Thursday, July 31, 2008

Incredible Wonders Awaited Me......

upon my return from the All Girls Road Trip!! Not only was the sink empty of dishes, as well as the dishwasher, the laundry room free of piles with all laundry clean and folded ( minor miracles not to be scoffed at by any means!!) but I had a package to open from my wonderful friend Dot Christian!! Many of you know Dot and her amazing Dottee Dolls- those dolls are named after her design and are being traded in swaps all over the net and the world!! Dot lives in OZ and I met her glorious generous self thru an on-line art group that we were both members of for a time! Dot has opened her own Etsy Shop where she sells her marvelous dolls and kits to make your own versions of the Dottee Doll and you must all go and visit by clicking here. Dot also has a marvelous blog where she posts all of her art here. Dot's blog is on my daily blog trot around the web so you must stop by for a visit, her blog is such a treat and her glorious heart shines thru all of her posts!!!!

Now back to my package!! I am not sure why I deserve such amazing gifts but you can be sure that I will use every bit of this gloriousness to full advantage.
A package containing such glorious Kaffe Fassette fabrics and beads and sequins would surely have been treasure enough, but no, this was just the beginning!!!

The next treasure taht I discovered was this wonderful Bird with Gift wall peice!! I had recently visited Dot's blog and seen her work in a Round Robin project that she was working on. One of the books had bird shaped pages and this was the sort of work that Dot had created for that book. Well, I had commented that she should start creating these little beauties to sell at her ETSY site as they were so special. Next thing I know I am looking at one of the birds in my own hands!!!!!
Look closely at this marvelous piece, what do you see tucked in behind her wing???

A wonderful dear little Dottee Egg , of course!!!! This piece will be hung where I can see it all the time- it just makes my heart sing!!!
Next in the package was this wonderful doll.

This is one of Dot's Matrushka Dolls!! Sher also sells these wonderful peices at her Etsy site!!!Every wonderful stitch of Dot's work is done completly by hand- she does not own, nor does she wish to own, a sewing machine!!!! The talents of this Artist are amazing!! My little Mother doll stands about 4 inches tall and has a wonderful pocket in which she carries her two children.

And here are the Kids!! Aren't they just precious? Dot's use of fabrics, color and beaded embellishment is just amazing and I am so very honored to have this Matrushka doll and my Bird hanging in my collection of Art dolls. The greatest gift however is knowing that I have a friend in Dot and that pieces of her glorious and generous heart are present in my home thru her art!! I love you bunches Dot!!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back From the Beach

These two pictures sum up about 80% of our trip!! Becca really became one with the ocean despite the fact that the water temps were hovering at 58 degrees F and the surf was a times 6ft!!! I spent a good deal of time standing ankle deep in the water along with the Life Guards, as the waves were being churned up by the remnants of Tropical Storm Bertha and the Full Moon.
I did not have my camera with me as often as I might have as I did not want to loose it in the water. Becca got tumbled and scrapped and tossed and sand encrusted but never once was I successful at getting her out of the water on my first attempt.! We have a Surfer Chick on our hands!!!! Nothing made me happier than hearing her whooping and hollering as she caught a good wave right in the sweet spot and road it in to the shore! Such pure joy!!! Much to Becca's amazement, I even got in the water and spent several moments , at different times, diving through the surf and bobbing in the waves!!! We had beautiful weather, good tides for Boogie Boarding and beach combing and we came back with a small handful of beach glass (Mermaids Tears) and several boxes of beach stones. I have already started spreading my rocks around the garden.
When we were not at the beach we were with family and hooking up with old friends. My brother and niece Kate joined us after 4 days and we had a wonderful time catching up and learning about my brother's wonderful work in Tanzania. Peter also showered us all with marvelous gifts from his travels. I will have to wait to share these items with you in a later post as they deserve their own spotlight!!
For now I am going to share a series of photos with you, with some short captions. I have lots more to share along the art line, but at present we are preparing to leave for N.C. ,on Friday the 1st. Tom ,the kids, the dogs and myself will be staying in a cabin in the Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in the little town of Saluda. We will be avout 30 minutes from Ashville in a cabin with no phone and NO TV!!!! We will be exploring the area and discovering the art community and enjoying the cool tranquility of mountain life. We have never been to this part of the world before and despite the 16 year old's anxiety about being cut off from WiFi and TV, we are planning on enjoying our family time immensely!!!

