Tag Archives: projects


Class Sampler

I was afraid that an 8 hours beading class would be WAY to long. and on some level it was. By the end I was making lots of mistakes. But on the other hand the time flew by quickly and we learned a TON. The techniques for beading with Robin had the goal of making a little sampler. we were given a 3″x3″ piece of fabric, basted to (acid-free) paper! this was new to me but a technique she stands by and it did work well. Gave the fabric a little stiffness while working, but not too stiff. Plus as you punch it with a needle over and over, it becomes supple.

There were only 7 people in the class. The lady next to me came from Spokane and is a crazy quilter. Her work is wonderful and she is not a newbie to beading. We did have a couple VERY new beaders but the rest of us were experienced enough. Robin is a strict but patient teacher. “both eyes on me” meant you better be watching and not trying to sneak in a few stitches. 🙂 But her directions are so clear and her drawings make something difficult to understand very easy to create. I love her drawings! There wasn’t much talking among the students. We were very focused. Beading take a lot of concentration. It is not a chatty type craft. You could hear our pins drop.

The conference provided each work station with an Ott light, which I now realize is a necessary item! The room was well lit, but freezing. Which can make it harder to bead!

We started with the basic stitches. seed stitch, then lazy stitch and it’s many vaiations, then a couching stitch and finally back stitch. I have done all of these. out of common sense and just figuring things out on my own. but the variations were mostly all new to me. All of them I have seen in RObin’s work and after we learned each one we were challenged to start identifying them in her work. For each stitch she brought around her work to show examples and variations. It was lovely to see all her work in person! Pictures online are interesting, becasue they can be in such high definition that you see them in more detail than you can in real life. but you can’t really see the texture unless you see them live.

We also learned edge stiches and dangling stitches. ALL of the work that we did is in her book that I already had. BUT it was opportunity to ASK questions while working through the stitches. and clear up some of the things that weren’t working for me as well as try ones I hadn’t been brave enough to explore yet. Learning the edge stitch and seeing her work in person to really examine HOW they were finished was the best part. It is where I have really been stuck with my own work so far. and now I have the solutions! I am excited to finish up my bead journal pieces from this year and move on to some new ones! So I have officially joined up again for Janurary. (Robin did sell us all on joining!)

She also talked about her process which helped me too. At first I used the printed fabric and beaded ON the pattern, following it like a paint by number. I love those pieces but I did move on to more solid colors and became more improvasational. As I gain more confidence I continue to get less literal. She talked about what she does when she gets stuck and how she starts out pieces. All this was very helpful.

It was a long but wonderful class and I am so glad I took it.

I  had quit on several months of my Beaded Journal Project pieces, leaving them semi-finished. I had not been able to figure out ways to make the backs look good, I had run out of steam and ideas on the beading on some of them and just called them finished. and I still have one month that has been sewn but not beaded yet.

BUT after this class I have been totally re inspired. I learned so many new techniques. and all the variations of them. I have been beading almost non-stop since I got back. After finishing the sampler, I revisited some of my journal pages that I had previously thought was done. I have been working on some wonderful additions to my December page. I feel like I see the fabric in a whole new way. Getting unstuck is just a bugel bead pathway away.

Also seeing her work in person turned on the light bulb for how to finish my own and ways to display them to really show them off. Now I just need to get some book board and foam core to get them done. I was also excited to share my work with Robin (which she seemed to enjoy!)

I got another one of her books (I own 3 now) and I highly recommend them!

So I signed up for another year of the beaded journal project. I plan to take on a smaller size this time! but thinking about going 3-D and making them dolls.

Walk on This?

Floor Cloth

My final day of ArtFest 2008 was Judy Wise’s floor cloth class. It was not a first choice (I wanted the waxy layers one).  I was pretty envious of what I saw coming out of some of the classes that had been my top choices. Plus the room was tiny and therefore SO crowded that it was just uncomfortable. Here we were painting large canvases and the table space we each had was barely the size of our canvas. We had to watch out for paints and elbows, while storing most of our supplies on the floor. I held my paint palette in my hand most of the time, which was tiring, something I am not used to at all. Despite what could have been a horribly bad day… I got into the right head space, adapted for my needs in order to enjoy the time to paint. Of course I injected collage elements… it is impossible for paper to stay OUT of my work.

Judy went over some hints about prepping your canvas to be a floor cloth. She gave out a lovely color pamphlet and showed us a bunch of her canvases. Then we got right to work. I know I was tired and overstimulated at this point in the retreat, but I don’t feel that I really learned anything new in this class.  I only spent a few hours on this before it felt finished, and I was FINISHED. I cleaned up early and went back to nap. Since I haven’t painted in this size before, I was actually impressed with my final project. This piece started my ideas for my current series about journeys.

