Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The holidays are here!

Well, I don't know about any of you but I'm just now getting into the holiday spirit. I can't believe it is the 15th of December already. But I guess getting the head cold crud slowed me down. I do have a couple commissions. Some due by Christmas (yes Mom I'll make it) and some due by Valentine's Day. So busy is a relative term. I'm so glad that I am busy at home and at work.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New photos posted!

Check out the slide show - I finally added photos of the pillows and some of the wallhangings - Sue inspired me to get them done! I'm in the midst of crocheting the scarves I mentioned now. But this nasty head cold is slowing me down! I promise, more photos to come.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where is the time going?

It's early December, the first snow fall has happened and it's 30 degrees. Wow! The Thanksgiving holidays are past and a whirlwind it was. But I was constantly seeing ideas for new quilts. One was about concentric circles -- it was a photo of wood paneling with raised circular molding in a grid pattern. Hmmm how to replicate? I'll figure it out. Maybe buttons, maybe unravelling silk, maybe steel washers, or maybe a combination of those items.

In the meantime, I've gotten a couple requests for items. Another doll quilt a la Barbie was commissioned. My mother asked for three scarves for gifts. A good friend asked for some wall hangings - she has the materials but some arrangements and logistics (mounting plans). There may be one other larger commission but I won't talk about it any further until it's confirmed.

With the holidays approaching, hours to create are scarce but I'll find the time. Yes I'll take photos. Stay tuned. Please?

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I finally got some of my handbags, scarves and key chains added to the slide show. No small feat mind you! Some of them have been sold :( but I have others and will continue to create one of kind items since there is no lack of ideas rambling around in my brain.

Actually I met a young woman outside of the Rotary Building on Friday that had the coolest shoes, it sparked a design idea for a handbag so I dragged her into the Craft Show and had Shari take a picture of her shoes so that I could create a handbag to match her shoes. Watch this site for a preview of the process and the final product. I will post a picture of her shoes and my bag; I am sure someone will let me know if they thought my interpretation was correct.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What a Day!

Well here is part of my private collection which consists of handbags, beaded key chains and hand knitted scarves. Some of my handbags are knitted, some are felted wool with needle felted designs and others are old purses salvaged and re purposed. I had an opportunity yesterday, 11/20, to share my private collection at a Craft Fair at Rotary Intl in Evanston, Il.

You can say I can't leave well enough alone. I love to take an existing bag, paint it, add fur trim, embellish it with some bobble, like a vintage pin, feathers even a magazine advertisement or try using unusual yarns and combining them to make a unique scarf or knitting with fabric.

Each one is one of a kind and I have names for most of them. Like the Black and White knitted fabric bag, I call it 'The Third Rail', pictured here. Most of my knitting takes place on the CTA's Purple Line. One day I was waiting for the train at Wabash and Randolph, knitting my purse, when the ball of fabric fell down and rolled off the platform. There I was trying to pull up the fabric as it unrolled in mid air; eventually finding its way onto Wabash. I feared it would break and I would lose the remaining ball of fabric yarn. I was almost done with the handbag and had just enough fabric left to finish it. Plus the spool it was wound on was heavy and could hurt someone if it hit them in the head. I don't know what happened to the spool, I did look for it, but I was able to save the fabric. Of course, I missed my train but I think it was worth it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thank you all!

The craft fair at my place of employment was today and we were ready (I took the day off). Being both excited and anxious, we couldn't wait to get there.

We appreciate everyone stopping by and ooohing and aaahing. We love sharing with others the tangible aspects of our creativity!

For those who chose to take one of our favorite things home with you a HUGE and sincere thank you to you all!

We had a blast today!

P.S. for those that we said we'd touch base next week -- we will!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Progress (at least I think it is)

We're both fast and furiously preparing things for this Friday's craft fair. It should be a blast! Neither of us can talk fast enough to communicate all that we are trying to express. Sue's sister took a ton of photos yesterday and we hope to get them posted soon. Great stuff! I'm off to continue the labor of love and creativity. And the depletion of my stash. That's the best!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fabrics.com loves me this week...

because I have placed two orders. Armchair shopping - the best sometimes. I found some great wacky buttons (see below) and had to buy some Amy Butler fabric (yes HAD to!) No I haven't figured out what to do with the buttons. But their assymetrical, rather Suess-like shape, intrigue me and I will use them on one or more of these pillows. Promise.

