Wednesday, December 8, 2010

School Auction

Every year, my son's preschool has an auction to help raise money for the school. These are a couple of the things that I made to donate--polymer clay pendants on an organza ribbon and cord, plus a couple of quilts.

One of the local quilt stores, The Quilt Works, kindly donated the tops, and I provided the back and batting, quilted and bound them. We all had a fun evening bidding on items and raised a bunch of money to help the school!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bead Storage

The subject of Bead Storage came up last week on the Art Charms Group. I thought that I would share with you my very unique first bead storage system--Skoal chewing tobacco cans!

I started beading as a freshman in high school, using tiny size 12 seed beads. As a young person, I didn't have a lot of money to spend on bead storage--I wanted to spend my money on supplies. Some of my guy friends chewed tobacco (yuk), but I discovered that the cans snapped shut tightly, and were just the right size to hold a hank of beads. Plus, they were cheap--I paid my friends .05 cents to save them for me. I would wash them out and put the beads in. The only disadvantage was not being able to see through the green tins. But I typed out labels (yes, on a typewriter), and taped the labels to the cans. I still use these cans for the older stash.

My newer stash, though, is color coordinated in the clear plastic compartment containers that you can get everywhere. I have about 3 shelves stacked with beads and wire in my living room!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In the Kitchen

Those of you who know me well, know that I am not a very good cook, nor do I particularly like cooking. So why did I spend a good portion of my time last week in the kitchen? Crafting of course!

I have been very busy whipping up some new batches of what I am calling "Silky Bath Salts", which are a mixture of salts and oils, as well as making some scented Hot/Cold eye pillows and neck pillows--sewn with my own hand dyed Sateen or Silk/Cotton Radiance fabric!

Here are some of the blends that I've been "cooking up":
Lavender/ Pink Grapefruit
Desert Sage/ Sandalwood
Vanilla/ Lavender
Peppermint Stripe and
Holiday Blend (gingerbread, cinnamon, and vanilla)

What I don't sell at the craft show will make great Teacher Gifts, I think!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where Has the Time Gone?

I need to get more recent pics off my camera and onto the computer--I am so bad about that--but meanwhile, here is a quilt that I made from start to finish for a customer who will be donating it to raise money for a dog rescue. I was pleased with the outcome. I hope it will bring lots of money for such a good cause!

Wow, its been several days since I posted about the CED. I have been absolutely swamped with my longarm quilting business responsibilities--it is my busy time of year, getting quilts completed for my customers to give as Christmas gifts, plus working on new class samples for January-April, and quilting a few class samples for other teachers! But, I have been making at least a bit of time every day to create, sort of....

Saturday--no problem! My own little craft night while watching TV with DH. I worked on some charms for the Blue, Silver and White swap on Art Charms.

Sunday--Totally wiped out from working on the longarm all day. After I got the baby down, again, I sorted through some of my polymer clay buttons that I am planning on selling at up coming craft shows.

Monday--Not a very creative day, not much time. Cranky baby = cranky mommy. I spent a few minutes cutting down some quilted book covers--again for the craft shows.

Tuesday--Better. I put the baby in the backpack for about an hour and jazzed up some of my hand dyed scarves with metallic fabric paint! Fun, and so invigorating!

Wednesday--Varnished my paper beads for the Autumn charm swap on Adornmentz. Painted some papers that I will be using in my mini art journals, plus spent almost an hour sewing the edges on about 10 books--that was huge! I kept expecting the baby to wake up again, but he let me create! Good boy!

Today--The kids were off for Veteran's Day, so what better than to take a trip to McD's and craft ! We were there for about 2.5 hours, and I finished my Autumn Charms. Off to get a little more work done tonight....

Friday, November 5, 2010

CED Day 5--Much Better!

...Some recent painted canvas pieces. I'll use these for book covers, bookmarks, jewelry, and maybe even a purse.

