Friday, December 29, 2006

Beadworks in Process

This week I worked on this, and another smaller version that is not a small purse (both are around six inches long but the smaller version is like a thick kindergarten pencil). When I get photos of that one I will upload, right now they are in raw format and unloadable (I clicked "save" before I noticed it wasn't in jpeg). I also started another piece in pinks, researched a few galleries and worked on the tree quilt I posted earlier this week. The house even got a little cleaner. It's amazing what actually getting to rest and not run people around all day can do for creativity and productivity.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Felty Goodness (Oldies but Goodies)

This is what happens when old projects inspire new ideas. The above piece was knit from stash yarn and then felted. It was one of the pieces inspired from what I did with these knitted bags, using Noro and either Lamb's Pride or Rowan. They had quilted and embellished flaps and were quite nice, though I had never gotten around to lining them. They went to shows with me and came home, went to shows, came home. Finally I decided to try to felt them and see what would happen (after removing the fabric flap):

And a detail of the color shift in the Noro on the blue and green bag:

That turned out so well, I decided to see what else I could do, using new (well, stash) yarn and playing around. The results:

Felted cabled bag in the round, off a crocheted base.

Detail of top and view into bag.

More knitty goodness is on the way, but currently I am wrapping up a project proposal so need to send that off. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Work in Progress

Work in progress, Morning Harvest is the working title. One of the extra suns from the piece for the Hillel show and more pointillist palette. I think there will be a bird or some such in the bend of the tree in the dark area. I am hand quilting the background in the top to balance out the quilting in the branch and fruit. I am using the new DMC Color Variations floss and it is providing a nice harmony to the fabric. I also figure there will be some shisha work, and not sure what will happen in the sun panel yet. But that's what makes it fun.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Birthday, Monkey!

Marty's birthday was today, he made himself a crown and I provided the stickers from my vast collection. We were gifted a chocolate fudge cake, which is what he would've picked for himself, and we got him "This Book Will Change Your Life" and The Muppets 16 Month Calendar (for either his new office or his home office, guess that would be new too since we are on a new plan). He also got license plate tags for the cars, but he'd have to do that anyway. I made baked egg rolls for dinner and fun was had all around.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Wishing You Creativity!

For when all the holiday parties and get togethers are over, I wish you quiet time with the supplies of your choice to indulge in your creativity!

Season's Greetings!

Wishing you all the very best this holiday season and dreams for a fantastic 2007!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!

A feast for your eyes. This piece is made of Japanese 11/0 seed beads (so far, the eraser pink may be Czech, I know I have the right bead it is only a matter of tracking it down in the studio). It's about as large around as the handle on a screwdriver, final length to be determined. Obviously, given the proximity of the familiar "2" to the tip of the pencil, it has already been used quite a bit.

Knitting in a Winter Wonderland

This is what happens when the bulk of your family is far far away. Or when the going gets tough, the tough get knitting. Deva's friend Chelsea sent the family a wonderful box filled with presents for the family when she heard that Marty lost his job. One of my gifts was a skein of purple Lion Wool, which I blended with a mystery wool that resembles Noro but isn't, to create what will become a throw pillow. I used a stitch that was showcased on Knitty Gritty ("Family Affair", episode DKNG-501,, popcorn stitch) this week, which creates a semi-bobble/popcorn feel to the knit fabric. It has been really soothing to knit and fun to watch the colorwork come together. Some people think the internet has contributed to the breakdown of communities, but for us it has been a lifesaver on many occasions. Thank you, Chelsea. And happy holidays, everyone!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

One More For The Road

Ok, this is the last one today, I promise. I just forgot to add it to the last one and decided it needed its own post. This is the piece I finished for the Hillel show last Friday, it is called Song of Songs and is approximately 30" H by 40" W.

Oh My Darlin'

Oh my darling Monkeyshrines. This is what happens when I play what if? What if I don't have access to shisha mirrors, will pennies work as well? What if I spray paint on the dress to make it look older? What if I make a transfer of my old monkey doll and bead everything but the face? What if I use Christmas ornaments as embellishments? (hint, they're on the top). This piece has travelled well and won several awards and is even in a book (Uncommon Threads: Ohio's Art Quilt Revolution by Gayle A. Pritchard) but has never been on my site before. Enjoy!

Ophelia is another in my altered dress suite. Another found dress from a yard sale (I think the same one I got Monkeyshrines and April 7, 1967's dress in, they all came piled in an old hat box). I painted it with Sennelier sun paint, and then screened an old encyclopedia page with the subject "Death" on it on top of that. The flowers are liquid sculpey transfers of my daughter when she was young (she was the best model), and the leaves at the base of the bodice are acrylic painted 300 pound water color paper cutouts. The heart is my beginning into small bead embroidery jewelry, as it was made separately and then appliqued onto the piece. The most time consuming was all the shisha embroidery. I used ArtFabrik's wonderful colored perle cottons to apply every single one. It was well worth the effort, as all the reflecting light does indeed resemble the sun shining on the water. This piece has also travelled and was featured on the tshirt for the FAVA Artist as Quiltmaker show in 2004.

