Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Parfait Pincushions!!

I have just finished creating some cute pincushions using vintage aluminum Jell-o pudding cups! i have used some wonderful fabrics rescued from upholstry sample books that were headed to the dust bin. I topped them with vintage buttons and weighted the bottoms of the cups so they would be extra stable. I am trying to get stock made for Christmas sales. I have just listed all three of these pincushions in my ETSY shop and you can see them all here! I think that they will make the perfect little gift for the crafter who loves to stitch and who loves vintage items.!!
They were also a lot of fun to make! I have quite a few of these little cups so I am planning on creating a few more!!

As the saying goes, "There is always room for Jell-O!!"

In the process of the never ending clean-up, I have unearthed some wonderful blue fabrics, so look for some more pincushions coming soon!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Lot Going On!!!

Yesterday I wrapped up my third round of Beaded Cuff classes. My two students, Kim and Linda, did fabulous work with both completing their glorious pieces by the time class was over!!! Big GOLD STARS for you both!!! I do love teaching this class as each student is so pleased with what they have been able to accomplish. They realize that the whole process looks so much more complicated than it really is and that with a bit of time and work , they, too, can create beautiful pieces!!! First I will share Linda's wonderful piece.

In this shot you see her wearing her cuff with the jacket that inspired her piece!! She is going to cause quite a stir when she wears this wonderful ensemble, don't you think????

Here is a tighter shot. This piece speaks so much of Linda's art style- she does wonderful collage work and you can read her blog here!

Here is Kim's glorious bracelet with her inspiration purse!!

And a tighter shot for more detail of her beadwork!!

I am sure that Kim will get raves about her bracelet. I love how kim created her textured ocean of green beads for her fish!!!
During this class we did a wonderful critique of various glues that were used for the final placement of the beadwork on the metal cuff form. Thank you ladies, for your open and frank discussion about which glues you prefer!!! :) These are all invaluable tips for future classes!!
As the Class was taught at the Artistic Artifacts Annex and Judy was out of town , I had the job of unlocking the shop and disabling the alarm system. I was sooo nervous till I actually got in the door and accomplished the tasks without setting off the alarm and alerting the local police. I was so proud of myself!!! What a ninny!! Anyway, Judy is in the process of prepping for a big Sewing Show that takes place enxt week at the Dulles Expo Center where she will be a vendor. Her work tables were covered with wonderfully lucious piles of hand dyed linens that she is putting together into fabric collage packs for art quilters.
I could not resist snapping a few shots of the wonderful textiles that she has to offer!
It is amazing how Judy's wonderful dye process can transform these old linens into wonderful pieces for fabric collage and garment work!!!

I just love the texture of this dyed and washed cheesecloth!!
But I like this shot taken with light coming in through the window, so much better!!
I have also finally gotten around to finsihing up the lining on my neice Mali's beaded cuff bracelet. It is an 18th birthday present and it is already late, as is the ocean cuff that I created for her sister Kate!!! Now I can finally get these two gifts on their way to Africa for my gorgeous girls to wear!!!
Here you can see Mali's cuff with the ultra suede lining all stitched in and finished off!
I love moving projects off of my To DO list and onto my Taa Daa list!!!
I also just delivered some more jewelry to Liberty Town for sale in The Emporium.

Now I have to get working on items for Christmas sales and create my shirt from my Sunprinted Linen!!! So many fun projects to work on and dream of, and so little time!!!
Art on!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Great Butterfly Migration

Here in the Piedmont region of Eastern Virginia we are lucky enough to be on the Southern Migration route for many species of butterflys. As the wonderful critters undergo this perilous journey they really count on home gardeners and fall wild flowers for food sources and places for rest and recuperation along the way. Providing a welcoming habitat that is pesticide free and full of nectar producing flowers, is something that I am quite serious about. many fo the most common annual varities of flowers provide power packed nutrition for out wonderful visitors. Zinnia's, Cosmos, Asters , Verbena, and Daiseys are the big favorites and my garden is very active with butterflys coming and going every day now.

