Thursday, April 30, 2009

Collage Mania!!

The Preview of this amazing event has begun! Virginia Speigel hass done it again. This is the last time that Fiber Art For a Cause will be hosted by Virginia and she is resposible for the donation of $170,000 dollars to the American Cancer Society! To see all of the amazing Collage works donated by so many talented artists go here.

On May 5 at 10am CDT the Mania begins. For 80$ ,any collage may be purchased with all proceeds going directly to ACS. On May 6th any remaining collage may be purchased for 40$. THe purchasing will be fast and furious so if you Want it, Buy it!!! I have just spent about an hour scrolling through all of these amazing pieces and I have a detailed list in order and ready to go!! I am all set to go after several incredible pieces of glorious artwork !! Many art friends have donated their artwork to this event , Laura Krasinski, Michelle Bonds ,Frieda Oxenham,,Judy Alexander to name a few.

The inspiration and artistic expression is incredible. Many pieces are done in memory of loved ones who have fought and lost, others are created by and for survivors of cancer. By moved and inspired!

Won't you join me???

At this link you will find full instructuons for how to participate.

Have a wonderful and healthy day!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reuse, Restyle, Repurpose- Create!!

Along with my love of buttons beads and found treasures, I love vintage fabrics and embroidery. My Swedish Grandmother was very talented in the area of bobbin lace and crochetted lace. I have always loved the pillow caes that she banded with her handiwork and I always am on the lookout for similar sorts of handwork. I especailly love tatting and find that many hankies are beautifully edged with this elegant trim. When I come across pieces with lace edging I snatch them up. In the case of pillow cases, I am often left with a good amount of high quality cotton scrap material after I have removed tha lace work or embroidery sections.
In the most recent issue of Quilting Arts there is a wonderful article by a very talented quilter who uses lots of her own hand colored fabrics in her work. The method that I am about to describe is a result of reading her methods and making due with the supplies that I had on hand.
She collects quality mens 100% cotton shirts and old 100% cotton bed sheets from various sources (mostly thrift stores and yard sales) and uses the fabrics to start her dyeing process.
So I used my left over cotton pillow case scraps. Using strong white thread and a thimble and needle, I gathered portions of each fabric piece into small pleats and stitched with big running stitches to hold the pleats together. My starting fabric piece was about 8x10. After pleating and stitching for awhile in one direction, I changed directions and started pleating and stitching in another direction. I kept going till the fabric was completely pleated and wadded up. This pleating will act as a resist in the dyeing process.

Here I have three "wads " of odd sized pleated fabrics ready for the next step. They are all different weights of cotton, from different sources but they are all 100% cotton. Next I sprinkled each wad with water to dampen the fabric in certain areas. I sprinkled because I did not want to achieve a uniform wetness as the moisture differences would give the colors more movement in certain areas . I hoped to achieve more color interest using the sprinkling method.

I used Ranger Adirondack Color Washes for my dye source and sprayed each piece with different colors in various spots. then I used a paint brush to brush the tops of areas of the pleats with gold acrylic paint. I left the whole colored wad outside to dry completely.
Once dry, I began the task of removing all of the stitching that I had used to hold the pleats in place. I ironed each piece (using a teflon sheet) to set the colors and to flatten the fabric pieces. Here are my results!!
The way the purple and blues and then gold highlights worked on this piece, make it my favorite. I am thrilled with all of them and you can expect to see them all in use in upcoming projects!!
The lavendar and bright acid green in this piece make for a very neat combo!

This project was lots of fun! I will be working with method some more . The pleating and stitching parts are very protable and can be done whereever one has to wait. I will be taking some pleating along with me today when I take the kids to the dentist, for example. Once I get several wads pleated thaen I will do the coloring all at once. This is a great stash builder for scrap fabrics and a wonderful use for recyled fabric pieces!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anyone for a Cuppa?

Tea that is!! tIthas warmed up here ,in Va and along the entire East Coast of the states, far too early for my taste.!!! 92 degrees is hardly typical April weather! Warm weather always turns my thirst to iced tea. I love all kinds, herbal and plain old Lipton with lots of fresh lemon and ice!! It seems that many are drinking tea. Lots of green tea for the nutritional value and I have decided to design a piece of functional art for tea drinkers. Here is my tea House! I have crafted it from fabric/paper mounted on painted Timtex interfacing.

It stands 7 inches tall from base to roof peak. It is three inches square to accomodate the size of the wrapped tea bags. I think that it will look fabulous sitting on a kitchen counter waiting to be opened for the next cup of tea, hot or cold!!

I incorporated lots of tea text in the first layer of the collage. I found recipes associated with tea in old cookbooks and used envelopes from individually wrapped teas, I also used the hang tags with the wonderful quotes included, to add interest.

I painted the Timtex with acrylic paints and ran a tight zig zag stitch around each panel before attaching one panel to the next with the same stitch.

Cozy happy tea bags just waiting to be enjoyed!! It was almost hard to take this into the gallery to put up for sale but I will make more, especailly if this one sells. I should probably make one or two for my Etsy shop as well!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I have never met a button that I didn't like!!!

