Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yes, it's been a while

Why does life spiral out of control sometimes? Is it just me? Don't know but it DOES happen in my life once in a while. So, it has been some time since I have done anything worth posting, too. Maybe this is the beginning of a new start??? We'll see. My life priorities (mainly concerning family) have just changed drastically and I've yet to see where my art might fit in and when.

But for today -- In DyeHards we have a Complex Cloth swap. 8 pieces to do for the swap.
FIRST STEP - On all of them I started with a hand-dyed piece I already had on hand. Six of them are from a simple color wheel I had done and then I found two other pieces in my stash.
SECOND STEP - I wrapped a small roller with rubber bands, rolled them in DynaFlow (ones that went with the color of the original dyed fabric). Then I rollered the paint onto the cloth. This technique made interesting splotch marks on the cloth. Not what I was going for but, hey, that's what discovery is all about. In the end I really like the "deconstructed" look they gave.
THIRD STEP - Continuing with the deconstructed concept, I have styrafoam take out containers that have a cool circle and line pattern already embossed on them. I painted a different but coordinating color of DynaFlow in the styrafoam piece and stamped it randomly all over the cloth.
FOURTH STEP - I have a stencil called circles and stars. I placed this on the cloth and stenciled it with Lumiere paints that went with the color of the fabric. I didn't do this really precisely because I wanted to keep the deconstructed thing going.
Here first is a picture of one of the pieces opened up so you can see the overall pattern.

Here are the 8 pieces all folded and ready to package and ship to the swap hostess.

I must say it was very exciting and comforting to be back in the studio doing something creative! Hopefully, it won't be too long before I get back.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MY CREATIVE JOURNEY - week 36 continued

The assignment from last week was to do a "recipe book" - essentially a journal or notebook of things that inspire us. I finished my notebook. I had some paper towels and small bits of fabric from cleaning up after a monoprinting session and they reminded me of fire. You can't see it very well from this picture but I also stitched "flames" in with metallic varigated thread. I think of the things that inspire me as igniting a fire of creativity. Seemed appropriate. So, here is the notebook. All the pages are painted so I'm ready to put in stuff from my inspiration bulletin board to start with and then see where it goes from there!

The added plus to this color and theme is that it will soon be fall and these colors fit in just perfectly!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Was rather thoughtful when I read this one. The title is Creative Space. The idea is to set aside a creative area of some kind for yourself. Well, I have my studio so that is a done deal. However, after several deadline projects lately it is a HUGE mess. Sooooooo, I decided my completion of this card would be to clean it up a bit at least.

The problem with cleaning my studio is that I come across something and the creative juices start flowing and I get side-tracked making something new!!! HA! But,I will make a concerted effort this week to see if I can make a dent at least. But in the meantime I have three other projects in process so it will probably never be spotless. (Not sure I would want it to be!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I LOVE the card I chose for this week! The title of the card is "Recipe Book". It rather confused me when I first read it. But it is, for me, a really cool idea!

The concept is to keep a recipe book of things that inspire you. Here's why I love it! I have an inspiration cork board but it gets too full too fast! NOW I can put a lot of that wonderful stuff into a journal!!!!! I can hardly wait to get started!! I just happen to have a journal or two sitting around!!! no really...............I truly do.................. Don't know if that is a good thing or just sad??

Here is a picture of my inspirations bulleting board. Later this week I'll post a picture of my Inspiration Journal!!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

MY CREATIVE JOURNEY - week 35 continued

This is the week of what I call cross-training. To do something creative outside my usual "box". So, the farthest thing I could think of was writing. Very scary for me but I was determined to do it. I don't have time to write much so I just started a very very short story of The Amazing Diva Pig. Of course, this is the nickname of our granddaughter Jayden (who will be one year old in only about a week!). She got the pig part because when she was born she always made these cute little snorting noises. And because she had a very healthy appetite also! The Diva part was added later when she developed her little diva personality. But she is a good diva, not a bratty diva. There is such a thing you know!

