Saturday, April 30, 2011

needlefelting nirvana

ocean sunset
silk and merino wool roving on lutradur

i think i could needlefelt all's creative, easy, quick, forgiving, fun, artistic, crafty, stress-draining...what more could you want? click here to watch last week's episode of wednesday night live, where i demonstrate lots of needlefelting techniques, tips and project ideas. try it, you'll like it!

autumn leaf
variegated hand-dyed wool roving with yarn on wool felt

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

i'm in an atc frame of mind

i'm so happy i finally got a lovely assortment of some of the artist trading cards i've collected over the years up on the wall in my studio. these white wood atc trays from 7 gypsies have been increasingly hard to find, but i was able to buy a few here locally and a few more online.

these cards represent the work of so many talented people all around the world - with so many different artistic styles and mediums - it inspires me to no end. i have another couple batches of cards beyond these, some are sitting in an album and some hang on the wall behind my desk at work.

all these cards also remind me that i have made as many as i have collected (atcs are always swapped) - phew!

Monday, April 18, 2011

steampunk atcs

these atcs were created by (clockwise from top left):
valerie, donna, uni, cathy, liz, and tarri
tonight i hosted a local atc group with about 6-8 women who meet once a month...and my theme was steampunk! click on the image once or twice to zoom in and see all the wonderful detail.

this group has been going for quite a few years now - it began in a local scrapbook store that closed a couple years ago, so now each member takes turns hosting in our homes. i went a few times a year or more ago, and i just started back up with them last month. i admire this group so much for staying together for so long!

each month we decide on a theme and we all make cards for everyone. we linger lovingly over the swapping part of the evening. we each take a turn handing out the atcs we made, and we share all the details...what inspired us, where we found our materials, what techniques we used.

then one of us shares a demo or we all make something - last month we did a really fun improvisational round robin, where we each started an atc background, then rotated the cards to each person to add a little something extra - a layer, a stamped image, some distressing, a border, an embellishment. each atc turned out completely different and unique.

tonight i did a demo on how to use alcohol inks to marbleize translucent vellum paper - perfect for atc or greeting card backgrounds.

a very enjoyable evening! next month our theme is my thinking cap on!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

atc group

on monday i am hosting a local atc group that meets once a month for a little swap and creative time. i chose steampunk for the theme, which i interpreted very loosely on my cards.

the background is translucent vellum paper that i marbleized with alcohol inks and adhered to white cardstock. i added a chipboard trim that I distress-inked, stamped a pocket watch image, and finished off with some little metallic goo-gaws.

looking forward to a nice visit with the ladies!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

fussing with reds

here's what i've been working on, splattering and smudging acrylic inks and paints with glass beads medium on a 10" square tan canvas board. i fussed around with it until i liked the balance of messy and pretty. it was also an exercise for me, novice that i am, with painting flowers at different angles. i rather like the hint of a doorway that turned up in the background, i like the thought of this little bouquet warming up a whole room. i think i'm finally happy with it, it feels like me.

Friday, April 08, 2011


i picked up a 10" white painted wood letter for my name on sale a while back. wasn't sure if i wanted to paint it or collage it or what. finally tonight i decided to do a little tanglin' on it - i messed up a little on the basketweave section, but oh well, it was still fun!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

lovin' the tone on tone

here's another piece of tone-on-tone fabric i painted tonight. i kept the fabric damp as i added color and stamping to get the nice bleeding effect - click here to catch my demo, after the amazing brayer painting demo by lisa kerpoe...which i can't wait to try next!

before painting and stamping

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

paint stamping

tonight i played with white tone-on-tone fabric. i love the natural resist you get from the printed pattern when you give the fabric a light water wash (i used acrylic ink). then my next favorite thing to do is stamp random patterns with acrylic paint and household objects. i used a pencil eraser, the edge of a business card, a cookie cutter, plus a sponge dauber. i stamped while the fabric was still damp to get a nice little blur around some of the edges.

i just discovered a new challenge blog called paint party friday - so welcome and thanks to any new visitors from that site! i took their poll this week about where i like to paint, which is normally in my home studio...but tonight i painted during my weekly "twisted thimbles" night with my quilting friends in our guild's classroom. they quilt, i paint. or i work on a craft project. sometimes i surprise them and i sew a little. i bring them lots of quilting books and magazines from my office to peruse.

tomorrow night i'm demo-ing these easy and fun surface design techniques on wednesday night live! but i'm really looking forward to my guest's demo - lisa kerpoe - she's a wonderful textile artist who will show us how to do brayer painting on fabric - yummy!! hope you'll tune in!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

my local guild's quilt show

every tuesday night i hang out with a splinter group of members of my local quilt guild, we call ourselves the "twisted thimbles." i'm the one who rarely quilts in the group, i'm usually working on some other kind of mixed media project...but it's a great group of women who i enjoy spending time with every week.

recently one of our members (who is also the current guild president) suddenly had to have some pretty serious surgery, so we made her a get-well quilt using her favorite asian-themed fabrics and colors. we each made one or two blocks. since i'm the one in the group who sews the least, my block is a freehand-drawn and painted chinese character for "tranquility." we each signed our blocks, and they were whisked away to another member who quilted them together beautifully. i made the quilt label on the computer with a geisha image and transferred it to fabric with tap.

the quilt was hanging in our guild's annual show this weekend, i was so happy to finally see the finished work!

it was hard not to shop shop shop with the vendors at the show...but i was good, i bought only two cuts of yummy hand-batik fabric made by east african women from the asante network booth - yay for supporting fair trade!

if you are on facebook, click here to see more pictures i took of some of the quilts at the show that i liked the most.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

more indigo atcs arrived!

three more wonderful artist trading cards just arrived from my arts in the cards group. from the left, we have sue, ann, and karen...all unique takes on the "indigo" theme. click on the pic to zoom in.

and for you botanically-challenged folks like me, "baptisia tinctoria" is a flower more commonly known as "wild indigo."

i've just ordered more of my favorite atc trays to display all my new swap treasures, I can't wait to fill up the wall in my studio!