Friday, February 29, 2008

Oh No, I've been Tagged!

Somehow I was tagged twice, by Tracy and Helen. Lucky for me they were at the same time, so I figure I only have to do it once. The rules are: 1. Once tagged, link back to the person who tagged you. 2. Post rules on your blog. 3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog. 4. Tag 7 people and link to them. 5. Comment on their blog to let them know that they've been tagged. Now for the seven weird or random facts. 1. I rode a bike today for the first time in twenty years. My husband rides quite a bit and wanted me to join him sometimes, so he bought me a bike. I told him to forget the Tour de France, I wanted a bike for riding through the french countryside, complete with a large basket for flowers, wine and bread. So that is what I got. We still need to find the basket, but it does have a large cushy seat and automatic shifter. Now I just need to find somewhere to ride it that isn't all hills! 2. I can shake my eyeballs. This was quite the talent in high school, but I hadn't thought about it much since then. 3. I can't sleep with socks on, even though my feet are always cold when I get into bed. It drives my husband crazy when I use him to warm them. 4. I was part of the math club in high school and attended the Mu Alpha Theta convention in Huntsville, Alabama. We weren't allowed to leave our hotel rooms at night so my girlfriends and I convinced the security gaurd to buy us candy from the vending machine. We did manage to smuggle boys into our room also. 5. My husband and I date breifly when when we were 14. I came home from a party with his shoe and had to get it back to him. The first time he met my mother he called her mom! We broke up after he stood me up on the ferry to Seattle. We reunited celebrating our twenty-first birthdays, married a year and a half later, and have been together for over 11 years. 6. As a kid, said I wanted 13 kids. Four has me about over the edge, so I think we'll stop here. 7. I know how to kill, pluck and clean a chicken, but I pray I never have to do that again. Now it's time to tag seven other people. I never have been good at picking people. I was always the last picked for the team, often taken as the handicap--that's what I get for being the youngest in the neighborhood. My Christmas card list can get out of hand because I don't want to leave anyone out. I think I will just pick seven random people from the One World One Heart giveaway. If I don't pick you please don't feel left out. I appreciate you coming to read this!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Taking the Plunge into Etsy

I'm running out of wall space and budget for art supplies so I deceided to take the plunge and open an Etsy shop. It is so easy, I figured I would take the step and see what happens. These are the little works of art that currently I'm working on adding.
From my scraps of purple fabric art I made these little mixed media quilts. Originally, I was thinking they would be for the Art-O-Mat, but instead decieded to add some words and frame them in hand painted frames. The frames are simple little frames, but I added about six layers of semi-transparent paint. The colors shine with such depth. I love the little inspirational messages, reminders to Love, Hope, Laugh. The words had to be short, or else they became rather cramped. I had to include Grace though, since I had Faith and Hope. I couldn't leave out one daugher's middle name. I plan to make some larger pieces that I can include the words Dream, Believe and Princess. My hope is that these pieces can find a new home and somebody can enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed making them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Couple More Steps Forward

I've taken a few more steps on my Wildly Embellished Cross. First I added sequins to the cross. I'm not really sure about them. I like the smaller dark blue sequins, but the larger irridenscent white sequins are a little bright. I sewed them down and wasn't really going to pull them out. I figures that I will keep adding embellishments and hopefully that will tone them down. I also added the buttons around the border, another thing I'm not so sure about. Once again, I think more will help.
My next step was to start adding fibers to the cross. It now has a nice soft feeling. I used fufts of three different yarns and little bows of another. Next I'm planning on adding wire spirals and searching among my stash for anything else to add to the cross. Then I will work on the border.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Swirly Skirts

