and the winner is…..

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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.) 

 

Book Review: Colorful Fabric Collage by Sue Bleiweiss

So not only is my crazy Thermofax 101 blog hop (are you entirely bored of it yet!?!) almost through, but this is the last stop on the blog hop review of Sue Bleiweiss‘ new book:

TA DA!!!

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Gotta say – I’ve loved every project Sue has been involved in so I knew going in that her book would turn out great! The first chunk of the book is all about the techniques she uses in her wonderful and whimsical artwork. She covers sketching, dying cloth (I learned a couple of different ideas from her methods that I hadn’t used before!) fusing, quilting, and embellishing. Each topic is covered with clarity and in enough depth to be able to understand and proceed with her process.IMG_1094
 
I have a little project in the book. It’s a little on the “different” side for ways to use fusible web.
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For this piece, I laid some Misty-Fuse on a piece of crumpled then smoothed parchment and painted it with watered down purple acrylic and blue paints. After the paint dries I lift it off of the messed up parchment and sandwiched it between two layers of a teflon pressing sheet. I then ironed it to smooth it out, waited for it to cool, then cut and tore this sheet of fusible paint into the shape I was looking for.
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I fused it down to my quiltlet (this piece is 12″ x 12″) then did another strange but very fun thing. I put the teflon pressing sheet on top, ironed it to heat up the fusible web, quickly pulled of the pressing sheet and laid down a piece of foil. I quickly (but carefully – you don’t want to burn yourself) rubbed a few areas with my thumb to adhere the foil in a few places over the web. Let that cool then lift the foil sheet and there you go.
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And you know me – I can’t resist beads so of course I had to add some of those as well for added texture. (If you are interested in purchasing this piece send me a quick email.)
 
Enough about my crazy ideas, back to Sue’s book. There are a lucky 13 projects in the back of this book for those of you who love to work with patterns! The only reason I don’t use patterns (I love them) is because I dan’t focus long enough to read directions. Her directions are great!
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So – would I recommend this book? Absolutely!
 
To add to the fun, Sue is giving away a prize package that includes a book, a stack of 10″ squares of her hand dyed fabric, some spools of Aurifil thread and a package of Mistyfuse.  The book will ship directly from Interweave so International commenters will receive an electronic version of the book and not a hard copy. May 15 drawing – all comments left on all of the blogs during the hop will be eligible.giveawaypack1That’s a very short time frame so get busy and revisit each of these blogs and leave a comment for your chance to win! I wish you the best of luck!!!
 
May 4: Sue Bleiweiss: http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/
May 4: Jamie Fingal :http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5: Leslie Tucker Jenison: http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/
May 6: Terri Stegmiller : http://stegart.blogspot.com/
May 7: Deborah Boschert : http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/
May 8: Desiree Habicht : http://myclothesline.blogspot.com/
May 9: Kathy Sperino : http://finishinglinesbyksperino.blogspot.com/
May 10: Barb Forrister : http://www.barbforrister.com/blog/
May 11 Kathy York : http://www.aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com/
May 12: Lyric Kinard : http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/

Thermofax 101 according to Melanie and Jane

The things Melanie Testa does with freezer paper resist and layering images…. IMG_0401

Well, she makes my heart beat faster whenever I take a peek. She goes into detail about what she likes on the Thermofax 101 DVD as well, which I greatly appreciate. You can read her review here.

Jane Davila has been a favorite artist of mine for ages as well and I was so happy when she agreed to review a copy of the DVD. You can read her review here.PC-bee

Did you know Judy Gula and Jane will both be teaching in a few weeks at the Quilters Unlimited show, the biggest and best show in the DC area. You can see a complete list of the classes that they are teaching on the QU website. 

So head over and see what Melly and Jane have to say. Leave comments on their blogs for chances to win.

Next up in the giveaway line up are:

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey
May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com
May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

 

Scroll down to check out the previous reviews and to see if they still have giveaways open. And if you can’t wait and are dying to play with some custom made screens of your own, or want to check out the ready made screens I offer – just follow the links.

