Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

My mother gave me this little manger scene when I was first married.
Over the years I have thought of updating it, but each Christmas,
as I set up the sweet little figures, I think of my mom
and know that it is just perfect.

I hope that, as you read this, you are enjoying a very 
Merry Christmas,
Happy Chanukah,
or simply
the blessings of 
the winter season.

With love,
Judy xo

Monday, December 19, 2016

'Twas the Week Before Christmas...

I'm a bit behind in my preparations for Christmas, as usual, but so far, no panicking! As I dig through the remnants of materials used to make artwork for two different shows this Fall, I keep coming across old or unfinished projects. Here are a few I've found:

These two snowscapes, which need a few stitches
 and some bright red cardinals to complete them...

My hand embroidery, which is nearly finished.
I added some color and I'll add more stitches after the holidays…

And an older fabric appliqué, made with sheer fabrics and beads.

I'm so looking forward to having our daughter here for Christmas and her boyfriend
Jason arriving Monday. We'll have some good conversations, cooking and eating sessions,
lots of laughter, perhaps a movie or two, a visit to my sister, and some much needed advice 
from daughter to mother about my various electronic devices!!

Our tree is on the porch, away from the cats, until Christmas eve 
when we'll bring it in to decorate with treasured ornaments.
For now the lights are festive enough!

I hope that your week is going well, not too stressful
and filled with anticipation, as mine is!

xo Judy

Monday, December 5, 2016

Paper Angels and a Landscape

I really loved the little angels I made for a recent show.
I've always had a thing for angels and these were inspired
by some kraft paper doilies I found in my stash.

Since they were so much work, I decided to frame them instead of using them for cards,
and, since they did not sell, I'll use them as small Christmas gifts!

I was also pleased with the cards I made from small fused fabric landscapes.
I made the landscapes exactly the size I wanted for the cards,
had them copied at Staples on white linen paper,
then cut them to size and glued them to the front center of some
Strathmore watercolor cards I had purchased a while ago.

This one came out a bit dark, so I enhanced it with a gold pen.

If you know me at all, you know that I don't often praise my own work, 
but I felt something different coming over me this past weekend.
As I looked at my artwork, I felt a fondness for it, and a quiet
satisfaction that I am finally identifying with my own style
and it is ok.
I'm looking forward to trying some new ideas in the coming year and
I'm grateful to have this blog as a way to share them.

Thank you for stopping by.
Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Holiday Exhibit

Our show was very enjoyable this weekend and
I'm so happy it's over!!
We had gridded racks on which to hang our work,
and I brought two small folding tables to place in front
with a tablecloth over them.

I hung a quilted collage piece which I've shown here before
on the back of my display.

The building was packed with people on Saturday, 

and a bit quieter on Sunday.
I explained a bit about my work to several interested onlookers,
enjoyed chatting and laughing with other artists,
but sold only two cards, which paid the fee for my participation.
A bit disappointing, but it was such an enjoyable show!

Now to move on to preparing for Christmas!
Our daughter is coming for a visit for the holiday
and I can't wait!

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend 
and that you'll have a terrific week to come.
I plan to continue blogging regularly,
so please stop by again!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Final Piece

I've posted a photo of this piece before, but today I added some
lines of stitching to the scene, and a frame.
It is my last piece for this weekend's show.

I'll be putting my cards together tomorrow, then on to cleaning
up all the messes I've created all over the house lately!

Being in an art/craft show is a good experience - it's nice
to put your work on display, talk about it to interested people
and hopefully sell a piece or two.
But it is also a tremendous amount of work and this will be my second show this Fall.
I'm looking forward to drawing, doodling, making faces with little stories
and generally, being creative at a more leisurely pace.

Thank you for stopping by!
Hope your week has gone well!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

AEDM - Day 30!!

Here we are at the last day of Art Every Day Month!
I did pretty well, missed some days, but worked on something creative 
nearly every day. It helped that I had the deadline of an exhibit at the end.

