Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Here are Janice's and my ATCs for the month of December. Mine is a simple little Noel angel made from paper and hand decorated with gold pen. Janice has made a beautifully stamped and gilded card. You can see her whole series of beautiful advent cards on her blog.

Here's wishing everyone who reads my blog a very
happy holiday season!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just in Time!

My mom was an avid needleworker. She did beautiful crochet, needlepoint, knitting, embroidery and wool rug hooking. No wonder I love handwork and textiles! I can close my eyes and picture her fingers flying as she worked on a baby blanket, an embroidered tablecloth or an intricate knitting project.
When we cleared out my parents' apartment after their deaths, I took home a plastic bin containing her needlework supplies. Among the yarn, needles and embroidery hoops, I found  this unfinished scarf, still on the needles, neatly folded, along with the hand written directions.
Since I haven't knitted in about 40 years, I asked my talented friend SooKhim to finish the scarf for me. She graciously finished it, blocked it and delivered it to me just in time for the frigid weather we're now experiencing! I think my mom would love that the scarf is finished and I can feel her warmth and love wrapped around me when I wear it.
Thank so much, SooKhim!! 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A New Book!

This week I received in the mail this wonderful book which I had ordered from my friend, artist Terri Stegmiller.
The book is full of ideas, tools, techniques and examples of how to go about creating unique works of art using paper in various forms. Included are instructions and some patterns, along with examples of work by several artists. 
Along with it, Terri sent a beautiful handmade ATC, pictured in the lower left of this photo. I can't wait to try some of the techniques in the book!
Visit Terri's blog where you can find more information about her work and her book.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mini Abstract

My friend Janice sent me this ATC for November.
She had asked me if she might use my abstract design and I agreed, but nothing prepared me for this mini replica of my picture, done in green tones rather than brown. I absolutely love it, Janice, and, as I told you, I actually like your colors better than my own!!
My own ATCs for November and December have gone off in the mail to Janice, and I forgot to scan or take pictures of them!! Oh well, too much going on these days - hard to keep track of everything!!

A Surprise Package

Recently I received this amazing surprise package from my friend Beverly of Teatime and Roses. In it were handmade gift tags, tissue paper, gift bags, candy, a Santa ornament and four packages of lovely printed papers! I cannot wait to use those papers for some cut paper artwork, and the Christmas goodies will definitely be used on holiday gifts! Beverly's blog is a warm, elegant place to visit - a reflection of her gracious personality.
Thank you so much, Beverly!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Painted Fabrics!

Here are more fabrics from my burst of energy last week! One thing I found out about myself is that I definitely gravitate toward certain colors, especially greens, oranges and reds. These are the colors I reach for over and over again!

On these fabrics I used sponging, stamping and layering, as well as dry brush strokes here and there. Although I found stamping with paint a bit tedious, the whole painting process was very freeing and something I want to do more of.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fabric Painting

Last week I spent parts of several days painting fabric with Setacolor paint. On some fabrics I experimented  with foam stamps to create patterns. On others I just enjoyed painting and blending color right on the wet fabric. And I also played with painting with different colors, then sprinkling the wet fabric with coarse salt to draw the colors into patterns. I came up with a nice pile of small pieces of original fabrics which I plan to work into some abstract appliques.
Something new for me - very enjoyable!!

I actually find it very interesting to use commercial fabrics in my work, but I think a bit of hand painted fabric will add an extra special touch. We'll see...!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Whimsical Me!

I really love the whimsical, funny and elegant drawings of Claire Mojher. So, for my birthday recently, I thought it would be fun to order from her a portrait of myself! She asked me questions about my favorite things and animals and I told her about my obsession with scissors, my mom's Christmas cactus, my cat and other details about me. I was tickled by the result! 
I'm thinking of having pictures of my husband and daughter done, and framing them all together.

I visit Claire's blog often and I'm always charmed by her originality and sense of fantasy. Pay her a visit and see what I mean!     

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Greetings to All!

                                                 wool hooked rug made by my mom
Wishing everyone who reads my blog a warm and wonderful, old-fashioned Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Abstract Applique

Just finished up this abstract applique. I've been playing around with shapes and textures, stitching and beading, and it's fun to experiment!

I have another abstract in the works, but after that I'll be moving on to some work with wool and then, more faces in paper and fabric. This is a lark to see my efforts on the internet, receive comments from other artists and to keep the whole artistic process going. 

