Living This Creative Life

I have two favorite quotes. The first one is by Emile Zola, "If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I would tell you that I came to live out loud". I don't know who the second one is by, but it goes like this, "If you're not living on the edge then you might as well jump". Both of these sentiments sum up my personal philosophy of this experience we call life on earth. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013,
Good Morning,
My apologies once again for not keeping up here on the blog.  I realized a few weeks ago that even though the year was not over, I was emotionally finished doing my daily art work.  There are lots of reasons for feeling that way, but mostly it was a feeling of being overwhelmed by the rest of my creative/work/home life and being totally bored by the format of the daily pieces.  I really just felt that I was going through the motions and not putting in enough effort to put out good work.
But, I have been quite busy with other creative things.  The photo above is of two Arashi Shibori silk velvet scarves.  I've developed a technique to do these beauties in two simple steps with no processing in between.  They are pure joy to make!  
So, over the next few weeks as we move into remodeling our store front, gallery & teaching space, I will upload some more of the dye work that I've been doing.  It's really where I'm getting the most creative bang for my buck.
Please keep your eye out for more info about the show we're putting up in the gallery for the month of January, 2014.  It will feature all of my daily pieces.  They will be for sale beginning Jan 3, (our 1st Friday opening) here in the gallery and on line on my website.
Till next time,
Heather

Monday, November 18, 2013


\Art For Several Day, Nov 16, 17 &18,
Good Evening,
Here is the piece I made on Saturday, Nov 16th and got so busy I forgot to put up! It features a stamped flower design with really cool wavy lines surrounding the flower all in a dull black on white fabric.  I placed it on top of some really bold dye painted fabric that is filled with color and movement.
I quilted the flower lightly inside the petals with red thread and heavily around the outside edge with the same thread then added a think line of yellow quilting in the center.  The background around the flower is stitched with blue green in the white lines.  The white border around the flower is quilted with wavy yellow lines. The colorful background fabric is quilted in a pale yellow which surrounds the shapes and moves throughout the negative, white space.
I sort of like the piece,  but the quilting looks rushed and I wish I had taken more care when doing it.


This piece was done this morning as was the next piece.  It features a piece of silk that I mono-printed on glass plate using Silks acrylic glaze and Jacquard screen printing ink.  It is the ghost print from the original print used in the piece below.  I used a piece of plastic from a paper plate holder that one of the studio students, Rochelle, brought in for me as well as a comb.  
I cut the fabric into several pieces and added them to a piece of blue green/yellow green silk noil.  I heavily quilted the noil with three, fancy feathers.  Then  I quilted the hell out of all of the white negative space around the portions of blue wheels.  I kept the stitching about 1/8" apart to really push back the white and bring the wheels out which worked great.  The grid portion in the lower left is quilted following the light lines.
This piece is way better looking in person.  It's rather abstract and funky and I like it a lot. 

This piece is the original two layers of print from the glass plate.  It too is on silk.  I printed the light green portion first, painting a layer of green Silks acrylic glaze on the plate then pulling off some of the paint using a hand carved feather stamp.  Next, I painted the plate with a sparkly, dark blue green Jacquard silk screening ink and ran a comb through it several times.  Then I laid the spokey wheel down on the plate, laid down the fabric and pulled the print.
I like both the color combo and the imagery combo.  The movement of the combed lines really help to support the bold wheel.  I quilted the negative space between the spokes of the wheel about every 1/16" then quilted all of the negative space about every 1/4" in all of the light lines made by the comb.
I like this piece.  It's simple and straight forward yet interesting and such a luscious mix of colors.  
Well, hopefully I'll get another piece or two pumped out tomorrow.  
Till then,
Heather







Friday, November 15, 2013

Art Every Day, For Oct 16, 2013
Good Afternoon Again,
Here is another new piece.  I really enjoyed working with this big ass flower.  Here, I made the flower with solid black as the petals and white as the center and I laid it down on a busy dye painted background that features bold red, blue green and yellow on a white field.  The batting is green which is a color that is not in the multicolored print so it makes a nice contrasting edge.  
I kept the quilting in the flower rather simple but did it in a contrasting red thread.  Then I inlined the blue green swirls in the background with matching thread, stitched a tiny stipple in the red portions of the background then finished it off with loop d'loops in the yellow/white areas.  All in all, I really like it.  It feels so much different from the black and white flower from earlier today and I'm amazed how well the bold black flower is holding up against the very busy, brightly colored background.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Art Every Day, For Oct 13, 2013
Hi Again,
Here is another piece that I did several days ago but didn't find the time to write up.  It's a weird one, a failure you might say.  I had this nice piece of discharged hand dye that I used in the background. with the wavy lines moving across the diagonal. I then added a large triangle of embroidered cotton in a yellow orange that repeated the color of the batting.  I topped that triangle with a portion of the background fabric that has the wavy lines moving in the opposite diagonal to how the lines are set in the background.  It was my home that off setting the wavy lines would look cool. But alas, it is not working very well.  I think the problem is that I don't have enough of the yellow orange fabric around three of the sides of the top most wavy line fabric.  If I had more of the yellow orange it would isolate the fabric more which would make it contrast better with it's self in the negative space.  Live and learn!
I do like how the tiny stippling in the red violet allows all of the dirty white lines to show up really well.  At least that portion was a success.
Till next time,
Heather

