Friday, January 30, 2009

Book Review

The ladies at Scrap Friends posted reviews of our book "Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts". Go check it out here!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Skinny Book, Fat Book

I just finished pages for two swaps--the first is a Skinny Book Swap with the theme Winter. The pages measure 4 x 7 inches. These are being swapped out on the Art Techniques group.

This next one is a technique swap on Mixed Media Art Friends. These are Fat Book Pages, measuring 4 x 4 inches. This one is the bleach discharge.

And this one is the Dip-n-Dye method of dyeing paper towels. Two of my favorite techniques!

More Valentine Postcards

I finished up a few more of my Valentine fabric postcards. After 10 years of having the same sewing machine, I finally sat down and figured out how to program some words to stitch, and stitched out "Be Mine" on some of the Valentines! A small step I know, but I am really not a tekkie, so I was proud of myself! I printed the backs onto salmon cardstock to compliment the cards, and found a cute heart font to write "Postcard" and "from my heart to yours" on the back of the card. Am I getting too sappy? Maybe, but I think they are cute. Gotta love that pink eyelash yarn on the edge too!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Valentine's Fabric Postcard

I made a batch of Valentine fabric postcards, using a variety of bright pink and orange fabrics. This is another projects where I cut the pieces into wavy strips--I am hooked on that I guess. I then appliqued each piece down using different stitches and variegated threads. I added the red accent fabric and heart. I sent a couple out already to my family, but I have a few extras, so I listed this one on my Etsy Store. I haven't been doing the fabric postcards lately, so it was fun to get back into it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

UFO--Colores de Flores

This is another one of my UFOs, and another one of my original quilt pattern designs. The original quilt was a Southwest Style quilt called "Colores". Click here to see the original quilt. I started this other sample for a workshop sample, and I had wanted to use more vibrant colors and larger scale floral prints, so I am dubbing this one "Colores de Flores". I have it all cut out, there are 20 different fabrics. I have pieced 6 out of 20 blocks, so I'm about 1/3 done. Here are the two blocks that I pieced last night. I am really looking forward to seeing this one completed!

UFO--Polka Dot Polka

Remember for my New Year's Resolution I said that I wanted to finish some UFO's? Well here is a baby quilt top that I finished today. I had had most of the blocks done, and I have been working on setting them together and adding the borders for the past week or so. This is one of my original patterns. It is completely pieced, no templates, even though it looks like the dots were appliqued or cut with templates. I love the bright colors for babies. This one was just a teaching sample, but if I can get it quilted soon, I think that I will give it to my step-brother and his wife who are expecting Baby #2 this summer.

Soy Wax Batik

A few friends and I got together for an art play day and experimented with Soy Wax Batik. The nice thing about the soy wax is that it is water soluble, so it is easier to remove the wax than having to iron it out as with regular batik. We melted it in small electric griddles, and used a number of different things to stamp with: wooden stamps, metal items, foam stamps, egg beater, thread spools, whatever we could get our hands on. We also drew free form designs with an eyedropper or traditional tjanting. After you do the wax design, you paint the cloth with thickened dye. The dye has to be thickened since the soy wax is water soluble.

Here are some pictures of what I did. These are about 36 x 45 inches, and there are a few detail shots. I have only done one layer of batik and dye, and I am trying to decide whether or not I will leave them as is, do more layers of batik, or perhaps enhance with paint.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One More Quiltie

This is the quiltie that I did for December on the Mixed Media Art Friends group exchange. The theme color was red--how could I resist doing a heart? I've been noticing that I've been doing this pieced background with wavy strips lately. I did the same thing on the black, orange and blue series, and I am currently working on some Valentine postcards with the same technique for the background. I love being able to use different threads and decorative stitches for the applique.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Belated New Year!

I meant to post on New Year's Day--whoops. Got sick, got busy, and got too much out of my routine. So, anyway, Happy 2009! I can hardly believe its here. I have been thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in the new year, things I want to change, things I want to continue with.

My theme for 2008 was "Create in '08", and I think I did just that. It was almost too much. I feel like I am coming down from an art frenzy of sorts, where I did a little bit of everything--quilting, fat books, skinny books, ATCs, jewelry, collage, painting, etc. I accomplished several goals that I had, plus some new ones that I hadn't seen coming. Five of my quilts were accepted into Art Quilt shows, I co-authored a mixed media art book, one of my quilts was published in Quilting Arts Magazine, and I taught at a fabulous Quilt Retreat. I learned so much, and really enjoyed the trip along the way in 2008.

But, here in 2009, I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed and unfocused. I have my hand in too many pots, and so I have spent the past few weeks taking a good look at what I want to do, and how much time I have, and am having to make some tough decisions about what I can keep in my life and what I need to let go. Difficult for me, because I WANT IT ALL! I want to be a good wife and mom to 2 small children, and a successful business woman and artist. I have been trying to cram it all in, and I have come to the realization that I can't do it all. Bummer. So my theme for 2009 is "FOCUS". Ya, wish me luck with that!

Among other things, I need to spend a little more time reviving my quilt pattern business. I haven't kept up with it, and I would like to refocus on that. I am also focusing on finishing some of my traditional quilt UFOs (Un-Finished Objects). I have a neat little database where I keep track of all of my projects. Currently, I have 40 quilt tops that need to be quilted, and 51 UFOs in various stages of completion. Ugh--I hate having that hang over my head. I feel suffocated. I have been going through them for the past couple of years and donating several projects that I know that I won't ever finish. I don't have a problem letting them go. I am also revising the plans for some--turning them into smaller pieces or cutting them up for postcards. I want to make a major dent in them this year!

I have to learn how to say no to swaps--another tough one! I have several swaps to finish out that I have already committed to, and I am not saying that I won't be swapping any more, but I am definitely going to have to pick and choose what I participate in. That is going to be hard for me, because I love the challenge and I love to see what other artists are doing. But my time is very limited, so....

I am looking forward to a couple of teaching venues that I have set up for 2009. I was invited to be the guest speaker for the Sew Creative Club at Ann Silva's Bernina Sewing Center in Albuquerque on Feb. 3rd, and on Feb. 7th, I will be offering two classes--Plethora of Pots and Book this Class. I am also going to be teaching a mixed media postcard workshop at the Fiber Arts Fiesta in May. I am really looking forward to branching out to other venues like this, and I hope to book some more for later in 2009 and 2010.

Comments welcome--what are your Art Resolutions for 2009?