"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ferns on Canvas

I took a break from fabric this week and played around with gooey stuff. I'm not even sure I can tell you how I made this piece, but I love it, and I'm attempting to do it again. This piece is 11x14 on canvas. I started out by applying a gorgeous teal blue tissue paper to the canvas, and then added some layers of paint. I used matte gel medium to build up some texture and impressed a fern foam stamp into that. This took a couple of days to dry. Finally I washed some green and rust paints on the piece, let it dry again, and then rubbed some iridescent paint over the top. There might be some other steps I've forgotten - who knows! I just kept adding to it until I got the results I was looking for. I'm just hoping it wasn't a fluke and I'll be able to accomplish similar pieces again ... stay tuned ...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Storm at Sea

If you go back to my Feb 11th post, you will see how far this has come. Even I was surprised at the change! I painted shadows in the water and darkened the sky (significantly). I added another rock to the right hand side, which I think brings better balance and excitement to the piece. When I first started painting the sky fabric, I got a thick streak of pearl paint on it (over on the left side) and I could not paint over it for anything, so I decided it looked like a shaft of sunlight cutting through the stormy sky and I quilted it to accentuate that. The piece (minus the black) measures 11x14, and at this point I am intending to frame it in a black frame (or mat it in black, if I want to frame it larger). That's why I laid it down on some black fabric for the photo. I really love how the border turned out. I took a fabric that had colors similar to what were in the piece (OK, it was a batik that also happened to have zebras on it ... but that's our little secret!). I layered an aqua sheer over the top (same sheer that I layered over the sandy area, and then I fused a bunch of "Tintzl" together to lay around the edges. I spray basted the three layers together, trimmed it to size, and then centered my water piece on it. I stitched the water piece down, close to the edge, and glued the sequins on to cover the seam. I auditioned a couple of different types of black ribbon as well, but I really liked the sparkle of the sequins. Truth be told, I didn't leave enough of a seam allowance around my piece to stitch the borders to it, but I honestly think this was a better solution and I would use it again - no seam allowance to worry about! I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am to have finished another piece. Yay, me!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Falling Leaves

Such an original title, I know...
I finished my leaf quilt. Well, at least I think I am finished with it. I love the beaded fringe across the bottom. The pieces that are stitched on with yarn are embossed pieces of old CDs. Fun to do! I'm pleased that it is FINISHED. Click on the photo if you want to see it close up!


My friend Susan got this list from Bibliomaniacs blog. I love to read, although I don't read too often, because I tend to get so engrossed in my book that the rest of the world falls away for a while. Often, I'm just not sure what to read. This is a great list! Hopefully a few more titles will be changed to bold type in the future.

Look at the list of (100) books below.Bold the ones you've read.Italicize the ones you want to read.Leave blank the ones that you aren't interested in.Movies don't count.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)

17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)

29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible (Only parts)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) *half-bold because I read half, but couldn't get through it!
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
Consider yourself tagged!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cave Painting

Remember Miro??? Well...I sort of stalled out on that painting, and decided to move in a different direction. I chose, instead, to replicate a cave painting on fabric. The piece measures about 5.5" x 6.5", with the center painting a little less than 4x5. My inspiration is a detail of the cave paintings at Lascaux, France. I used Lumiere and Setacolor paints, and Shiva Paintsticks to build up texture on the fabric. I hand seed-stitched the background for texture. Click on the photo if you want to see it close up. I made three paintings - all the same - two to trade and one to keep. YAY!

Monday, March 19, 2007

My New Journal

Check out the gorgeous journal I received in my trade! I just love it, and those of you who know me, know that the bright colors are right up my alley! I want to thank Barbara in Ohio for creating this beautiful journal for me. I'm going to keep my new art ideas in here. What a gift!
Click on the picture if you want to see it close-up. The buckle is just an amazing detail.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Back to Creating

Time to put some more art on the board! This is the start of my final piece for the Self Expressions class. Of course, I signed up for part 2 of the class, so there will be more to come. I didn't want to lose my momentum!
I am planning to change the border a bit and extend the striped fabric to the corner (I meant to do that, but cut it wrong). I'm also thinking about curving the edges, but we'll see how it develops.
I made the leaves using the same technique that I used in the stained glass postcards that I posted a photo of earlier. I am really enjoying this technique and have decided to continue to develop it further.

Friday, March 16, 2007

In Memory

Last night I mentioned to my 9-yo daughter that it was going to rain all day today. She said, "I know, God is going to be crying with us." I'm sure someone at school told her that - but how true it is. Today we had to put our precious cat, Jack, to sleep. He would have turned 14 in April. He had inoperable cancer, and it was time. I know he is at peace, but I sure am going to miss his silly, sweet ways, and that motor that could keep you up at night. Rest in peace, buddy boy.

