Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Toolin' - A fun way to fill a SHAPE container

Happy Tuesday! Hope your week kicked off well.
I've been enjoying my time pulling all sorts of materials together for my Caribbean Cruise workshop participants. These trips seem so far out in time when you book them, it kind of seems magical when they show on the calendar to be just days away.

Today I've been having fun putting the final touches on a bag I'm making to carry my stuff while cruisin'.

For it I combined stamping and doodling and fabric
-- can there be anything better?

The cat stamps work to contain the fun-line doodling that bring the cats to life.
Stamping on fabric is fun and easy -- check it out!
I started with a pencil drawing of a cat face.
Then I rubbed pencil on the back of the picture
then laid it on top of a piece of rubber designed for
carving and tracing all the lines
With the pencil drawing completed I pulled out my lino-carving
tools and using the thin line tool and carved along the lines
then using a gouge tool I carefully carve away all the background areas
with everything carved it's time to stamp some cats onto fabric
using Createx Airbrush paint and a lino-roller I apply the paint to the stamp

I used masking tape to set the stage for the cat stamping --
then with the cats stamped it's time to get doodling -- then when it's all done,
it's ready to be stitched into the bag
before diving into the cat doodling I made a sample
using the Jarquard textile pens


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Filler' Up - Shape as Container

Happy Sunday everyone!

We have had three beautiful days here and it's been great that they showed up just in time for weekend fun. Today I am busy in the studio -- enjoying this last sunny day (more thunder, lightning & rain in the forecast). In the studio there is drawing, painting and cutting happening, so it seemed perfect to talk about
HAPE as 'container' today.

As a quilter I can relate to the idea of using a SHAPE to contain other SHAPEs  is near and dear to my heart. The compartment shapes can hold together all sorts of other visual elements -- line, mark, texture and color.

This is where the fun happens.

Think of a lovely piece of fabric that you may have painted and textured -- now taking scissors you cut this into various shapes -- you have used these new shapes to contain the lovely layers of painted effects. Now you can place and stitch these new shapes on to new backgrounds.

Fun indeed!

These containers help keep all the various elements separate and distinct.
They retain their distinction while still interacting with all the other compartment shapes and the ground they exist on.

Here are a few examples I found online:

quilt by Diane Melms

Think of the possibilities...
with paper, fabric... the list goes on from there and is as long as you'd like to make it!

Stitching On!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday's Toolin Around is a SHAPE UP!

What a day, what a day!
I hope you enjoy this fun, easy project as much as I do.
We're SHAPE'n UP some beads!

Admittedly, I’m a bead junkie… the shinier the better,
BUT, I want my beads to be quilt friendly
and I’m afraid that those big, round, beautiful beads just won’t work.
WHY? Well, I like my quilts to lay flat on the wall,
and a large ‘round’ bead requires space --
space that leaves a bump in what would be a flat space.

Oh, but
big, beautiful and flat on one side can save the day!

Lucky for us, too, that there are loads out there to choose from,
and, even more fun to make.

We start with a package of air-dry clay; a plastic knife; a few rubber stamps; a some small plastic straws/or skewers, and we are off!

cut off some of the air-dry clay;
make sure to bag it back up in a plastic bag
cut small pieces and roll them into balls
now  push the clay into the rubber stamp to pick up the design
and wiggle the straw or skewer through the soon to be bead in your desired location
lastly, just set them to dry
(overnight is best, but baking at 250 degrees can speed up the drying)
once dry you can paint them with acrylic paints or leave them plain
painting the while on straws to hold them upright is helpful

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Filler' Up Sunday-- Fun stuff to prime your imagination

Happy Sunday Everyone!
Are you ready for some fun?

I had a whole lot planned out to share with you about positive & negative space today.
NOTAN as some may have studied,

BUT, then I had some picture taking help from my new neighbor & friend here in Paducah...
Rachel Biel --
some may know her as the founder of TAFAlist.com,
an amazing site for textile professionals and ANYONE interested in textile happenings all around the world.

I have really enjoyed getting to know her better since moving here, and hanging with her is always fun. This time though, I pulled her away from work to come take photos of me around the new house -- for a presentation I'm giving soon....from the picture below, you can see we had fun, too!
attach of the killer embroidery thread!
While, at the house we got chatting about one of the organizations she helps promote-
I snagged a picture of just one of their huge collection of
*hand carved
*signed by the artist-carver
*all from sustainable woods..... DESIGNS
You can see that by clicking over to their shop you will be treated to perfect, (amazing) examples using shapes & MORE. Learning by example--YES!
Have a great day -- and a great time wandering through
this wonderful store.
You'll see and learn quite a bit,
(maybe even buy your favorite),
so Filler' UP!

and have a grand Sunday

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fun-tastic Friday! Wonderfully, Seeking Shapes

the sun is just trying to enter the day,
& I am sitting here with coffee
--writing to YOU!

