Friday, December 20, 2013

Painting on the Go.... Vino Van Gogh that is...

So best friend from university, Lisa and I took a great class last Saturday with Vino Van Gogh at Splinters Sports Pub in Palatine.  EXCELLENT class and such fun. 

We have an annual tradition of doing something at Christmas time. It's been a 48 hr cookie baking marathon since her kids were little and such fun.  But our collective knees can't take it like that anymore.  Going gluten free has cut back on that need for baking on my side so we came up with something different.  The price was right on a snowy Chicago afternoon.  We loved it!. So much laughter.   And you were able to order adult beverages and food.  Yum, hot toddies were a perfect accompaniment. 

I highly recommend them for an outing.  We'll do it again for sure.

I present "Dancing Poinsettias..."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Website has arrived!

It's here!  I am just so excited and tickled as a friend would say.  

Welcome to  I know you have always found the blog at that address but now you can see the blog as one part of the overall website.

You will be able to inquire about and book craft parties for special occasions or just for fun.  Handmade items are also now available online for your gift giving needs (or something special for yourself).  Of course I will be adding new merchandise and class ideas regularly.  Custom orders are always an option. 

Please visit and let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Classes this week!

The past two days provided me an opportunity to teach two more fantastic groups of women.  On Tuesday, I was at Indian Prairie Public Library in Darien.  Librarian Cindy Kline had asked me to come teach Felt Flower Pins and I must say it was a fun night and a great facility.  Ladies - you made me laugh and I sincerely thank those that came out not feeling their best!    I look forward to seeing you all again in the future.  Check out a couple photos from that class on the library Facebook page.  Indian Prairie Library Facebook Page

Recycled book page Christmas Trees was the star attraction last night at the Lisle Library.  We had a full house, a lot of fun, and oh yeah some gorgeous trees.  Adult Librarian Mike Monahan took the photos. Aren't thye great?

Thanks Mike!  and thanks to all of you. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Next Steps

Twisted Fiber Studio is going through a growth period.  I have been working on the nuts and bolts of making TFS a full fledged wonderful business rather than the fun hobby it has been.  Among the many things we have in the works, the full website will launch in early December and have a host of arts and crafts classes to choose as well as holiday gift items available for purchase. 

These "classes" are also available as party themes for ages 10 and up - think birthday, book club, holiday, bridal shower, baby shower.  Don't see what you have in mind on the class list, let's work together to meet your needs.    The classes come to you at your home or in a venue of your choice.  Need a venue, I can help with that too. 

NO need to wait for the website to book a class.  The current brochure is available on the blog here  Class Brochure.   I look forward to hearing from you! 

I've gotten so much support from friends and family -- THANK YOU and I love you all. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fall Decor - Pumpkin!

A bit delayed in posting this photo but well, it's still fall, right? 

I made this in October and I have to tell you all that it was so quick and easy to make -- you too can have one for a centerpiece for the upcoming US Thanksgiving holidays. 

What you need:  one foam pumpkin I found at the $1 store, old sewing patterns, small foam brush, gloss matte medium (or watered down white glue if you have it on hand), flowers or fall decorations of any kind and straight pins or hot glue to attach them.

Use a foam brush to put the glue on the pumpkin and then layer the sewing patterns over the glue, pressing it in to the curves of the pumpkin think decoupage.  Even cover the stem.  Brush more glue over the paper.  Let dry! 

For the decorations, you can use leaves from the yard (yes you can) or small pine cones, silk flowers, felt flowers and the like.  I had a silk leaf and some fall colored felt to make the flowers. To attach these, I used straight pins through the center of the flowers into the pumpkin itself.  Done!  So easy and fast! 

FYI you can use the plastic pumpkins (candy buckets) for the base too and put flowers into it as an autumn bouquet.  


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Saucy...New Collage Art!

Felting Class Thank you!

Tuesday night was a great time at the Geneva Public Library.  One person was overheard saying on her way out:  “This is the best Library program I have attended.”