Today I went back to my angel design, wanting to get it right.
I'm finally happy with it!

I have her on a Strathmore watercolor card and 
will make a few more cards and one to frame.
I also have another design in the works and should have one done tomorrow.

If you've followed me through the month,
Thank You!!

Hope you're having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

AEDM - Day 29, and Some Words about a Friend

I've been working steadily on cards and pictures for this coming weekend's show.
Today I worked on this little fabric landscape. Can you say French knots?

I've also been working on some printed cards as well as a few 
totally handmade cards. I'll share pictures soon. 


This week I received word that a good friend 
whom I've known for many years passed away 
after a hard battle with lung cancer.

Her name was Peggy and she was a wonderful mother who raised
two beautiful daughters by herself. She was also a dedicated teacher
and school principal who made a big impact on her students and her community.
I had lost contact with Peggy, but she sought me out a couple of years
ago and, after we reconnected, I remembered what a kind and generous 
person she was and what a wonderful sense of humor she had.
We saw each other again this summer - she went out of her way 
to see me and we had a lovely visit with her daughter and two of her grandchildren.
I'm writing this because I will miss her very much and I wish I had kept in 
touch with her over the years. I'm so glad that she found me again.

Her death reminds me not to take friendships for granted. There are so few people
we really connect with in the course of our lives, it is a shame to treat
these special relationships as anything less than the gifts they are.

I wish that I could tell her how grateful I am that she found me again.
Or maybe I just did.
I'll miss you, Peggy.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

AEDM - Day 27

Could it be day 27 of Art Every Day Month?
I'll be sad to see it end, but hope to keep up the creative energy
I've been feeling long after it is over.

Today I was hoping to make some wintery fabric landscapes
to have copied and to use on holiday cards for our sale next weekend.
I soon discovered, when I put them on my own copier,
that even white textured fabric translates to plain white,
and they were not very appealing.
I decided to just finish these up and offer them as completely 
handmade cards, at a higher price.
Frankly, it was a bit disappointing. I think I'm getting tired 
of preparing for this show and am anxious to get 
back to doing some different things.
Meanwhile, I'm close to being done, so onward and upward!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

AEDM - Day 26

A bit more progress made today -
I finished embroidering and framing my last landscape,

and framed this floral still life.

I've decided to stop at these for framed pictures. I have several more to show 
at next weekends exhibit and I'm losing patience with all the details of picture framing.

There are 4 more days of Art Every Day month
and I'm planning to have fun with them!

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Friday, November 25, 2016

AEDM - Day 25

After taking time off for Thanksgiving,
I spent this afternoon cutting mats for some fabric pictures
I'll be putting in a holiday show and sale next weekend.

I did this on my kitchen counter (just the right height!), running 
out to the porch every few minutes to check mat colors in daylight.
(The photos were taken in artificial light later in the day, so the colors are off.)
Tonight I'm finishing some hand embroidery on them and will frame them in the morning.
I have some smaller items I'm anxious to make, 
so I want to get these out of the way.

Meanwhile, I'm loving my Christmas cactus, which 
is blooming its little heart out!

Hope those who celebrated Thanksgiving had a lovely one
and that everyone enjoys a

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

AEDM - Day 20

Well, I'm going for full transparency here on my blog today.
 This afternoon I worked on the cut paper angel design I shared yesterday - 
I'm like a dog with a bone with this project!
She is now transformed into an older angel with eyeliner! ha ha!

I'm still working on her - hence the unfinished sign.
Also, although I looked in 3 stores for more of these pretty 
kraft paper doilies, none were to be found.

Now, you may wonder why I am spending so much time on this
and I'm wondering that also.
Will I use them for cards? As ornaments? As little framed pictures?
Good questions. I think I need to regroup on this project,
change those eyes, figure out the banner and call it quits!
I hope you know, as you read this, that I am
writing tongue-in-cheek,
but honestly,
some things are just meant to be "good enough"
and will never be

Hope you're having a great day! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

AEDM - Day 19

It was a beautiful Autumn day today and I spent a chunk of the afternoon out on my porch, working on a design for paper angel ornaments and cards. I enjoy doing this - I usually design whatever I make and don't work from patterns, but it can be tedious.