So, with fear and trepidation, here is the beginning of The Amazing Diva Pig. It is a story for her that I might read to her when she is a little older so I wrote it as a children's story.

(a very very short story about a very very special pig)

A pig is a pig, right? Well……….. maybe not! There is one pig that is FAR from the usual. She is Diva Pig. Who you might ask is Diva Pig? She is an amazingly wonderful little thing with very special powers. That is what makes her a Diva Pig.

Her most useful power is her smile! She can melt hearts in an instant. She can make sad people happy, mad people calm, and bored people laugh! Now THAT is a powerful smile!

Diva Pig comes by her smile quite naturally. I know because I’ve been around her ever since she was born. Many will say baby pigs don’t smile. That just shows how little they know. Perhaps her mouth didn’t smile the usual smile….but those eyes smiled. I saw them. I know it is true.

One of her other powers is her limitless energy. Diva Pig is hardly ever still (except maybe when she is sleeping). She is up and around and about. There is so much to explore, so much to find. And she is fearless as she climbs over or crawls under anything in her path. It is a sign I think of her natural curiosity and determination.

She also has a HUGE heart and loves everyone. That must be why everyone lovers her back! Her parents and her brothers and sisters love her. Her grandparents and all the rest of her family love her. That is to be expected, of course. But so far, I’ve not met anyone who can resist the power of her loving heart.

She didn’t have an easy beginning in this life but she doesn’t seem to notice. It certainly doesn’t stop her love from spreading out to any and everyone.

I think her future is bright because good things happen to someone with these special powers. They can change the world. So, when the world is a better place in the future, you never know……..but I wouldn’t be surprised if Diva Pig had a part of making it happen!

Friday, August 29, 2008


One of the online groups I belong to is swapping postcards with an autumn theme. Lately I have been having a blast playing with metal in my art. One of the things I really like doing is "painting" the metal with alcohol inks. I did that for my friends journal in an earlier post and loved it so much (and thought it had such a great autumn feel) that I decided to do that for my postcards.

I started with pop cans (had to have my son and a friend guzzle a couple of cans when they stopped by! I don't drink pop or any canned drinks as a rule.) I used the inside so I would have a clean "canvas" to start with. I first used leaf stencils and stamps on the "wrong" side of the metal and embossed it using a ballpoint pen that isn't good anymore for anything else. Then I cut out the general shape of the leaf and dropped the inks onto it. This time I added a gold metallic ink mixer. Way cool!! I took some of the rust pieces I had done recently and traced the leaf outlines on the fabric with my Pigma Brush pen (brown). Then when the inks had dried I did a close zigzag stitch to attach the metal leaves to the fabric and Timtex. Then I put the postcard on the back and did a straight stitch to finish them off.

They look "autumn-y" and I really like them. Hope the recipients do, too!


AUTUMN POSTCARDS - single close up

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MY CREATIVE JOURNEY - week 34 continued

OK, as promised - here is my little "time out" project from week 34. I wouldn't usually post something like this here except that it was what I did for my creative journey last week. It was so relaxing and so much fun. It has been ages since I have sewn clothes. Forgot how difficult it is to do arm holes on such little pieces!! Still, I think it turned out cool. I'm going to give it to Jayden for her first birthday next month. I've already tried it on and it fits just right! Hopefully she won't grow too much in the next couple of weeks.

I can see the advantage to taking some time out to do some other creative things. I have to admit when I got back to working on one of my projects it seemed to go much more smoothly. Who knew??? So, time outs just might become part of my regular routine.


