Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

This will give you some idea of my warped sense of humour:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Exquisite Corpse Round Three

I've signed up for the next round of Exquisite Corpse. I had so much fun with this one that I can hardly wait for the next one.

Our illustrious mistress is looking for more members, so if any readers are interested, shoot me a note and I'll let her know.

Deadline for sign-ups is January 15th with a start date of January 22nd.

You never know what kind of fun adventures will ensue if you partake.

Friday, December 19, 2008

One More Home

Yet another corpse is home, so here are photos of my square. I'll do a little tutorial for the silk fusion used to created the background. I used the idea on both Gail and Deirdre's square.

So here are close up photos of the square I created for Deirdre.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nearing Completion

Slowly but surely, the corpses are finding their way home. Gail has received hers, and now so has Leslie. Yippee. Here is what I worked on for Leslie's square. The photo really changed the colour of the lame. It is closer to a royal purple than blue.

I wanted to get Deirdre's in the mail today, but spent time with my daughter and granddaughter, so won't get it mailed until Monday instead. Sigh, that is the last one to work on too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One More Corpse Home

Gail received her corpse today, so I can reveal the section I worked on. This one only had two places left to choose from. I wish I'd done more with the figure but didn't have quite enough confidence to play too much with it on someone else's piece.

And a detail shot:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More of the Corpse

As promised, here are a few close up shots of my Exquisite Corpse. So many beautiful details. Hope everyone is as awed by the lizard as I am.

All those great comments go to everyone else that worked on this. Thanks!


Mary Anne's:





Monday, November 24, 2008

Exquisite Corpse

Woo hoo, my corpse came home today. Very beautiful. Watch this space, I'll post pictures. Just as soon as I finish typing my 1,667 words for the day.

Update: word count for the day finished so here are pictures.

I started with a photo of a large paper poppy in my yard:

I drew the image on fabric and worked on one square:

Then sent it out into the world. Thanks to Corryna, Deirdre, Mary Anne, Leslie and Gail for creating art out of a few nebulous lines on fabric. This wouldn't have happened without you. Isn't it amazing! I'm so happy with the result.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Time Flies By

So November is almost over. Baring a miracle, I won't be able to complete the TIF challenge for this month. The irony is the topic is typography and the reason I don't have time is I'm doing NaNo again this year. Only 50,000 words in a month, but it doesn't leave extra time to put any of those letters into fibre.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Of Birthdays

My friends kidnapped me for my birthday and took me to a fancy restaurant for appies and drinks. We had a wonderful time visiting, then went to Quantum of Solace, the new Bond movie. Okay, I still can't wrap my head around a blond Bond. It just doesn't work for me. I'd planned to go to tango, but this was much more fun. Aren't friends grand?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Milongero Embrace

I recently completed a survey on tango and relationships. I find it interesting that 88 1/2% of the respondents prefer close embrace to traditional music, almost 54% prefer close embrace to nuevo music and only 28% prefer open embrace to nuevo. So why does our tango community so often dance to nuevo music?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Confusing the Telemarketers

Ha, I found a perfect way to get rid of a telemarketer. And it only worked because the telemarketer was stupid enough to tell me where she was calling from. She wanted to talk to him about a listing in a directory of some kind, so I put her on hold and said I'd see if my boss was available.

"Paul, do you want to talk to this woman from directory name?"

"Does she want to advertise?

"No. I think she wants us to advertise with them."


Back to the woman, I continued the conversation.

"I'm sorry, Paul isn't available, can I take a message."

"I just need him to confirm your listing for directory name."

"I can do that for you." She hesitated, reading off the business name and address, but said she had to get the fax number from him.

"I can do that for you."

"No, I need to speak with Mr. — so I can confirm the listing."

"You want us to pay for it?"


"Then he isn't interested," I said. "If you want us to buy advertising, he isn't interested. If you want to buy an ad in our magazine, he'd be more than happy to speak with you."

"That is presumptuous. How do you know that if you didn't talk to him."

