Monday, June 29, 2009

Garden Glories- A Quick Post

I have just spent a wonderful weekend In a fabulous workshop with the amazing Laura Cater-Woods at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria!! Today I spent the day cleaning and prepping for a family visit on the 1st. My brother and his wonderful family of beautiful women will be in for a quick visit on home leave from Tanzania. I washed couch slipcovers, washed dog snot off of windows and am vaccuming out corners and dusting out crevices- not just your ordinary surface stuff- relax ----it does NOT happen often.
SOOOOOOO this is a long way of saying that this will be a quick post and a stroll thru the space that is my garden. I will be back in a day or two with details on the LCW Workshop, complete with pictures!!
as you can see my day lilies are coming into their glory!! these are no ordinary ditch lilies!! These are radiant and fragrant jewels. Anyone up for some divisions??? They are growing into huge clumps and need some serious thinning out this fall. They ship very well and love to be planted in the fall. Let me Know!!!
This stunning pink beauty is called Flutterby. there must be at least 15 buds per stem!!

The ruffled edges on these lilies is called pie crust, as the edges resemble the edges of pie crusts. This pink one is called joylene Nicole and is one of my favorites!!!! I have her sprinkled all over the garden!!

The hydrangea's are also stunning this year! theyare reveling in all of the reaint aht we have had and I am loving all of the colors in each blossom head!!!!

The garden welcomes visitors as you come down the drive and the SHasta daisies are starting to open. I expect a deluge of butterflies soon!!
I will be back soon with a posting all about the creative workshop but for now I hope that you have all enjoyed this little peek into my garden!!
Off to bed, I am tired- Man do I hate to clean, it just wears me out!! Art is sooooo much more fun, wether in the garden, on paper or fabric!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Wonderful Class of Beading Students

Just look at these beautiful pieces!!! I am so impressed with my latest class of students!! They did a fabulous job on their first beaded cuffs and I only gave them a week between class sessions to get it done!!!
The mostly green piece above, is by Kathy. Isn't it wonderful?? She did a great job and walked out the door wearing her piece with supplies to make several more!! None of these gals were beaders by the way!!!!!

Below ont he left hand side are two pieces created by Patti!! I do believe that she enjoyed the process!! two in one week- pretty amazing!! She used Czech glass buttons for her focal pieces and added wonderul bee buttons and flower beads with sequin centers!

This piece below is Ellen's work. this is not one of my favorite colors in general- too neutral for my taste. HOWEVER,, the way Ellen has put things together here with the wonderful holey shell and the tiger eye and copper and white, the piece literally took my breathe away!!!!!

This wonderful work below is by Beverly! I love all of the colors she used, the turquoise and the orange really pop out at you!! Several of the shells were picked up by her Dad in the South Pacific during World War 2.!!! We can incorporate just about anything!!!!

I am missing one student's piece! Rhonda left her work at her mother in laws home after a show and tell session. Poor Rhonda she was soooo bummed out! Not to worry we are going to catch up this coming week over a cup of coffee!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Purple Zipper Cuff and Teaching Classes

I am almost finished with this new Zipper Cuff! All that is left to do is apply the linig to the inside of the metal cuff. I couldn't wiat to post aobut this piece and to let everyone know that I am teaching classes to create these pieces at two different venues! I have a class scheduled for the 16th of September at The Artisitc Artifacts Annex in Alexandria VA. Folks are already signing up and there are only 6 slots for this class. If you are interested in this session you sign up here. I will give you details about the other venue latter on in this post!

Here are some close up shots of this latest cuff. I stitched this piece on a rich royal purple velvet as the background fabric. Before I began, I added a stabilizing fabric to the back so my beading thread would not pull through the velvet. This cuff is more narrow than the others that you have seen here. The brass form was an inch wide rather than 1.5 inches. So in the end the finished cuff measures about 1.25 inches wide.

The cuff is priamrily purples and greens with shots of red and pink thrown in because I could!!
Although it is hard to see in the photograph, this bead work has quite a bit of dimension as I used a good amount of fringe beading in certain places for added texture.

