Saturday, December 27, 2008

I have too much crap.

I haven't even gotten around to sorting the commercial cotton fabrics yet. I need more plastic containers.
And a better way to store the adhesives and paintbrushes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

¡Feliz Noche de Rábanos!

It is Night of the Radishes again already.

I've been sick and re-arranging all my "art supplies" so nothing new to post. I have to go to Iowa tomorrow or Thursday, but I have all next week off, so maybe I can start or finish something. Or at least write a big list of goals for 2009.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well, hrm.

On Flickr, Kimberly suggested some stitching. I thought, WTF, I can't make it worse. :P

White plastic experiment with thread

I kind of don't hate it. But it's so white...except for the ambient cat hair, not visible in this photo.

Mettler Poly-Sheen, for those who keep track of such things.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fail du Jour

Meet Chairman Bob:
Chairman Bob

He's been leering at me from my bathroom garbage can for some months.

I'm probably the last person on the planet to try last summer's trend of melting plastic bags to create...melted plastic. I had visions of Wahol-esque dozens of Chairman Bobs on a single sheet.

Found a tutorial that suggested using the "rayon" setting. First try with plain white. Ick:
Melted plastic bags
It took about half an hour of increasing the heat all the way past "wool" before anything melted. Instead of being a smooth sheet like the various pictures around the web, it feels more like that crumply plastic with the sanitary lining the grocery store puts between the meat and the styrofoam tray. Blecch.

Multiple Bobs:
Too many Bobs
Looked OK before the fusing; afterwards--ick.

Line of Bobs:
Four Bobs
Not as exciting as the image in my head. And the toner from the Unwanted Printout I was using to keep melted plastic off my iron transfered on to the piece. Bah.

Solo Bob:
Solo Bob
From a distance he looks like I could use him, but there's visible cat hair in it. There was an incredible amount of static electricity generated by the bags, and the cat hair that gravitated toward the bags while they were in storage was impossible to remove, when I could even see it under three layers of plastic.

So much for Warhol Bobs. I'm not terribly distressed, since the whole project is probably a copyright violation. But I don't have any interest in jumping on the "repurposed" plastic bandwagon--it's too tacky.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Further experiments with PVA

Well, the Spider-Man cape was not as cool as the Talking Megatron from his cousins, but I've moved on.

I rescued some pages of memory dumps from the Unwanted Printout Pile at work on Friday. I have about three reams of Unwanted Printouts, but very little of it is this interesting. Maybe I should have used the boring stuff to experiment...

They make fairly boring paper fabric:

After cutting out some bits and realizing they were quite fun except for the black-on-white, color experiments.

Watercolor pencils brushed with water before PVA:

Watercolor pencils smeared only by watered-down PVA:

No pencil, only a single drop of fluid acrylic mixed with the PVA:

I probably could have used two or three drops.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quality Control

Quality Control
As expected, the first superhero cape was too successful and we are now making a Spider-Man cape--yes, I know Spider-Man does not wear a cape--for the nephew I shall call "Huey" (Dewey and Louie are still too young to know they want one).

Also over the weekend I found a whole box of fabric I'd forgotten about, including a couple of half-yard pieces printed with sushi. I also found a four-patch quilt that was all done except binding--about four years old, someone asked me to make one for her toddler and never gave me any money (next time, up front).

I'm out of ideas again. Unless someone tells me this is an unspeakably evil thing to do, I'm thinking I'll put a binding on the toddler quilt and give it to a friend who is expecting. The quilt has dogs, the family has dogs, the baby won't need a cape for a couple of years...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Socialist Realism

Gazing toward the bright future of the pastureland...

Gazing toward the bright future of the motherland

This is Antoinette, in Plymouth, just off SR 67.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Larger than life-sized work in progress

Stab-stitching lately, as a healthy alternative to stabbing people. In-progress? Or finished? Don't know.


I think adding beads to this guy will just make him look tacky.


Sequel to the penguins and might be improved with beads. Also should have made the square on the left a circle...


Epic fail! Found the heart appliqued on the background in a box and should have just left it there.

