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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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.

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!

 

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.

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.

Embellishing My Jean Jacket

DSC_0001Most of you know I am an art quilter. I paint, collage and thread paint my quilts. I’ve never been much of a traditional quilter. But let me tell you…English paper piecing is addictive!! I picked up these little paper kits free at many quilt shows and thought oh that’s nice. Then I watched a demo at the Paper Pieces booth at one of the AQS shows and was hooked. My mother is addicted too. It’s nice to share addictions with those you love. 🙂 I’m not going to show you a detailed class on how to do this, but if you are looking for a total portable way to quilt on vacation or visiting the kids, go to their site and you will learn lots. They sell every kind of paper to create these little marvels. It’s kind of a light weight card stock that you baste your fabric around them, press and starch, and then hand stitch together. Check it out or go to your local quilt shop and they will give you a lesson.

I keep a little kit together of everything you see above plus threads in neutrals, needles and my fabric choices. Easy peasy.

Us quilters create things that we think, OK, what am I going to do with this now. I put together these English paper pieced fussy cut flowers and stopped myself to get a plan. I love denim jackets. I have bought 2 at resale shops that are my go to jackets come cooler weather. I love to wear vintage brooches on them and I am always surprised at the compliments I get when I wear them. Soooo, I decided to embellish the back of a jacket.

DSC_0003This is the back side of a flower. You can see the 1 1/2 inch paper pieces inside. You can also see the basting stitches that keeps the fabric snugly around each piece. The next step is starching.

DSC_0005Everyone raves about Best Press. It leaves no residue and smells great. I spray and press each basted flower. The next part is removing the basting and removing the paper pieces. They are reusable. You don’t baste through the paper, just the fabric.

DSC_0002Here are the flowers without the paper. See how they keep their shape? You can use any spray starch you like. I just have been using Best Press lately.

Now for pinning the flowers on the back of my jacket. I had some doilies that I had picked up at a yard sale, so I added those too.

DSC_0007Simply pin your collage to the back of the jacket. I sewed inside the center of each middle hexagon. Then I sewed the outer edge of the flower. Then I used straight and zig zag stitches to sew the doilies down.

And here is the completed jacket. I am so happy with it. I plan to embellish a few more. I’ll do something different with the others.

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DSC_0004I added some extra doily to the inside of the pocket flap and left it loose. I used to wear the brooch on my collar, but now it looks great with the doily.

DSC_0005We would love to see some clothing embellishment ideas from you. We’ll even put them on the blog. Lets see what you can come up with. Have a great day.

New Jewelry Too

I actually got the urge to create some new summer jewelry items. I really took a break from my etsy shop with all the health issues I was going through. I decided to destress wherever I could and still intend to stay in that mantra. OOHHMMMM! Namaste. 🙂  I have been walking and finally did get 8 lbs off (more to go). I do yoga at home and should get back to class, and of course the kayaking is both our new exercise regimen. It’s so nice to find exercise that you can’t wait to do. Anyway I digress. I’m simply going to show you some of my new pieces.

DSC_0020Green Aventurine and Amonizite

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Resin Zinnias in coral.

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Sodalite and Czech glass. Most of these bracelets have a magnet that is so strong it will close itself. So easy. Well that is a glimpse of what I have been up to.

And now I’m off to see my little Oliver. Whoohooo…grandma can’t wait.

Fall Decor On The New Patio

I was reading the Graphic Fairy’s Fall Home Tour and began to drool over all the loveliness. It has many homes that are decorated for fall and a different one is shown each day. This is the link to see these homes. homes. So I went back up to my storage loft and began to pull out whatever I could find to make the front patio cozy. I have these corn stalks that look like the real ones without the mess, so I tied them together and propped them in the corner behind the love seat.DSC_0024I added my rusty bucket that I talked my mom out of, and filled it with a pumpkin and scattered some gourds around the base of the bucket. I added 2 stars that used to hang in the house and placed one of those black crows in my tall planter. ( I set him more up right after seeing this picture. Whoops) Nature is dropping some leaves for an added touch.

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I hung an Oak leaf wreath on the door and put my old pottery crock in the corner next to the front door. I then filled it with fall silk flowers that I have had forever I always place candle lanterns on my steps and burn them frequently. It all looks good outside and I will probably be shopping for more Fall goodies for the future.

I love Fall!

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Send some pics of your Fall decos and we’ll post them.

My Passion For The Passion Flower

Looks like I have a new quilt in the works. I started to look through my vacation pictures from Portland Oregon from 5 years ago. The flowers are so large and beautiful  there in that perfect climate. Only Alaska has even bigger and more lush flowers that I’ve seen. I ran across some shots I took of a beautiful passion flower vine. My grandfather used to grow them every year up in the midwest. I always thought they were so beautiful. It’s hard to imagine all the work that goes into a creation so beautiful and why? So I began the usual internet search of passion flowers and learned they are the state wild flower of Tennessee. So next year I plan to plant some. But this month I started working on a quilt idea and I’m running with it.  First I ordered my PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric from Dharma Trading Co. and some Tsunieko inks. I have talked about both of these products before and Dharma. I use Dharma a lot for my art quilt supplies

I have painted flowers before on our blog, but this time I wanted to make this beauty bigger than life. I was very excited to get started once I got my design decided. This is my inspiration and here we go.passion flower 2

Isn’t that a stunning flower. It is considered tropical and can become very invasive. Some people plant them in pots for more control. They come in many colors, but this is the one my grandfather always planted.

Day 1

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First I blew up my photo and darkened the important lines. They I traced my design onto the fabric with pencil. I draw very lightly. Then the painting starts. I thought I would use only inks, but wasn’t getting the coverage I needed, so I mixed my Tsusineko Ink with Pebo Setacolor Fabric paint. I was very happy with the color mixture and the weight of the paint.  IT has a soft hand too and has worked very well. You can get a little better control when mixing colors . You get the same response when you mix these colors with each other.

In the middle of all this I got to have a root canal one day and the next day a tooth extraction under surgery and an implant. It was my birthday and I don’t care to celebrate that way ever again. OH well, back to painting.

I have never painted fabric this big before, so I needed a method to manipulate this large piece. Us quilters make design walls out of foam board insulation that you buy at Hope Depot. We cover them in flannel or some sticky fabric and mount them on our quilt room walls.  My mom happened to have a hunk left over from Roger hanging her new design wall in her new house. So that sure worked out nicely. I used blue tape to tape the fabric down and paint away. I then let it dry without moving it. When it is dry, I remove the tape and hang my fabric on my design wall for scrutinizing. Then I wipe the whole board off with a wet sponge and dry it with a paper towel and it is ready for the next day. It works perfect for any mixed media project, or even to  block knitting.

Day 2

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Here I do a lot of under painting. It takes a lot of paint for something this big. I will add the highlights last and the bet part comes with the thread painting. That is when all the detail gets placed. That is my favorite part!

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Now all the pretty tendrils are painted. That is what really makes it a passion flower. I actually use my camera for every stage along the way. It helps to see your work in a photo to see where you need lights and dark’s and highlights.

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I’ve started to draw in tendrils and leaves. These flowers have lots of tightly woven corkscrews. They are like springs.

My plan is to paint a whole cloth and then cut it out in detail and fuse it to a beautiful green, blue and purple batik. I have some wild border ideas too, but we’ll see as it grows.

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The leftover  insulation board is 36 inches by 48 inches. There are some smaller pieces that are 24 Inches by 30 or so that will make great boards also for smaller projects. It comes 8 x 4.

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I think this is the batik that I will mount the whole piece on. I cannot wait to quilt this baby.

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Here is just a little bit of leaf work. More later.