Taking A New Path

You know I am always quilting and knitting and whatever else. But I have found something new that makes my heart soar. I am having a ball. I was getting a bit board with quilting and decided to get my paints out. I had been perusing Pinterest and fell in love with Art Journaling. Now I always thought anything with the word ” journal” in it meant spilling your thoughts and woes on a page or just keeping track of your life. But art journaling is a way of keeping your art in a compact place. It’s mixed media.  It’s a place to try new things and possibly spark something bigger . Its fun and so relaxing. I usually make my coffee, and run to my studio to do a bit of painting before Rip VanWinkle gets up. Roger loves to sleep in. It works for me most mornings.

I started this path by soaking in as much info as possible. I bought a few books, new art supplies and watched UTube by all kinds of artists.How did we live without Utube?

So today I’m going to share my journal pages. My Owl page sparked a nursery quilt. So you see this doodling and new techniques can inspire something bigger than your journal page.

My Book

I bought this at Walmart. It has nice paper and easy to work with. I start with pasting two pages together  with gel medium matte for every piece of art I do.

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page 1

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page 2

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page 3

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page 4 and 5

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page 6

This is a great background for something in the future. Your paintings are never finished. You can always go back and add to them.

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page 7

This was inspired by a photo I took in the mountains a few years ago. This is agreat example of forcing me to do things differently. I always painted in realism. I wanted to paint whimsy. Now I have learned ways to venture out and try new things. This painting has also turned into a baby quilt wall hanging that you can see in my Etsy shop.

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page 8

I love bright colors, but here I want to paint soft and subtle. The harlequin pattern in the background was done with a palate knife and texture paste. So fun! ( I would love to do our bedroom in these colors) 🙂

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page 9 and 10

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At first I wasn’t happy with this, and I titled it Good and Bad days. Make art anyway.. But I kept adding more and more and I love it. I hope I have inspired you.

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Get out those brushes and blow the dust off of them. Your paints last practically forever. I will list a few of my favorite artists that inspired me. Start reading their blogs and you will learn so much.

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Balzer Designs: Tutorial: Start With a Strong Image

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Less Is More

DSC_0003Every year about this time we contemplate getting rid of the pond that we have loved so much. But any time something breaks or its fall, and time to cover it with mesh, we discuss it’s demise. When you are retired, you want less and less maintenance. So we began to peruse Pinterest and found a few pondless waterfalls that we liked. We called Lonnie, our pond guy and he came and drained the pond and took all our fish so they can enjoy some other pond.  We were left with a stinky, mucky hole and Rog took over from there.

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He moved all the rocks out of the way to get the liners up and clean everything with a pressure washer.

So much work, but he wanted to do this by himself…so I bowed out. Notice he wears ear muffs the whole time, listening to music so he can’t hear me.

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There were plants and shrubs to move, electrical wires and water lines to move and most of all the pump. Whew !

He had dirt dropped twice. But I must say , he did such a beautiful job and we love it!

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Now we still enjoy the waterfall, the sound of it and all the birds enjoying their daily baths. No maintenance to speak of. Rog is pretty proud of his project and I am amazed at how beautiful it all turned out. Way to go honey. It’s wonderful! He also lit the Japanese maple and the waterfall with new covered out door receptacles. He is even talking Christmas lights.

Oh Clark 🙂

Night pics later.

And here they are….Wow, I finally got a post off.

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More EPP… I Can’t Seem To Stop!

I bought some beautiful Phillip Jacobs fabric for the purpose of creating an EPP quilt  (English paper piecing). I used hexagons and created quite a few flowers, but I didn’t like the business of the two prints together. So I got another idea and only used the lettuce print with a leaf print. I’m not finished yet, but I am sure happy with how it’s turning out.

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I hand appliqued all the pieces to the black and then embroidered ferns. I am really enjoying all the hand work. My art quilt friends can’t believe I’m doing all this hand work. But as I have stated before, it is so addicting. I have spent time this weekend quilting it by machine but I haven’t finished it yet. So more later.