"I already asked, he isn't interested," I said.

"Okay, now I'm confused."

Oh goody. My work here is done.

Word Count

I'm on track for word count. Too bad it is such drivel. Ah well, that is what first drafts are for.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


For the first time in my life I'm watching the US election results on TV. I'll be very interested to see the results.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Silly Season

What am I thinking. I am doing NaNoWriMo again this year. 50,000 words in a month? Yeah, no problem as long as I don't think about the work involved in re-writing. 800 plus words so far today, so I guess I'm on track.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


My studio is a safe haven, the place I go to when my world isn't working. In there, I can let the cares of the world go, focus on creativity, and come away renewed.

I used the black and white piece and developed it further, adding green to hint at renewal. I think it still needs more, but the beading I thought of doing will be impossible. Note to self: bead first, add gel medium second. I think it needs more green. Off to paint some more.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Safe Haven

Yesterday, Paula left a comment that she also has no idea how to translate this month's challenge into fibre. I hadn't actually gone as far as thinking what my studio meant to me, so I also had no ideas what to do.

Then I had a conversation with my son and I realized my studio is a safe place for me. Inside this room I can forget about interpersonal conflicts--something I don't handle well. It is where I go for pleasure and re-energizing in a stressful world.

Now that I live alone, the need to close the door isn't as strong. But it is still the place I go for renewal. I'm not sure how to translate this into fibre. I'm thinking safety, but the idea of renewal might have some intriguing avenues worth exploring. Hum, I have the start of two black and white pieces. What if I added just a hint of green on one of them to symbolize renewal...

Oh, I might be on to something.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Studio Update

October's challenge was a nudge in the direction of taking photos of my transformed studio space. I meant to do this in August after I completed the painting and moved my fabric into the new room. But September was busy.

I tried to complete the black and white quilt for the online challenge but it fought me every step of the way. I let it fester in the old studio space while I moved fabric, paint supplies and furniture.

And I have to confess, I still haven't moved everything out of the other room. I promised myself I wouldn't move things until they had a home. Bad idea--there are bits and drabs on the floor still waiting for a home. And look at how messy my new space is already. Did you see how neat Sharon's is? I'm shamed I tell you. Shamed.

And in the old studio, bookshelves are up, books moved and a comfy chair in place in front of the corner fireplace. Which I'll be able to use once I take the quilts off the hearth and actually put them away like I'm supposed to.

How does this translate into fabric? Hum, guess that's why it's called a challenge.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just a Peek

Here is a hint of what I'm working on lately. Soon, I can cross it off my list of things to do, hopefully by the end of September.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Long Dark Silence

Wow, I haven't posted anything all month. Nothing to say... instead here are a few pics from my new Nikon D40. OMG, what a lovely toy. Now that was something on my list of things I eventually wanted to buy. I won't bore you with the 100 and some pictures of the jelly fish either.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


This month's Take it Further Challenge is lists. I'm really bad for keeping lists. When I was younger, I'd make lists and forget them or loose them. Or I'd get discouraged when I couldn't cross things off my list and instead, watched them grow like some kind of fungus.

I started making lists again a couple of months ago when I felt so overwhelmed with things to do. And once again, watched my list of to be done exceed my list of accomplished. Guess I shouldn't add more tasks before I complete at least part of what I have to do. Ooh, that's it.

I was working on a piece for an online challenge, but it wasn't working out at all. This created extra stress in my life I really don't need, so I've decided not to finish it for the challenge. That will give me more time for the next round of the Exquisite Corpse (a real cool one this next piece).

So for this months TIF, I'm going to work on an in progress piece that I can then either cross off my list or see closer to completion. I have several. Here are my options:

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Colour Me Dense But...

