Friday, February 26, 2010

portfolio pouch

i'm sewing up a few of these portfolio pouches to hold press kits for some upcoming appointments our publisher has. we'll give them to a few special magazine editors who want to know more about a super cute new line of craft sewing books we're releasing soon. the handles are tied in a loose knot so you can slip the bag over your wrist to carry it like a little purse, then they untie to slide the paperwork in and out. i'm gonna switch to pinked raw edges for the handles though, i don't have time on this project to stitch smooth seams for all four bags i need to make.

the perfect craft sewing pouch for a craft sewing pitch!

  1. select 3 coordinating fabrics; cut the pouch piece 14"x22" and hem both 14" sides 1/2"
  2. use a pinking blade to cut a wide handle strip 3"x38" and a narrow handle strip 2"x38"
  3. position the handle strips on top of each other, then pin to the center of the pouch, all fabrics right side up. stitch all three fabrics together on top of the narrow strip, per diagram below
  4. fold fabrics in half, right sides together, to form the 13"x11" pouch, pin 11" sides together and stitch closed with 1/2" seam
  5. turn pouch right side out, hand sew a decorative button to the front

Thursday, February 25, 2010

art journaling

lots of art journaling flying around these days. everywhere i look there is a new retreat, a new online group, a new artist sharing creative prompts. i enjoy it and i take it all in...and i wrote a little poem about what my creativity means to me.

this surface is a 12x12 page from a blank board book. i manipulated and enlarged this photo i took of myself, and transferred it with tap paper to my page.

my art gives me identity
and purpose
and a blissful lack
of focus.
i only recently realized
that i need it
like i need air & water
i force myself to create something
every day...anything...
even when i'm feeling uninspired,
even when i don't have time.
my art is just the way
my thoughts & visions
bleed from my hands.
it feels natural.
it feels good.
art is me...
only better.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

back to the abc's...i mean atc's

i just set up a new fan page for lisa liza lou designs on facebook, and my first order of business was to organize a monthly artist trading card swap via mail. if you want to join in the fun, the details are at the end of this post.

the theme this month is "dreams," to be interpreted however you wish. i painted the backgrounds for these 3 atcs while i was demonstrating in the liquitex booth at cha.

• i dream of visiting paris again someday (inchie courtesy of my pal lisa morris)
• the picasso quote about art reminds me why i felt so driven to stop dreaming about being an artist and just be one
• the last one is abstract with a hint of something recognizable, like waking up from a dream feels sometimes

here are the instructions for joining this month's swap - all styles and skill levels are welcome.

theme - dreams

deadline - 3/6/10

1) sign up by emailing me with your mailing address ( i will not share your mailing address with anyone. i will email you back with my mailing address.

2) create an atc that reflects your take on the theme. use whatever mediums, materials, techniques, and foundation that you like! just remember that artist trading cards are always 2.5"x3.5". sign and date the back of your atc legibly.

3) mail your atc to me by the deadline - include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

4) i will gather the atcs into random partner pairs and post the pairs' names here, then I'll mail your partner's atc to you.

ready, set...swap!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

still feelin a bit quilty

i am not really a quilter, but i pretend from time to time. i love beautiful quilts and i love the texture of fabric in creative projects, but all the planning and measuring and cutting is not so much for me. i like to create more on the fly, design as i go, let the mojo do whatever it wants to do.

so i looked up some different quilt blocks and found one called augusta. i used it as inspiration to paint an 8" quilt block on timtex layered with a 6" square of lutradur. i played with my dearly beloved textile tool to carve the star points and emboss a little 9-patch pattern around the edge.

  1. spritz an 8" square of timtex and a 6" square of lutradur with 2 contrasting colors of spray ink; allow to dry
  2. use acrylic paint and/or paint markers to draw and fill in the shapes you like from the quilt block - keep it loose like i did or be precise, whatever you prefer - allow to dry
  3. heat up the textile tool and use the fine point to carve some of the shapes into the lutradur, and use the square tip to deboss some texture into the timtex
  4. attach the two squares together with small brads at each corner
original augusta block diagram comes from the quilt block library.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

strips n scraps

i made this notebook cover for this month's fiber arts/mixed media challenge. you should check it out, it's a very inspirational group of nearly 2000 artists. i'm the challenge master there this year - we have nice prizes!

my february challenge for the group is to create a fiber art or mixed media piece that is loosely based on a traditional quilt block or setting. so i went digging through my fabric and ribbon scraps and pulled out a handful of different pieces. i tried to work quickly, without thinking too much - i usually end up liking what i create that way!
i stitched the patchwork to a sheet of cardstock with timtex interfacing in between.