Round 3 or is it 4?

The creations continue! We have both been furiously creating/making/finishing items for the craft fair next week. Sue is revamping old wonderful purses into new creations and works of art! I haven't seen the latest but am anxious to get photos (HINT Sue!)
Pillows are coming along. I keep getting these spurts of creativity and energy at 9pm at night and can't seem to understand that I have to get to sleep by 11 to get up for the work that currently pays the mortgage. I've gotten about 13 pillows created and 1/2 finished. A few new techniques coming along too!

Check out the photos!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The fur that keeps us sane!

Daisy Mae



Keychains from Sue

Pillows and other ideas...

Okay they are actually inspiring not sleep inducing. At least I think so. For the craft fair that I've entered I'm focusing on pillow covers 16" and 18" squares primarily. Some will be made of silk and linen and others of upholstery weight cotton in fabulous fabrics (http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/). Two are completed with two more fronts done; I just need to finish the backs and press them.

But I have had ALL weekend! My husband has been gone all weekend on a business trip Saturday - Monday so some my best cohort and friend and I have had some quality time on Twisted Fiber Studio and our stashes as well as the sewing machine.

Here are some photos. Keychains are Sue's. LOVE THEM! She's also working with a new product, Omni Gel, which when brushed on to photos, magazine photos, photocopies, etc, it will pull the image on the gel and you can wash the paper off, yes off and be left with the gel with the image. You can even get brush marks on the image making it look a bit like an oil painting.

Mid process...

She called me this morning to let me know that it worked! She has a lovely gel of the image here and will be adding it to the front of a handbag! Cannot wait to see it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Pillows two, three and four - Two without backs yet. All are luxury materials (linen, silk/wool blend, dupioni silk and satin). The pillows are 16" squares. I've got one more in this series to make but it will resemble the one immediately above with the buttons. I've really enjoyed these and made the four in one weekend (with lots of other errands). I'm very excited about this of course... My husband left for the weekend on business (boo hoo) but that just gives me LOTS of time to play with the fabrics and create more items for the fair next month. Hmmm...crocheting is on the list too. Stay tuned...

And here they are...PILLOWS!

Pillow 1 is all cream colored linen with striped silk borders, with the same silk as the back fabric of the pilow. The center pinwheel is a "liberated" pinwheel of batik and linen fabrics.

It needs a good pressing yet... I'm getting to it....My least favorite thing to do!

Monday, October 19, 2009

On to the next thing...

While trying to finish that quilt, I've heard about my company's throwing a craft fair - I remember it being upscale and nice things from last year. So we're going for it and have signed up for a table. Now we're brainstorming on what to make -- purses, pillows, keychains, wallhangings, etc.

I was designing most of yesterday and last night had some great breakthroughs. I'll post photos then get with my cohort to do the same of what she's working on!

T-Shirt Quilt IV

I have the third block done! so now I have three approximately 11' square each block that I will assemble into a throw. I have a fourth square to make to round out the grouping for the throw. I'm using extra pieces that I was given that aren't the same appliqued t-shirts but are from the same sorority to make the fourth block. I'm having trouble deciding which fabrics to do the borders in.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

T-shirt quilt Part III

Block two is done. Block 3 is 25% done. The colors and mix of prints provides plenty for the eye to focus on. The final layout is taking form in my head and I can't wait for it be translated into the final product. I'll post photos of block two and three in a few days.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

T-Shirt quilt part II

Project time found ... finally! I finished the first block of the "t-shirt" quilt. It turned into a 9.75" square pinwheel -- but very liberated! Straight stitches not necessarily followed requiring extra trimming but I'm better at the trimming than the sewing! There was several episodes of ripping seams out though!

The first block - three to go - stay tuned.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I tried something that has been around the last year or so in the "fiber art" world - Ephemera post cards. So being the francophile that I am... I had to do one. I had found this upholstery fabric that is so quintessential French -- fashion and iconic locations all over. I added a layer of rose silk ala Eleanor Burns style as the frame.