I LOVE BUTTONS!!!! All kinds of BUTTONS- the older the better, but really I have a thing for buttons!! I saw this idea in a magazine while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store the other day. The best part is I already had everything that I needed so this project even qualifys as a Stash Buster!!!!! All you need are shank buttons of your choice ( the ones with the post and hole attached to the back of the button), jump rings (on the large side to accomodate shanks), a pair of Pliers and a charm bracelet blank- available at any craft store. It took me two hours last night to put together both of these bracelets. The hardest part was deciding on what buttons to include!!!
( If anyone has a stash of buttons that they would like to get rid of , let me know and we can make arrangments! OR, if you have some buttons that you would like me to add to and make a bracelet for you to wear, we can work that out as welll!!)
Now without further ado!!

These are all brass, many vintage, some new!

These are all silver or pewter, again some vintage and some newer!! They are such fun to wear and make such a lovely jingling sound!!!

the other day, my dear friend pattib. sent me some old zinc canning jar lids to play with!! i had seen some pincushions that she had created using these lids and I whipped one up using a piece of a fulled sweater and an old BUTTON!!! Thank you so much for sending the lids, patti!!!

Then I must tell you that I have been remiss in posting pictures of some of my fabulous mail box decor!! You may remember that I had made some ocean themed charms for a dear friend, as she was gathering charms for an ocean themed charm necklace. In return, she sent me some of her fabulously yummy hand dyed silk ribbons!

Aren't they simply glorious???!!!She also snuck in a wonderful little doll that she calls her Inner Child Doll!! This darling little girl is filled with dried Lavendar buds and has the most adorable little green shoes!! I just love her!! Thank you so very much, Pat.

I am going to start working on some ribbon work embroidery soon! It will be the perfect portable project to take along on trips!! Pat does amazing Crazy Quilt work and also loves to garden and you can see all of her glorious work here!

I am off to the garden to divide some primroses and plant some pansies!! We have glorious sunshine on this day after Earth Day!! Please consider contacting you Senators and Congress people to urge them to support all Green Energy legislation and Global Warming Intitiatives- we only have one Earth and WE MUST treat here with the love and respect she deserves!! How about having Earth Day be EVERY day!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Friends in New Zealand

I have just finished a small project for a new friend from New Zealand. Recently, I was approached by Debbie, a wonderful gal ,who had left some very nice comments on my blog. She asked if I would be interested in participateing in a small swap for a card. Debbie is a wonderful artist and does amazing illustration work- you can get a glimpse of her wonderful work on her BLOG. I have not done many swaps lately and I am always thrilled to meet new like -minded creative artists, so I took up the challenge. Inside one of my floral stationary cards ( the card was to be 4x6) I tucked this small quiltie. I have been so in the stitching mood lately and I had just dyed up a handful of various scraps and was anxious to put them together in a small project. The turquoise and green base of this quiltie is some of my collaged and paint scraped fabric/paper. On top of this base I layered some pink/orange cotton and then some pink/yellow/orange lace. I used embroidery floss to do all of the hand stitching and finished it off with a small heart charm. I backed the entire piece witha piece of a linen bureau scarf that has the wonderful hand crocheted edge on it. The piece is only about 5x5 square and hangs from a piece of rayon ribbon. I hope that Angela likes it! You can visit Angela at her Blog, should you wish to travel down under!
Angela has already gifted me with her creation and as soon as I get some good pictures of it, I will share them with you!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring has Sprung in My Garden

We are entering the time of year when I run the risk of making you all sick to death of floral photography!! This is my favorite time of year and I work very hard on my chemical free compost and manure only organic garden, so you will be seeing alot of pictures of it. I will understand if you don't leave comments every time or even if you run through the post overly quickly, but watch out ,you may miss some new art tucked in amoungst the fleurs!!There is one plant that I am so excited to see each year. It is a very unusual yellow primrose that is a true Pass-Along Plant. It began in the British Isles somewhere and was brought across the Atlantic in the suitcase of a dear elderly friend of my Mother's. Sally had clumps of primroses all over her yard and my Mom offered to help with the transplanting as they desperately needed to be divided. each year each plant produces a new plant via a rootlet so you can see how a clump can very gquickly become massive. So then my Mom had many clumps that needed to be divided. Any visitors who showed any interest were given a small clump and wherever I have lived , all ove the US, Mom has sent me clumps of the plants in the mail- they are very hardy. So the Woodfords have left a trail of these glorious buttery flowers all over the lower 48! I was told to not even try to grow these plants in central Oklahoma by experts at the Oklahoma Boatanical gardens- well they threw down the challenge!! i got them to grow in profusion in a very sheltered spot on the north side of the house where they were protedted from the blistering wind and heat. When we left Ok I "passed them along" to a wonderful gardening friend who was thrilled to have them!

As you can see one little blossom grows right from the center of it's neighbor. The blossoms come in pedulous clustersa nd the slugs will not touch them!! i just adore these plants!!

