Monday, September 29, 2014

Yoshi's Beach Vacation...

Yoshi has been exploring the east coast of the US from Cape Cod south to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and she's now seriously considering becoming a beach bum instead of a service dog (LOL).  She has been really enjoying playing on the beach and all of the interesting (and stinky) things she's finding!

Hopefully I'll be back to some fibre art soon, but until then I thought you might enjoy a puppy fix!


"My mean Mom wouldn't let me keep any of these great treasures, but I did find a tennis ball and she did let me keep it." sigh, Yoshi

Monday, September 22, 2014

You've Got to Love When a Plan Comes Together!

Last week I posted about the hand dyed batik fabric I made and the little quilted piece that resulted from it (see that here).

Well, after many hours of thinking about my design and mulling over ideas, I finally sat down and got to work making this fully lined and totally organized puppy raiser carry-all bag.

It's amazing what you can do with a recycled old pair of your husband's jeans, some colourful quilted fabric, muslin and a repurposed adjustable strap from a bag that's never use.

Here are various views:


The front zippered pocket allows me secure but quick access to a bit of cash and/or my iPhone.
The back outer pocket, for puppy training treats, is lined with a piece of an old denim shirt. This will allow me to turn it completely inside out to shake out crumbs that inevitably end up in the bottom of the pocket in which I carry dog treats.
I decided to add grommets with brass rings through them to attach the strap.  Since I have a small carabiner attached to my keys, this also gives me a great way to attach my keys to the bag and tuck them inside so I can get my hands on them quick and easy!  You can see all of the internal pockets for everything I more digging around trying to get my hands on what I'm looking for!

It's big enough to carry extra little things I might pick up while shopping, or to carry a light jacket or umbrella, or my DSLR camera when I want it, yet not so big and bulky that I can't comfortably wear it wherever I go! I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blog Hop - Mary Beth Shaw's Book: Stencil Girl

The inspiration for this piece came from Mary Beth Shaw's book, Stencil Girl (and when you buy the book, you get an exclusive stencil/bookmark with it!). Mary Beth uses paper for a wonderful paper batik 'quilt', but since I have other plans for the finished fabric I have used cotton muslin instead of paper.

Since it was a cool day and we needed a little fire to warm up the cottage, I melted my wax on top of the wood stove.

After melting the wax, I kept it at temperature using an electric melting pot while I worked on the kitchen counter.  I layed the stencils over the fabric and applied the wax with a brush. I used soya wax since it was all I had on hand, but I wasn't thrilled with the results. If I do this again I'll go back to a combination of bee's wax and paraffin. I've used this combination for batik before with good results.

Once the wax was appied I used these liquid dyes in little misters to apply the colour.

This image shows how the soya wax let some of the colour through.  Not quite what I was going for, but the end result is pleasing non the less.

The pieces were put into little ziploc bags and left over night.

 The pieces were then hung to dry outside on the line.

Unfortunately, when they were rinsed the colour became a little more pastel than I was counting on.  Oh well, they're still lovely bright colours.  These next images show the quilting that was done, inspired by the stencil patterns.

 And these images show a few of the stencils that were used. Some of the pieces didn't turn out as well, so the original stencilled image was lost.

Stencils used:

Buildings Stencil by Carol Dube 
Gears Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Greek Key Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Dots and Dashes Stencil by Jessica Sporn
Trees Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Pods Stencil by Jane LaFazio

My plan for this wonderful piece of quilted fabric is to make myself a carry all puppy 'diaper' bag for all the things I need to have with me for my Future Dog Guide foster puppies. I'm still designing the bag, complete with lots of pockets inside for maximum organization.  I'll post a picture of the finished bag when it's done.  Until then, thanks for visiting and joining in another fabulous StencilGirl blog hop! Please make sure you visit all of the other blogs on this wonderful week long hop!


One lucky winner, chosen at random, will receive Stencil Girl the book with exclusive stencil bookmark and (3) 6" x 5" stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw. 

All comments left on all of the blogs will be entered into the draw.  
Giveaway will close: Sunday, September 21st @ 11:59PM Central Time

Good Luck!

Hop Stops:

If you missed the first few days of this week long blog hop go here to find the start.

Didn't win the this incredible book here

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stencil Girl Week Long Blog Hop...

I'm excited to be participating in another fun, week long blog hop, featuring Mary Beth Shaw's inspiring book called Stencil Girl. My day isn't until Thursday, but I thought you might like to get in on the fun today.  Start by going to StencilGirl Talk and then you can follow the links from there.

