Monday, December 31, 2012

Gustavo, Georgie and Fib

I finally finished this piece and named it after my daughters three African fighting frogs. This piece has been in the works for over two years. I would get excited about it, work diligently and then hate it. So it would be put away until I would find it again while looking for something else. Up on the design wall, critique and then figure out what was going wrong with it. The last round was the fact I needed something in my underwater landscape. Enter the frogs.

Closeup of one frog

Here is another closeup

Final finished piece
I really love how this finally turned out. There are so many design techniques and materials that went into this that my hand would go numb typing them up for this post. Let's just say I am extremely happy with the results! Maybe I will enter it into the Celebrate Spring call for entries.

On to my next adventures. My one goal for 2013 is to finally put together a website. Another goal is to start entering my pieces into shows. I need to get back to art again.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Celebration! - Tiger Lily ATC

Happy New Year! 2012 was a series of highs and lows for me this year and I celebrate them all. Adversity makes us grow while the wonderful events give us pause to celebrate and the momentum to keep moving forward.

Tiger Lily was the color for December and in keeping with my celebratory mood, I used the center of the flower as inspiration. If you look closely, the center looks a little like a fireworks display from an airplane! My other inspiration was the commercial fabric I used for my background fabric. I bought this fabric and quite a bit of it. It seems to find its way into my work now and again. I think it must be the color combination. I reminds me of fall, water and sunlight hitting water. Aqua and orange just vibrate against one another.

I drew in the center using a dye pen in black. To create more explosion and keep with the colors of the flower itself, I painted the centers with poppy red ink using a thin brush. I had to put those black spots in there which reminded me of looking down at people on the ground. They look like little ants! Black puffy paint was used for the spots. The yellow represents the fireworks as they shoot into the sky and right before they explode into beautiful colors. I used a yellow puffy velvet pen for those. Once they were dry, I hit it with a heat gun to puff up the black and yellow. Very cool texture. Instead of using my sewing machine to finish off the edges, I decided to paint them black using textile paint.

This marks the end of our second year of trading ATCs in our group. Please check out the rest of my groups interpretations at

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Sons 8th Grade Play

Patrick is the "Greaser" on the left

Closeup of Patrick as the Pirate

Mummy costume
Patrick is captaining his ship
September and October 2012 were filled with work and helping with my sons 8th grade play. I signed up to volunteer on costumes and stage. I had never done anything like this before and it seemed like it would be a fun experience. Every year the middle school and the eighth grade class put on a play. It is completely voluntary but most of the class gets involved. If you don't want to be in the play, you can help with props and stage. I had a blast! Little did I know but costumes would be the main focal point of this play. It involved going through many time periods. It was a cross between Teds Excellent Adventure and Back to the Future. My son wanted to participate and told me that he would be doing a small part with one line. They thought better. He had a small role as a Greaser from the 1950's and a more involved role as a Pirate, complete with dance scenes. I think he is a natural!

One of the moms is involved with Mario Triccoci's beauty school and asked students to come and volunteer to do hair and makeup! The play was also video taped and parents ordered copies. I am enjoying mine more frequently than I care to admit to!

All the costumes were recycled from our prop and costume closet. The challenge was to create costumes out of ones we already had on hand. I had to make the mummy costume and used a pair of white cotton draw string pants and one of my husbands shirt put on backwards. I ripped up old pillow cases and sewed them on with my sewing machine. The headpiece was a white baseball cap placed on backwards and more strips of fabric sewn on.  I worked with a terrific group of moms and we had only 6 weeks start to finish to make this happen. Throw in soccer practice, soccer games, a bar mitzvah for his best friend, swim practice and life was real interesting for a while!

Stormy Lake ATC

Wow! This is embarrassing. I haven't posted anything since August. My sincere apologies. My kids, work and life took over. I didn't even participate in two months of ATC trades because of all the events in my life, but I am back on track. I did manage some creative endeavors though and the Lake trade was one of them.

As you know, we have been using colors as our prompts this year. Lake was one I was looking forward to doing. I love all the colors and reflections that are involved in lake.

The base fabric was a commercial brown material that had swirls and spots that reminded me of the bottom of a lake. I took a shimmery dark blue sheer fabric and scrunched it, pinned it in place then sewed it with dark blue thread. I did the same with a light turquoise sheer to finish off the top part. The lake has these colors when a storm is blowing in. I brushed interference blue paint across the tops for a wave like action. The final part was Glossy Accents to add the shine of water on sand and a few seed beads dropped in for texture. This turned out to be one of my favorites that I have done.

Maybe a larger version of this piece would be nice and donate to the swim team for fundraisers!