Tutorial: Bead Looped Stacks

It’s bead overload month – and I hope to bring you several tutorials that will augment the techniques shown in my DVD Bead It Like You Mean It. Just for fun. And because I love YOU.

I love hand work. Not because I have endless amounts of patience and love peaceful hours of meditative stitchery. Sounds blissful but it’s no part of the reality of mothering five children.

I love to bead because it fits into the five minutes I’m sitting in the carpool line. A stitch stays put when you need to jump up and change a diaper. A tin of beads and a bit of cloth can travel with you during endless hours at music lessons and soccer practice.

Did you see those lovely little loopy yellow beads in the first picture? They are just toooo much fun to play with and I though I’d share how to create them with you.

I’ve started with a fun fabric flower, cut, fused, and stitched to a piece of craft-fuse.

I decided to outline the petals in a contrasting color of beads. Itty bitty size 15 rocailles in this case. I’m using a size 11 applique needle and nymo beading thread. I find that beading needles aren’t quite strong enough to sew through more than one layer of fabric without bending in half.

Knot your thread well and bring your needle up right where you want your loopy stack to sit. Give your thread a tug to make sure it’s not going to pop through the fabric.

Slide one bead down the thread. I’m using a green size 6 seed bead.

Load your needle with size 11 seeds, I’ve used ten of them. Take your needle back down through the hole of the base bead to the back of the fabric then pull it tight. Repeat the process to create as many looped stacks as you wish, knotting your thread tightly into the back every few stacks.

You can have lots of fun varying the length of the loops, the sizes of the beads, or even making each looped stack into a beaded fringe. (Tutorial here)



If you liked this tutorial I know you would love my online course:

open access to all lessons on registration


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BE INSPIRED and get creative as fun-loving artist Lyric Kinard guides you through the basics of beaded embellishment on cloth. 

Make straight or curved solid lines, split or join them, or simply add one bead at a time. Cage a beautiful cabochon, or get silly with stacks, the perfect finish for your favorite funky flowers. 

Are you a quilter? Foil the quilt police and learn to bead from the top of a finished quilt with no knots or mess on the back

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens January 17th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. 

After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

Tutorial: Sketchbook Slipcover

Sketchbook Slipcover Video Tutorial

Following this week’s giveaway, I thought I’d repost this video tutorial on how to make a slipcover for your sketchbook. The written directions are in the book that’s up for grabs (leave a comment on the previous post for your chance to win!)

Tutorial: Beaded Fringe

Quite some time ago (isn’t it funny how quickly tech gadgets are outdated!?) I sent in these little cases for Quilting Arts Magazine for the “Glam-To-Go for Gadgets” article. They didn’t use the case I actually spent the most time making – no worries. It’s perfect for showing you one of my favorite techniques to play with – beaded fringes!


  • Something to add fringe to: gadget case, scarf, your husbands favorite necktie. In any case it will need to have enough “oomph” to support the fringe. In this instance, the fringe will be supported by the satin stitched bottom edge of the case. For a scarf I like to add a tiny bit of cording or seam tape or ribbon (depending on the weight of the scarf) inside of a rolled hem.
  • Beading thread (I love Nymo) and a beading needle (or a size 11 applique needle.)
  • Seed beads and other larger beads. Make sure the holes in the larger beads are not so big that the seed beads sink into them. If they are you’ll need to put medium beads next to the large holed beads.

1 – Make your knot. Thread your needle, bring it in through the case and out on the edge of the satin stitching. Leave the tail of the thread hanging out. Wrap the thread (not the tail end) three times around the tip of the needle, hold the wrap with your thumb and pull the needle through. You should have a secure knot now. I often make at least one more knot in close to the same place just to be extra secure.


2 – Load your beads onto the needle. Add seed beads until your fringe is about as long as you wish it to be then add your bigger bead and one more seed bead. The seed bead on the end is your anchor. Slide all of the beads to the end of the thread.


3 – Anchor your fringe. This is the only tricky part – and it really isn’t hard. Slide that last seed bead away from the line of beads then send your needle right back through your whole line of beads. I find it easiest to do if I bend the line of beads over my finger, holding the thread taut. This lines up the beads in a row and holds the thread tight along the bottom of each hole. That way you have room to get the needle back up through the whole line.


4 – You might not be able to get the needle all the way through your line of beads in one shot. No worries. Just do it a bit at a time, holding that thread taught to it easier to slide the needle through.


5 – Push your needle into the satin stitching, right under your fringe and come out where you want the next fringe to start. Continue adding fringe until you think you’re done. Notice here that my fringe isn’t the same – I like it funky. Sometimes my big bead is in the middle, sometimes there are more seed beads on the end than just one anchor. Mix it up and make it fun. (And yes, I am an artist and my cuticles and nails ALWAYS look that bad!)


6 – Make a knot right next to the last fringe in the same way you did at the beginning. In fact, make two knots. Come to think of it, make a knot and just keep going (not starting with a new thread each time) every three or four fringes just to be safe. I truly dislike the sound of a million tiny beads scattering across the floor as my child yanks on my fringes. At the end, after your last knot, send your needle up through the satin stitching and come out anywhere. Trim the tail off and you’re done.

Hope you enjoyed it! Go add some beady fringe to something! They make wonderful swishing noises as they move and swing around. 

I’ve been hard at work putting together a new course for my fellow bead-a-holics.



EXPAND YOUR CREATIVITY as Lyric Kinard takes you beyond the basics of bead embroidery. Build on what you learned in Bead It Like You Mean It pt. 1 and learn new dimensional beading techniques that jump right off the surface. Wrap cords or walk a line of seeds over a bugle bead bridge. Try out a beautiful Gourd stitch to attach a cabochon or go right over the edge as you add beaded borders to your cloth. Loop your stacks or turn them into crazy twisted or banged fringes.

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Tutorial: Citra-Solv Photo Transfer

The work I do as a mother involves a lot of delayed gratification. When I escape to the studio and put on my artist’s hat it can be nice to see some instant results. Solvent photocopy transfer is one of my favorites. You need only a photocopy, fabric,  Citra-Solve®, and a few seconds of elbow grease and viola!The good people who produce this environmentally friendly cleaning product have included an ARTISTS’ PAGE on their website. I’m honored to have been included among other textile artists I admire such as Jane Davila and Jane Dunnewold.

I encourage you to take a peek over there – lots of interesting things being done. It makes me think that I have some experimenting to do. Dissolving pages from National Geographic magazine? Hmmm. Wonder how I can do that on fabric.

Want to join me in a little playtime? Here are the instructions for moving the ink from a photocopy onto paper or fabric. Wear gloves and work in a well ventilated area. The stuff is much more pleasant than the paint stripper I used to use but it IS still a solvent.



  • Citra-Solve®  (find where to buy it here)
  • Cotton ball
  • Metal spoon
  • Non-porous smooth surface
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric or paper of your choice
  • Photocopy

1. Find a copyright free black and white image. I love to use vintage family photos.
2. Make a photocopy of the photo, sizing it no larger than 5″ x 7″.
3. Cut away the background if it detracts from or competes with your image.
4. Draw in any lines that need emphasis or add in some fun scribbles. Maybe Grandma always wanted a tiara or your puppy looks great in polka dots! You can digitally manipulate the photo as well.
5. Make a final photocopy. (Note: Inkjet prints DO NOT work with this method.)
6. Tightly tape a piece of fabric or paper to your glass or non-porous surface.
7. Tape the photocopy face-down on your paper or fabric. Don’t let the tape cover the image.
8. Dampen the cotton with Citra-Solve® and squeeze it out. Rub it on the paper until you see the ink show through. It should be barely damp – too juicy and your image will bleed and blur.
9. With the back of the metal spoon, rub, rub, rub hard and like crazy in all directions. You are moving the ink from the paper to the fabric.
10. Pick up one corner of the paper and peek. Look for spots that haven’t transferred yet then put the paper back down and rub some more in that spot.
11. Toss the paper in the trash and let the solvent evaporate.
12. Feel free to play around with the image. Color it in with colored pencils, ink, paint or whatever you have on hand. Be creative! Have fun!

The only tricky part is finding a photocopier that works. If you are using Citra-Solve® (the other orange solvents I’ve tried have not worked) and you are rubbing and nothing is happening it is most likely the copy that is at fault. I test any copy I make right at the copy center. Dampen a cotton ball with the Citra-Solve® and stick it in a little zip-loc bag in your pocket. Make one photocopy then place it face down on another piece of paper on the counter, dampen with the Citra-Solve® then rub it a bit with the scissor handles on the counter, the back of your thumbnail, whatever you have there. If it’s going to work it will work right away. If not, no amount of rubbing will work. Find another copy center. Don’t leave the bag in your pocket too long. The solvent will eventually dissolve through the bag although it won’t really hurt your clothes. (Ask me how I know!)

If you’d like to see it instead of just read about it I demonstrate the technique along with a lot of other fun techniques in the Quilting Arts DVD Workshop “Surface Design Sampler Platter.”Here is a link to the first of several Tutorials on how to Photoshop your images.

Tutorial: Photoshop Elements for Photo Transfer Part 1

The process of moving the ink from a photocopy onto fabric with Citra-Solv is my favorite instant gratification technique in fiber arts. You can find a tutorial on the process here. Sometimes you might have a really wonderful image that isn’t quite ideal for the process; either not enough contrast or too much dark ink in the background. Today I’ll show you how to punch up the contrast in a photo to help the transfer to come out better.
In the tutorial I posted about choosing an image Miss Maharanee of Kapurthala came out as the best photo because of the plain background that didn’t compete with the main image. She does have enough contrast and there isn’t too much dark ink. Still – there are some things that you can do to make the image even better.
I’ll be using Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 for the tutorials this week. It’s an inexpensive program and only a couple of years after I bought it, it’s up to version 8.0. It does everything that most digital editing hobbyists will need.
I also use Corel’s Paint Shop Pro on our family desktop. It’s much more powerful but quite a bit less expensive than the full blown version of photoshop. But then – I’m a digital editing junkie.
Don’t despair if you aren’t using the exact same program I’m using here. Most any inexpensive digital editing program can do what I’ll show you today. Just click on help in the upper bar of whatever program you are using and search the function that you need and the program should tell you where it is.
Now – I could use Miss Maharanee just as she is – I like the vintage photo look. But I think I’ll isolate her and make her features a bit more clear.
Step 1 – CROP
If I want to isolate Miss Maharanee I might as well get rid of all the extra pixels to begin with. Find your Crop tool – it usually looks something like this. You can also find it under Image on the upper menu bar.

Look to make sure that the Aspect Ratio says No Restriction, for Free Form. Otherwise the crop tool will only let you crop to a standard print size.

Click and drag the box as close to your image as you can without cutting off any parts you want to keep. The part that will be cropped will be grayed out. If you need to move it a bit grab one of the little boxes on the edge of the dotted line with your cursor and drag the box wherever you need it to be. Double click to select and crop the image. 
Now, if you accidentally cropped something you wanted to keep don’t panic. Your best friend in digital editing are these two little arrows.  This are the UNDO and REDO buttons and I use them ALL the time! With these two little buttons at your disposal you don’t need to fear messing anything up. Just click the little back arrow and it will take you back one step. You can click it as many times as you’d like to get to where you want to be. If you want to try something out and compare steps you can click back and forth as many times as you’d like to. You can also find the Undo button under Edit on the menu bar. The key command Control Z does the same thing. (Command Z on my mac.)

Step 2 – SAVE
Don’t forget the most important part – saving your work. My program has the unsettling tendency to quit on my every once in a while right in the middle of a project. If I haven’t saved along the way I have to start over. You should save your work every few changes. 
Under File, click Save As. NOT, I repeat NOT, Save. You want to keep your original as is. If you simply click Save you over wright your original file. Not good. Yes, of course you can always click undo until you get back to the beginning and save your work then, but this is less of a pain. Change the name, choose where to save your file, format it as a jpg and click Save. Alternatively, you could leave the name the same and click the As a Copy box if you’d like. 
Now you’ll see a box like this. This is important. Slide the Quality button all the way up to the right. If you don’t the file will be compressed waaaay too much and your image will be all pixelated. (Ask me how I know.) 
As I work I try to remember to Save a Copy, or Save As with a different name after every main change. That way I can go back to some place I liked and start from there – AND I don’t lose my original.
Under the menu bar click Enhance, Adjust Lighting, Brightness/Contrast. Make sure the Preview box is clicked on so that you can see what happens as you move the slider back and forth.
Play with both of the adjustments until you find something pleasing to you. 
Here I’ve boosted the contrast up to about +17. Anything above that and I loose the edge definition on her shoulders. The contrast is boosted to about +19. If I go much above that in this particular photograph I loose some of the definition in her dress. 
There isn’t anything magic about these numbers and every photo is different so you really do just need to play with the numbers until you find something you are happy with. Remember that you can always click the undo button if you don’t like what you just did. Repeat step 2 – Save.
Step 4 – ERASE
Miss Maharanee is looking pretty good now, but I’d still like to get rid of some of the extraneous stuff around the edges of the photo. There are still smudges and markings that will show up when you make a transfer. I’d rather not have hard straight lines on the outside of my image.
Find the Eraser icon on the tool bar and click it. I want to blur things out gently so I’m going to set the Opacity at about %60. Click on Size in the Eraser Toolbar and move the slider up and down. You’ll see a circle on your image that expands or contracts. That’s the size of your eraser. I’ve also chosen a Brush (that’s the squiggle next to Size) with fuzzy edges so that I don’t get any hard lines from my eraser. Now just brush over the edges, clicking often with your mouse to reset. If you brush for a very long time without reseting you might make a mistake. Then when you undo you have to do the whole thing over. Erase things in short bits and then you only have a little bit to do over.
If you need to get in close to an area, such as the small space above her head you can use the Zoom tool to make the picture look bigger or smaller on your screen. (On my mac’s sensor pad I use two fingers to scroll up or down to zoom in or out.) 
I’ve brushed over all of the edges, and the label that was written in the upper left corner so that now Miss Maharanee is unencumbered by edges of any sort. There is still a little ink around her, softening the image for something of a background fade. What do you think?
Repeat step 2 – Save. Tomorrow I’ll continue the tutorial with instructions for selecting and deleting backgrounds entirely, or for boosting the contrast in only certain areas. 

