The Gypsy Cart of Art and More

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  With the warm temperatures and cooling nights, my summer is very enjoyable.  Much art activity has gone on during the past three months.

The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!
The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!

Three times now, the gypsy cart of art has made it to our Farmers Market.  I’ve been very happy with the response from people enjoy the cart and my artwork!  On the cart I have smaller original paintings, prints, hand colored prints, floral garlands, notecards, bookmarks, vegetable bags, and pallet paintings (which are actually off the cart) for sale.  The market is held downtown Iron Mountain, across from the library by the stage.  If you get a chance, stop by say hello and you may the perfect piece of art for a gift.

Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.
Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.

A few weeks ago, I helped The Friends of the Braumart to put together the “framework” for the Inaugural Mostra D’Arte show, held during the week before Italian Fest weekend.  It currently is the only gallery style juried art show in Iron Mountain.  Sixteen artists, three jurors, and numerous hours of planning and setting up and striking the show, made for a wonderful exhibition of art.  I was surprised and delighted to win the Third Place Jurors Award on my watercolor painting of The Three Graces which depicted three women stomping grapes.  Sometimes hanging a show can be challenging, but I was so happy with the ease that two women and I had in curating it.  We received many positive comments regarding the hanging!

Meanwhile, up in the studio I’ve been framing watercolor and ink paintings to hang in the gallery.  This is the week I plan to rehang!  During the week, feel free to stop by the gallery downstairs to see what’s new.

The Dig In and Bike On project continues to move along.  Through Kickstarter, 3 racks have been funded and created. Outside of Kickstarter, 3 racks are ordered and a voice agreement for another.  Ronnie Bradke is doing a fantastic job of fabricating the racks.  Two have been installed in the downtown and I hope the third can be installed this week in time for the Labor Day weekend.

May the rest of your summer and the coming weekend bring you much delight!

Joan

Mail Art entry 13!

Mail art entry 13a

What can I say? Sun was pouring through my Southern exposure drawing room window as the ideas fluttered about like the butterfly on the stamp.  I really like how this one turned out!

Mail art entry 13b

The back of this postcard is fun to trace the stitching tracks!

If you haven’t checked out where all these pieces of mail have gone, go to Two Hands Paperie’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Two-Hands-Paperie/282051646297?ref=ts&fref=ts

Mail Art entry 12!

Cut, sew, draw and repeat …

Mail Art entry 12a

Stage 1 of front:  I sewed the little orange ribbon on, the little butterfly cut-out, and then drew the rest with the addresses and stamp.  Still seemed ho-hum …

Mail Art entry 12b

For the flip side I cut out tulips from a rectangle piece of paper and then tore around it.  I sewed the tulip silhouettes, ribbons, and the cardboard cut-out onto the back. After stitching it onto the backside of another sheet cardboard, I scribbled into some of the border with the blue ink pen and added a request to Spring … still not pleased.

Mail Art entry 12c

Thinking a few raindrops might help, I added those, but still not enough …

Mail Art entry 12e

… I decided to darker the one set of scribbles in the border and add a second set.  The looseness of the line gives a “stitched” look to it.  Back to the front …

Mail Art entry 12f

… more color was added with marker and some Prismacolor to help give it a little more  brightness.

Off it went … with added postage.

 

Mail Art entry 7!

mail art entry 7a for blog

I love color!  I’ve accumulated various paint chips over time, in trying to decide various colors for different rooms in our home.  Over the weekend, a local store offered a free quart of paint to try out their new brand.  Trying to decide on one color was so difficult for me, as I love so many colors.

Arriving home, I looked through my collection of paint chips and thought they would make a great piece for Mail Art!  I sewed different cards together and then front to back.  Next came the fun part of deciding what to do.  I used ink to create a great contrast for all the color.  Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

mail art entry 7b for blog

The Story of the Dress – Part III

After being gone for two weeks, I began anew on Catherine’s dress.  Pictured above is the first stage of phase I, on the left is the old tulle with the seed beads, on the right their new home in waiting.  I carefully took my seam ripper and to my delight, found as I gently pulled on the string from another chain stitch, most of the beads easily unstitched from the tulle, but stayed on the thread.  Go figure!  Only a few rogue beads took off to the far corners of my sewing room!

My tiny needle deftly went through the fabric to pick up some tiny seed beads.  Oh no!  The first bead I picked up with the needle did not slide across it, but stopped about 1/4 inch from the point of the needle.  Panic came to heart and then I remembered not all seed beads are made the same!  Setting that bead to the side, I found three others that easily slid onto my needle.  I sewed them on in a similar fashion of how they originally were applied, with one exception – I did it by hand, no machine.  Pick up three beads, stitch down, bring the needle up about 1/4 ” from where I started, slide on three new beads, and stitch down where the previous three were stitched down.  Now, I bring the needle up at the end of the line.  It somewhat makes a loop around, every three beads.

Below is the result of what I accomplished.  It is fun to see the difference of the beads being directly on the satin verses the tulle.  My goal is to complete this first section of beading and to attach the skirt for a fitting before the magical mystery invisible zipper is applied!

Completed first section of beading! Hurrah!
Part of the completed seed beading!

The Story of the Dress Part I

Catherine and GrandMary with GrandMary's wedding dress

Shortly after their engagement, Catherine and John started to think about their wedding plans.  They considered what kind of wedding they wanted, Catherine considered what kind of dress she wanted that would make sense with the type of wedding they wanted.  She wondered if GrandMary would mind her 1951 wedding dress being remade to fit Catherine.  I called my 79-year-old mother and asked for permission.  My mom stated, “Well sure!  I won’t be using it anymore!”

This past summer we visited Mom and sisters, and at that point, my mother’s dress officially changed ownership.  In the evening, we pulled the dress out and assessed its condition.  The yellowed, heavy duchess satin from the 1951 wedding bore old stains of celebratory wedding cake and punch.  Even some of the delicate beads had lost their coating.  Catherine took it to an eco-friendly cleaner and we were thrilled with the results!  Many of the old stains were removed, others lightened and the yellow was gone!

In August, I began deconstructing the dress to determine how much fabric was usable.  I cut and sewed a demo bodice out of another fabric to be certain Catherine would have a dress that fit.  After the fit was established, I ripped the demo to use use as a pattern and I cut her new dress from my mother’s old one.

Catherine and I discussed alternatives if the pattern pieces would not fit around some of the minor stains that remained.  We decided, being the creative folks that we are, we could come up with a solution!  We also discussed the story of the dress; who it belonged to, the time period, the maternal line that it touched from my Grandmother Alma seeing her oldest daughter being married, my Mom wearing it, my Aunt Katherine standing beside her as maid of honor, my sisters and I trying it on while growing up, and now to Catherine.

Our Catherine who with her “live simply, respect the earth, eco-friendly way of living”, chose to have her dress for her milestone of a day, be one with meaning.  Just as a painting tells a story with each underlying pencil mark,  brush strokes and layers of paint, I recognized Catherine’s dress, a work of art in its own, has a story to tell, too.  Each stitch, each bead, and yes, each unresolved stain (until it’s decided how to resolve it) creates part of the story.  In fact, it is those marks that help to alter , shape and form what the dress will be, just as our own marks and resolved stains that touch to our very fibers help each of us to shape and form who we Be.