Category Archives: mixed media

Life Changes Plans

This seems to be the year for unplanned events. So I’m trying to roll with them.

My husband will be having a procedure for his health in a couple weeks. This is new to us, we have been very fortunate to not have any major health issue in the last thirty five years. So far the hardest part, because he can’t exercise, has been to keep him from over doing it. For a guy who is used to cycling between 40 and 90 miles about three days a week this is not easy.

It has also meant that I have been helping him more than usual on home projects, mostly to keep him from misbehaving. We have worked on many, many projects over our forty one years together but I’m feeling pretty much over it now!

Thankfully I have been in the studio a bit too.

Most recently I made an altered frame and painted a simple (faux) mat. The frame was being made to go onto a hand embroidery piece I made, but in the end it didn’t work with it. So I still have to make something for that embroidery piece sometime.

If you watch my videos, thank you very much and thank you for stopping by my blog too!

I finished the small art quilt that I wrote about in a previous post. I kept adding more quilting and then came beads, which I hadn’t planned on but am really happy with. I’m editing the video now and will post it as soon as it is finished. It will primarily be of the free-motion quilting.

Open Wreath

Picking up the Pieces

For a moment there my design work table was cleaned off, but no more.

Making cards and masks just seems to generate more scraps. I have been able to share small pieces of fabric with a few other people and that feels good – To move it out while giving to someone who may have no other way to get fabric right now.

Because I primarily work small I don’t have many long yards of fabric but I have a lot in smaller pieces. In fact I didn’t realize how much until I started picking pieces for friends.

Speaking of pieces here are my sample/suggestion pieces for the Visions Art Museum member challenge week three. My theme: Special Delivery, you are the chef, what would you plate up?

I made one piece in fabric and the other in paper. If I ever make paper collage again I’ll be cutting the pieces with scissors. I did discover if I use a cotton swab to dampen the paper it tears much easier, but still I think cutting would be more fun and would for sure be easier on the fingers.

Using pieces from magazines was much more limiting (and challenging!) for me than fabric. That’s one reason the plate in the paper collage is made from my – fabric painting mop-up paper towels; much easier to tear.

I had to let go of the shadows and light not being quite right… It’s not a master piece, it’s just for fun and I hope encouraging for the participants. I’m pretty happy with the results.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy. From a distance – thanks for stopping by.

‘Tis the Season…

… for leaky roofs! We don’t get a lot of rain here but when we do there are always surprises, but that’s another story, I’ll spare you.

Last post I mentioned Susan Lenz because we each had pieces in the Visions Art Museum Day of the Dead exhibit. Not too long ago I sent Susan some vintage pieces that came to me via VAM. She has already used them in one of her art quilt pieces. Not only a talented artist, Susan is a wonderful writer and story telling. If you haven’t visited her blog, I would highly recommend it.

It’s always the season for creating art whether there’s rain, shine or snow! Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching my Fabric and Fiber Collage class at VAM. The participants were a fun group and their collage pieces were inspiring to me! I seem to always learn something from the students. Here is a bit from the class…

Sometimes a loop can make all the difference.
The Director of VAM, Laura Mitchell, as she put it, “…in her happy place!”
The flower center for one person may make great petal tips for another.
One dragonfly or more? It’s up to each participant to decide for their piece.
Two and they don’t have to match!
It’s fun to share thoughts and ideas with each other.
Some were artists when they entered the gallery, everyone was when they left.
Not shy, just letting her lovely layers take front and center.
There were some wonderful surprises – This flower center for example.

Teaching, the prep, and all, can be exhausting, but seeing results like these makes it worth it! Thank you to each of the participants.

Museum Visit

The Day of the Dead exhibit is over but I did get there to see it and the other four fantastic exhibit on display at Visions Art Museum (in partnership with New Americans Museum).

Unmasking the Soul detail

When I walked in the first thing I noticed was actually the piece next to mine, it was so unique, the look of texture was striking …

I was surprised to discover that it was by artist Susan Lenz, whose work I admire. Even though we’ve never met, we chatted a bit (via blog comments and PM) about entering, and she has given me permission to share it here. I’m sorry none of my pictures do it justice.

This was in the Spotlight Gallery (You may be able to tell!)

It is always exciting to have work exhibited and Visions Art Museum is a beautiful museum. It is feels intimate and inviting, and there are amazing and beautiful artist made one-of-a-kind gifts in their gift shop.

Next up – I’m teaching a fabric and fiber collage class at VAM in December!

Thanks for stopping by.

Altered State

We live in a state that is sadly very much on fire. I have family and friends who have lost everything in past fires. It’s the one time I appreciate that I live in a built up area of the city, which (usually) makes it less likely fires will be big and bad. The fact that we live a few blocks from a fire stations helps too. I’m so thankful for fire and recuse workers.

But to get back to happier thoughts… I’m working on an altered bottle with a seashell theme at the moment. I’ll share more pictures, maybe video later (hard to have gesso and gel medium hands and work the video equipment!)…

But for now here are some images of my first one, sort of steampunk – Beer, golf, and dogs themed because my son recently produced a fundraising video for a soon to open brewery with those themes.

