Sunday, August 30, 2009


You all remember little "Doodle Face"...

Well, my sweet friend Marie said this in her comment...

I love your doodle face, she is really cute. I can see her as painted quilted hanging for a little girls room. On a dowel with balls on the end and painted with colors to match with lines and dots on the dowel and ribbons of complimentary colors hanging from each side. With a banner under her face that says "wonder"...

Well, I certainly liked this idea and started to put my spin on it. I cut out the face shapes and then I drew her facial features directly onto the fabric with inktense pencils. Then I appliquéd them onto the background fabric with black stitching. Ohhh, this made her look spooky (but in a good way) so I didn't know where she was going to take me next. I made a small opening on the back of her eye lids and stuffed them trapunto style. I also gave her some glitzy beaded eyeliner.

I even machine embroidered eyebrows for her. You may notice her colorful tresses, they are from the last package from my sister, which included several balls of raw silk strips, somewhat like selvages. I thought they would be perfect for hair and everything just sorta snowballed from then on. I added strips of brightly colored fabric to the edges of the piece and I then stretched her over a previously used 16" x 20" canvas, with some batting underneath. I had originally been going to sew through the canvas and make some definition in that way, but the canvas had been painted and would not allow me to do this. Hmmm, now what? I was able to stitch some ceramic butterfly beads above her head, but...

She is still missing something and I knew I wanted wording below her face. (Thanks, Marie for that, too). In fact, I felt that she needed her name there, but since she was already attached and I couldn't stitch her name, I did the next best thing...I faux stitched her name with a paint pen and some glitter gel "stitching". I decided to name her Tina after the youngest girl on Still Standing.

So she ended up looking like this... on pictures for more detail...

Since it's sometimes difficult to figure out what size a piece of art really is, I'm also showing you a picture of Tina lounging on the deck.

Well, I think that is going to be my last fabric work for a while. I'm tidying up the studio tomorrow and moving the sewing machine out of sight. Maybe that way I can get some polymer clay work done.

I have several projects in mind and need to start on Christmas presents and such.

In the mean time, I am going to be getting rid of my assemblage supplies, such as papers, metal pieces, junk drawer stuff and the like. If you are interested in a big box of surprise supplies and will pay for the shipping, I'll send them to you. Let me know and I can show you some pictures.

Well, that's all for now. Enjoy what's left of your weekend and get ready for Monday.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thump, Thump, Thump

Hear that sound, that's me patting myself on the back. Sometimes you deserve to give yourself an "atta girl". Why, you may ask? First off because I got 15 comments on my last post and I am doing the happiness dance (looks a lot like the cabbage patch, but I digress). Seriously though, I am so pleased to think that people actually take time from their day to read anything I post. I even got new followers. Thanks so much, I hope you will continue to visit.

One of the things I have been working on is a table runner. I have been trying to teach myself quilting. I have been sewing since my first little card that had holes in it that you ran a string up and down through (remember those?). I wouldn't say my sewing skills are expert, but I'm pretty good....but I am geometrically challenged. I persevered and came up with this.

Straight lines and angles and triangles and squares when doing quilting have to be spot on. Since my cutting mat didn't have any numbers on it and I was using a wonky ruler, I ran into lots of trouble. I do like appliqué, so I had no problems when I cut out and sewed (by machine) the little cats.

This little set was going to be for the table in my kitchen, but the Hubby liked it on the dining room table and since you can see the purple from there, I think I'll leave it there.

Back to the quilting, the mats and rulers at JoAnn's have so many numbers on them that I don't understand at this stage of the game, so I knew a trip to the quilt shop was in order. We have a very nice one nearby.

When I entered the shop, I thought I was in a spa. There was soft quiet music tinkling and each themed room of supplies let to another just as lovely. The owner silently made her way from the back of the shop to greet me and to show me around. She quietly explained each room to me and let me look around. After checking out things very quickly, I found her and started to explain my situation, beginning quilter needing classes, etc. She was very nice and tried to answer my questions, but she was so quiet and whispery that I felt like I was intruding. Now I don't smoke, and I don't drink and I lead a fairly simple life, but compared to this chick, I'm rowdy.

Short version of this is that I will probably be able to get some fine fabric and supplies from there if I choose, but if her own demeanor is indicative of the type of patrons that she has, well she wouldn't know what to do with me. In the meantime I keep blundering on and doing what works for me and yesterday I struck gold.

