Studio Sunday

Among the joys of a rainy three day weekend is having a lazy studio Sunday.


I'm spending some time dyeing; but as you can see, this one is a surprise for now.  Any guesses?

The multi-blue square I've been working on for the knitted Barn Raising Quilt is finished.  I'm meeting my goal of one a month — I didn't want to shut down all of my other knitting to work on it, but it's hard not to.  The squares all look so pretty together.  I need to pull them all out soon and do a photo of them together for you to see how it's coming along.


I'm devoting most of my day to working on a collage piece.  I started this a while back, prepping the canvas and dyeing a piece of silk organza to lay down as the background.  The problem was, I liked that simple, paler-than-ballet-shoes-pink rectangle so much I became unable to work on it.

Yesterday, an old post card of the Capitol caught my eye and I decided to play with this piece.  It is evolving into a multi-page altered book spread, done on one canvas.  This is an idea I've been playing with for a while.


The basics of each of the three pieces are blanked in, but I'm still working with ideas for unifying the piece and I'm still auditioning the embellishments.  I'm hoping I can find a larger skeleton key tucked away somewhere, as the one thing I definitely want is a long key that stretches all the way across the middle collage.


I like the buttons anchoring the bottom here, but am thinking I may want some darker buttons.  Either way, I'll sew them on as the last step.


I'm still debating how to adhere the mica here.  I rarely use mica, but it seemed just right on this piece.  And that sweet little flower, which came off of an old hat, is definitely destined for this piece.


This last segment is still very unformed.  In the studio it isn't shiny as in the picture, but rather it's a very textural bone colored base for the tiny collage I've temporarily adhered with nail heads (who knew you could make them gold by smashing them into a gold stamp pad and baking the color on with a heat gun?)  This part is very much in play still.  Really, the whole thing is.  I'm glad to have some time to see what it's going to become.


Sally Jean Alexander’s Soldering Class: The Love Bird Necklace


A day with Sally Jean tends to be fun, silly, educational, and ultimately exhausting!  I was so engrossed in the work that I never made it out of the classroom for work.  I'm part way through my Love Bird necklace.  You can see the pieces laid out above.  I still have some sterling chain to solder in place.  Sally uses a clever design involving lobster clasps to make the whole thing go.  I'm really looking forward to wearing this piece.

The class starts with collage, moves on to doing the artwork to go behind each piece of glass, and then on to soldering and assembling.


Sally Jean likes to give out random pages of text for her students to use.  There is always an element of serendipity to the pages.  But never as much so as with mine today, which made reference to Judge B.  Since the Judge is at home, minding a household of children (and hopefully not feeding them too many Hot Pockets), this seemed like a fabulous inclusion for a necklace about love.


Tomorrow is the last day of Art and Soul, and I'm sticking with my theme of soldering, doing one last class with Sally Jean.


Erosion Bundles: In Place

It's cold; cold for Alabama, at least.  By the time I was done, I could barely wrap the gardener's wire I was using to put my bundles in place.

All three

I've wired all three bundles to some chain link fencing (a little rust from rain run off?) near the bottom of our yard.  Our dogs and cats observed the process with great interest and I'm watching to see if the squirrels and birds will get involved.

I've named each of the bundles to make it easier to follow their progress:

  • Art


  • Phoenix


  • And Canvas


Now it's just a waiting game to see what happens.  Cold is in our forecast — perhaps a rare Alabama snow later in the week.  I've placed them where they are sure to have tree blossom, nuts, and leaves rain down on them, hopefully leaving some dye marks on the outer wrappings, at least.  And some rust would be nice.  But there is no telling what the result will be.


Erosion Bundles

The idea behind Erosion Bundles is simple — take some items you want to use in collage or assemblage, expose them to the elements in a random fashion for several months, and see what turns up.  The idea seems to have been first adopted by a blogger named Seth Apter, whose thought was to “hang, bury, submerge, or just place” the bundle one made of one's art objects in the elements.

When Kris came up with the idea of a group of us setting bundles out now to use in a collaborative book later on this spring, I found the idea to be irresistible.  I've put together three bundles to set out in the morning — I'm thinking about wiring them to our back fence and subjecting them to the dogs and the seven year old, along with the rain and the mud.

The first bundle is actually a thinly constructed wooden box, hinged, that I have filled with some papers I want to use and wrapped in denim.

  • Bundle1
  • Partlywrappedindenim
  • Inthebox
  • Someofthegoodies
  • Papers

The second bundle has a linen canvas for its base.  I have tied a series of objects onto it, leaving them quite exposed.  The objects include a glove, a slide, a fragment of a ruler, some painted papers, mother of pearl buttons, and some silk fabric.

  • Bundle2
  • 2almostready
  • Itemsfor2
  • More items
  • Gloveandbuttons

 The final bundle starts with an old notebook — I found a stash of these in our local Storehouse furniture store when they went out of business several years ago.  I've placed papers and fabric and German scrap and other ephemera in between some of the pages before wrapping them in cotton sheeting and kitchen twine.  At the last moment, I stamped a small canvas with the word "Phoenix," anticipating that the items in the bundle will rise out of their exposure in a few months and have a new life.

  • Bundle3
  • 3
  • Bookwrappedinburlap
  • Page1
  • Page2
  • Storehousebook