Sunday, December 11, 2011

worms fini!

Never give up!!! See what happened when I was challenged to add beads to a sample I made in a Penny Berens class. After seeing my Bead Journal pieces, Penny tempted me to add some beads, so add them I did!!! What do you think?

Look here if you want to see where I started. Do you think I became a little obsessed?

The edges aren't finished yet. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but the size is just about right for a book cover. Or, perhaps the focal in a larger piece.....only time will tell.......Any other ideas?

Presenting the finished worms!

Detail shots....The spiral looked out of place after I finished backstitching on the orange beads. I wasn't happy until I added a layer of turquoise fringe. Layer, layer, doesn't matter if you're using paint, fabric or beads.....more layers = more depth!! Of course, it's hard to know when to stop, but I think I stopped just in time. LOL!

Techniques used:

Hand embroidery - french knots, straight stitch, back stitch, cross stitch and seed stitch

Bead embroidery - back stitch, stacked stitch, fringe and ruffle.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

doodle the third

Another bead doodle completed! The base wasn't my favourite, because I thought that it ended up too dull and pale. I guess that it's a good illustration of turning a "sows ear" into a "silk purse"!! It's amazing what perserverence, floss and a few sparkly bits will do!!! Needless to say, it's grown on me and now I think that she looks particularly lush and regal. I'm not sure what my real motivation was during the creation process. Delusions of grandeur, perhaps?

The photos were taken at different times in the day, so the colour is off a little in the final shots. Please excuse!!

I just had to show you the "tushie" shot!!! She blushed a little when I took this one....

The flower sequins are vintage and can be purchased at my favourite bead store, BeadFx. The square button is also vintage, but don't ask me where I picked it up. It's been in the stash for years!!!

I 'vant to be alone!!! --- the doodle was definitely getting tired of having her picture taken and was throwing a very quiet hissy fit!! I thought it best to put the camera away........

Sunday, November 13, 2011

paper swaps & rummage sales

I'm rather late with posting this, but here are the yummy results of a "Wild at (he)art" paper swap I participated in with Andria from the US (September, 2011). As always, the swaps are hosted by the wonderfully generous and talented LaWendula over at her Paper Swap blog.

I believe that this was Andria's first swap of this type and I'm lucky to have had the chance to share it with her! She's very precise, with her wonderful, colourful cutout images. Her selection was a very nice mix of vintage and contemporary!!! Even the outside of her envelope was collaged! Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a photo, but it might show up later as I plan to keep it for my stash.

Poor Andria! I'm not sure what she thought when she opened my envelope, as my style is quite eclectic! I didn't take photos, of course, but if you rummage around Andria's site, you will see that she did! (but be careful, she's quite prolific in the blogging sense)

I think that I may be forced to start either altering books or journalling in the near future. The paper is getting unruly and is starting to call out for attention!

Another not-so-guilty pleasure, is foraging at church rummage sales for cheap and interesting jewelry bits to use in my bead embroidery projects. I've been sadly lagging behind on my bead journal projects due to work constraints, but I'm definitely feeling the urge to start another one. The first step is the gathering!!!! No, it doesn't mean that I will actually use any of this in my next BJP, but at least I'll have it on hand when I'm ready to for it. The necklaces will be taken apart for the stash (except perhaps the one with the big, black beads). What I neglected to photograph, was a rather a large strand of dark green fresh water pearls (dyed, of course). The matching pink strand was snapped up by the lady in front of me. Sigh!

Oh, I forgot to mention the two little dishes. The smaller one is a Minton and the larger, Royal Doulton. I just couldn't resist!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

i'll be there, will you?

Come join us for a fabulous display of traditional and non-traditional quilting and fibre art. I belong to the largest quilt guild in Canada and believe me, this show promises to be spectacular!! Eye candy, shopping, food and demos.....what more could anyone want? Dust off your credit cards and exercise them in our Member's Boutique, Vendor's Mall and Cafe. Remember, these are not just your grandmother's quilts and there's something for everyone!

Unfortunately, my work schedule prevented me from entering any new pieces in the show this year, but I'll be demonstrating bead embroidery techniques at noon on November 12th and plan to have some smaller items available for sale in the Member's Boutique. BTW, it's just a short hop across the border for some of our American neighbours, so living in another country is not really an excuse. Well perhaps for some, but certainly not those in our neighbouring states....LOL!

Alas, no time to make anything new, so unfortunately, nothing in the shop for me this year!! I'm sorry if any of you were hoping to buy a 2011 version of my scarves or postcards. Don't worry, I'll be sure to let you know the next time I have them up for sale.

See you there!!

Photography and graphics by Deborah Milton.

Monday, October 17, 2011

doodle deux

My second doodle. I haven't had much time to work on anything creative lately, but these little things are helping to fill the need.

The feel of this one is remarkably tropical! I think it's because fall has arrived and I'm in deep denial!!!

