Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Presents (cont.) and an Intro to Books

I have been obsessed with books from my earliest memory. I had this stack of Little Golden Books as a child that I would carry all over with me. My mom would read me these stories so much that I had some of them memorized and thereby taught myself to read before the age of 5 (nowadays that's no big deal, but in the early 60's, kids just didn't read before they went to school).

Another clear memory is of me going to the Bloomfield Public Library as a pre-teen and bringing home as many books as I could carry. I loved the classics - Dickens, Bronte, Jane Austen, and still have these in my bookcase today (purchased copies, not the ones from the library :-))

I read constantly and incessantly until I started quilting, then I turned my reading attention to quilting books and magazines. I taught myself to quilt the same way I taught myself to read...with books.

And so, I love books. I love owning books, I love looking at books, I can never read all the books I want to read. I like the feel of books, the smell of books, the shape of books. I love bookstores, libraries, and identify with Belle when she feasts her eyes on the library in the Beast's castle. I've recently acknowledged that I will not use all the books I own, especially all the quilting books, so I like selling books so they can be put to further good use.

And so I asked for a couple of books for Christmas, and got the ones I asked for (and even a few more, like the gnome books and others which I have yet to reveal!)

One of the books I asked for was Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista. I just can't get enough written material about collage these days, and I am determined to learn something and make successful collages.

I started a little exercise from the book. Using watered down acrylic fabric paint , I stamped wet paint onto white prepared-for-dying muslin, then while still wet, tossed down a handful of embroidery floss and pressed with an iron, giving me a print of the crumpled floss. It came out more pronounced on this piece:

I then did some outlining of the random pressed floss shapes with gold ink, then took it to the machine and followed the shapes with pink and gold metallic threads. I am calling this work-in-progress "chaos", which unfortunately reflects some elements in my life at this point (especially after moving the entire contents of Megan's apartment into our house this weekend).

On this next piece, using full strength paint, I stamped "X's" in an "X" pattern, then added some gold ink separating lines, and I've started some straight-line gold metallic triple stitching. I am calling this one "order", which is what I need.

I hope to have order and chaos complete soon. Thank you, Amy, Brian, Molly & Lily for the wonderful book which has inspired me to take the next steps in collaging!

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