Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Imagine" Metal and Stitch

Another project completed!  Yay me!  This one I called "Imagine" it is a metal and stitch project.  How did this come about you may ask?  Well at the Fiber Arts Mixed Media   group they have monthly challenges.  This month you were to pick one material: cotton, velvet, felt, linen, wood, metal, paper and

                                            one medium: paint, pencils, markers, ink, glue, thread
from this list and create something.  This is what I came up with.

                                                                 This is a close up

                                                                   an    overall  view                                                                                                         A little bit closer.

This is done on aluminum screening using pearl cotton and craft sheet metals.  There is one square of copper.  The flowers are little metal die cut daisy's that I have had for oh I don't know about one hundred years or so.  Also added some charms from Tim Holtz collections. 

Stitching on screen is harder than you think.  I would start doing one thing and ending up doing another because I wanted the back to look as good as the front and every little thread out of place shows.  I also got poked quite a few times because I couldn't find my masking tape and heck why would I that would make too much sense!  I was terrified of trying my sewing machine on it so it is all done by hand.  I think it is screaming for beads to be added but the idea was to use two items....sooooooooooo there you have it!  Right now it is a wall hanging but I think it may end up being the front of a journal cover, the jury is still out on that thought right now.  Most likely it will end up in a plastic baggie and thrown into a bin and not seen again for a year or two.  Art keeps me off the street!

Sketchbook Challenge

I know I have been missing in action but life just some days gets right smack in the way!  I returned from NY to find that all my carpet was gone and my house had been flooded.  Just before Christmas I had to remodel the entire bathroom and the front living room all I can say is what a mess!  It left me slightly disenchanted to say the least.  It all turned out well in the end but what a pain!   That being said we had a very nice Christmas and my tree was beautiful and we actually made it through without a catastrophe which for the last four years it has been. 

I joined up for the sketchbook challenge and if you want to join too just click here!  There is a long list of host for the project
Your hosts for the Sketchbook Challenge:

Jill Berry

Sue Bleiweiss

Laura Cater-Woods

Jane Davies

Jamie Fingal

Judi Hurwitt

Leslie Tucker Jenison

Lyric Kinard

Jane LaFazio

Kelli Perkins

Carol Sloan

Carla Sonheim

Susan Sorrell

Melanie Testa

Diana Trout

Violette Clark

There will also be prizes and giveaways just for participating.  Very generous sponsors so check it out if your so inclined.  You can do one page or many pages however you can only submit one entry per month.
Because I participate in many different projects and avenues of media I have so far only done one page for the month of January but I intend to have more time if I can manage to get myself organized.  My craft room studio is still mostly packed in boxes.  Not sure how that will happen since I will be travelling back to NY in early May to help when the new grand baby arrives so again I will be busy.

Below is my entry for January.  The theme is "Highly Prized"  What I hold in my hands is very highly prized, and I thank God for all that I have.  I picked the most prized in my life because I knew I prize many material things and could have made a whole book had I gone that route but instead I choose the most important.  

Some of you that know my story will understand the meaning behind this more than others, I am truly thankful for life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I finally finished Autumn who was suppose to be Mrs. Keys, but poor old Mrs. Keys got lost along the way when she fell into a pile of leaves. 
This has been for me the most difficult doll I ever made.  I don't think she is perfect in any way and she may change again.  Her head is paper clay, her bust and arms are paper clay over cloth and her bottom was the same until I decided to cut if off!  OMG it was hideous! So I made a wire cage, first out of hangers, which was so difficult and didn't work well at all.  My hubby came to the rescue with something called mechanics wire.  I love that stuff!
Here is a side view.  Her hair is lambs wool and her top is made from silk fall leaves.  The small leaves I cut out of large leaves because I couldn't find tiny fall leaves again this year.  So I made my own!  I have stressed over this doll and want to put her in a box!  LOL poor doll.

Here is the other side.  She was suppose to have a hat, but alas I could not find a hat and didn't make one.

I used some charms to hang on her wire form that I received in a swap and some Debbie Mumm card stock that I love.  I don't know why they appear so dull in the picture they are quite festive and bright.

Another view.  I put the orange tulle in the bottom and it is removable but I really kind of liked that.

And here is a full view. 
So when it is all said and done she looks OK to me.  A little delicate and festive.  Sorry my pictures really don't do her justice.  All in all I love paper clay it is easy to work with and I will be trying another soon.   