Spirals are one of my favourite symbols. This one is on the bottom of the doodle.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

just doodling around

Not an original idea, but one I originally learned about from Catherine van der Hoeff in November of 2008(sorry, I can't find the link to her blog). Take an old thread spool, add wool rovings, water and soap. Rinse, let dry then add floss and beads. Four or five of these were felted at the end of last year to prepare for the 2011 Bead Journal Project. Number two is in progress, but I'm afraid that they're just doodles, not journals. But what are they for, you ask? Well, I was thinking of either making a bowl full, or just sitting one on the coffee table to hold stray needles and pins. Any other suggestions???

Sunday, September 11, 2011

paper anyone?

Wonderful treats from the recent quick paper swap "Swallenge" that I received from LaWendula over at her Paper Swap blog. Thank you so much for all of your goodies! I'm amazed at how much you stuffed in that small envelope and how tidy you made the little packet! Mine was a little more unruly!! As for the rest of you, if you like paper and you haven't participated in one of these swaps, I encourage you to do so. They're wonderful and you get to meet the nicest people from all over the world! The good news is that LaWendula is planning on continuing these swaps through 2012, so there's still plenty of time for you to join and get a chance to beef up your paper stash. What are you waiting for, just do it!!! There's one going on right now that I'm participating in and another one in October. All details are on the Paper Swap blog.

Of course, I have to confess that I normally include some of my fibre offerings along with the paper, so you never really know just what you will get. That's what makes it so enjoyable!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

retro post - yikes!! wet felting!

Another orphan from a wet felting class I took at the Textile Museum of Canada. How many years ago you say? I can't remember! Who was the instructor? Sorry, can't remember that either! No real excuse other than the fact that I've never been good with dates or names and I think my brain is just too full right now. I do remember that it was an excellent class and the instructor showed some wonderful examples of her more creative pieces. Including masks made from soy silk. They fascinated me for some weird and wonderful reason!

Anyway this is an example of wet felting with a resist (heavy plastic) placed inside a wool roving sandwich to form a pocket. Multiple layers of roving on top and more on the bottom. From the little I remember, you felt the edges first (friction, water, soap, using your hands) and then the top/bottom. I have a vague memory of wrapping it around a piece of pool noodle and then rolling it around with my feet! When that was done "fulling" it by slamming it on the floor/table multiple times!! In my lofty imagination, I was making a beautiful, artsy purse. In reality, I forgot about the shrinkage factor and ended up with a rather useless tea cosy for a teeny little teapot. Anyway, I re-discovered the piece, while treasure hunting in a drawer recently. It's now proudly displayed on one of my bookcases!

From the little I remember of this technique, it was a bit of a pain! I was fumbling around with the resist and wet wool, while at the same time trying to felt in silk waste (the curly stuff) and woven fabric spirals. The silk waste wasn't a problem, but those other inclusions took quite a while to felt!!! Felting needles would have been a lot easier! Anyway, this reminds me that I have an entire tote full of coloured rovings that I should start playing with. When, you say? Who knows, I answer? It's going to be a very busy summer and I don't mean creatively!! Perhaps I should re-visit this rather cathartic process!

Detail shots!

The colours in this piece make me happy!!

Do you have any funny workshop experiments that you would like to share? Or older pieces you just can't bear to part with?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

fat book swap - 2011

The wonderful results of a Fat Book swap that I participated in on the Mixed Media Art Friends Yahoo Group. This group is run by the generous and talented Belinda Spiwak. We were asked to make 37 pages of one technique on either cardstock or heavy weight watercolour paper. Some of the participants dropped out, so I received four of my own pages back. I guess that life interfered!!

On the back of each page are the instructions for the technique. What a wonderful resource for the future!! Belinda has had these huge swaps before, but the timing was never right for me to join. Of course, I regretted it every single time. The swaps on this group are infrequent, but she's hinted that the next one might be either a charm or ATC swap. I'm hoping for a charm one, because that's another I missed in the past. Boo hoo to me......because they were incredible!!!

Belinda's is the first one on the top on the left hand side.

Mine is the green one, second left on the bottom.

Three of my pages are in this shot. The mottled one in the middle of the top row and the two on the bottom.

Instructions for my technique are shown in my original post on the subject.

These pages will eventually be made into a reference book or I might even make a storage box. But for now I'll just fondle them and dream! As my bookbinding experience and time is limited, the final construction will need to wait.

Let the experiments begin!!!!! Now, does anyone know where to buy sequin waste?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

what's blooming in Toronto 2

More images from Marilyn and Rain's garden.

The poppies are winding down, so this is was my last chance to catch the elusive sunlit poppies. It's no wonder you see so many of these in paintings. They're just breathtaking!

This clematis had a visitor!!

Living in harmony!

The lupin begins to bloom,

A beautiful new peony and quite long lasting as well.

All the pansy faces, remind me of a conversation grouping. I wonder what they're gossiping about?

This shot of the white rose was taken across the fence in the neighbours garden. I just heard that the lady of the house passed away on Monday, so I'll use this as a memorial. May she rest in peace.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

what's blooming in toronto?

Peonies in Marilyn and Raine's garden. I confess that I can't resist the white ones so the "taken" is also literal, as I need to confess to pilfering three of these beauties......the smell is absolutely divine!!!

More flowers to come tomorrow..............