Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I am DELIGHTED to see my work side by side with the work of Melody Johnson this morning! I’m a huge fan of her (and her) work and it is really cool to see how she was inspired by the work of Robin Ferrier which led to Melody’s Bon Bon series. I found those delicious Bon Bon's so inspiring that echoes of her work can be seen in mine. See mine side by side with hers here. And thanks Melody, you made my day!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The latest chapter from the quilt studio:

I started into a pieced section that is a stylized sunset with fence. Those stars wanted a context. The pieces in this section are arranged in a classic brick pattern which is a theme in my life over the last few years… brick walls and hurdles have been a theme.

Then I started messing around with the placement of the elements and kinda liked some of the other options.

I added a strip of pieced work to the componants on this one. I actually picked up the stuff on the floor and starting piecing the larger elements together until it turned out this way. I've never really done much in the way of "random" in my quilt designs before so this was kind of fun. And I think it works in this design.

I really liked this idea actually... however... I really wanted those stars at the top of the piece and I was hoping I could balance out the colors and values in a way that would make it work.

A few of the elements, but still... something seems to be missing.

So this is how things look at the moment. I'm going to do some tweaking but I'll live with it a while as it is and decide if I really think it is finished or not.

Vision Quest Class

The thirteen week Vision Quest class I am teaching begins January 4th, so please stop by my Mystic Call blog to learn more about this great opportunity to grow and clarify your vision for 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quilt Project Update

This much was finished by the end of Christmas Eve, the HO and E were finished before and the P had to wait until after the festivities. Then I started in on the three stars. I tried a number of different stars and wasn’t really thrilled with any of them.

Taking what I learned from making the first three, I made three more that I like much better. Now that I have these three new stars, I need to decide which configuration works best.

Blue, Pink, Blue OR
Pink, Blue, Blue...

So far more or less like the sketch... only better. I love the creative process! I have not decided which portion I'll work on next.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The first one, way to complicated.
Trying another style... hmmm...

Try #3 hmmm....

Dying to Piece a Quilt!

The company that makes the glazes I use on my glass also makes a killer line of fabric paints. If you thin them a little, they make marvelous dyes. We’ve moved and I couldn’t think of a good place to hang dyed fabrics so I decided to try drying them on waxed paper. By the time I was done playing with the colors I had 26 pieces of dyed fabric. When I got up the following morning they were dry enough to set and I was very pleased with how they turned out.

Three pieces of plain cotton, I love the wrinkle look to the dye.

This was a white on white that took the color only in the cotton and not in the printed design. I was pleased with how it looks.
This pattern is more subtle but works nicely. I feel in love with this fabric when I saw it the first time because it looks like cornelli lace which I made lots of when I worked as a professional cake decorator.

Near the end of my dying I grabbed this piece of fabric and dyed sections in a variety of colors to see how it would look. It isn't a big shift but enough to count and I'm very pleased.

Now I have the bright commercial colors and the less intense colors that I needed to go with them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Project

I’ve been sketching ideas for a quilted piece that will go in my family room on the wall. The space is between two windows where I keep a collection art glass that changes whenever I make more. And it's begging for a piece that is 30 inches by 40 inches and it's going to need to be bright enough to hold it's own against the glass. I usually sketch on graph paper with something out of my color basket of markers and colored pencils. So here’s a sneak peak at the idea that I’m working with.

The base starts out with rows of colored fabrics that I think tend to look a little like grass. After that the four stylized blocks will hint at the word “HOPE.” Above that is something I’m picturing looking like an old rail fence. I’ll have to see how that goes but I like the idea so far. The fence represents the hurdles one has to cross in life, made better by a firm foundation of hope. The three stars represent the children that we are in process of adopting. It’s a reference to a scripture where God told Abraham to look at the skies and consider the stars. His children would be as the stars are. So I sometimes look at the stars and think of the future when the adoption is complete and they are finally home. Above that will be the “bookend” to echo what is happening lower in the piece to hopefully bring it all together. We’ll see, things like this never actually look like the sketch and sometimes the creative process creates drastic changes from the original ideas that gave them birth. So this is the early stage, we’ll see where this one goes.

