Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quilted CD Book

Inspired to make something that is functional and giftable, I came up with this nifty little Quilted CD Holder. Really a book, but hey you don't find these at Best Buy or F.Y.E.
I wanted to use my scrapbook paper and combine it with my favorite fabric from Moda, which by the way I had scrapbook paper that matched the fabric. Daisy D's scrapbook paper worked with Moda to make the create the paper. I love them both. Unfortunately, both are out of print.
My favorite paper on the right which matches the fabric on the front. I used fabric for the whole book cover, inside and outside. Other terrific scrapbook paper used inside and a 'upcylced item'. I am offering this as a new class to teach. Fabric + paper + book making = Very Cool Quilted CD Holder.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rug Hooked Wall Pocket

Ok, So let me just say that I am, one day, going to learn Photoshop better and become a better photography....but for now, this is my post, and here is my little hooked wall pocket. It was from the burlap that I was utilizing before cutting up.
Wall pockets or door/knob hangers appeal to me, because they are so charming. During our Christmas decoration unpacking, which is while we decorate the tree, there is often an ornament or two that just doesn't belong on the tree and it ends up getting hung on a window latch or some random spot around the house. Wall pockets have that same sort of fun, home decor accent quality that I appreciate. And, yes it is a primitive, homespun feeling.
A rug hooked pocket can be tricky because transforming a hooked piece into something functional......other than a rug, usually requires attaching the hooked piece to a fabric foundation. Now, the reason it is difficult is because on burlap or (more preferred) linen, easily unravels. So, unless, you have pre-stitched (machine) you outer area before hooking, you risk the chance of your hooked design unraveling when you cut it out.
When this design was cut out I sewed a piece of ticking to the top of the piece right sided together and then folded in downward

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hooked Wool Flower Garden

Well, I finally got all of my hooked wool flower brooches loaded on Etsy. Brooch is a funny word, it doesn't seem appropriate for a piece of lovely jewelry, it sounds more like a tool you would use or some kind of vehicle you would drive. Anyway, I am having a SALE on them and wanted to make sure they were all ready to go. I still need to figure out the photography thing. Photography is simply, another one of those things on my list of things to learn. But, for the most part I think they are pretty good pictures. Some of the colors and lighting could be better, but I am just going to roll with it.
Since I was featured in her last book on collage,
Jane Davies has asked me to offer some more pieces for her upcoming book and I need to get some things off in the mail to her by will probably end up being Tuesday. With an extra hour this morning, a quiet hour as it seems now, I am headed to my studio. I am working on several things and mornings are great for creating. See you later!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Hooked Wool

Since I had a large piece of burlap that I was hooking random pieces on I wanted to finish as much of the surface area I could before cutting up the individual elements. The reason is, once I cut into the burlap foundation it will not longer fit on my hooking frame. I was still able to save enough of the burlap to use on my frame later, but I was ready to finish these pieces. As well as a bunch of hooked flowers to put in my Etsy shop. The Crow was finished months ago and posted on The Welcome Mat. I knew I wanted to make more wool covers for my finished Moleskine journals, so I got busy.
Man, it's tough to shoot these picture and have the color come out right. I have been playing the the white balance, but unsure of what exactly I am doing. Just sort of pushing buttons. Similar to what I do in Photoshop!

I really love natural backgrounds when hooking. Many Hookers I know, (yes, that is what we call ourselves) can hook designs with dark backgrounds and add the colors without them getting lost or losing contrast.
This Crow Under the Stars was hooked almost too large to fit on a Moleskine cover. And of course, on my journals you can see many paint splotches. I never worry about getting things on the outside of my journals, it just adds to the story. Besides I usually embellish the cover after the journal is filled. It is easier to work in that way, especially when adding bulky hooked elements. I adhere them with Fabric-Tac. It grips so well and stays for ever. I am not worried about archival, but if you are, you can use Gel Medium (regular or heavy). I have used that also, but it is a good idea to rest a heavy book on top of the piece while it is drying.
Watch my Etsy shop for more wool flowers blooming!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweater Books

Ok, so I was inspired to create some more wool ideas I had rolling around in my head. I love my little hooked flowers but wanted to do more with them. Not everyone wants to wear flower pins, so I decided how about a journal? I love journals, making them, looking at them, holding them, writing/art journaling in them and have I a good collection....many, many are filled and of course some partially filled. I decided a long time ago that partially filled books were absolutely fine. Why stress about filling them up, especially in a linear fashion? No doubt I have many journals filled. I also keep little sketch books of ideas and illustrations I collect along the way. Blah, blah, blah.....

