Friday, November 30, 2012

Guess what? More journals.......

I've been attempting to increase my inventory at home in between working at the Gallery and becoming familiar with how my new website works.  I volunteered to cover two days in a row at the Gallery for fellow artists so I got a LOT of hand work finished the past two days.  I've also been beading some new bracelets that I think will be fun.  Just trying to find the best price on seed beads and working with inexpensive ones right now.  
The first set of journals I created are what I'm calling my Foil Tape series.  They are random sizes as I use up pieces of chipboard saved from the backs of pads and such.  I try not to throw out anything usable and find uses for what I can.   What I have so far:
 Close-up of the embossing:
 The second set (only partially shown here as I have a couple in the galleries) is my Circle Flowers series.  Again using small pieces that I can't bear to part with  and lots of free motion stitching backed with canvas.
 The twill tape sayings are not ones I have normally stamped, but were pre-printed and in my stash of ribbons:
 And my original Winged Heart series.  This one is fun and I'm pondering teaching this and/or sending one in for publication.  The idea came to me one morning as I woke up (isn't that the best time for idea generation?) and it actually came out the way I envisioned which is rare.  Again, using up scraps for the hearts.  The two days at the Gallery were good for embroidering French knots on the wings and seed beads on the hearts.
 One of the Winged Hearts with beaded tail:
 Close-up of the details: beads, French knots, machine stitching:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Busy with New Journals

Since my last post several months ago I have been VERY busy creating and selling at various venues.  I've done some weekend sales locally and continue to sell at 2 galleries and an art school here in the SW VA area.  One of my sales was in central NY at a quilt guild show.  In looking at how some of those same sales went last year I certainly have sold more this year!  I have one weekend sale left which is next month so I have some room to breathe, I actually created a journal for myself.  I had been given, by my mother, a large quantity of crazy quilt fabrics and in among the pieces was the beginnings of a blue crazy quilt that she had started so I decided to make it a little bit bigger and use it for a cover.  I practiced embroidery on it and had fun finishing it.  The best thing was that I finally figured out the elusive bullion knot which is basically a french knot done horizontally.  I have been attempting this stitch on and off for several years and for some reason figured it out!  The bumble bee body is black and white bullions:
 I also inherited, from my sister, a large bag of fulled wool sweaters and made several more tri-fold journals with lots of hand embroidery as well:
 My satin/velvet rosette journals are pretty popular so I grabbed some satin from the previously mentioned gift of fabric and worked on some pink journals:
 Quite a few people comment on the aluminum tape journal that I have for sale so I decided to make a few more.  Here's one:
 I recently purchased some colorful coordinating fabric at the local fabric store for some needle books.  I love the colors:
 Since I rarely throw scraps away I used the smaller pieces from this fabric to create free motion flower journal covers.  The larger one has flowers:
 The smaller one has circles:
I've also been making bracelets with wire weaving using Parawire.  They are going much more smoothly now after much practice.
One of the other reasons I have not posted lately is that I have been working on replacing this blog with a website on which I can sell my journals (and possibly jewelry).  At every sale I have people ask if I have a website so I'm jumping in and creating one.  I'm moving slowly on this project but hope to have it up and running by the first of the year! Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal #2

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!  Today is the day I get to reveal what I received in my bead soup from the fabulous MaryLou Holvenstot and what I made.  The day I received this lovely wrapped package (in fabric for my journals........ thank you, MaryLou!):
 I was scheduled to work at the gallery so I took the unopened box with me and oohed and aahed for a while.  The soup mix was in blues and greens and oxidized copper (yum!):
 It took about two minutes to find the design I wanted to use with this soup.  I made the necklace that day while sitting at the gallery!  I love it!  This necklace is from Denise Peck's Wire Style 2 book and the design is "Fallen to Earth" by Cindy Wimmer. I used a beautiful blue and green clay button as the focal and did the wire wrapping from my parawire and some oxidized copper wire.  The completed necklace:
 The focal and wrapped bail:
 The beads and wrapped connectors:
 The S link clasp (I didn't follow all the rules for BSBP as the clasp I was sent was in silver, so I made my own........ sorry!):
And with some of the leftover beads I made a bracelet similar to one I saw in the Fire Mountain Gem catalog.  I've worn this several times since making it and received several compliments.  I plan to wear the set today at my sale over in Galax at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

A big shout out to Lori over at Pretty Things for organizing this huge event!  
Now use this link for Reveal #2 and hop around the other participants' blogs:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wire Wrapping Jewelry

