Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photo Challenge Detail

Happily I'm back in my studio with many projects on the cutting table and design wall. Just the way one likes to be stimulated.

April 12, I posted my interpretation of Rose Alpert's ( "Lily Pads" photograph. Besides rendering a piece 18"x 24", each member of my art quilt group is also to make an 8" square detail. This is mine.

I enjoy free-motion quilting but not the marking. Usually I try to figure out a way to get the look I want without marking at all. This time, however, I traced a koi onto paper. Then, with Saral Transfer Paper ( between my drawing and the fabric I traced over my lines. While I don't often use it, I do recommend Saral. It's wax free, will not set with a hot iron, comes in various colors, washes or erases out and can be used over and over. Real pluses in my book.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm B A A A C K!

This beautiful child was showing her grandparents the flower they had just purchased for her from a vendor at the Summer Palace in Beijing.

Our trip included The Great Wall, The Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium, The Forbidden Palace, Tiananmen Square, The Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace there, our first stop on our China journey.

This photo was quickly snapped from our vehicle. We didn't just do a drive-by...we climbed and walked the wall and enjoyed the views of the city. It's the South Gate of the ancient city wall in Xian where we stayed for our visit to the Terra Cotta Army. A truly wonderful was good to see what had been unearthed since my last visit.

The following photos are from our ride on one of the canals in Suzhou, a magical place I hadn't seen in 25 years...still magical. It's a city often referred to as "the Venice of China" and about an hour (without traffic) from Shanghai where we stayed for a few days. We took thousands of photographs, literally, but I'll spare you. These are some of my favorites.

This barely scratches the surface of the things we did and was an amazing trip! Happy Anniversary, David!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm going to China! Tomorrow!

I've been to China several times before. Once to study art and history with a group from Smithsonian in the mid-1980's and twice I accompanied my daughter as her sherpa-Grammy when she adopted her two daughters.

My husband has also been to China several times...always on business to military and/or industrial sites.

We have never been together AND he has never seen the amazing things I have. Now is our chance. We leave tomorrow for Beijing. Our itinerary includes the expected Great Wall, The Terra Cotta Army in X'ian and Shanghai. And my favorite city Souzhou. Now that the I.M.Pei designed museum is open in his old home town I'm anxious to go there again. While my recent trips to China have included Beijing, X'ian and Shanghai, it's been almost thirty years since I've been to Souzhou.

This red cotton print was collected in a market in Guangzhou eight years ago. At the time it was a challenge to find cotton that reminded me of China...lots of silk but not much cotton. I'm curious as to what I'll find this time. And I can hardly wait for the yummy meals we will be having! That's been consistent over the years: Great food!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rose Alpert's Photo Interpreted

"Waterlilies" 18" x 24"

My art quilt group ( is working on a collaboration with photographer Rose Alpert ( We each are interpreting one of her works and several of us are also interpreting another in a "slice" format.

We have no deadline yet but at the end of this month we are all meeting for a progress report. As I will be away for a couple of weeks I decided to get ahead of the game for a change. I've done nothing on the slice...but my individual piece is done. So. Progress.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My first soy wax batiks

These five photos are quite literally hot off the press...and then photographed. All products of Melanie Testa's soy wax batik class on Tuesday. I let the acrylics "cure" a day and then removed the wax.

I don't care for the last one at all...a failure at my first attempt to crackle. The others are acceptable...particularly the first two. I'm might have plans for them. All in all success in testing a new mark-making technique. AND meeting the exuberant Melly! Definitely a win/win.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Melanie Testa Comes to Town

The art quilt group that I belong to Sisters in Cloth always has it's collective antennae up for challenge. And when we caught word that local girl Melanie Testa was going to be in town we moved into action. More pics are posted on our common blog: ( Also check out her website for more information and news:

She kindly agreed to extend her visit with her parents and meet with us. She offered us a workshop in Soy Wax Batik and we jumped!

Thankfully, the Guilford Art Center offered us a studio with very short notice and we were happily playing in soy wax and kitchen tools for most of the day.

The top photo is the first application of soy wax onto a piece of fabric that would ultimately be my favorite of the day (It was Melanie's...)

The second photo is my newly acquired wax pot with Melanie demonstrating the next step in layering.

This last photo is the end result of what is my favorite.

It was a glorious sunny day filled with fun, friends and...inspiration!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I'm in excellent company

A set of postcards arrived in yesterday's mail from the ArtQuilts illuminations exhibit committee.

Again, this year, I will be unable to attend the Artist's Reception. You'd think I traveled all the time. Last year we were in Australia and this year we will be in China. Okay, we HAVE been traveling a lot lately. Frankly, when the opportunities present themselves I'm afraid NOT to take them. Like my daughter says "Go. Go, Mom. As long as you are able. Go."

Back to the topic: My hope is that someone will take a photo of my work Sticks and Stones in situ and email it to me.

It was quite a thrill being judged into the PAQA South show again! And it was equally thrilling to be in such wonderful company. . . . artists whose work I've long admired.