Saturday, June 29, 2013

Abstract #3

Number three in the on-going Abstract Series.  I'm really enjoying these little quilts, and once my finger and wrist have had a little more healing time,  I think I'll be adding some  hand stitching to future pieces in this series.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Finally A Little Art Journalling...

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I enjoy doing some art journalling and I find Joanne Sharpe's online classes to be fun.  Well, in spite of my arm being in a cast, I went ahead and signed up for her latest Doodle Arts and Lettering class.  While I had the cast on I was watching the lessons, interacting with the other participants on Facebook and waiting for June 20th to arrive so I could get my cast off.  Well, that day came but the x-rays and pain indicated that I was not yet healed.  I'm now wearing a splint, but I've figured out that if I've very careful about not bending the wrist at all, I can take off the splint for short periods (about 15 minutes a few times a day) so that I can do a little bit of doodling.  And so, I have finally finished "My Grade 2 Art Girl"!  This was a lot of fun.  I can't wait to be able to get back to more of this once this crazy scaphoid finally heals!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stencil Fun!

I'm so excited to have been asked to join the StencilGirl Creative Team.

I'm looking forward to creating fun art journal pages using the new stencils, and since I've been wanting to explore the use of stencils in my surface design and fibre art, this will be a wonderful opportunity to do that too.  My mind has been spinning more than usual with ideas of what I can do with stencils, fabric, paint, stitch...

Please visit Mary Beth and Maria at StencilGirl Talk , their new blog, for more information and a chance to win an incredible giveaway.  I won't tell you what it is, but if you like making monoprints, and you love stencils, this is a fabulous opportunity!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses...

...or at least notice all the beauty around you!

All of these shots were taken with my iPhone the other day while I was out walking my dog, Casey, through the woods and park near our home.

"Now" texture compliments of Kim Klassen.

Linking up with Our World TuesdayTexture Tuesday, and Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Abstract #1

Before quiltng
Last weekend I posted about starting this new abstract series.  After finishing all of the fusing of the hand dyed fabrics, I decided that I would work on the quilting one piece at a time.  It means changing thread a ridiculous number of times, but I like that I can see one piece through to completion in a day.

The two photos show what the piece looked like before and after the quilting was added.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finishing The Painted Bag

The paint is dry and it's time to do some free motion doodling on this painted piece of material (click here to see how it was started)!  I decided to use black thread. Using the circles as the centres of the flowers, I machine sketched petals to create simple flowers.

I got so carried away making the bag that I forgot to take pictures of the process.  As it turned out, this layered, painted fabric is just too stiff to work for the fortune cookie bag.  It simply didn't have the flexibility to fold as it should so I decided to leave it as a small clutch.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fortune Cookie Bag

A while ago I saw a tutorial for a cute little 'fortune cookie bag' on Claude Larson's blog.  Since I had so much fun with the Angie Hughes technique I used for the journal cover I recently made, I thought I'd use it for this bag.

I started with some lace I had, layering it over the cotton foundation.  The circles were cut from a bit of a J-cloth that I had  on my work table.

Some yarn was machine couched around the edge of the circles and then I did some free motion stitching all over the piece.
The next step was to paint on some gesso to seal the layers and ready it for painting.

I've used a metallic copper colour for the circles and then painted the rest with turquoise and a little purple.

Once the paint dries I'll be able to start putting the bag together.  I'll show you the finished bag in a couple of days.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Great Blue Heron

Last weekend I saw this beautiful Great Blue Heron patiently waiting for his dinner outside the Cambridge Mill.

There is something about these wonderfully majestic birds that intrigues me.  I'm fortunate to be able to enjoy them at our cottage, by the pond near our home and out on various explorations while cycling, etc. and yet I just never get tired  of watching them!

They always make me smile too, as I recall the one that used to visit my parent's backyard to steal the koi from Dad's pond.  Dad finally made a wonderful wooden model of a heron and put it by the pond as a decoy to ward off the real one.

"3112" texture compliments of Kim Klassen.

Linking up with Our World TuesdayTexture Tuesday, and Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

New Abstract Series Underway...

