Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Postcard Swap

I participated in the iHanna DIY Postcard swap again this year. It is an international swap where we create, send, and receive 10 postcards. Last swap I was NOT disappointed, as I found 10 wonderful pieces of art in my mailbox. I can't wait to see what arrives this month.
I had fun playing and creating these postcards. There is acrylic paint and stencils, collage elements, a bit of sewn fabric, washi, and paint pens.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Swap Commitments, Antiquing - and Tailgating

I suppose time just gets in the way and the best intentions remain nothing but notes and sketches in one of my notebooks. I have lots of good ideas for this personal blog of mine. This is to be my own space - not related to my shop and it's blog and social media (which is hard enough to keep up with). StitchCraft and it's blog focus on quilting and sewing and what is new and related to the business. When not working I very often stray from fabric and delve into art journaling, junk journaling, mixed media jewelry and any other craft that sparks my interest. I can't help myself and I KNOW you relate!
Sometimes I like to join swaps and groups, as I work well on a deadline. I recently did a mini junk journal swap through a FB group. Long have I recycled found papers and leftovers to make journals and other paper crafts - the popularity has spread and there are now groups dedicated to it. I created the above journal - approximately 3"x4" - for a gal in Alabama. I had a fun time creating it and received a great little journal from her in exchange. Next up is a the iHanna Postcard swap. I participated in this last year and it was lots of fun. I create 10 art postcards and mail them to the recipients. In turn I receive 10 from others, many who are from other countries. I was so pleased with the amazing little works of art that arrived in my mailbox. I have to get cracking and finish my postcards, as they are due to be mailed at the end of this month. It is not too late to sign up - just click the button on the side for information. I squeezed in a quick 2 day trip to Mt. Dora for a bit of antique retail therapy. It's always fun to peruse the many offerings at the Renningers Antique Extravaganza - I think you can find just about anything here. It is both a relief and a frustration that I don't have a bigger car so I can't take home as much as I would like to. I did find lots of inspiration - and lots of laughs - at some of the finds at the show. Besides the usual miscellaneous pieces of jewelry for crafting, there were some surprises…
A goat made out of scrap metal. An embalming table and the undertakers embalming kit (ewwww) Friday night we have a tailgate party. Thirty three women participating in a surprisingly sumptuous meal served from themed tables. My friend and I did a little Mediterranean themed offering, with pesto salmon, salad, hummus and pita. Others had a Tex Mex theme with quesadillas and chicken tortilla soup, a Southern Biscuit table and a Thanksgiving table with turkey and pumpkin soup. Decorated tables and a fire pit really set the tone for a super fun time!
Thats all for now - I will try and promise not to wait to long to return!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mosaic Inspiration

From the instant we arrived at the gates to Park Guell in Barcelona, I knew I had found a special place that would touch my soul.  The vision of architect/artist Antoni Gaudi, Park Guell is a visual feast for those of us who live for color and texture.  We had the pleasure of having a private tour guide to explain to us what we were seeing in the structures, pathways and open spaces that filled the park, as well as buildings and the Sagrada Familia church throughout Barcelona.  I could fill pages with everything that I loved about Barcelona and the works of Gaudi - here are a few photos of mosaics.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Spain

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Creative Back to School

I am sadly past the time in my life where I can make a big deal about my kids going back to school.  There is not much shopping and the requisite 'first day' photo must be a sneak attack.  I cannot resist the need to still look at all of the colorful supplies that stock the store aisles at the end of the summer.  

While visiting Berlin last month I found the Idees shop, a craft shop across the street from the enormous KaDeWe department store.  While I enjoyed the large selection of craft supplies, ranging from fabric to beads to paper arts and more, I was smitten with the large display of colorful paper cones arranged in an appealing display.  I was happy to find a sign in English explaining the purpose for these tantalizing towers.   The sign read:

When children in Germany and Austria set off for their first day in school upon entering first grade, their parents and / or grandparents present them with a big cardboard cone, pretty decorated and filled with toys, chocolate, candies, school supplies, and various other goodies.  It is given to children to make this anxiously awaited first day of school a little bit sweeter.

It's called Schultute (translated to 'school cone) and it's a tradition that dates back two centuries.  Don't you just LOVE this idea?  had I seen this 13 years ago I would have had a fabulous time creating the perfectly decorated cone.   What kind of creative back to school traditions do you have?

