Saturday, March 29, 2008

Have I Mentioned I Luv Those Silly Internet Surveys/Tests?

You Are 9: The Peacemaker
You are emotionally stable and willing to find common ground with others. Your friends and family often look to you to be the mediator when there is conflict. You are easy going and accepting. You take things as they come. Avoiding conflict at all costs, you're content when things are calm.

At Your Best: You feel connected, trusting and fulfilled. You feel at peace with your place in the world.
At Your Worst: You compromise your values to make sure peace is maintained. You give in to bullies.
Your Fixation: Harmony
Your Primary Fear: Causing conflict
Your Primary Desire: To preserve things as they are

Other Number 9's: Marge Simpson, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Seinfeld and Abraham Lincoln.

Some of the options that I had to choose from were so close that I elected to take the test a couple of times - and I got the same result - a number 9. I think most of it has to do with being the middle kid. And, although most of it is accurate, I don't maintain my peace at the expense of my values.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Making Beads

Ooh, I had fun tonight playing with a heat gun and an old overnight mail envelope.

I had heard you could manipulate the envelopes using a heat gun. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I decided to try to make something small – like beads. So, I took out my envelope, painted the white side with some inks and paints, let it dry, cut it into strips, wound it around a skewer and then applied some heat to it. That was cool enough, but then I applied embossing powders, some Pearl Ex powders and tiny mica pieces while the “bead” was still hot and this is what I got. Next time, I’m going to try to add some seed beads, fibers or threads as inclusions. I’m not sure whether I love or hate these beads but it was definitely fun and something I want to continue to keep playing with.

Monday, March 24, 2008

FAT Bookmark Trade

I’ve been a member of the Fiber Art Traders Yahoo Group (affectionately known as FAT) for a couple of years now and I used to be very active. But, I went to work teaching elementary school and well everything got put on the back burner. That is until now. Now I’m teaching part time which gives me the luxury of having a little more time to create trades for this fun group.

These bookmarks are for a FAT fiber bookmark trade. I pleated black cotton fabric then tore some Asian style fabric into strips. Once I sewed them on, I felt like it still needed something, so I added a splash of color with a magenta strip of fabric. I found some old/vintage buttons which I sewed on and then used waxed linen thread to string some beads. This was a really fun project for not a lot of time.

If you want to create Fiber Postcards (PCs), Artist Trading Cards (ATCs), Artist Trading Pins (ATPs), Artist Trading Dolls (ATDs), fiber books/pages, ornaments, Plus Size Inchies (PSIs) or just chat with like minded individuals, check out the site. It is a very friendly group led by talented fiber artist Normajean Brevik who is a writer, designer and teacher of fiber arts.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

This is What Happens When You Don't Read the Guidelines First - Part II

Here is the finished art quilt I made for my soul sister, fellow LaLa and heart art lover, Sharon. I could call Sharon up in the middle of the night for help and she would come and give me the shirt off of her back - no questions asked. I am truly blessed and grateful for the forces that brought us together and I wish for each one of you a Lala, soul sister or BAP like her. Hope you like it - "CL!"

It has plenty of free motion stitching and, of course, beads (though they don't show up too well). I just love that mottled, green, sparkly fabric (which I think I bought at Walmart) and darn it, if I can't find it anymore!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Studio - Part II

Here are my fabric "boltlets" lined up on a shelf. I found the red storage boxes at my local hardware store. They store brads, letters, sequins, vintage hardware stuff, buttons & other miscellaneous stuff. I used translucent paper storage boxes to store my rubberstamps. I also bought lazy susans from the dollar store & they hold my glues, mediums, etc. I recycled cans, painted them white & now they hold my brushes, pencils, markers. etc.

I have a degree in Jewelry and Metalsmithing and have been known to occasionally break out my torch and play with fire - so one wall houses my bench. The wall above my bench has a pegboard with tools I use most often hanging from it and some beads that I haven't found a place for yet. The other side has a Sears tool box with my major tools and a pegboard with rulers and a few finished beaded pieces.

My photography stuff (slide printer, cameras) is in the closet along with sweater holders full of yarn filed according to its color. On the closet door hangs a plastic see through shoe holder with sewing notions, crochet hooks and other miscellaneous stuff.