I feel blessed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kids' Craft Class

I seem to have taken an unplanned break from my blog!! 
I've been busy preparing for a kids' craft class at a local gift shop, Silver Clay, here in Wakefield, Massachusetts. We'll be decorating tote bags with painting, stamping and embellishment.
Should be fun!! These are the samples on display in the shop.
As for my own work, I seem to be a bit stalled, but working on a couple of abstract pieces and my November ATC. To those who read my blog, my apologies for the scarcity of new posts recently. I'm planning a giveaway in December, so stay tuned!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

ATC Swap

Here are the ATCs exchanged in October between my friend Janice and me. I was late with mine, which is why I'm showing them so late!

In her Autumn-themed card, Janice used stamping, hand coloring, stitching and handwriting to express her message. I love the quote by Albert Camus and the combination of colored and uncolored leaves.

In mine, I used fused fabric flowers and leaves and handstitched beads in the center of the flower.

I have another collage in the works which should be done soon!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rainy Day

A rainy day in New England. 
My cat watering can is keeping watch on the porch, which is unheated, but which I go to often for its natural light and peaceful setting. Today I'll be visiting my sister, who is an hour away from here. With tutoring and various appointments, it's been a busy week, punctuated by the amazing results of Tuesday's election. 
I hope to get creative tomorrow - I'm feeling that need to make something!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Home from Houston!!!

Just returned from voting and found it interesting that the only sign-bearers across from my voting place were these. Then I realized that it was early afternoon and there will probably be many more out there later as polls become crowded with after-work voters. Like many, I felt a great sense of responsibility as I voted and even said a silent prayer as I cast my ballot, wishing in my heart that this election will somehow bring a sense of hope to our country.
I returned home from Houston Sunday night, my head reeling with images and impressions from the wonderful International quilt festival I had attended. I have a visual journal in which I make almost daily paper collages, and in it I attached mementos and clippings from the week, knowing that I will savor these memories for years to come. Aside from the amazing quilts and the abundance of vendors, I had the great pleasure of meeting up and having dinner with blogging friends Sue Bleiweiss, Terri Stegmiller and new friend Nathalie G. from Belgium. This was a wonderful experience which I truly enjoyed.
Terri presented me with this lovely piece of art work - one of her beautiful hand-painted faces collaged and stitched with a combination of paper and fabric. I really love it and plan to frame it for my studio.
I purchased this adorable little wallhanging, made by Marla Ferguson of Palisade, Colorado for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. It is called "Fancy Pants" and is dedicated to Marla's husband's family who have bravely dealt with Alzheimer's in a loved one. The profits from the sale of this and many other donated art quilts are used to fund Alzheimer's research. The AAQI was founded by Ami Simms to raise awareness and fund research. For more information, you can visit
After being away for a week, I was amazed at the subtle changes which have taken place: the brilliant foliage colors have dimmed, trees are becoming bare, but my Mom's little Christmas cactus has burst out in blooms. It's good to be home.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Little Break

I'm off to Houston and won't have my computer with me, so I'll catch up with everyone's blogs in a week. I'll take some pictures at the quilt show and hope to share some of my favorites when I get back.
Have a great week!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Applique Collage #2

Here is my second applique abstract collage this week! If these abstracts seem like a departure from my usual style, I should tell you that this one and a few others have been sitting around in my studio for at least a year, waiting to be stitched and finished. Although I usually tend to work in a realistic style, I've always had the desire to experiment with abstract!  In fact, I started the year off by laying out an abstract hanging which you can see here. I never did finish it, but should try to do so at least before the end of 2008!!
I'm also interested in doing some tiny ones (I love tiny!) to make into necklace pendants! It's on my "list" of ideas! Don't we all have one?
Anyway, I added some beads to this piece and had fun making it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Applique Collage

Here is an abstract applique collage I just finished. I used commercial fabrics and some textured threads. Each element is sewn down with a zig zag stitch and I added some metallic elements I found in my "collage" box. I'm working on a few abstracts and hope to finish at least one more before next week.

That brings me to some exciting news! 
Next week I'm going to the International Quilt Festival in Houston with a group of friends!!
I'm so excited - it should be wonderful! I'm looking for inspiration and new techniques, and fabrics and embellishments at the huge vendors mall!
What a fun trip to look forward to and I'll have plenty to blog about when I get back!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Great Weekend

                                                    Bill, Kate, me, Janice and Lorna

What a weekend!
My daughter Kate home for a visit...
Spending time with her and my husband Bill...
Getting together with family and friends....
And leaping into a new decade!!!
Happy Birthday to me...
I'm 60!!!

