Tuesday, December 28, 2010

presents from down under

A few wee gifties from my friend Kaite in Australia. The Mobius scarf is colourful, warm and soft and oh so cleverly crafted. The calendar and card remind me that Australia is a very different place than Canada. If the card looks familiar, it's because Kaite is currently using it for her blog header. Thanks so much and I hope your gift from me arrives soon!!! Needless to say, her timing for the mailing was much better than mine. But did you notice how well coordinated everything seems? Do you suppose she did it on purpose? BTW, the scarf photographed a little dark. It's really much brighter. The colours in the other pieces are pretty good though, when you consider that I took the photo inside, under a couple of CF daylight bulbs. Also, did you notice the lovely little pieces of dark red lace, the candy wrappers and the bits of metal? No she didn't mail the display piece! That one is mine!! BTW, missing from the photo is a little santa bead and a small blue/white cabochon. Boo hoo! You'll see them appear later in one of my very late bead journal pieces.

Friday, December 24, 2010

merry christmas to one and to all

I'm wishing you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season, full of friends, family and good times.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

child's play

.....and the answer is..............CRAYONS!!!!

Many years ago, I took a FIRE class at Sybil Rampen's place, before she opened the Joshua Creek Heritage centre. In one part of the class, she showed us how to gesso river rocks, draw designs on the bottom with a Sharpie and then heat them up in a toaster oven (sorry, I can't remember how long it took). When the rocks were nice and hot, you took them out carefully (tongs are good), placed them on a heat proof surface and then touched different colours of crayola crayons to the surface. The crayons melted instantly, and made wonderful patterns that flowed seeped and puddled under the bottom (the photo shows the top). We left them to cool and then polished with a soft cloth (pants, shirt or whatever!!). I love my rocks!

The nest was wet felted in a class at the Textile Museum of Canada from an instructor who's name escapes me. It wasn't originally planned for a nest, but it works well, so a nest it is!!! I didn't notice before, but do you see the ducks head on the nest? Totally planned, of course......ahem...cough.....or perhaps the inner serendipity muse at work!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

rocks & mouse trails

Mouse Trails:

This is the piece I made for the President's challenge at my guild. The theme was "Small World". I scraped three or four colours of acrylic paint onto part of an old sheet, with an expired credit card. Then I stamped into it with more acrylic paint on the bottom of a large round tub. After it dried, I hand cut the little circles (ouch!), layered them like a quilt (it IS a quilting guild) and free motion quilted with my sewing machine. After that, I finished the edges by butting yarn up against the edge and zigzagging it in place. I laid out the circles and then stitched them together, first with a thread bridge (heavier stitching) and then by stitching the weblike strands. None of this was done with any type of stabilizer. I was stitching across the gap!!! You gotta love Bernina's!!! I was worried that it would be too flimsy and wouldn't hold together, but I'm pleased to report that it has.

How does this all relate to "Small World", you say? Well, it's all about how small the world has become with the internet, my communication with like minded artists all over the world, the inspiration I gain and the techniques that I learn. All for the cost of my high-speed internet. The sun shines on all of us and the open thread work represents the lines of communication. North, south, east and west......my mouse travels all over the world. The title of this piece is thanks to a suggestion from my friend Kaite in Australia.

Pinned on the corkboard, while I was contemplating adding more circles, and trying to figure out how the heck I was going to hang this!

Not a great photo, but this is what I eventually decided to do. I added a narrow sleeve on the back, used more of the yarn to make a length of machine wrapped braid and then hung it from one of the beaver sticks I picked up in Sault Ste Marie, last summer. I'll have you know that the bark was REALLY chewed off by a beaver! Right now the piece is hanging on a door, but I think that I'll eventually hang it from a hook on the ceiling.

I'm contemplating entering this in another show in the spring, so will need to take a better photo before then.


My friend Penny in Nova Scotia recently posted about some rocks and a nest. I thought that I would show you my version.

The nest is a bit of wet felting and I've been meaning to wrap some floss around the edges for years. Does anyone know how I coloured the rocks? A couple of you really might know (because you've either done it before or I talked/wrote about it in an earlier email), so please hold off on your answers until we get in a few guesses.

Yeah, I know that three would be more pleasing to the eye, but I only made two! LOL!

Happy guessing!