Thursday, December 18, 2014

Contemporary Embroidery & Deconstructed Screen Printing

The stitching pulled the long stripes up into shallow
long hills and gives it a physical,  as well as
visual texture.  (Untitled piece, as of yet.)
I love gingko leaves but the hazy black/gray
stripes were what ended up enthralling me.
The base fabric is a cotton knit which came
printed with multi-colored dots.  I cut off the
leaves and even chopped the bottom wavy
lines off and added them up above.
Detail of long embroidery
above.  The colored dots
really make this fabric
piece dynamic.

Many of my early DSP fabrics were very vague, pale or diffused because it was the first pull on the screen.  I've taken those "foggy" fabrics and used them as the background for some very interesting embroideries, I think.  My favorite stitch is the simple straight stitch, also called seed stitch, whip stitch, or the satin stitch pulled apart, because I love stripes and the chance to cover them with horizontal straight stitches.  I use any stripe or area that creates a channel.  Also using a long thread from one point to another and coming back up with a separate thread to couch down the long one has created some wonderful wavy lines.  The open fly stitch is also a favorite.  Using the straight stitch, especially, I have come to call mindless embroidery because I so often use it while I'm watching movies in the evening--- it helps me to concentrate.  The detail images will give a better idea of where they all came from.

Check out my guild's blog for more images of these types of embroideries I do (December 2014).  The Lakeshore Fiber Arts Guild's December Holiday Potluck always features show 'n tell (and an ornament exchange) at Lakeshore Fiber Arts Guild blog.

The upper portion of this fabric was cut off
and used for the embroidery below.  (I'm
thinking of using the bottom magenta/pink
section for photo transferred images in the open areas,
then stitching into the stripes, of course.)
Detail of piece below (untitled as yet).

Untitled as of yet.

Glue Gun Stencils!

Glue gun stencils have become my favorite thing to make, taking only minutes and giving a whizzy (new word?), quirky look.  This idea is thanks to Traci Bautista and her newest book, "Printmaking Unleashed" published in 2014 by North Light Books.  I must admit that I love her work and her books (previous fav is "Collage Unleashed").  Just as long as you make sure that all the lines are connected to another, they stay together and easily come off of parchment paper (Teflon sheet can be used also).  The biggest one, the stripes, is 18" long and 12" tall so even big ones work.  I didn't bother to flatten out most of them because the glue had already become firm (the glue is flat on the bottom but rounded on top), but if this is a problem, I'm sure I can wave a heat gun over the top to soften the glue and put a plexiglass sheet on top and press it down.  Now to the actually using them as stencils!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Barefoot Sisters and Kimono Obi Dolls

Barefoot Sister with
Turquoise Fish

Barefoot Sister
with Silver Gold Fish

Barefoot Sister with
Two Fish

Along with the Standing Angels for the upcoming holiday shows, I made a group of Barefoot Sisters holding a variety of items in their hands.  The ones with the fish harken back to a commissioned piece I did for an English prof out in Utah who prints and paints fabric and then uses it in her quilts in her spare time.

Grove Gallery in East Lansing, LowellArts! in downtown Lowell, and the Woodland Weavers & Spinners' Textile Artists Market will have these pieces.  Check my website at for specifics.  Hope your holiday gift making with fabric is fun!

Kimono Obi Barefoot
Sister with Pink
Kimono Obi Barefoot
Sister in Black,
White and Red

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Chorus of Angels

9" tall angel with leaves.
Small, 6" T angel.
Small, 6" tall angels.
Tall 9" T angel.

Having to work on holiday pieces for shows before it's even Halloween is difficult for me, so I decided to do small dolls.  Long ago I created what I called "Standing Angels" and I went back to those for these shows.  I've had a lot of fun mixing and putting together all kinds of  fun fabrics with big 3-D stars, hearts, and other 3-D pillow forms (leaves, baubles).

My friend, Lin Dahl, out in California asked me to make the little 6" tall angels for her so she could put them on her Christmas tree.  What a great idea it was so I've continued to do a variety of heights, just like all the various sizes of people in the world.