Crystalline White Garden Phlox.

Cosmos and verbena.
Sweet Autumn Clematis is also a big favorite.

I thought that you might like to see some of my better photo journalling of this year's migration. Enjoy!

The monarchs are always so very trusting and very intent on their eating. Perhaps they know that theya re safe from predators because of the poison that they carry in their bodies. They know, developmentally, that birds will not bother them anyway!

This little jewel of a hummingbird happened along when I was out with my camera!! i was so excited to be in exactly the right place at the right time!! If you right click on the photo you can get an amazing close up of this hungry guy!! What a treat!!! The birds are all over my garden daily but I have never been this fortunate with my camera!!!!

Next spring and summer , I hope that you all will consider planting some wildflowers and annuals to attract and noursih our butterfly visitors as they undertake their amazing fall journey south.
I hope that all are enjoying the wonders of Fall, that my friends in Georgia are able to dry out from recent deluges and that everyone can get outside and enjoy the natural world around them this weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Projects!

This past weekend I took part in a new venture being launched by my good friend Judy Gula at Artistic Artifacts. Judy will now be offering a selection of wonderful "artsy- Classic" patterns for creating clothing using hand crafted and embellished fabrics. Judy specializes in hand dyed vintage fabrics and wants to encourage all of us to create marvelous clothes that speak of our passions. She asked a group of us to pick a pattern and create garments that we would wear to unveil her new direction for her business, at an Opening Event. Judy and her Mom put on a wonderful Opening Tea on Sunday last! It was such fun to wear my new shirt and to see all of the incredible garments that others had made!!
I went thru my extrensive stash of fabrics and chose a wonderfully vibrant Red Linen/Rayon blend fabric that I had picked up years ago in Oklahoma. ( I really am Stash Busting!!!!) Just this past June, while at a Quilt Expo, I met the wonderful Proprietress of Batik Tambal, a business that travels the world collecting wonderful Batik panels for use in the sewing arts. You have probably noticed their adds in Quilting Arts magazine amoung others. I bought 6 small panels (they were 50% off!!) knowing that I had to have them but not sure what they would become.

As I love the color combo of red and turquoise, I went for bold and beautiful ,and chose the above panel to bead and embellish to put on the back of my shirt.
Once beaded, it looked like this:

I had another panel with similar colors that pictured two masks. As I knew that I wanted to put some sort of embellishment on the front of the shirt as well, I cut that panel in half and beaded it.
Here is the half panel to be placed on the front.

So at 11:30 am Sunday morning I was still stitching on the last little details!!! The event began at 1pm Sunday afternoon!!!!
I had hoped to have a nice pair of black slacks to go along with the shirt but everyone felt that the shirt went great with Jeans and could also be dressed up with black pants!!! Good thing, as making another garment was just not in the cards for this time!!!!

As I was not at all excited about putting a last minute button hole right on the front of this piece (for fear that I would mess it up) I went with a more creative closure. I used a vintage button (again from my stash) and made a beaded loop using beads in the same color scheme as the batik panels. This small detail has become my favorite part of the whole piece!!!

I did not take as many pictures of all of the other wonderful garments at our show but I do have a few to share. I got swept away in looking at all of the marvelous details and talking with the creators to have time to bother with lots of pictures.. Here are the few that I did take!! .

This is a detail shot of a glorious silk shirt made by my wonderful friend and sewing Mentor. Jean Trammel. Jean is an amazing artist, beader and seamstress extoirdinaire who is an invaluable resource and source of encouragemnet for all of us. She did this wonderful japanese embroidery work on the yolks of this piece! Simply Stunning Work!!!!
this shirt was created by another wonderful artist and new friend Lynda Poole Prioleau. Lynda is an amazing textile artist as well as a phenomenal singing talent, who teaches several classes at Artistic Artifacts. A textile class with Lynda is an incredible treat!!!!