Tutorial: Choosing Photos for Citra-Solv Phototransfer

When you are looking for a photograph to use for Citra-solv photo transfer there are several things to consider. Of course you need to start with a great copyright free image. You can see my post about my favorite source, the Library of Congress here. If you are unfamiliar with the transfer process I’m talking about, or just want a refresher, check the tutorial link at the top of the page.

Consideration # 1 – CONTRAST
The lovely picture of the Baroness De Guestre (below left) captivates me. You know that was one confident and sassy woman just by looking at her! Unfortunately there is not enough contrast in her dress and there is way too much dark stuff all around her hair. Her face blends into the surroundings and her dress disappears. If you squint you’ll see a big white space and a blotchy black space. When you transfer the ink to paper or cloth you lose some of the detail so you’ll get splotchy black spots on the upper corner and not much on the bottom corner.

The lovely and highly corseted Maharanee of Kapurthala, on the other hand has plenty of contrast in her dress and a plain background that will transfer well and won’t compete with the main focus of the image.

Consideration # 2 – TOO MUCH INK
Photos with too much ink

Saharet has enough contrast between the background and her face/dress that you could use the photo just as it is and it would work fairly well. You would know where her face was and be able to see the (also highly corseted) shape of her body. Wouldn’t you just love to wear a hat like that?

Unfortunately there is a lot of dark ink. If you transfer your image onto a piece of cotton, a fabric with some absorbency, you will probably be fine. If you are using silk or a synthetic the black spaces, especially in the lower right, have a tendency to bleed and blur. It can be done – but takes a little practice.

Now – there are ways that you can manage to use all three of these photos and make them work. I’ll show you some photoshop elements  tricks that will make each photo workable over the next three days. Stay tuned!

Tutorial: Photoshop Elements for Photo Transfer Pt 2



Welcome to part two of how to use Photoshop Elements to get your vintage photos ready to use for CitraSolv photo transfers. If you are coming in to this process here I highly recommend that you read through part one. Today we’ll work on learning to isolate a figure by selecting it, and a little more about erasing and using the brightness/contrast tools.


Remember the lovely Saharet? This is a copyright free image courtesy of the Library of Congress’ Flickr site. In the last tutorial I mentioned that while there is great contrast here, too much black ink might bleed. Just for kicks, let’s pick Saharet out of her background and use her all by herself. It’s a little painstaking but nothing too difficult.
Step 1 – Select
The main tool that we are going to use is a select tool called the Magnetic Select Tool. You can find it on the bar to the right – something that sort of resembles a lasso. Select that then move up to the tool bar on the top. There is enough of a contrast along the edge of the figure that this tool will work wonderfully well. Click the lasso with the Magnet on it. 


Next move over to Feather and decide how fuzzy you want your edges to be. The larger the number you choose here, the more pixels will be included in a fuzzy line around your image. I think I want the edges to be fairly sharp so I’ll choose 2 pixels and a width of 2px. Anti-aliasing will make pixelated curves appear sharper so it’s a good idea to leave that box checked. Edge contrast makes the dark side of your edge darker and the light edges lighter – again increasing sharpness.
Now use your cursor to slowly go around the edges of the image. You can click as you go to spot glue the line to the more complicated edges. Remember that if your image is a little too small use the Zoom tool. Click to zoom in until you can see your edges clearly.
If you are careful and lucky you can get all the way around your image then double click to close the loop. You should see a flashing dotted line around your image. If your loop disappears entirely click the Undo button (or use Control-Z) to hopefully bring your loop back. Sometimes my fingers get ahead of me and click one too many times and my loop disappears. Yup. The Undo button is my best friend.
If you have a mistake here and there it’s not a big problem. Take this little loop for instance. Instead of going back and redoing the entire select process, you can add in that little part to your bigger loop. Hold down the option/alt key while you use the cursor to to loop around that missing part and it will be added to your loop. You should see a little + sign next to the lasso. If you included something that you didn’t want to include you hold down the shift key while you use the curser to trace the part you want to exclude. You’ll see a – sign this time. 
Step 2 – Invert
Now you have a lovely flashing line around your image. Find the Select drop down and choose Inverse (shift-control-I). This will choose everything around your image. You’ll see two flashy dotted lines now. 
Step 3 – Delete
Easy now. Hit the Delete key on your keyboard. The whole background disappears. Cool huh? Now use the Crop tool (see pt. 1) to get rid of all of the extra white space. Finally, go back up to the Select drop down menu and click on Deselect to get rid of all those flashy lines. You can also click Command-D.
Step 4 – Contrast
Now feel free to use the Brightness/Contrast tools we learned in part 1 to punch up the contrast. Keep a balance between dark and light. Or you might like the image just like it is and skip this step altogether. And there you have it.  Miss Saharet all by herself and ready to be transferred.


Stay tuned tomorrow for part 3 and we’ll play around with this same image a little more.  I’ll show you how to play with contrast and keep the background but lighten it up quite a bit – without losing Saharet in the process. 


what I’ve been up to…..

This blog has been sorely neglected for such a long time. Of course, sometimes I think it is just a narcissistic “oh look at me” kind of thing and nobody reads it anyway. I actually have no idea how to find out how many of you subscribe. I should find out. I’ll add it to my to-do list……

So this is what I’ve been up to for the past few months. My youngest daughter and I got a lot of work done on cleaning up a beautiful treadle singer and it’s cabinet. It’s not quite done yet.

One of my older daughters (both live out of state) was home for several weeks. She misses the beach so we went.
We all really, really love the beach.

Hubby and I were wearing jackets. I flew my stunt kite and looked at the water. One girl ends up digging and digging and digging every time we go. The boys end up upside down. You should see the flips they can do bouncing off that buried yoga ball! 

Lest you look at this and the upcoming posts and think I spend all my time in leisure and art-making, let me assure you; I don’t.

I live a very real and very full life. I am blessed. But my life is full of every day struggles as well. Keeping difficult relationships going. Lots of doctors. Torn tendons. Failing grades. One sunny for every six grey and drizzly cold weather days. I even spent quite a bit of time with a friend in a mental hospital last month. (A very good hospital with caring doctors, and she is finally stable. Don’t get me started on the lack of adequate mental health care in this country. Just don’t.)

So – even if it is only for my own benefit – I post the beautiful things here to remind me that they exist. I am grateful for them. 

Tutorial: Photoshop Elements for Photo Transfer

I’ll give you a quick run down of the process I used to get this photo ready for the transfer process. Take a look at the tutorials to get the full instructions on how to use Photoshop Elements (or any other digital editing program) to do it yourself.
Baroness De Guestra
I used the Zoom tool to blow the picture up quite a bit for better visibility. Next I used the Erase tool at 100% opacity to outline the Baroness. There isn’t quite enough contrast between her dress and the background for the Magnetic Lasso tool to be effective. Once she’s got an outline then I used the lasso to select her, Invert the selection, and Delete the entire background.
I carefully used the Magnetic Lasso Tool to select just her face and body then played around with Brightness and Contrast. I used the command and the shift keys to add and subtract areas to the selection before I did so.
Once done I realized that the shadow of her dress on her thigh bothered me so I Selected only that area and boosted the Brightness. I like that much better.
I think the Baroness might have been a very interesting guest at a dinner party, don’t you?


Tutorial: Finding Copyright Free Images at The Commons at Flickr

In an ongoing effort to help you find copyright free imagery, or imagery with “no known copyright restrictions” here is another source.


William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877)
Collection of National Media Museum
Photomicrograph of insect wings, as seen in a solar microscope.
We’re happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions of the original physical version of apply though; if you’re unsure please visit the National Media Museum website.
For obtaining reproductions of selected images please go to the Science and Society Picture Library.
According to the site’s description of the rights statements:
Participating institutions may have various reasons for determining that “no known copyright restrictions” exist, such as:
  1. The copyright is in the public domain because it has expired;
  2. The copyright was injected into the public domain for other reasons, such as failure to adhere to required formalities or conditions;
  3. The institution owns the copyright but is not interested in exercising control; or
  4. The institution has legal rights sufficient to authorize others to use the work without restrictions.



You might also like to explore: 
The Library of Congress
WikiMedia Commons

Tutorial: Photoshop Elements for Photo Transfer part 3

Welcome back to this long winded tutorial on how to use Photoshop Elements to get a vintage photo ready for the Citrasolv transfer process. Here is part 1 and part 2, which I highly recommend you go through first if you are just joining us.


Today we’ll work just a bit more with this vintage photo of Saharet, downloaded from the Library of Congress’ Flickr site, my favorite site for copyright free vintage photos.
I do love the photo just as it originally is – with all of it’s dust speckles and such, but that much dark ink might not be wanted. We talked in part 2 about isolating your figure, but what if you want to keep some of the background. Choices, choices. I’ll show you a few very useful tools that will help you lose some if the darkness of the original photo if that’s what you choose to do.
Today’s objective is to get rid of as many of the dust spots as we can, then try to boost the contrast as we lighten the background. I have a number of old family photos that I’ve spent time restoring and these tools are useful to know for that purpose as well. Remember, that you don’t have to have the exact same program I do (Photoshop Elements 4.0) to follow these instructions. The commands usually have the same names and if you type them into the Search function in your Help menu at the top of the bar your program will show you where to find what you are looking for.
Step 1 – Crop, Select, Inverse
Using what you learned in parts one and two of this tutorial, Crop out the unnecessary stuff, use the Magnetic Lasso Tool to select Miss Saharet, then click Select, Inverse so that it is your entire background that is now selected.
In this screenshot I’ve selected the chair along with Saharet and haven’t cropped out the frames yet. No worries.

Step 2 – Remove Dust


Now look up in the menu bar for Filter, Noise, Dust and Scratches. This filter is going to find all those white spots and fill them in with the same colored pixels that surround them. You’ll see a control panel that looks similar to this. 

The radius is how many pixels wide your spots are, threshold – ummm. Not sure but since your preview button is on you can see what is actually happening as you slide your numbers back and forth. I think it smooths everything out or keeps edges sharp.
See that percentage number and the – and + signs? Use those to zoom in or out and go ahead and click and drag the picture around until you can see a spot that has some detail and a lot of spots in it so that you can keep an eye on what is happening as you proceed. Remember, if you don’t like it hit that friendly Undo arrow and simply try again. 
Now that Saharet’s background has lost its spots, let’s play around with lightening the dark stuff.
Step 3 – Brightness and Contrast
With your select tool still glittering away around the background go ahead and play with your Brightness and Contrast sliders until you’re happy with what you are seeing. My objective was to keep the flowers and chair but lighten the background considerably.
Now choose Select then Invert to switch your selection back from the background to your figure. Why do so, you ask? Many times there is more or less light and detail in the figure than the background and they might need quite different levels of adjustment in order not to lose details you want to keep. 
In this example notice that nothing is selected. When I play with brightness/contrast I loose most of the details in her torso long before I lose the darkness in the background. With the figure now selected I can play with contrast and bring her brightness in line with the background, without losing so much detail. So far so good. I could leave it here. (Are you remembering to Save As every so often?)
But of course I’m going to keep messing with the photo. That spot under the chair looks like a black hole now. I’ll find Select, then Deselect on the menu bar then use the Magnetic Lasso Tool again to outline just the lower, dark part of the chair. This isolates that one area and lets you work just within that space. Again, use the Brightness/Contrast function to mess with the chair until it lightens up to match the rest of the photo. I’m always amazed at the details that are found in seemingly dark nothingness when I use this tool. Can you believe it?
Step 4 – Erase (softly)
Now I’m finally going to get around to using the Crop tool to get rid of the extra stuff around the borders. You might like those borders which is just fine. When I’m transferring my photocopy onto a piece of white fabric that will be cut and either pieced or fused into a larger composition I like the borders. When I’m transferring the image onto a larger piece of fabric that is not going to be cut down, sometimes I don’t want hard edges to box in my image. It’s all about choices and there is no one way to do things.
Now find the Eraser tool, set the opacity fairly low and choose a soft edged brush. Smooth over the dark spots around the top and sides until you are happy with what you are seeing. Remember to click often rather than doing this step all in one swoop so you don’t have to redo the entire thing if you make a mistake. (Gotta love that undo function!) 
Well. There you go! This should give you enough information to spend lots, and lots, and lots of hours playing around with your photos. Over the next few days I’ll post some before and after photos that I’ve messed around with. Thanks for sticking with it!

