Monday, March 30, 2015

Remember this

"Any day above ground is a great day.  Remember that."


Friday, March 27, 2015

Not That I Needed These

BUT I had to try some new pens.  

My Molotow pens are running out  - as I have enjoyed them very much.  Will be ordering more of those, too.  These Posca pens have received good reviews so they will be tested in my journal.  Don't you just LOVE new supplies?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What I [Wish I] Was Watching on TV

Most of you who are reading this are creative and can understand the need for busy hands.  I cannot simply sit in front of a television and watch a show or movie - I must be doing something simultaneously, such as binding a quilt or doodling.  More often than not the tv is on for something to listen to while I create something.  It was great once upon a time when there were shows on cable networks that combined the two - they aired craft shows!
Wouldn't it be great if we could watch a craft show once again?!  When my first son was born and I found myself home with an infant, Carol Duvall was my saving grace.  Each morning at 10:00 she would enter my family room and show me how to make cool cards, rubber stamp and so much more.  She would take me to visit artists around the country - into their galleries and studios.  I loved the diversion and inspiration.  

A few years later I was entertained by Jennifer Perkins and her Craft Lab.  She brought visiting artists in to her studio to teach segments.  Loved the projects she did and found many other artists and crafters to follow via this show.

Craft Corner Death Match was a hoot!  Such a simple and fun concept, and they were way ahead of the game with this reality contest.  [The celebrity filled craft contest show that was aired in recent years didn't hold a candle to this show!]

There were so many others out there, including the quilter Eleanor Burns and knitter Vicki Howell.  And the show that visited artist studios in each episode.  And where is Creative Juice?
 Do you miss these shows?  Aren't there enough crafters and artists out there to cater a little bit of programming toward?  [I know, I know, stream it on the computer.  I just like my shows bigger, mounted up high in my room and loud enough that I can hear over my sewing machine.  But I digress.] All of these craft celebrities are online and I have had the pleasure of taking classes with Eleanor multiple times.  I'll put my older self out there, though, and say "bring back the craft shows!"
With me?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's on my Craft Table? Backgrounds

Paper and fabric.
I have crafty ADD - I can't focus on just one medium, but must bounce around from fabric to paper to jewelry, sometimes within the same hour. It all makes me happy so who's to judge.  

I have sketchbooks and notebooks all over the place so I can record my thoughts and ideas whenever they may strike.  I will draw out ideas for quilts with a pencil when the vision pops into my head.  Give me a challenge and I will sketch several [what I think are] really cool ideas.  Maybe I will make ONE - and it is usually the simpler one.  But the others are not forgotten and are immortalized in these books.  I still WANT to make the others, especially art quilts.  So I begin with a background.

I have 2 1/2" fabric strip rolls that are all different white on white prints.  I thought that making a 'jelly roll race' quilt using these strips would make an interesting background, so I sewed all 40 strips end to end.  Deciding that this would be too large of a background, I cut the long strip in half so I will have two bases on which to build upon.  

On the paper side of the table, I have been playing with my Gelli Plates to make some painted backgrounds.  I like to keep these on hand to use in collage, to make books, postcards and more.  (I have used my Gelli plate to create paint patterns on fabric, too!)

Peak season in Florida is winding down and that means that I will once again take some trips - personal, business and family.  Lots of creativity planned in these trips and I'll be sharing them here.  
Now go create something.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mind Spilling

That is how I described my methods and thoughts about art journaling to a fellow quilter who said she could never do what I, and other journalers, do. I quickly replied that she was wrong. Because she was. Because anyone can journal if one has a writing tool and something to journal in or on. I believe this lady was specifically referring to some photos and journal pages that she had seen from the Documented Life Project last year. I love collaging, doodling and mark making. I also like to write out my thoughts (not ALWAYS for others to read), as I find it does so many positive things to my head. For me it is mind spilling.