I went to the bank today for a few things. I'd made an appointment with one of those helpful people that answers questions on mortgages, rates. The usual. Pretty normal meeting. At least until I was leaving and he said: "If you need anything else... tea, coffee, a drink. Anything." Um. Okay. I might be dense, but did he really mean what I think he did?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mezzo Termine

I started this in June, set it aside because it wasn't working, added more in July and it still bored me, so here it is worked some more. Now we are getting somewhere. The challenge this month was balance. Balance is often a middle ground--that place between our obligations and our desires. How much we take on is often curtailed by the things we need to do. It can be tricky balancing what others want from us and what we are willing or able to give. Of course, some times it feels like the gap is wider, and the balancing act harder.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Studios and Such

Where we work affects how balanced our time in our studio feels. My studio is quite out of control. Between fabric and painting, there isn't close to enough room. Using a journal has only emphasized the problem. I start cutting fabric for a project, and it gets scattered over my cutting table. Then I want to work in my journal and have to move everything.

At the beginning of August, my youngest moved out. Sniff. Out came the primer, and three coats later, the chocolate brown room was white. Now I'm painting it periwinkle in anticipation of a new studio space. The room is larger and has a closet I can store seldom used items (like my patterns). Woo hoo!

This month I've also spent much more time with friends than I often do. A friend recently moved back from Calgary, so we've spent time together reconnecting. Plus, Eduardo is here from Argentina this month as well, so I've spent more time at tango than I have in the last few months. These things all take time away from stitching. Does paint on a wall count as a project for the TIF challenge? Hum, how to balance everything!

Thursday, August 07, 2008


This month Sharon's challenge is: "What is balance to you? Do you maintain a balanced life? How do you balance aspects of your life? That is the challenge this month - balance."

I've written about balance before. I re-read the post (and fixed a typo!) and still agree. For this month I could look at the challenge as a balance of time. Right now my time is crazy. I'm working on several art projects, have one more lesson left in the studio journal course—because one week after receiving it, I haven't even started it yet. The next Exquisite Corpse is waving at me—pick me, pick me—but I don't know what to do with it quite yet. Hum, pulls over journal and doodles some ideas.

I'm making great progress on my black and white quilt. Most of the fusing is done, but the quilting will take forever. I have a great idea for further dimensionality after what I did last month with the chicken wire/gel medium experiment.

I'm starting to realize that although deadlines are great, I need a vision for where I'm headed before I set out. For the first half of the TIF challenge, I'd dive in before I knew where I was going and rarely liked the results. The journal course was exactly the push I needed to see that. Thank you Sharon. I highly recommend any one of her courses as she is a wonderful facilitator.

So I'm going to drag the journal a little closer and map out a direction for the next TIF. I already know that it will use the July TIF and go further with it. After I completed last month's challenge, I was musing on the meaning of middle ground (mezzo termine), thinking how it can be a place in physical space, but also a place of balance between two points of view. Then Sharon posted her challenge. Ha! I was already on that wave length (again).

In my journal today, I ruminated further about this idea and realized that for artwork, I work better if I work slowly. It gives me more time to flesh out ideas from start to finish, to see where something will finish before I start it. This is tricky as one of the things from this challenge was to complete a project each month, so it feels like a failure if I don't. Although I could consider July's finished it is still lacking oomph so is it better to leave it incomplete or take it further and actually like the end result? I realize I need to stop over-extending myself and actually balance my time.

Oh right, I also need to make a 13x13 quilt on the theme 'caffeine' by August 15th. Too bad I quit drinking coffee. That sound you hear--it's only me going out of balance.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New Knitting Ideas

Hey I used to knit. But I wonder what you are supposed to do with this? Decoration for sushi maybe?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Middle of Our Stories

I will probably have to change the name for this piece, but so far it works. The problem is, Josh used a similar title for his NaNo, and I can't just 'borrow' it like that. The word middle describes half way so succinctly, though. I'll have to dig around for my thesaurus... ouch, okay it is just there under my desk.

Hum, navel... just too much gazing there for my taste. Median? Same as middle really. Ooh, here's one: mezzo termine. It means mid course. Hum, guess that might wind up the name of this piece. Like that one.

