Friday, January 30, 2009

"The Making of a Thousand Tapestries..."

Starts with one stitch", to paraphrase a Chinese proverb about starting a journey. heehee
So I did it. I pulled out some muslim, some vintage images, some thread. I rubber stamped a little on the fabric after I got obsessively attached to an artificial leaf, which both inspired and doomed my composition. This piece is entitled, "Sanctuary" or "The Colossal Celery". The edges of the piece are raw (hahaha!- no pun intended on the celery reference, heehee, hoohoo, wiping eyes). I like the casual look, but how does one present it? Seems binding the edges would be more finished, but I like the design free-range and not bound by convention. Maybe a reflection on me! haha
I didn't do sketches, and didn't obsess about the layout, too much. I worked quickly and ignored the fact that my "tree" resembled a giant, domestic crudite'. Everything is hand stitched down (my sewing machine is buried still) and some of the stitching (Margaret) was done in the bathroom while I supervised Rebecca splashing in the tub. I stood by the bathroom sink, as far from the water sports as possible. I had a hard time putting down my little quilt, but I did so to sleep. This morning I sewed on the buttons, the key and finally this afternoon the kiddos were permanently stuck down with some low temp hot glue (the photo was too brittle to sew down). One "tapestry" down, another 999 to go.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One More SEW Pretty Valentine

I had one more of these ladies I stamped on my scrap paper, but couldn't find another needlecase with red foil paper. But I did find some small felt hearts and a tattered little measuring tape printed in red on one side. Eureka! I just had to post the result. I threaded one of the needles with a little red thread and voila!
Now go make some sewing notion Valentines and send them to your stitching friends. They will be so touched by your thoughtfulness.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Banners DONE!

Remember my altered playing cards from a few posts ago? They are now banners for Linda's Christian Paper Artists' Valentine banner swap. I used a large background stamp to decorate the backs of the banners and the scrap cardstock I overstamped on (think- the banners are triangular, the stamp is rectangular so there is design going off the edges onto the card stock I protected my work surface with...) became the "sew pretty" Valentine card below, with the addition of the Stampland maiden's face.

Linda's needle cases (her Jan. 19 post) were my inspiration for the needle filled heart. I happened to have some vintage needles attached to red foil paper. I cut out the heart, replaced the needles and now I have a lovely greeting with a practical embellishment. For the woman who has taken up sewing "snippets".

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Cleaning Faerie Arrived!

No, I haven't cleaned my studio (silly!), but the beautiful, most thoughtful, most kind hearted Anna Tremblay sent me a wonderful button doll faerie in the mail today. My greyed out photo doesn't do the doll justice, but you get the idea. Don't you love her sparkly pom-pom dusting wand? Looks magical for sure! Both Anna's thoughtfulness and the appearance of the faerie made my day today. And Anna's is my first Valentine card. I feel truly loved. I think I can go on with my day now. Big (((hugs))), Anna!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Aha! Found Her!

I SO appreciate the comments on my mess of a studio. I think if I had posted a nice, clean, work space, no one would have bothered beyond a polite, "nice!", before you buried your head in shame, in your own art mess! And so, I would like to send each of you a cleaning faerie of your own-- as soon as I make some! In the mean time, inspire yourselves with this cutie by Katie Stuckhoff (who, by the way, is taking part in the One World, One Heart giveaway). The doll was a gift last year in a blog giveaway. This little miss is my inspiration for trying my hand at my own little doll. I hope to make some soon, with feather duster legs!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

WANTED: Cleaning Faeries

I Wish..... (delightful mitten found at flea market, delovely banner by Linda) someone......

would clean...

my studio.

This is why I am doing my creating everywhere else in the house!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

52 Pick Up

Really, if my kids never made a mess, I probably wouldn't be creating anything these days. Because Rebecca mutilated most of a deck of cards yesterday, I was "forced" to salvage them as only an artist would. I could not throw them out! HoRrORs! What a waste! As I unbent her primative attempts at origami, I realized that these cards had RED backs, which these days says "hearts" and "Valentines" to me. You can guess the rest.
All I will tell you is that none of these were created in my studio. I stood at the kitchen counter, dinner simmering on the stove, cutting up cards, as havoc was wreaked about me. Victoria loudly watched TV (this was after school) while Rebecca expended pent up energy running up and down the length of the house and Seth alternated between wanting to talk about something with me and fuming at Rebecca. I put down my scissors, gave him my undivided attention and then after several minutes of silence he spit out, "never mind" and stomped off. I create in desperation. Both these cards and Seth's issues were resolved by bedtime.

