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February 28, 2014

Catching Up

There is a break this week in our lessons in the Studying Under the Masters course, so I decided to post information about my other Winter activities.

1.  Our grandchildren:  We took 8 year old Robbie and 4 year old Zach to the Museum of Modern Art last week to listen to the Children's audioguide.  The museum has short, interesting commentaries for about 15 of their major art works in the permanent collection.  Here they are listening to the commentary about Matisse's painting The Piano Lesson.  All of our grandchildren love to do this.

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2.  Surface Design:  This semester I'm taking a surface design class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) - fifteen 4 hour lab sessions using dye to paint on silk.  I have some experience with these techniques, but thought it would be fun to study with an artist from FIT. 

Here is a watercolor painting of one of 6 butterflies that I "drew" with gutta and water soluble resists on silk and painted with Sennelier dyes.   I also painted it as a watercolor so I would have an entry in my daily art journal. 

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3.  Family Research:   I signed up for Family History Writing Month in February and decided to write a story  (at least 250 words per day) about my Great-great-great-great grandmother Christina Wampler.  She was kidnapped by the Delaware Indians in Lancaster Co. PA in 1757, during the French-Indian War, and was returned with 206 captives to Carlisle PA in 1764.  The British took 1500 soldiers to the Ohio Valley to force the Delaware, Shawnee, and Mingo Indians to sign a peace treaty and return their captives.  Her kidnapping and return were both reported in the PA Gazette (Benjamin Franklin, editor) and here is part of the handwritten captive list that I obtained from the Clements Rare Manuscript Library at the University of Michigan.

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She is #40 on this scanned portion of the list and was returned with one shirt, 1 legging, 1 shoe pack and 1 blanket.  I don't know her age when she was kidnapped, but the fact that she was able to tell soldiers her full name after living with the Indians for 7 years and speaking their language, makes me assume that she was probably older than 4-5 years.  Notice a captive named Flat Nose right below her - this is obviously a name given by the Indians.  There are also captives listed with only their first names.  She married Peter Graybeal, had a large family, lived in Ashe Co, NC and died in Jackson Co. Ohio.

I'm hoping that someone with more information about her may find this entry in a Google Search.  I exchange information with other Graybeal descendants, but there is so much more to learn. 

 

December 28, 2013

End of Year Potpourri

January 4th is the 8th anniversary of my blog.  I had no idea that I would enjoy connecting with a creative world as much as I do.  I've met wonderful artists online, and then in person, and shared so many experiences.  And the blogs that I follow are a continual source of inspiration and information.

I want to wrap up a few projects now before I write a Happy New Year blog post and my yearly "Progress and Goals".

Bookbinding: I made another watercolor sketchbook using hand dyed fabric for the book cloth.  This is the 21st cased-in book I made using my dyed fabric and the 48th watercolor sketchbook for daily drawing and painting.  My earliest books were spiral Aquabee and Moleskine watercolor books.  The rest of my handmade books are travel sketchbooks and figure drawing books.

By making my own books I can control the size and the paper - and that keeps me happy.

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 2.  Paper:  This is a page in a watercolor pamphlet stitched book that I started several years ago to draw and paint the tree ornaments that I made since 1976.  While the tree is up I try to identify all of the ones that weren't painted yet and this year I found two hearts from wildly different times.

Here is a link to this project and previous pages (although 6 pages have never been posted):  http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/12/paintings_of_christmas_ornamen.php

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3.  Threads:  Here are the final products from my Santa's Workshop 2013 - a cotton velveteen quilt and photo pillow for my 2 year old grandson William.  We are going to visit him right after New Year's, so these were the last gifts completed. 

This quilt design was developed when Henry was 2 (now 10) and every grandchild loves the texture of the velvet on one side and cotton on the other.  I machine quilt them in a crosshatch design and they are completely washable.

The photo was taken this Fall and I printed it on EQ fabric sheets.

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December 24, 2013

Christmas With Sydney

Last Friday I picked Sydney up at school for our 4th annual Birthday-Christmas trip to Rockefeller Center to have lunch, and Bryant Park to see the Christmas Village, watch the skaters, and eat dessert.   The end of our walk is always Beads World - her favorite store in the Garment District.  While we were eating lunch in 30 Rock, she took photos of the Santa skating on the ice skating rink and later that day I sketched and painted from the photo.

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I took Sydney to see the New York City Ballet Nutcracker 4 years in a row.  Twenty five years ago we took her mother and her brothers to see Phantom of the Opera right after it opened on Broadway and suggested that we see it this year instead of the ballet.  It is the longest running Broadway show in history and it is still full for every performance.  We both loved it!

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This is my quilted Christmas tree, made in 1992, and hung in my studio at Christmas each year since then.  There are small wood ornaments and strings of colored lights that I added after quilting it.  As I make Christmas presents for my grandchildren each year in my studio, I thoroughly enjoy my little tree!  I hope that it continues to grow old with my grandchildren. 

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On Sunday I spent one more day in my studio for this year and made Sydney a Teal Blue minky elephant  like I made for Charlie and posted a week ago.  Shhhh!  It is a surprise!  All she wanted this year as a gift from us was money toward custom made sneakers - and with a Birthday last week and now Christmas, I wanted a little surprise for her.

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Last night, as I made a list of my last minute tasks before Christmas Eve dinner in our apartment, I was inspired to paint a Christmas tree ball in my sketchbook.  The idea came from a watercolor artist I follow (Suzanne Smith if I remember correctly) and I  wanted to try to create a reflection using a wet in wet technique.

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Now signing off until after the Holiday.... 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!

 

 

December 16, 2013

Christmas for Charlie - 2013

Last year Charlie, our 8th grandchild, was only 3 months old at Christmas.  I made him a Christmas stocking, but not a gift bag.  Over the years I made stockings and giftbags for all of our children, their spouses, and children.  So this year I made Charlie his gift bag.

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The Santa image was drawn from a photo I used in 1976 to create a santa ornament.  I have no idea which magazine it came from.

This is our 2013 Christmas tree with all of the gift bags filled and placed at the bottom of the tree.  They are not complete yet, but it is the easiest place to hide presents from the kids.

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I made Charlie a blanket, a pillow, and a stuffed elephant out of that incredibly soft, plush fabric known as "minky."  His big brothers each have the same blanket and pillow, in different colors,  from last year.  The elephant was made from a pattern from "Carol's Zoo."

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I love the elephant, and remember the fun I had drawing and painting more than 20 elephants last winter.  Here is my teal blue elephant which I painted in my sketchback for Charlie.

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December 14, 2013

Our Christmas in New York City

 I love the Holiday season and especially adore being back in the Northeast where Christmas is cold and snow is forecast for today.  Wednesday evening my husband and I made a pilgrimage to Rockefeller Center to see "The Tree."  It never disappoints.

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Santa's Workshop is busier than ever here at home.  And I'm even trying to draw and paint a few of the projects.  Here is my sketchbook page from last night, after finishing all 12 of this year's Christmas ornaments. 

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And here are the Jolly Dozen - one for each of our 8 grandchildren and one for each of our children and their spouse.

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This is a pattern that I bought many years ago from Twice As Nice Designs.  The small size, made with a 62mm bell, is perfect for ornaments.  Here you can see the Christmas bell which is the body.

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And here his is sitting comfy.

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I've also made many gifts for our grandchildren - so entries from Santa's Workshop will continue next week. 

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