my plan is to punch jump rings through the washers to bind the cover to a stack of sketch paper, with grungeboard on the back.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

wristlet purse

this started as a make-n-take at last summer's cha show with traci bautista. i just quickly spray-painted a flower stencil on one side of a plain wristlet and then painted the petals with a few different colors of acrylic paint. i couldn't stay at her booth long enough to finish it, but was happy for the opportunity to meet traci, whose mixed-media art i really like.

so this little ufo finally resurfaced this weekend and i decided to finish it with paint markers and iridescent medium. i added a few stitches with embroidery floss, too. wristlets come in handy whenever you don't want to lug around your whole purse - how fun to carry one you painted yourself!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

ticket box

when i was at the craft supershow, i had forgotten to bring a little basket or jar for my prize drawing slips. so i grabbed an indie file box from the shelf...but what a crime to have a plain white box in such an arty crafty booth!

so i finally collaged it with random torn pieces of floral print tissue. the flower embelly is painted lutradur sitting inside a painted chippy frame.

if you're in northern california the weekend of march 20-21, come to the contra costa county quilt guild show...spend some time gazing at lovely quilts, plus i'll be there selling books and fabric art supplies. don't miss my free fabric painting class at the show - saturday 3/20 at 12-1pm.

this cute little box will be sitting on my table to collect your prize entry slips...oh yes, there is always a prize!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ornaments aren't just for christmas

this is a romantic little ornament i just made with a 2.25" blank board block. i have it hanging on the doorknob to my studio.

i upcycled a sweet greeting card and glued parts of it to each side, added a cool inchie and some bling, punched holes through it and fed through some ribbons with beads. then i added glitter glue to all the edges.

so every wednesday night, i get to be the "singing prize lady" on inspired at home's pajama party, live on facebook. we get really silly and have a lot of fun, and we share our art and craft projects with each other online - it's a craft jam with a web cam! i learn something new every week - a new product i haven't used, a new technique i haven't tried.

anyway, tonight we showed all our valentine-type projects, so i had to resurrect my other little blank board block ornament. i gave it a face lift though - added some new metal findings and charms.

Monday, February 08, 2010

red romance

valentine's day projects are running amuck (amuck, amuck, amuck!) - so what the hey, here's mine!

it started with a little red wax envelope seal of the first letter of my name....oh and looky there, it's the first letter of "love" too!

i attacked the cover of a
heart-shaped blank board book with my red stamp pad, using the edges of the pad to create a distressed, edgy geometric texture, perfect for the words within.

the words i chose to write on the inside pages are lyrics from classic rock ballads...they offer some of the best romantic poetry around. selecting lyrics was easy as a, b, c !

aerosmith - i don't want to miss a thing
beatles - i want to hold your hand
chicago - color my world

i stamped the edges of the inside pages randomly with a floral pattern, then dabbed pink paint in the center. the modern flowers images throughout are rub-ons. i used a paint marker to color the edges of all the pages red.

now i'm off to find more lovey-dovey lyrics from def leppard, eagles, foreigner, genesis, heart, iron maiden, jefferson airplane, kansas, led zeppelin, moody blues, night ranger, ozzy osbourne, pink floyd, queen, rolling stones, styx, tina turner, u2, van halen, whitesnake, exodus, yardbirds, and zz top.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

no shirt, no superbowl

question posed on twitter by my friend kelly jo: "how will you make the superbowl crafty?"

my response: "i {hate} football, so i will make it crafty by ignoring it and retreating to my studio!"

but then disaster brother had nothing to wear to his superbowl party today.

he has probably a hundred printed tee shirts in his closet, and he loves picking out just the right shirt for every occasion. since his favorite football team, the 49ers, isn't in the superbowl...he decided to root for the saints. his friend invited him over to watch the game, but alas, he didn't have a saints tee shirt - and i did not feel like driving across town to the department store.

what to do?

i got out the iron, the tap paper, the liquitex paints (how much do i love that they don't need heatsetting on fabric), some brushes and sponges, and one of his plain tee shirts...and just a scant 30 minutes later...crisis averted.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

peacock feathers

while i was at the cha trade show, i spent a few hours each day in the liquitex booth, demonstrating paints, inks and mediums on a variety of surfaces.
this is black lutradur, painted with a variety of soft-body acrylic colors, and accented with black lava texture medium. then using my textile tool, i carved it out of the sheet and burned accent lines and dots into the design.
it's roughly 15' square, and i'm still noodling on what to do with it....i might stitch it into a wall quilt, or i might wrap it around a vase. it sure was fun to paint!

Friday, February 05, 2010

good time in anaheim

i recently spent a week in southern california, exhibiting at both the craft supershow (my booth above) and the cha trade show (c&t's booth below). it was a really great time for connecting with friends, colleagues and customers - and there was tons of creative energy and enthusiasm in the air.
i had amazing helpers and demonstrators at both shows, i appreciate their time and talent so much! i loved meeting many of my online friends too - nothing like connecting a real face and voice to an avatar.

i posted loads of pictures on flickr - enjoy!