One lucky winner, chosen at random, will receive Stencil Girl the book with exclusive stencil bookmark and (3) 6" x 5" stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw. 

All comments left on all of the blogs 
will be entered into the draw.  
Giveaway will close: Sunday, 
September 21st @ 11:59PM Central Time

See you on Thursday!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Focus on Texture...

Fibre Content is now open (Sept. 9-16) and today I was acting as docent for the afternoon. While I was wandering around the gallery, I was so enthralled with the incredible texture in the art! I took some close-up detail shots of many of the pieces to share these fabulous snippets of texture.

I do hope you are able to go and see the show in in person!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fibre Content Opens Tomorrow!

It's finally here! Yesterday I was at the gallery helping to hang the show, and I'm so excited with the outstanding quality of the work!

I thought I'd give you a bit of a behind the scenes sneak peak...(scan down below the poster)

It's amazing how many people it takes to hang a large show like this!  Yoshi was with me, as always, and she was an excellent supervisor!

From blank walls...



Yoshi found that the job of supervising was exhausting yesterday!

We're back at it today, hanging the remaining work, adding the labels to the walls and tidying up to get ready for the opening tomorrow.

I do hope you can make it to see the show. You won't regret it!

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Little Stitching and a Wedding Cake...

I have not been very productive this summer with regards to my art, but inspite of the often fall like weather, we've been keeping busy and enjoying a lot of family and friends at the cottage.

I have managed a little more stitching on this piece, which will eventually become part of a larger art quilt with a literary theme.

In addition to this and a bit of art journalling as seen in the blog hop posts, I've been busy decorating cupcakes (a total of about 230) for a couple of 50th anniversary parties and a wedding.

On short notice, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I also ended up making a wedding cake for the wedding so they'd have something for the official cake cutting photos, etc.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blog Hop - VIVA LasVegaStamps and StencilGirl

I'm excited to be playing along in another StencilGirl blog hop, this time with VIVA Las VegaStamps.

Although my summer studio is confined to a tiny table on the deck and a small bin of supplies with which to work, it has a stunningly beautiful view and a lovely breeze off the lake!  In addition, with gates at both ends of the deck, it acts as a giant playpen to contain Yoshi, my Dog Guide Foster Puppy so that I can work without worrying about her getting into trouble!  She's even got a little wading pool to play in. LOL
I chose to work with VIVA Las VegaStamps Plate O' Rubber #1399 (Mary Vogel Lozinak's design) and Mary Beth Shaw's Gears Stencil.

I started by randomly putting paint down on my page using blue, orange, black and a bit of green.

Then, using a semi-dry brush technique and an antique white, I applied paint using a small brush and the Gears stencil.
I love how this worked...not as heavy as if I had filled in the entire stencil with paint, but still giving me all of the wonderful detail of Gears. I don't usually use the entire stencil on the page, but in this case it was exactly the background I was going for!
I tore a couple of strips of marbled dyed paper I had in my stash, tearing from the front to achieve that bit of a white border along the edge.  Those were adhered to the page using matte medium.

I stamped some of the stamp images onto deli paper, using dark brown ink.  I then tore them out, added them to dictionary paper using matte medium and an old credit card, and when they were dry I tore them out leaving a bit of a border around them.

Before adding the stamped images, I traced around them and painted a blue background to help them pop a bit more.  They were adhered to the orange strip so that they'd look like they were rolling downhill.

I decided to trace some of the key features of the stamps with a permanent black pen to give them a bit more definition.

Some white lines were drawn in (see last image) to represent motion.
Using my paint bottle as a pen, I wrote the large text. This took a long time to dry because of the thickness of the paint.  If you try this, be patient so you don't mess it up by touching it too early!

When that was dry I doodle outlined the letters with a fine permanent black pen.

And here's the final page:

All comments on the hop (ALL WEEK) are eligible for the giveaway. 
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win. 
GIVEAWAY will close on Sunday, August 24th @ at 11:59PM Central Time.

Here's the blog hop order for today...enjoy!

StencilGirl Talk
Gwen Lafleur
Kirsten Reed
Linda Kittmer-You are here!
Karen Knight
Amy Lassiter
Viva Las VegaStamps!

If you missed the beginning of this week long blog, head back to this link on StencilGirl Talk to find the links to the first day!