The week has been one filled with all sorts of fun events and fun people and I have also been working on a getting acquainted with some new technology.

This technology boost is one that will help me be able share better in this and other on-line spaces and I am really psyched about learning to do this.

My teacher, guide, mentor in all this has thrown out a challenge...

and, today I am off on a picture taking expedition in order to create the presentation that is part of this challenge.

SHAPE is not the subject, but it will certainly be a fun part of my picture taking adventures.

I'm planning to be on the look out
for patterns created by SHAPEs.

Hmmm, what to be on the lookout for?
Well, click here:
All those ideas I posted about LINE and pattern apply here, too!

These pattern making motifs have been around and used for thousands of years.
Just look at the fabrics we use all around us!

You may even want to check out a couple of my favorite books on this subject:

Can't get out for a picture taking
adventure of your own?

How about finding some examples of patterns
created with shapes right around the house,
or while you're running errands.

Great examples can be found within the designs for fabric or wrapping paper.
or, if you're Valentine's celebrations are spanning the weekend, keep an eye out for heart patterns.

I'd love to hear about what you  find...
and, I promise to share some of mine here, too!

The Search is On!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Inside & the Outside of Shape

Shape is said to be:
Positive - when the figure is the focus of the image or the foreground
Negative - when it is the empty space or the shape created as it surrounds the foreground image.

Together they work to create a whole picture,
sometimes working to create a stage where the star of the show is seen to best advantage…
And, sometimes where the stage becomes an integral star as well. (an artist know for this is M.C.Etcher)
Thinking of creating shapes
from the inside or the outside
Is another way to imagine possibilities with shapes:

Like my hearts here:

If you have a flat piece of recycled styrofoam (like the trays meat come in from the store), or a relatively thick piece of cardboard you can have some fun with the idea of  inside & outside; negative & positive shapes.

You’ll need the styrofoam or cardboard; a sharp knife for cutting (like and Exacto) and a pencil.
For the printing-- paper or fabric along with crayons, paints or other medium.

I started with a square of styrofoam and drew a heart image on it.

Then using an Exacto knife. I carefully cut around the heart.
This left me with a positive heart to work with, and the negative space heart square.

Using these both,
I created a pattern by placing them underneath fabric
and taking crayons rubbed over them each in turn
TIP:(a piece of sandpaper underneath helps keep everything steady while crayoning.)
This is how I created this small quilt.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
Find time to have some heart shaped fun today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Playing with Shapes

Happy Tuesday!
I'm off to a slow start today, for last night I had the Paducah Fiber Artist's meeting in my new home. Wow, it was incredibly fun for both Dave(my lovely husband)and I to host the group. There were people there who traveled from Illinois and Missouri to join in, and I don't think anyone went home disappointed. The potluck was great, but the show & tell was amazing!

The sharing always reminds me that, we all have to start somewhere, and sometimes the seemingly most easy things can open up whole new ways of seeing what is around us,

AND, remember

Playing is important,
and playing with ideas and materials is just one way to build knowledge and insight.

Last month, I encouraged you to pull out your sketchbook and do LINE drawings based on a different word each day. Nothing elaborate, or time consuming, 5 minutes.

This month, take those same words,
or write some new ones on slips of paper and,
throw them into a bowl and pick one out to work with.

Though, this time
take paper, felt and/or fabric scraps, scissors and a glue stick

and cut SHAPEs that express your word(s).
Again, give yourself 5 minutes, OK a couple of extra minutes for gluing!

And, have fun...
gather up your supplies
pick a word
and have fun - for these there were five of us
we each did 3 -5 minute pieces

you may be surprised and what SHAPEs up.

Stitchin' & Gluing On

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Out of Gas -- A little Valentine's Fun!

Wow, what an incredible week!
I've got myself involved in a couple of on-line workshops.
and, I admit it...2 at once,
for when I want to figure something out, that trickster
personality of mine just can't stand waiting!

Because of this and stormy - thunder, lighting & RAIN - weather here,
and even worse in other parts of the county... I'm thinking a

little creative project might be more fun than filling up with SHAPE info.
(kids love this one, too!)

But, don't worry I have not left SHAPE out of the program, and since it is so close to
Valentine's Day of course my 'shape' will be a heart.

Are you ready to whip up a crayoned - heart valentine?

It is always fun to introducing folks to my short tutorial video on crayon rubbing creations.

But, want to encourage you to...
wander through your house
look for 'anything' that might create fun shapes
using the crayon rubbing process.

You can create all sorts of fun shapes on fabric or paper...
So, happy SHAPE-SUNDAY....
and have fun!

Crayoning on this gray day,

P.S. If you have a 'trickster - raven loving' person in your life you may want to send them off a
set of my quilt-created note cards.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pinterest Hopping - For Shape

I admit it, I am a visual person!
I love taking 'a long look' at things and happily finding inspiration along the way.