English Paper Pieced Runner Finished

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DSC_0004Here is my finished EPP table runner. Completely hand done and I loved every minute of making it. I used the backing for my binding by rolling it toward the front and hand sewing it down. I never would have believed how relaxing it was to learn to hand quilt. I’m ready for more. As for my EPP flag, it won first place. It now hangs ready in my home for the 4th of July festivities!

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My Improvised English Paper Piecing

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I am still working away on new things with English Paper Piecing. I think I need a support group. It is so addicting and yet relaxing.

I decided to make a table runner and even plan to hand quilt it. I am actually excited about the thought of meticulously running a needle through each hand pieced shape in coordinating color quilting threads. Only you quilters know the feeling I am trying to portray. Ahhhhhh. I started this runner by ordering two shapes of paper pieces. One is the 2 inch 8 point diamond and the other is the 2 inch half triangle. I get my papers from Paper Pieces.com . They have it all. I also ordered the clear acrylic shapes in the same sizes as listed so I can” fussy”cut the center diamond circles. They ship very fast and have great service. I usually call them to order because they can really help with any advice you need. “Fussy” cutting is a way to put a pattern just where you want it in the shape that you are using . The clear acrylic shapes have a 3/8 in border on them so you know just where the pattern is going to show.

I first created 3 blocks that I plan to put on point. Then I needed to figure out my background. So I decided to mimic the same pattern that my blocks were made in just in solid grunge fabric.” Grunge ” is my go to fabric in most of my quilts. It is my favorite solid with just a bit of grunge color swiped across it to give it a kind of dirty look. I use it in art quilts and now my English Paper Piecing. Grunge is made by “Basic Grey”. It comes in many colors and they put out new seasonal fabrics several times a year.

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The block on the right shows the fussy cutting I did to get the center of the flowers and make them all go in the same direction. It gives you somewhat  of a kaleidoscope effect.

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DSC_0024 I love to work with crackle paint fabrics, wood grain and grunge fabric. It gives me a rustic cottage feel which is how I decorate my house. So here is a peek at what I am doing now. I will show you the finished result later. EPP on!

 

Finished Flag…Ready For The 4th of July!

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I finished the flag quilt today. I absolutely love making this quilt. I am so hooked on English Paper Piecing! I am already working on other EPP projects. It is addicting. This flag will fly in my house for the big family fest over every the of July. So I guess I just made an heirloom. I will also be showing it in The Smokey Mountain Quilt Show this month. I will be showing 2 other quilts,” Art In The Park” and “Fiber Mania”. Then my goal is to EPP and finish up UFO’s. My Fox should be on his way home from the Denver show. I was excited to see that they used my “Fox in The Moonlight” in advertising in the Mancuso Denver National Quilt Festival this month. What a surprise. You can see it here.

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Here are pics of the other 2 quilts.

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I am trying to prepare for teaching EPP in Sept. to our guild. So I am busy making samples. I want to get some other people addicted. That doesn’t sound very nice… but it is, because it’s so fun to do. They will thank me…I hope.

English Paper Piecing Flag Project

Well I am just back from a quilt retreat for 4 days and boy did I have fun. 43 women just quilting away, laughing and eating. It was wonderful! I made some real headway on my flag, so I thought I would share. This photo is prior to leaving for quilt camp.

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DSC_0013When I got home I stamped my white hexies with mustard fabric paint so the stars would pop.

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I am really happy with the color I chose. More later.

Here is the progress in the past few days.

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Some English Paper Piecing

I am back into a little English Paper Piecing at the moment along with my other quilting. If you haven’t tried it…you must. It is addictive. English paper piecing is such a great take-a-long project. It requires minimal equipment and is completely portable. It can have an  old fashioned vibe or go with the new modern quilting rage. I had a flag on my mind and remembered seeing one in a book called Hex A Go Go. So that is my inspiration. You will need the paper pieces to make these quilts. Some people make them, but I just get them from a company called Paper Pieces. This is their website. http://www.paperpieces.com/. They have so many sizes and shapes. Check Pinterest out for English Paper Piece quilts for some ideas if you are not sure what these quilts look like.

