Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Stitches That Bind

Oh my, this was just too much fun to make! I have been itching to do another encaustic / textile mixed media piece. My girls both had the flu this past week and there has been little time to sleep nor play. As soon as fevers subsided and laundry cleaned, I ran to the studio for some art therapy!

This was done on a mounted canvas. I pulled out one of my easels and acrylic paints with glee. I then layered it with the quilting cotton fabric (they are from Blend, Charlotte Lyons line - Walnut Hill Farm) I embroidered on linen the following quote - "Reinforce the stitch that ties us, and I will do the same for you". They were embedded into the canvas with warm, hot beeswax.

I wanted something more.. Something organic. I wanted to have some free motion sketching on the canvas, but I did not want to cover up more of the paint with chunks of fabric. I had an idea!

I knew that you could create free standing lace by stitching soluble stabilizer and tulle. I wondered if I could do that with just free motion sketching and if the hot buttery wax could melt the stabilizer. And it did! Looking back I could have washed off the stabilizer, dried it and then embedded... Oh well, maybe I will try that next week.

This was such a fun treat to make after a week of some ickiness.
I think it is the perfect Valentine art and just placed it on Etsy.. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Big Dream List

Last year I found and become obsessed with Create Mixed Media's podcasts. I love hearing from artists: their techniques, their loves and their tips. In one of the podcasts, the artist spoke for several minutes on the importance of creating a "big dream" list. Basically you sit down and meditate over what are the largest goals/dreams that you can imagine for your life. I heard in an interview with Jim Carrey that he did something similar, he wrote himself a check for one million dollars and had a deadline. It's not voodoo or something equally mythical. It's making yourself really question what you want and then holding yourself accountable for achieving those goals in your lifetime.

I am huge on lists. I have a ridiculous amount of notebooks and planners. I have a list for my daily and monthly action items among other extraneous ones. However, I did not have a big dream list. I figured why not, right? Last year I had decided I was not going to be mainstream when it made me uncomfortable, I didn't want to create the same item over and over, I didn't care if my art was sold or accepted. All that freedom left me with lots of free room, but not much direction. Sitting down to create this list was hard!

Actual list created last year!

I want enough money to contribute to our home, I want to inspire, I want some level of acknowledgment and acceptance in my inner circles, and I want a wee bit of fame. I knew this list was supposed to be a BIG dream list, but it had to be true to me too.

Now like I said, it's not magic making them happen. Once the list is completed, you are to write another list. A list of what YOU have to do to make those dreams a realistic goal. For every single one of these goals, the answer was to CREATE MORE. I needed to work more, more authentic, creating those images that have been dancing in my head.

And so I have focused on creating.It's a hard balance with family, as a mother of two young girls and another baby on the way.. they are my first priority. However in the wee hours of the night and naps, I have worked.

This past weekend, I was blessed with this email from Jenny Doh..

I was able to mark my first goal as completed! Later this year I will be a Guest Curator on Crescendoh! I'm beyond excited. I wanted this because Jenny is one of my most favorite role models. I adore everything she creates, she spends her life inspiring others and spotlighting others, she is just amazing in so many ways. And as a Guest Curator, this opportunity is not a hot spotlight on me. I spend the week spotlighting artists I adore! Isn't that awesome? And there is a post about my personal experience with Art Saves.

I hope that you will consider writing a big dream list. And don't hide it away, don't forget about it, don't be embarrassed about it. Honestly I was bit frightened to publish my list on Instagram and now here, it makes my most precious dreams vulnerable to others. 
But dreaming big requires big leaps of faith.
So go do it..

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Poisoned Apple - Completed Piece

I loved this process so much.. I can't wait to get started on another!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Poisoned Apple - WIP

It's no surprise that my girls are huge Disney nuts.. Considering how much my Mum and I love the movies and the park, it was their destiny to be little princesses. And as much as I love Disney, sometimes when Tangled or Snow White seems to play endlessly in our home.. I tend to well, think darker thoughts..

I've wanted to do a poisoned apple clutch for awhile now and finally had some time this weekend to play. There are so many types of pigment on this Kona white cotton. I used my Inktense pencils, silk dye, dye-na-flow, lumiere paint, and good 'ol fabric paint. This picture is before I went free motion crazy on it.

I just couldn't bear to cut it up into a single purse. I wanted to keep it for myself, a number of friends have love for it and I wanted to offer it in the shop. What to do?

I decided to take a number of high resolution pictures of the fabric and I'm going to reprint them at Spoonflower. I have NO idea how I will like the end result..but experimenting can be fun.

As for the original? I've also been wanting to mix fabric art with encaustic techniques.. So that is what I will be working on tonight..

Friday, January 18, 2013

Inktense Fun With Machine Embroidery

Earlier this week I really wanted to play more with the Inktense pencils. And as much I as enjoy free motion sketching, I really wanted to just focus on playing with the pencils and not get caught up in critiquing my  thread sketching. I decided I would use my machine embroidery for a quick and beautiful canvas. This deer head pattern was purchased from Urban Threads.

I originally had intended for this to be a masculine gift item, but after having fun with the Inktense pencils.. I decided to go down a more feminine route. I simply can't get over how the pencils come alive with a bit of liquid. Right now I tend to paint over it with a 1:1 mixture of water and fabric medium -- it gives me great control without any bleeding issues.

