Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bigos and Beads!!!

Bigos or Polish Hunter's Stew is on tonights menu.

A view in my sewing room, my beads are over there on that wall, and I'm sitting over here; looks like it's time to clear a path so that I can start beading and stitching once again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mark Making with Nature Video Series

Mark Making with Nature Video Series

There have been a lot of changes in the past year, I took down my academy, and in 15 days I will be taking down my Mark Making with Nature Video Series.  I need to find a new  host for my video series as I'm not overly happy with Vimeo.  I'm also thinking of redoing the entire video.

So here is your last chance to own this particular video series, to learn how to screen print fabrics with natural dyes, and much, much more!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WIP Crows Follies

Crows Follies No's. 1 thru 14

There is nothing like seeing them laid out like this to make one realize what needs to be done, fixed, changed, etc.!  I'll have to have John make two new raised panel frames for me to replace No's 11 and 12 as these two do NOT go with this particular series color wise.  The good news is is I'll have him make more than two new frames for a new series in the blue tones.

Off to add more paint and ink to these panels.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And then Magic Happens

My mom's beloved tea pot.  I was talking with my cousin Monica about tea cups and mom's tea pot came up. I'm not sure if it's a Royal whatever or not, I just know that it was very well loved.

And she loved crows as well...

Then the wheels have started churning.  More later from the design studio...

ETA:  I found the pattern name it's Royal Alberts Forget me Not Rose pattern and was part of their flower of the month collection.  There appears to be two tea pot styles with this pattern and this is the later, and probably less expensive, style/shape.  The gold trim is in rough shape on this one due to too many trips through the dishwasher.

Focus Oh Wait a Squirrel!

Blackbirds in Tree
Acrylic ink and paint on mixed media paper.  Blackbirds in Tree Stencil from StencilGirl Products.

I've done it again, I've run off on another bunny trail, the difference this time is I caught myself early enough in the act to say ""NO"" to myself!  I was a bit lost this afternoon and asked myself "Self why are we so lost and confused with a total lack of focus and to some extent desire?"

Self replied.. ."your going in too many directions again.  Tomorrow is your second accountability meeting for the fall and you have 'nothing' to show for the past 30 days."  Well I did meet one goal and I did submit my portfolio to a licensing agency, I've yet to hear back but I'm not bothered by this since I know my portfolio is not up to snuff, yet.

So here's the plan, I'm going back to my crows.  I will finish Crows Folly in the next thirty days, I will cut new and more exciting crow stencils, and I will finish my fabric collection out with crows!

Confession I have quite the pattern collection happening but no focal point fabric design.  I'm not quite sure how this happened but alas it did occur.  Yeppers I have some twenty repeat pattern designs all of which are tertiary patterns, no hero patterns, no focal point patterns, not even a secondary support pattern.  Just tertiary patterns.  And if you love butterflies and are wanting a small repeat to go into a traditional quilt pattern well then I have just the pattern and colorway for you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crows Folly

Crows Folly No. 6
Acrylic ink and paint, shiva painstik on raised panel board.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Let there be pears, I would say more but I'm off to play with my new stencil in my studio tonight. The inspiration for this pear came from a red and green striped pear that our pear tree seems to be fond of producing, and I'm not sure what causes this to happen, however, it is really inspiring.

Somewhere in this mess of computer files I have a photo of the striped pears on the tree, this was one of the ones I picked for drawing and photographing in the studio.

I also cut this crow tonight.

Epic Fail Number One

I'm not sure if you can see the scribed lines or not, but the Cameo refused to cut all the way through the stencil film.

The good news is I have finally figured out some of the breaks on my designs, so once this issue of not cutting through the stencil film is resolved I'm good to go!

Getting Closer

Still messing with the settings in Silhouette Studio, but I'm getting closer to the desired result and soon a stencil shall be created!

And my pears are the correct size now, though I have to admit that ten inch pear would make a great stencil for fabric yardage!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cutting Stencils

Cutting stencils, finally, with my Silhouette Cameo and it's harder than it looks.  Well it would have been easier if I had gone out to Silhouette's YouTube page first and watched a few of the beginning videos, ie like how to cut my very own designs.

So far I ended up with a ten inch pear, that was supposed to be six inches but I finally got the design board figured out, thanks to Silhouette's videos.

This would actually make a great mask on a silk screen for yardage, once it's cut out of stencil film and I may just have to do this.  See this post over at my old blog The Natural Surface on using stencils on fabric with paints, natural dyes, and more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Queens Crows

I'm spending some time updating my website this week, creating new pages, adding back in some collections so on and so forth.  Now that I've had some time away from this particular body of work Queens Crows, I'm thinking of going back into it and pushing the panels to see what else I can gain from this series.

My stencil film finally arrived now I get to play with my Silhouette Cameo hopefully creating a new series of crow stencils for my Crows Follies series.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Busy Busy or Meh

Queen Anne's Crows No. 4
Mixed Media

I spent some time updating my website today and you can see that here and here, whilest I waited for UPS to deliver my stencil film but alas UPS never showed up even if their websites states that my order has been delivered.

