Archive for February, 2012

soft rocks

February 29, 2012

My daughter went to Camp Juliette Low pretty much every summer of her childhood and teen years.  It is located in NW Georgia which has a geology of its own.  I love that area of Georgia.  CJL has a huge plane of flat rock that the girls gather on.  Not that CJL girls play with dolls at camp, but I think it would be such imaginative fun to have little dolls, tiny cars and houses on that dimpled, bumpy terrain that they call “soft rocks.”  (picture here) Maybe that is why I never went to camp…

These soft rocks are of a different sort.  I followed a tutorial by artist/blogger Lisa Jordan at lil fish studios,  here.  It worked like a charm and I tried to tell her so on her blog but those new captcha’s they have will not recognize my typed letters.  Very frustrating, Blogger.

Grainy picture taken by my son, Taylor, on his new camera at night with no light.  Amazing.

Update- I didn’t give you very much info on this post.  These soft rocks are covered in wool felt, that is what makes them soft.  The rock is still inside.  I think they would be great bases for my felted birds.  I embroidered them with the rock inside, it isn’t difficult.


standing tall

February 26, 2012

Catching up on blogs tonight, I read several stating that “it felt like springtime…”  It’s still a bit cold for my tastes, but it is almost March and the beginning of March is the beginning of spring to me!  Even if I still have to wear a winter coat.

With spring comes bunnies.  I had an idea to do 3 block prints of rabbits just in time for Easter.  Here is my first.

Here it is watercolored (on the worst print of the bunch, it was trial and error and I didn’t want to use my best print!).  Not sure which I like better.  I left a lot of open space to fill with color but I wonder if I should just leave them inked only.  What do you think?

The image size of this rabbit is 5.5″x8.25″

I need to do the other two quickly before the desire to carve lino blocks passes…

Bird’s Nest Medley

February 23, 2012

Here is my latest free motion embroidery.  It developed a somewhat haunted quality that wasn’t my intention.  I intended it to represent the beginning course of  life but it seems to be wrapping up the end of life instead!

It measures approximately 6 inches x 13 inches.


February 20, 2012

Do you know who Charles Rennie Mackintosh is?  You should, so take a moment and go here to read up about him.  Better yet, do an image search and see all his beautiful designs.  You can find some here.  I love his watercolors!

The embroidery below is based on Mackintosh’s watercolor of a  “blackthorn” (bush?) branch.  It looks lethal.  I looked up blackthorn and see that it is traditionally used for walking sticks.  Maybe the blooming walking stick in Enchanted April was a blackthorn.  I’ll have to watch the movie again and find out.   My rendition was free motion machine embroidered in black and then I used hand embroidery where Mackintosh used watercolor.  Sure does make me think of spring!

Now, what to do with this piece of cloth???

move over Mona, make room for Bianca Sforza

February 9, 2012

Looking through the latest National Geographic, I came across the story of a drawing that is purported to be a lost Leonardo da Vinci portrait of the illegitimate daughter of a patron in Milan (why can’t I have a patron???).  This kind of story excites me to no end.  Discovery, art, intrigue…turns out this undiscovered masterpiece was done for a book!   You can read all about it or better yet go watch the episode on Nova.  As of writing this, it was airing online.

I was inspired to make a copy of it with easily gathered materials I could use on the couch while watching television.  No sheep or goat-skin parchment around this studio and a pen nib and ink might have been messy between me and two cats, so I used paper (my sketchbook) and pencils, then I added some nu-pastels.  It was a fun exercise and I am rather pleased with my result.

The image is about 5×7.

I have been fascinated by book binding since I was a kid, sitting on a pew in church on Sunday, studying the hymnbook’s construction.  That was the first book I took note of  a book being sewn together.  (Captive that I was and nothing else to do!!!)  I wondered how that was done.  Now I know and find it satisfying to do.  Not so, my 88 year old friend, Pam Windham, who became a book-binder after her stint in the Coast Guard during WWII.  She was called into the office one day by her boss who told her she was wasting her life binding books (no way!!!) and that she needed to go back to school to do something worthwhile. Like binding books isn’t worthwhile, but  she did and became a worthwhile teacher.

? is for what the heck am I doing up here

February 7, 2012

I still have needle felting under my skin.  This is the result after combining that particular itch with watching a Nature show on PBS about bears.  My bear is struggling to stay upright on that ball.  I think he will keep his balance…


He is small, about 2.75 inches tall (including ball but not block), made of dark blue wool roving.  Details don’t want to show on that dark wool.  Guess I should have borrowed my son’s light again…


b is for bunny

February 6, 2012

This weekend had me lying down, bemoaning a cold and fever.  But a weekend when you are not able to do anything but read and watch dvd’s is not so bad…especially when you wake up Monday morning feeling much better.  I stayed upright long enough to start this needle-felted rabbit and finished him up this morning.  (One rabbit, photographed 3 times and photoshopped together. I did a good job with that, don’t you think?  Probably shouldn’t have cut off the rabbit’s tail tho’…) I think he is cute if I do say so myself, but I am not sure I have ever seen creatures more adorable then Gretel Parker’s felted animals.  What a treat they are!  Wish I could pop over to England and take a workshop with her!

My little guy is about 3″ tall (not including block).

fulled and felted hearts

February 1, 2012

We had a taste of spring yesterday!  How pleasant for us!  It is hard to believe it is the first of February.  I recall warm-daffodil-blooming-spring-like days in February, but I do not remember one in January.

Last year I wet-felted some wool and sat looking at it all year long.  I thought they looked beautiful (although I could have spent more time “fulling” them*), but I had no idea what to do with these small pieces of cloth.  (I did make a pouch for my camera with one piece, but my camera keeps slipping out…and I haven’t taken the minute to sew on a button!)  Yesterday, I decided to cut hearts from them to honor Valentine’s Day.

My walls appear a much more vibrant green than they are in reality!  Not sure I could live with that green.  The last heart is on a sculpture by artist Julia Evatt.  She just happens to be my mother.

Happy February, everyone!

*I looked up “fulling” to make sure I was using the correct term and found a interesting (to me anyway) explanation and history of the term here, if you’re interested.