Oh, what a difference a day makes! My son was sick last night, but today--all better! I don't think it was a full stomach flu, just some little bug. So, thankfully, we are all currently healthy in this house.

Plus, I had a more creative day today. The two boys ( age 4 and 6 months) and I "played" outside this afternoon. It was a beautiful day, about 68 degrees, just perfect weather! I got out some dyed scarves that needed a little something more, and was able to stamp metallic copper leaves on about 7 of them. My 4 year old played in the mud, made mud pies for me, and instructed me in playing a Goblin Trick or Treat game, which I could do while I was painting! I hung up the scarves to dry on our awning, so that the baby could watch them float in the breeze. My scarves do have a few little mud splatters on them, when my son got a little to enthusiastic with the mud, but I think they will wash out, if not, I'll keep them for myself!

And, I will catch up a little here, posting some projects that I've been working on this past month.

Fabric Earrings for the "My Favorite Things" swap on Adornmentz.

Dangles that I made for a swap on Art Charms--I used polymer clay beads that I have made.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CED Days 3 and 4

Well, yesterday was NOT the most creative day ever! Got off to a bad start--my son's preschool called early to cancel school for the day due to the teacher's having the stomach flu. While I am glad that my son didn't get it (knock on wood), it was kind of a bummer because that meant I had to miss my monthly Mixed Media Mavens meeting, which I was looking forward to. Can't expect a 4 year old to sit quietly while a bunch of women gab about art!

So, I had my hands full with the two little boys home, then early release day for my daughter. The afternoon was spent gathering up my supplies and samples to teach my Art Quilt Embellishment class last night. I am always frazzled getting ready for a class like that! It was fun, but a little stressful from a teacher point of view--I always want to make sure I am not forgetting anything! We played around with different ways to embellish with beads and buttons, plus Shrink Plastic, Fun Foam buttons, Model Magic and rubber stamps, wire wrapped beaded dodads and more!

Home by 9:00 to finish getting the kiddos off to bed and feed the baby. By 9:45pm, I was out in the garage finishing up a quilt on my longarm machine for a customer. I have a bunch of work deadlines looming and am feeling stressed about that. Back inside by 11:15, just in time for Baby to wake up again! Off to bed at 12:15, having done no real creating except for the few minutes that I was demo-ing during class. I guess that that will have to do!

Preschool was canceled again this morning, so I do have the two boys at home. But I am going to try to sneak in some creating after lunch, before I pick up my daugher from school.....

....Later that day.....Oh no, my son has the stomach flu! It came on this afternoon. He hadn't eaten much all day, said his tummy hurt at lunchtime, and was a little "off" all day. It came on just after dinner. He is sleeping now, but I am on alert.

On the creative front, I did get a few minutes to work on my daughter's Christmas present pink, white and black quilt before my son got sick. That's something!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CED Day 2

No pictures again tonight, you guessed it...sleeping baby in lap. But, I did have some creative success today. Fletcher slept for 1.5 hours this afternoon--woo hoo--so I took advantage of that quiet time to sew some art journal covers. I am using a couple of them as examples for my embellishment class tomorrow night, and also making them for the upcoming craft shows. I used some of my rust dyed fabrics, and on others my silk or sateen hand dyeds! It was great to get my hands on some fabric and sew again. It feels like its been awhile.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Create Every Day (CED) Day 1

Not able to take pictures just now (sleeping baby in my lap), but I did want to report on Day 1 of the Create Every Day Challenge.

I was able to squeeze in a little bit of painting on canvas today. I work on pieces about 15 x 20 inches or so, just painting "art cloth", not a picture of anything. If I leave the piece on my kitchen table, I can add layers to it throughout the day. Usually I do 3-5 layers. Using acrylic paint, it dries very quickly in between layers. Each layer takes no more than 15 minutes, so it is the perfect way to sneak in some art time in between chores, or when I only have a few minutes.