With my fresh experience with clothing design and creation, I plan to forge ahead and make the garment that I spoke of in the previous post. I'll be making use of my collection of hand dyed linens and sunprints!! I hope to have results for you by sometime next week!!!

Art On all and have a great week!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Perfect Weather For Sunprints!!

Crisp and sunny fall days are perfect for sunprints and Saturday was THE day. I was up and out gathering my weeds , seed pods and ferns quite early. I carefully laid them in a pile in the shade of a tree, near the sunny portion of the yard.
The boys were up and out early as well' as they wanted to get the lawn done quickly. A warning was given about my pile of gatherings and the mowers started to rumble. I came out with my fabric to find the pile mulched and the warnings forgotten- at least the lawn got mowed!!! SIGH!!!

So I gathered again!! As the most successful foliage to use is either in my garden or growing by the roadside, I had no trouble finding more supplies!!!!

Here is the linen( pieces of a large rustic tablecloth- a yard sale find) laid out in the sun with the dye and the foliage bits, drying.

On the cobalt blue piece I used everything from weeds to Hosta Seed Pods to ferns to dill seed heads!

For this oragne piece I used Creeping jenny Groundcover and tiny maple seedling leaves. With such low humidity, everything was dry in about an hour!!
Here are the results!!

Here you can see the hosta seed pod stalk and an umbrell seed head from my Dill Seed crop (near the top). I love the airy versus crisp outlines of the various folliage elements. Or as Ariel Freeman, my watercolor instuctor would say, "All of the wonderful mix of hard and soft edges!"

Here are the sunprints paired with some of the same pieces of table cloth that were dyed in my recent dying workshop at Artistic Artifacts. The blue sunprint will become the back of a shirt, with the orange as a sleeve, and the other colors will be used to fill in the remaining components to create a very colorful linen shirt!!! Can't wait to get started!!! Must be sure to heat set the sunprints before I do anything else!!!!!!
Have a wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Special Studio Peek!

Now don't go and get all excited on me, I do not have a glorious clean and organized Entire space to share with you! God knows, I wish that I did!! So many of my art friends are so wonderfully gifted at being able to organize and envison neat and accessible work spaces!! I can see what I want in my mind's eye but getting there is a totally different challenge! SIGH!!! I think that I am genetically hardwired to be a messy, BUT PRODUCTIVE artist. At least I am a productive mess!!!!

I am in the process of going thru many of my spaces- cabinets and drawers and taking a hard look at the contents. If I have not used the items nor thought of them since moving 4 years ago, out they have gone- feels great

I have collected a wonderful group of things that I cherish from other artists, particularly Art Dolls. These have come to me as swaps from Yahoo group exchnages as well as private trades and gifts from dear friends.Several I have fallen so in love with that I have purchased them
and I feel really good about showing their creatiors how much I appreciate their work!! As a result of my space clearing efforts I have set up a small Art Doll shrine . It is directly in front of my partially cleared work table so as I work I can sit and look at all of the glorious talent and creations of these dear people.

Starting at the top you see my fabulous girl created by Katlyn Avila! Kat has just retired from teaching art after 26 years and she is getting ready to teach- doll creation and other subjects- she ahs promised us!!!! She does such an amazing job of putting together found objects with incredible bead work and fabrics and sculpted faces. Each of her dolls has such wonderful energy and spirit!!!

Next you see a little flat doll with hair made form electrical fuses and long pink legs- I made her.

Then on the right you see a wonderful blue Angel Mothie Doll crafted by the Beautiful Barbara Burkhard!

Right below Blue Angel is Anzu the Sprout, created by Squirrel Momma- this gal is such a delight- you must visit her!!~!

Then sitting in a tarnished silver goblet is a Painted Mermaid Doll that I bought in Duck, NC. I love her- her hair is made of lichen with tiny shells glued into it and sea glass wired into a swag that she holds in her hands!!