(It didn't even hurt!!!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Breast Cancer and Me

Thirteen years ago I had breast cancer. 
I had just moved to a different state with my family and was a little behind in finding new doctors and setting up appointments. When I finally went in for a yearly physical, the doctor noticed a lump in my breast. Try as I might, I couldn't feel it, and later, even the surgeon couldn't feel it. But a mammogram did show a mass, so I had a biopsy. When it turned out to be cancer, a lumpectomy followed, then chemotherapy and radiation. I was 47 years old. (Do the math, I'll be 60 next week!) It was stage 1 breast cancer and no lymph nodes were involved. Thank God, I've been fine since then. 
So why am I writing about this on my art blog?
If you've stopped by and read this and are putting off a doctor's appointment or mammogram, please think of me. If my cancer had not been detected so early, I might not be here today. It was a crisis, it was a hard year, but I survived.
I'm so fortunate. 
Please take care of yourself, and be proactive.
Life is precious.


Monday, October 6, 2008

ATC Swap

Here are the ATCs Janice and I swapped for September. Janice has combined stamping and many textures to create what I interpret as a transition from summer to autumn. My card is pretty simple - just a tissue collage of an early autumn scene.
We've already agreed to continue our swap next year! I love receiving Janice's little masterpieces in the mail each month!

For the rest of October I've decided to have an abstract theme - just color, texture, prints -  in fabric. I have so many little pieces of fabric I think it would be nice to make some small collages and mat them. We'll see what I come up with!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall Swap

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently participated in a Fall Swap and my partner, Shanan, made me a beautiful fabric throw. As part of the package I sent to her, I included this cut paper picture of her three boys. I drew the images from photos on her family blog, placing the figures in an Autumn setting. The materials used were scrapbook paper, cardstock, stickers and markers. I was so glad to hear that Shanan liked it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lucky Me!

Hello all! I have several things to catch up on!
To start with, this award was given to me recently by my good friend KJ. I could definitely say the same thing about her blog, Eye-Dyllic! Really, I have several blogs I look to every day for inspiration, humor, and just to see what my online friends are up to!! This blogging community has become a part of my life, and writing a blog is something I truly enjoy!

One blog I look at nearly every day is that of talented fiber artist Sue Bleiweiss . After commenting back and forth on our blogs, and discovering that we live only about 45 minutes away from each other, we met for lunch recently. It was great to see actual samples of each others' work, and Sue completely floored me by giving me this beautiful hand crafted journal!
She treated it casually, but it's something I really appreciate and treasure.

Another gift that arrived by mail recently was a tin of Cranberry Autumn tea, sent to me by KJ! It is truly delicious!! Thank you again, KJ! I have photographed it with a china tea cup with a cover which my husband brought back to me from one of his trips to Hong Kong. Behind it is the bag the tea cup came in!

And finally, I participated in a Fall Swap hosted by Lori at Morning Glories and Moonflowers, and received a beautiful package from my swap partner Shanan at Sizzle and Sparkle. In it were some lovely Yankee Candles in yummy Autumn scents, a crossword puzzle book (how did you know, Shanan?) this beautiful handmade card AND a handmade blanket in a soft floral, lined with a very soft heart-strewn snuggly fabric! You really outdid yourself, Shanan! Thank you again! When I know she has received my package, I'll share what I made for Shanan. Hope she likes it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fabric Applique - Katie

My theme for September has been "Faces", and I couldn't let the month end without sharing this picture of my daughter Kate, done when she was a young teen. The piece is framed with glass, so there is a bit of glare in the photo. I think this is one of the first portraits I did in fabric  and I did it from a quick sketch. The pose brings back a lot of memories - Katie with a book in her lap and a scrunchie in her hair, daydreaming.....
Now she is a wonderful young woman and I'm so proud of her. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nature - Filled

Some days are so beautiful they really get inside of me. On a perfect day, while walking or driving through sun and shadow, catching glimpses of sunlight through leafy trees, I can honestly say, my spirits soar and I carry that feeling through the day.
We have had such a week or two here in New England and, except for cooler temperatures, there is barely a hint of Autumn. Today it is raining hard, but making this picture reminds me of the blissful feeling I have had on a many a beautiful day.
I am entering this picture, which is done in cut paper and colored pencils, in a challenge on a new blog called Embrace the Face. This month's theme is "Tree", and I'm anxious to see what others have come up with!! 

Monday, September 22, 2008

May I Introduce to you...

