Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fiberart for a Cause

Last week I visited Natalya Aikens' blog and found out about the 2009 Fiberart for a Cause.  Fiber artists donate a piece to this online reverse auction and all the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.  The auction takes place May 5-7, so save the link if you want to buy a beautiful piece of fiber collage and donate to a worthy cause at the same time.  Pieces start out at a minimum bid of $80 for the first day of the auction and then drop to $40 for the final two days.  This year will be FFC's last fundraiser and their goal is to raise $20,000 in three days.  Lately I've been hearing so many stories about people dealing with cancer, many of them young people, and I wondered if I could create an 8"x10" piece to donate.  I finished it tonight and submitted it via e-mail.  I wanted to portray something peaceful, serene, that would inspire healthful thoughts in the viewer.  Considering how long it usually takes me to complete something, I am kind of amazed I was able to take this from possibility to process to reality in less than a week.  Perhaps I work better with assignments and deadlines (or perhaps I was just inspired).  The piece is mostly commercial fabrics, both machine and hand quilted, with cotton, rayon, and metallic threads, some glass beads, and a variety of yarns and embroidery threads.  I'm calling it "Spirit Rising: Return to Eden." It reminds me of a garden described in C.S. Lewis' book The Magician's Nephew.  (I am beginning to think gardens with walls, gates, and water features are becoming a recurring theme for me.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fun stuff!

These are some of the projects I've been working on this week. is featuring a charm swap this month, based on an article by Elin Waterston. So I got out some of my fun craft supplies and got started!
Above are some of the charms I came up with that I may swap. Materials I used are buttons (I particularly like the button fruit on top), glass beads, copper wire, Sculpey clay, stamps, pearl ex powder, shrink film and fabric. I found those dragonfly wing beads at a local craft store and made several of those dragonflies. It's kind of addicting!
I then decided take it one step further and actually make the bracelet, so I pulled out some jute cording and brushed up on my macrame skills (below). I made the pink and yellow one first, as a sample for a program I may teach at the library this summer. I happened to have a scrap of that pink fleece with the hearts already embroidered on, so I put two together and stuffed it. I also used colorful wooden beads from a set belonging to my daughter, and seashells. All of the charms were simply tied onto the macrame bracelet. The final bracelet is a birthday gift for someone...I also stamped and stitched, and used birch bark as well as wooden shapes from the dollar store that were drilled, painted, stamped and/or decoupaged with fabric. Maybe I've had enough fun with charms for a while...I should probably get these in the mail and get back to work on something for my portfolio!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daisy the Gypsy Cat

Here is my latest "gypsy cat." I call her Daisy. She is a gift to cheer up the sick child of a friend. I like her body shape much better than the original one I made, and stitched it closed about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom, which makes it look like she's wearing a skirt. I also filled her arms, legs, and part of her body with beans which makes her flexible and floppy at the same time. I included some of the lavender I harvested last August, so she even has a soothing smell. I'll probably get her in the mail this week.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Library Show

Here are some photos of the show at the Mahopac Library. It was Jane Davila's idea to mount each piece on an 18" square canvas.
That's what really makes the artwork stand out from the wall, and what most people are commenting on when they see the show. The other comment we are hearing a lot is how each piece is so unique and different from the others, but what a nice presentation they make all together. The reception on Sunday was very well attended and I had fun talking to some of the other artists about their pieces. One integrated a dyed paper towel into her piece (but you'd never know until she told you!
Here are some of my other favorite pieces:
The Autumn Birches is by Carolyn Cooney.
She used wool roving and cheesecloth
in this piece.

The one beneath it is by Natalya Aikens. She uses lots of sheer fabrics like organza and also likes to repurpose things like dryer sheets and uses both machine and hand sttitching. It produces a very dreamy effect, don't
you think?

The victorian house is by Carolyn Spiegel. I just love the colors and details. The little doorknobs, windows, railings, and shrubbery just add so much. I also love the smoky effect of the tulle!
It's a lovely show and if you are in the Mahopac area, you should stop by to see it before April 3!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The stitched version AND the Mahopac show

I finally stitched this one down. If you compare it to the earlier version, you can see the stitching on the tree trunks and rays of sun. I also added some green wool roving behind the light green lace leaves to give it more depth. Makes a pretty picture, no? Still no story or poem to go with her...maybe when spring really comes.
This week our SAQA group show opened at the Mahopac Library. Everything looks great and we are already getting some very positive comments in our guest book. The opening reception is Sunday afternoon. Food will be served so come on down!