Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Now on to other business. Grace asked how to use a laser printer to cut a Thermofax stencil. Uh- it's not that simple. First, you need a Thermofax Assuming you have one, or access to one, you need special Thermofax screen, available only from Welsh Products in California. I was going to show you how I make my screens, but I left them all in the studio and forgot to take pictures. We are expecting snow tonight into tomorrow, so I guess this will have to wait till later in the week. Oops.
Shall I go onto another topic or just forget it and go watch the Oscars? Maybe. I DID take pictures of my steaming process the other night while I was steaming a bunch of things I had printed with thickened dyes. But I think I'll save that till tomorrow, too. I shall, instead, either go bake cookies, use my new sewing machine, or read a smarmy novel. Come back tomorrow night; I will probably be here.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
At any rate, here's what started the whole thing. Isn't it fun? My studio neighbor, Claire Baker, has the most wonderful inventory of inexpensive goodies in her studio and on her blog - and I had to have this bowl. There's a fruit bowl, too. She's an artist with a wonderful sense of whimsy and is making fabulous dolls from orphaned gloves, among other things.
There were four of us at the studios today and we spent as much time chatting as working.
We are still getting to know one another, so today was special. I had said some time ago that everybody has brought in at least one chair and that I wanted to photograph all the chairs because I think they say something about the owners' personalities. What, I don't know. I'll let you play "analyze this."
Here's mine - which you have seen umpteen times. It now has a partner, but this is really my favorite. (Not that I ever SIT in it, but I will.)
Today, I borrowed Claire's ladder and put up a layer of batting over the felt. It's not as neat looking because batting stretches -- but it does mute the pink a bit more. So, it will do for the time being, till I find something better. I worked most of the day and left it in some disarray, which Claire's studio mate Kathryn says is a good thing because it means we're starting to treat it like a real working studio. Kathryn makes her living painting dog portraits, although she does other art for herself.
She brought her cute little Yorkie in today and for me to say "cute" is a big deal, since I am not an animal person. All in all, a good day.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tried to do some more sorting out of my sewing studio to make room for the new 6500 that should be arriving any day now. A hopeless task. But I did do one other experiment: life is always a learning curve, even if you are teaching. Someone told me that HP inkjet printers have black ink with a high enough carbon content to make Thermofax screens with. So, I printed something out with my HP inkjet. Interestingly, it did cut a Thermofax screen. But the same ink evidently did not have enough carbon to transfer when I used CitraSolv. Dommage.
So -- if you are doing a Citrasolv transfer, you must have something printed out on either a REAL laser printer or copied with a copier that uses old fashioned carbon toner. If in doubt, take Citrasolv and a cotton ball & spoon with you and make ONE copy at the copy shop. Turn it face down on either another piece of paper or a piece of fabric, moisten the cotton ball and rub it on the back of the copy, burnish with spoon and see what happens. If it transfers, great! If not, do not spend another penny - leave and go elsewhere. Like maybe your local library, which still has an old photocopier that charges@ 10 cents. This is akin to going to the fabric store armed with discharge paste or bleach gel or whatever, and squirtiing it on the scrap you bought. Good grief, the machinations we go through!
The other thing I did, while going through my fabrics, was to throw some stuff on my home design wall. While I was doing my discharge experiments yesterday (which turned out lousy) I found a bunch of fabric that I did a while ago. Depends on who the mfg is and what the weather is like, and how the stars are lined up, and what you use, and what mood the discharge gods are in that day. This may turn into something. Or not. It is kinda growing on me. Tomorrow is another day. (who said that/??) Perhaps I will have a chance to organize a few more things here. The problem is PackRAT syndrome. Not sure there is a cure.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
In any case, after lunch and our crit, I was doing some screenprinting and Rachel picked up my camera and started shooting. My, my, don't I look busy! No wonder I went home and crashed at 3:00 pm. The top left and right, by the way, are before and after of one of my "can this fabric be saved?"
