Thoughtful Friday

Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.
Thomas Merton

Thoughtful Friday

Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone-we find it with another.
Thomas Merton

Dabbled Halloween Contest

Strip Club Quilting

I finally received my super cool June Taylor Strip Pro cutting tool (this item will be available as a special order only). It is a must have for shops and a cool tool for individuals. The ruler is deep enough to cut a 2.5 inch strip with out folding the fabric and wide enough to cut 8 strips in a go. It is hard to decide on the first strip set, the Paintbox series from Lonni Rossi just calls out for this.

Introducing our first in house strip set of Lonni Rossi Paint Box - 40 2.5 inch strips of fabulous fabric.

PLUS 5 inch charms of the same wonderful 40 prints. This charm pack is perfect for the free pattern Paintbox Pattern from Andover.

Andover has a great selection of free patterns.

This is Atlanta!

Make sure you set your Tivo up for this.

My First High Fire Kiln - Image Heavy

Well the first high fire was a success and I am excited about the result. The question is will others be equally as excited? Thoughts?

How Cute is this?

A couple of my students came out to Kraftworks last week and when they arrived back at school they were insistent that I teach them how to make plushies. I already had some cool eyes and an idea of how to create dolls based on drawings from the class this summer, so I said sure. One more teenager who can sew is a great thing.

So they brought in some old clothes, mostly tee shirts and a wool jacket with fake fur to recycle for the project. Officially these guys are in my photography class, the original thought was to create a plushie menagerie to use as part of one student's final portfolio. His enthusiasm quickly transfered to a number of other students.

One of them suggested I teach a craft class, innocent fools. If there were only enough hours in the day.

Here I am sporting one of the creatures I made at the Mary Ray Lecture on Saturday. Photo complements of Mary Ray

Holy Mother of Me

When I fall off the wagon. I hit hard. I now have dozens of ceramic molds. What started out as a search for a few cool 70 - 80s / virgin Mary ceramic molds became a new bad habit. I have ordered about 40 new (to me) molds and only one has been broken. As with all buyer / seller relationships, I am more pleased with some ebay shops/sellers than others. I find it hard to gauge size of the finished cast by the photographs and I am appalled by the expense of shipping. I understand that the molds are heavy and that they need to be wrapped, but not 40.00 for a 10 pound mold. I know what it costs and a 25.00 handling fee is excessive.

Here is my advice so far-
  • I like the companies that have images of the finished mold.
  • I really like the individuals who are moving a few of their extra molds.
  • I like the folks who will combine shipping and use a reasonable handling fee.
  • If the mold looks nasty in the photo it is nasty. I received one with rat poop in it and when I went back to view the image it was right there -- super gross.
  • Folks with over 500 molds are buying lots and selling with out ever pouring their molds - expect sporadic quality. I found some great molds at those places but I have also received some super duds.
  • The shipping adds up.
  • Wait for things to arrive so you don't end up with 4 snails and 2 of the same mushroom molds.
I just mixed up my next batch of slip and I am having a blast. The kiln is loaded for a cone 018 firing right now and I cleaned my first soft fire from last week. I snuck a few of my pieces into the last high fire and they look great. I added cobalt carbonate to the slip and love the shade of blue the high fire has. The new batch is green. I may not pour all of my molds in this color. Might be weird or maybe it will look like it already has a patina. I am doing a high fire on Friday and will finally have some pictures of the final products. There are a lot of steps involved in this new bad habit.

Making Silly Soap

I went trolling for cool molds at ebay and found a bunch that are not for ceramic stuff. I ordered them with out really thinking what I would do with them, but they are soap molds so I used my 40% off coupon and purchased a soap making kit. It was easy and fun, the girls has a blast and I have Venus of Willendorf soap. The molds are from Milky Way Molds and they have a bunch of other cools one.

I think will make great holiday gift but I will have to be careful who I give a fertility goddess to.

