Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stitch Alchemy Paper Fabric Dolls I made...

When I took Melanie's Pretty Purse class, I had NO idea I would get to
meet a "real" author. Come to find out, Kelli Perkins was taking the same
class! After I realized who she was I couldn't wait
to tell her about the dolls I had made using her
technique. The blue one is a
mermaid, there's a lady & 2 w/very big heads, 1 has a
travel motif & 1 done w/
buttons & a ticket I aged w/coffee & sepia ink pad. This was a really fun technique. I had fabric drying on my studio floors all over the place. I've saved all my scrap pieces to use in scrapbook embellishing. The layers just made this come alive. She'll be teaching several classes in Chicago in August at the Cloth Paper Scissors event. I hope to take the one where you learn to take your photos and turn them into art on fabric.

Kelli Perkins Poetry Spool Class

As I posted last month, you have GOT to take a class from Kelli. I did the MIU class that she had...Poetry Spool. It is SO cute, makes a great gift for anyone. She's very funny and we all had a good time.

Melanie Testa Pretty Purse Class Pix

this was my 1st try @ free-motion quilting, I loved it! As I've previously stated, if you get a chance, take a class from her...she'll be in Chicago in August. Don't you just love the 'paperdolls' stencil I learned to make? I do, I made boys & girls. My mother was very impressed (and BELIVE ME, that's NO easy feat!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chicago International Quilt Fest Update

Finally! Have a few minutes to sit and write about the truly awesome time I had.

I met so many new creative people and met up w/old friends who always inspire. I took a "Pretty Purse" class from Melanie Testa. If you get a chance, you have GOT to take a class w/her. It was fun, casual, very informative. We learned how to make stencils for silk organza and then to paint it as the purse overlay. Of course, because I was too busy being excited and not paying enough attention, I painted the wrong side on the 1st piece I did. How embarrassing, but I tell you, I had a great time, learned a lot, and did my first free-motion quilting ever. Janome was kind enough to loan machines for that class. I'd never used one (mine's a 32 year old Singer Dressmaker), and WOW was that a really great machine! The class was such a varied group of women, it was so cool. I was totally impressed w/the blinging zipper she had for the little purse, I LOVE bling!!!. I've now got several more in the works.

After the class, the vendors were open for a preview. O man, in the end I was there 2 days and didn't see 1/2 of what the vendors had to offer. I bought some positively awesome batiks. There were all kinds, patterns you never see in my home area and from all over the world fabrics. Some gorgeous silk from China and batiks from Africa, "green" batting, "green" paints, fabulous stencils that could be used on my fabrics (with a new technique I learned from Beth Wheeler) on fabric that I learned how to "rust". Lisa and the girls at the Rust-Tex were beyond wonderful. They were so paitient...because my Blackbird Syndrome takes over when I'm excited.... OOOOHHHH, SHINY!... and off goes my attention (my husband says it's ADD, I prefer to think of it as Blackbird Syndrome!)...I had to make 3 separate purchases in 2 different visits. And girls, yes, I've been making rusty fabric w/my stars & kitty. My first piece is now dry and I've used Beth's technique to make the "paint" I used on the stencils. Very cool. She was using liquid dye drops which I also did, but I also tried pigment powder. Loved the result...I let it sit a bit longer then re-mixed it a bit pressing the bits of pigment. I'll post when it's dried.

Saturday I was back, ready to go!!! I tried to focus on the Mak-It University & seeing the other side of the room...never did get to see the middle. I took a Poetry Spool class from Kelli Perkins and I tell you...if you get a chance...you have GOT to take a class from her. She's so cool and fun. I had done her book, Stitch Alchemy in Belinda's mixed media group and will be posting dolls I made from her paper fabric technique. The Poetry Spool was so cute!

I met Rebekah Meier demoing her new book that I had just bought a week or so before, that was an unexpected surprise. It was so great to see the techniques from her book done in front of me.

The final class I took was w/Pokey from Quilting Arts, a 60's retro class. It was hysterical. We had to make something artful/clothing/hat, etc, that was reminiscent of the 60's. There were dance contests, singing, door prizes, prizes for finished products. Pokey and her crew were so motivating and kept the creative juices flowing. The prizes...omg! They were very generous. I took my strips of batik that I had leftover to my mother (a quilter who @ 82 still makes store samples for Quilts, Quilts in Branson), she couldn't get over how varied they were. I also won a scissor pack for completing 2 rounds of dancing around the booth area. It was wildly funny.

Thank you everyone who showed me things, techniques, swapped w/me or just sat by me. I had SUCH a good time, truly.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here she is, pretty well done. There are some bits of whitecap on the ocean. Seagulls in the background. I have to varnish it. I like her.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Submitted Gretchen...

That's what I like to call my Rusty Spring Doll. She's winging her way to Art Doll Quarterly for their consideration for an issue next spring featuring re-using/recycling things in a new way. I hope they like her. :-)

ATC made at my desk....