So back to my inspired day, yesterday. I wanted to do something with some old sweaters I had grabbed from the Salvation Army last year, which I felted and then stashed on my fabric shelf. I knew these flowers needed a fabric background if they were to be used on a book cover. I came up with the coziest little Sweater Journals, which I adore. I used blank index cards for the pages and recycled boards from old legal pads, etc. (yes, I save them) for the book board. I had to paint the edge of the board to match the sweater and choose a inside wool for lining. Then needle felted the stems from my stash of wool roving, that I bought from a fellow Etsian PrimnProper, it was a huge bag of roving filled with many colors that I got on sale for under $10.00! I then punched out my book board and index cards using the Bind-it-All machine by Zutter, and sewed my sweaters onto the boards, just around the edges. Then I trimmed the edges and bound the book and adhered my cute wool flowers. And yes there are imperfections in the sewing.....more wonk, like I do so well. Well let's just say 'perfectly imperfect'.

So, get out your old abandoned wool sweaters, felt them and make Sweater Books.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've Been Rug Hooking!

Well, ok nothing major, but the weather has me in the mood for some hooked projects. Hooking in the summer doesn't really feel right to me, I am usually working in my journal and carving stamps....or maybe making a quilted book or two.
I have a little set up of some bamboo boxes (filled with wool and supplies) next to a chair in a corner in my living room so I can get in a few minutes of hooking here and there, when we are busy living our family life. Since I am not really working on any big pieces right now, (or more accurately avoiding the long runner I started years ago from a pattern by Primitive Spirit, which sits rolled ontop of my wool bin...)I am making some more flowers for pins and some more small patches that I will make into door hangers or adhere to my some my filled Moleskine journals that need some fiber on the cover. These these little hooked pretties are on burlap which isn't my favorite support to hook on, but I am using what I had. Watch my Etsy shop for these pieces becoming sellable products. Holidays are coming....and I have a new idea for the flowers.
Anyway, here is a picture of my corner,.........complete with my faithful Golden Retirever (Red Golden), Leo. We adopted him accidently from the MSPCA several years ago on my son's birthday. We had gone out for breakfast and decided to drop by on the way home, and register our name for a future adoption. We ended up leaving with Leo. He was a year and a half and perfectly trained. We scored! Anyway, he is constantly at my side. My daughter says he pouts when I am gone and my husband says, I am Leo's Goddess. Well, at least someone gives me the god-like respect I so deserve. And yes, there are piles, bags and boxes of wool strips. You can imagine the lint, fuzz, and miscellaneous fiber that accumulates in this little corner of the my world. But who has time to clean when there is time to create!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quilted Pillow

Fall is such a great time to play with fibers. With my Mother-in-law's birthday coming up I decided it was time to try this Wonky Log Cabin block I got from Quilt Dad. He has other versions of Wonky Log Cabin blocks that look fun to try.
Since I am not a precision sewer and everything I do has a bit of a "wonk" to it anyway, I thought this would be perfect. And it was..."perfectly imperfect". I was actually making two of these at the same time. The other one is not finished. Since I am more of collector of fat quarters, rather than yardage I had to run to The Red Barn and get my sashing fabric and fabric for the back of the pillow. Always an excuse to buy fabric or any kind of art suppy for that matter.
I found this black print with tiny yellow flowers and I just adore it. I think I will go get more to add to my stash. Of course, I had to throw in a few Kaffe Fassett fabric and some batiks. But, I like how the black sashing grounded the whole block. I hope you all are enjoying gorgeous a fall. I know us New Englanders are.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quilted Collage Journal class