Little play on words there, the hubby and I went last week to hear Gold Heart, a bluegrass and gospel group comprised of three sisters and their dad. Since we try to support young artists and musicians, we bought CD's and DH even bought me a shirt. I really liked it but the sleeves were too short, so I put on the old thinkin' cap and decided to make the sleeves longer.

DH supplied a black tee-shirt and I cut it up and using the new shirt as a guide line, cut out sleeves, sewed them together and added them to the existing sleeves. This was not quite as easy as I have made it out to be, but it was well worth the time.

This way it has a layered look and is extremely comfy and I am quite happy with the results.

So if you are ever hesitant about purchasing something, remember what Stacy and Clinton say, things can be altered. If you don't sew there are shops that do altering.

Well, that's it for today. Enjoy your weekend and remember if they are ever in your area, check out Gold Heart. You'll be glad you did. In addition to being incredibly talented, they are sweet girls and have their stuff together. Refreshing and reassuring that there are still lots of good kids out there.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Doodle Face

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I have this challenge that I engage in with myself every post. I try to hold off making a new post until I get 10 comments. Well, sometimes that just isn't possible, as I am sometimes just plain bored seeing the same old picture showing up for days at a time. Ahhh, is it just me that checks my comments all day long? Do you do that, too? I digress, anyway I am still trying to learn to quilt, so I don't really have any thing to post, except this little girl. She is drawn in my art journal, which is 9 x 12, so that gave me plenty room for wackiness.

Sometimes I just have to doodle a face so I can have something to color. There are so many talented artists out there and in my head, I think I can use some of their techniques and come up with really cool stuff. Well, this time, what was going on in my head, just didn't make it all the way to my fingers.

That being said, I just like to experiment with different pens and color pencils and such. I like to see what one color looks like next to another and what will happen if I layer this color over that, and so on. I am not trained in art, other that high school, but I do have a lot of books with color wheels and the like, but sometimes I just need to get the pencils and draw and experience it myself. It doesn't have to look like someone, it doesn't have to look real...shoot, it doesn't even have to be very good. It's just something that I have to do.

So for that reason, I am posting was I am calling Doodle Face. I will issue a little challenge. Start to doodle and then make the shapes into a face. That's all a face is anyway, just a bunch of shapes drawn together. So folks, show us your Doodle Faces.

I have to go now, there is a gnat flying across in front of me and it's driving me mad, I tell you, simply mad.

Have a good evening.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pictorial Quilts

They are called either pictorial quilts or sometimes landscape quilts. The book that inspired me to try one is Pictorial Quilts by Carolyn Vosburg Hall. While this is an older book that I got from the library, it certainly has inspired me to try my hand at this type of art. It most definitely has inspired me to get my hands on other books of this type.

Enough chatter, here is my first attempt at a pictorial quilt.

Click on picture to see details

While it is not a traditional quilt (using pieced together pieces vs appliqués), it is pictorial. This is my house in fabric and thread. I spent about thirty minutes in the piece goods shop picking out the fabric and then the next day I took the picture and traced the picture to paper that I cut the fabric pieces from. I used WonderUnder as my adhesive, but it does make the fabric pieces very stiff. It took me two more days to appliqué and stitch the pieces.

I "framed" it in long strips of some of the same fabric that I used to make the house and the backing is a plaid fabric that went really well. I am thinking of trying another method next time, but anyway I had fun making it and I know another one is in the near future. This was supposed to be a practice piece, but I got into it and went on and did a bit more detail than I had planned.

So that's my first pictorial quilt. I've got my thinking cap on already to come up with the next one. Any ideas? Let me hear!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just another Manic Monday

Man, I had forgotten about that song. Used to love it. Hope everyone had a great weekend and is getting ready for an even better week. So maybe the first day of the week is a bit manic, that's ok with me. Mondays always help me get motivated.

Motivation wasn't my problem this past week or today for that matter. I wanted to do one last project before I put moved my sewing machine off my table. I literally move it from the table to the floor and keep it there for convenience. That's what I love about a portable machine.

I had seen some patterns and even kits at Jo Ann's for strip quilts, but since quilting used to be all about using up scraps and fabrics that you had on hand, I went that route.

First I cut my strips 2" x 21" and sewed them together...

Then I cut them into 3" strips going the other direction...

Then I flip flopped the direction of every other strip and sewed them together again...
(Keep in mind that I really don't know what I'm doing, I'm just going for it)

Then I sandwiched a no longer being used dish towel between the front and backed it with this piece with solid blue and stippled it with black...

