Friday, December 7, 2012

fun workshop...

On Wednesday I went to a workshop at one of my favorite places to stop by.
Stitch - A Sanctuary for Knitters, Quilters and Needle Artists.

This is an amazing place of colour, ideas, items and friendly service.

Who else has a workshop and serves hot cider, tea and homemade Cranberry Crumble cake?

Jocelyn is the owner and she is knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming.

We got to do 4 different activities.

 The first was some tree ornaments.

 I actually finished those and they await my Christmas tree....

Next was a button and bead garland. I am using beads from my friends button collection so it is kind of special to me. I hope to get some small beads to add to it because I thought I had some and didn't .

The next is a primitive reindeer.  Sadly he is just stitched and not embellished yet. He needs antlers, and legs as well as a few other touches.

Finally this is not a primitive sail boat but will be a hand stitched Christmas tree stuffed, blanket stitched together with felted Christmas balls. I only got to make one at the class because it was going on for 10 pm and we had started the class at 5 pm.
I am off to Micheal's to get some beads and paint to finish things.

Hopefully they will be finished by the weekend.

Other stitch happenings - Quilted 2.5 lines across my over sized queen size quilt for my friends who have been patiently waiting for this quilt.
Finished the 12 blocks needed for my great nieces quillow.
I am determined to get the 3 quillows done for the great nieces before Christmas.

Now I am off to my official last day of work! Then to Micheal's and then my lovely DD is home for the holidays.

It will be a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Information or Fun Overload...

Just spent a great 5 days. Different activities but fun non the less...

Grey Cup Activities:  Adrenaline Zone Zip Lining, Pancake Breakfast from the Calgary Stampeders, Bands, Dancing, Laughing, Walking, Great Bakery, Parade, Smiling, Lobster Hat Wearing.

Then a milestone birthday: visits with good friends, and a great Floyd Elsinga Sculpture from my husband.  He is currently displaying at the "One of a Kind Christmas Show" at the Direct Energy Building in Toronto at the Grounds of the Exhibition.

I will post a shot of my sculpture when it is hung.

Then Yesterday I went to the "One of a Kind Christmas Show" mainly to visit my friend Lisa Skog who is a Raku Artist.


It was great to see her work displayed! If you go say hi to her from me!

The show is on until Sunday December 2, 2012

My friend I went with and I tried on hats.

I loved this one the best.

After all this activity my mind is swirling with ideas.

Time to concentrate and write some of it down before it is all gone.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Instead of....

Instead of getting ready for work...
I put in my resignation about 5 weeks ago... It is good. I need time to take care of me and my family.
But instead of going in to my soon to be not my work...
I was reading blogs...
This is good and bad...
Bad because so much time goes by and nothing is done.
Good because I read Kit Lang's post of today.
I have never met Kit in person but I love her blog. http:www//

Her post today was about what she was doing while she is recovering from being under the weather...
And her word for 2012 was "Intention"

In your art work how much should be intention and how much just play?
I suppose it depends on your goals and skills.
I have always thought I have to make something functional... practical...
Now that I am trying to develop my art skills (and sometimes it is not pretty lol) I want to be intentional but I also want it to be fun....

So I am borrowing if I may from Kit's 2012 word "Intentional" and adding "Play and I think 2013 will be the year of "Intentional Play"
That sounds fun and practical...

Thanks Kit - your blog inspires me! 

This is a picture taken a few weeks ago when I was in Intercourse, PA and my husband let me loose in this store.... My bag came out with lots of batiks and some white Kona cotton for me to dye and play with. 
I am sure I will get some Intentional Play done with this! 
This was a great store. Beautiful fabrics, great prices and a quilt museum on the 2nd floor. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review ...

I bought another book a couple of months ago.

After seeing Kristal Wick on You Tube

I was interested in reading her book. Can't get stuff like this at my local library so I  did the Chapters thing and treated myself.... again.

