I have been remiss

in updating this blog. I've been terribly busy at my 'real' job and though I made about 50 heart ornaments during the month of December, they were flying out the door too fast to take photos of them.
The biggest news is that our new dog arrived and he is so sweet. His name is Zakk.

I began work last night on my December bead journal page and hope to complete it this everning before the stroke of midnight. Hopefully I'll have a photo in the morning.

Happy New Year!


Fun Project

This project was probably the most fun sewing I've had in a long time. You know when you just look at something and giggle with happiness? The wonky beady dangles on these pieces did that for me -


A bit more work done on the Fabric Frame class pieces

This was a lot of fun though I still have a bit more to do. I really enjoyed taking this class on-line so that I could work on my own schedule and the process gave me a ton of ideas for other things.


I've been busy

I've been making some beaded heart ornaments

taking 2 on-line fabric art classes

making more beaded dolls

and getting ready for this little guy to come and live with us.

thanks for visiting.

some free holiday fun!

Lisa Vollrath has once again created her wonderful Christmas Countdown with free pinrtable images - it's like a little present visiting her site every day to see what is new - check it out here.


Bad Blogger

I've been a very bad blogger but I haven't been slacking off - just busy busy busy with fabric and beads. I've made a bunch of beaded dolls that will be listed on etsy just as soon as I can figure out how to make my photos look decent on that site - here's just a sampling of them -

I've also been working on the two classes that I'm taking a joggles.com. It is really a fun process for me because I can work according to my own schedule, though it does take a bit of self-discipline to do the lessons. I'm taking the Encrusted Crazy Quilt class from Sharon Boggon who is incredible even though you can't really tell from my feeble attempts. I am learning far more I think than I would have at a regular 6 hour class. Sharon really gives us a lot of information and it is great to have something to refer back to. I'm printing out the classes as they are posted and keeping them in a notebook. So far there are over 100 pages! That's how in depth she is at teaching the process of crazy quilting.

These two blocks are after lesson two - Because of the Thanksgiving holiday I haven't gotten to lesson 3 yet which is block embellishment. I am really looking forward to trying my hand at ribbon embroidery.

The other class I'm taking is Alma Stoller's Art Fabric Picture Frame class. This class is lots of fun as well though much freer than the crazy quilt class. Our first assignment was to 'make' some fabric - using either muslin we had altered ourselves or commercial fabric we were to cut it up and sew it back into a flat sheet that we'll use to make our frame. Being an over achiever, I had to do it both ways.

I'm behing in this class too and need to do surface embellishment with free motion embroidery which should be a lot of fun.

It's almost time to work on my December Bead Journal Project page. I have so many ideas spinning in my head for a December page - perhaps I'll do a page showing how fractured my mind seems to be in December.

If you want to see more of the beaded dolls, you can always check my flickr page to see what I'm up to. Thanks for visiting. It always makes me smile to check my site meter and see that people from all over the world have visited.


November Page

I completed my November Bead Journal Page in 2 sittings so there aren't progress photos of this one. I started Thursday after work and finished it at 2 this morning. The past few weeks have had challenges and one of my not so great characteristics is that during times of challege, I tend to get rather stubborn (to put it mildly). And so the November page is titled "not everything is black and white" (or don't be a pighead). It didn't change my perspective on the world much but it did make a me laugh a lot and that in itself is a very good thing.


The altered shoe

is done - I've looked at it for too long and am not sure that I even like it anymore. I guess it's like cooking Thanksgiving dinner and then not being hungry. But the deadline fast approaches, so off in the mail it goes tomorrow.
Lots more photos here
"Come to the edge, he said.
They said, we are afraid.
Come to the edge, he said.
They said, we are afraid.
Come to the edge, he said.
They came.
He pushed them.
And they flew."
- Guillaume Apollinaire


