Saturday, May 23, 2015

(Foliage + Hammer) + (Fabric Paint + Sand) = Unexpected Fun!

On a recent spring walk I collected some natural odds and ends - ferns, a feather, a few flowers... really whatever caught my eye! I've heard of artists pounding foliage onto fabric with a hammer. It's supposed to leave a a stain or imprint so of course I had to try it! 
Here are the fruits of my labor - lots of hammering and stamping with fabric paint. 

I started with a piece of fabric that I had stamped earlier with thickened dyes.
My tools are in order so let the pounding begin! 

This is what's left of my pounded fern. 

I am amazed at the clarity of the stained fabric. You can really get some nice detail. I tried pounding the flowers but didn't get any pretty colors... which doesn't make any sense. They were wet so I'll try it again with dry flowers and assume it will create a better result. 

I wanted to try stamping the sticks and stones to see what would happen. The stick was predictable but I wondered what would happen if I mixed beach sand with the paint. 

Holding the stone in my hand I pressed and rolled the stone onto the fabric. Once the sandy paint dried it had an interesting and thick texture.
Have you tried pounding natural materials to create a design? Please share! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Outdoor Studio Space!

 I firmly believe everyone should establish a little nook for themselves outdoors to create art. It's just a different experience to be outside - for one you don't have to be as neat! I spent most of Sunday cleaning up my space! I had to replace the landscaping fabric this year and that combined with a tree falling and crushing my Honeysuckle structure I decided to enlarge the space - tons of work alone on a humid day - but it's done and I'm delighted with the extra room. All that's left is to set up my tables and I'm good to go! It will make it easier to have my buddies over for play time!  
This picture is from last summer when the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective came over! I look forward to hosting again this summer... with more room! 
 My hubby helped me set up a clothes lines next to the tables. I can't believe how excited I was for a clothesline! 
This picture is also from last summer to lure YOU into creating an outdoor space. See how pleasant it is to create art among the flowers and grasses - how could you not be inspired! 

I'd love to see pictures of your outdoor space! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Rita's Happy Mother's Day!

Rita's lovely daughters picked out this piece of fabric to give their Mom on Mother's Day. Rita shared the photo and I love the fact that she immediately put it up on the wall! On a recent visit to their mother's studio daughter Grace noticed how much her Mom enjoyed the fabrics she previously purchased from me and how thoughtfully she fussy cut the fabric to achieve the right look in her design. Grace and her sisters picked out this piece for Mom to open on Mother's Day and also gave her a gift card so Rita could pick out another piece on her own!  Isn't that sweet! I was so touched that they reached out to me when choosing a special gift for their mother!


Cheers to all the thoughtful people in your life - count your blessing! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Look What Misty Cole Did!

Misty Cole made this lovely piece titled, "Fleeting Beauty". Misty said the design was inspired by a recent birthday that had her dreaming of younger days when she confidently wore a bikini with a pierced navel in public! What a hoot - to see Misty's full story and design process click here

As always it's a treat for me to see how other artists utilize the fabric I created! I love the combination of ice dyes with commercial - well done Misty - well done! 

Cheers to many more birthdays and inspired designs!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fiberlandia in a Nutshell!

I am just getting back to my typical routines after a wonderful whirlwind trip to the annual SAQA conference in Portland, Oregon - appropriately titled Fiberlandia! The SAQA organization puts on a fabulous conference with workshops, speakers and hands on activities to satisfy our need to play and work with textiles while away from our studios! 

You know when you see the iconic Mt. Hood out of the plane's window it's time to get excited!

Coming from early spring in CT to this luscious green flying into Portland made my heart sing! 

I was excited for the vendor market. Here we are getting set up - yes all of this fabric traveled across the country! Marianne Williamson is getting a head start picking out some choice fabrics for one of her future designs!

I had 5 fun giveaways from products donated by some very exceptional artists: Lynn Krawczyk, Julie B. Booth, Lesley Riley, Terri Stegmiller and Deborah Boschert

Margaret Phillips from the CT. Chapter was on hand to help get the vendors set up!  

Portland artist Wendy Mamattah stopped by to say hello! Wendy and I connected over Facebook and have been cyber buddies for a while now. It was a delight to meet face to face! Please visit Wendy's Etsy shop to view her beautiful fabrics, patterns and other fun products! 

