Friday, February 19, 2010

The Story of the Traveling Pages

The Story of the Traveling Pages is the name of a blog that I belong to that is dedicated to a fabric page swap hosted by Stitching Fingers.You may have noticed the badge for this blog in my side bar and if you would like to see what everyone involved in this project is doing , click here.

There are 14 of us participating and we each create an arch shaped fabric page for another member each month. My chosen theme is Windows and this is my first page , created by Cobi from the Netherlands. the details are wonderful and it is very obvious to me that Cobi tokk some time to get to know me before she created this piece fo textile art. The flowers and the Blue bird with nest all speak of some of my very favorite things!! It is a wonderful start to this adventure. Below you will see some close up shots so you can enjoy some of the details!
THese last two shots give you some idea of Cobi's wonderful stitching skills. Just look at the wonderful embroidered leaves. Theya re so tiny and so very perfect!!!! Such a treasure!!!

You may remember the first page that I created for this group, the Door page. You can refresh your memory here if you would like.
Here is my second page for Debi from Washington state. Debi's theme is Shabby Chic or All White. I decided to go with All White as I love stitching in white with vintage materials. I know that this is a contradiction to what I have been creating lately! I have always loved working in shades of white and I find it very soothing and restful. Here is my page for Debi.

I spent the first weekend of the Winter Olympics working on this piece and I ahd such a grand time with it that I ahve decided to launch two more projects with this feel and color scheme. Or should I say "absence of color" scheme!!

Every stitch of this piece was done by hand with all vintage materials. One can use even the tiniest bits of lace and fabric when creating a collage like this.

I used a scrap of silk scarf that I found at a Thrift shop to create the puffed heart, that I then beaded with little pearl beads. I used several mother of pearl buttons and some glass beads and a few fresh water pearls. I also used some wonderful tatting and a portion of elegant leaf and flower trim in the top portion. A right click on the photos will give you a closer look.!

My next page will be based on the theme All Creatures Great and Small- I am leaning towards using a photo of a Praying Mantis that I took last year, in the garden. Perhaps I am yearning for Spring!! Just Maybe!!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Will They Become ???

Will they be architects,

musicians, political scientists ?
As a parent, at this point in my parenting career, I am acutely aware of the questions that my kid's are posing to themselves and mulling over in their minds on a daily basis for the elder and more occassionally for the younger. At this point I can confidently say that they already are all of these people!! They constantly express concerns and opinions on most of these topics on a daily basis. Which will they choose to follow as their life's path? It will probably be some amalgam of several. As we wait for the envelopes to arrive, hoping for thick ones, we contemplate all of the possibilities for our children. Matthew has relaxed a good deal after getting a very quick acceptace to his 3rd choice school, but we anticipate the arrival of the others!
I am very aware of how very lucky my family is to be where we are and able to consider endless possibilities for our kids. I do so pray that all children might have those in their lives to support endless possibilities for them as they grow up into adults. I know that there are so many parents who cannot take a moment to dream but must constantly fight to get through each day and not dare to dream. What will become of their children, and their children's dreams? Ok, I am going down a dark road here and that was not my intent! I do wish that all of us could work towards a place where all kids could fullfill their dreams- what a wonderful world that would be!!

My intent for this post was to share a creation with you!! My kids have returned to school after 11 days of absense due to the snow storms. We are approaching a return to status quo in our household and it is getting better for all of us. Routines are good for all of us!
During the days away from school, my daughter and her girl friend established their own work routine outside. I got into a routine of drying mittens and hats and washing warm socks and drying snow pants and jackets in readiness for the next days constructiuon. The girls have demonstrated a strong interest in achitecture and tenaciously created this wonderful igloo.

As a kid growing up in the North East I can remember dreaming of creating such a structure after large snow falls but never got there. The girls really stuck with this project and did a beautiful job!

Being a parent is an amazing journey of daily discoveries and rewards. These two will go far and they will go wherever they choose, down whatever path is available. I will surely keep you updated on their adventures !!
I will always remind them that when life gives you snow, go out and make an Igloo!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine Finds

I have quite a few prjects that are not quite at the "To Show" stage yet so I thought that I would share the little treasures that Tom and I found on our antiquing outing in Fredericksburg on Heart Day. Fredericksburg has quite a few antique Malls and stores and if you know where to look, one can find some great treasures. Of course I am on the hunt for small treasures so I don't have to spend a fortune to get what I need for my creations. In the photo above you can see the collection of jewelry and carded buttons that I rescued from a "Dollar basket" in one booth. The baskets full of wrapped and bagged items are the things that I look for.When I spot a potential stash basket , my heart rate increases and I start to anticipate the possibilities. It is rare that I don't find treasure!!!
In the pictureabove, in between the two circle pins, are some metal backed glass buttons that are just adorable and very sparkly. I got all ten of them for $2!!! Just above these treasures are some very different rhinestone buttons that are rimmed with a very narrow and delicate metal ring. They are a bit oxidized but oh so cool, again a bargin at $2 for 12!!!!! Everything else was $1 per item!!