The last few days I have taken a break from creating any new art work. Instead I have been working on skirts. I haven't made any clothes for myself since seventh grade home ec (or "home and family living" as it was properly called in the eighties). I love to wear skirts in warm weather. They are much cooler than pants and since having four kids I'm a little afraid of shorts. Also, after trying to shop for my little girls, I realized that I'm going to have to start making a lot of their clothes. Please excuse me if you like the current fasions for girls, but I prefer my seven year old to look seven, not eighteen. We homeschool, so I can get away with a lot more than if they went to public school. They really don't know any better and would very much prefer a skirt made from fabric they pick out than something store bought.
We took the kids to JoAnn's and let them pick any cotton fabric (I'm not ready for anything slippery!) they wanted along with a trim for the bottom. The little guy also wanted a skirt. Instead he picked out a fat quarter and I made him a cape. They have been dancing around the house ever since. I even tried to pose them for a photo. They are such raggamuffins and never hold still!
I've also made two skirts for myself. The rose pink skirt is a circle skirt. My kids refer to it as the princess skirt. The other is a layered skirt, very country. A girlfriend said she needed one like it for this summer when she is selling at the farmers market. Next I think I need to get some tennis shoes to alter to go with them.
The sun is shining and I'm ready for spring!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

And the Winners Are:

Mary Ann at Follow Your Bliss Designs Brenda at Dragonlady Corina at Patchscrap Cheryl at Lenny da Vinci and because I had over 100 comments, a bonus gift, Fran at artsyfran I used the random number generator created by Carrie's husband at Violets are Blue. That in itself was a wonderful gift. I wasn't quite up to writing down 134 names and putting them in a really big bowl. Especially since I'm only now getting my coffee. If any of you are truely sad that you didn't win, email me,, your mailing address and I will send you a little surprise. Thank you all for participating. I had so much fun checking out everyone's blogs. Now I can go back in a more leisurely manner and connect with new friends. Thank you so much to Lisa S. Oceandreamer for hosting such a wonderful event. Check out her blogs Imagination Cafe, Heart of the Nest, and of course One World One Heart.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Purple Paper Quilts

I finished useing almost all of my purple fabric paper. I made six different 12" x 12" paper quilts from the four pieces of fabric paper. These were so much fun to do and I really love the depth of color and texture in the fabric paper.
The first quilt I created was squares of fabric paper embellished with a wide variety of purples. The embellishments include yarns, fibers, paper, buttons, brads, beads, wire, and ribbon. I love the variety within one color scheme. I finished the edges with two different eyelash yarns.
I learned after the third quilt that #2, the circles, was not my husband's favorite. When I first showed it to him, he of course said it was nice. But then when I showed him the next, he told me how he liked it much more than this one. Oh well, you can't win them all. For this quilt, I sewed circles onto painted watercolor paper. I didn't use the fabric paper for the background and I think that might have been part of the problem. Even with multiple layers of watercolor paint, the paper just looks flat. To add some fun, I added buttons onto each of the larger circles and small brads on the smaller circles. I then added the fabric paper border. I didn't leave quite enough room to sew it on securely, so I used some purple duct tape on the back to reinforce it. Hope my daughter doesn't mind that I stole it out of her craft drawer while she was sleeping. The edges I finished with copper tape.
Quilt #3 is a variation of a sixteen patch. I used quilted a section of each of the fabric papers and sewed sixteen one inch squares together. I used copper thread and copper tape to really bring out the purple.
This is one of my favorites. I created squares from two triangles. Then I appliqued three squares on top, wrapping some of the squares in copper tape. I just love how the colors sing!

For quilt #5, I followed the pattern I have used for several other fabric quilts I have made. I cut strips of quilted fabric paper, sewed them together with a zigzag and then cut them on the diagonal to make squares. I then arranged them in a diamond pattern. I used different threads when quilting to help accentuate the pattern. Once again I bound it with copper tape.