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Introducing Catrina! or La calavera Catrina

So I was making dolls again instead of being responsible and working, or doing?......whatever!  LOL a girl must play to make a happy day! and with Halloween right over the horizon comes along Day of the Dead.
Catrina is made from cold porcelain, fabric, plastic, well you can see for yourself.  She was fun to paint!
Here is her backside which I just wanted to show off her shawl lol.  That is a vintage scarf that is pretty darn old but I don't know exactly how old.  I thought it was very Monet(ish) and it matched.  The flowers o her head were painted to match because they were nothing bright like now.
The Day of the Dead or Des Los Muertos is also referred to as Day of the Innocents or Day of the Little Angels.   The Lady of the Dead is Catrina or la calavera Catrina, a skeleton lady with a brightly colored dress and flowers.  The actual flowers should be gold marigolds because they are said to attract the souls to the offerings.  Back in the day the Mexican culture use to take a deceased loved ones favorite foods to the cemetery along with candles and wine.  It is a celebration of their past.

Here is a side view just because.  I find it interesting that the Mexicans I know, told me that no one celebrates like that anymore, well except for the old folks who are still alive and that most of it is done for tourist.  I suppose like we take flowers to peoples graves, it is also fading in the past for many.  The Halloween pumpkin is all my doing, they don't do that but I just had to because I wanted to make a pumpkin, no other reason.  They use to make candied pumpkin as a treat and an offering so hmmmm maybe my pumpkin isn't out of place at all. 

Everyone in my family so far that has seen her thinks she is creepy and I am off my rocker!  lol

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Meeting of Minds in the Autum Equinox

Do you remember a few post ago (here) where I made an ATC for the Autumn Equinox Swap, hosted by Lisa Fulmer?  I decided to go ahead and expand it and make my ATC into a  little quiltie for the FAMM challenge this month.  This is the results of that quiltie. 
It measures 13 by 27.  I know odd size but it can be trimmed down if I want it to be smaller or just leave it the way it is...I have no idea what I am going to do with all these little quiltie thingies when it is all said and done.  So here are a few close ups, so you can get the BIG picture because so many times when looking on the Internet at a picture you miss a bit of details.
Here we have the middle, where I tried a new technique called cracked fabric.  I learned this on the web and I wish I could remember where exactly so I could give the person the proper credit.  Her cracked fabric was actually cracked fabric paper I think.  I used lutradur in the space I cut out only because my machine would just cease to sew if I tried to jump seams with it.  I was going to burn out the lutradur but rather liked the misty white effect it has, so it gets to stay!
Here we have what represents the night, the fall the change of season.  I used pre fab leaves and accented them with a variegated thread and outlined with some gold.  The gold is shinny but not so shinny in the picture.  The flower is fabric, it was cut with a Tim Holtz die.  My sister has the machine and dies so when I visited her I cut a bunch of them out.  Oh how I wish I had that machine!  Some day!

Finally here we have what represents days of summer and sunshine.  Each little swirly was hand cut because I don't have any pre cut ones and I just had to find a way to use this wonderful batik fabric,  it was so sunny!  I outlined with a dark blue thread and then couched some beautiful gold lame but unfortunately I didn't have enough so I tried to place the thread strategically and then finished it off with gold metallic fabric paint.

Why the kiss? well why not?  to me it is like the meeting of two minds or in this case two worlds, two times in space ahhhhhhhhhhh the Equinox!   Peace

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Diversity of Freedom

Today I was thinking... "I want to paint today", paint what? and suddenly out of the blue I started to draw as usual on copy paper.  Why do I always do that?  So I get all done and think ok so why did I draw this particular person today?  Then I painted her.

I decided to call her Diversity of Freedom.  The reason is because of what happened last week when some nut was going to burn the Quran, the Muslim holy book.  I was so outraged that such an arcaic act could take place in this country, after all we as individulas have the right to practice religion of any faith in the USA.  So Freedom was born once again in the USA, and she could be our neighbor, friend, foe, sister, Mother....well you get the idea.  I have been a freedom fighter for human rights for a very long time and I guess it has to be worked out of my system once and for all in this particular matter.

I am not a Muslim nor do I follow their teachings, but they have the right to believe the way they want to just as we do as Christians, Catholics, Hindus, Jews, Orthadox, Atheist, Jehovia Witness, Luthern, Baptist, well you get the meaning.  Some days a girl just has to let it out!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This is what I have been working on today.  It is the first time in years I touched oil pastels and much to my dismay I had no black!   wonder where I put it?  So I tried mixing media by touching up with charcoal pencil and watercolor pencil.  Neither one worked the way I wanted of course because you simply cannot mix water and oil and have it come out right!  I am happy with her and now I will add some bling of course and that's all I can say about that for now, except I have to decide on what kind of bling I am to add. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Great Owl

There is a challenge over at the Hive called the "Great Owl Challenge" see the post here about it. You can join in the fun if you belong to the Hive where everything is about friendship, crafting, art, helping you, helping others.  This is my Owl for this challenge.  Over at the Hive there is more challenges if you want to join in.  They have one for anything "Autumn".  I may get time to join in on that one too.  There are so many talented artist on that site and even though I like mine I think there are much better ones already posted but I don't let that stop me, I think the more you play the better you eventually become. 