The Beaded Shoe

Before I start my November BJP page, I wanted to finish this beaded shoe. I studied dance for many years as a young girl, but unfortunately due to orthopaedic problems I was not able to continue. A shattered right metatarsal requiring surgery was the first of a long string of orthopaedic procedures that has left me with feet that look quite a bit like those of mummies dug up in ancient Egypt. When I learned of an art call for an altered shoe, a little light went off in my head about the beauty and pain of ballet and I began work on this shoe. Well, first I had to find a shoe. Pointe shoes are not inexpensive but I found a source for used ones (for decorative purposes) on eBay. The shoes I am using were practice shoes from a ballerina in the Phoenix ballet. It amazed me how different shoes are now. When I was dancing, the toe box was a chunk of wood - we danced with our toes directly onto the chunk of wood - with a bit of lambs wool for cushion - the new shoes seem not so torturous, though the shoe was still a trick to bead with its' leather supports and solid wood (?) toebox. I broke many a needle pushing and pulling it through the leather with pliers - not quite the image one thinks of when imagining someone sitting and beading a lovely satin slipper and my fingertips are like pin cushions as I have yet, after 53 years on this round earth, learned how to use a thimble. The shoes are almost done. I have to let them sit on the work table for a bit before I'm ready to finish them - but since the deadline for submission is looming, I can't let them sit too long.

But here is the almost finished shoe - I tried to portray the rigidity and formality of ballet juxtaposed with the randomness of injury - I don't know if I 'got it', but I certainly enjoyed trying. The completed shoe will be up in a day or so but for now here is the work in progress.



Home from ArtFiberFest

None of my projects are completed and my bags aren't unpacked. I did want to write this down though before I forgot it -

And the day came when the risk to remain in a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin

EDIT: ArtFiberFest was wonderful - it was quite small and intimate, like ArtFest used to be in the way back olden days (I crack myself up). Anyway, it was great. On the opening night, Teesha provided us with little packets and taught us how to make a funky quilt square - I became addicted to them and ended up making a whole book!

This is the back of it.
I made signatures of 140 lb watercolor paper that are sewn in - It is a big, fat, floppy book and I love it - +

My first class was happy hooking with Mary Stanley who is just a delightful person. I don't know that I'll ever do this again, but I've always wanted to learn and this environment was perfect for that. I made a little house

Friday, my class was with Kristin Steiner - I love Kristin - She creates the most warm and nurturing classroom environment in the world. This is the accordian book I made in her class.

The last day was a class with Pam Garrison - I was very tired by the last day. But I made this crazy quilt/wacky journal all the same. It's quite wonky and the fabrics really don't show true in this picture, but you get the idea.

My birthday was the Saturday of ArtFiberFest and my friend Suz brought me this yummy cake!

I had a great time, enjoyed doing nothing but playing with fabric and my friends for three days in a beautiful location but was very very very glad to be home!


Things that go bump in the night

I've been working on a 2nd page for October for the Bead Journal Project with a Halloween theme. It's fun to use goofy things and wacky color combinations (actually plum and poison apple green has been my favorite color combo since I was 16 and painted my bedroom those colors much to the horror of my parents),

I'll be at ArtFiberFest through the weekend and won't take this project with me so there'll be no more progress until I return. Usually when I return from art camp I am so full of new ideas that I've learned that I put whatever I've previously been working on on the back burner - I hope I can refocus on this page upon my return as I'd really like to finish it.


heart of the day

i'm making wee dangly beaded hearts as special gifts for people at AFF next week - here's the one from last night


You'd think I had enough with hearts but

I wanted to whip up a little something for a person that I did a 1-1 exchange with and I came up with this - how sweet - I think that I need to think about making some for valentine's day gifts.


The first October page is completed!

I've decided to prepare two October pages and then use whichever one is my favorite for the bound book - Here is the first one - I'm quite happy with it.


October page - day 4

i'm starting to get stuck - i'll need to ponder this page for awhile.


October Bead Journal Page - day 3

I'm not certain that I care for those large red navette sorta shaped beads but they are there now and I'm pushing through with the 'no ripping out' goal. Like many things, they'll probably be okay once I get other beads around them.