Then I looked at some "vintage" post cards from Cavalli papers, selected one with the right color tone and style I wanted and added a fusible post card back (from ribbonsmyth.com) that is also vintage in style......

Choosing embellishments is not easy! Too many to choose from... but I narrowed it down to so hand dyed silk ribbon, paper clips to hold the paper post card on, and charms that symbolize some of the ab fab culture of Paris -- perfume bottle, shows, and bejeweled handbag!

So I got to use the stamps I bought (see my post on 1 June) :) Loved them!!

The Finished Project! --- all of about 3 hours but could have done it faster IF I hadn't taken so much time picking the embellishments... but isn't that most of the fun!

Well -- it's been a long July and August is almost over. I've been doing a lot of designing and such for that t-shirt quilt I mentioned. Here's a sample of the plan... I'm showing the sample to the client Tuesday. We'll see if she likes it.

It's meant to be VERY colorful. She didn't want the typical memory quilt focusing on those t-shirts but didn't want to "throw them out" so we're going down this path to recycle them.
Fingers crossed. .... check my next entry because I couldn't wait to do this other small quilt that has been trapped in my head........

Monday, July 6, 2009


I've got an opportunity to make a "memory" quilt with t-shirts that isn't the standard look of a memory quilt. Soooooo you see the dilemma! I'm a huge fan of Gwen Marston's quilting style -- liberated. Using this method with the t-shirts incorporated into the overall design as just one element. I'll be posting some ideas on that soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Well, I'm winding down on my assignment for work (the one that took me to the UK again) and I'm headed to spend some time this afternoon/evening with my best friends. While I'm physically exhausted and I badly twisted my knee on this three week trip, I've gotten a ton of inspiration including a new book of photography of the colors of Sicily -- everything on the island photographed and categorized by color. The textures! WOW! I cannot wait to translate that....

Then I just got a glimpse of Lyric Kinard's new book coming out in September "Art+Quilt: Design Principles and Creativity Exercises". It is EXACTLY what I need to see right now! I've missed quilting severely -- actually creating! I have my creativity journal with me.

I've combined my regular journal with the creativity one -- just too many books to carry. And my colored pencils are with me too!

A few days of R&R the home to my new hubbie!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The wall in my sewing room/husband's office..... The hanging pieces are finished.....

OKay one more thing.... this isn't finished... but I'm planning to "float" it in a frame or "shadow" box. Not sure ... just need to take it to the frame shop and get it done. It's about 24" square and while this photo isn't the best ... I'll get a better one... promise..... you can see how I've used scrapbooking brads to "quilt" this piece as well as beaded yarn, free motion quilting. The base fabric is from a series titled "Mirror Ball". One of my favorites.....


With work being so ridiculously busy, little space is left in my head to fit in design or planning the next quilt or project. That being said.... :) Inspiration is striking everywhere! The picture at right is from the Benziger Vineyards in Sonoma County - where we spent our honeymoon. The spots of colors and the texture of the different plants (I love the lavender plants) are phenomenal!

Other inspirations include photos of simple flowers and new stamps I've found for one project I've gotten stuck in my head -- a French travel quilt - written post cards to a friend with photos and specific stamps. I have a fusible postcard back (on fabric with antique script) that I can use the photos of Paris and stickers as well. I'd call it a souvenir quilt as I'm an obsessed Francophile and have spent several different vacations and a semester abroad in France and am always ready to go back!

So off I go to my design journal to figure some of this out! The real job AKA the mortgage payin gone will take me out of town for three weeks so no actual work at home but I'm putting together a couple "take along" projects... Who knows what I may come up with when I return.... I'll keep sharing! Promise......

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Here are the cakes! The wording around the logo is "When Sox Fans Grow Up"......
Well, it's 16 May and we survived our wedding! IT was a mad dash somewhat for the final details and I'm talking more at work that for the wedding but with the help of my sister, mom, cousin and others I made it without misshap!

