Saturday, April 28, 2012

Willie Cole-Scorching For the Sake Of Art

Garden (Ozone Summer series). 1991-scorch marks on canvas-94 x 48 in.

Last year the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City featured Pattern ID. Visually, the exhibition was incredible with a group of artists that spanned the world.  For me, Willie Cole was the favorite.

Willie Cole is best known for assembling and transforming ordinary domestic and used objects such as irons, ironing boards, high-heeled shoes, hair dryers, bicycle parts, wooden matches, lawn jockeys, and other discarded appliances and hardware, into imaginative and powerful works of art and installations.

I have read that as a young man he was fascinated and collected old irons.  Irons shows up  repeatedly in his work.

An audio pod cast of an interview with Willie Cole and "Pattern ID" curator Ellen Rudolph discuss the relationship of pattern to society and its manifestation in art.

Willie Cole  (American, born 1955)
Sunflower, 1994
Willie Cole
Willie Cole
Scorched canvas and lacquer on padded wood
Tampa Museum of Art. Museum 

Willie Cole
Pressed Iron Blossom No. 3,
2005 (05-314)
5-color lithograph
35 7/8 x 47 3/4 inches
Collaborating printer: Bill Lagattuta
Edition 22

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Garden Thyme-Hostas, Mason City, and Frank Lloyd Wright

I first fell in love with Hostas in Mason City, Iowa. We were touring the Frank Lloyd Wright Stockman  House, a preserved Usonian house.. All around the property were beautiful huge Hostas with dark blue green leaves.

For years after that, I would buy what ever Hostas Wal-Mart had on sale. Finally, I decided that if I wanted the big blues or "Blue Giants" I would have to search harder. I now have these beauties but it will take a few years for them to reach their full potential.

Hostas have always been faithful plants for me. I ignored them for a few years, and they kept on growing. They don't get ignored anymore. I have about 30 different types. Some I know names of, some I don't. Last fall, I planted some miniatures, Stiletto, Pandora's Box, Little Mouse Ears, and Brimful Cup. I will probably plant more miniatures this fall.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Give Those Hands Some Gloves!

 I decided that after 25 years in knitting, it was time to knit gloves and knit them for my kid.
Step one was to trace a hand and take all the appropriate measurements that are needed for a fitted glove.  I then turned to two of my tried and true resources. My two books of reference were Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting (Dover Press) and an old article from a Threads Magazine book when Threads actually had knitting articles. The good news is that there are still used copies of this book floating around that can be snagged on Amazon. But the book that was the biggest help of all was Ann Budd’s book The Knitter’s Handy Bookof Patterns. This book was invaluable to me. I highly recommend it. 

                                            The Diagram
I would use this diagram with my daughter's hand measurements to plan and to check my knitting as I went along.  The hand length and finger length were the biggies for me.

Glove Notes
·       Taking an accurate gauge is the trick to having gloves that fit (seems to be true about anything in knitting that needs to fit).
·       I worried about having holes between the fingers during the set up row.  I solved this by actually casting on more stitches than I needed.  On the next round I would K2tog as needed to get back to the correct number.  This step solved the problem and is not noticeable. Or at least I don’t think it is. This is just one of many tips that Ann has in her book about knitting gloves. 

There are a lot of free glove patterns out there. Pages and pages can be found on Ralvery alone. I have just lately downloaded a free glove collection from Interweave. They have many “a gratis” eBooks.  

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What To Do With My FLOR Samples

So I probably went over board ordering FLOR samples in trying to get just the right look for my rooms.  Yesterday, I was staring at all of them and decided to get out the duct tape and see if I could actually put them to more use than just taking up space. And I now have my FLOR sampler rug for the back door.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Old Survivor

Michael and I have been taken by this tree every time we go to Joplin.  It is on 20th Street just west of RangeLine. Today, we both finally had our cameras with us.  The Home Depot, WalMart and Academy are nearby. This tree is an Osage Orange. By the size of it's trunk, Michael thinks it is about 75-100 years old.    It is amazing that one single leaf is growing on this tree after what it has been through. But that is Joplin for you, pretty darn amazing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Seeing Purple (for quite a while now)

What started out as a small project for my newly adopted Poodle Sophia turned into a two-year marathon for my youngest daughter? 
I vaguely remember how all of this started.  In the beginning, I dyed some of my machine spun Shetland yarn to make a sweater for Sophia.  The people who spun it (some one in Colorado) really did a botched job and I didn’t think the yarn was fit for human use. I dyed the yarn Barbie pink*. In my hurry to dye, I forgot to loosen the factory ties, so ended up with pink yarn with white stripes. Needless to say, Sophia got a sweater out of some different yarn. 

The pink on the left was the original base color.  Using violet over-painting I created  light, medium, and dark yarns to work with.

So there it sat, for a few months, my ugly pink yarn with the white stripes.  I must have been bored one day because I got out my foam brush, spray bottle and purple dye** and started painting.  Rachelle saw the yarn and loved it.   When dyed multi hues, the yarn really didn’t look too bad.  The flaws just didn’t glare out at you anymore. I came up with three shades, light, mid-tone, and dark.  This was a good initial decision because over the next several months, I would have to come back and re-dye, re-dye, and re-dye.  In retrospect, this probably was not the best-planed project.  Coming up next, the gloves.   Stay tuned.
* I have been using the same pink dye forever. It is 608 Pink (Primary) from Jacquard. These are the dyes that I first started using.  It is an acid dye, good for protein fibers.  Jacquard is a good dye for beginners. Vinegar is it’s only requirement.  Although, I have changed over to a different brand, I keep this one around.  I just like the color.  Use intensely, it is a great deep red-violet. Used sparingly, it creates perfect ranges of pink.  I love it as an under-base for violet.

** My violet is Sabraset Violet 880. I pretty much use Sabraset exclusively. My opinion is that they are the best when it come to light fastness. They do take a little more work.  Auxiliaries such as citric acid (vinegar can be used, but it takes a lot more the c.a.), salt, sodium acetate, and Albegal SET need to be used with them.  For me, it is worth it.