Monday, July 30, 2007

A Child's Garden

My Children inspired these postcards. These days my garden more often than not looks a little attacked. The kids do love to bring me flowers and play wedding. I've learned to relax a little and enjoy the flowers for the few minutes they are intact. When the kids are older I'll have plenty of time for flower gardens.

Leftover Popsicles

I finally have my sewing machine back and have been able to finish some postcards I started using the pieces cut off "Rainbow Popsicles." I tried quilting with bright rainbow thread on some and a softer gray on others.
I have yet to quilt the original "Rainbow Popsicles." I like the bright thread, but I don't know if it would be overwhelming in large quantities--Something to ponder.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Prayers for Maddie Lester

This is a collage I made for my best friend's 3 year old daughter, Madeline. She was born with only half a heart. The first year of her life was pretty rough, including a helicopter ride to the hospital at 3 days old and then a life fight plane ride down to Palo Alto the next week. She had two surgeries at Stanford University within the first few months at of her life with most of her time spent in ICU. Needless to say, she maxed out her lifetime health insurance benefits before her first birthday. After that very scary first year she has been doing wonderful for the last two. She has finally grown and become strong enough for her third surgery which should provide her body with enough oxygen until she is at least a teenager. That surgery is happening as I write. Today is a day of prayer and faith (okay, and a lot of anxious waiting)for many of us who love this little girl.
I made this collage to show Maddie and her mom, Cindy how much I love them. It is filled with little hearts and prayers that God will work a miracle and everything will go smoothly with this surgery. If you are interested you can check her progress at Thank you for any prayers said on her behalf.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Inchie Collages

I made some more collages using one inch squares and a variety of embelishments. For the base fabrics, I began with a knitted square and used the needle felting machine to felt the fibers. I love that I can make fabric out of nontraditional felting fibers. I can turn all those fun yarns that I've collected into fabric that I can cut up. Some of the yarns, especially the cottons, aren't very strong. These collages are glued down to canvas, so I figured a little fraying on the edges only adds to the texture. I used various scrapbooking tiles and brads to write out words. They add a fun theme to each of the pieces. They are a little hard to read in the pictures. The light blue ones are "snooze" and "dream." The colors are so calm and refreshing they made me want to take a nap, especially with the hot weather we've had. The red collage is "LOVE." The green collage is "grow." I had some little gardening embellishments and button flowers which added to the theme. The dark blue piece is "FLY." I think it would be fun to make one of these collages for each of my kids using buttons and charms that describe them and adding their name. A little piece of art about who they are at this time in their lives.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Rainbow Popsicles

I started this quilt top with no idea what I wanted to do. I simply sewed together a rainbow of fabric that I hand painted with watered down acrylic paint in zip lock bags. I then cut it apart and sewed it back together over and over again. I added a more organized border to give it a little structure. I haven't had a chance to quilt it--that will be a new experiment.
My neighbor said the colors reminded her of popsicles--maybe because a little heat has finally come to our corner of the USA. My kids made me promise I wouldn't give this quilt away. The bright colors do remind me of summer fun.

Flower Power Challenge

QuiltArt is doing is doing a Flower Power Quilt challenge. The idea is to take a quiz to find out what type of flower you are. I found out I am a Sunflower. The smiling personality seemed to fit -- at least when the sun is shining and I'm not wilting.
I haven't been able to start the actual quilt, but I have been looking at sunflowers and doing some sketches. I did an interesting experiment where I sketched a sunflower from memory (it's been a while since I have looked at one) and then sketched actually looking at a sunflower. The difference was amazing. I need to make sure that I really look at something, not just draw that I think it looks like.
I also did a few experiments using cut paper and water soluable crayons on already quilted fabric.

Fireworks Snapshots

I attempted to take picture of the fireworks display at my grandmother's house. She lives on the beach directly across the Puget Sound from Seattle. People light fireworks off all up and down the beach and we also have a perfect view of the two public displays in Seattle. I love how the camera is able to catch the trajectory of the flying sparks. I pictures were often shakey, especially considering I was holding a scared two year old on my lap. I think there must be some kind of quilt or mixed media piece in these pictures. I'll have to pull out my supplies and experiment.