Meh, this would be disappointment as I was so hoping new birds would be forever carved into stencil film tonight.

But alas I managed to wipe several to do's off of my list today and for that I'm quite happy!  Tomorrow there's a bit more of the same, photograph recently produced artwork that I seem to have forgotten to photograph for some odd reason, and continue working on my fabric and paper collections. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Moodboard Smood Bored

I've just completed a repeat pattern class over at Skillshare and one of the assignments was to create a moodboard.  So I did, and well while I did put some effort into the board using some of my original sketches and bunch of photos I had taken of vintage goodies from my studio...

For some reason when I just take the elements and lay them out onto my table... well they are more exciting.

I don't know about you but my grandmother's sewing basket contained all sorts of wonderful goodies, not just mending or traditional quilting.

Her sewing basket contained a mass of antique lace, sequins, beads, buttons, reclaimed strips of fabrics that were wound into large balls, impossibly tiny scissors that looked like birds, and so much more!

Yeah, my original mood board while well intentioned is just plain boring!

Angel Update

She's doing much better, here she is getting ready to take a nap on the nest that Oliver made for her.  I've never seen a dog do this for another dog before, but maybe it's natural? Oliver collected a variety of polar fleece blankets we have in the family room, and most of my dish towels (that he could get to anyway) and some select pieces (who knows what a Doodle is really thinking right) of paper out of the mail pile and the trash can and made a nest for Angel right inside the family room door next to my spot on the sofa

She's gained about a pound or so now that I've convinced her that wet dog food is in fact edible, I found some sensitive stomach lamb and rice wet food and so far she's doing much better.  Tomorrow she gets a bath!

So who knows, her bark is still pretty weak but we think that she may have had a stroke at some point and this is why she no longer twirls or barks like before. She's officially 15/16 years old, she's lived with us for nine years now; we were told when we adopted/rescued her that she was approximately 5-7 years of age.

Thursday, October 09, 2014


Am experimenting in Illustrator this afternoon with some of the new gadgets and stuff that came with the latest update.  I've decided that I will master this program one way or another I WILL get there with lots of practice, persistence, and patience.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

In with the Old

French Silk Dyes on Haboti with Gutta Resist circa 1994/95

I made this piece in a fabric dyeing class back in the dark ages, Priscilla Sage was my instructor at the time and I was also taking a 2D Mixed Media course with Jan Friedman which landed myself and a dozen or so of my classmates in a local cemetery for some black and white photography inspiration.

So yes those are supposed to be tombstones I painted onto the fabric.  I never did anything with this piece but this weekend during the open studio one of my visitors proceeded to go through my fabric stash, yeah she and her friends REALLY did do that, and she pulled this beauty from the stash.  

Of course they all wanted to know why it was wadded up in an old suitcase with dozes of other pieces of silk fabric instead of perfectly folded and pressed into squares. It's very simple, silk is like your hair, so just lightly crumple it and drop it into the place you wish it to live, do not press perfect lines onto your silk unless you wish for them to be permanent.

I will spritz this piece of fabric with some room temp distilled water while it hangs, and the wrinkles and crinkles will gently disappear.  After that I think I will back this piece with some batting and a cotton backing and then add some stitching, or not.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Ames Studio Tour!!!

10am - 5pm
Come on by and say hello!

Artists Yard Sale Haul

Scored four LeClerc Boat Shuttles this afternoon at a local Artist Yard Sale for all of $32.00, to say that I'm elated would be the understatement of the week.  The best part is now that  I'm cleaning my studio, for tomorrows Studio Tour, I'll now have room to pull out my loom, which is also a LeClerc, and start weaving again!

When I bought my Nautilus loom about eight years ago I forgot to purchase the boat shuttles along with the loom.  So it's sat folded up in a corner holding my art quilts for the past eight or so years. well this ends starting this weekend.

I also picked up some India inks in various colors, bead boxes, and some really old sequins.  I only wish I had known about the sale earlier in the day as she had an easel, etc., that I would have loved to have purchased for my studio.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Getting the Studio Ready

From this, packed in and hiding behind the stairs...

To this, now I can access my paint supplies that live in this blueish dresser.  The shelf needs to be wiped clean and it'll be ready to don my artwork for this weekends Ames Studio Tour!  I'll have John hang the pink niche, on the dresser, on the wall when he gets home from work.

At this point all I have left to do is dust, some more vacuuming, and get my artwork ready for Saturday.  Next week I shall sort the items on the shelf next to the dresser, and the stuff IN the dresser and send off to live with others!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ames Studio Tour October 4th

Ames Studio Tour 
October 4th

WIP Crows Folly

WIP Crows Folly No's 15-28

Next up more marks and some crows of course.  I was hoping to have some new crow stencils cut out using my Silhouette Cameo but alas I am still having issues with the program.  Soon though, as in next week after this Saturdays Open Studio Tour.  In the mean time I'm cleaning and putting out my Corn Stitched Stories Series for the Tour.