"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

Friday, June 15, 2007


Inspired by the story of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi in Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book", I decided to make another 5x7 piece. The story is about a brave and loving mongoose who defends a village, and a boy, against an evil Cobra named Nag. I was quite captivated by this story as a child, and a huge fan of the mongoose!
I challenged myself to work abstractly, something I find very difficult to do. I chose colors which I felt reflected the jungles of India, where the story takes place, and laid out the pattern to reflect the struggle between the mongoose and the snake. I free-motioned jungle leaves around the edges of the piece, but they are a little difficult to see. I used embossed Misty Fuse on the background (as I did in "Boats on the River") and added beads to the couched fibers. I'm pleased with the results.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Boats on the River

This piece is 5x7. The chapter 3 challege from the book The Artist's Muse is to draw inspiration from a favorite childhood book. I chose "The Boats on the River" by Marjorie Flack. I'm really pleased with how this piece came out. I used "Misty Fuse" and embossing powder to add sparkle to the waves. This technique was published in Quilting Arts magazine's online newsletter and is the brainchild of Joanna - thanks, Joanna, for such a cool technique!!!
"The river comes down from the mountains, down from the mountains to the sea. There are boats on the river! ... "

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hibiscus Bloom

My very first blog post was a photo of a hibiscus flower. I can still remember the first time I saw one in person. I was 20 years old and visiting California. The blooms were huge and stunning! I have loved them ever since.

Last summer I bought 3 patio plants. They all did quite nicely in our humid southern US summer. I brought them inside for the winter, and lo and behold they survived. They are back outside, happy as clams, enjoying the humidity once again. I need to repot them, as they have grown so much. I wish they would over-winter and I could plant them in my landscape.

This flower bloomed the other day and I was captivated by the beauty of the bloom. It practically glowed. I hope you enjoy it, too.

On the art side of things, I've been doing some fabric dyeing with mixed results. My kids are home from school now, and things have slowed down a bit. I hope to get back to creating soon, but I think the big push at the end of the school year did me in a bit, and I needed to take a break. I've managed to collect a few more bottle caps, so I'm going to try to put together a tutorial on my process. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bottle Cap Pendant

This is a first for me. The photo mats got me thinking about altered art and wondering what else I could do. I decided to turn a bottle cap into a pendant and I think it came out pretty well! It turns out that the inside is just about 1" diameter, so I used a hole punch to make the background. I added a few embellishments to it and covered it with UTEE before gluing it down. It would have been easier to glue it down first and pour melted UTEE over the top, but I don't have a melting pot ... something to add to the list, I guess! I added the crystal glitter and the charm and beads. I hope to make many more of these. Let me know what you think!

Batik Tote Bag

The kids in my son's 5th grade class each made a square for this tote bag using glue as a resist to draw the flowers onto white fabric. After the glue dried, we used textile paint (watered down) and foam brushes to paint the fabric. When the paint dried, we washed the glue out of the fabric and the wonderful flowers emerged. Isn't it terrific? Such a great project to do with children. The bag is for the spanish teacher at their school, who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma. Her favorite color is orange and I know she's going to love it!!