Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Still Adding Hand Stitch...

If you read Monday's post, you'll know I've been a little distracted from my art in the last week thanks to our new foster puppy, Dime.
I am managing to do some hand stitching while he naps, but when he's up it's pretty busy around here with play, training, and walks, etc.

I've just about finished the hand stitched texture I wanted to add to this piece, so I may have to set it aside for a little while before I can get to the machine work I have planned for it.  I can't imagine taking Dime into the studio so I can do some machine work at this stage...just too many dangerous things for the little guy to get in to!

In addition to the Sorbello stitch and the 'triple' stitch I showed you in a post last week, I've added some French knots and some very random cross stitches.

As you may have figured out from the photos I've shared, this piece will actually be made up of a number of smaller pieces (five to be exact) that will come together to make the larger piece.

Maybe I'll be able to share more on this piece by this time next week.

Until then, I'm going to pull out a piece I started working on back in the Spring, before my hand stitching was sidelined by the cycling accident and the resulting fractured wrist and injured finger.  It's based on a photo I took, and I'm excited about the direction it is going so far.

I hope you're all having a fabulous week!

Linking to WIP Wednesday.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oh Look...A Distraction!

We've got a new little fellow in our lives.  I've become a foster 'mom' for a future dog guide puppy.  His name is Dime and he's 8 wks old.  He's very clever and is adjusting well to our home.  I do laugh at him when outside because he's very easily distracted by every leaf he sees, thus the title of the post.  Needless to say, being fall there are a lot of distractions outside. LOL

Casey seems to like him and they've already had a few great play sessions.  It's really hard to believe she's 13 yrs. old when you see her romping and wrestling with Dime!

Although he's crate training, and therefore sleeps in his crate, sometime after playing he does snooze with Casey for a bit before going into his crate for nap time.

Linking up with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog Hop Featuring Cecilia Swatton's StencilGirl Designs...

I'm participating in another fun StencilGirl Blog Hop, this time featuring stencils designed by Cecilia Swatton!  I'm using Cecilia's "Swatton Grid" and "Mimosa 6" stencils today.

6" x 6" Swatton Grid
6" x 6" Mimosa
Sometimes you have to work smarter, not harder, so today I'm doing just that.  I'm thinking ahead to the busy Christmas season, and I want to make my own gift tags this year.  I also want to get my November art journal calendar spread done, so in comes the 'smarter'.  

I cut a bunch of these little tags out of card stock, hole punched them and then pulled out may art journal calendar.  
I spritzed some yellow Dylusions ink spray on the page and used a baby wipe to swirl it around a bit.  

Then I arranged the tags onto the page and the fun began.
Since November can be such a dark, gloomy month, pulled out my bright spray inks and sprayed through Cecilia's stencils to create some beautifully colourful patterns on the page.
Here you can see me spraying some grass green through the "Swatton Grid" stencil.

After creating all of that fabulous background colour and texture, I removed the tags and set them aside.

I pulled out my Liquitex paint markers and added some outlines and numbers, etc. to the calendar spread.
Then I added some extra texture to the journalling blocks by stencilling some white through the stencils, alternating  "Mimosa 6" and "Swatton Grid" 

I added the name of the month and the year and the calendar spread was done.

And now to get back to those Christmas tags I was making... I added some doodles to the beautifully patterned tags using a gold Pearl Pen and all they need now is a pretty bit of gold yarn and they're ready to go!

I hope you've enjoyed your stop here!  Remember there's a giveaway on the 
StencilGirl Talk blog and Cecilia will also have a giveaway of her own on her blog.  

ALL comments in the entire hop are eligible to win. 
The more blog's you comment on (one comment per blog please)
the more chances you have to WIN! 

The giveaway will close on Sunday, October 27th at 11:59PM Central Time.

Linda Kittmer-you are here
Linda Cain-hop over here next...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Adding Texture With Hand Stitch and Revamping the Group Of Eight's Blog...

Last week I posted about some inspiration I got from some wonderful threads my friend Heather gave me. Well, it would seem other art has been set aside and this has been my focus for the last couple of days.  I designed and pieced the components of this new piece, yet to be named, and I've been adding some texture with hand stitch.  I'm really enjoying using the Sorbello stitch (thanks again to Heather for teaching it to me!). I'm also adding other hand stitch to various areas before I move back to the machine to add some dense quilting.  I'm still amazed that this all started because my friend gave me a pretty skein of interesting thread! (Leah, I believe this is what you'd call a squirrel. LOL)

But, prior to working on this piece, the weekend was spent revamping the Group of Eight Fibre Artists blog.  Please pop by to see the new format, learn more about our fibre art group  and 'meet' the other artists in the group.  There are a few artists I'm still working with to get photos taken of their work, but most of the galleries are ready for viewing!

I'm linking to WIP Wednesday at Needle And Thread Network.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Play Unplugged...

Here's my latest mixed-media piece which I've called 'Play Unplugged'.  It was inspired by a paper doll app (for use on smart phones and tablets) that I stumbled upon one day while looking for something online.

I have posted a tutorial about the making of it over on the StencilGirl Talk blog.  I used Sue Pelletier's fabulous Loose Dress series of stencils to create the three adorable 'paper' dresses!  I hope you'll pop over to read more about the process and some of my thoughts behind it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Today's Post Is Brought To You By The Colour Red...

Red is one of my favourite colours, especially this time of year when it's in the form of vibrant red leaves!  