I won’t be walking on this! I do have a bunch of unstretched canvas that might someday become a floor cloth. For now this one will be named “Girl Traveller

Who’s Your Dada?


My first class at Artfest 2008 was Opie and Linda Obrien for Who’s your Dada Dolls. We all received the same head and block for a body, but it is amazing the different things that came out of that class. I find that incredibly fascinating, the different ways to solve the same problem that can come from a group of very creative people. (Here are some examples from show and tell night) I was also amazed at how little Jen brought with her… I had tons of stuff! but her work was amazing none-the-less. I kept offering her some of my junk… but apparently she likes a challenge.

Opie and Linda are a hoot and I learned some VERY cool things about apoxie sculpt. A material that I had never heard of let alone tried. On my first piece, I really only used the apoxie as an attachment substance. It worked well to connect a plastic comet to the doll head and the heavy wooden wings to the wooden block body. The material takes paint easily and blends in to the sculpture, in addition to being a super way to attach awkward pieces. I would love to explore it more, perhaps. I really want to move beyond mixed media and sculpture in general to focus more on fabric. I do love sculpture so who knows what I will do! I wish I had learned more about wire and sculpture attachments but Opie and Linda had too much desire to do things for their students.

SM100I brought some wings that have been in one of my mixed media drawers for awhile. These went on my body right away. But then I was stuck on how top heavy my piece was turning out. While I pondered this problem, I walked the room to see what other people were creating. Then I worked on some more sculpting material on a second piece, also with wings. I am not much of a clay sculptor, but I was so impressed and inspired with what some other classmates were designing, I had to try something a little more textured and design oriented. This little bug was the results.



 Luckily on the walk back from lunch I found a couple of sticks that looked like they were legs with high heels. Turns out they were the perfect finish to balance out my first piece. I love these two dolls together, so I have named them “Little Boy Bird and Bitsy Bug“ 


Dark Shrine

Artfest: Michael DeMeng Class

I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged about my ArtFest Projects! This is my project from Michael DeMeng’s Transparency Collage Class. The supply list included a 5’x7″ frame. I hoped that he meant the picture hole part should be 5″x7″ and thankfully I was right. This frame was actually something I found in the art asylum over two years ago. I painted it silver and planned to turn it into a shrine. Unfortunately, it sat around and gathered dust as I did not find inspiration. I was glad to be able to turn it into something unique.

Michael DeMeng’s transparency class was held in the art asylum which ROCKED! We were able to look for lots of extra cool things to add to our assemblages (said with a Michael accent) I really did learn quite a bit in this class. I learned some new words (although they are coined Michael words) like the “usuag” actually not sure how to spell it but it stands for the usual colors he likes to mix. He shared a lot about mixing paints, creating washes and layering. He shared how to put a wash over metal (heat it with a heat gun first) He also talked about how assemblage is all about problem solving and that you need a ‘visual bridge’ to bring pieces together. . I didn’t take any notes or do any journaling this year, just wasn’t into it, but I wish I had written a few things down in this class.

SMartfest2008 015

I do admit that after taking his class I understand what all the buz was about. Michael is so funny, attentive, personable (uses your first name in a way that isn’t creepy) and really wants you to learn. He encouraged us to use new power tools, never tried to push his ideas or do something for us. He gave great feedback and though the hour long critique was long, it was also valuable. I haven’t really been in an adult art critique since college. How many times do we as artists working in our own homes get that opportunity? I almost wish there had been a platform for more peer to peer critique and feedback. I also learned how to make paper look burned without burning by using some simple paint techniques.

demeng shrine in progress

My favorite new supply was regular household caulk. It was great for texture and added depth. I used it over most of the front of my shrine. I didn’t have the exact types of acrylic washes that Michael recommends, but watered down my regular acrylics to get a similar effects. With the transparency we used a little white paint on the back of small areas to help them stand out more, this is how he makes the eyes really stand out.


The inside is even more layered and complex than the outside. I covered most of the silver painted frame with strips of old book pages(inside and out) before doing different washes and texture layers. I included puzzle pieces, an old compass, some mini apothecary bottles and several different transparencies. I had plans for many things to dangle off other areas and drilled the necessary holes (using electric tools was a new thing for me.) Since I ran out of time in the class these items did not get added at the time, I am still debating whether to add them, or leave it as is. (see some more detail pictures in my flickr Artfest 2008 Set)

When I am working on a series… titles are a cinch! But when I have something like this that is out of the norm it is more difficult. “Eyes Wide Forward” is what comes to me right now, we will see how it sits.