Tutorial: Finding Copyright Free Vintage Photos

One of my favorite sources for vintage photographic images is the 


You can search the collections by subject or photographer. They list as much of the history of the photograph as they know. The most important part for artists is that many of the photos are listed as “no known copyright restrictions.” Those are the ones you can download and use as you wish. Every day I’m amazed and grateful at how easy the internet has made it to access so many very cool things.
Did you know the Library of Congress also has a Flickr page? Every few days they post several pictures from their historic archives, all of them copyright free. That makes it easier to search for the ones you can use. I get so disappointed when I fall in love with the perfect image then realize I can’t use it. The thing I like best about the LOC’s Flickr page is the comments from viewers. They often add quite a bit of information to the provenance already listed. I download the largest size they have available. 


Next week I’ll post tutorials on what to look for when you want to use a photo for a citra-solv photo transfer how to use Photoshop Elements to make it even better. For now, here is a really great example of what can be found on the Library of Congress’ Flickr Site. Pop over there to read the comments too!

Bain News Service,, publisher.
Louis & Lola ?– TITANIC survivors
[1912 April]
1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller.

Notes:Title from negative.
Photo taken before the ‘orphans’ of the Titanic were fully identified. The boys are French brothers Michel (age 4) and Edmond Navratil (age 2). To board the ship, their father assumed the name Louis Hoffman and used their nicknames, Lolo and Mamon. Their father died in the disaster of the RMS TITANIC, which struck an iceberg in April 1912 and sank, killing more than 1,500 people. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008)
Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).
Format: Glass negatives.
Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.
Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
General information about the Bain Collection is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.ggbain
Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.11222
Call Number: LC-B2- 2486-15 

Where you find your photos?
What do you do with them?

Tutorial: Photoshop Elements for Photo Transfer – Examples

This photo of the beautiful Marion Anderson has too many grey tones to transfer well in the CitraSolv process. Deleting the background then boosting the Brightness and Contrast removes enough ink that we can get a great transfer – keeping the details in her face.
It’s a common problem when trying to transfer photos of any dark skinned person. This little cowboy also has an awful lot of stuff to compete with in the background of his photo. I deleted the background then selected certain areas such as his face to boost more or less than other areas. Now that I’m looking at it I see that I’ve blown out (made too bright) all the detail in his chaps. 
If you are smart and save your work (as a copy or with a different name each time) you can go back to a certain step and work from there.

Tutorial: Using the Paper Camera App to make Appliqué Patterns

This is for my fabulous students who have been patiently waiting for me to write up a tutorial. 

Paper Camera by JFDP Labs is an app that I use to begin the journey from this:

to this!You go girl! We only work on construction of the portrait in the last hour of my Playful Portraiture class and she went home and finished this hunky boy all in one evening.

We had a fabulous time at the East Cobb Quilter’s Guild taking selfies and making faces using this app. Yes, the current reviews of the app are terrible. The last time it was updated was November of 2016. But – for what I use it for, I still love it. If you find another app that can do this, let me know and I’ll review it.

When you open the app – this is what you see. You might have to give permission for the app to access your camera. Click yes. Now -see those little arrows on the bottom right of your screen? Click through them until you see the….OLD PRINTER filter. Lots of dots. Kind of cool. If you are going to take a selfie next you need to look for the little camera icon with the circling arrows in the top right corner of the photo. See it? Click it and the camera will turn to the front of you device so you can see your own funny face.

Hello there! Just for practice take a picture. You do that by clicking the blue button with the picture of a camera on it on the far right of your screen. If you are right handed this is very convenient, no?

Now, the important thing to pay attention to when you take your picture is the dark and light – the shadows. Move yourself and your camera around until your face is mostly in the light. Tip yourself up towards the light and see what happens. Take as many pictures as you need to practice. Get up close and silly with your eyes. Look around in different places – especially right into that tiny little dot that is the camera lens. 

If by chance you have a different photo in your albums that you took somewhere, sometime, elsewhere you can use that in the app as well! Right above the little blue camera button on the far right is a bookish looking icon. 

Click it and it will turn green and open up your device’s photo album. Click the photo you want to open it in the app.

Now you can click the arrows through again until you find old printer. Slide the little slider-thingies (that’s an official word!) back and forth until you have an image mostly in black and white then click the green down arrow. (Up arrows in a box usually mean send, down arrows in a box usually mean save.)

Next, look at the bottom left of the screen. You should see the last picture you took in the thumbnail. Click on it and you will see the photo all big and silly.

If you click on the green set of three photos icon in the top left here you will then see ALL of the photos you’ve taken. If you want to email yourself a picture to print click the blue box in the upper middle with the send arrow.

If you want to back out to the camera setting you click the red arrow on the upper right. If you want to select certain photos to delete click the green box with the checkmarks in the upper left.

You can also double click the “home” button to go back to the home screen or to bring up all the apps you currently have open. I have my photos app open so I click on that. In my photo album I can see both the unfiltered original picture and the filtered version. I find it easier to send photos from the Photos app than from Paper Camera. 

And – like I said…. it’s buggy. Sometimes we mysteriously couldn’t find the photos in the app. Mine freezes when I’m trying to send from within the app. Ah well. When it works – it’s great!

Next up…. How to open this fabulous silly face in a different app and make a pattern from it.


Tutorial: Using the Snapseed App to make Appliqué Patterns

Or – “how I use Snapseed to alter a photo I’ve already taken so that it is easier to turn that photo into a pattern for appliqué” but that was too long for the title bar.

When you are going to make a pattern from a photo, especially a simple appliquéd portrait, You need to figure out where the darks and lights in the face are. Faces aren’t usually dark and light delineated so running the photo through a filter makes it a lot easier to see.

You can take a photo through the Snapseed App but I find it much easier to take all the photos I want with my device’s regular camera then to import just the one I want to filter.

The very first time you open the app you will most likely need to give it permission to access your photos and your camera. Go ahead and do it.

Now you will be prompted to open a picture. You have options. You can click the camera button and take your own picture right in the app. If you don’t like it you can cancel and try again. I find it quicker and easier to just open a picture I’ve already taken so I choose the first option and “open from device.” Unless of course I see the photo I want on the slider there and then I just tap that.


If you tap “Open from Device” you will get the chance to choose which photo album you want. Click through until you find the photo you want and tap it.

Now you see the photo you want all big and pretty. Pretty silly in this case. My little guy has been called monkey boy for ages. He was scaling cabinets and climbing to the top of unreachable places by the time he was a year old. 

Now – we want to turn this silly face into something easily transferrable into a pattern. Click that big pencil icon on the lower right.

This will bring up your Tools. Feel free to crop the image if you’d like. I usually click on the very first tool, Tune Image.

Now you are in working mode. You can change all kinds of stuff here and if you like it you click the check box on the right. If you don’t you click the X on the left. If you want to compare your original to your changes hold the slider icon on the upper right.

Touch and hold anywhere in the photo and a tools screen will pop up. These are all the changes you can play with. Slide your finger up and down to choose what change you want to make, then slide your finger to the left and right to make the change. You will notice at the very top of your screen it will tell you which change you are making and give you a bar and number to let you know how far up or down from the original you have moved. I always start by punching up the brightness.

See up at the top? I’ve now also punched up the contrast by about 51%.

For pattern making it helps to see pure value (light/dark) instead of color so I slide the saturation all the way to the left. I usually head back up to brightness and contrast and sometimes play with shadows as well.

He looks scary now as well as goofy – but I can see dark blacks against bright lights. This is a good place to stop. See that checkmark on the bottom right? Now I click it and I’m back to the home screen with the tools pencil on the lower right that we saw before. If you made a mistake and didn’t want to keep these changes go up to the upper right and click the stack with the back arrow icon.

This will give you the chance to undo just the last change, start over (revert), or take a look at all the different edits you’ve made.

I’m fine with this edit and am done so I’ll click Save. Now I have a choice. I usually Export. This makes a plain copy that is easy to open in another app and doesn’t use up as much data as the second or first options. 

Open your photos and goofy boy is there, ready to print and take to my light box, or to play with in Paper Camera (see this tutorial) or a sketch program (tutorial coming soon.)

on-line class!!!


If you’ve looked with secret longing at the world of Abstract Art but have no idea where to begin, this is the class for you.  Lessons consist of  concrete design exercises that are clear and easily understood as well as ample encouragement from an award winning teacher. You don’t need to have drawing or design skills as this course is designed to inspire and teach  both the timid beginner and the confident creative. Lyric’s easily followed  instructions  lead you to create  your own unique and original abstract compositions.

Lesson 1 will open on February 15
$45.00 for 6 lessons



This course includes space for you to share your pictures and get feedback from your classmates. The more you contribute, the livelier class will be.  Lyric will pop in twice a week to give feedback on each picture posted. This platform provides a safe space for a lively and sharing creative community to explore without judgement and competition.

Each week you’ll receive an email with a link to a new lesson. The lessons are available 24/7 and you’ll receive a downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from. There are short videos to show how Lyric works each exercise and to explain the gist of things.

Just like in a live classroom, you’ll be able to see your fellow students work and discuss how things are going. You’ll get encouragement and instruction from Lyric on all the work you post.

Supplies consist of things you already have at hand so you won’t be time or money shopping for things you might not use again. The most important supply is an adventurous willingness to explore, grow, and play as you learn to see and create within the framework of abstract design. Doodles will be scribbled, eyes and minds will be opened, and fun will be had. Won’t you join us?

Lesson 1 will open on February 15




Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will use pen and paper but Lyric will show you exactly what to do.

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Us whatever your favorite medium is to create your studies. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into them if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your eye as an artist.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. The classroom is open two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is a little wiggle room.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on each posted assignment during the weeks the class is open.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the PDF lessons. I suggest you download them as they are released. The videos are not downloadable.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. Support@Ruzuku.com is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

Tutorial: Using Adobe Illustrator Draw App with Layers

You might think there is nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat of a packed airplane on a long light, but I look at it as an opportunity to play. Yesterday between Los Angeles and Raleigh I sketched out several Celtic knots, listened to a great audiobook, and worked on a couple of new drawings that could be used for thermofax screen printing.

I am using Adobe Illustrator Draw on my iPad with an Apple Pencil (responsive stylus) but the free app is available on android tablets as well.I have a fascination bordering on obsession with ammonite fossils – so when I discovered a very large rock embedded with a number of exposed polished fossils under my hostesses coffee table I had a bit of a hard time controlling myself. I did wait until people were out of the room before getting down on hands and knees to photograph the beautiful things. Once I was well ensconced in my flying tin can I pulled out my iPad. I started with cropping each image down to include only the part I wanted to work with. Then I opened the App and clicked the big PLUS sign to start a new project.If I know I’m going to be printing the final product I choose a format with as large a resolution as possible.

Next I import the photo into the app by clicking on the little PLUS on the right and choosing to add an Image Layer.

This will open a selection of choices. You can take a photo straight from the App but I never do that. Instead I choose “on my iPad” to find the image I have already cropped. Sometimes I’ll also boost up the contrast or edit the photo in any way that might help me to better work with it before I import it into this App.

When the App opens the photo it will give you the opportunity to size and rotate the image to fit your chosen format. I worked my photo until it filled up as much of my frame as possible. 

Next, click the PLUS again and add a DRAW layer this time. I like to rearrange to layers so that the photo is underneath the draw layer. Touch and hold the photo layer until it has an orange outline then drag it down so that the draw layer is now above the photo layer.
Now I click the photo layer and slide the OPACITY control down. I can still see the photo clearly but it is knocked back enough that my drawn lines will be dominant. Now click the Draw layer so that it is outlined and you are ready to go.

Choose the top drawing tool, double click it and hold your finger on the size button. Slide your finger up or down to increase or decrease the size of your line. Test it out with a few strokes and see if it works. That little sideways U shaped icon at the top of the screen is your best friend. If you don’t like any mark you just made click that to UNDO it.

Now, Making sure that the draw layer is highlighted, start tracing your image. You can pinch and pull your workspace larger and move it around to work on smaller details. If you create a closed shape you can touch and hold the center of it to fill the shape.

Double click the image layer every once in a while to hide it so that you can see how your drawing is coming along. Once I’m finished I will make sure the drawing layer is hidden then click the box-with-an-arrow icon to save the image to my photos. Then I can print it off or send it to my desktop via email or device sharing if I want to work more in photoshop with sizing.

And there you go…. gorgeous line art ready to make a thermofax screen. You can follow this tutorial to create imagery for your own CUSTOM THERMOFAX SCREENS. (Please also read the instructions and tutorials for sizing your files properly.)