- read less
Fabulous Fabric Beads: Create Custom Beads and Art JewelryFabulous Fabric Beads: Create Custom Beads and Art Jewelry

Interweave Press, LLC | September 1, 2008 | Trade Paperback

A spectacular combination of beading, scrapbooking, fiber arts, and mixed-media techniques, this amazing handbook describes how to create 30 handcrafted beads from rolled tubes of silk, muslin, or ribbon. With more than 20 easy embellishment techniques incorporating glitter, paint, crystals, or wire, these projects result in stunning beads that can be created with inexpensive and readily available supplies and tools described in this guide. Detailed discussions on choosing appropriate fabrics and creating a variety of surface designs are coupled with well-documented instructions on how to cut, roll, dip, and dry collage beads, and how to cover inexpensive wooden and plastic beads to easily achieve different shapes. Additional sidebars and tips include bonus information on selecting successful color palettes and 10 simple stringing techniques.

And Here is my Review.... I put on Chapters 

I first saw Kristal Wick on You Tube via the beading show. 
I had seen in some books and online fabric beads but they were not what I wanted to use in a project. 
Kristal shows how to make beads that are a great addition to your jewelry making toolbox. 
Out of remnant fabric and some glue you can make beads that no one would know that they are not "real beads. 
These beads can not only be used in jewelry but also art quilts and other design places like as the centre of a fabric flower and more. 
Kristal show many different colour ways and styles of projects that will spark anyone's imagination to continue to make interesting designs. 
I would recommend this book to fabric artists and jewelry designers for the simple steps to make the beads and the great use of colour and showing what can be done with fabric beads. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

An Art Book or a Technique Book....

My husband and I belong to a small group book club. It is kind of cool we each take a turn hosting and picking a book. We have come from different reading backgrounds and so some of the choices are very different than what  we are used to reading. This months choice is a fantasy book. But that is not what I want to talk about....
In order to get free shipping from Chapters/Indigo (a Canadian bookstore chain...) we had to chose another book. The shipping was going to be half the price of another paper back or more. Usually we pick a historical murder mystery. But I through out that I had looked at this book when we were shopping in Lancaster, Penn. a couple of weekends ago... Fibreart Montage: Combining Quilting, Embroidery And Photography With Embellishments

It is listed on the back as $35.99. I did not mind paying for the book in the quilt store but I was trying to keep my spending down and had just bought 30 yds of fabric at a price much cheaper than I could buy at home in Ontario.

So we added this on to our book order for $25.25...

* Prices may vary in store.

Fibreart Montage: Combining Quilting, Embroidery And Photography With Embellishments

Dragon Threads | November 1, 2009 | Trade Paperback

2010 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award winner

A huge contemporary trend in the industry, mixed media is taken to a new level here with a unique combination of watercolors, pen and ink illustrations, needlework design, and more. The montage effect, taught in this volume, begins with a computer-edited image that is transformed into grafted patterns and then enhanced with crazy quilting, manipulated fabrics, embellishments, dye, and embroidery techniques. The friendly prose and enthusiastic, straightforward instructions take readers step by step through the process to achieve texture and depth in fabric landscape quilts while full-color, stunning photographs accent this guide to the newest mixed media techniques in the world of quilting.
- read less

This is a beautiful book!!!!
The pictures are stunning. The techniques are detailed. And it also tells a lot about Judith's life and journey as an artist.

This book will not only be used for techniques for me to expand my skills but also to use for inspiration, colour study and sheer enjoyment.

If I could rate this book it would be an A+

An added bonus is that it has a binder like binding so it lays flat when opened!

Where can you get this book...
Many places I am sure. But you can't have mine! lol 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What makes art and someone an artist?

Ever feel fragmented.. what direction to go in? In a month I turn 50. The age does not bother me but defining what I want to do for the next season of my life does.
Most of my married life I have had kids to rule and guide. They are still there but more independent than ever.
I thought I would have so much free time when they were grown. My life has been defined in how much work I get done. Meet a deadline. Make pies, bake pies! (lots of fundraisers for those kids)
I even crammed more sewing in the day when the kids were small than I do now.
Now that I am "into" art quilting I find as I delve deeper into it I can be more intimidated by presenting what I am making. Critique is good but oh so hard.
It is like I want a course outline to follow so I can check the accomplishments off of the list.
I wonder what others think of this.
Do you ever feel you need a list to check off so you can put the label of fiber artist on yourself?
If you stumble by leave an opinion.
Share my question if you have more blog readers than me. (None of my family even read what I write - although to give them credit none of them probably are aware that I even have a blog)
Off for the day .... again.
Art_deco_design : Woman Art Deco illustration cartoon silhouette

(First random image I latched onto when searching for free art design)

Friday, September 7, 2012 a bad word in my lingo...

