Saturday, August 31, 2013

workshops, classes, products and more!

We keep our commercial presence to one monthly post so that we can share other opportunities to take workshops, purchase art or enjoy other offerings from all of us. Check out our workshops and  books. Thank you for being a part of the Sketchbook Challenge! It's an honor to share this journey with you.

Sue Bleiweiss's DVD "Coloring Book Fabric Collage" is now available for purchase or download on the Quilting Daily shop here.

In this DVD workshop Sue shares her “coloring book fabric collage”technique-a fused style that includes black lines reminiscent of the coloring book pages we colored as children. She takes you through the process of creating an art quilt from start to finish, from hand dyeing the fabrics through designing,fusing,free-motion quilting,and binding. Click here to visit the Quilting Daily Shop to order it or to watch a preview clip from it.

online strathmore workshop
sign up for the free workshops here:
Artful Card-Making Techniques
Start date: September 3, 2013
A blank card is much like a blank canvas. Unlimited potential! 
Jane LaFazio will guide you in sketching and watercoloring an original card in a step-by-step, clear, easy method using Strathmore blank cards. She’ll also show you how to artfully collage cards, with paper, glue and with stitching for all kinds of occasions. This workshop will inspire you to create original cards that will be cherished by those who receive them.
Joanne Sharpe will share her popular artful lettering techniques and color rich design ideas to make a collection of whimsical cards. Explore a variety of playful hand lettering styles and simple illustrations to showcase greeting card sentiments and messages. Combine assorted mixed media techniques with creative lettering tools to adorn your mini masterpieces.
Desiree's newest fabric line, Gumdrops and Lollipops is available at your local quilt shops now! Lil Miss Cutie Patootie is back in her Sweet Shoppe, making lots of goodies for all her friends. Make sure you check out Desiree's website for her new book and patterns that go along with the fabric line. This book is loaded with fun Mommy and Me projects like tea cozys, aprons, banners, tea party tablecloth quilts and more. It even comes with the pattern to make your own Lil Miss Cutie Patootie Doll and outfit! Use Desiree's fabric line or your own stash to make some of these fun, fast projects for your Lil Cutie!

You can see her other fabric lines at Quilting Treasures under designers.

Guns and Torches: A Weekend of Waxy Wonder
encaustic workshop with Mary Beth Shaw and Julie Snidle
at Valley Ridge Art Studio, Oct 11-13
Details HERE.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Journey to Italy

Mary Beth Shaw here. My husband and I were lucky enough to go to Italy this past May. In preparation for the trip, I made several small journals - one for each section of our journey. These are smaller versions of the journal that I typically use for travel. 
Basically, I paint one 22x30 sheet of Fabriano Hot Press paper, both sides. I use Matisse background paints because they are matte in finish and you can write over them easily. The painting is loose and wet, I don't want a ton of dark pigments on my pages. I will use stencils in my preparation too, they add some interesting elements to each page.
The structure of my journals started out to be based on Teesha Moore's one sheet journal - you can check out her YouTube video here. I have varied my approach over the years I've been making these, this time I tore my parent sheet of paper into much smaller sections because I knew I 
wanted four 'purse size' journals. 
Honestly, for me, making the journal is half the fun, the the freedom of painting without worrying about composition is a special journey of its own.
Once we got to Italy, I started collecting paper items to glue into the journal - brochures, tickets, notes, that sort of thing. I use this as an excuse to pick up all those glossy pamphlets and publicity materials I encounter along the way! 
And a map - I love to include a map. I try to work in the journal a little bit each day, normally gluing and writing in the evening or early morning. I don't want to forget the stories we encounter.  Train rides are also a great time to journal, I used the ride from Naples to Florence that way.
 I carry a few small stencils with me that I use to embellish the pages. As far as paint, I stick with either watercolors or Derwent Inktense pencils.  Add a glue stick, scissors, tiny container of gesso and cosmetic sponge (for stencil application) and I am good to go. 
I have found these journals to be terrific on many levels. 
First of all, they allow me to make some art while I am on the road. I am a little bit shy about  sketching (oh how I envy Jane LaFazio for her skill!) and the idea of sitting outdoors doing plein aire art scares me a wee bit. 
Second, making a tiny scrapbook/art journal is an adventure. Finding the elements is always fun and it fulfills my pack rat tendencies, this hunting and gathering for material.
Finally, and this is the best reason (!), the journals create a record of the trip. When reviewed years later, they summon up all the memories as if they had just occurred.  There is something so tactile about journals they can put me right back in the moment. And that is pretty delightful.  
So, next time you make a journey, consider carrying a small travel journal with you. I think you will find it to be a lot of fun.
Ciao Bella!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pilgrimage to Birmingham. The Festival of Quilts.

Hi,  Its Frances Holliday Alford.

I was so fortunate this summer to be able to go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.  I shared Linda Pumphrey's room and got to help her celebrate her birthday while we were there.

I decided to make a small quilted sketch by using the things I brought back with me.  I had several tutorials while there, chances to sit and rest and learn something new.

The map fabric and the peeling paint fabric were purchased.   I made the marbled fabric in a demonstration.

Hand painted felt that will melt with the heat gun.  An embroidery I made in a booth.

Hexagons are very popular in Europe right now and they were prominently displayed at the quilt show.  I made some from indigo materials I bought in a Japanese textile booth.  Linda Pumphrey cut them for me in her Accuquilt booth, using one of their new hexagon die cutters.

I couldn't resist the hand dyed nylon scarf in rich saffron.  I laid it across the entire image and sewed it down enough to keep it from shifting when I started hand quilting.

