Tuesday, October 20, 2015

this is your last chance.....

....to take my Nature's Muse - Beaded Art Doll class, before the new year! It's one of my most popular classes...I supply the face cabochon and the pre-stuffed doll body....all you need to do is stitch with joyful abandon!  My doll family has grown, so you'll have your pick of unique doll forms, to choose from. As it's running on Halloween day, I'll even bring along some treats!!

Where - BeadFX - October 31st, from 10 am until 5 pm

See you there!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

new adventures in my mixed up media world

I'm pleased to announce, that I've been asked to write, a weekly Mixed Media feature, over on the BeadFX blog, The Beadful Life.  I introduced myself today, and if you'd like to read more about it, you can find my post here.

I'm also happy to say that I'll also be hosting a monthly Mixed Media: Open Studio Evening, at BeadFX.  It's not a class, but more of a supportive play date.  A small fee will be charged, but this is your opportunity to create, explore, share and receive feedback, on your personal projects. Imagine, two solid hours of uninterrupted, creative, studio time!  Bring your own projects and supplies, or just hang around and soak up the knowledge........arrangements can be made to share my supplies, but advance notice is required.  There are only eight spaces available, so it's always a good idea to call ahead, to reserve your place.  These sessions are open to all of my students, and also anyone who has a working knowledge of the supplies, materials and techniques. Please feel free to draw, paint, wrap, roll, resin, stamp, bead, and more............

I'll see you there!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

the doll with no name

I finished this doll a few months ago, but am lacking inspiration for a name. All I can think of is "Sea Hag", and I'm not sure the doll will like me to call her that!!! LOL! Anyway, my hag has been intuitively bead embroidered on a hand stuffed, wool felt form, designed by moi! I received a small ribbon freebie, from one of my online suppliers, so ruched it to give the doll a little more texture. I rather like the effect! Now do I need to call her a beaded art mixed media hag? Her rather plain face cabochon, was made out of paper clay, painted with acrylics, and sealed. I've since moved on to Apoxie Sculpt and Polymer Clay for the face cabochons, but this one seemed to fit best. Tell me what you think!
Of course, she needed her own fish bowl!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

art among the ruins - road trip

I had a fabulous day out yesterday, with a two of my friends. We drove to the bustling little town of Newburgh, ON, a couple of hours east of Toronto. I expect this town is normally, more sleepy than "bustling", but it was the site of a lovely, and surprisingly large, art show (60 artists), in the ruins of a 19th century mill, on the banks of the Napanee river. There's actually a house on the property, but the homeowners had the foresite to leave some of the ruins in their natural state, and simply landscape around them. The sun was out, the temperature was perfect, the mosquitos weren't biting, and one of my favourite fibre artists was exhibiting in the show (Sylvia Naylor). What more could you ask? I'll leave you with some images from the day.
Don't you wish you were here?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

the experiments begin

A single layer of Washi Paper, coated with Konnyaku Starch, then free motion, machine stitched. You can see where the needle punctures the paper, but it still remains strong. I'm using rayon thread, and a size 12 embroidery needle (I think). Next I will stitch on my multi-layered paper bowl. BTW, another bowl is drying. Not washi this time, but instead a type of rice paper, tan coloured (it actually looks tea stained) with silver flecks on one side. Not as absorbant as the washi, but I'm hoping for some nice texture. it will certainly be pretty, but may not end up stitched.
Actually, the bowl count is now up by one, so two more drying. On the new bowl, I used some machine made Chinese Washi (that I purchased in a weak moment) and a few bits of my Brusho painted papers. The Brusho paper wasn't very absorbant (vellum, I think), so I'm not really sure about the outcome. I also have a layered flat piece, that includes more of the machine made Washi, sandwiched between two sheets of Gelli printed, deli paper. More about all of this in a couple of days!

Friday, May 22, 2015

paper bowls revisited

I've been on a quest to make a stitchable paper vessel, and now I have my answer. Konnyaku Starch! After my friend Cherryl, the queen of all things paper, gave me the solution, I wandered down to The Japanese Paper Place for one of their "Washi Wednesday" demos. To my surprise, the artist of the month was making vessels, very similar to the ones I've made in the past. Of course, I needed to add some of this starch to my stash (and we won't mention the paper I purchased)!!! Weeks passed, but I finally mixed up a batch, and was very pleased with the result. I didn't like stirring the mixture for 20-30 minutes, but the end result, of a smooth, clear, gell like paste, was worth it! I applied it to Washi paper, and after drying, it produced a strong, flexible, matte surface. Very pleasing to the eye and touch! Of course, the first thing I did, was try to bead on it. There is more surface tension than fabric, every needle mark shows, and you need to figure out how to hide the knots. But not really a problem. I've made three bowls so far. A large, small and teeny one. I've beaded on the teeny one, but then had to laugh! I had decided to bead on one side only, but when I set it back down, the bowl was so light, that it tipped right over. So I had to bead the other side. Something to think about!! A little plain right now, but they have huge potential! I made the large one, so that I could try machine stitch on it, and have also made a couple of flat pieces of washi, coated with the starch, to play with as well. I'll post again, after I finish experimenting.
I work with so much colour, that it's hard to believe that I'm working all in white! Don't you worry your pretty little heads about it, as I have plans.....big colour plans! Perhaps not for the first three, but definitely after that.

