Friday, January 29, 2016


It seems lately that inspiration is coming at me from many directions. Not sure why this is. Am I in a better place right now to be receiving them? Is it because the days are getting longer? Is it because I have a husband and friends who support & encourage me?

I picked up a book from the library, Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic". Click the book for the NYT's review.
She refereneces the fact that ancient Greeks thought people HAD a genius, not they they were one. Like a spirit or guide that we listen to, who brings inspiration to us. I like that idea. This book came to me at just the right time to read and absorb it's message.

                                Nature has always been big in providing  me with inspiration

 I have lots of book & catalogs and publications I return to time & time again. This little gem is a favorite. I don't buy book to read for enjoyment, those almost always come from the library or swapping with a friend. but I'm a sucker for books with art techniques and prompts. Then are the endless blogs and videos and now a days on line classes...did I mention Pinterest?

The there is travel. We are on our way tomorrow for a mini vacation to Florida to visit a few sets of friends and hopefully recharge our solar batteries. They are very low at the moment from the Northern Michigan grey. Inspiration usually shows up as soon as I'm at the airport.

Hoping to post from the road. I have my journal, writing utensils, water color pencils, a brush. I'm ready.

What inspires you? I would love to here your experience. What do you do if you are stuck?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Fabric Carpentry

My latest fabric box is completed. I posted about smaller versions I did quite some time ago. This one is larger and has a lid. I thoroughly enjoyed getting out my sewing machine and working through the engineering of this.  Here are the previous boxes.

However...mistakes were made...had to take out stitching and rethink and re-cut on several occasions.
Here is the stuff I use for the rigidity of the box:

I created hinges with an extra piece of fabric to connect the bottom with the sides. I didn't have a large enough piece of the pelon o cut the bottom & sides as one piece. I rather like the hinge idea anyway.
You can see the "free stitching done to secure the interior fabric to the pelon.

Then I discovered my side pieces weren't quite big enough. Happy accident as I added pieces from a different fabric to make up the difference and like the result. All the exterior fabric is left over from upholstery projects.  

Here is the finished product. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Rust is Beautiful

Found a simple recipe for "aging" wood, with a rust solution. There ar lots of them out there if  you look. I had admired the floss collection wrapped on clothes pins here from lil fish studios.

 Awhile back a friend gave me this entire bin of embroidery floss that had been given to her. I was a happy girl! There's a rainbow of colors in there you can't see.
I've had the opportunity to use & share this bounty. However the plastic bags all the floss is stored in bugs me. The clothes pins are much more appealing.

The rust solution is interesting. After a full day of soaking the steel wool in the vinegar the liquid still looked clear. But after taking the wool out and submerging my first batch of clothes pins & a few old wooden thread spools it got very dark.  You can see the difference between the un aged clothes pins & the aged ones. So now I can obcess on wrapping floss around these guys. Do I know how to have fun or what? Now I want to experiment with rusting some metal objects as well as rust on paper. 

 Just a couple photos form the ongoing My Still Sunday class. 

Dark & moody was the name of the game again. Not totally happy with my results, but time was limited this week so I didn't  try as many set ups as some weeks. 

Good skiing continues so I'm happy to spend time on the trails breathing fresh air, getting some light bounce from the snow and getting the kinks out.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Completed Collagraphs & Beyond

Here are pictures of the completed mini collagraphs. I learned a fair amount in the process. I plan do use this technique more as I find it enjoyable. Some more investigation into paper & prepping the surface are in order.

                                   I've already got some ideas peculating for the next round. 
Spent the better part of yesterday going through a huge trunk of fabric and fiber related "stuff'.
                                              I swear some of it was at least 30 years old.   
 Unbelievable how many tiny scraps of fabric were thrown in the trunk. I tried to be merciless in my purging. I think I did pretty well. Especially since the lid would hardly close before. Things are corralled into bags and tubs which should help immensely.  Not to mention several bags are going to good will friends and the trash.
I'm feeling the urge to dive into more fabric sculpture and functional boxes.  I think this had to be the first step so I know what I have to work with.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

I'm not much for New Years Resolutions. I'm always trying to set goals and do new things and evolve. But this year feels a bit different. Maybe it's because the snow arrived with the new year. Getting out & skiing makes me feel new.
Amazing what can happen overnight. I got myself out there 3 days in a row. A little sore, but I started slow so it's not too bad. Hope to get out again tomorrow & we got some nice new snow last night.  

This is what my local park where I walk looked like 5 days ago.

With the increased daylight and my new energy from being out doors I've gotten myself into the studio more. Have wanted to play around with collagraphs for awhile. Got out the cardboard and began.  Also a little calligraphy practice, like the splat of gouache in the middle? That's what journals are for!

 Tried several different papers. The first run I smeared acrylic on the collagraphs to see what I'd get and decide where the three images should land. These will be for my January ATC swap. Then I moved on to the printers ink for the full 3 step printing. I'll post the progress tomorrow.
 Enjoyed playing with more designs and got them in my journal for future use.

I'm curious to hear what New year's resolutions or changes you are contemplating and what art you are doing.