If I can get the baby to stay asleep, I can sneak in another 1/2 hour of art time before my bed time!

BTW, I have a link section off to the right of other artists who are participating in the challenge. Go check them out! And if you would like for me to add your link, leave me a comment here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

My 8 year old dd painted hers like a Vampire--she was a vampire as well. My 4 year old ds made his pumpkin silly with "Mr. Potatohead" halloween shapes--note the mouth on the back of the "head"! I had a little fun with my pumpkin this year. Rather than messy carving, I took my trusy Sharpie pen and made a spider web and spider family. Notice the Mommy and Daddy spiders, plus 3 littler ones representing my 8 year old, 4 year old and 6 month old.

Create Every Day

Peggy K. has issued a challenge to artists to Create Every Day during the month of November--read more about it on her blogpost here. I am joining her challenge!

Usually, creating something, however small, is part of my every day life as it is, just to release the stress of the day and refocus my energy. I feel better when I am creating. This past year, I have found it difficult to create every day. First, with the pregnancy, I was so tired and something had to give just so that I could keep up with the basics. Now that I've got a 6 month old, my creative time is still pretty minimal, but I am finding ways to work it in--like taking the kids to McDonald's playland and bringing along my supplies to make charms while they play!

So, I am making the committment to create every day for the month of November. I probably won't blog every day, but I will be sure to give you a run down of what I've been working on. I've got lots of projects lined up:
Autumn Charm Swap
Blue, White and Silver Charm Swap
Class Sample for Embellishing on Art Quilts
Hand Dyed Scarf Swap
plus, making lots of goodies for two craft shows coming up in November and December. I've got my work cut out for me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Experimental Resin Swap

I recently participated in another swap at Mixed Media Art Friends. This time, the challenge was to experiment with resin, and make charms--not necessarily jewelry charms. I made bottlecaps (kind of tradtional), starfish in resin circles (using a painter's palate as the mold), and some freeform resin dangles that were tinted and embedded with embellishments. I added a little copper wire swirl to these--fun! Haven't gotten back the swap yet, but I am looking forward to see what else everyone came up with.

By the way, my 8 year old daughter was enthralled with the starfish charms, so I had to make her an extra as a necklace for her B-Day. She loved it!

My First Mail Art

This is the first set of Mail Art that I've ever done. I am participating in a mail art Birthday swap on the Collage UnLeashed group. Basically, you send a decorated envelope with some goodies inside to each participant during the month of their birthday. My B-Day is Dec. 27th, right around the corner, so I am looking forward to getting some pretties of my own in the mail.

These pictures show the fronts (with the flower and leaf stamps) and the backs (Wish) on the back. I used acrylic paint throughout. It was fun, but a little challenging to keep the envies from getting stuck, and keeping the adhesive strip on the back dry. Its tempting to decorate all of my outgoing envelopes now!

Shades of Autumn

This is the latest batch of hand dyed fabrics. After I dyed them, I thought "what's with all the brown?" Then I realized that maybe it was a subconscious decision since Autumn is upon us, and these feel to me very much like the Shades of Autumn in New Mexico.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hand Dyed Vintage Lace

I "inherited" some vintage lace from a friend who was clearing out some of her mother's craft supplies. Great stuff, unfortuneately, most of it is yellowed and age stained. I've been sitting on it for a year or two, and finally decided to try dyeing it. I love the results! It is much more useable and enjoyable now. I have a plan for it....I will be unveiling soon.

Here is the lace along with some other fabric that I dyed, being rinsed out in the sink. It looked so pretty, all a-swirl with color!

And some of the dyed laces here.

Hobby Lobby

You know you go to Hobby Lobby too often, when the check out clerk sees your baby and says, "Oh look, its baby Fletcher!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

The New Capri Sun Bag

The Capri Sun (or Kool Aid) bags are so cute, but to be honest, the pouches are a pain in the *** to sew with! They are thick, slick, and don't ease at all like regular fabric does.