Now for more beach trip pixs!!

Becca could not get enough of the water !

Taking a bit of a rest but STILL in the water!!!!!!

Family, Poppa, Becca, Momma Jean, Kate, brother Peter- minus the photographer- me.
Correcting mistakes left by the last glacial deposit!! :)

Catching minnows and herding Hermit crabs as the sun goes down.

Buiding the needed containment structure for the crabs.

A twilight row on the pond across the street. Poppa took his girls on a tour of the swans nesting site.

The Swan family neighbors watching us, watch them.

After our ten days ont eh Cape we headed to our dear friends , the Buntings. Becky and Rob Bunting are amazing Jewelry and Engraving artists, dear friends and Becca's Godparents. We enjoyed a wonderful, yet too short visit with them before returning to Virginia.
So now we are packing for N.C.! I will be back for a quick post before leaving and will have lots more to tell after we return from the mountains!
I hope that all of you are enjoying your summer!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Collage Fabric and going on Vacation

I have started another piece of collage fabric for making more purses. This time the color scheme is PINK and Orange!! I have already had a request to create a cell phone bag for a gal who does not wear clothes with pockets. I will be taking this project with me on my trip to Cape Cod. Becca and I leave tomorrow for 14 days on the road for our annual Girls Only Road Trip. We will return on the 27th of August . This will be my last post till we return.

Now, back to the fabric!!

This is the fabric after all the bits were placed and fused down.

That is just the beginning!! Here is the peice shown in close up, after I have done all sorts of free motion stitching in bright orange and bright pink thread. I love the texture that the stitching adds!!

This is another portion of the same piece. I am really pleased that my control of the free motion stitching seems to be getting better. Stitching without a pressor foot and with the Feed Dogs down is quite disconcerting at first!!! But I am getting used to it!!

This is a shot of a portion of the back of the piece so you can see the amount of stitching that I did.

Now I will start adding all of the beads and couched ribbons and sequins to the fabric. This will be a great traveling project!!

When we return , I will be posting with all sorts of fun pictures of our trip and the projects that I worked on while gone!! Have a great couple of weeks!! Enjoy your summer!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Collage Swap With A Wonderful Friend!!

I have just finished this Collage for my good friend Martha!! We are both involved in a group that is doing a one-on-one House Collage Swap. I have been thinking about my approach to this project for a very long time and as my accelerated deadline loomed, I knew that I had to get on it!! This Tuesday , my daughter and I are leaving for our annual Girls Only Beach Road Trip and I will be gone for about two weeks!

I started with an 11x14 canvas that I had already added texture-via Gesso and tissue paper , and several washes of blue paint. I used some of my own collage paper for the body of the house, painted and torn corrugated cardboard for the roof and picket fence, napkin tops and stampings for the garden and part of a collapsable ruler for the roof line. The window in the attic was created by cutting out a space for the peice of heart shaped river glass that I found on a walk by the Rappohanock River last month. I am really pleased with how this piece came together and I have already heard that Martha is thrilled with it!!! that just makes me sooooo happy!!

Here are a few more pictures to show you some of the details!

As Martha has just purchased her first house I put the number 1 on the front door and I made the door out of a piece of sheet music as I know that her house is a place of sanctuary peace and music for her!
Oh yes, there is also a tiny fairy up in the left hand corner blessing the house with fairy dust! How could we all survive without fairy dust???????

Think Pink Charm Swap to Benefit Breast Cancer!!

