Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ready for Their Close-Ups!

Like so many people, I'm bustling around preparing for Christmas. But I thought I'd
 take a moment to share close-up photos of some of the pictures I did 
for a recent exhibit.

Fused fabric, French knots, favorite colors of mine...

Fused fabrics, beading and French knots...

Fused fabrics, hand embroidery and beading...

Fused fabrics and beading...

More fused fabrics and hand embroidery!

These pictures are very small - most are about 5 inches wide.
I was looking for a way to allow them to stand up on a shelf, without 
using an easel, so I decided to experiment with some of the clear plastic
frameless frames I had around the house. 
I made the picture, mounted on black felt, a bit larger than the frame,
then stitched a second piece of felt to the back, leaving the bottom unstitched.
It formed a pocket to slip over the whole frame, leaving only the 
plastic stand showing!

Here are a few in a little grouping on my kitchen counter!
Just a little pop of color!

Thanks for visiting!
Hope you are enjoying the season and are not too stressed!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hello Again!

I feel like I've been largely absent from the blogging world lately, which is a shame. I've made such good friends here and I don't want to lose all of you! Recently I've been preparing for an exhibit which took place last weekend. When I'm engrossed in creating new work I tend to isolate myself and become super-focused, to the point where laundry and grocery shopping, blogging and emailing take second place in my mind. I really need to find a balance!

I decided to try something different for this show, which was put on by our Arts Collaborative. I made some small pieces that stand alone on their own little easels. There is a lot of detail in each of these, and I like the way they provide a little pop of color on a shelf or ledge and brighten up a dark corner.

You can see how small they are in this photo of my exhibit space. I really do love small things!

Here is one picture which sold, with french knot foliage and fused fabric details. The vase of flowers above is tiny, and I'm glad it didn't sell, because it makes me smile when I see it on a ledge in my kitchen.  I'll share more close-ups of other pieces in future posts.

Now that the show is over, I'm back to getting ready for Christmas and the Holidays, which are coming up soon. I'll be coming over to check out your blogs. Hope everyone is doing well!! Take care...


Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Work

Is anyone finding, as I am, that November is slipping by very quickly? Where do the days go? I'm doing some new work, but here are a few more photos of the pieces I completed recently for an artisan show.

My photos are not great - sorry! This picture is mounted on white linen and 
is made with fabric, hand embroidery, beading, trims and machine stitching.

This little tree sold quickly. I used similar materials on it, 
with the addition of painted green lace in the foreground.

This piece has a lot of machine stitching and hand painted fabric for the sky.
It was framed with a black frame and also sold.

I love purple and this is my favorite piece from this group.
Terrible photo! I must make a little photo booth - I've seen some on Pinterset!

I'm working out a simpler method of mounting pictures and I'll share it with
you soon. Meanwhile, here's a photo of me at that last show. You can see here that 
the linen borders were very crisp, and outlined with black chenille yarn.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend and not too stressed out preparing for
Thanksgiving next week. We are keeping ours simple this year!

A friend of mine passed away this year - very suddenly - 
and I always loved the way he ended his Facebook posts. In memory of 
Joe Donovan, a very sweet guy, I'm going to end my blog posts the same way.

Have a good week.


Monday, November 10, 2014

My Heart's Desire

Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to be an artist. It truly was my heart's desire and I wasted many years thinking it could never be so. Recently, while talking with an artist friend, I was telling her about the intense time I had just gone through,making fiber art pictures for a show I was about to be part of. For several weeks I had immersed myself in making art and it was exhilarating. The show was wonderful, I sold some pictures, and it felt good to have accomplished a goal. 
As I spoke with my friend, I had one of those "aha!" moments we all have now and then. It dawned on me that this art-making, this drawing, this designing, this sewing, this creating is my passion. I knew that I loved it, but I suddenly realized what a gift it is to have such an avid interest that brings so much pleasure, right at my fingertips. So that must mean, I am after all, an artist. Aha!!

This is one of the pieces I had in the show. It has a wet felted and needle felted background.

I used needle felting and hand embroidery, plus a few beads, for embellishment.

I then sewed it on to white linen, edged the picture with some yarn trim,

and stretched it over a piece of mat board and backed it with felt.

I have a few more pictures from the exhibit to share later. Meanwhile, 
thanks for being patient with my long absences from this blog, and thank you for stopping by!

Have a wonderful week! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Embroidery Class

 I'm still working away on pieces for the artisan show I'll be part of next weekend, but for now I wanted to show some photos of the "Drawing With Stitches" class I'm taking right now.  We've learned a few hand embroidery stitches and each person is working on a project of her choice. This blackwork piece is being done by our instructor, Amy Ropple, freehand, with no pattern. Beautiful!

Two people, AnnMarie and Amy, are making designs using only French knots.

Barbara is working on a Celtic knot design with beautifully 
muted colors and intricate stitches.

Rosalie is embroidering an apple on black felt - this is an early photo.

There are two other members of the class, SooKhim and Barbara,
 but I didn't get good photos of their work - hopefully I'll get more soon.

I'm working on an embroidery of a little drawing I did - of course I had to add a cat!

Cairo, our instructor's parrot, visited the class and
I was lucky enough to have a visit with him! He sat on my hand for several minutes!

As always, we have a lot of laughs in our classes and I feel
fortunate to be part of them!

Hope you've had a great week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Landscapes in Process

Today was a full day of designing, preparing and sewing landscapes.
 I feel like I have a handle on the pieces I'll be offering
 in the local show on November 1.

