October 29, 2009

Queen of Tarts

I've been working on this doll for a while now and she's almost complete. My goal was to create a doll that could stand up on her own two feet. She measures 18" tall. Her face is needle sculpted. Her dress is made of upholstery fabric left over from a home dec project. Her bustier is made of fabric, paper, trim.
Oops, her cleavage is showing!
Every queen has a crown. This one is made up out of fabric, paper, sequins, beads, paint and a rich royal purple velvet.
She's a work in progress. I will finish her up once we return from our trip.

October 23, 2009

Travel Purse

I'm not taking a lot of clothes with me on our upcoming trip to Croatia. To keep it simple, I'm going to mix and match my wardrobe with two colors - blue and black. I decided to make a small purse just big enough to hold my passport, credit card, etc. This little purse will be worn under my jacket keeping my hands free. The base fabric is an old denim shirt. I've used this shirt for many projects and there is not much left of it. I stamped it with fabric paint.The shirt fabric and lining were cut to 15.5 long x 5.5 wide which will make a finished purse 6" long x 5" wide with a 3" flap. (Being a quilter, my seams are 1/4" wide.)
A strip of fabric 2" wide was folded twice and top stitched, cut to size for loops.
The loops were attached to purse just below the flap fold and down a bit from there. A corded loop was stitched to the middle of the flap. The lining was attached (RST) and once turned inside out - magically a purse was born.
I stitched a button to the front and threaded cording through the loops. All done! This was a quick and easy purse to make - about 1.5 hrs.

October 21, 2009

Dye It, Dye It, Dye It

This is an easy way to dye fabric. The results are amazing. Any color combinations will work. Don't work the fabric too much or the colors will turn muddy.

Materials: Six 1/2 yd pieces PFD pima cotton, soda ash, salt, 6 different colors of MX reactive Dyes, two 1 gallon plastic buckets.

Method: Mix 9 Tbls soda ash in 1 gallon of warm water; stir to dissolve. Plunge pima cotton into soda ash solution and let sit for 10 min. then wring out. Add 1 cup salt to soda mixture and stir until dissolved. For each dye color, mix 1 level tsp. of dye into 8 oz. of soda ash/salt solution. (I put about 1 oz. of the solution into a container and then measured the dye - mixed it up well and then added the remainder of the solution.) Shake fabrics out and place one piece of fabric into the bucket and pour one dye solution over top. Continue for each piece of fabric using a different dye - start with the lightest dye color first. I used golden yellow, terra cotta, leaf green, turquoise, blue and black.
Cover bucket with a plastic bag and let sit over night. Rinse the fabrics well and then wash in hot water with Synthrapol with a cold rinse. (I did this twice.)

October 20, 2009

Girls X 4

I like to experiment with fabric dyes and screen printing. I silkscreened thickened procion mx reactive dyes on silk. The resulting fabric was then made into this small quilt (16x16). I liked the design so much, I use it as my avatar.

October 16, 2009

Horned Melon

Lucky me - my husband does most of the grocery shopping. One day, however, I needed a few things. I went to the store myself and while roaming around the produce department, found this interesting horned melon. I liked everything about it - the color, shape, texture. I'd never eaten one though. I bought it mainly because I wanted to cut it open and see what was inside. The fruit itself was rather bland. I didn't care for the taste - but it was so pretty inside. I tried my hand at drawing it.
Just goes to show - you can find inspiration in unexpected places. What's most unusual fruit or vegetable you've found?

October 13, 2009

Thank You Post Card

Our tour guide has arranged a dinner for us in the home of a Dubrovnik citizen. Something from our hometown was suggested as a hostess gift. I thought it would be fun to make a fabric postcard from Naples, FL for our hosts.
I didn't have a recent picture of Richard and I on the beach, but I did have a picture of us when we were in Asheville NC last year and various "sky" pictures I take when I'm walking on the beach. I managed to combine the two, added some text and machine embroidered palm trees over top. The little buttons represent coconuts.

I'm looking forward to this dinner party!

October 12, 2009

Travel Journal

After much thought, I decided to make this journal using watercolor paper. I cut 140lb. cold press paper in 5.5x7.5 sheets. Each sheet was then painted with watercolor. Using Photoshop Elements, I created text for each page showing the date and place I'd be and printed same.
On the back of each page, a pocket was attached to hold postcards, etc. (see arrow). Drawing paper was cut to size and two sheets were inserted for each day of the trip.
I made a template for the holes and used a Japanese hole punch which worked great. I was able to punch 5 pages at a time.
For the journal's covers, I applied Inkaid to painter's canvas and printed a collage of maps I'd made in Photoshop Elements with added text. I covered heavy cardboard with the canvas.
To make sure the covers dried flat, I piled books and bricks over top and let set for 24 hrs. Holes were punched into covers - a bit trickier because of the canvas, but with patience and a lot of elbow grease, I got the job done.
The covers and pages were then aligned (I used skewers to help keep everything in place). Now I was ready to sew the binding.
I used a large eyed needle threaded with a hemp-like thread to sew the book together. I made the holes large enough that sewing was not difficult at all. Some decorative buttons were glued on to complete the book cover.

I plan to bring a netbook with me on the trip and hopefully blog about our trip.

I'd love to hear what you think about this journal!

October 3, 2009


When I travel, I like to keep a journal. This is a good way for me to remember the good time I had and also provides me with a place to keep mementos from the trip.

This journal chronicles my trip to France in 2006. I won top prize in the "I Remember Mama" contest, which among other things included a trip for two (my husband and me) to Lyon, France for the international opening of the exhibit. We then spent two weeks traveling around Provence and parts of Italy. The journal is made of painted canvas and cotton. Each day I made notes of what we'd seen and done. The pages are enhanced with embroidery. This journal is one of my favorites. It was easy to work on because I kept the pages separate and bound them together once I returned home.
France 2006 Journal
France 2006 Journal detail

My granddaughter, Samantha, and I celebrated her 16th birthday in 2008 by traveling to Paris and London! We had a grand time. (We probably saw a lot more art than she was expecting.) We saw "Mama Mia" and "Grease" on stage in London - how cool is that! Early June is a good time to travel in Europe. The schools there are still in session which meant the lines for museums and other sightseeing attractions were greatly reduced.

I made us each a journal. The pages were made of card stock. I enhanced each page in Photoshop Elements using pictures from earlier trips as well as family pictures of each of us. I also included envelope-like pages made of vellum to store mementos from the trip. One day I would love to see what Sam wrote in her journal.

Pairs/London 2008 Journal
Paris/London 2008 Journal detail
In 2007, I took a class in the Split Rock Program at the University of Minnesota. Eight of my fellow classmates and I decided to do a "round robin" type journal. Each artist made her own pages out of her choice of substrate. These pages could be enhanced in any way as long as it contained some stitching. It took well over a year to complete this project, but the wait was well worth it.

My journal pages are made of painted canvas.

Split Rock 2007 Journal
Split Rock 2007 Journal detail

I'm taking my husband to Croatia to celebrate his 75th birthday. We leave at the end of October. I've been mulling over what type of journal to make for this special trip. I woke up earlier than usual thinking about it this morning. I'll keep you posted on what I decide!