This past weekend, I taught my Quilted Collage Journal on the South Shore, hosted by Marissa, of Broken Branches, she is very talented jewelry maker. Starting far left is Marissa, Me, Rachel, Susan, Mandy, Helga and Elyce. Thanks to all you great, talented women for joining me. And thanks to Marissa' husband, Jim for happily going on food runs for us. We had a fun fiber filled weekend. The fabric was flying....take a look. Here is Marissa, using a skein of fluffy pink fiber for embellishing her journal, which works well as a lovely scarf too!
Susan and Mandy showing off Mandy's handiwork with her Janome 6600 which she used to embroider Susan's name on her outside cover.
Marissa's fabric layout for her outside cover, before she pieced it together. Mandy made an aquatic gem, focusing on her fish fabrics. Some of these she painted and many more came from her stash....which was huge. Sea Life was really happening here. Helga, (Marissa's Mom) who is an experienced seamstress. She enjoyed learning something new and needless to say she finished first. Helga's outside cover embellished with shells and sparkly green beads that she couched inside the spine. Helga's outside back cover. You can really see the detailed stitching she used with her machine. She and Marissa created these fabrics together after my Irresistible Fabric Painting class last week.
Susan's journal was made with cool watery colors with
whimsical bold flowers. You can see she quilted her
inside cover with different colored stitches and topped
it off with cute quilted pocket
Mandy and Susan having fun in class.
Rachel made her outside cover using rich purples,
golds and metallics, and added brown leather.
Rachel in the foreground and Elyce in the other room.
Elyce's vibrant outside cover. She wasn't sure she wanted to
embellish the cover once she finished piecing it, but once
she started.....she didn't want to stop.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It is no fun when your computer is in the shop. I have been having to use my kid's computer. I don't have my images, software etc. that I am used to. Ugh. But at least I do have access to the internet. I taught Irresistible Fabric Painting class last weekend on the South Shore. We did an evening class and it ran til almost midnight. We just couldn't stop. The students, Marissa, Mandy, Elyce and Rachel created some lovely pieces. You can see Mandy's work here on here Flickr page. Next weekend we will be making the Seasonal Fabric Collage Journal, a.k.a. the Summer Journal. I am looking forward to making a quilted book with a fall theme. I love quilted books they feel so good to hold an use.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

With the kids back in school, I am determined to finish my last entries into our Summer Journal 2009. It is difficult to recall all the details when you wait many days to write.....but we were camping last weekend and picking up our daughter from Drama Camp in Maine... and then, back home and then suddenly school starts.
So right when they go to school, I head straight for my studio and end up working on a dozen other projects, and not finishing up the SJ2009.
This one I made, using the same technique I teach in my workshop, Quilted Collage Seasonal Journal. Any of you who have taken this two-day workshop know we use a watercolor pad as our foundation.....well this year, I tried a drawing pad from Strathmore. I have to say I really like coloring, writing, stamping my journal entries on watercolor paper so much better. One year, I even used some high quality Fabriano paper I had and loved it! See it here. It was perfect for moving watercolors around. Watercolor paper is the best for bookmaking!
Back to creating more art.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Casa Isla stamped

Our good friends, Kit and Tony have a lovely newly built luxury vacation home on Isla Mujeres, the island just off of Cancun.
Casa Isla is the name of this house and when I say it is so amazing, those words don't do it justice. Carribbean ocean views from every room and some with several views, It is fantastic....check it out for yourself here. Kit just had a birthday last month and I was so involved in stamp carving that I was inspired to do a stamp for her. This design came to me quickly and I carved it quickly, too. I gave her the stamp before I got to play with it too much, but I did get it in my current moleskine journal.
Stamp carving....ahh, so much fun and quite relaxing. ok, not as relaxing as sitting in the outdoors living room in Casa Isla gazing at the turquoise sea.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Alphabet Stamps Storage

Like many stampers, my collection of alphabet stamps continues to grow. The assortment ranges from $1.00 mini sets I pick-up at Michael's and Target to fablulous collections from a terrific sized set from Michelle Ward and large funky sets from MaVinci's to the reliable easy-to- find & use sets by Hero Arts. Many of these are unmounted because it is much more economical to sell in this fashion as apposed to mounting them on wood. Some stampers like to store their unmounted rubber in binders. I have found I don't access them as readily, I even find I do the same with the clear stamps I have been collecting. My tried and true way of stamping is using wood mounted. It feels better to me and I can work much quicker with a hands-on, technique. A 'Grab and Go' sort of thing! One of the great tips for mounting alpha sets is to use the mini square wood blocks found at craft stores. They come in quantity, in a bag. I use the regular craft foam as a cushion and mount them on the blocks. And also, like many stampers, I store them in an acrylic frame....which I buy on sale at AC Moore, (gargage sales are a good source for these too). Using the different sized frames depending on my needs. My only problem was the blocks of wood would roll over I could never see the index of the stamp, which is really the fastest way to use them. I would spend too much time fumbling throught them looking for a letter. Well, you stampers know the routine. So I decided to try an idea I had, to store them at an angle, so when they go back in the frame, I can easily see what and where they are and they stay put. Long story....but this is what I came up with. Using chipboard which I recycle from used paper pads, I measures a strip of chipboard about 2.5" wide (size does not have to be precise), the length was the the width size of the frame, (at the risk of confusing you.....I found much of the cardboard from my old art paper pads were the same width as the frames, so all I had to do was cut the 2.5" width). Then, measuring with a C-Thru I would score that strip down the middle, cutting through most of the board, but not completely. Fold it over and you have a mountain to insert in the acrylic frame. I reinforced the underside (valley fold) with a bead of hot glue. Place it in your tray and toss in your alphabet blocks and watch them stay in place. Oh, what's that? What are the pink mountains in the frame you see? Well, like with many things in life and art, I over-thought this idea and first tried it by making the mountain fold and securing it with a lot of masking tape onto a base (look closely) underneath. Then, I had to paint it pink....I think the paint was just therapy I unconciously needed after struggling to make these chipboard mountains harder than they needed to be. Of course after the initial pink ones were made I let them sit for many days, avoiding making more of these PITA's (pain-in-the-ass). Then after I 'let go of the process', it hit me.....just do it with two easy strips. Whew!! I am very happy with my mountains and intend to do more after I mount the many other alpha sets I have in binders.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Collaged Journal Cover

