Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Circle

Last Sunday, there was definately a feeling of spring in the air here in Virginia. The temps were in the 50's, the days are getting longer and I have noticed that the first tiny yellow crocuses had opened in the front yard. I love it when the bulbs poke their heads out and bloom despite the weather. Especially when I have forgotten where I have planted what type of bulb!!!
I went into the house and returned with my camera. As I was moving a bit of mulch around I found some treasures from last summer's Hostas. I found beautiful leaf skeletons in the most glorious contorted swirls of decay.
The ruffled curls remind me of delicate crinoline skirts that might be worn by the fairies who care for the tender shoots as they emerge from the warming soil.
Light as feathers and delicate in appearance, though very tough with their cellulose skeletons still intact.
These amazing remnants of last summer's plantings offer the promise of the verdant foliage yet to come.
Today the wind is blowing out of the North and the sun is still quite low in the southern sky,, the temperature only made it up to 36 degrees. Tomorrow will be colder according to the forecast. But when I look out the front window I can still see the brilliant yellow crocuses opening to the sun. It is coming!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Best Nest and some detail shots.

I got a wonderful giftie in the mail the other day!! My wonderful pal Barb sent me THE BEST NEST!! She made it out of wire that she CROCHETED into the cutest little nest for one of my stuffed birds!!! I am planning on weaving all sorts of fibers thru the holes in the wire to fill it out and make it a comfy spot for the birds.
I have sent off this Blue Bird of Eternal Happiness for barb to care for and I will be finishing up the Pink and green bird for my own collection. I will post a picture of the fibered up nest as soon as I finish it!
Cyber Fiber Postcard Close ups:
Several friends have asked to see some close up shots of my post card for the Cyber Fiber Exhibit. So I spent some time with my camera and actually got some great results that really show some details of all the texture in the card.

Here you can see the shimmer that the Twinkling H2O's added to the silk petals.

Here you can distinguish the french knots from the teal beads.

And here you can see the painted tuille and the dyed cheesecloth.

Dyed Fabric:
Yesterday I dyed some fabric for an upcoming project that requires a green fabric background. I am particpating in a swap of six inch fabric collage squaes that are to depict a flower of our choosing. I am going to use the same technique that I used in the Cyber Fiber Postcard to create Hydrangea collages using this green salt dyed fabric as a background.

I used Setacolor Dyes by Luminaire, in various greens and threw rocksalt onto the wet fabric. When the piece was completely dry ,I wiped off the salt and this was the result. I love it and think that it will amke a wonderful backfground for the hydrangeas! I used a vintage damask dinner table napkin that measured 25 inches square, as I thought that it would be neat if some of the dmask flowers showed through the dye process. It is quite hard to see the woven flowers with the salt technique on top but the napkin fabric gives a very sturdy background for the collage. If I had not done the salt treatment the pattern would have been very visible. Live and create, and learn!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Check out my Slide Show!

Have You Heard About Cyber Fiber ????

During the One World One Heart Event, I came across a wonderful project being undertaken by a fabulous fiber artist by the name of Susan Lenz. Susan is gathering Fiber Art Postcards and ATC's to generate a Fiber Arts Exhibit at a Gallery in Columbia, South Carolina. The exhibit will open in January of 2009 and you can learn more about the Cyber Fiber Exhibit and how YOU can participate here ! Susan has made up a huge selection of beautiful ATC's and Postcards that she is anxious to trade with other artists. After visiting her site I knew that I definately wanted to participate and I have traded for this glorious card!!

This wonderful peice is created using lots of layers. Susan said that she began with dyes added some shimmering organza, topped it off with black organza and free motion embroidery.. I am so very thrilled to have this card in my collection.!!

Next came the job of deciding what techniques I wanted to use to create the card that I would send to Susan to be included in the exhibit. I went with my favorites- garden theme, painted paper towels, dyed cheesecloth. painted tuille, Twinkleing H2O's and lots of beads!! (Now come on, you can't possibly be surprised!!!!)

I fused my painted paper towel to a piece of muslin and then added some Angelina Fiber and dyed cheesecloth and painted tuille. I painted some silk hydragea blossoms with Twinkling H2O,s to add some more depth and shimmering colors. I stitched down the blossoms with beaded centers and added beads to the center of the blossom circle.

Here you can see the center of the blossom circle. The green dots surrounding are french knots that I added with embroidery floss in a range of greens. I am calling this card Lace Cap, as I used a picture of a Lace Cap Hydrangea from my garden for inspiration. This card has many layers and lots of depth and texture, much of it is not very apparent in this photo, unfortunately. I will be sending this card off to Susan tomorrow and hopefully she will be pleased with it!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Teaching Collage Backgrounds and Artistic Recycling!!