Monday, July 14, 2014

French General Chateau Getaway

I had the privilege of traveling to Chateau Dumas in Auty, France last month.  Kaari Meng, owner of French General,  fabric designer, author and artist has organized this wonderful trip for the past 6 summers.  Fourteen women came together along with Kaari, her sister, mom and friends, to eat well, visit farmers markets and brocantes, craft and enjoy life as a rural french woman.  It was a magical week.  The following is a video from my photos.  I am no great photographer but was intent on capturing the essence of the chateau and it's surroundings.  (Billy Joel accompanies the video.  A little odd of music choice so you may want to adjust accordingly)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Postcard Swap Arrival!

Received my first postcard from the iHanna DIY Postcard Swap in the mail today.  I was greeted by a fabulous envelope with the postcard - and other ephemera - inside.  Thank you Patty!  It's wonderful!  I'll be adding some of the extra goodies in my Documented Life Project planner/journal.  

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

IHanna's Postcard Swap

I have been having so much fun playing in my mixed media mess of fun in my studio lately!  By day I am surrounded by fabric (which I LOVE) yet in the off hours I often mix it up with paper, paints, pens,etc..  I have been keep up (sort of) with the Documented Life Project and took a mixed media book making class with DJ Petit (3 days of fabulous).

Years ago (when AOL was the only email option) I participated in mail art.  I loved it and saved some of it, as I didn't want to part with some cool art.  I have seen the postcard swaps that iHanna has sponsored and was excited to be on top of things and sign up.  I created 10 postcards and will mail them out tomorrow to recipients in the US and beyond.  I will also be receiving 10 in my mailbox.  Fun, right?!!

Here are my 10 postcards.  I started with a whole bunch of Gelli prints.  Some have collaged bits of paper and fabric - a few deli paper flowers.  I added paints, markers, and some stitching.  Hanna created a postcard template for the notes and addresses.  Lot's of people will be making May 1st a happy mail day!  Come back to see what mail arrives in MY box!  (perhaps I'll get around to catching up with posts of my DLP project, too!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Catching Up with the Documented Life Project

I am truly enjoying participating in the Documented Life project.  Amazingly, I have been keeping up with it each week.  Posting it to a blog and to the files on the groups' Facebook page is another story.  I last left off with Week 7 and I am now working on week 13.  A bit of a catch-up post .

I am missing one week, apparently.  
I am torn daily between my fabric arts and my paper arts.  I just signed up with iHanna do do a postcard exchange as well - I have seen the past works in this group and couldn't resist.  Throw in a workshop next week with mixed media artist DJ Petit and I think I know which part of my studio will get the most use in the coming weeks!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Documented Life Week 7 and Other Creative Endeavors

Must say I have been enjoying the weekly page challenges/prompts for the Documented Life project.  It's a manageable commitment, which is always good - because it gives me the opportunity to stay up to date and current with everyone else.  Week 7 was to draw a shape - and repeat!  So many talented people are participating in this online group that it can be quite inspiring (and often intimidating if you are one who compares their art skills with that of others.)   Many pages are well thought out and planned, others, like mine, are more serendipitous and 'in-the-moment'.  Before I started my page I perused some of my craft draws for some inspiration.  I came upon a circle stencil with many sizes of the round shape.  I proceeded to draw circles then added color, texture, highlights, stitching, etc...

Not so artistic but fun and relaxing.  I did the circles on a larger sheet of paper so before creating the tip in I folded it in half and added some machine stitching.  The back of the page also has some of the circles with some words added.

A fellow quilt guild member is also participating in the Documented Life project so we sat down and enjoyed looking at each others' planner.  It's nice to know others who enjoy working in all types of creative media.  I go back and forth between the paper and the fabric daily and mix it up when I can.  Tomorrow I take a class from long time quilt expert Cindy Blackberg, who will be teaching hand piecing mixed with hand embroidery.  I love learning new techniques!  Cindy uses rubber stamps and Versa Craft stamp pads to in lieu of tracing templates.   This sounds brilliant to me and I can't wait to play tomorrow!   I'll let you know what I think.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Weeks 5 and 6

What happened to week 4?  I didn't photograph it.  I didn't like it that much anyway.  The challenge for week 4 was to write a message and hide it by painting, collaging or journaling over it.  I liked that part.  

The week 5 Challenge was to add a doodle border.  I love all of the doodling I see on the many websites and groups (like this one).  I have read about and tried zentangles (in fact I like to joke that all of the mindless doodling all over my school books growing up looked liked zentangles.  I may have been ahead of the trend as a kid.)  So I doodled a border of giant flowery shapes.
I like to journal 'in the moment" so I added some letters for some mental reinforcement and wrote about all of the stresses of the present. Not necessary bad things mind you.  It always feels good to spill my thoughts on paper.  It's cheaper than therapy. 