Then I bound it with strips of one of the front side fabrics...

As you can see, I ended up with a nice size quilted mat for my kitchen table. Now I'm sure it would look a lot different if I had purchased specific fabric or even the strips already cut and sewed them into more traditional quilt squares, but I was just messing around.

Speaking of messing around, after cleaning my studio and even vacuuming the floor, I got out all my polymer clay. I spent several hours playing with it. Just sorting it into groups of conditioned, unconditioned or new and scrap clay. Playing with clay is a lot like sorting beads or buttons. It really gets you in the mood to move on to a new project. (By the way Kristen, I am getting a lot of use out of the clay and things that you sent me, thanks again!)

My newest project was learning to do more with my extruder. If you want to use an extruder and learn new techniques-take my word for it and get a Makin's Clay extruder. I think I may have posted on this previously, but there is a world of difference in this wonderful tool and the little cheap-o junkie thing that I had before that had a little plunger on it and was absolute murder to push the clay through.

This is a wonderful tool and I am having a ball with it. I ordered mine online and it was worth waiting the week that it took to ship. Anyway I have been doing multi color "snakes" and placing them on unbaked clay beads and then baking them. Such fun and the colors are just fab-u-lous.

The method I am using requires you to cut different color circles of clay and stack them together and form a little loaf that will fit in the tube of the extruder. I found that if you use metallic clay as part of the stack, it hardens the Sculpey III up just enough for it to have a tiny bit of crack to the strands and they look like leather and are really easy to work with.

If you are interested in learning more about polymer clay and especially extruders, check out Cindy Lietz at Beads and Beading. She is a super lady and I always love her work. You can learn a lot from her.

Well, that's it for now. I'm sure I will have something new to post in a few days. There is something so enticing about cranking soft clay through the extruder that it just makes me want to sneak back down to my studio and start something else.

We'll talk soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

District 9

Went to see District 9 (click here for official site) today with the hubby and our mutual BFF. BFF and I really loved it, hubbs not quite as crazy about it as we were.

Anyway, here we are standing next to a promotional sign for the movie. Aren't we just too, too cute?

Seriously though folks, I made a little quilted project that I will post later, but until then take care and enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I love purple...

Have I ever mentioned that I love purple? My kitchen is light shades of purple. My room as a teen was purple with a purple crushed velvet bedspread. I would wear nothing but purple, but I do try to work in other colors. Anyway, all that is leading to my current project. I had forgotten how much I love to sew and I can't seem to put my machine away to make any jewelry or polymer clay. I just want to sew and sew!

Sew, here is what I did last week and over the weekend. (When I wasn't eating donuts, that is.)

I picked out some really retro, 70's looking cotton and made an over sized top to wear with jeans. To stay with that retro look, I added white hem tape as the trim.

I have some beautiful fabric that my uncle, God Rest His Soul, brought me from his mission trip to Africa. I haven't wanted to use it, but I did cut off a strip and made it into a pretty cool head band.

Here is the close up version...

I sewed elastic onto the back of the headband and it could actually be used as a necklace, if I were so inclined.

And last, but certainly not least, I created these little fingerless gloves/gauntlet type thingies.

My hands freeze when I work at the computer or if I am sitting around reading. I have a pair of black lace fingerless gloves that I wear, but they just aren't very warm. So I had a remnant of fleece tucked away which worked perfectly. The fun thing about fleece is you don't have to hem the edges unless you want to. At first I didn't stitch the edges, but it had enough stretch that I decided to do a ruffle edge. To do that, you stretch your fabric as you zig-zag it and it ruffles. Such a neat trick. For the embellishment I cut out several of the flowers from the retro purple fabric and combined them with hand made polymer clay buttons for a one of a kind look.

Well, that's my art for today. Hope everyone is off to a great start this Monday. Enjoy your week, stay cool and creative and we'll talk soon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Anniversary Sweets

This is how we celebrated the anniversary....

The hubby is a big fan of the delicacy referred to as donuts. I usually stay away from them because they make my tum-tum hurt. was anniversary day and these are "cake" donuts versus "yeast" donuts, which I really do like, so I agreed.

Now are you wondering if we made these last? Well, no we didn't. I fixed a pot of coffee and he got us a couple of small plates and we went for it. On the left, we have dreamcicle, in the middle we have maple icing and on the right you have cherry cheesecake. Believe me, by the third donut, I was almost shaking and my teeth were on edge, but I did it. I get sugar overload very easily. They were good, but no more for me for quite a while.