I'm participating in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party this summer and got my wire and tools out the other day to work on some wire wrapping.  I really love two books I purchased back in AZ this spring:  Wire Style 2 by Denise Peck and Weave, Wrap, and Coil by Jodi Bombadier.  I'm slowly working my way through the weaving book and have done a couple of items from the Peck book.  I decided to buy Parawire and really love using it.  I have another order ready to place so I can use several other gauges to replace my copper wire.  I'm hoping that I will be able to use one of these techniques on my bead soup.  Here are two wrapped rings:
 I don't have a bracelet mandrel so I did the best I could shaping this woven bracelet by hand.  It turned out okay and I'm sure the next one will be even better.  The front:
 The weaving on the band.  
I really enjoy working with wire and hope to get back to it as soon as I finish rearranging my studio. Uck......

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Journals and Flowers

Since I have been tending my vegetable garden and flower gardens in between (among other things) making journals up in my studio I decided I would show you, literally, journals between photos of my flowers.  After I uploaded the photos I realized that the flower colors matched the journal covers that I had chosen, this was NOT planned so it must be the colors I'm in tune with right now.  I have been stealing  getting rhizomes, bulbs, and plants from many people lately (no, I'm not afraid to ask people to give me some when they thin their gardens... what's the worst they could do?  Spit on me, tell me no? exactly) so it's nice to see them bloom the next year.  Last fall I brought back some lilies from my sister's house and they are gorgeous right now!  I am anxious for my gardens to be full of plants, but for now I enjoy the single blooms when they occur.  Here is the purple lily that just bloomed this morning:

This is  one of the small quilt squares I had done a while back and posted.  I made several in different color schemes.  I knew they would be worked into books some day and they certainly were.  This is the Purple and Green Gratitude book:

 This pink lily has already fallen off (it only lasted a couple of days) but was beautiful while it lasted.  It is also one from my sister's yard:

A second flower quilt cover, this one in pink and yellow and is tagged Remember

I have been working hard at saving my hollyhock plants this summer.  They were planted from seed last summer and this year they are blooming.  They have yellow, light pink, and darker pink blossoms and have grown over 7 feet tall already!  This is the very first flower:

I adapted an idea I saw on Pinterest to make little notebooks using index cards, fabric, and my Bind-it-all machine.  I made a several from 3X5 cards first and here is the brightly colored Crown Notes book:

Lastly, here are 3 of the many orange day lilies I have planted in several gardens.  These are in the front near the hollyhocks (and in between are mammoth sunflowers that will be awesome when they bloom later this summer!).  The plants are not as tall as the hollyhocks, but are still as tall as me.  I got lots of lilies from the plants this year.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A New Direction

There are several aspects of creating art that I love.  I love that I can take a pile of something and make something else out of it!  I love that I never run out of ideas for creating!  I love that an idea morphs and takes on a life of its own!  And I love that I can take an original creation and keep it fresh!  
My Needle Books started as a necessity for me when I kept searching for the correct needle for the job and was published in the Summer '10 issue of Sew Somerset which thrilled me to no end!  Since that original needle book (which Somerset calls a Sew Supply Keeper) I have continued to create them for my family, friends, and for sale.  The originals were sewn from upholstery fabric for stability, however I was thrown a challenge from my BFF Miranda.  She wanted a book for her grandmother in teal, white, and purple.  If you know anything about upholstery fabric you know that you'd be hard pressed to find purple, teal, or even white in heavier fabric.  Not many people want living room furniture in those colors.  So.......... I put on my thinking cap and went for cotton fabric and decided to reinforce it with cotton batting for that stability I was getting from the heavy fabric.  LOVE IT!  Using cotton fabric has opened up a whole new range of color choices for me and from the reaction on Facebook it looks like a hit.  I'm hoping that Miranda is okay that I featured purple and teal rather than teal and white, I went with what I have (in keeping with my policy of trying not to buy any supplies in an effort to use what I have.... and I have LOTS of supplies!).  I already have some bright fabric chosen for my next needle book so stay tuned.  (BTW Dave has asked me to create something specialized from this idea and I think it will be great......)
The cover:
Pages 1 and 2 -- The left side is for scissors and pins, the right is for needle threaders:
 Pages 3 and 4 -- quilting and crewel needles:
 pages 5 and 6 -- sharp embroidery and tapestry needles:
 The back cover:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

One Armed Paper Hanger.....

