Saturday, June 26, 2010

Some Ocean Therapy

Since I recently sold two of my Beaded Zipper cuffs, I ahve been re-inspired to create some new beaded pieces. It is amazing what a sale will do for ones motivational energies!!!. So I have gone to my minds "Happy Place" and stitched up this sea themed cuff.
I used quite a view zippers in this piece and got lots of Wave Action going before I had added a single bead. I also used quite a few pearls of many colors, green, cream,,lavendar and pink. In the shot above you can alos see a blue donut bead made in Africa, from recycled glass.

This is the third Ocean Cuff taht I have created but the first that will be for sale. This is also the first cuff where I incorporated a piece of found sea glass (see above craddled in seed beads).
The entire cuff in stitched on sand colored Ultra Suede and then lined with the same material. the lining is stitched in place.

I worked in many beads made from abalone shell and other shell bits, in an effort to give the feeling of treasures thrown up on the sand by the curling waves.

The little pewter sea horse charm found a perfect home, tucked in amoung the fringe beads and sky blue glass beads.

I am also spreading the word that I am offering Home Studio classes in Beaded Cuff Design. I have been recieving many commments and compliments when ever I wear my cuffs and with every comment, I give out business cards. One of these days I need to do some formal Real advertizing, but sometimes the best advertizing comes via word of mouth!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Learning from the Birds

I have just finished one f the pieces taht i will be submitting to an upcoming show at Liberty Town in Fredericksburg. The title of the show is "Birds and Words". The working title of this piece is Cardinals Caring, but I am not sure that I like it all that much. That aside, this is a stand alone or "Off the Wall" Art quilt. I first explored this idea in a wonderful class with the wonderful fiber artist and dear friend Laura Cater-Woods . (If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with her, DO IT!!!)
Anyway, the piece revolves around my own photo of a father cardinal opening a seed and feeding it to his fledgling daughter. I did a transfer of the photo onto Lutradur and then created the fabric and fibers collage around them.

I used some of m fabric paper, a found black walnut shell that a squirrel had opened, leaving the shape of the heart: a found cardinal feather, some frayed threads from hand dyed fabrics, seed beads, vintage lace bits, cherry twigs, a dried Day Lily pod and some hand dyed cheese cloth. The background fabric is some of my own hand dyed linen.

I gathered the forked cherry sapplings form the yard(we have some bird planted Choke Cherry saplings that need to be reined in on a regular basis) and my DH helped me create a stand for the piece using a found piece of driftwood, some drilled holes, some glue and the trimmed twigs.

There are supposed to be some words that inspired the work traveling along with the piece, at this point I think that I will write my own!!
the show runs from the First Friday in July thru August till the first Friday in September. I am expecting that there will be a wonderful selection of marvelous pieces on display and all for sale! So make a point to come by and see what has been created!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Graduation Gifts Have Changed a Bit!!!!

After Matthew finished his orientation at George Mason University, we went by the Campus Computer Store to pick out his new Laptop Computer. We had decided awhile ago that this was to be his graduation gift. Needless to say, he is pleased as punch! The computer, a Dell, came bundled with an HP Printer, a three year service warranty and three years of Lojack antitheft protection.
This purchase, almost more than the Graduation ceremony itself, has made me feel pretty archaic!!! I remember when I left to go off to college I was T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D to have a portable Typewriter, and my first one was not even an electric model!!!!! My kids don't even know what a typewriter is!!!!
I'd say that things have changed quite a bit, mostly for the better, wouldn't you???
We wouldn't be blogging if things had not changed!!! Bring it on!!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time in the Garden: Lilies and Lavendar

The garden is abuzz and ablaze with with critters and color. I wandered around early this morning and took some pictures to share. The lavendar bushes are quivering with Honey Bee activity and if I had a bee hive I know that I could get some wonderful lavendar honey- might have to consider this!!!
I am busily working on several pieces for an upcoming show at Liberty Town, so I don't have much time for a long wordy blog post. I am surer that many of you will be relieved to spend a few moments looking at my garden without having to read my verbage. The dill is blooming along with the verbena and lilies surrounding my hummingbird stained glass piece.

The daylilies are simply amazing this year and I believe that this will be the last Japanese Iris for this year.

LAst year Becca was upset that we did not have more Blue Hydrangea's, so out came the lime and now we have BLUE, BLUE,BLUE!!!

These beauties are NOT hybiscus or oriental lilies they are daylilies!! Simply glorious pinky-peach!!!