You are a fantastic group of people. Did you imagine we'd make that many suds?  Enjoy your soaps and pins!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Michigan Shores Club Holiday Boutique

This Thursday, 24 October, the Michigan Shores Club will have its annual Holiday Boutique.  It is open to the public and will feature over 35 vendors featuring everything from jewelry to clothing to toys to scarves to handbags!  We will be open from 4pm - 9pm and a cash bar will be available.

Hope to see some of you there.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buttons and Spoon River Drive

My sister, niece and parents go to the Spoon River Scenic Drive each year to visit the vendors and find collectables, gifts and whatnot. It is a gorgeous place to visit (so I'm told... I never seem to be able to join them). 

This year my sister bought me two bags of buttons.  Excellent! Awesome!  Wait, there is more than buttons in these bags.  So far I have found 1/2 dozen nails and screws, one bolt, 5 needles (broken and not), 1 zipper tab, 8 old café curtain rings, snaps, bits of thread still on the buttons, old safety pins, buttons on cards, and of course hundreds of buttons. And no, I have no idea what to do with them yet.  Or should I say I have lots of ideas but nothing concrete yet.  But I will! 


And don't forget that on Thursday 24 October I'll have a couple tables full of gifts and goodies for sale at the Michigan Shores Club Holiday Boutique at 911 Michigan Ave., Wilmette, IL.  4-9pm 

Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A getaway...

So last week best gal pal from university and I took a break escaped to Milwaukee for a little brainstorming, playing and quality time.  With both of us between full time positions, we took the opportunity to just relax and enjoy hanging out.  Painting was a part of it of course. Laughter and some fantastic margaritas!  Can we go again?  Now? 

And yes our room was just covered in stuff.  SO MUCH FUN!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Felting time of year

The weather cools off (finally) and I think of warm things like wool and felting.  Seriously.  Later this month on 22 October, I will be at the Geneva Public Library teaching an intro to felting class.  I am looking forward to this one!  I've been making samples at home of the few items we'll be making in the class, including a book mark. 

At the end of the class we'll also be making a felted soap!  If you live in that area, come on out and sign up!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Christmas Trees and Book Pages!

Hello all!  Huge thank yous to the people in Glendale Heights and the staff at the Glenside Public Library.  The How-to-Fest on Saturday was fantastic and I truly enjoyed meeting everyone.

A bit late but I want to also thank the attendees at the Handmade Journal Class at the Lisle Library last Tuesday.  I know I had a great time (hope you did too) and was completely inspired by your creativity.  The journals turned out great.  No photos --- at least I didn't take any but the library did so I'm hoping to see some posted on their site in the coming month.  I know I have to get better at remembering to take photos!

BUT the great news is that on 4 December I'll be back in Lisle teaching Book Page Christmas trees! Here is my little red and white version.  Enjoy!  Isn't it adorable?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Time Grew Wings...

The summer has gone by so quickly.  I've been reminded how much life can change in a single blink of an eye.  In late May, I lost a dear friend and colleague to a scuba diving accident.  The blow to my soul cannot be described.  I've tried.  All the clichés come to mind:  "She was doing what she loved"; "She went quickly"; etc.  She lived life fully and didn't dwell on the negative for long.  She inspired all she encountered. She'll be missed.

As life carried on around me, 7 weeks later I was laid off from my company after 24 years.  A huge blow but as I examined my feelings about it, not as big a blow as I thought it would be.  What does that mean for me now?  Well, I'm taking time to take a few deep breathes and meditate on my next steps.  I am certain that creating and teaching will be front and center in my world.  The path that will take is another thing though.  That is what I will be pondering in the next few weeks or months. 

As my friend would say, move through it, take a deep breath and be open to all options.  Deborah, I will! 

Stay tuned, as I will be sharing the journey, the creativity, and the stages of my next adventures.  

Twisted Fiber Studio is on Facebook!

It took long enough, didn't it?  This week Twisted Fiber Studio moved onto Facebook.  Check us out and like us at

I won't be neglecting the blog but will be posting regularly on the facebook page. 

Thanks and see you there.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Monarch Festival - Great time!

