Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fabric Collage

Fabric Collage
3 1/2" x 6 1/2", 
hand-stitched, beaded, embroidered,
lace, paper, fabric & felt.
Felt backing stitched by hand
with buttonhole stitch around
outside edge.

An exercise in cream, white & tan.
These could be bookmarks, or
hung up on the wall as art.

The paper scraps are from a
vintage French textbook.
The fabrics and lace were
mostly scraps I had on hand.
Buttons and beads add
some sparkle, along with circles of
fabric or felt edged with
buttonhole stitch.

I call this fabric collage because
a traditional seamstress would not usually
have unfinished edges showing.
I did whip some edges with thread,
but some I did not.  The 
 paper gives additional
texture. I coated the paper with
gloss medium & let dry before
sewing onto the base fabric, which
gave the vintage paper more strength.
Had a lot of fun creating these
for gifts and made about a dozen!
Sewing gifts has been the order
of the day this Christmas.
Looking forward to drawing, painting
and art journaling again!

Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Collection

My growing Santa collection...
includes Father Christmas 
and Santa Claus,
homemade and purchased,
fabric and paper...

On the top shelf you'll see a
very simple Santa made from yarn--
I made that when I was in high school!
I'm not telling how long ago...

The Santa on the far left was made by
my dear friend Diana. He is adorable!
The Father Christmases (no faces)
I made myself. The sleds were from
Boyd's Bears.
I didn't intentionally start collecting
Santas. It just kind of happened.
Then it tends to snowball!

There are more Santas on the tree,
but this little doll is also a favorite.

Our decorations are quite eclectic.
Hand-crocheted by my grandmother,
cross-stitched or sewn by me,
glass and wood, and yes,
plastic too. The non-breakables
are near the bottom of the tree
this year in honor of my 
14 month-old granddaughter!
The little wreath made from 
puzzle pieces was made by my 
daughter-in-law--very cute and clever!
I always leave the tree up until
New Year's Day. Sometimes I'm
slow to take it down, and my
husband says I should just
make it a Valentine's tree...hmmm.
Lots and lots of hearts...
What do you think?

Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bits of Rust

Pages for a swap
done on watercolor paper.
The theme of the recipient's book
is Rust, a bit of a challenge for me
since I am often drawn to
using bright colors in my work.
Subdued color and actual
rusted metal was the goal.
Managed to work in some
copper, fabric, metallic thread
and painted cardstock as well.

A bit of embroidered fabric is combined
here with rusty bits--washers I think--
watercolor, metallic thread, stamped designs,
and a DaVinci quote.

Back of page with a library pocket
to hold a tag. Copper wire,
silk leaves in a "copper" color, fabric,
and a rusted flattened bottle cap
are incorporated here.


Tag inside the library card pocket,
with an original poem and
a vintage charm from my
grandmother's stash of
craft supplies.
These pages are about 8 12" x 11"
and holes were punched to 
be collected into a ring binder.

A swap is a good way to stretch
yourself and try subjects you
wouldn't otherwise consider!

Friday, November 12, 2010


The Greek term for
"Mary: the one who gives birth to God"
watercolor, 8" x 11"
in my hardback art journal.
The paper in this art journal is not
for water media, and so it was 
difficult to get the shading
smooth as I would like.
The paper absorbs the water
and wrinkles. So my next art journal
will have heavier paper for mixed media.
Below, is the photo used as my model.

Color illustration from the book
Early Christian & Byzantine Art
by John Lowden, 1997.
In the illustration in the book, 
Mary's head is about one inch square,
so my version is greatly enlarged.
The actual original artwork is a mosaic in 
the apse of a large church,
St. Sophia in Istanbul, and the figures of the
mosaic are about 16 ft. 4 in. tall!
(Click on the image for enlarged view)
Since they are seen from far below,
however, they seem relatively small
to the viewer.(According to the
author of the book.) I found Mary's 
face and expression quite sweet, 
and was inspired to try creating
my own version.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Greetings!