Art Every Day, Friday November 15, 2013,
Good Afternoon,
Here is another new piece.  With it I wanted to play with the strong contrast of light & dark by using black and white.  I added a deep yellow for the accent, using it as the flower center and batting.  I began with two pieces of white fabrics that I had been stamped with black designs.  I used the print that was mostly white in the larger left side background area and the print that was mostly black in the smaller right side background area.  Then I layered up some solid white and solid black and cut all six flower petals at the same time.  I then cut the flower center and set it where I wanted it and surrounded it with the petals, using the black petals on the whiter background and the white petals on the blacker background.
I then quilted the flower using a deep yellow thread.  After it was stitched then I heavily quilted the white background with a small stipple and the black background following the black lines in the wavy grid.
I like the piece well enough.  It was fun to do a little applique even if it was really simple.  What I like the most is the optical illusion of how much larger the white petals seem even though they are the exact same size as the black petals.
What fun it is to control color and value!
Till next time,
Heather

Thursday, November 14, 2013



Art Every Day, Thursday, Nov 14, 2013
Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new work.  It began with a piece of dye painted fabric that features faded tones of yellow, red, orange and dark gray.  I laid it on top of red dye painted batting then quilted it heavily. I quilted big Black Eyed Susan like flowers using the dark gray circles in the background as the centers of the flowers.
Then, I laid out the four pieces of heavy canvas that I had dyed with a dark gray dye.  I left all the 'hairy' bits for added texture.  The gray strips are quilted with a pale yellow wavy line and straight lines and circles in a dusty red colored thread.
The canvas is so heavy that my camera wants to focus on it and push the other two layers; background and batting, into far negative space making it difficult to see the more decorative quilting there. 
As with yesterday's piece, I like this one quite a bit, mostly because of the high contrast.  It was a lot of fun to quilt too.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Art Every Day, Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013,
Good Evening,
Here is my latest piece.  It began with a piece of fabric that was dyed using the deconstructed silk screening technique.  Once I ripped it to size I then stamped it with one of my bird stamps using bold, black paint.  I love the juxtaposition of the three birds and the high contrast of black on white with the cool greens and blues showing through in the background.
I kept the quilting simple, outlining and inlining the birds, quilting the grid design in the upper with straight lines and stippling around and between all of the colored bits in the lower right. I really, really like the piece.  It's simple yet complicated, mod with a vintage feel and bold but not in your face, everything I look for in a piece of art.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

 Art Every Day, Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013
Good Evening,
Finally here is a new piece.  After weeks of an overwhelming schedule, I feel like I can breath and create again.  This piece started with a piece of hand painted fabric.  The fabric is painted with "Silks" acrylic glazes and is done mostly free form with brush work along with using some found objects as resists a black fabric marker and a gold fabric marker. I love all of the bold lines made with the gold pen and the play of the blue fan shapes in each of the different design areas.  I recently cut a rubber stamp shaped like one of the jacks we used to play with when we were kids.  I love that shape so much that I used it here with the black pen. I find the whole piece very playful and quilted it to match, with lines separating out the squares in the checkerboard area, stipples between all of the gold lines in the large area on the lower left, and outlining of the blue fan blades and gold wisps in the top most area.  All of the quilting was done using a medium valued tone of blue which meshes quite well with all of the paint colors.
The piece is full of movement and joy and I quite like it.
Till tomorrow, I hope,
Heather


Monday, October 14, 2013

 Art For Another Day, Oct 12, 2014
Good Afternoon Again,
Here is another catch up piece made from more discharged fabrics from last weeks retreat.  I had two light blue/violet fabrics, one with a floral discharge design which I silk screened on with one of my stencils and the other with triangles all over it discharged with a hand cut stamp.  I layered up the floral strip with a deep violet silk noil on top of a light violet silk gauze.  I laid that trio down on the triangle print which was sitting on top of a violet dye painted batting.
I simply outlined the floral print and top stitched around the edges of the fabric it was laying on.  Then I stitched around all of the triangles and stitched angled lines between them to push back the background. I like the soft, subtle tones of this piece as well as it's depth.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Art Every Day, Oct 14, 2013
Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new piece.  It is made from a fabric that I discharged while on retreat last week.  I added a couple of narrow strips of black linen as well as some black batting to the discharged piece and chose a very, very simple layout so as to really show of the flower and the fancy grid printed in the fabric.
I quilted everything with matching red violet thread beginning with the black strip on the left which is stitched with an 1/8" grid.  Then I outlined the flower and added some stitching inside it following the lines in the petals.  The background is a mix of stippling and outlining and inlining the grid design.  I then couched on a narrow black strip for the flower center.
When all of the stitching was complete I added a bunch of iron on crystals to the black strip and the flower center to give them both a punch of interest.  The piece has a subtle beauty along with some funk.  I like that.
Till later,
Heather

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Art For Oct 11, 2013,
Good Evening Yet Again,
Here is another piece made with some of the fabric that I made at the Taos retreat.  The background fabric was dispersed dyed using Decolourant Plus in a pale gray, dark red violet and yellow orange.  The gray is printed using a hand cut stamp.  The orange was done with the end of a sponge and the red violet was sprayed on with a mister.  I chose a medium gray cotton, a dark red violet cotton and a yellow orange/orange silk noil. It's all set on top of some black batting.
I'm sorry that the quilting isn't showing better, but it's great.  The dark red violet strip is stitched with circles.  The orange is stitched with straight lines moving in a swirl to the center of the shapes with the lines about 1/2" apart.  The gray is stitched heavily with a tiny stipple and the background is stitched with an all over interlaced triangular design that surrounds the orange rectangles to show them off.  
The piece has great depth due to the density of the quilting in each of the physical layers.  I love this color way with the red violet and orange along with gray.  It's a bit retro yet ultra mod at the same time.
Till tomorrow,
Heather 

