Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy Holidays, Felting and Snowmen Ornaments

It's been awhile since I've posted. I've pulled up my blog dashboard many times in the last few weeks in hopes of thinking of something inspiring to write. But, alas, nada, nothing, zilch, has come to mind. I think I have been wanting to write more about creativity and what it means to me. But, a writer I am not. Never have been really.

So, it seems I will continue to just write a bit about whatever I am thinking about at the moment I sit down to finally give my blog an update. Usually something along the lines of what it is I have been doing that falls within the realm of artistic creation in my life. So, here it goes:

I made a lot of new felted items for the three shows I was in the last couple of weeks. I had a lot of fun at the shows as usual, but I think I've decided that in addition to taking a break from all weekend art shows that I will also be taking a break from one day craft fairs. I get to met cool people and talk about my art, but financially, well, I just don't do that great. At least not right now in this economy. Or it could me that I'm not the best at marketing or making a pretty tablescape. Or, whatever. I'm not down about it and I think I've learned to not let sells of my artwork effect how I feel about what I create. It doesn't really matter, I have to make it one way or another. And, sometimes it's just finding the right person. I don't expect my items to appeal to everyone. Not sure I would even want them to. I just don't know what to do with all of this stuff I make! Ahh! It's taking over my house! I suppose I can gift it a lot of it but I really hate to as I know it's not always wanted. Maybe I'll slowly donate as much as I can to little fundraisers or whatnot. I have been having a lot of fun needle felting and wet felting beads for bracelets and necklaces, and making lots of little cases. I have taken some photos but haven't really been in the photo session mood just lately. I've posted lots of these items in my etsy shop if you want to take a look.

While doing all of this felting I did discover that I REALLY like bamboo roving. I ordered combo bamboo/merino roving from an etsy seller and it felted up beautifully. Very, very soft.

I've also been playing around with making snowmen ornaments with my kids and love that too! Such a nice break to get back to some real "crafting" for a change. I've actually been thinking a lot about how maybe I want to just "craft" for awhile and not stress so much about creating pieces for exhibits, shows to sell, etc. and just make fun crafty kind of things. Sell them, gift them or just do them for fun with the kids. Maybe I could get them excited about art again if I were more flexible. Here is one of the snowmen ornaments. I didn't photo the others and some are already on our tree or given away as gifts.

I do have several other things perking along in the background. I've made significant progress on a commissioned stole piece. It's taken me many months to find the motivation but I was finally really feeling inspired and like the way it looks so far. I am also going to be working on a AIDS quilt panel with members of my Fiber Art Fusion group starting sometime in January. The group will be making several panels to be joined into a large 12' x 12' quilt. My group will be working on a panel for Michael Jeter. You may have known him as Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle, from Elmo's World on Sesame Street. Such a loss of a great talent. If you don't know his name but look up his photo, once you see him you will remember him from many great television shows and movies.

I am also a member of the Georgia chapter of the Surface Design Association. We are planning an exhibit of our work for next year and I have many ideas about pieces I hope to finish for the show. Some in progress and some never started.

I am still hoping to resume teaching. I think that is where my passion really is these days. I miss it tremendously. I want to find a way to do more teaching in 2009.

I think just those things plus a third annual Fiber Arts Fusion exhibit (next year in September I think) are enough to keep me busy. Along with my 3 and 7 year old. Which, by the way, yesterday's creative activity was making homemade playdough for the Georgia state map. Making playdough and also making a sort of paper mache for the ornaments has me thinking about paper mache sculpture artwork. Hmm, maybe I'll make a paper mache tree topper since I can't find my old one, which I believe was broken anyway. Maybe I tossed it last year. So look for photos coming soon of a paper mache tree angel. That should keep me busy for a few days.

Off to vote in our run-off elections before I pick up the wee one.

Create something every day!


Friday, November 07, 2008

Fall is here and art/craft shows are everywhere!

Fall is beautiful in Georgia. The colors seem more intense to me than usual. I finally visited my Father's grave to observe the anniversary of his passingl. It was difficult but also nice as I went with my sisters and we spent much of the day together. Something that happens maybe once a year. We had tea at a nice little British tea shop in Chattanooga after visiting the Veteran's cemetery. It was a gorgeous day, almost the same as last year. Blue sky and orange trees and a mountain of white headstones. It was a nice day albeit a sad one as well. Goodbye again Daddy J. We love you.

Below is a photo of my neighbors tree. It doesn't do it justice. And the other is a commissioned piece that is almost complete.
It is watersoluble wax pastels (Neocolor II's by Caran D'ache) and free hand stitching with DMC floss.

I can't figure out why some of the above text is underlined and I can't get it to go away either! ERG!!!

If you are in the area, come out and see me this weekend. I have lots of new things, some felted ornaments and jewelry, some plushies and new artwork.

Upcoming shows this weekend:

Bizaare Bazaar-Arnold Mill Elementary in Woodstock on Arnold Mill Road, Saturday, November 15th

Artisans at the Etz-Etz Chaim Temple in Marietta on Roswell Road, Sunday, November 16th

Hope to see you there! Come on and out and get your holiday shopping rolling and support handmade at the same time!!!

