Friday, January 9, 2015

Fab Fabric Bowls

I made a couple fabric bowls years and years ago, and finally got around to making them again after being inspired by some I saw last weekend. After many hours of wrapping 1/2 inch wide fabric strips around cording, and only about 20 minutes per bowl sewing, I have my first 2 bowls! 

Sorry for the crummy pics--can't find my digital camera after our trip for Christmas, so snapped these with my cell phone. Better IMPERFECT than not doing it at all, right? 

Maybe I'll try some coasters next, or even an area rug?  Great way to use scraps!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Word for 2015: IMPERFECT

As we approach the New Year, I am thinking about my goals for next year, "resolutions", etc.  I had a revelation in the shower (of course) this morning--many people pick a word as their theme for the new year--I decided that my word for 2015 is IMPERFECT.  Seems kind of strange that as many of us are trying to think of ways to improve ourselves and our lives, that I would pick a word like IMPERFECT, but I have decided to embrace my imperfections this year.

I am human.
I am imperfect.
I always do my best, but often come up short.
I will not let my FEAR of IMPERFECTION hold me back from trying new things.
I make mistakes.
I do not know everything.
I am sometimes (often?) wrong.
I sometimes make poor decisions.

But, I am also often right, smart, creative, wise, insightful, and kind.
I love my family, kids, boyfriend and friends and would do anything for them. 
I can laugh at myself and my mistakes.
I can admit when I am wrong.
I can learn from my mistakes.
I am constantly trying to improve myself, and to be a better mom and role model for my kids.

In the past, I have been afraid to do the wrong thing, afraid to speak up and be wrong and be belittled. I have been afraid to try new things and come up short, afraid to step out into the spotlight. 

But I am tired of the fear.
I am not perfect, and I am tired of trying to be.

I will ask "stupid" questions.
I will try new things.
I will step out into the world.
I will enjoy and embrace and learn from my imperfections.
I will try--sometimes I will fail and sometimes I will succeed, and both experiences are equally important.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

Dear 2015,
Watch out, here I come!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

DIY Silk Screens

This is a very low-tech way of making silk screens to use on paper or fabric with acrylic paint, thickened dye or silk screen ink.  The advantage is that it is a very inexpensive way to make unique silk screens. The disadvantage is that you cannot get very detailed designs, and these screens will not last through a lot of wear and tear.

Materials you will need:
Corrogated cardboard or thin cardboard from a cereal box, etc.
Silk screen fabric, polyester curtain sheers, organza, or non-fusible interfacing
Duct tape
Matte Gel Medium or Latex house paint
Acrylic paint, thickened dye, or silk screening ink
Paper or fabric
Plastic to cover work area
Paint brush

Cut out a frame from your cardboard. I usually leave a 1-2 inch margin of cardboard around the edge for stability.  Cut your silk screen fabric (or other material listed above) slightly larger than the cardboard frame.  Flatten the fabric taut, and staple around the edges of the cardboard frame every 1-2 inches.

Paint your image--remember that what you paint in this step is what will be masked out of the final silk screened print. The areas of silkscreen that are left unpainted are the images that will print.  Use a thick coat of Matte Gel Medium (I tinted mine with acrylic paint so that I could see what I was doing) or use latex house paint.  More than one coat might be necessary.  Leave to dry thoroughly overnight on a sheet of plastic wrap or plastic bag.

Apply duct tape all around your cardboard frame--on front and back. This will help to extend the life of your frame and keep the cardboard from getting wet during the printing and cleaning process.  I used Matte Gel Medium on this silk screen.

Print your image!  You can use acrylic paint (though this dries fairly stiff on fabric).  Silk screen ink is a great choice for fabric if you want an opaque image. Thickened dye is a great choice if you want to maintain transparency of color.  This one was done with acrylic paint on fabric.

I used Tulip silk screen ink on fabric for this sample.

Be sure to wash out your screen immediately after your printing session. If acrylic paint or silk screen ink dries on the screen, it will ruin your screen.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ink and Brush Doodle Vase

Still trying to get back into the swing of things, art-wise. I am really excited to say that I enrolled in the Studio Art program at a local community college this semester. Right now, I am taking Art Practices I, in which we are doing a variety of projects that have really stretched myself. I'll only be able to take one or two classes at a time with my work schedule and kids, but its a start! Going back to school for an art degree is something that I have wanted to do for several years, so it feels good to be proactive about it.