Since this makes me happy,
I love encouraging people to
stop&take a 360 degree look around.

With Pinterest, it is like giving yourself a special 360 visual treat..
taking a Pinterest hop pushes the doors wide open
and, sometimes WOW!
the inspirational spark happens and you're off...

be open to where a HOP may lead you!

The SHAPE images that grabbed me
on this hop are presented below in the slide show.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize your own free photo slideshow

Can you tell which images got my spark lit?

Leave your answer in the comments & I'll send you off an
Happy Hopping!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pinterest Hop - Finding an Inspirational Spark

I am often asked where I find inspiration,
and my answer 'almost always' is..
be open - pay attention to things happening around you.

There seems to always be something new to see..
.and so many places that we can go hang out for an hour or two and find a spark.
No time, you say... well,
think about walking down the hardware isle while at the DIY store,
or maybe the card store,

or the grocery store...what may you find there?

The possibilities are endless -- out there,
BUT what about right here -- right now?

This is why I love taking a Pinterest Hop... finding a little bit of something
that gets my mind 'hopping'.

I'm setting off on a Pinterest Hop today in search of images that tell stories with SHAPE.
Who knows, I might find a new artist or find the perfect inspirational spark!

Please join me!
I'll be posting my finds tomorrow -- right here.
and, if you find a spark you'd like to share I would love it if you would post it
to my Facebook-Like Page.

(here's a little nudge -- one of my own pinned photos from my board - Artified Shape)

'til tomorrow
Seeking the Spark

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February - Shape Filler' Up Begins

Welcome to the Sunday Filler' Up --
today we begin looking at SHAPE.

Ahhh, shapes! February is a great month to study SHAPE.

Those wonderful things that are created simply by creating a path with a line that meets up with itself.

As a quilt artist I am all about shapes…
..there are so many ways that I go about making shapes in my work.

First off -- how about those scissors? Or, rotary cutter?
any time we take these tools to fabric, snip, snip, snip, by the time we are done we end up with shapes.

And, they may be any of the three types of shapes:
Geometric - structured and often symmetrical these include squares, circles, triangles, crosses, spirals..(which if you have taken one of my Fast-Piece Applique workshops you may recognize as the universal shapes mentioned in the book, Signs of Life: by Angeles Arrien )

Natural shapes are often irregular and occur most frequently in nature -- leaves are one of the best examples

Abstract shapes are around us everyday, for these are shapes that are most often natural shapes that are simplified or stylized. Can you think of any very common shapes that may fall into this category? How about the shapes that we find on almost every public bathroom door-the ones that universally let us know which one is the men’s room and which is the women’s.

Before I get too carried away,
I’d like to give you a little assignment.

Take your sketchbook along with you over the next couple of days and draw and/or take notes on all the shapes you run across.

We’re in for a great month of SHAPE discovery --
hope you join in, for it will be hard not to find inspiration along the way!

I'm off to get in a bit of sewing today, but I'm leaving you with one of my favorite February's Flight quilts... this one is #5. Note the shapes..(line, too)!

Truly Stitching On!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Funtastic Friday - A Visit with Lily Liu

Since moving to Paducah, I have met tons of wonderful people and some amazing artists.
All making me feel quite at home.
One of the first artists that I met was a young woman named Lily Liu
-- seeing on the first encounter her incredible fabric vessels that are unlike any I have seen before.

They are created out of little strips of rolled up fabric -
and WOW the fabric takes on a whole different kind of look when done Lily's way.
Since those little strips of fabric are really another use of LINE, I am excited to be able to share her and her work here before we switch gears for our February's dance with SHAPE.

Visiting Lily's studio I expected a treat,
and I was not disappointed.

Her studio is filled top to bottom with supplies, for as I learned Lily's artistic interest range from ceramics, to beading, to fiber, to wherever her creative energy takes her... and boy, it takes her FAR!

For today though, I will share about the vessels -- mostly due to limited space to share all the wonderful photos I took while visiting with Lily.
here is Lily in her studio
she starts with small strips of fabric
each is folded and pinned, ready for rolling
rolling starts, and Lily says she does this 'everywhere'
each is rolled tight, and then rubber banded - yes, those are tiny rubber bands!
once rolled they are placed in a bag
you need a ton of rolls to make a vessel
each of the rolls is doubly tied into place
creating a long rope of rolled fabric
then Lily begins knotting them all together
this is one of the ropes
this is a peek over the edge of one vessel to give you an idea
of how it all comes together -  WOW! don't you think?
 Below is a little slide show of some of Lily's wonderful pieces
to contact Lily directly email her at ---   fiberpotter@yahoo.com
--  ENJOY, and Happy Friday!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Slideshow created with Smilebox

Check back on Sunday as we begin a month
of having Artify fun with SHAPE!