Have a great week!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fun with kids and art!

Sorry it's been awhile since I've posted. My computer crashed yet again! And, right now I have no access to my files or photos. I have a laptop now so I can still be connected to the rest of the world. And, if I can get around to taking new photos of the things I've been working on then I could post them. I just haven't taken any lately.

I have been busy with art though. I progressed on two commission pieces while on vacation in the Isle of Palms, SC week before last. We stayed with my family in a beautiful home with lots of light and windows and most importantly, lots of clean open space and tables and no other responsibilities.

Since I've been back I taught for a day at a school and had great fun letting 1st through 6th graders paint on a piece of cloth for the day. I brought it home and have added lots to it and I'm in love with it. I told them I'd bring it back to the school but I'm really wanting to keep it now that I've spent so much time on it. I'll have to think about the best arrangement. It's the kind of thing others might think just looks like a lot of scribble but for myself I just love the layers. Anyway, I had great fun while I was there with the children and hopefully got across my main message, that art takes practice, not talent or a "gift". And, to allow themselves to experiment and play and have fun and to create lots of bad art in hopes of some good art (same as practice really, but just emphasizing that it should be fun as well without lots of pressure or hopes for a great outcome).

I also created a small monoprinted piece I'm really liking while on vacation. I'll try to post a photo of that one soon.

I've missed lots of deadlines for shows I was hoping to enter but I also intentionally stepped back this year from pushing myself to meet deadlines if it meant to much time away from my other responsibilities. If I could learn to stop procrastinating I could probably do both well (my art "job" and my "mom/wife" job).

I am still hoping to resume teaching as I am really passionate about it. I'llkeep you posted. In the meantime, I am offering classes in your home, for kids or adults. For parties.For creativity evenings. For adult art "play dates". ETc. I'm working on creating enough space in my home to hopefully teach private or very small groups. And, a couple of other possibilities are percolating. If you own a shop in the Atlanta area (or the South) and are looking for surface design teachers, contact me. :) Or, if you are in a guild and looking for teachers I'd love to help you out! :) I am working on material for longer courses, but I have material for 1 to 2 day courses on felting (dry and wet), stamp carving and other printmaking techniques, watercolor pastels, and monoprinting. The last two are my favorite to teach as they are my favorite techniques and because I feel I have the most knowledge and little "secrets" I can pass along.

Anyway, I suppose that is it for now. I'll post pictures soon. One of these days I'll even update my website with all of my new work. I've got lots of small felted items (bowls, wallets, cell phone holders) I need to post and many other things as well.

Take care and remember to play everyday! What did you do that was creative today? I let my 3 year old help me add to the school piece I mentioned before. Between her ability to totally play and get absorbed in the process and my ability to look at the big picture of the piece and see where it needed more color, line, etc. to bring it to a whole we really can up with something quite amazing (in my humble opinion).

Sleep well. Happy dreams.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Watercolor pastels on fabric

playing around with a piece of fabric with my watercolor crayons today. really layered them on thick and starting to get some of the kind of results i was hoping for. now i just need to figure out to make sure they are permanent without messing it up. i can't wait to see how it looks with some stitching on it. this is about 1/4 of the entire piece.

Arts Festival Photos

Thought I'd share a few photos of my booth at the Creative Arts Guild Festival last weekend. Unfortunately, I took these on Sunday and a couple of my larger original pieces sold on Saturday. I had just completed them the night before and never got any photos of them. Oh well. That person will have two of my pieces that will never be seen on anything else (magnet, card, etc.).

Friday, September 26, 2008

What do cockroaches have to do with art?

Last night was the last night for my son to put together a submission for the PTA Reflections art program at his school. He is a procrastinator like his mother. He had said he wanted to enter the photography category and took several photos last night, including one of a dead cockroach in a plastic cup. Well, bedtime came quickly and there just wasn't time to put the photo together for a submission (had to be printed, but on a board or foam core, etc.). So, I couldn't resist and just had to play around with the photo myself. Not that I turned it in as a submission. I just played around with it for fun. I became, yes, obsessed with the darn thing and here is one of the results. I know have at least 20 different versions of Cockroach in a Cup. Hhm, maybe a series? I don't know. Not my usual cup of tea but then again I do like to be different and unique.

My son saw these and now wants to make his own digitally enhanced photo so one day when there is some extra time I'll show him how to use Corel Paint Pro (he has used it to make a few things before, including a magnet in my Etsy shop) to make his own Cockroach in a Cup.

I taught monoprinting today to three fabulous ladies. We had lots of fun printing, stamping and screening. I especially liked the effects they all got with gelatin printing. And, one print with a piece of yarn that really showed all the nubby little bits of yarn. We spent a good part of the time making collagraph plates to print from later in the day. Collagraph prints on fabric is probably my favorite surface design technique of late. I hope they continue to experiment and have fun letting themselves play and be creative.

Take care,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Art Quilts XIII Happy Dance!