Belinda's Dream is getting ready for her second show of the season.

I do love purple and green together in almost any form!!

The last two pictures are of one of my very favorite daylilies, Joylene Nicole. She has tons of buds per stem, lovely color and pie crust ruffled edges and a wonderful fragrance. What more can one ask for ????
I hope that you can all get outside today and spend some time in a garden- it is truely health food for the soul!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

You have NOT been Forgotten!!

It has been a whirlwind of a week full of classes, grocery shopping ,cleaning, GRADUATIONS and wonderful surprises!!!
The biggest and most important event has to be Matthew's Graduation from Mountain View High School here in Stafford Va.
This also accounts for the blur of cleaning and grocery shopping!!!

The graduation was held outside on the football field and mercifully took place a t 8:30 am on the 19th of June. We were very lucky with the weather as although it was very hot it could have been alot hotter and MUCH more humid. We, including Matthew's Grandma Joy, were sitting in the stands facing East and we did manage to catch whatever breezes came along.

Now, if you will permit me just a tiny bit of Proud Mama Crowing, Matthew graduated with an Advanced Studies Diploma and a GPA of 4.34. HE will be attending the Honors College At George Mason university in the fall and studying Global Issues and Conflict Resolution and Arabic. Along with all of that he is one terrific young man and a very nice person!!!
The poor Graduates were all parked on chairs in the middle of the field in their maroon caps and gowns. The event was over by 10:15 and we collected our melting son to take lots of family pictures!!! HE was so excited about the prospects- Not so much!!! However a mother wins in such circumstances , so we got everyone in the shade and amanaged to get some great shots!!
MAtthew is wearing the white HONORS Stole to signify his achievements and his High GPA.
A happy Grandma and Graduate and a very silly and PROUD Dad doing his Best Stephen Colbert imitation!!
We are all very proud of our wonderful Son and Brother.!!!!
But by the time the obligatory shots were done and sister was trying to hug him, Matthew had enough and went into extreme melt mode!!! It was 95 degrees afterall and he was fully roasted!!
All in all it was a very proud and happy time for all of us!

Earlier in the week I was lucky enought to attned an Image Transfer workshop with Fiber Artist Liz Kettle. The workshops have been ongoing at Artistic Artifacts Annex all week, but I was only able to squeeze in the transfers experience. She also ahd a day of bead embroidery basics and a three day session of thread painting and manipulations that I would some day love to attend. Liz is from Colorado Springs and has become a Facebook friend of mine. She is a very good friend of Judy Gula, the owner of Artistic Artifacts and therefore we were lucky enough to have Judy bring Liz to her shop to hold classes.
THe day before class I was able to give these three lovely ladies (Judy, Liz, and Judy's mom Pat) a tour of Liberty Town in Fredericksburg and to celebrate both Pat's and Liz' Birthdays at a lucheon at True Love's Restaurant. We are all Gemini's- I knew that there was a great reason that I get on so well with all of these wonderful people!!!

Liz has a wonderful new book out that she has written with three other fiber artists and you can find it here. I have added it to my fiber arts library and I consider it a MUST HAVE!!!!!! If ever you have the opportunity to take a class with Liz, GRAB IT!!! She is also holding a Fiber arts Retreat this fall out in Colorado called Textile Evolution, and you can see what that is all about by clicking here!
I am still working on finishing up the sampler book of Transfer Techniques that Liz shared with us and as soon as it is done I will be sure to share it with you!! She showed us a brand new technique that she has just developed using water soluble paper as the image carrier- very cool!!!
When I arrived home from my day with Liz and Image Transfers, (after playing in south bound traffic for two hours EEEECK!!!!!) I found a small pillow package waiting for me from my dear friend and AWESOME needlework talent, Pat Winter!
Pat does amazing Crazy Quilting and silk ribbon Embroidery and her art blog is a Must Follow!!! If you would like to see more of her wondrous creations go here!
Pat has just recently reached the mileston of having 300 followers- you see her blog really is THAT wonderful, and she wanted to host a giveaway in honor of the occasion. Well she put all of her followers thru a random number generator and my number was picked from here collection of Long Followers (I refuse to call us Older followers!!!)
Pat created this wonderful little Ocean Themed neck pouch for me !!! FOR ME!!!!! Oh I was Exclaiming with joy and anticipation even before I ahd the envelope unsealed. Anything from Pat is always an occasion for great celebration. Isn't this little pouch simple wonderful??? She tailored the subject to my loves as we both share a love for the sea and it's treasures. I am so touched and delighted Pat!!! I will wear it often and with great prideand I know that I will get lots of comments and compliments!!!

