Tuesday, March 30, 2010

...of Flying Hearts and Heartfelt Quilts

Busy, Busy Busy!

I’ve been racing around like a mad chook! I have house guests arriving today (my brother, his wife and 3 kiddies). They are staying for Easter and I’m so looking forward to catching up as it’s been at least 18 months since we’ve all seen each other….

So, housework has been on the agenda. (Not my favourite past-time)… and as much as I say to myself ‘They’ll just have to take us as we are’…. Part of me wants to have the place looking at least respectable! So……….Blah! Nearly done now; hopefully I'll even get a bit of stitching done before they arrive!

Besides that; I’ve got my new car! Oh joy, it’s divine and I love it!

Heart with Wings (Working Title)

I’ve been working on the Flying Heart piece… It’s grown somewhat and I made a new Heart with Wings as the other one is too small now! (I’ll use it somewhere else I’m sure!) It’s mostly an evening stitching project and is coming along quite quickly.

Heart with Wings - Whole piece
Now reorientated so there is more sky at the top!
Heart with Wings WIP

Also, it’s hubble’s 50 birthday in July and I want to finish a quilt for him. I started it nearly 2 years ago and haven’t even looked at it for probably more than a year! He keeps hinting though… and I’d love to have it done for him. In the six years we've been together the only thing I've ever made him is a pair of boxers! 

Jon's Quilt
WIP 36 blocks done-only 74 to go!
Kaffe Fasset Venetian Tile Quilt Design

The quilt is TRADITIONAL! …a gorgeous Kaffe Fassett design. The only traditional quilts I have ever made were a Log Cabin baby quilt for dear friends about 15 years ago and another Kaffe Fassett top that hangs unfinished on an old ladder in my dining room! It’s a lattice design and I love it but just haven’t got around to putting on the border and finishing it!

Unfinished Quilt Top
Kaffe Fassett Lattice Quilt Design
I have found a fairly local lady who quilts professionally and I will be taking Jon’s quilt to her once I’ve finished piecing. I’ve struggled with a square metre sized quilt under my sewing machine; I can only imagine how much fun I would have trying to machine quilt this huge piece! I would love to hand quilt it for him but I imagine he wouldn’t actually receive it until he was closer to 90! Maybe I could start another for him that I can hand stitch……. Now that I have a deadline to work toward to get it to the quilting lady…; I’m a little possessed! I need to make up 2.6 blocks per day! So far I’m averaging that! … I hope I can duck away to the studio for some sanity and stitching whilst my visitors are here….!   ; )

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

...of Dragons and Hearts with Wings!

I found some beautifully dyed variegated threads at Cottage Garden Threads... I came across the name on a blog, did a search and now I'm in looooooove and need to order some! I've been using mainly the DMC variegated series but have also used a few of the Anchor threads (which I've not liked as much because the colour changes tend to be too short and not as subtle!) The Cottage Garden Threads are available online at: Orange Daisy.. Yum!

Yesterday's sunset in the Dungowan Valley

What a wonderful week it has been already! I raced all over town today; finally changing my name on the last few bank accounts and a few other official things that had slipped through the net. (We've only been married 5 years! Can't rush these things!) I've been procrastinating because I thought it was going to be much more difficult than it turned out to be! Thank you to the lovely girls who helped me do this almost effortlessly today!

I did my grocery shop and had the most wonderful surprise when I arrived home! My Green Eyed Dragon that I listed on Etsy has sold! I'm so pleased! The buyer sounds just lovely and assures me that he is going to a loving home!

The week isn't over yet and is only getting better and better! I arranged insurance for my new car which arrives on Friday! (Lucky, Lucky me!)

To top everything off- I've just had a call from work and they don't need me tomorrow so I have a full studio day! YAY! (Not that I don't love work- it's just I love being here too!)

Here's a little look at some pieces I've been working on....

 Two pieces of hand dyed silk
woven and stitched together

Red Silk and White cotton strips
Woven and stitched together

The red and white checkerboard and the blue squares are my experiments with Jude Hill's fabulous slow cloth fabric weaving technique at SpiritCloth. Here's a link to her video tutorial blog entry... which is serene and educational all at once! These little pieces were sooooo much fun to make! The blue squares are about 1" (2.5cm) square and the R+W about 3/4". 

The blue and white piece on the right is a hand dyed piece of linen from my last dye batch 
the heart with wings is from my River of Tears divorce journal...

