Monday, February 08, 2016

Zen Stitching

I love to do handwork.  On an airplane, in my studio and at night at home.  It has become my nightly ritual with a lap of wool felt, embroidery thread, a long sharp needle and a pair of scissors
This project started because I had wanted something to hand stitch on a trip.  Who knew it would grow to become these great little squares of color, stitching and beauty?  Zen Stitching.  This is very relaxing work.  A group picture of what I have made so far

Made with wool felt, bamboo felt and wool.  The flowers are made from Sizzix die cuts, as well as the hexagons. Each element adds a little something to the square

Here are two just at the start, all pinned together ready for stitching

I am loving how different each one is
Felted flowers added and love the ric rac

The polka dot hexagons are felt too, from Target's Handmade section.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Where Women Create

I have wanted to have my studio in this magazine since I moved it out of my house in 2007. The day is finally here!  I am so excited to share my dream come true!  I am so honored to have my studio featured in the Winter issue of 'Where Women Create."  I wrote the article way back in July of 2015.  An amazing and exuberant photographer came to shoot my studio on a very hot day.
Sunday Hendrickson, photographer. I was so honored to have she and her daughter come to my studio and take pictures. I loved watching her work, and seeing my studio through her eyes, as she set up each shot. She is quite gifted and passionate about what she does.

Sunday and me after the photo shoot
Inside the magazine - the Where Women Create logo.  I love the hand.  It is so symbolic.

Upper left hand corner, a sneak peek of my studio!  So exciting!
In all honesty, this was the hardest article that I have ever written, because it was about me, my studio and my work. I didn't want to come off sounding like I was full of myself, and talk about all of my accomplishments, I mean who wants to read that?  I have worked hard to get where I am in my journey as a fiber artist, but I wanted to convey my story that came from my heart and soul, because that is where my art comes from. After about 10 drafts, and a few friends who could be completely honest with me, I was able to finish and send my 1,000 word essay. I hope you enjoy my article and the feature of my dream studio. It's on newstands now as of January 30, 2016. There is a link to the magazine in the left column. Still pinching myself!  Happy dance!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Craft Napa - a Remarkable Experience

Craft Napa started out with a trip to St. Helena for some shopping and lunch.  I tried on this great hat.  It sets the tone for the days ahead.

After Pokey's welcome to the students and introducing the teachers, we were all given swag bags full of wonderful treasures.  One was this white apron with hexagons and icons for this mixed media retreat.  We ALL headed to the bar to color with Crayola fabric markers and make the aprons our own.  Brilliant idea and fun to have the opportunity to chat with the attendees and teachers!
My schedule.  Day off, take a class as a student and teach a class as a teacher.  Perfect.  On the first day I sat in the main room of the Embassy Suites, where Craft Napa was taking place.  I had a lovely day painting with watercolors, and chatting with students and teachers on their breaks.

Craft Napa offered a wine blending night.  We were separated into five groups, with 1-2 teachers at each table.  We learned the in's and out's of wine blending - cliff note style.  Each table made their own blend.  It was great fun.  A judge from each table sat at the tasting table to taste each wine.  The winning team got to have their blend bottled and we were each given one the next day. It was such a hilarious, fun and delicious event.  I learned alot about the process.  Our wine came in 2nd.  I haven't opened the bottle of wine yet.

Here is Barbie who looks like me in the class that I took on advanced free motion quilting with Jenny K. Lyon.  What a great class and I learned so much.  I needed to find some more motifs to add to what I already use.  She is an amazing teacher and she draws - gotta love that.
  The Art Haus.  I provided pre-fused with Mistyfuse fabrics from Hoffman Fabrics.  Sizzix provided two Fabi (big shot) die cutting machines and dies. The house is made up of geometric shapes and stacked onto one another to create an 'Art Haus.'  Each student made a house that was uniquely their own, with a hexagon background made with blue Batiks and screen prints. My students were gracious, generous and totally fun. The time flew by.

Student work - isn't it amazing?  Hexi's all cut on a Sizzix machine.

This one has a flag and a walk-way - so whimsical!

Look at those fun elements!

Some really fun elements here - love the flowers and all of the windows

This was a horizontal format.  So fun.  I want to live there!

A short little movie with everyone sharing their work!  I was just bowled over at the creativity of my students.
A reunion of sorts, bringing back together me, Judy Coates Perez, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Pokey Bolton, Melly Testa and Jane La Fazio who in this picture were working in the first MIU at Festival in Long Beach, CA in 2008, and then reunited at Craft Napa in 2016

All of the teachers at Craft Napa at Pokey's Art Barn for a night of celebrating after classes were over. Such an incredible experience and I am still smiling over it all. Thank you Pokey Bolton for bringing us altogether to share, play, laugh and get to know each other on a more personal level.  If you are on Facebook, be sure to LIKE the Crafting a Life page for the latest up to date details of what is to come. Yay! Onward and upward!

