Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Hokie Graduation

Late last year I was contacted by a family whose son would be graduating from VA Tech this spring to see if I would create a custom painted Hokie Bird for his graduation gift. How exciting! They found me because of my prior creation of the 5' tall Hokie Pokie Dot (now available in a mini from The Blacksburg Partnership's Gobble De Art all proceeds benefit TBP) Of course I said yes!! Working with The Blacksburg Partnership and VA Tech licensing, I was able to create this piece for Stephen. Introducing Hokie Triathlete! Sporting the Tech Triathlete uniform, this bird's feathers highlight the three events - running, swimming, and cycling. 

© Karen Newman Fridy

© Karen Newman Fridy

© Karen Newman Fridy

On the back of his tail feathers are his graduation year, the symbol for Search and Rescue, and the symbol for The German Club, two of his other major activities while in school. And, he has Stephen's blue eyes.  :)

The unique thing about this commission is that there were no blank forms available in the mini 2' high size. Ironically, my mini Hokie Pokie Dot was the simplest one to deconstruct to create a blank canvas for this new piece. I have to say I've never undone a prior work to create a new work...it was a little strange! It took a bit of sanding and prep work but in the end it was worth it!

Now that graduation has completed and the gift given I can share this secret surprise. Congratulations Stephen!! I know there are many successful days ahead in your future!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ta Da!

I forgot to show the results! Our one little blast of winter was just enough to net some good results. I especially love the tshirt...wasn't sure how it would turn out since it wasn't 100% cotton (has a little spandex) but it did fine! Great way to stretch your wardrobe - buy white shirts and when they start to look dingy, dye them!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I Could Just DYE!!!

It snowed!!! You know what that means....

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Living Room Heals

When I moved to Winston-Salem back in 1987 one of the first people I met was Susan MacIntosh. Actually, she and her husband Jeff were my landlords and next door neighbors. She is someone I've long admired, someone who was good to me when I was first starting out (she let me paint my apartment how I wanted! No contractor beige there :) and we've kept in touch over the years. When I found out she had founded The Living Room Heals  I knew someday I would do one of their makeovers. Through The Living Room Heals, volunteer designers provide no-cost room makeovers for people dealing with difficult situations or chronic conditions. What an awesome way to use what we love to do to give back! Early last year I told her I would love to take on a project in the fall, and as it turned out a commercial project opportunity came to them from another non-profit group. Perfect!

My project was a playroom and nursery at a local agency that serves area children. What I found on my first site visit were bright primary colors on the walls which made the space feel too intense and stimulating. They had a good selection of basic child-scaled furniture pieces including bookcases and tables, but what was missing was a place for older children and adults to sit. This space serves children of varied ages, so it was important to create an environment that was appealing and playful, without being too juvenile. The staff of the facility wanted to soften the look of the rooms.

Playroom Before
Nursery Before

Bright primaries were replaced with soft greens, blues, and yellow. We were able to provide a slip-covered settee, a glider rocker with new seat cushions, new rugs including a custom painted floor cloth, we repainted an existing wooden rocking chair and gave it a new seat cushion, repainted their existing toy boxes, provided two additional bookcases, made and installed new window treatments and gave the space a new layout that created zones for the variety of activities they have. New custom painted art pieces and a framed inspirational word cloud piece finished the space.

Playroom After

Playroom After

Nursery After

Will F Creating the Painted Floorcloth
(Ping pong table size!)

Additional seating was a priority, and the perfect scale settee was found but it needed to be recovered. As it turned out the upholsterer who originally said they could do it backed out, and another one could not be found in the time frame needed! Nooo!! Not being one to back down from a challenge, I took it upon myself to make a custom fitted slip cover. Thank goodness for great how-to videos on You Tube :) Admittedly I was a bit nervous - I didn't want to mess it up, but I was not going to let them go without seating! It turned out great, and in the end it was a better solution than reupholstering it - this way the cover can be removed for cleaning when needed. Things have a way of working out!

One of the fun features of the main playroom is the art display. They already had boards installed on one wall which were not being used for anything, so we painted them an accent green, installed clips, and made it a functional display for the children's artwork.

Art Display and Painted Toy Box

Paint was the star of this makeover and was made possible by the generosity of Sherwin Williams, LMI Builders, and Aull Paint Company. Not only was it used to transform the walls, it was used to transform furniture pieces, create the floorcloth, and art for the walls! Fabrics provided by MomentumTextiles completed the look in the seating and window treatments. Home Depot provided a gift card which covered many of the supplies needed, including a new drapery rod. A special thanks goes out to Jay Sinclair of J.Sinclair Photography for taking "after" photos!

Doing this project was so much fun! Together our team made a big difference to the center and created a space that will enhance the lives of children for many years to come.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hokie Pride

This just hit my inbox...as featured in The Blacksburg Partnership's newsletter! I think it's so cool that visitors love to have a photo op with my creation...lots of memories made there!! Hokie Pokie Dot was done for the original Gobble d'Art in 2006 and is now available in a 2' reproduction size (all proceeds benefit The Blacksburg Partnership). Visit their site for more information on it and many other Hokie gift items!

