Foto Friday: Found Alphabet

August 28th, 2015

This week’s assignment was to find a letter in the alphabet–specifically one of your initials–for your assignment.  Since I teach this exercise in my quilting design class, I didn’t want to go with the expected like a creek or shoreline or the neck of the pink plastic flamingo.   So I opted to take a photo of the top of the dining room chair, duplicate, flip, and tweak in Photoshop.  Fun!

Egads what a production!  Such a simple idea:  merge the tops of my dining room chair into an “S.”  Took eons with deleting, blending, re-doing, etc.  Finally used liquify when I couldn’t manage to blend the variations in the blue wall!  But I didn’t want to go find a stream or hose, so here we are!

Egads what a production! Such a simple idea: merge the tops of my dining room chair into an “S.” Took eons with deleting, blending, re-doing, etc. Finally used liquify when I couldn’t manage to blend the variations in the blue wall! But I didn’t want to go find a stream or hose, so here we are!

Been busy dyeing fabric and puttering about the house this week.  Hope to have a few more posts soon!

 

Dinner@8 Artist interviews–my turn!

August 21st, 2015

Today is my day on the Dinner@8 blog.  Each year, Jamie and Leslie interview the accepted artists and feature the answers on their blog.  I love reading these interviews, even when they are people I know in real life (as in, in person).   I invite you to visit here for my interview and here for the general blog address.  Tune in every week day now through October 7th!

And just as a reminder and so we have a nice picture, here’s my entry for this year’s Affinity exhibit:

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

Foto Friday: Old Paint and a Tenth Blog-o-versary

August 21st, 2015

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday!  It is, according to my calendar, my TENTH anniversary of blogging?  How the heck did that happen, ten YEARS?   So I’m celebrating with TWO posts today.  The first is my Foto Friday from my 52-Week Photography Challenge class with Ricky Tims, and later today I’ll post about my Dinner@8 interview.

So this week’s challenge was Old Paint.  Here are my top three choices:

This is the photo I submitted as my class assignment. A picturesque (means falling apart) buidling on our property. LOVED this shot but it needed some work. Deepend the leaf shadows, then dodged the shadows on the left part of the hinge so it was more visible. Reduced highlights a tiny bit. Selected the cracked windowpane and lightened as it was too dark—overpowered the rest of the door. Summer in Maine!

This is the photo I submitted as my class assignment. A picturesque (means falling apart) buidling on our property. LOVED this shot but it needed some work. Deepend the leaf shadows, then dodged the shadows on the left part of the hinge so it was more visible. Reduced highlights a tiny bit. Selected the cracked windowpane and lightened as it was too dark—overpowered the rest of the door. Summer in Maine!

Here are a couple more:

This might have been my choice but once I was home (and didn't want to drive 22 miles back into town round trip). Had high hopes for this one, but disappointed in the depth of field…f/13 not enough. Would have been better with flowers and siding crisp. May try to head into town and try again.

This might have been my choice but once I was home (and didn’t want to drive 22 miles back into town round trip) I saw on my laptop that it wasn’t crisp. Had high hopes for this one, but disappointed in the depth of field…f/13 not enough. Would have been better with flowers and siding crisp. May try again the next time I’m in town with my camera.

Another shot of the picturesque (aka decrepit) building on our property. Why no door on the right? Because it LITERALLY came apart into a crumpled heap. And the plywood that has covered up the opening blew down late last winter. Need to fix. Soon. Autumn is trying really hard to begin! Decreased shadows a tiny bit, knocked back highlights a bit more. Punched up contrast.

Another shot of the picturesque (aka decrepit) building on our property. Why no door on the right? Because it LITERALLY came apart into a crumpled heap. And the plywood that has covered up the opening blew down late last winter. Need to fix. Soon. Autumn is trying really hard to begin!
Decreased shadows a tiny bit, knocked back highlights a bit more. Punched up contrast.

Other photos from this week are on my Flickr site, here. Happy Blogoversary everyone!

 

MQU: The Fourth Quilt Layer

August 18th, 2015
The opening spread of my article on stabilizing the quilt sandwich in the July/August issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

The opening spread of my article on stabilizing the quilt sandwich in the July/August issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

Over the past six years, I have been fortunate to have been invited to submit a quilt and to have works accepted in the Dinner@8 Artists exhibits and in Living Colour Textiles.   For those shows, work had to be a specific size.  The problem is that when you quilt, especially when you quilt a LOT, as I do, the quilt shrinks.  And you need to have a good composition and framing once it is done–not chopped off, not too much leftover because the piece shrank less or more than you expected.

It is hard to predict how MUCH it will shrink.  So I decided I needed to tackle the problem and acquire some knowledge.   It was a lot of work to test nearly a dozen stabilizers, so I was thrilled when I proposed an article on my explorations to Machine Quilting Unlimited and they agreed it would be a useful article.

This is the cover of the current issue with my article:

The cover of the issue with my article.

The cover of the issue with my article.

and a bit more:

This page shows some of my testing in  progress--yes, there are ELEVEN samples.  All quilted the same.  Can you say TEDIOUS?

This page shows some of my testing in progress–yes, there are ELEVEN samples. All quilted the same. Can you say TEDIOUS?

The issue is still on stands, and is available for order on the MQU website here.  The article also has a link to an on-line Web Extra with all the extensive details of the testing on various stabilizers, interfacings, and canvas/cotton duck which you can print out for your own reference.

Even happier, at the end of the article I mentioned that I would be trying cotton duck, dyed by me, as the backing instead of a fourth layer.  That quilt is made and has been juried into this year’s Dinner@8 exhibit, Affinity.  And in the January 2016 issue MQU will publish my article in their “Challenge Quilts” series about Descended From the Stars.  WOOT!

Koi at the Whistler Museum of Art–Viewer’s Choice!

August 16th, 2015

OMG! Koi won Viewer’s Choice! Earlier this year, I was elated when I learned that two of my art quilts, Clothed in Color and Koi, had been juried in to the Out of the Blue art quilt exhibit at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, Massachusetts.  I was even more tickled when I learned that Koi would be the publicity image for the show (blogpost Koi on the publicity card, Whistler).  The Artists’ Reception was yesterday, August 15, and I was so happy to see the beautiful quilts and meet many of the artists and  I was even more thrilled with the award.  I’m honored to be in such elite company.

After winning Viewer's Choice for Koi at the Out of the Blue exhibit, Whistler House Museum of Art

After winning Viewer’s Choice for Koi at the Out of the Blue exhibit, Whistler House Museum of Art

When I first moved to Maine, I visited a show at the Whistler and thought “if I can ever get in to this exhibit, I will know my skill level has reached where I want it to be.”  So I feel grateful and rewarded that a decade of learning, working hard and creating art has raised the quality of my work to be worthy of being included here.

View of the exhibit

View of the exhibit

I took many photos of the Out of the Blue exhibit, but realize I totally forgot to get one of Clothed in Color and its neighbors.  The photographer for the event got one, though, so I may be able to share that.  Apparently there is a cash award that comes with the prize–my second cash award (other one, Fields of Gold,  was in Houston a few years back), and my second Viewer’s Choice (the other was for Bijagos Warrior, many years ago at the San Juan County Fair).  Needless to say, I’m thrilled and honored.

Betty Busby won two awards, The Whistler House Award and Juror's Award.  One was for this stunning southwest landscape (sorry I don't have a non-blocked-by-person image!)

Betty Busby won two awards, The Whistler House Award and Juror’s Award. One was for this stunning southwest landscape (sorry I don’t have a non-blocked-by-person image!)

Then, there is Betty’s dramatic Willow Revisited:

This large quilt by Betty Busby won the other award.  It is quite large and very stunning.

Willow Revisited, 66 x51 inches.  This large quilt by Betty Busby won the other award. It is quite large and very stunning.

Jill Kerttula also had two breathtaking pieces in the show.  I kept going back to look at VA Beach.

I was absolutely enchanted by Jill Kerttula's two quilts.  She described how she loves photography, and makes works where the photo is enriched by the stitching, and the stitching is supported by the photography.   This piece is

I was absolutely enchanted by Jill Kerttula’s two quilts. She described how she loves photography, and makes works where the photo is enriched by the stitching, and the stitching is supported by the photography. This piece is VA Beach.

Blue Brush by Jill Kerttula also won a Whistler House award and was impeccably designed and created.

Blue Brush by Jill Kerttula also won a Whistler House award and was impeccably designed and created.

The level of excellence of the selected works was tops.

Viewers looking at Koi.

Viewers looking at Koi.

Here are a few other of the many good pieces, art quilts that struck me:

 is made by  and has wonderful quilting.

Volta #4:  Confrontation, by Sandra Palmer Ciolino,  has wonderful quilting.

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Ovum Blocks #2 by Valerie Maser-Flanagan; lots of great surface design.

Two small works.

Two small works. Top:  Circle the Block by Deborah Babin.   Bottom:  The Threaded Cat Blues By Rita Daley Hannifin

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Zakim on the Charles and Blue Abstract by Lori Kay

Wen Redmond's

Wen Redmond’s Trees Singing

Your view as you walked into the gallery.

Your view as you walked into the gallery, which was set with tables for the reception.