No matter how carefully I plan, it's not until I finish the first prototype that I know how well the design worked. In this case, the first angel was not quite what I expected, and I can see some things I'll want to change. I won't say what they are, aside from the messiness of her collar, but I hope to share the new and improved Angie Angel in my next post!!

Hope you're having a nice weekend!

Thanks for visiting!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

AEDM - Day 17

Today I went to my stitching group - wonderful friends who are working on all sorts of hand-stitched projects. I brought along this wool appliqué wall hanging which I had cut down and want to make into a pillow. I ripped out some border stitching to try to get as much width as possible.

I'll decide tomorrow whether it is really worth being used as a pillow. It is all hand stitched and would be something a bit different at my holiday fair table. I should probably keep it simple and just go for it!
I also fiddled with my paper lace angel design from two days ago. She will show up here again in the next few days!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

AEDM - Day 16

Today was a running around kind of day, but I stole a few minutes to finish my first entry in a new art journal. I always need a bit of cuteness or humor when I do a journal - otherwise it gets boring for me.

Not a great photo, since I took it late in the afternoon by lamplight. 

Here's an image I can't get out of my head...
Last night we had heavy rain and I had to drive my husband home from a medical appointment, along a  route I'm not familiar with driving at night. Between the darkness and the downpour, I felt like Mr. Magoo, hunched over the steering wheel, trying to see the lines in the road. We laughed afterward, especially me, at myself! I was so intense - I'll have to do a cartoon of this sometime!

Hope your day has been a good one!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

AEDM Day 15

Are we really halfway through November? Time seems to be flying by lately and I'm trying to get my house clean for the holidays. Unfortunately, I have a holiday sale coming up, so I'm trying to finish up a few things for that and I keep getting ideas for new items to make. Not such a bad thing, really!

I've been wanting to make some angels and I came across these little brown cardstock doilies I had purchased a while ago - light bulb moment - wings!! Then I thought, paper angels would be so much easier than stitched ones! And thus, the cleaning was forgotten and the designing begun!

Let's see - keep it simple, feet or no feet, white accents or colored, eyes open or closed, punched flowers or not, wearing a cape? etc, etc, etc… Lots of decisions, but this is what I love!
And now I'm imagining them in wool with lace wings, or gingham, or…..
Back to housework for awhile, but there will be more creating tonight!!

Hope you're having a great day!!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

AEDM Day 13

A beautiful day today!
I've been working on a little notebook
of motivational collages which I'll share later,
and also a drawing of our cats, Rosie and Angus.

These sweet kitties have always been wary around each other
and I've tried to express that in their eyes.
I plan to transfer this drawing to fabric and embroider it,
adding some color with watercolor pencils.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

AEDM Day 12

I've been taking a class in quilted collage for the last three weeks
and I'm just now finishing up this fabric landscape with some hand embroidery.

I'm planning to add some color in the foreground and some birds in the sky.
I love birds and have decided to add them to my work on a regular basis.

This tree in our backyard absolutely touches my soul at this time of year,
especially late in the day when the setting sun sets it aglow.
Our entire porch fills with golden color
and I feel like it's such a gift.

I hope that, if you're stopping by,
you are having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

AEDM Day 10

The thing I'm enjoying most about Art Every Day Month this year
is the fact that I've decided to use the month to finish up old projects
as well as to create some new ones.
This is a piece that has been hanging around my studio, unfinished,
for quite a while. 
I added embroidered details and finished it up today - a great feeling!

I was also so happy to see my Christmas cacti blooming today.
They always remind me of my mom!

Hope you are having a good week -
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

AEDM Day 9 - Breathing Space

Sending thoughts of love and healing
to all those who are struggling with reality today,
including myself.

