Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Fun Way to Support FFAC

Linda Matthews of Creative Textiles and Quilting Arts is making her ebook "Machine Wrapped Cording" available as a $5 download in support of the American Cancer Society. Linda is fellow participant in Fiberart for a Cause, donating funds raised in the sale of the book directly to ACS. Initially I couldn't think of what I would do with machine wrapped cording, but I purchased my copy (it was fast and easy to download), I've read through it and look forward to an opportunity to play with some of the techniques. Maybe the book will spark some creative ideas for you, too. If not, you've supported a good cause.

As Linda describes the book, "This multimedia ebook includes step-by-step instructions for making wrapped cording on your sewing machine, including video, sample photos, options and applications, tips and tricks, and resources. The ebook requires the current version of Adobe Reader which is free, and contains its own flash player so you can view the video on your desktop without the hassle of downloading any further software. It also contains a printable copy of the lessons which you can use to compile a workbook for your samples."

I'd love to see the results of your experiments if you buy the book and give the technique a try.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Learning Curve?

This quarter I began taking a watercolor class at Santa Barbara City College Continuing Education. So far, not so good. The scheduled teacher was unable to teach and for the last three weeks we've had a substitute for the substitute. I haven't learned much about using watercolors except how to mix a cool or warm black.
Last Tuesday, the teacher brought hand-outs about using pen and ink along with watercolor wash. It is amusing that I'm now doing the same kind of things in this class that I do with fabric. I drew a little turtle, painted over it, then laid some plastic wrap over the wet paint to create this mottled, textured background. Maybe next week I'll learn to discharge and overdye watercolor paper! Or paint some fabric and lay plastic wrap over it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty

Today is blog action day, a day where participating bloggers write on the same subject in the hope of opening conversations and perhaps sparking new ideas on a given subject. The subject today is poverty. We all know of many places where we can give our time and money to assist those among us who are hungry, homeless, and suffering other ill effects of poverty, so I am not writing today with a list of organizations you can support. Instead, I would like to share some information about fundamental changes in attitude toward global abundance and wealth and in support of optimism despite the dire news we are currently bombarded with each day. I am recommending a book entitled Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey D. Sachs.

Publishers Weekly sums it up much better than I can: "In this sobering but optimistic manifesto, development economist Sachs (The End of Poverty) argues that the crises facing humanity are daunting—but solutions to them are readily at hand. Sachs focuses on four challenges for the coming decades: heading off global warming and environmental destruction; stabilizing the world's population; ending extreme poverty; and breaking the political logjams that hinder global cooperation on these issues. The author analyses economic data, demographic trends and climate science to create a lucid, accessible and suitably grim exposition of looming problems, but his forte is elaborating concrete, pragmatic, low-cost remedies complete with benchmarks and budgets. Sachs's entire agenda would cost less than 3% of the world's annual income, and he notes that a mere two days' worth of Pentagon spending would fund a comprehensive antimalaria program for Africa, saving countless lives. Forthright government action is the key to avoiding catastrophe, the author contends, not the unilateral, militarized approach to international problems that he claims is pursued by the Bush administration. Combining trenchant analysis with a resounding call to arms, Sachs's book is an important contribution to the debate over the world's future. (Mar.)"

Today I am asking that you set aside the news headlines and think for awhile on poverty as a global problem that we can, indeed, remedy with determination and a compassionate, thoughtful approach that includes everyone on the planet.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Making Changes

The art group I belong to, Fibervision, has a challenge this year. We brought tops or quilts that we were not satisfied with, traded them around and then took other people's rejects home to transform them into fabulous works of art. The piece I got was a completed top, layered with batting and a backing and partially quilted. Since I got ahold of it, it has been bleached, painted, had photos glued to it, been cut up, had fabric added to it and sewn back together. It was hard to slice into Mary Norton's nearly completed piece, but I screwed up my courage and did it.
Since we are not to reveal the results until December, I am only posting a detail here. I'm pretty satisfied so far, but there is still time to get carried away or get fabulous.