I stayed home today and worked sorting fabric, filled up a big trash bag with miscellaneous falderol,and did some experimenting with discharge. The results were too boring to even photograph. The rest of the week holds too many appointments and potential unknowns and I probably won't be in the studio till Friday - if I am lucky.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Going to the studio is the addictive part. Not just for me, but for all of us. I was talking to Kathryn in the next door studio and she was so happy to get out of her home studio! Yep. I understand. All seven of us feel the same way - and while we are still getting to know each other, we are kindred spirits. Kathryn is a painter who does dog portraits on commission. But her REAL work is nature-oriented. We all do what we have to do to earn a living, but our hearts are often someplace else. Not mine. My heart is everywhere. I love to teach. I love to print. I love to experiment. I love to work alone, and I love having neighbors I can talk to when I need company.
This morning, I was there by 11 and didn't get home till after 5:30. When I was working at a REAL job,I left the house at 8:20 am and didn't leave the office till 5:30 - was a single parent with 3 children under the age of 11,and actually served dinner every night. Was I nuts? No. I was 39 years old. You can do anything when you are 39 and in your 40's. This went on for many years, during which time my children got older and so did I (surprise!). But never mind all of that.
Remember that really ugly piece of fabric on yesterday's blog? I screened on top of it with thickened dyes and brought it home and steamed it. I'll post the before and after when I can...part of my continuing "Can this Fabric be Saved?" program.
Meantime, busy weekend. My husband's birhday is Sunday and tomorrow, after doing errands and going to visit my mother (who will not remember that I was there yesterday) it is my turn to treat him to dinner. The one time a year I pay and he gets to pick the restaurant. Tonight, he paid and I picked the place. LOL.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Well, I was going to upload some of my better experiments from yesterday but Blogger won't let me. So, since I have been up since 4:am, I am taking this as a sign that the day is over.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Tomorrow night we are babysitting for the grands -- and I hope to take my laptop with me and catch you up on whatever. I passed a Used Furniture & Antiques place today as I was leaving the dollar store (yes, I finally found one of those places!) and maybe I'll stop by to see if they have anything interesting tomorrow. Or not.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
These last two were attempts to use up bits of paint rather than throwing them out. I used my Thermofax screens to add another layer to some unsatisfactory fabric. This one - text over construction fence and who-knows-what else - is typical. Guess I can't get away from it. This one, the last of the day - what was I thinking when I made this leaf screen? Time to go home after that. Tomorrow, I hope to get to the studio sometime in the morning. But of course, that means getting up early. NOT a happy prospect.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The hot water heater should be installed this week (YaY); someone brought in an old microwave; there is a coffee pot, a place for mugs, and a bulletin board for take-out menus. Claire Baker (not her last name for nothing, says she) made tons of yummy cookies and brought in a tin full, which she left in the common space. Claire works with textiles and her sewing machine was going all day, as she stitched up some splendid tote bags made from vintage fabrics.
It took me most of the day to get set up, and by the time I got organized and dealt with aking arrangements for my mother's discharge from the hospital to a facility where she can get physical therapy, there was about an hour left to play...uh, I mean WORK. One of the social workers asked me for my office number and I told her my cell phone IS my office number: it feels so much better to tell people I am at the office than at home. Why?
Anyway, here is how the office looked today. I can't speak for tomorrow. Standing in the workspace, looking at my 12' of design wall which I hope will be attached to the wall soon so I can cover the pink with white felt. That pink just doesn't do a thing for my work.Of course, the couple of things I printed today came out really strangely - and I couldn't even wash them out because of no hot water yet. Here is one of my experiments.
The pieces on the pink wall, above, were there because I needed good light to shoot them with. Here is one of the pieces, which, by the way, I printed at home last night while I was playing "Can this Fabric Be Saved?" I offer two jpgs of the same piece - one shot at home and t'other today in the studio. (I think the studio will be the front area and the office will be the back part of the space: one for lounging and contemplating, the other for putting nose to grindstone). But I digress. This piece, done without any forethought, speaks loudly about the subject that is uppermost in my mind these days. How the subconsious comes through, even when we are not paying attention!