Meanwhile, I did a few doodle type drawings with a paintbrush and permanent ink on large sheets of paper (18 x 24 inches). These take me about 20-30 minutes each to create. I try to work very quickly and intuitively, and not think too much or over analyze. Just get into "the zone" and make marks on the page. I posted one of them on YouTube--my first video ever!--hopefully, with more to follow. I sped up the time on the video, so it only takes 5 minutes to watch the whole painting.
I recorded the other two drawings posted here, but haven't uploaded the videos. Want to see more? Let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New Collage Paintings

Time to post some Art! Since I moved this past year, houses have been a theme on my mind. I have been playing with all those collage papers, scrapbooking papers, junk mail, monoprints, etc. that I have been hoarding, and used them as the base for a collage. Then I go in with paint, stamps, oil pastels, etc to add more color to the background. Add in more layers of papers to make the focal elements, then back to paint, pencils, etc. I like to work on several at a time, so that while one piece is drying, I can be working on the next piece. These have been so much fun to create. Nice to get back into the studio and get my hands dirty! These pieces are done on 8 x 10 inch stretched canvas or canvas panels. I am finding that the stretched canvas collages are easier to hang, but the panels are more there are pros and cons to both.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

For those of you who don't recognize that quote, it is from a nursery rhyme. "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig..........Home again, home again, jiggety jig". I feel like I am home again after my "vacation". Hmmm....some vacation! This past year I have gone through a divorce, a move, and many, many other associated changes. Not quite settled in yet, but getting there. The "baby" is now 3 years old, can you believe it?! The other two kids are 7 and 10--they are growing so fast, and keeping me busier than ever. But its all good--they are fantastic crazy kids. Meanwhile, through all of my recent life changes, I have missed blogging. I have missed interacting with my cyber friends and fellow artists. Time has just been in short supply. Still creating here and there, but I have obviously had other things taking up my time over the past year. I have been focusing on my quilting business--gotta make a living!--and getting settled in my new home. I am revamping my website to include all of my quilting patterns, finished quilts, longarm quilting information, plus lots of art goodies like hand dyed fabric, polymer clay beads buttons and jewelry, painted notecards, hand dyed silk scarves, etc! It is going to be a major overhaul, but I think good to have everything updated and in one place. Ahhh, the "baby" wakes....never a dull moment. More later. Its good to be back :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

On Vacation

Life has been increasingly busy, so I am needing to take a vacation from making art.

This may sound counter-intuitive. Usually when life gets busy and stressful, I find that making art is a release and a relaxation for me. Over the past 18 months, being so fatigued with my pregnancy, and then busier and more fatigued with the new baby entering the mix--I just can't keep up with everything. My work (and income) have suffered, my kids are complaining about "Spaghetti Again?" for dinner, my house is an overrun cluttered mess, etc.

It has become frustrating and disappointing for me to look forward to some art time, only to have a cranky baby and not be able to get to my project. I am not complaining about the baby. He is a sweetie and a treasure--my little bonus baby, and the last one we will have, so I am enjoying this small window of time. But he is only 9 months old, and requires a lot of time and care, on top of my other daily duties with the other two kids, work, husband, house, etc.

So, in order to really enjoy where my life is now, and not resent the responsibility, I need to reasses my daily goals. I'd rather give up art time for a little while, and not feel like I am failing when I can't get to the projects that I want to do.

I have 1200 unread messages in my inbox--mostly from art Yahoo groups. I am going No Mail for awhile on many of them, keeping up with Art Charms and Collage UnLeashed, and a couple other small local groups, but that is about all I can handle right now. I just can't keep up with it all right now.

I am hoping to return to "normal" this summer, when Fletcher is a little bit older, the kids are out of school, and we can play outside. I might pop in here on my blog now and then, but I might not. I don't want to have the stress of wanting to post more frequently, and then not having time to. I'd love to be able to blog a couple of times a week, but that is just not in the cards right now. I hope that you all will join me again when I am back up and running!

I am also going to be concentrating some more time and energy on my neglected quilt pattern business. I began designing and publishing patterns in 1999--I can't believe I am going on 12 years! But I haven't produced much of anything new during the past few years. I am still building up my website, and I would like to continue to get my products listed on the site and develop a new pattern or two this year. I have a few things on the "drawing board". So, I guess that will be a creative outlet, but pattern design is a little different than just my art play time--it is more technical and I have to think about marketing, packaging, production, etc. Anyway, you might be interested in seeing my business website Elizabeth Anne.

I hope that the rest of you will be able to have a creative 2011, or possibly take time off to do what you need to do.

"I'll be back".