December 25, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!

I've been working hard everyday to complete the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge!  You must keep in mind that each day's challenge did not necessarily have a specific theme.  The participants were challenged to use certain pictures and/or techniques for that day.  For example, on the Eight Day, the challenge was to create a snowflake...I made mine using the number 8!

The Fifth Day of Christmas - Five Golden Rings

The Sixth Day of Christmas - Six Geese a Laying (on the beach!)

The Seventh Day of Christmas - Seven Swans a Swimming

The Eighth Day of Christmas - Eight Maids a Milking

The 9th Day of Christmas - Nine Ladies Dancing

The 10th Day of Christmas - Ten Lords a Leaping

The 11th Day of Christmas - Eleven Pipers Piping

I don't know what Day 12's challenge is (yet) - come back tomorrow to find out.  In the meantime, I wish you all a blessed and Merry Christmas.  I hope all of your dreams come true!

For more inspiration, go to Pink Saturday!

December 18, 2010

Soon and Very Soon...

Christmas is almost here!  These are some of my digital creations for The 12 Days of Christmas Challenge.  This has been a lot of fun.  There is so much one can do in Photoshop Elements and I'm learning something new everyday - that's my gift to myself ;-)

A Partridge in a Pear Tree...

Two Turtle Doves...

On the Third Day of Christmas...

Four Calling Birds...

Eight more days to go....

For more inspiration, go to Pink Saturday

December 11, 2010

Just Another Day in Paradise!

Living in southwest Florida, I miss the cold weather associated with the Christmas season.  It has been chilly lately, but no snow - thank goodness!  The house is decorated with lights and our beautiful Christmas tree is up - the perfect focal point in our living room.

I made some "paper doll" ornaments - one for Richard and one for me!

Stockings hung with care

I noticed, that quite by accident, one of my sculptures is peeking from behind my stocking!!  (I took a sculpting class a couple of years ago.  It was fun - but I lack the talent.   These little ladies are fun though.)

(No question about who's naughty and who's nice in our house ;-)

A number of years ago, I made this quilt for the guild's challenge - Just Another Day in Paradise.  I think it turned out so great.  I hang it in the kitchen window for the holidays.  Most of the quilts entered in the challenge were themed around living in sunny, tropical Naples.  My first thought when I heard "just another day in paradise" was angels.

If I remember correctly, the three fabrics for the challenge were the dark and light pinks (foreground angel's gown) and the riotous color (middle angel's gown) as well as some charm embellishments.  (The angels' hair is free motion embroidery using variegated thread.)  

For more inspiration visit Pink Saturday.

December 4, 2010

It's a Wrap!

I love a challenge.  I bought some neat little gifts for friends at a local art fair this past weekend.  My challenge was to wrap these little beauties artistically.  I know, I know - I could buy a bag, box, whatever.   Making things - that's my bag (excuse the pun) - since I hadn't made the gift, it seemed only fitting I make the box it was presented in - it's all about presentation, right?!

I drew a box/bag on paper (several times) - finally got it right - huge sigh of relief!!

Method to my madness:

 Two colors of water soluble oil sticks were randomly drawn on ordinary card stock paper - brushed with water using foam brush.

 Once dry, added squiggly lines with gold Krylon pen.

Scanned the box/bag drawing and printed on the back side of beautifully painted card stock, then cut it out.

 I have a huge collection of tools that I use once in a blue moon.  Today I used a bone folder to score the fold lines and Japanese punch - to punch holes (of course!!)

Before the box was assembled, a decorative edge was cut on the front flap - another wonderful tool in my arsenal.  The one seam was adhered using double-sided tape.  Holes punched on top front, back and front flap for ribbon tie. (Photo taken before holes punched into front flap.)

I made two boxes.  I "goofed" on the first one (left) because the seam ended up on the front.  Not to worry - mistakes happen.  I simply added some dimensional paint and now it looks intentional - cool huh?!   I altered my pattern - the second box (right) is what I had in mind in the beginning - the seam in the back.

You may ask yourself "Was it worth all the trouble?" - to me, yes it was!

For more inspiration, visit Pink Saturday.

November 27, 2010

Recyled Pinks

Like many of you, my husband and I donate to a lot of charities.  As a result, we are presented with lots of free gifts (especially at this time of year) most of which - I hate to admit - go to the trash bin.  However, a pair of adorable pink striped socks came in the mail the other day and I just couldn't throw them away!

Christmas is coming and I like making my granddaughters little dolls for the occasion.  Here's what I did:

In Photoshop Elements, I layered a picture of each of my granddaughters beneath a wreath shape and printed it to size on enhanced matte photo paper.  That sheet was stapled to another sheet of the same paper making a "sandwich."

 A 3x1 inch piece of cardboard was glued in between these sheets and the entire shape cut out.  The wreath is embellished with white Uni-ball ink pen and gold Scribble paint; a bit of gold paint was added to the cardboard.

