long days at the sewing machine, but the quilting is finished.

I need to make a decision about the border - how wide, etc. and the binding (I am leaning towards a facing).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Glue Gel Art - MX Dye Painting

I've finished another glue gel resist piece that was painted last summer. This one was painted with MX dye thickened with alginate. The fabric was not pretreated because I thought I would be painting with Setacolor Fabric Paints, but I changed my mind at the last minute.

So, I mixed up a big batch of Sodium Alginate (which I think is derived from seaweed). Just a little sprinkle mixed into some warm water will thicken up nicely in about an hour.
I mixed my dye powders with a bit of urea water till they were a pasty consistency.
To mix my colors, I poured about 1/3 cup alginate mixture into a yogurt cup, added a heaping spoonful of soda ash / baking soda and a spoonful of the dye paste. I mixed this together and everything dissolved into a nice paintable dye. After the painting was complete, I covered the whole thing with plastic and left it to batch overnight.

I enjoy the warm sunny colors in this piece, and am happy with the lines created by the fences. I am calling this one "White Picket Fences"

I just got the binding finished. It measures 27 x 29"

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Guys

Airus spent the night with us last Saturday. His parents went to the Nine Inch Nails concert. It was nice to have him with us for a longer period of time. Sunday morning was sunny so we were outside for quite a while. This top picture isn't so hot of Aiurs, but it is a good picture of our dog, Cookie.

Airus loves to be outdoors and we are outdoors people so it is lots of fun for us to explore nature with him. He also loves exploring Joe's shop - all the tools are so interesting to him.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spring Chickadees - Work in Progress

This piece is a work in progress that has been on my design wall in various forms for about a month. Yesterday, I finally stitched the blocks together and added a border. The border fabric was hand painted and hand printed - same fabric I used for the twigs on each block. This morning, I added a few chickadees.

To my eye, the birds bring it to life. I am still in a quandary over the monotony of the palate, but since my objective is to express the joy I feel when new green leaves appear after a long brown and white winter - I feel it has to be as it is. The size is now about 45 x 54".
Any thoughts?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Trout on Canvas

I am planning to offer two pieces of art for a local charity art auction. This organization has not featured textile art in the past and some of the committee is dubious, so I wanted to offer a couple of pieces that have been mounted on canvas. These two were actually one, previously. That may be obvious due to the close cropping. I was going to discard the top half, but I liked it too well so I just bound it and decided to try mounting it. I really like the simplicity of "Two Trout"
What I have not yet decided is - which two of the three pieces I should offer to the charity auction.
Two trout pictures? Or one of the fish and the other the city piece from the previous blog entry? I am reluctant to offer two that are so similar, but it is a local event and fish are popular in this neck of the woods.

Maybe I'll do eenie meenie miney mo to decide.

Canvas Mounting

I am mounting some of my smaller pieces onto painted canvases. Here is one that is not yet stitched on. The reason I've not stitched it yet is I am not sure the painting I did on the canvas actually compliments the fiber art piece. Sometimes it is good to take a picture because it is suddenly possible to see new things. Like the orange vertical stripe in the upper left corner . . . I certainly didn't see that before!

Anyone have any input for me? I am thinking I might need to tone it down or maybe just go with a solid color for the canvas. Still undecided.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gelatin Plate Prints

Design Wall

This is what I have up on the design wall so far. The squares are cut from a group of gelatin plate prints I did last spring when the leaves were just greening. I just love the yellow green color of newly emerged leaves. So vivid - I just feel infused with energy when I see it.
Sigh. Everything is pretty brown now. Except for a few springs of green grass and my petunias. Still green, but no longer blooming. I had no idea petunias were so hardy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gelatin Print Design Study

Springtime Leaves and Twigs
This little piece is a study for a larger piece I am starting today. The background fabric is gelatin plate printed leaves. The twig fabric is hand painted and hand stamped. I've done one similar to this previously, although in fall colors.

This color palate provides a much bigger challenge.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Glue Gel Resist

Structures I - Study

This is a small study I did for a much larger piece I will be working on today. The process involves first painting the lines on white cotton using Elmers Glue Gel. I've tried both the new clear product and the white washable, but the blue gel is the best. The others are too runny and don't hold a good resist line.