You know the saying "I'm busier than an one-armed paper hanger."?  You don't?  Well, he's pretty busy hanging all that wall paper with only one arm.  That's what I'm feeling like right now.  And I LIKE IT!  I've been plugging along lately just building up my inventory of books and journals (and then the one store that had my items on commission went out of business, so I got all of those back) thinking that EVENTUALLY and  SOME DAY I might be able to sell them SOMEWHERE where people "get" my style of art books and journals.  You artists know that look and the uncomfortable silence immediately after you show someone a piece you've done and you can hear in their head "What the hell is that and why are you showing it to me?".  Am I right?  Happens to me a LOT so I'm kind of careful about the people who are shown my work.  After a couple of years here in the country I've finally found art people I connect with!  YAY!!  
Tomorrow my work will be showcased (along with two others') at The City Gallery in downtown Galax, Virginia.  My work has been accepted and I am a member of the Gallery and I couldn't be more excited about it!  We're having a show at the Gallery in conjunction with the Leaf and String festival so we'll be open until 8.  (I'll try to remember to take my camera and show some photos.)  I've taken most of my inventory in to the gallery and now am in the process of replacing it for upcoming shows and ............ if all goes well I will be guest artist in another gallery in a nearby town!  Whew!  Better get those creative juices flowing overtime and kick my muse in the butt.  No problem..... I have so many ideas and now that I have somewhere to show them I am super revved to work on them.  That's what I mean about liking the fact that artistically I'm pretty busy right now.  
Here are some of my newest journals:
I absolutely love making the rosettes from Annie's Fabric Flowers 101 workshop over at STITCHED.  I made several for this type of cover.  I also hand strung the beaded wire that hangs below the rosette.  The ribbon is dyed with spray ink.
The flower is also from Annie's class and has an ink sprayed zipper stem with canvas scrap leaves.  The canvas is hand painted.
 The journals above and below are also hand-dyed canvas with free motion stitched flowers and more canvas scrap leaves.  I also raided my large stash of transparencies and buttons for some embellishments.
This journal has a tri-fold cover of painted canvas and cheesecloth stitched together to create fabric.  Again stitched scrap canvas leaves and ink dyed ribbon.  
 I've been loving combing a cascade of button, beads, and french knots lately, here is a close-up.
 When I can't focus on creating, one thing I do is sort and clean my studio.  While doing so last week I decided to cut my scraps and misc. papers into pages ready for journals.   It's easier to make  a cover to match the pages than the other way around for me.  So after cutting, cutting, cutting, and more cutting I then bagged and tagged the pages.  I had TONS of  2" square pages so I used canvas scraps for covers then sewed tiny fabric scraps and buttons on to several 2 inch square teeny books.  Cute!
 The city of Galax is named after a plant that grows in the wooded areas and was at one time used in floral arrangements all over the US.  One of the ladies at the gallery offered my her galax leaf stamp, but it didn't work out that day so I came home and carved my own for this cover.  The galax  journals that I create will be sold exclusively at the City Gallery in honor of Galax.
Here's one made from painted canvas.
 Detail shot of the stamp and embroidery.
 Since I live in the woods I do have galax plants all over the place so I placed an actual leaf on the cover of this book.  
 The label is free motion stitched on canvas with buttons as accents.
 I had a journal with pockets that I had made from Stampin' Up double sided scrapbook paper (I have lots of it since I used to sell SU).  It has sold at the gallery so I made some more to replace it.  Each journal has 20 pockets in which are tags and small pads of paper.  There are also 20 blank pages in between.
 And finally, this area is very well known for it's blue grass and old time musical heritage, thus the String and Leaf festival this weekend.  I'm still finishing this 4 inch square book, but so far I LOVE the cover.  The note bases are blanket stitched by hand with floss and the staff lines as well as the note stems are machine stitched.  I don't think I'll do anything more with this simple cover.  These will be sold at the gallery for the musical folks!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sylviane's Beautiful Book over at STITCHED

Sylviane has posted over on her blog the Photo Accordion Book she made from my workshop over at STITCHED.  I was blown away by what she has created!!  She has kindly given me permission to post her photos here and I love, love, love all the details she has incorporated into her book.  I could not have envisioned something this fabulous when I created the class.  Please go to her blog and give her some blog love!  Her book: (please see the bottom of this post for a STITCHED announcement!)

The lovely birthday girl, Alma Stoller, has given all of you an opportunity to become a part of our STITCHED community.  If you've wanted to enjoy the creativity of the 20 wonderful teachers at STITCHED now is the time!  To join STITCHED is now only $40!  Yes, $40 for 6 months and 20 teachers, countless videos and all the fun in the workshops!!!!  For more information please go here.
And then go here to wish Alma a happy birthday and check out the awesome give away she has for new STITCHED members.