I made this using things found at my desk. The woman in the lower left corner is my high school senior picture!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nearly Done

She's nearly done, a lot of her arm detail and such is lost in the photo. I have to mount the big pearl in her hand so she can quit look like she's popped up to wave. The little things in the background are seagulls.
I've been working on an Asian Stuffed Mermaid...you can see some detail in her tail. You also can see my helper, Sadie. I moved her 3 or 4 times, you see how successful I was!!! The Found Art girl, is inspired by Sally Jean Alexander's work. It's a mattress spring, pulled up to make it stand up so I could put in the antique vanilla bottle in it as the body and old keys for arms. I used Ranger Alcohol Inks inside to give it some color. Then I hung various found rusty things that I found and some things that weren't rusty so I patinaed them so they would look it. That's an antique clock face for her face w/new hands on it. I want to submit this to Art Doll Quarterly for their "recycled" doll edition. The guidelines seemed to indicate using old clothing, but at the end said or anything else recycled, and I think this qualifies. Will have to pack her today so can mail on Tuesday.

Asian Mermaid Doll & Rusty Spring doll

She's not done, this is her basic face w/o color. The bodytail has tiny pearls sewn on it, in the tail itself has freshwater pearls, Asian coins, sea glass, nautical charms, little broken china cup, etc. Things a mermaids tail would gather along the sea bottom.

Friday, September 4, 2009

More Progress

The flash on my phone camera makes the tail appear a lot shinier than it is in real life. I used Golden's Clear Granular to give the tail texture but so you could still see the layers of color under the texture. I went over some of my definition lines w/my finepoint Sharpie. Using almost entirely Derwent watercolor pencils, I kept losing the definition. There's shading that the phone isn't really picking up, but I hope to be using the digital camera when I finish.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lack of Detail....I don't like that...

I have some of my favorite mixed media pieces that I want to photograph w/our digital camera for better detail...just have to remember how to get the pix from the camera to the blog. In an effort to make my current works more "lifelike", I haven't been making the shading/shadowing as obvious, and using my phone to take the pix isn't capturing it, leaving my work looking rather 1 demensional. :-(

Friday, August 21, 2009

Must use "real" camera...

I've been using my cell phone to take pix of my work. While I'm getting a reflection...I see that much of my subtle detail is lost, making my works look less defined than they are in real life. I do have some where it's more obvious as that's how I wanted it to look, on these works I was going for a softer effect, sadly it seems to be lost in the photographing.


Yes, it's me as a butterfly. :-) Jewels on the wings, layers of paint and final layer of background color is Olivine pigment glaze.


I was trying out different "types" of mermaids. Seahorse, Eel, Butterfly (yes, I know there are no butterflies under the sea.....), etc. I was an experiment w/different body types.


I have a treasure collection of cards and letters from my dear friends over the years. I LOVE to see ALL of my stuff. I truly do. I decided the best way to do that and honor the items was to turn them into art. I tore and cut up many items and used them as background. Yes, I like to think that's me...any time you see a brown-skinned woman w/brown eyes and a beauty mark above her lip...it's me. Ok, in reality, I'm a "bit" fuller in figure, but in my mind's eye, this is an EXACT likeness! HAHAHAH I did myself on #140 watercolor paper...drawn painted, glazed...my eyes are a blend of pigments w/glaze. I finished it off w/a found art rusty hinge on my dress.

3 Faces

Well, I made what I thought was a pretty good likeness of 3 generations of women in my family. My mother is offended that she looks old and mad...she's 81...what did she expect? and frankly, I thought I was generous w/the facial expression. Steffanie thinks she looks like an alien. I thought about trimming the side of the face a bit...but then hey, this is how I felt when I was doing it! I'm on the left, Steffanie in the middle and mother on the right. The background has about 5 or 6 layers, then some tissue that I had stamped on added using Golden's soft gel...I was able to scrunch the tissue getting a textured look. The faces are raised by using cut pieces of sponge to mount them onto the canvas.

Recent Work

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Moving right along...

I'm going to mount a large pearl in the hand that appears to be waving. I have laid down the first layer of paint on the cheesecloth. I want to texturize the tail more than just w/color.

moving right along

I don't know what it is lately, but all my women are bald. HAHAHHAH Will post more progress. I have her nearly completed, below her is done w/cheesecloth & reg Golden's gel. I think I want her on a rock when all is said and done. I'll also glaze her tail. As of late last night, the sky is lightly Derwent Kingfisher Blue Watercolor Penciled in, but not totally done.

watercolor pencil mermaid in progress

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A while back, I had the privelege of being part of a 4 woman exhibit in Chicago. This violin was my main piece. It's covered w/beautiful images that I downloaded as angel art. I also made mermaids using polymer clay. One of them I could not get her face to come out right, so I made her w/just the body sticking out. hahaha The one on the upper left w/a vintage rhinestone shoe clip across her chest has my daughter's face on it. There's a tiny mermaid on the lower right that I was trying to capture in the picture, it has my youngest grandaughter's face, and originally yellow butterfly wings. Since they were real, they deteriorated off, but I'll be replacing them as soon as I can figure out how to keep them natural but preserved.

Mermaid Violin

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Marilyn Monroe Dom

I made this for my daughter-in-law Felicia. The face is stamped on a flattened pop top, the body on a domino, the skirt is a scrap bit of chiffon and the legs are boots stamped on cork.
It's embellished further and sits atop a small tin.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My 1st Mermaid Necklace

I've made several more since this one, but this continues to be one of my favorite peices. Keeping in mind, I had to buy a top to wear this piece. I traditionally do not wear blues/aquas, no real reason.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Asian Gamepiece Bracelet

Majong Tiles, crumpled baggie Lumiere Paint technique, Ranger multi-color pad, stamped images, purchased and created charms, mounted on a purchased chain link bracelet.