Special thanks to Diana, who created
the background for this piece: layers of
assorted papers, including music, scrapbook,
and text from a book.  I completed the
piece with images that are
color copies of watercolors I did several
years ago, based on vintage Halloween.
Added some off-white acrylic paint over
the papers, stamped swirls, then adhered
images cut from cardstock copies. 
Text written in marker. Black inked
the edges, and then decided to add
dark brown chalk pastel for a
darker frame.

 Also sharing a couple of pages
from my hardback art journal that
were created quickly, using images
that I had collected, but didn't
really fit into any of my recent
work.  Sometimes it's good to
just do something to get going.
The grid format created by the
tags really makes it less complicated
to finish the page...

I really like the juxtaposition of
unrelated images, but often
find it difficult to pull off,
so I tried not to over think
the process this time...
Inspired by a Michelle Ward
GPP Street Team challenge.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Art Journal Pages

Last spread in my little watercolor art journal.  Watercolor, Sharpie marker, white Signo Uni-ball pen, assorted painted papers and fabric.  The profile above is actually paint on fabric.

The square mini-collages are  1 1/2" and I make these up several at a time, not knowing how I will end up using them.  The blue section on the right is a 'flap.'

This is what is underneath the blue 'flap.'  The quote is from a poem entitled "Beauty" by E-Yeh-Sure:

Beauty is seen
In the sunlight,
The trees, the birds,
Corn growing and people working
Or dancing for their harvest.

Beauty is heard
In the night,
Wind sighing, rain falling,
Or a singer chanting
Anything earnest.

Beauty is in yourself.
Good deeds, happy thoughts
That repeat themselves
In your dreams,
In your work,
And even in your rest.


Watercolor and calligraphy on 
watercolor paper.  Collage elements
of painted cheesecloth, papers, fabric
and tissue paper.
A previous post showed
the 'sneak peek' of just the
trees on the left.
Our cottonwood trees 'modeled'
for this painting. 
Now these trees in our yard
are bare.
The leaves turn brown
and fall.  We have to look to
our Maple trees for color 
in the fall!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Pages

A new page in the Green Journal.
The original page is shown below.
I painted the envelope with watercolor,
painted the margin nearest the spine
with acrylic, and added scraps of
painted papers, collage images,
fabric, scrapbook papers, and 
handwritten text.
(click on the image to enlarge)

The tag inside the envelope
shows a poem through the window,
also handwritten text:
November Night
by Adelaide Crapsey

with faint dry sound,
like steps of passing ghosts,
the leaves, frost crisp'd,
break from the trees
and fall.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Art Community

Mixed media Art Journal,(which I have dubbed 'The Green Journal') created by Elizabeth of the Altered Book Lover blog.  I continue to be inspired  by her quirky and creative combinations of paper, fabric and images.  This is another set of pages from that journal.  (Click on any image for a closer look.)

After a wonderful day spent with Art friends in Ohio,  I felt the need to count my blessings: for the people who 'get' my art, who encourage me, who help me grow, and provide much needed support.  Thank you to all, both 'face to face' friends, and the on-line community! 

The Green Journal continues:  the tan page (above) with border added and hand-written text, top.  Bottom, the page as it was before altering. E had applied subtle color, and there is a wonderful sparkle to the page that doesn't come through on the scan.

E created the lovely red flowered page (above) with a white envelope protruding from the back side...and the little red bird cut-out.  I added some old wallpaper images before I realized I needed a 'before' picture.  After scanning, I then added fabric and hand-written text. I decided to stop here, as I feel the richly patterned surface is complete.

