Friday, September 30, 2011

thread and patterns

have you checked out the we love french knots website yet? if you like fabric and stitching, you will definitely find some eye candy. bari j. has been highlighting various embroidery pattern designers and they are all so varied in their designs. this got me thinking about my own work and how my botanical drawings would translate to thread.

this image is a scan of my first attempt to bring my drawings to life on fabric and i think it turned out rather lovely. i used a vintage sheet as the background to bring in some more interest and detail, then went to town sewing. it came together really quickly and i think because i outline all my flowers in black ink, that they could translated to this medium very well. what are your thoughts? would you be interested in seeing me offer downloadable pdf patterns in my shop?

up next? my tiger lily...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

trash and treasures

this might only mean something to my fellow artists/graphic designers, but how cool is this box of super 77 spray adhesive???

my husband works in a solvent plant and they recently changed how they attach labels to their product. which resulted in him bringing me home an entire case of extra large cans. this stuff is pretty pricey (for glue) and definitely my most frequently used product. seriously, it is amazing - well, unless you accidentally spray your fingers.

he has definitely scored some bonus points with this gift :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

art and soul

i am headed off to the portland, oregon art and soul retreat tonight. soooo excited! a week of doing nothing but creating art  - i can barely believe it.

i have packed all the supplies i need for classes, plus i am bringing a bunch of other things to do in my free time. what is the checked luggage weight limit again? i think i might go over a teensy bit!

i do have to admit that i am bit nervous for the classes though. if you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that i am not a painter, not even a little bit. i can tell you practically anything you need to know about pretty much any art/craft out there. technique, product, i am a wealth of info. but paint? no way! it has never been a medium that i was interested in. i think the root of this is because i like the small crazy details of creating art. i like things to be controlled, precise, and to line up and with painting, that kind of goes out the window.

i will always remember an art professor i had in college who tried to shake this obsessive perfection out of us. we must have spent 3 weeks on a 24x36 drawing. major time invested in getting everything right, getting the piece to look exactly like we wanted it to. at the end of those weeks, we all had masterpieces in our hands. however, what came next was enough to send many of us over the edge. the professor told us to cut our drawings up into tiny 2x2 inch pieces and then we were tasked to make a collage out of those pieces. i swear that class has scarred me to this day!

in recent years, i have come to realize that freely expressive, over the top, explosive art is just not in the cards for me. and that is ok. so why am i taking 2 painting classes you ask?  well one class was not intended, but was a last minute switch when the instructor of my original class canceled (reserving the awful rant that i could go into) and the other one, i found really interesting. and it really is ok to step out of your comfort zone once in a while.

so i am going in with an open mind and hopefully i will come out with some new skills and knowledge under my belt. oh, and some pretty canvases as well.

i have some posts scheduled for the next few days, but if you want to here about my adventures in portland, i will be updating twitter regularly!

Monday, September 26, 2011

canvases and frames

inspiration struck this weekend and i created this fabric wrapped, embroidered canvas picture frame. the photo is a sweet black and white pic of my brother when he was a toddler playing in a field of flowers. i loved embroidering flowers on top of the real flowers and bringing them to life. to finish, i added some color with watercolor pencils and a 3-dimensional fabric flower.

now my obsession is taking over and i am scouring family photos to find more captured moments!

Friday, September 16, 2011

rearranging and reminiscing

do you guys rearrange your house all the time? i am constantly moving things from one room to the next and sometimes back again. as a little girl, i remember always wanting to move my room around and that desire has never left me. i am a person that likes change and gets a bit restless living in a house for more than 5 years (crazy, huh?), so my cure is to rearrange and redecorate. i am drawn towards little moments in decorating - the unexpected when you turn a corner. i have my grandmothers spoon collection and recently it has landed in a tiny corner of the dining room. at first, it bothered me that it wasn't more predominantly displayed, but now, i really like this vignette. the spoons displayed with some of my vintage aprons work well nestled in between the white cabinet and the wall.