I want to put all these components together; but may need to dye some more fabric or at least play around a little to make it work. I am going to add a few words but don't want to pre-empt them just yet. They are words I used to pump myself up at particularly trying times when going through a pretty yucky divorce. I had to work hard to get there; but they helped once I got to the point of being able to say them! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

tee hee, it's about me!

The lovely Jane over at QuiltersCottageNorfolk has received my BLUE MOON inspired ATC swap and posted about it here! I’m honoured!... it’s so weird seeing your own work on someone else’s blog and what a gorgeous photo, Jane! Thank you! (Seems like I finished and wrapped it just a few days ago and now it’s around the other side of the world!)So, I can post my photo now!

Moon Shadow ATC

Discharge Dyed Denim, Organza, Tim Holtz Bird Stamp, Stamped Tree - embroidered
Embroidered MoonBeams, Machine stitched edging, starry denim backing with label,
silk and varioius fibre tassel

Blue Moon ATC Swap
Top: Sandi Manning
Bottom: Jane Clark

I really enjoyed this swap; (challenging as it was for me!) ....so thank you Jane!

I would love to do an ATC or similar swap with whoever is interested… just leave me a comment….

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3 Pretty Sisters

I’m finally able to post my entry for the Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine Readers Challenge- ‘Make it Pretty’! I checked their website today and the finalists are listed. -not me, but CONGRATULATIONS to all the finalists and I can’t wait to see all the finished mixed media artwork in the magazine!

Here are 3 sisters; each pretty in their own way.
I admire women who are strong and have a sense of self; who love themselves as they are. There is often a rivalry between sisters and friends as to who is the ‘pretty one’ or the ‘clever one’. These three sisters shine in their own way; they are happy to be different and happy to be themselves.

The Three Sisters
Mini Art Quilt
12" x12" (30cm x 30cm)

My inspiration is a dream-time aboriginal story that explains the natural rock formation known as ‘The Three Sisters’ at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia. This is the version I like best although the other does include a Bunyip! The three beautiful sisters fell in love with 3 brothers from another tribe to whom it was against tribal law to marry. The brothers decided to steal them away and a battle ensued. The 3 sisters were turned to stone for their own safety by a tribal elder (some say it was their witch doctor father) - but he died in the battle and they couldn’t be turned back. Even as stone, they are still beautiful……………………

The Three Sisters - detail
Mini Art Quilt
12" x12" (30cm x 30cm)

The Three Sisters - detail
Mini Art Quilt
12" x12" (30cm x 30cm)

Beauty is so much more than skin deep; I believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that we are all pretty whether we are tall or short, plump or thin, have blue, brown, green, grey, or hazel eyes; whatever our skin colour, or age. Sometimes it’s on the surface, sometimes deeper down.

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Methods and Materials:

The background is thin printed cotton muslin over red and white polka dot cotton. The dots were visible through the muslin and daisies were embroidered around alternate polka dots with a variegated perle thread and leaves with 3 strands of embroidery floss.

The sisters’ faces were painted onto a piece of onion dyed silk with fabric paint, acrylic paint and textile medium. The circular faces were cut from the silk and needle turn appliquéd to their halo collars which were made of rust dyed silk and muslin. Buttonhole and Running stitch were used to embellish the haloes. The faces were slit from behind and stuffed with wadding.

The sisters’ dresses were made from various pieces of sari silks and cottons. Running stitch was used to outline design elements and attach the pieces to the background. Various novelty fringing/yarns were attached to the sisters’ halo collars as they were stitched to the background. Other embellishments include a piece of hand dyed vintage lace, and a piece of rust dyed corded silk (under the lace).

The quilt consists of wool batting and commercially printed cotton backing. Binding was made from silk, commercially printed cotton and sari cottons.

Most of the fabrics were in my stash; but the beautiful embellished sari silks and cottons were purchased from Manasi's etsy store:Yarnahoy.
Feb 2010

Please go and check out Yarnahoy's store- Manasi has some beautiful fabrics (and rovings) and gives a generous 20% discount on future purchases if you blog about what you made with fabric purchased from her! There are other ways to earn a discount too.... ( I've just received another bundle of scrap sari fabrics from her and they are truely delicious!) She has just returned from a trip to India, so will have lots of new and tempting fabrics for your textile art!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

of Integrity and Earthiness

On Monday I received the most beautiful pendant from Te at Soewn Earth in Tasmania, Australia! Wow, I was completely blown away with her presentation and generosity! The oval clay pendant that I ordered is divine, as was the beautiful hand dyed and embroidered pouch that it came in, complete with silk twisted cord and clay beads… and the most beautiful clay button. The texture on these are amazing. She has an etsy store here where she sells textile packs & clay bead earrings among other handmade items. I believe she will be adding the pendants to her store soon …….! Here is a link to her blog and her website. …  Her work is so integrally earthy. They are even more gorgeous in real life!