At any rate, it's obvious that A (left) was shot at home and B(right) in my sunny studio. Guess where I'll be taking my pictures from now on.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Susie Monday has some comments on her blog about simplicity - and while they are a big complicated for me to grasp all at once, they do indeed have merit. The first two rules of simplifying are 'reduce' and 'organize,' two things they want you to do in succession - but which I think have to be done at the same time. I was going to head to the basement to begin the process but think I will take an Advil instead. Or better still, make myself a cup of this divine Gorilla coffee that Jessica brought me when she and Tommy came from Brooklyn today to see my mother. Expensive, yes. But the absolute best!
We picked Jessica and Tommy up at the train, I gave them a quick studio tour, and then we went to lunch at a Salvadoran restaurant in West Orange (the studio is in East Orange). The pupusas with hot sauce and pickled onions were the high point of the meal, although the other things were good, too. Fortunately, the kids are studying Spanish in preparation for their trip to Columbia to visit Tommy's family -- because the restaurant people do not speak English. We managed fine and I expect to be back there again, soon. There is a Peruvian restaurant a few doors up, which is next on the list to try. How interesting! Now, if we only had a good Indian restaurant in town, I would be in heaven.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
I don't have a lot of stuff to move - but it is heavy. The guy with the truck will take my two 6' tables, my wicker chair (not heavy but it doesn't fit into my car), an ugly brown office chair that I shall simply have to do something with: (I'm out of red paint, but I should be able to figure something out eventually); my press that weighs 120 lbs (I remember when I weighed 120 lbs); a rolling computer desk, and a carton of miscellany. What am I forgetting?? I don't have a proper table for the press - maybe we can put it on one of my studio mate's tables, since she would like to use it from time to time.
Also, tomorrow, Jessica and Tommy will probably come from Brooklyn to see my mother, who is still in the hospital with a mysterious ailment. And our adorable grandsons David & Jake are coming to keep us company tomorrow afternoon for a couple of hours. So, a busy day.
The sand truck just made its second trip up and down the street. What a comforting sound.
You know you're from New Jersey when . . .
You don't think of fruit when people mention "The Oranges."
You know that the state isn't one big oil refinery.
You know what a "jug handle" is.
You know that the state isn't all farmland, but still has plenty.
You know that there are no "beaches" in New Jersey -- there's
the shore--and you don't go "to the shore,"you go "down the shore."
And when you are there, you're not "at the shore"; you are "down the shore."
You know how to properly negotiate a circle (and you
knew that the last sentence had to do with driving).
You know that this is the only "New" state that doesn't require "New"
to identify it (try: Mexico, York, Hampshire - doesn't work, does it?).
You know that a "White Castle" is BOTH a fast food chain AND a fast food sandwich.
You don't think "What exit?" as a location is very funny.
You live within 30 minutes of at least three different malls.
You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers.
Every year you had at least one kid in your class named Tony.
You weren't raised in New Jersey --you were raised in
either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey.
You don't consider Newark or Camden to actually be part of the state.
You remember the stores Korvette's, Two Guys, Rickel's, Channel, Bamberger's,
Bond’s and Orbach's.
And finally . . .
You've NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER pumped your own gas.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Today, I also discovered an Indian grocery store nearby where I stocked up on ginger, black cardomom pods, asafoetedita, cilantro, hot peppers, graham flour, curry leaves, and papadums. Then I picked up lunch at the Caribbean health food store and got to work with paints and screens. It is very quiet there and I think I'll have to pick up a portable CD player so I can have my chamber music softly playing when I am there alone.
Snow is predicted for later tonight and I hope it is not too bad; I would hate not to go to work tomorrow. I am thinking I should just refer to it as the office.