I keep thinking I will create when...
I don't know if when will come as "when" was going to come when

  • the kids grew up.... 19, 21 and 24 is grown
  • the kids where away from home...2 back to University and 1 staying until he is married next year. 
  • things settle down at the day job...ha,ha, ha
  • My fibromyalgia settles down... 15 years and still going strong...and yes I have tried just about everything. 
  • When the dog died... she died and then I gave in to this....

What can I say he looked into my eyes and I was in love! He is Moe. Short for Geronimo! (Picture me out in the back yard yelling Geronimo! and you can see why I shortened it.) 

"When" came to a crisis a couple of weeks ago. I used to call them magic melt downs when the kids were small. They had enough! Their energy was shot. Whether the heat, demands, worries, concerns - I had enough. I do not have to drain myself on other peoples agendas. What is important is my family and my health. 

So... regroup. Forgive oneself for ones imperfect state. 
One day at a time. This too shall pass. Take time to smell the roses. 
Throw out when and do now! Play with the puppy!

Just about done my entry for the Burlington Fiber Arts - Literary Arts Exhibit. It is due the 19th of September. I will see if it gets juried in but even if it doesn't it is going on my wall eventually. I love it and that what matters! 

Picture posted when the entrance date is over.  


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Finally some time to play in the sewing lair. A whole afternoon to play!

I had made a table runner - a spiral table runner seen here

I had a bunch of leftovers and I hate to see waste so I assembled them. The colours are some of my favorites. I was excited to use them and going through my stuff I found other things to add.
The following pictures shows the process.
Now is the piece finished or do I add some more beading.
The piece will be called Harmony. Not because the lines match up because they don't. But because this is the way I would like to see the world. All different pieces coming together in a Harmonious pattern.

Comments are welcome!

March 8, 2013

Update: After making this piece and adding a bunch of embellishments I entered it into the BFA guild show last fall. It was not juried in. I was not there for the Jurors comments.
I ended up taking all the embellishments off. And just placed on yoyo with dangling beads on it. I liked the result much better.

I  entered two pieces into the BFA's latest show at the Greenwood Gallery in Guelph on until May 2013 and this piece was accepted. I can't wait to see it hanging the next time I go to Guelph.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Interesting Thought...

If you never put yourself out there, risk or try you do not grow.
If you try and succeed you feel great and will try again.
If you try and do not make it what is in people to keep trying and why do some give up.

Just thinking.... 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Holiday time...

Off for two weeks... but what a dilemma! What to take with me....?
The sewing machine for sure. But what projects? Quillows for neices? Hand quilting? Kanzani flowers? Fabric beads to make my earrings? Flannel to make baby blankets for friends? Odds and sods of projects half done? New projects? Art quilting projects? My new seta paints?
I wish I could take it all but my sewing room won't fit in the van....
Home is where the heart is.... or my happy place.
I have to decide by 2 pm. It is a good thing I have a patient husband.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Battle Reenactment...

My DD works at a Canadian Historic Park which depicts the life of Fort George in the time of 1812. The fort is located in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario on the Niagara River. Fort Niagara (USA fort) is across the river. Saturday they had a simulated reenactment of  a Naval exercise for the British. 

After the "battle" DH and I spent a lovely afternoon people watching, reading and napping in the park. 
We then got some supper from the local grocery store and went to the actual Fort George park site to take in an evening reenactment of the "Re taking of the Fort by the British soldiers, Militia, and Natives forces from the "Americans" who had taken over the fort in the War of 1812. 
Lots of musket fire and cannons. The reenactors do this for free and travel around each year on the weekends to share our history. They do this on both sides of the border. If you can take in any events that go on this summer and fall and next year it truly is a fun experience and worth finding out more about Canadian and American history. 

