Saturday, March 31, 2007

Beautiful Postcard From Micki!

Yaay! This beautiful card finally arrived from Micki! I've been worried about it making it here. I don't know what the material is she used for the center buy I'm dying to find out. And it's GREEN like I like it! Thank you Micki, it is wonderfully made! I have renewed faith in our postal service and I take back what I said about our mailperson. Click on pic for a closer view! I'm working on multiple postcards for the swaps I'm in with Fiber Art Friends and also making flower petals for an April swap. Here are some of my embellishing projects in progress:

Friday, March 30, 2007

Postcard from SueB!

A Birthday Postcard from the world famous SueB!Thank you Sue! This one is silk fusion base with dabs of silk covered with clear plastic! My child thinks it will make a neato Barbie Twister game! Love it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An ArtCard made my me

My first postcard!I mailed it yesterday but it took me 20 minutes to gather the nerve to release it into the blackhole of the mailbox. I didn't have the Kahoonas to send it "naked" like you artists gone wild I hear about. It's on its way to an extremely talented someone who shall remain anonymous until received since I don't think I'm supposed to post it until he or she receives it. Shhh! **Update: She got it! My first postcard went to SuZ W!!

I embellished wool and dyed silk onto painted lutradur during my experiments with the new embellisher foot. Then I laid it over a turquoise cotton and freemotioned everything down. You can't tell from the pic but I used pretty metallic threads on the petals. My satin stitching is getting better but I see where I need to invest in thousands of dollars worth of thread. I'm going to print a photo of all my threads to take along to my next thread shopping excursion.

I plan to make my next series of postcards using the techniques I'm learning from Fembellish Journal Gilded Garden Tutorial. If you haven't seen N.Rene West's blog, she offers a wealth of techniques explained step-by-step and her talent will blow you away. I've learned more about my Bernina 440 and it's accessories from her site than from my dealer or the manual. Each entry is daily eye-candy fabric therapy!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Remembering Our Weston on his 4th Birthday

This is a tougher post than I thought it would be. Every year on this day, I think maybe it will be easier but it never is. In fact, I think it's even harder as time passes since I'm the one who knows when his birthday is coming. This year I waited until this morning to alert my husband and child of the day and prepare for our annual release of the balloons for what would be our deceased son's 4th birthday. I know it's so hard for people because they just don't know what to say. I don't know the right thing to say to someone suffering grief after the loss of a loved one and you would think I'd be qualified. Sometimes I worry that maybe I should be further along in the whole damned grief process.

During the first couple of years after his death, when I was asked about my children, I'd tell them one living daughter and that we lost our son. Talk about make them uncomfortable and avoid me like the plague afterwards! Now I find myself saying, "We have one daughter, that's it just one daughter."
Today's birthday balloons with our love notes written and sent to Weston.

We're still a family and I have so much to be so grateful for! A precious daughter, a loving husband of 16 years and good friends who I might have never known. I think it's ironic that I read about so many fiber artists who started quilting after the birth of their child. I started sewing after the death of mine. As obsessed as I am about quilting, dollmaking and all things fabrilicious, it truly gets me through each day.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I Got ART Mail!!

It's been a good week! Easy for me to say now that it's Friday. I've worked my behind off nite & day at The Job. Then I managed to mame myself one last time with the Bernina while satin stitching fabric flower petal edges. But I'll spear you the bloody details this time.

Ah, but what special surprises from a couple of awesome fiber friends I'd like to share!

OMG - Terri at StegArt sent me this BEAUTIFUL fabric birthday postcard!!!. I just joined Fiber Art Friends ring and we have a birthday card swap going that I have not even yet signed up for but she sent me this! It MADE my DAY yesterday and I've carried it to work and played with it every time I needed a smile. I've got to make some of these! I love them because they're bigger than an ATC and you can mail them! What a thrill to get it in the MAIL....THANKS so much TERRI ! It's so beautiful and I will cherish this and get my rear in gear to spread the fiber love!