Monday, May 11, 2015

altered dominos, yes....but what else can I alter?

As many of you know, I love to experiment, and I also love my Alcohol Inks. What better way to play with them, then to design a new workshop? So I did! Details are as follows: If you're interested in learning more about Alcohol Inks, then this is the class for you! We will be working with a variety of techniques, tools and substrates, and I promise that it will be an action packed class! Not for the faint at heart, and definitely not for those that hate to get their hands dirty! Some experience with the inks is recommended. Jewellery and non-jewellery applications will be discussed. BeadFX in Toronto - Sunday, May 17th, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
I promise a day full of colour, creativity and laughter!! Stay tuned for more mixed media fun in June...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

have a heart doll

Just a short post, to show you my latest beaded art doll. The shape is a little experimental, as I've never really been a hearts and flowers type of girl. However I think the red/purple colour scheme, definitely cuts the sweetness! I haven't settled on a name yet, but I do welcome any suggestions. I think that she'd be suitable for an ornament, but for now, she'll be just lazing about in a decorative bowl.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

new class - wishy washy & whimsical

If you're interested in a little serious playtime, this is the class for you. At BeadFX, on Sunday, April 12th, from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. We'll be playing with metal washers,inks, patinas, Iced Enamels and all sorts of mixed media stuff! Too much fun!!
See you there!

Monday, April 6, 2015

bag of bead challenge 2015 - "riva - from the shore"

Every year, the Toronto Bead Society, puts on a "Bag of Beads Challenge". For a nominal sum, you can purchase a bag, containing multiple small bags, with enough beads to complete a project. Included in that bag is a stumper, which for this year, was a rather large bolt, a nut, washer and heavy, aluminum wire. It's up to you to craft something, from the contents. The only mandate, is that you must use at least one item from each bag, including the "stumper". I pondered it for a little while, and then remembered that I had purchased some tarnished silver cutlery, originally intended for a wind chime (but of course, never made). So, flying by the seat of my pants (as usual), I decided to make a doll out of a spoon. A polymer clay face (purchased from Awsomeart at Etsy) was attached to the spoon, and then I proceeded to create the doll. Her middle was wrapped with strips of batting, and an old t-shirt gave it's life for her top. Her cloak was made of wool rovings, free motion machine stitched to watersoluble, and then dissolved in hot water (it felted!). Of course, I had to use intuitive bead embroidery! The wire, coiled at each end, was used to shape a collar. I realized that she needed to be attached to a base, so I asked a strapping young man (thank you Jordie!!!) to bend a fork, I attached it to the spoon, and then to the coaster base. As the doll was taking on a rather elemental appeal, I started researching names. After a google search, I came across the french name "Riva", which means "From The Shore". She was named! The doll is attached to the base, with a layer of Apoxie Sculpt (a two-part Apoxie clay). Objects, including shells, beads. a stone and the metal bolt, were imbedded in the clay. She's lovely, she's solid, and she represents the seashore! What more could a girl ask? If I had to categorize her, I guess she would be a Mixed Media Assemblage! - Photos courtesy of The Toronto Bead Society, Photo Booth.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

chase away the february blues........

....by taking a workshop with me, at BeadFX next weekend. The following are scheduled: "Nature's Muse - Beaded Art Doll" - on Saturday, February 7th, from 10 am to 5 pm "Come Play With Me - Exploring the World of Altered Dominos" - on Sunday, February 8th, from 10 am to 5 pm Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't seem to want to let me upload a photo right now, so I'll send it to my iPad and try from there. If that doesn't work, just click on the link for each class, and then scroll down to the dates. I apologise for the inconvenience.***************Update****************Well, I did get the photos in, but not in the correct order. I think that I'll leave as is, as I don't want to press my luck any further!!! Grrrr....

Thursday, January 1, 2015

bjp 2014 - leaf pile

I'm happy to say that I've actually finished my 2014 BJP series! No, I haven't blogged about the last three yet, and I don't do resolutions, but I will promise to post the missing ones, in the next few weeks. At the end of every season, leaves do fall, and what better way to show them, than in a nice, fat, pile! No raking required, but I expect that they will eventually end up, displayed in some orderly fashion, on stitched bits of muti-coloured fabric. It's hard to catch them, and they will blow here and there, but I hope to be able to corral their their 2014 whimsy, in one safe, or should I say, sane place!
Now on to 2015! For those of you, interested in joining the Bead Journal Project for 2015, open enrollment closes on January 5th. After that, you'll need to wait for December. The BJP is on Facebook, and all you need to do is to "Join". Yes, it is a year long commitment, but only one bead per journal is mandatory. The shape, the type of beading,and anything else is entirely up to you!............................................................................................... I wish you all a happy, healthy and creative 2015!