Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, for better or worse..... I'm now a full time artist! Not even sure just what that will look like but I do know I'm excited about it. It is something I have wanted to do for at least a year and now have a chance to see where it will take me! (does this sound like it would fit in with the latest card in MY CREATIVE JOURNEY or what?????)

I'm dedicating the rest of this week to straightening up and reorganizing parts of my studio. It feels so for real now!

So, wish me luck, here I go!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008


And yet another easy one for me! The title is LIVE DANGEROUSLY!! The first sentence on the card is "Are you a risk-taker?" Oh YEHHHHHHH! So, my plan for this week is to keep on "playing" in my studio, asking the question "I wonder what would happen if.........." I keep seeing so many things that I want to do and learn and try. Sure, some of them don't do so well and some I learn other things from (like needing GREAT ventilation and probably STILL wearing a mask when melting fun foam!). I've always been a risk-taker, love living outside the box. It's gotten me into trouble with the "establishment" but hey, so what! About the only thing that keeps me from taking risks in my art is TIME. Yep..... the big T word. Never seems to be enough of it to play with. So............. I wonder if I should just take the big leap and quit my supposedly "real job" and jump full force into art?????? I have a business meeting today with my client. Depending on how that goes (maybe THEY will not renew their contract????? That would answer the question rather well don't you think?) the future could change drastically!

So taking risks it will be. Which ones I don't yet know but I'll keep you posted as the pop up!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Daily Thoughts Journals

I had lunch with two of my best friends last week. One of them told us how she had started to think of at least one good thing that had happened that day before she went to bed each night. We all thought that was a great idea - as we try to keep a more positive outlook on life, even through the rough times. My friend, Ginia, told me she wanted a small journal to keep by her bed to write these thoughts in. I offered to make her one (or at least a cover on one!) She was amazingly pleased! She didn't want lines on the page so I bought a 5X7 spiral bound sketch book from JoAnn's. Her favorite color is green (all shades of it!) and she wanted something kind of autumn. So, I went rummaging through my stash of hand-dyed fabric and found what I thought would work just fine. The shiney (sorry about that) part on the burnt orange fabric is a gel sticker that says "A Day to Remember". Seemed appropriate. I stenciled on the oak leaf with Lumiere Copper and Burnt Orange. Then I drew in the veining with a brown Pigma Brush pen.

Here is a detailed picture of the front. One day about a month ago I was at a local surplus store and saw a whole ton of little toothpaste tubes but they were empty and opened on the end opposite the screw on cap. The insides were silver or gold metal. Needless to say - I bought a handfull of each to play with. I took a gold one and cut off the top so I have a flat piece of metal. I then took a fancy alphabet stencil and turned it over on the back (so the initial would come out right) and embossed the metal square with a "G". Then I got out my alcohol inks and dripped then on the embossed metal until I got the look I wanted. Then I stitched it onto the fabric with a zigzag stitch and covered the notebook with it.

I'm going to try to get it to her this weekend. I also bought some gel pens in green for her to write with if she wants. I like it so much I'm now working on one for myself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Finally I got around to washing, drying and pressing the rust pieces I did for an upcoming swap. I have been fortunate to find some really interesting pieces of rusty metal and it is fun to see the effect it has on the fabric. I did four different pieces. Below are three pictures for each piece 1) the rusty metal I used, 2) the fabric on the metal and 3) the final results.

The small and large grate pieces got an additional design element I didn't know about. When spraying them with vinegar to keep them wet they developed run lines on them. I think it adds a whole other piece of the "old and rusty" concept.



STRIP METAL WITH HOLES (I found this one along side the road)

BABY BED SPRINGS (purchased at a garage sale and stripped down to the metal)

BONUS - Not a rusty piece, but while I was washing I decided to throw in a piece of my black hand-dyed fabric that I had been using to clean up after a few discharge sessions. I LOVE the way it turned out - really serendipity because I have no idea which dye I used on the original black piece.


OK so I'm only a day late this week in picking my card..... but here it is!!

READING!! Wow, now that is really a difficult one................. NOT!!

I love to read...... and since a good friend just sent me a great book about fiber art and metal..........guess this one will be another no brainer week for me. However, I am not JUST going to read about it but plan to do some experimenting. I'll post those later in the week.

So, for now I'm off to brew a cup of tea, sit down in my big comfy chair in my studio and read my new book. Let's see how long I can sit there with out getting up and playing!!! Any bets?????
Today was a great field trip for me. I met a friend and we went to the Mill City Ruins. Minneapolis used to be a great milling town. And, true to most mills, the big ones were located along a river. In this case the river is the Mississippi. Many of the old warehouses and other old buildings have now been converted into high end condos. But someone with a sense of the historic and meaningful, decided to preserve some of the ruins of at least one or two old mills along the river. AND to preserve the Stone Arch Bridge, which used to be a railroad bridge.

The architecture is amazing and the ruins evoke a sense of the hustle and bustle of the milling district as it might have been many years ago. There is a museum there also but it was closed yesterday. Sounds like another field trip for another day! I have another connection to this section of town. My husband's father used to be a VP at one of the flour mills. So, I'm excited to delve into that bit of family background just a bit.

