Monday, October 26, 2009

Stamps and such

I am trying to get back into a creative groove. School starting up for the kids has thrown my schedule into the twilight zone! So we are finally settling back into a new routine and I am trying to carve out some time for myself. Soccer was canceled on Saturday which gave me time to play catch up on projects! Yeah!

So I went to work on an idea I have had rolling around in my brain for a while. My inspiration was the fields of natural prairie grasses that grow so plentiful here in the midwest. I took pictures last fall (good thing as this fall has had nothing but rain!) I bought some fabric from my good friend Katherine Sands.

Well about a year ago I bought it! Anyway, I carved some stamps this weekend and played with them in my sketchbook to get my ideas down for the composition.

Not there yet but thought I would post and get some feedback.

This has a graduated background of blues and then I stamped the grasses in three colors. I added the other stamps and realized that I could do this as a piece near water and add reflections! Another avenue I hadn't considered.

This one was a simplified version of the different grasses. But I had sketched it in with colored pencils a while ago since I hadn't done the stamps yet.

This one was created like the first but on a previously painted background in my sketchbook. The colors are blending into the background so I need to add more darks. But this was just for ideas and working out everything.

The large stamp was of a teasel weed. Didn't realize it was an invasive plant until I was at a rest stop in Illinois and saw it posted on the wall! Yikes. I first noticed them last year and thought we were getting a cool thistle with some great flowers. All it did was turn brown.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's Official!

My piece for Houston was juried into the IQA show but did not win any awards. But it was my first shot ever at entering a piece into a major show and it made it!! So exciting. Tanya Brown was kind enough to snap some pics of my piece as I was unable to attend! Thanks Tanya!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ugly Duckling into a Swan

Recently I visited a blog where the owner was showing all of her beautiful hand dyed fabric. (I have lost the envelope with her name on it and will post as soon as I figure out who sent this to me!) She also had some not so great. She called them ugly. So she decided to offer the "ugly fabric" in a giveaway if you left a comment. Well I won one of the pieces. Personally I did not think it was bad. I have made worse!

A couple weeks ago, I found it in my stash while looking for something else. I immediately thought of grasses and water and knew I had some great fabric I could destroy to make this piece sing.

I added in the reflections with some dye pens. Now I need to quilt in the water and reflections. I am really excited about the progress. Just wanted to give a look see of something I am working on. It has been a while since I have posted since life has been crazy.

Update: Katy Quilts is where I won the fabric!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ever Watchful

I finally finished my piece for Art Now For Autism! The piece was due by September 1 so I am way ahead of the game for me!

This summer has been so crazy with weather and kid activities. I haven't had time to post anything in quite a while. I just got my sewing machine fixed and cleaned so I am now feeling more creative finally!

So I started out by rust dyeing some fabric and then drew the hawk with black fabric crayon. I had also painted the background in a blue which with the rust color background, turned the color more turquoise. So I thread painted the hawk in black and then quilted the sky. I used shiva paintsticks on the background and a little white on the hawk. I love how this turned out and hope it does well for the reverse auction.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Trying to Get My Groove Back

I have been in such a creative funk for some reason. I think this last school year was so incredibly crazy that my mind went blank when it finished. Trying to push through it and get back to creating. The weather hasn't been helping either. Below average temps, mosquitos the size of small dogs, gloomy days have really taken their toll.

But today dawned warmer and sunnier so I forced myself to get outside and work on a piece I had started a while back. I rust dyed some fabric and thought they would work so perfectly for hawks. I have them all over the place around my house and I could watch them for hours. I first noticed them in my life right before my dad was diagnosed with cancer. All the time leading up until his death, they were around me always. On the day he died, I was driving down the highway to see him and there must have been 24 of them circling and following me to my parents house. Since then I have always associated the hawks with my dads passing. I have had this piece stuck in my head for years and finally am ready to put it into reality.

I started with this smaller piece to see how it would work. I will use it to work out ideas for the bigger piece and it will be my donation to Art now for Autism.

This is the piece I will create for the Rust Tex challenge. I am planning on thread painting the hawks and my fathers face in black thread. Then I will quilt the background and add more details for the clouds as needed. I am happy to have gotten to this point. I just need to push through.

The photo of my dad was taken by my brother in law and I have had a copy of it for a few years. He granted me permission to use it for this piece. What a nice BIL. Thanks John Armentrout! a.k.a troutphoto.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Houston Entry Accepted!

I got the fat envelope on Monday saying my entry was accepted! This was my first try ever entering Houston and I made it in! I am still on cloud nine! Everyone on the Quiltart list is putting their entries up on their blogs. Apparently it is okay to do so. I was hesitant to post it but was told that it was okay. So without further ado, here it is:

The piece is 30" x 50" and a whole cloth piece. I drew out the design using watercolor crayons and water. I created the rocks using puffy paint and acrylic paint. I added details in the water using fabric paint. The trees are couched fibers, hand embroidery and beads. The face was made from the watercolor crayons and dye pens and hand embroidered with thread. The grassy areas were more couched yarns of various colors and weights. The flowers were made from painted cotton face cloths and cut to form petals and then sewn together. The leaves are created from various green batik fabrics fused together and cut into leave shapes, then hand sewn on. I machine quilted around the rocks to add more dimension. The red flowers were silk tangles from Jane Steinberg (Artistic Artifacts sells them).