ArtFest Flowers

Flowers for Swap

For my special Artfest friends I am creating some flowers for a swap. They are supposed to be some “before” flowers and some “after” flowers. So I thought dog/cat and paper/fabric combos. As I have gone from a cat lover to an avid dog fanatic (I do still love my cats, but I am not as obssessed about them as I am Charger) and I have gone from a mostly paper artist to a mostly fabric artist.

For the fabric flowers I am using a tutorial from Molly Chicken that I found from a podcast called Crafty Pod.

I picked Jen up yesterday and she helped me finish my flowers (thanks Jen!) and we will be leaving shortly for Port Townsend. EXCITING!!


WOW, you are all fast to respond to my offer to adopt a R.I.P.!

I would like to thank Michelle, Marylin and Kath who were the first and certainly most worthy to accept the challenge of finishing my abandoned projects.

Stay tuned if you missed out, because I have a few more free things to purge from my studio this coming week!

RIP Purse #1 (taken)


So this lovely little purse project is something that I actually inherited in its current unfinished state. In some grab bag of fabric from somewhere, there was some yardage of this vintage embroidered fabric. Part of the folds of fabric turned out to be this already started purse. It has pleats and a hemmed top that is perfectly suited for a wooden handle of some kind. There are several pins in it still, holding areas that need to be finished after a handle is added, but other than that it is finished. It could use a lining too. Again it seemed like a really great find at the time, but I wouldn’t even use this purse if I did finish it, not my style anymore. I think this item has only been sitting around since 2003. email me if you think this is your style! perhaps you even have a wooden handle lying around just waiting for a bag to attach to it. I would love to see it go to a good home!

Thanks to Michelle…who makes great aprons over at  rustedrhubarb this bag will get new life… maybe as an apron?

RIP Clothing Pattern #1 (taken)

Where I share more documentation of my abandoned projects…. These are the ones that I have decided need to Rest in Pieces.

WIP_UFO2008022.jpgThis is an outfit that I started, mostly only cut-out, back in 1999! It was going to be my special outfit for the big 1999/2000 New Year’s Eve party! I never even started to sew. I think my machine was on the fritz or something. I have moved 3 times since I cut this out and have never finished or even progressed on the project. The saddest part, and what makes it truly ridiculous for me to still be packing it around, is that it is a SIZE that I currently cannot even begin to wear. (3 sizes too small at best) 

It is really pretty silver fabric with a same color floral pattern for the pants, and a sheer silver fabric for the blouse. It is a Vogue Pattern #1290. There is realistically no way I am ever going to make or wear this outfit. Even if it did fit, it is not a color that I can or want to wear anymore.

I think about keeping the fabric and putting it in my scrap bins that I use for fabric collage. But the silver is a very slippery silk-like fabric (who knows it might even be silk, but so long now since I bought it I don’t remember.) and these types of fabric are hard to work with in collage. Besides that, I do have extra of the same fabric already that didn’t get cut into pattern pieces.

So do you wear a size 10/12 Vogue? Do you look good in silver? Would you like to finish and wear this great outfit? send me an email and it can be yours for the low price of FREE!

So let’s see what is next on the chopping block!

ArtFiberFest 2006

NOTE: this will be long and picture laden! I personally soaked up every entry after AF since I couldn’t go to that one, so I hope others are as interested in my details about AFF) if not… carry on!

Well I came home early last night, but spent the evening catching up with the boys and didn’t feel like opening up the HOT Attic to get to the computer and really had no desire to deal with the email and catch up required. So hung out and watched MS 3000 “A touch of Satan” until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Shawn had to BE AT work today at 9am IN Issaquah down the hill from AFF. So my only choice was to come home Sat night or EARLY Sunday morning. I was ready to come home last night so I did. and glad for it. I got to finally sleep IN! Despite how late I stayed up I was waking up at 6am every day at AFF. don’t know why…too much energy and excitement and inspiration I guess. I really don’t have the opportunity to hang out with like minded artsy types…like…EVER! so these things are really invigorating for me.

So here’s my recap:
Wednesday took Shawn to work at 9am and Charger to the dog park including a detour to Trinity so I would know where it was and not get lost later.
Charger at the Dog Park at Marymoore

Drove home finished shopping and packing and getting ready for AFF. Drove back to Issaquah at 5pm for registration and opening ‘ceremony’ took WAY to long to get there. it should only be about 45 mins from my house to Issaquah, depending on traffic. So I HAD intended to go home and sleep in my own bed every night. But due to construction and traffic it too almost 2 hours to get there Wednesday so I decided that staying might be a better plan. So I asked Teesha if they had extra rooms. With gas being as expensive as it is, I think I will have saved money by not driving back and forth, I know I will have saved some sanity. So I unloaded my art stuff in my room and hung out with and till 9pm, when I had to go down the hill to get Shawn from work. We drove back home, I packed clothing and headed back. I got there about midnight and was still up. her room just down the hall from mine we said good night. I should have stayed up and talked since I laid in bed for hours my mind busy with the excitement for the next day. I woke at 5 am only a few hours of sleep and I was UP!