So I have been playing around for some time now, to develop a user friendly way to sew with these little guys, and I think I've got it! Here is the new version of my Capri Sun bag, using oil cloth as the top, handles and bottom. I like the oil cloth because it is easier to sew on, and I can make matching handles. It has the same bright and fun colors that the pouches come in, and it is waterproof and easy to wipe down with a damp cloth.

This size works great for a lunch bag or medium size purse. I am going to make some bigger ones with more pouches for a larger purse.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hand Dyed Gradations

Wow, two posts in one day! I'm on a roll.
I have been busy dyeing fabric this summer, but haven't taken much time to post pictures. Here are a few of the gradation sets that I did. They are seven step gradations, with two "parent" colors, and the "children" are all of the shades that these two colors produce.

I used complimentary or almost complimentary colors for several of these sets, to get the interesting browns in between.

The weather is starting to cool off here, so I am hoping to get a little more dyeing in within the next week or two to last me through the winter! Then, I am planning on focusing more on quilting and other surface design like painting, stamping and silk screening.

I am offering these sets on my Etsy site if you are interested.

Rust Dyed Fabric

I love the look of rust dyed fabric, the earth tones, deep rusty color, and the visual texture of the fabric.

I had done a little rust dyeing about 2 years ago with some friends, and wanted to do more this summer, so I borrowed a big box of rusty things from my friend Donna, since I don't have the stuff laying around the house. I have done several batches on cotton dyer's cloth, and a few silk scarves (forgot to take pictures of those). I need to get back to making quilts, instead of just making the fabric, so I thought this would make an exciting quilt or two!

Here are some of my favorite pieces of fabric. Now, I will let them sit and "talk" to me for awhile, and see what I can come up with for a quilt design.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hand Painted and Dyed Silk Hankies

Well, I have several projects that I've made but haven't blogged about. I've been really lazy with taking pictures and posting. But I had some time this afternoon while the kids were playing and the baby was napping (in the Snugli pouch of course!), so I edited a bunch of photos.

Here are a few silk hankies, about 12 x 12 inches, that I had dyed last year. I wanted to play around with adding paint to the silk scarves, so I decided to experiment on the smaller hankies.

The orange one was done with a foam stamp for the rectangles around the edge and a paintbrush for the other parts, using Lumiere paint. I love the Lumiere! My skill with a paintbrush leaves much to be desired though.

On the other hankies, I was using black acrylic paint in a syringe, trying to "draw" with it. But I had very little control over how much paint was coming out of the syringe. I had to move very quickly. I hate the brown one--I'll have to over paint/stamp something on it. But that's how you learn, right?

My DH has been keeping up with my blog--Hi Hubby!

Friday, September 3, 2010

What's Your Rainbow?

Apparently, mine is shades of Violet.
Your rainbow is strongly shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mixed Media Postcard Class

Something else I've been working on this month is making samples and kits for a class I taught last week--making Mixed Media Postcards--with an emphasis on sewing/quilting. We are using materials like cotton fabric, burlap, hand dyed silk, scrapbooking paper, painted papers, recycled papers, painted dryer sheets, painted batting, sheers, buttons, beads, painted paper towels, yarn, vintage name it! You should have seen the look on some of thier faces when I explained the painted dryer sheet and paper towel bit. It is so much fun to introduce people to new materials and a new way to view art materials. We had a blast in the class. Here are some of the cards I made as samples.

This one features a dyed paper towel leaf on decorator fabric and taffeta.

On my own silk hand dyed fabric.

Great focal fabric, on a gold and orange joss paper, and embellished with beads, ric-rac and vintage ribbon.

This flower and leaf were made from collaged paper fabric and other papers. Dragonfly brad.

Another fun focal fabric, with an African flare.

Dryer sheet leaves with beaded embellishments. I love the translucent effect of the leaves.