I painted the background in a watercolor style, first wetting the resisted fabric, then painting large color blocks of diluted Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Paint.

Next, I filled in with block prints from stamps I've cut myself from plumbers rubber gasket material. After the paint is set, I gently remove the resist lines by soaking in warm water followed by a long wash cycle with plenty of water and a little soap. Line dry.

Then it is ready to layer and quilt.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Deconstructed Screenprinting

Seeing Red - and I like what I see. This is the first print I did:Align CenterToday I did my first experimentation with "Deconstructed Screenprinting". This involves using some material as a resist on the screen while applying thickened dye (that has not been activated). I used rubberbands and black dye to create my screen. This was set aside to dry.

Then, I used thickened activated dye to screen over the dried black dye. This released some of the black dye onto the fabric, but mostly the yellow and red came through. The print below was one of the middle prints.

The print at the bottom was the last one I did in the series. By this time, the black was nearly gone and my print was pretty red/yellow. I did about 10 prints in all. I can see why people get so excited about this process. I will do more later this weekend!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Central Park

MX Dye painted on Cotton Broadcloth
Elmers Glue Gel Resist
Machine Quilted
36 x 35"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quilted Fabric Ornaments How To

To make the Quilted Christmas Ornaments in my last post, I start with a block print. I cut mine from plumbers rubber gasket material mounted onto a wood block with water resistant carpet tape.

Yesterday, I cut a new block using a photo I had taken of a chickadee in the backyard birdfeeder as a guide so I could get the markings right. (I really can't draw all that well, but I can adapt!)

This morning, I printed a bunch of little birdies on a piece of hand dyed fabric. When it is dry, I will iron fusible web onto the back.

Last evening, I put the Trout and Wild Horse Ornaments up for sale at my Etsy store

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fabric Christmas Ornaments

As a promotional gesture for Elements Gallery for the Holiday shopping season, we will be giving away a handmade Christmas ornament with each purchase. I searched online for a project idea, and when I struck out, I came up these little fabric ornaments. They were fairly simple to construct - mass produced, but rather time consuming because of the multiple steps involved in making them (and because I was making so many!).

Each one is unique because I used hand dyed, hand painted, rust dyed fabrics.
I might offer a tutorial in another post if anyone is interested. I think there are a lot of good design possibilities for the technique.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Little Orange Village

18 x 19"
Setacolor Opaque Fabric Paints on Cotton Broadcloth
Machine Quilted
November 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Surface Design Association - Montana Members First Show

Whooping Crones Gallery
508 East Broadway, Missoula, Montana

I apologize in advance for the quality of these photos. I was having difficulty with the color settings on my digital camera. I did feel this event was important enough to blog anyway, even with discoloration. The first meeting of the Montana members of SDA - Surface Design Association was held on November 7 at Whooping Crones Gallery. The group was celebrating it's first show together.

It was so much fun to meet the other members and have the opportunity to see their work.
Above, is Joan Renne from Rollins. She grew up in the Gallatin Valley, same as I and we had a great chat about that. Joan is weaving on a loom using copper, gold, and silver wire. She has gone to making these large structures!

Here are two of my pieces hanging on the red wall - Mammograms from A to DD - Breast Cancer Survivors (on the left) and Side Effects (on the far right).

This group includes Gail Cluff, Carol O'Bagy, Karen Burton. They are standing in front of Karen's work here.

Our wonderful host and gallery owner, Judy Hartz is on the left. She is an amazing clothing designer. To die for work. Judy told me that she vended in a lot of American Craft Council shows and had a big following during her tenure as a resident of New York! Now she lives in Missoula. What a treat to have her and her gallery here! Yum!
Well, here is a washed out picture of me with my Winter Birds quilt. This one created a lot of chatter. Everyone seems to love their birdfeeder birds! Note my outfit - a discharged cotton kimono.

Here is a corner of the gallery. Beautiful stuff here.

Gail Cluff is a silkpainter. Her husband built these frames for her incredible silk pieces. The one on the left is painted with Dynaflow paints. The blue one on the right is painted with acid dyes.

Carol O'Bagy created this incredible sculpture using 5000 bullets!
Another corner of the gallery. This is an older house, so there are lots of corners, etc. Charming.