"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, January 24, 2008

January's Read

One of my goals this year was to read a book each month. I chose this book for January. It was an easy read, and I enjoyed the book. It is about a group of 4 friends who happen to find a pair of jeans at a thrift shop that they each fit into. This is their first summer apart, and they send the pants to each other throughout. I found myself thinking I would enjoy the book more if the girls were a little older. They are 15 and some of their experiences seemed a little beyond their years. I wondered if I was just being old and prudish. I tried to imagine how I would have felt if I were 15 (probably would have worshipped them!) The day after I finished the book, I saw a friend who happens to have a daughter that age ... and could not imagine her in some of those situations. So, that's my little review. But still a fun book. I was surprised to know that there are 3 more summers worth of books in this (now) series - so if I want to see what mischief they get into as they grow up (or if I get behind and need an easy read!), I'll know where to go.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sneak Peek!

Can't tell you yet what it is, or who it's for, but here's a detail shot. The blue background is my paper towel technique (for the pendants), the purple is dyed paper towel with glitter embossing powder melted on it. Tyvek bead and yes, a bit of a bottlecap peeking through. Once it's in its owner's hands, I'll spill the beans!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Greetings and some Hand Dyes

Rosi wanted to say HI! She's 10 weeks now, and 15 lbs. We're still thinking she'll top out around 50 lbs. She's such a treat! Loves to fetch and will bring it right back to you, and has already learned some basic commands. We're working on the leash thing. She's quite happy to plod along next to you, that is until she decides she wants to STOP. We're really enjoying her, can you tell?

I am taking the class "Quilter's Palette" with Marjie McWilliams, through Quilt University. The goal of the class is to learn to dye colors that quilters might use in landscape or portrait quilts. What I like is that she only uses the 3 primaries and black (and fuscia once in a while) to get a whole myriad of colors. Here are my week one results - and I am 7 beautiful fat quarters richer!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Never Say Never

One absolute truth in the art world is that sometimes things just don't go as planned. I have some books up upholstery samples and several months ago I decided to use some to make a journal cover. I took all the blues and tans and cut them up, and then raw-edge stitched them to a foundation. This was my result. Not only do I find it unappealing, but it was TOO SMALL! I have made so many journal covers, using my own pattern, and I have no idea how I messed this one up.

So, I toyed with tossing the whole thing in the garbage bin - but that wouldn't be very responsible of me, sort of goes against the whole purpose of recycling, so it sat, and sat, and sat in my studio. Last week I decided to do something with it. I began by cutting off the flaps that made it fit a journal, so that I had just one flat piece to work with. I took some Gesso and loosely covered the whole thing - allowing some of the colors and the textures to show through.

Then I took my fluid acrylics, watered them down, and painted the whole piece. I used my blue and yellow, letting them combine where they wished. Then I took red and loosely brushed all the raw edges. I used paint to stamp swirls and stars, and embossing powder for the suns. Suddenly it's a fun piece! I cut two 4x6 rectangles which I will make into postcards. The remaining, larger piece, I plan to continue to develop and eventually frame.

You'll have to stay tuned if you want to see the final results. I'm hopeful that next week will see the completion of many of these WIPs. Lesson learned, though, never give up on your art!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Take It Further - January Challenge

I am participating in Sharon B's "Take It Further" Challenge this year. I think I might have mentioned it before. On the first of each month, Sharon will issue a challenge. Actually, she will issue two ... one being an idea or possibly a technique, and the other being a color scheme. Those participating get to choose which to complete. This month I chose the color scheme, which I found very pleasing and is picuted here:

I decided to create a paper collage, roughly 5"x7" in size. I began by gathering papers in the assigned colors. I also gathered some paints. Here is where I started:

And here is where I ended up! I'm really quite pleased with the result. Collage is still a "new" medium for me to work in. I painted, stamped, and embellished many of the papers. The quote in the center reads, " 'Hope' is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all." ~ Emily Dickinson. I would be happy to get feedback on this piece, so let me know what you think!

Note: I have just learned that this collage was accepted for Virginia Spiegel's "Collage Mania" Fiber Art for a Cause to support the American Cancer Society. It will be available for sale through her site, May 5th and 6th. I'm so pleased!

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's My Birthday!

Well, it's tomorrow, actually. Isn't this a wonderful postcard? I received it from Norma S. from the Fiber Art Traders group. I just love it. I won't be on the computer this weekend ~ taking a break ~ catch you next week with some new artwork!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gold and Gray Continued

Here's an update on my progress on this piece. I decided it was time to add batting and quilt it. I like my swirls that I had stitched on previously, so I just echoed those. I painted some dryer sheets and cut out gingko leaf shapes and stitched those down as well. I wasn't really planning for this to be a gingko piece, but it has become that. I feel that it's getting close to done. I need to bind it, and I would like to add some embellishments - maybe beads or buttons, I'm not sure yet. The second photo is a detail shot.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Distressed Alphabet Sampler

My apologies to those of you who got used to checking in on me every day! I have to admit I've enjoyed this little break. I haven't accomplished much, but I did do a little more work on my gold and gray piece. I'll share the results as soon as I can get a decent picture. With the computer trouble I had last month, my photo software is not right, and I can't seem to load any photos that I've cropped or otherwise corrected. Not sure when it will get fixed, either. Sigh.

If you remember the pile of "J"s that I posted a while back - here is the alphabet set I got in return. Isn't it cool? I've got to figure out a good way to mount these. I am missing L and U, and I have two Ps (the L person made P by mistake, the U person just flaked I guess), so I've got to make those, but I really love how they look all together and the collective impact a group of 25 diverse artists can have.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Happy New Year! I love January - it's my birthday month, and a time for fresh starts. Too bad it's so cold. Maybe I should head down-under for my birthday each year! Wouldn't that be nice!

Drumroll .... I kept track of the comments as they came in during the month of December. Today I had my kids each pick a number between 1 and 72 (the number of comments I received), and I also had my daughter's friend who spent the night pick a number ... so we have 3 winners and the winners are:

#48 - Joanna (12/22 comment)
#10 - Vicky (12/4 comment)
#3 - Karen (12/2 comment)

I will be in touch with you - if you don't hear from me, please leave me a comment with your email address so I can send you something!

My month of blogging was fun, and would have been better if I wasn't wrestling with the computer so much. I really appreciate all my friends - both local and cyber - who visit me here regularly. You are the best!!!