Monday, December 29, 2008

A New Series

I have been wanting to work in series with my fiber art--I am going to make more of a commitment to do that in 2009. I have done a little in series, with postcards and some smaller challenge pieces, but I want to have more of an intent when I work this way. I have been interested in the color palate of black, with shocks of electic blue or turqoise and bright orange, so I am starting a small set of pieces here, and we'll see what happens. Here is my starting fabric palate.

And here are two sets of four "bases" that I will work with. The pieces are about 8 x 10 inches, which is a manageable size for me. I am looking to just experiment and see what happens. I have a few general ideas as launching points, but I know that once I get started, one thing will lead to another, and I am excited about that.

Winter Charms

Another set of charms, this one for a Winter themed swap that I am hosting on Adornmentz. These are very simple, but I love the little glass snowflakes, and I have been waiting to use them for a couple of years, so I figured this was the perfect time!

Valentine Charms

These are some bead and wire charms that I have been working on for a Valentine swap. I have been doing jewelry in the evenings lately while DH and I catch up on our shows on the weekends. I find it very relaxing, and gratifying to make something out of a few simple materials.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Altered Tin Swap

A small local mixed media group that I belong to decided to do an altered Altoid Tin swap. We each drew names and had one month to alter the tin. I did mine with a "Life's A Beach" theme, with a shark image and shark teeth on the inside of the tin. I added small square shells, a cowrie shell, and some sand that I painted gold to the outside of the tin. This was my first altered tin, and a little more challenging than I had expected.

The tin that was made for me by my friend Lynne featured a beautiful needle felted piece on the top of the tin, and a metal embossed piece on the inside of the tin that says "Art". I just love what she did with it, and it is really my colors--thanks Lynne!

Charm and Chain Necklace Swap

I did this swap on the Mixed Media Art Friends group. Ten of us made a charm plus 2-inches of some kind of chain. I made these wire wrapped glass beads, and little wire doodles with beads for the connecting chain. We will get back all different kinds of charms to make into an eclectic necklace. I am really looking forward to seeing what I get back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stamped Painted Papers

These are some recent papers that I have been making to build up my handpainted paper stash. The flower and leaf were done with handmade fun foam stamps, the chinese characters were a store bought rubber stamp, and I used leaf rubbing plates on the other one. The stamping was done with acrylic paint, and then I did a liquid watercolor wash. I am running out of liquid watercolors--I hope that Santa brings me some more! I've been a good girl this year.......

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jewelry Set for my Sister

This is a set of jewelry that I have been working on for my sister for Christmas. She requested brass metal, so this is what I came up with.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Save Some Money this Holiday

We have decided to offer a $5 discount on our book, "Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts" to help alleviate some of the economic strain this Holiday season. The book normally sells for $24.95, but if you click on the book at right, and enter coupon code 833E46EG at the checkout, you will receive $5 off! The book would make a great gift for your favorite crafter, or treat yourself to one!

I hope you are enjoying the season. I have been busy printing 80 copies of a 300+ page cookbook that a few moms and I put together for a fund raiser for my son's preschool--big job! I am also busy wrapping presents in paper that my kids decorated--the glitter glue wrapping paper was kind of a bad idea, but it did keep them entertained for awhile. I finished a couple of pieces of jewelry to give to my sister and sister-in-law for Christmas, so I will post pics soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Have I Been Doing

Well, not posting on my blog consistently! Although, check out the previous posts, I just put a bunch of stuff up. The past month or so has been crazy, with Birthdays, school auction, two sets of family visiting, and being sick for 4 weeks, not to mention that this is my busy time of year for my longarm quilting business--all those people making Christmas gifts. And, I majorly over-extended myself on swaps this fall. I do enjoy the swaps, and I think that it challenges myself to work outside the box a little, but I have spent way too much time making swap stuff the past 2 months, and virtually no time on my own art and quilting. So, I am feeling some withdrawl, and also some general burn out. I keep telling myself, no more swaps, and then I can't resist! Ugh!

So, in my recent vegetative state, I have been monoprinting and painting papers. I have been monoprinting like in my posts a few weeks ago, plus just messing around with the brayer, different color combinations, mixing acrylics with liquid watercolor, and a little bit with my hand made stamps. I am going to kit up some of these papers, along with a few embellishments, to offer at a handmade book class that I will be teaching locally in February. So, I am stocking up! But it is good "no brainer" work to do. I don't have to worry about composition or theme, or guidelines, I am just painting.