Here I am with the lovely Carole Staples who I had the pleasure of meeting at the 2014 conference in VA. Carole is not only a talented artist she is the SAQA rep for the Ohio chapter. I wanted to give Carole a shout out because she was dedicated enough to hit the gym while at the conference - very impressive!

OK - it's let loose time! 

Thursday evening Lyric Kinard hosted an ice breaker. She had us going around the room and eventually settling next to someone we didn't know who we had to create a self portrait of in about 10 minutes. It lead to some hilarious portraits... as you can see. The exercise allowed me to meet the wonderful Erika Close who will forever make me smile when I look at my blue faced, green haired portrait! Of course I will hang it in my studio! Sorry Erika but I am seriously the worst selfie taker of all times! 

Friday evening was the first ever MAKER SPACE event for SAQA. This was the brain child of Kate Themel and Martha Wolfe. I know it was a lot of coordination and planning leading up to the event and boy was it ever a great success! At this table we have Carol Ziogas owner of Kimonomomo Inc. who showed folks how to stitch in the traditional Sashiko manner. 

Betty Busby shared her approach to designing with paint sticks! Seeing artists use tools and techniques in a way most of use never thought to do was such an eye opener and a treat!  

President Kris Sazaki is sharing a laugh with Georgia French. Georgia brought multiple felting machines for folks to try. For those of use who hand felt seeing the machines quickly felting the roving was a bit mind boggling - it's kind of like seeing spray adhesive for the first time after hand basting a queen size quilt!  

Laura Jaszkowski shared her approach to creating miniature landscapes. Who knew what beautiful creations could be made using small scraps of fabric and limited time.

Nancy Turbitt put her own spin on using fabric markers. She had baskets of markers to share, a light box and lots of energy to help people get started on making beautiful art! 

Reconnecting with peeps met at last years conference was a highlight for me! Lottie Smith was one such friend who I can now reach out to the next time I'm in Oregon! 

Maria Shell came down from Alaska to be the keynote speaker on Saturday morning! Maria kept everyone engaged and motivated by her openness to share her experiences and her ability to connect with the group. I first "meet" Maria when her work was accepted into the Color Wheel of Emotions exhibition that I curated. Being able to meet Maria face to face at the conference was a bonus! 

Gerrie Congdon and I became acquainted when we were invited to join The Printed Fabric Bee group. We are a group of 12 professional fiber artists who create custom fabric collections each month for one chosen "Queen". In addition to creating a collection for the Queen we also include a piece the Queen gives away to some lucky person. This happens each month so follow along and enter to win your own fabric pack by visiting our blog

Lastly it was a treat to meet Hsin-Chen Lin face to face. Just like Maria I first "meet" Hsin-Chen through the Color Wheel of Emotions exhibition. In addition to being an internationally renowned fiber artist Hsin-Chen also founded the 
Taiwan Art Quilt Society.
At the conference Hsin-Chen participated on the International Panel. It was a delight hearing from artists around the globe discussing influences and trends of fiber art in their cultures. 
Thank you for taking the time to get to the end of this very long blog! I tired to self edit but truly the whole conference experience was such a great adventure I didn't want to leave anything out!
I look forward to 2016 when SAQA hosts in Philadelphia! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Fabric Giveaway - The Printed Fabric Bee!



Gerrie Congdon is this month's Queen of the Printed Fabric Bee artists. Gerrie chose Geometric Shapes as her inspiration and gave the artists full liberty for design and color. The winner of a custom fabric pack collection will be drawn on May 15th - are you feeling lucky! Hop over to Gerrie's blog and leave a comment for a chance to win! 

I went for the lumpy and rounded look vs a sharp and angular design. I'm not sure why but sharp and angular just didn't feel right. 

To create my design I cut shapes from freezer paper. Pressing the paper onto fabric creates a nice bond between the paper resist and fabric. Next I pulled out some favorite thermofax screens and stencils. The stencils and screen designs used were created by Terri StegmillerLisa Chin and Lynn Krawscyk - all fabulous artists! 
I laid the screen or stencil across the open shape of the freezer paper and pulled the fabric paint across the fabric. The shapes looked a bit lost...
I ironed the paper back into place and added an outline of black using a permanent sharpie marker. It's really fun to peel the freezer paper off to reveal the design! 


This doddle design comes directly from Lisa's creative mind - gorgeous isn't it! 
Here is the 6" X 6" piece for Gerrie's giveaway! Don't forget to stop by her blog for a chance to win - click here