Thank you to all of the people that stopped by the TFS table today to learn more about our classes and pick up a few trinkets and journals.  We had a great time, heard some fantastic music and enjoyed being part of it.   

We talked to some great people, promoting our group classes and party activities.  Remember if you are holding a party for friends, a special occasion or a birthday party for the kids, we can organize an art activity for your event.  Do you need a location for the event?  We can help with that too.  Send an email to

The weather, while clouded over, was cooler with some gusting winds.  Thanks to my husband who helped me all day long at the booth! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Monarch Festival in Waukegan

Twisted Fiber Studio will be at the Monarch Festival -- our first time -- advertising our classes and selling some of our wares.  Come visit us on Sunday 8 September from 1-4pm across the street from the library at the corner of Clayton and County in Waukegan, IL!

Hope to see you there.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Travels and Inspiration

In late July, my husband and I visited Scotland for a week.  We did it in style, business class travel and rented a luxury apartment (VERY NICE). Yes, of course, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute.  Scotland is part of my history and genealogy, as both sides of the family come from Scotland.  Some not so recently i.e. before the US was a country and some in the late 1800's.  Oddly with hundreds of years since that migration and generations and such, my affinity for all things Scottish is ingrained.  To be perfectly honest anything English too.  I found myself spending time looking at things from a different viewpoint than before - more artistic.  I've always loved the work of Charles Rennie MacIntosh (architect, artist, risk taker).  The Glasgow School of Art was a great showcase of his work and inspiration.  And up a VERY STEEP hill, as was much of Scotland.  We got a workout for sure.  Our friends joined us for the weekend -- such fun and joy to spend time with them. So much inspiration and peace came from this trip.  You'll see...

Architectural detail at the Merchant Market in Glasgow
More incredible architectural detail at the Merchant Market in Glasgow

Loch Ness -- the clouds are so low!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Doodle art

Recently, doodling became a way of letting go. First I made a background.  Pick whatever colors I wanted, you say?  Okay.  I will and did.  But then it sat on my desk for two months.  I wasn't sure what I wanted it to look like or show or say or ...
You all know what I mean.
Last week lots of things went on at work that were so tragic and overwhelming I had to find a way besides journaling to release some tension, stress and grief.  I checked in on my favorite doodle master, Dawn Sokol Devries, via her website ( and her books for inspiration.  The results of that time are below.  Although not as skilled as Dawn, I really enjoyed it.  I struggle with the letting go.  Give me a blank page to draw on and it remains a blank page.  I can copy anything I see (to a certain degree) but original drawings sometimes are a struggle.  But I'm very pleased with these doodles so far.
Try it!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Simple String Backpack Tutorial

Recently I got on a kick of sewing little backpacks.  First one for me and then I thought of all of the people in my life and all of the fabric I have in my stash.  So....guess what I did...Yes, made five more.  They were mother's day gifts for my mother, sister, niece and best college friend.  I got to keep two for myself!  Yay!  The lovely brown and white floral below as well as a royal blue canvas backpack. 

What I did was adapt several tutorials and ended up with the following:

1.  Cut two 18" wide x 1.25 yards long.  Sew them right sides together; turn and press. 
2.  Fold the fabric in half with the outside fabric well on the outside; press along the fold. 
3.  Cut two fusible web squares (2" square). Insert them in between the two fabrics and place one on each side (internally) close to fold.  These will stabilize the grommets.  Iron in place.
4.  Fold the raw edges down 1/2" and press.  Fold that same edge down 1.5" and press.  This makes the pocket for the cords. 
5.  Stitch the pockets in place.  THEN match up the pockets and stitch the sides from bottom to just below the pockets. 
6.  Use your grommet maker or pliers to add a grommet to both corners of the drawstring bag. 
7.  Use rope, ribbon, drapery cording or whatever you want to make the drawstrings.  You'll need two (2) 3.5 yard pieces.  Thread one through one pocket and back through the other (u-shape) and then through the grommet on the side where the two ends are .  You can either tie it or stitch it.  Thread the 2nd cable through  the pockets in the OPPOSITE direction of the first one, then through the grommet on the side of the two ends.  Again either tie it or stitch it. 
8.  DONE!  It is now lined and washable and very easy to pack. 

a sweet little drawstring backpack...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sunday is Journal Day!