This little fellow is painted on cotton canvas with acrylic paint and even though it doesn't show well in my picture there is some twinkling h2o's in the background and some tiny silver stars on the hat.  It took me a full day to sketch and then paint and will be hung with some orangery and black ribbons and if I can find a cute vintage button or two that may be added as well.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ATC Fun!

This is much ado over at the Hive so if you make art, if you sell art, if you want to just look at art by some amazing and creative people just buzz on over to the Hive!  They even have a section for instructors!  If you don't see anything you like just ask and I bet you they will make it happen.

That being said I decided to participate in an ATC swap over at the Hive, which is being hostessed by Lisa Liza Lou Fulmer.  Her theme for this swap is the Autumn Equinox.  In case you don't  know the equinox is when everything will balance and be equal.  This is my interpretation of it.  If you look closely you will see more than meets the eye with hidden pictures and meaning.


It is made with water colors and gel pens.  Come on an join in the fun!  Click here for the Hive!
The  equinox is approaching soon!  In this year 2010, it will happen on September 23 in the US.  It is said that there will be a equal day consisting of 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of darkness.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Poetic Possibilities

Last June I went to Buffalo, NY to see my sister, and we embarked on a "journey" with Tim Holtz.  He was holding his classes at Buffalo Stamps and we were attending!  It was way exciting for words, a lifelong dream of mine to finally meet Tim.  In one of his classes he taught patchwork pandemonium, and this is my interpretation from his lips to my ears.

There were what my mind estimated about one thousand pieces to be made and assembled in what my mind said was "OMG! NOT ENOUGH TIME!"  Ha that's what my logical part of my mind said.  The other part was saying....listen to Tim...let it go! let it go!  and before I knew it I was creating pieces with wild abandon much like a person attending the Mad Hatter tea party.

The pieces were cut but we had to ink, paint, distress, emboss, rub, and then put them all in this wonder of order, which when at first glance I was (logically thinking) saying "ha not gonna fit".  Much to my surprise they all fit just as Tim said they would.   I am telling you the man is a genuine genius!
Needless to say I didn't finish it until this morning.  I did get an acceptable part of it done, however I wanted to add some of my own things to it to fully make it mine.  I also did considerably more stitching on it just because I wanted to.
We had these darling little hanger, and this is where the words "poetic possibilities" is located.   I like the sound of that little phrase, they were actually random words out of a book but hey they work for me.  I think of all the possibilities that someone could do with this.  Each piece is grunge board, individually done in an assortment of techniques which was the point of the class, learning technique.  It is mounted on chipboard to hold it all together. 
Tim said we were the last time he was teaching this particular class, so I was really glad that I got to take it.  I took all of his classes and will be posting more items in the days to come.  I want to say this about the man, he is really inspirational and truly a blessed and kind person. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunflower's In My Garden

Last month I won a contest at FAMM and the prize was a package of Lutradur and a E Book from
 CT Publications.  I was so excited that I actually won something and, that I would be getting some of this Lutradur in my hands!  The new monthly challenge came around and it was to use something transparent.  See previous post for my entry.  BUT! - I had this idea spinning in my head and it just had to come out!  So I sent a second entry using the Lutradur (seems only right anyway) and well I just love it, even though it is a second entry, it meets the requirements.  Wish me luck a second time around.   

First I tried to print on the Lutradur but my printer does not want to cooperate, not that it couldn't be the operator mind you.  So I took a pencil sketched out as best I could the picture I had in mind, right on the Lutradur.  Thought hmmm markers?  tried it no too light my markers are old!  OK well how about Twinkling H2O's  I truly love that paint.  OK well that was nice enough but it still lacked POP!  So I added a little acrylic paint.  Have you ever noticed that yellow acrylic paint is so thin???!!! So I added a few more layers of paint.  Topped it off with a little bit of detail with my black Sharpie pen.