Being a fiber artist I did use – fabric (greens are faux suede with real sandpaper sand trap), and textiles (leather scraps for collar and golf bag strap), produce bag (net), fiber (Unryu paper for good background texture), and paper clay (for the battered golf ball crown). Added metal odds and ends I had around the house/shed.

Before black gesso
After black gesso, copper, and patina paint.
I discovered a little container with leftover paint mixture and it made the perfect patina!

This was a challenging but really fun project and I’m happy with the results. Have you made any type of altered bottle or jars?

Thanks for stopping by.

October Happenings

This month has flown by and I hope it’s not because at the end I’ll be a year older, haha!

I taught a fun painted leaves class early in the month. My Unmasking the Soul piece is hanging at VAM but I haven’t made it there yet. On the 12th I gave a presentation to a local quilt guild. I always seem to forget to have someone take photos with my camera.

Painting Fabric Leaves class at Visions Art Museum

Then I spend about a week and a half recovering from mosquito bites on both of my feet, my face, and arm. So I couldn’t wear shoes which meant instead of walking I worked on the project series I mentioned in my previous post (which I meant to post a week ago!).

I finished my little melted felt cups project. It’s a four part series and different from what I usually do, as it’s more a craft type project but it was fun and uses different fiber art and techniques. Who knows, I may even add these to an art quilt some day.

The series starts with the felt cups in part one, then part two is how to make the fabric envelope, part three is adding beads to the felt cups, and part four it painting leaves and applying the elements to the envelopes.

If you do watch the series and enjoy it, I hope you will give it a thumbs up, subscribe, and tap the bell there for new videos.

Thank you, I truly appreciate you stopping by.

A Little Mixed Media

Below is a short video showing how I made the melted felt cups I used in my Unmasking the Soul piece. The video is the first in a series of simple steps to make this small mixed media decorative fabric envelope (gift tag, ornament, or ?).

Here are a couple more pieces where I have used these melted felt cups but flipped over.

Spore Fern
Detail. Notice the cups are used upside down with a French Knots instead of beads.
A mixed media sampler with a few upside down felt cups.

Unmasking the Soul

I teased a bit about this project last post, there I shared some sculpted fingers and a painted eye, well, I didn’t used those fingers or the eye. I decided to use paper clay (keeping with the fiber materials) for the fingers/hand and paint the eyes on a flat surface (still on silk) instead of the round.

I finished the piece before the deadline and I’m pleased to say it was juried into the exhibit at Visions Art Museum and New Americans Museum. The exhibition runs Oct.19 – Nov. 19, 2019 at VAM.

The theme is Day of the Dead and/or Luchador. Most people have heard of Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead but maybe not so much about Luchador aka Lucha Libra or Mexican wrestler. I now know more about them than I ever imagined!

So the artwork could be either or both and I decided on both. Rarely am I able to actually create the object I have pictured in my mind but this project came pretty darn close. This is my artist statement which may explain what I was going for…

At the end of the work day they pull off their wrestler mask and join the Day of the Dead celebration…still keeping their anonymity.

It was a challenge but I really enjoyed making it.

Work and Rest

We had a great quilt show but it wiped me out! It didn’t help that my cat was punishing me with 2am and 3am wake-up calls for not being around all week!

Many quilts sold, as well as, one pillow and a few bags of vintage patchwork blocks. The quilts that hung in the show were amazing and so creative and inspiring.

I never have time to take photos but I did snap a quick one of this beauty – Tree of Life, made by my friend Sue Atlas. It earned a 2nd place (not sure the category); the winners will be on the SDQS website in the near future. Sue’s quilt also won 1st place at AQS.

Now I’m pushing a deadline. Here are some parts of a mixed media piece I’m working on. The fingers here are clay but because of the weight I’m going to try and recreate them in paper clay. Also, I painted one eyeball on silk (wrapped around a round rock) but then figured they needed to be painted on a flat surface, so I’ll be painting two new ones.


With every new part for this project my family tells me – “That’s creepy.” But in the end I hope it won’t be too creepy! More to come.

Thanks for stopping by!

Making Waves

I’m making waves on fabric, with Caran d’Ache Neocolor ll wax pastels that is! I use these wax pastels a lot and really like what can be created with them.

I was using them to make landscape background elements but I wasn’t using them alone… under my fabric I placed a piece of very course sand paper. As I was working it occurred to me this technique could work for frothy waves!

So I played around, liked the results, and published a very short demo video –

After the video I made a couple more pieces. These are tiny (4″ x 5″) but I’m sure the same technique could be used on a larger scale. The wax does require heat setting, and depending on the amount of wax rubbed onto the fabric, may still rub off.
Caran d’Ache does/did make a fixative (most likely not intended for wax pastels used on fabric), but it is pricey, due in part to extra shipping as it is considered hazardous.

On the piece below I gently foam brushed a little regular gel medium over it. It did smear/blend the pastel a bit as I brushed and lightened the intensity of the white but I’m okay with that. Once dry it did work and the pastel no longer smeared. I think a little hand stitching to add white highlights would work but it may leave holes if machine stitched.

This one is wrapped around a small panel canvas. I think set on a little picture stand/easel it could be a neat display for someone who love the beach! Shells, charms, or beads would be nice additions too. As usual – endless ideas!