Art For Oct 10, 2013
Good Evening Again,
Here is a piece that I disperse dyed while at my Taos retreat last week.  This statement, " ...and then we set it on fire." will be the theme of next year's Taos retreat.  I absolutely love the sentiment.  It has so many meanings.  We did set lots of stuff on fire while at the retreat; batting, fabric, sage and we melted Lutradur, felt and Peltex too. But the statement can also refer to how "hot" our students were and how wild some of the techniques are that we taught but most of all it refers to how fiery the art is that was made during the week. 
For this piece, I chose a piece of hand dyed cotton, some hand dyed Mexican Jute and some dye painted batting, all in varieties of violet.  I lit the edges of the dyed cotton to burn it then layered it up on top of the jute and batting and topped it with the bleached words. 
The words are quilted inside the letters to make them clearer and easier to read.  Then I outlined the words and heavily stitched the blue background with a small stipple.  The burned fabric is stitched in various sized swirls in matching thread and the jute is stitched with a straight cross hatch.
The piece is very simple but the quilting adds lots of texture and visual interest and the piece has great depth.
Till next time,
Heather
Art for Oct 9, 2013
Good Evening Again,
Here is a piece that I made while at the Taos retreat last week. It features a metal piece that I made in I.V. Anderson's class.  It has the words "Let it be" stamped on it along with highly textured edges.  I set it on top of a piece of Lutradur that had been dye painted a deep orange then I hit the Lutradur with a hot, hot heat gun to lace it and melt it around the edges of the metal.
I set these two on top of a piece of black Linen that I disperse dyed with bleach, a comb and a round stamp.  I quilted the black inside the discharged lines using a matching thread and glued down the metal/Lutradur bit.  I like the simplicity of this piece along with the bold metal piece and the very important words.
Till next time,
Heather
Art Every Day, Sunday, Oct 13, 2013,
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  I spent the past 5 days teaching at my retreat and did a good deal of surface design while demonstrating to students.  This piece is hand painted  using Jacquard paints.  I thought it turned out quite vintage looking, 1950's sort of.  So, I paired it with a coordinate that i painted along with some black linen and a black batting.
I laid the flower print down on the batting, topped it with the wide strip of black linen then topped that with the striped fabric.  The flower print is heavily stippled around the flowers and tiny gold dots.  The black linen has two designs, circles and lines, stitched in pink thread for a high contrast.  The wavy lined fabric is stitched with more wavy lines.
I really like this piece.  The flowers were fun to paint and quilt around and I love the high contrast of the black and hot pink! The quilting makes the flowers look as though they have been stuffed and the wavy lines provide great movement.
Till next time,
Heather


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Art for Yesterday, Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013
Good Morning,
Here is yesterday's piece.  When I finally made time to add it last night I couldn't find my camera.  I'm in Taos teaching at my yearly retreat and made this yesterday morning in the Deconstructed Lutradur class that I was teaching.  The smaller photo shows it before the Lutradur was melted and the larger photo shows the finished piece.
It's an easy process with a layer of collaged fabrics in warm colors set down on the green batting.  The fabric layer is then covered with a layer of painted Lutradur and it's all pinned in place.  Then I stitched it all with designs that yielded stitch that is about 1/2" apart.  Then I couched on some fiber swirls and hit the whole thing with a heat gun to lace up the Lutradur and reveal the warm colored fabrics below. 
I like the piece well enough, especially the lovely warm/cool play of colors, but I wish that I had not added the fiber swirls until after I had heated the Lutradur.  Then I would have done them in a color that would have contrasted more.
Hopefully I'll find time between classes to do today's piece.  If so, I'll talk to you later tonight.
Till then,
Heather

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Art Every Day, Sunday, Oct 6, 2013
Good Morning,
Here is today's new piece.  It began with this fabulous vintage postcard that I had built this wonderful little assemblage with.  It was quite a bit larger, but I cut it down to fit the size of my daily pieces.  I love the direct complement of red oranges and just slightly green, blue green. 
I stitched the postcard around the circle and the leaves.  Then I stitched a wavy line up the copper tape and did some top stitching in the rest of the red orange fabrics.  The batting is stitched with a simple stipple. 
I really like the subtlety of the layering and how the circles in the printed fabric play off of all of the other fabrics and how the darkest blue fabric bits draw the eye up and away from the postcard then back to it. I like it much better now that it is smaller.  In it's full size there was far too much batting showing and it overwhelmed the postcard.  Now the postcard is getting all of the attention that it deserves.  I love doing collages.  They provide so much artistic freedom.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Art Every Day, Saturday, Oct 5, 2013
Good Evening Again,
Here is today's piece.  It began with the small assemblage you see in the lower left hand corner.  I had made it sometime last year as a sample for something. It has a base of painted Peltex topped with several different papers, some Angelina fibers, a stream of glitter, some silk fibers, a silk cocoon and some other stuff. I threw it on top of some yellow silk noil which I then placed on the rest of a hand dye painted fabric filled with bold orange some yellow and some dull violet.  All of it went down on a base of black batting.
I stitched down the assemblage as minimally as possible then heavily stitched the yellow noil with close set straight lines. The orange background is done with a small stipple. 
I like the piece well enough, but my experiment of placing the focal point low in the corner isn't working for my eye.  I wish I had kept the yellow rectangle where it is but had placed the assemblage in the middle of it rather than down in the corner. Otherwise, I think the colors are warm and yummy and perfect for this cool weather.
Till tomorrow,
Heather
Art For Yesterday, Friday, Oct 4, 2013,
Good Evening,
Here is yesterday's piece. I had such a hectic day that I didn't get it loaded before I finally collapsed into bed at around midnight.  We had 1st Friday last night at the studio plus I'm hustling to get ready to leave for my retreat in Taos on Monday. Anyway......
This one began with some fabrics that I had layered together for some other reason, who knows, and I thought it was about time to use them. It's a rather busy, complex piece and their are areas where the layers of fabric are six deep! I like the violet/orange/green triadic color way and I really like all of the different visual and tactile textures.  The base is dye painted batting.  It's topped with a jacquard cotton with is topped with a light weight painted canvas which is topped with some yellow green canvas and some crinkled up yellow green paper with violet cheesecloth adhered to it.  There are strips of orange velvet in one of the top most layers along with some short strips of yellow green tucked under the ends of the velvet to give it greater contrast with the base fabric.  The three swirls are made from ripped strips of the base fabric.
The quilting is pretty straight forward, curvy lines in the cheese cloth area, just enough to hold it down, straight diagonal lines in the plain yellow green, top stitching in the strips, a large stipple in the violet and a wavy crosshatch in the orange.
Though there are things I like about the piece, it's a bit over the top for my taste.
Another one is coming right up,
Till then,
Heather