I can't mention Jack without mentioning Chester. He also succumbed to cancer in March of 2006. He and Jack were not litter mates, but we got them at the same time and they were about two weeks apart in age. They were brothers, and took care of each other. Chester was incredibly intelligent and always made sure he knew what was going on. One time we took a 19-day trip, and the night we returned, Chester slept on my head! We bought a deciduous magnolia tree last spring and buried Chester beneath it. We will bury Jack next to him. When the magnolia comes into bloom, its buds feel like cat's paws. We didn't know this when we picked it out. I miss my guys - I hope they are happy chasing butterflies together...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Change of Pace

I needed a change of pace from working with fabric - just for a bit. A group that I belong to challenged its members to create something with a door or window theme. The piece had to incorporate paint, fibers, and recycled/found objects. This is my piece. I glued blue tissue paper (recycled from an online shopping order) to canvas, and painted a simple water scene. For the window frame, I painted a brown paper bag. The trunk of the palm is also from the same bag, with some bronze paint added. The flowers and palm leaves are painted dryer sheets. I embossed details on the leaves. I also embossed the centers of the flowers - and I'm still debating whether or not I want to add some beads or small buttons on top of that. I tied seashells (found!) to the fibers (!) to meet that part of the challenge. It's a fun piece and was a nice break from sewing. It's been warm here (80) for the last few days, so I guess that has me thinking of summer!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Earth Day Auction

There is an auction coming up to benefit Greenpeace. It is being organzied by the listowner of the Surface Design yahoo group (Joanna). I have donated a covered journal and handmade bookmark. Please check out the wonderful artwork that will be available! The website is: http://2007earthday auction.blogspot .com/ Thanks for taking a look.

Recycling Part 2

I've finished up the rest of my recycled postcards. I keep getting ideas, though, and I think I am going to have to work in a larger format as to actually use some stuff up! The above card uses: paper towels, dryer sheets, wallpaper sample, and images/words transferred onto packing tape.

This one uses paper towels, dryer sheets (where have you heard that before??) and the flower center is from a floppy disk. The flower is outlined with hot glue, sprinkled with embossing powder.

This one uses a dryer sheet (background), wallpaper sample, can tab, and leftover elastic.

Here, I chopped up some old crayons and melted them to the background. The circles are paint chips, and the metal twists are paper clips. The red and purple ribbon around the edge is the rescued (and taken apart) handle from a gift bag.

Finally, I used paper bag (background), dryer sheet (rays), grommets from the above mentioned gift back, an orange juice concentrate can lid and a wall paper sample (in the center of the lid). Working with these things has been challenging, but the results have been fun and rewarding. There is so much potential in the every day stuff we throw away.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


This weekend I made some postcards using recycled materials. It was a lot of fun and I think they came out great! The one on the upper left has the most materials in it: paper towels, dryer sheets, wallpaper sample, paint chips, paper bag, and the floral image is from a catalog, transferred onto clear packing tape. The others have various combinations of these same components. I've got a few more in the works and I'll post them when they're done!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Journal Cover

I made this journal cover for a woman in Ohio. She is also making one for me. It fits a standard size composition notebook and is removable. The center square is made from some pieces of sheer fabric and leaf skeletons, all fused together. The fibers along the outside of the journal act as a place marker. It is in the mail to her today and I hope she will like it. My kids both want me to make them one - and I'm thinking they might make good teacher's gifts.

Finished, Again!

I did it again - finished something! This is my piece for the latest lesson in my "Self Expression" class for Quilt University. Success with each lesson is measured in finishing the assignment, not in what the thing looks like. This week, we had to start with a fabric that we did not like, for whatever reason, and make an 8.5 x 11" piece with it. This piece is actually 9 x 11.5" - oh well!

The fabric I picked is the background of the vertical stripe, and the lighter triangles. It's not bad, but the colors are very muddied and it looks like someone threw rice all over it. I decided it would make a fair background, and off I went. I added some gems and handmade tyvek (the stuff priority mail envelopes are made from) beads to give it some interest.

The funny thing is, when I finished it I thought - well, it's fine, but it's not really me. Of course, it is completely me, because I designed and created it from start to finish. So I'm not sure what I think of that...


Here's a detail of the piece, and a look at the inspired fabric!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Stained Glass

I joined a postcard swap with a Stained Glass theme. It took me the longest time to figure out what I wanted to do. I finally chose 5 hand dyed fabrics and stacked them up. I cut through all 5 at once, until I had 5 separate pieces of each color. I used each color once on each postcard, fusing them down, and finally I satin stitched between the colors with black thread. I think they really do look like stained glass - and they look kinda nice all put together. I might use this technique again in the future - maybe for a background.