Monday, April 28, 2008

...and the Winner is:

Sorry, I'm a little late on the drawing. My husband was gone for the weekend and the kids left me with little energy for anything. After a touch of pampering last night, I'm feeling a lot better and hopefully ready for the week ahead.
I have to say that I had a lot of fun with this giveaway, especially learning a little more about some of the wonderful people I have met through blogging. The lucky winners this time are Doreen Kinkade, Brenda Smith, and Pamela Rice. I'll be making you each something along the lines of your favorite pieces. Please email me your mailing addresses so I can mail off your personal creations, hopefully some time this week.
I only just realized that this post never was actually published. This last week has been rather rough. Hopefully the tide is turning and I will have a chance to catch up with my art life. I'm sure Doreen, Brenda and Pamela are a little confused about the email I sent them. Please forgive me!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3 Days Left to Enter

I realized that I didn't give any timeline for my 100th post giveaway. I will choose a winner this weekend and create something special for the lucky gal. There is still plenty of time to sign up! Just leave a comment on my 100th post telling me you favorite piece.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pink and Orange Explorations

Terri Stegmiller at StegArt challenged me to work with pink and orange. She sent me an image of a piece she has been working on and I have been having fun exploring the color combination. First, I started by painting some fabric with pinks and orange. I then quilted it with dark pink, light pink and copper metallic thread. I also found a scrap of fabric paper that I made last summer. Then it was time to pull out all the embellishments. I found beads, brads, buttons, wire, fibers and various scrapbooking embellishments. The only problem was I had no idea for a design. The weekend weather as awful, full of rain and hail, and I was in a funk!
To try to get out of the funk, I decieded to work on some plus sized inchies. They are easy and I could try out the different embellishments. Each one has two 1/2" strips of quilted fabric on the outside with a 1/2" strip of fabric paper in the center. I always have fun making these and I can play with different ideas by moving them around. I'm not certain what I am going to do with them. I might mount them on heavy paper and paint a frame for them.
I then had to make six more inchies for a mini treasure box filled with fabric beads. I love the beads spilling out everywhere. They are so little and precious and filled with hope. Each one a little dream. My only problem is that I don't have anywhere to display these little boxes that wouldn't be incredibly tempting to little fingers. I really wouldn't mind them touching if it wasn't for the stickiness and the fact that things tend to disappear. I know, I know, some day I will miss the sticky fingers, but for now they drive me crazy.
Finally, I used all the scraps from the inchies for this mini quilt. It really needs more contrast. The beads, wire and yarns are a little lost. I keep working. Now, if only I wasn't so tired from life. Summer is coming. The sun always energizes me and we hopefully will be able to take a break from school. There is always HOPE!

Monday, April 21, 2008

100th Post Giveaway!

I made it to my 100th post in less than a year. In honor of the occasion, I changed the subtitle of my blog. After almost a year, I've finally accepted the title of "Artist" instead of Wanna Be. My art life does seem like my alter ego though, so I added the "secret" part to the title. In real life I still feel just like "Mommmm!" but I'm sure as the kids grow I will be able to embrace life as me more.
I love sharing my work, so I'm doing another giveaway. Please let me know your favorite work from my etsy store, or this blog and I will make something special for the winner. Make sure I have your email address so I can let you know you are the winner.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Spring Showers

I used the fabrics I quilted earlier to make a larger "Spring Showers." This piece is 13-1/2" x 18-1/2". The bright colors and the touch of shine make me smile. I love how the bright green really makes the purples and pinks pop! I added glass beads for some sparkle and finished the edges with yarn. I have it hanging in my window right now to try to distract myself from the snow, hail and dark gray that we have outside all weekend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Itching to Try Something a Little Bigger

I have been working so small lately. I'm starting to think that I need to try something a little bigger. Bigger for me is probably anything larger than 12" x 12" so don't be expecting anything huge. I painted up some fabric and quilted, or should I say free motion embroidered, flowers with metallic thread. I love the colors, ranging from wine to teal -- all my favorites. I think I need some more bright yellow green to really make the colors pop though. Now I'm just thinking up ideas and trying to find some time. And I've also been intstructed by my kids that I need to clean up my desk. I am always getting on them, and it has been a while since I've been able to see the surface.
Another thing to keep an eye out for -- I'm nearing my 100th post, so I thought I would do a little give away in honor of this special event. This one is 98 so be on the lookout!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Tiny Taste of Spring