The second teaching venue that I spoke of earlier is my studio! I live in Staford VA and I am blessed with a very large work space and I would like to offer small classes , even private lessons, that can fit into busy schedules. I would love to have teenage students as well as adults. Offering classes at my home will allow me to be in the home with my family and to have all of my vast stash of varuious supplies within reach. this will offer students a unique opportunity to learn in a very relaxed and comfortable setting. It will also allow for a good deal of flexabilty and spontaneity in use of materials and scheduling.
If you are interested in discussing Classes In:
Altered Book Techniques
Fabric Surface Design
Mixed Media Techniques
please contact me through my email or leave a comment here on my blog. Also feel free to tell any friends and aquaintances who you know might have an interest.!!
I also wish to thank all of you for all of the wonderful comments that you leave for me when you visit. You truely inspire me and give me great hope in the possiblities for our lives together within this wonderful art blogging community!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rusted Fabric Collage Packs

I am adding some new items to my ETSY Shop. I have made up some Rusted Fabric Collage Packs of bits and pieces of rusted lace trims, cheese cloth, muslin and vintage doilys. My newly designed label reads "Rusted Bits of Fabric and Fluff for Collage!!" Each pack contains one specailized piece that is rust printed with a bird image. Each pack is totally unique as is each piece of fabric. Duplication is , in fact, impossible!! rRusting is a very fickle process and therefore, can be very excitingbut also very frustrating ! I have worked quite awhile to get the conditions for rusting my unique iron and tin pieces just right . I have had many requests for how too's and inquires about where I have gotten my metal bits. As this is so hard to duplicate I have decided that some folks might want to purchase the unique collage items rather than try to duplicate them for themselves. So here they are. The above pack is Collage Pack A- with a rusted bird on a vintage round doily, as the signature piece amoung the other treasures. At my Etsy site here you can see pictures of all of the other elements contained within this special collage pack.

This is Pack B and contains a specail Twin Bird Rusted piece as it's signature piece. You can see the detail photos for this pack here.

This is a photo of the contents of Pack A.

And this is a photo of the contents of Pack B.

If you know of people who like to work with unusual Rusted fabrics and trims, spread the word about my collage packs!! One never knows, my next blog giveaway might just feature a Collage Pack or Two!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Field of Poppies

I am taking part in a wall hanging exchange with a small on line art group . The size limit for this piece was originally 8x10 but I decided to go a bit bigger as I am freeling limited by size lately. This small quilt is approximately 11x17. I am sending this piece off to Laura by the end of the month. We were each asked to submit color guidelines and Laura asked for bright colors and nature. She is a North woods nature girl for sure!!!

I have always loved poppies with their brilliant red blossoms and paper thin petals. The blossoms are so very fragile yet the plants are tough as nails and if they are happy they will grow in profusion.

I have been reading books by quilter Ruth McDowell lately. Her fabric collages are very striking in that they use a huge variety of prints and textures in an incredibly efffective and pleasing technique. So Poppies were my subject and bright colors were my palette.

I cut many different blades of grasses from fabrics that had Wonder Under fused to the back. I stitched the grass down in layers using various stitches and then created the poppy blossoms seperately, before stitching them down to the grassy background. I used yarn for the stems that I couched down and a bit of upholstry material for the hairy little buds. The final step was to add beaded centers.
(Photos will enlarge with a right click!)

All that remains is to pick a backing fabric and bind the edges. It will be done using a green print, I think. The hardest part will be putting this in the mail!! I am reallly very happy with this piece!!!! It is a very good thing that it will be living with my dear friend Laura, who happens to be a wonderful quilter and collage artist, and I know that she will really appreciate it!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Puzzle Piece Swap!

You may remember that awhile back I took part in a puzzle piece swap called Pieces of Friendship. This swap was the child (oraganizing and running such a swap is almost as large a task as birthing a child) of the lovely and incredibly talented Ms. Pat Winter of Indiana. You can visit her wonderful blog and see her Crazy Quilting masterpieces here .

Our puzzle pieces were due to Pat by June 1. All pieces were made using the same template and could be made using any media as long as the pieces were stiffened using an interfacing of some sort. Then Pat had the herculean task of sorting and swapping out the pieces and then repackaging and posting the pieces back to all of the participants. Pat also very generously offered to do an extra swap with any and all participants over and above the required 4 pieces that the other players were required to send in. Once you ahve seen pat's glorious work, you are NUTS not to want to have one of your very own Pat Winter Creations. Pat took on alot with this swap and she did a fabulous job.!!!! She also set up a blog where she posted the puzzle pieces so we could all see them as they arrived at her house- eye candy and inspiration!!!!!
AAAAANNNNNDDDD now that this swap is finished she wants to do Round 2 in the Fall!! I am definately up for that!! Pat is a brave gal and obviously loves her craft!!!!

So here are the pieces!! My piece is the one pictured above.

This wonderful piece is by Karrin Hurd of California. I adore Tatting and the Forget Me Not image is just wonderful. Thank you Karrin, I love it!

This wonderful piece is from a wonderful artist by the name of Annette Jeavons of the UK. I have swapped art with Annette before with other groups and her work is always delightful, so I was especailly thrilled to et another piece of her work!!

This glorious confection of embroidery and beads is by our Swap Queen, Pat Winter!! I wisht aht you could hold it to really see all of the marvelous details! A true masterpiece, thank you Pat!!!