Thermofax 101: the party continues

The reviews are pouring in. Are you curious about the technique yet! Want to play along?Thermofax_cover_web800pxh

And if you want to play right away you can order the DVD here, and Thermofax Screens here!

These reviews still have giveaways open… Have you gone over to take a look and leave a comment for your chance to win yet?

April 25 Leslie Tucker Jenison http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com
April 28 Sue Bleiweiss http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30 Judy Gula http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/image

Check out the wonderful classes they offer at Artistic Artifacts, one of my favorite shops ever!

May 1 Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/image

Sue and Elizabeth do great work, teach wonderful classes, and have a THERMOFAX service. 

May 2 Judy Coates Perez http://www.judycoatesperez.comimage

See what she does using thermoFAX screens and DeColorant!

May 4 Linda Stokes www.lindastokes-textileartist.comimage

Linda, a fabulous Aussie artist has done some wonderful things with a masking technique that I can’t wait to try out!

Upcoming reviews – remeber that each and every review is having a giveaway!
May 5 Jane Davila http://janedavila.blogspot.com
May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/
May 7 Liz Kettle http://www.textileevolution.com

Thermofax 101 with Sue Bleiweiss, Cheryl Rezendes

Today it’s Sue Bleiweiss’ turn to review Thermofax 101. Did you see her recent episode on The Quilt Show? She is fantastic and I love her work. (And she used thermofax screens in her episode there!) I’ll b reviewing her latest book here soon.me_lr29

In order to win her giveaway copy of
Thermofax 101: screen printing made easy
you have to leave a comment on her blog. Be creative and tell her what you love about her work! Be specific. Surprise her with the acuity of your comments. 😉 

Sue Bleiweiss Blog

 

Cheryl Rezendes also reviewed the DVD.Cher

I reviewed her book a while ago – still love it. Can you figure out how she made me blush? It involves the word “adorable.” and yes, she is having a giveaway too.

 

Thermofax 101: Leslie tucker Jenison

imageToday is Leslie Tucker Jenison’s turn to review my Thermofax 101 DVD. She has some great tips that I will use going forward – strapping tape! You’ll have to go there to see what she uses it for. image

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She will be giving away a DVD to someone commenting on her blog. Best of luck!

Thermofax 101 DVD blog hop and giveaways!

ready, set, GO!

Here we go – review copies are out – people are playing and we are ready to have a party! I’ll be giving away a copy of my DVD at every, single one of these blogs so be sure to stop by and check out what these fabulous artists are creating. Leave comments and share the news with your friends!
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And if you want to play right away you can order the DVD here, and Thermofax Screens here.

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez  http://www.cherylrezendes.com

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com  

April 28  Sue Bleiweiss  http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30  Judy Gula  http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/

May 1  Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson  http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/

May 2  Judy Coates Perez  http://www.judycoatesperez.com

May 4  Linda Stokes  www.lindastokes-textileartist.com

May 5  Jane Davila  http://janedavila.blogspot.com

May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com

May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com

May 12  Desiree Habicht  http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

May 13  Jamie Fingal  http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

May 14  Deborah Boschert  http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

May 15  Sarah Ann Smith  sarahannsmith.com/weblog

quilting arts TV blog hop

Welcome to the Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop! We are celebrating the start of series 1400 with a little bit of fun from most of the guests for the season. I hope you’ve had the chance to stop by lots of the other blogs to see what everyone is up to.

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This wasn’t my first time filming for the show so it was much more relaxed, knowing what to expect before I got there. The exciting part was to come in at the end of a long week of filming and watch the shows new hostess, my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp, just soaring. It’s an incredibly difficult job and she was a natural at it! (Yes, I miss Pokey, but she has other exciting things up her sleeve my friends – just you wait!!!) Don’t you love how Susan and I could be sisters? We kind of feel like we are… oh and here is some great news. We will be teaching a retreat together again next year! If you want to know more as information becomes available sign up for my newsletter. (There is a sign-up box up there on the right.)

