Archive for the ‘KatherineTH’ Category

I’m more or less signing off on work and work-related blogging for the next two weeks.

I have a few Christmas gifts to finish up by Sunday night, one of the most elaborate of which is the quilt below. Katherine asked for a new quilt for her bed made with my own dyed fabrics and has been asking me for almost three months straight on a semi-daily basis. I figure that dedication like her should be rewarded and am contriving this log cabin quilt for her enjoyment. Hopefully it’ll be suitable right through her teens, as my tendancy to make traditional quilts has declined substantially. (Making this quilt, though, has been an excellent way to get to know the temperament of my new machine. Good excuse, right?)

Katherine's Christmas present

It’s been a while since I did one of these….

Incidentally, the machine? Fabulous. Beyond fabulous. I didn’t realise how nice that dual-feed system would be for even ordinary piecing, but it makes a substantial difference.

Now, off to work!

a quickr pickr post


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k paints 1
Often after I finish a largish project, I find myself at a loss as to where to go next. There was a time when this would upset me. Now I look upon it as an opportunity to explore new ideas or paths; a liberation from the constraints of being in the final phases of a project that is largely mapped out and just needs finishing. 

k paints 2

Fabric painting is one of those things that can be quite freeing and inspiring. My intention was to paint a few small pieces of fabric that could be used in an abstract or intuitive piece. The plan was to just paint and not think. I started with primary colours, three pieces of stretched fabric and had everything laid out.

k paints 3
Then Katherine found out what I was up to and the jig was up.

She took over and did all the work/fun.
These are HER artist, freeing, emotionally-driven, inspiring pieces that I can honestly say are borne of an outer child. Weirdly enough, they may be exactly what I would have wanted to have painted, had I put any thought into it.

Now all I have to do is work them into some abstract pieces. Does she get credit? Nah. She didn't do the clean-up! 😉

The first one looks to me like a bird flying into a sunset wave…..

The great thing about fabric painting with kids is that it's the one form of their artwork that generally doesn't end up being chucked. let face it, you can't keep all that paper. I save about 5% of what she does and the rest gets scrapped. The fabric, though, always gets use somehow.


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Today we did washes. First with watercolours…..

painting with katherine
Then with bathtubs!

Seriously, though, it was much easier to explain the concept of a watercolour wash to Katherine, who is just over three, than it was to explain the Mona Lisa. When asked why the lady didn't have hair on her forehead, you CANNOT tell a preschooler that it was shaved/cut off because they thought it was more beautiful then. Trust me on this one. You don't mess with a kid's idea of how long their hair should be, especially when they can use scissors.

She was better with van Eyke's "The Marriage of Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami, Dated 1434." It's full of symbols that are fairly blunt and basic in their meanings. Of course, her summation is that, "it's about a wedding and the lady was wearing a green dress and has a dog and a mirror."

Okay, she's three. We'll cut her some slack for a few months.

As you can see from the above work, we were discussing the use of colour to depict creative chaos.

The work at upper left is symbolic of artistic mental turmoil exemplified through the use of an unfamiliar medium. (A kid frantically using her mother's expensive paints before her mother finds out)

Upper right demonstrates a refining of the artist's touch so as to better demonstrate the calmness and lightness of being that one feels upon the release of stress. (Mommy wasn't mad.)

Lower left is Mommy goofing around with sunsets.

Lower right is the artist releasing pent-up rage on canvas through the violent application of greens and burnt umber in such a fashion as to symbolise frustration and strength of will. (A child denied the right to splatter green all over her mother's sunset.)

As you can see, creativity is often born of strong emotions…..


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I know how she feels

Ended up taking yesterday evening off (except for two hours of driving all over town only to find out there is no heavy-duty stabiliser in town to be had for love or money) and going to sleep early. It was really nice. Except for the 6am greyhound, which was not so nice.

The weather even seems to be behaving itself today. Lately it’s been so windy that I really couldn’t go anywhere with Katherine. Fishing a flying child out of a tree is one thing, catching a plane to Ireland to retrieve her is quite another. So it’s down to normal levels of breeziness around Torbay today, which means I might just get her out for a wander. There have even been flashes of sunlight here and there. Very odd.

Anyway, back to work….

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Divided attentionHad an okay walk. Moss still hates his halti and Katherine still travels at the speed of a two-almost-three-year-old, so we must have looked a fair sight. One woman walking a normal border collie on one leash and a whirling, leaping, psycho-collie on the other with a child in tow who insisted on jumping everywhere, usually on one foot. The only low point was when Katherine wanted to walk Wikket (which she can do on quiet side roads because Wikket will always listen to my voice commands anyway) on the busy street and I said she couldn’t. There was, of course, public hysteria. Why are there always old women around who look at you like you must regularly strangle children when that happens?