This wonderful piece with the hand drawn face and wonderful stitching details is byAlice Topp of Wisconsin. I wish that I had your talent for drawing Alice, beautiful work!!

This piece, made using my new favorite color, is by Liz in Kansas. Again the details here are amazing as each leaf is two sided and can move about atop the puzzle piece. The little face is moulded and painted and I cannot tell if it is polymer clay or porcelain. Simply wonderful, thank you Liz!!!

So what will I do with these pieces, you may ask. Well, I am going to eventually tack them togehter once we have stopped swapping. I will put them together in some sort of an arrangement and then I will either put them in a frame or I will keep them seperate and put them into clear pockets in some sort of fabric book. So i am not sure yet. I do know that I love them all, I am thrilled that I ws involved in this swap and I am definately taking part in Round 2!! All are welcome, so if you are interested you should drop by Pat's Blog and see when the next round is due to start. I will also be sure to let you know here, so don't change the channel!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

According to Sir Blue , The Winners Are.......

And the winners of the 300 Post Give Away are....... Jude of Crete, Beena of Daytona Beach ( who used to summer on Cape Cod) and Marilyn Rock!!! Jude and Beena , I am going to need your mailing addresses so shot me an e-mail off blog!!

Each of you wonderful blogging friends always take the time to leave such wonderfully supportive and humorous comments! I thank you form the bottom of my heart ! You have decorated my world with such an amazing community of artists and friends!!

A Huge thank you to all who have left comments and for your support and enthusiasm. Having the ability to reach across the world and to be welcomed into the lives of wonderful people from Tanzania to Tasmania from the Phillipines to Indonesia to Indiana is simply a gift that has no measure!!!!!
Have a wonderful weekend all and get out there and create someting wonderful that makes your heart sing!!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Guerilla Knitting Ready to Ship to OZ !!!

Alng with my other projects, I have been working on a project to help out a blogging friend in Australia. If you all do not know of the wonderful Denise of GRRL+ Dog, you must pop over for a visit (click here to go to her fabulous blog!) and learn all about her amazing journey that has led to this project!! Denise started an international blogging group of guerrilla knitters whose goal it was to decorate ordinary boring objects with glorious fiber and knitting. Knitters from all over the world joined her in dressing trees and light posts door handles and even a chilly cacti with their handiwork. Well one thing led to another and now Denise has a huge art exhibit coming up at a major art museum!!!! This is very, very cool but when I say MAJOR, I MEAN MAJOR!!!! Leading into the exhibit are 6 massive concrete columns to be covered with knitting luciousness and Denise has put out a call for help from any and all willing knitters!!! Well, how in the world could I resist???
So here is my contribution. The specs that were requested were 4-8 inches wide and approximately (converting from civilized metric to our crazy system,) 54 inches long. We are talking massive columns!!!
I wanted to use supplies on hand and as Denise is big on recycling, I wnet with cut up plastic bags. Bags from Lego purchases, bags from the dentist, bags from newspapers bags from clothing stores , bags from Target, all colors and sizes- just NO WALMART BAGS!!! I have my limits!!!!
I used size 15 needles and knit away, mostly at softball games. As you can imagaine this project became the topic of conversation between innings of cheering on our girls . Several girls have asked that I teach them to knit!!! Looks like we will get a Teen Knitting Group going for the summer!!!

I left 6 inch tails where I joined one bag to the next and now I am just finishing up adding some colorful plastic beads to the ends! It is all about color!!!!
This needs to be in Denise's hands by July 1 so my goal is to get it on it's way in tomorrows post!!
So this is my 300th post. So tonight at 9 pm (EST) I will asign numbers to all of the comments that you , dear readers , have left on my blog. Then we will pick winners! If you ahve left more than one comment ove rht last several posts you will get more chances!!! :) So If you are a lurker and Don't leave comments to let me know that you have stopped by, get with the program and leave me a comment!!!
Big hugs!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wet Felting Fun and Give Away Extension

Last week I ahd a wonderful opportunity to have a private Wet Felting Tutorial with April, one of my Fiber Arts Guild friends. April does amazing felting of all sorts and I had helped her jump into a collage project so she graciously offered to help me get" wet" with wet felting!! I am sooo in love with what is happening in the fiber arts world lately with the use of the embellishing machine and wet felting. There are several artistis that I have become aware of recently who are doing wonderful things with color and technique and creations that I just adore. Here are some links to explore: Elizabeth Armstrong, Margo Duke, and Jackie. Jackie just had a feature article in the latest Quilting Arts Magazine!!

