Monday, September 11, 2017

New Book With My Illustrations!

I can now share what I've been working on the last few months - creating illustrations for this new book by Elizabeth Stewart!  Elizabeth is an appraiser of fine art and antiques, and her book, "No Thanks Mom, The Top Ten Objects Your Kids Do Not Want (and What to Do With Them)," offers advice on what to do with those objects that were lovingly saved but are not welcomed by the next generation. She is so charming and has such a great sense of humor and it shows in her writing. It was such a fun project and I'm excited and grateful to be a part of it.
These are just a few of the illustrations, there are many more inside. She is selling her book on Amazon if you're interested - looking forward to getting my copy! :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Drawings - Musical Series

I've been creating some music-themed drawings for a potential upcoming project.  Here are a few.  After drawing these, I realized that I think I prefer to draw cats doing cat things, not so much personified.  What do you prefer?

Monday, July 31, 2017

New Note Cards are in My Shop :)

New note cards have been printed and are now in my store. They are blank inside for any occasion. Cat and dog friendships are the best! Find them here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Illustrations Web Site!

Check out my new web site!!

I've been needing a site separate from my mosaics web site to share my illustrations and paintings, and I've just finished it. Currently only my drawings are there, but as I build my portfolio of paintings, I will eventually add those, too. I have been working on a fun project with my illustrations that I will hopefully be able to share with you very soon!  Hope you like my new site, you can find it here. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Gazelle Embroidery Finished

My design of a gazelle and bird started out as a drawing in my sketchbook. (See the work in progress here and here.) I had fun exploring different stitches to fill in the solid areas. I love the way the chain stitch and split stitch look as filler. It reminds me a bit of mosaic andamento. The size is 10x10", stitched on blended wool felt, and titled "Confidante." I found the perfect shadowbox to frame it in so that the glass wouldn't press on and flatten the stitching. I haven't decided yet if I want to sell it or not, but if you are interested, please contact me!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Embroidered Wedding Hearts

My little sister got married this month (April Fools Day!) and when I learned of her engagement, I immediately got to work on a surprise garland of embroidered hearts. I started with the colors she had chosen for her wedding bouquet, a fun colorful blend of bright pink, green and purple.
I made a total of 14 hearts, each one with a different color combination of blended wool felt, buttons and matching threads. Two of the hearts were embroidered with their names and date and place of their wedding. I then put foam board in between each heart and a back heart to make them more rigid, and blanket stitched them together.

I actually ran out of time and wasn't able to stitch the hearts to the ribbon before I flew to Oregon, but was able to get it finished on the drive to the wedding location - whew!  Then, while my sister was out, I hung them up in the cabin where her reception was held. They looked great with her coat, too - how cute is she?! 

Congratulations, Jen and Clay!! xo


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Purple Stuffed Kitty!

I made my first stuffed kitty, wow, it was a challenge! I don't own a sewing machine so I hand stitched everything.  The first one is always a learning experience, right? Still, I think she turned out super cute! She is about 10" long, made with blended wool felt. I had fun adding a braided necklace and the delicate gold whiskers.

I also discovered a new chain stitch I absolutely love! It's called interlaced chain stitch and looks more complicated than it is, but is actually quite easy! If you want to give it a go, you can find how to do it here, at the wonderful Needle 'n Thread, the best online resource I have found.

Written by Mary Corbet, you will find loads of written instructions and videos of basic and advanced stitches, thoughtful book reviews of a huge library of how-to books, project lessons, free patterns, informative and interesting blog, I can go on and on. Subscribe to her blog, learn and be inspired!

Here is a close up of the interlaced chain stitch. I followed her instructions but used three colors instead of two, and eliminated the final step of couching the threads. Sweet, huh?

Interlaced chain stitch with green split stitch below, click to enlarge!


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Progress on Gazelle Embroidery

I just finished embroidering the details of this gazelle and his bird friend. Next I will stitch together some felt framing to go around it and will either turn it into a wall hanging or make it into a pillow.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Transferring Embroidery Design onto Felt

I have been experimenting with techniques on how to transfer a design onto wool felt. The first one I did was on white craft felt and since it was not quite so dense and a light color, I was able to hold it up to a window and trace the design onto it. 
Last month I made this dog ornament on blended wool felt and since it was small, I poked holes into the paper design, laid it on the felt, and then colored in the holes with a marker so I ended up with a dotted design. It worked pretty good, actually, but thought it would be too time consuming to do with my current design.
So I decided to try something new and trace the design onto tissue paper, pin it to my felt, and then embroider right through both tissue and felt. Two things I learned from this technique: One, I really enjoy the tactile experience of embroidering through felt. It's soft and soothing and peaceful even. The added tissue paper takes that feeling away. It's not smooth stitching and it's crinkly sounding! As subtle as it is, it takes away from my enjoyment.
The second thing I learned is this technique is much better suited to a simple design, not one with lots of stitching close together. Tearing the paper away was tricky, especially in tight spaces. In fact, there is some tissue that will live in this piece forever because I simply couldn't get it out! Even with my trusty tweezers and dental pick.
It does look nice though after all that effort, but I won't be doing it again this way. I just purchased some water soluble stabilizer that I will experiment with on my next project. Since I am using wool felt, I may need to pre-soak the felt to ensure it won't shrink later. I will do a couple of test runs first - perhaps the stabilizer will only need a little water spritzing to get it off. I do like the idea of printing the design onto the stabilizer rather than tracing the design. Such a time saver.
Any experienced embroiderists have any pearls of wisdom to share?!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Embroidered Ladybug for Ginny

I wanted to create something special for my friend Ginny who loves ladybugs and this is what I made. I'm so glad I researched what ladybugs look like close up because otherwise I would've drawn a simple red circle with black spots! They are far more interesting looking than that.
It had to be on a heart shaped leaf, of course, because this is a long time dear friend we're talking about!  I used chain and split stitches for the leaf veins and blanket stitched the edges together. Love, love, love the blended wool felt. It is about 7" in size. I love how it turned out and Ginny did, too!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Interview on Cat Lady Confidential

Today I was featured on a lovely blog called Cat Lady Confidential. I talk about my cat mosaics and embroidery, as well as the beautiful cats in my life, past and present. Read it here.  Thank you for the interview, CLC!

Me and Christopher

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy 2017!

The end of 2016 found me learning embroidery and I am so looking forward to playing with this technique more and more this year! I have a few new books on embroidery techniques and creating softies that I've been pouring over and I can't wait to try some new fun stitches. I finished my first project of 2017 just yesterday but can't post it yet because it is a gift. I will post soon, hopefully.

My intention this year is to try other new art forms for me, such as building with clay, ceramics and carving stamps. Also, lots and lots of drawing in my sketchbook!  What are your creative plans for this year?

Red keeps me company in all my creative pursuits