I started this one in June but couldn't figure out what else to do with it, so I left it alone. This month I've been busy with the Studio Journal course, so the TIF was on the back burner for the last few weeks. Not to mention I spent most of the month working on Mary Anne's lucious exquisite corpse.

In the quilt itself, there are three fabrics. One was once part of a dress my grandmother wore. It was hot pink and I over dyed it a bluish purple. One fabric came from an online connection, and one came from... somewhere. I didn't purchase it, beyond that I don't know. Originally I added two pattern pieces and a portion of my NaNo with gel medium. Those fit in with last months story theme. But of course, the piece didn't work. So I left it to sit.

Then this month, with the time crunch, I pulled it out again. I discovered that the page I'd used was exactly half way through my novel. Ooh, how weird is that? And, because this was half way done (do you see a theme here?), I could put less work into completing it. That was the thought anyway. I quilted interlocking squares, but it was still missing something.

Enter paint laden gel medium, a firm paint brush and a roll of chicken wire. I laid the chicken wire on the quilt top (already quilted) and adhered it with gel medium. I pulled the wire off before the medium completely hardened. It left behind the grid. Kind of interesting.

Unfortunately, it still seems to be missing something. Any suggestions or is it fine as is?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Day in the Life of My Journal

It started with this photo:

And this photo:

From there, I played around with a layout in my journal and came up with this idea:
From there, I used the smaller photo, traced the major lines, cut it into squares, rearranged and did a colourwash using Derwent Graphitint pencils. The pencils go on muted and dull, but with a water wash, the colours turn vibrant. The vibrancy of the colour depends on the amount of water used. These are a couple of results:

Do you see the face too?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Circles in the House

Yesterday I went with friends to French Beach. On the way, we stopped at Sooke Harbour House. While my friends gawked at the wonderful artwork, I took pictures. It is interesting how many circles you can find when you really look.

Sooke Harbour House
Originally uploaded by victanguera

French Beach was horribly windy and cold, but we had an enjoyable picnic lunch. We drove to Point No Point and walked the path to the beach. It is almost like heading through the forests of Middle Earth. I truely expected Bilbo to pop out at me (although meeting Strider would have made me happier.) I love this tree:

I'm going to play with this image for one of the exercises for the Studio Journal course.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beyond Notan--Even Further

A while ago, I created this piece of Notan in fabric. This was even before the Studio Journal class where creating cutouts is part of lesson three.

Then I quilted it taking it beyond notan.

Then I made a kaleidoscope out of it, taking it even further:

Now to create notan shapes out of the kaleidoscope. Hum, wonder what you would call those. Maybe back to notan?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kaleidoscopes and Stuff

I've been playing around with an online kaleidoscope creator. A word of warning, if you have an addictive personality, watch out. Much time will be wasted. But look at what you can create:

I'm trying the colour wash with plastic wrap on fabric, but no luck yet. Will keep playing with it and see what I can come up with. Results to follow.

My daughter (the one in art school) looked at my messy journal yesterday and commented: "Looks like an artist's workbook". Cool.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Odds and Sods

The Studio Journal course is extremely interesting. This week we are working on colour. My two colour washes are interesting, but not exactly what I expected. The idea was to do a watercolour wash, place saran wrap over top and let the wrinkles in the plastic affect the paint.

Attempt number one was done on Japanese rice paper (purchased on my trip to Japan last year). I did a frottage rubbing first, added the wash and the plastic. The wrinkles don't show up at all:

So I tried again. This time, I did the wash on a page in my journal. It has a heavier weight, and I thought it might work better. The wrinkles actually show up better in the scan than in actuality, but they are still very faint.

So the variables are paper, water amount, paint quality and plastic wrap quality. I've tried it on two different types of paper without much satisfaction. I think it may be the plastic wrap, so that is the next variable to play with.

On other fronts, my black and white quilt for the "My World in Black and White" challenge is taking shape. Sorry, no photos until after the end of September as it is a juried challenge.

I finally came up with an idea for the next person's Exquisite Corpse, and I'm working away industriously at it. Looks very nice, but sorry no photos for that one either. Gee, I'm such a tease.

