Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Canvas Create Workshop - In Progress!

Hi folks
I know this is two posts in one day but I am so excited about this workshop that I had to share.

The workshop is called Canvas Create and it is taught by the fabulous Donna Downey. Now if you have never taken one of her classes or workshops you are really missing out! She is fun, funky, and breaks all the rules and she is exactly what I needed at this time in my life.

Once I watched the promo I knew I had to do it and to make sure I followed through I enlisted my mother to join in with me. Each month we get together and create the latest Donna masterpiece. Her techniques and radical process were just what my muse ordered. The classes actually began in January but they are video downloads so you can start anytime you want really. I highly recommend any of her classes, even if her style is not your thing she will push you to places you have never gone and make you a better artist!

Here are my first six canvases.

In the class she uses different sizes and orientations of canvas but I wanted all the same size so I could hang them together in a grid. I think one of the greatest things about Donna is her ability make you feel comfortable enough to make your own choices.

I honestly can't say enough positive things about Donna, her workshops, or my's all been great! Each month I can hardly wait for the the next video so I can create another canvas.

Stayed tuned each month for the remaining six canvases.

New Pillows for my Living Room

Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated (one might even say obsessed) with decorating and re-decorating my living spaces. I would draw out my room on graph paper (yes, down to the inch),  make scaled footprints of my furniture, cut them out, put tape on the back and then re-arrange the floor plan until I was satisfied with the new configuration.As I got older, I did less virtual re-arranging and more actual re-arranging.

I love the idea of re-inventing a space and giving it new life. It makes life fun for me. New accent colors and switching out pillows and curtains is a great way to spruce things up and refresh a room. "Things" can get costly though so I always save my tired things so they can come out to play again another day.

Pillows can get very costly so I like to recover them with trendy fabrics and designs. Here is my latest pillow re-do.

I am always amazed at how the designers on tv put together seemingly disparate patterns and colors on one sofa and manage to make it look fabulous! So this was my goal for my pillows....unusual patterns and colors on one piece of furniture. Fortunately, my living room has a very neutral color palette so mixing colors was relatively easy. The photos below show the front and back of each pillow. The owl pillow is plain on the back.

 Patterned fabric is an Opal Owl by Tina Givens fat quarter I purchased in a large bundle. The back is a vintage red cotton velvet (hand-me down) base with hand cut leaves (remnants) in raw silk, brown wool, and red rayon. I wanted the back to have texture as well as visual interest.

 The patterned fabric is "Forest .......for Duralee (sorry, can't for the life of me remember where I got it). The back is a black and white stripe cotton with a white deer** fused on to contrast the black deer on the front. 

 The front is a designer sample linen that was being discarded (free) with an iron-on transfer that I printed from a free graphic from The Graphic Fairy and edged in bias tape. The back is part of the Opal Owl bundle I mentioned earlier.

 Both the front and the back are a polyester suiting material I picked up from the cheap section of the fabric store. It has great texture and will be durable (aka washable). The owl** is a green textured cotton remnant fused on and top stitched for visual interest.

 This pillow while I love it really doesn't fit the style of the living room so I will be keeping it in my studio. Both the front and back fabrics are from the Opal Owl collection. (Can you tell I love owls? he he he). I used bias tape and contrast top stitching on the front and a complimentary bias tape for the edging. 

All the pillow have a zipper in the bottom for easy removal and reuse.

**The deer and the owl are both free patterns courtesy of Country Living.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sketchbook Project - Limited Edition

This year, instead of doing the traditional Sketchbook Project, I joined Art House Co-op in their Limited Edition Sketchbook Project. What is the difference you ask?

"The Limited Edition Book Series

Every contributor to the Sketchbook Project Limited Edition Vol. 1 will be included in a series of art books documenting the project. Together, the series will provide insight into the imagination and process of each artist participating in the project. Bound by the Brooklyn Art Library Press and hand-finished in our Brooklyn workshop, the book series will be published in the fall of 2012."

It is very exciting to know that your work will be in a published book!

As usual, I waited a long time before starting which put added pressure on me to produce something that was not only wonderful but also came to fruition in a short period of time. Finding inspiration for an entire book does not come easily to me. I am always so envious of those who can sit down to  blank pieces of paper and produce page after page of amazing drawings. 

Now I do draw and paint but not on demand like some can. Instead I turned to paper crafting which is another great love of mine.  I am not lying when I say I have literally thousands of printed's an obsession really. I decided to use the papers as inspiration to create scenes. Each scene is a manifestation of a dream or desire....a story; "what you want to be when you grow up" or "what you want to be when you retire" or maybe it's a secret wish or fantasy or maybe you are already living that dream. The book contains no words or suggestions only places for your mind to rest and wander and make up your own story.

 In the end, I am happy with the results. I love that the characters are just that...distinct, relatable characters and that the book is a journey just like life.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Hi gang,

Among the many art irons I have in the fire these days, I am also working on a quilt this year. This is a year long course called Block of the Month offered by You are given two quilt blocks per month (which is doable, ever for me) and at the end of 10 months you have enough blocks for a lap size quilt. Month 11 and 12 show you how to put the whole this together from backing to finishing. Here is what I have done so far....


Aren't these fun! Usually I am not a quilt-type girl as quilts seem fussy to me but this class billed itself and modern so I decided to give it a go.  As you can see the patterns are very geometric and when paired with modern prints and colors it makes for a cool piece of fabric art.

If you have counted the blocks and done the math you will notice that I am two blocks behind. Actually, there are two patterns I skipped. One reason is because the patterns are quite complicated and I haven't had the time to invest lately. The other reason is that one of the patterns doesn't suit me so I am trying to think up an alternative (which not being a quilter is challenging).

Ok, it's off to work now for me but I will be back later this week to share another online course I am taking called "Your Living Canvas" by Christy Tomlinson.....stayed tuned!