Here you see one of my favorite floral color combinations, fragrance color form and bloom time- this twosome ahs it all!!

Well enough nattering on, now I will just present you with some more pictures!!

Waterperry Veronica.

Although I did not make it into DC to see the Cherry Blossoms, I have a Cherry blooming in the yard. Next year I WILL get into DC to see the big explosion of color!!!

I came across this wonderful quote the other day and fell that it is most fitting for an end to this post!

"Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, something you do, something you are and something you give away." Robert Fulghum

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Wonderful Artist Needs Help !

Many of you may know Gail Schmidt of Shabby Cottage Studios. With her permission I have copied the following text form her blog and it tells of a severe challenge facing artist Joanna Pierotti of Mosshill Studio. I have been wanting to take a class from Joanna for a very long time and after reading this post on Gails blog I know that now is the time! Without further ado, I will let you read Gail's post.

How Can We Help?

Life is such a struggle at times and we've all heard the saying "when bad things happen to good people". When we see it happening to those we know it is so frustrating to only be able to offer prayer and words of comfort. When what we really want to do is be in a position to smite the devil, to pay the bills, to make people listen and help those in need. Yet most of us are not in that position.My friend Joanna whom a lot of you know as Moss Hill Studio is in such a struggle right now. Her sweet hubby Ron has had his brain tumor return after ten years and they have no health insurance and it is difficult for them to get help where they are located. Joanna will not take donations of money and someone on her blog suggested that if there is any one out there that would take a class from Joanna or offer a class from Joanna as a gift to an arty friend then in a small way we could help. I have signed up for 4 of Joanna's classes and I can guarantee you will not be disappointed and will have a lot of fun learning to create beauty.

This is Elizabeth speaking again. I have been fascinated with Joanna's work ever since I saw her dolls on Art-E-Zine. She has a wonderful whimsical style and iI have heard rave reviews about her online classes from many other artists. This is a small way that we can help someone who is trapped in a horrible situation. Take a class, learn something new and help Joanna and her husband weather the storm of this illness. You will be so glad that you did!! Please help me to spread the word about this wonderful opportunity!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Artist's Date in Old Towne Fredericksburg

Lately, I have been traveling in and out of Fredericksburg several times a week. I am there to drop off art work at Liberty Town , to meet friends for lunch or to go to the Chiropractor. It seems that I always have to be somewhere, yet I see all of these wonderful scenes that I wish to capture on film. Fredericksburg is a southern city that played a very large part in the Civil War with several battles being played out right in the city . The Union troops massed on the Northern side of the Rappahanock River and the Southern troops on the southern side. These battles were fierce and brutal and were fought amidst the townspeople. The city is charming and beautiful, especially at this time of year. The Virginia Garden Society has made a huge effort to restore and maintain many of the gardens of so many historic homes in Virginia and the annual garden cellebration titled Garden Week arrives in 7 days. During this week , many of the historic homes are open to the public and staffed by volunteers in period dress and the whole city turns out for the coming of spring.
I decided on one of my hurried trips to and fro , that I needed an Artist's Date, with my camera, wandering the streets of Old Town. My opportunity came last thursday. It was a beautiful spring day and there were no plans except to wander. What a treat!!
Here are some of the pictures that I snapped along the way. the birds were singing, many residents and volunteers were working in gardens and other's were out enjoying the morning with their children in strollers and dogs on walks.
Many of the house open right onto the narrow streets but if you peek down the alley ways you can catch glimpses of hidden gardens tucked in behind.
This is one of my favorite doorways . It is the color that gets me! I just love it!!
Yet to leaf out Beech trees.
Bursting Magnolia blossoms.

as you arrive in the area with the larger homes, most have front yards with wonderful enty ways. this yard is graced by a gloriously gnarled Catalpa tree. Just have to love the texture of that bark!!!

Beatifully detailed front doors and windows.
This house was built in 1836.
This small cluster of flowers adorns the back stoop of Mary Washington, the mother of George Washington. This home is open to the public and the gardens are maintained in the manner of the day by a full time Master Gardener and a host of volunteers.

A wonderful street side patch of bulbs.
A quiet place to sit.

A secret garden entrance. No, I DID NOT scale the wall!!

A rare neglected home, begging for some TLC. Love the peeling paint texture though.

RedBud trees blooming everywhere!

Historic churches viewed throught the trees. ( Less likely to notice all of the telephone poles and wires!)

A beautifully painted Victorian porch.

A Land Grant marker tucked along the sidewalk, dated 1671.

Red Buds and Cherry Blossoms.

A view of the Northern bank of the Rappahannock River at the site where the Northern army used pontoon bridges to cross the river during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Virginia Bluebells tucked in against 250 year old brick walls.

Glorious tulips planted along Caroline Street.

Newly unfurled Pink Dogwood blossoms.

I am planning on attending some of the activities during Garden Week. You can be assured that my camera will be with me and I will have more photos to share!

Happy Spring!!


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