Holiday Market and “The 100″

CTCA Holiday display 2014The Holiday Gift Market is open at the Crooked Tree Art Center in Petoskey, Michigan.  The format is different this year.  Rather than galleries set up like the usual holiday craft shop, the gallery artists were invited to participate and our “gift” items are displayed along with our gallery art.  I will not claim credit, however for the large ceramic vases but I think they look good with the quilts.

“Salvage-Selvage” an exhibit by the Fiber Artists Coalition opened at the art center this past weekend and I will get to the Crooked Tree again soon to take photos to share with you.

I have moved my sewing machine, cutting table, etc and some of my supplies from my studio to the house for the winter. I have winterized the studio so I don’t have to heat the building but I can still get access to supplies (wearing a coat, hat & gloves).  And with the sewing machine set up in the den its not as big a commitment to spend a little time sewing.

I am pleased to be an invited artist for “The 100″ to be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. The goal for this fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is to raise $10,000 in one day.

How? All the details are here: 

http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/FFACThe100Fundraiser.html

I have been making small constructs that might, or might not, be used in a new piece I am making specifically for this event.

small constructs

Quite a contrast between the brights and the neutrals.  The neutrals reflect how I feel right now and the brights project how I want to feel again.

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Baby Steps

I am finally spending a little time in the studio, sewing strips together then cutting them up and recombining.  Free-piecing, so to speak. Its therapeutic.  I am working from my scrap boxes.  I don’t feel like cutting into yardage and it feels right to be working with the leftovers from other endeavors.

My choices tend toward darker shades.  Not surprising.  I will just continue. I have lots of scraps. This little piece represents my first baby steps back toward making art.

darkness 72 dip

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The Last Gift

On May 30 my husband and I celebrated out 39th anniversary.  We decided against gifts since we had just purchased a house in North Carolina and we had our hands full getting our Michigan house ready to sell.  We’d be celebrating our 40th in a new house. We went out for a nice dinner and its a memory I will always cherish.  Bill died suddenly 12 days later.

Bill’s funeral is this Saturday, on his birthday.  Family and friends are coming from out of town.  Its going to be a bitter-sweet weekend for me seeing all of them.

After our parents died we discussed our funeral arrangements and agreed that neither of us wanted simple services and no fancy urns but when I picked up Bill’s ashes a few days ago I saw how tacky the box was.   I knew right away that I had to make a fabric box to cover it.

Summer-fall

So for the first time in 6 weeks I picked up fabric and scissors and began to work.  Years ago I made embroidered fabric boxes and I pretty much remembered the process. I had a nice piece of white dupioni silk for the base fabric and for each of the four sides I designed a simple motif representing one of the four seasons here at the lake. Bill loved nature and the gorgeous setting we’ve lived in and I wanted to honor that. I finished last night and I realized that while I was working on this one last gift for Bill that I started to feel a little alive again.

Fall-winter

People start arriving tonight so I need to get ready for that now but I feel I have accomplished something and perhaps I will find some solace in working again.

winter-spring

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A short update

I am taking a hiatus from art.  Right now my life is in turmoil.  I will share two things.  The first is art related, a nice article from the Petoskey News-Review about a piece of my artwork that is on display as part of a regional SAQA exhibit at Michigan State University.

http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/community/local-fiber-artist-expresses-her-michigan-memories-in-msu-show/article_eafd6797-2e1f-564a-8b5f-db1b5a12187f.html

The second is my dear husband’s obituary.

http://www.petoskeynews.com/obituaries/william-bruce-bill-briggs/article_9b82389e-84a1-54a3-acf8-bfad58a706b2.html

We were planning a move to North Carolina and had even purchased a house in Weaverville.  My intent is to follow through with our plan as best I can alone once the house in Michigan is sold.

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No Time for Art

Much has happened since I posted here two month ago.

For some time we have been talking about moving to a milder climate and last month we bought a house in Weaverville, North Carolina, just outside of Asheville.

Our Michigan house is for sale and getting the house and studio ready to show has taken most of my time.  With our prolonged winter it has been a formidable task.

Luckily I started preparing for a move in December but getting rid of (at least) 10 things every day. I have made countless trips to recycling and the charity resale shops.  I have sold items on eBay and Craig’s list.  I have given away almost all my craft items, books and doll house items.  And it feels wonderful to be free of things I no longer love or no longer need.

I’ve had very little studio time but I did manage to finish a piece I started in a workshop I took with Gwen Marston the day before I went to Asheville and fell in love with the new house.  Gwen’s workshop was about creating abstract quilts using only solid fabrics.   I almost never use solids so I had to buy some fat quarters just to have a decent selection of fabric.  Turned out to be a lot of fun and I love the contrast that you get with solids.  I like it enough to try a couple more and then see how I will incorporate solids with my usual batik and hand-dyed fabrics.

29" x 17.5"

29″ x 17.5″

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What Happened to February?

Its the shortest month of the year but around here it often feels like the longest month.  Cold, snow, colder, more snow.  This year the weather was terrible, like most of the eastern half of the US but my month flew by.

Circumstances limited my studio time but I concentrated on two pieces with imminent deadlines

Golden Marsh 34" x 34"

Golden Marsh 34″ x 34″

Golden Marsh is my entry for a Michigan Regional SAQA exhibit “Michigan Memories”.  Work needed to be created specifically for the show and while I was tempted to just create something white-on-white to memorialize this memorable winter I decided that spring is a happier memory so I returned to my marsh marigold series.  Working with the bright colors was a good antidote to the white & gray outside my window.

Jazz Flow 29" x 29"

Jazz Flow 29″ x 29″

Jazz Flow was a more challenging project.  Its for “Got Jazz?” an upcoming traveling exhibition of the Fiber Artists Coalition.  I wanted to create something that represents what I hear in the music without using any literal imagery.  I started this last year and various parts lived on my design wall for a while before I figured out how I wanted to make them come together.

I set Feb. 28 as my deadline (to give myself time to be done a bit ahead of the actual deadlines) and photographed them over the weekend.

My goal for March is to finish the samples for a workshop I’m teaching in April.  And to get back into blogging once a week or so.

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Color Therapy Continued

I enjoyed the process of free-piecing the log cabin assemblies and  decided to use the same 4 colors but with red as the predominate color for the log cabins.  The red called out for more lime green.  Purple and turquoise played supporting roles.

"Don't Worry; Be Happy!"  approx 21" x 21"

“Don’t Worry; Be Happy!” approx 21″ x 21″

And I think though this piece has the same elements it has a very different feel.  I worked on this piece in frigid single digits temps and a snow storm.  I’m wearing a lot of layers and taking breaks to put more wood in the stove. But the colors made me happy and soon I was singing Bob Marley’s song.  So this piece has a name.

I worried a little that working with such bring, saturated color that I might not be paying enough attention to value but when I took black & white photos (something I often do when creating a composition) I was happy to see a decent mix of values:

first compostion

first composition

second composition

second composition

Tomorrow I will start a different grid exercise.  Time for a new palette. Something with blue.  And with blue I will want orange and ???   If I’m more-or-less  snowed in at least I can play.

 

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