"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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Frame

I finished another frame. I had a hard time getting it to photograph well - so my apologizes for the bad angle. I am going to do one more, hopefully soon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Picture This!

I picked up some 8x10 photo mats on clearance for $1. They were red, with a white stripe around the inside - it was no wonder they were on clearance! I've been wanting to try my hand at Altered Art, and this is what I came up with. It was quite an adventure. The flower in the upper left and the 3 petals along the right are made out of puffy paint - painted onto a fabric scrap, puffed and then painted with acrylics before being cut out and glued to the frame. This was a blast to make and I can't wait to start the next one!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Out To Sea

Here's another 5x7 piece that I finished last week. I haven't had time to post lately. My son (11) is finishing up 5th grade and his 6 years of Elementary School. Next year he will move on to a new school for 3 years of Middle School. Finishing 5th grade brings with it all the requisite activities and celebrations that one would expect. Among them is the creation of a "Memory Book" for all the kids. Guess which committee I signed up to chair??? So, I have been up to my eyeballs in info gathering and layout for this book, but it is a labor of love and it is going to be a wonderful keepsake! I have to have 150 of these babies copied and bound by next week. Once that's done, I can get back to creating ... I hope!
So, I call this piece "Out To Sea". I was challenged to use a split complementary color scheme (blue, red-orange, yellow-orange) and a geometric shape (circle). I made some "bullseyes" and then cut them apart. I placed them on top of another circle and they looked like horseshoe crabs so that is how I came up with the name. I decided to quilt the blue background with free motion circle "bubbles" - something new to me. I used metallic silver thread and I really like the results of the quilting. I did get a bit bleary-eyed doing it, though, and had to remind myself to blink. The only thing I wish I'd done differently is use an invisible or holographic thread for the wavy "current" lines, rather than blue. The blue lines jump out at me a bit much. But it's all for the sake of learning, right?

For a Friend

I belong to an online group called Fiber Art Traders. It is a large and active group that explores all areas of Fiber Arts. Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of the inception of the group. Several of us joined together to create journal quilts (8.5x11) to go into a book as a gift for the listowner. I was honored to be asked to participate, and this is the quilt that I gave her. As it turns out, it is one of my favorite pieces and I will likely have to make one for myself! I made it a few months ago, but couldn't post a photo for fear of giving away the surprise.
The fabrics are all painted dryer sheets, and the saying along the bottom reads,:
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world" ~ Anne Frank

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Calla Lily

I finished this piece today as well. It is the result of an effort to combine two challenges - one from my Self Expressions Studio class on Quilt University (to do a work inspired by a favorite artist, in this case: Diego Rivera) and the other from the online group The Artist's Muse (following chapter 2 of the book and creating a flower piece using green). I've been wanting to gain more experience in painting on fabric, so I chose an off-white print as my base and used Elmer's Glue as a resist (pva glue for those not familiar with Elmer's brand). I painted the background with watered down textile paints until I was pleased with it, then washed out the glue and added some details. I actually went back and forth with this process for a while before I was satisfied with the results. Finally, today, I managed to quilt it, which I think adds the finishing touch. The piece is 5"x7" and matted to be framed. I enjoy working in this size and framing my work, so expect more 5x7 pieces to come!

More Padfolios

I made some more padfolios for teacher's gifts. I used batiks for the base - such beautiful fabrics that they hardly needed embellishing. I just love batiks. I made each one in the particular teacher's favorite color(s). I hope they'll enjoy them!

Friday, May 4, 2007


I've joined a wonderful new group that is following along with the lessons in the book The Artist's Muse. The challenge for the first chapter is to create a personal Mandala.
I would like to be able to say that my Mandala is full of significance for my life, but it just sort of evolved. I started with my trusty compass and ruler and decided to work with a pentagon for the challenge. My initial idea was quite different from what you see here and when it was finished, I hated it!
So, I took out my trusty Lumiere paints and started in the center. When I finished painting, I got out my embossing powder and embossed subtle designs on the piece. I decided to make it a tribute to the two cats we recently lost, so I embossed a kitty stamp around the inner blue circle. In the outer blue edge, I stamped the words, "Memory is the power to gather roses in the winter", which was the quote I used in my senior college yearbook many years ago. Finally, I added beads and crystals until I was satisfied. The piece measures 12" square to fit within the frame. It is made from painted, recycled dryer sheets fused to a base layer of black cotton (which shows through here and there). A bit of a departure for me, but I'm happy to have met the challenge.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Printing with Bubble Wrap

I joined a swap on Fiber Art Traders called "Trash to Treasure". We were matched with a partner and sent each other some things from our stash that we no longer wanted. The challenge was to use some of the things and make something for your partner. Here is a photo of what I received.

I really didn't know what I was going to do with the fabric - I knew all those metallic gold lines were going to complicate things. That is, until I flipped the fabric over. The back was an interesting mottled wash - albeit a bit too pink - but it definitely had potential! I knew I would use the back.

I could see a touch of purple and green in the fabric, so I decided to try printing on it with bubble wrap. I'd done this once in a class, but had quite forgotten about the technique. I dug out my acrylics, and printed away! It needed more, so I used a permanent ink stamp and a text image and stamped the writing onto the fabric. Ohhh...so much better!

I decided to make a Padfolio as my gift for my partner. Sue Bleiweiss has created a wonderful pattern that she generously shares on her blog. Thank you, Sue!!! The Padfolio was great fun to make and I think it came out terrific, if I do say so myself! I hope my swap partner will agree.