Fall Crafty Event - Visit Or Vend

It is time to start thinking about your fall crafting shows there will be a bunch to pick from so where will you be buying or selling your handmade holiday.

Here is a short list of Atlanta, GA events I will be a vendor at or just know about:

Mountain Arts & Craft Show - State Farmers' Market Blue Ridge, GA: The last two weekend of October (18-19 & 25 - 26). Sponsored by the Home Makers of Blue Ridge. Number for vendors to contact 374-2335.

Kraftwork: This is an ongoing event held at Youngblood Gallery on the first Thursday of the month. The event is organized the the dynamic due from ICE.

Indie Craft Experience - Holiday Shopping Spectacular: Saturday November 16, 2008 from 11 - 6. The application is up and waiting for you.

The Work of our Hands - Holiday Show: The Sixth Annual Holiday Show and Sale will be at the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, November 20-23, 2008. The opening reception will be on Thursday, November 20 from 5:00-7:00pm. I love this show and I love this ministry.

October Quilt Events

In October Some Art Fabric goes on the road. We will be vending at a bunch of cool shows.

Look for us at:

Georgia Quilt Council Fall Convention: They are bringing in the big guns, Billie Lauder is the speaker. Saturday, October 11, 2008 at the Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center, Mansfield, GA. This is a beautiful place to visit and there will be classes.

The Georgia Quilt Show: Running October 16, 17 & 18 at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia (home to Original Sewing & Quilt Expo for the past 10 years), Georgia Quilt Show is crafted to showcase the “best of the best” in quilt making. It brings quilt makers the expanded quantity, variety and depth they have been asking for into classrooms, the exhibit hall and quilt galleries.

Fall Fabric Festival: This is our big sale. One day only Saturday, October 25 at the Meadow Grove Club House. All of the quilt fabric is $4.00 a yard and additional discount given for finishing bolts.

Mother Mary -- Angels -- Owls

Well the first of the new (to me) ceramic molds are in. I am having a great time pouring the paper clay slip and my test fire went great. I did some research on cleaning the seam lines and found this great info, apparently you can bisque fire the slip figure to 018 and then submerge them in water and use sand paper to remove blemishes and seams. 018 takes the kiln up to approximately 1250 degree, which is when the chemical water is removed and the clay is no longer effected by fluid. AND you do not need to worry about toxic ceramic dust because the mold is wet when you sand it. I guess it is not as hard as the standard 04 firing. I am loading the kiln up in 2 days so I will give it a try.

The other cool thing about 018 is that glass slumps at that temperatures too so I will be experimenting with recycled ground glass frit in some home made frit molds. I am using clay pot bottoms with kiln wash. They are smaller than I wanted but they will work for a test and for coasters. I am really getting excited about this fall.

If all my experiment work well I will have new stuff for the October Kraftworks.

Newsletter Highlights

Highlights from our "First to Know Newsletter" Header image

Newsletter Sign Up FormWhen you join our mailing list, you get to be the 'first to know' about our new items and specials. This month we had a great deal in our newsletter for over 50% off of one of our fat quarter bundles. Can you find it in the store?

If you aren't on the list, you might want to be for the next newsletter.

National Sewing Month

Fabric Flash - September 7, 2008

September is National Sewing Month.

What's the American Sewing Guild doing this month?

ASG shares an excellent article on Sewing Green. You'll find a wealth of tips to use-up yourfabric stash, re-use buttons and "greening up" your sewing room.

Read more about it...

Fabric for September

Kaufman You've Got the Notions

You've Got the Notions - Kaufman - 1 YDS - 8284 3You've Got the Notions - Kaufman - 1 YDS - 8285 193You've Got the Notions - Kaufman - 1 YDS - 8281 3

Pumpkins Gone Wild

Pumpkins Gone Wild  - Moda - 1 YDS - 17387 11This isn’t just your average stack of pumpkins. These
pumpkins are adorned with dots, stripes, plaids, wearing
hats and making faces behind our backs. As they mock
us with their cuteness we can’t help but wonder
what kind of party they are having when we’re
looking the other way.