I have recently joined a Mixed Media Art Group in Fredericksburg , VA. Each member is asked to contribute a workshop or demo or lecture at least once a year. This past Thursday and Saturday mornings I held a messy play/demo/class creating unique collage backgrounds. The members of this group work with a wide variety of different media, many of the artists stick quite firmly to their chosen art form. They are not mixed media atists, not yet anyway. Then there are some of us, like Darlene and myself who have a very difficult, if not impossible, time staying within a single medium.!!!
I taught my favorite collaged and paint scraped technique (like the picture above) and then finished off with my painted paper towel technique as we had palettes of paint that simply COULD NOT BE WASTED!!! I also discussed working with and painting, used dryer sheets and old discarded texts for collage purposes, hence the "recycle " in my blog title!!!

This is Donna scraping away with her fancy palette knife( recycled gift card). She finished off her wonderful blue and lavendar piece with a dusting of glitter! Donna is the gal that gave us the wonderful needle felting lesson taht I blogged about last month!! She is a wonderfully energetic and enthusiastc artist!!

Ruth walked in the door not knowing a soul and got swept away by my painting enthusiasm before I even let her introduce herself. I must give new folks a chance to get their feet wet before I mow them down with a flood of messy techniques. She assured us that she would return to future meetings!!

Ariel and Carol created these two very colorful backgrounds and went on to paint some wonderful paper towels with the left over paint!! Ariel is the wonderful Water Colorist who led the water color workshop and held my hand through my first water color painting experience. You can read all about that and see my watercolor painting in a post from two months ago. Ariel has a wonderful new web site that you can see here: I am planning on taking a class from Ariel in May, in which she will teach us how to paint floral images!! I am so excited!!

And here is our fearless leader, Darlene, who kept us laughing and happy the whole time. She has lots of experience with similar techniques but is a great one for jumping in to anything that is good and messy!! She could spend the whole year teaching us all of the different art techniques that she knows. She is a very talented lady with an amazing body of work!! I am so thrilled to have met her through this wonderful new group!

Here is Darlene again with her apainted paper towel. She said that she used paper towels all the time that she had used for clean ups but she had not specifically set out to paint paper towels to bwe used in collage work. Everyone puts their own mark or twist on things and that is why sharing of even familiar techniques is so much fun. There is always someting new to learn!!!!

I got some wonderful feedback from all of the participants and an invitation to think about teaching some classes at the Fine Arts Center in the future!! Cool, eh????

Friday, February 15, 2008


Balance is a power packed and challenging word, for me anyway!! I have begun at Art Journal Project on one of my Art Yahoo groups and each month the coordinator assigns a different theme for our journal entry. We just kicked this project off in January and the first challenge was BALANCE!! I had to think for a bit- how was I going to convey this concept onto a sheet of paper? What direction would I take? Would I work on just one aspect or try to cover it all??? Well, I pondered and fretted and thought some more. All of the participants were sharing their pages on the group site and I tried really hard not to go and peek as I did not want to be influenced by what I knew would be wonderfully fabulous art. that resolve did not last long! And I was right there was some amazing art to behold!!! I have always wanted to Journal but have NEVER been able to stick with it- It has always become too hard to look back down through the layers for me.... But with this group and this project I really wanted to use my art to express some of that "tough stuff"! I immersed myself in some other projects and went down into my space and played some good music and scrapped some paint- that seems to be my "go to" technique when I am trying to work through other arting issues. Of course when I paint I must clean up my palette with damp paper towels !! These paper towels, with all of their wild color combos ,have become a major staple for me in my art!! I noticed how colorful my color palette (small paper plate) had become and then I started to think of turning wheels, which led to color wheels, which led to Wheel of F0rtune which led to spinners from board games. An idea was born!!!

I paint scrapped the background apge and transformed my paint palette into a Pie Chart with all of the major components of my life included. I affixed the plate to the page with a large brad so the plate really spins. Then I surrouonded the pie with all of the emotiona dn responses the word word BALANCE evokes. I did it, !! I really feel like I accomplished something major for me and I am looking forward to next months prompt!!

Our fearless Leader announced our February prompt just the other day. Hearts will be the next topic and this one will be much less taxing for my little grey cells to handle! I have always loved the Heart Shape. There is also another, optional prompt for this month. It is FEARS- not sure that I am ready to go THERE yet!!! We will have to wait and see!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The One World One Heart Winner Is......

First of all I must say how much I have enjoyed this wonderful blogging event!! I have "met" some terrrific people and seen some amazing art and yet again I come away overwhelmed with good feelings about how open and giving and caring this wonderful community is!! The sharing and caring and compassion expressed by all of the artists that I have been introduced to really gives one hope for the future!!