The cat is twisted into a dead-cockroach shape behind a pile of synthetic fabric remnants, which is apparently where he goes to shed when he's not shedding on the ironing board or the middle of my bed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Now for something kind of different.

I made a Scrabble tile bag for a friend 4-5 years ago (I honestly can't remember). I did kind of a half-ass job, and it didn't wear well. So, version 2.0:

I knew I'd find a use for the embroidered flannel. Yes. Embroidered flannel. I lined it with a piece of hand-dye so it wouldn't get destroyed through use, and I satin-stitched around all the inkjet prints.

ScrabbleSpidey tile bag front

And back:
ScrabbleSpidey tile bag

And in progress:
ScrabbleSpidey tile bag

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm still stab-stitching for the sheer joy of stab-stitching.


The center fabric is some code I got randomly e-mailed to me by a colleague; inkjet printer and overpainted. There's a lot left, too... The other fabrics are from my stash. The finished piece is about 5" square.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Not *really* slacking

Busy...there have been parties or people in from out of town every weekend lately. Also the weather is nice (it hasn't hit 80 degrees in almost two weeks) so I'm outside as much as my skin can handle the sunlight.

In between, I'm stitching pieces of ugly fabric with the intent of committing shibori eventually:
Shibori in-progress

The stab-stitching (yes, it's traditionally a running stitch, but I can't do a running stitch with perle cotton) is soothing.

Meanwhile, my roommate licks plastic bags:
Lick lick

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Having some fun with my vacation photos and the Big Huge Lab's Palette Generator. I should make a weird palette for the EFB...the real one.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Superhero cape

My niece in Omaha turned 3 last week; my sister thought she would like a cape to be a superhero when she plays dress-up. I followed the tutorial at Puking Pastilles (apparently a Harry Potter reference), substituting an initial for the logo.

I think she liked it. One of my sister's friends asked me if I'd make one for her (maybe; I told her to ask my sister for my e-mail and we'll see if it even gets that far) and several of the adults thought I could start a small business (not interested in making capes every night). More importantly, my niece wore it some that afternoon and a little yesterday, and after I got dropped off at the airport, she told her mom she missed me. Yeah!

I might make one for myself.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Finished: Quilted EFB

It's complete and hanging in my cubicle. Reactions from co-workers range from "You need to get a life" to "You forgot the brightness toggle." Artistic license, I say...

Technically, it's just the display portion of the EFB. In fail mode. Bwahahahaha.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good day to dye.

Ugly fabrics:

Turned into possibly usable fabrics:

And still-ugly fabrics:

They may live to dye another day, but I don't think anything can salvage that top one.

And random acts of shibori:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sunday, July 06, 2008

3-day weekend

I had a big list of things I wanted to do this weekend, and I kind of bounced around from item to item, completing none of them. Had a good time at the Brewers game Friday, at least, and I found a box that had--rectangle sequins!

Here's a picture of my assistant, FUZZ.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Doing a little every day

Having too much fun with my new printer, except the color management on my computer can't translate between Photoshop RGB and Epson CMYK worth crap. The photo utility that came with the printer gets the colors right, but will only print stock photo sizes--8" x 10", 4" x 6", etc--which distorts the odd-size clip art and cropped photos I want to work with most. Right now the "project" is the printing; best to get this all figured out before I have a big idea that needs specific images, right?

Then when I get tired of futzing with the printer, on to Netflix and sequins. I'm making a quilted version of the 787 display I test at work. We recently got new cubicles, and I have a lot of vomit-pink "wall" space to cover. The sequins represent buttons and the color patterns of the display's fail state. :)

It's nice to be back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I thought I had rectangle sequins (color unimportant), but I don't, and I can't find any online.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Toys

Last Saturday I bought an inkjet printer--nothing special--and today I picked up a flatbed scanner.


Monday, May 26, 2008

What my cat looks like inside his head.

War memorial
Originally uploaded by heatherradish
Just back from a week in southern Bavaria. I'll be uploading pictures slowly.

This is a war memorial in Freising, the hometown of my friend Roland, who was an excellent tour guide and spoiled me silly with food and beer and scenery.