I've learned that organization is the answer to my tendency to procrastinate. I also realized that I was either spending more time looking for what I needed than making art or buying multiples of things I already had. It was causing a lot of stress. So I spent about a week organizing the studio, boxing, shelving and labeling (very important). Now I know where everything is (well almost everything) and I’m getting a lot of projects finished.

I hope you enjoyed my little studio tour and it inspires you to try some of these organizational ideas in your own space.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer Squares

These little beaded squares have become addicting! I started with one and now I have 6 all ready to donate to the Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer Auction. I bead embroidered 5 of them – my favorite technique. I also decided to use the Peyote stitch for the sixth square simply to prove to myself that I could do flat peyote and follow a pattern. The rose is beaded in two very subtle shades of pink that are hardly noticeable because the bead colors looked completely different in the tubes. Of course, by the time I figured that out I was too deep into the project and having torn it apart two times, I wasn’t about to start over! Anyone who has ever beaded using the peyote stitch knows that the first couple of rows are real boogers and this was no exception. And, why is it that no matter how many beads you have it’s never enough?!

Anyway, it was loads of fun and I’m glad to see them going to a good cause. As soon as Jeanette Shanigan posts a picture of the bead quilt, I’ll post it here.

Wonder where they’ll end up at?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Studio - Part I

I’m lucky to have a room I can call my own, so I thought I’d post a few pictures of how it is organized. It’s a bit messy right now because I’m working on several projects. That’s how I work – I pull things out, I audition them, use them or try something else. Bits of thread and fabric get thrown on the floor. More fabric gets pulled out and more thread, fabric, etc. get thrown on the floor. But, once I’m finished, everything gets put back where it belongs, I sweep up and start over.

Here’s a nifty storage tip that I use for my fabric. I bought some acid free mat board and cut it to about 8” x 12” pieces(or whatever size works for you). I then grouped my fabric according to color, print, theme, etc. and wrapped them around the board making sure to move each piece down about half an inch. Then I put a large rubber band around the mat board to hold the fabric pieces together. This system works great with fat quarters and no more than 2 yards of fabric. Then I put each "boltlet" on the shelf. I love this system because I can see most of my fabrics at any given time. Yes, I still have more in drawers and a laundry bag full of scraps. I also have 2 drawers with about 100 men’s ties!

As you might be able to see, I have my larger beads stored in these little plastic boxes that fit into these binders. My seed beads are stored in small containers inside transparent plastic boxes. They are also placed on a shelf. Although I like this system, I really would like to be able to see them like I can see my fabric, so I’m still working on that.

My rayon threads are stored in the drawers on the bookshelf I bought at Ikea. The ones I use most often are on the spool rack right next to my sewing machine - my Christmas present to me from me - my Viking Designer SE. I love Viking sewing machines – they sew the prettiest seam! More photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer Auction

This is a sweet little bead embroidery square I created for the Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer auction to be held at this year’s Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. Jeanette Shanigan of Shanigans Bead Shenanigans has volunteered to collect and sew the squares into bead quilts that are 48 squares large. Each square is only 1-1/2 inches large.

I’m not sure why the square came out so pink. My intention was to use a few pink beads, but I really intended it to be mostly purple and green; but, it is what it is and I really like it (despite my allergy to the color pink). I am a member of the Houston Bead Society and this past Saturday, I challenged its members to bead enough squares for a complete quilt (48). I volunteered to collect them, sew them onto the Peltex and then mail them in. I’m really hoping we can reach that goal.

I have been having so much fun creating things to donate to these worthy causes. I hope you will consider getting involved in some of them.

Friday, March 14, 2008

So What Color Are You?

I love taking all those silly little internet tests and surveys, but I particularly liked this Color Quiz.
You Are Plum

Your dominant hues are red and blue. You're confident and like showing people new ideas. You play well with others and can be very influential if you want to be.

Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.

Amazingly enough - purple is my favorite color.

So what color are you?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Take a tin can and ...

At my house, we end up with a lot of fizzy water cans (me) and Diet Pepsi cans (him). So, rather than toss them in the recycle bin (as usual), I came up with this ornament. I placed an angel image in a bottle cap and topped it off with Diamond Glaze. I then stamped the tin using some of my metal stamps before gluing the bottle cap and adding a ball chain for hanging. I made a quite a few these ornaments which I attached to packages during the holidays.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This is what happens when you don't read the guidelines first!