If you’d like to be informed when these new ammonite screens are available for sale, please sign up for Lyric’s mailing list.


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Tutorial: Creating Depth and Space pt1

I love to look down a path. I wonder about the mystery of what lies just beyond my view. Creating that illusion of depth, the feeling of walking into another world through a sketch or painting or any two dimensional artwork is not as hard as it might appear.
Photo by Julia Wade
Think for a moment about the three dimensional world we live in. Every day we look out a window into the distance or move through the space of our home. As we try to interpret what we see and experience in a piece of art, there are many techniques that help us to create the illusion of depth in space on a flat surface.
Pathways by Lyric Kinard
Take a look at this tiny quilt.  Even though each piece of fabric representing a tree becomes smaller, our mind interprets it as a line of similarly sized trees receding into the distant landscape. The tree shapes also overlap one another and as the path recedes the trees are placed farther up within the frame of the work.  
The simplest devices to show depth are SIZE, OVERLAP and VERTICAL PLACEMENT. The closer an object is to us the larger it appears so it stands to reason that if you have similar elements and you increase their size, the larger ones will appear to come forward. 
See? Not so hard. Check back here next week for a little tutorial on perspective and vanishing points.

back in the swing of things

Hello Friends… it’s been a while! I’m trying my best as the freight train of my life rushes on to hop off now and then to be with YOU! I’m announcing my first online class offering of ABSTRACT-A-LICIOUS shortly! WOOT!!!!! (do people say that any more?) Stay tuned!

In the meantime I’d appreciate it if you’d fill out this VERY SHORT SURVEY to help me choose which class to focus on next. 

Tutorial: Discharge Printing With Bubble Wrap

Do you love messing around with fabric as much as I do? The instant gratification of painting and discharging fabric is one of my favorite things about textiles as a medium.
Next week my on-line class Playing With Paint will be opening at QuiltUniversity.com. Here is a little sneak peak. This discharge technique is just one bonus out of the four jam packed lessons that you get when you sign up for the class. 
On-line classes are different than live classes of course. While you don’t get the face time – you do get interaction with me and the other students for a full six weeks. A new lesson opens up each of the first four weeks and then there are a couple of weeks of make-up time in case you don’t have time to get around to trying everything. And believe me – you can cram a lot more information into four written and illustrated lessons than you can in one live class. I’ll be there in the class forum each day commenting on the pictures posted in the gallery and to answer questions. Hope to see you there!

Tutorial: Creating Depth and Space pt3 Color and Value

The Beautiful Smoky Mountains

I’ve been talking to you a little bit about how to create the illusion of depth and space in a work of art. It’s a very useful tool to have in your belt when thinking about literal pathways. You can find my tutorial about using size and overlap here, and perspective here. Another simple device to use when creating the illusion of depth is to change color and value.
sketch by Lyric Kinard
Value is how much dark or light is in any given color. If you look carefully at the landscape around you you will see a difference in color and value as objects get farther away. Things closer to you will have sharper contrasts in value and brighter colors. Objects that are farther away become more blue and gray in color and the value contrasts lessen. 
Night Life by Jane Sassaman
Colors can also be used to create depth and space. Warm colors such as red and orange appear to come forward while cool colors seem to move away. Objects seen far away will appear grayer and bluer, as in the smoky purple of distant mountains. Volume and depth can also be created with the shading of one color from dark to light. The change in value alone turns a flat circle into a sphere.
Notice also that complementary (colors across from each other on the color wheel) appear to vibrate – to POP! Again, the warmer colors come forward and cool colors recede. The orange circle above seems to float a bit on the surface of the blue. If you add dark and light highlights you create the illusion of volume and depth as well.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these quick and easy tips. I’d love to hear any other tips you have.

Tutorial: Creating Depth and Space pt2 Perspective

Photo by Lyric Kinard

Last week I talked a little bit about using the placement and sizes of shapes to create the illusion depth and space on a flat surface. Next week I’ll talk about value and detail.

Church of Le Sacré-Coeur by Maruice Utrillo

PERSPECTIVE is another device that is used to create the illusion of depth and space in a two dimensional plane. Parallel lines in the artwork will appear to converge at a vanishing point. The basic technique involves choosing a point, usually at the horizon line, sometimes within the frame of the work, sometimes outside of it… and drawing your lines  to meet at that point.

Photo by Lyric Kinard

The lines of perspective are most easily seen in architectural landscapes.  Take a piece of tracing paper or even just your finger and trace the lines of the walkways, the streets, the buildings. They will all converge at a vanishing point.
This perspective study by Leonardo DaVinci shows how complex and technical perspective drawing can be. I spent quite a bit of time back in school learning to draft architectural perspectives.
Leonardo DaVinci
Remember too, that it can also be VERY simple! Simply draw a horizon line, choose a vanishing point, create some lines going towards that point and add your shapes within it. I’d love to see your perspective sketches in the flickr group!

I highly recommend looking up “perspective” in your library’s subject database and studying a few books on the techniques used to create it. They range from simple to complex and the technique will be a valuable tool to have at your disposal.

Tutorial: Thermofax + Foil = FUN!

Enjoy this video for making a valentines fabric postcard!
One layer of paint, a second of metallic foil, a third layer of paint.


If you are having trouble seeing the video you can watch it on youtube HERE!

Tutorial: How to Edit a Photo for a Thermofax Screen

I’d like to show you how to take a photograph and prepare it for a thermofax screen. Printing with these screens is one of my very favorite things to do – you can use them with cloth or paper or really – any flat surface. If you don’t have access to a thermofax machine, I have a service where I can create a screen for you from your own images, as well as having a number of ready-made images for you to use.
1- Select an image. Choose something with high contrast – it’s easiest if it has a plain or simple background. Either use your own photography or find something that is copyright free. Wikimedia Commons has a wonderful repository of images under Creative Commons Licenses that are available for you to use. Download the highest resolution available.
Harmann zebra, Hobatere Private Reserve, west of Etosha National Park
Author – moongatclimber
2 – Open your image in your favorite digital editing program. 
I’m using Adobe’s Photoshop Elements (PS10) but the tools I’m using are fairly standard. They might be in a different place – if you have trouble finding them type in the name of the tool in the help window on the toolbar. You can download a trial version of the PS10 and use if free of charge for 30 days.
3- Crop your image.
Use the CROP tool to eliminate extra background. It simply gives you less space to have to fuss with.
4- Remember that command or control Z is your best friend – it’s the “undo” function and will let you back up as many steps as you need to if you don’t like what you’ve done.


\5- Select your subject. Use the magic wand, or some other selection tool to click and select all the way around the edge of your subject. You might need to click a lot in some areas that don’t have a high contrast line – don’t worry if extra space is included – you can erase that in a minute.


Sometimes when I double click I lose the selection. I just clicked too fast and the whole thing disappeared. What I do is just hit command Z again and it reappears.

6- Invert the selection.  The blinky line will now be around the outside of the image and around your subject.



7- Hit Delete and the background will disappear – at least mostly.


8- Control – D deselects everything.


9- Click on the Zoom tool and zoom in so you can see the edges of your work.

You can see that there are areas that need a bit of cleaning up and areas that you might not want to draw attention to. (Sorry guy – you’re going to be gelded.)


10- Choose the eraser tool to clean up your edges. 
Use the slider to change the size of the pixel brush so that it comfortably fits within your picture. Keep the opacity at 100%.

Start working your edges but try not to erase large areas all in one sweep. That way if you accidentally erase something you wanted to keep (remember “control Z!”) you won’t have to re-do large areas.
Continue to zoom in and out, moving around your image and changing the size of your brush to get into any tight areas.


11- Play with the Threshold filter found under the Filter/Adjustments menu. Sometimes it works the first time but sometimes you need to back out and fix some other things first. This is one of those times.

In this case, Mr. Stripes has lost the stripes on his back – he’s not quite ready for the “Threshold” filter yet. Simply hit “cancel” and we’ll do something else.


12- Play with the lighting. Find “Enhance/Lighting” then either “Brightness/Contrast” or  “Shadows/Highlights”. In this case – it is the highlights on the Zebra’s back that are being lost so I’m going to play with those for a bit and see if I can get the black and white stripes to look more even.
I’ve darkened the highlights, played with the shadows and messed with the midtone contrast until it looks like all of the stripes are closer to the same. Notice all the highly technical terms I’ve used – it’s really just messing around with things until you get something you think will work. As you gain experience you’ll be able to come quicker to the place where you can make the image work for a thermofax screen.

13- Try the Theshold function again.  My goal was to keep his eye from disappearing but to still keep the stripes on his back. Just move the slider back and forth until you are happy with your image.

14- Save your image. In fact – it is helpful to take this step quite often during your explorations. Hit File/Save As – (NOT just the automatic save function!) and rename each picture as you go. For instance, Zebra1.jpg, Zebra1.jpg etc.
Another thing to pay attention to when that “save as” screen is up is the “options” button. (I think I might have cut it off in this picture. It’s usually on the bottom right. Slide your “Image Quality” button all the way to maximum. This minimizes the compression that happens every time you save a jpg. If you don’t do this the file size might be so small by the time I get it that it will be too pixelated to use.
And there you have it. A crisp black and white image – no shades of gray – ready to be turned into a thermofax screen for your printing pleasure.

Send it through your thermofax machine or send it off to your favorite thermofax service provider and get ready to play! You’ll be printing in no time at all!



Tutorial: Sizing Images for Thermofax Screens

If you are unsure of how to size your image so that I can make a thermofax screen for you – here are some instructions. First the simple list. Then detailed instructions with pictures.

  1. SCAN your image (if you are working from a sketch.)
  2. CROP your image so there is no extra white space.
  3. SIZE your image so that it prints exactly the size you want.
  4. PRINT your image at 100% to test it out.
  5. NAME your image with your name, image name, the size YOU want the image printed at.
  6. SEND me your image via email after you have placed your order.

Now for detailed instructions.
With pictures and everything!



There are many ways to create imagery for thermofax screens – one of my favorite is simply doodling. This is an image from my sketchbook. In order to make this into a screen I first need to digitize it.


Scan of doodle cut out of sketchbook so it will lay flat.

You can see the difference in this image where the lighting is perfectly even and the photo is square. When you scan your image please pay attention to the following.

RESOLUTION: scan at 300 dpi because you are concerned with print quality – not screen quality. 72 is standard for an image that you look at on your screen but is not high enough for a clear crisp print.

FILE TYPE: JPG will be the easiest to work with in a digital editing project. If your piece needs no cropping and is already in black and white a PDF might do as well.

COMPRESSION: when you scan your image, then save it, make sure that you do not compress the file further. At some point when you go to save you will see a quality slider similar to the one below. Make sure you drag the slider all the way to 12 – which is the maximum quality.



If you don’t have a scanner you can work with a photo taken with whatever camera you have. In this case I took a photo with my iPhone.thermo_sizing_tute00

It is very difficult to get even lighting. It is also hard to keep the image from keystoning, see how the image is distorted as it is in the upper left corner you see here. See THIS TUTORIAL for working with the image to make it thermofax-ready. This image is NOT ready because it is not a stark black and white.

Once you get it stark black and white like this…thermo_sizing_tute01-1… you might need to further edit it. Say you drew your doodle on a 4″ x 6″ page but you actually want a 6″ x 8″ image? You will need to size it. These instructions will work with pretty much any digital editing program. I’ve used Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Gimp as well as a few others. If you can’t find the tools I mention in exactly the same place just open your program and type the tool name in the HELP box at the top. Most of the programs will give you an arrow pointing to where that tool is located.



See all that extra space around the image? In order for you to get exactly the size you want it will help you to get rid of all the extra. Look for the CROP tool… It usually looks like that little square I’ve pointed to on the left.

thermo_sizing_tute13The crop tool will probably open a box over your image that you can then pull or drag along each corner to get rid of all the extra white.

Sometimes you just click and drag over the part of the image you want to keep then you can move the sides around to tuck them in all snug up against your image.

Sometimes the box will only stay square, or only keep the original ratio of the image file. In that case there should be a bar somewhere up at the top of the window that will let you change the preset ratio to “free”. Or in this case to W x H.




With the extra cropped away you can size your image to exactly the size you would it to print. Find your program’s Image Size tool.


When you open the Image Size window you will see what width, height, and resolution your current image is. Make sure the number you are looking at is inches – not pixels or percent, or something else. There is a pull-down menu next to the number so you can change to inches if that is not what you see.


Notice that because I am using a photo from my iPhone rather than a scan my resolution is 72. That is how many tiny little squares of light the computer crams into an inch of the image you are seeing. Great for on-screen but if I am going to print this I want to change my number to 300 pixels per inch. thermo_sizing_tute18Now you can change the width and height to whichever size you prefer, so long as it fits within the guidelines for a small, medium, or large thermofax screen.

Small: max image size  3″ x 4″
Medium: max image size  4″ x 7″
Large: max image size  7″ x 9.5″

You can make your image smaller than 7″ x 9.5″ if you want it smaller on a large screen. You just can’t make it bigger than the maximum image size for each screen you order. 