The first image is the papers layed out flat. The second one is of the papers in a box on end. A lot of papers! And I have a healthy stack of painted paper towels too for the monoprinting technique.

Autumn Charm Swap

These are some charms from a swap that I am hosting on Adornmentz. I chose an Autumn theme to celebrate my favorite season. These are caged glass beads, that I made with brown copper wire, and added a copper leaf bead on the bottom. I have all of the other charms in hand, so will take a picture soon. It was a terrific swap, and I am looking forward to making a bracelet or necklace with them.

Game Piece Charms

These are some charms that I did on a recent swap, with the theme, Game Pieces. I found these cute bright colored dice beads and couldn't resist. I have made several pairs of earrings like this!

Skinny Book Pages

I finished up these pages earlier this month for a skinny book swap on Mixed Media Art Friends. There were 4 categories:

Quote--from Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite authors.


Fabric--this used to be a 24 x 36 inch quilt top, that I wasn't crazy about, so I quilted it, cut it up, and added the heart appliques.

Technique--This is a fun technique using Gesso to create a texture. Let it dry, paint, dry again, and then highlight with oil pastels. I sealed it with a clear acrylic spray to prevent the oil pastel from rubbing off.

Black Round Robin Quiltie

This was last month's quiltie that I made for our round robin exchange on Mixed Media Art Friends. Each month, we make a 6.5 x 6.5 inch quiltie with a specific color scheme, and send it to our partner. Last month was Black. I used one of my favorite animal fabrics for the focal image, and embellished with beads and a button. This is one that I made to keep--I forgot to take a picture of the one I sent to my partner. It was the same idea, different animal.

Friday, November 7, 2008

More Handmade Books

These are two more books that I made with a combination of paper and fabric. The top book is fabric collage, and the bottom book is mostly paper collage, with a little bit of fabric. The inside pages are all hand painted like the previous books.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Skinny Book Swap

I have been sick for two weeks, so I haven't been doing a whole lot, except for trying to finish up some swaps that were due at the end of the month. This is what I made for the Fall Skinny Book Swap on Art Techniques. I used leaf rubbing plates, crayons, and watercolor paints to make the background pages. Then I layered on fabric, paper, and a leaf made out of Model Magic that I painted with gold metallic paint. Autumn is my favorite season, so I am looking forward to seeing the other pages that everyone else made.

Something Really Scary

.....My cutting table! Yes, there is a table under all that mess. This month's Take it Further Challenge topic was your workspace. What it is like, how you feel about it. Well, this is my rotary cutting table, where I cut all of my fabric, when it is cleared off that is. Much of the time, it looks like this. Piled high with stacks of works-in-progress and other stuff. Part of the problem is my AADD (Art Attention Deficit Disorder), and the other problem is that I tend to put stuff on there that doesn't belong on my art table--like the charms that I am collecting for a swap, junk jewelry to take apart and repurpose, my X-Rays that I need to take to a Dr. appt., B-Day presents that my mom left here for my son's B-Day in December, etc.

I have a very small house with a home business, DH, 2 kids, and 2 large dogs, so we have a lot of "stuff" around. I no longer have a dedicated room for sewing, so my cutting table is in the kitchen, my sewing machine in the shared office, thread and fabric throughout the house! I am constantly trying to reorganize and clean up, but somehow, it always ends up looking like this. After taking this picture, I did clear the surface again, so hopefully that will last a little while.

So, with this in mind, I used some of the scraps that were laying on my cutting table, and made a fabric covered art journal. I only used the scraps from the cutting table, and I think it is fun to create something cool from a pile of scraps. I started making these books for the Collage UnLeashed swap, and am finding them very addictive!

I think my mantra for 2009 is going to be Focus, focus, focus...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Swap--Watercolor Papers

These are some other papers that I am doing for the Monthly Art Technique swap, also on Art Techniques. Susan Chong gave a tutorial for this technique on her blog, and we are swapping 10 of our own 6 x 8 inch papers. It is done with liquid watercolors, saran wrap, and then overstamped. I did two layers of watercolor and saran wrap before overstamping. These are 2 of my favorites, before I cut them down to size. Fun!