Hokie Statue Spotlight- Holiday Inn Blacksburg
"We purchased the Hokie Pokie Dot bird during a 2006 auction. The decision was made to purchase that particular statue because the color scheme went very well with the hotel and is a great representation of Virginia Tech’s colors, Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange. Ours is one of the most photographed - we don’t know if that’s because we are a hotel, so it's convenient, or if people just really love the pokie-dot design! We have many families that stay with us for football games and graduation, they get so excited to be able to take a photograph with him and take a little piece of Blacksburg home."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sock It to Me!

One of the things that's been on my bucket list is learning how to knit socks. So, a while back I took a class at Knit One Smock Too in Winston-Salem and made my first pair.

Once you've worn hand made, custom fit socks there's no turning back!

Now I've made pair #2

And have started pair #3!

Its a great portable project, and lots of fun to do. My teacher has declared me an independent sock knitter! I am, of the basic variety, thanks to her patient teaching and a remedial lesson or two.. 

Since I'm on a roll I've also started a sweater vest...and a shawl... (did I mention spinning is also on my bucket list?)

I might just love yarn as much as fabric.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick Trip Up the Mountain

Last Friday the universe aligned to allow me a quick trip up the mountain to Virginia. I needed to go meet with someone about an art commission, I was two years plus overdue to visit my aunts (time flies!!) and as it happened the Blue Ridge Quilt Festival was going on, and I've wanted to check that out for a long time. So it worked well to go when I did!

I left early enough to have time to drive through my hometown and by the house I grew up in. Main Street looked so pretty!
This is the church I grew up in
Then I met my aunt and a friend of hers and we headed over to the next town over for our day of fun. First we stopped by my art meeting (yay! I have a new commission!), then we had lunch at a cute little bistro. It had hand painted murals done by the owner's 80 some year old relative...they were beautiful!

This scene shows the Duck Pond at VA Tech...the white house is where the design library was when I was a student!

After lunch we headed to the quilt show. There were lots of quilts to see...these are a few of my favorites:

'Melange' by Jennie Rayment
There was a special exhibit of her work, which are made of intricately folded elements

'Mr. Wiggles Does the Circle Dance' by Sarah Ann Smith
part of a dance themed special exhibit

This was part of a memorial exhibit
(I think...sadly I thought I had an information pic and don't..my apologies!)

'Scrappy Clams' by Alicia Stephens
Started in 2008, finished in 2014 all hand pieced and hand quilted! She didn't know how many pieces are in it but it took about 50 spools of quilting thread to quilt it!

'Italy Remembered'
artist's name was not on the tag :(

'Quest for the Nutmeg' by Nancy Oldham

'Imagine Albert Imagining' also by Nancy Oldham
(his hair is 3D...I really loved this one!!)

Huipil from Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica (R)
'The Quetzal Birds' by Karen Tauber (L)
This was part of another special exhibit where quilts were made inspired by tapestry pieces. Fascinating exhibit! 

And then there was this! My photo does NOT do it justice...the colors were bright and beautiful!
It has 12,000 pieces, made by Carolyn Bucklin Mullins
this is her version of Bonnie Hunter's 'Pineapple Crazy'
It won 1st in the 'Scrappy Quilt' category.
I found out later it won Viewer's Choice too!

We spent quite a lot of time there! After the show we drove around campus a bit. It has grown so much since I was there! We headed back to where my aunt's car was parked, only to discover that I-81 was backed up for miles, both lanes closed due to a bad accident. It took a while to get to her house, where I was staying the night but we finally made it. She and I met up with my other aunt for dinner, then headed home to settle in for the night. It was a long, fun, BUSY, day!

Saturday I met my high school best friend for what was supposed to be lunch, but we were so busy catching up and laughing ourselves silly that we ended up just ordering a plate of appetizers. ..and THIS

To be sure!!!! My eyes almost fell out when the (cute, 20 yr old, petite who challenged us to try to eat the whole thing) waitress set that before us! Of course we roared with laughter!!! And then....

Yes. Yes we did.

Catching up was never more fun!! (disclaimer...we were there over 2 hours...we had to keep up our strength!! lol!)

The afternoon belonged to my other aunt with a visit to her house. There are so many memories there! Almost every Sunday and every Christmas Eve was spent there growing up. Even though so many of the family that gathered there are gone, I could see them all in my mind's eye as if we were all gathered there once again. It was a special time.

Late afternoon meant it was time to hit the road home, via a stop by a new design project. It's almost an hour NE of the studio, but was right on the way home, so it worked out perfectly to roll it into this trip and stop for a site assessment.

It was a whirlwind trip, but oh so wonderful!