I decided to piece it into an tote with an improv quilt style. I really wanted to keep it, but in the end I decided to list it on Etsy. If you are interested it is $35.00 and listed here. I'm not sure how much I'll be making items for the Etsy shop, but by request I am trying to create more artistic works into an item that can be worn or used.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Productive Start to the Month

Our year has started off with so much happiness. We found out we are expecting a baby boy! Our two girls are pretty ecstatic to be blessed with a baby brother. We are planning on making the theme of his nursery nautical/ fishing -- I have been pinning ideas like crazy. What a change we will have, for the last 5 years our home has been adorned with pink, princesses and tutus. I think my husband will be happy to add a bit more race cars and dinos.

Even though I've been fending off a bad cold and have lost a majority of my voice, my energy levels are high and I've been whipping through quilt tops. In less than two weeks, I've created 3 quilt tops, completed one quilt, and create a mini art quilt. This is not my normal speed and it's been fabulous to get so much done.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you are pretty familiar with the Scrappy-Trip-Along. A great quilt pattern that utilizes scraps and comes together so fast; the tutorial is here. This block can be fashioned in various ways and they all look amazing. This quilt is for a friend of mine that just adopted a sweet, baby boy from Africa. His nursery is full of bright, happy colors. I did change the layout a bit before the final piecing, it was a bit dark in the lower right in this picture.

 Last year, my guild friend Elisa hosted a hexagon challenge using FreeSpirit's Bee's Knees fabric line. I created my baby quilt using a faux applique technique. Basically you sew the fabric to fusible interfacing and iron it on the base fabric. It achieves a clean applique edge, but does not adhere the fabrics flat together and it's super fast! 
This is the improv pieced back of the quilt. I love the bright colors and bee motif. This will be Baby Boy's first quilt.

The season 4 of Project Quilting started back up this week and the first challenge was "A square in a square.. ". I was inspired to finally create a mini art piece based on our church. Every Sunday I'm fascinated by the blue, green and purple stain glass squares featured in our parish. I've titled it "Church Squares".. Small art quilts by far are more challenging for me! This one measures a modest 8.5" square.

It was a fabulous excuse to break open into my new box of Inktense pencils and experiment. So much fun! This was on a very heavy canvas fabric. I colored the squares with the pencils first. Then mixed equal portions of water with fabric medium and painted in the squares. It is magical to watch the colored pencil come alive with a bit of medium. Once it dried I went back and filled in the other areas with Lumiere metallic paint.

Last by not least, I've retrieved this Valentine quilt top that was shelved last year. It was a simple and sweet construction, adorned with a bit of hand embroidery. I now have it loaded on my mid-arm, Fiona, and hoping to have it completed by late this evening.

Phew.. It's been a busy two weeks!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Start the Year off With a Little Charity

One of my favorite parts of the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild is the desire to create for charity. I love having friends that will create just for the love of creating for someone. Not for attention, not for a magazine, not for any recognition. It's an awesome and increasing rare trait - love it.

Leigh created the quilt top. I love the modern and organic feel to it. It's a great design to showcase a favorite fabric.

The back and binding fabric were donated by Elisa. I love how the back colors pull out the light shade of coral and the various blues.

And I quilted it on my mid-arm, Fiona. I'm still so nervous when I quilt for others, but I'm pretty happy with this delicate design.

Do you quilt for charity? What are your favorites? I've also made a few quilts for Quilts For Kids -a fabulous organization!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Starting the Year Like a Zombie

Happy New Year! I have some serious high hopes for 2013. There were some highlights in 2012, but in general I was pretty happy to see an end to the year. In 2013 my parents will be moving to our state, we will welcome baby #3 and I have so many fun art adventures I'm ready to get started on. My word for this year is quite simply - JOY. Find it, embrace it, and above all give it. I hope this year has started on a fresh bright note for you too!

Back to starting the year like a Zombie. Well I mean like a Happy Zombie, of course! When I attended Spring Market last year, I picked up a fat quarter bundle of her Winterkist line. Ohh, the cuteness factor was off the charts! I loved the whimsical winter motif with bright colors and shiny, happy gnomes. I knew when I bought it that I wanted to create Christmas quilts for my girls. And well.. I've finished one so far..

This one is Kiddo's.. Green and blue are her favorite colors as she would be eager to tell you. I added the red colorway to add a more Christmas feel to it.

I created it with key blocks (which look way more involved than they truly are) and focus blocks of the gnomes with courthouse steps framing them.

Seriously, aren't those gnomes so adorable? They reminded Kiddo of Santa Claus and she loved to look at all their faces.

I used a white minky fabric on the back since Kiddo is on the sensory sensitive side and really loves to touch soft fabrics. 

I tried to create a swirling, swooshy wind quilt motif. I love how all the crevices get nice and crinkly after the wash.
It truly is her favorite quilt today, with the Halloween one taking a close second.

Baby's quilt took longer than I anticipated and is quite large! The pattern is from Material Obsession 2: More Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots . I love this book and was happy to finally create a quilt from it.

It still needs a pressing, quilting, and binding.. I went from planning it as a Christmas gift to now looking at Valentine's Day.. Oh well.. She is busy playing with her dolls from Santa anyways.

And last but not least, I bought Derwent Inktense Watersoluble Ink Pencils- Set of 24 Colors  with some Christmas money!

I need to finish a quilt for my guild and a quilt for a friend before I can break into these. I've read rave reviews about using them on fabric and can't wait to play. I'll post some pics once I have something to show.


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