Wow, I think it's the longest it has ever been without a post for me. Life just got really busy there for awhile. I had a decent show this past weekend at the Creative Arts Guild Festival in Dalton, GA. I didn't sell as much as I would have liked but I also sold more than I expected given the state of our economy. And, I had a great time seeing my sisters, my mom and step-dad, my aunts and a few other friendly faces. I grew up in Dalton, GA.

I came back home to some good news and some sad news. Good news is after several "non-acceptances" I am going to have a piece in Art Quilts XIII at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Arizona. Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance. The list of artists in the show is here.

The sad news is that Fiber on a Whim, the shop where I sometimes teach, will be closing it's brick and mortar location. They (the shops owners, Jan and Kristin) have given me so much these past three years. Their shop, their guidance, the teachers they brought in, their support of my endeavors including allowing me to teach in their shop have all been the key factors in my journey becoming an artist. I owe them so much. They will still have an online shop and you will see them traveling the shows (look for them in Houston!) to continue to support fiber and altered art and artists. The closing date of the brick and mortar store is not until sometime in October. I have a couple of classes still on the calendar for September, but after that I'll be looking around for a new studio space for teaching. I have a few options in mind but nothing settled just yet. I'll keep you posted.

Life is busy again with school, homework and PTA. I'm once again co-chairing an Arts Day at my son's elementary school and have spent most of that time this year learning about grant funding and artist in residence funding. I'm hoping that I can kill two birds with one stone, writing some grants for the school and also learning about possible grantor residence funding for myself.

I've also been spending countless hours watching the news, listening to the radio, reading the internet all in efforts to stay on top of the election this year. I'm working really hard on understanding and finding the facts and that is a job in itself. I won't get political on my blog, well, not today anyway.

Do something fun today, even if it's only for 5 minutes.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fun with the Computer

It's been quite some time since I played around with my Corel Paint Pro and I thought my black and white flowers were the perfect little pieces to play around with. I took the daisy one and changed it first to black and white only and then played around with colorizing, filling in, etc. What fun! I think it looks pretty cool! Now, I wish I could easily print lots of fabric with the designs! Maybe some day I can be a textile designer when I grow up! LOL It's fun to dream.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Not sure why, but I've been obsessed with drawing flowers in ink. It is very addictive and I think I'm getting better. I'm brainstorming ideas of how to use these to go further or use in other art projects. For some reason they feel like a waste of my time as they are. I know I'm learning and getting better but it is really time consuming. This is just a small sampling. Some have taken more than 6 hours to complete. Lots of time I should be spending on other things but I suppose it is to keep my mind busy or I just have a need to learn to get better at this right now. I can tell that it will be very beneficial in painting flowers or piecing from fabric or any art project where I will use flowers later on.

Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fiber Art Fusion

So, I've been back from vacation for a week and totally forgot about going to visit the exhibit of the Fiber Art Fusion group at The Art Place in Marietta. I've seen online photos on my friend Ginny Greaves blog and it looks simply fantastic! I will definitely head over tomorrow. If you are in the area you should go and take a look. The theme is Transformations. This is my piece in the show, although this is sideways.

Tomorrow night is the monthly meeting of the group, 7 to 9 pm. It is being held at Tiny Stitches in Marietta. I'll be doing a very brief explanation about sunprinting and then a demo/participation making fun, fabulous, fabric beads! Hope to see some of you there!!


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What I made on vacation

These are a couple of the small items I made while away on my trips. The bird is done with Pigma pen, watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons on white cotton canvas cloth. She started off with more brownish colors but I wasn't liking it and wanted more contrast with the nest so she became a green color. Probably not like any real bird. That is the problem with realism I suppose, you need to be trying to accurately represent something. I like making up flowers, birds, etc.

The felt piece was just for fun but I thought turned out rather nicely. I made a few other small items and I'll post those soon as well. As usual, these were the easily scannable (is that even a word? did I spell it right?) ones so I did those quickly. The colors on the felt piece are a little off.

Catch ya later.

Monday, August 04, 2008

I'm Back!!

Both trips were great fun and relaxing. Canoeing and fishing at Bear Head Lake in Minnesota and then home to drive to Isle of Palms, SC. Managed to fit in some drawing and a few art projects with the kids and some nieces and cousins. We made dish cloths designed with Sharpies and alcohol in Minnesota and felted coasters in Charleston.

The most excited part of the trips was that my 3 year old learned to swim!!! She could do maybe one or two strokes of doggie paddles before we left but now she is a fish! She can't get enough of it and swims underwater all over the place! I was just tickled pink watching her! My 7 year old progressed quite a bit in his swimming as well. We stayed in a beautiful home with it's own pool so we spent many hours swimming in the pool and playing in the sand and waves at the beach.
School started today for my 2nd grader. Life goes back to routine now.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vacations/Transformation show/More Classes

I'm off on our two family vacations we take almost every year. Today we leave for Minneapolis (to my see my in-laws) and tomorrow we will make the drive to Bear Head Lake to camp for a week. Last year was rain everyday and mosquitos so bad we couldn't even be outside unless we were in the screened area over the picnic table. I'm crossing my fingers for better weather and less mosquitos this year. Somehow we still managed to have quite an enjoyable time of it. I can't wait to sit and do lots of puzzles, play card games and do some fishing.