Did you keep a diary when you were a kid? "Dear diary. My mom is the meanest in the world. My friends are so mean. I really like this guy...." It was a place to write our thoughts out. If we were angry we could calm our temper. We could safely share our secrets. It was a tool to help us through the tumultuous tween years. For me, a few years later, art journaling works the same way. I just have more fun doing it, as I am playing with pretty papers and juicy pens. My pages often have a tone reflective of something on my mind. I will do some artistic lettering and write in the blank spaces. During a workshop with author and artist Diana Trout, she had us journal - spill our thoughts out on a page. We then took gesso and covered our writing. Our thoughts were there, down on paper, forever - and private, never to be read by others. But WE knew it was there. It was a bit liberating.

If you have been wanting to try journaling, do it. You can. You don't need a lot of stuff. And there are TONS of websites with instructions, prompts, ideas and more. You can join in a weekly journal-a-long or you can keep it to yourself with a pencil and paper. If you don't do it every day, no one will know. If you don't draw well, no one will know. It is for YOU. It is your creative journey - enjoy it!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Drawing Toast

I mentioned in an earlier post that quilt artist Sarah Ann Smith learned to draw during her second career as an artist - as a grown up and not in art school. She recommended a few online sites I visited them immediately. Within an hour of returning home, I had purchased Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory for my ipad reader.
It reads quickly, easily and do-able. I am not one for long exercises, special papers and tons of new supplies (okay, that is a lie, I love art supplies) and need to make any self guided learning goals reasonable and attainable. I can, have, and will continue to work from this book. Danny Gregory has you drawing for learning techniques and not for perfection. And he makes it so you really can find the time to draw. I read ahead of the exercises and did go back and do them. And I didn't actually draw toast, as I don't eat toast for breakfast. But I have drawn my coffee mug, craft project, and a table in my deck with some cool shadowing. Sketchbook and pencil are on the kitchen counter ready for me to just draw. Want to learn to draw? Check out his book and blog so you can create every day, too!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Creatively Inspired By...Sarah Ann Smith

While it is often a challenge for me to attend lectures and classes, I have the pleasure of belonging to a long established quilt guild in my hometown that brings in top-notch talent. Talented guests usually lecture to the group during the monthly evening meeting and follow up with a class the next day. An added bonus for me is my shop's close proximity to the meeting venue. I open my classroom to the guild board to host a quick and casual dinner prior to the meetings - and that means that these wonderful women and (sometimes men) visit my shop!
This month the guild welcomed Sarah Ann Smith to lecture and teach. I wasn't too familiar with her work prior to her lecture, but was immediately taken by her warm and outgoing personality. She talked a bit about her journey to art, which was not immediate, but via a professional career in the foreign service. During her lecture she mentioned that she was not an immediate, natural artist when she was younger, and learned to draw as an adult. I could totally relate! And then she began her show and tell - amazing art quilts, many pictoral. She had her own techniques for Hawaiian inspired quilts, (which is what she taught.)
During the meeting break I asked her about learning to draw and she recommended some online sites and courses (which I immediately went to visit and will mention in another post.) Sarah took a non traditional route to becoming a quilt artist - and after a different career! She inspired me to keep learning and trying new techniques - it is NEVER to late to become an artist!
Find out more about Sarah Ann Smith on her website here. Keep on creating! Johanna

Monday, March 16, 2015

Postcards and Time

Most creative people I believe will agree that there is never enough time in a day/week/month to do all of the things that we desire! My quilt shop is certainly creativity based and I have the pleasure of surrounding myself with other creative people and FABRIC each and every day but I don't always have time to do the things that I wish to do - for myself. Not complaining. Love what I do. Any quilting I do does tend to be prioritized for the store, however. Just itching to delve into the art quilting world, I picked up some new 'toys' from the Broward Quilt Expo this weekend. Some new fabric paint and Thermofax screens, which I have wanted to experiment with for a while. I added some hand dyed Osnaberg and linen to play with. Now that the show is over I think I will have some more free time for personal projects. After 4 straight days at the show, I indulged in some paper arts and made four collage postcards for the Mail Me Some Art swap. All found images representing the letter 'M'. FUN and a great way to jump start my art brain.
I fulfilled my New Years resolution, which was to get my bill paying set up online. Perhaps I should add this to my list - a 2nd quarter resolution- to really get my personal blog up and running. I know I can write more than one at a time and schedule the posts. I have lots of things to write about, as I keep journals everywhere so I can record my thought and ideas on paper. To just do it. And then find people to read it!