As I enjoyed laughter, artwork, and techniques with my art friends, we discussed something that you may have discovered yourself, or may be surprised to know.
"What do you do with it?"  people may ask--referring to your art.  It is my belief that the finished product is not necessarily the most important thing.  The process of learning, creating, and enjoying that process can be very therapeutic. Recent research shows that people need to play, even when they are adults. It is a way to relieve stress, have fun, and actually helps us focus and problem solve in other areas of life as a result.  Artists probably didn't need research to tell us this. I think we have always known.  Have some fun with art today!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Various Inspirations

Here is a partial view of a 
mixed media & watercolor
that I've done for a private swap...
some of the cottonwoods 
in our yard.

Mixed media art journal page
in my watercolor journal. 
Scraps of leftover paper & fabric,
craft acrylic paint, and marker.
5 3/4 inches wide by 9 inches high.

Problem Corrected, Hopefully

After much fiddling, downloading of programs,
and generally trying everything he could think of,
my dear husband thinks he has 
corrected my Blogger problem.
At least. We think so. Only time will tell.
He's not even sure which thing he tried
was the actual fix...
Very glad to be back--
I really missed being able to stay
in touch with the blogging community!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Technical Problems

My computer has been infected with spyware
 and is not letting me log into Blogger.
 I keep getting a "connection interrupted" message... 
I am posting this from another machine to let you know
 I may be away from "blogland" for a bit...
DH has purchased some software to 
take care of the problem, but it may
take a bit of time and effort to 
get back to normal.
Still making art and looking forward
to sharing it with you.
Thanks for your comments
and encouragement. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Warhol Soup

The Green Journal had a great line drawing
of a Campbell's soup can, just begging
to be colored in...a la Warhol style...
quotes from Andy Warhol surround 
the completed image...

Here is the page before I 
attacked it with fluorescent 
highlighters and my trusty
Extra Fine Point Sharpie marker.
The stitching makes 
great additional texture.

More pages of the Green Journal
to come in the future...

"I am a deeply superficial person."  - Andy Warhol

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Journal Pages

I am trying the new Design version of Blogger, but it doesn't seem to be letting me insert text between the images...(gnashing of teeth & sounds of frustration here)
Any suggestions would be appreciated...I am not so great at the technology part of blogging...guess I need to break down and look for instructions...

These are pages in the Green Journal that Elizabeth made for me.  It is delightful that she included so many different types of paper, sizes of pages, and clear acetate pockets to put stuff in.  I forgot to take "before" pictures...sorry!
Elizabeth had sewn on the pieces of photo film, so that's what prompted me to put in the movie ticket stubs and an image for the movie 'Prince of Persia.'  The letters spelling out "create" were also included by E.  I'm not sure what prompted me to do the paper cut out face graphic, but I am pleased with the way it turned out. I didn't sketch it first, just grabbed the scissors and started cutting...and
I like how the face peeks out from behind the pages preceding it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Art Journal Self-Portrait

Another background painted while
using up the colors on my palette.
Later, I sketched myself in pencil
and went over it in Sharpie marker.
The serious expression is just
because I didn't want to attempt
to hold a smile during the time it
took to draw myself in front of the
bathroom mirror! Seeing my face
in yellow is interesting. I find it a
happy color, but don't wear it because
I don't think it goes well with my
complexion coloring. Odd.
My husband said this was
"pretty good," so I guess it does
resemble me...but our impression
of our appearance in our own mind
may not match up with what is
physically there. I think I still see
myself as I was in my twenties. Is that
when our sense of 'self' matures?
So perhaps I need to do another
that is 'more honest,' reflecting
a few more wrinkles and graying hair.
Or, better yet, an abstraction!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Art Journal Cover

Pieced cotton fabrics embellished with
felt, painted fabric, painted paper, buttons,
beads, found objects and assorted charms.
This is one of my submissions for the
Cloth Paper Scissors Artisan competition.
You can see all the entries here.
Had a fun time creating this cover and
really went all out with the embellishing.
Felt is used inside the quilted "sandwich"
and the inside covers have painted muslin
as the foundation. I made pages from
watercolor paper, and look forward to
working in this journal. Problem is, I
have about five journals going at once.
Stop by the Cloth Paper Scissors
website and view all the fantastic entries...
and cross your fingers for me...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Religious Icon

