Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Cotton Love

When I was pregnant with my son, I taught myself to crochet doilies.
I always loved the feel of the cotton thread sliding through my fingers.
I could crochet most things without even looking at my work.
Every time I sat at a doctors appointment, I would carry my crochet bag.
It never failed that someone would say
"My grandma/aunt used to do that."
Like some hand quilters, I fear that crocheting doilies is fast becoming a lost art.
Here's a short preview of some of the doilies that I made years ago.
My eyesight isn't as good as it used to be so I can't manage the teeny tiny thread that I used to use.
But I still love looking at the crocheted lace.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Old Song

Aw, you know...
"I don't like spiders or SNAKES..."

Seems like Spring has sprung
and so have all God's children...

My husband was (again) working outside
and I heard him exclaim an expletive (wasn't that a nice way to word that?!)
I ran out to see what was the matter
and this little thing had jumped out at him.

It might be small but it definitely had an attitude!
Look at the photos, you can see that it pulled back and mustered up all the strength
that it could to attempt a strike.
Now, I knew it wasn't poisonous but I am just terrified of snakes.

Ask my son.
Every time he brought one home, all I wanted to do was get someone to kill it...
Silly, I know.
And he would not stand for that anyway.

Will - lover of all animals.
He even sat bugs outside when we found them inside.

My guess is this is a baby King Snake...
or a Zebra Snake.
Commonly found in upstate SC.

(EDIT- Just kiddin' about the zebra snake...)

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Class Schedule

I have finally scheduled more classes.
Talk about being Slack...well, we weren't but if we were,
I'd be the topic of that particular conversation.
My (awesome) friend Jane (Powell as in Random Arts Jane) has got her new studio space up and running!
I am SO excited about this!
I went to visit her last week and let me tell you...
what an awesome space it is! She has huge work tables
and even bigger sinks.
Really, really nice space.
I've scheduled two classes there.
One is a class that I had been asked to teach last year and just never got around to it.
It's a class on painted backgrounds. I'll do another blog post with some links to photos of backgrounds that I've posted before...I'll try to get them all in one place!
Join me at Random Arts Studio for the new "Bodacious Backgrounds" class.

The other class is another "class by request".
"Scraps, Fragments and Artifacts".
Follow the link and you'll be able to read a little about that class as well.
It is really about a journey, someones story...
It's about keepsakes and artifacts.
It's all about your heartstrings.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Other Spring Peeps

Well, it's time for Spring Cleaning - at least here in The South (southeast for me).
My husband was working around the yard this week, getting things ready to plant lettuce, cutting the grass, weeding flower beds (I did help a little with that!)...
Spring Cleaning outside.
He called me to the door and had to show me what all he was finding!
If you listen (or read) Judy Simmons, you'll find I do like bugs.
Not spiders though.
Not even dead spiders.
That bears repeating.
My husband found about 7 of these beauties...Very much alive.

Black Widows.
If you look closely, you can see the small speck of red right at her bottom.
This particular one has a body the size of a dime.
That's just her body! If you include her legs, she was about the size of a freaking quarter!
And he said that wasn't even the biggest one!

So, while you're doing all your Spring Cleaning,

do remember that all the other creatures are coming out too...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Early Spring Peeps

This week was one of my regular "Peep Meets"...
meaning that I had the Immense Pleasure of spending some time with my Fiber Junkie Friends (you know, my Peeps!).
These ladies never cease to amaze me!
Nancy has been absent from the last two or three meetings but returned in full force that day.
She brought several pieces of her felted work.

My photos DO NOT do her work justice but I'll show you anyway.
The vessels and 3D work are amazing! The sides are so thick and solid.
Love these tassels.

This cuff is heavily beaded. I'd love to have a blue one (like indigo blue).
If you're reading this Nancy - just saying...

Look at this awesome mask! Again, you would not believe how thick this piece of work is.

This mask is one of my favorite pieces. I adore the colors and the combination of the felting and the hand stitching.
See the small dimensional flower to the left side of the vessel? Nancy is going to teach us how to make one of those. If you look closely, there is a small crocheted flower in the center of the flower.

I'm going to crochet one of these for everyone to use on their flower.

Our newest member, Val, is an awesome screen printer.

I can't wait until warmer weather as we're going to learn that too! I am totally excited about this. Since I draw a lot, I'll be able to use my own prints in my art fabric.

And Val hand dyed her fabric also. I love the organic look of it.

I think I'll put that technique on my "Wish List" too.

This is the beginning of a piece of art cloth. She will add more images and colors to this piece as time goes on.

Love, love, love this.
This little birdie got out of order in the grand scheme of things...

I think I'll leave him here so you can enlarge the photo and see the beading work.

What an awesome way to keep track of your scissors!

I'll just bet if you go to Judy Simmons and Mary Stori's blog, you'll find more photo's.

I did the demo for the meeting.

This month we covered Stamp Carving.

I didn't get any photos of this but everyone did a great job.

It was a ton of fun!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

For the Love of...

