Friday, January 31, 2014

Another Media in My Art Arsenal...

Last weekend, Dime and I went to a cupcake decorating class.  It is the first of two that were part of my birthday present from my wonderful husband.

Dime was wonderful!  It turns out I was the only one who had packed a Kong with peanut butter into my decorating 'kit'!  Of course I was also the only one of the 6 participants who brought a dog. ;o)

After he enjoyed his Kong treat/play, he just curled up on his blanket and slept.

I've discovered that I love decorating cupcakes...who knew!  It is just another wonderful artistic outlet, and a tasty one at that!  Here are close ups of my first creations:

A simple rose...

I couldn't resist adding some of my little swirls and dots!
How adorable is this for Easter?

Is it just me, or should this one have another 'flower' in this top right area?

The 'balloon strings' were an after thought, better positioning of the little hearts would make them look more like time.
 Yup, there are those swirls again!

I love how elegant this one looks.  It would be perfect for a wedding don't you think? 

And of course I had to play with some text...

We'll have to hurry up and eat these so I can make more!  Thank goodness my husband and I like our dessert!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Do You Do When You Have No Pockets?

Although pockets tend to inform my shopping to some extent, a few of my clothes don't seem to have them. Although I can't be bothered carrying a lot around with me, I do need somewhere to keep my iPhone, a bit of cash and maybe my Visa card and my keys.

On Monday, I showed you a 6 inch square of my rust dyed fabric that I had embellished using Michelle Ward's stencil design and some hand stitching, and I promised to show you how I was going to use it.  Well, it has become a tiny little pocket/bag!

I created the bag using a simple pattern idea from Jane Davila, which I altered to suit my personal needs. The 6 inch hand stitched square was bound with the same fabric that creates the accents by the zipper and the inside lining.  This creates an open front pocket in addition to the one compartment within the bag.  I couldnt' find a strap that I was happy with, so I made my own by combining some Blue trim and a bit of copper coloured 'rope' trim.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Hop Featuring Michelle Ward's All New StencilGirl Designs

Today's blog hop is really exciting...the creative team at StencilGirl is creating with brand new stencil designs by Michelle Ward.  These stencils are just being made available to you for the first time today and we've been asked to keep them a secret until today's reveal!

Ta da!  Here they can click on the images for links if you want to start shopping right now...(I'm thinking all 4 of them would work so well together in some surface design for art quilting!), but... 

maybe you'd like to see how I used 'RIPPLES' first (that's the second one in the top row, with the wonderful concentric circles).

I started with a piece of rust dyed fabric that I made several months ago and I traced the entire stencil onto the fabric using pencil. I often 'take stencils apart' and only use bits here and there in my design, but for what I'm planning Michelle's composition is perfect just as it is!
I outlined the pencil lines using three strands of blue DMC floss and a simple running stitch.  A finer variegated taupe/blue thread was used to outline the background areas in the same manner. 
I filled the background areas using French knots and seed stitches. I switched back to the DMC, this time using a single strand and began filling the circles in with straight stitches. A single strand of a rust coloured floss was used to add additional stitches in the areas between the 'rings'. 

Here are a couple of close ups of the stitching:
I'll back on Wednesday to show you how I used this little six inch piece of stitching. Until then, enjoy the rest of the hop!

Great news...StencilGirl has a giveaway! 

All comments left on the hop are eligible for the giveaway so 
the more blogs you comment on, the more chances you will have to win. 
Have fun and GOOD LUCK!

The giveaway will close on Friday, January 31th at 11:59PM Central Time. 
Please note:  I have discovered that blogger will only allow/show 200 comments, including my relpies so as much as I love to leave personal thank yous to each of you, I have stopped replying to make sure your comment shows up and therefore gets entered in the draw.  Please know I appreciate all of your thoughtful words!

Blog Hop Order
Linda Kittmer-You are here!
Julie Snidle - Hop to see Julie next please...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Drawings and Doodles...

I've been doing a lot of drawings and doodles in my 2014 art journal and I'm loving it.  I feel like I'm starting to find my drawing style and I'm becoming more confident in my hand drawn lettering too!  Thanks to the great inspiration from Joanne Sharpe, I'm learning some great, and manageable ways to record the highlights of my year.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words...well, I think doing these little 'dailies' and vignettes as tiny drawings is more my style than just writing!

I've had a great few days drawing my imagery with pencil and then tracing with a permanent black pen.

I'll show you these again once I get them all coloured.  I'm planning to use my Tombow markers and a water brush to get a pretty watercolour effect.  We'll see if I achieve what I'm picturing in my mind... ;o)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sometimes Wrinkles Are A Good Thing...

I'm back today with a few more drawings of eyes...