This wonderful collection of Mother of Pearl buttons was in a single bag. I adore m-o-p buttons and I know that they are not very rare but I just love the luster and colors of the pearl surface. THey were the button of the common man and woman and many are worn from use . Sometimes I can find carved buttons that are just so wonderful as I can imagine sailors and craftspeople working tirelessly to decorate these simple functional items. Inside the bag one item stood out form the rest. I believe it is a removable collar button or it could be a cuff link, but I don't think that the holding apparatus on the back is quite sturdy enough for a cuff link. Upon close inspection I saw that the shank was stamped with a full date. How cool is THAT?????

So this button was made on November 11, 1902!!! The brass shank works beautifully and opens out in a winged fashion. the head of the button is about 3/4 of an inch big and has a wonderful pearl luster.

I will be adding this wonderful piece to my specail button collection!!!

In another basket I found several bags of lace and trim and a beautifully decorated white hankie. The flowers on the ahnkie are encircled by some beautiful soft fine netting.

I just love the trumpet flower motif on this hankie. This will ahve to be used on some very special pieces. The problem for me, anyway, with finding these wonderful treasures , is using them. Some of them are very hard to part with, but if I don't use at least half of them there would be no reason to go in search of more!!!! That would never do!!!!!

At least I am not in search of rare chippendale dinning room sets!!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

St. Valentine's Day

I want to wish all of my wonderful readers a very happy Valentines Day!! I was so lucky to be asked out for an afternoon of Antique Shop strolling in Fredericksburg with my sweet man.(one of our very first date Dates was a trip was a day of antiqueing in N.H. 21 years ago.) It was a lovely day, full sun and if not for the mountians of snow everywhere, one could have been fooled into thinking that Spring was here!! I found some wonderful goodies for projects to come and we had a marvelous time. I hope that you all ahd a wonderful day with those that you love , as well!,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Baby- It's COLD Outside !!!

Fortunately it is nt quite this cold out today!!! We may actually get some melting done!!! I have been watching the doves as they ahve been roosting in the branches of our tree above the feeders. I am so intrigued by the soft colors and irridescense of their grey feathers. When they puff up their feathers to warm up they look so round and grumpy!!! this bird must have sat on the smae branch for hours and I took lots of shots. It is a wonder that their little claws don't snap off!!
So as the puffed up doves sat outside I was at work in the studio playing and painting and creating components for book work and stitchery collage. Here are some pictures of what I was up to.

This piece of purple cotton was a do over from a session of gelatin mono-printing. It just was not up to standard so I went at it with a wonderful stencil and more acrylic paint. this will make wonderful additions to my fabric collage work!!

This is the start of my Bead Journal Project for February. I started by cutting a pattern of my own design from Freezer paper which I then ironed to the surface odf a piece of white cotton. I amde sure that it was well stuck to the fabric and then painted over the paper mask with my acrylic paints. Once the paint was totally dry, I peeled off the mask and this was the result. Now I will go in and do beadwork and add a favorite quote. Check back later towards the end of the month, to see how this project turns out.

After all of my paint play, I noticed that the freezer paper surface protector was even more fun than the fabric pieces. i took a bunch of pictures and I think that I am going to print them out and use them as book pages for some journals!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fabric Book Swap-Opening Doors

One of the new committments that I have taken on for this year is a Fabric Book Page Swap with a group from Stitching Fingers. There are 12 of us in the swap and we each make a page for one other person based on a specific theme, once a month. For this month the page theme was "Doors". THis is the page that I created. The first thing that came to mind when I saw the theme was the hidden door to the Secret Garden.
I created the door from heavy Duty Interfacing and painted it with acrylics and then added free motion embroidery to add details. The hinges are made of leather as is the door handle. The door opens to reveal a fabric/paper collage.

I needle felted the surrounding forest with wool fleece and then added embroidery and beading details.

I kept the back very simple using a printed fabric and adding a small pocket for a tag that holds swap info.

I had promised myself that I was going to cut back on the number of swaps as I was always creating really good work that was being sent away, never to be seen again. I was getting some great work in return but I knew that I needed to focus on refining my style and creating a business plan for my work. This project with such a wonderfully talented bunch of gals was too good to pass up. I have already started work on the Page for February which will be done all in WHITE, one of my favorite challenges- especially considering the bright and bold path I have been following lately.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Waves of Ice- A Question of Physics!

To be honest I am way ahead on all of you for looking at SNOW pictures but I ahd to share a few more because it is a Question Of Physics. Now I am married to an extremely bright guy who can usually come up with a formula, a solution , a fix for any problem. But this even had him stumped.
This is the before shot, right after the storm.