Last week I posted about some beautiful Vicki Welsh hand dyed fabric that I was lucky enough to win. I just love hand dyed fabrics.  They've got so much interesting texture and rich colour.  
I've started a new series of abstract quilts using a collection of my own hand dyed fabric combined with Vicki's pieces.  All of the fabrics have been prepared with Misty Fuse so that I can now create by cutting and collaging in an intuitively spontaneous way.
I just love how all of these fabulous colours compliment each other.  And, as you can see, every little bit of fused 'eye candy' has the potential for finding it's way into one of the finished pieces.
Although I can see hand stitch further enhancing these pieces, I plan to start with extensive machine quilting first.  Hopefully once the cast comes off I'll be able to get back to hand stitching right away since the collection of works in progress that require hand stitching and/or beading is getting bigger and bigger!  LOL

Friday, June 14, 2013

Some Paint and Finishing...

Today I'm showing you the final steps in the piece I've been working on based on Angie Hughes technique from her book Stitch, Cloth, Paper and Paint (click here and here to see the first steps).  I really enjoyed this process.  Once the gesso was dry, it was time to paint.  As suggested, I used slightly watered down paint to make it easier to get into all of the folds, nooks and crannies in the textured material.  The watered down acrylics also work well to get a little 'drippage' going on!

I managed some right handed painting and
I also did a little 'pinky painting' because I was having trouble achieving what I was trying to do with a paintbrush in my 'wrong' hand. LOL

Notice my rings on my right hand?  I decided to put them on my right hand since it's looking like I won't get them back on my left hand for quite some time.

I also did some stamping with one of my favourite 'found' objects...the empty scotch tape role you can see in this picture.  It gives you two concentric circles and because it's plastic, I've been using it for years!

My plan for this material was to make a journal cover, so the final step was to fold each of the ends in and then do a satin stitch along the top and bottom edges.  This created the 'pockets' into which you tuck the cover of the composition book.  The best thing about this is that when the composition book is full you can easily replace it with another one!  I even "put a bird on it" with my fun little stamp.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adding Stitch...

Adding texture with machine stitch
Last week I posted about Angie Hughes' book and showed you the first stages in the piece I've started based on her technique.  So much for putting it out in the sun to dry faster...LOL...I've been juggling several projects and while that was drying I got busy with something else.  I finally got back to it to add the machine stitch, giving the piece even more texture.
Long threads created with 'jump stitch'
Angie uses a stitch she calls a 'jump stitch' in which you set the machine for free motion stitch, do a few stitches in place and then 'jump' to another spot, leaving long threads between the areas you're tacking down.  After the stitching was done gesso was painted onto the entire surface to seal the piece, getting it ready for the acrylic paint. Time to let it dry again so I'll pick up another ongoing piece and continue on this another day.

Monday, June 10, 2013


When my son was four years old, I took him on a month long road trip to explore the maritime provinces.  We camped in our van and enjoyed discovering so many exciting and beautiful places.  Some of my friends thought I was crazy to take the trip, on my own with such a young child, but we had an incredible time!  One of the things that has stuck with me, were the incredible lupines that covered all of the roadsides in P.E.I.  Since then, when ever I see lupines I am reminded of that time.

This photo was taken down the street from our home.  The woman that lives there has an incredible green thumb and her entire front 'lawn' has been transformed into the most beautiful garden.

I've added Kim Klassens 'Autumn burst' texture and while I was experimenting with different blend modes and filters, I came up with this colourful version.  I'm sorry to say I don't remember how I got to this point, but I sure love the effect.

A little more tweaking resulted in this slightly different version. I really love the colours in this one!

Linking up with Our World TuesdayTexture Tuesday, and Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Another Piece of Rust...

The current GOE challenge has me working with rust again, but this time I'm approaching it in a whole new way.

Ann, one of our GOE members took these photos of a rusty grate while she was on a golf course in Mexico (perhaps this is why she never make it on the Women's PGA Tour...just saying...).

I can't reveal too much yet, but I thought I'd give you a peek at the machine stitched grass I've been working on.  I've layered some tan thread under the green to give it the texture and colour of the old, dead grass that's under some of the healthy green grass in the photo.  Instead of using rust dyed fabric (which is too hard to work with right now with the cast and all), I've edited the original images in Photoshop Elements and then trasferred it to a piece of cotton using Transfer Artist Paper.
This image shows a bit of the hand stitching I've started to accent the larger blades of grass.