This last weekend we finally had a tiny taste of spring. The sun came out from behind the clouds and it got HOT. Our indoor thermostat reached 80 and it was even warmer in the front yard. We went for a bike ride, worked in the garden and made ice cream. I even managed to get a sunburn. I'm not complaining though. I needed the sun after all the rain and cold. Sadly, it didn't last. We're back to RAIN and COLD. There is even snow showers in the weekend forecast. Snow in late April in the Puget Sound area is just WRONG!!! I know, I know, I shouldn't really complain. We don't have all the crazy weather that most of the country faces every year. A little drizzle is nothing compared to tornados, hurricanes and floods. I know we have it good, but when has that ever stopped a girl from wanting more. Okay, I'm done with ranting about the weather. At least I don't feel guilty about staying inside and creating.
This first piece was an experiment with adding a little silk organza over my other quilted fabric. I have a whole mess of interior designer samples from my mom's friend. I figured it was time to pull some of them out and play. I tried adding some bits of green velvet, but I quickly learned that velvet doesn't work for raw edge applique. The top of the piece was chopped. To balance the piece I added the stitching and wire swirls. I titled it "Patience" since it is still waiting for that touch of color. This piece is about 3" x 5".
I played around with the flower stitch foot for this piece. A spring in the first foot broke, so I had to wait for a new one. I like the beads better in person. After looking at the photo, this one needs a little work. It is about 5" x 8".
For this piece, I tried making some traditional blocks that I cut up into quarters. When I pieced them back together everything blended together. The center of each block was lost. I added the squares of organza to provide some definition. Then of course they needed something on top, so I added the flower and beads. Oh, and this one is about nine inches square.
And finally, my very favorite piece, "Spring Showers." I love the bright colors contrasted with the green. The flowers were created from some fake flowers that I folded into eighths. I found a necklace at the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction and Rumage sale last year made from painted metal beads. I love these big, round beads. They made perfect centers (or bases, depending how you look at them) for my flowers. I only wish that I had more like them! I then added the seed beads as if they were being poored out of the flowers. I just love how it all turned out. This one is about 8" square, and I even have a shadow box frame that is a perfect fit. I have a feeling this one is going to live at my house for a long time!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vase of Cheer

Time to add a little color to that bright green -- and these flowers fit perfect. I love this one with the sunny flowers (and it doesn't hurt that the sun is poking out from behind the clouds today. I cut the green fabrics on an angle and sewed them together in a fan shape. When I auditioned the flowers a big smile came to my face, just what I and the piece needed. I think this one would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift, so if it doesn't sell in my Etsy shop before then I might take it myself. I hope you are all having a wonderful spring day! I'm off to play.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another Treasure from Out of the Box

Last night I attended my third "Out of the Box" meeting. We are a group of artsy individuals who come together once a month to share a challenge piece that we have created over the last month. Okay, most people create them in the couple days before the meeting, but don't tell anyone. Last months challenge was to create a piece of art using a material in an uncustomary way. The original example given was a barbed wire bra, Ouch! I wanted to create an art quilt. Only problem was thinking of a material that I could quilt that hasn't already been done. I settled on bandaids and a couple gauze pads. I did cheat and use painted felt and cotton fabric for the back. I didn't have big enough bandaids and was babysitting my neice and nephew. We couldn't have gone to the store if I had wanted to since I didn't have room for all the kids in the van. The bandaids took the acrylic paint wonderfully and were easy to quilt. The stuck right were I put them. The gauze pads were a little trickier because they didn't like to release from the bandaids when I made a mistake. The project was fun to play with materials in a silly way. I'm a little nervous about next month's project. We have to create our creative self portrait.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Go Green Go!

More fun green creations --

"First Blooms" is 3-3/4" x 6" and 6-1/2" x 8-1/2" framed. My inspiration came from our weekend bike ride through the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. This was an organized 40 mile ride to raise money for the Skagit Valley Medic One's Kids Bike Safetly program. I can now say that I had a good time, but I wasn't a happy camper the last 15 miles on Saturday. A strong wind was blowing straight in our faces, rain was threatening and I only saw half a dozen blooming tulips. I managed to ride the longest ride of my life and only broke down in tears twice. I did see the potential for a beautiful sight. I can just imagine fields of color as far as the eye can see.

"Explorations in Green" is 7-1/2" x 9" mounted on 11" x 14" Bristol board. I love to take a color and find different embellishments that show off its different shades and textures. I only had twelve squares so I used buttons, brads, wire beads, silk, mohair and ribbon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Go Green Creations

In honor of spring, I've been playing with the green fabric that I created last weekend. I have three little quilts, a series of notecards, and this mornings addition, a treasure box of Dreams. So much fun!!! My first mini quilt is "Spring Fields." It is 2" x 3" in a 5" x 7" hand painted frame. The order of the lines reminds me of crops. The swirling quilting lines are for the plants that never quite to as they are told. My second mini quilt is "Lawn Reflections," 2"x3" or 5"x7" framed. All the texture and yellow patches remind me of my sorely neglected lawn. The green wires and silk fibers are for the weeds that are trying to take over. I have a feeling that in a very short time I need to cover the whole thing in silk fiber and yellow brads. "Organic Bubbles" is a slightly larger mini quilt at 4-1/2" x 7" or 8" x 10-3/4" framed. I played around with a flower stitch foot to create the metallic circles. They are bubbling up through the crops. Perhaps soon these organic bubbles with cover the whole fields. I also used the fabric to create some plus sized inchies (1-1/2" x 1-1/2"). From these I created notecards. I should use them for Earth Day cards since I haven't managed to get our Christmas cards the last few years. April is as good a time as any to remind everyone that I am thinking of them. My latest creation is a Mini Treasure Box of Dreams. I used the plus sized inchies to create a little box. I then filled it with my fabric bead "Dreams." I love the Hope that is tumbling out of the box. The viewer can give each "Dream" their own meaning.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Time to Go Green!

I have a few new fabrics to experiment and play with -- this time in Green. Typically, I would tend toward the blue side of green, but thanks to Tracy I decided to try some bright yellow green. The brightness isn't fully captured in the photos. I've only had a little time to play with the fabric. The sun is shining and the kids are heading outside, so I think I will sneak over to the sewing machine.