Well, that was our anniversary celebration. Thanks for all your well wishes. Hope you enjoy the upcoming week. Later this week I'll post my latest creation, they're cute, but sorta kooky. Till then, stay cool, calm and creative.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Best Day Ever...

In honor of the most special event in my life I am re-posting this. I know you won't mind reading it again...

Please join me in celebrating the Best Day Ever...
August 8, 1988

I don't have an picture from the actual wedding, but here we are soon after.

The wedding was a spur of the moment thing. One of the girls I worked with convinced me to go ahead with the plans that my sweetie and I had sort of talked about. I said to her that morning, when I looked at our office calendar, "ahhh, I wanted to get married today". She said "Well, the boss is on vacation, so we have most of the day to plan it out. Call your sweetie, go get the license while I find a preacher". No more encouragement was needed. We did get a parking ticket while we were obtaining the license, but other than that everything went off without a hitch.

Yes, my sweet friends, twenty one years ago today, we said "I Do" and promised to love, cherish and obey. We meant it then and we mean it now. We got married in a little wedding chapel. I wore my favorite denim skirt and top and pinned Baby's Breath in my hair and carried some fresh wildflowers. (Sandy thought of everything). When we went to pick up Denise, to go along as our attendant/witness, she was wearing a yellow terrycloth tank top with matching short shorts and flip flops (she was the singer in the band Sweetie was in) and had already gotten a wedding cake for us that had little gold rings on it (there is still a piece in our freezer, we have taken it whenever we have moved). I carried my sister's Bible and wore my Mom's long forgotten wedding band. I have no recollection of what he wore, but we went to the Sizzler afterwards and had dinner. I am a little sad to admit that we didn't think to tell either of our families until it was over. We were more impulsive in those days.

I have to let you all know, I was crying as I wrote this originally. I am so blessed and fortunate to have him in my life. We have been through tough times just like anyone else, but we made it this far and we will make it through anything that comes our way. He is the love of my life and I will never stop thanking God for allowing me to spend my life with him. I remember I couldn't stop crying as I typed and guess what... I am crying again, as I re-post it. Whenever I blog, he gets his guitar and plays and sings songs for me as I type, I don't think he realizes how romantic it is. He and I aren't big party people, and we still haven't decided how we will celebrate. It doesn't matter what we do, as long as we are together.

I can't think of a better way to share my joy with all my friends, than through this little blog. That is why I am posting this happy, grainy picture from so many years ago. Hope you like it.

To help us celebrate, please kiss that special someone and say "this one's for Susan and her Hubby".

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well, today's the day...

Yep, it's reveal day. I know that you thought I'd never finish, but here she is. I took my time making her, spending about a week on the entire project.

The pattern, by Deanna Hogan, was a bit hard for me to understand. Perhaps because this was my first real attempt at someone else's pattern. That being said, I must say that every thing fit together perfectly. For me, having copied a pattern from a magazine, I think this is fantastic. The pictures and the directions for the shoes didn't really make sense to me, but I followed them exactly and they turned out perfectly.

Since we all loved her stockings, I know you will love the little shoes. Here is a close up of them.

Even though it's not perfect, here is a close up of her face...

This was such a good experience, that I just may continue along this line of art for a bit.

Well, on to something that I have been hesitant to share with anyone, but I'm going to anyway. The little kitty that we got last month, while absolutely adorable in his photos, proved to be way too active for me to keep up with. Since art is what I do, I was spending most of my days in my studio. As you can imagine, it is filled with way too many booby traps for him to stay with me. That meant he was staying upstairs by himself. He wasn't getting the exercise and one-on-one contact that a growing kitty needs, so after discussing with the hubby and praying about what to do, this past Saturday I decided to let him go live with a family that has kids. Their little 9 year old had been longing for a kitty, so she is going to have a ball with him.

My only regret is that this was a quickly set up meeting and while I am convinced this is the right place for him to be, in the excitement of the moment, making sure they got his vet records and his carrier, food and litter...shoot, we forgot to exchange personal information. I'm sure he will be much happier now and I'm sure you will understand my decision.

So hang in there with me and help me remember that this was for the best. I think I was trying to recapture some of the joy that we experienced from the twenty years that we raised and adored our three cats. So I'm back to empty house syndrome and I know I'll be fine. I just wanted to share this with you, who other than my hubby and sister, are my closest friends. Thanks for listening.

That's it for today. If you have any favorite cloth doll artists or patterns, please clue me in. Thanks and have a great week.