I usually do mostly gold with angels but I often remember that there are those who love silver.  Long ago I did commissioned Santa dolls for a woman in Salem, Massachusetts, who collected Santas.  These she wanted in royal blue and silver.  I was amazed at how lovely the combination is (those two Santas were wonderful! but unfortunately I took no photos of them...).

When I finally took pictures, I lined them all up on a bookcase, and they really look like a huge chorus singing.  So, when you get to December, enjoy the holidays!

The early angels.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Crimp Weave workshop with Dianne Totten

I took a 2-day crimp weave workshop with Dianne Totten sponsored by the Woodland Weavers and Spinners Guild in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Above and below are images of a jacket Dianne wore one day and one of her samples.  Once I get my pieces woven, threads pulled, steamed, and photographed, I'll put those on the blog, too--- as well as an explanation of the process.

Mystery Workshop with Susie Krage

I took a mystery workshop from Susie Krage in Detroit on Sept. 10, the last SDA workshop that she's going to offer, although she'll continue teaching workshops at her studio.  It was a one-day screen printing class using textile paints screened on to fabric with paper resists (mine were in leaf shapes); fugitive media such as pastels, water soluble crayons, and watercolor pencils drawn on afterwards; then a base extender painted on to make the fugitives permanent and waterproof.  (ProChem ProFab textile paints and base extender were used.) A fun class!  Susie is a good teacher with a lot of experience using screen printing techniques.  Also, her studio in Indian Village section of downtown Detroit is large and has everything needed by students.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

WILD GLAMOUR: Annual Show at YT Galleria

Glamour Girl in Black Tube Hat

My annual show opens at YT Galleria on Thurs., Oct. 2, with a reception from 4-8pm.  There's usually wonderful food and the galleria also has wonderful clothing, new abstract paintings by Carol Johnson I'm entranced with.  I decided on Wild Glamour as a title because I wanted to do more Glamour Girls that were beyond the styles I had tried, especially more with grass hair.  I still have more to experiment with, but there are also more Pisces Women, and the unusual Green Woman and Woman Enveloped in Ferns that were produced in the midst of the coldest months of last winter.  YT Galleria is in the East Hills section of Grand Rapids at 966 Cherry St., GR 49506; 616-451-8817; with lots of restaurants.  Hope to see you there for the reception!
Pisces Woman 22 with
Purple Spotted Fish

Monoprinted Embroidery in MI Arts show at the Holland Area Arts Council

"From Within"
Monoprinted, flour paste resist and painted, beaded, embroidered;
12" x 12", 2013

Hope you get time to visit the MI Arts All Media Competition at the Holland Area Arts Council, 150 E. 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423 before Nov. 30.  It's a great show in which two of us in the fiber arts got in pieces:  a thread painting by fellow guild member, Priscilla Lynch, and a monoprinted embroidery of mine--- very proud to have gotten in a piece and an embroidery at that!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Artists Alliance Show

Tree with Big Toes 2
by Jennifer Gould

Tree with Half
Lemon Slices
by Jennifer
The Artists Alliance is a West Michigan group of 15 artists exhibiting in pastels, oil, photography with experimental techniques, printmaking, assemblage, watercolor, mixed media, and textiles.   Karen Hoekstra is one of the newest members to join the group with her layered fabric wall hangings illustrated with machine stitching and felting.  

The exhibit at the Holland Area Arts Council's main Padnos Gallery runs through August 30.

Join us for the reception this Thursday, July 17, from 6-8pm to meet all the artists including fiber artists Alice Breese (handmade paper with pulp paintings) and Jennifer Gould (art dolls).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Indigo Dyeing Day for Newbies

The results of all their work was fabulous!
One of the resists to create pattern.
Some new to resist dyeing
had a good time trying
to wrap rubber bands
around their T-shirts.
Sue Vegter (right) explaining process
to Jeanne Emery and new friend (left) from
the Bartlett/Van Wyk family.

Indigo dyeing day was Sat., May 3, this year (2014) and to my surprise, my former college roommate Pat Van Wyk Bartlett brought a lot of family from their reunion that weekend in Holland.  Everyone in that group was completely new to the technique and came with washed cotton T-shirts.