A hole was punched into the cardboard just below the wreath.  The cardboard was placed into the sock and using a large eyed needle and embroidery floss, a button was attached to the back of the sock (sewing through the hole), brought through the front and then again through to the back and tied in a square knot.  A small fabric rose was then glued on the front

A hole was punched into the top of the wreath and gold cording inserted as a hanging tie - voila - a Christmas stocking doll ornament!  Easy as pie and dare I say it - cute!  (Ordinarily I hate the "c" word.)

For more inspiration, go to Pink Saturday!

November 24, 2010

My brothers,my sister and me...

I miss my family especially over the holidays.  Our kids and grandchildren live in Chicago while we bask in the Florida sun.  My siblings are in Michigan, Minnesota and Washington state - brrrr.

We celebrated our first family reunion in July and it made me realize how much they mean to me.  I need to work on my drawing skills and thought it would be fun to draw a representation of my family.  I started with my brothers, sister and me - we were a lot younger, of course!

Roberta, Pat, Barney, Michael

It's Thanksgiving and time to celebrate family.  I hope you have a wonderful, blessed holiday!

November 18, 2010

I Moo - Do You?

I love business cards. I create new ones all the time. Recently I discovered moo cards - so cool having a variety of little cards showing little snippets my fabric art to share with friends and customers!

I picked up a copy of Somserset Studio's "Artful Blogging" the other day. I'm so impressed with the blogs featured in the Nov.Dec.Jan. 2011 issue. I'm determined to work on my photography and blogging skills - I'm much more comfortable with my sewing machine! I took quite a few photos of the moo cards, changed lighting, arrangement of the cards, etc. In PSE 9.0, I added a vignette. As I said, I need to work on my photography skills - but right now I am itching to get started on a new art project - there just is not enough time in a day.....

November 13, 2010

Pink - It's Not What You Think!

On my recent trip to Germany and Switzerland, I found "pinks" some glorious, some unusual and some just plain fun!

pink telephones

 flowers in the optical shop where I had my sunglasses adjusted

yarns which made me wish I knew how to knit!

Visit Pink Saturday for more fun pinks!

November 7, 2010

Home Again, Home Again - Jiggity Jig...

I had a wonderful time in Germany and Switzerland.  After planning this trip for a year, it's hard to believe it's over.  I kept up with my journal while I was away.  It's pages are crammed with each day's events and stuff I accumulated.  Now I will always have the memories of the trip close at hand.

It was wonderful to see and work with Prof. Anne-Marie Grundmeier.  Anne-Marie extended the invitation to me to go to Freiburg and I am very grateful for all the effort and hard work she put into making the exhibit a reality.

Everyone at the Carl Schurz Haus was a delight to work with.

I had the opportunity to work with the textile students at the University of Education...

and had a lot of fun touring Freiburg and Zurich with my dear friend, Tanya, who joined me after Richard went home.  We wandered about, shopped, ate, drank wine, and acted silly too.

I'm happy to be home now.  My head is bursting with new ideas.   I'm unpacked.  The laundry is done and I've rested.  I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio - let's get to work!

November 4, 2010

Zurich - Farewell

This is our last day in Zurich.  Tomorrow we fly home to Naples.  We had a great day walking through small side streets, nosing around alleyways, shopping and just plain enjoying the wonderful autumn weather.

November 3, 2010

Zurich - Shop Girls

Tanya and I both found just exactly the right things today - someone has to boost the economy - so we were only doing our civic duty!

A new shop on Schipfe opened today - Spirit of Silk.  We walked by the place several times over the past few days.  Tanya had her eye on some earrings on display in the window and bought them along with a delightful red silk handbag adorned with hand stitched pearls.

I had my heart set on a wonderful sculpture piece.  Susanna Ruttimann Kiepenheuer's studio is located just a few doors down from the Spirit of Silk.  Susanna's shop is not open on Sundays or Mondays.  We hightailed it down there this morning only to find that it didn't open until 2PM!  Egad - I had to wait a bit longer to finally see first hand my heart's desire.  The piece I bought is now encased in bubble wrap.  I don't dare open it for a photo - but trust me, it's worth every Swiss France I spent.  I love it!

The artist, Susanna Ruttimann Kiepenheuer

Fabulous perfume bottle display in a shop on the Bahnhofstrasse

Our dolce today was a large helping of silk haute couture.  The "Soire Pirate" exhibition at the Landesmuseum-Zurich is a must see.  

"At the heart of 'Soie pirate' is the Zurich-based textile company Abraham Ltd.  The Abraham Archive with its vast array of textile treasures sheds light on the most diverse aspects of fabrics and fashion in the second half of the 20th century..."

As you can see, we had a grand day!

November 2, 2010

Zurich - Women on the Street

I have been having the best time taking pictures of women on the street - not real life ladies - those made of stone, fresco, bronze - you get the idea.  These luscious ladies are everywhere - take a look - and enjoy some of my favorites!

 bad hair day?

We wandered around Bahnhofstrasse and didn't buy as much as we originally thought - not because of the prices - some of the stores we had in mind were closed today (Monday).  Never fear, we will give it another shot tomorrow!