And Now, for the long awaited announcement, oh wait Becca has to do the drawing........ I had 76 messages on my post about my necklace! So many of you left such wonderfully enthusiastic comments, you have inspired me to make some more necklaces and beads to sell!! Thank you all for that!!

Becca tore herself away from studying for a Science test to draw the winning number........

The winning message number is 68 and the person who left message # 68 is............

Latharia said...
Oh, this is just beautiful! Please do enter my name in your drawing & come visit my blog as well!Latharia
February 12, 2008 8:14:00 AM PST

I will be visiting your blog to get your mailing addy and posting this off to you tomorrow!!!

Congratulations !! Thank you all for stopping by to visit and for all of your kind words!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Paintbrush Set Complete !

This latest piece of jewelry was created to be given as a gift for a Painting teacher. Apparently this gal is part of a company that takes people on wonderfully exotic outdoorsey vacations to Warm climates in Mexico and South America. They do outdoor adventure stuff and then art!! What a wonderful combination!! In case you are interested, the company is called Living Adventure ( The owner of the company wanted to present the Artist, Michelene, with a painting inspired piece of jewelry.

She also asked that I make a matching pair of earrings!

I am very pleased with how these turned out and I must also report that my client is as well!! I always get soo very nervous making custom orders for people, so I am always tremendously relieved when they are happy with my work!!!!

New Creations for My Etsy Store!

As some of you may know I have an on-line store called Elizajean. On the sidebar on the right, you will see a link for the shop. It will take you right there to see all of my new offerings! If you haven't been by lately, you sould check it out. Here are some of my new items:

Collage jewelry pieces made with vintage domino's

Collage jewelry piece made with Mother of Pearl Vintage buckles and buttons.

And some adorable Garden Fairy Pin Dolls!

These little cuties are only 3.5 inches tall and have a pin back and necklace bail on the back. They look absoutely adorable pinned to a gardening hat or to the lapel of a spring sweater.

We also have a wonderful collection of glorious handspun and handwoven items that cannot be seen or purchased anywhere else. So please stop by at and see what's new!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

One World One Heart Blog Giveaway Event!

One World One Heart is a wonderful Annual Event organized by Lisa S. Oceandreamer. Lisa began this project a year ago as a way to connect bloggers from all around the world! What an awesome idea and a wonderful project. There are well over 200 participants from all over the world . Each person has posted a giveaway on their blog and every visitor is asked to leave their e-mail or blog address in the comments section. Then On February 14 VALENTINES DAY we will all draw a name from our list of commentors and one lucky person will win the item from that post!!! How COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!

Here is the necklace that I have created for my giveaway! It is a collection of my hand made beads- 3 of them being my Scrappy Fabric beads and then the others are laquered paper and fabric.

Here is a better picture!

All you need to do is leave a comment after this post. If you do not have a blog be sure to leave me your e-mail, so that I amy contact you if you win!!! I will send the necklace out promptly on the 16th and I will post the winner here, on my blog ,on the evening of the 14th!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Silver Chain Creation and more!

You may remember a Charm Swap necklace that I posted about over a year ago, but then again, probably not!! Anyway, I made the chain from copper wire and crafted each link in a curlicue s-hook and then hammered the metal to work harden it and to add texture to the metal. My good friend Karen saw my necklace and asked me to create a similar chain for her, in sterling silver, to hold her own collection of amythest and silver charms.

As you can see I created a two level peice to showcase more of her wonderful collection. Each piece, all by itself is nice ,but together the collection creates a SHOW STOPPER!! Karen has barely taken it off since last week and finds that she is able to draw a crowd wherever she goes. Here is a photo of the encklace as it looks while being worn. I am so thrilled that Karen likes it so much and she has requested several of my business cards so she can hand them out to appreciative fans!! Cool!!

Today I created a necklace for myself using my Porcupine Scrap fabric beads. Several friends have asked if I was going to be selling any and I plan to have some available at my Etsy site later this week!

To attach the beads to the black ball chain necklace, I added a beaded loop to the top of each bead. this is going to be a very fun peice to wear and will look great on any solid color outfit!

In this picture you can get a bit of an idea of how the beaded loops work.

I am really enjoying putting these little gems together! truely making a silk purse out of a sow's ear!!!

This week, I also sent off my Valentines Gift cone to my friend Patti B. We were to include a few fun art finds as well as something that we had created ourselves, besides the cone. Patti loves birds even more than I, if possible, so I created this little Birdie to keep her company in her art space!

She is about 5 inches big and does best plopped on her bottom tail feathers. She was a hoot to make. I might have to make a few more for my Etsy shop! Her is a picture of her backside so you can see all of her glorious plummage!!

I have sevearl other projects in teh workks so I will be posting again soon!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails