Thursday, January 31, 2008

what i need is one more project!

A couple more elements for my commissioned piece. First, a photo of a doorway printed onto fusible pellon. I love the fact that the door is ajar.

This is a swatch of anaglypta (paintable) wallpaper border. I have used this before in a couple of projects and absolutely love it. I saw it in some of Beryl Taylor's work and combed the internet until I found it. I have painted this with Sparkling H2O watercolor in nutmeg. I may or may not highlight with gilding wax.
Because the commissioned piece requires me to let things dry/cure/sit for hours, I wanted something else to do and started digging through my fabric stash, the warm colors box this time. I really have way too much fabric. These are only a tiny portion of one box. (Yes, that's my disreputable looking ironing board cover for the background. What do you expect from a crafty person? You ought to see the old cover!)

Sample A

Sample B

Sample C (OK, so the greens aren't warm colors. I needed a contrast.)

I decided to make some little boxes, pattern available at the Quilting Arts website. I could hardly decide on just a few fabrics, but finally settled on three for the inside and three for the outside. The only trouble now is deciding which three for which...

these, or...

these? Since Dylan has his school music program tonight I probably won't get a lot done in my studio, so I'll have a bit of time to think about it. Happy Thursday everybody!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I've been playing around with arranging things on the background I've made for my commissioned piece. The gothic arch will be a wooden piece made for me by my uncle who is a fine woods craftsman. Nice to have him in the family! The dyed cheesecloth (scrim) I'm going to stiffen somehow and drape around the picture of the angel head. This is nowhere near done, and this is only the first of three panels, but the process has been interesting.

I've already titled this piece "Through Open Doors" because I seem to be using a lot of door images and I like the idea of doors opening onto a future of new possibilities. Words are important to the woman I'm making this piece for, so I've hunted up quotes about doors from various sources. Below is a fragment of an Emily Dickenson quote, "Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door." I thought it was fitting. This is printed on ExtravOrganza. I love the way the words look as if they're printed directly on the background. The effect is exactly what I hoped for.

Monday, January 28, 2008

monday, monday

Well, here we are at Monday night again and what do I have to show for it? I've done a bit more work on the background for my commissioned piece. Here's a section. I like the textures in this which aren't all that easy to see in a photo, but trust me, they're there.

Here are the results of my dyeing binge last night. Yes, all these colors will go into one piece.

And finally, since our naughty kitty Tiger has been getting all the press for getting stuck in the tree, here's a photo of Rusty, hanging out in the laundry as usual. Oh well, at least we don't need a ladder to retrieve him!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


It's a good thing I can do more than one thing at once. I have been more productive after supper tonight than I have the rest of the weekend, completing the postcards I'll be sending to Lesley, Jules, and Elizabeth, dyeing several pieces of cotton velveteen for a future project (using 12 different proscion colors, no less), and getting another step done on the background for my commissioned piece. Whew!

About those postcards, here are some teasers. I will post full pictures of the cards when the recipients actually have them because I don't want to spoil their surprise.

Here's one:

...and the second...

...and last but not least...

I'm going to be mailing them over the next day or two, so if you are Jules, Lesley, or Elizabeth you can be expecting a parcel from me!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunny Saturday

Guess who's up the tree again today?


Friday, January 25, 2008

it's friday

I'm feeling better today. My headache is gone, although my tummy still feels a bit uncertain.

I'm pleased to announce that Jules, Lesley, and Elizabeth are the winners of the artist's postcards. The cards are currently in production (they provided a nice diversion when I was feeling really rotten yesterday) and will be on their way soon. I'm feeling Valentine-y, so that's the theme.

I'm working away on the large commissioned piece. I've got a large part of the background made and I'm collecting images and phrases to use. The person I'm making it for is a writer, so words are important to her and will be included in the piece. I'll post photos this weekend.

Thanks for all your well-wishes while I was under the weather.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

can one catch a virus over the internet?

Urg. I think I've caught Mixed Media Julie's lurgy. I love that word; it's absolutely descriptive of how I feel. My head aches and my tummy is none too sure on its feet. My mom was feeling bad for me so she stopped over with some medicine and hugs. Amazing that someone of my advanced age still benefits from mom's caregiving. Thanks, Mama.

