Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stitching at the Park

*spoiler alert - Leslie, if you are reading, you might want to skip this post until I get to see you in person ;) *

There's a brand new playscape less than a quarter mile from our house that finally opened this week (after weeks of "when will it be done, mom!!!!??? from the kids every time we drove by) we've already been here three times this week. They haven't installed good seating for parents yet, so by today's visit, I'd finally wised up and brought a fold up chair and something to keep me occupied while the kids get knee deep in dirt and work on getting blisters on their hands from the monkey bars.

I started this embroidery project for Leslie about two months ago for her birthday that was at the end of August. Yep, that's about how my craft time has been running lately: two months to finish anything, and missing important deadlines. Boo! I'm working on that.

But this is fun - sitting under a tree at the park and stitching while the kids play and the husband gets some time alone at home. I haven't noticed any weird stares from folks, but I've also had my eyes either on my stitching or on the kids, so .....

Friday, September 26, 2008

More fun events in Austin this weekend - will anyone be staying at home?

I don't plan on this turning into a blog just about fun events going on in Austin (I haven't been crafting for myself much lately, so there isn't much to report there - but soon!) There are just *so* many things going on here that I feel inclined to let you know about them. If you aren't one of the thousands of people going to the Austin City Limits Music Festival or the UT game this weekend, try one of theses other events instead:

Austin Area Quilt Guild Show - I just posted about this on today, so you can hop on over and read about it there. Looks very cool!

Free Kids Sew Event - In honor of National Sewing Month (and who knew that apparently we owe the declaration of said month to .... Ronald Reagan!?) a few area sewing shops are hosting Free Kids Sewing events. Here are the details (thanks, Malissa!)

Free Kids Sew Event from 1:00-3:00 at the following locations:
Austin Sewing and Vacuum, 1401 S. IH35, Suite 170, Round Rock
Austin Sewing and Vacuum, 8213 Brodie Lane, Austin
The Stitching Studio, 9725B Anderson Mill Rd., Austin

Kids will learn to thread a needle, sew on a button and construct a small felt animal to take home. Pre-registration is not required. For children ages 8 and up.

Friday, September 19, 2008

At the Obama screen party!

This makes me very happy ........

(and it's just a tiny part of what's been screened so far!!!!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama Screen Print Happy Hour
Or why Austin just makes me giddy

I love living in Austin - for loads of reasons, especially things like this ...

You've heard me rave about Kat and her awesome classes, and the awesome Studio 1408. Back in May, you saw me create the Obama stencil and screen it on darn near everything that stood still long enough. Now those two things are coming together!

Kat and the Studio 1408 folks are hosting an Obama Screen Print Happy Hour this Friday night. For a suggested donation of $10 (or more - all the $$ is going to the Obama/Biden campaign - straight to it!) you can come and get your Obama on ... literally. Kat has put together screens of Obama so you can stencil them on whatever you want. RAD! The details from Kat are below.

And in the vein of Obama spirit, I have yet another reason to spew love for my separated-at-birth crafty pen pal, Sarah (and her hub, Josh). They've started a cool new blog called The Obama Craft Project. They are gathering all kinds of cool examples of Obama projects and posting about them. Be sure to check it out.

OK - the details on Friday's Obama Screen Party!


You're cordially invited to the
Obama Screenprinting Happy Hour at Studio 1408

this Friday, September 19th, 6-8pm

Bring your favorite tee (or pillowcase, or flag, or tuxedo. . . )
and have it screenprinted on the spot with an image of THE MAN HIMSELF.

Suggested donation: $10
all proceeds benefit the Obama/Biden campaign

brought to you by the happy campers
at Studio 1408
your textile/screenprinting/mixed media headquarters

1408 Cloverleaf Drive
Austin, Texas 78723

Download a flyer to pass on to your friends!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Crafty Google Map of Austin!

Earlier this year, my craft guru, Diane Gilleland, created a brilliant crafty Google Map of Portland, highlighting all the cool crafty spots in her awesome city. Through collaboration from the active Portland community, it has grown to be a complex list of all places remotely craft related in Portland: fabric stores, places where you can take classes, thrift stores and more.

She wrote about how she put the map together for Craft08, and from her inspiration and clear instruction inspired me to create a similar map for the Austin crafting community. I first posted about the map on Craftzine, and I'm reposting it here in case you missed it. If you know of hot spots that need adding, add them! I love seeing the little dropped pins growing in number ..... :

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cherrywood Art Fair Applications Available

If you're an Austin artist or crafter, you need to check out the Cherrywood Art Fair web site and apply for the show. This is one of Austin's coolest holiday events, and it supports a great cause. Find out all the details on their web site, and download the artist application. The deadline to submit is September 26. Hurry, hurry! This is a hugely popular event!

(artwork by the super cool Melissa Gable!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Surface Design Crash Course Wrap Up

Wow! What a week. Spending a week with insanely creative women making art is just .... awesome. I was really glad I jumped on the chance to take Kat's Surface Design Crash Course last week.

There is almost too much to write about - so I'm gonna pull a DJ Lance Rock (Yo Gabba Gabba, anyone?) and "breakitdown!" for ya.