This one should be really fun! The title of the card is "Change Your Limitations". It is kind of like cross-training I think. In other words, if you paint - try sculpting, if you are a writer - play with watercolors, etc. This concept is a little challenging for a mixed media artist because I work in so many different areas. I have been wracking my brain to think of something that is totally different. I have come down to 2 options. Not being a person who can draw very well, I could draw something (abstract might be the best way to go!) The second is writing - like a story or something. That is WAY outside my comfort zone!! I would love to try welding or sculpting but don't have the tools or the money to spend on something I might only do once. So, right now, writing is winning. I DO write my pages in the mornings and I do blog but writing a story would be very different I think. I LOVE the quote at the end of the card. I don't know if it is original with Lynn Gordon but I will give her the credit since it is on her card. I found it inspiring:

"Where creativity's concerned, the sky isn't the limit, it's the point of departure."

Oh, BTW......maybe not quite what last week was about but I decided to escape into something I haven't done is many many years. I made something wearable! (shhhhhhhh don't tell Alice H!) Seems I had not measured correctly on the backing fabric for DGD's quilt. Solution -- I made her a dress and matching panties! Just need to sew the last seam and then I'll post a picture - probably later today. It was really fun and not stressful because no one was expecting anything so if I totally ruined it I could just cut it up for my stash giblet pile! It surprised me how soothing it was to not be working on something "serious" or "arty". Just something for fun and outside my usual explorations. (it even has a zipper!!!!) LOL!!

While I missed several weeks on this journey, I am finding it fruitful in many ways. Sometimes just to cause me to think in a different direction, or a confirmation of the direction I'm already headed. Hope you are enjoying the journey with me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


OK, those of you who know me will recognize just how difficult this week will be for me to follow through on. The card for this week is: "Be Really Silly" I know, I know.......not something I'm very used to so it will be a stretch! But, I'll give it my best shot.

The idea is to take a break from "seriously" creating and do something just for fun.....not something to be entered in a show, or sold, or passed on as an heirloom. Just something for fun. Well, I do that a lot anyway in those "I wonder what would happen if....." moments. I wonder if there is a way to make it fresh. Maybe using a technique I haven't used before??? Using a tool or supply I haven't used before????

The difficult thing about this will be time (that must be my life-word). I've got several deadline projects in the works and that deadline is getting quite near. But, I figure it is just like taking a break to read or something when the house needs dusting and company is coming for the weekend???

I'm just going to keep repeating.... "All work and no play makes Kelly a very boring person!"

Now, to break out of my shell and go be silly!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


No, your math isn't bad and you aren't seeing things. Last week was totally off the charts. I didn't even get to choose a card let alone do anything with it. Long boring story but I'm just pressing on with week 33.

The card for this week is: Stream of Consciousness

OK, so if I can even stay conscious this week....................... The concept is to take time (the card says an hour!!) each day to do something simply going where the flow goes. Like just drawing marks and shapes and not caring if they look like anything (not hard for me!) or maybe just splashing colors onto watercolor paper and not caring if they go together or not. This exercise is supposed to keep a person's mind open and creative.

I have to admit, it will be difficult for me to devote a whole hour to something that seemingly has no purpose, no usable outcome in the tangible sense anyway. I will try it today but I'm thinking a whole hour will be VERY hard to do. I'm so far behind on so many projects it seems like a waste of time but in keeping with my commitment to doing this journey I have to at least try the ones that seem difficult. I got spoiled - the last two were no-brainers for me. This one will take effort.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, for better or worse..... I'm now a full time artist! Not even sure just what that will look like but I do know I'm excited about it. It is something I have wanted to do for at least a year and now have a chance to see where it will take me! (does this sound like it would fit in with the latest card in MY CREATIVE JOURNEY or what?????)

I'm dedicating the rest of this week to straightening up and reorganizing parts of my studio. It feels so for real now!