So to begin, April showed me how to separate the layers of a silk hankie. This would serve as my first layer of my felted piece. I had recieved this wonderful piece of silk luciousness from my dear friend Jacky from OZ, for my last birthday and I was saving it for something special. Truth be told, I did not know how to use it to get the most from it and I surely did not want to waste it. It turns out atht a silk hankie is the silk from a single coccoon that has been hand stretched over a persons hand, into a square. My particiular hankie had 6 layers to it!!! Bonus!!! It is hard to image that all of the lucious fiber contained in one hankie is the doings of one very busy little worm!!!!! Just blows the mind!! Anyway, we put down the silk layer on top of shelf lining that April had purchased at IKEA. We sprinkled the silk with soapy water. This matting (shelf lining) is clear on the back side and has little bumps on the felting or up side. These little bumps make the perfect surface for wet felting as the wool is aggitated gently along the bumps and the fibers are encouraged to hook up with each other. Then we continued to lay down fibers of wool and even some sari silk yarn, in colors that I wanted to work with. Below you see a detail shot of what I was doing.
After the color paly was complete we covered the entire piece with shocking pink roving that we teased apart. I had come into a large quantity of this wool from a friend who had decided that it hurt her head to work with the stuff!!
Then we strinkled with some more soapy water and covered the wool with a layer of bubble wrap. Where oh where would we artists be without our bubble wrap??????

Then we rolled the whole thing up into a nice fat sausage and started rolling and turning and rolling the piece some more.
Here you can see how nice it is to have the shelf liner have a clear side!!

So the rolling was finished and then we worked on tightening up the egdes of the panel by using our hands, some more soapy water and rubbing the fibers against the bumpy surface of the shelf liner.

The next step was the hot water rinse and squeeze and then cold water rinse, hot water rinse and squeeze. We were done.!!!! I love this piece and I am not sure what it will become- probably several pieces- you WILL be seeing it again!!!

I just love this process and I can see putting the kids to work over the summer helping me to roll some more felt pieces!!!!
Give Away Extension
As I am holding my art giveaway to celebrate my 300th post , I think taht it is only right to extend the comment period till I actually post my 300th post, don't you!!
Therefore I will continue to collect comments till one day following my 300th post. this current post is #299. Those that leave more than one comment in this entire time period will be entered according to the number of comments left!! I just love getting comments!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New Items in My Etsy Shop

I have finally found a few moments to add a few new items to my Etsy Shop! Above you can see a sideways shot of a set of 5 Rose Note cards, each signed and suitable for framing with al sorts of creamy space for your personal message. Each card is also stamped on the back with my personal logo.

I hope to be adding stationary packs of Iris, Lilies and Garden Friends soon!!
I have also added two of my Cashmere and Wool Posie Brooches.

You can get all the info about all of these new items by clicking here!

Each brooch is handstitched beautifully finished and comes with it's own little buggy friend! (in charm form!!!!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beauty IS in the Eyes of The Beholder!!!!

Tuesday evening was a terrible time for driving or being outside, but driving I had to be. I was off to teach my last session in a round of classes on Techniques for Altered Books. It was pouring buckets and lightening was flashing!! i was stopped at an intersection in the left hand turn lane at a notoriously long light. I happened to look down out my window at the median. there glistening in the grass was this jewel of a smooshed tail pipe!! My immediate thought was "a ballgown". Not hesitately for a moment, except to gauge the time left on the light changing, I jumped out of the car and snatched up my treasure. then savely back in the car, a bit damp but buckled in , I continued to wait for the light to change............

As I look fruther at this piece I see a pair of overalls complete with buttons on the bib!!!
Do you see what I see?????

I am going to fashion a wonderfully fun and funky art doll inspired by the metal outfit!!!! (Sorry that my sketch is a bit faint!)

Don't worry, you will see this piece again, in a new form!!
Have a creative day and don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in my 300th Post Blog Giveaway. Click here to see details.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

300th Post Giveaway

There is no question in my mind that blogging and all of the wonderful people that I have met through blogging has changed my life as an artist and as a person. I am so greatful for all of the support and interest that all of you ahve shown in my artwork!! So to celebrate blogging and my 300th post I am having a give away of three hand crafted art pieces . All that I ask is that you leave a comment on this post or any post that follows this one between now and Sunday evening, June 7 at 12 midnight EST.. Tell your friends to come and comment so they can be entered as well! If I add 3-4 more posts between now and Sunday and you leave commetns on each your name will be put in the drawing for each comment on each post! ( not multiple comments on the same post!!!:)0)))
One of the gifts will be one of my little fabric/paper Muse birds. Another prize will be this Cashmere Posie Pin.
The third will be a 5 pack of my Iris photo stationary.

So here are the gifties and my great thanks to all of you, my blogging Friends!!!! Big Hugs!!

Thank you all so very much for all of your encouragement and support!!
(As an added bonus, if anyone can help me figure out why I cannot move pictures around within my post duing composition, I will add a Special SURPRISE PRIZE!!!)


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