                                          Cut and Layered Paper Girl by Claire Mojher
I came across a wonderful artist while searching for blogs about paper cutting. Her name is Claire Mojher and her blog is here.  You'll first come across 2 portraits called 'Phil and Melanie'. When you read Claire's description of her process, you'll find some humorous details within the portraits, which, I think, are done with marvelous flair and attitude.  Scroll down to her August 27 post and you will see a gallery of some of her previous work, including her charming layered paper girls.
I'm a big fan of her work! So, do pay her a visit, leave a comment and enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fabric Applique - Mother Love

Here is a fabric picture I did a few years ago. It is fabric applique edged in machine satin stitch. During that time period, I would never let a raw edge of fabric show in my work! Now many fabric artists work entirely in raw edge applique, and I often do, too.

For those who saw or commented on my last post, I reshot the photo and I think it looks a lot better now!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Paper Cutting - Sunday Best

I've decided to work with "themes" for a while on my blog. Just another way to motivate myself!! For the rest of September, my theme will be "Faces" - something I love to do, and I have many ideas floating around in my head on this subject!!
This little girl is dressed in her Sunday best. She is just a little ATC and she is made with fabric, paper, and marker.
The fabric part is her hair, some random bit of shiny fabric I had, and it was tough to photograph!! Although not that shiny, it produced a terrific glare with the flash! I'm hoping to scan things like this in the near future when I get my scanner working properly. The rest is paper, including the lacy collar and cuffs.  

Friday, September 12, 2008

ATC Swap - "Friends"

I feel like I haven't posted in ages! Busy times!!

My friend Janice sent me the terrific ATC on the left just recently. It is a photo of the front door of her house on Cape Cod, where I visited her last month. The flowers are hand colored replicas of the gorgeous hydrangeas which grow there.

Janice is a real beach comber and collects beautiful stones which fill baskets around her home, including the one here on her steps! She has just started a blog in which she writes about her life on the Cape and her ambitious walk along the Cape Cod National Seashore. She also is an avid creator of ATCs and makes one nearly every day! You can find Janice's blog here.

My August ATC for Janice speaks to her love of birds. Sitting on her front porch, she gets lost in watching a great variety of birds which come and visit her various bird feeders and bird bath. Beside her is a guide and the arrival of a never-before-seen bird is cause for great excitement!

It's already getting close to the middle of September and soon it will be time to exchange cards again!  

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Snip, Snip!

Here is a young lady, created from cut paper, which I made this summer for a card I sent to Ellia from greenbeanbaby art. I mounted the artwork in a  cardstock mat and glued it onto a premade blank card. The picture is a bit blurry, and I apologize for that.

 School has opened and I'm back to tutoring! It looks like a busy Fall and  I'm trying to decide which new projects I want to pursue! I've grown very fond of working with paper lately, but also want to do some collaging with fabric. I'm hoping to come up with a plan for the rest of the year and have some fun with it! 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wool Applique, Completed

Today I added some needlefelted flowers, and some shading to this piece and I think it looks better. I did find that working with wool was difficult because of the bulkiness of the fabric. The next time I do this , I'll lay the pieces flat and outline each section with a blanket stitch.
I probably could take the felted flowers further, but I didn't want to overdo it.

Like many others, I'm thinking today about the people who are in the path of Hurricane Gustav, and adding my thoughts and prayers for their safety and well being. 

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wool Applique

A while back I made this needle turned wool applique picture. At the time, I was trying to show how the same design would look done in different types of fabrics - one in wool, the other in cotton fabrics. Recently I pulled this one out and realized that I had never been happy with the all-solid fabric look of it. SO, I've been working on needle felting some details into the piece. I hope to finish the new and improved version soon, and you can help me decide which way it looks best!

Monday, August 25, 2008

In Her Honor

My mom, who died last summer, was very active in local volunteer work. She gave many years of service to her local hospital, helping patients with their menus, working in the office, and offering many other types of help. 
Mom also belonged to a women's community group which works to raise money for local charities and scholarships for high school students. She worked every week at the group's thrift shop, making many friends along the way with her great sense of humor.
Today, this group dedicated a beautiful bench at the entrance of the town's senior center to my mom. The bench is situated in front of a gorgeous flower garden. It was such a lovely tribute to her, and my heart just swelled with love and pride. 
When she was in her 80's, Mom spent many hours crocheting squares which later would be sewn together as lap afghans for nursing homes. I got a kick out of it when she would say, "These are for the OLD people!"

Love you, Mom.