I have many of the pieces pinned up on some foam core on the mantle
 in our living room. I'm preparing white linen borders for all of them. 
Hopefully my system will work and I can get them mounted
 assembly line style. And, of course, I need to add more details
(such as leaves) to some of the pictures. 

Time to quit for the day, make dinner and rest my eyes!

Hope you've had a very good day!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Isolation by Choice

This was me yesterday, working on landscapes on the porch,
grateful for sliding doors to keep curious critters out.
The sign was for my husband, although I'm pretty sure my
cats can read. They are very gifted!

Hope you're having a wonderful day!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Felting Away

Yesterday I got in a groove and worked on some needle felting.
I had already wet felted a base of sky, clouds and grass, which I then
placed on white wool and needle felted everything together, adding shading and details.

The felting gives such a dreamy effect and now I have to figure out
how to present it for the show. Frame? Glass? Wall Hanging?
To be determined!

This second piece (photo taken on a sunny surface) is one I've
been tinkering with for a while. The background and trees are fabric,
the foreground is felt. I have to figure out whether I like it today, or else 
let it go and move on to something else. As usual, a deadline is spurring me on 
to be very productive. Show is November 1 and I have much to do!
Fortunately, I'm in "the zone" and love doing it!

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Friday, October 3, 2014


Just a little sketch today!

This is Betty. 
She remembers with great fondness her great-grandmother's home
and tries to recreate the same feeling in her own surroundings.
She shops at vintage stores and flea markets
for glasswear and linens and aprons and knick-nacks.
Her house is cheery, bright and homey,
with a place for everything and everything in its place.
She loves to hang laundry on a clothesline and smell
the sunshine on her sheets at night.
She bakes for her husband and children
and neighbors, and enjoys every aspect of being a homemaker.
Betty is truly an old-fashioned girl
and she would make her great-grandmother proud.
She knows that what she does isn't for everyone,
but she is happy being who she is.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Little Trees

First of all, many thanks to everyone for your good wishes after my recent fall.
Bruises are healing and I'm feeling a bit better every day.
Today I felt like I really needed to stay put, so I set about cutting some
little trees for my landscapes. I think I could describe my style in making fabric
art as a discovery expedition. By this I mean that I look at variegated fabric, especially
batiks, and find the areas that 'speak to me'. No, I'm not a fabric psychic, but I do look
 for passages in the design that remind me of nature and elements I want to depict.
When I cut out trees and other things, the fabric has already been backed 
with Wonder Under, which makes for a nice crisp cut.
These pieces are just tossed on a background of hand painted sky fabric.

More cut-outs...

and here is a hand embroidered tree which I tried recently.
This technique should work well with soft grounds like wool felting.

Finally, I feel like I'm making progress on my landscape-making journey!!

Hope you're having a good week!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Felting, and a Fall

Recently I did some wet felting, making pieces of felt to add to my landscapes.
First I pulled apart short lengths of roving and arranged
them in criss-cross layers - like making lasagna!

I added some streaks of other colors,

 soapy water and a piece of netting, 

then mashed and kneaded and rolled the roving, rinsed it in water,
let it dry and came out with a nice thick piece of felt. To this I can add more color
with needle felting and tear it apart as accents for a couple of landscapes. I just love 
the irregular edges, which I'll put to good use!

My other piece of news is that I fell this past week, tripping as I walked along
on a cement sidewalk, landing with a resounding thud of head against cement.
This is a "nice" selfie taken after a 4 hour stay in a hospital emergency room, with 
CT scans and an Xray of my wrist. No broken bones, thank goodness.

The following days brought 2 black eyes and much bruising as things developed. I won't share those pictures with you. I feel fortunate to have come out of this with not-too-serious injuries. I'm keeping a low profile and working on my artwork for the show I'll be part of, which is now a month away. I hope to share some finished work with you soon.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hello, friends

 I'm sorry I've fallen off the blogging grid lately... 
I've had a head full of distractions and things to deal with,
but I never want to lose my connection with my blogging friends,
nor my creativity!

Here's a little self portrait in felt with my furry friends.
I had made it a while back, but revised it recently.
Don't we look like muppets?

Hope you're having a wonderful September!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Feeling Creative

I always say there's nothing like a deadline to stir up creativity, and I'm scheduled to participate in  two shows this Fall, which is right around the corner! If you talked to me yesterday, you would have heard how anxious I was about this, but I feel much better today, having broken through the creative block I had been dealing with.

This morning, I spread out my materials - my hand painted fabrics, roving, etc. - and propped up a piece of foam board with the beginnings of some landscapes pinned to it.

I worked on the two top landscapes simultaneously, concentrating first on the lower one. I do love purple and green together, so this one had me excited. I audition many fabrics as I go along and lightly tack the pieces to some white flannel, which I use as the base for my landscapes. So, I started with this...

and proceeded to this point...

Here's a higher contrast photo, where you can see that I draped the dark green sheer fabric in the foreground and ironed it down, but not entirely flat. I'm happy with this technique which I had been wanting to try. I need to mull over this now and decide where to add details with roving, threads or beads. And I need to decide where and whether to add trees, so I'll just sit with it for a few days.

The second landscape started with this orange/pink fabric I had painted some time ago. I really just wanted to experiment with it, but it seemed to come together pretty quickly (meaning, in about two hours with auditioning fabrics, etc) and I went out on a limb and added some bits of wool roving and hand dyed cheesecloth for texture, then finally, a setting sun. Or is it dawn? That will be up to the viewer!

I'm happy to have started this journey, which will be going on until November.
Thanks for reading, and hope you're having a lovely week!

Now to clean up my mess for the day!!!