Why? Because even though the screen fabric you get for each size will be larger than the maximum image size you’ve got to leave enough blank space around the image on the screen so you can tape the edges or fit the mesh into a plastic frame.



It’s always a good idea to print out your image to make sure it looks like you want it to. Make sure that however you print it – your print setting say your print size is 100%!


You might have to hunt – but make sure you are printing at 100%. In photoshop you have to scroll down quite a way to find the print scale.


Take a look at the printout. What you see in this printout (if it black and white with no gray) is what you are going to get on your screen. Is it fuzzy? Is it pixelated? Are there black splotches and specks? They will all show up on your screen. 

You can learn how to clean up your image in THIS TUTORIAL.

Now that your image is exactly the right size and as clean as you can get it (unless of course you want it speckled and splotched – I’ve seen lovely messy screens that work quite well!)


Label your file with your name, a description, and the exact size you want the image (not including the white area around it) to print at. It should be the same numbers you put into the image resize box up there!

example: Kinard_dotgrid_6.9×9.jpg



Go to my CUSTOM THERMOFAX SCREEN page and order the size and number of custom screens you want me to make for you then send me an email with your images attached.


Any questions? Feel free to ask. If anything is unclear please let me know and I can try to tweak this tutorial for you.


Tutorial: Screen Printed Cat Pillow

Just for fun – over the next week or two I’ll repost some of your favorite tutorials – enjoy!


A couple of weeks ago one of my little ones walked in and said, “will you teach me to make a screen?” Now a very good mother would have done this long ago, especially since this little one has been asking to do this for months. Unfortunately I’m more of the “my studio is MY refuge” kind of mother and I don’t take time out as often as I should to let them into my space. I felt the need to take time for her this time. So glad I did.

She would like to share with you her process.
She things that if she can do it so can you!

General’s Carbon Sketch Pencil

Draw your picture with a carbon pencil and send it through a thermofax machine and thermal-mesh to make a screen. You can also email your image to a thermofax screen service and let someone else make the screen for you.

Lay out your cloth on a padded print surface (mine is a layer of felt under twill) and position your screen. It’s easier to handle a foam brush than a squeegee. Dip it in the paint. With one hand hold the frame, with the other press the brush across the screen. Notice how her finger is pressing the brush? You really need to squish the paint fairly hard to get the paint through to the fabric.

We made a few prints then washed and dried the screen before turning it over and making some facing the other way. We also decided to do some splatter painting over the top of the kitties just for fun. Dip an old toothbrush into the paint and run your finger over it. It makes a really fun mess!

Cut out the kitties and hold them up to the light and make sure they are aligned. Pin the cats and sew a straight stitch around them, leaving a gap about two inches wide. Use pinking shears to trim about 1/4 inch around the outside of the seam.
Stuff your pillow through the gap. I always have left over bits of batting so she tore some of those up and used them.

Squish the batting back into the pillow and stick a pin into it so that it’s easier to sew.

Sew a straight stitch to close the gap.

Pose for a picture with your beautiful little creations. Carry them around and tell everyone you know that you made them yourself. Sleep with them every night.


Tutorial: Lovin’ my Thermofax Screens

It’s my turn!
Artspark’s heARTfest tutorial blog hop
Let’s make a sweet little valentine postcard
Valentine by Lyric Kinard
I’d like to show you how my little love affair with my Thermofax screens can be put to good use. 

I’ve had these collage backgrounds ready to go for a while. They are old watercolor studies (and I do mean old – like from 20 years ago!) that I’ve collaged with some worn out sheet music. I stuck them on with gel medium and then painted over them with some watered down acrylic paint. Gesso would have worked just as well. I just wanted to knock back the colors and the strong printing just a bit.


 Next I took my favorite black pens and doodled random hearts on paper, scanned it and printed it out in three different sizes. I was thinking of creating an overall background texture with this doodle. Nothing too regular or controlled or overpowering.
I send each print of the doodle through my wonderful Thermofax machine along with that green mesh fabric. The heat rollers burn the carbon in the toner through the emulsion coating on the screen.
It’s almost magic how that happens. It’s a little addicting.
I usually tape my larger screens to a frame to make them easier to deal with. When I’m printing yardage I like to be able to lift the screen with one had while it still has big glops of paint on it and move it to the next paint location.
Smaller screens are simply “bound” with duct tape to keep them from curling. 
I mixed up some pink acrylic paint – ProChem’s ProFab textile paint, since it was within easy reach. I pulled out some cloth to play with while I was at it and printed away. I ended up only using the medium and the large screens for the collage. I got a little lazy and let the screens smudge on some of the prints. No worries.

Next comes some focal point imagery. I doodled some more hearts and then got sidetracked for MUCH too long – playing with funky new fonts (dafont.com) and words. I don’t always have a plan in mind before I begin a project. 


Time for some more thermofax screens. I cut out words and arranged them on a piece of paper in order to maximize my screen material. The stuff isn’t cheap so I hate to waste it. I made sure to leave enough space around each word or doodle so that I could cut out and tape them.

By the way – if you find yourself needing these screens, I’ve added them to my thermofax shop.

This time I chose a medium contrasting color instead of a lighter color. Purple just happens to be one of my favorites so purple hearts it is! When a screen is taped instead of framed. I like to use a foam brush and just mush the paint through the screen like a stencil.

Lynn Krawczyk has some fantastic video tutorials for how to do this – and she sells some pretty awesome screens!
Last step? Choose which fun message you want to share with our valentine. These are cut into 5×7 cards. I can write on the back, stick on a stamp and drop them right in the mail. 
Super SWEET eh?
Valentine by Lyric Kinard
And yes, dear readers, I do.
Valentines, Lyric Kinard
I love you!

Life is too short not to just say it out loud.

If you are in love with any of these screens you can purchase them here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this fun little project.
Keep your eye out for

(my mouth is watering already)

1/30/2012 Kelli Nina Perkins
Felted Heart Soaps

(Is it just me or are they too gorgeous to actually USE?)

Tutorial: 5 Part Origami Star



And here are step by step photos if you weren’t quick enough to fold along with the video.
Seriously – all you need is a little more caffeine to go that fast, right!?

kinard_5pt_star_tute1Begin with 5 rectangles (half a square)

kinard_5pt_star_tute2Fold one rectangle in half the long way

kinard_5pt_star_tute3Unfold and fold two corners in to meet the line

kinard_5pt_star_tute4Fold one corner in on the other side

kinard_5pt_star_tute5Fold your point in to meet that corner

kinard_5pt_star_tute6flip the paper over and unfold that one corner

kinard_5pt_star_tute7fold the two corners in to meet the center line again

kinard_5pt_star_tute8repeat, folding in the two corners again
(it feels like a paper airplane)

kinard_5pt_star_tute9flip the paper over again so you can see the pointed flap

kinard_5pt_star_tute11fold the flat edge up under the flap

kinard_5pt_star_tute12repeat, folding the edge up again

kinard_5pt_star_tute13repeat again, creasing the fold tightly

kinard_5pt_star_tute14make five more of these units

kinard_5pt_star_tute16take two units, and notice the pocket here

kinard_5pt_star_tute17slide one unit’s strip into that pocket

kinard_5pt_star_tute18flip the units over

kinard_5pt_star_tute19tuck the second strip into the back/point pocket

Kinard_origami_5pt_star1repeat with the rest of the units until all five are tucked into each other.

TA DA!!!!

Kinard_origami_5pt_star3This star works perfectly with paper money.
If you are giving cash as a gift this is a lovely way to do it.


It looks just as pretty from the back.



Tutorial: Braided Corona Origami Star

I spent half a day ignoring all the “shoulds” on my list.
The result was this spectacular piece of origami.Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star6

Braided Corona Star
origami designed by Maria Sinayskaya


I have a collection of old sheet music that I use for just such purposes.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star1For this project I used 8 pages. Four were painted red, four white. The back of all 8 were painted gold.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star9After the paint dried I ironed each sheet nice and flat then cut them perfectly square.

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star4There were several steps along the way with this star where I was completely smitten…

Kinard_origami_braided_corona_star5… in love with the geometry and beauty of this feat of simple yet complex engineering.

You can find Maria’s step by step and easy to follow video tutorial here:

I went back in with more paint after the star was finished and cleaned up some of my messy paint.

Tutorial: 8 Part Origami Robin Star

I love origami. Because I also love music I get a kick out of folding ornaments out of a few old piano books I found. It still feels a little sacrilegious to cut them up but the results are a thing of beauty.


Play along with me as I create this star

The origami Robin Star was designed by Maria Sinayskaya


Here is the star with plain, rather than gold painted paper.


And here is the star folded in variation #2 as shown in 
this most excellent diagram

Tutorial: Snowflake Pinwheel Ornament

This December I hope to post and point you to some lovely tutorials.
Let’s make stuff – bring beauty and light into a world that needs it!

Snowflake Pinwheel Ornament

My children and I were playing around with scissors and paper – it happens every year about this time. We came up with some wonderful variations on snowflakes and I fancied them up for you. Enjoy!

Choose your material – paper, interfacing, whatever you have about. I’ve used some old sheet music and Lutrador.

Cut out squares – I liked mine 4″ as a tree ornament. The kids and I used regular paper and made them much larger. Experiment!

I wanted to brighten up the yellowed paper so I brushed some gesso over it. You could use any white paint you have lying about. This isn’t necessary if your material is white to begin with and it’s optional even if it isn’t.

The paper curls if you only paint one side. No worries. Let the paint dry then iron it flat.

Fold your square corner to corner and crease the edge. (I’m showing you the Lutrador now.)

Fold again, corner to corner and crease the edge.

Fold one last time, corner to corner. DO NOT crease this edge – keep it soft.

Find the side with all the edges showing (from the last picture) and cut a simple wave along the top.

Now find the edge with a few folds on it and cut a couple of shallow shapes from it, leaving some of the edge intact. Leave the corners alone too – don’t cut them off.

On the last edge you should only be able to see one fold. Get fancy with your scissor here and cut a few deep shapes but leave part of the edge intact.

Open up your four sided snowflake and snip from each corner almost (but not quite) to the middle.

Hunt around for whatever you have that will stiffen up the paper or interfacing (or cloth, or stabilizer) your are using.

Brush or spray it on both sides. Be gentle.

Now for the fun part. Find some glitter (this is fancy micro-fine stuff) and sprinkle it on while your stiff-stuff is still wet.

Find a needle and some thread or embroidery floss. Double the thread and make a knot in the end. Pull it through the center then through one of the corners as shown.

Pull that corner down the thread until it meets the center then work your way to the other three corners, doing the same thing.

Make a knot in the thread then cut it. You could add a button here to fancy it up or simply tape, glue (then clamp until it dries) or staple the corners in to make it simpler.

Use the embroidery floss, or thread and poke your needle into the tip and make a loop for hanging the ornament. To make it super simple you could tape the loop on or even use an ornament hook.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! 

Tutorial: Valentine’s Day Origami Heart


I thought I’d share a sweet and very doable project with you for Valentines day. This easily folded (I promise!) origami heart has a lovely little flower in its center.

kinard_origami_heart_garland4I have a collection of sheet music that I use for collage and origami projects. These pages were painted red on one side and white on the back.

Here is a quick (under 5 minutes) video of folding the hearts.


Tomorrow I will post a short video of how I strung them together.


 I had extra painted pages so I thought I’d package them up for you.


I have just a few packs. 5 sheets each – just shy of 4″ x 8″each. Red on one side and white on the other.  I threw in some pearle cotton and a needle so you don’t even have to hunt around to find something to string your hearts onto.

$12.00 plus $1.50 shipping (US only)



Tutorial: Valentine’s Day Origami Heart Garland

kinard_origami_heart_garland3If you missed the tutorial on how to fold these sweet little origami hearts, just scroll down. The post should be right next to this one.



Here is a short video showing how I strung the hearts together to make a garland. I’ve used pearl cotton embroidery thread but you can use whatever decorative cord you wish.

 I had extra painted pages so I thought I’d package them up for you.


I have just a few packs. 5 sheets each – just shy of 4″ x 8″each. Red on one side and white on the other.  I threw in some pearle cotton and a needle so you don’t even have to hunt around to find something to string your hearts onto.

$12.00 plus $1.50 shipping (US only)


Tutorial: Useful Knot and Mini Beaded Ornament

A little beading tutorial for you:
This short little video will clarify how to make the useful little know that keeps all those beads from flying off your fabric. And I show it to you with a little felt ball ornament – a fun extra.


You might also enjoy my online course:

open access course – get all lessons immediately

information and registration here

Have fun!

