One World One Heart

Just an update to this post. Because I have had such an overwhelming response I will be giving away not one, but three hearts. Your choice of white with red stitching or red with white stitching. I am truly amazed and delighted to meet so many new friends and explore such great blogs!

I am excited to be participating in One World One Heart, an event for bloggers to meet and mingle. If you are new to my blog, welcome! If you have been here before, welcome back! If you would like to join in the event just click on the button on my side bar or here to find out more.

I am someone who has always asked the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?" Well, I'm in my fifties now and I think I probably need to quit trying to figure that one out and just "be." So, here is what I know about myself, so far. I am a textile artist and I like to use traditional techniques in unusual ways. I tend to make three dimensional fabric pieces and then embroider on them. Sometimes they are quite traditional looking and sometimes they are unusual. I think this is all part of my 'what do I want to be' thing. I want to do and try it all!

Besides textiles, my other passions are cooking and gardening. I like to experiment and try new recipes especially if it includes ingredients out of my garden. Herbs and I seem to have an especially good relationship but I still need to work some things out with peas and spinach.

I live in the upper Midwest of the United States. I grew up here but until recently, I lived in Virginia. As I watch the snow pile up and the temperature drop I long for the milder winters but I really love being in a place where I feel such a connection and being closer to family.

I left one of the best parts of One World One Heart for last, the door prize. In honor of February I will be giving away one of my felt embroidered hearts. Just leave a comment on this post and a way for me to get in touch with you. The drawing will take place on February 17th. Good to meet you!


Recycled Doll

My friend Libby and I decided to do a monthly art exploration. We will choose a monthly theme or idea and see what we come up with. January's project was to use things you would throw in recycling to make a doll.

I had a plastic milk bottle which was the perfect shape for a body, a toilet paper tube extended the neck and while the styrofoam egg wasn't in my recycling, it was something I had so I didn't have to purchase a thing. I decided I would try my hand at paper mache, something I hadn't done since about fourth grade. I remember not liking it very much because the stuff got everywhere and I had cold mush running down my arms. Well, that was how it was in fourth grade, but I thought maybe I could be an adult and do it differently. I found a great website, Ultimate Paper Mache for recipes and hints. I decided to use warm water to mix up the paste and that was so much nicer to work with...no freezing fingers! I will say it was better than I remembered and I would probably do it again but as you can see I didn't get the surface very smooth. It was a fun experiment though and all in all I think it turned out pretty well.

After three layers of newspaper strips were applied and thoroughly dried, I drilled holes in the sides to put a wire through to string the beads for the arms and then painted everything and added the wooden beads for arms. Some glass flowers finished her off! Next month is making a two dimensional piece inspired by things in the kitchen - stay tuned!


Sarubobo Dolls

I was checking out some of my favorite blogs the other day and at Coyote Craft I found a link to Mairuru and found a great tutorial. Sarubobo dolls are Japanese amulets traditionally made by grandmothers for their grandchildren to use as dolls and made for daughters as charms for good children, good marraiges.

I am always taken by very small things and very large things and these fit in the category of very small. They are hand sewn and very quick to make up. Go visit Mairuru for the directions and Coyote Craft to see her versions.


Every Inchie Monday

Today's Every Inchie Monday theme is maudlin. It's meaning...

1. tearfully or weakly emotional, foolishly sentimental
2. foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkeness

I decided to depict sentimental with embroidered flowers and lace on felt. I added some eyes peeking out of the lace....watching, waiting, probably tearfully.

I have discovered I can work on these little pieces more easily if I start with a larger piece of fabric and mark a square inch in the middle. I then sew and embroider while having more room to manipulate the fabric through the sewing machine or in my hand. When I am finished I trim it down to size. For those of you wondering how I didn't sew through my fingers, now you know!

If you would like to see more inchies go to Every Inchie Monday.


You Are Worth the Time

The other day I was blog hopping and found myself at Ardea's Nest where she had posted this video by Jan Phillips. I was moved by the power and truth of the words. If you have ever created, ever wanted to create or just want to understand why people create you need to watch this video. In other words, it is for everyone.


Valentines Anyone?

I have had an etsy shop for quite awhile but haven't posted anything for way too long. I made these hearts and took them down to a friends stationary shop and she went wild for them so I decided to give them a go on etsy. So, in the event that you are looking for a little something for your loved ones, these little hearts might do the trick. They would be a nice addition to a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates but they are sweet enough to stand on their own! They are hand embroidered on wool/rayon felt and have a ribbon for hanging. To see the details go to Threads of Inspiration at etsy.


Every Inchie Monday

I have joined Every Inchie Monday in creating an inchie every week for a year. An inchie is what it sounds like, a one inch square that is embellished and in this challenge around a weekly theme. This weeks theme is caring and here is my first inchie (I missed the first two weeks, but 50 inchies seems o.k. to me! Go to Every Inchie Monday to see more or join in yourself.
My inchie was originally going to have winter colors. For the last 5 days we have had an inch of snow each day and today expecting 3 to 5 inches so that seemed appropriate. I opened my box of felt and on top were beautiful bright colors and I realized how much I needed to see something other than white, silver and gray. So purple, lime green and blue with pink metallic stitching was for me! Enjoy!


Valentine Collage Cards

I had such a good time making the collage cards in the previous post that I made more with a red/pink/white Valentine's Day theme. What I like about making these collages is every action you take - the motion of the machine stitches, placement of a ribbon or stamp, density of the angelina fiber - is creating the design. That seems obvious, but in the other work I do, for example embroidery, much of the design work is done up front and then making the object is really being the machine, if you will, that puts the stitches in place. Yes, design decisions are made along the way, but not every stitch is a design decision that will change the look of the piece. So, here are more collage cards!


Collage Cards

A friend and I got together last week for an art play day. I find I need a friend to do this with because I forget about the play aspect of art. I have so many projects to work on that I go to them instead of experimentation. So, I packed up a few bags full of fabric, found paper objects, beads, buttons, thread and whatever struck my fancy, some muffins to start the day, soup for lunch and a movie to have on in the background. My friend supplied coffee, a great salad, some wine (how decadent to have wine for lunch!) a good space to work in and a plateful of cookies and goodies! The results for me were these collage cards that I am going to put in my local stationary shop, Paper Doll.


New Year - New Calendar

Well, a new year has arrived and with it comes choosing a new calendar. For me this is an important task because I have to love my calendar, after all it will be by my side for a whole year and it has to work the way I need it to work. I have tried monthly and weekly formats, large, medium, and long ago when I was in high school I had a really tiny one which Hallmark gave away. I used to make up abbreviations to fit on the little squares which I thought might keep my parents from knowing what I was doing. The abbreviations went something like this....hotdlam...meaning heartthrob of the day looked at me. Those were the days! Now I abbreviate my colonoscopy and mammogram appointments.

After a lot of different trials I have come to find that We'Moon calendars are my favorite. They are filled with great artwork, prose, poetry, and some astrology. I find if I am waiting for an appointment I can always take out my calendar and read something interesting. Last year I was unable to find one but several weeks ago I snapped up one at my local bookstore so I am ready to organize and schedule my life for another year. I hope you have found the calendar of your dreams. Happy New Year!