Then, we'll back for about 1/2 a day and then myself and the little ones are off again to Charleston to the beach with my family. We will go from complete roughing it to some nice luxury. We managed to score an amazing 5 bedroom house with a pool (for 5 families), brand new, 100 yards from the beach, gourmet kitchen, and on and on and on for 1/2 the usual price.

I'm behind on packing which means I probably won't be taking much in the way of any art projects. I think this is probably good as I am still wanting to focus on kids and family because school starts the day after we get back. It's been too short of a summer but I feel I've been pretty successful at enjoying my time with the kids and making them come first while also teaching 6 new classes at Fiber on a Whim and meeting a handful of exhibit deadlines.

Speaking of classes and exhibits!! Fiber Art Fusion's exhibit, Transformation, opens next week at The Art Place in Marietta. I can't wait to see it when I return!

And, all of my classes were a hit and are back on the schedule and we've added a parent/child class as well! You asked and we did it! So, start signing up. I really have so much fun teaching. I can't wait to get started all over again:

Saturday, August 23rd, 2-5 pm, ages 8 and up (WITH adult) Wet Felting FAmily Play Day
Friday, August 29th, 10:30-1:30 pm, Sunprinting
Friday, September 5th, 10:30-1:30, Wet Felted Vessels
Friday, September 19th, 10:30-1:30, Watercolor Pastels on Fabric
Friday, September 26th, 10:30-1:30, Monoprinting on Fabric
Friday, October 3rd, 10:30-1:30, Needlefelting

There is also a class on Creating your own Stamps from household items and by carving them. The date hasn't been assigned yet, but keep watching!

Gotta run finish my packing!!! Happy end of summer to you!!!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Benefits of Teaching, and Summer/Art/Kids

I've got one more class for the summer, coming up on Saturday, monoprinting (photos at the right are some up close detail photo from a monoprinted piece) I'm really excited! I think this is the class I'm most excited about teaching so far (of the 6 courses I have put together for teaching at Fiber on a Whim this summer). Don't get me wrong, I have loved all of the classes so far! It is almost feels sinful to be taking money for this! (Note, I said almost.)

One of the participants in Saturday's class will be bringing gelatin so we can do some gelatin monoprinting! That is one of the things I was hoping to get around to learning this summer, so I'm thrilled that someone in the class will actually be helping me learn this technique! She spent a week with Rayna Gillman learning techniques such as this one. Wow, am I ever jealous!

Anyway, that is the way it always is with classes right? So many talented and creative people out there and when you teach you learn so much! With other minds in the mix, someone always comes up with something you haven't thought of before. So, it's never really a teacher/student kind of an atmosphere. More of a share and learn and grow together. Tuesday's needlefelting was no exception. A great group of women and we had a blast!

So, if anyone is still looking for a way to spend there Saturday, there are I believe 2 spots still open. The class is from 10:30 to 3:30 and we will have a ton of fun!

Other news? Hhhm, can't remember if I wrote about selling one of my two Yoni quilts I made for the Yoni QuiltArt Challenge! Totally unexpected but I was thrilled that it spoke to someone! I love the two pieces but I wasn't sure that I would ever display them prominently anywhere in my home and probably the last pieces that I thought would ever sell (not because they were not good work/art, but because of the sensitive nature of them). But you just never know! Apparently the work I did to get the challenge posted to QuiltArt was worth the work! Really validating! For the person who bought it, she found it inspiring as it represented rebirth, a place she is at in her life, hoping to rebirth herself through her creative writing. I hope the piece brings her inspiration.

Well, back to the kids, supper, housework. Word of warning, DO NOT take your children to the Foam Factory in Marietta on a weekday in the summer. We went today, and yes, they had fun, but it was PACKED with daycampers. There was no one there running the entry taking tickets, so no one watching whether it was at capacity or not (I"m sure it was well over capacity). The noise was deafening and my kids were a bit overwhelmed until lots of campers begin to leave around 2 pm. I had envisioned myself sitting and working on some needlefelting, going over my notes for the Monoprinting class and an occassional bit of time in the foam ball pit playing with the kids. Instead, it was noise, noise, noise, and I had to hold my 3 year olds hand the entire time so she did not get trampled to death. And, I did have fun and decided to just let go of my plans and enjoy it with them. But, if you go, don't expect to sit quietly to the side while your kids have fun. Ain't going to happen. We had only been once before and there were maybe 2 to 3 other kids (during the school year). Today, well over 100 kids in the same space.