Got back, Katherine made herself a sandwich (sort of – she did most of the spreading and putting together) and we had lunch. Did some helping her to set up paints, clay, etc. and then assuaged her hurt pride when she stabbed herself with a pin. Then we had yogurt and juice and it was QRT (quiet reading time – a hold-over from when Katherine wouldn’t take a nap, but would lie quietly in bed and read and eventually fall asleep). She’s not particularly quiet (having an imaginary phone conversation with her cousin Eleanor about her other cousin’s birthday), but at least she’s enclosed and happy!

Where did the morning go?!

Trying to get through some actual real work, in and around everything, as I just realised that the deadline for the City of St. John’s Art Procurement is November 16th. The Craft Fair starts November 17th. The Comfort & Joy Piece needs to be in November 20th, although I may have a small amount of leeway on that. The Arts and Letters deadline is January 20th and hanged if I’m missing that one again! Plus the Craft Fair folks are looking for people to do demos in the lobby and I’m thinking that fabric painting might actually be a good one and that I should contact them.

I’m being pulled in a dozen different directions here. The only remedy that seems effective is to simply pick something and put one foot in front of the other and work on it. What I need are more feet…..

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Lately, while I’ve been getting ready for the workshops, things have been falling through the cracks around here. Yesterday morning I got up, had my coffee and determined that there actually were no cracks left into which things might fall. Since plugged philosophical cracks don’t tend to cut home heating costs but do tend to cause escalating chaos and general household stress, I decided to play catch-up yesterday.

Managed to get a handle on the laundry, although that’s a never-ending thing. Mopped floors, cleaned the upstairs bathroom, with help from Katherine, we tidied her room, got groceries, did two training sessions with Moss, cleaned, sorted, dried and tidied my equipment from the painting workshop. Made a dent in some of the tidying to be done around this place. It gets undone again pretty quickly, but I did make a start.

The next big job to be done in this house is a basement tidy. I have a feeling that once we get the basement shaken down, we’ll have a place for certain things. Like travel coolers, for instance, which don’t really belong in the bedroom.

So that’s the next big project, although I don’t exactly know when it will happen. Things around here have been pretty chaotic lately. We (or at least one of the “we”) have been out every night for as long as I can remember. Today is Tuesday and I don’t *think* we’re scheduled to be anywhere tonight, although that may change. John had to be at work by 7:30 this morning, so Katherine woke up and was wondering where he was. Poor kid. I was gone Saturday and Sunday mornings before she woke and John was gone today. It’d be nice to all be in the same house for two out of three meals together.

My own next job is to get stock ready for the Craft Fair, which is November 17, 18, 19 and 20. I basically have three weeks. Not only do I need to have enough stock, but I need to make sure that I have the booth design completely developed, implemented and given a trial run. I’m actually not too worried about it, truth to tell, as I have over half of my Craft Fair stock made, with more roughed out. I also have the plans and materials for the booth and have a fair idea of how it’ll go together. So I’ll spend another three weeks of consistent work during weekdays on stock manufactur and then leave the weekends for booth development, when John’s around to lend a hand.

It’ll come together. Just have to get the piece for Comfort and Joy finished up in and around things.

It’s a good thing I thrive on stress….

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It’s actually harder than it looks, especially if you don’t settle for the heel-kicking action. A good, solid instep kick in the behind is truly impossible to achieve for yourself, which is why most of us need a catalyst (really desperate cases need a catapult, but I’m not quite there yet).

Last week Sharon LeRiche from the Craft Council called and asked me if I was submitting an ornament for the Christmas fundraiser. I had been mulling around an idea for a new product anyway which might just fit the bill and told her so. I said I’d probably have something in the next week or so.

Life intervened. Melba the geriatric greyhound, had a rough week, I’ve been trying to get stuff made for the shop so that I don’t have to worry come November, the ideas from my last meeting with Laurie D. regarding our show are starting to bear fruit, John and I spent time planning and putting up the clothesline, and John had trial prep to do which necessitated long days of All Katherine, All the Time for me. Poor kid. So a week passed and the ornament went clean out of my head.

We dropped by my folks yesterday and Mom reminded me of the ornament. That I was supposed to have done. For last Friday. Shit.

Spent today panicking and trying to get some headway made on it. Life still wouldn’t go away. Dealt with a crapload of urgent Kids in Safe Seats stuff. Had a napless kid (arg). Remembered that Stephanie Porter is supposed to be calling me today or tomorrow to do an interview for The Independant THIS WEEK, meaning I need to have the house and some promo material ready for her. It’s going to be a busy night.

On the plus side, I finally found the template for the violin cover I was supposed to have made in April. I should be able to knock that into shape this evening during a break from designing.

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