Oh- and Colonial Knots!
I love French Knots but I have a mental/physical block when it comes to actually making them.
A friend of mine (Waving to Mama Crow!) heard of my agony and frustration.
In a matter of a minute or two, she had me making a knot
that looks very similar to the French Knot but was So Much Easier.
Here's some of them on a little stem.

I've been loving hand embroidery here lately.

Just a piece of linen, some of my mom's embroidery floss and a tiny little needle.

So soothing.

I just draw my image on the linen with

a water soluable pencil and start stitchin'.

Easy Peasy.

And here is the WOTD (Word of the Day).


For a couple of reasons - I look out of my front, side and back windows and what do I see?


A bunch of budding blooms breaking the barrier of the brown soil.

(spring fever caused me to type that...)

Or you could Fly.

You could Be Brave and let your tiny wings carry you towards

your most secret dreams, desires and wants.

Those things that you hardly ever allow yourself to even think about cause you want them so, so bad...

But you're scared to death that if you speak them out loud

you'll jinx them.

Do you have any of those dreams?

Maybe it's the one you've had since you were a little girl (or boy),

sitting in your boring old English class...

dreaming that you're this Awesome Artist.

One that everyone loves and wants to buy your work.

Or wants you to teach them how you do what you do...

You could think about those hidden (or not so hidden) dreams today.

Write them down.

Send them out to The Universe.

And Fly towards your destiny.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Have you ever carved your own stamps?
You should try it.
These are a couple of my very first stamps...
pretty easy - not to mention kinda sloppy.
But I loved them! I had SO much fun carving these.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The King was here

Last Saturday, my hubby and I went hiking at Jones Gap State Park here in South Carolina.
Along the trail you see a lot of different and interesting things.
And from time to time you actually see evidence of a previous hiker...
even celebrity ones!
Like this tree - the initials BK were carved in to it.


The Burger King King walked this trail!

Yes! This King!

A little hiker humor there...

It actually started out as one of those "let's get outside for a little while" outings...
Those of you that regularly read my blog will know that I love nature and getting out in it.
It's been a long winter and I am getting a fierce case of "cabin fever".
Even though it was cloudy on Saturday, I just couldn't wait another day to walk around in the woods- surrounded by Mother Nature and all Her glory.
This awesome man, my generous and loving husband, is standing on one of the narrow little "bridges" that we had to cross over.
Thank goodness there was at least one hand rail there...

This is one of the fresh cut trees on the trail. I love the design of the circles

and the colors as well.

Looks kinda like some of my rust fabric, doesn't it?

And the fungus on the tress - I just noticed that it was the same color.

Perhaps Nature is trying to lead me into using my rusty fibers to create something...

This is a shot of one of the tent sites at the park. I believe that they only offer primitive camp sites.

Even though I love camping, I do prefer a little electricity and running water - not just the river kind but the kind that flows from a park provided (camp site) spigot.

I love this running water too!
Because of some health issues I have had lately, we were just going to take a short walk.

We wound up walking several miles (maybe 3-4 total) on one of the trails.

The Tom Miller trail, I believe...

Yep. That one.

In one section there is a 500 foot increase in elevation in a 1/4 mile of walking.

That's pretty steep.

Especially for a gal with some breathing issues!

We got about 1000 feet from the tip top when it began to rain fairly hard.

We had to stop and seek cover at that point.

I was amazed at how beautiful the rain was as I sat there under the cover of a huge pine tree.

We decided that the smartest thing to do was to turn back down the trail.

And we realized Just how Smart that was in about 10 minutes...

when the Hail started.

Yep. Hail.



We had to laugh a out loud.

We drove up to the park in my convertible down, music blaring.

And rode home with the top up- heater blaring.

Just another day in March in upstate South Carolina.

Gotta love it!

Remember our State Parks when you complete your taxes.

There is a spot that you can donate to them.

Check it and make sure that the land will continue to be there for our children and grandchildren.

And if you haven't been to the state parks near you, then you should go!

They are not only beautiful, entertaining and easy to get to-

they are a very cheap form of entertainment for you and your family!

Where else can you rent a cabin in the mountains with a swimming lake, putt putt, paddle boats, boating, fishing and hiking (to name a few activities) for less than $100 a night?

And that would be about the price for a huge cabin!

So- check off for SC state parks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Everybody Loves a Give Away!

If you're like me and you love a great quilting/embellishment book, you'll want to rush over to this blog site for a great give away!
My friend, Liz Kettle, along with 3 other ladies have published a book (or bible) on Fabric Embellishments.
It's brand new but they are already sending it for a second printing!
How cool is THAT!?
In honor of that, Liz is having a give away on the Textile Evolution web site.
That's where I am going to be teaching this fall.
Here's your link - free book!
Run on over and tell her that Carol sent you!
While you're at it, check out the fall class schedule.
Won't you join me in beautiful Colorado for a very intimate 3 day retreat?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Calendar pages and Stamp Carving

I found an old sketch book that I had drawn a couple of calendar pages on.
Thought I'd share them with you.
I wish that I could remember which artist I had gotten my inspiration from
but the name escapes me right now...
If I remember later, I'll be sure to post it. I don't even remember the month I drew them.
I do remember that the images were drawn very quickly
and the color was added with really cool markers
that I learned about from Martha Lever.
They are called Brushables (by Zig).
Very nice pens to do calligraphy with.
Oh, and drawing/coloring calendar pages too!
The gray one is my favorite,
as you can create a shadow on something with just the swipe of a pen.
See above!