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IMG_8492Another wonderfully fun thing is to walk into the studio and see FRIENDS! Sarah Ann Smith and Jane Sassaman filmed on the same day I did.

They film the entire season (plus a few episodes for series 15) in one week. That’s a lot of people in and out of the studio. That’s also a LOT of wardrobe changes for the hostess. They film according to when the guests can get there, not linearly, so Susan actually has a chart with pictures and notes (make sure you have the right jewelry with the right blouse) and she has to run and change between most segments. 

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Do I look a little shell shocked here? Who knows what I was doing…. probably listening to the producer, or talking. My hands are never still when I’m talking. If you want a little peek at what I’ll be showing look for Episode 1402, Groovy Gifts. I’ll be constructing a sweet little sketchbook cover. What you don’t see in this picture is that I had a stack of “step-outs.” Those are the same project repeated in various stages of completion so that you can do that magic oven thing. You know where they put the ingredients in the pan in the oven and immediately pull out the finished product?

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It’s a good thing I really like the project as I have about 8 of the finished covers now.
WANT ONE?
(you know you do!)
I’m going to give away one of the finished sketchbooks to one of YOU!

You need to leave a comment HERE telling me what and who you want to see on QATV.

I’ll pick a winner on Saturday morning – so please make sure to leave me a way to contact you.

Lyric_Art_SketchbooksAnd in case you just can’t wait
I’ve listed three of the other finished sketchbooks in my Etsy shop
available for you to purchase. 

And make sure to check out the following links for the blog hop!

July 18: Vivika DeNegre at quiltingdaily.com

July 19: Luana Rubin (luanarubin.typepad.com)/Linda Friedman (lindasartquilts.blogspot.com)

July 20: Sarah Ann Smith (sarahannsmith.com/weblog)/Karen Gloeggler (thejaneaustenquilt.com)

July 21: Carrie Bloomston (suchitysuch.blogspot.com/ Cath
erine Redford (catherineredford.com)

July 22: Sue Reno (suereno.blogspot.com)/ Rebekah Meier (rebekahmeier.com)

July 23: Lyric Kinard (lyrickinard.com/blog) / Margie Ullery (ribboncandyquilts.blogspot.com)

July 24: Cheryl Sleboda (muppin.com/wordpress/) / Jane Sassaman (janesassaman.com/weblog)/ Julie Creus (http://todera.blogspot.com/)

July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (bluemoonriver.blogspot.com)


You can buy the DVD set here if you just can’t wait for every episode to air!

Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop

In celebration of QUILTING ARTS TV new season with a brand new hostess, the lovely and talented Susan Brubaker Knapp, we are having a blog hop.

1509989_10202438954394093_1484492068_nFind your inner artist and creativity as you pop on over to each link and get a preview of what is coming up this season.

July 18: Vivika DeNegre at quiltingdaily.com

July 19: Luana Rubin (luanarubin.typepad.com)/Linda Friedman (lindasartquilts.blogspot.com)

July 20: Sarah Ann Smith (sarahannsmith.com/weblog)/Karen Gloeggler (thejaneaustenquilt.com)

July 21: Carrie Bloomston (suchitysuch.blogspot.com/ Catherine Redford (catherineredford.com)

July 22: Sue Reno (suereno.blogspot.com)/ Rebekah Meier (rebekahmeier.com)

July 23: Lyric Kinard (lyrickinard.com/blog) / Margie Ullery (ribboncandyquilts.blogspot.com)

July 24: Cheryl Sleboda (muppin.com/wordpress/) / Jane Sassaman (janesassaman.com/weblog)

July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (bluemoonriver.blogspot.com)

(I’ll be giving away something FUN on my day, so make sure to stop by on the 23rd!)

book review: whimsical lettering

Fun times! I have another book to give away to one of my lucky readers. I love it when that happens!12qm26_1

The Art of Whimsical Lettering
By Joanne Sharpe
Interweave/F+W; $24.99

First thoughts – why is a textile artist/quilter reviewing a book about lettering?
This is why.