I have consumed an entire pot of strong Yorkshire Gold tea with plenty of sugar. If my UK pals are correct (and I'm sure they are) there's nothing better for you when you're feeling poorly. I shall report back on it's restorative effects.

I love having heard from several of you bloggers lately, so much so that I want to put up for grabs three artist's postcards, one to each of the first three people to comment on this particular post. I haven't actually made them yet (well, they're started but not finished) so they'll be a surprise. May the quickest on the uptake win.

Hope you're all feeling better than I am!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Feeling rotten today. I've had a headache since I woke up yesterday and it is accompanied by nausea today. I made it through work, though I'm not entirely sure how. Everything's been a bit of a blur. I may just succumb and go to bed when I get home.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

play day

Yesterday, since Dylan had the day off from school and since I had a personal day from '07 to use or lose, we stayed home by ourselves. Dylan was happy to be in a house free of his older brothers who typically exert a rather damping influence on his activities. I was happy because I had time to PLAY! (OK, I thought I'd clean my bedroom too, but that didn't happen.)

I made a large sheet of fabric paper with muslin as the base, then a layer of tissue paper and strips of fabrics and papers, then a layer of the cheesecloth I dyed forest green the other day. I'm not done with this but it's a good beginning. This will be part of the commissioned piece I'm working on.

I got brave and put a piece of iron-in pellon through my printer (with many thanks to Maggie Grey and k baxter packwood) and achieved the following:

The original photo is of an angel statue in a cemetary. I added stitch and twinkling H2O paints, plus a fiber wrapped bamboo skewer down the side. I don't think she's finished, but we'll see.

This piece was achieved by printing onto the iron-on side of Heat N Bond, then ironing the image onto metal shim. I love the look on her face. I stitched on a strip of hand dyed silk and a sliver of crimped shim that had been heated to give a patina. I think this is COOL!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

an award and fun with the printer

I've been given an award by my friend Jules

I'm honored, and I want to pass this on to these bloggers who inspire me:

Maggie Grey



I've been experimenting with printing onto fusible webbing, or in my case, pellon. I was hesitant at first, thinking I'd jam my printer for sure, but I've gotten some nice results and plan to do more. Thanks to Maggie Grey and k baxter packwood for encouragement and examples.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

a bad, bad cat

I can't let today pass without showing you the naughty kitty who keeps trying to live in the tree.

This is the miscreant, Tiger. Doesn't look that ornery, does he?

new gallery piece

This is one of the two pieces I put in the latest hanging at VAAM Gallery. It is papier mache with tiny fiber and metal pieces mounted in the centers. Mixed media, in other words.

I love this rabbit tile by VAAM Gallery member Estelle Renberger. She is an animal lover and includes animal images on a lot of her ceramic pieces.

VAAM Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit by McPherson College art students. The pieces are absolutely wonderful. Gives me hope for the next generation, at least artistically.

Another Mac College student piece.

And yet another.

Friday, January 18, 2008

a fascination with heads

In my search for interesting heads to use in the commissioned piece I'm doing I've expanded my area of research to include heads of ancient Roman statuary. It is a fascinating subject with seemingly endless examples. When I settle on the ones I want to use I will print them onto either fusible webbing or printable fabric and enhance them in various ways.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

dye experiments

I hauled out my procion dyes last night and had at a piece of cheesecloth, but it didn't turn the color I was hoping for. I think, since I'm dying cotton, I might just go with Rit dyes instead. Cheaper, certainly, and I think better for cotton. My hands, of course look thoroughly disreputable today.

Tiger, our apparently stupid cat, spent all of Tuesday night and most of Wednesday up a tree because he wouldn't come down on his own and had to wait to be rescued. The tree he gets stuck in on a regular basis is an old huge walnut tree and he goes farther up than the top of our house. Whoever gets him down (not me) has to use the big extension ladder and work from the 4' deck off the back of the house because even the extension ladder isn't tall enough. He was rescued twice on Tuesday, then just blithely went up the tree again. Adam, my oldest son (actually 21 years old today!), was the hero with my second son Chris steadying the ladder. It snowed yesterday so Tiger was thoroughly miserable by the time he came in the house. I hope he's learned his lesson.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

deciding on a color scheme

I think I'm settling on a palette for my commissioned piece.
Mixed forest-y and gray greens with some coppery touches, and who knows where it will go after that. People ask me if I have a project all laid out in my mind before I start. The answer is yes and no. I can have an idea of a look I want to arrive at, but often the end product is quite apart from what I had imagined in the beginning. Flexibility of expectations is a good survival tool for me!

