Sunday, September 30, 2012


Saturday, September 29, 2012

1K Cards Project September Update

September was art therapy month for me, and every time someone brought out negative feelings in me I took refuge in my 1K Cards Project.  The best way to vent is creatively, and I did just that.  Since I made 221 cards in 27 days I'll let you imagine how often I was angry, annoyed, depressed, etc.  On one memorable day, after finding out a contract I'd been patiently waiting three weeks for had been sitting ignored and forgotten and gathering dust on some ex-employee's desk, I made thirty cards (and was polite to the ball-droppers and didn't rip off anyone's head, proof that art therapy can work.)

I got out the paper clay, did a bit of decidedly lame sculpting, and quilted one card I made of clay (and please note I tried to touch up the background of this shot to remove a white glare spot, which is why it looks a bit squicky.)  I then discovered that while paperclay may seem dry it can continue to shrink for a couple days, which resulted in my stitching becoming a bit looser.  My guild pals thought my attempt to quilt clay was hilarious and are now trying to think up new weird materials for me to quilt (glass I've already done, but liquid?  Kind of impossible.  Unless you encase the liquid in a sealed plastic pouch with likewise sealed holes . . . hey, after clay I know I can quilt just about anything.)

I painted and painted and painted in September.  I painted three larger watercolors and cut them into cards to be reassembled by whoever receives them.  I experimented with using oil pastels as a resist with watercolor.  I had a blast, basically.

Tim Holtz's idea-ology line of products definitely had an impact on my collage work, and I used them on paper and metal cards with great success.

I wrote two poems and immortalized part of a letter written by Rainer Maria Rilke by combining it with a new watercolor/Yupo technique I invented.

I dove back into pen and ink drawing, and then focused on Celtic knot patterns.  A few I copied from Lori Irish's Celtic patterns book (which is fabulous, btw), but I redesigned several and then started drafting my own knots.  I also went mildly nuts over using metallic inks to draw images on different types of black paper.

I didn't hold myself back from the camera, either, but made tons of pic ATCs while photographing an antique shop, a trip to the flea market, my pets and anything else that caught my eye.  For the very first time I realized I hadn't included any black and white photos in my project, so I did two three-card series with those.

I quilted with a piece of dreamy-colored batik fabric to make a sea-themed series of cards, and then took it to the next level by creating art with some of the seashells I've collected over the years.  I also made a piece of jewelry and boxed it up as -- excuse the pun -- a gift card.

Tim Holtz's pack of idea-ology ABC cards naturally inspired an A to Z photo collage series.  I started with A is for apple, adding some cute bits to it as I intended to make it a mixed media series with traditional alphabet symbols, and then I stopped and rethought it.  I'm not especially an A is for Apple thinker, and I wanted it to be more personal.  So I broke out the photo archives and used my own images to illustrate the letters.  I also wrote, sketched and even painted in a tiny journal for nine days and used that as the B card (for book, naturally.) I was rather candid in the journal, too, so whoever receives it when I do the project giveaway will have some interesting info. I included a peek at the first cover art for Nightbound (undergoing some tweakage at the moment) as well as my current opinions of some editors and two secrets about Yours Truly that have never been made public. And in case anyone has their hopes up, neither secret is a scandal, and I didn't write anything I wouldn't say to the editors' face, sorry.

On days when my hands gave me grief I made sticker and sticker/collage cards, and paid homage to birds, Autumn and the UK in the process.

I knew when I blew through the 600's in the ATC index I've been keeping that I'd made a lot of cards, but I didn't know the count would pass 200 until I laid them out to take pics this morning.  I'm now caught up and then some on my project quota, so I'm giving myself a couple of days off to think about what I want to do in October (but if anyone annoys me again I may start early.) And here's one final look at the whole month's worth of cards:

Art is wonderful therapy, and there wasn't a day this month that I felt stalled or overwhelmed by the project.  On the contrary, it saved my sanity and kept the world at bay when I most needed to get my head in the right place.  Honestly I didn't think about how much I was doing; I immersed myself in the ideas that came streaming out of me and let them sweep me off. 

I feel I learned a lot this month, too; working with oil pastels and watercolor with such success has me thinking about resists differently (I've never much cared for messing with them; now I want to try a dozen different techniques I've read about.)  Celtic knots look so complicated I never imagined I'd draft my own, yet practice has given me more confidence to try.  Artistically this was a stellar month for me, and if all continues to go well I feel certain I'll finish the project by December 31st. 

