Here's a funny thing you might like to know about me ... when I have lots of projects on my plate and it seems like I don't have any time to really work on them, I tell myself to just start, just start even if I only have 10 minutes before I need to run out the door ... just start.
Usually that piece that I really quick "just start" creating, will become something at some point.
This piece above was one of of those quick start projects. Seriously ... the kids were all hanging out at our house, which is almost always the case, and they were hungry, of course, so we all decided to go out for dinner. While everyone was putting on their shoes and deciding what's for dinner, I quick created the background for this little panel.
Then, when I returned from dinner and did have a bit more time, my creative juices were flowing and next thing you know ... this little free motion stitched panel has been stitched, painted and embroidered on!
The same thing happened with this stitched and painted panel. While at first it was just a stitched and painted panel, I thought how fun it would be to make a little free motion stitched sampler book.
To make the pages for the book, I used vinyl that I bought at my local fabric store, and stitched pockets on several pages ... slightly wider than the tags I wanted to use.
Next I free motion stitched on a big panel of layered muslin and batting, then cut up different motifs and patterns that I liked. Then, stitched the samples onto the tag and there you have it ... a little book of free motion samples.
NOTE: Before I free motion stitch any project, I do warm up drills on a sandwich of muslin and batting and more often than not, I'll use these stitched warm ups in project or cut them up and make them into a banner or bunting.
It was weekend of work, work and even more work ... and I couldn't stop the ideas from flowing.
In fact I got up early Saturday morning and then went to bed late that night with my mind still spinning over new ideas to stitch/sketch/doodle/paint on fabric and paper.
I couldn't stop thinking about all the possibilities for this type of organic, free motion stitching, doodling, sketching, painting ... or whatever you want to call it.
Here's what I did:
I first adhered a panel of muslin to a panel of white batting, using spray adhesive. Next I cut out a few circles in a variety of colors and glued them down using a fabric glue stick. And then the fun began ... I free motion stitched around the circles creating flowers and just random shapes.
Next I painted the panel using these acrylic paints. I added color to the insides of the petals and to the outer edges of some flowers. At some point I even went in and added some white paint just to pop a few areas.
And then ... of course ... a little embroidery with white perl cotton adds the little perfect details that I love so much.
So fun don't you think? More samples to come ... Lord knows I made a ton!
It's a funny thing ... I have never thought much about art journaling, except to think that that's just not for me. I'm not an art journaler type. And then again, maybe I am, but not in the way most people think of art journaling ... Who knew?
I have a few books, old book, that I carry around with me and when my mind needs a rest from life, baseball, photography, I'll whip that book out and just start doodling.
I've found out that before I can paint, like on a canvas, I have to get paint on some sort of surface, just to get the juices flowing again and to be reminded of the feel of the paint ... and ... to quiet my mind.
So what do I paint on, you might ask. Well sometimes it is a panel of wood, canvas or, as of late ... the doodles in my books.
Without thinking too much and often late at night, like tonight, the paint comes out and happens to land on these doodles.
And of course being the stitcher type that I am ... next thing you know ... I'm hand sewing on the pages with big running stitches and French knots. Oh how I love to hand sew!
I'm not sure if these pages are "done" ...
I'm not worried about finishing anything right now, just happy to have my doodles and these old books to embellish, paint and sew!
I was looking at my 'To Do' list the other day and aside from the usual, laundry, dishes, pick up house stuff, everything else was art related. It dawned on me at the very minute that I am a working artist!
Whether it's an article for a magazine I'm writing, a sewn projects for an upcoming book, paintings for a gallery show, or a sweater for baby Aoi, I am always working on some kind of art project.
I decided at that very moment that from now on when someone asks me what type of work I do, I'm going to say that I am a working artist. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have called myself an artist for years, but when I tell people that I'm an artist, the conversation usually just dies right there.
So I'm hoping that my new self proclaimed title will evoke a back and forth conversation.
Stay tuned and I'll keep you posted on how it goes!
Have you seen the latest edition of Stitch Craft Create?
You may remember that the first edition featured my quilted trees on the cover ... And today, they are offering one of my pieces on the Stitch Craft Create blog as a free project!
So cute, don't you think ... a quilted cozy for a bouquet of flowers, just in time for mothers day. You can find the post here along with the list of tools and instructions needed to make this cozy.
Here's a peak at a couple of the other projects I have in this latest edition ... free motion stitched infinity scarf,
A simple rolled rose necklace ... but the best part about this project is that the roses are interchangable.
The sky is the limit here with the different color combinations.
I'm so happy for the good people behind this magazine and Shannon, the editor couldn't be more professional and just really great to to work with. Congratulations F + W Media Inc. on another successful publication!
Hop on over to Lark Crafts and get in on this great giveaway!
I'm so excited to be teaching this class again!
Shooting Beyond Auto Mode
with Cynthia Shaffer
1-Day Workshop on
April 28, 2012 :: OR :: May 19, 2012
If you have ever thought about getting that DSLR out of Auto Mode ... Come and take this class. We cover a ton of info ... but I promise that by the end of the day you will be shooting in Manual Mode!