Her is a tigher shot so you can see the adorable little girl in the vintage swimwear and take in some of Pats wonderful details!!!!

I must thank you all for hanging in there to get all the way thru this long post
!! It means alot to me to share my gardens my family and most importantly my art with all of you. Hopefully I will ahve a relatively quiet week as I have several art deadlines looming and lots of new projects to plan!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sewing Shaggy Elephants!!

One of Becca's good friends is moving to Guam this summer! No one is very happy about the prospects but Erynn's Dad is in the Air Force and Guam is the next stop for the family. Erynn is having a Birthday party today and as we were a bit stumped for a memorable gift, Becca and I decided to get a bit more creative than usual and stitched up a Shaggy pillow of one of Erynn's favorite animals. i had just come across a wonderful book in the library that I thought might appeal to Becca and her love of animals and her desire to find a hobby. The book is called Raggedy Reverse Applique by Kim Deneault. This is a wonderful book with great projects for beginning quilters and stitchers. the Gallery section is full of pictures of wonderful pieces created by Girl Scout Troops and school groups. If anyone is looking for some good start up projects for kids and sewing, this would be a great book to look at.!!

We went thru my stash of fabrics and picked out several bright bold prints that Becca knew would work as they included all of Erynn's favorite colors and we were going for something very whimsical. Then Becca did an Internet search and found some Elephant clipart and we came up with asimple pattern for our pillow. Following the directions in the book we layered our fabric pieces, pinned on our paper pattern and got Becca situated at the sewing machine.

Becca took to the machine and had fabulous speed control right off the mark. She quickly mastered that reverse control and set about stitching over all of our design lines.

(I added the eye's and wrinkle details in a later step.) Once the stitching was done, we removed the paper and cut out the top layer of green fabric within the stitching lines. Then we clipped in to the 1/4 inch margin every 1/4 inch or so.

> For the back, we took the same green spotted background fabric and stitched down colorful strips of fabrics leaving about 1/2 inch edges on both sides of each strip. We clip in to those margins as well about every 1/4 inch. then we stitched front to back with WRONG sides together and then threw the whole thing in the washing machine and drier with a full load of sheets and towels.

Above you can see the Raggedy edges that resulted for the washing and drying. We added a special heart patch to the back so Becca could sign and date our work.

We were both thrilled with the rsults of our efforts and we know that Erynn will love her special gift. She certainly will NOT get anohter gift like this one!!!
Buddy, on the other hand, was a bit miffed with all of the excitement as we appear to have disturbed his beauty sleep!

I am hoping that this successful sewing project will entice Becca to create some more specail projects during her summer break. there has been some talk of working on a specail Owl pillow for herself as a follow on project!! i am trying not to get too excited about the prospects, as 13 year olds don't want to see too much parental enthusiasm. (If you know what I mean!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sea Glass Pendant Necklaces

I have just completed two Sea Glass Pendant Necklaces that are now available in my Etsy Shop. You can get any specific purchasing info for these pieces here. (For a LIMITED TIME these items will be availbale with No EXTRA SHipping Costs!!)
I gathereed both of these pieces of Sea Glass last summer from the rocky surf line of Nauset Beach on Cape Cod. It has only been in the last couple of years that we have started finding sea glass again along this beach. Many feel that it is a result of the higher number of harsh storms that are churning up the sea beds along the coast. I have wrapped each glass piece in a cradle of seed beads, crystals and fresh water pearls and suspended the pendants froma collection fo organza ribbons and hand dyed rayon cords. As an accent, I have added a few of my treasured African Recycled glass beads that my borther has brought to me from Tanzania. These pieces are great fun to make, each is totally unique and offers different construction challenges each time. (This means that I don't get bored with the process!!)

The bottle green piece of glass is much older than the blue piece as it is quite a bit more curvacious.
On the back of each pendant I created a beaded hanging bail for suspensio of the piece form the ribbons. It all came together wquite easily once I was able to sit down and give the project my full attention- ah there in lies the RUB!!

As I have now figured out how to entrap found items without holes, I will be creating beaded cradles for all sorts of beach finds. This means of course, that this years trip to Cape Cod will result in several additional boxes of rocks and treasure riding back home to Virginia!!!!
If you have some specail treasure that does not have an obvious hole for suspension and you would like to have me create a hanging cradle for it, please feel free to contact me!!!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!!


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