Walking a crooked path to love (and loving myself)

So the October "when I'm an old woman" page progresses. Robin talked about bead embroidery being therapy and initially I scoffed. Being a crusty, hardened by years of seeing the horrors humans perpetrate on one another ex-therapist, I saw little, if any, validity in her statements - until this piece. I suppose the first few pages I was busy trying to figure out what I was doing and with this piece I was able to just bead without thinking about the process and put more thought into the actual content of what I was beading. I worked until late into the night, until I couldn't see to thread the needle, I didn't want to stop - and when I went to bed all I could think about was the page and what it meant.

So here is the October page on day 2...


Beginning October

I have so many page ideas in my head, I really hope to get two done for October - maybe my journal pages will be double sided for each month? That would be pretty cool. October is my birth month so I have begun my "when I get old I shall wear purple" page. I've always loved purple and red together - long before there were ladies who wore those colors. When I wore a suit to work, I had a purple linen one that I would wear with a red silk blouse and red 3-inch heels (that would also be when I wore heels so you know it was a very very very long time ago. A particularly snotty woman at the office would always comment on my 'interesting' color choices to which I just would smile sweetly and say 'well bless your heart'. Now Southern women KNOW what 'well bless your heart' means but this woman was a Yankee so she thought that I was being nice.

I got up early this morning to start October before I came into the office. I saw some work done somewhere on the internet that had an interesting sequin application that I tried to mimic, but I didn't quite get it - Now I need to try and remember where I saw that piece so I can go back and look at it again as trying to do something from memory obviously isn't working. I still do like the glimmer of the bit of sequins and I am following the 'don't rip out' method so we'll see how it goes.

The other thing I worked on this weekend were these 'inchies' for a swap. I'm just not getting the 'inchie' thing - but they are done and in the mail and I've made a mental note not to do inchie swaps anymore. They sort of remind me of sea creatures.


Today was a grand day

I went for a bit of a drive at noontime and took some photos - I particularly love the ones from the gardens at Pt. Defiance Park


Learning New Things

I'm getting very excited about attending ArtFIBERfest next month - in a very few weeks I'll be up at Fort Worden with a bunch of my peeps taking three days of wonderful classes. I'm taking a traditional rug hooking course with Mary Stanley
where we'll make one of these sweet little houses. I think I'm going to make mine a mermaid house and decorate it with shell buttons.
The second day I'm taking a fabric book class with Kristen Steiner who is a wonderful teacher and about the sweetest person I've ever met as well. The class is a fabric accordian book and the class includes lots of fabric altering and embellishing techniques - yum.

The last day I'm taking another fabric book class, one that appears to be not as structured as Kristen's, called Sew FAB(ric) Journal with Pam Garrison. This book has paper pages sewn in. I'm thinking the cover with give me ample embellishing opportunities
as well as being an easy, relaxed project for the last day.

When I return I'm taking two on-line classes at Joggles.com -'encrusted crazy quilts' and 'fabric art picture frame' with Alma Stoller - Alma is teaching at ArtFIBERfest and it was a difficult choice between her class and the rug hooking one, so I was happy to see her teaching at Joggles. I've never done an on-line class like this before - I think it sounds like a lot of fun.

Today I learned about a new learning resource on line, Quilt U. I'm looking forward to taking a class there after the first of the year as I believe my plate is quite full for the rest of this year.

In the Spring, there is ArtFest. I didn't go last year and I really missed the 'kick in the pants' it gives me to push my art somewhere new. I was very lucky to get all of my first choice classes - a precious metal clay class with Catherine Witherell ,

Symbolic Icons with Anahata Katkin

and Creative Characters with Karen O'Brien on the last day of the retreat.

My head is spinning with the thought of learning all this new stuff. Lots and lots of photos to follow.


Thinking ahead to October

I love the month of October - I love Fall in general, the way the air smells, the way the wind kicks up and first and foremost, I love October because it marks the beginning of the "candy holidays" and is also my birth month. I may end up doing two pages again in October because I have two projects that I want to do that relate to this month. First of course, is a Halloween page because I love Halloween - I have amazingly wonderful childhood memories of the holiday and I really want to do a Halloween page. I have the perfect bead to start the page, made by my friend Pam at The Blue Between - how precious is this?

and the second page, a birthday page - I'm still thinking about it but I think that I have an idea. I'll keep you posted.