Hope to see you in a couple of weeks!
I have lots of work to do and all I can think about is ... when can I paint again!
Truth be told ... I'm a little bit afraid of forgetting the process that I have discovered here and so, I just keep on painting, when I've got a extra minute that is.
During Jennifer's class ... we were told to use our non-dominate hand to draw and doodle with. This technique has changed my paintings!
Jennifer also encourage us to try Blind Contour Drawing, something I had done years ago in my college art classes, but had simply forgotten about!
This little elephant was actually a blind contour drawing done by Christy Nimeh's daughter Maddy! So adorable! Thanks, Maddy!
As you can see I am out of my mind crazy these days, in love with painting! More to come ... for sure!
An idea popped into my head just a few minutes ago and so I had to act on it ... of course I have nothing else to do ... Ha!
I grabbed my wide angle lens and set out for some photo fun.
I was out a few days ago shooting a model for an upcoming book, and I had her lay with her belly flat on the ground and I did the same, and then snapped away. I remember how nice and warm the grass felt and how connected I felt to the earth ... such a great thing to try.
Here I am flat on my stomach with my camera resting on the grass. This is the back of my house and to the right you can see my favorite tree ... Yummy bacon avocado!
Berklee loved the fact that I was right down on the ground at her eye level. She came and gave me lots of slurpy kisses.
Then I gradually turn in place and snapped photos along the way.
This is the very back of my yard ... and just yesterday, sitting on the back wall was a beautiful momma opossum and 3 babies ... here's the shot! The baby was yawning.
And this is the side yard and the "Man Cave" aka ... "My Studio" ... as soon as all the kids are off to college!
And that's it ... a full 360 degree view on my backyard!
I have never done a giveaway here on my blog, but thought that today ... the day that my book Stash Happy Applique (Lark Books) is officially out and about in the book stores, was the perfect day to start a giveaway! Right?
So here it is ... a copy of my book, and this adorable house pillow! So fun don't you think?
The book is packed with super cute applique items from wearable, home decor and gifty things as well.
Check out these happy woodsy Gnomes ... so cute don't you think?
Anyways ... here's what you need to do if you want to win that house pillow and a copy of my book. Starting right now ... Tuesday April 3rd, leave me a comment here on my blog, anything really ... I love funny animal stories, and then on Monday April 9th I'll pick the winners name randomly from a basket!
Good Luck ... Oh and if you'd like to purchase the book, you can find it here.
After I quick intro by Jenny Doh, Chris was off and demoing and playing with paint, glazes, pastes ans so much more ... my head was spinning right from the start!
Chris gave us a quick overview of how Golden paints came to be and how the quality and the care behind the products can truly be felt in every tube of paint they produce. She explained the difference between pigments that are mined from the earth and then talked about the colors that are developed in the lab ... I was amazed and loved hearing all this information. It all made so much sense and now I understand why some colors sort of glow and why some are flat.
Golden provided a ton of paint samples and well as already prepared boards with their Fiber Paste and different Molding pastes slathered on them ... then we got to play!
So much fun and such great vibrant colors!
I brought with me a 12 x 12 inch canvas to play with and to add a bit of color so that that scary white canvas wasn't staring at me.
Here's Christy Nimeh, showing me her canvas she worked on ... how come hers looks all finished and pretty?
Mine, not so! After I came home that day, I couldn't stop playing and painting ... not sure where this will end up, but for not, this is what it looks like.
And here's JenEve ... posing just a little once the camera was aimed at her! Too cute.
And Jenny, forever the art collector ... purchasing one of Chris Cozen's beautiful works!
Thanks for a great morning Jenny and Chris!
Yes, we went outside and braved the rain ... for just few minutes.
And captured some great photographs of the architecture and of the rain frozen in time.
I'm not sure what everyone was shooting here, but I couldn't resist taking this shot.
Cynthia Flores was such a beautiful model and this photo is so fabulous with all the brick, I had fun playing with it and applying different presets.
And back inside we were down on our belly's shooting up, at the ceiling, down at our shoes and at strange and fun angles of each other.
Here's Christine Schulz checking out a capture or two.
We talked about different types of lenses ... the wide angle lens is great for capturing almost everyone sitting at these tables.
And my Lensbaby, sweet 35, tilt shift lens is fun to play with and gives some pretty cool effects.
And here's a photo using my favorite lens to date ... 50mm f/1.2 ... it really doesn't get much better than this! Well, that is until I get my hands on that 85mm lens that I have been eyeing for a while now!
And what a great way to end the day ... Dinner at Memphis!
Thank you Janet Higley, Deborah Ambrosino, Jenelle Van de Mortel, Amber Anderson, Kerri Bradford, Cindy Lantier, Nancy Peevey, Cynthia Flores, Christine Schulz, and last but by no means least ... Rita Reade!