Monday, January 04, 2016

Coloring Book #2

Whimsical Quilts & Notions is my newest coloring book!  It contains 12 pages to color on heavier paper that it one-sided, so you can use watercolor paints if you so desire. It is all drawn by hand. It has spiral binding, so the pages lay flat when you color.  Chip board on the back. You can use colored pencils and markers too. Sharpies or Copic markers work well too, but I would put a piece of paper behind the page, to prevent bleeding onto the next.  I've never had that happen, but it could. I am pretty excited to launch my newest book all about my passion for quilting. The theme is quilts and notions, so you get the idea from the front cover.
Whimsical Quilts & Notions is available now!  See icons in the right column.  US Residents only for now.  $19.95 each and $6.00 for shipping and handling.  A peek inside the book is below!

For a limited amount of time, I am offering Book 1 & 2 as a set for $35.00 and $6.00 Shipping & Handling.  That's two books with a $5.00 discount. Double the fun!  If you live nearby and want to pick up your book or books, please send me an email, and I can bill you without shipping.  There are three photos in the right column.  One for the first book, the second book and the set. Click on the one that you want to order. So excited about this!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Red Cup Art

The red cup marks the beginning of the holiday season for Starbucks.  There was a silly controversy about this cup not being in the holiday spirit because it was without artwork.  I look at this as an opportunity to make art on their cups.

Comfort and Joy

All about quilts
A collection of red cup art.  I went to Starbucks with the intention of buying cups for art.  They are 25 cents each.  I love to doodle with a black pen or marker...
and I love to doodle with my sewing machine.  So happy to say that I have an article in Cloth Paper Scissors 'Zen Doodle Workshop' Winter 2016 issue
Sneak peek into coloring book #2 'Whimsical Quilts & Notions' coming out in early 2016.  Drawn by hand, printed in heavier paper so you can use markers and water colors, and colored pencils too. Coil bound for easy coloring. Quilts, whimsy, notions and pure fun for your imagination!

Friday, December 04, 2015

The Art Haus and Craft Napa

Welcome to the Craft Napa Blog Hop!   I am so excited to be teaching at Craft Napa in January 2016! 

Here is the link to go sign up for a class or classes.  This is going to be a super fun event and you won't want to miss out. The perfect get away after the holiday, and a great way to begin the new year Registration deadline is December 15th. link:

·        CRAFT NAPA sponsors, BERNINA and Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers.

·        Okay, this is really cool. - there will be a big grand prize drawing that will happen after Pokey’s blog post.  Leave a comment on my blog and it will be considered in the big scheme of things.  Deadline for comments is December 10th at midnight PST.  The grand prize is a $500 Gift Certificate from eQuilter.  

Nov 30- Jane LaFazio –
Dec 1 – Lynn Krawczyk –
Dec 2 – Judy Coates Perez -
Dec 3 – Jenny K. Lyon -
Dec 4 – Jamie Fingal -
Dec 5 – Melanie Testa –
Dec 6 – Elizabeth St. Hilaire -
Dec 7– Leslie Jenison -
Dec 8- Carrie Bloomston -
Dec 9 – Cheryl Sleboda –
Dec 10 – Pokey Bolton -
Here's my class in a nutshell. Students will be given a variety of fabrics (materials fee) to make their own version of an art haus.  Everyone will learn how to use the remarkable product 'Mistyfuse' to fuse the fabrics. Most of the fabrics will be pre-fused ahead of time, because it is more fun just to start playing with the fabrics. Using a traditional shape to make a background that adds interest, texture and depth. They are all cut on a Sizzix die cutting machine.  Even more fun!  The house quilt is completely free motion machine quilted. 
A close up of part of an art haus, so you can see how fun the fabrics are going to be! I am all about having fun, and less about perfection.  My quilts don't have any batting, and there is no binding to make.  How does that sound?

The hexagon sky.  I love the texture, colors and the depth that these create.

The Sizzix Fabi machine is portable, light and easy to carry around your studio.  Using a die cut machine is alot easier than spending alot of time hand cutting the same design over and over again. This machine cuts 7-8 shapes at a time!

Blue sky hexagons

and we can make smaller hexagons for the landscape!
Thanks for joining us on the Blog Hop for Craft Napa.  I hope you will consider coming to this remarkable retreat in Napa, CA. I hope to see you there!  Call your BFF and come together to explore your artistic path at the retreat. Nine teachers and such a variety of classes to choose from.  I am teaching and taking a class!   Please leave a comment to be considered for the grand prize.  What do you want to learn in 2016 - art quilt wise?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Twirly Whirly Swirls class in Houston

The Twirly Whirly Swirls class in Houston was a full house (25 students).  They made a quilt for the wall using their own fabrics to create a one-of-a-kind wall hanging.  Everyone learned how to fuse with Mistyfuse (never have enough irons), and all about die cutting with Sizzix. They provided the machines and dies!  We used both a Big Shot Pro and a Fabi (which is a Big Shot) and 2 different sizes of spiral dies.  I loved seeing the variety of fabrics that everyone used.  Bernina provided sewing machines for my class, and they used the BSR.  Interestingly enough, only 1 person knew how to free motion machine quilt.  But, everyone had so much fun with the machines and setting themselves free with the BSR!  
This is the class sample 18x24 vertical format
and here is all of the student work, the ones that I was able to photograph.  They are amazing!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!