Thursday, January 27, 2011

Altered Photo Artistry - Coneflower

This class is from Beth Wheeler. I sent her my photo a couple of weeks before class. She altered it and printed it onto fabric for us. In class, she talked about how she altered our photos and gave us ideas on doing that ourselves and talked about how to add stitching. Then we got started on our stitching. This is how far I got in class. I still have lots more stitching to do, but it was a lot of fun and I'm quite happy with how it looks so far.
I enjoyed the class so much that I decided to take another class from her tomorrow instead of the one I originally signed up for.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quilting in the Desert

I've been traveling since last week, which explains why I haven't posted in awhile.  I am in Phoenix at a quilting retreat called Quilting in the Desert.  The original plan was that one friend and I would leave home on Thursday and drive to Santa Fe, shop at Santa Fe Quilting Friday morning and a couple of Albuquerque shops Friday afternoon, then drive to Phoenix on Saturday.  That changed when an ice storm was predicted for Wednesday night/Thursday morning.  We left home after my physical therapy appointment (for my ankle) on Wednesday afternoon and drove as far as Amarillo.  We shopped Santa Fe Quilting Thursday afternoon and spent the night in Santa Fe.  We shopped Quilts Ole and Southwest Decoratives (in Albuquerque) on Friday and spent the night in Gallup.  Then we drove to Phoenix on Saturday, going through Sedona on the way (what a beautiful drive that was!).  We picked up another friend at the airport on Sunday morning.  They treated me to a (late) birthday lunch Sunday at a very nice restaurant called Lon's at Hermosa Inn.

My workshops started on Monday.  I've been taking Abstracting from Nature from Jane Sassaman for the past 3 days.  It's been a wonderful class!  She has very patiently guided us through the process of designing our own quilts.  This is what I've been working on:

Abstracting From Nature - Coneflowers
It isn't anywhere near finished in this picture.  In fact, nothing is stitched.  And the white "stems" are just paper place holders.  But I did manange to get a little tiny bit of stitching done after taking this photo, and I'm very happy with how it's going.

Tomorrow I will take Altered Photo Artistry from Beth Wheeler (who has written 2 books on the subject).  We were to email her a photo of a flower before the class, and then she will have altered it and printed it on fabric for us.  We'll use thread painting and free motion quilting techniques on it.  I had chosen a coneflower photo to work on, which is one reason I've been doing coneflowers in Jane Sassaman's class too - I thought it would be really interesting to do 2 quilts on the same subject matter in very different styles. 

Then on Friday I will take Out on a Limb from Wendy Butler Berns, where we'll be doing a little tree quilt and learning several texturing techniques.    I'll try to post more pictures in the next couple of days.  We're leaving on Saturday and will be home on Sunday.  It's been a fun time so far.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge - Highly Prized 2

This is my second page for January's "Highly Prized" theme in the Sketchbook Challenge. Background is Caran d'Ache watersoluble wax crayons blended with water. Lettering is with a variety of pens. Paper is Strathmore 500 series 140 pound cold press watercolor paper; journal is 5 1/2 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches tall, handmade by me. I started by writing things that are very meaningful, and as I wanted to fill the page, I added things that I like but may not be "highly" prized. I may add more words to the page as time passes.

Years ago, when I was into scrapbooking, I started a book about me. In it, I have a page about some of my favorite things. I looked at it today; it was interesting to see what had changed and what had stayed the same.

This is also my week 3 entry for Project 52.

Blogs and Time Management

I've been spending way too much time on the computer lately - it's taking away time for other things.  I'm READING about how to be creative instead of BEING creative.  So I've decided to take a number of blogs out of my reader as a first step to spending less time on the computer.  If yours is one of the blogs I've taken out of my reader, please know that it isn't personal - I really enjoy all of the blogs I used to read and wish I could continue reading them all (and more).  But if I'm going to get anything else done, I have to do this for me.  Thanks for understanding.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge - Highly Prized

This is my first page for this month's Sketchbook Challenge. The theme is Highly Prized, so I had to do a page about my kitty Buster. It is also my entry for week 2 in Project 52.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

3 Creative Studios Giveaway

3 Creative Studios is having a launch party including a giveaway.  There are three really great looking prize packages - you can read all about it here.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Skeeter has just returned home to Jackson, Mississippi after graduating from Ole Miss in 1962.  She wants to be a writer and gets a job with the local newspaper, writing the weekly cleaning advice column.  The only problem is, she doesn't know anything about cleaning.  She asks her friend Elizabeth's black maid, Aibileen, for help.  Skeeter convinces Aibileen to tell her what it has been like to work as a maid for white families and begins writing a book, which has many repercussions for Skeeter and Aibileen, as well as other maids who also agree to tell Skeeter their stories.  It is a very well written book and a look into a shameful part of our very recent history.  It is my first book for the New Author Challenge 2011, and I rate it 5 out of 5.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Winter Hat ATC 2

I made another winter hat atc for a private swap on atcsforall. This is also my first entry for the Project 52 challenge.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Book Page Backgrounds

I was inspired to make these atcs by a swap at ATCsForAll using a book page for a background (although these are not for the swap). I used distress inks, black embossing powder, Magic Mesh, twill tape, ribbon, and needlepoint thread.

Happy New Year!

We had a very nice new year's eve with friends last night - dinner, conversation, laughs, and a movie.  It's been a tradition for us since new year's eve 1999.  Hope you all had as nice a time as we did.

I don't make resolutions - I never have.  But I have decided to participate in a variety of challenges this year.  Some of them are reading challenges, most of which I've already mentioned in earlier posts.  The one I haven't written up yet is the New Author Challenge 2011.

Here are the guidelines:
  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.
  2. Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels.  Anthologies are a great way to try someone new, but only a third of your new authors can be from anthologies.
  3. I want this to be an easy challenge, so you can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors.  It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be. 
I'm signing up for 15 new authors.  I did the New Author Challenge 2010 and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would do it again this year.  I have created pages for each of my reading challenges, which you can see above the posts.  I will be updating those throughout the year.  I have also included pages for the challenges I have done in the past, but Blogger only allows 10 pages, so I may delete the older ones.  I'll have to decide what to do with the older ones, since I don't want to lose the information.

I am also participating in a couple of art challenges this year.  One I've already written up is the Sketchbook Challenge.  Another one I signed up for yesterday is Project52: The Weekly Art Challenge over at ATCsForAll (which I joined a couple of weeks ago).  Here is part of the write up about it:

The goal is be to be creative a minimum of once a week and create something. Your piece of art doesn't necessarily need to be an ATC, it can be a postcard too, a scrapbook page, chunky, inchie, twinchie, a quilt, work on an ongoing project, photography - anything that tickles your creativity!! 

SO - all of that should keep me busy this year!  What about you?  Do you have any great plans for the new year?