My version of
Our Lady of Guadalupe, in my
hardback journal. Background is craft acrylic
paint -- "use up the paint left on the palette."
The image is done in watercolor, which
made for an interesting texture. The background
shows through the transparent watercolors.
I was doing some research on-line recently,
looking for ideas for Mexican Folk Art.
There is an extremely wide variety of
things available. I like the bright colors
and primitive quality of the works,
though of course there are master artists
who do much more realistic paintings as well.
Pottery, woodcarving, textiles,
religious icons, Day of the Dead...
very inspiring stuff!
Here are some links to a few sites I found:
Hearst Museum
Day of the Dead Art
Bel's Nook - Belinda Schneider's blog

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sketchbook Revisited: 2004-2005

We used to call them Sketchbooks.
Now the "In" term is Visual Journal.
Mine contain quotes, notes from things
I've read, sketches, plans, some finished
visual art, some unfinished ideas.

Above is a collage of magazine textures over a
background painted with poster paints.
Click on any image for a closer view.

An artist's quote and
my drawings...just to make me happy.
The top of this page's drawing was
inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe landscapes.
Pen and colored pencil.

Quotes from rock songs that I
heard on the radio. Drawing in
blue crayon.

Watercolor & pen of wheat field stubble--
view from my parent's living room window.
I was doing 'elder care' for my
96 - yr- old grandma
at the time, and every time I look at this
painting, I think of her.

Pen and watercolor --
birds are a challenge and
I believe I worked from photos
in a bird watcher's book.

Pen and colored pencil from a photo.

Pen drawing from a poster --
it was in McDonald's. They were promoting
the movie and the Happy Meals
had Lilo & Stitch toys.
I couldn't resist this
cartoon & caption!

Last but not least,
pen drawing of an antique family register
drawn from a library book photo. I wanted
to make a record of this layout, in case
I decided to utilize it for my own work.
These primitive records
are fascinating, often decorated with flowering
vines, angels, even coffins with the names
of deceased family members. Having
painted a family tree myself, I know
these are challenging to plan & execute,
but so satisfying to complete.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Small Things

A very quick journal page in
my hard-back art journal...
this started with writing down the haiku
then adding the quote from a book
that I was reading. ( I recommend it by the way. It is actually for young readers, but definitely fun!)
These were written down several days apart.
Then some leftover scraps of fabric
were added, and some painted paper.
I really liked the color & pattern
combinations of

these scraps, so even though they were only
about one-half inch in size, I slapped them
on the page anyway, and then
added doodles.
I don't usually leave the page white, and
am wondering if I should add a watercolor
wash, but hesitate to mess it up. Will live
with it for a while and revisit the decision.
The dots are from punching holes for
binding an art swap project...again-
I couldn't just throw them away.
The colors were fun and
added whimsy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Green Journal Bingo

The first page, above, from the Green Journal, sent to me by Elizabeth. I got in a
hurry and glued on a bit of cranberry tea packaging before I remembered to scan the page for a "before" shot! Don't you just love the little bird sticking up on one of the following pages? Below is what I did with this fun substrate...

I put a thin coat of gesso on the Bingo card, added painted papers, drawings with marker and a fabric strip at the bottom. The text is cut from a book to create "found poetry." It reads:

Sometimes I feel like
spirit and energy brings
simple, profound, golden
a garden.
I whispered

You can click on any image to see a larger view. Below is the next page, with some text already begun on the page. A clear sleeve is cleverly attached to the edge of the previous page, so it folds out and can be filled with whatever I like. I am working on little collages to fit into the space.

My journals are usually about the visual art rather than the writing, but I am going to try to do a mix for this journal...I often use quotes that strike my fancy, but for this journal I am going to try to include some personal insights...moving out of my comfort zone a bit! Either way, visual art or writing most prominent, I find that it is relaxing and healing...