The rest of the first day's walking tour of Freising is on Flickr.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Miller Park.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chicago IQF

Adventure in FIBland--the Tollway was solid construction, the signage was misleading, potholes, snow, ugh. But here's the picture of my quilt. It will be on display at Long Beach, CA over the summer and then I'll get it back before the Hall of Fame game.

I read all the artist statements on the Journal Quilts (most people don't look at anything on exhibit for longer than 15 seconds, I've noticed) and studied the composition and construction of the JQs and the major juried exhibits. I'm either slightly better or far, far worse than I think I am.

Despite a good 8 hours of sleep last night, my brain is still swirling with colors.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Finished: Sequined coffee mug

I should have taken a picture of the back; I left the knots showing and drew a radish as a signature; Andy saw that side first when he unwrapped it and was surprised to learn it was "reversible." Häh! It's about 9" x 6".

About halfway through, I wondered if this would be cuter as a fabric applique, with a few sequins for accent.

Now I need something new to do.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Work in Progress?

I decided I hated the fake "Carolina Lily" on my paper fabric, and they peeled right off.

Tulips, much better. The Brewers are 5-1 after a week; I really enjoy listening to Bob Uecker call the games while I play with fabric.

I have been too busy, making cakes and going to parties.

I do not know where the stitching will go on the flowers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In which I feel like a slacker

Captain Kirk, in beads. WOW. I'd do Red Dwarf, of course...

Over the weekend I sorted through over 900 pieces of fabric, not including bits smaller than a fat eighth (which went immediately into the scrap bucket). There's one box left.

I started a new sequined coffee mug with fabrics from stash. I'd like to finish by the first week of April to give to my friend Andy for his birthday, so I won't fill in the background.

Note sleeping assistant on cutting board.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Don't know what I'm paying him for.

These pieces aren't going to sew themselves.

Monday, March 03, 2008

That's odd.

Quilt National sent me an entry form.

Yeah, like I'm going to have anything worthy by August.

Haven't been making much of anything; I've decided two years is too long for the spare bedroom to be unworkable piles of boxes and I'm trying to organize. I've even given away synthetic fabrics and I'm making a pile of 100% cotton to donate and/or sell cheap on eBay (not sure brown 19th century reproductions make the best donations to groups who make quilts for babies or teach inner-city girls to sew, you know?). Bryan was here this past weekend so no progress was made, but I have big hopes for the coming weekend.

Oh, I won $100 in a Scrabble tournament in Indiana in February. Saturday I scrupulously spent every last penny in a local quilt shop having a 29% off Leap Year sale. I know this sounds odd coming after a paragraph about clearing out fabrics I know I will never use--all those 19th century repros, what was I thinking??--but it's mostly thread, backings for unfinished objects, and three yards of black and white fabric patterned with printed circuit boards. I will never grow out of my fascination with PCBs.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Work in Progress?

Yesterday I made some additional pieces of paper fabric (same novel, no paint, looks exactly like this) before deciding what the first unpainted piece needed was a modified Carolina Lily.

It's fused down--the PVA gets smooth when you melt it--and I might be able to peel off the fused pieces if I decide I hate it. I might hate the green triangles, they're too big...

I have no idea how or why I embarked on this--maybe because the crappy novel was about people from South Carolina? I don't like primitives or faux folk art, why did I start making some?

Less perplexing is a new sequined piece featuring coffee. The scale doesn't seem right; there's a lot of empty space. I said I wanted to make things bigger than the things I finished last year...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Finished: "Indiana, October 2004."

One of my goals for 2008 is to finish three objects. The first was painted in Susan Shie's week-long class in Indianapolis in 2004. At the time, I was on vacation from a job programming automatic-steering software for green tractors--the yellow bump on the roof received GPS information from a satellite (shown in the upper right-hand corner) and this information was used to send commands to the hydraulic steering to keep the tractor in a straight line while the operator watches the implement gages (or, let's be real, the TV mounted on the corner post).

I hated the work environment, but I loved being out on the tractors driving around to collect and analyze data.

The piece hangs in my hallway, next to the other pieces I painted that week and finished at home.

Details of my cat, who was a teenager at the time, and myself.

One down, two to go.