For the 4th of July I made some fun firecracker fabric beads. I used red and blue fabric wrapped around pieces of straw. I then added wire and glass beads. I used them to decorate hats, necklaces and bracelets. Here's a picture of my kids at our July 4th parade. The far left is my youngest cousin and the others on the front row are my four kids. We also had the extra special fun of it being Rosie's 4th birthday. Fireworks and a parade every year for yor birthday--what a treat. She did ask me though, if there could please not be clowns in her parade this year. Sorry Sweetie, I don't have control over that one.

ATC Swap

I signed up for my first ATC swap. The theme was black and white with a strong added color. My first attempt was with black and white yarn and my needle felting machine. I made random swirls on white felt. I then cut the larger piece into ATC size peices and added a swirl of beeds.
My second batch began with a piece of quilted white fabric. I then painted it with black, white and silver Lumiere fabric paint. I then cut it up and sewed it back together using purple thread.
The swap ends later this week, so hopefully we'll all have our cards by the end of the month. I can't wait to see everyone's creations.

Postcard Exchange

I signed up for postcard exchanges through Art2Mail and Postmark'd Art. Both were a long way from the 25 names collected for each group. Then after a month they both were ready to go. Now I need to make 45 cards over the next couple of months. I've mailed about a dozen and have quite a few more that are in process. I forgot to photograph most of the ones that I have mailed, but here are the few that I remembered. I have been having so much fun making these cards and discovering all the beautiful artwork in my mailbox. I think I hear the mailman now -- off to go check.

Putting Old Skill to New Uses

I tried out the old skill of paper weaving I learned in elementary school. I really liked the effect when I combined hand painted fabric and fabric paper. The contrast in texture adds a lot compared to construction paper place mats.
The purple work I titled Peace in My Soul. The cool, soft colors are very calming and feel restful. The little piece of mica is like a window into the heart.
The green piece has more of an underwater feeling. I haven't come up with an appropriate title. To me, it conveys more of a feeling of sadness and drownding. The batik fabric appears of be covered in wet tears. The tied pieces of fabric are like life ropes.

I enjoyed experimenting with these different techniques while my sewing machine has been out of commission.

Art-O-Mat Adventure

I'm embarquing on my first adventure in selling my art. Today I sent off a box with 50 little boxes filled with my "Dreams" series to Artists in Cellophane. They sell 2"x3" pieces of art from old cigarette machines. These machines are located in stores, museums, and colleges through the country. For a $5 token someone can purchase a little piece of art in the same way as a candy bar or soda. The program isn't really a money maker for the artist, but is a fun way to step into selling. I'm more interested in sharing my work than the money anyways, so I don't mind the salary of $2 per hour. It seems that money is only an issue when I worry about and I would prefer that my art is about joy. My only hope is someday I will be able to pay for my addiction to supply shopping.

I'm very excited to find out where my little works end up. I will share the location of the machine when I find out, but that most likely will be months away. A lesson in patience. Hopefully those who buy them will find as much joy in them as I have had in creating them.

I'm Back

I'm finally able to post again. My wonderful husband set up the computer so I can get the pictures off my camera. I'm still not able to crop or edit the photos, but at least I can get to them.
This is a quilt that finished earlier in the summer. My husband titled it "Late Summer Night." I did it a little backwards. I began with white fabric, I quilted the little circles. I then painted it with watered down Lumiere fabric paints. I just let the paint run down the fabric. I added the wire swirls as abstract bouquets. The beading along the top represents the stars. The border is made of fabric paper with little felt squares and beadssewn together with copper thread. I used copper tape for the binding around the edge.
The piece doesn't lay flat. Although when I lined up the paper and fabric on the table they were even, the fabric stretched when I sewed them together. I think I will frame it in a shadow box type frame. The wobble to the edge will add to the effect.
Overall I love the colors and all the different materials used.