I have used the white embroidery floss in a running stitch in the manner of some of the functional quilts of India.  When their quilts get very worn, they show fabrics from below which adds to their charm.  I love the way the white stitches made their quilts sparkle, so I wanted to try that.

I am going to  make more panels and put them together to be a larger piece.  I think the theme is the richness of textiles and embellishments the world over.  So far, I have Great Britain, India, and Japan represented.   I have more goodies from around the world.  It will be fun to dig in a treasure trove.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Patterned Paper Watercolor Journey

Hello. I'm Gina Kim and as a new TSC host, I am thrilled and honored to be here! Thank you.

This month's theme--Journeys--was truly a fun and creative excursion for me. I played with juicy colors and turned on my sewing machine to make a special art journaling page.

Watercolor is my go-to medium and these are the colors I love. The paper I used here were pages out of my Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal. I used water-based Sharpie poster paint pens and acrylic Montana markers to doodle whimsical patterns.

Two projects were happening simultaneously. As my patterned papers were set aside to dry, I started a moonscape painting on an 11" x 14" Arches watercolor cold press paper (I own a binding machine and have pre-punched my watercolor be assembled into a book later).

With the background, middle-ground and foreground complete, I wanted to capture a beautiful starry night with a winding road.

I added some birches and an inspirational quote: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~ Ernest Hemingway  

After everything dried, I trimmed my patterned papers down to create four foldable flaps on my art journal page.

Each flap was anchored by Japanese washi tape and a zig-zag stitch. I used washi tape because of its thin, transparent, yet highly malleable quality. This creates smooth opening & closing of the flaps rather than bending the patterned paper itself.

When all the folds come together, there is a perfect square opening, adorned with a tiny embellishment at the center.

It's a hide-away form of art journaling.

Bonus: I now have an expanded surface area to do more writing, doodling and/or painting.

Below is my sketchbook where I planned out my ideas for this project and practiced my doodles :). 

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Another kind of journey

Kristin here. I spent a good portion of July and August on the road, traveling to see family in Oregon, and then in Connecticut, then spending the weekend at a resort with friends, plus playing tour guide in our hometown with visiting family and friends. Do you think I brought along my sketchbook to record my inspirations or activities? Nope. Totally forgot.

I do use my sketchbook to record another kind of journey though. For many, many years, I have used my primary sketchbook as a working journal. It's not pretty (far from it), but my collection spanning about a decade has been an invaluable tool in my art making. The following are sketches and final art from my "Army Wife" series of textile narratives.

Mostly, I write my thoughts so I can go back later and harvest the ideas. The two sketchbooks above show the nascent ideas for what eventually became "War Sucks." If I remember correctly, the first idea was written down almost a year before the next sketch and the finished quilt.

I'll write down my ideas and often a sketch that is really the stick figure version of what I have in mind, but it's usually enough to let me know if I am moving in the right direction, or enough to jog my memory if I return to the idea weeks, months, or maybe even a year later.

The sketchbook is where I work out dimensions and technical aspects too. I devoted many pages to trying to figure out how to knit the "Unraveling" apron.

The sketch above led to the full sized drawing underneath it, which led to the thread drawn apron below:

The second sketchbook photo above shows the beginnings of an idea with stars and stripes. I tried out a color idea in the sketchbook below (along with two other ideas that have become finished pieces).

The pillar became stone:

The last two sketchbooks have ideas for medallions which became bed-sized quilts. 

Usually I don't spend too much time fussing over the details in my working journals/sketchbook since the colors and scale of the fabrics I use change so much from paper sketch to actual cloth, but I've tried of late to blend the two a bit more. While the idea I was working out on the colorful page didn't really work, I liked the stenciled stars and suggestion of etherealness, which eventually became this:

I would be lost without my sketchbooks to hold the ideas that constantly well up, without someplace to note that idea for a technique or to jot down an inspiration. The sketchbook can, of course, be an end in itself, but it can also be just one step in the journey.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mapped Journey

Hi! Deborah here. This month's theme really resonates with me. My family and I were on a big journey this summer. We moved from Maryland to Texas. My husband is in the Navy and it's our twelfth move during our 21 years of marriage.

I took these moves and the adventures we've experienced as my "journey" inspiration.

I started simply by printing out a few outline maps of the US and just taped them into my sketchbook.

I added water color details by filling in the states in which I have lived and adding the orange and blue patterned background.

Next I outlined the states and wrote the names of the cities where I have lived. Then added those big circles and some small doodly details. I filled in the circles with another layer of water color. Too messy? Maybe. But, I was just exploring and playing with materials and colors.

Here's a detail where you can see the names of the cities. I lived in two different cities in Minnesota, Florida and Kansas.

Just a simple wash on this page. I like the way the tape creates a random mask and adds more interest to the page.

Next I used a Sharpie to make a dot in all the locations where I have lived, then drew dotted lines showing the moves from one place to another. I wish I would have taken a picture of that just the set of lines and dots. But, then I added the list of where I was in each year. That's the red writing on the left. I like how it both obscures and blends with what's underneath.

I used a blue Sharpie to add the names of the people with whom I lived in each of those places. I've only lived alone once... in Lawrence, Kansas when I was in college.

For this page, I was going for a tie dye look with Dallas as the center of the circle. The blue and the purple look kind of cool, but the red looks like a bleeding wound. Right? Not good. 

I doodled a star over the offending section. After all, Texas is the "lone star" state.

More doodling with a pattern of little house shapes and a subtle bit of script over the top. It says "returning." In all my moves, this is the first time we have moved back somewhere. Back to the same house, familiar faces and favorite restaurants.

A map is a great starting point for sketchbook explorations. You can easily print out a map like the one I used... or any other configuration as inspiration. Road maps? Bus Routes? Trail maps and mountain elevations? Imagine the possibilities!