Instructor Love: Kat proved herself, once again, to be an incredibly prepared, patient and fun instructor. She so clearly has an incredible passion for what she does, and she really knows her stuff. She provided amazingly thorough instruction, examples, notes and experiences. I feel like I've taken an entire college course in one week. Kat just plain ole rocks.

Classmates: I don't think a more fantastic group of classmates could have ever come together. Honestly, I was in dreamy company all week long. First off, I got to take the class with my beloved Leslie Bonnell. I mean, yeah, we *work* together, but getting to spend a week *playing* together? That's just nirvana straight up.

Then I was able to do a last minute plug for the class to a gal I've admired for ages: Curlin Reed Sullivan of PippingTooth Studios. I first met Curlin a handful of years ago in a mom -entrepreneur group, and instantly developed a little crush on her. She's got the most fun spirit, and her work is just ... well, you can't look at it without smiling is all I'm sayin'. And you can't be around Curlin without smiling, so she made for a fantastic classmate.

There was Laurie who just moved back to Austin after living in Brooklyn for several years (she even took a class at Etsy labs - how rad!) She's an advertising exec who's tossed the soul-crushing corporate life to pursue a craft-based business. Hurrah!

Victoria had, perhaps, the best idea of anyone I've been around in a while: she took the Surface Design class as part of her vacation! That's right - she had a staycation of sorts and took the class during her week of vacation. How brilliant! Then there was Laura, who designs costumes for local theater companies and ended up making some of the most gorgeous dyed silk scarves I've ever seen in class. Her husband recently accepted a job in Portland, and they'll be moving in October. I asked if she could stick me in one of her boxes.

With a class this concentrated in time over one week, it's important to enjoy your classmates, and I truly can't imagine having a better group of women with which to experiment with surface design. Ladies, THANK YOU!

Class Lessons: Whewboy! We covered loads of techniques! Dip Dye, Low Water Immersion, Over Dyeing, wax resist, painting with dye, bleach discharge, screen printing, stamp carving ... and more, I think! I learned some great stuff about color that I wasn't expecting, and found the subject of surface design to be just darn interesting.

Deeper Class Lessons: This was an interesting class for me to take, because I tend to be a very bold, crisp, graphic kinda gal, and haven't done much with fabrics that have so much depth and texture. But as we learned a new technique each day and I watched the layering take place and the depth and interesting bits started to show themselves ... I was sold. It was very cool. I still don't know what I'll do with all my fabric, but I had loads of fun making it, and even more fun exploring my reaction to what I was learning.

Other notes: Studio 1408 is such a cool place to take a class. It's cozy and fun and a perfect creative environment in which to learn. Kat is an incredible instructor, and I know bits and pieces about some of the other folks who teach there, and would highly recommend them. Be sure to check it out.

And, if you have loads of spare time (don't we all!) you can look through all of my Surface Design Pictures to learn more about what we did. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Surface Design Day Five: Printing

Ok, so this isn't one of my "art pieces" from the week, but it's
making me incredibly happy at the moment.

The Gene Kelly obsession continues.....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Surface Design Day Three:
printing and prepping for discharge

You know it's gonna be a good day when it starts with a table full of
freshly burned screens .......

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Surface Design Day Three:
thickened dye day

Ugly now, but we're layering here, folks.

Diane, the plastic canvas for texturing is for you. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Surface Design Day Two:
overdyeing and low water immersion

This is a nice way to spend my birthday .....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Surface Design Day One

I have to leave class early to take the kids to the dentist, so this
is my homework - carving stamps! And *lots* of laundry.

Surface Design Class: Day One
Fabric scrunched and ready for dying

Just getting started. Cut fabric into fat quarters and manipulated to
get ready to dye. :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Surface Design Class Opening - Come Dye With Me!

If you remember my blogging about the Screen Print Crash Course I took back in May, you'll remember that it was a total blast with some incredible learning opportunities, and resulted in some very fun projects. I'm back in the saddle with Kat next week for a Surface Design Crash Course (a little birthday gift to myself) and I can.not.wait. I just heard from Kat that there is one precious spot left in the class. Let me tell you, I know two of the other folks who are taking the class and it promises to be a creative joyfest up in there. Check out the details below, and if you have any interest at all - snag that spot! Tell Kat Rachel sent ya! Hope I get to see you there!

From Kat:

Can't find the color or print you desire on cloth? Create your OWN fabric!

This class is a super-concentrated one-week introduction to the art of surface design, scheduled so that you can immerse yourself in a world of textile creativity and still have time to pick the kids up from school or get to an evening job.

Students make original tools (stamps, stencils, silkscreens) and use them to add pattern to cloth with fiber-reactive dye, textile paints, discharge agents, and resists.

This course is jam-packed with techniques and great for quilters, designers, textile artists, those who sew, and any artist looking to explore a new medium.

Beware: it's empowering & addictive (in the best way)...

$200/five days, Monday-Friday, September 8-12, 9AM-2PM

Email kat at artcloth dot com to grab the last spot!