The summer seems so short and not enough time to fit in all the activities but also too long without a break to really work on some of my art. I'm behind on commitments/commissions. I learned that summer is not the time to take these own. Seems I would have known this, but I didn't think it through. So, if you are someone waiting on something from me, please know, I will get to them! But, it will be easier when school starts in a couple of weeks. ;)

Have a great evening! Happy creating!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tips for Long Life

I'm still working on my family history and a cousin of mine recently sent me a huge envelope of family photos and information. It is so much fun learning about your family, especially when you knew so little to begin with. My Great Grandmother, Margaret Wilson, lived to be 107 years old. I knew this and had found some photos online of her but this envelope contained many photos of her birthdays over the years and a newspaper article about her life. What I found interesting was that my cousin remembered our Grandfather taking her whiskey and that she drank a glass every night and said that the whiskey and her Cherokee blood
(haven't found this in her family lines yet) were her secrets to longevity. The newspaper article said that it was hard work. Hahaha. I'm sure she worked very hard. She had 8 children to raise alone as her husband was killed by a falling tree.

I remember being afraid to kiss her when I was very young, 4 maybe. She died when I was 5. Now what I wouldn't give to have a conversation with her. Part of the article said:

"The Wilsons owned a number of sheep and raised flax and cotton. Aunt Marg then left us rather bewildered by a recital of the many steps involved in the art of weaving flax, wool and cotton, before the fire at night, telling of great piles of flax, which was pulled like wheat by the handfulls and piled in bundles on the floor, 'thick as hair on a cog', and from which so many of the household wants were made."

She also said:

"I travelled over 4 mountains and sold buttermilk at 10 cents a gallon; raised my children with the help of God and didn't ask anybody for help."

Here are several photos of her over the years. The first I believe is her 98th birthday.

The bottom photo is of some aunts and uncles and my Grandmother. I'm not sure what the occasion is but I was fascinated that they actually had a small bear "pulling" the cart.

In my fiber art world, I taught watersoluble crayons last week and had a lot of fun getting to know some folks! Next is Needlefelting, Tuesday July 8th and Monoprinting, Saturday July 12th. There are still some spots available in the Monoprinting class! Check Fiber on a Whim's webpage for the class description and to register!

Happy Tuesday everyone!


Monday, June 23, 2008

What I've been working on

Well, with my new obsession with making digital storybooks I finally made some real progress on making a memory book for my sisters and myself about my Dad. It just keeps growing as it seems to be taking on two purposes, our family memories and his genealogy. I have found a wealth of information online about the Miracle family. I have photos of Great Great Grandfathers! My Dad had nothing and was a bit estranged from his family so all I had were a few photos of him as a young man. He literally had a briefcase when he died and nothing else. Anyway, also with Father's Day just passing and my Dad's birthday (June 11th) this has been another tough time in the healing/griefing process for his passing. Working on this book is getting me through it. Helps me feel connected to him.

This is far from done but I wanted to test out the embedded preview so I could share it with my sister as it is so far.

Off to swim lessons with the kiddos. Hope you all have a good day!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rejection is no fun

They say you can't get in if you don't enter (juried exhibitions, that is), but it still sucks when you DO enter and then get rejected. Or not selected I should say. Oh well, better luck next time right? It's just hard to keep pushing yourself to get things in for these deadlines when you keep getting rejection letters. I wish the curators had time to explain what the issues with your work are. Whether it simply didn't fit the particular exhibit or whether there is something you really need to be addressing or working on. I don't mean your voice or style but things like technique, composition, color, etc. Not that I would always take the advice but it would just be nice to know every now and again ya know? My guess is that I'm rushing my work and that it is someone how showing in the final package, like my photos for my instance. At least that's what I like to think.

Of course, I want to offer congratulation to those whose work was selected for this year's National Small Art Quilt Exhibit! I can't wait to see the work! I guess I just had particularly high hopes for this one since I won the Juror's Choice Award last year. Just goes to show you that you never know.

Now I'll just wait to hear from Threadlines. Wish me luck! Just keep saying it..
"If I don't enter I'll NEVER get in. If I don't enter I'll NEVER get in...."

Now for some sunshine and swinging.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Breast Cancer Awareness Art and Making books for your family

Okay, so you may think I'm even stranger than you did before when you look at the photos in this post. I was just stuck on drawing boob related art for Fiber on A Whim's BRA fundraiser for breast cancer research (which starts today!! visit their website to view the art and bid!) and these were just some of the things I tried along the way. I threw in a couple of others that I was able to get scanned in yesterday as well.

What else have I been up to today? Well, a good friend of mine is a Heritage Makers consultant and I finally got around to opening an account and purchasing some of their products. They are in the business of digital storybooking. You've heard of scrapbooking, right? Well, this is online scrapbooking. No glue, no mess. All on the computer. Beautiful "papers", "stickers" and all kinds of embellishments. I knew it would be addictive and oh boy, is it ever. Once you finish making your book, they publish it in a hardback book and send it to you! So, I think I've spent a total of 5 or 6 hours online today making a Father's Day book for my husband. Yes, I know it's late. I'm hoping he will understand since the computer has been so screwed up the last month. I wish there was a way I could show you a sneak peak of one of the pages but I don't think there is any way that I can show a picture until I have the actual book in my hands. Anyway, if you are into scrapbooking (or if you find it overwhelming as I did!), this might just be for you. You've got all of those digital pictures on your computer and now there is an easy way to make them into a cherished memory. I'm not saying all of this because Betty is my friend, I truly think this is a great service!

Alright, off to bed.


