Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tutorial: Sketchbook Slipcover

 Welcome to Artspark's third day of the Spring Tutorial Fling!

I love working with fabric and I love sketching. My sketchbooks want to be pretty on the outside - even if they are a mess on the inside.

If you'd like to make a sketchbook slipcover you'll need just enough fabric to wrap your book like a gift (mine is quilted to batting although that is not required.) You'll also need inside fabric that's just a little longer than the fabric you'll use for the outside of the slipcover.

And because I had just enough fabric left over I made a little pencil case. Melanie Testa has a tutorial here so you can make one of those too if you wish.

Make sure you don't miss the following tutorials from other Artspark members!
Spring wreath: Alisa Burke

Making a Faced Binding: Judy Coates Perez
Journal mapping: Jill Berry

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Artspark Tutorial Spring Fling

Welcome to day 2 of Artspark's Spring Tutorial Fling

Freezer paper stencils from your sketchbook images and Paintstiks: Jane LaFazio

Bunny Power: Quick Tombo Rabbits: Carla Sonheim

Painting Eggs: Tracie Huskamp

To answer your questions from yesterday. This piece is about 6" and is a mother of pearl disc on shibori dyed fabric. And lots of beads. It will be framed in this lovely little shadow box. (I took the glass out to photograph it.) Scroll to yesterday's post to see a close-up.

I'm going to try something new and give you all first dibs before I list it on Etsy. 

PEARLS 6"x6"
framed and wired for hanging
$85.00 usd (plus shipping)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Work in Progress and Artspark's Spring Tutorial Fling

Just for fun - here is a bit of the small piece I worked on during my trip to Montana this month.
An title ideas? 

and day 1 of
Artspark's Spring Tutorial Fling

Incised Fun Foam Stamping: Melanie Testa

Recycled Slip cover for a small book : Gwen Diehn

Tomorrow look for:
Freezer paper stencils from your sketchbook images and Paintstiks:Jane LaFazio
Bunny Power: Quick Tombo Rabbits: Carla Sonheim
Painting Bird Eggs: Tracie Huskamp

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Artspark Tutorial Spring Event


ArtSpark is having a spring tutorial event.

For three days this week we'll be bringing you fabulously fun free tutorials.

Tuesday, March 29

Incised Fun Foam Stamping: Melanie Testa
Recycled Slip cover for a small book : Gwen Diehn

Wednesday, March 30
Freezer paper stencils from your sketchbook images and Paintstiks: Jane LaFazio
Bunny Power: Quick Tombo Rabbits: Carla Sonheim
Tracie Huskamp: surprise

Thursday, March 31
Sketchbook Slipcover: Lyric Kinard
Spring wreath: Alisa Burke
Making a Faced Binding: Judy Coates Perez
 Journal mapping: Jill Berry

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On-Line Class: The Artist's Toolbox

Introducing: The Artist's Toolbox

An on-line course at www.
based on the book
Art + Quilt: Design Principles and Creativity Exercises

Come learn the basic alphabet of the visual language, the elements and principles of good design.

I'll walk you through each element, explaining them in easy to understand language and metaphors.

We'll observe each element in the world around us both in art and in the natural world.

Finally we'll put what we've learned into practice through practical exercises.

The supply list couldn't be simpler.
Sketchbook and whatever drawing stuff you have
Glue Stick
Fabric Scraps

Registration is open now and the class is almost full.
Class begins April 22nd.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Faces on Friday

At another guild meeting and each drawn in less than 30 seconds.
My sisters are coming for a visit in June.
We're going to have a Mad Hatter Tea Party.

All of us love to play dress up.

(sorry about the washed out pics from the flash. It was either that or shadows.)

And I have another thing to share. Something wonderful has happened. I've been chosen 2011 Teacher of the Year
by the International Association of Professional Quilters.
Thank you SO MUCH to my absolutely, most wonderful in the world, students!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NC Sketch-In and Spilling Over

 Last week we had a fabulous time at the Cary, NC Sketch-In.
What we lacked in numbers we made up for in laughter!

 And in some hard work!

We did blind contour drawings of our hands.
The post just previous to this one explains the process.
Remember - it's about seeing - not about the drawing!

Hannah showed off some delicious fabric she had painted and Mary toiled away at some portraiture.

 I worked a bit on throwing paint at paper. 
Random marks with guache and a sort of stiff brush.

It wasn't saying "spilling" to me
so I pulled out a white pencil and doodled oodles of happy flowers.