I made this journal for a friend and am very pleased with the way it turned out. I first made a support of collaged printed papers and applied a light coat of gesso. When that was dry I brushed blue acrylic paints lightly to color the background but not cover the text completely. Next I used my own carved stamps to print the background with acrylic paints. For the garden girl, I used a stamp I carved and stamped her on bristol board so that when I cut out the image it would hold up. I used a light brown ink because I knew I would be adding color, which I did mostly with colored pencil s and some markers. Next, I cut out her dress interior and adhered fabric from behind and then glued her on the blue stamped background with gel medium. Below is more of the same blue stamped background that went on the back cover of the journal.
The Zutter Bind it All binding system is terrific and I like using it to make quick books and albums.

This is the largest stamp I have carved so far. Maybe a bit too big, because I had to temporarily mount it on a large Judi-kins stamp block just to be able to handle it when I stamp....and she still doesn't fit completely on the wood. But I was able to stamp her image anyway.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Carving a ton of stamps

Here is an a journal page from this past spring, I came across it and wanted to share it.
This past spring is when I really got into stamp carving.
Just like store bought stamps, you can use the different stamp design elements to build a page. The texture and patterns create interesting backgrounds. This is an easy way to color a page that you have written. After stamping I also stippled color in different areas.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stamp Carving

Since stamp carving has become new love, I wanted to share some stamps that I carved this week. Here are just a few. With these three, I used the pink Speedy Carve by Speedball. This rubber is very sturdy and forgiving as you carve, so pieces don't break off as you are cutting out your design. This rubber holds up to all kinds of abuse and especially cleans well like manufactured vulcanized rubber.
I have really enjoyed the challenging aspect of carving my own rubber. Trying to add as much detail as possible increases my skill level. One thing I have learned is that this takes practice and you cannot rush the process.
Since it is only 1/4" thick, when stamping with it can be tricky. I like to mount them on thick craft foam, it is about 3/8" which is thicker than the enormous craft foam selection at the craft stores. Keep your eyes open for it and every now and then you can find it. I stamp an index on the craft foam with Staz-on (let it dry for about 10 minutes first or it will smudge...I know, Staz-on is supposed to dry quickly, but certain surfaces are different and this is one of them). Then I mount the foam to the rubber using E-6000.
Having these stamps mounted makes them much easier to use without inky finger smudges.
For all you stamp addicts, if you have not carved yet.....what are you waiting for? Try it, but give yourself a learning curve and don't give up quickly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Autumn is blogging....

Welcome to my blog. I am not sure about doing this, so let's see how it goes. Nothing has to be written in stone, but apparently when it goes out on the internet it's there for eternity. Wow. Anyway..... I will be posting mostly my creative ideas and other related items.
You can view my site at with a good selection of my creations, which have been evolving throughout the years, (you probably got here from there).
Art journaling is one of my biggest loves. Combining collage or illustrated imagery with my thoughts, dreams, and written events of my life is very satisfying for me. Interestingly, although I have been doing this for years, I have yet to loose interest in my art journals.
Stamping is my big love. I just love to stamp. I tell my kids (Rosemary 14, and Abraham 12) that life is all about stamping, and they do what all good teenagers do, roll their eyes. But what I am truly saying (and they know this)is that it makes my heart happy. That is why so many of my journal pages have stamping somewhere on them, if not all over them. Even stamping the words with alphabet stamps is meditative.
Ok, well there is my starting point for blogging. And I said I didn't want to blog.
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