Photography 101 class is tomorrow and the studio is all set up and ready to go!
And with a little luck the rain will stop right around 2:00 so we can go outside and get some great photos of the neighborhood.
In the studio I have a few different vignettes set up ready to be shot.
And then at the tables I have small pieces of art, cookies and flowers ... just waiting to be photographed.
If this group of ladies is anything like the last class ... everyone will love playing with this set,making this fabulous bokeh.
So ... stayed tuned and I'll post some photos of our fun day together.
I've been carving rubber stamps lately, something that I thought I would NEVER do ... but I have to tell you, it is SOOOO much fun.
Yesterday I woke up to a text message from Jen Osborn, we are friends on facebook and from time to time we chat back and forth ... I love her art. There weren't any words in the message, just a photo of her 2 latest paintings.
So fun don't you think?
I got inspired ... and I loved her barn, tree and of course her signature skeleton head ... I decided to carve some rubber using her images as inspiration.
I know, I know ... the barn is falling over ... oh well, it happens.
So simple and yet soooo Jen!
Of course I couldn't well enoguh alone ... out came the Glimmer Mists.
So sweet don't you think? Love this one ... I couldn't stop stamping ........!
Here's what you do:
Find a simple image that you like and simply sketch it out onto an eraser or this pink rubber. Next, using the smallest carving blade, outline the image and then cut out the details.
For larger shapes just use a scissor or a craft knife and cut out around the image, then carve out the interior details.
Thanks Jen for the inspiration!
The weather is soooo beautiful these days and the bees are out in full force!
(50mm lens, 1/160 sec @ f/2.2, ISO 100, flower filter ON!)
In my backyard I have a few fruit trees ... a pink grapefruit, avocado (Yum, my favorite), an apple tree and a peach tree!
(50mm lens, 1/800 sec @ f/2.2, ISO 100, no filter.)
And let me tell you ... they are all in full bloom and the bees are hard at work pollinating and buzzing all around!
While I was shooting away here, I noticed all the nice bokeh, so I went and grabbed my flower filter that I made ... tutorial is here ... then went back out to shoot another round of the bees hard at work.
These filters are so much fun to shoot with. You can see the photos that have the filter and those that don't.
Love this guy coming in for landing ... and that shadow ... so cute don't you think? Might have to go back out and shoot something else ....
There is a shot of one of the last stalks of Lavender, hanging around ... I might just have to paint this photo! I'm loving the colors!
I know I'm a bit behind here ... but last Friday I was featured on Harmony Pypers blog as her Friday Feature Artist! Oh, this is me ... I needed a new head shot ... and check out my uniform ... I've worn it for 6 weeks straight and still loving it!
Anyways ...what a privilege it was to be interviewed by Harmony ... such a sweet, sweet soul!
I first met Harmony a few months ago. A bunch of us had gathered to paint together at Studio Crescendoh.
The next time I spent time with Harmony was when she enrolled in my Photography 101 class. That's where I really got to know her ... what a doll and so driven to really figure out her camera and man oh man has she caught on ... her blog has such great energy now that she's shooting in manual mode! Oh, and she's funny too! Go read some of her posts!
Anyways ... check out her blog and her Friday Feature Artist interview ... I kind of just tell it like it is ... and so far nobody has been too offended. I don't think.
Can I just tell you something? Jennifer Mercede's class this weekend was amazing. This was her first class she has ever taught and let me tell you ... it was amazing, and she was an amazing teacher!
This is the one painting I did finish ... and I love it! It's actually really big, like 30 x 30 inches. I loved all the doodling and and all the layers and then more layers ... then more doodling ... then we covered it all up and started again.
On Saturday, the morning started out with a few fun warm-up type games ... so fun!
then Jennifer talks with all a little about how the weekend was going flow ... and what we were to expect ... and she was constantly asking us if the pace was ok, or if she could help in anyway ... so sweet!
And in no time were all blind folded and had to doodle all over our big canvases! So fun.
I thought I had covered my entire canvas ... or that the pen was not working at all ...
Next we were to pick just one color and slather it all over the canvas ... not paying any attention to what was being covered up.
Then came the doodling and mark making ... and random words, what ever words were popping into our head were to be written down.
Next ... more doodling and random painting dripping and splattered.
And most of this painting so far has been done with these random house paints that I picked up a Home Depot for little to no money!
I was really having fun with the doodling ... these marks were all made with my left hand!
And just about the time I was kind of liking my painting ... we had to cover up 90% of it with random paint! I cringed at first, but then fell in love with it again.
Of course there would be a final challenge ... we had just one hour to finish our paintings ... needless to say ... I was sweating at this point ... but I did it ... I even had a chance to get some advice from Jennifer on a few things that were not feeling right. Finished with a few monents to spare and I loved my painting all over again!
This is one other piece I started to work on ... but ran out of time ... not sure where it's headed!
And this piece is still in the works ... hmmmm ... What to do next? Maybe more doodling ... always a good thing to do when you're stuck! I need to remember that!