Tonight we ate my favorite Mexican restaurant and I had just one Margaritas. Once home we discovered my friend Mary left me a couple of lovely surprises!!! Hehehe...

First, this "Fiber Art Art For A Cause" Postcard called "Mom and Cat" by Jan Rowan Miller:

I Googled the artist Jan Miller and found her email address to let her know I had received her Fiber Art For A Cause card. She responded and said that she was inspired to create this piece when her good friend's mother was suffering from Altheimer's. Ms. Roark held and caressed this kitty because it gave her comfort. How wonderful to know the human emotional story that inspires great art.

Two of my very first Fiber Art postcards in one week must be a sign from God! Gorgeous. And also this Must-Have on every dollmaker's wish list: Ssweet! Look inside and get it here: JOGGLES

This means that the only Patti Culea book that I now do not own is Cloth Doll Couture" ....hint hint. : ) Thank you Mary!!!!!! I Totally Love Them!

Ok, as mentioned I injured myself in a horrifying way earlier this week late at night...sewing. Who knew sewing was a dangerous sport. As Judy in the Dyes husband had commented something like, "It's a damned good thing my hobby isn't Archery"

So last night I was scared of the Bernina and wanted to catch up on safe non-needle-related activities. The Fiber Art Friends technique to try this month is Tyvek. Luckily I've been saving DHL envelopes because I knew I'd want to paint and melt them one day. I tried heating them over stamps but it just didn't work out at all like Micki's lacey pieces or Terri's cool pebbled tile look. So, I went for the super easy Tyvek beads:

Then I put a piece of painted Tyvek over the face of a Sculpey mold from my Barbara Willis class and created this lovely scary mummy doll mask! Pretty scary but in an artsy fartsy kinda way. And these pieces well I call these colorful melted DHL envelope pieces:

And guess what? Not one 3rd degree burn from the heat gun!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Houston! We have Woodknot!

I'm calling the woodknot finished! And the same goes for his or her little wooded world of puffy painted poison mushrooms, hand-wired dyed fabric ferns and embellisher punched, silk infused with sprinklings of roving through her tunic and hat. Oh, and the gathered hand-dyed moss and homemade tree trunk.

During this project I made the first perfect stitch with the Bernina through my index finger. Mmmhmm.....I'm recovering and it will not happen again! Then tonight I injected a darning needle between my thumb and nail. Good times! But as I the blood pooled beneath my nail, I just kept going.... not stopping to care, laser focused on the birth of the woodknotress. As much as I wanted to be done with the woodnut, I'm actually considering starting a mermaid doll. This doll thing is addicting and for someone who flits from one technique to another or one class to the next it's just what the doctor ordered for me! Isn't she photogenic!

Probably the best doll I've made so far! (hmm...I say that with each successive doll)

My supervisor was my major motivation to complete this project in a timely manner:

Goodnight lil' critter. I forgive you for the punctures and lacerations. You've made me proud and a little child happy to share her mom's art with her friends.
This pattern and complete dvd instructions available from Allison Marano Faewyck Studios

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy BirthDots 2 Me

Like me, my dolls get better with age and practice. My boy woodknot has experienced a sex change and after a few finishing details, she should be finished by Sunday. I stayed up late late last night trying to finish her so I could bring her to my doll club's show & tell this morning. But by 2 am, I accepted that she would not be finished by morning but I will definitely make it to the 10am doll meeting regardless. Nope. I slept through the snooze button and Mary's 3 phone calls and missed doll club completely. Then I remembered that today is my birthday and I'm old and mornings like this are perfectly legal.

Me and the family packed it up and headed off to Galveston for a beautiful Saturday at Moody Gardens. Because it was my birthday, I forced them stop at Quilts by the Bay. This was my husband's VERY first time physically inside a quilt shop! They were good sports and I bought some birthday Solvy stabilizer, 7 spools of Medeira and Sulky metallic threads for a $1 each, and an assortment of other necessities. Later I took the above close-up of my daughter's rainbow dippin dots because I think they're just the coolest thing.