Friday, September 28, 2012


Thursday, September 27, 2012


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Notions Challenge Piece

(Showing off my entry to a guild challenge to some online quilter pals.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chim Chiminey

All we need is Mary Poppins and Burt!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ye Olde Woode Pyle

The woodpile is seasoned and ready for the cold weather. Winter, bring it on!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pet Day

I haven't taken any pics of the four-legged residents lately, so I'm making today Pet Day on PBWindow.

Jericho, our 15-year-old rescue kitty. He was so curious about the camera that he wouldn't hold his head still, so that's why he's a bit blurry around the face. Jeri still sleeps with me every night.

Cole, our shaded Sable Sheltie, who is going on four years old, and despite the mellow look is still mostly puppy.

Which brings us to Madam here. Skye, our half-Pom, half-Sheltie rescue pup, is two-and-a-half now and pretty much runs the place.

I'm blessed to have these three lovely creatures in my life, and I really wouldn't know how to get through the day without my furry pals.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rainbow Watcher

Thursday, September 20, 2012

B is for Book

One mini-project I'm working on this month is writing a tiny journal for my 1K Cards project. I found this glitzy blank book at BAM, and since it's 2.5" X 3.5" it was perfect for the idea. I've never written in such a small journal, but I'm going slow and managing about eight lines per page. I've also added a few of my photos and hope to have time to do a couple drawings. Much fun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hello Cow

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cheshire Moon

Monday, September 17, 2012

Purple Berries

I'm not sure what these are, but the cows won't touch them, and they fall over the fence into my yard every year.  Does anyone recognize them?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Golden Web

Saturday, September 15, 2012

First Leaf of Autumn

Okay, technically the first leaves (I don't know which one turned red first.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Notions Swap Report

I'm going to steal the photoblog today to post some pics and a report for my guild pals:

This is an ATC from my 1K Cards Project that I quilted with the opalescent "silver" Sulky metallic thread that I got in the notions swap.


The thread is opaque white, not silver, and it's more holographic than metallic (shows a distinct pale green shimmer.) It's also extremely lightweight and difficult to see; whenever I threaded my needle I felt like I was handling a strand of spider silk. As I sewed it snarled like crazy but it was a bit stronger than the other holo-Sulky threads I've used so it didn't snap. As for using it with a machine, I don't recommend it. Despite changing to my lightestweight needle, and sewing with it on a single layer of thin silk, the thread bunched and birdnested and jammed up my bobbin three times before I gave up (if you've got an embroidery machine with delicate silk thread settings you might have better luck than me.)

I liked the shimmer and the transparency of the thread, but you really can't see all the stitches unless you move the piece out of direct light and squint. Plan on squinting a lot. This makes it hard to eyetrack under normal sewing conditions, so if you want to use it for handwork you'll probably need some of that narrow adhesive stitching tape to mark your progress.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Food Drive Gator

How to make a nonperishable food drive into art.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Antique Tour

While I'm trying to figure out Blogger's new interface (yes, the increasingly ominous popup threats finally forced me to switch over to it) I thought I'd take you all on a tour of one of my favorite places to browse and shop, the Village Antique Mall in Mount Dora, Florida.
I always find the most unique gifts and neat things there (and there is so much more than this at the shop, but these treasures are what caught my eye that day):

You can also visit the Village Antique Mall website here.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Every year I spend a couple of days repairing this ancient piece:

Unfortunately it's now come to the point where the patchwork has thinned to the thickness of rice paper, and is proving just as fragile. The quilt's top is basically in shreds, with almost every patch is shattered in multiple places:

Normally I would not try to save a quilt like this, as it's an old import someone gave us and I have absolutely nothing but weeks of tedious repair time invested in it. Honestly, I hate the damn thing. But my kid doesn't, so I studied it again.

It's a mess, but recovery is not completely out of the question. The backing, while also thin, is a different fabric and has managed to remain almost 100% intact; it's probably got another five or ten years life left in it, too.

I also happen to have a quilt top that needs to be made into a quilt.  Rather than continue to patch-repair or try to restore the individual blocks of the shredded quilt, I'm going to recover it with the new quilt top:

Major recycling points for me, the kid will be very happy, and even the dogs seem to approve. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Glitter Webs

I've been seeing more crab spiders in the oak trees lately:

They build their webs so high it's hard to get a good, close shot of them; I usually wait until sunset when the light makes the webs glitter. Here's a close-up of the same spiderworks:

This second one was almost four stories over my head, so I had to zoom to the max before I could get even a fuzzy snap of it:

They must not be afraid of heights, I guess.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Monday, September 3, 2012

Wishing You

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blade Grinder

I love watching my guy working with tools (very hot, and not just because he makes sparks fly.)