Monday, May 26, 2014

Quilt & Fibre Art Festival...and the beginnings of something new...

This week is the Quilt & Fibre Art Festival of Waterloo Region and Beyond, and I'm excited to say that the Group of Eight Fibre Artists have a show in The Mill, 1441 King Street, St. Jacobs, ON. The show runs from Tuesday, May 27th until Saturday, May 31st.  We hope that you'll be able to come and see us there!

I was in need of a new project to work on, particularly since I wanted some hand stitching I could do while sitting at the show for my 'shifts'.  

I had just purchased a few new threads (12 wt. Spaghetti by Wonderfil) and I was inspired by their fabulous colours.  I went 'shopping' in my stash, pulling out out any and all hand dyed fabrics and threads as well as some batiks and purchased yarns I had that coordinated with those new threads.  

Then I went between the cutting table and the sewing machine and I started to play, intuitively piecing in very random strips, intentionally not cutting anything too straight (no ruler was used in the cutting).

Some of what I had found in my stash were some pieces of fabric that already had Misty Fuse on the back, so I used scissors to cut rectangles and squares (again not worrying about perfectly straight lines or perfect shapes) and I fused them in place along one of the wider strips. A bit of the black and white stencilled fabric from a journal cover project I recently did was still lying on my cutting table (sometimes it's good to not tidy too quickly LOL), so I added that as I went along.  

Here are some shots of where this is going so far.  I'm looking forward to adding the hand stitch!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My First Entry in My Walls Notebook...

By now, you've probably noticed that I've been blogging less...I gave some consideration to letting it go all together, but I really do enjoy it. At the same time, 3 times a week was getting a bit much with my commitment to my future dog guide puppies, warmer weather and life in general.  So, I've decided that I will post once a week, and more if I have things I want to share. And so, let's get on with it.

I've been playing in my new Walls Notebook...

Children's books in general, but especially Dr. Seuss books, are wonderful sources of some fabulous quotes. I've always liked this one from the book Oh, The Places You'll Go. When I was flipping pages in the Walls Notebook for a suitable page to write it, I found this one with the 'walk' sign and thought it was perfect.

 A little bit of pen work...

And some colour and shading...

So if you're feeling stuck, to quote Dr. Seuss, "Get on your way..."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Secrets Revealed...

You've seen lots of bits and pieces as I've been working on this piece, from the sketches back in the fall, to the thread sketching and lettering so I'm excited to finally share it with you. This piece was done as a GOE challenge, although I had started the sketches before the challenge was issued.  As soon as I hear that the challenge was 'secrets', this quote popped into my head and I knew what I wanted to do with all the eyes I had been working on!

Presenting...(imagine a drum role here)...Secrets Revealed

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bring Back Our Girls...and a give-a-way...

I'm featured over on StencilGirls blog, StencilGirl Talk today, creating journal covers that are made to fit standard composition books. Please come on over and check it out. 
One of the journal covers will be donated to the art auction at because...

I'm also participating in the #BringBackOurGirls call to artists today to make some artsy noise in support of the right of girls around the world to have an education without fear of violence!

On April 14, nearly 300 girls were abducted from their school in Nigeria simply for pursuing an education. Today marks one month since the kidnapping of those girls!

Today is also the day many artists have come together to help make a difference by drawing attention to this horrendous issue and also by donating art to help raise money.  All of our proceeds with be donated to Girls Rising, to support the worldwide struggle for safe education for all girls and women. 

So please, visit to buy some art, or make a donation. And please, make some noise to #BringBackOurGirls!

Here's a list of all of the participating artist and their blogsL

Marjie Kemper
Some people had asked me for a tutorial for making a journal cover, so I have created this PDF which you are welcome to download for personal use.  All I ask is that if you make one you and blog about it, that you link back to this post, telling people where you got the tutorial.  Have fun!

Linda Kittmer's Journal Cover Tutorial

Monday, May 12, 2014

Quick Play...

I was in the mood for some more 'instant gratification' art so I played with some acrylic paint and plastic wrap.  I got the idea from this "One Minute Muse". It's actually not as instant as I'd like because I did have to walk away and wait while the paint dried, which of course takes longer because of the plastic wrap...

I realize I should have watered down the paint more so I would have achieved the same sort of washy effect as the woman in the video. I'll have to try this again.

However, once I started adding some black and white doodles to it I began to really enjoy the look I was getting. Certainly not instant any more, but the doodling stage was a lot of fun!

Have I mentioned that I can't just watch TV any more? It drives my husband crazy, but I have to have something else in my hands, whether it's some hand stitching, doodling or a new jigsaw puzzle app on my iPad (that I've become a bit obsessed with of late).

Maybe it's my life as a foster mom to future dog guide puppies, but that word POOP jumps off the page at me (x2). LOL  Maybe I shouldn't have turned the page upside down as I wrote "doodle" all around the border of the page. ;o)

Friday, May 9, 2014

You've Got To Love Garage Sales...

For some time now, I've enjoyed Lori Vliegen's art journalling, and especially the pages she's done in her copy of Sherwood Forlee's Walls Notebook .  So, you can imagine my delight when I found this pristine copy of the Walls Notebook in a garage sale book bin for only 50¢!  I'm not a garage sale shopper for the most part, but this is another perk of walking a dog on weekend mornings.

I've decided to use it to record some of my favourite quotes, so I created my personal 'title page' on the blank page opposite the copyright page.

 It started as just a plain yellow brick wall, so I wrote in the text, framed it with some doodled lines and then attached it to the wall with some short chains. 
A bit more colour and some shading and it's done.  I think this will be a fun way to play with my 'artful' writing while recording some favourite quotes along the way.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fun Found Items...

The other day I was going through some things and I found a bag of goodies that my friend Jan gave me at a Christmas get together.  Inside was this package of Scratch to Draw paper.

I reached for my high tech tweezers, usually reserved for fine manipulation of tiny things...but they were the first pointy item I got my hands on and I knew they'd be great for scratching into the paper (they stick mentioned on the package seems to have gone missing!).

I used Carolyn Dube's buildings stencil because it has a nice variety of interesting blocks. I was thrilled with the bright colour and the effect of the tweezers scratching into the black looked great (in my humble opinion LOL).

 I made a variety of different sized 'building blocks' :o) and then stacked them in a finely balanced arrangement.  I played with various background ideas, but in the end I decided that I liked the contrast of the blocks on the white page so I left it as is.

I added some text, a bit of shading and a simple doodled border and called it done!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Waste Not...

After cooking beets for dinner, I just couldn't throw out the beautifully coloured 'beet water' so I poured it into a glass and tried dyeing with it.
I pushed in a skein of crochet cotton, using a bit of wooden dowel to make sure the liquid saturated the entire skein and left if over night.
Then I decided to crumple up a paper towel and press it in to soak up all of the remaining liquid before pulling them both out to dry.

While wet, the colours were fabulous!!!

They did lighten up a bit once dry, but I still think they'll be really great in some future art. Maybe next time I'll forget about eating the beets and boil some fabric and threads right in the pot to really get a dark, intense beet colour...

I'll still have to make one pot for eating though since beets are so delicious!

I also finished the May calendar spread...