my next decision was to finally bring my collection of glass spice jars out of the attic where they were placed 5 years ago on moving day. i have been waiting to pull them out until i find the perfect spice jar labels. well, i hunt and scour the internet for labels, but none of them are quite right. i know i should just make my own, but i'm being a tad bit lazy in that department.

so up they went, completely naked and unfilled. in all their emptiness, i still find them awfully pretty. as long as they put a smile on my face, i don't need to rush to fill them. at least that is what i am telling myself :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

loveliest and beauty

this week has blissfully been filled with embroidery, sewing, and shipping etsy orders. all of which has put a huge smile on my face. i managed to photograph 2 of my new hoops and put them in the shop this morning. i just think they are the sweetest things ever! (no modesty here ;)

i love, love, love using the vintage hankies as a background for my embroidery. you also get great discoloration in the fabric since they are so old. tea-staining can't touch what nature does on its own!

Monday, September 12, 2011

simplicity and a daisy

happy monday! i finished another botanical drawing over the weekend - this time a daisy, the birth flower for april. i was struggling a bit at the start with how to draw a white flower on white paper, but in the end, it came together pretty quickly and i love the lightness of the piece. i am also in love with the leaf, because if you didn't know, i dread drawing leaves. it is really tough for me to get them to look dimensional, especially with this one because the leaves on my daisy were pretty old and shriveled, so there was a lot of improvisation.

up next is a gladiola for august.

Friday, September 9, 2011

beauty and life

the sun has popped out of the sky today, but for the past week, it has been unseasonably cold and rainy. it has been the perfect weather for some embroidery, a blanket and a movie. due to my estate sale habit, i have an overflowing bin of vintage hankies that i absolutely cannot pass up. they are the perfect size for my small wooden and metal embroidery hoops and i love making little pieces of art with them.

how cool is the above oval hoop??? it is very old and uses a tiny spring as its tightening mechanism. truth be told, it took me more than a few minutes to figure out how to work it!
i am working on a batch of 10 of these sweet vignettes and will have them in the shop soon.

i wonder if square embroidery hoops were ever made - has anyone ever found one?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

spin and sparkle

i'm so excited to post my new tutorial for mayarts - a nursery mobile that spins and sparkles.

i love going to thrift stores and sales with my friends because i am always interested in what they find as well as what i find. sometimes you need your friends to help you think outside of the box. one of my partners in crime, joy, picked up a couple of bike wheel frames the other month to hang on her son's wall and i couldn't help think about how cute it would be turned into a mobile. i ordered some blue velvet trim and this amazing white iridescent ribbon to start my project and it all came together very quickly. i always cringe when i think about defacing books, but i had one lying around that had been scribbled with crayon and in all around bad shape. i think the only exception for cutting up books is if they are meant for the trash bin and you are transforming them into something wonderful!

are you decorating a nursery or heading to a baby shower? click here to download instructions for this mobile that will be sure to mesmerize any baby.

Monday, September 5, 2011

art and design

since my days are my own again, i have finally found time to digitally finish my botanical drawings. yay for me!

my prints begin as fully finished colored pencil drawings, then i scan them in and add the words and border digitally. i love combining my two passions of fine art and graphic design to get something complete unique and totally me. this batch brings my total of prints up to 8 which means i only have 4 more to do before i have enough for my calendar dream. well, actually 5, because a hydrangea is not associated with any month, i just did that one because they are my favorite!

what is your favorite flower? i just might throw one into the mix as well :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

glitter and stars

i'm working on a new tutorial for MayArts and i am so, so, so excited to finish so i can show it to you. i am editing photos right now and then it's time to write out the tutorial so everyone can make it.

the photo taking was quite hilarious! one of the ribbons i am using has these irredescent flakes on it, but my camera wasn't picking up the sparkle. enter brillant idea #1 for the day (possibly the week). i had a flashlight in one hand, shining a light on the ribbon, while taking pics with my other hand. all while standing with one foot on my couch and one foot on my bed. anything for the perfect shot, right?

now, any guesses on what i am making???


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