And here is the rundown of the ARTSPARK tutorials:
Jane LaFazio  Sketch & Stitch Gift Bags
Lyric Kinard Beaded Ornament
Tracie Lyn Huskamp Christmas Cardinal Ornament
 Traci Bunkers Moldable Foam Stamps 
Melanie Testa Zipper Tute Mania
Judy Coates Perez Folk Art Inspired Ornament

 Kelli Nina Perkins Whimsical Spool Garland

 Lisa Engelbrecht Experimental Lettering

Jill Berry Geo Papers and Projects
Gloria Hansen  Easy Resizing of a Digital Image

 Diana Trout Furoshiko


Tutorial: Beaded Ornament Tutorial

Let’s make a lovely little ornament.
I’m using Miyuki twisted bugle beads, number 6, 11, and 15 seed beads, and a felt ball.
I use a #11 straw or applique needle and Nymo or Sylamide beading thread.
Knot your thread –  push it straight through then knot on the other end just to be safe. Trim the tail.
Place a #6 bead on the needle, slide it down, then pick up a #11 on the needle without sliding it down. 
Stick the needle back down through the #6 hole then straight out through the other side. 
Make a knot there to be safe then make this same little stack at each pole and on each of the four directions of your little globe.
After you’ve made your six stacks, make a knot as close to underneath the bead as possible. If your thread is too short get another one ready. 
Load on a #11, a bugle, and another #11 – keep the  last bead on the needle. Slide the needle back through the bugle and bottom seed bead and come out on the other side of the #6.

Make six of these bugle stacks around the #6 stack.

After making six of these bugle stacks send your needle through the felt ball to the next #6 bead stack and repeat the process around each center bead.
Make knots fairly often to secure your thread by taking a little bite of the felt ball as close to underneath a bead as you can. Leave the needle half way through.
Wrap the thread around the front end of the needle, hold the wrap there with your finger, then pull the needle through.
Send your needle through one of your seed/bugle stacks – you can catch the top bead after you’ve pulled the needle through if you miss it on the first pass. 
Pick up a bugle bead then send your needle through the seed bead on the top of the next stack in the circle. 
Add a bugle between each of the stacks without going back down to the felt ball. Just hop from one seed bead on the top of a bugle to the next. 
When you get to the last seed bead, go through it again, and through the bugle and the next seed bead.
Take your needle back down to the felt ball through the bugle and seed bead, bringing the needle back up under the next #6 bead.
Repeat the process of adding a bugle between each stack until you have a lovely hexagon around each #6 bead stack center thingie. (Yes – “thingie” is a technical term.)
Make sure you have plenty of thread to make a loop, doubled thread is a good option here. Bring your needle up through one of those big #6 bead center thingies, and add lots of little tiny #15 seed beads until you have a string of them long enough to make a hanging loop.
Take your needle back down through the #6 stack and bring it out as close under one of the other hexagon bead formations as you can. 

Do the knot thing, in fact knot it twice for good measure. Send the needle anywhere through the felt ball and then trim the tail. 
Something beautiful to hang on your tree, or in your window, or on your rear-view mirror.
If you don’t happen to have those dazzling twisted bugles in your stash – no worries.
I’ve put together kits for you with everything you need to make your own ornament.
Each kit includes one felt ball, all the beads you need, a spool of nymo beading thread and a needle.


 Shipping within the U.S. is free.

Choose your color

And if you liked this tutorial, you will love my DVD.
It’s 90 minutes of blissful beading play time and full of inspiration.
Learn to apply beads to fabric and make your own wonderful works of art.
Pop it in your computer and print out a PDF pattern for the floral quilt on the cover.
$24.95 + $5.50 shipping


Tutorial: How to Draft a Celtic Knot

As promised… here is a video tutorial for how to puzzle out the celtic knots I’ve been playing with.


In the meantime…






imageI challenge you to give it a try! If we are Facebook friends (we really should be if we aren’t already) post your results and tag me. Share the link!

Tutorial: How to Draw a Face

Drawing the human figure is difficult. 
But it CAN be done.
A good beginning is to learn about proportions.
I was surprised to learn that drawing a face can be like learning math.
It takes work but it CAN be done.
(shall I repeat myself again?)
I said, it CAN be done!

Work in Progress: How to Sew a Decorative Hanging Pocket

Progress on the Boro
Inspired by Melanie Testa’s Rockstar Boro project.
I got the zipper put in (the right way this time!), and the hem finished with a triple row of zig-zag to give it a little bit of a lettuce edge.
I put it on and decided the pocket that used to be a shirt pocket is too small to keep my phone from slipping out when I sit or walk. Time for a free hanging deep pocket. Decorative I think. Deep enough to hold my phone and keys. Free hanging so it won’t make the rest of the skirt bulge or get in the way of the swing. I really love clothing to swing and move when I do.
I sewed a triangular patch where I want the opening to be – you’ll see it in a minute. You can skip this step entirely if you want to make your own hanging pocket – or make a decorative patch in any shape your creative mind comes up with.
Next I placed the first pocket rectangle over it and sewed the opening shape. Again – this is a place to use your creativity. A rectangle is classic but how about a heart or an arrow? I made a smile.
Make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of cloth (I didn’t) on either side of the opening. Also make sure the opening is at least as wide as your hand.
Slit and cut the inside of your opening – carefully go all the way to the corners.
Clip the seam allowances.

Trim the seam allowances if the fabric is thick and then turn it inside out.
Iron it so that you see just a bit of the outside fabric when you are looking at it from the backside.
Top stitch the opening if you’d like. You could also do some fancy decorative stitching here.
Pin on your second pocket rectangle.
Carefully sew all the way around the edge of the pocket. I sew from the back side of the pocket, pulling the skirt out of the way to make sure I don’t catch it. This is the tricky bit next to the opening that would have been easier if I had left more seam allowance.
(That’s my edge stitching foot – I was too lazy to take it off for this step.)
I finished the pocket edges the lazy way, turned them over and zig-zagged them. 
There’s the triangular patch on the front. I also sewed another line of stitching all the way across the top of that triangle, catching the top of the hanging pocket. That way and weight in the pocket will pull on the full skirt rather than just the pocket opening – which would make it sag out anyway.
More to come tomorrow.

new work: sweet little things pt 3

8x8_boxersThe Boxing Sisters
8″ x 8″
$45.00 plus shipping


7″ x 8″
$45.00 plus shipping


7x9Feed the Birds
7″ x 9″
$45.00 plus shipping


7x7_pietrasThe Society Lady
7″ x 7″
$30.00 plus shipping


New Work: sweet little things pt2


9x9_anna_pavlovaAnna Pavlova
9″ x 9″
$40.00 plus shipping

6x6_leapordgirlFierce Cheetah Girl
6″ x 6″
$30.00 plus shipping

8x8Sweet Little Girl with Hat
8″ x 8″


New Work: sweet little things

Though I would share some of the sweet little things I made before IQF.
5x7Dragonfly Beauty
7″ x 5″

8x8_boy_clownLittle Clown Boy
8″ x 8″

9″ x 9″

$45.00 plus shipping

I’ll be posting several more of these over the next two days.


Marian Anderson is one of my sheroes. 
I’m so pleased to say that she has found a new home.

Patterns at the International Quilt Festival

I thought I’d take a minute and share a few snapshots of my time in Houston, TX at the International Quilt Festival.img_9464

See that building on the right with red stacks? That is about half of the convention center. The exhibits and vendors seem to go on for miles. It’s truly a massive gathering space for my tribe!

I spent most of my time teaching but did spend some time taking in some of the beautiful artwork on display.

Here is the Dinner@8 special exhibit titled PATTERNS.

You can read more about all of the artists and the exhibit at the Dinner@8 website.

Why Even Try?

Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.
Wendell Berry

Do you ever feel like giving up? I have a teenaged son. If feel like giving up all the time. Nothing I say or do appears to make any difference in his behavior. I can see how the choices he makes now will affect his future. I can’t and won’t shield him from the consequences of his behavior. It’s really, really, really hard. I am positive that at some point he will figure out his life … but for now it’s painful.

Why keep trying? Because I love him. Because I keep a flame of hope tight in my heart that something will stick. Something that he can turn to and remember someday. I keep trying because of the regrets I know I’ll face if I don’t do everything I can to teach him to be a kind, responsible, contributing member of the human race. 

What is the Worst that Could Happen?

I kind of have a little obsession with lists. I constantly forget things so lists are my main coping mechanism. I made a list about giving up on my son. What are the best and worst things that could happen if I give up? Best? For now he might think he’s happier. I still don’t think I’d sleep any better at night. Worst? He might secretly think I’ve given up on him.

What would happen if you made a list every time you felt blocked by fear or doubt? Are you are afraid that you will get rejected from a show you’ve always wanted to enter? Are you afraid trying a new direction in your artwork will turn in to a big fat mess? Write down the very worst that could happen. For me, it’s just that I’m out a chunk of money and time for the entry. There really is no other negative consequence that I can think of to being rejected. Now think about the best things that could happen? Exposure? Sales? Awards? Recognition? Satisfaction? Your work might touch someone’s soul. You can make a difference. 

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
Soren Kierkegaard

Remember What You Love!

Remember who you are. (An Artist!) Remember what you love. Make choices so that you won’t live with regret. It might be a struggle. You might not see results immediately… it takes love and perseverance and an awful lot of work to see your efforts come to fruition. There will be setbacks. There will be struggles. There will be rejection.

There will also be results. There will be the satisfaction of knowing you didn’t give up. There will be growth and yes, perhaps, even success. Don’t. Give. Up.

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
Willa Cather

It’s that time of year again… getting ready for Houston!

More often than not October finds me in a mad scramble to get everything ready to teach at the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas. It really is an amazing event – I call it the biggest slumber party in the world!img_9322

Every other day the dining table is covered with a different mess of supplies and sundries. It’s always best to provide kits for your classes in Houston with students flying in from all over the world. Literally. All. Over. The. World! I’ve had students from South Africa, Brazil, Australia, all over Europe, and even Turkey!img_9397

At the same time that I’m supposed to be getting ready the Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South has a retreat at the beach. I packed everything up and off I go… to watch the sun rise over the water.


Then make hundreds of bead kits. Just F.Y.I. I do believe that working on the floor instead of at my table is the best way to go from now on. I did not knock over one single bowl of beads this time to go bouncing across my studio and hide in every nook and cranny and embed their tiny little selves in the bottom of my bare feet. It was downright miraculous.


So I spent several 12 hour days making kits and then making samples. And looking at the waves and the sky. This western girl loves the lush trees of the Southeastern US but still heaves a sigh of relief every time she gets a view.


And food. And friends.
Because that’s what quilters do and who we are.

(and boy do I need a haircut!!!!)


travel: paris – sacre-coeur

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is set on the highest point in Montmartre. As I visited it on the last day of our European adventure last year I thought it a beautiful end to a magical time. It’s contrast to the Palais Garnier was refreshing. That – and I just have a thing for being up high. If I were a bird I would definitely be one of those who perch at the highest point to watch the world below.
img_4938Wikipedia says “The inspiration for Sacré Cœur’s design originated on September 4, 1870, the day of the proclamation of the Third Republic, with a speech by Bishop Fournier attributing the defeat of French troops during the Franco-Prussian War to a divine punishment after “a century of moral decline” since the French Revolution, in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following that revolution.” Reading the rest of the history in that article reminds me of how closely tied religions and governments have been in many countries and how much I appreciate religious freedom and tolerance of diversity that are codified in the American constitution. (No matter how badly people and politicians might mangle the practice of the idea.)


It was quite the hike to just get to the base of the Basilica, but every view and every plateau was a reward.

img_4942“Sacré-Cœur is built of travertine stone quarried in Château-Landon(Seine-et-Marne), France. This stone constantly exudes calcite, which ensures that the basilica remains white even with weathering and pollution.”

img_4939“A mosaic in the apse, entitled Christ in Majesty, created by Luc-Olivier Merson, is among the largest in the world.”

img_4943“Though today the Basilica is asserted[5][when?] to be dedicated in honor of the 58,000 who lost their lives during the war, the decree of the Assemblée nationale, 24 July 1873, responding to a request by the archbishop of Paris by voting its construction, specifies that it is to “expiate the crimes of the Commune“.[6] Montmartre had been the site of the Commune’s first insurrection, and the Communards had executed Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, who became a martyr for the resurgent Catholic Church”

img_4945The climb up to the top is long…

img_4946But there are surprises you would never be able to see from below.

img_4950Beautiful and rewarding glimpses all along the way.



making the world a better place: my Rare Bear story

kinard_rare_bear3The cloth for this bear is very subtly dyed then screen printed with an image of the handwritten notation of a fiddle tune collected by a folklorist in the Appalachian mountains. This cloth was also used as the background for Bach Suite I, my favorite quilt creation so far. It features a hand painted cello with the same wings as my bear… beautifully patterned but tattered and worn. 
There is something soaring and soulful about the imagery of tattered wings. Perhaps they still fly, perhaps not. If you are a musician you know that the appearance or age of the instrument does not determine the beauty of the music it produces. It is the soul and the struggle of the hand that touches it, joined with the skill of the craftsman who created the instrument that creates soaring beauty. It is the support of the teachers who taught the musician and the craftsman. It is all of these people coming together with their talent, their inordinate amounts of time and sacrifice, to share the music that uplifts us and soars.
Even a battered old instrument can produce soaring melodies with the touch of a master.
The children who suffer from rare diseases have bodies who might feel broken and tattered like the wings of this bear, but their souls are touched by dedicated masters. Their parents, their doctors, the researchers and also those who contribute funds so that research can take place – they are all masters that struggle and labor and sacrifice so that these souls, the precious souls can have a chance to live and perhaps have the chance to share the song of their futures with a world that needs their beauty.