Let's take time to regroup, find inspiration and seek hope.
We will find a way to deal with this disaster
and come back stronger.

May God bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

AEDM Day 8

Such a beautiful day here in New England. Having voted early, I was free to spend some time on the porch in the afternoon sun. With days shortened by the recent time change, I feel like I'm chasing daylight lately, the sun begins to slip away so early. The trees behind the house are glowing with autumn golds and greens and the colors shimmer outside the porch windows.

When I'm working on something, I always seem to create a mess!

I want to finish up this little floral piece and I auditioned
 some embroidery thread colors.

Then I snipped some little pieces of fabric and that's about
as far as I got today.
Now that I've chosen colors in daylight I can work on embroidering tonight.

I'm avoiding watching election returns until later,
praying that the "right" decision will be made.

Monday, November 7, 2016

AEDM Day 7

I have two things to share today...
I'm working on this fabric appliqué picture, had it taped on a porch window,
and loved how it looked against the trees in my yard! I'll reveal it tomorrow, I hope!

Also, I finished up this machine embroidered portrait,
and thought of the perfect caption for it, in view of what's going on in our country lately!

"George has voted early and does not want to hear another word about politics!"

My feelings exactly!!

Have a wonderful rest of the day!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

AEDM Day 5


She is warm and witty
and her  fiery hair is the outward manifestation
of an unexpectedly mischievous sense of humor.
She delights in surprises
and is known for leaving small gifts 
  on the doorsteps of those
who need a lift, some consolation, 
or even a tiny token of love.

Friday, November 4, 2016

AEDM Day 4

I had a short time to work on my stitched portrait today. The back shows a confusion of threads...
Tomorrow I will add some color, embroidered details and a little story. But what will I name her?

Have a good evening!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

AEDM Day 3

Still at it - so far so good!
Today I worked on 2 things, but I'll save one to show another day.
(Gotta stretch things out!)

I started another stitched portrait on the sewing machine.
This lady will be named after I complete her - I have to see how her personality develops.

I usually touch up the facial features with hand embroidery, and I'll add some color.

Just a quick post.
Thanks so much for visiting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

AEDM Day 2

For today, a small snipped and fused fabric landscape. I will use this for a card design.
Thanks for stopping by -
Hope you're enjoying a very good day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Art Every Day Month is Back!

Well, I'm doing it again - jumping into Leah Piken Kolidas' Art Every Day Month November challenge. I've done it a few times before and I wonder, what is it that  motivates me to do this at such a busy time of year. I don't know, there's an excitement to it and it gets me moving creatively. I can promise you, I will skip days, but let's see how I do!

My first piece is something I finished up yesterday - 
a stitched and painted narrative portrait of a fierce lady...

"Strong willed, stubborn, never takes no for an answer,
always generous to a fault, quick to recognize an injustice."

Thanks for visiting - hope you have a great day!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

After the Fair

The artisan fair was wonderful! It was held in the press room of our town's local paper, which provided an interesting backdrop to the pottery, jewelry, woodcrafts and other handmade items for sale. I was situated right beside the table of the Popover Lady, who usually sells her baked goods at our farmers' market. Lovely aroma, and of course I bought a few. I did well with sales, met many interesting people,  spent much of the day explaining how I create my work and enjoyed the reactions of passersby who thought they were looking at paintings, only to find they were fabric art! I'm happy that I made cards as they sold well. All in all, a great day!

I'm happy to have it behind me, but there is another show coming up at the beginning of December, so I'll be finishing up a few pieces to replace the ones I sold. 

Thanks for reading
and here's to a wonderful week!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Artisan Show on an Autumn Day

It is a beautiful day here in New England, 
and I am off to the artisan show I have been preparing for!
Pictures are framed,
some free cut cards are prepared,
I have had my personal cards printed up
and I am ready for an enjoyable show!

Hope you are having a wonderful day!!