My published commitment: I will Post a Finished Woodknotress by end of day tomorrow!

Monday, March 12, 2007

All Dolls All Weekend - The Material Girls Doll Retreat

What a lovely weekend we had at Camp Lonestar in LaGrange with fabulous doll artists and friends. I'm pretty exhausted with the time change and having to go back to work after such a creative weekend filled with wine, women and dolls!
(See Trudi's beautiful woodland critter pictured above)
I will not post my Wood Knot until he's finished and he's very close. I have no problem posting others unfinished wood knots however. We LOVED Allison Marano and she loved us Material Girls too! (though we freaked her out with our red-eyed, leprosy-spreading Texas armadillo stories)
Mary W working her whimsical magic on her psychedelic rebel wood knot: Trudi and Liz working their doll mojo

Mary and Kathy's Wood Knot Happy HourMy Retreat Roomies left to right Kathy, Me (I'm not drunk it's just morning) and Mary

My next post will be my finished Wood Knot darnit! It is complete with fabric moss, bark, ferns and Woody the Wood Knot. My biggest challenges this weekend 1) sleeping 2) sculpting 3)staying up with these doll-maniacs.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Doll Retreat Weekend and No Blogging?

I'll be in La Grange with the Material Girls all weekend so I won't be posting until I return. I hope I don't do anything embarrasing at the retreat because I'll will be photographed and I will be compelled to post it. I'm bringing silk fusion pieces, my homework woodknot, and plenty of other items to play with. I'm too excited about hanging out in the woods with my doll-homies and Allison Morano, doll creator and workshop host. I didn't finish the flower pin doll and that's just how I am. I will finish her and maybe put her up for trade here! Thank you all for your comments - they all ways make me smile! Ya'll have a great weekend!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Shiny Happy Pin Doll in Progress

One of my many practice doll heads resting among pretty petals stitched with Ricky Timms metallic threads through the bobbin. The stringie things are hand felted somethings that will be put to a specific/undetermined use. Cloth Paper Scissors offered a great article this month on fabric flower bouquets so I'm turning that into something I need by Friday! I'm optimistic that she'll become a lovely pin doll for a beloved Material Girl this weekend at our doll retreat in La Grange., TX. The theme is "all natural" and I could have made a naked hippie doll swinging from a river rope...but nah....I'm going with Spring flowers! Be sure that the finished flower girl will be posted before I leave for sewing Nirvana this weekend. No Internet connection in the woods??? Now that's roughing it!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Silk Fused Padfolio and Teddy the Yorkie

Something positive evolved from my silk fusion breakdown! This wonderful little padfolio/worry journal/artistic sketchbook/to-do-list keeper. I've had padfolio envy since I've seen so many of these SueB Padfolio's blogged around the world. I could surely use more satin stitching on the edge practice but I really like how it turned out. I may change the cording and make a few silk fusion beads from Sue's latest lesson. This week's project is a silk fusion box and who knows, I may wake up at dawn Sunday and marathon box sew until noon like I did today. "What's for breakfast Honey?" pockets...

There are two inside pockets and it's satin stitched and fused together. My colors look a whole lot like Sue's blog header in fact! Such a cool easy-to follow project by the magnificant Fibre Artiste and Textile Art Educator Extrordinaire, Sue Bleiweiss
On Thursday, a little Yorkie dog came at me head-on in the middle of the street. No collar and no one chasing him. I stopped of course, got out of the car as he jumped into my arms. So what else could I do but take the little guy home and try to find his owner? We all fell in love with the little pooch, though he "loved" on my child's Hello Kitty toy just a bit too much! We found his owner Friday night and after many heartbroken tears and seeing him returned to his happy mom, we're now talking Yorkie shopping..... Goodbye Teddy! We all missed you this morning! Everyone except for our cats and Hello Kitty.