But, it wasn't a total loss.

I don’t always read directions first, I’m not too keen on measuring and, well, me and rules don’t always get along. So, it was no surprise that the hearts I was planning on using for my Soar Heart Soar art quilts ended up way too big to fit the guidelines. But, I kept them - confident that I would find another use for them. I did. This week I’m working on 2 more heart quilts about 12” x 12” square. I plan on practicing some more of my free motion stitching on these and adding some beads - of course!

Hey Tami.

Tami, Tonia told me your e-mails to me are bouncing. So I checked and sure 'nuff that's my e-mail address, so I can't figure out what's up with that.

I told Tonia to go ahead & give you my personal e-mail address (don't want to post it here). I have your package ready to send as soon as I get your address.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Soar Heart Soar

My horoscope says I'm in the middle of a whirlwind of creativity - and I feel it!

Here is another mini quilt I made for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (actually I made two). I'm calling it Soar Heart Soar.

It symbolizes the people that are affected by the disease. The hearts are separate as each one is affected differently, broken in half by this disease though not torn apart and, yet, held together by the bonds that have always held them together – love, faith, hope. The bright colors symbolize these bonds.

I created it using my favorite raw edge technique - raw edge applique, with a raw edge triangle binding, free motion, echo quilting and (of course) some beading. It is based on a technique created by Jayme Crow called Stitch and Split Applique.

Please go visit the site to check out all of the other quilts and support this worthy cause.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Thought for the day as seen on a t-shirt:

P – People
E – Everywhere
A – All
C – Caring for
E – Each other

This is my view from the window in my studio. That’s a storm water runoff to the left, though I like to pretend it’s a stream. It does have small fish, some very loud frogs and an occasional heron or two sometimes visits. Though it already feels like I’m working in a tree house, I told my hub (David) that I want to hire a carpenter to tear out the window and put in a small balcony with French doors that I can open up when the weather is cool – which is usually only a few weeks here in Texas. But, a girl can dream can’t she?

My rat terrier, Buster, likes to get up on my table and look out the window to his “kingdom.”

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I won!

I won this cool little pencil pendant (on the left) made by Tonia Davenport simply by being the first one to post a comment on her blog. Cool huh? Tonia is the one that came up with Heart It Forward.

Now it's your turn. Be the first to send a comment to this post and win this glass heart and sterling silver cell phone or purse charm. You can even remove the cell phone cord, add a chain and wear it. Good luck!

Heart It Forward

I’ve been inspired by all of the “Heart It Forward” players and in particular my BAP Sharon to play. So I will create a little something that you can win simply by being the first one to post a response.

What will it be? Who knows? I not only work in fiber, but I bead and create jewelry.

So, here’s how to play: 1) You have to have a blog. 2) You have to announce the “Heart It Forward” concept. 3) You have to make something and give it away on your blog. 4) You have to be the first person to leave a comment to win. Good luck!

First Day Post

I've been creating a lot of fiber art lately and as my BAP (Best Art Pal), Sharon, told me. You can blog it as easily as you can send me a pic. So I'm here to share and here goes.

I recently took a workshop with Rosemary Eichorn to learn a little more about her fabric collage technique. Although, I didn't learn too much more than what I already knew, she is a nice teacher and I did get some cool tips. More importantly, I had the entire day to create my fabric collage. It is still waiting to be quilted using free motion stitching; but in the meantime, I created a couple of smaller ones. The first one ("Dreaming of the Sun") is being auctioned by Fiber Artist Virgina Spiegel to benefit the American Cancer Society - a cause near and dear to my heart because my dad died of lung cancer.

The other ("La Virgen") is going to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Both have been beaded and quilted using free motion stitching.

Then last night I couldn't sleep. What to do? So I go up to my studio. I had already talked about altering a jacket. I started another Virgin collage and that's where it ended up at. It is a fabric collage which has been sewn to the back. I then threw it in the wash and dried it. It needed a major "haircut" when I took it out (waaay too much fraying) and it still needs to be beaded.

What fun is this?!Here's the link for Virginia Spiegel's website auction.