Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Journal & A Magnolia

A Journal

I made this journal in a hurry last night because I forgot I needed one for my class tonight with Quinn McDonald called 'Raw Art Journaling', see her blog about it here . So in my very tired state, after my homework was finished, I created this cased-in book.

The rule is still true, ‘if you’re in a hurry, do something else’. So, I need to make some adjustments to this journal before I’ll be happy with it. But, I love the colors and the textures. At least I had some text blocks on hand. I’m thinking embellishments with Shiva Paintsticks and/or Portfolio oil crayons, we’ll see. The solid fabric is a purple African fabric tone-on-tone and the right side is handpainted paper that was given to me last year by my friend Fish as a birthday gift. I love the color & texture of this paper. I like to use stiff interfacing, like Fast2Fuse for the inside instead of the traditional boards. More possibilities that way and a softer feel.

A Magnolia

At work we have a marvelous magnolia tree that blooms briefly once a year and the first one appeared yesterday.
Here it is as I saw it yesterday morning:
and here it was this morning open and beautiful:
and I am very happy with this closeup photo:
That saying, 'the more you do something, the better you get', seems to be true with my photography.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Creativity, Genius, and the Right Side of the Brain

I saw this video on Digital Gran's site and loved what Jill Bolte Taylor had to say about the right side of the brain, describing her stroke and its effects on her body and the differences between both sides of our brains. Takes about 20 minutes and is well worth the time.

I also ran across this video, thanks to Claire Perkins about creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert - discussing her thoughts on fear, success and genius-this is great and also worth listening to. It is also just short of 20 minutes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Embossed Glass Class

About a month ago I took a wonderful class from Char Sanchez called Embossed Glass at a place in central Phoenix called Cooking With Glass, see Char is an incredible teacher with a great teaching style and lots of knowledge to share.

My friend Julia, see her work here , and I took this class together and as the only two students, we had a blast! You’ll see from Julia’s site that she is great at the fused glass thing and she has been teaching me all about how it works. She also taught me how to do etched metal, but that is for another post.

Here are some photos from our class that day.

Char & Julia Julia's Piece in the Kiln

First we layered our glass using pieces of dichroic glass, this stuff is so cool. Then we fired up the kilns.

My Piece in the Kiln

Once they were hot, hot, hot, we put the gloves on and stamped into the extremely hot glass. This makes it sound very quick, but there is a lot of thought and caution (always respect your tools) that goes into this process.

Julia Embossing Me Embossing.

Of course, I forgot to take a photo of our big square pieces after they were finished, but, here are my pieces after Julia's wonderful husband cut my square in half and then cut each triangle into 5 pieces. Then Julia refired them to smooth out the edges.
Can you see the swirl embossed into the center glass piece? How cool is that?

Not sure if you can see the dragonfly I stamped into this one.

I am going to make necklaces out of the 3 center pieces of each triangle (see below). Will post later when I work out what I like.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

ATCs (Revised Post)

I just had to revise this because the photos of the ATCs did not show up in detail once you click on the photo, and I want you to see the closeup. Now you can. Blogger is pretty user-friendly but you have to be a little adventurous to figure some stuff out.

The Yahoo Surface Design Group recently did a technique swap of ATCs. One of the things I love about the internet is that you can interact with people all over the world. We were to select a technique to work up our ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and then send them out along with instructions on how to do the technique. This is a very talented and adventurous group and I am excited to be able to share and learn within this group. Here are the ATCs I received:

This one is by Jan Z. in Minnesota.

by Marga K. in Florida.

by Britta A. in Germany.

Michele G. in Texas.

by Judy A. in Georgia.

Aynsley M. in Ohio.

Debbi B. in Australia.

Elizabeth W. in Virgiinia.

Margaret R. in the United Kingdom.

Now I have a bunch of new techniques to try. And, here is my ATC, done using painted black Misty Fuse, gold leaf, mica flakes and a little soy silk fiber.

I will post some of the steps for this ATC in a few days.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Baby Quilts

Thank heaven it's Friday! Maybe I can squeeze in a little art and quilting time this weekend. Not that I don't squeeze it in whenever I get the chance.

Yesterday I finished a second baby quilt for a client, in pinks and purples. As much as I love the freedom in creating art quilts, I also love the quest for precision in tradition style piecing and quilting. For me, it is all about the process. The client and I shopped together for the fabrics for this quilt and the first one in pinks and browns. I think because I love the process and challenge of creating something I am satisfied with, I do not have a problem when I have a client that prefers different color/fabric choices than I do. For me, it is like stepping into their shoes, appreciating their point of view for their preferences, and then creating/execute a product that I am pleased to put my name on, whether I prefer the colors or not. Makes it interesting and challenges me to expand my view of the world.

Here's the pink and brown one. She liked this design which is why we used it for both. In fact, the third one will also be this same design. Always amazing how a change of fabrics and colors gives it a different look.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fabric Portrait Finished!

In the midst of the rest of life, I was able to get this completed for Carla’s birthday this past Monday. She loved it and I am so delighted that I learned this technique.

Working on this quilt for his mother made me realize how much I miss him, how much we all miss him. When he was killed it was such a blow to our family. But love never dies. See his memorial site here

I love this piece! Not bad at all for a first time try. I already have several ideas for more. Here is a full shot of the finished one, the original photo and a few close-up shots.

I think it helped using universal size 8 needles (which my mature eyes needed help to thread). I think it also helped to use my walking foot, which I use for piecing as well as non-free motion sewing.

I had to borrow it so I could share it at show & tell tonight at the Mavericks meeting.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fabric Portraits Class!

Oh soooo much fun! Took a class on Saturday with Ruth Green, a wonderful instructor. Ruth & I, along with most of the students in the class, are members of an art quilt group called the Mavericks ( If you're local, meaning Phoenix & surrounding areas, you should check us out. It is the most inspiring group of women, and men, I have ever been around. Mavericks is part of the Arizona Quilters Guild (
Anyway, here's (above) what I finished before leaving class . I never been so delighted. It was so much fun. Now I just have to add the stitching and work on a painted fabric background.
Look for updates later as I bought the threads I need yesterday.
This was based on a photo of my nephew who was killed 3 years ago in April, on his mother's birthday. This is a gift for her. I just hope it turns out.

Here are some photos of us working in class. Ruth Green is an awesome instructor.
This is her with a class sample. Thanks so much Ruth!
This is my 'creativity partner' Mary the dollmaker.
More students working away, or should I say 'playing away'.

My newest friend Gwen who is probably going to join Mavericks and maybe even join Mary & I on our sporadic 'play & create dates'.

Finally, it's me. I will keep you posted on how this turns out.

Joining the world of bloggers!

April 9, 2009

I’ve finally done it! I decided that if I didn’t just jump in & get it started, I never would. I will continue to fill in information as I go. Consider this blog a ‘work in progress’.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...