It was gorgeous and fun and full of twirling little girls! The cross town feud was alive and well with the groom's cake (we're Chicago Cubs baseball fans -- Mike's family favors the Chicago White Sox) and all in good fun!

The florist did amazing work as did the hotel! WOW! I loved it and it was exactly what I had always wanted (not sure about Mike).

Work has me travelling 5 weeks out of 8 until the end of May (off tomorrow for the UK) but then I'm back in to the art work.... I really want to be doing it!! Keep grabbing my design journal to add things in or tweak a design or glue fabric or test paint or a stamp or or or. All is waiting for my time!!!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Time is ticking down to my wedding and trying to find time to create! ....something that isn't for the wedding....But I'm seeing lots of new things in the recent issue of Cloth Paper Scissors that intrigue me. But of course I did spend some time making some purchases from Joggles.com..... vintage postcard stickers/labels and stamps and various items for my next travelogue quilt/wall hanging. Can't wait to work on it... but we'll see when I get to that!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Time time time - who has time....

Well -- nothing to add to the blog lately! Time is my enemy -- isn't all of ours. Between real work planning meetings and planning my wedding next month is taking all of my time. Or so it seems, logging reply cards, dress fittings, accessories, bridesmaids gifts, thank you cards, rehearsal dinner arrangements, seating arrangements, finalizing flowers, finalizing menues, etc. I know it's normal bride stuff. You'd think it's easier for me as I plan meetings for 1500 -20,000 persons every day! But...it's not as cut and dried when it's your wedding is it?

In the midst of this I'm getting mini brainstorms for more things to make and really wanting to sit down and do some sewing or designing or finishing or or or. Well you all know the drill!

Really I'm not truly stressed out. It's more about finding the time to satisfy everyone's demands on my time!

Ciao for now....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Well, the long and short of it is that while we've not exactly done any public relations on this blog - I'm always looking for something to post about! Life for those of us trying to fit time for art in with the myriad of regular life occurrences is complicated (okay yes major understatement). I recently found at the library a book from Rice Freeman-Zachary "Living the Creative LIfe: Ideas and inspirations from working artist" which I'm reading cover to cover. The insights and methodology they all share is inspiring and a little daunting. Of course there is time for all of the wonders of our art in our schedules, it's the percentage of time devoted to it that I struggle with.

I find that right now I'm stretched a bit thin (oh were that true) with my full-time job and it's demanding travel schedule (just returned from two weeks abroad in Australia and Thailand) and planning my wedding in late April. Yes too much to do but I can't stop thinking about the quilt I have in progress and my creativity journal keeps calling me -- so much that I'm going to have to start carrying it with me daily.

That seems to be a common topic among artists yet we crave this time in our schedules as is feeds our souls! I know it feeds mine significantly. More later... hopefully some time to work on stuff this week!....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Here's another item from my "works" that is something I always wanted to try -- the cathedral window pattern. It was quite a bit of hand sewing but overall not too bad and incremental! I did enjoy it and loved the effect.

I know you all can sympathize....real world day to day items keep us from more creating, sewing and enjoying our craft! I really want to get back to finishing the quilt pictured in my recent post. I'm headed out the door again on a business trip and also planning a wedding in April. DOn't we all need more hours in a day! The creation doesn't stop though. I'm constantly seeing things that inspire me that I have to jot down in my design journal. Well here's to 28 hour days!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Real job is my current obsession.... has to be. The mortgage just got paid! It sent me to San Diego for 18 days in January which isn't fun being away from home... but since I live in the Midwest which got dumped on with LOTS of snow..... it's not too bad at all to go out at lunch time (in my 10-15 min to do so) and sit or walk quickly through the sunshine. But I really want to get home and work on that quilt! Oh well..... it's off to work I go...... :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Here's the photo I promised.... A vibrant start to 2009! I'm really liking this one with the more elegant pinwheels and the varying sizes. But the one thing that pops for me is the ORANGE with the tiffany blue accents. I've trimmed it but am leaving on a 2.5 week business trip (for the job that pays the bills) and won't have time to assemble the quilt.

Between the business trip, the holidays and social occasions ...and my fiance's weeklong headcold, I'm almost amazed I got this much done!