Monday, January 12, 2009

*Sigh* I get side tracked so easily. Cleaning the screened in back porch is a much simpler task, I believe, if you are NOT an artist seeing the possibilities in everything. I managed to empty one box. That was it. I found a printed paper bag from some gift shop that had a hand written sales receipt inside and I was done. Inspiration struck and thoughts of tidying the back porch evaporated. In no time at all (in reality, probably 25 minutes, but you know what they say about time flying when you're having fun...) I had made a Valentine postcard. I don't know if it's done- I might add some machine stitching, but for now have it up on my inspiration board to simmer and age. That's how Mona came down-- I needed the room. I had found a stray dictionary page that happened to have the desirable word, "laugh" and its various forms and somehow it all just struck me funny. I am not a purist so she is not stuck down to a standard ATC sized card, but the back of an old button card I had once glued a scrap of yellowed paper to. Some Mondrian color blocking and voila! I love poking fun with Mona. She is my straight man.

This urge to clean and organize is not working too badly for me. Somehow it still leads to art!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oatmeal Scones and Jam

My dining room table has been clutter free now for a week. Yay me! No small feat since it is the central point in our house and therefore the dumping ground for anything anyone is too lazy to put away in its proper place. Mittens, scarves, mail, homework, thrift store purchases, video game cables, screwdrivers, toys, --you name it, it's been there at one time!

I have to bring your attention to the fabulous center piece(s). First off, the roses are from my sweet, romantic husband in honor of our wedding anniversary New Year's Eve (15 blooms- one for each of the 14 years we've been married, plus one to build on). The candle arrangement is practical as well as decorative. We have a ceiling fan instead of a proper chandelier above the table which means the light is high and not dining friendly. What to do? I made do. A shoebox full of garage sale tapers (I love the mix and match color assortment, don't you?), antique brass candlesticks (inherited and garage sale purchased) and a glass platter to catch the drips to save my tablecloth. Voila! A designer look for literally a couple dollars. It is terribly romantic dining by candlelight and brighter than our not-so-romantic ceiling fixture.

All that luxurious space cried out for a party so I pulled put out a yellowed recipe I hadn't made in years. Oatmeal scones. Rebecca , ever my helper, really did help by stirring together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder and dash of salt. While I cut in the butter, she mixed an egg and some milk together. She also sampled the dried fruit (raisins, pears and apricots- unusual, but what I had on hand, so why not?)

Rebecca also helped clean the bowl.

We couldn't keep this lovely treat all to ourselves, so I called my friend Ashlyn and her son Isaac to come over. She brought a fabulous assortment of jams (apricot, black cherry, blackberry-apple butter) and it was tea at the Ritz for us! The scones were yummy, but the jams were good enough to eat with a spoon (and I did!)

Is there a better way to pass the day?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Art is only a scissor snip and glue dab away. One minute, a sewing pattern model. The next, Trudy found herself (and her sister) stuck at the beach. But they made the best of it.

By the way, they didn't AGORGED or AGORES, but ADORED posing at the seaside. I have to work on my typography. The seaside was provided by Charles H. Erbert (c. 1909) printed on a non-profit Smithsonian Art Museum card. I just can't leave well enough alone. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009- What Are Your Plans?

" The best laid plans of mice and men" are often altered.
I had good intentions of starting the year with making art (I am sharing pieces from my archives- these ATCs are not new). But instead, New Year's Day I was taking down Christmas and cleaning. I have been told that whatever you do New Year's Day, you will be doing all that year. Hmmm. Is that why I feel this urge to clean and organize? Boohoo! I have shot myself in the foot!

So, if you don't see much new art from me, rest assured it's because I am scrubbing my floors with a toothbrush or I'm ironing my bedsheets. heehee And at the risk of sounding like the new "Hints From Helois", I have to tell you that if you have candle wax drips on a tablecloth, they come out easily with a steady stream of boiling water (I just held out my table cloth on the back steps and rinsed through it over the flower bed). It also worked for a sweater I had spattered candle wax on (no, not from creating bee's wax art, but from messing around with candles that wouldn't burn evenly).

2009 is the Chinese Year of the Ox, but for me, it looks to be the Year of Cleaning & Organizing. How's it shaping up for you?