Found

I get inspiration from a lot of places: painting, fiber arts, sculpture, vintage clothing, photographs, the changing seasons… all over the place. I love looking at art online – it’s my favorite "taking a break" time waster. Here are a few things that I dug this week.

  • I love this series by Marina Luz. It’s paintings of book covers when you can’t remember the title. Like “Ice Was in the Title” and “Something Something Beverly Hills”. So funny. (via Chronicle Books blog)
  • Check out these mixed media collages by Sue Williams A’Court, including her hand-drawn graphite pictures. Gorgeous work! 
  • Read this wonderful blog post by Lisa Congdon discussing the stories we tell ourselves about who we are that ultimately get in the way of change and growth. Powerful stuff!

Found

I get inspiration from a lot of places: painting, fiber arts, sculpture, vintage clothing, photographs, the changing seasons… all over the place. I love looking at art online – it’s my favorite "taking a break" time waster. Here are a few things that I dug this week.

Spring Stripes

This past month was all about weaving tea towels. I had some stripes in my head that I really wanted to try, so I sat down with some graph paper and worked out the patterns. I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Like with a lot of my weaving, these tea towels were inspired by vintage textiles. My grandmother had a super cute, ‘50s vintage-feeling red and white kitchen that I loved. It’s kind of the model in my head for “best vintage kitchen”. (Side note: My Great-Great Aunt [my Great-Grandmother’s sister] had an avocado green kitchen with green and yellow linoleum. Totally not the ideal anything in my head. I’m so glad avocado hasn’t come back into style in any widespread way…)

I think my grandmother would have liked these striped tea towels. They would definitely fit into her '50s kitchen, but the stripe patterns feel modern, too.

These new tea towels are available in my shop. I wove a couple of each design so you can stock up. Get your favorite now!

Blooming Encaustic

I just spent about half an hour going around my house and polishing up all of my encaustic paintings (I have a lot on my walls). Because encaustic paint is wax, it does this thing called “bloom”, where some of the moisture in the wax slowly escapes and settles on the surface. It can make the surface of the painting look dull.

It's a subtle difference that a lot of people wouldn't even notice, but I really prefer a polished painting than an unpolished one.

Bloom is really only a problem on paintings with little to no surface texture. You generally don’t notice it on heavily textured paintings, and you never want to rub a textured painting because they’re pretty fragile.

If you have a pair of Hunter rubber boots, you’ve probably seen bloom before – especially on black ones. I clean my wellies every couple years to get rid of the cloudiness that happens because of bloom. I'd do it more often, but I wear them in the mud so it's not like I'm super concerned with how clean they are...

Anyway, back to the paintings. First, use a feather duster or something else gentle to brush any dust off the surface. I also sometimes just blow on a painting to remove dust.

Then, all I do is get a super soft, clean, dry rag (I use a cut-up old t-shirt or flannel) and gently rub back and forth across the face of the painting with the rag over my fingertips. You have to be careful not to gouge the surface or press too hard. But it’s pretty simple – just rub till it’s nice and shiny. The polishing will make the colors vibrant again and get rid of any fingerprints that have been left on the surface.