On Saturday it was raining and as I sat at my desk in my studio, I kept noticing the beautiful maple across the street, blurred by the rain on my window.  It was fun experimenting with the focus as I took these shots.  Notice how green our grass is!  All this rain is certainly making keeping it happy...unlike those who have to keep going out to cut it. ;o)

Is this not the most beautiful stone house?  I love the wonderful neutral tones and then that bright pop of colour on the front door.  I pass this house sometimes when I'm out cycling, so I decided I should bring along my camera along on one of my rides.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Creativity Is Taking A Back Seat...Time For Some Repairs...

I've had to put aside my creative sewing and art for a bit so I can spend some time repairing my first every quilt.  I made it fourteen years ago for my son's room in the new house (builders had not even broken ground when I started this quilt).

We had already chosen the colour scheme for this yet to be built room, and the fabric was chosen to compliment the navy/taupe colour scheme.

This quilt has been to Ottawa for Lucas' undergrad years and is now in Toronto with him as he studies Law.  On the weekend he let me know that the quilt was starting to fall apart in places.  I think it is the lack of heavy quilting since it was only 'stitched in the ditch' and it is such a well loved and well used quilt that limited quilting just couldn't stand up to the tough wear and tear of a teenager and now young man.

I offered to make a new quilt, but that was not well received.  It seems Lucas really appreciates the fact that he is the owner of my first quilt and he has a lot of sentimental value attached to this.  Repairs are under way!  Perhaps after repairing it I'll add more quilting to see it that will add to it's longevity.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Blog Hop with StencilGirl and Xyron...

Thanks to the folks at Xyron, today I'm exploring ways to use their Xyron High Tack Adhesive Dots and Double-Sided High Tack Tape along with StencilGirl Stencils.

I started by playing around with the Xyron products, journalling about what I was coming up with as I went along.

My husband is a talented wood worker, and as a byproduct of what he was creating, he was making this fabulous pile of Padauk wood shavings.  I love the colour and thought it would give me some incredible texture.  While leaving the paper backing on the double-sided tape, I dipped the sticky side into the wood shavings.  I then peeled the paper backing off and stuck this wonderfully textured 'wood tape' to my journal page.  I also made some wood shaving dots, in much the same way.

Next I started looking at my collection of stencils to find patterns that would create some interesting tape using embossing powder.  I settled on Jamie Fingal's Houses to start, but was really interested to note that most of the stencils have some elements that can be isolated for fabulously patterned tape.
I started by laying the tape down on my non-stick craft mat, sticky side up (release paper down).  I gently put the stencil over it so that it was sticking ever so slightly to the tape and I sprinkled a bit of the first colour of embossing powder over it.  I used a soft brush (any soft paint brush would do or use a brush made for embossing powders).  

I then carefully lifted the stencil and sprinkled the second colour onto the exposed areas of the tape.  Using the soft brush, I brushed away the excess embossing powder and used the heat gun to melt the embossing powder.

I also made a few embossed dots using one colour of powder per dot.  Here's the journal page with my notes for future reference:

Using a couple of these ideas, I pulled out Sue Pelletier's Loose Dress #3 stencil and my black Pitt pen and I traced all the lines on the stencil.  Then I added a bunch of the 3/16" Xyron dots to create a pretty polka dotted dress.  I sprinkled on the pink embossing powder, brushed off all the excess and then pulled out the heat gun to get them to melt and shine! It's difficult to see, but the dots are raised, adding a wonderful texture to the page.

I added the 1/2" Xyron Double Sided Tape along the top and bottom of the page, leaving about a 1/4" between the edge of the page and the tape.  I thought Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch's Bubbles stencil would add the perfect compliment to the polka dot dress.  After sticking the tape onto the page, I pulled up the protective paper and as described above, I added pink embossing powder to the stencil first, to get pink dots, and then filled in the background space with green.  I found dipping the brush into the green and touching it to the exposed tape worked really well without dropping too much excess embossing powder.


 Here's the page after the embossing was finished.  I really like it as is, but I decided to use my Tombow markers to add a watercolour effect to the page.

The final touch was a bit of hand written text around the dress using a white Uni-ball Signo pen.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving...

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving so my husband and I are busy preparing a wonderful feast of turkey with all the traditional trimmings.  And in between prep, I've been out for a lovely walk with my Mom and of course Casey since she'd never miss a chance at a walk.  Althought the colours in the neighbourhood are showing all the classic signs of beautiful fall colours, the path in the woods still looks pretty green.

Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without pumpkin pie so I've been experimenting with some gluten free crust variations, including one using ground pecans, and then I got a brain wave and decided to create a prailined topping of pecans, pumpkin seeds and a little bit of candied ginger...YUM!

I hope you're having a wonderful day!

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you here in Canada!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Bit of Inspiration...

I've really been struggling to get down to some fibre art work lately.  I have lots of ideas, but I just can't seem to get started on them...procrastination and lack of drive just have me spinning my wheels and wasting time. But, a couple of days ago my friend Heather gave me this skein of thread and it seems to have been just what I needed.

I've been in the studio pulling out hand dyed fabrics and other threads and there seems to be a bit of a spark...

Pull out a stencil (that's one of Terri Stegmiller's Stepping Stone stencils)...add a bit of paint and fabric medium...

                             Let the fun begin!

Hopefully I'll have something interesting to show you soon!