Sunprinting Class a Blast!!!

I had so much fun in my class with the participants yesterday! We had a cloudy day so we had to wait a bit for our images to print but almost all of the pieces were a success. As usual, I was inspired and learned a few things from my students, one of the perks of teaching. And, as usual, I forgot to bring a camera to class and ask if I could take any pictures of their work to post. Hopefully they will send me some (hint, hint).

A couple of the masking items I brought along that were a lot of fun were some paper letters (made on full sheets of paper, just punch them out) that I found in the scrapbooking paper aisle in a department store and sequin waste. Both worked really well! I ordered the sequin waste from SkyBluePink. They have some really fun items! One of the students used safety pins for her masking item. I thought it made a great fun print, especially for quilters! What quilter wouldn't love a safety pin printed fabric!

Well, I'm not ready for church so I better run! I'm making Oobleck this morning with the children (Dr. Suess story. If you've never done it, it's really easy and fun activity for kids. It is simply cornstarch and water. Makes a big fun gooey blob. Look online for recipes and ideas.

See ya!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Now I'm really back! Warning/Disclaimer--nude art

Woohoo!! So I had partial capabilities back for a few days and then my husband took my computer over to fix it correctly. So I was without email, internet or anything computer related for about 5 days. Wow, talk about withdrawal! But, it was also really nice. I found I had more time (duh!). Same as when I don't turn the television on (for me, not the kids, ha-ha).

Anyway, now I'm back and can work my way through my 200+ emails (not counting the Yahoo groups or Quiltart email list!).

I'm not quite in the mood to sit and scan lots of my drawings or take photos, so I've just scanned a few for now. Here are two of my donations to Brazenly Radiant Art, pen and ink/watercolor drawings on 9 x 12 Bristol paper. The first two are for a fundraiser through Fiber on a Whim which will donate all proceeds to Breast Cancer Research. The deadline for donations is June 15th. Purchases can be made via email bids starting 10 am June 16th. You can view the full gallery on their webpage on the 15th or 16th. You can also read about it on their blog. The third image is just a little birdy, ink and watercolor on watercolor canvas.

I'll also be donating some work on canvas that I think will be included in a separate sale for this fundraiser at a later date.

Oh, and Tuesday evening I attended our monthly meeting of Fiber Art Fusion. It was wonderful! All of us presented our contributions to our upcoming show at The Art Place in Marietta. I don't recall the dates but it is late July/early August. The work (and the stories behind them) were so inspiring! So, I hope lots of you can make it to see the show!

Happy creating! I'm teaching Sunprinting on Saturday at Fiber on a Whim and there are still a few spots left!!! :) I'm heading out to the pool with the kids and then hopefully there will still be some sun and time to do some experimenting with different paints for sunprinting this afternoon and tomorrow (with the kids).

Be sure and make time to play!!!


Friday, June 06, 2008

Some posting capabilities are back! Yea!

So, I finally decided to use an old hard drive until my computer is fixed. Which means what? That I can scan and upload photos!! I just don't have any files from before the crash yet. So, I can take new pictures, scan new drawings, etc. I sent in entries to Threadlines and am working on my photos for National Small Art Quilts now, an application for an upcoming art festival (also due today), and my piece for our local fiber show, due on Tuesday! Wow, I don't think I've ever had so many deadlines all at once.

I'll start taking photos and scanning very soon!! So look for pictures!

For now, here is the detail of the piece that the background for my blog title is taken from. The colors are more true to life here:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Working Style Continued and Deleted Posts

Well, my husband was uncomfortable with my posts with pictures of the kids so I've deleted those. So, if you were looking for them they are now gone. I guess I should set up a password protected family photo site. I used to do this but it's been several years. I'll have to remember the best way to do this.

Anyway, I was thinking more about my working style and about it being wasteful (or not). I realized that one of the reasons I often continue painting on fabric when I originally planned to just work on a few small pieces is that I DON'T want to waste the paints! And, that I figure if I'm working with the same colors that my extra pieces will coordinate if I cut them up to use in a piece later, and I might not ever be able to get quite the same shades, tints, etc. at another time. So, maybe I'm not being as wasteful as I thought. But, I do go through a lot of fabric. I don't think I'll ever be the type to work in a more planned and structured way but I do hope to find ways to better harness my focus and to find a way to restrain my excitement just enough to make some more of my work keepers rather than just the practice.

I'm still waiting on my computer to be up and running and now I'm afraid it may prevent from entering the next two shows that have deadlines in the next few days. It means I can't upload photos and create my CDs for sending my images. Maybe I better start investigating some places where I can use computers that will have everything I need to get this done. Maybe a friend's house?

I'm meeting with a person who is the recipient of a commissioned gift I will be making for her. This will be my third liturgical stole and I really love this work. It is so meaningful and personal. I feel like I already know her after studying her website and I am so thrilled to have the chance to create some fabrics incorporating some of her philosophies including things such as the Chakras, the Wheel of Life and something called the Purple Tent. If you want to learn more, take a look yourself. I'll post pictures as I start the process.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Working style

I'm getting really frustrated that I cannot scan my work as I've been drawing a tremendous amount just lately. Oh well, I have to be patient until my IT person (my husband) is less busy .