You can start your search here. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oh what a glorious Canada Day!

Canada Day weekend. Sometimes we go to the cottage;Sometimes we stay home. This weekend we went to the cottage with some great friends. Sun, water, peaceful sounds of the forest.
And our new duck friends.
Bob and Betty were a couple who kept floating by and even came up on the dock.

We named the single mom Matilda. The three children are unnamed. When my kids were small I would have made a whole story about them and their lives. As it was we just enjoyed them. 

Thankful we live in a free country. We may have some problems as a nation. But I do confess when I am at the cottage I do not think of any. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

A few things on the go....

Been busy with lots! Family all home for the summer, work, play, etc. The spring has played havoc with my joints.

Best news is my DS1 is engaged to a wonderful girl. So a wedding next year!

On the sewing/quilting front I finally finished a queen size top that my daughter and I have been working on for awhile. It is for a great couple who have been patiently waiting for it for a year.

This is it before borders. I need to take it to be basted and then it will be hand quilted by my daughter and I this summer.

I also did a table runner with my local quilt guild. I love it and it is in my living room.

It is a spiral table runner using the 9 or 10 degree ruler.

Working on an art piece for my Fiber Arts group and a joint show being put on in the fall with 3 other groups. This should be a real stretch for me. I have been mulling in my mind of what to do and I have the basic structure in place. It is a piece that will be the first part of a series for me based on my family history and my art. (note to self: take pictures.)

I love to many quilting forms - traditional and art quilting. For now I will just go with what brings me joy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kanzashi Flowers...

I like to find small projects that are portable. In the evenings I find it hard to sew at my machine.
Though  playing with making my yoyo's with my Clover makers. A member of my fiber arts group got me hooked on making the yoyo's and from that I went to see what other things I could make.
Kanzashi flowers caught my eyes. Diane Gilleland book explains how to make these beautiful flowers. Her blog is full of examples and information.

You can buy the templates from clover but this book is very enjoyable to read and look at. It has easy to follow instructions.

Here are some of the flowers I have made.


See the yoyo's.

Yoyo's or buttons as centres. 

Hair clips, pins, quilts... of what fun! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fabric Beads and more

Over the past few months I have been playing with making fabric beads.
It has been fun and is something easy to do while I watch tv or when I am in the car (not driving as passenger).
After surfing  you tube to find out how to do it and watching a few video's I have made some beads. I have found that I do not like to use glue to hold them together. I have been using some double side sticky tape I bought at an art supply store. I have been using up my batik cotton scraps that I have been saving.
Here is the result.

And after adding some sparkly thread which I wrapped and stitched on again because I do not like glue.

And then I made some earrings.

And then I got hooked on making yoyo's (not the wooden child's toys) out of fabric scraps using my "Clover" yoyo makers that I bought sometime ago.  So I made these.

I am not sure what I will do with the yoyo and beads but I love the colours.  For now I will just make them for fun. 

I am enjoying wearing the earrings. 
Now to figure how I want to use them in a necklace. 

Great things to make and use in the future. 

Resources:    Kristal Wick - author,  video's, books and beads  Linda Mathews. This months tutorial from the Creative Explorers club of which I am a member. I can't wait to try our some of the techniques in it. 

Fun to play. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fabric Paper Play....

Making fabric paper is like going back to grade school art class! I covered my table in the laundry room with plastic and began... 

Using my Creative Explorer instructions I first did the easiest technique using muslin, fusible and tissue paper. 

Next I made the rigid fabric paper... 

I made several types of paper. 

This muslin + tissue paper with a fabric dye product called Colourvie

This is muslin + tissue paper + stamping with staz on ink.

This is muslin +tissue paper + craft store acrylic paint. 

Muslin + tissue paper + cheese cloth. (Not coloured yet)

Muslin + tissue paper + dryer sheets. (no colour) 

 I am keeping a note book with my experiments. 
The possibilities are endless. And lots of fun to play with glue! 

It is fun to be a creative explorer! (Even if this is January's project! )