Friday, April 30, 2010

Natures Timeline

No matter how important we think our lives are, nature moves in her own time.
I took these photos of some of the flowers in our yard a couple of weeks ago but haven't been able to post them until today.
Busy, busy, busy.
This is our "side hill" flower bed. It's a mix of this and that.
A true flower lovers garden, always in progress.
Moving this, adding that, throwing this away, sharing this...

Here's the front of the same bed. Lovely thrift and phlox blooming like crazy for two or three weeks.

This is a bed in our front yard - I love the way that the flowers are hanging over the side of the old bricks that we edged the bed with. Later we will have purple and white coneflowers (to feed the goldfinches with), Stellas blooming all summer, volunteer vincas and yellow marigolds. Maybe two or three other flowers thrown in the's always such a surprise as to what pops up here in the front bed.

I have a topiary that I made from an ivy vine on my side porch. I usually keep it trimmed quite tight but here lately I haven't wanted to disturb the family living inside of it...

A precious little mama bird picked our topiary for a secluded little bungalow for her new babies!

Can you see their shiny eyes inside?
It took mama bird a while to get used to us coming and going - as the topiary is right beside the side door.
She will sit tight now as we brush past - running in and out of the house as we try to make sense of our hectic life.

Remember to flex your creative muscles!

I'm getting ready for the "Scraps, Fragments and Artifacts" class on May 4 in Seneca.

The Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild is hosting this class. I'm really looking forward to helping a room full of quilters pull their scraps, fragments and artifacts together to make an awesome piece of artwork!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bodacious Backgrounds

Today was the Artist Paper class at Random Arts Studio.
We were busy having So much fun with painting, stamping, scraping,
spritzing, dabbing, stenciling, masking, mono printing,
writing in paint, collaging, and just plain
Having Fun that no one took photos!
Can you believe that?! I'll email everyone and see if they will send pictures of their papers.
It was really a fun, fun class!
Thanks to all of you ladies that traveled to Jane's studio for the class.
I'm going to get to work on a book making class for all of those yummy papers that you've painted!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Time Flies

I haven't posted since last Tuesday or Wednesday.
I have mostly been at the hospital with a beloved family member. She getting better but could you send up a prayer or two for her? I sure do appreciate it.
Yesterday I did take a break and headed up the "Big Hill" to Weaverville NC.
I know that you have read about the fiber group I am a member of...I love this group!
They continue to impress me with their skills and their willingness to share them.
I didn't take any pictures but I'll refer you to Judy's and Mary's blog. They have lots of photos.
We went to Patsy Thompson's house (yep, That Patsy!) for a day of learning, laughing and food. Maybe a little Pumpkin beer thrown in the mix too...
gotta love those Renegade Fiber Freaks! (I really think we should change our name ladies...)
I'll try my best to do a "real" post soon. In the mean time I sure do hope that all of you are continuing to flex your creative muscles!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Painted Art Papers

Here's a couple of art papers that I painted, stamped, masked, added to, took away from and just generally enjoyed adding color and texture to.
I'm going to be teaching a class at Random Arts Studio on April 23.
It's going to be a lot of fun! We'll be learning about different types of paper and how the weight of the paper effects what you can do to it and on it.
We will learn about what types of paint work best on painting art papers.
We'll use stencils and masks.
Baby wipes, alcohol (maybe drink some wine too!) and all sorts of different "found items"
to add texture, shape and movement to our papers.
Run on over to Jane's web site and sign up or call this number (828/699-2210) to reserve your spot.
There's only room for about 12 bodies and all our stuff so sign up before it fills!
I'd like to teach a class later this year to make a journal with the papers that we paint.
Wouldn't that be fun?
Maybe we can invite Betsy to give us a journaling prompt at the class.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sketch Book

I was away from home this weekend...
following my husband around in the mountains.
I did do some sketching,
some embroidery and some book making.
I completed the sewing of the signatures in a book that I am making.
I used 300 pound watercolor paper for my pages.
Instead of sewing on linen tape, I used leather tapes instead.
I really love book making.