Hannah worked on some very bright colors
inspired by a picture she took of her child's toy.

Next Raleigh, NC Sketch-In
Saturday April 30, 2011
NC Museum of Art
10am - 12pm

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Art 24/7 and Finding Balance

Recently a wonderful man named Michael Cunningham asked me a question worth pondering. 

#21 by Michael Cunningham
"I have enjoyed making art of some kind all my life. I started quilting about 20 yrs ago. In the past 5-6 years I have been moving more and more to Art Quilting. Late last year I challenged myself to create a quilt a day. Well, that lasted for 32 days ending on Thanksgiving day when the holidays got the best of my creativity and time. The quilts were each 6x6 and lots of fun to do. I was reading every book I could get my hands on, including yours which I purchased at the 2010 Houston International Quilt Show. It was a great way to try different printing techniques, hand drying, beading etc… You can go to my blog to see them, . With the new year here I am finding it hard to get back into my art. So my question, after all that is, how do you keep the creativity going… how do you keep the passion alive? I wish I could work on it every day, but life and the need to make a living and keep a household gets in the way. My dream life is no work & no commitments…just art 24/7 eat art, sleep art, live art, my art. HELP!?!"

I'm with you Michael! Mostly. No work? No commitments? Sounds like a dream. Full days of studio time with no deadlines and no housework in the way? Gotta admit it sounds heavenly. That darn life thing and work and commitments!?

Except that I like my commitments. They largely consist of my family and religious duties and they will always be a higher priority than my art. That doesn't mean that I make three course meals every night and devote every waking moment to volunteering at the school or driving them to a million extra-curricular activities. I do enough - but there make room for art. Things here often fall apart when I've got a deadline approaching but it tends to be cyclical - life tends to balance out over the month - definitely not on a daily basis.

So Michael - instead of talking about keeping the passion for art right away - I'm going to start out talking about balance. To me the two are intertwined.

I'm one of those very fortunate people that doesn't need to support myself through what I do so I can say no to too many teaching gigs or to commissions - both of which would tip the see-saw completely too far away from the family. This also means that I have an awful lot of "life and keeping a household" (if not the making a living part) getting in the way of being a full time, productive, artist. I've always envied those who are able to crank out piece after piece. Then I remember - five kids and Mr. Almost Perfect. Being heavily involved in my religious community and with my friends. Ah. I chose these commitments and they're all good.

Tiny Sun
My mantra this past year has been "it's all good." When people asked how I was doing - I used to say "crazy. I'm going crazy." I think I'm a whiner by nature. I could list all the looming deadlines and the million hours of driving and homework and such. I needed to stop the complaining. I hate it when my children whine and complain - especially about the good things that they don't appreciate. So now I say "a little crazy but it's all good" because, truly, it is. I don't have to look far at all to find many, many people who are much less fortunate than I. It's all about perspective, expectations, and vision.

1 - Perspective. Looking at my lack of art time during the intense years of having infants at home from the depths of those trenches was very frustrating. No time. No creativity. Exhaustion. It took a number of years to realize how quickly that time passes. My oldest, who was a baby last time I blinked, is leaving the next this year. With the last baby I told myself - focus on this. Focus on now. Don't wish this time away. Hindsight is perfect right? I could see that this time would fly and chose be happy with what was.

2 - Expectations. Keep it real. During that "trench" time I told myself I was on sabbatical. No worries about getting into the studio or producing anything or entering finished work into shows. I kept a sketchbook so if an idea happened to bubble up through the baby-induced-fog I could catch it before it slipped away. Because I didn't expect any more than that - I wasn't disappointed. Or frustrated. A few art related things actually did find their way into existence and they were a happy and unexpected bonus.

Three Leaves
3 - Vision. Because I had a longer view of my past experience to draw from, I could envision life further into the future. Life is short - but it's long enough. I knew time would be mine later and I had a plan. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted from my art and how to make it happen. When I was ready to get back into the studio I knew what my goals were both long and short term. I had a few immediate goals and many 5, 10, and 20 year goals. Still do. I can manage a few goals each year. I know when I might be able to start work on the more intense goals. I've got some big dreams for waaaay down the road. Even baby steps can get you closer to the top of the mountain!

Perspective - appreciate where you are

Expectations - keep it real

Vision - know where you are and where you are headed

Next week - PASSION for our art
Where does it come from? How do you keep it burning?

And tell me how you find your balance.