Sunday, May 31, 2009

Alabama Stitch Book

Have you ever heard of the Alabama Stitch Book? I found it at my local library last year and checked it out so many times that they ask me to purchase one...
well, not really (the purchase part) but I HAVE checked it out over and over and over...I just need to buy it I guess!
I love the book, I love Natalie Chanin's story and her awesome clothing designs.
I've done reverse applique in quilting before and love the textured look of it.
I love that you can take scraps of fabric, sew them together, cut out a few well placed holes and you get a totally new "look"...but I've never combined the quilting technique with regular cotton jersey (I always used cotton quilting fabric), button thread and a stencil pattern...
I'm always looking for projects that travel well...and I've found a new one!
I took one of the patterns (or I should say directions- I took the directions) from the book and gave it a run as a "travel project" and it worked wonderfully!
So, I am hooked on the technique now!
You should go out, get this awesome book, read Natalie Chanin's story and learn a few things about our friend cotton.
After that, you'll be as hooked as I am with the Alabama Chanin's approach to design and the Making of Clothing.
Here's what you're looking for - right here...
This is what I made - a reverse applique book cover.
I've added some random beading (see Mary Stori? I'm beginning to put them on Everything?!). Oh, and I'm not finished with the beading - I'm planning on adding the "fade beading" to every reverse applique opening on the front of the cover.
And here is the front cover-
And here is the back. My initial idea was to make a tee shirt but I decided to just do the book cover (journal cover actually!) instead. Wouldn't this color combination be a great Clemson Tiger fan gift?

OK- there you have it. My weekend fiber fix. That's what I did.

What about you?

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Well, I finally gave in and created a Facebook account...
I must admit it is much easier to communicate and stay in touch with all my online friends.
Won't you come on over and send me an invite here?
I'd love to have a gazillion friends come and visit me!

Does this mean that I am going to be Twittering in the future? Gee, I'm not sure about that...I already spend too much time on the computer as it is.

But I do have a question for my computer savvy friends...
Is there an easy way to learn Adobe Photoshop Elements 7?
One that doesn't include pulling my hair out and gnashing my teeth?
Oh, I sure do hope so! If you know of a good book, CD or class - please let me know.
I'm going back outside to transplant some more Purple Coneflowers, Wave Petunias, dahlias and help Mr. Wonderful (aka Farmer Sloan) with the vegetable garden planting.
Someones gotta supervise, right?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

finito a meta'

Half finished? What do I mean by that?
Well, I think I'm finished with the painting of the painting
but I plan on doing so much more with the painting itself...
Maybe a mixed media fiber piece?
A nice vintage looking wall hanging?
Give me a few days to mull it over and I'm sure I will come up with something.
I've got to get better pictures so we can use this face in transparencies for Jane.
But for now, here she is.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Work In Progress

This is the drawing that I took to Paulette Insall class at the Inspired Retreat.
I want to work on the hair - not only the color (I thought a darker brown would be nice - especially those eyebrows!)but the entire "look" of it. I had to put a little gesso on it to cover up a, um, a little background problem...
I also do not like the lip color...anybody out there with some suggestions on that? I used the Caran D'ache crayons. I need another color. I feel that this one is too brassy or something...

I still have a lot of work on it but the important thing is that

I did use some of the techniques that I learned from Wyanne in her painting class.
They (Paulette & Wyanne) are both wonderful teachers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Vulture At Our Door

I have always hesitated to share the negative emotions that I journal about.
This past weekend when I was at the Inspired Retreat in NC, I had my journal there, sharing some of the pages with my friends. One page in particular seemed to strike a cord with almost everyone...
It was about insecurities.
I decided to share with everyone.
To show the vulture that sits on my fence from time to time.
It may be difficult to read so I am writing it below...