Following are four pictures of the Stone Arch Bridge. Info from their official website: Railroad baron James J. Hill built the bridge in 1883 to allow for increased movement of people and goods across the Mississippi River. The Stone Arch Bridge spans St. Anthony Falls, and served as a working railroad bridge until 1965. Today, the bridge accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists and the River City Trolley. It continues to offer spectacular views of St. Anthony Falls, the historic milling district and the Minneapolis skyline and is an important link in the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail. It is the only stone arch bridge ever to be built across the Mississippi River.

Below are a few pictures of the overall view of the Mill City Ruins. The first view is from the Stone Arch Bridge. The other two are taken from a walkway they have put down by the ruins themselves.

It was a wonderful day. We tried to imagine what it was like back in those days and just enjoyed the trip back in time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Evening of Art

From time to time - I'll be posting not only my art but also things that inspire me. This post is one of the latter.

Last night my husband and I went to the old Stone Arch Bridge down by the Mississippi River to see a photography installation. Red Bull (the energy drink) sponsored the presentation. You can read all about it at the link below. AND if you click on Exhibit Tour and then click on Minneapolis, you can see our beautiful Stone Arch Bridge. Then if you click on some of the other pictures on the Minneapolis site you can get a feel for the exhibit and how big the cubes are (8'X8'). It was a beautiful evening and we had a wonderful date! Unfortunately, this is the last stop on the exhibit tour but you can also see all the photographs on the website.


Enjoy! I know we did!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Chrissie

One of the things I do for my closest friends is to make them a "Favorite Things" wall hanging for their birthday. Today we are celebrating the birthday of one of my best friends, Chrissie. Here is her wall hanging quilt.

The quilt is about 19"X 20" (about a FQ) of my hand-dyed fabric. The color is Periwinkle - Chrissie's favorite color. I'll tell you what all is in the piece with the more detailed pictures below.

Happy Birthday Chrissie!!!

Upper Right Corner - Chrissie collects artwork about "kisses". The picture in the corner is an ad in French I think (and English) about a perfume called "Djer Kiss". It was an ad in a lot of ephemera I won on e-bay. I also added the fleur-del-lis charm. The strip of fabric going at an angle is a map of Paris (upside down because one day the two of us plan to turn Paris upside down!!) The top addition is a postcard button that says "I love Paris in the springtime". Attached to it are an airplane and a suitcase. Chrissie travels A LOT!!! On down the fabric is an art button and from it hang an artist's easel, pallette knife, and paint pallete. Chrissie is also a painter.

Chrissie is from Belgium. In the corner is the flag of Belgium cigar silk that I found on e-bay. Also some Belgian stamps, paper money (before the Euro!) and a coin. The playing card I got also on e-bay and the picture is supposed to be some famous building in Belgium.

We often enjoy a bottle of wine together so I have a piece of pounded fabric on which I stenciled a cluster of grapes on a vine with Lumiere paints. Added half of a cork from a wine bottle and a charm of a wine goblet. The center is a page from a small friendship book that says: "A true friend is the gift of God, and He only who made hearts can unite them." - Robert South. Also a scripture about friendship and a tiny cross.

And last but not least, the final corner. To the left is a piece of pink tulle with ballet charms. One of the things Chrissie always wanted to do but didn't get to is be a ballerina. She still loves ballet. The tulle represents a tutu. The other love of her life is her piano. So the piano represents her "Baby" (that is it's name) and the other horizontal fabric has the names of famous classical composers. The black tag has all music stuff on it. On the bottom of the Paris street fabric is a theater playbill button and attached to it is the "tragedy/comedy" masks.

Well, that's it. I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I've moved my challenge for My Creative Journey over to my art blog as you can see. Nothing visual today - just thoughts and ponderings.

The card for today is: Be Open to Adventure

Ok, not usually a challenge to me but let's read the card and see what kind of adventure it is talking about.

The idea is about courage to try something new...... again not a problem for me. I guess it is best that I get to start back into this journey with something easy.

Today I am working on a "Favorite Things" wall hanging for my friend Chrissie. I started it a while ago and need to finish it up for her birthday party on Thursday. So, no pictures today in case she is reading (sorry Chrissie!!)

I love to do these wall hangings for friends. I take several things that I know are their favorite things and incorporate them. Chrissie and I have been friends for a long time so I may need a bigger piece of background fabric!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Calling All Grandmothers! (or moms with babies)

Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover baby cereal??? Ever had one of those "I wonder what would happen if....." moments after the baby didn't finish it's cereal??? Well, I did. And it just so happened that it came at a very appropriate time. It was "resist swap" in one of the internet groups I swap with. Soooooooooo........................

Introducing - Baby Cereal Resist

I mixed up the cereal with just enough water to be easily spreadable. (sorry, no exact measurement for me this time!) Using the back of a spoon I spread it on a previously dyed FQ that had not mottled as much as I had wanted.

I hung it on my drying rack to dry. One thing I learned......... If you put something outside on the rack to dry..........it will surely rain! And it did. So, I moved it inside and put it in my batching closet which is always about 70 degrees. It dries pretty quickly that way, too!

After it dried, I took it off the rack, cracked the resist, and painted it with black dye w/soda ash mixed in. Then I let that batch for 4 hours (I couldn't wait any longer!). I rinsed out the baby cereal (not difficult just yucky) and then washed it in the washing machine to be sure all the cereal was gone.

I liked that one a lot but I also wanted to do something more monochromatic. This is one I did the same way but used Emerald Green dye mix on it.

Now, I'm sure I'm not the first one to use baby cereal for a resist but since no one had mentioned it to me previously, I just thought I should spread the word!

Happy Resisting!!!