I had a very lazy day today -
hmmm...yesterday too now that I think of it.
I did work on a stamp carving demo/short class I'll be doing soon.
My Fiber Freaks, I mean Junkies will be learning how to do that this month.
This is SO much fun and SO darn easy!
The only problem is that it can be very addictive also...
consider yourselves warned ladies...

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Today is Saturday, March 6.
Nothing really special about today, right?
Except the sun is shining, the birds are singing...
I know that winter still has a toe hold on the southeast
but I do believe that spring is headed this way!
I have a lot of buds pushing their way up
through the soil.
My day lilies are peeking up...
the tulips and crocus are waving their tiny little brave stems...
Even the Bradford pear trees are budding up.
I noticed this morning that a busy little wren (I think) was looking for a place
to begin building a nest - they usually pick one of my topiaries on the front porch.

I hope that all of you can take a moment and step outside - enjoy the day.
And remember to flex your creative muscles!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild

Last night I had the immense pleasure of visiting the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild.
That place is filled to the brim with such nice folks
(can't say "ladies" cause there is a couple of male members too)!
They took me out to a nice, relaxing dinner before the meeting (thanks Nancy and Mary!),
keeping my nerves at bay for a little bit.
It doesn't bother me to speak in front of a small group, but yikes! a large group is a little different.
Thank goodness I was able to talk about my work instead of just talking about me.
I find that to be A Lot easier.
I had several questions last night about different links on the Internet.
I pointed people to this blog to find them but I thought it would be easier if I just post them all right here.
So, here goes. If I miss anything, someone send me an email and I'll post it too.
To navigate to any of the web sites, click on the highlighted or underlined link.
It will take you right to that particular web site.

I try to get a lot of my art supplies from my good friend Jane Powell at Random Arts.
She has closed her shop front but still has goodies to sell.
I do believe that she is selling on eBay as well.
I'll post her web site and her email address (
I know that Jane would love for you to email her and ask about anything that you need.
She is great that way!

I also mentioned Marie Seroskie and her Victorian Applique Designs.
She has a ton of really beautiful patterns and tools also.

I mentioned this awesome fiber art retreat as well.
Believe in Yourself retreat with Kristin Steiner and Susan Edmondson.
These two ladies run a wonderful three day retreat that,
if you liked the type of art mixed media fiber art that I brought, will knock your socks off.
I have learned so much from Kristi and Susan through the couple of years that I have known them.
And they are also two of the most creative spirits that I know.

Now, was that it?
If I forgot to mention anything or anyone, let me know!

Looks like the upstate is going to get more snow today.
I was supposed to teach the "Scraps, Fragments and Artifacts" class today
but we've rescheduled it to May 4. I think there are still a few spots in the class
so sign up before it's full.
I'll be collecting little bits of things to bring and share with everyone in the class.

I just love turning people on to mixed media art!
And their own creativity.
A lot of people have the whisperings of this fantastic creativity deep inside of them...
they just don't know how to caress it out
or how to get started.
Last night I saw a couple of people with that
sparkle in their eyes...they're onto something.
And all I can say is
Watch Out.
When they realize the power of their own dreams, there is going to be an explosion.
They are This Close to finding their tribe...
This Close.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Recap of last week

I admit it.
I'm a slack blogger...
No posts since week before last.
Bad me.
I'll do a recap from last week for you, how about that?
Finally, someone that won't argue with me!
Last Monday, I went with my Fiber Junkie buddies to Mary Stori's house.
What an nice house she has too - it's for sale if you're interested in the most awesome views eva.
We always do our little "show and tell" first.
Here's Mary's quilt that she made for her son and daughter in law.
I love the touches of red! And Judy Simmons is making her daughter's wedding gown (can you believe that?!)
(it's going to be beautiful too!).
Here is a preview of the beading that she is doing on the lace.
She will continue to add beads to the lace and then attach the lace to the dress.

Judy is also working on this small quilt that she is holding up.

I love the colors that she is using.

Can you see the marbled fabric in there?

She did that too!

Patsy Thompson brought this nerve synapse quilt that she added some beads to.

Look at that machine quilting, would ya!

A cool side view.
I think that I have already posted pictures of what I took to show.

This month's meeting was time for Mary's demo on beading.

We learned SO much!

It's a wonder that any of the beads I have sewn on actually stayed on after seeing how it's Supposed To Be Done.

Actaully, I have Mary's DVD so I was doing some of it correctly.

Today I am going to the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild for a lecture and another form of show and tell.

I get to show my work and talk about my inspiration for it.

It's always so much fun to be around like minded folks.

I hope that all of you have a week filled with inspiration.

Remember to flex your creative muscles -

cause if you don't use it, you lose it...