And then WOW came to me and my bright ideas!  What if I machine stitched it with pretty variegated rayon thread that I bought about 5 years ago (yeah I am not kidding) and never used.  So I did, well that opened a whole new can of worms!   I have never really done this sort of thing before so I was winging it.  It seemed like it took forever and a day but finally I was happy with the stitching.  Oh how I wish I could free motion stitch on my machine!  I also added some fine netting to the center that I hand stiched down and cut slices in it to add more texture.  So because I love shinny glittery things I added a bit of stickles which I bought last year and guess what - yep never used!  Ouuuuhhhhh I like it!  I then after searching high and low found my heat gun and went to work melting the Lutradur, that wasn't enough!  So I got out my wood burning tool and melted more!  My hubby asked me if I was trying to get high?  LOL I was outside but it still smelled over his spaghettie sauce!  So there I was, sitting here at my computer and thinking it needs to say something!  So I did a search for quotes, and poems and found this lovely poem and borrowed it.  Here is the link to the original poem.  The author is unknown so I am thinking it is OK to use, but I really wish the author would come fourth.  It almost sounded like  Isabel Fiske Conant from back in the 1930's but I guess it isn't hers.  I just wrote it out on a piece of loose woven muslin with my trusty Sharpie Pen and hand stitched it on.  I think my youngest daughter may like this but I am not sure she changes like the wind!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some People Are So Transparent....

                                     You Can See Right Through Them!

FAMM for August Challenge was to use something transparent in art.  So my mind immediately clicked to the old saying "Some people are so transparent you can see right through them".  Although that statement is slightly cynical it has a bit of truth to it.  So I made a transparent girl with what else?  transparencies with transparent vellum wings.  Then I got to thinking about that subject.
And decided she needed a Bullsh** meter to stand on, and the little plastic fish to depict "fishy stories" or "fish tales" as you wish. 
Of course they must live in a transparent world.... and of course they "embellish" their phrases

So they have transparent hearts(see the transparent hearts?) and words.  I mean really how many times have people said things to you to sway your thoughts their way, or perhaps say things they didn't mean to make you feel better?  Told you this was cynical!  LOL take heart I don't mean it.  Uh Oh am I being transparent?  So to add a little interest I needed to add some textiva, I love that stuff!  Besides the little colorful kitty had to hide in the transparent grass because she like her person is a curious creature.  I added the netting to show how they get caught up.....eventually.
                 Here we have the finished piece of the transparent person Tra La La'ing through life. 
I used the most delicate lace paper in the top half of this canvas, it almost fell apart as soon as I adhered it.  I need to find some more of that stuff, it is truly great! 

NOTE*  This is by no means a personal reflection on any one person known by this author. 
I learned this particular phrase from my Mother as I was growing up, it must be an old saying and she still says it today.  I may gift this one to her.

Friday, July 30, 2010


My Stars and Stripes project is finally done, well as far as I want to take it.  I added some beads, the really cool ladies and some screen mesh stars that I cut out and textured.  It is ok but nothing great.

Search for fiber art books

I am really concentrating on Mrs. Keys at the moment and trying to work my way through the next steps.  I have most of her body assembled out of fabric and some clay, now I need to decide if I am going to cover that fabric with clay or (if I can find my gesso) just paint it.  Then the clothes which I just keep changing my mind on.  Another lesson learned is that when I painted her head and face, I gave little thought about the paint I mixed for the color and now have the task of trying to match it.  Wish me some luck with that because I was not really thinking about it and it could be hard to match now ....after the fact.  I also want to try my hand at some free motion embroidery with my machine and I am fairly certain that I cannot drop the feed dog on either of my machines.  Didn't they use to make a feed dog cover back in the day?  I will have to ask my Mom that one. 

Search for Doll Making

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What does Mrs. Keys and Quiltie Stars n Stripes have in common?

Not a daburn thing!  This is just some of my current obsessions.  The first is Mrs. Keys, named so after a sweet lady I have known for a very long time.  She is alot quirky and I am hoping to capture some of that quirkiness in this doll head. 


She is made from paperclay and my first ever hand sclupted paperclay doll head ever!  If you have seen my other dolls they were always from fabric, although a long time ago I use to carve cypress knees into people.  I started her yesterday, today I sanded and painted and decided keep on going.  There is a sketch of what I want her to look like next to the raw head.  We will see if I can pull this off or not but hey if not, I can always try again!  Tomorrow I will varnish her and add hair and maybe more paint if needed,  I just love her eyelashes!  and yes I know she looks a little bit bugeyed lol she is suppose to look that way.  I know way differnt than my norm but hey who said what is normal or not normal?

Next up is my little quiltie thingy.  Not sure what to call it but is is suppose to be the FAMM monthly challenge piece using stars and stripes.  I am still working on getting the hang of this fiber art stuff, I get it but I really don't have the supplies I need to make really cool stuff so I am using what I have at my disposal and my imagination.  I guess it isn't too bad and I am not sure if I am done with it or not.  It will eventually be framed and put in my bathroom for something different to look at.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Home Sweet Home

While I was in Buffalo, NY I went to another class at Buffalo Stamps and sorry I do not remember the insturctors name other than Cari and she was from Pima.  She supplied the canvas house and all the pretty little embellishments and do dads.  The picture above is the front cover.

Back Cover

I think it is pretty!