I still haven't had any brainstorm for the July TIF challenge. Aargh. It is already a week into the month and I'm clueless. Ah well, somewhere during the journal course, maybe inspiration will hit. One can only hope.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July TIF

This month Sharon asks: “What is it to be at the half way mark... “Half”, “Way” and “Mark” all lead off into interesting directions that can be represented in all sorts of ways. So that is the challenge for this month.”

An interesting question. Nothing comes to mind. I've just started Sharon's Studio Journal course, I've got the Exquisite Corpse challenge in progress (finally came up with an idea for the next one last night) and I'm hoping to do something for a black and white challenge. I'm almost 1/2 way through the editing in my novel. There is a half. And a way. No mark though.

Another thing that comes to mind is to leave certain projects half finished. I can then return to them when I have more time and quilt or whatever needs doing. Or maybe I can add marks to things that are presently half finished? I have the second shoe quilt I started, but have yet to quilt. That would be adding a mark to something that is presently half way done. Then I could half start another project and I've done it all!

If I work through exercises in the studio journal course and in the Art Quilt Workbook, but only get them to a certain stage, they would qualify. In lesson one, we were to translate an image into marks like we would stitch. This could also be an idea--to take a painting and make marks in my journal, but translate it into fibre when I'm less busy.

So many ideas. So little time!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Studio Journal Course

Yesterday I received the first lesson for Sharon B's course Studio Journal as Designers Work Horse. Wow, what an amazing amount of information in the first lesson. It's like Sharon read my mind and designed the course to meet the needs I have right now.

A few things stood out at the very beginning. The first is to work at your own pace. That was a blessing is disguise. I am so busy right now that I wasn't sure how this course would fit in my life, even though I know I need to do it. This will make it fit. I can do it around other tasks, or as part of other tasks.

I highlighted one line that sticks out: Get your imagination going. I signed up for this class because some times my imagination fails. Or starts and peters out. Hopefully, this will help me sort out the entire process. Sharon likens a studio journal to a compost heap where things are added and new things grow from what you add. I already do that with my writing, so I understand how this works.

Our journals are a place to take responsibility for our own creative development. I love Sharon's statement that a journal "declares to yourself and your family that personal creativity is of value and important." Yep, that about sums it up.

I'm not sure whether to compress everything into one journal. Because I write and do fibre art, I'm not sure that keeping the two ideas in one journal is the best for me. For my writing, I have a notebook in my purse so I can jot down ideas no matter when I have them, and one by my bed so I can sleep at night. I'm more inclined to jot notes in one of those and transfer it to an art journal, but I'll see as things progress.

A creative journal can help stave off creative blues. You mean those one where I think my work is boring? Cool.

It will also help to solidify ideas. How many times have I come up with a great idea and run off half-cocked, only to have it fizzle because I couldn't figure out where to go with it? June's TIF is a perfect example.

In the front of my journal, I've now written:

Get your imagination going!

Discover your own path.

Take responsibility.

Value your creativity--make time for it and defend it.

Scraps are the threads of my creative life.

Patterns are recognized over time.

Work out direction before investing energy. (This one speaks directly to me and is the main reason I'm taking this course).

Now on to exercise two.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beyond Notan

I guess this is my June TIF.

And a close up shot:

This started as a quick project on balance and notan was used as the example. I fused the leaves onto the background last month, and tossed it in a corner. I kept thinking about quilting to take it beyond notan. It became the story that is possible.

However, I'm at a loss how to quilt the other piece, even after a week on my design wall. It is missing something, but I don't quite know what, so I'm going to let it sit for a bit more. I have a large pile of those WIVSP (works in very slow progress). I realized that often I have partially formed ideas in my mind and don't know how to bring them to fruition. As a result, I'm frustrated with the results. They are exactly what I thought of, unfortunately it isn't a finished product. Hopefully the journal class will help with fully forming ideas before I start to create. Or at least give me tools to figure out how to fix something that isn't working.