Gifts for Iraq

My family chose to give some of what we would have spent on each other to charity instead. All of us have what we need and more besides and with all that has happened in the last year it was a good choice. The charity I chose was Mennonite Central Committee where we were able to actually make kits that will go to relief work in Iraq. These kits include towels, soap, shampoo, brush and comb, toothpaste/brush, etc. Since I’m a soaper I wanted to make soap for all the kits we made so I went through my scraps and came up with a way to make fun things out of product that was nearly unusable for me. All my experiments, leftovers and bits of this and that went into this soap. I was pleased with how they turned out so I thought I’d share a few photos, plus they matched the towels. And that is always important to me when I'm making kits because I think people in crisis need beauty maybe more than anyone.

I was also ticked with the labels I made for these. I called it “PEACE SOAP” with the tag line “Pieces of this and that in a unified whole.” Now I’m not naive enough to believe that a cheesy sentiment on a bar of soap is going to do anything positive for the folks of Iraq, but maybe these kits can help individuals and maybe the aid worker who distributes these will be able to make connections with folks that can be positive and life giving.

I was surprised to find that I felt quite strongly about making these kits. I have been so angered and offended by the Bush Administration’s use of torture, rendition and Gitmo against the people of Iraq, not to mention the abuses of Blackwater and so much more. I have grieved and prayed over these things and felt the helplessness that comes from witnessing a horror and feeling unable to do anything to stop it (other than vote, and that was/is something!) So making these kits really started to touch a nerve in me. It’s nothing in view of the billions of dollars that are pumped into the death machine, but it’s my offering. And I dare to believe that hope and love are more powerful than all the weapons of warfare that this world can come up with.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Project

I’ve had the itch to get back into textile work again! So even though I still have soap and art glass in process, my studio turned into a workshop for dying fabrics today. Hubby has agreed to help me finish out Christmas presents so I could get on to the fun stuff. I always enjoy mixing colors and dying fabric is half chemist, half artist and I love it! I now have 26 pieces of freshly dyed fabric in the studio to compliment my stash of commercial fabrics. And my hands have a strange blue/green hue. Plus I’ve been sketching ideas for a small quilted wall piece. I’ll post photos when I get a chance.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I saw this and was instantly smitten! I have already been through my fabric stash and since I've got leftovers from a ton of other quilting project, I have pretty much everything I need on hand. Including some white fabric and good silk dyes... Presto! I'm thinking WINTER PROJECT! Yummmmmmmm! Thank you Kathy York, this is one great inspiration! Quilt is 96 x 95 inches and titled "Little Cities." WOW!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Coorporate Gifts Just Finished











* * * * * * * * These are still available for sale * * * * * *

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Glass

I'm thrilled with these, they have a fine layer of gold spun on that really catches the light and is just SO pretty!

A lovely set of five classic vases that are really fun in their own way. This series turned out kind of sweet and pastel and the brighter accents as well as the spun on pearl has a way of making them look soft and sweet. There are a few from this series (not pictured) that I'm not quite ready to part with.

I like how the light played in these three pieces. I was hoping for a kind of funky Christmas young color scheme, and they are actually a little brighter in person. They have a white pearl spun detail that sets it all off.
I have another batch in process that isn't fired or photographed yet and they are a completely different color scheme. And I have a big coorporate order due shortly so I'm also working on those. It is going to be a busy couple of weeks around here!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Highlights from the new Glass Studio!

This isn't everything from the latest collection, but some of it. I love what I do! All these glorious colors make me happy!!

Three sisters.

Since I work mostly in reclaimed glass, it is unusal to find the same shape in a variety of sizes but fun when it happens!

More sisters all dressed up.

The bubble bowl family.
I would take the time to make each piece available online, but the truth is, this stuff sells so quickly that I just never get that task accomplished. However, if you see something in these photos that you'd love to purchase, simply email me at info at carmenrosestudio dot com.

Glass Highlights

A fun triplet of blue/green glass vases dressed up in pearl.

A matching pair.

Multi colors spun on with gold detailing.

A lively batch of three tall vases with pearl detailing.

The "blue neck" series (well, not rednecks anyway) with lots of color and gold detailing.

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