Gorgeous Earthy Parcel from Te at Seown Earth

My attempt at an early morning sunshine arsty photo on background of hand dyed and stitched silk! (the back of Where will the Journey End)
I couldn't resist ,as the silk pouch and my silk were almost the same colour. Te's pouch is beautifully handstitched.

Te's beautiful hand made pouch!

Te's beautiful oval clay pendant. Isn't that texture divine?
(photo is a little warped again- sorry!)

of Stamps, Midnight Moonlight and Birthday Sleepovers

I also received my Tim Holtz stamps from Karen at 1papercut etsy store. They were beautifully wrapped, and … included a litle gifty of another little set of arty stamps. Beautiful. Go check out her store; she has stamping/journalling supplies. The Tim Holtz stamps are to die for...[never thought I'd be into stamps but..... : ) ] He is a wonderful designer... Here's a link to his website .

I've finally finished my Blue Moon ATC swap for Jane Clark at  Quilters Cottage Norfolk. It is actually take 2 as I wasn’t happy with how the first was turning out! I’m much happier with this one and I really hope she likes it! [no photos until I know she’s received it though!] It's called Moon Shadow as the Cat Stevens song was playing as I was finishing up and it seemed appropriate!

...and just so you know that I really am doing something on my studio days; here's an update of the little hand dyed lace piece. I'm liking how the Rose is looking with the variegated thread (one of my favourite things at the moment!)

The weekend was busy running around after my kids' social lives! (Their social calendar is definitely busier than mine!) It was also my youngest's 11th Birthday on Sunday and he had a couple of his wee mates sleep over on Sat night. They had a pizza/DVD night and no-one got  to sleep until afte midnight! Mack (short for Mackenzie) is on the right getting ready to blow out the single candle on his six egg sponge cake - which was enjoyed by all!

Birthday Boy!

Cinderella is off to town today to buy a dress for the ball!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Once upon a time there was a Dragon....

.......and now he is complete and up for sale in my Etsy store!

Green Eyed Dragon
Complete! with pashima shawl fringe

Hand dyed vintage embroidered linen backing
Hanging sleeve top left and pashima shawl fringe bottom right

Corner Detail - Double Cross and French Knot
I love the variegated thread cross stitches that fitted perfectly along the drawn thread type edging on the vintage linen.
Vintage Tie Label and Shadow work

I'm so pleased with how he turned out! The End.

Happy Days!

I’m in seventh heaven today! Totally appreciative of my studio time and in awe of all the wonderful artists -and their work- out there!

I received my Love Gone Wild ATC Swap parcel today and am absolutely blown away! A special thankyou to: (Clockwise from bottom left) Sabine Schneider, Lynda Roddy Ozzauto, Sarah Boblit and Joy Meadows. Your work is divine and I love each one of your ATCs! I will learn a lot from each of them too……. The 5th you may recognize as mine ( I made a couple of extras- one to keep with my swaps when they arrived. I may get them framed altogether!)

This is extra sweet for me being my first ever swap (Imagine, my first ever ATCs – I’m officially hooked!)

An extra special thankyou to Lenna Andrews of Creative Swaps for being such a fantastic hostess and for sharing your creativity and allowing us to share our's too. (Check out her latest Swap!) ....and thank you to Vintage Image Madness too, for the bonus bundle- very generous!

In addition, I’ve received my Blue Moon ATC from Jane Clarke at Quilters Cottage………………… It is truly divine also! Beautiful beadwork atop a lovely mixed fabric background. Wow! ...and a gorgeous card made with some of the scraps- a work of art of it's own! I hope I can do the theme justice with my return swap! Thank you Jane!

Jane Clark Blue Moon ATC
Even the stamp and airmail sticker are true to theme!
I heard from my friend Sandie today! (Another Sandi -confusing I know!) She was lucky enough to go to a Helen Godden free motion quilting class over the weekend. Helen is very talented; Here is  link to her artwork and another to her art quilts ... go check it out! Sandie doesn't have a blog but says she keeps up with my puddleducking via my blog... so, a big hug to you Sandie!


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