Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Room" - book review

Available at

I had bought this book some time ago, and forgotten what it was about, so I started it without any pre-expectations.  Oh my gosh.  It is one of the most riveting books I've ever experienced.  Written in the voice of a five-year-old boy who has been raised by his captive mother in total isolation, it is both harrowing and sweet, if it's possible to be both at the same time.  I totally fell in love with the little boy, and empathized with his mother.  I had a few issues with the coy way the author treated some aspects of the story, but they are minor.  An excellent read, and highly recommended.

Resizing an Image

Gloria Hansen (my hero!) has posted an excellent video on her blog, explaining very clearly how to re-size your image to a specific size.  This is often a difficult and confusing issue for artists when it is required for on-line submissions to exhibits and shows.

Go to Gloria's blog for the video.
Be sure to leave a "thanks" for Gloria ... she is an incredibly generous author, as well as an award-winning fiber artist.

Friday, November 18, 2011

From Felt to Fabric - book giveaway!

Since I am not a felter, I thought I would provide the publisher's description of the book:

"Acclaimed fiber artist Catherine O'Leary introduces her distinctive, painterly approach to nuno felting with trademark techniques that make the craft easier to master, more creative, and more personal. Her exciting innovation, nuno pre-felts, integrates commercially printed fabric into the process and then uses these patterned pieces as design elements to create artful wearables and accessories. O'Leary explores principles of art and composition, like shape, color, and texture, and offers aspiring feltmakers inspirational projects plus a gallery of works illustrating the wide-ranging possibilities of her method."

All that is just to say that this looks like an easy, vibrant method of creating art-to-wear without the technical process being too complicated.  The instructions look clear and easy to follow, and there are tons of gorgeous pictures for illustration and inspiration.

As I said, I'm not a felter, so I'm giving this brand-new book away.  If you'd like a chance at winning it, just leave me a Comment below, and I'll have a drawing on Monday.  Good luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quilt Festival 2011, Part 4 ... some quilts and friends

First, some quilts made by some very dear friends of mine ... in the category of Texas Guilds' Award Winning Traditional Quilts, 2011:

Total Eclipse, by Sharon Dixon

1950's Santa Quilt, by Barbara Wafer; quilted by Barb Knoblock

Flowers in My Cabin, by Shirley Chriss; quilted by Linda Teddlie Minton

Flowers in My Cabin, detail

Flowers in My Cabin, quilting detail
Standing Strong, by Sharon Dixon

One night several of us walked to an unfamiliar restaurant several blocks from the hotel for dinner.  It was cold and windy (unusual for Houston!) but we had a wonderful time.

Maggie Winfield and me ... our yearly snuggle.

Best buds Sharon Dixon and Jody Gantz having a giggle ... before or after margaritas?
A tiny glimpse of the huge Food Court at the GRB Convention Center.

In yesterday's post, I showed a picture of "Alice's Odyssey", a group challenge quilt made by 16 members of the Beyond the Borders art-quilt group in Katy, Texas.  Here are some of the members, gathered at different times in front of the exhibit.
Exhibit placard -- it was a single-quilt exhibit!

Connie Fahrion, Hannah Mallon, Sara Norris, Elaine Connelly, Cathy Winter 

Sitting: Nancy B. Dickey, Linda Teddlie Minton, Ann Schaefer, Cathy Winter
Standing: Cheryl Johnson, Jo Sweet
and here's the quilt again, so you don't have to flip back to look for it:
Alice's Odyssey
Each puzzle piece was created by a different artist, based on a chosen
theme from Alice in Wonderland and conformed to a specific puzzle shape
in order to fit in with the others.  The edges were satin stitched, and the
individual pieces were painstakingly assembled onto a quilted background by
Nancy Dickey.
On Friday night, Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison gathered all of the participants they could, of the "Space Between" exhibit sponsored by their Dinner at Eight Artists group.  We had dinner at Spencer's Steakhouse in the Hilton Americas Hotel ... a fabulous (and fabulously expensive!) restaurant worthy of our exalted presence.  We even had the Chef's Table, along with appropriately superb service.  Here are just a few of the more sedate (?) moments of the evening.

Karen Rips and Rachel Parris

Susan Brubaker Knapp & Leslie Tucker Jenison
Frances Holliday Alford & Gerrie Congdon
Barb Forrester and Susan Fletcher King
Jamie Fingal and me
Susan Fletcher King and Judy Coates Perez
(don't hate her for wearing a fur coat ... I think that's Barb's hair on Susan's shoulder!)
The Adorable Deb Boschert and the Inimitable Jamie Fingal debate wine choices.

Judy and her daughter Indigo Perez.  Indigo is a fine artist in her own right,
and always a welcome addition to our table.
Leslie starts us off with the D@8 tradition of "spoonology" ... a fine old art.
Susan B.K. shows us how it's done.
Terry Grant gets it right the first time!
Barb carries it off with aplomb.
Jane LaFazio sets up her spoon
Susan F.K. looks like she's been doing it all her life.
Step 1:  Frances misunderstands the concept.

Step 2:  Frances reinterprets the concept.
Step 3:  Frances shows us how easy it really is.
The end of a long but lovely day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Art Quilts, part 3 ... from Quilt Festival 2011

Here are the last of the art-quilt pictures from Quilt Festival ... at least the ones I was able to salvage.  Some were so poorly lit or badly focused that I couldn't publish them here.  And I'd give anything to be able to show you some of the gorgeous ones from the "No Photos Allowed" exhibits, but my mama raised a Good Girl, so I kept my little camera safely shuttered in those aisles.

Please enjoy these images, and remember that you can click on them to get an even larger view.  It's never as good as seeing them in person, but I hope they have given you at least an idea of the beauty, inspiration, and joy I find every year at Festival.

Alice's Odyssey, by 16 members of Beyond the Borders

Bee, by Nancy Dickey

Doorkeepers, by Rita Summers

Flaming Mandalas I, by Anne Lullie

It's Risky Being a Beer Drinking Mantis! by Carol Fletcher

Making Her Exit, by Pamela Allen

Solo Act, by Peg Collins

The Antechamber, by Linda Teddlie Minton
(Yes, I know it's in the "No Photography" section, but it's my quilt, so I was allowed.)
This was part of Dinner at Eight's special exhibit, "The Space Between", curated by
Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison

The Hen Party, by Beth Porter Johnson

The Hen Party, detail
Winter Blooms, by Barbara Persing
Winter Blooms, detail

Woodland Secrets, by Frieda Anderson

Yellow Billed Hornbill, by Barbara McKie

Yellow Billed Hornbill, detail

Artist Village placard, with names of artists who participated.
Can you tell who made each of these houses?
Some are easy to identify, some are not so easy.
Honestly, I feel like I "know" which ones are which, but
since I don't have confirmation, I'll just leave it to you to guess.

 Well, that's all the art-quilt pictures, but tomorrow I'll post some more pictures from Quilt Festival, including some traditional quilts and some people pictures.  Enjoy!