I like these bronzy coppery leaves against the green ones, and I'm planning to use heads similar to the one above somewhere in the design. I'm actually being disciplined and developing a design board instead of diving in headfirst, which is my initial inclination.

Monday, January 14, 2008

a sure cure for the winter blahs

Well, I can't complain of boredom, that's for sure.

I had quite a productive weekend, finishing up a grant for VAAM, mailing bracelets to e-bay customers, photographing and posting more e-bay items, and planning my commissioned mixed media piece. I kind of went on sensory overload for awhile, but it was pleasant. I've been looking at more supplies on and other favorite art supply websites. Who wouldn't think this was mouthwatering?

Yum. Now I just have to clear the decks and get started.

Here's a photo from last year's Artful Taste of Autumn which I posted previously, but which deserves another outing, I think.

Friday, January 11, 2008


That's what my dad says when things all happen at once, which is kind of what I'm feeling like these past couple of days.

I have a very good friend who has commissioned me to do a fiber piece for a specific spot in her home. She has other pieces of mine as well and she actually has them prominently displayed, so I guess she really does like my work. I'm flattered, of course, and anxious to get started.

Also, today I was asked to do a workshop in conjunction with VAAM's fiber invitational exhibition later this year. Again, I'm honored to do it, now I just have to figure our how!

Add to that the fact that I've been selling jewelry left and right on e-bay, and I really don't have time to be depressed any more! Thanks to those of you who wrote encouraging posts the other day. I truly am feeling better.

This is a juicy bit from a piece I've already posted. I love the color combo.

Monday, January 7, 2008

what makes me happy

I'm feeling better today than I was late last week. It did help to get Christmas (mostly) put away and take a couple of naps over the weekend. Laundry done, etc., makes me feel like I've accomplished something.

I have sold several bracelets on ebay recently. I love this one because it looks so earthy and organic. The beads look as if they came out of the ground.
The Gallery at VAAM underwent some refurbishment last week as it does every first week of January, when the storefront is closed so that painting and other work can happen. The hanging committee is working on setting a new exhibit today and The Gallery will reopen tomorrow. They are a very hard-working bunch, that hanging committee, and they always do a great job. I only have a couple of new pieces in the upcoming exhibit, but I think they're nice.
A close friend who owns a couple of my pieces has asked me to do a fiber piece for a specific spot in her home. I'm excited to get started on it and actually have an idea or two half-formed in my head. I really mean to get back to doing more fiber and mixed media pieces right away. Time to pack up the jewelry making for now, although it's never far from hand.

Friday, January 4, 2008


I don't know why, but I feel like I'm living under a cloud these past few days. Maybe just post-holiday blues. The weather certainly isn't helping--cold, cloudy, bleak. I think if I could get Christmas packed away and the house straightened up I'd probably feel better. That would be a good goal for the weekend.

I don't have a cat photo for catblogging Friday, but I can report that the young cats have discovered how to get up onto the roof. Pity they haven't also discovered how to get back down again. David has had to perform two rescues via the attic window. Silly kitties.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

back at it

Well, real life set in again this morning at about 6 a.m. when my clock radio alarm went off to summon me to another work day. Unfortunately, I didn't realize my kids didn't have school until I had already dropped one of them off. He was rescued by my husband when the school called saying he was the only little pupil there. I felt like mother of the year!
It is my goal for the next several days to finish up some fiber related projects so as to have something for the new gallery hanging going up soon. I'll keep you posted.
Hope everyone has had a good start to 2008.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

fun in the snow

David and Adam scooping the car out.

Chris takes a short breather.

Dylan manfully sweeping snow from the steps.

And where was I, you ask? Well, somebody had to take the photographs. There are advantages to being the only girl in the family :-)