You can see how the snow piled up vertically on the cross beam holding the bird feeders. The next morning when I was looking out to see how many birds were lined up for breakfast, I found this amazing structure.

It looks as if the snow actually became fluid to a certain extent and was pushed over by the wind and then it got so cold that it froze!! A miracle of nature and a phenomenon of physics!!
As soon as the sun got a bit higher in the sky, the curl melted and the wave collapsed.

Ok so I can't reist showing you just one or two more of my favorite shots form the storm, the last ones I promise!!!
I was able to shoot abunch of frames of Mr Cardinal sitting on the branch during the storm. My camera was switched to the sports action mode so I was able to click away like crazy.
Here he is staring right at me and seems to be trying to ask me to Turn Off the Snow Switch, PLEASE!!!

The kids and dogs had a great time in the snow. We were all out shoveling and uncovering cars on Sunday. Buddy, the little dog, was not keen on being left alone inside, but he knew that he would dissappear in the snow if he did not follow Pepper, who became a pretty effective snow plow!!! Buddy followed along in the doggie parade as if the way were being prepared just for him!! In this shot however Becca is holding him up so he does not drown in the snow!!!
We all were very entertained watching the dogs cavoting and leaping around in the white stuff!!!
One more cardinal shot and then I am off to work on clearing a flat surface in the studio. Yes, again!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

When the World Gives you Snow, Stitch.......

I have finally finsihed these two collages for my neices, Mali and Kate. They are meant to be Christmas presents, 2009! As the girls live in Africa with their parents and were traveling on Safari over ht holidays, there was not a huge rus to make the date on these pieces!! With all of the snow and our inability to go anywhere right now, they won't even get them for Valentines Day!! I think that they will know how much I love them once they finally do arrive!!! I had a blast creating these pieces and for all but two very small bits of printed fabric, I painted all of the fabrics, or stamped them. Everything that looks like a dot is a french knot- I got very proficient at creating french knots!!!

The collage above is for Kate. She is 13.
Here are some tighter shots:

I could not get this photo to post in any other configuration, so it is on it's head!!! Sorry. this is the top of the collage. And here is the bottom. THe bird stamp is my hand carved design.

This is Mali's collage.

To see close up's , just click on the photos.
As soon as we are dug out I will get these to the Post Office so they can begin their journey to Africa!!
WINTER UPDATE : more snow expected on Tuesday- 6+ inches!!!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Big S-N-O-W of 2010 (so far)

Well, we certainly knew that it was coming! The kids did not have school yesterday as it was due to start snowing at around 10am. It did start snowing at around 9:30 am but did not start to stick till about 3pm. We already had snow on the ground form the previous week. So this all meant that the schools were in session for a grand total of one half of one day last week!! that may be the total for two weeks at the rate the snow is falling now!!
Tom went out early this am to move the snow off the roof of the Jeep- the weight was too much for it!
We have gotten about 6 more inches since then!!!

I ventured out to shovel the deck so I could fill the bird feeders and decided that it might not be the best day for a rock on the porch! :)

Buddy joined me as far as the front porch and decided that he was not up for tunnel building today!!

One could see the gears turning in Buddy's head, "No I think not, that looks just a bit cold for me!!!"

The view of o the back deck.
When I came back inside I was met by the wonderful fragrance of freshly brewing coffee and I was served this amazing Bagel, egg and bacon sandwich by Chef Matthew!!! Yum!!!! How lucky can a Mom get ???? Delishhhhhhhhh.!!!
Then the kids decided to venture out and to take Pepper with them. She, (the dog), becomes a nervous wreck when she hears the power strips start to beep when the power flickers and it had been flickering quite a bit!!!
Matthew was the first out and he took a tape measure to get a reading on the snow on the table.

He got 21 inches from the table top and Tom got 23 inches from the lawn, so with the wind we probably have got to figure somewhere around 24 inches!!!

As I was taking this picture of Matthew and Pepper, Becca was racing around getting her snow gear on and exclaiming "How often am I going to have the opportunity to go out and play in the snow with my 18 year old brother???!!!" She is starting to miss Matthew even before he leaves for school next year. It is really starting to loom large in her mind especially after he got his first college acceptance letter this week!!

Such brotherly love, don't you think???? Don't worry about Becca, she got in her face plants as well!!

Great fun has been had by all! If we are very lucky, we will not loose power and the snow will stop soon so we can begin the big Dig Out!!!!
Tom just got word via the county emergency response radio that the state had started plowing Rt.1 but the access roads were now blocked by snow banks as tall as a large SUV. The county is in charge of plowing the access roads!!! It might be quite awhile before this region of Virginia recovers !!
With all of this snow and nowhere to go, you know that I am busy working on art projects, so the next post should hold pictures of lots of finished projects!!!!
Hope that you are all comfy wherever you are!!!!


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