Yarn dyed in pokeberries.

Along with new people were some who were new to natural dyeing using onions skins (yellow to green) and pokeberries (hot pink) and overdyeing with indigo.
Dyed in just onion skins?
Yarn dyed in pokeberries and then overdyed

Indigo Dyeing Show 'n Tell: Lou Wolf Vallance

The annual indigo dyeing day at my house this year was May 3.  Along with the blank fabric that everyone brought stitched or ready to be rubber banded was the quilt top that my friend Lou Wolf Vallance brought to show everyone what she had done in years past and how she had assembled the pieces.  It was a huge piece with glorious sections that she had spent an immense amount of time stitching before the dyeing days.  Feast your eyes!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Discharge Dyeing Class at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

I look forward to doing a discharge dyeing class on Sat., May 31, at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, in Saugatuck, Michigan.  Check out their website and the class info/details at:

The class is in conjunction with the arts center's exhibit "Material Girls:  Quilts by Judith Jarzembowski + Rugs by Judy Bowman Anthrop  (April 11 – June 8) 

In the class, we'll be playing with taking the color out on purpose from dark to medium colored cottons, especially cotton, using bleach and a couple of other discharge agents.  It's amazing how you can get multiple colors from a variety of discharge agents on the same fabric (see the sample here where Black Kona was discharged with bleach and gel on the left in an arashi shibori pattern as well as stamped using Thiox on the right).  Look forward to seeing you in the class!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Michigan League of Handweavers' Biennial Fiber Show and East Lansing Art Festival

On show at the Holland Area Arts Council, May 17-June 29, 2014, for the Michigan League of Handweaver's 18th Biennial Fiber Show:
"Is Life Really Emerging from Newly Discovered Moon Rocks?"
"Is Life Really Emerging from Newly Discovered Moon Rocks?" Detail
showing embroidery in cut and torn open areas (continues underneath).

My booth at the East Lansing Art Festival is #40 on M.A.C., right off of Grand
River across campus from MSU's main campus.  My work will encompass all
the types of work I do from dolls (all my new ones) to a lot of new handprinted
and discharged fabric, jackets, and scarves.  Look forward to seeing you
on Sat., May 17, and Sunday, May 18, 10-6!

Silk scarves, shibori and discharged dyed

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Artists Alliance at St. Cecilia's Terryberry Gallery

In the Wildwood: Winter

In the Wildwood:

In the Wildwood: Spring- detail 
Woman Enveloped
with Ferns
 Ever since my last post in January, I have been working diligently to get a number of large pieces accomplished which have stretched and developed my work, particularly the "In the Wildwood" series.  The "Winter" piece incorporates red twig dogwood, pruned from my bush outside my studio door.  The "Spring" piece, which like the Winter piece, uses a lot of deconstructed screen printed fabric and embroidery, I made first in the midst of the worst of this winter's horribly brutal weather.  Then I began on the Winter piece.  The "Woman Enveloped in Ferns" is covered with fly-stitched embroidery (a derivation, I think, of the blanket stitch) ferns that even envelope her face.  The Wildwood pieces were first exhibited at the "Celebration of the Arts" sponsored annually by the First United Methodist Church in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, during February.
Woman Enveloped with Ferns - detail.

Currently those pieces, along with three more new ones and some production pieces are on exhibit at the St. Cecilia Music Center's Terryberry Gallery with the Artists Alliance, a group of currently 12 members.  I don't have images of all the walls but it's a great show with dynamic work on exhibit through April 28.

Work by Deborah Lass (watercolors on left wall),
Jennifer Gould's dolls, Carol Brauer Schmidt's collage
and pastels, and Carol Cousineau's pastels.

Lynn Anderson's watercolor florals, Brenda Mattson (right
two pieces), and Jennifer Gould's Button Jester dolls.

Betts Casey's abstracts and Jennifer Gould's
textile figure.

Betts Casey's black and white abstracts were some of my favorites in the show.  If I'd know she was going to do these pieces, I would have made more figures in black and white and red!

Betts Casey's abstract.

Betts Casey abstracts.
Carol Cousineau's pastels and
Jennifer Gould's textile figure.