I'm having fun with this piece, but it's  frustrating me that the hand stitching is causing me pain. I've decided that in the interest of my hand I'm going to have to lay off all hand work until I've healed.  I can't wait to get this cast off!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Time For some Machine Creating.

Last year I was lucky enough to win some fabulous hand dyed fabric from Vicki Welsh.  What I love about hand dyed fabric is that it always seems to go well together, regardless of the source.

I'm planning to work in another series, combining these fabrics with some of my own hand dyed pieces.

I hope to be able to have something to show you soon...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Texture Technique Using Everyday Materials

I found a wonderful book called Stitch, Cloth, Paper & Paint, by Angie Hughes while I was browsing the art section at the library.

Angie explains her technique for using watered down PVA glue to create incredible texture using cotton and layering it with cheesecloth, tissue paper and other such things.  She then paints the piece using acrylic paint.

This photo shows the second stage, where I'm applying the tissue paper strips using a sponge brush and the watered down glue.

 In the book, Angie tells you to let it dry overnight, but when it's hot and sunny outside, I figure I can speed that process up dramatically.

I'll share more about this piece later, as it progresses.  Thanks for visiting.

Monday, June 3, 2013

"O" What An Interesting Tree...

The other day, while walking along Reynolds St. in Oakville, this tree caught my eye.

Okay, here's what it looked like before I started playing in Photoshop Elements. LOL.  All of a sudden that funny "O" makes sense.  I'm glad they found a way to make it work without cutting down the tree!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Threadworks Travelling Show

I just found out that "Ode to Dr. Seuss" will be included in the Threadworks travelling show.   If you have the opportunity to get to the Wellington County Museum before June 9th, you'll be able to see the full show (the travelling show will not included all of the pieces shown in Elora/Fergus due to space limitations).  I hope you'll consider visiting the show if it comes to a location near you.  Here's the schedule of dates and locations: 
Threadworks 2013 WATER travelling exhibit
1.  Wellington County Museum, Elora/Fergus                April 20 - June 9
2.  Joshua Creek Gallery, Oakville                                -  to be confirmed
3.  Temiskaming Art Gallery, Haileybury                       Sept. 1 - Oct. 25
4.  Fort Frances Museum                                            Nov. 4 - Dec. 14 (or so)
5.  Dryden and District Museum                                  Jan. 4 - Feb. 22
6.  Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora                       March 9 - April 27
7.  Thunder Bay Museum                                            May 11 - June 29
8.  Museum of Northern History, Kirkland Lake             July 12 - August 30
9.  Arthur Child Heritage Museum, Gananoqué              Sept. 12 - Oct. 31
10.  Bruce County Museum, South Hampton                 November 2014 - March 2015
11.  The Station Gallery, Whitby                                  March 13 - May 3
12. Woodstock Art Gallery                                          May 15 - July 5
13. Gibson Gallery, Amherstburg                                 TBA                                    

Returns to Elora

** please note that these are when the show arrives at these venues ... the actual opening will be determined by the individual galleries.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

On-going Art Journal Calendar Project...

Here's my June calendar spread.  It's a good thing I worked ahead and had this page done before my cycling mishap.  I won't post my finished May page (because it's not LOL)...I've been recording the highlights of my days on computer and I'll wait and transcribe them to the art journal calendar once I get my cast off in a few more weeks.

Upcoming Shows...

I'm excited to announce that 'Rust' and 'Out of the Blue' have been accepted into a juried art show to be held at the Helson Gallery at the Halton Hills Cultural Centre in Georgetown from June 27th to Sept. 8th, 2013.  If you're in the area, I hope you get the chance to pop in for a visit.
And, while you're in the neighbourhood, please check out the community window at Young's Pharmacy, just around the corner and up the block, on Main St. where I will be displaying some other art as part of a Group of Eight exhibit during the first two weeks of July.  If you make it a Saturday morning you can also take in our farmer's market right there on Main St.!

Linking up with Off the Wall Fridays.