This piece was from a photo my mother took out of a bus window and it was going to be thrown out. The picture caught a reflection in the glass of a lady on the bus and part of the scenery outside. The idea stuck in my head and I tried many different mediums to make it work - 15 years of trying! I finally tried it in fiber about 3 years ago and was liking how it was turning out until something made me stop. I let it sit for two years and then picked it up again and didn't stop until finished. I was so pleased with how this turned out.

Wish me luck in Houston!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Teacher's Gifts

I don't know what my problem is but this time of year I seem to have no concept of time! I am rushing to get teachers gifts made and they still have school for another week and a half! Oh well. I am finished and am extremely pleased with the results.

I found the pattern by Terri Stegmiller and decided that would be a perfect gift for the kids teachers.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finalist for QA Calendar!

I can't believe it but I made it into the finalist round for the Quilting Arts 2010 calendar! What an honor. And I almost didn't send it in but friends encouraged me to do it. I got my entry in right under the wire.

I happened to be on facebook when Pokey Bolton made the announcement the night before the official announcement! I screamed so loud that my son thought I had received bad news. Sorry Patrick!

They posted all the final entries on their new and improved website.

Here is my entry:

EDIT: I made it into the top 13!! Woo-hoo! I will be May in the calendar! Wow!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Collage Mania II

It's that time of year again! The difference being that this will be the last year Virginia Spiegel will be hosting this.

Gold Donor Day: May 5, 2009
All collages available for a minimum $80 donation.

Regular Collage Mania: May 6 and May 7, 2009
All collages available for a minimum $40 donation.

While there is a minimum donation, patrons are encouraged to donate a bit more if they are able for a favorite collage. All proceeds go directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.

My two pieces are located on the last page! Lots of eye candy out there!

Collage Mania 2009 Goal: $20,000.

Monday, April 27, 2009


So I went to IQA and bought a few things to play with in regards to fabric. The one thing I have actually had time to use was tannin. I bought it from Lois Jarvis of RustTex fame. After you start rust dyeing your fabric, you add the tannin to get the grays into the fabric. I didn't let my fabric rust dye as long as I usually do as the weather has been crazy? 25 degree temperature swings, rain and sunshine. So I let it rust for the afternoon and then added the tannin. I let it sit overnight because I forgot about it and it was raining again! Anyway, here are the results:

And of course I had to add an update of the puppy who is already 12 weeks old! He is quite content to hang out on my son Patrick. Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Creative Prompts Project-Spring and Air

Still working to catch up. I have two more done.
First is for 3/20 which was Spring.
I had painted in my sketchbook a few months back. I just did a bunch of pages so that when I needed a little creative boost, all I had to do was pick a page and start sketching or doodling. I found this page in my book - I love those trees! So I sketched in a tree that was suggested by the painting. Colors are red and green which to me symbolize the energy of new growth.

This one is for 3/27 which was Air.
I love the sky! One of these days I am going to ram into someone with my car if I am not careful. I am always checking out the clouds and birds. I just couldn't do a sketch of air - I had to paint it! I really am looking to try painting sky fabric with dyes when the weather finally does break!

Charms that missed the swap!

As usual, I didn't get something in on time. Partly because I didn't think they were good enough and partly because my life runs on a hamster wheel! So here they are:

Had to do a peacock

This was done on Stambord with embossed black ink. My sister carved the stamp for me and it is way too cool! So I stamped it and then hit it with the heat gun to emboss. When cool, I painted it with Twinkling H20's. Really cute.

Purple and green fairy or angel.

Pink fairy or angel

Definitely an angel

These were goddess type beads made out of fimo clay but they had a little kick to the side for a sassy look. After they were baked, I wrapped them in eyelash yarns and added wings. The purple wings were made out of ribbon and the other two were made from angelina film.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Creative Prompts Project-Kindness 3/13

Boy am I behind on this! I needed to get a bunch of things off my camera in order to take a pic of this prompt and now it's almost a month later! Sorry about that. I will work to get caught up!
Meanwhile here is my prompt for week of 3/13. The word was kindness and I had been playing around with doodles.

First I started with a sketchbook page that had been painted in reds and yellows with acrylic paint. Then I started doodling and this design came out using black fine line markers. I used Twinkling H2O's to add colors and definition to the hearts. I wrote around the heart but screwed up so you can't read the word heart at the beginning. Sorry about that. It says A Heart grows with love.

Our new dachshund

I have not been able to get a lot done lately. First it was because the kids were off for spring break. At the end of the break, we drove down to Poplar Bluff, Missouri to buy a puppy. My daughter found him on the internet. She is only 7 so how she managed to find this little guy is beyond me. My husband did a search for dachshunds and she took it from there. Once Madelyn picked out the puppy, my husband started emailing for information. Joyce was wonderful about answering questions and even sent pictures!