"There are days that the old insecurities just claim a presence in my head...
they scream for attention...
and stand in the doorway - patting their foot...
impatient with my ignoring them...
sometimes I give them the floor and watch them nip and bite at my heels.
They exhaust and fuel me at the same time.
Experience says to ignore them -
emotion demands that I hold and caress each one -
show my undying love and devotion to each and every issue -
my emotions are not reliable when it comes to my insecurities and doubts.
I must walk away...
I must Fly..."

So, go...

Journal Pages and Baseball Fields

Those of you that read my blog know that I love to draw my own journal pages.
I've been known to sit at baseball games and pull out my compact watercolors and paint. Don't you know that the little kids would love to come and paint with me? I'd let them actually...I figure that if they had the courage to ask, I'd give them paper paint and a brush in a skinny minute.
Anyway, here are a few new pages for your viewing pleasure.

I'll share my inspiration for the one below...
a baseball field. Yep, if you look closely, you'll see the images above the bird box closely resemble an outfield light post thing (whaddaya call that?). The flower beside is is an artistic interpretation of a baseball field - come on people!
Work with me here!
The leaf stem represents the space behind home plate (that's where my husband stands a lot!).
The top of the flower is spread out like the outfield shape - albeit a very loose interpretation.
That just goes to show you that no matter where you are, you can be inspired!
I have a drawing in my sketch book that I made when we were at the Citadel one weekend. It is totally based on the shapes at and around the ball park.
I have always looked at the world around me in a little different way (no snickers).
The micro world is much more interesting than the big picture.
One class I took last year (I think) was with Laura Cater Woods.
It's an online class, you should check out her schedule and get on the waiting list. You will really be able to find inspiration anywhere you go. Literally anywhere.

The shapes for the mushroom stems came from a picture that I took at a state rest area stop...

yep, the ferns were unfurling , shedding their winter coats. The gentle sway and swirl of the stems captivated me. The way that they appeared to be like young children fighting to get the best view- all arms and legs, pushing each other out of the way.

Don't you know people really wonder about us (Mr. Wonderful and I) when we stop in our tracks, practically lay down on the sidewalk for a picture...

at a rest area.

You know, I say let them wonder. I'd rather they join us as we realize the beauty in the little things around us.

Won't you?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Home Again, Home Again...

Art work by Carol Wingert

Everyone will recognise Paulette Insall beautiful girls!

I'm back from the Inspired Event in Concord, NC. Wow, what a great event!

I met some really awesome people, made some new friends and created a few pieces of wonderful art work. I'll try to finish them up soon (almost done!) and post some pictures.
I just need a few days to recuperate, unpack and then I'll get to work.

Be safe.
Be creative and remember to dream BIG.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jane's Project

Those of you that keep up with my blog (and thank you!) know that I mentioned I was working on a project for my friend Jane Powell. You know Jane, right?


She owns Random Arts in Saluda NC. If you are a mixed media artist, fiber artist, any kind of HAVE to go there. She has THE most wonderful and charming shop around.

Seriously, Jane carries products there that you can't get anywhere else around here. And if you want something that she doesn't have, most times all you have to do is ask and she will try to get them for you.

How cool is that?

Anyway, Jane has these neat little packs "Sweat Treats". They are ATC packs that have everything that you need to make several ATC's from one pack. She ask me to take a couple of packs and see what I could do with them. Oh, also a handful of trinkets, ribbons and a paper mache house.
Wow! What an great deal for me!

I painted, stained, drew, ironed, outlined, cut, shaped, glued, sanded...well you get the picture.
I ended up with a handful of ATC's, a rusty house and a quiltlet. The picture above is the quiltlet "Play".
See the bee on the flower? That's a real bee! My husband found it in the house and thought it would be a good addition. It looks so cool!
I'll try to add another post later with the house and other ATC's.
Right now, I'm finishing up packing and heading out the door to Concord NC. Going to the Inspired Artist Retreat. Four days of learning, teaching and having fun with like minded people.
I hope that you all have an inspired weekend!