As I continue drawing these close up sketches of eyes, I'm finding that my favourites are the older people with all of the lines and wrinkles in their faces.  They've got such interesting character, and all of those lines seem to make it easier to capture their expression and mood.

Monday, January 20, 2014

It's All In The Eyes...

In addition to all the doodling I've been doing in my art journal lately, I've been doing some drawing in preparation for machine doodling of more eyes. If you're interested, you can see some of the eyes I've already machine sketched/doodled here and here.

Have you ever noticed how many fascinating faces there are out there?  I find myself looking for interesting faces my own collection of photos, in magazines and newspapers, and online...

I can't tell you how much fun it is to sketch close ups of eyes, and then just sit at the sewing machine and draw them in's becoming a bit addictive!

Here are a few more sketches I've done:

I can't wait to make some time for sewing so I can get these done in thread!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Doodlicious Fun in a StencilGirl Framework...

I'm featured over on StencilGirl Talk again today, where I've used Lizzie Mayne's Half Moon Slant stencil to create a framework for some lettering and doodling fun.  This is just a sneak peek to entice you to come on over and see what I've done...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Awesome Year...2014

I've been working away at pages in my art journal, and I'm really loving the idea of keeping one art journal for the year, as a way of documenting the highlights as well as the sort of art journalling I'm currently doing.  If I have the discipline to keep this up over the years, it will be really interesting to see how my art changes over time and it'll be fun to take those trips down memory lane.

In today's post, I'm sharing a couple more exercises from the Draw Your Awesome Year class I'm doing online with Joanne Sharpe.

The first is my 'mantra' page.  Last year my inspirational word was 'joy', and I decided to continue to focus on joy as an ongoing thing.  I recently read a great quote (which I can't for the life of me find!!!...should have written it down!) basically stated that joy has to be worked have to keep choosing joy because it doesn't just happen.  So true!  I'm going to continue trying my best to be positive, celebrate the good and choose to smile, laugh and see the joy in my daily life!

This year, 'my word' is GIVE. As you may know if you've been following my blog, I have recently become a foster mom for a future dog guide puppy.  I love this opportunity to not just write a cheque, but to actually give of myself every day to raise and train this puppy so that he can go on to change someone's life!  I'm working with him 24/7, making a commitment to help and it feels great, exhausting some days...but still great!  

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 Art Journal Adventures...

On Friday I showed you the cover art on my new journal for 2014, and today the inside title page is done...

I've signed up for Joanne Sharpe's Draw Your Awesome Year online class, and I've decided to make it a part of my overall 2014 art journal. You see, Joanne suggested a journal with 64 pages to accommodate all that we'll be doing in her class.  However, I chose a journal that has about twice as many pages so that I could include some other pages, as my muse calls to me.

Needless to say, for those of you doing Joanne's class, I can't go ahead and do my table of contents yet because I need to wait and see what I end up with before I commit to that.  As with my experience from academic work, I think I'll do my table of contents at the end of the whole process.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Awesome Year...

The other day, I picked up a new journal and I had a great time using up a bunch of recycled bits and pieces, as well as some wonderful techniques as suggested in Creative Jumpstart 2014 (it's not too late to sign up!).

I love to hang on to all sorts of bits of paper from postage stamps, to tissue paper (especially the pretty printed ones), envelopes (especially pretty decorated ones...thank you Betty Franks!!!), old book pages, maps, music paper, newspaper text, magazine text, Gelli plate prints, pretty tea bag papers, etc., etc., etc...

Once the collaging was done, I got out the acrylic paint to add some colour and blend away some of the harsh edges.

Then I added some magazine text...a feature phrase on the front cover and several others on the back.

When I was pretty much happy with it, I added the title using Liquitex Paint Markers in white and black.  I used a black NeoColor II crayon and a water brush to create shadows for the text, a couple of extra doodles and now I'm ready to journal for 2014!

I'm hoping to do a lot more art journalling this year...after all, I've got to fill up this journal before the year is over...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stitches Like 'Buttah'...

As I mentioned last Monday, I've finally got out my Babylock 12 Needle Embellisher again and I've started a new piece.  I'm using little bits of dupioni silk as well as some wonderful silk 'yarn' which I've been hanging on to for a while, and embellishing it onto a felt background.  I love the richness of the colours and the texture is so fabulous to work with!  I just love hand stitching through felt and silk!

Here are a couple of close up shots of the beginnings of some couching I'm doing with some of the silk 'yarn' pieces.

It's time to pull out some of my embroidery books for some inspiration! One of my favourite books is Judith Baker Montana's Free-Form Embroidery.  It's a stunning book, full of so much wonderful inspiration!