Thursday, December 31, 2009


I've been offline for a couple of days due to the copying of all the files from the old computer to the new one that Santa brought me! And I'm getting used to the new operating system along with the newest version of Photoshop (another cool gift!). So there's been a slight learning curve for me with all of the new technology. I'm making progress and am LOVING the new setup.

While I'm learning my way around Photoshop CS4 I thought I'd make a little New Year's piece. I call this, "Anticipation" because I am looking forward to all of the great things I envision with the unleashing of 2010. I hope to really grow in my art, my journaling and my writing. I have some personal goals I want to reach in the coming year and plan to examine those more closely in my art journals.

So, here's to the New Year: may it be all you hope for it to be!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Heart Whispers

Here is the latest art quiltlet I made. I sketched the girl onto muslin and then cut fabric for her hoodie and roughly sewed it on. The hearts are beaded with glass beads. I painted the background in a bronze metallic paint which doesn't show up too well. I also painted the sun, her face and hair using Caran D'Ache Neocolor II crayons mixed with water. I left the threads hanging from the jacket because I like the uneven, loose feel of the piece.

I was inspired by the fashion sketches of Kat MacLeod. She is an awesome artist and I'm using her sketches as "models" while I try my own hand at skteching her style of faces in some fun little fabric pieces I'm working on now.

I've really missed working with fabrics and my sewing machine. These little quilts have been fun exercises in random sketching and embellishing. I've got some other ideas I'm trying out now and hope to have more to show soon.

The beading is what takes all the time but I love the random nature of the whole process. I sewed the piece onto black felt using embroidery thread and cross stitches. Lots of fun working with fabric again. Stay tuned for more little bits.

Monday, December 14, 2009

HeART Quilt: Part Two

After having the base of the art quilt set, I was ready to embellish. I spent the evening last night beading this as I watched the NFL games with hubby. After all the beading, I sewed the quiltlet to a big piece of black felt. I love the way this turned out.

I have another one in the works right now. I'll be doing the beading on it tonight. I've painted the face of the girl and the muslin background. I used acrylic paints mixed with fabric medium. It really helped the hand of the fabric stay soft. This is a new area of exploration for me, but I'm loving the results. I hope to have something to show of this one in the next couple of days.

The Shiva paintstiks are a dream to work with. After the 24 hours they are ready to heat set and then you can paint over them or do whatever you like. I've printed out a couple more of my latest sketches and transferred them to muslin squares. Now I'm working on designs for their little quiltlets.

Also in the works: I completed two collages today in Jamie Ridler's Soul Reflections course. This was a fantastic exercise that you can use again and again. I highly recommend it. I purchased the e-course but there will be a "hard copy" packet ready to mail in January. I couldn't wait for that so I ordered the e-version. ;) It's wonderful and so inspiring! I love Jamie's check it out. There is so much inspiration and support to be found there.

That's it for today. Back to work on the quiltlets. I am beading the squares for my wall hanging in between breaks I take from the quilts. Hope to have those ready to assemble very soon!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

HeART Quilt

It's been awhile since I've posted! Many things have been going on behind the scenes. I battled the flu some more and then managed to pull a muscle in my back and wasn't able to climb the stairs for a few days. Ugh!

I've been playing with fabric lately. I picked up the newest issue of Art Quilting Studio and that made me want to play with my fabric stash. Then I pulled all of my Sew Somerset issues and my Cloth, Paper, Scissors back issues and just started making notes. I've got Shibori dying on the horizon...really wanting to try my hand at that. But here is a little art quilt (about 5" x 7") that I experimented with. First I sprayed the fabric with Adirondack Spray Inks. Then I rubbed my Shiva paintstiks over rubber stamps of different sizes of hearts. After I heat set those, I stitched over them with gold metallic thread. This is a piece of muslin sewn to a felt backing. I think I'll mount this page into one of my journals after some more work. I want to add some beading and maybe something else; I'm not sure yet.

We had our Christmas party for hubby's students. I spent a lot of time getting the place ready for about 20 students, making them little gifts and assembling the gift bags. Here was the view from my second floor loft area right before we brought in the extra seating:

Here's the view from the first floor landing:

And, finally, from the bottom floor:

I painted each student a little ornament. I found some nice unfinished wooden ones at Michael's that had twine wrapped around them and a little bell at the bottom. They came in different shapes of snowflakes, hearts, a stocking and tree. Those turned out pretty good and then I decoupaged the Purdue "P" on the front and wrote their club name on the back with a date. I finished them off by edging them with an 18 kt. Gold Leafing pen. They seemed pretty happy with their gifts and that made me feel better.

So now that the annual party is over, I can get back to making art! So many projects are sitting right here in front of me and for the first time in about three weeks I'm feeling strong and healthy enough to start playing again!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Color Me In Watercolors

After making it through the holiday and then having to cope with a very bad cold, I was finally able to return to the computer today. Thanksgiving went very smooth and things are working out just fine (see last post).

So today I was able to sit down (for a very long time) and try to work my way through this Photoshop tutorial that was featured on Digital Whisper. It is a watercolor effect that you apply to a photo. For some reason I was just not getting it. Aaarrggghh! I was determined to sit here and try it until I was at least on the right track. It's still not quite there but is much closer than my first tries.

Mary Oliver's poem, "Wild Geese" keeps showing up in different places lately. I love these particular lines from it and decided to use them here with this old photo of me. These lines just ring true in so many areas for me. I love their brutal honesty and I try to remember them whenever I beat myself up over anything. These are the second and third lines from the poem; the first says, "You do not have to be good." LOVE that! I have this entire poem posted right above my worktable. It is such an inspiration.

On other things: I am working very slowly on my wallhanging but making progress, I'm making more journals using Teesha Moore's method (after finally getting some hot press watercolor paper), and I'm making a different sort of journal using old book covers and other watercolor papers. I've also been experimenting with some image transfer techniques for my journals. I hope to have something to show from all of this very soon.

I've been battling this cold that at times feels like a flu. Some days I just haven't had the energy to get upstairs to the studio. We are hosting a Christmas party for hubby's students on Dec. 10 and I have so much to do to get ready for that. I am trying not to let it overwhelm me but on days like today I am losing that battle.

I did another watercolor effect with my favorite photo of Andy Warhol using one of his quotes. I'll post that along with some other goodies next time. Now play time is over and I have to get back to the real world and start getting this place ready for 18 college students. Wish me luck.