Monday, April 30, 2007


The winner of the postcard from my birthday celebration is Mary Ann Littlejohn. If you'll email me your address, I'll get it mailed off to you. Thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes and for helping to celebrate my birthday!

This little guy was included in a box of wine from South Africa. While I am anxious to try out the wines, I was also thrilled to see him in the box. He now perches on a stack of books in my studio, hopefully bringing good luck to me while I work in there.

And these are some of my birthday gifts...... a silkscreen for printing, a pad of watercolor paper, a sketchbook made from recycled paper, a sheet of ochre-colored lokta paper, some new markers, and a book that I have been wanting to read. This is going to be a fun week playing with my new toys!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Gifts from Nature and a Friend

This is a birthday gift from a friend, who bought it at a recent auction. In case you are wondering what it is, it's a binder. To see how I will use it, refer to my January 29th post about my handmade sketch books. For me, this is a wonderful gift and one that I will use all the time!

(P.S. This friend knew I would get a lot of use out of this binder, because I normally borrow HER binder! LOL)

The other gift today is from nature. One of my rhododendron bushes in the front rock garden is in full bloom, and it is gorgeous! My early blooming PJM rhododendrons got caught in a late freeze this year, so this pink beauty is the first rhododendron that I've really gotten to enjoy this spring.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's Official!

"Every Moment" detail

Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories is a project that has been undertaken to interview quilters and record their stories and photos of their quilts for archival purposes. Dedicated volunteers conduct the interviews, and the quilters themselves supply the photos of their work. Currently these interviews and photos are available online, and they are also stored at the Library of Congress. I was interviewed this month, and my interview is available online now. Click here if you would like to read it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Playing in the Dirt

This is my pot of basil, freshly planted and ready to be moved to the deck when the weather cooperates. I love basil pesto, so a pot of fresh basil on the deck is a necessity!

Next to be planted are these violas. I have two planter boxes on the deck, and these will go in one of them. I am still debating on what will fill the other planter box. This is the time of year that I love --- cool weather and playing in the gardens!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Another Project Underway

Here is another stretching exercise that I have been putting off working on. I am so used to working with my own painted and dyed fabrics that I dread even trying to work with other fabrics.

This project is with two other artists. We each sent a package of fabrics and embellishments to the other two artists. The guidelines are that we use only the materials in the package to create a postcard for each artist. Below is a scan of the fabrics and embellishments that I received from artist #1.

And here are two of the postcards that I created from her package of stuff. I'm not sure if I cheated by adding paint, but I don't think either of these artists will care.

Marbled Mystique #2

Marbled Mystique #3

Friday, April 20, 2007

Altered Blocks

I am a member of Kansas Art Quilters, and our upcoming exhibition is "Altered Views". Several of us are working on a collaborative piece for this exhibition. The guidelines were to create two similiar 9" blocks, complete with quilting and binding. One of these blocks remains un-altered, and the other one was distributed to another artist to be altered and/or embellished. Below is the block that I received in its original state. Not exactly my normal color palette or style, so I initially struggled with it.

Below is what I eventually decided on as my altered version. I think I was successful in keeping the original artist's design intact, yet adding enough elements to give it my own style as well. What do you think?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It Runs in the Family...

Last night UPS dropped off a package from my youngest sister. Inside were t-shirts with her newest resort design. Not that I am the proud sister or anything, but I am thrilled to see her work and own one of her shirts!

And this is the newest page in my little journal collage book --- hand painted fabrics collaged with a piece of dyed cheesecloth and screened with an autograph from my great grandmother's autograph book.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Another Page

This is another quick collage page in my little binder book. I don't plan to create all of the letters of the alphabet, but this one seemed to need a "B" since it includes a baggage claim stub from one of my travels.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Birthday Celebration

My birthday is in two weeks, and I decided to celebrate with my blog readers by having a drawing for one of my postcards. The highly textured postcard featured above will be given away in a random drawing on my birthday, April 28th. If you're interested in winning this signed and numbered postcard, leave me a comment or send me an email. Have fun!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The First Page

Where did the week go? I don't know, but I can't believe it is Friday already. I took a little bit of time this morning to create the first page in my book from the previous post. It's not outstanding, but what a fun way to dabble with some of my small snippets. These pages are going to be great warm-up exercises, especially if I would actually make them first thing in morning when I start in the studio. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This Morning's Project

Another artist/blogger posted photos of a great little book that she bought, and I thought it would be fun to make one for myself. The books are very small, but perfect for making quick collages to jump start your creativity. My book measures approximately 3"x4", and the photos below document the process of making the cover for it.

Step 1 --- I cut mat board to size for the front and back covers and punched a single hole in each piece. Then I used glazing medium to adhere some dark green tissue paper to the mat board. Nothing special about the green tissue paper; it just happened to be what I had readily available. I have tried gel medium, white glue, etc. for adhering the tissue paper, and through trial and error, I've discovered that I prefer to use glazing medium.

Step 2 --- I used more glazing medium to add a touch of beige scrim to the top of the tissue paper. My thought was to give it more texture and a different texture for the next steps.

Step 3 --- A couple of base coats of brown paint, one of raw umber and one of burnt umber.

Step 4 --- Highlight coats of copper, then gold, then silver paint dry brushed over the surface to highlight the various textures.

Step 5 --- Voila, the finished cover attached to the book!

The pages in this book are made from various colors of cardstock, watercolor, handmade and other specialty papers --- anything that I thought I might find inspirational as a starting point. The book itself now hangs above my work table, close at hand for whenever I need a small project for some instant gratification or a creativity jump start.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Day After / Back to Work

This is one of the blooms on my Easter lily, which I am thoroughly enjoying. I've never received an Easter lily before, so this is quite a treat for me, and I am patiently waiting for the rest of the buds to bloom.

Above is a photo of my newest work. I'm quite pleased with how it is evolving and with the color combination. All of the fabrics in it were hand painted using various techniques, then collaged together. Approximate size is 35" high by 19" wide.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

It is cold and windy here, very un-Easter-like, but it will still be a wonderful day spent with family. I am fixing dinner, and we will spend the day with my Mom and with my in-laws. I hope all of you that celebrate Easter have a great day with your families, and enjoy a delicious meal!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Earth Day Auction

The eBay auction that is celebrating Earth Day by donating all proceeds to Greenpeace is up and running! There are numerous pieces of wonderful art for sale at very reasonable prices, including my postcard shown above. Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bulletins Boards

Another artist/blogger posted a photo of her bulletin board after she emptied most of the items off of it. I thought sharing photos of our bulletin boards was a fun idea, so here is mine. It never gets cleaned out though. Mine is full of souvenirs, inspirations, technique samples --- you name it, I probably have it pinned to my bulletin board. What does your bulletin board look like???

Monday, April 02, 2007

Gift From A Friend

These are Pink Impression tulips, a variety of Giant Darwin hybrid tulips. The bulbs were given to me by a friend last fall, and I was excited to plant them as I have never had tulips before. I chose a perfect spot in a back garden, visible from my kitchen window, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching their progress this spring. This morning my patience was rewarded with the first 3 blooms, and all of the rest of the tulips have buds that look like they are about to burst into color any day now. What a great pick-me-up for a Monday!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Life is good!

Even though I woke up earlier than usual this morning, it is a great morning. I have a new piece of work that is coming along quite well, some time to read the new issue of Quilting Arts magazine, and a delicious cup of Guatemalan coffee. Life is good!