Friday, March 25, 2011


When I got my son everything changed, as everyone said it would. I was ready to love him and watch him grow, but I didn't exactly expect that I would be voluntarily captured by him. That's what happened, though, in body and spirit.
I've posted this before as a part of a much larger work called Mrs. Swift Learns to Speak Boy. People have commented on the "robots" in the piece, but they aren't really robots, they are Lego men. Along with my son (a few years down the road) came a considerable and still growing army of Lego men. I've been wanting to post a detail from the larger work, which ended up as the image I used for my first printed paper quilt, so that you could see that the robots are really Lego men. I hope the Lego people don't mind that I played with their toys, today's IF challenge. You can see what became of this drawing here:

Saturday, March 19, 2011


On sale 9-27-11: Absolute Midnight, the third installment in Clive Barker's Abarat series. Yum.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The thing with feathers

For IF: Cultivate

Initially, this image came from an Emily Dickenson poem about hope being the thing with feathers that perches in your soul. It's a companion piece to a drawing and print called Watched Pot (see below). My friend Olive really liked Watched Pot, and I just noticed the feather sketch next to it in my sketchbook and decided to do it up.
I think the feather drawing fits the topic of cultivate, both because of the pot and the dreams that are growing in it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bad litho karma

Sigh. Apparently, I have bad litho karma. I'm not gonna say what happened, just that I've learned a good lesson and I'll never do that again. I gave my plate (or myself) one more chance today to save the image, but I just don't have the experience to make it work. So, I'm going to start over from scratch. I'd sure like to print at least one successful litho before the semester is over.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I just realized that at my school, and I suppose at other schools as well, we refer to grad students as just "grads". Isn't that odd sounding? In my case, it probably means gradual! I've also been tallying up my credits and looking at my GPA's. I had a 4.0 in my undergrad credits here. Sheesh. These people are easy graders : ) The joke is that I teach "here" now, and am indeed, an easy grader! My grad record isn't quite as good, to be sure.

Anyway, it looks like I have 15 credits to go and I will be a bona fide MFA. The current quilt is coming along, despite many technical problems this spring. I have almost half of the plates made and printed at least once, and one set is nearly colored as well. I'm starting to think abut cutting paper for the quilting, and piecing at least a few blocks for our final crit. The biggest question right now is how to go about the next quilting session. The last one was fun, but I don't think I handled it right. It was too physically demanding for the sewers (there must be a better term!) and I think I need to do more, as Morgan suggested in our last crit, to identify why I am bringing these particular groups together and to figure out a payoff for the sewers. I have some ideas, but no stunners, except maybe asking people to quilt two blocks, and then the group could keep one and I keep one. I'm also wondering if I should go small scale, and visit with smaller groups or individuals to quilt a block or two at a time. I think coming up with a way to document the sewing experience would be good, and I might be more comfortable doing that in smaller groups, at least at first. Maybe the solution is, like in so many things, to let the project grow.

Friday, March 11, 2011


For IF: As she stirred from her sleep, she began to lift off the bed and into another world.

This is a cropped version of an older drawing. I made it into a print to test my lightbox for exposure times on this type of drawing. I think I'll print the whole thing on a larger plate next.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Here is a link to Kevin Haas' technical information handouts about printmaking:

Lots of good information there! Thanks, Kevin!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Thanks to Mark P., I found an amazing site for print geeks (Mark's term; I think I might be one of them) called Inkteraction. It is a haven for printmakers, with forums, articles and opportunities. Mark also sent me an article from the site about plate litho. When I can find a link to it, I'll post it as well. That makes two papers on this process, so when I add to my Ox-Bow paper, I think I'll just detail printing them on an etching press. It was really nice to find this site.

These are the first two successful plates, after too many tries at exposure, of the new Dreamer in Training quilt. Sorry they're a little crooked up there! I'm still learning how to wipe them, but the good news is that I finally have an exposure setting that works, in both Photoshop and the lightbox. Now I should be able to scan, burn and print the rest of the drawings with the same settings.
It was a long road figuring out those exposures. Right when I thought I knew what to do, a tube seemed to have burned out in the lightbox. They aren't exactly easy to find, but I did, and after waiting almost a week to get them, the tube still didn't fire up. It turned out that each tube has a starter and one of mine was burned out. I found one in town for less than a dollar. Sigh. The silver lining is that now I know a lot more about my lightbox. And the two plates I burned after this odyssey are fine!

If this ever happens to you, (a tube stops working in your lightbox built by Dan Welden) there is a printmaking supply house in Oregon, called McClain's: They sell the tubes you need. You can get the starters at Menards. I wish Daniel Smith would carry the tubes. Except now I have a lifetime supply, and the box will probably fall to pieces before I need one again.

Snowpants girl

For all of you out there who don't like the snow:
It was an incredibly beautiful day.