My final quilt I created from all the scraps that were left over. I do still have some small pieces, so I might be able to make some mini quilts or postcards.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cyber Fyber Postcards

I finished my postcard for Susan's exhibition, Cyber Fyber. I love her work and had a hard time picking a postcard. Finally I just went for it and she sent me this lovely card. It arrived before I even had a chance to start on mine. She is much more organized and on top of things. The card is created from one of her earlier works that she sacrificed. I love the stitching and depth to the piece and have been studying it closely. I can touch it and not get in trouble!
My own card I created from the left over scraps of fabric I created last fall for my wild embellished cross. I zigzagged all the pieces together. Then the ric-rac and buttons jumped on and wouldn't get off. I really had a lot of fun with this piece and hope it shows.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Give Away

I'm always a sucker for participating in a give away, even though I haven't held one myself. When I started seeing postings for One World-One Heart Giveaway I though I would jump in at the last minute. All you need to do is leave a comment which includes your email address or blog link, before the end of the day Wednesday. Thursday February 14th, Valentine's Day, I will draw winners for each of these fun prizes.
These are the wonderful gifts you have an opportunity to win:
A book mark made from hand painted fabric embellished with various yarns and quilted with metallic thread. If you recognized the fabric as the scraps from my wild embellished cross piece, you're right. I hope to have the next stage posted soon.
A set of four note cards, including vellum envelopes. The are made from fabric paper and beads.
An inchie box. Okay, it is 1-1/2" cubed, but that's pretty close to an inch. This was featured in the Quilting Arts Embellishments Newletter in December.
Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Next Stage of my Wild Embellished Cross

I finished piecing together the embellished and quilted fabric that I started last fall. It is definetly full of color. Now I am starting to embellish it. My plan is to create something along the lines of my Dandelion Wine piece. This pieces is much larger though, approx 24" x 32". That piece took me about a month, so I have a feeling this will take even longer. I tend to do the hand work while I am sitting with my kids doing thier schoolwork. It helps give me the patience to sit through math and phonics lessons. I started by beading the outline of the cross. Now I am working on little stacks of seed beads. This is only the beginning! I'm hoping to post pictures at the various stages.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cyber Fyber

I'm so excited! I've been invited to be a part of Cyber Fyber, an exhibition of international fiber art. Susan Lenz has been busy creating a wonderful website and preparing for a gallery exhibition next January. The theme of the exhibit centers around the influence the internet in general, and blogging in particular has had on fiber artists. The exhibit will have three parts: traded ATCs, traded Postcards, and the works of invited artists. To gather the traded ATCs and Postcards Susan has created 130 ATCs and 163 Postcards. Anyone is invited to trade these through the website. I am so honored to be included among the invited artists. I feel totally out of my league and over my head. Susan's encouragement and faith are such a blessing. She was the first person to ever leave a comment on my blog and has been a faithful friend ever since. I am amazed at the opportunity she is giving me, and trust she will hold my hand along the way. I have no idea what I will do for the exhibition. Susan has requested something that includes fabric paper and inchies. I figure for now I will continue to experiment and grow, but by the end of summer I should have a good idea on what I would like to do. I then need to be done by the end of October because anywhere near the holidays life gets crazy around here. Those are my goals. I am excited to see what the next year has in store and where I will be a year from now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Chocolate Desire

February 1st and the grand reveal are upon us. I'm free to share my chocolate quilt. The 12 by 12 challenge group is definetly challenging me! If I said I wasn't a yellow girl for the dandelion challenge, that was nothing compared to me not being a brown girl. I doubt you could find a single peice of brown fabric in my house. And capturing the whole sense of choloclate. What a big word full of emotions and sensations. The feeling of a truffle melting in your mouth during a brief escape from the crazy world was my main inspiration.

As I said, I don't have a scrap of brown so I brought out the paints. I quilted the swirls, then painted three different pieces. The light and milk chocolates are brown on white and the dark is brown on black. I then pieced the various squares and fit them all together. I did have to buy brown thread for the sewing.

I now have scraps of brown left over. What to do with them. Maybe brown and hot pink for Valentines Day.