I hope that you will participate in the


You can see all the bears posted thus far at the link above.
The auction will be held both on-line and in person at the
International Quilt Festival in Houston TX
November 2 – 6, 2016


If you will be in Houston you are invited to join us at the  Beary RARE Affair!  Stuff a RARE Bear for a RARE kid, Meet Celebrity Quilters and get a chance to win a Simply Red BERNINAand many other gifts!

making the world a better place: rare science

I’d like to introduce you to a little project I was invited to be a part of. RARE Science works directly with patient families and foundations to find more immediate therapeutic solutions for children with rare diseases. Sweet little Teddy Bears are sewn then donated to children with rare diseases. In this case, a number of artists have created some very special bears to raise funds for researchimg_7558
This year RARE Science is partnering with TQS (and a number of other great organizations) to bring you… the FIRST Ever Celebrity RARE Bear Auction!  This is your opportunity to own a signed bear made by the quilt world’s most talented artists while helping a great cause.img_7561_srgb

  • Bears will be on display at Houston in the RARE Science booth. Can’t make it to Houston, not a problem.  You can bid on your favorite bear via the online auction.img_7562_srgb
  • Not interested in the auction, that’s ok.  But, we would love for you to vote for your favorites when the time comes.  More about that later



  • But wait, there’s more…Have you heard about the Beary RARE Affair?  Stuff a RARE Bear for a RARE kid, Meet Celebrity Quilters and get a chance to win a Simply Red BERNINAand many other gifts!


I hope you will participate in the auction – either online or in person at the International Quilt Festival November 2 – 6 in Houston, TX.

travel: paris – palais garnier, tapestries

Last one I promise. My favorite part of the Palais Garnier (Paris Grand Opera) was a lobby that had exquisite tapestries on the walls. Busts of famous balerinas and singers and composers were also on display. Maybe I was drawn to the tapestries because they are textiles – but I also love that they had a little bit of empty space in the compositions. They felt a bit Art Nouveau to me.





paris_grande_opera_33One interesting bit of information. I think I remember listening to the audio tour and it mentioning that ballerinas had to have “patrons”. They were paid so little, regardless of their fame, that they had to find a “sponsor.” As a result of this, they were looked upon as little better than prostitutes because the sponsors were men (of course) that, well, you know… expected certain favors in return for their financial patronage. Of course, the famous men as composers needed patrons too but didn’t have the same reputation. I’m hoping that, at least, has changed in our world. 

travel: paris – palais garnier, opera

They were rehearsing when we visited the Opera so we only had a quick moment to view the auditorium and see the Chagal glass in the dome/skylight. And we couldn’t take pictures. But it was pretty cool to watch the ballet dancer, a guy, dance like a chicken with more and more intensity as driven by the director. I do believe now the Palais Garner is the home of the Paris Ballet and the Opera lives over in a much newer but also large-and-built-to-impress building.paris_grande_opera_34We couldn’t go in, but we did see famous door to box number 5 where the Phantom of the Opera played Mr. Creepy Stalker.

paris_grande_opera_27The library was heaven. I love this place and want it in my home. Those folks are looking in on models of sets from various famous productions.

paris_grande_opera_35If I knew my opera better I’d probably be able to tell you what opera this was.


Downstairs they had my favorites – costumes!!!paris_grande_opera_17

travel: paris – palais garnier, looking up, looking down

paris_grande_opera_23looking up

paris_grande_opera_25looking down






paris_grande_opera_30down (now this… I looooooove!)

paris_grande_opera_27UP… love this too. The guard didn’t love the way I took the picture though. 😀

travel: paris – palais garnier

I’m still going through pictures from last year’s trip to Paris and Greece. My daughter and I saw a lot of french architecture that I call Geschmukte. I think I might have made up that word. Baroque. Palaces that were soaring mirrored places for kings and queens and nobility as narcissistic as a certain current political candidate.paris_grande_opera_01

The Grande Opera in Paris was my favorite of the buildings in this category we toured. Perhaps because it was centered around the arts rather than a ruler made it more palatable. Or perhaps I actually found beauty here and there in the details. All together it was a little much (understatement for sure!). It’s like leaving some negative space in your artwork or in your quilting. Someplace for the eye to rest accentuates the details that you want to stand out.

paris_grande_opera_03The entire place is a stage. The grand staircase with balcony after balcony that allowed for society to present and to view itself is a stage. 

paris_grande_opera_06I love taking it in just a piece at a time. It is the same as good design in gardening – my favorite being creating paths for the eyes and rooms to experience. In a place like this that is overwhelming with detail I like to pull in and look at smaller views.

paris_grande_opera_12I love this beautiful statue, the Pythia of Delphi, sculpted by Adele d’Affray under the male pseudonym of Marcello. 

paris_grande_opera_13You can’t look up or down or sideways in this building without being bombarded by decoration. Sometimes a small bit of that decoration can be amazing! I’m glad I’m not in charge of cleaning this place.

paris_grande_opera_10One of the lobbies.

paris_grande_opera_09But if you zero in and look a little closer….. there are delights everywhere you look.


Creative Collaborative Collage

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
John Cotton Dana

I’m brave enough to call myself an artist, but I wonder sometimes. I don’t sell much of my art and most of what money I do make comes from teachingTeaching (and all of the development, preparation, marketing, contract negotiations, traveling, etc. etc. etc.) takes up a LOT of time I could be spending in the studio making art.

So why do I teach?

I’ve thought about that quite a bit. One of the main reasons I teach is because I love my students. I learn as much from my students as they teach me. I learn from my students every time I am in the room with them.

As an instructor, it’s imperative to stimulate people to think…
ask questions… the right questions…  
Bonnie Mandoe

When I read this quote it clarifies the way I love to teach. I want to empower my students with the ability to continue what they have learned in class without my presence. I want to make myself unnecessary. I want them to be able to think and play and to  analyze and explore.

Creative Collaborative Collage

…is one of my favorite classes that helps my students to think on their own. It is heavy on PLAY and EXPLORE, a perfect romp through a few of the elements and principles of art. It is a chance to goof off with friends you know and friends you haven’t met yet! It is a safe environment to make a mess and take chances. We will make a stack of small and unique collaborative art postcards following my whimsical and wild directions for you to take home and share with friends. It’s really more of a party with fabric than a class.

I’ll be teaching it on Friday afternoon November the 4th in Houston at the International Quilt Festival. It is the perfect time to take a break from walking the floor, sit down, and play with fabric. (The supply list is ridiculously easy – simply throw a bunch of your scraps and maybe a solid fat quarter into a quart sized zip-baggie and grab a pair of scissors!) You know you want to come don’t you!

sign up now for
(class #577)

There are still spots available but don’t wait too long – classes fill fast!

If you have a friend that will be attending IQF this year, I’d LOVE IT if you could forward this note to them. It really is a class where “the more the merrier” applies!

and the winner is…..


Congratulations to Lynne P. !!!!

You’ve won a copy of Deborah Boschert’s book!

If you didn’t win – I highly recommend this book. You can purchase it here on Amazon.

Or if you really love the artist – Deborah has signed copies available in her Etsy shop. As a thank you for buying the book directly from her, she is giving away pieces of original surface designed fabrics with the first 50 sales. Here’s the etsy link. (And did you know – when you order from Amazon the author gets pennies. If you have the option ALWAYS buy directly from the artist.) 


new work: dance 3


Dance III
5″ x 7″ 3/4″




new work: dance 2


Dance II
5″ x 7″ x 3/4″




tutorial: doodle to thermofax ready image – digital editing

I love doodling in my sketchbook. This sketchbook is definitely not a work of art – it’s my WORK place. Most of what’s in there is an ugly mess and I don’t care. But some of the doodles have potential as thermofax screens.

This one for instance.


Picture taken with iPhone while doodle was still in sketchbook.

Now if I wanted to turn this into a great screen it would need some work. I need a stark black and white digital image so that I can print it out on my laser printer that uses the right carbon based toner that will burn through the emulsion on the fabric mesh when I run it through my thermofax machine.

See how the page is shadowed at one corner and brighter at another corner? That’s not going to work.

It is also hard to keep the image from key-stoning when you take a photo with your phone or camera. See how the image is distorted in the upper left corner? It leans in and isn’t square? The sketch itself isn’t that way – just the photo.

How to fix that?



Scan of doodle cut out of sketchbook so it will lay flat.

You can see the difference in this image where the lighting is perfectly even and the photo is square. When you scan your image please pay attention to the following.

RESOLUTION: scan at 300 dpi because you are concerned with print quality – not screen quality. 72 is standard for an image that you look at on your screen but is not high enough for a clear crisp print.

FILE TYPE: JPG will be the easiest to work with in a digital editing project. If your piece needs no cropping and is already in black and white a PDF might do as well.

COMPRESSION: when you scan your image, then save it, make sure that you do not compress the file further. At some point when you go to save you will see a quality slider similar to the one below. Make sure you drag the slider all the way to 12 – which is the maximum quality.


Now – make a copy or duplicate of your image and lets get busy. You always do that right? That way if you make a mess of things (I often do) you can start back with your original file.


No shades of grey. No creme paper. No shadows. When the thermofax machine burns through the emulsion coating the fabric screen the grey areas of the screen may or may not burn all the way through. The best way to have a clean image for your print is to have a clearly black and white image to send to me. If you are starting with a lower quality photo such as the first one in this post, I’ll show you how to clean it up.

These instructions will work with pretty much any digital editing program. I’ve used Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Gimp as well as a few others. If you can’t find the tools I mention in exactly the same place just open your program and type the tool name in the HELP box at the top. Most of the programs will give you an arrow pointing to where that tool is located.


thermo_sizing_tute02_brightnessFind wherever your programs Brightness/Contrast controls are hiding and give it a click. Up will pop a window with two sliders.

thermo_sizing_tute04Play around with the sliders until you can see that the image is as bright white and dark black as you can get it without losing parts of your image.


thermo_sizing_tute02_levelsI also often play around with Levels instead of brightness/contrast.  This is the most complex of the three methods but it isn’t a big deal. Remember that  control+Z is your best friend. It is the UNDO button. 

thermo_sizing_tute05There are three sliders in the levels window to play with. I’m certainly not a photoshop expert so I’m not sure I can explain to you why these work or how – but they do. First I mess with the slider on the right under that funky mountain graph looking thingy. It usually makes the white background whiter as I move it to the left. Next I work with the middle slider. This one is more fiddly – I move it back and forth until I’m happy with how black my blacks are. Sometimes I mess with the far left slider but not often. 

Again – just play around as see what you get.


thermo_sizing_tute02_thresholdThe last and sometimes quickest tool to use is the Threshold filter. It’s also the tool that is hidden in different places in every digital editing program so you might need to type it into the Help bar to find it.

It’s quick and easy but it isn’t always the best at keeping all the details you want. Let me show you.

thermo_sizing_tute06There is only one slider to play with and you get ALL black and white immediately. You need to slide the little pointy button back and forth though. I really didn’t want all that shadowing on the upper right to show up.

thermo_sizing_tute07So slide that slidy slider around and see what happens. In this case – moving it around too far got rid of the shadows but lost some of the lighter circles in a different part of the doodle. Again – play until you are happy with what you have.

thermo_sizing_tute01Here is a middling image that doesn’t have any messy bits and has enough of the circles intact to make me happy. What do you think?

Now you have a stark black and white image.

Remember – there is no rule saying that you can’t try all three in conjunction. Sometimes I boost the Brightness/Contrast then go straight to the Threshold filter.

Now – it might be the case that you see some messy flecks and dots that are bugging you. Anything on that page (I recommend you print out your image so you can see what you are going to get in the finished screen) is going to show up.

We can fix that.

Hunt around for your eraser tool. Remember that HELP box up at the top of your control menu can find it for you.


You will need to size your eraser, and decide the “hardness” of the tool.thermo_sizing_tute14

I needed my eraser to be small enough not to erase any of my circles so it was set quite small on this file. Remember that if you accidentally erase something you wanted to keep you can click control (or command) Z – or Edit/Undo to, well, undo what you just did.

Hardness controls whether the edges of your eraser are hard or a little fuzzy. With a black and white image I like a hard edge.

Click and slide and work your image until you’ve erased all the flecks and specks and you like what you’ve got.



I strongly recommend you also check out my tutorial on SIZING so that when you send your image to me to be made into a thermofax screen you get exactly what you want.



Book Review and Giveaway: Art Quilt Collage

I introduced you to Deborah Boschert yesterday.
Now I’d like to introduce you to her first book.

Art Quilt Collage


I saw this and had to giggle because I know exactly what she’s feeling…. CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S HERE!!
Writing a book is a ton of work. You write and organize and write and make artwork for months.
Then all kinds of things happen with the editors. Then things get quiet. Then – IT ARRIVES! Look at how tight her fingers are on that book – you just know she is standing still for the picture just bursting like a puppy dog ready to jump all over the place!!!!