As you know I participated in creating a few two inch squares to create a skirt for a collaborative art doll named Love Squared. Do you remeber her beautiousness????

She has been created by 182 artists from all over the world and will be raffled off beginning in August!! It's coming, it's coming!! you too can help us by buying a 10 $ raffle ticket which gives you TWO chances to win this beauty and a chance at some wonderful art prizes donated by artists!! This is a win-win deal !! For you and for Breast Cancer Research!! All money raised- yes every single penny, will go to the Susan G. Karmen Breast Cancer Research Fund!!!

The story of Love Squared will be published in the Upcoming Issue of ART DOLL QUARTERLY magazine. The issue will hit your favorite news stand in August!!!!

These are just a few pictures of Love Squared. To see more click on the Pink Button that began this post!!

Just a few more enticing tidbits to tempt you - Her headpeice is a hand beaded bracelet cuff that will fit any wrist, her bag is a beautifully crafted purse for everyday use and the box that Love holds contains 182 beautiful butterflies that represent the hopes of each contributing artist- our hopes for the cure for Breast Cancer!!

And now for the Think Pink Charm Swap!! Artist Amber Dawn came up with this brilliant idea to create art Charm Bracelts that will be two of the additional prizes available with each raffle ticket purchased. Each participating artist is creating 12 unique PINK charms. Two of each artists charms will be combined with charms from the entire group to make two individual charm bracelets that will be prize bracelets. Each artist will also recieve 10 charms in return for the 12 that they each created.

Here are the charms that I have created for this terrific swap!

The parameters for this swap were PINK!!!! I mde thes beads using PINK fabric/paper with glitter and shine and crystals and love!!! I will be sending these off to Amber in the morning!! In several weeks I will recieve a lovely packet of ten charms created by other artists who are taking part in this swap. Then I will have to decide what to create with my charms, a necklace perhaps- I don't wear many bracelts as I am into too many different things that might damage them. I will be sure to share my creation with you!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rainy Days and Sundays.....

...don't bother me a bit!!! Eldest child was at a sleepover last night. Becca and the dogs and I stayed up late and slept late. Becca was up at eleven!!! I think that she is getting ready to grow again- probably will pass me in height this time!!!! YIKES!!

It has been raining off and on all day, but i love it when I can use the time to be creative. I can't be in the garden or be out exercising more than a quick walk with the dogs. The rest of the time I was working, jumping form one project to the next. While one process was drying, I would move on to the next step in the next project. I was in my groove and it was great!!
As we returned from our walk with the dogs, as the storm clouds were building, I dashed out to pick some flowers to enjoy indoors.

I have taken quite a liking to the tall graceful spires of the blossoms of Hosta. Some hosta blooms are incredibly fragrant, very similar to lilies. This type will bloom later on. For now I have the pale lavendar variety that the bees love. They are so curvaceous and wonderful in a very loose bouquet. I didn't want to get too far away from the bouquet with the camera, as then you all would see how messy the kitchen is!! This post is about creativity not neatness and cleaning!!!!! Some of the spires curl and twist out about 2 feet or so!!!

Beneath the flowers you can see one of the projects for the day. This project is actually complete while the others are ongoing. These will be tags for my Stationery Sets once they start flying off the shelves of my ETSY shop!!! ( A girl must dream!!!) Anyway, I dug out some old supplies and loved using them as much this time as I had in the past!! First I stamped onto white tages with rubber stamps coated with Gesso. I let the gesso dry thoroughly and then spritzed the tags with several colors of Glimmer Mists!! Glimmer Mists are wonderful Mica filled inks that are pure magic!! they come in glorious colors with beautiful names like Wine and Roses, Wisteria, Key Lime, Olive Vine. These inks are made by Tattered Angels and can be found at many on line vendors as well as at Stamping stores. In the end items appear to have been kissed by fairy dust!

Once the tags are dry you can see the stamped pattern has resisted the uptake of the ink . They are subtle but beautiful, eventhough you can't see much of the mica shimmer in these pictures. When it rains it is hard to get good daylight photos- that is ONE drawback!! Here is how I will use the tags with my Stationery!