P.S.  Thank you Darcy for the comment from the other day.  I've been feeling a bit lonely here again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Art Every Day, Thursday, Oct 3, 2013
Good Morning,
Here is today's newest piece.  It began with the multicolored fabric with the circles on it. I love the combo of warm oranges and reds with cool blue violet and I wanted to use the circular bone beads. 
Again, it is very simply organized, this time, so that both the printed fabric and the bone beads could shine.  I quilted the printed fabric with vertical, wavy lines that move between the dark blue violet circles and stitched outside of those circles with no stitch inside so that they would pouf. The twisted yellow gold fabric is top stitched down and the blue violet Mexican jute has long, horizontal lines stitched in it. 
I've done several pieces in this series with a similar composition.  It's easy to work with, has just enough interest and is restful.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

 Art Every Day, Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013
Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new piece.  Like the work from the past few days it is centered around a dye painted fabric.  I used it for the background and pulled in the orange and the blue with additional fabrics.
It's a rather straight forward piece.  I kept it very simple so that the printed fabric could shine.  I love it's big blue circles and bold warm colors on the crisp, white ground.  It is quilted lightly, just inside and outside the blue circles.  The orange fabric is quilted heavily with and 1/8" wavy grid and the black is top stitched along the edge with blue thread.  I chose a brighter blue for the circle in hopes that it would bring out the blue in the print and it did. 
All in all, it's a nice way to let the funky fabric do its thang.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Art For Another Day, Sept 21, 2013,
Good Evening Again,
Here is another 'make-up' piece for last week when I was sick.  It was made from one of the uglier hand painted pieces that I made while demonstrating at the museum a few weekends ago.  The multicolored print included a clear green on white with stripes of dark red violet and bits of a dark violet gray.  Not a great color combo, but done at the end of the day with exhausted dyes. 
I laid the print down on some green dye painted batting and chose some dark black/gray silk gauze and some deep red violet cotton to add to the game.
I scrunched up the gauze and off set it to one side and twisted up strips of the red violet to mimic the stripes in the print.  There is very little quilting, just enough to hold stuff down.  I added the large green, bone "bead" at the last minute in an attempt to join the two disparate sides together. My studio pal, I.V. doesn't like this one - which she very seldom claims - but I like it's weirdness.  It's very different, but it's well balances, has good visual and tactile texture and nice interest.  It's just not a color way that we're used to seeing.  Imagine it in violets, blues and greens and it "feels" more normal.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Art Every Day, Tuesday, Oct 1, 2013,
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  It is like the past few days, based a a piece of dye painted fabric.  The  multicolored print came first then the reddish dye painted batting followed by the mottled orange and the mottled yellow.  
I ripped and laid all of the fabrics into position then quilted the hell out of the orange in an attempt to make it recede which I think it has.  Then I added some some circle quilting to the narrow yellow strip to echo the circles in the print.  Finally, I quilted around each of the large reddish circles in the print.
I liked it at that point, but I had ripped some strips of red fabric to use so I twisted those up and braided them loosely, something new, and tacked the braid down at the ends and a few areas in between. Now, I really like it.  It's bold yet simple, bright but not overwhelmingly so and the color way makes me happy.
I'm makin' up for some missed ones, so I'll see you back in a bit,
Till then,
Heather

Monday, September 30, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday, Sept 30, 2013,
Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new piece.  It began with two fabrics that I painted with thickened dyes.  I absolutely love making colorful marks on fabric.  It's the most creative freedom I've ever experienced.  It's a real kick to make art with them too.  Something amazing occurs when no other artist is included.  
Anyway, I chose the fabric on the right because of it's color and movement.  I love the combo of bright white with bold red, reserved blue green and happy yellow.  The dark gray bits lend it a sense of maturity that it wouldn't have otherwise.  I chose the piece for the left side because it picked up the blue green of the swirls and I chose the dark gray for the tightly coiled circles to continue with my desire to bring something other than total playfulness to the picture.
The multicolored print is quilted in white, outlining the major players and nothing more.  The blue green strip is quilted in matching thread and close set horizontal lines.  The tight gray swirls sit on the line where the two fabrics meet and act to simultaneously bring them together and separate them.  
I love the bold color and the depth as well as the fabulous movement of this piece.  It makes me smile.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Art for Two Days Ago, Friday, Sept 27, 2013
Good Afternoon Yet Again,
Here is another piece that began with dye painted fabric.  I ripped the piece to fit and had a bit of highly frayed selvedge edge to use on top along with some ripped black linen and black batting as well as a nice piece of red violet dyed embroidered cotton.
The quilting on this one is sort of counter intuitive.  I used long wavy lines to form a cross hatch in the swirly, multicolored background fabric and a pale gray thread.  I simply outlined the black linen and the circles in the red violet fabric then added the zigzag in the white strips, all using red violet thread.
Again, this piece is quite simple, but it lets the printed fabric do all of the work. I like how the swirls in the background meld into the circles in the red violet fabric.  I also like the high contract between the black and the white and bold colors.
Thanks all for today,
Heather
Art for Yesterday, Saturday, Sept 28, 2013
Hey there again,
Here is another piece I made today.  Two weeks ago I demonstrated dye painting with thickened dyes in the Quilter's Studio at the Denver Art Museum.  I painted about 20 pieces over the two days that I was there so you'll be seeing a lot of them in may daily pieces for a while.
This piece went together very quickly.  I simply wanted to use this fabulous warm colored fabric filled with yellows, oranges and red violets.  I topped it with some ripped strips of black linen and set it all down on black batting.
The quilting in the black sections alternates between linked swirls and straight lines and is done in red violet.  The quilting in the gorgeous background features lines, lots of lines, moving in every direction and stitched in yellow, yellow orange, orange and red violet.
This piece is quite simple, but the two elements; the color/texture of the background and the black strips of stitched foreground play off of each other very well and tell an elegant, energetic story.
I'll be right back,
Heather 

Art Every Day, Sunday, Sept 29, 2013
Good Afternoon,
Hope this finds you well dear reader. I have to apologize for my lack of entries this past week, but I've been rather ill with a sinus infection and walking pneumonia.  I've had to work right through it with little time to rest - the joys of being a small business owner - which slows the recovery time down, but I've got some good drugs on board now so it shouldn't be long till I'm all well.  I managed to get several pieces done this morning and here is the first.
It began with a lovely piece of pale red violet, yellow and gray that I had dye painted with thickened dyes.  I puled out a dark, toned piece of silk noil in oranges and red violets along with some yellow and some gray to coordinate with the painted piece.  I covered a piece of red dye painted batting with the multi-colored piece then ripped the other fabric into the shapes you see.  I decided on a diagonal setting for more interest and used twisted strips of the gray as well as some dyed bits of lace flowers to raise the surface.
The quilting is rather straight forward, largish stippling in gray thread in the negative space and just the stitched flowers holding down the yellow squares and couching atop the gray strips which also secures the orange rectangle.  
I really like the soft color way at play here and the interest that the gray grid brings.  It's a very gentle piece but it's not boring.
I've got a few more coming, so see you in a bit,
Heather

I Managed Today's Every Day Art,
Monday, Sept 23, 2013

Good Afternoon Again,
Here is today's new piece.  Part of it was done while filming DVD's last week.  Since then I've gotten continually sicker with a nasty summer cold, got it all; sore throat, ear ache, snot, cough, body aches and fever.  But I managed to do my artist studio duties at the Denver Art Museum this weekend.  It almost killed me, but no luck!
So, I had to get some of these dailies done.  They haunt me and when I don't get them done some of you scold me (mostly good hearted niggling, but.....).  This one began with the layered piece in the middle.  It started with a layer of sheer paper, topped with melted dryer sheet topped with ripped decorative papers in red, gold and blue violet, all held together with a light brushing of fabric sculpting medium.  Once it was all dry, I stitched the feather down the center with gold thread and added some stitched circles.
Then, I set it down on a piece of blue violet paper which I in turn set on top of some red dye painted batting.  Then I added the inlining and outlining of the feather, some blue circles and a bit of perimeter stitching.  I kinda like this one, not too fond of the color way, but like the layers a lot. It's busy, but I'll do more with the paper/dryer sheet layering and learn how to keep it more harmonious.
Till then,
Heather

Monday, September 23, 2013


Art When Ever the Hell I Can Get to It!,
For Sunday, Sept 22, 2013

Good Afternoon,
Here is a new piece that took be several days of working a bit here, a bit there to finish.  I think it looks as thought the cat ate a bunch of colorful bits and pieces of fabric, fibers and beads and barfed them all up.
In actuality it is a piece of stitched fusion set down on velvet, set on batting.  The fusion has very little quilting, most of the stitching that you see was done while it was formed.  The velvet is heavily stitched with circles/stones and the beads are glued down to look as though they were thrown across the surface.  Three days for this? All I can say is yuk.
I'll be right back,
Heather

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Art Every Day, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013

Good Evening,
I made this one this morning but it's taken me until now to find the time to upload it.  I was trying to accomplish two things at once with this one.  I needed another example of  faux trapunto for a video that I'm shooting tomorrow. Unfortunately the technique doesn't really show well in the photo which means it probably wont show well on camera tomorrow either. Damn.
I began by layering the green fabric on top of the black batting then I added wool batting under just half of the green fabric, the right hand side.
I quilted the leaf then added it's details and then quilted the background with close set straight, horizontal lines.  I didn't add too much stitching inside the leaf so that the stitching wouldn't flatten the interior of the leaf.  In person, the right side of the leaf is much puffier than the left hand side. I added some tiny circles inside some of the lines along the bottom of the leaf because the piece was a bit unbalanced because I set the leaf a little high in the rectangle.
Once all of the stitching was done I found the piece a bit lacking in interest so I added the iron-on crystals.  Now it looks a bit Christmassy which is not my thing.
It rarely works when I try to kill two birds with one stone!
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Art Every Day, Tuesday, Sept 17, 2013

Good Morning,
Done before noon, two days in a row, woo hoo! 
This piece began with the bit of black/gray silk gauze which led me to select the strip of very frayed cotton jute, the strips of light gray silk and a large piece of hand dyed brown cotton and some brown dye painted batting.  I guess you could say that I'm in an all neutral mood.
I set the jute down and stitched along it's perimeter then stitched big swirls to the right of the jute and tight lines moving back and forth along the narrow left side.  Then I added the twisted gray swirls.  I knew that I was going to add the silk gauze on top of the jute, but I thought that I would twist it up like the light gray silk and add a big bead at the intersection of the top end of the gray swirls where they all meet.  But then, I wondered what the gauze might look like with a knot tied in it rather than twisting it and I loved the result. So, I placed the knot where I thought I would put a bead and sort of spread out the rest of the gauze and stitched it down along the long edges to finish it.
I love the movement  the piece has from both the quilting and the twisted swirls as well as all of the dimensionality derived by the fabric manipulations.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Monday, September 16, 2013

Art Every Day, Monday Sept 16, 2013

Good Morning,
Boy it's been a long time since I've started a post with that salutation! Feels good to be done with today's piece so early in the day. Here she is, I began with a bunch of warm colored squares which I set on the only battingish thing I had here at home, a piece of dyed bamboo felt in a light, light red orange.  Then I grabbed the cool colored square in a square block that was left over from some other project.
Prior to adding the pieced square, I stitched down all of the warm colored squares of fabric using dark orange thread and a small stipple.  Then I positioned the pieced square and stitched it down using a bright turquoise color of thread.  I added four stitched squares for a total of five squares.  
I really like the cascading movement of the squares from upper left toward the lower right as well as the warm/cool, dull/bright contrasts.  
Now I'm going to do a quickie house cleaning then enjoy an afternoon out with a good friend,
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Sunday, September 15, 2013

More Every Day Art, For Yesterday, Saturday, Sept 14, 2013

Good Evening Again,
Here is yesterday's piece and I really like its brisk contrasts in color, line, shape and texture.  
I began with the black and white stamped square then chose yellow green and bright white along with black batting to show the block print off.  I  wanted the two white borders to be wide so that I could add the twisted yellow green strips.  I made the yellow green rectangle of background area just large enough to support the block print.
The design of the block print was outlined with white thread then echo stitching was added.  The yellow green background is heavily stitched with pebbles and the white is stitched with a small stipple.  The final addition was the strips of yellow green, twisted and couched down in curvy lines along the center of the two white borders.
Art For Today, Sunday, Sept 15, 2013

Here is today's new piece.  It began with the block printed, wavy cross hatched, black and white fabric and the little bit of black and white with the leaf print.  I chose some white linen and some red silk noil along with some red batting to show off the block prints. 
The leaf block print is outlined twice then top stitched around the inner edge.  The red square is top stitched and short, curvy lines were added in alternating directions on the two wider sides of the square.  Both the narrow and wide, white lined sections are stitched with leaves and vines then the black and white wavy cross hatch print was stitched in the long horizontal black lines. 
I really like this piece.  It's bold yet  pretty, architectural yet natural.  It has a wonderful undulating rhythm too.
Well, till tomorrow,
Heather


Art When Ever I Can,
For Thursday, Sept 12, 2013

Good Evening,
Here is a new piece that I'm trying to catch up with.  I've used some more of the dye painted silk that I've used before along the bottom and added some silk noil along the top.  then I added a strip of gray waffle weave fabric, a ripped strip of osnaberg and a twisted strip of canvas.
The stripey silk on the bottom was quilted with long zigzaggy vertical lines with yellow thread in the yellow areas and dark gray thread in the gray areas.  There is no quilting in the red areas.  The yellow silk noil on the top is quilted with one big feather set horizontally.  The gray strip is quilted with a big zig zag.
To finish the whole thing off I added a big, button dyed in a tone of read on the upper right and four strands of yellow pearl cotton tied with various dyed beads in red, yellow and dark gray.  I like the piece with it's bold stripes in the bottom silk fabric and the repeat of those verticals with the dangling
beads.
And for Friday, Sept 13,

This piece began with the darkish blue green, dye painted fabric.  I quilted it to a black batting following the darker areas using long vertical lines with zig zags used to change directions.  After the quilting was done I added the four swirls along the left hand side using blue, green, red violet and violet strips of fabric.  I then added long lines of twisted fabric along the right hand side, repeating the colors.
In person, the colors on top of the dark blue green are much more noticeable. I like the piece well enough but don't find it very exciting.  The dark areas in the background do add a nice bit on drama and more interest than a plain fabric would have.
I'll be back in just a moment with a couple more pieces.
Till then,
Heather

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

 Art Every Day, Wednesday Sept 11, 2013
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  I threw it together at the studio just before closing and just finished stitching it here at home.  It was a crazy, nutty day at work and I think it shows in the piece.
I saw the black and white dotted block print and knew it would look great with some bright colors so I grabbed the bold yellow and slightly toned red violet along with some black batting and layered it all up.
At first I planned to quilt it all in black but after I finished the pink strips I realized that the high contrast of black on the yellow would screw it all up and that I should stick with the contrasts I already had and not add any more.  So, the dots are outlined and the white background is heavily stippled then i used an overlapping, triangular design to quilt back all that yellow background.
Though the yellow is doing it's yellow thing of vying for all of the attention I think that the high contrast areas or black & white and black & pink are holding their own against it. Sometimes you just can't fight actualities.  The things that are on top are staying forward and the things that are farthest behind are staying back.  Good ol' physics.  
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Art Every Day, Tuesday, Sept 10, 2013
Good Afternoon,
Here is today's new piece and it's a bit over the top! I began with wanting to do something with some silk carrier rods, so I grabbed a handful of violet ones and then chose a red violet/brown hand dye to play as backdrop along with a pale violet bamboo felt for a base.
I pulled the rods into thin layers and ripped each one in half to yield a bunch of pieces that were about 2 1/2" long by an inch or so wide.  I laid them out, slightly overlapping in a gentle "S" curve along the left hand side of the piece and stitched them down the center to stabilize them. Then I quilted the holy hell out of the background with a really messy overlapping circular design.  I finished off the quilting by sewing around the felt a couple of times with a wavy line.
Then, the over the top fun part started. I found this weird knitted silver wire tube stuff that I had and stuffed three silk cocoons down into it, inadvertently ripping it as I did so. I stitched that down between each cocoon and on the ends.  Then I ran some lengths of deep red wire under the wire tube stuff and twisted the ends of the wires into swirls and stitched those down with may machine too and viola!, this fabulous little thing emerged. Makes me think of a big, fuzzy caterpillar with it's weird sophistication and lovely color.
Well, that's all for today,
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Monday, September 9, 2013

 Art Every Day: Yesterday  and Today, Sept 8 & 9, 2013
 Good Evening Again,
I worked really hard on getting somewhat caught up today.  Though it was my one day off today, I didn't have anything more pressing so I spent the better part of my day at the studio sewing.  It felt spending some time alone with all of the art and beautiful fabric.
So here is a piece for yesterday.  A few weeks ago in the last session of the Surface Design class that I teach, one of my students, Darcy VanPelt cut a stencil to use while screen printing.  Just before she left I asked her  if I could pull a few prints from her design.  I thought the flower would look great at the two ends of a light violet scarf that I had dyed, but, one should never really rush through screen printing.  The prints were both quite messy and really just ruined the scarf.  So, I threw it into the scrap boxes that I do my daily pieces with.  This morning I figured was as good a time as any to use it. 
I simply Misty Fused it to a piece of light red violet bamboo felt then stitched just inside all of the petals and added some long, thin veins then I stitched the center with swirls.  I switched to a pale lavender thread and stitched the background with a micro stipple to push it back.  Because it's silk, the piece is really lustrous in person, the photo just doesn't do it justice. I like the stripy dye job that I did when screen printing, it adds some nice visual interest and Darcy's flower design is fabulous.  

This is my favorite piece of the day.  It began with a piece of fabric that I had hand dyed then discharged and over dyed using Decolourant Plus in two colors; primary blue and avocado which is really brown.  I really liked the fabric so I didn't want to cut it up.  I simply placed it on top of some dark gray batting that is streaked with blue metallic paint.
I  quilted the whole thing i a pale green rayon and stitched around all of the small brown circles and diagonal lines.  I also stitched around the perimeter of the small blue circles and the large blue circles.  The I quilted tight cross hatches inside each of the four large circles.  Finally, I stitched a stipple in the background in an attempt to push it back.  
I love how all of the circles come forward and how far back the centers of the large circle are. I like it's weird, freaky balance with the one complete large, blue circles and the three partial ones, but mostly I like how all of the smaller brown circles look.  Though it doesn't show well in the photo, they really pop out and almost look stuffed in person.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

 

 Art Every Day, Make up for Sept 6 & 7, 2013
Good Evening,
I have really been struggling with my hand. When it hurts like it has been I have a hard time wanting to anything creative.  In fact I have a hard time doing anything other than feeling sorry for myself.  So, I went to see my doctor again today and insisted on getting a cortisone shot.  My insistence didn't work, so I went home with pain killers to get me through the interim until they find out what's going on.  So, pain meds on board, I managed to get several things done today.  Here is the first one.
It began with the piece of metallic lacy stuff which I stitched out of metallic thread onto black dye painted Lutradur.  I heated away the bulk of the Lutradur then laid it on top of some beautiful, blue silk velvet which I in turn laid on top of a fabric that I had dye painted dull blue then topped with various metallic paints and a sponge.
I quilted around the lacy thread bit then around the blue velvet.  Then I continued stitching with the silver metallic on the background using a rather large swirly motif. The piece is very "Game of Thrones" like and regal in person.  It looses quite a bit of it's grandeur in the photo. Can't say that I like it all that much, you would think with such interesting products and techniques it would be a bit more fancy, but I find it a bit boring.

