Sunday, September 19, 2010

Photowalking with Cream City Flickrites

Yesterday I went on a photowalk with the Cream City::Milwaukee Flickr group, my first one since March 2009. They meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month, which is often the same day as the Milwaukee ATC group's monthly meeting, so schedule conflicts and inclement weather usually keep me from attending. I usually feel self-conscious walking around taking photos of things, but on a photowalk is I'm part of a big group of people all taking photos of everything. Safety in numbers!
IMG_1120xIMG_1121x Mail Box
Photowalks also force me to take a closer look at my environment and notice details. The fun part is seeing what everyone else took photos of, and I find that drives me to become a better photographer as well, even with my rinky dink digital camera. Plus, I see parts of Milwaukee I usually only drive past. This walk started at the Milwaukee Ale House and ended at the Wicked Hop, so my husband was happy to come along, too! He asked me to take photos of textures he could use in computer graphics, and I also took reference photos for my own art.
We came across the sculpture Stratiformis by Jin Soo Kim, which I had read about but never seen. She incorporated 19th century knitting machines once used in a factory in the neighborhood.
IMG_1147x Stratiformis
At one point, we walked past an alley and saw a pack of photographers clustered at one end, cameras all pointed at something behind the building. My husband said, jokingly, "They must have found a dead body." Well, dead auto bodies!
So if you have the opportunity to do a group photowalk, I highly recommend it! You can see my photowalk set here along with photos from previous walks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fabric Paper Collage ATCs

Yes, I gave into the craze for making fabric paper! I first read about it back in 2004 in Beryl Taylor's article "Making Fabric from Paper" in the premiere issue of Cloth Paper Scissors and in her luscious book Mixed Media Explorations. There's a basic how-to on the Quilting Arts website. You start with a layer of muslin fabric and glue paper to that base and then paint, stencil, spritz & stamp layers of color on top of that, and then cut it up to use in collage that can be stitched! (The photos above right top to bottom show some of my layers of paper & color being added.)

I had experimented with the technique a little, making this mini art quilt in 2007, but never really embraced it. Then my friend Darlene did a demo for our local ATC group this past April and encouraged everyone else to try it. And my friend Sue gave me a copy of Kelli Perkins' book Stitch Alchemy, which featured colorful Day of the Dead fabric paper greeting cards.

So I decided to try the technique for my ATCs for the Day of the Dead swap at Illustrated ATCs. I made two pieces of fabric cloth about 11x18" each (or half a fat quarter) - one in red/pink/orange shades (see above) and one blue/green/yellow.
More Fabric Paper - September 8, 2010
Then I cut out my shapes and tacked them down with a bit of glue to hold everything in place until I could stitch it.
Muertos ATCs - September 10, 2010
For the borders, I used some colorful fibers handspun by my friend Kathi. Here are the four that I'm sending in for the swap:
2010 Day Of The Dead #12010 Day Of The Dead #2
2010 Day Of The Dead #32010 Day Of The Dead #4
Now I have to finish some fruit ATCs for the Milwaukee ATC group's September theme "Eat, Drink & Make Art." (You can see some of them under construction in the first photo above.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Got Tomatoes? - A Summer Recipe

Tomatoes - August 23, 2010
This summer I actually have ripe tomatoes! In the past (when I've bothered to plant anything), I tend to start too late in the growing season, which in Wisconsin is pretty short anyway, and I end up salvaging green tomatoes off the vine when the first freeze comes. This year I actually had to worry about using up my tomatoes before they got TOO ripe!

So I tried the recipe for Bread and Tomato Salad from the Sundays At Moosewood cookbook.
Ingredients - September 2, 2010
2 cups dried bread cubes (about 1/2" cubes)
2 garlic cloves minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, saute bread cubes and garlic in olive oil until garlic starts to color and bread has absorbed most of the olive oil. Put the bread in a large dish and add remaining ingredients and mix. The bread does get pretty soggy, and toasting helped somewhat before sauteing. (I admit to eating this with my fingers ;o)
Bread & Tomato Salad - August 28, 2010
Be sure to check the comments on this post for more tomato recipes! :D
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