Thursday, December 24, 2015

And to All a Good Night...





This rather dark photo (sorry, poor lighting) is of the "Rodeo Dream Quilt" which has now been completed and presented to our pastor and his wife. He is also a rodeo announcer, so giving it a bunkhouse look and finding the pictorial elements to go with it made the project really fun. Not sure how well you can see, but there are boots, horses, horseshoes, a hat, a cowboy with a rope, and the triple crosses which are a symbol of the Cowboy Church we attend. I just finished it in time to give it for their Christmas gift, or I'd have taken a better photo! It didn't even make it to the guild show-and-tell. You can see it's start in this post.



I also rounded up this crew for a photo before taking them to their Christmas destinations. The women in the crafting program at the women's prison where I volunteer completed all these dolls and toys in time for a delivery to the local Domestic Violence Shelter and Salvation Army shelter.



There's even a lovely mermaid among them!






Frogs, kitties, robots and more- the ladies express creativity in their work, and make such good use of their donated materials. And they so enjoy the feeling of "giving back" to the community in productive ways. They also finished more than a dozen teddy bears which were presented to residents in a memory care facility. So there has been lots of running around leading up to the holidays, but all in the best way possible. To all who celebrate, Merry Christmas!








Tuesday, December 15, 2015

It's a FAB Thing...



Isn’t this cat quite the party girl? She is one of the prayer flags I received in a swap at our holiday meeting of the Fiber Art Bee (FAB). We each made several flags, and then traded at our event. I just love the saucy personality and snappy outfit she’s wearing.





It’s fascinating how every quilter came up with such different ideas. This “Grow” flag is made with gold lame (and I can’t put in the accent mark) and gold cord for the roots.



This one has delicate coloring and dimensional flowers with tiny beaded centers. The detail is so pretty, and the message is right on target.





The peach color and song bird make this flag a cheerful one! Somehow I neglected to take photos of the flags I made, and now they are gone to new homes. Oh, well. Not only did we have the prayer flag swap, but we also displayed our “selfie” journal quilts. This is me, with some creative license thrown in.  And a bunch of techniques thrown in as well. Looking rather peachy, too.



I used three large flowers I’d hand drawn on painted fabric, along with an embroidered and fusible appliqued face. The background is stamped, and the whole thing is machine quilted and edged with my favorite fabric twine edging. It was both fun, and a challenge to complete.

Always intrigued by something new, I saw some examples of photos turned watercolor images on Cheryl Lynch’s blog. She noted the phone app which is Waterlogue. I got it and then spent a fun hour or so giving some pics a new look. Doesn’t Lily look lovely in a portrait? And my desk looks positively artisitic instead of just messy- which of course it was.




And below is downtown Ocala, FL, lit up for Christmas. This is a fun app that costs a few dollars, but will provide lots of entertainment and some lovely notecards or other prints eventually.




Sunday, December 6, 2015

I Could Write a Book…


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Or maybe I’ll just make one. This fun journal is the result of taking Carolyn Dube’s free online class titled “Permission to Play.” It’s full of mixed media techniques and layers of paint, stamps, stencils and more.

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The journal begins with ripping up and sizing pieces from a cardboard box that would otherwise go in the trash. So with material that is free and expendable, it’s easy to just experiment with art supplies and media in a no-holds barred approach. A peek through the layers in the pages above reveal some collage, stamping, stenciling, and paint applications with things like a hotel card key or the eraser end of the pencil. Very freeing.


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Carolyn provided a series of lessons, unlocked one at a time, in which she demonstrated working with the various layers. She also offered several free printable “Sparks of Artspiration” which are color images of her own collage and mixed media work. We students were free to use them throughout our journals as well. You can see some of them in the pages above in the colorful stripes and shapes.

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She encourages students to just keep going, even if the results are unexpected or unintended. Additions and corrections can be just a creative idea away. One thing I really enjoyed was the concept that the journal did not have to be “finished” before binding. More can be done to the pages as we fill the journals. The round white moon shape in the photo at right is a case in point. I love the vintage car image, and the little orange circles. And have no idea what’s to go in the moon shape. No problem. The book got bound anyway, and the solution will reveal itself in time.

The books are sturdy, stand up on their own, and are just fun to look at and admire. And students can admire each other's journals in a private Facebook page. I’m sure I’ll make another. After all, the next journal is just a pile of scrap cardboard away from happening!


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I also want to share this wonderful collection of hand-printed fabric squares. They were the prize in Deborah Boschert’s drawing a few months ago at The Printed Fabric Bee, and I was the lucky winner. Created around the theme of architecture, the following textile artists each provided one of their designs, in addition to Deborah: Jane Davila, Susan Purney Mark, Lisa Chin, Julie B Booth, Gerrie Congdon, Lynda Heines, Carol Eaton, and Jacqueline Lams. Inspiring to be sure. I’m not yet sure where they’ll be used, but there’s a home in one of my projects for them. One is already in a prayer flag. Between fabric, quilts, and paper, I never run out of fun things to do!