Fat Book Pages

I just sent out 120 of these 4 x 4 inch pages for a Fat Book swap on Art Techniques. I chose to do tissue paper collage. I started on 140 lb. watercolor paper (although you can do this technique on just about anything), and I layered a couple of layers of colored and patterned tissue papers to get this effect. It makes a wonderful background for collage, etc. I can't wait to get the other 119 techniques! This was quite an undertaking!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Handmade Book

Remember those monoprints from a few posts ago? Well, I finally got them sewn into my handmade book that I will be swapping on Collage UnLeashed. Initially, I had made my cover too small to accomodate the thick pages, so I had to come up with a way to extend the front cover. The answer: cool Jumbo Ric-Rack and a little handmade fabric fringe! I got this ric-rack in several colors, and I think it is just right for these funky handmade books.

Halloween Charms

These are some charms that I made using some handcarved bone skull beads. I made these for a swap on The Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts group where I am a moderator. I also made an extra pair that I can use as earrings.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Some New Charms

These are some charms that I am doing for a swap on Mixed Media Art Friends. They are made out of shrink plastic, and are colored with permanent black sharpie and colored pencils. They were fun to do--I just made some simple outlines with the black marker, and doodled some designs. Then I filled in with the colors. Great TV project!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Take it Further Finished!

Just under the wire for September, I finished my Take it Further Challenge, using the color palate in the previous post. I also did double duty, as I made this square for a round robin quiltie exchange on Mixed Media Art Friends. Actually, it is going to be triple duty, because I made a bunch of extra pieces to use as postcards to swap in a local mixed media art group! I'll post pics of those soon. Three birds, one stone.

The heart is from one of the monoprinting paper towels that I recently did (see previous post), and I added some copper studs and confetti underneath a layer of blue tulle. I free motion quilted around all of the little confettis to hold them in place. I dumped a bunch of the silly things on my floor last night, and have been picking them up all day!

Take it Further Challenge for September

This is my fabric selection taken from the color palate for this month's Take it Further Challenge. I am using the palate to make a little 6 x 6 inch quiltie for a swap that I am doing on another group--it is almost done and will post the finished project soon!


I have also been playing around with monoprinting this month. I am making paper and fabric books for a swap on Collage UnLeashed, and I am using one of Traci Bautistas techniques on monoprinting using dyed paper towels and monoprinting on paper. I have been keeping the colors on the pastel side so that the books can be written in and used as an art journal if the recipient so chooses. These are a blast to make, and go pretty quickly. I have been working on the fabric covers, but need to rework them a bit to accomodate the bulky pages. I'll be sure to post the finished books when they are done.

I'm Baaack and "Interactive" ATCs

I got a very nice phone message yesterday from one of my friends asking if everything was OK, because she noticed that I hadn't posted anything on my blog for a "very long time". I'm OK--this month has had its ups and downs, and seemed busier than usual, but I will try to get back on track. Part of this month was taken up with me getting ready to teach at the Thimbleweeds Quilt Retreat in the Jemez mountains in NM. I just got back on Sunday, and will post pics later (fabulous trip by the way!)

These are some fabric ATCs that I made earlier this month for an "Interactive" swap on Fiber ATCs. We had to use at least 3 different techniques, and do something that the recipient could interact with. I made a little flap that can be opened to reveal the "secret message".

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Release "Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media"

The new release: "Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts-Projects & Techniques" has 47 projects including never before seen assemblages, collages, jewelry, unique embellishments, sandbags and wearables. There are 28 techniques that teach you with easy to follow step by step instructions, how to create: fused paper fabric, stamping with molding paste, using inks with decoupage medium, alternative
stamping ideas, wicking, acrylic paper mache', laminating & tumbled glass to name but a few. This 91 page, full-color book is crammed full of ideas, tips, alternatives and basic instructions. It is available on-line at: http;//

I have worked on this book for over a year with fellow artists Cynthia Powell, Sherre Hulbert, and Lesley Venable, and we are so pleased to be able to offer it to the public. It will be a wonderful addition to your private library! Here is one of my projects that you will find in this fabulous how to book! I will also be doing a step by step workshop for it on our group The Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts in November, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Reptile Are You?

You Are a Snake

You have extraordinarily sharp senses.

You sense what's going on almost before it happens.

You connect with the world. People instantly feel close to you.

You are a natural protector. You take good care of your friends.

You are an ambitious person. Your ambitious drives you.

But while you are ambitious, you are also humble. You are thankful for everything you have.

Purple Round Robin Quiltie

This is the August round robin quiltie for the Mixed Media Art Friends group. Each month, we make one quiltie with a different pre-determined color, and send it to the next person on the list. This month was purple--my favorite color! I added paper fabric flower embellishments to this piece. It measures 6.5 x 6.5 inches.