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I love putting words on and into my art so it was fun to see what Joanne had to say about the subject. I never hold myself to education in just one medium. I look at all kinds of art and am interested in all kinds of art. Lettering is lettering is lettering be it on paper or cloth or canvas. Oh, and the fact that I’m an English major who loves words probably has something to do with it too.

So – a little bit about the book: the first bit describes lots of different pens. Are they waterproof, colored, etc.? It’s an informative place for people like me who love trying out all sorts of marking tools.

IMG_0030The next part of the book is a series of prompts to warm up and explore your materials. She asks the reader to get a composition book and spend time playing. Play write repeat. It is well illustrated with page after page of Joanne’s writing composition book, a glorious mess of eye candy. Sweet with all of its bright colors.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book: Pg 37, Make time for creative “pen play” in your inspiration journal every day. Try different lettering styles with different pens, assorted papers, new colors, and collected materials. Experiment constantly and use the composition book as a “safe zone” for making lettering art with no rules and no judgment. This is the journal where anything goes!

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Pg 42, Let go of your inhibitions and fear of failure. This isn’t formal calligraphy. This is whimsical lettering—creative expressions and exploration of letterforms—using the writing you have harbored and evolved since childhood.

Get into a “pen Zen” or “pen trance” and just write! Pick a favorite pen and write in a designated practice journal for 15 or 20 minutes, in cursive or print, as a warm-up exercise before you begin your lettering art. Write words continuously without picking the pen up off the page. Letter your thoughts without stopping.”

IMG_0032Doesn’t this sound a lot like my 15 minutes of bad art warm up? If you target your warm up play (bad art time) towards a skill that you will be using in that days artwork you will be well prepared to do your best work.

Interweave Press has lots of great mixed media materials to play with and peruse.
If you click on the link below to check them out I get a little kickback. 🙂
Mixed-Media Category

SOOOOO – GIVEAWAY TIME!
Leave a comment here on the blog
(if you get this via email you need to click over to the blog and leave a comment there please)
TELL ME WHAT MEDIA (other than quilts) THAT YOU LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION

I’ll pick a winner on the 25th – which is a long time away – so let your friends know and send them over to check it out as well. US entries only please.

UPDATE:

congratulations to Susan T who is the winner !!!

Book Review and Giveaway – Intentional Printing

Lynn Krawczyk is a fellow screen printing enthusiast and shop owner and a wonderfully talented and generous human being. You can see the artist spotlight I wrote up on her here. I was thrilled to see that she had a book out and snapped it up right away. There are a number of surface design books out there. I think I own almost all of them. I love seeing other artists work and getting a little glimpse into their techniques and especially their decision making process. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter to win a copy of this fabulous book.

Intentional Printing - jacket art

Intentional Printing
By Lynn Krawczyk
Interweave / F+W Media; $26.99
bit.ly/NCGKHb

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Intentional Printing is a delightful combination of techniques, projects, and (my favorite part) process! Lynn guides you through some interesting questions then cheers you on with lovely encouraging words. In fact, I think she and I sing much the same song. If you’ve ever had a class with me you know exactly what I am talking about. Here are a few choice gems from some of the first pages:

PERMISSION TO CHANGE THINGS
“It’s amazing how we so often cling to a way of doing things that we don’t like simply because that’s how we were taught to do it. … Your art making is your time. Do it the way you want to.”

THE PERFECTION MYTH
“It’s OK to make mistakes. In fact, it’s more than okay – it’s necessary. You won’t learn about yourself or your art until you screw things up. Mistakes are the ultimate teacher in everything.”

IMG_9085Now, I don’t usually do projects. I even dislike teaching them. I’d much rather teach techniques so that you have a tool to stick in your own back pocket, ready to pull out when you are ready to bring your own ideas to fruition. But – since I like to print fabric and one of the projects in this book was something I’ve been wanting to put together for a while now anyway, I decided to go for it. Nothing ever really gets done in my studio without a deadline so I gave myself half a day to play and just DO IT!