In the rose covered mug sits one of my dolls from Dear Dot!! Dot lives in Australia and I met her thru a yahoo group that we used to both belong to. This wonderful Matrushka doll with babies is such a delight!! All of the stitching is done by hand and Dot does such a fabulous job with her beadwork. Each of her creations is infused with Dot's loving spirit!! You can see all of Dot's wonderful creations here, on her Etsy site, and she also has a wonderful blog!

Over to the far right, also sitting in a silver goblet, is another one of Dot's signature Dolls. This is an Amelia Doll. I purchased her just a s Dot was begininng to sell her creations and I just adore the turquoise and red color combo that she used!

Moving over to the right, you can see a small yellow trinket shelf that my Mom painted when she was a teenager. She was very intrigued by the art work of folk artist Peter Hunt and did an entire set of mismatched bedroom furniture in this style. I just adore this little shelf and it is perfect for holding some little vintage tresures that she and others have given me.

Even further to the right you can see my very first art doll that I got in a swap. She is seated on the gray shelf and has a bright green face. The idea behind this swap was to create a face in any media, send it off to your partner and then they would create a doll inspired by the face that you sent. So I made this funky GREEN face ( I guess that I was trying to present a challenge) and my friend Lee sent me back this amazing doll!

In this shot you can see another one of Dot's amazing creations that she gifted to me! Did I say how wonderfully talented and generous my friend Dot is????? This wonderfully bead encrusted bird shelters a little Egg Doll behind her wing. You can just see the little one peeking out if you look closely. It is so obvious from Dot's work taht she loves to stitch!!
Below and to the left of Scarlet Bird is a wonderful creation by my wonderful friend Jacky. Jacky also lives in Australia and I have gotten to know her through the same Yahoo group and thru Dot. Dot and Jacky are fast friends and share lots of their wonderful artwork with other artists all over the world. Jacky paints the most wonderfully expressive faces for her dolls and calls them her Klimt Dolls, as they were inspired by the work of Gustave Klimnt. I am so blessed to have one of these treasures as Jacky does not sell them.
Then to the right you see an absolute little fragrant treasure by the ultra talented and generous Pat Winter!! the little doll is stuffed with Lavendar blossoms !I have gotten to know Pat thru the Comfort Doll Project that she started to bring comfort in the form of Hand crafted art dolls, all gathered thru donations, to the lives of battered and abused women. Monthly, Pat sends off dozenbs of Art Dolls to shelters all over the world to let women know that they are loved and thought of by generous and talented artists. Pat has also become very well known for her AMAZING Crazy Quilting and she has recently been published in Art Doll Quarterly, Somerset Home and Belle Armoire Jewelry!! She has an amazing blog where she shares alot of her work and her generous and kind spirit.

On the left hand side of the above picture you see a white scallop shell that is held in front of the body of one of my very first attempts at an art doll. This is my Mermaid Book Doll. Tucked inside the shell is an accordian folded book that contains a poem that I wrote babout the ocean. She is made of polymer clay and has wild red wire hair with all sorts of sea stuff tangled in it.

Then in the center of the picture you see my latest addition who is named Sweet Baby June. I purchased her at the first Trash to Treasure Art show to be held over the summer at Liberty Town in Fredericksburg. I walked into the gallery as the show was being set up and I purchased her immediately. She is crafted by artist Dana West who lives here in this area. The base of Baby June is a vintage children's story book titled Baby June and Friends. The body is an old lamp base and the Doll head was purchased in a flea market in France. I just adore this piece and all of her various jewels and trinkets!! As you can see, I have left more room for special additions and I do intend to create more dolls myself.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing my collection and I invite you to click on all of the links that have been provided to visit all of my wonderful friends, to see more of their wonderful work and to shop from their Etsy Sites for treasures of your own! It is not to early to think about Christmas and to make it extra special and very affordable by shopping from all of the wonderful artists at ETSY. com!!



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