At least for me and over 15 other people who have signed up for my journal making class at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library this Sunday (9 June) at 1:00pm.  We'll be making journals like...  this one or this one or something totally different! 

Check with the library to see if there are any empty slots!   We will also have a gallery setup to watch the class if you are so inclined.    Hope to see you there.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Spring is here and so are classes

Spring is here in the Chicago area. The trees are gorgeous with their little buds and flowers. Having all of the windows open allowing the breeze to sweep through the house and freshen everything up is one of my favorite things. Recently, though it's been about cleaning out drawers, closets and cabinets. I find I need less and want less as the clutter can be overwhelming and even restrictive. So many new ideas and ways to look at things are coming at me without that clutter. I look at everything and see potential for another piece of art -- a quilt, a wallhanging, a canvas, and a journal. Inspiration comes regularly and at unusual times. As spring continues and summer approaches I wonder what other ideas will come to me. What classes can I take that will either teach me a new technique or just be a chance to share creative time with other like minded artists? What classes can you take to do the same? What new idea could you do with friends or even at your children's parties?
Check out the link detailing the classes we offer. Please contact us at sharilynn@twistedfiberstudiodotcom.
Happy Spring!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Reminds me of my husband's sweet and loving proposal.

I imagine Bogart and McCall in a scene looking like this one.

Girlie dress...always a favorite for me. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Classes now offered

Some of you know that we are teaching classes on various techniques and projects. It has been communicated mostly by word of mouth but it's time to put it out there --- so to speak. We are available to teach at your library, park district, community center, home, party, wherever! Our classes are fun, informative and some might say a little crazy (all in a good way).

As a natural extension of our desire to learn and share what we learn, it seemed like the "right" next step for us. We are continuing to develop classes that showcase techniques for you to use. We are almost professional students ourselves, taking classes from nationally renowned artists, learning techniques to use in our own artwork.

Our classes include:

Upcycled Book Page Wreath: Festive, elegant, recycled, and simple to make wreath from the pages of a book - literally!

Petite Images: Take a small canvas, use a little paint, fabric, paper, magic (and lots of other craft supplies) to make a petite treasure to hang on a wall near you!

Handmade Journals: Create a journal that fits your personality and recycle at the same time! Take a hard cover book, various scrapbook and watercolor papers, duct tape and heavy thread to make a basic journal. With the addition of collage, paint, ink, stamps and stencils, you will start simple and evolve into a unique, colorful, fun, and one of a kind journal for your art, thoughts, souvenirs and more.

Journal to Go! Get started faster with an easy button and string journal. Quick, fun, and limited only by your imagination. Or turn those maps you collect on your travels into a travel journal!

Handmade Flower Brooch and Hair Clips: Using your scrapbooking supplies, silk flowers, glue and findings, make your own hair clip or brooch.

We have several classes booked this spring. Email for details or to set up a class in your area.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Journals!

I know it seems I've fallen off the face of the planet, but no not really.  Many areas of life kept me distracted from posting but not away from creating!  Four new journals and some lovely felt flower pins and hair clips.  What do you think?

 and then there is the jewelry -- felt flower pins. 

I have more to make but they are really fun and easy to make.  Tutorials are available on the internet.  Check them out and enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Accordian Journal

Well, the exploration continues into journal styles.  I happened across this idea and sat down with the supplies I had in the house (yes used my stash).   It's about the size of a wallet, with small mailing envelopes as the pockets and the pages of the journal.  The base is an old cereal box cut to size, paper to cover it, envelopes, ribbon and a button.  But now that I'm looking at it again, what if I used fabric instead of paper to cover it?  FYI the "button" is actually a scrapbooking brad that matched and some ribbon that just wrapped around to close the entire thing. 

This journal is going on my next trip to collect all of my little souvenirs but it would work for just about anything, receipts, coupons, lists, anything.  Enjoy!