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.