Now, this one I like a lot more. I don't know why, but I'm really diggin this blue and brown color combo and I like the quilting too.
It began with the osnaburg fabric rectangle then I chose two different sections of the same hand dyed fabric for the two background sections.  I laid all three sections down on a dark gray batting with blue metallic streaks.
I stitched a fancy feather in the small rectangle then sections of close set wavy lines alternating with rows of circles in the upper background section then stitched straight lines with varied distances in the lower background along with one line of large circles. 
In addition to really liking the color, I also love the sense of movement in the upper portion  which is augmented by the stillness of the straight, horizontal lines in the lower background section. The whole piece is moody and somewhat masculine.
Well I've got two more done, so I'll be right back!
Heather


Thursday, September 5, 2013


Art Every Day, Thursday, Sept 5, 2013
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  Didn't think I'd get 'er done, but here she is.  Better late, than really late.
As I drove home from teaching this evening in Colorado Springs I pretty much decided that I was going to play with high contrasts for this piece.  So when I got home, I grabbed all of the solid white and solid black fabric that I had on hand in my itty bitty home studio and threw them on top of the last piece of batting that I have at home which happened to be red, so I went with red thread for the quilting to add even more contrasts.
I jumped right in and stitched swirls of various sizes on the white and straight lines on the black.  Then I added circles on the larger sections of batting that weren't covered up by fabric.  The piece wasn't as energetic as I had hoped for so I threw the red square on there and stitched it with black thread and it added that final tasty bit of energy that the piece needed.  
Who says I can't make a pretty good piece in about a half hour?
Till tomorrow, another crazy busy day, 
Heather

P.S.
Thank you both Sybil and Meg for your comments.  For those of you who don't know how to comment, just click on the icon below that says "no comments"  once you've commented it will then say "1 comment" and so on.  I'd love to hear from you, especially those of you who are far away.  I'd love to know who's reading me!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Art Every Day, Wednesday, Sept 4, 2013
Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece and you can probably see, it is very similar to yesterday's piece.  This one has the focal point on the horizon line too, however, the horizon line has been shifted to encompass the lower two axis of thirds and the piece has a horizontal rather than vertical orientation.  I really just wanted to see how the energy, weight and depth change depending upon where the perceived horizon line is and where that line is in association with any focal point.
For today's piece, I kept the warm reds for the focal point using squares of fabric rather than wild threads and I changed the background to a warm brown instead of the cooler gray from yesterday.
I also changed up the quilting style, but kept the contrasting thread color.  For this piece, I made the quilted shapes larger in the portion of brown background along the bottom (so it could appear closer to the viewer and then I stitched the same type of design in the upper portion of background, but made it smaller in scale and added additional wavy lines.
I think it's interesting how much heavier the focal point is.  It could be because there is physically more of it; it's fabric rather than thread and the line of it is longer. Or, it could be because it is closer to the bottom of the piece, where we perceive things to be closer to us and of greater import. 
Either way, it makes for a great comparison to yesterdays work, but I find yesterday's piece more interesting.
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 Art Every Day, Tuesday, August 3, 2013
Good Evening Again,
Dinner wasn't quite ready so I figured I'd quickly throw this one on. I really like the simplicity of this little guy.  The two gray backgrounds, darker on top with hints of brown and lighter on the bottom with darker vertical lines and a herringbone texture are the perfect setting for the bold textural color of the thread bits from the washer.
I decided to try a composition with a high horizon line which is why I made the two gray's the size they are and overlapped them up on the top two axis of thirds.  I kept the quilting simple, but did it in a contrasting color; hot pink.  I stitched down all of the threads with a loose stipple then added the long, pointy designs in the negative space.
I love the quite energy with the explosion of color and texture.  It was both quick and fun to do and though it is quite modern stylistically, it is warm and inviting too.
Till tomorrow,
Heather 


Art For Last Weekend, August 31, 2013,
Good Evening,
In addition to tons of other stuff, like beginning to organize my office at the gallery, I managed to get two daily pieces done this afternoon.  I'll keep this short though 'cause the typing hurts my hands.
This piece features a large and a small portion of a stamped black and white design set on solid white on a black batting.  
The quilting began with the three red squares, followed by pebble stitching in the dark gray/black areas which was followed with stitching in the white areas of the block print and the background with white.  The piece is very graphic and bold.  The large amount of white tries, lamely, to overwhelm both the block print and the red, but I got the best of it with a tiny stipple.
Now, I'll eat dinner then be back with today's piece,
Till then,
Heather

Monday, September 2, 2013


Art Every Day, Monday, Sept 2, 2013

Good Evening,
Here is today's new piece.  It is needle felted with silk hankies and silk carrier rods with a bit of wool fibers for the tree and yarn for the fence.  The leaves are stitched with silk ribbon using a chain stitch. 
I rarely do representational work any more, but I needed a sample for hand felting and figured I kill two birds.... yada yada yada.  What I did instead was kill my right hand a make it curl up in a tight ball of agony once again.  It took me three days to get this done.  Now, no hand work again till I figure out what the hell is happening with this hand.
Also, I've got to say that I'm feeling a bit lonely here on the blog.  I really miss my constant commenter, Christa and though feedback from you guys isn't why I do this whole art every day thing, it really helps when I feel uninspired or overwhelmed to know that there is someone out there who's interested in taking a few steps of this journey with me.
Guess I'm feeling sorry for myself tonight so,
Till tomorrow,
Heather

Friday, August 30, 2013


Art Every Day, Friday August 30, 2013,

Good Afternoon, or is it evening all ready?,
Here is today's new piece.  It started with the hand painted Batik flower like shape.  I grabbed it along with the yummy watermelon colored background and the bright yellow orange strip along with some bright white then ripped and layered everything up. I cut the flower as a square and the white in a square the exact same size. 
I stitched in all of the white lines of the flower with white thread then stitched around the perimeter of the flower with orange thread then I cut the excess fabric from around the flower as close to the stitch line as possible then cut the white fabric beneath it just a tiny bit larger so the at would act as an outline for the flower.  Then I stitched concentric squares and rectangle in the orange and top stitched the white along the inner edges.  I finished the piece off with the addition of feathers in the negative space to add some visual interest there.
The piece is sunny and modern and it makes me smile.
Till tomorrow,
Heather