Just when I start to fall into a funk of wondering if I am wasting my time with my art, someone posts that they love my work, find it inspiring and that it makes them smile. I ultimately make art for myself and because I HAVE TOO! (Otherwise, I'd be even more crazy than I am now!) But, it is always nice to know that what you are doing actually matters or makes a difference to others as well. So thank you! I don't really think that I shouldn't be making art but sometimes I question how much time to spend on it or on which kinds of pieces or projects I should focus my attention. And, I feel really guilty about how much I go through in terms of paint, paper, fabric, etc. I tend to be a bit obsessive and if I start drawing it turns into a week of drawing and 3 pads of nice paper later I have a stack. Or, painting on fabric. Rather than working very focused on one piece, it will turn into days of just having to splash colors about and see what kind of effects I am able to achieve. Then, 10 yards of fabric later and only a few pieces I'm happy with I think, was that really a good idea? And, the answer? Most of the time I am able to remember that is an emphatic YES!!!! Of course, not everyone can afford to go through so much material and have so many mistakes. I choose to use nice paper and nice fabric because I never seem to know when something will be just a sketch or keep me so entranced that I must turn it into a piece of art. I very rarely sketch and then proceed. It is a somewhat wasteful way to work but it works for me. I am able to feel as if I am practicing and making my mistakes and creating things I am satisfied with all at the same time.

How do you work?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Computer Crashed

I'm bummed because I can not scan or post images today. My computer crashed a few days ago and my husband has somehow set me up temporarily so that I can use email and the internet. But, I have no hard drive and I can not scan or print.

What have I been up to? Mostly I've been back to pen and paper drawing. With being a bit under the weather for about 2 weeks now, it's just been the easiest way to be creative. Today, now that I'm feeling better, I started moving my art supplies out of our home office room to the kids' playroom. My husband is going to be working from home and until we have some time and money to finish our basement space he is taking over the my office/our home library/formal living room (yea right!)/art storage space. I've managed to move about half of it out today. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with things like my files, finished art on canvases, art books, etc. I'll start tackling that tomorrow.

Hopefully sometime in the next 2 weeks I'll get my act together and complete a few of my pieces in progress. My Fiber Art Fusion group has a show coming up in Marietta at The Art Place, Transformation. I have to complete my piece by June 10th. AAH!

Well, since I can't post any pretty colors, I'll try inspiring you by telling you to get busy and send in a submission for the National Small Art Quilts Exhibit (my next goal in meeting an exhibit deadline). Deadline is June 6th or 7th, just around the corner. What's great about this exhibit is, it's for small art!!! Right up my alley! And, there are no picky rules (showing my bias here) about 3 layers, or bindings or quilting through the back. It is for art that involves fabric/fiber and stitching.

Hhhm, what else can I do? Oh, I can point you to some great Etsy shops or other websites. Here is a fun Etsy shop to look around. Great little felted and fabric critters to see, 425 Square Foot Art. Let's see--Have you visited my friend Rebecca's blog lately? Did you see that she had TWO articles published in the last Altered Couture AND some of her work in the gallery section as well! Way to go!! Seriously, you should pick up a copy.

Well, back to organizing my art supplies. Tomorrow I hope to also figure out how to get the train table out of the playroom (don't ask me what I'm going to do with it, haven't figured that out yet) so that I can set up a craft table.

Kids are getting hyper and hungry. Catch ya later!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh well, better luck next time

My quilt wasn't chosen for Art Quilts Lowell. At least the process was very fast! Never had that fast of a turn around before. Leaves me free to enter it somewhere else. :)

Congratulations to those whose work was chosen!


Monday, May 19, 2008

You Can't Win

Okay, well, some miss the black background with white letters. I have to admit that I liked that better myself. But, I'd rather have folks be able to read it than to have it look "cool". So, here is my compromise for now. I'll probably keep playing around with colors and my header box, so don't be surprised if it keep changing for a bit. Again, thanks for all the input!

New Look to My Blog

I hope you all like the changes that I have made. After looking around for a good way to keep track of stats on my blog (#visitors and such), I posted a question to the fantastic QuiltArt email group to ask for suggestions. Well, I received several great responses on stat programs, but also had many folks tell me things I needed to change on the "look" of my blog to make it more readable. THANK YOU!!!

So, I've made some changes, such as no more white words on a black background (was making some people see double!), and I have made the text bigger and lots of other minor changes. So, I hope you like the new look!

And, for those of you who have asked when you will see the full photo of the piece I submitted to Art Quilts Lowell...probably sometime after it is accepted somewhere (hopefully!), or I just decide to post it for sale or whatever. That is unless you are local. I've been showing it for Show and Tell lately. :)

Have a great Monday! Off to Music Class with my daughter and Field Day with my son. Fun, fun!


Friday, May 16, 2008

100th post! And, yippee, I finally did it!

Wow, 100 posts! I can't believe I made it to this point.