So on Friday of their spring break, we piled into the van and drove 450 miles to get him. We rented a room at one of the local hotels and dropped by Joyce and George's the next morning to pick up our little guy. What a wonderful puppy! He was great for the 8 hour drive back home during storms. Slept on the kids laps for most of the trip. He has taken to our family like a duck to water. Potty training has been going well too! Whew! Now that we are in tune with his schedule, we are having real success getting him outside in time to go. After a week, we have let him sleep with us and no accidents! He sleeps straight through the night! Wow! How cool is that??!!!

Here is a sneak peek of what I have been working on. It is a small part of a much larger piece that will be about 30" x 50". I started this about 15 years ago but couldn't get it to work out the way I imagined. I tried several different mediums and then when I found fiber art, I knew this was the way to go. I sketched the whole thing out about two years ago and then stopped again. I picked it back up a few months ago and have been working on it a little every night. I am determined to finish it and put it in some shows.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Play day!

I had a day off on Tuesday and it was a glorious 74 degrees! Woo-hoo!! Totally unheard of this time of the year. My friend Katherine Sands sent me the Color By Design by Ann Johnston that I ordered from her site. I was so inspired. Of course I didn't have all the materials I needed yet. I found old dye laying around and just decided to go for it. The fabric is white cotton and I had soaked it in soda ash and let it dry naturally. The dyes were from an old tie dye kit so I wasn't holding out a lot of hope. I was thoroughly surprised with the results and so excited about the possibilities.

First I squirted the dye on to the fabric and then used a brush to smoosh the dye around. I let it sit for about 8 hours and then washed it.

This has an underwater feel to it. Really finding that a lot in my work lately - ironic as I can't swim.

This reminds me of a sunset swamp, water and misty trees. Really excited about these pieces.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Creative Prompts Project

I cannot tell you how I found this site! Sometimes we just find things and we are glad we did. I may have heard of it through a friend or read about it on another blog - I can't remember! The cow on the sidebar will link you right to the blog that is hosting this. She will put in a word as a "prompt" to kickstart the creative juices. You have to create something that symbolizes the prompt or word. I am now behind a prompt as they just posted a new one.

I finally had room on my camera again so I could take pictures of my doodling. The creative prompt is BUBBLES. I love bubbles. I was inspired to do three versions!

So this one was kind of lame but I was playing with the Twinkling H20's and they are so much fun I had to include the picture.

Now after working on the first one, I remembered my hand carved stamp and decided to get it and play. I stamped it around the page - trying to connect them like tissues or nerves. Then I outlined the stamped images in black marker and filled in the spaces around the stamps with bubbles!

Same idea but stamped in two layers rather than one to get some dimension. I keep doodling along these lines so I think I will need to create something from these ideas.

If you are stuck and need to just play, I highly recommend this project. Have fun, I did.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Urban Decay-Fragments Challenge Piece

I can't believe I am finished with this piece already! Don't you just love it when work flows out of you so easily. And I am happy with the result which is unusual for me as I tend to hate it after working on it for so long.

I used rust dyed fabric and then painted it with orange and turquoise textile paint. Then I stenciled the tree in green and added a dark brown-black horizon line. I FMQ the entire piece and went back in with shiva paint stiks and dye sticks to add more interest and detail.

Detail 1

Detail 2

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fun test

Your rainbow is shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Quick Project

Between girl scouts, helping my son with homework (ISATS are coming up) kids projects, working and trying to get some challenge pieces done - I did manage to get a small piece finished. Pamela Allen's husband had medical issues requiring surgery on his heart. A. Carole Grant organized a group of us to make some "lovies" for her. I forgot about it - well put it on the back burner thinking I have all this time. She sent me an email reminder and I couldn't believe that February is almost gone!!

I jumped into action and had it completed and mailed in less than a week. That must be a record for me! Anyway, I am posting it here so you don't think I have been a total lazy slacker.

I used hand dyed fabric backing and then used left over flowers from my Voice that is Great Within Quilt. I sewed them in place and beaded the centers then stitched in flowers throughout. I found some flower sequins to add a little bling. I have to say I like how this turned out. Flowers always make people feel better. As usual, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Madelyn has been busy

I was showing my daughter something on my blog, when she noticed that I had posted her turkey picture. She was very excited that she had 4 "hits"!! So she has been on a creative streak and I have been cleaning up after her. I am so excited that one of my kids loves art!

Here is a part of the mess that created the following pictures

She was having so much fun playing with her ink pad.

She actually stamped the lid to the stamp pad and then slid it across the paper to create the blue piece.

This piece is a necklace that she made for me. It's a snowman made out of paper and she used the craft lace for a chain.

But this piece blew my mind! It is so well thought out, great colors and composition. I think this will have to be framed.

My photography skills are not doing this piece justice. And she painted it on poster board so it is curling up.