This piece was done for a show with a birthday theme. This is the first birthday I can remember. I got a little white wicker purse that had a gold clasp with a pink rose ribbon on it. And sunglasses. Oh, I love me my sunglasses. I am standing at the foot of the table standing proudly on a chair and holding my purse up for all to see. There is a photo transfer of me in the crown, proudly holding my trophy. I also made all the crochet flowers that embellished the dress.

I Wanna Make Cookies

That's why I was born. (sorry, Nellie, that's just what's going through my head right now). Back in the "old days" at the first flake of snow I would be madly baking cookies. Cut-out cookies. Spanish peanut cookies. Russian teacakes. Even (gasp!) chocolate chip cookies (though never with nuts, Marty doesn't like nuts in his cookies--sob). Lately I haven't been in that place. And we've even had snow. Though the dreariness out the window and the pictures of all the snow out west and the incipient cabin fever of week two of the unplanned vacation have me itching to bake something like this.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On the Design Wall

On the design wall, more explorations in patchwork. Currently I am sequinizing this one:

Scarlet and Gray, still in process. Mixed cottons, hand-dyed cotton from Judy Robertson, machine applique and piecing. Sequins and beads. Should be done by 2007.

Detail of a strip of suns done with the same piecing technique, the rose batik underneath is not part of the piece but sure does look nice. I'm just not sure I have more in the stash if I decided to actually add it to the bottoms of the sun(s). The piece I finished for the Hillel show has a similar sun theme, but the background is morning misty purples and the suns' tones are more golden. This one is much larger than the mushroom piece, if it is finished by 2007 it means I figured out what the rest of it is supposed to be. Or more accurately, it told me what it needed.

Since I can't show you what I am working on right now

I will show you what I was working on earlier this year. This piece is a bead embroidery with detail work that comes off the surface. It's about 8 inches square and incorporates straight bead embroidery, three dimensional peyote stitch and peyote stitch ruffles off the beaded surface. I still need to incorporate another wave in the water to the left and then decide whether to frame as is or whether it is part of a bigger, multi-media piece (as in I may do another component using machine and hand embroidery and attach the two to create a bigger piece). I love when all the techniques and media I have learned to work in come in handy when working on a piece. I had taken a class with Joyce Scott in 1997, but didn't really grab the whole improvisational concept until after learning to knit in 2000, when the concept of shaping and increasing/decreasing really sunk in. Playing is fun, especially when the results are so pretty.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Not quite the right holiday

But something I finished earlier this year. Improvisational peyote stitch around a rubber snake base, ceramic and Czech glass beads, bone skull and plastic egg. Perhaps a gift for the Axl Rose in your life, or the Captain Jack Sparrow....

Hillel show, a selection

Most of these have not been posted to my website due to their large size or newness. From the top:
Darwin's Creek, Survival of the Fishes, 1999 40" x 28" Photo transfer of my childhood toy, beads, applique, patchwork. Upholstery fabrics, velour. Darwin contemplates the meaning of life standing at the river of Time.

In Gran's Garden, begun 1999, declared finished 2006 40" x 72" Patchwork, found object, stuffed leaves, rubber lizards, beads, hand stitching, stone cabochons, paint. Inspired by misty summer mornings standing on my Gran's patio and looking out over her yard.

Night Watch (top, 2004 12" x 12") and Darling Klimintine (2000, 18" x 8") Studies in applique,machine embroidery and embellishment. I see Night Watch as the ever wakeful mother watching and protecting her young, while Darling Klimintine is a reminder of the fanciful idealistic young person inside.

In the House of Joy (1998), Monkeyshrines (2000), Ophelia (2004), Stanley Home (2003) and Study for Dita (2005). Found objects, patchwork, embellishment. A selection of works that spans several years.

Desert Moon III, 2006 24" x 18" Patchwork, applique, beads, buttons, sequins. A continuing dialogue on cactii forms and texture, other pieces have been explored in hand embroidery and beadwork.

I will post more when we get more web-ready. For now this is only a part of the show. Enjoy!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Show is Up!

Fresh off the needles, we hung the last work at 1pm this afternoon. I am pleased to announce

Andrea L. Stern, Select Works 1996-2006
Hillel Jewish Community Center, 12 Mill Street, Athens OH 45701
December 15, 2006-January 25, 2007
Monday-Friday 12-4
A closing reception will be held Thursday, January 25, at 7pm
1-740-592-1173 for more info.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Name, New Look

This is my first post in the new blog where I will talk about my art and life, mostly my art I think, though my life tends to creep in. Today I am finishing off the last piece for the Hillel show for the grand opening/Hannukah party tomorrow night. The piece is based on an image I created earlier this year, of a patchwork sun on a patchwork sky, with an old piece of LunnFabrics Pointillist Pallette creating a dawn sky in which a bird sits on a tree branch and sings. You never know when old stash fabric or beads or... will come in handy, so never feel bad about adding new stuff to the stash even when you're not going to use it immediately. That is the lesson of this week.