Now I am off to put another layer ona collage in progress and make some fabric paper beads for a Charm Swap!

I am getting very close to my 200th post so I am also working on a project for a specail blog giveaway, to be announced soon! Yes, I am a tease!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Floral Stationery!

Well, here we go!! I have added my Floral Stationary packages to my Etsy shop! I am selling the stationery in sets of 5 cards each in it's own protective sleeve. I have grouped each set by flower type. I have a set of Hydrangeas (one of my favorites), Iris (another favorite), Lilies (another favorite) and Roses (my most favorite favorite!!). Over on the left you can see little thumbnail pictures of each package and if you would like more details, you can click on the box and you will be instantly whisked away to my Etsy shop!! If you know anyone who loves flowers and/or who needs a wonderfully functional gift idea, send them on over to my shop!!

Short and to the point posting tonight!! I will have more art for you tomorrow or the next day!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Art Now For Autism

I have just joined up with a group of wonderful, giving artists to support Art Now For Autism .

This project will benefit the organization Autism Speaks and will raise money through an on line Art Exhibit and Sale. This project owes it's creation to the drive and purpose of artist Claudine Intner of Annapolis, MD. Claudine is also the mother of a child on the Autism spectrum . She has worked extremely hard to gather artists to create art to raise money to support research and discovery of the causes and treatmenst for Autism. One in every 150 kids is affected, 1 of every 94 being boys. I personally know several families who are struggling to understand Autsim and how to help their children function and blossom as capable and functional adults. On my sidebar you will see the Button for Art for Autism. To learn how you can participate by donateing art or by purchasing some original treasures, just click on the button!!

We are all so very blessed by all that we are able to share and communicate to others, it is now in our power to lift up those who have more of a challenge!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Art to Share

I have several new peices to show you that I have just finished. The first project is another fabric collaged purse. This purse was comissioned by another artist after she met me and saw the purse that I was carrying at the time. THere really is no better advertizement than wearing and using what you create. There is also nothing more flattering than having someone request that you make an item for them and offer to pay you on the spot!! In this case I wanted to only take part of the cost up front, as I live in close proximity to this new found fan!! This is all so, so, so good for my artistic ego- I guess that I really do need to think of myself as an artist- with a capitol A!!!

So here is the piece that I have created!

Joan had requested that I add an interior pocket to hold her cell phone. It is on the inside- so you can't see it- but it is a very handy little addition that I will add to all future creations. Above is the front of the purse and below is the back and a close up shot of the beaded fringe. The large beads in the fringe are ones that I made using fabric/paper and resin.

This last shot is a picture of the button and tassel closure. The tassel acts as a weight to fold the purse over on itself, like an envelope closure. The prism is a vintage piece of a chandelier and it splashes the light around beautifully!!

I am thrilled to have gotten this project finished . Now all that I must do is deliver it to Joan!

This next piece is for a dear friend who lives quite far away and who happens to be in need of a Big Hug!! I love sending little art surprises to those who need a random act of love and kindness and who really appreciate the effort and the love behind the piece of work.

This collage is done on a10 x 12 peice of canvas board. I used all sorts of collaged papers in this piece and the sunflower is made from an old reed placemat that I painted and beaded. the petals are made of fabric/paper that I stitched around the edges on the sewing machine. I really like the extra texture that this small step adds. The body of the bird is made from collaged and gesso washed sheet music.

Here are some shots that will allow you to see some more details.

I love the touch that the beads add to the flower center!

Well, I have to rush off and take bread out of the oven and put some chicken on the grill!!

I hope taht all of my blog visitors from the states have a happy and safe 4th of July and all those from other countries enjoy a safe and happy weekend!! It really means the world to me that you all come by and leave such wonderful comments. You all are wonderful friends and you feed my soul- or should I say my inner Artist- note the capitol A !!!!


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