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English paper piecing is created by basting fabric around these sturdy paper shapes. Then they are pressed so they have nice crisp edges. You simply sew them together by hand with tiny stitches. I have never been much of a hand piece person , but this really is addictive. It’s relaxing and something nice to do while watching TV with the hubs…like weeks of March Madness! You can use scraps or buy more fabric. Oh boy :).

My mother has turned into an English Paper Piece quilter almost exclusively lately. She is the one that taught me the secret of the squeeze clips. They are worth the purchase. The nice thing about this method is that you  can switch off between cutting fabric, to clipping the  fabric to the paper, to basting or sewing together. So you never get bored and you can give your hands a rest.

DSC_0013 I am in the process of getting enough pieces basted so I can start the blue area of the quilt first.

I will keep you informed on the progress of this American Flag inspiration.

Winter From *&#@ In Tennessee

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Is everyone enjoying this wonderful winter. I know I am….not. I had cabin fever really bad and had to leave the cabin. I told Roger that I would be a changed woman when I came home. So I bought some nice blonde hair color and gave my winter mousey hair a lift. It worked. I feel better and my hair feels more full and springy. I’m growing it out for the last time before I turn 60 in July. It  is not easy growing your hair long anymore. But so far I am sticking to it. Oh…I also did some therapeutic shopping with my friend Caroline and brought home some springy- summer colored tops. It has started to snow again and I hid the razor blades. Just kidding.

I have been sewing like a crazy woman. Making blocks from scraps and piling them up for a future quilt. I have started a collage quilt that will be a garden trellis of Morning Glories. It is one that I use tiny scraps of batiks to create the fabric painting. When I’m done, it will be thread painted in detail and listed in my new Etsy Shop… Pam George Quilts. I still have my jewelry in the shop with greatly reduced prices. I will still carry fabric cuff jewelry and anything that has to do with fibers. Check out my shop at the same site for a month or so or click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/PamGeorgeQuilts?ref=hdr_shop_menu

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Happy Winter to you all. We are supposed to be 61 by Tues. 😉

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  When I woke up this morning and before I posted the above, we got even more snow. And Mother Nature reminded me of how beautiful she is…even in the South. And I do appreciate her beauty. And I hold in my heart that it will be 61 by Tues.

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Over The River And Through The Woods To Grandmother’s House They Come!

I am so excited to have Mom and Pat and both kids and their spouses and baby O for Thanksgiving. We all won’t be together for Christmas due to Lindsey and Chad moving over the Christmas holiday. So I am doing a Christmas decorated Thanksgiving for the first time in my life. Rog and I can’t wait to have that little grandson of ours in our arms again. Although Lindsey indicated that he doesn’t have much time for cuddling anymore due to his crawling and standing schedule. He is a very busy guy. So when I started to think about what will be needed to meet little O’s demands, I went to the store to investigate grandma toys for him to play with. I had stuff in the cart but actually came home with nothing thinking I should run it buy Lindsey. Out of the blue, a friend in the community called me and said she was busy unpacking and wondered if I needed any baby things. Her youngest grandchild is now 5 and she didn’t want to store them any longer. WHAT?…………I’ll be right over. I scored big time. My studio has been taken over with baby things.

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Like I said…baby lottery. I have promised Judy a quilt of her beautiful Labrador Retriever, Toby, in return. She has been wanting one for awhile and I am happy to do it. So come January I will do a post on the quilt.

I was wise when it came to the Christmas decos, due to a busy baby boy crawling around. But I had to do it because Lindsey and Chad probably will not do the decorating this year due to moving. It will not affect his 8 month memories in the future.

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DSC_0197I will admit…Christmas decorations look kind of ugly in broad daylight.  Anyway…I did most of my decor up high. The tree will be his target and there will be great grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle and of course the grandparents to watch him. Lindsey and Chad can rest a bit. It’s Grandma time!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.