So, wish me luck, here I go!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008


And yet another easy one for me! The title is LIVE DANGEROUSLY!! The first sentence on the card is "Are you a risk-taker?" Oh YEHHHHHHH! So, my plan for this week is to keep on "playing" in my studio, asking the question "I wonder what would happen if.........." I keep seeing so many things that I want to do and learn and try. Sure, some of them don't do so well and some I learn other things from (like needing GREAT ventilation and probably STILL wearing a mask when melting fun foam!). I've always been a risk-taker, love living outside the box. It's gotten me into trouble with the "establishment" but hey, so what! About the only thing that keeps me from taking risks in my art is TIME. Yep..... the big T word. Never seems to be enough of it to play with. So............. I wonder if I should just take the big leap and quit my supposedly "real job" and jump full force into art?????? I have a business meeting today with my client. Depending on how that goes (maybe THEY will not renew their contract????? That would answer the question rather well don't you think?) the future could change drastically!

So taking risks it will be. Which ones I don't yet know but I'll keep you posted as the pop up!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Daily Thoughts Journals

I had lunch with two of my best friends last week. One of them told us how she had started to think of at least one good thing that had happened that day before she went to bed each night. We all thought that was a great idea - as we try to keep a more positive outlook on life, even through the rough times. My friend, Ginia, told me she wanted a small journal to keep by her bed to write these thoughts in. I offered to make her one (or at least a cover on one!) She was amazingly pleased! She didn't want lines on the page so I bought a 5X7 spiral bound sketch book from JoAnn's. Her favorite color is green (all shades of it!) and she wanted something kind of autumn. So, I went rummaging through my stash of hand-dyed fabric and found what I thought would work just fine. The shiney (sorry about that) part on the burnt orange fabric is a gel sticker that says "A Day to Remember". Seemed appropriate. I stenciled on the oak leaf with Lumiere Copper and Burnt Orange. Then I drew in the veining with a brown Pigma Brush pen.

Here is a detailed picture of the front. One day about a month ago I was at a local surplus store and saw a whole ton of little toothpaste tubes but they were empty and opened on the end opposite the screw on cap. The insides were silver or gold metal. Needless to say - I bought a handfull of each to play with. I took a gold one and cut off the top so I have a flat piece of metal. I then took a fancy alphabet stencil and turned it over on the back (so the initial would come out right) and embossed the metal square with a "G". Then I got out my alcohol inks and dripped then on the embossed metal until I got the look I wanted. Then I stitched it onto the fabric with a zigzag stitch and covered the notebook with it.

I'm going to try to get it to her this weekend. I also bought some gel pens in green for her to write with if she wants. I like it so much I'm now working on one for myself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Finally I got around to washing, drying and pressing the rust pieces I did for an upcoming swap. I have been fortunate to find some really interesting pieces of rusty metal and it is fun to see the effect it has on the fabric. I did four different pieces. Below are three pictures for each piece 1) the rusty metal I used, 2) the fabric on the metal and 3) the final results.

The small and large grate pieces got an additional design element I didn't know about. When spraying them with vinegar to keep them wet they developed run lines on them. I think it adds a whole other piece of the "old and rusty" concept.



STRIP METAL WITH HOLES (I found this one along side the road)

BABY BED SPRINGS (purchased at a garage sale and stripped down to the metal)

BONUS - Not a rusty piece, but while I was washing I decided to throw in a piece of my black hand-dyed fabric that I had been using to clean up after a few discharge sessions. I LOVE the way it turned out - really serendipity because I have no idea which dye I used on the original black piece.


OK so I'm only a day late this week in picking my card..... but here it is!!

READING!! Wow, now that is really a difficult one................. NOT!!

I love to read...... and since a good friend just sent me a great book about fiber art and metal..........guess this one will be another no brainer week for me. However, I am not JUST going to read about it but plan to do some experimenting. I'll post those later in the week.

So, for now I'm off to brew a cup of tea, sit down in my big comfy chair in my studio and read my new book. Let's see how long I can sit there with out getting up and playing!!! Any bets?????
Today was a great field trip for me. I met a friend and we went to the Mill City Ruins. Minneapolis used to be a great milling town. And, true to most mills, the big ones were located along a river. In this case the river is the Mississippi. Many of the old warehouses and other old buildings have now been converted into high end condos. But someone with a sense of the historic and meaningful, decided to preserve some of the ruins of at least one or two old mills along the river. AND to preserve the Stone Arch Bridge, which used to be a railroad bridge.

The architecture is amazing and the ruins evoke a sense of the hustle and bustle of the milling district as it might have been many years ago. There is a museum there also but it was closed yesterday. Sounds like another field trip for another day! I have another connection to this section of town. My husband's father used to be a VP at one of the flour mills. So, I'm excited to delve into that bit of family background just a bit.

Following are four pictures of the Stone Arch Bridge. Info from their official website: Railroad baron James J. Hill built the bridge in 1883 to allow for increased movement of people and goods across the Mississippi River. The Stone Arch Bridge spans St. Anthony Falls, and served as a working railroad bridge until 1965. Today, the bridge accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists and the River City Trolley. It continues to offer spectacular views of St. Anthony Falls, the historic milling district and the Minneapolis skyline and is an important link in the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail. It is the only stone arch bridge ever to be built across the Mississippi River.

Below are a few pictures of the overall view of the Mill City Ruins. The first view is from the Stone Arch Bridge. The other two are taken from a walkway they have put down by the ruins themselves.

It was a wonderful day. We tried to imagine what it was like back in those days and just enjoyed the trip back in time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Evening of Art

From time to time - I'll be posting not only my art but also things that inspire me. This post is one of the latter.

Last night my husband and I went to the old Stone Arch Bridge down by the Mississippi River to see a photography installation. Red Bull (the energy drink) sponsored the presentation. You can read all about it at the link below. AND if you click on Exhibit Tour and then click on Minneapolis, you can see our beautiful Stone Arch Bridge. Then if you click on some of the other pictures on the Minneapolis site you can get a feel for the exhibit and how big the cubes are (8'X8'). It was a beautiful evening and we had a wonderful date! Unfortunately, this is the last stop on the exhibit tour but you can also see all the photographs on the website.

Enjoy! I know we did!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Chrissie

One of the things I do for my closest friends is to make them a "Favorite Things" wall hanging for their birthday. Today we are celebrating the birthday of one of my best friends, Chrissie. Here is her wall hanging quilt.

The quilt is about 19"X 20" (about a FQ) of my hand-dyed fabric. The color is Periwinkle - Chrissie's favorite color. I'll tell you what all is in the piece with the more detailed pictures below.

Happy Birthday Chrissie!!!

Upper Right Corner - Chrissie collects artwork about "kisses". The picture in the corner is an ad in French I think (and English) about a perfume called "Djer Kiss". It was an ad in a lot of ephemera I won on e-bay. I also added the fleur-del-lis charm. The strip of fabric going at an angle is a map of Paris (upside down because one day the two of us plan to turn Paris upside down!!) The top addition is a postcard button that says "I love Paris in the springtime". Attached to it are an airplane and a suitcase. Chrissie travels A LOT!!! On down the fabric is an art button and from it hang an artist's easel, pallette knife, and paint pallete. Chrissie is also a painter.

Chrissie is from Belgium. In the corner is the flag of Belgium cigar silk that I found on e-bay. Also some Belgian stamps, paper money (before the Euro!) and a coin. The playing card I got also on e-bay and the picture is supposed to be some famous building in Belgium.

We often enjoy a bottle of wine together so I have a piece of pounded fabric on which I stenciled a cluster of grapes on a vine with Lumiere paints. Added half of a cork from a wine bottle and a charm of a wine goblet. The center is a page from a small friendship book that says: "A true friend is the gift of God, and He only who made hearts can unite them." - Robert South. Also a scripture about friendship and a tiny cross.

And last but not least, the final corner. To the left is a piece of pink tulle with ballet charms. One of the things Chrissie always wanted to do but didn't get to is be a ballerina. She still loves ballet. The tulle represents a tutu. The other love of her life is her piano. So the piano represents her "Baby" (that is it's name) and the other horizontal fabric has the names of famous classical composers. The black tag has all music stuff on it. On the bottom of the Paris street fabric is a theater playbill button and attached to it is the "tragedy/comedy" masks.

Well, that's it. I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I've moved my challenge for My Creative Journey over to my art blog as you can see. Nothing visual today - just thoughts and ponderings.

The card for today is: Be Open to Adventure

Ok, not usually a challenge to me but let's read the card and see what kind of adventure it is talking about.

The idea is about courage to try something new...... again not a problem for me. I guess it is best that I get to start back into this journey with something easy.

Today I am working on a "Favorite Things" wall hanging for my friend Chrissie. I started it a while ago and need to finish it up for her birthday party on Thursday. So, no pictures today in case she is reading (sorry Chrissie!!)

I love to do these wall hangings for friends. I take several things that I know are their favorite things and incorporate them. Chrissie and I have been friends for a long time so I may need a bigger piece of background fabric!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Calling All Grandmothers! (or moms with babies)

Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover baby cereal??? Ever had one of those "I wonder what would happen if....." moments after the baby didn't finish it's cereal??? Well, I did. And it just so happened that it came at a very appropriate time. It was "resist swap" in one of the internet groups I swap with. Soooooooooo........................

Introducing - Baby Cereal Resist

I mixed up the cereal with just enough water to be easily spreadable. (sorry, no exact measurement for me this time!) Using the back of a spoon I spread it on a previously dyed FQ that had not mottled as much as I had wanted.

I hung it on my drying rack to dry. One thing I learned......... If you put something outside on the rack to will surely rain! And it did. So, I moved it inside and put it in my batching closet which is always about 70 degrees. It dries pretty quickly that way, too!

After it dried, I took it off the rack, cracked the resist, and painted it with black dye w/soda ash mixed in. Then I let that batch for 4 hours (I couldn't wait any longer!). I rinsed out the baby cereal (not difficult just yucky) and then washed it in the washing machine to be sure all the cereal was gone.

I liked that one a lot but I also wanted to do something more monochromatic. This is one I did the same way but used Emerald Green dye mix on it.

Now, I'm sure I'm not the first one to use baby cereal for a resist but since no one had mentioned it to me previously, I just thought I should spread the word!

Happy Resisting!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Welcome to my new blog. This space will be dedicated solely to my art.

This past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events and projects.

1.My friend from the Netherlands, Wil, was visiting me for almost a month!! YEAH! The first week she was here we played in my studio, shopped, shopped, and shopped!! Some of the supplies we were buying were for the Shibori Symposium the next week.

2. The second week we were joined by our friend from Alaska, Ellen (the shibori queen!!) so we could all three attend the Shibori Symposium at the Textile Center in Minneapolis. I was privileged to take three days of hands-on classes from Yoshiko Wada. She is a WONDERFUL teacher! If you ever get the chance to take a class from her I strongly recommend you take advantage of the opportunity. Then there were two days of seminars with various speakers and finally, a two day hands-on class with Jan Myers Newbury doing all kinds of shibori in a more "down and dirty" method as she calls it. I won't post any pictures of the class because it just looks like people holding cloth..... not very interesting.

3. Ellen left us on Wednesday morning. After that, Wil and I have shopped, played, did garage sales and thrift stores and played more in the studio. Let's see, we have did breakdown printing, shibori, pounded fabric, rusting, blueprinting on fabric, sunprinting. Here are some pictures of just some of the things we did.



SHIBORI SAMPLER from the Symposium class w/Yoshiko Wada



This is a piece I found months ago along side of the road. I poked the fabric through the holes.


Another piece I found in a pile of rusty stuff


That's it for now. I'm still working on catching up on a ton of stuff but I'll post as often as I can for a week or two and after that hope to keep it daily again.