The week 6 challenge was to do a page inspired by a Pinterest pin or board.   Being that I am in the fabric and quilting industry I pin a lot of quilt artists.  Jamie Fingal is an artist who creates amazing art quilts and other fiber art creations (like decoupaging boots with fabric!)  I did a page inspired by Jamie's artwork and her new fabric line (which I LOVE!)
This is my page - I used some of my new Inktense pencils along with some various markers.  
Check out these boots!  Love them and want to make a pair for myself!
An art quilt created by Jamie Fingal with her new fabrics! 

Truly enjoying participating in The Documented Life Project.  My business may be fabric but I will always be true to my first love - paper!  Even if I just spend a few minutes coloring or writing in the planner it makes me happy.  On to week 7.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Documented Life - Week 3

I am late posting the week three challenge - using an envelope from our mail on our page.  This was a fun and easy task, as I used to enjoy participating in mail art exchanges and challenges.  I had lots of ideas for embellishing and altering envelopes.  
I made my page two sided, using an envelope from the days mail and trimming it down to fit in my planner.  I decided to keep the outer edge open to use it to store other papers and such if I choose.  This side was painted and doodled with circles and dots and paper scraps were glued on.  The flower was drawn on the inside of a security envelope and colored with copics and cut out.  (This was one of the lessons in last years' online workshop 21 Secrets.)  Inside peeking out the window is an image from a stamp I carved of a basset hound (I own 2!)
This side was printed using my Gelli Plate (love it) and collaged with more bits of papers and a few more colored envelope doodle cutouts.  I affixed another envelope  - from a Starbucks gift card - that can also be used.  I tend to reach for the same color palette, don't I?  Blues, pinks, oranges - anything bright and cheerful.  I should challenge myself to do a very neutral piece some day.  Or maybe not.  When I do my pages - whether in this planner or other art journal - I just go! I  Intuitively grab paints, markers, collage elements, and any thoughts that I want to convey usually just come to me if I am to journal.  I am not an artist by trade and often have to follow written patterns when I am making samples or teaching in my quilt shop.  The art journaling is freeing and I love it!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Week 2 Challenge - the Documented Life Project

Roben-Marie Smith

Add a 'selfie' on our weekly journal page was the challenge for the second week.  It has been so interesting to see how so many creative people interpret the challenges differently.  There are over 3000 participants in the project so far (how amazing is that?!  kudos to the 5 artists who put it together!)  No two pages are alike and everyone has different ideas and inspirations.  

Some journalers use their pages like a sketch or art book and take time to create their piece.  There were drawn and painted faces;  realistic and whimsical.  Some incorporated photos, realistic and altered.  I like to journal intuitively, letting a natural creative flow create the page.  Whatever is in my head often gets put down on paper, whether or not it is relevant.  More playing than planning.  I like it that way.  When I am finished I feel the bit of creative release.  

My 'selfie' photo came in the form of a visitors pass from school.  I returned home and just stuck in to a sheet of painted waxed paper.  I added some stitching, collage, paint and markers.  While I don't have a specific word of the year, there are a few cliche sayings that I like to live by.  No Fear and Live Without Fear are two of them.  

My journaling/paper area is encroaching on my fabric and quilting area.  One big happy, creative mess (where of course I know where everything is.)

Create something today!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I suppose one knows they are getting older when they are oh-so-very content to stay home on New Years Eve, indulge on some Talenti gelato and 'play' in their art and craft studio until the ball dropped.   I suppose age has nothing to do with it as much as contentment in doing what makes me happy.  Among other things I played and practiced with watercolors, which is not something I have done much of.  I also worked on the cover of my journal planner for the Documented Life project which I am participating in this year.
It begins with a Moleskin Planner.  I have always been a Moleskin sketchbook fan and never knew they made planners.  I am a visual person (not to mention a forgetful person)  and NEED to write things  down.  Ever since I did the upgrade to my iPhone I have hated the calendar section.  I think I will be using this planner as a creative planner, keeping track of the creative things that I do and wish to do. The Documented Life Project will have weekly prompts as well, so that will help fill the journal and creatively challenge us participants. Above is the cover of my planner - below is the full spread.  I apparently didn't seal the layers very well and smeared some paint and ink.  I rather like the result.  More will get added to the cover as the project progresses.

The organizers of the Documented Life project are five super-talented artists who have gathered together to share with us and challenge us.  More on that to come, I am certain.  
Our first prompt/challenge was to incorporate our door - or a door - on a page.  Here is mine:
I took a photo of my front door and printed it on regular paper in black and white.  I used Portfolio crayons to tint the area and doodled and collaged around it.  The colors I used represent what is on the inside.  You can't tell how funky and colorful I am from the street.  I love how my two papillons are peeking out through the door - as always.  

Looking forward to creating something every day in 2014.  How about you?