Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I've Had Such Fun!

More Mixed Media Projects
I gave myself two days off to play with my SheArt projects this week--after working all of last week on a new pattern for St. Patrick's Day. I've been working on mixed media creations (see previous post) for the past month and enjoying playing with paints and papers and stamps and rub-ons and all those things I've admired in the craft store but just didn't think I could handle.

After finishing the 3-week SheArt on-line course, I also signed up for another of Christy Tomlinson's workshops and received her Creative Color workshop FREE. The other course was a collaborative 4-day Valentine's workshop with the Glitter Girls. I watched the videos but didn't do the projects. However, I inhaled her color class. You can sign up for it at It's worth it! In fact, I wish I had taken it before the SheArt class in a way as I might have had an easier time choosing color palettes for my "girls." C'est la vie. Anyway, I recommend it. Her exercises for looking for color inspiration are very good and they made me look for color in a new way.

One color resource Christy didn't include was It's one-stop shopping for ideas for quilts and crafts and your home, and gorgeous photo images. But be warned, it is highly addictive. Looking for new things to "pin" to your set of bulletin boards is very fun and inspiring--but it can eat up a LOT of time if you let it! I've been feasting my eyes, pinning things, and finding others to follow! And I know it has affected how I look at color, too, and where I look for color ideas.

All that being said, I'd like to share the canvases I finished in the last two days. The last of the 3 SheArt classes focuses on creating canvases that are personal reflections--using things that mean something to you as the backgrounds on the canvas. I made photocopies of photos and other personal memorabilia to cut up for my backgrounds--just as Christy suggests in the class. When you see the final canvases, you won't be able to "see" much in the background. The point is that I know what's there and what's meaningful to me that inspired the "girl."

I created two "mini-me" canvases--one for my 10-year-old "me" and one for my grown-up "me." All in all, these last two girls are the best, I think.

She Let Her Inner Child Come Out to Play
My 10-year-old is wearing a dress with a little cropped vest. This outfit was one of my favorites and I wore it in a Four Generation photo that was taken of my family. A photocopy of that photo underlies the "girl." I can pick it out, but viewers would be hard-pressed to find it. I was delighted to find a piece of scrapbooking paper that was similar to the dress fabric. I loved butterflies as a child and those you can find in the background an in my hair. I really did "let my inner child come out to play" on this canvas and I'm really happy with the results! This canvas makes me happy and all in all, I'm really pleased with the results. I'll probably hang this one in my office/sewing studio.

She Believes in PINK!
Next, I completed the "big girl." I have a favorite color--that would be PINK--and I have a Sarah Arizona pink sweater that I bought in the early 90s to wear with tights. It is my most-favorite-ever sweater and I sill wear it even though it is much the worse for wear. It has a few "holes" patched with fusible web on the inside and I've had to turn up the lower edge of the sleeves and the sweater body because the soft cotton yarn has just plain worn out.
I can't part with the sweater and I still wear it with black pants (not leggings or tights). I decided that this favorite piece of clothing should be the featured outfit for my adult "girl."
While I was trolling I found a wonderful quote from Audrey Hepburn that begins, "I believe in pink." And, I do too, so it made a fitting name for this canvas.

For this canvas, I used one of the "color inspirations" I collected during the Creative Color Workshop. It really made it easier to choose the background colors. I also have an antique type stamp of a thimble that I used and again, the butterfly is featured, along with music notes. The birds in the upper left corner are from a birthday card from Stan. There are newspaper clippings and magazine articles about my college days and my career in sewing beneath the colorful collage. I cut the tights from fabric and the sweater from scrapbooking paper. I'm really happy with the hair, too.
Just as a side note, my sweet husband tried to find a new pink sweater to replace the one I love and I opened a Christmas package with the result of his search. While nothing can replace the Sarah Arizona sweater, he did find a lovely Liz Claiborne pink and white cotton sweater that I love. But even more, I love that he was so thoughtful! He's such a wonderful guy!

Home is Where the Heart Is!
Earlier, I prepared another square canvas, using water-color-like images from a child's book I purchased at Goodwill for $1. It's been sitting around, waiting for more, so I tackled it next. You really can't see the paper underneath the art, but it did help me get started. This time, I decided to do a little house with a "strip-pieced" roof, patchwork style. I cut narrow strips from many different scrapbook papers and decoupaged them to a triangle of card stock, then trimmed the excess for a pretty roof. I love the saying I found in a book of vellum scriptures: Where hour treasure is, there will your heart be also. Or in other words, "Home is where the heart is!"

One Last Canvas to Share For Now
I did another SheArt canvas early on, and ever since, I've struggled with it. No matter what I did, I just didn't like the results. Finally, I decided to cover the canvas with torn brown paper bag pieces and then build on it from there. The result is a piece about love. It's title, written in pen directly on the canvas is "You Can't Measure My Love."
This one has lots of things I love on it, but what I love MOST is my sweet husband and the title is reflective of our love for each other. The canvas looks better in the photo than it does in person for some reason. It really is "messy art," which is what Christy calls her style. I think I just tried a little too hard on this one and should have stopped before the last layer of paint. But, again, I've learned from doing it and that's the whole point, really. And the sentiment and Love remain!

So now, I'm cleaning up my "studio," which is the counter top in the guest bath--handy since it's large and there's a sink for quick clean-up. I've organized all my supplies and I know I'll be back at it again soon because I've just had too much fun! Stan asked me what I was going to do with all my canvases. I'll hang some of them and give some away--maybe. But, the point was the process and I've enjoyed it immensely and have a new found confidence in my artistic abilities!

Now it's time to fix supper and then get back to designing new patterns. More about that in the next post.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I haven't posted in a while because I've been delightfully occupied with an on-line class with Christy Tomlinson. I signed up for her mixed media class, SheArt Workshop, to treat myself to an "art" class, something I've never done before because I thought I couldn't paint or draw. Was I wrong! What fun I've had creating mixed media canvases using paint, and scrapbook papers, and rub-ons, and stamping--things I've stayed away from in the past. I'm also mixing in fabrics and trims and notions from my sewing stash. It's like playing with paper dolls, something I loved as a child.

 Now I have a new addiction and regularly troll Tuesday Morning and Marshall's for deals on art and scrapbooking supplies. The three-week class cost next to nothing in comparison to what I spent on all those new supplies, so now I'm taking another of Christy's fun classes. You can find out more about her at That's her online store, but there are links to her blog and workshops, too.

So here are the first five canvases I've finished, with a few more in the works, including "little girl" and "big girl" versions of me. The ones shown here are in the order in which I created them. I really like the second one and can't believe I actually painted the hair! Her cap is a part of a paper flower that I painted and embellished. I'll share more.

Now I need to get back to my new pattern designs. I've been distracted by these new artistic endeavors, but feel it has been beneficial to my overall sense of design and certainly to my self confidence. If you need some fun, sign up for Christy's SheArt Workshop! You'll love it!

She let her inner artist explore.
She loved to play dress up!

She sings because music is the language of her soul.

She is grateful for the sunshine.

Detail of the 3-D pleated paper trim

She's not lost, she's exploring.

I love her little red shoes and knee socks.

Oh la la! La Chienne est tres jolie!

Eiffel tower copied from a vintage postcard, then embellished on the canvas.