Started Thursday morning with a trip down the hill to the Fred Meyers for food and stuffs. Then spare time to visit before my first class. I had a batik technique class which was fun and I enjoyed playing with dyes in new ways. It has been years (1987) since I played with dyes and batiking so the products are significantly different now. I enjoyed sitting next to a great gal, but I am so bad with names at these things… rats! (will post pics of my fabrics after they are set, washed and dried)

Lunch and more workshop followed. Tried to find the girls to go to dinner but ended up going to red robin by myself. I saw someone at the restaurant that looked like but it turned out not to be her.

That evening we all (Enchy, Android, Believe and many others) set up in the large hallways with our tables and machines to work on projects. Although this is the first time that I have really hung out with these gals in person, since we gab all the time here on LJ it was as comfortable as visiting old friends. Our brains all seem to be on the same wavelength, we compared our men (all science/computer geeks) and our pets (too many of them and all spoiled) and our experinces with art and our passions… (well Andriod is into those creepy dolls, but I won’t hold that against her) taught me how to free motion sew and my machine was working fine. It was a little scary and fun at the same time. She is REALLY good at it. I will have to practice. But now that I know how, watch out!

more pages from Tracy Bautistas class (an example of her talent!)

The night ended for me about 11ish, and again up by 6am the next morning. This is crazy for a NON-morning person, let me tell YOU!!

Friday (and it was rather hard to keep track of the days, they were so full that some days seemed like more than one and the whole event started on my first free day from school which felt like a saturday, so I was constantly having to remember what day it was… at least I was not the only one with this problem)
I took DJ pettitt’s book class. The supply list was the longest and most detailed yet confusing, list I have ever had for a class. Plus she changed it not too long before the event. I even emailed her a couple of times to clarify. I ended up NOT needing more than 70% of the things I borught because I never got to the later stages of the project. (few did) She was a great teacher even if her class had 85 hours worth of work and 3 years worth of supplies crammed into a 6 hour day www.djpettitt.com/

DJ teaching

The class mostly went OK. I really got to enjoy the ladies around me. The process seemed to facilitate talking and sharing. I brought so much stuff that I didn’t seem to need that I was in a very sharing mood. Apparently this surprised some people. and I had offers to pay me for a scrap of paper here or there. which is just silly to me. I have WAY too much collage crap as it is. Although the sewing machine worked fine the night before for my free motion practice, here in the class where I needed it, it wouldn’t cooperate at all. 10 stitches here and the thread would break, another 20 or so and break again. I tried different needles, different threads, different tensions, different presser feet. the needle gummed up with the collage adhesive and the thread broke time after time. Needless to say, I didn’t finish and my sewing machine broke 🙁 I decided that mine was just not going to become a book at all. (I didn’t really like the look of the hinge thing she was doing for a binding.) and I was not happy at all with the outcome of my collages. DJ admitted that the technique works much better with a transfer press (which I am actually getting my school to order next year for part-time art use and sharing within the building) so I will try it again then.

Here is one of the pieces I made. I was able to do some of the sewing with Lelainia’s machine. (www.tattered-edge.com/)


That night I again ran out to dinner on my own and back to visit. We had the VENDOR fair that night and some off campus LJ friends came to check it out. It was pretty small and rather unexciting. I bought a zine from Keely and some papers from Tracy Bautstia. She has a great looking book that I want to order because she had none left to sell at AFF. went out to a late dinner with and and me. Then I hit the hay.

Saturday I actually slept till 7am. I had to shower without getting my hair wet, because I didn’t want to turn the dorm into a horror movie scene with my fresh dye job.
My new color
I had a class today that was not my original choice. I was supposed to have a class on more fabric techniques with Traci Bunkers but she cancelled at the last minute. So I had to pick from a few classes. I picked randomly because there wasn’t anything I was really excited about. I got Winged dolls with Kate Lyons and it turned out to be my favorite class of all. I needed a sewing machine for this class too. I had brought an extra one from school and pulled it out to use, only to discover I forgot the cord to plug it in! duh! luckily she had a machine to share and I got way ahead of most everyone.

front of winged doll

She is the most embellished thing I have ever made pretty much. and I love it. Shawn thinks it is creepier than the 3 armed doll… maybe he thinks all dolls are creepy.

So after show and tell I went home and relaxed….
slept in today and have now been fussing with this entry for too many hours. so I must end it NOW>>>

check out my flickr for more pics!

tomorrow I have to unpack, clean and do laundry as well as mow and move stuff around to prep for the carpet cleaning on Tuesday. BUT I don’t have to go back to work 🙂