About Me

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Michigan/Arizona, United States
I am a textile artist who loves to design fabric by painting, printing, stamping, and manipulating cloth.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Done

      I shouldn't really say it's done since the "hangers" and the leaves are just pinned on, but I wanted to see how it looked before doing the hand work.  This piece is different from anything I've ever attempted.  I started with a pretty vague idea after looking at some photos of eucalyptus trees taken at UCLA last March with my grandson.  I loved the colors and texture of the bark.  Later, as I was reorganizing my fiber drawer I and came across two packets of silk "stuff" that whispered an idea .  . .   I'm calling it "Eucalyptus Dreams."

       The leaves were constructed by sewing leaf shapes on two layers of bamboo batting, cutting them out and then painting them with grayish shades of green.   I hand sewed the clusters together with linen thread.  Puzzling out how to hang the piece sent me to a nearby arboretum;  I came home with several pieces of fallen eucalyptus branches.  (The other pieces are sitting outside waiting--perhaps a series?)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another Pile and a Sketch

     I'm playing again--with photos and fabric and fiber, oh my!  I didn't take pictures of my process because I wasn't sure what I was doing, but I think I'm almost done.  The "pile" above  (if you click on any photo, it will enlarge) includes photos of eucalypus bark, dryer sheets, felt, dyed cheesecloth, silk roving, stuff from a pack called Silk Sensations Strata--Pebble which I purchased years ago at the Quilting Arts retail store in Stow, MA, and some bamboo batting and paint.  I started out thinking to make a journal cover, but it turned into a wall hanging instead . . .   I hope to get the backing in place today, attach the "adornments,"  and figure out how to hang it.

    I also spent several hours yesterday putting together my first lesson for the watercolor sketch class which I'm taking on line from Jane La Fazio .  She gives excellent, detailed instructions w/pictures, and I know I'm going to learn a lot!!  I'm not planning on becoming a water-color expert, but I like using my sketches in my fiber art and journaling.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Valentine Postcards

     I'm almost finished (handwork on one, backing on a couple more) finally ending up with fifteen postcards- each a little different.  I added trims, using machine embroidery or hand stitching, a few beads on some, and free-motion "love" on several.  After bonding white cardstock to the back of each card, I butted pink yarn against the outside edges and zig-zagged it down-front and back-to finish.

     I'll be sending some of the postcards back to my shop in Michigan and some to family and friends (maybe you?). This whole project was fun, and I tried out some new techniques on a small scale.  More "mail art" in the future!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge Journal

     I finally finished constructing my "HIGHLY PRIZED" journal today and decided to share: 

     I was very excited by an article in the newest Cloth Paper Scissors in which the authors constructed a small journal using a file folder and decorative papers.  Since that journal wouldn't be big enough to hold the water-color pages I had in mind, I set about expanding their idea by using two folders ( and part of another).  I also made use of my own hand-printed fabric instead of paper and added some small clips to hold my entries in place. 

     Yesterday I spent the morning driving around with my camera and watercolor pack, looking for inspiration and simply enjoying myself.  I took lots of pictures of "my mountains" and then ended up on the side of the road sketching and painting one view of three mountain ranges from my car:  Superstitions (my nearest favorite); Four Peaks (farthest vista); and the wonderful Goldfields.  I LOVE them all!

      I also stopped often to clip small sprigs of  leafy (not cacti this time) plants to take home and sketch.  The desert is very conservative with green leaves:  they are usually small, often waxy, and sometimes thorny, but appreciated (highly prized!) by all. 

     I will slip these pages into my journal  (along with my binoculars sketch--see previous post) and keep working to fill the remaining slots (grandchildren, daughters, birds, books, Bernina--hmmmmm).  I will probably add some other embellishment as I go.  Next month will hold another themed challange and perhaps a similar journal--I'm still pondering . . .     

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Pile of Scraps

      I decided to try something different to get ready for Valentine's Day.  Postcards!!  I dug out my very limited Arizona stash and sorted the pink, white, cream, silky, sheer, glitzy fabrics into a small pile.  After cutting an 18 by 24 inch piece of batting, I started slicing up the pile and collaging the pieces into some kind of balanced whole.  I pinned them down and carefully free-motion stitched it all together.  (Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture . . .)

 Using a couple of quick watercolor sketches of roses, I photographed and input them into my Photoshop program.  I printed the images onto tea bags using a super step-by-step tutorial from Judy Coates Perez .  After applying Misty Fuse to the backs of the teabag roses, I trimmed and applied them strategically to the collaged piece, then cut it into 4x6 inch pieces and began looking for further embellishments.  Stay tuned!!!


Monday, January 10, 2011

The Cards!

I also carved a new stamp of a Tufted Titmouse which I printed and enhanced, but I wasn't happy with how it played against the background.  Yesterday, I made a new background and a few cards.  I'm still not completely satisfied with the results, so I'll probably experiment with some other color compinations and see what happens. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Putting Stuff Together

Before I left for RI, I printed several background fabrics to make journal and notepad covers for my shop back in Midland, MI. There is still one piece of fabric hanging on  my the design wall.

I decided to try something different--making notecards that could also be used as small stand-alone art. Using my hand-carved bird stamps, I made
several prints of chickadees and cardinals on white fabric.

These first stampings are pretty rough, so I got busy with my fabric paint and water-color pencils to enchance the poor birds a bit.

The next step with be to slice up the background, put fusible web on the birds, and cut them out. Tomorrow!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'M BACK!!!! and sketching!

I'm finally back in AZ and playing catch-up big time. After flying in from RI on Monday, I have used most of my energy setting up a rental unit for occupancy--NOT FUN.

I have spent my "free" time joining three SKTECH BOOK groups: Jane La Fazio's on line class (Joggles) which starts on Jan. 20; Strathmore
Online Workshops
--workshop 2, starting in March; and the SKETCHBOOK CHALLANGE I'm hopeful sure these will keep me motivated to start journaling on a daily basis.

I did my first sketch for the SB Challange (Highly Prized theme) this morning with a quick technique learned from Jane in her San Diego workshop. Using a TOMBOW water-soluable pen, I sketched my birding binoculars without lifting the pen (OK, I cheated a little) and then used my waterbrush to blend and shade the black. It's never perfect, but lots of fun.