Monday, January 27, 2014

A Couple of Finishes

You have seen pieces and parts of these two projects and now I can show you finished!

First, here is the Botanical Gardens:


You might remember the flowers from last year’s Serendipity Sunday posts.  I have been working diligently to get all four seasons assembled and embellished.  Truth be told, I was getting tired of it lying around and getting in the way.  This sucker is heavy, too, so moving it was getting to be a big deal!

Here are some close-ups:









Now that BG is off the design wall I could finally get a photo of this one.  You’ve seen it’s pieces and parts on the Wednesday WOW posts.


The Disney Princess quilt is a completed top and I have pieced a backing for it.  Just need to set aside some time to quilt it.  There is one princess block left over and I think it will make a nice pillow – or maybe a bag to store the quilt in.  I can think about that while I’m quilting.

By the way, I got the princess patterns from Fandom In Stitches and I believe they are all by Michelle Thompson.

I’ve been doing a lot of collage and paint work lately, but nothing quite ready to be shown.  Soon I hope.  I saw a photo today of a finished doll from an on-line class I took.  It was so cute and now I am anxious to get back to work on mine!  Tsk.  A dollmaker’s work is never done!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The “Lizzie” Effect

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Lizzie.  Lizzie loved the art classes in school and would get so excited about a new project that she would jump right in . . . without waiting for the teacher’s directions . . . or somehow not hearing what the teacher said to do.  This would lead to some puzzling results and not a little surprise when her work did not quite look like everyone else’s.

As Lizzie grew up, she learned to pay more attention whenever a teacher, co-worker, or boss gave instructions on how a project should be done.  However, as she got older, she began to suspect she didn’t really know how to read instructions.  Because, you see, her projects continued to be just a little bit different than she expected.

Now, if there is one thing this little girl has “learned from all this livin’” it is that some battles are never going to be won, so acceptance is the best way to handle them.

Thus, we have the Lizzie Effect.

Case in point:

hunters star standard

This is a block called “Hunter’s Star.”  Last week, I attended a class in which we learned some neat tricks to make this block.  Here is what several of them put together might look like:

quilt-hunters star standard

Pretty, huh?

Now, here is what my blocks look like:


See what I mean?  They are really pretty blocks (this photo is too dark for some reason), and I did not notice that they didn’t look like everyone else’s until they were all sewn.  Sooooo, since I have umpteen identical, perfectly pieced blocks, I am calling this a design variation.  I’m still considering the layout, but here is just one of many possibilities:

quilt-hunters star my way

Yep, it’s a design variation and I like it that way.  Only you and I know it’s actually the Lizzie Effect, and I won’t tell!  How about you?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Word -- Explore

Many artists and crafters (and others I’m sure, but these are the ones I see) like to select one word as a touchstone for the year.  I like the idea, but it can be tricky to find a word that can apply to a whole year.  I mean, I have an attention span of about 5 minutes, so a year is FOR.EV.ER!

Nevertheless, I gave it some thought.  Based on my decision to reduce my stash, I considered words like “Green” or “Recycle.”  They don’t seem inspiring, though.  I ‘tried on’ some generic words – Dream, Create, Focus, Love – nothing rings my bell.

Then I received an ad for the 2014 Art Journal Caravan and the right word came to me.


I had to join the Caravan right then and there!  If you’re not familiar with AJC, it’s a combination online class, journaling group, and community hosted by Tangie Baxter at (SBG).  She provides journaling prompts, collage elements, and guidance for a year of creative experiences.


This is the first journal page I created.  I chose this word because I want 2014 to be a year of exploring new experiences, learning new skills, and exploring new ways to do ‘old’ things – like using up a stash!  This can apply to many aspects of my life, not just the creativity.

This week, my explorations led me into the mechanics of navigating the SBG forums and uploading pictures, as well as an introduction into digital journaling.  Well, visual journaling anyway, since blogging is definitely a form of journaling!  At first it was quite a maze, but I am finding my way and can’t wait to continue.

naturedoesnothurry-orig 865X577

Today’s page.  A reminder to take a breath and enjoy the journey.

Page credits

Explore:  map fragment, hot air balloon, book courtesy of; all other elements, courtesy of tangie baxter

Nature does not hurry: Snowflake background = rubber stamp on painted paper; Quote, gold splatter, foreground tree = tangiebaxter, Art Journal Caravan January ’14 Collection; Background trees = Death to Stock Photos, Cozy collection; Bird silhouettes = courtesy of vectorolie/

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It’s All About the Stash

Favorite Fabric Swap


Lately, I’ve been thinking about my stash a lot.  I’m not the only one.  I’ve seen a lot of blogger’s take the Fabriholic’s Pledge.  As near as I can figure it, Jess started the FAA with her post here.

Jess posted a photo of her, ahem, stash as evidence that she needs to go on a fabric “diet.”  Oh boy, I would love to have my stash fit in one bookshelf!


In fact, I’d love to have my stash fit in one picture!!



And let’s not even get started on the laces, ribbons, and beads!

I was tempted to take the pledge to not purchase any new fabric this year, but then Reality raised it’s charming little head and, er, laughed at me!  We all know there’s no way I can NOT buy fabric for six months.  But, I do need to get a handle on this problem.

So, I’m thinking of doing an experiment.  Let’s see how long I can go without buying any fabric, and just shop my stash for whatever projects I do this year.  Of course, I’m thinking of excuses already . . . Block-of-the-Month kits shouldn’t count . . . I have to order the Hoffman Challenge fabric . . . and so on.  Maybe the experiment should also include how creative my excuses can be!

What do you think?  Is there any hope for me?  Maybe we can set up a pool and take bets!



P.S. Full Disclosure:  I had this post ready a couple days ago, but remembered I needed a backing for a quilt.  Soooo, this post got held until after I bought fabric!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Start to Winter


I mean the Winter Botanical Garden, of course.  Winter in the real world started some time ago!  I wanted there to be snow for this piece, which meant I needed something for snow to sit on.  My shrine is based on a photo I found and I assembled it from some hand-dyed fabric in my stash.  It is fused into place and ready for some thread sketching for details.

If I had a nice shrine like this in my garden, I wouldn’t mind the snow as much.  OK, that’s not true – I like to see the snow fall, but hate having it on the ground! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year–New Finish

Starting out 2014 right, I spent the afternoon finishing up the third Botanical garden piece.


For the Autumn version, I placed a “harvest” moon in the sky.  I also quilted the background with random leaves.  They don’t show very well in this photo.


There.  You can see one of them here.  You can also see my marking lines before I removed them.  I loooove my Frixion pen!  Just apply heat and poof! . . . no markings!


But, back to Autumn.  Here I have appliqued all the leaves and added the border and it’s waiting for the flowers.  There was a lot of handwork to be done at this point. 


In fact, it took all day to get the handwork done.  It doesn’t show that well in this photo, but I did some simple embroidery stitches in some of the leaves and stems to liven things up.  I like the way it looks (in person at least) and will have to go back to do some on Spring and Summer.


Speaking of Summer – I don’t think I ever showed you the finished Summer piece (above).PA260006a

And, just to refresh your memory, here is Spring.  Yes, I do think I’ll be adding a little embroidery to these.  But first – Winter!  I have some ideas on preparing the background for winter, so it shouldn’t take me long to do that one.  I’m on a roll – best to keep going while there’s still some steam up!