Monday, December 30, 2019

Aged to Perfection

This is the first of a few little projects I've been working on over these long grey days. 

More "mini obsessions" to be revealed in the next few posts.

Kicking myself for not getting a "before" picture. It was a Mickey Mouse mint tin. 
After hot gluing the corner pieces it was covered with silver paint left over in the basement from some random project. Glaze mixed with a little black acrylic paint 
was wiped over the entire box for an aged look.

Someone gave these to me & I've wanted to put them to use.

Now it is a needle box with magnetic strips inside.
Great for travel. Got the idea at a stitch workshop. Brilliant idea.

I just wish it would snow so I can go skiing!

Monday, December 9, 2019

WInter Time Studio Production

Here we go. Winter in Northern Michigan. Short days, little sun. I'm still waiting 
for the cross country skiing to begin. Bring on the snow!

So a lot of time has been spent in the studio. Playing around. 
Preparing for the classes I'll be teaching. Trying out new ideas.


Obsessed with pin cushions from wool I've felted. 
More to come. They are easy to transport with a needle & thread 
to keep hands busy.A must for me.

Been updating items in my Etsy shop. Take a peak at what's been added.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Smile and Take a Class

Ran across an article that stated the best thing you can do 
for yourself & others is smile. Then had a little fun 
making it stick in my brain by lettering in my journal. 

Good news!  I am slated to teach 2 classes this winter at 
Crooked Tree Art Center in Traverse City.

The first Tuesday January 14th  Make Your Journal Your Own.

I'll be sharing lots of fun techniques for saving ideas, creating page backgrounds.
A good thing at the beginning of the year to help you capture thoughts. 

Next Friday February 28th  Surface Design, Painting Canvas

Using acrylic and stencils.
It's what I do. 
Lots of options for what to do with your new fabric will be on display.

Sign up and come have some fun!

I hope you will consider joining me on these days. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Breakfast & Beyond

Today is a hodgepodge of items.

Been making large batches of baked oatmeal every few days for our breakfast.
Lots of the local blueberries I picked, almond milk, vanilla, brown sugar,
cinnamon, apple & or raisins. Banana is a great addition as well. Yum!

This was an Artist Trading Card month. I pulled together some fabric scraps I 
doctored up with white pen & a metallic stamp, added pieces of fall leaves 
I had soaked in glycerin then used the white pen again. All that glued to tar paper
(roofing material) background. 

Wanted to share this beauty of a find with you. On one of our kayaking days on North Fox Island
hubby spotted this deer skull in the tall grass on the shore. It's in pristine condition! Great teeth.
A search for how to clean & preserve it ensued. It soaked in a peroxide solution for a
long time then left to dry. It still needs a coat of poly sealer.
 I envision it hanging on my studio wall with a flower in the eye socket a la Georgie O'Keeffe

Some news about classes I'm teaching this winter next time. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

All Dolled Up

Ann Wood is a fiber artist I follow. Love her sweet little hand stitched pieces of nature. 
Awhile back I purchased her pattern for the Dastardly Owl
Decided it was time to bring him to life. Here he is in progress.

I have a Pinterest board just for owls others have made
& some found in nature for design & color inspiration.

Her instructions for the talons was perfect. Fun to make. 

Lots of layers for the feathers. Fortunately I have a big stash of fabric to chose from. 
I've been making an effort to work on projects that all the supplies are already in my possession.
In this case I had the wire & florists tape for the feet, the fabric, stuffing, & buttons for the eyes.
I think I'll name him Whoratio. What do you think?

Here is my Pinterest Board devoted to dolls
Warning, my taste leans toward strange & creepy in some cases. 

There is another doll in the works I'll share another day.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

House of Pins

 I've been a bit obsessed with pin cushions lately. Don't ask me why. Maybe because I'm doing so much sewing needed a larger specimen to replace my little calico rooster who is about 30 years old.

 A classmate in my slow stitch class had this great house cushion which I riffed on for mine.


 I had a length of ocher wool I knitted ages ago wanting to felt it for an undetermined project & decided this was it.  After spending way too much time hand felting (I will do this step in the washing machine from now on) I was ready to make a pattern & stitch away.

Roof windows & doors were made from old sweaters I had machine felted ages ago. 

 I created a pinterest board just for all the pin cushion ideas I ran across. 
What to fill them with, patterns, designs, hand felting.

A pocket of bb's is in the base help it stand up. Finally putting them to use. Steel wool is in the center covered with batting. Supposedly the steel wool will help keep the pins sharp. 

I have a couple small round cushions I am playing with as well. 

Next up ...dolls I am working on.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Summer Snippets

Summer has come & gone. There was music, camping & art among the activities.  A fun ride. 
 Hard to believe it's been 4 months since my last post.

The above image is from "da UP". Flew to Houghton/Hancock for the Farm Fest music week end.  The venue was a delightful Farmstead down a long dirt road. Laid back, great performers, interesting food, a great cause.

We returned to North Fox Island a few times for camping, kayaking, butterfly watching and general merriment with other pilots & crew. 


Went blueberry picking 3 times to bag & freeze about 18 Lbs. 
Been making Blueberry Shrub with some of them. More on that in a later post.

As promised back in June, here are a few snaps from a wonderful class with 
Christine Mauersberger in Petoskey. I've been drawn to hand stitching lately
& was thrilled to be able to take a class with this artist I admire.

Some work by another student in the class.

This was an image in one of Christine's books used for inspiration. 


Recently I noticed this stump I see on may walks could be my own
 jumping off point for some stitch work.

In the days to come I'll share some things happening in the studio now that fall has arrived.
 Or is it winter? There were flakes in the air yesterday. 
There will be dolls, pin cushions, a deer skull, & a look at a fabulous quilt artist.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Workshops Part 3 PBI Laura Wait

My third & final class at PBI was with the talented, fun, & saucy Laura Wait.

I have been an admirer for some time & jumped at the chance to take a class with her. So glad I did!

Our first exercise was to tape a brush to a LONG stick, go outside with a large sheet of paper
 and Sumi Ink, proceed to make BIG marks on the paper, flip paper over & rub it around on the grass (if you want, which I did). Phase one of mark making.

After that we introduced color, shape, hand writing (not necessarily legible) translucent color, dirty sumi water, unusual tools to make marks & experimentation was the name of the game.

 The results were as varied as the personalities in the room.


 This grouping is all from my pages. 
It was great to have a soft wall to pin everything up for viewing. 

We were encouraged to bring some sort of symbolic marks along as a jumping off point for marks.
I discovered a Hobo Language. Developed during the depression as a form of communication among the Hobo community.  It's simplicity was perfect for my purposes. 
The all red pages are direct riffs on the Hobo symbols.

One of my pages, a personal favorite.

 These types of exercises get you loose & allow you to play which provides some amazing results.


Being attentive to the details of drum leaf book construction. 
That would be another entire post. Lots of accuracy is needed. A departure from the mark making.

From there we created several books each from the cut up pages. Size & orientation is up to the individual. Lots accomplished in a 4 day workshop. That's how PBI rolls.

 Happily displaying our completed books.

Next workshop review, my 3 days in Petoskey with Christine Mauersberger.