And, the yippee is because after over 9 months of not entering a juried exhibition, I got my package in the mail today for Art Quilts Lowell! They extended the deadline and I pushed it all the way to 5 pm today! I don't even care if I get in. Well, okay, I do a little bit, but my goal was to really focus on entering a show. I have had so many deadlines on my calendar that have just whooshed right by. PArt of that was a conscious choice on my part to focus more on family and get away from the stress of trying to finish pieces on a deadline. I decided to just work and if I had completed a piece in time then enter. Well, I'm not a finisher, so without a deadline really looming and real commitment to make it work, that just didn't happen. That is still my goal however. To work on my work, regardless, and then if I have the work for a show then enter. I'll keep trying.

Here is a small bit of what I entered:

I started it about a year ago and then pulled it out of my tub of half way done pieces while away on the Focus on Fiber retreat. I hand stitched it like crazy. It gives me a sense of calm and peace when I stitch by hand. I call it Free Woman Dancing in celebration of the freedom I felt while on the retreat and the glorious women I was with and the wonderful dancing that occurred. It was definitely a time of new beginnings and growth for me.

So, keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lots of classes are coming!

Well, the summer schedule for my classes is now complete. The class information is all up on Fiber on a Whim's class webpage. Here is the short version:

Friday, June 13th, 10:30-1:30 Wet Felted Vessels $35.00
Saturday, June 14th, 10:30-1:30 Sunprinting $35.00

Friday, June 27th, 10:30-1:30 Watersoluble Wax Pastels for the Fiber Artist, $35.00
Saturday, June 28th 10:30-1:30 Stamp Carving (Make Your Own Stamps), $60.00 (which includes a kit fee of $25.00 for materials)

Tuesday, July 12th, 10:30-1:30 Needlefelting $40.00 (which includes a kit fee of $10.00 for wool felt fabric)

Saturday, July 16th, 10:30-3:30 w/ lunch break Monoprinting $40.00

I can't wait! I'm having so much fun completing the class notes and trying out the projects and ideas for the classes. I hope to see lots of you there!!


Monday, May 05, 2008


Both of my pieces sold today on the first day of Collage Mania II!! Yay! About 90 pieces sold today! Which means that Virginia Spiegel helped raise at least $7000 so far, (hopefully some generous donors gave more than the required minimum of $80.00). I can't wait to hear the final total.

So the good news is, that means there are still over 100 pieces to be purchased tomorrow!!! And, the minimum donation drops to $40.00 tomorrow! A lot of my favorites are sold, I'm not surprised, but there are many, many fabulous pieces yet to be acquired. So get your email ready and hit send at 9 am tomorrow with your choice of artwork(s)!!!

What I've been up to

Mostly playing around with project ideas and writing up notes for upcoming classes. I taught two classes in April at Fiber on a Whim, watercolor pastels on fabric and wet felted vessels. They are both being offered again in June. And, I'll also be teaching Sunprinting, Needle-Felting, Stamp Carving and Monoprinting. Still working on the dates and I'm still writing the notes and finalizing the projects, but I can't wait for June to get here! Once I have all of the dates I'll post the schedule here. I really enjoy teaching and sharing my passion for the fiber arts with others.

I'm obsessed with the monoprinting the last few days. I've done it before and really enjoy the process, but wanted to try out some ideas I have for the class. I made a "plate" (or a collagraph in printmaking terms) using a sheet of foam paper. I glued to this lentils, bits of foam, textured paper, tape and tin foil. I then played around with applying paints, misting with water, dry fabric versus wet fabric, using a brayer versus not, etc. so I would be able to answer all the questions that I will inevitably get! This process has just reaffirmed for me that you have to practice to get better at anything. And, practicing is the way to discover your own style and the little tricks. Here is one of the better ones from this practice session. I added a bit of colored pencil to highlight the edges of some of the collaged pieces.

Love to hear what you think! :)

Happy creating!

Friday, May 02, 2008

My other piece in Collage Mania II

I just realized that I never posted my other piece that I donated to Collage Mania II. Here it is, Rearranged Continuation:

Just a few of the fabulous......

....pieces of art available through Collage Mania II! Get ready because I'm sure they will be selling fast on Monday. $80.00 for an original piece of artwork is almost unheard of. First come, first serve! Prices go down to $40.00 on Tuesday, but your favorite may be gone by then! AND, it all goes to the American Cancer Society. Every single penny!!! None to the fabulous organizer, Virginia Spiegel, who I know must work at least the hours of a full time job on her fundraisers, all in the name of a cause she supports. So here are some of the beauties I'm featuring today, just a few of the 235 available. I almost hesitate to post these as I might be bidding on some of them myself.

Some of these pieces are part of a series and you could purchase all 3 or 4 to make a stunning wall arrangement of art!!!

All of the details about the pieces are on Virginia Spiegel's website on the pages of Collage Mania II. The artists of the pieces I have listed here today are (in order from the top): Liz Berg, Jane Davila, Terry Stegmiller, Rhoda Taylor, Cynthia St. Charles and Karen Stiehl Osborn.

Please search through all of the others, there are so many fabulous pieces!!!