And this book is a sweet thing of beauty. There are all the usual art quilt chapters on supplies, construction techniques, and finishing. But i also has intriguing chapters on personal symbols, inspiration, and my favorite:

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 6.55.29 AM

 Deborah and I had a little chat about my favorite chapter in her book that you can watch here.

 You can order her book on Amazon here

Or if you really love the artist – Deborah has signed copies available in her Etsy shop. As a thank you for buying the book directly from her, she is giving away pieces of original surface designed fabrics with the first 50 sales. Here’s the etsy link. (And did you know – when you order from Amazon the author gets pennies. If you have the option ALWAYS buy directly from the artist.)
I will also be giving away a copy of the book on Sept 30th!
In order to enter the giveaway contest you need to leave a comment here on this blog. Make sure I have a way to contact you! I’ll pull a name from a hat on the morning of the 30th.
Tell me:

What is your most difficult issue with design?

You can learn about other chapters of the book and enter a comment for a chance to win a copy of Deborah’s book on each of these blogs until September 30th.
Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch
Book Release Blog Hop with Video Chats!
September 19: C&T Publishing and Editor Lynn Koolish
September 20: Teri Lucas, Generation Q Magazine
September 21: Susan Brubaker Knapp
September 22: Sue Bleiweiss
September 23: Lyric Kinard
September 26: Lori Kennedy
September 27: Maria Shell
September 28: Jane LaFazio
September 29: Judy Coates Perez
September 30: Melanie Testa

New Work: dance 1


Dance I
5″ x 7″ x  3/4″





Artist Spotlight: Deborah Boschert

I’d like to introduce you to a friend and favorite artist of mine.DeborahBoschertwebsite

Deborah Boschert is a mixed media/quilt artist from Texas who is one of those people that you can’t help but like. She is sweet – in the REAL sort of way where you just know that she thinks and feels things deeply and cares about people. I love following her real life adventures on Facebook.

websiteWaning-Cresent-Meditation1Waning Crescent Meditation by Deborah Boschert
60 x 24 inches

I also love the way she layers commercial and hand printed cloth, machine and hand stitching. Her color combinations are usually quiet with just enough spark and contrast to draw me in. There is something peaceful and intriguing about her work and you can tell there is a personal symbolism being used.

greenbowlwebsiteGreen Bowl by Deborah Boschert
40 x 40 inches

This sweet little piece is part of my own personal collection.
IMG_7548Horizon Embraced by Deborah Boshchert8 x 8 inches

You can read more about Deborah at her website.

And stay tuned! On the 23rd I’ll introduce you to her new book and have a copy to give away!

Copyright Free Photos: The New York Public Library

I’ve posted articles before about sources for Copyright Free photos and thought I’d share the most recent rabbit hole I’ve disappeared into. 

The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Another amazing resource full of photos, manuscripts, books, maps…. be still my beating heart. And here is a wonderful feature… on the home page there is a magic little search box with another magic little click box beneath it. See that??? You can narrow down your search to public domain materials with one click.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.19.49 PM

I am a super softie for historic photos – especially those capturing traditional dress of the cultures of the world. Textiles, clothes, real people from parts of the world. Your ancestors. My ancestors. I love being reminded that America is an entire nation of immigrants. When we are honest about it Native Americans are the only people on this continent who didn’t arrive from somewhere else (in the last 550 years or so) looking for something better.


Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.08.44 PM

Pay close attention to the green box here. See that bar along the bottom? It says “free to use without restriction.” Magic words my friends.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.08.55 PM

These pieces are all from a collection titled Portrais of Immigrants at Ellis Island, New York.

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47da-dc99-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wGuadeloupe Woman by Augustus Sherman

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47da-dca0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wRussian Cossacks by Augustus Sherman

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47da-dc98-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wScottish Boys by Augustus Sherman

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47de-79d7-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wDutch Children by Augustus Sherman

Join me in at the international quilt festival!

Registration is open for Houston!

The International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX is what I call the biggest slumber party in the world! Want to come play with me?
Thu Nov 3
2-5 pm
471 Mixed Media Forum
Photos + Foil = Fun!
Fri Nov 4
541 Surface Design Samplerkinard_print_paint_play218
Fri Nov 4
577 Creative Collaborative Collage
Sat Nov 5
740 Saturday Sampler
Beautiful Beaded Blooms

Sat Nov 5
765 Bead It Like You Mean ItIMG_4652


Click HERE to register now.

save the dates! some very special opportunities to study with me

There are only a few spots left for
Craft Napa
January 12 – 15, 2017
Napa California
The newest adventure from Pokey bolton, the creator of Quilting Arts Magazine and TV. Spaces are filling fast – one of my classes is full but there is still space available in Abstract-A-Licious (a fabulous class that teaches easy design skills that help you to come up with your own unique abstract designs). Space is also available in Creative Collaborative Collage, a fast paced event where merriment and mayhem ensue with a little learning thrown in for good measure.
Save the Date
Pro Chemical and Dye
August 7 – 12, 2017
Fall River, MA
Join me for a very special 5 day class!
Five days of delving deeply into paint and learning some serious design skills along the way. A luxurious amount of time! You deserve this!

student spotlight: abstract-a-licious with the victoria quilt guild

These are from quite a while ago – but still some of my favorites. The designs that students come up with in my Abstract-A-Licious class are always unique, original, and intriguing.FullSizeRender-29



FullSizeRender-32 FullSizeRender-35

travels: marjorie park, greenwood colorado

In Marjorie Park, the same sculpture park as the Alice in Wonderland sculptures I enjoyed some quiet time inside of Weidenblume, a sculptural arbor made of living willows.
weidenblume_lgIn 2010 it was created by German atelier Sanfte Strukturen led by Marcel Kalberer. Five years on it looks a little different. Look for the metal birds roosting…

And a couple other sculptures I found interesting…

Winged Lion of St. Mark: maker unknown. “This winged lion holding a scroll symbolizes the Venetian Republic’s power on land and sea. In religious iconography, the lion is commonly composed next to St. Mark the Evangelist, and remains an evangelical symbol. St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice and his emblem is the winged lion, equipped with a sword and a scroll, which reads “Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus (Peace to You Oh Mark My Evangelist). This reproduction is inspired by the original (15th century), which sits on top of the clock tower in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy.”

by George Lundeen


Artist and date unknown. “A chimera is a beast with a lion’s head and body, a second head of a goat, and serpent’s tail. This horrific monster is present in mythological imagery dating back before Christ. This Etruscan Chimera is a replica of a 16th Century sculpture located in Florence, Italy. Chimera is focused, ready to pounce, its beautiful silhouette contrasting its strong musculature details. Its mane, horns, claws, and sharp teeth are finely crafted, and the whole presence enforces its intent to frighten away evil forces.”

I just look at the poor fellow and think he’s sayinging, “SUCH a pain in the neck!!!”

Scissors to – Abstract-a-licious

How fun is this!? A few of the audience members that watched the Quilt Show taping a couple weeks ago went home and did the scissors-to-abstract exercise!image imageLOVE IT!!!!

thanks for sharing with me!

new work: sisters – bubbling up (or help me find a better title!)


This piece was begun and set aside almost 10 years ago but it was time to take it out and put it together. It sprang from a trip where laughter bubbled continually and effortlessly. 

2005vsisters4Back then I had far fewer “natural highlights” in my hair. This past summer the entire family was together again. Again there was much laughter – but after ten years there were far more burdens than there were then. I want to remember that carefree time. These are some of the people in this world that I love and admire the most. Everyone in my family lives very far away from each other. We miss each other a lot.



Life is still good. There is still laughter and love.

(Bubbles is a terrible title.
Help me figure out a better one!)

an ode to summer

Summer is winding down. The kids have gone back to school and we’ve actually had a few days that weren’t unbearably hot and humid here in NC. I’m loving and appreciating what a wonderful summer it was. Preserving memories.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.58.34 PMSpending a week surrounded by ALL the people I love most in the world.

Painted in WaterlogueSeeing wide open skies and fields full of ripening crops.

The_PosseDriving and ATV for the first time.

Preset Style = Bold Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Heavy Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = High Contrast Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Blurry Water Bleed = Average Brush = Fine Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Medium Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Medium Options Faces = Enhance Faces

Cherries. Cherries. Cherries. Cherries. Cherries.
Cherries don’t grown in NC so I made batch after batch of compote while we were in ID.

IMG_5282Being surrounded my memories of childhood.
My siblings and I wrote a book full of memories of growing up Montgomery.
A gift for my parents 50th anniversary.
(Check out Storyworth if you want to do the same thing.)

IMG_5525More time with family – driving across OR with my sisters family.

IMG_5526A full weekend watching Drum and Bugle Corp Competitions.
This was spotted somewhere in Oregon, the competitions were in Pennsylvania.
The instruments on the barn are not Bugles. It’s OK.

IMG_6491Turning off the TV to find peace.

IMG_7410And finally back home. There is beauty here too.

for your inspiration: alice’s adventures in wonderland

On my recent jaunt through the Denver, Colorado area I spent most of my time in Centennial in a rather business-centric part of town. I had an hour or two to roam and perused Yelp, TripAdvisor, and RoadTrippers to see what was close by and discovered the Madden Museum of Art. Unfortunately as soon as I got into my car my week’s worth of sleepless nights caught up with me and I found myself at the hotel instead for a blissful nap.


Once awake I made my way to the museum but phone calls interrupted and time was short and in walking by I discovered a small outdoor sculpture park full of delightful sculptures by Harry Marinsky celebrating Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

IMG_7492“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

IMG_7493“”There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents, and only one for birthday presents, you know.”

IMG_7495“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
(Why do I so strongly identify with this quote as a woman/mother/business owner?)

IMG_7498You are old, Father William, the young man said,
And your hair has become very white:
And yet you incessantly stand on your head – 
Do you think at your age that is right?

In my youth, Father William replied to his son,
I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why I do it again and again.

filming for The Quilt Show in denver, co


Last week I hopped a plane and several hours later walked into a gorgeous big beautiful sky and MY mountains over there in the distance. Denver isn’t quite the same as growing up in the Salt Lake Valley with the Rocky Mountains right there in your back yard. Denver feels like it is in Kansas and the mountains are waaaaaay over there. But they are beautiful all the same. And the dry air compared to the steamy sauna that passes for summer here in NC can’t be beat.

IMG_7450I had the serious honor (well – one can never be too serious when Alex and Ricky are in the room!) of being invited back to The Quilt Show; this time to their studio rather than out on location. For those of you who missed it the first time I filmed in Charleston and Asheville. I’ll stick in a links list at the bottom of this post… I had too much fun revisiting those travels and you might enjoy them as well.

IMG_7419This was my first time on set with a “LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE!!!” That was a hoot. Yes the audience is there – and it is alive and breathing. But they have to hold still and breathe quietly while actual filming is happening. And there are a bank of huge cameras between what is going on set and the people watching – so they actually only see what you are doing on the big screen TV’s that are on either side. I like to ham it up and play with people so I did a lot of pretending that I could see them.

IMG_7430It was funny that after the filming is all done, they turn the cameras around and film the audience having different responses to what happened previously on set. They would be directed to belly laugh or nod or chuckle or simply “look really attentively” at – something – usually something silly in Justin’s hand, like a marker.

IMG_7435What was just as fascinating to me was sitting in the control room for a few segments – watching various people do invisible jobs that make the show look great. There are sound and lighting engineers with ranks and ranks of buttons. A Camera engineer who watches the action and tries to keep up with which shot will best show what is going on. I’m told I move a little to quickly on camera and I tried, really I did, to slow down. Shelley, the producer watches closely to make sure everything makes sense and flows and a note taker writes as fast as she can so that they can shoot all the right pick-ups and put them in all the right places. It’s really cool to see what is going on behind the scenes to make those things all work out seamlessly as you watch the screen.

For those of you who wish to further procrastinate whatever it is you really should be doing right now….

Charleston, SC – The Angel Oak
Charleston, SC – Architecture
The Quilt Show – Magnolia Plantation History
The Quilt Show – behind the scenes at the Magnolia Plantation and Pt 2
The Quilt Show – on location at Magnolia Plantation
The Quilt Show – prep time and the art of slogging

travel: greece – the water in katakolo

Spring of 2015 was one of the most amazing times of my life. My daughter Avia and I traveled in Paris and Greece. I managed to blog about part of our time in Paris (you can peruse those photos here – lots of museums, lots of food, lots of cathedrals!) Then life got crazy again and hasn’t stopped. Today I’m practicing the ultimate in procrastination and avoidance of a serious deadline and am reminiscing about our time in Greece.Katakalo_beach07
It’s a billion degrees hot with humidity like a steam room here in North Carolina. I’m taking a morning to remember the glorious azure waters of the southern mainland of Greece… the cool crispness of the water and the dry heat of the air. Enjoy this little video while I get back to work.

We visited before the Syrian Refugee crisis took over. I wonder what it was like the rest of the summer. And I wonder where all of those people who have suffered so much are now. The Greek people have the biggest hearts. Even suffering their own economic straights they welcomed those who have and continue to suffer beyond belief. I love them.

I looked up some current facts through MercyCorps if you are interested… 

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