Saturday, January 31, 2009

Banishing the Winter Blahs

Usually about this time of year I go into hibernation. My Muse takes her vacation and I relax, getting ready for my Spring Spurt. Well, not this year. I signed up for two yearly challenges which has proved to be a good thing for this season. The first was Nature Gathered, below is my January contribution. The participants are to create their monthly works of art on an 8x8 canvas. I'm really enjoying this size and using my other talents.

The second challenge is the Bead Journal Project. Everyone who signed up was to pick a size for their "pages" and make a monthly beaded page for their personal journal. I choose recycled respirator filters for my pages, which I'm glad I did, they are small and quick to bead up. Here is my January page. You can check out my blog to see more of my pages.

February is just right around the corner and I need to get busy in order to get my art done for next month.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rock Crystal and Glass

Oh, I do love shopping for beads. Most of the time I have no idea what I will do with them but I trust that the design will emerge once I start putting things together. At the Cargo sale I bought a few glass beads from Africa. The colors are like sherbet and the recycled glass has a yummy translucence.
From a website I ordered theses rock crystal nuggets. Don't they look like ice cubes?

In honor of winter I whipped up a set of earrings and a necklace with some excellent sterling and gold-fill chain. Brrr.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Learning Encaustic

I've dabbled in encaustic before, but today I took a class to learn the ins and outs of using colored waxes from Kimberly Kent, who creates fantastic, impressionistic landscapes in wax. Three students managed to cover the tables with wax as we created our "masterpieces". We used the conditioned wax and later carved back into the wax and filled our lines with chalk pastel for greater detail. I have a lot to learn in this medium, but was pleased with what I produced in a two hour time span.

Fiber Experiments

We've all been pretty quiet around here after the show and the holidays, but now the energy is starting to build again.  What has everyone been working on?

I've been enjoying time to just experiment without thinking much about final products.  I've been playing with more small pieces to try a variety of techniques.  This is part of my "What If" crazy quilt series.  I start with the basic structure of a crazy quilt and then see which direction I can take it.  This time I asked, "what if I start with a neutral "crazy graffiti" background and do all my embellishments in neutral stitching and fibers?"  I added the stuffed faces to perk it up a bit: 

You can read more about my "What If" explorations on my blog if interested.  

I've also wanted to play with velvet (my next series of "what if's) and started by stuffing and machine embroidering the burgundy velvet background for this small sign.  This piece also allowed me to try some free form applique lettering and to try using small puff balls as a frame:

I have a notebook full of experiments to try, and the list grows a lot faster than I can stitch them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The 52 Letters Project and making stationary

On my TO DO List in 2008 I listed 'make my own stationary'. I kept meaning to sit down and make beautiful custom stationary for those rare times I actually wrote a letter on paper.

In 2009 I've decided to keep things simple and actually DO more things.
So this week I launched a new blog: The 52 Letters Project The purpose is to 'revive The Letter'. It started because my niece was so delighted with an actual letter I sent to her for no official holiday or birthday. Just a letter. And aren't they nice to receive in the mail? Please visit the blog and join the fun this year! Just one letter a week!

This morning I made some stationary. Couldn't be simpler. I used pre-purchased blank cards and stamped them using my favorite chalk ink pad (VersaMagic multi-surface chalk ink pad).

The point is not that they are great art because they're not. The point is that they are done and I am using them for real notes.

Ahhh. Sometimes it's the simplest things that make me happy.