Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hold fast to your dreams...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend if you're in the US. It snowed here all weekend and we have nearly 2 feet of snow now. I shoveled snow four times this weekend. I'm in the midst of making some Christmas gifts and started a tutorial on making poinsettia pins/brooches. Hopefully, I'll finish that up this week and be able to post it soon. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All the Way from India

 Look at this wonderful page I received from India from Maya. She based it on the coconut palm that is used
widely in her community. She says that each and every part of the coconut palm is used in daily life. She used pieces of  "plastic foil from snack packs" for the blue and green and brown paper for the trunks of the trees. She then added embroidery to add detail.
Here's the back of the page that is all embroidered.

Here's a close up. Another wonderful page for my book. Thanks Maya!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Design Focus Friday - Line

I didn't have much time this week to focus on line. I was a bit busy with a funeral, Thanksgiving and trying to get started on making Christmas gifts. So I thought what I'd do today to focus on line is take a look back at some of my previous work and see how I've used line in the past.
This piece is felted and was based on a photo I took of the moon behind our house. I wanted to show the brightness of the moon and the darkness/blackness of the branches. So the only line really is the branches. My favorite kind of line - the organic type.

This piece was done for an assignment in my machine embroidery class. It is all about line. And again, organic line. I seem to avoid those straight lines. In this piece, the focus seems to be the overlapping lines in the center. It is too centered and I really like either edge better. Perhaps some lines going in a more diagonal direction would have helped?
This is another assignment piece in machine embroidery.  Besides the out line of the fish and the grass, I don't see a lot of use of line. Although the blue background has some light lines, I think the piece might have been enhanced a bit more if I had emphasized those lines in blue with more stitching. What do you think?
This is a piece that I worked on for a long time. I didn't really plan much with this piece and it kind of kept changing as it went along. I used line in the stitching of the horse. Perhaps I could have used the sight line in Crazy Horse's eyes to achieve more of an implied line. As it is, he is looking straight across and out of the piece. Perhaps it would have been more effective to have him looking upward at the hawk.
This piece is about trees and bark. I used line in the depictions of the tree trunks and in the bark itself. The pine lichen also adds line. Again, I tend toward the organic.
This piece was not planned well either. I started with oil paint sticks for the background. But I left a crease in the middle that looked awful when I was done. So I used the line of the branch to cover that area. Actually this turned out much better than I had hoped it would originally. Perhaps the moral is to just keep going and use the mistake as a cue to what to do next!
This is a machine embroidered piece that I spent a lot of time on and did do quite a bit of pre-planning. I didn't use a lot of line in this piece. Although the various horizon type lines of grass and trees provide line. I think it would have been more effective if the lines of grass and stems in the forefront were more emphasized.
This is another piece about bark and how it relates to topographical maps. It uses a lot of line mainly achieved through value changes. Again, those organic lines showing up. Perhaps I should try more pieces with straight lines and geometrical shapes to push myself out of my comfort zone? Or add just one or two straight lines to an allover organic pattern? What have you been doing with line?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saloon Doors for Liz

 Liz received the page so here are the saloon doors that I made for her. I have been trying to relate the pages to Montana (if the theme allows) and so that's how I came up with this page. It's based on the doors at Moose's Saloon in Kalispell. I used muslin dyed with walnut ink and then embellished with machine stitching, oil paint sticks and Sharpie pen.
 You can open the doors for a little stamped message. The backs of the doors are silk paper.
And here's the back. So does it say "Montana" to you?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Photoshop Lessons

I'm having fun!! (That's me when I was younger and cuter.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Felting Holiday Ornament Exchange

 Look what I got in the mail today! It's for our annual Felting Forum Holiday ornament exchange. Jody made it and aren't they wonderful?
 I just had to show you the cute little Santa shorts that were hiding behind the present.
 And his sweet little face. Doesn't he look like he needs a big hug?
And here's a little extra ornament made from polymer clay. And the white snow part glows in the dark. Thanks so much Jody! I love them.

Design Focus Friday - More Line

 I've been focusing on the element of line this month. And so I see line everywhere. These are from Dharma Trading Company's supply of copper tjaps. Of course I picked out the organic lines instead of the geometric line patterns. After I had cut out these copies to put in my studio journal, I was throwing away the scraps and noticed that the black areas had been cut into lines. So I saved them.
 And made this collage of black and white lines. While I was working on this, I couldn't decide when a line becomes a shape. Is it a really thick line or is it a rectangle? I tried to not over think this process too much and just started gluing down the pieces. I couldn't manage to do the whole piece without any curves. But I like how it turned out.
 Then I tried this exercise where I had pairs of words and then I drew lines to represent the word. Again, I was trying not to over think the process. You can click on the photo to see it larger if needed.
Here's journal spread that I have been working on. I added some line to it but it isn't finished yet. I keep adding as something seems to fit or if I'm working with paint and have some left over. This definitely needs more work. What would you add to it?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


 We woke up to this today. It appears winter is here. I think I'll try doing a little Photoshop effects on this photo. So more on this later.
 We're supposed to have lots of snow this winter because of La Nina. Great for skiing which starts in about three weeks.
Here's a little sneak peak of what I worked on last week for Liz. It's her door page. I sent it off today so you'll see the entire page once she receives it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Playing with Photoshop Elements

 I'm taking the skinny mini free Photoshop class from Kim Klassen.
 And boy is it fun to play around with layers and adding textures.
Now I finally have something to do with all those photos of different textures that I take.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Design Focus Friday - Line

 I've been out looking for line this week. Horizontal lines...
 Diagonal lines...
 Curved lines...
 Horizontal and diagonal lines combined...
 Organic lines...
 I love the lines of the cat tails in this photo...
 My favorite kind of lines...
 Here's a piece a did a while ago based on a tree stump which uses line...
 Radiating lines...
 Love the lines of shadows between the rocks...
 More shadow lines...
And then the lines of the aspen which are so dramatic after they've lost their leaves.

What lines have you found? Let me know!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tree Page from Cobi

 Look at all the wonderful things that I received from Cobi in the Netherlands yesterday!
 Here's my tree page. She made the tree with puff paint.
 Here's a close up of the texture in the puff paint which is wonderful. I love the colors she chose.
Here's the back - she's called the page "Summer is Over" after a song that she wrote out for me in the top photo. Thanks so much Cobi!