I have a couple of finishing touches and then I'll post pictures of the finished book.
This isn't the book that I was talking about, the "DJ Book"
but another one that I am making.
I posted photos of the painted pages a while back.
This one has blank pages that I have painted and no other inserts (at this point...).

Here's a scan of the sketching that I was doing.
My inspiration was a journal page that I did. It all began with a simple poppy seed head sketch...
you can see that it certainly didn't stop there,
now did it?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More Signature Wrap Art

Well, I finished the main signature wrap for my mixed media book.
The photos are out of order
but I think that you can figure out by the background fabric
what is the outside and what's the inside.
You won't be able to see the front of the back until the end of the book...
that sounded funny, didn't it?

Anyway, this is the front of the signature wrap. It will be one of the first things
that you will see when you open the book.
I added some beading to the edge, right next to the lace trim.
I love the deep dark red on the fabric I used.
The fabric on the very back is coffee stained light weight muslin.
I found it among my grandmother's doll making bags.
It smelled like my mom's house when I opened the bag.
A wave of memories hit me along with the scent of my mom's house.
The next two scans are of the inside of the wrap. I used post cards from my friend DJ Pettitt to make fiber/paper collages.
I love to repurpose vintage fabrics, linens and clothes for collage work.
Nothing is safe in my studio...

Here is the back of the outside of the wrap. I embroidered the stem and leaves and then added a little crocheted flower that I made. Oh and some beads for a bit of bling.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Working on a Signature Wrap

This is a new signature wrap I'm working on today.
I took a class last year in Alabama from DJ Pettitt...
book making and painting the front of the book was part of the class.
I never finished the book because the image on the front wasn't my drawing.
It was my painting of DJ's drawing.
I wanted it to be MY image...
But it hit me a few days ago that I could use the book here at home -
and as a sample of MY book making skills.
There are a ton of things that I have done to the book
here at home that are MY skills at work!
So I decided to complete it - with a lot of signatures so I can use it here (at home)
where I tend to jot down a plethora of ideas.
I'm going to put it to good use...
and when I take it with me away from home,
I'll be sure to tell everyone that the image belongs to DJ
but the inside of the book is All Mine.
Here's a peek at the signature wrap I started today.
The little card inside the piece of vintage quilt
is a small card that I received from someone last year.
It once contained a small piece of handmade paper shaped like a small flower pot with wild flower seeds embedded in it.
You're supposed to plant them (which we did) and then throw away the card (yikes!).
Who could throw away such a great little card? Not me!
I replaced the pink pot (with the seeds in it) with a red one.
Then I embroidered a red outline around the piece of vintage quilt.
I had to add a sprouting twig of red blossoms beside it...
Which called for a piece of fabric with bold geraniums on it.
And that is just how it thing leads to another...

Thursday, April 1, 2010


A friend of mine (Hey Patsy!) loaned me her (poor lonely) Embellisher machine to try out.
Can you say "Hooked"?
Some of you that read my blog may not know exactly what an embellisher machine is.
I'll give you a quick run down.
It's set up almost exactly like a sewing machine except there is no thread and no bobbin.
What ?! you say.
The needles (this one has 5 needles where a regular sewing machine only has one - ok, they can have a double needle but..jeez..just stay with me here).
The needles have little bards on the ends of them that, when you run two (or more) pieces of fiber under the machine, pull at the fibers of fiber (especially wool) and mesh them together.
It felts the fibers together.
One thing that you will see a lot in fiber art (or any art FTM) is to work with a photograph of an object.
I love working with a photo of something that has a lot of texture.
Like this rusted plate.
Or the weathered door it's attached to. Or the highly textured surfaces of this topiary that I am working on.
Wow. Look at the texture on this bark.
When I printed the photo out, I could really see all the shades of blue on this tree.
Can you see that when you enlarge the photo?
Nice green color also.

Yesterday I started working in my sketchbook, drawing out the bark.

Today I'll make a study of the colors and begin to add them to my drawing.

I am planning on making a study of bark texture on the embellisher.

In fiber- with a little of this

and a little of that.

Gotta love The Mad Scientist form of creating mixed media fiber art.