The entire line is vine ripe and ready for picking.

Pumpkins Gone Wild  - Moda - 1 YDS - 17287 53Pumpkins Gone Wild  - Moda - 1 YDS - 17374 11

Great Deals Coordinated Bundles

Fat Quarters & One Yard bundles available from select lines

FQ Line Bundles - SAF - 10 FQS - Coordinates

Fabric Bakery

Charms, Layer Cakes & Jelly Rolls

Fabulous Fall Charm Pack - Moda - 1 Charm Pack - 19255PP 1974 Jelly Roll - Moda - 1 Jelly Roll - 31035JR Chic Or Treat Charm Pack - Moda - 1 Charm Pack - 14070PP

Hip & Fresh New Patterns
Lila Tueller

Funked Out Peasant Blouse - Lila Tueller Designs - 1 Pattern - LTD11 The Bohemian Bag - Lila Tueller Designs - 1 Pattern - LTD13

Thoughtful Friday

Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.
Thomas Merton

Don't Miss Kraftwork Tonight

The market is held on the first Thursday of each month from 7-10 p.m. The first Kraftwork in Young Blood's new space will take place on Thursday, September 4th.

That is Tonight !

See you there!!

Paper Clay Ceramic Slip

Last week I wrote about how I fell off the one craft only wagon and purchased a bunch of ceramic molds. I am very excited about their arrival and I wanted to share some of my adventures so far. I have about 10 40 pound bags of stoneware slip, which I purchased my first year teaching (1998). My dad found me a kiln and a cache of doll molds in 2000 and I poured a bunch of baby doll heads and photographed them with a pinhole camera. The images are creepy, surreal, I love them. Some of the heads are porcelain, some are stoneware. My focus shifted for 8 years with the arrival of one and then another real life baby.

Last week, I decided I wanted to try to make paper clay slip and pour some funky retro molds from my childhood, so I went off to ebay and now owls and Christmas trees are winging their way here as I write. In the meantime I dusted off the old doll molds and throw caution to the wind.

Paper Clay is any ceramic clay with cellulose added, there are a bunch of ways to make it and a couple of good books out there but I did not want to dry the clay and hand build with it. I just wanted to pour it into molds and create lighter more durable ceramic casts. Here is a pdf created by Judy Nelson-Moore that highlights the advantages of paperclay

To make my paper clay
  • Use the Hollander beater to grind up my junk mail and create recycled paper pulp
  • Drain the pulverized paper pulp for a couple of days
  • Add the paper pulp to the existing slip
  • Wait until the following day to mix the slip with my whiz bang drill mixer
  • Add a bit more water to create the correct flow of slip
  • Poured it into a couple of my doll molds
The first day it worked like a charm, the second day it was sluggish and thick again. I need to add a defloculant (Sodium Silicate - makes the clay not stick together). Third day it was beginning to smell. I think I will add some tea tree essential oil or some Dr Bonner's Tea Tree Soap to act as an anti bacterial agent. We are in the middle of some serious Fay rain so I have not made it into my clay studio (shed). My slip should be super stinky by this weekend. Obviously, I need enough molds to use up a batch of slip in 2 days.

Stay tuned. I will be loading the kiln Monday.

Block a Day - Amazing Quilt Project

If you are looking for inspiration this woman's blog is a good place to start. Lindsay Jean is creating a block a day from one of those calenders every quilter receives at Christmas. What dedication, what insanity.

pretty birdies, circles and stars

A friend of mine came over and used my die cutter on a bunch of old album covers. I love them!

Daddy Sews Too! - National Sewing Month Begins

This past summer our date night was taking an Indie Art Class, our last class was "Kitchen Couture." Daddy decided to make Arabella an apron. He did a great job.


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