This is something I'm doing for my own amusement, and I hope you like it, too.
For the longest time I've been thinking about all the phrases and bits of advice I've heard during my life and how they have affected me. This is one my mother said all the time. She was a very practical person and when she came up against a tough situation she felt she could do nothing about she'd say, very simply, "It is what it is." When I was younger I hated hearing that. When something bad happened, I'd think, this isn't fair, this shouldn't be happening, I don't deserve this!
But, do you know what? Now that I'm older, I can see the wisdom in those words. Don't get me wrong, if there's something wrong, unjust or evil going on, I'm all for doing everything I can to change things. But the situations in life that are just hard to take - a broken ankle, a big disappointment, a bout of illness - that's when my mom would do her best to accept what had happened, do what needed to be done, and move on. I'm working on doing the same thing.
Here Are some ATCs I've sent out in the past month. I'm especially fond of this cut paper cat, which was the simplest to make. The second and third are painted and stitched, and the fourth is painted on a paper towel (for texture), then glued to a backing.
Here are some cards I've been fortunate enough to receive! The first two are from my friend
Janice. I just love the detail of the 'wings to fly' card which is both intricate and elegant. The 'journey' card has a clever pull-out tab which is whimsical and fun. This next card is from Karen. She has used real birchbark (from downed branches)and some stitching to create a very simple and elegant card. And, finally, from Terri, a cheerful and beautifully finished piece of art which is full of texture, color and whimsy! My ATC collection is small. but I love each and every card!
This morning, while my laundry was drying, I set up shop on top of the washing machine and did some fabric painting. With protective plastic in place and my Setacolor fabric paints at the ready, I got lost in painting for about two hours.
I've been wanting to do a vase of flowers in applique, so I let the paint flow in loose flowery shapes. I didn't worry too much about definition, since I knew I would cut them out later and define the shapes with stitching.
I tried two approaches, first painting on fabric which I had previously painted and heat set. This gave me richer colors since these are transparent paints which get deeper with each layer of paint. I did this also with a prepainted green fabric to achieve leaves in richer greens.
The second approach was to paint on white fabric with clear colors to achieve a bright, springy look. I love how fresh the colors are!
I can't tell you how relaxing it is for me to paint fabric, especially when I don't have any time constraints. I plan to use these fabrics in some applique pictures in the next few days.
Well, I have finally completed my woodland scene! It ended up being more complex than I had first intended - sometimes a picture takes on a life of its own!
I had started out with a geometric background and meant to keep it simple, but as I applied the trees and foliage, it became more realistic looking, and I added more and more. The forest floor looked a bit bright, so I used pastels to add shadows, rubbing them into the fabric. This will never be washed, so I'm not concerned about their rubbing off.
I stitched over the whole surface, which added texture and motion. In times past, I used to carefully satin stitch around the edge of every detail in an applique picture, but I'm getting looser and just using a meandering straight stitch, sometimes outlining, sometimes not.
I think it's only fair to post once again this piece I had shared a couple of Februarys ago. It's called 'Flakey February', not only for the snowflakes, but also for the randomness of February weather here in New England. Yesterday was such a day - light snow, winds, rain and ice!
I think having Valentines Day in the middle of February is a brilliant idea. This is the month when I tend to drag - the snow and ice are getting to me, it's cold, and I'm feeling pretty sluggish. Therefore, having a holiday that's all about love, with hearts and flowers and lace and poems is a nice lift, especially when I can ignore all the commercialism that seems to attach itself to every holiday and make something decorative!!
I was inspired to make puffy hearts by my friend Andrea, who made a beautiful collection which now enhances a local gift shop. I decided to make my hearts into a wreath for my front door.
I cut out a ring from mat board, then covered it with purple fabric. I took the puffy hearts I had made, with pinking sheared edges, and hot glue gunned them to the wreath. Amazingly, I had the perfect purple ribbon in my stash, as well as the mat board and fabric, so it was a thrifty project and took only one day.
There's something so satisfying about finishing a project.... now to wrap up that landscape I've been working on!