 

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My house is always full of children and their stuff so I don’t bother truly “decorating” rooms. We spend too much time “living” in rooms to worry about how they look. My dining room, however, is a place that makes me happy. We invite people over (usually whichever family is new in church that week) for dinner at least once or twice a month and this room gets used on a regular basis. I’ve been wanting to make a large table runner type something with that insulated stuff in the middle (whatever they put inside hot pads) so that I can put hot pots right on the table.  It’s a pain to have to pass the hot pot and the trivet along with it when we serve around the table. So here we go.

photo 1First up – Drawing on Fabric. I used the syringe to get the paint into my squeeze bottle. I used Prochem’s textile paint, knowing that since it was transparent it wasn’t going to show up much on the brown kona cotton background after it dried. I’m going for visual texture rather than crisp readability. And it’s been a long time since I’ve drawn with a squeeze bottle. Urg. It took a while of practice to get into the flow of things. Literally. My paint flow was all over the place.  My bottle was hard to squeeze (maybe I need to use the squeeze bottles Lynn recommends eh?) but eventually it got easier.

photo 2Next up – Thermofax Screen Printing. I used opaque paint this time, going for more bold prints. My dishes are all mismatched black, red, or white. My table is both honey and deep walnut brown and my hand dyed napkins are a very deep teal and navy so those are the colors I’m going to put together.

And here is where leaving things to the last minute does me in. That much paint in the scribble writing is going to take overnight to dry and I didn’t start this project far enough in advance. Remember what Lynn said, we learn best from our mistakes. This isn’t a mistake – it’s a learning opportunity that reminds me that paint needs time to dry. (And that deadlines sneak up on a person!)

I’d love it if you came back to visit my blog over the next few days to see things move along. I plan to finish this up tomorrow. In the mean time, please check out the other blogs in the hop and see what wonderful things these talented artists are doing with Lynn’s techniques and projects. Each has a giveaway as well so be sure to leave comments on each blog!

To win a copy of Lynn’s book leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite “mistake” and what you learned from it.

congratulations to WENDY (comment #74 chosen through a random number generator at random.org) who is the lucky winner of Lynn’s book!

But don’t be sad my international friends. Here’s the deal. I am going to give away my review copy as well (since I bought the ebook as soon as it came out!) and will give you the chance to win that one if you are willing to chip in on shipping. I’ll post that giveaway when I finish the table runner. Deal?

book review and giveaway: the adventures of the amazing alphabet

Today I have a book review and giveaway for you.

The delightful Pam Holland is another Australian quilter that I had the pleasure to meet last October at the International Quilt Festival. I love her work, especially her quirky visual sensibilities. She travels extensively – and photographs what she travels extensively.

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The Adventures of the Amazing Alphabet is a quirky sort of book. It is sort of a children’s book and sort of a quilters book. She wrote it bit by bit on airplanes as she travelled, thinking of her grandchildren.  It’s about a little girl who discovers alphabet people down in the basement and fights the magpies to get their heads back.

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It’s odd. Disjointed. Just a tiny bit scary. Sometimes I don’t quite get it. I love it.

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The second half of the book has each character in color then black and white so that you can use a lightbox to trace the figures onto cloth, color them in with fabric markers, and stitch them up into your own alphabet quilt.

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So – I have a copy of the book to give away. Pam dedicated to “A.” (the letter).

I’ll choose a winner from those who comment here. As I have loved children’s illustrated books since long before I had children why don’t you tell me some of your favorites.

Don Wood, David Weisner, Mark Teague, and Chris Van Allsburg are some of my favorites. I love things with just a hint of danger, weirdness, or mystery. It’s OK for kids to be just a little unsettled by what they see in a book – it helps spark the imagination and  great questions that arise as a result. 

If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway you can buy the book from Pam’s website if you are in Australia or buy the book in the states from E-Quilter

And congratulations to Marlaine who won Lisa Walton’s book from this giveaway.

Autumn Adams is the lucky winner of this giveaway! Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Giveaway: a sense of scale, and some winners

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I ordered a mac. A big, huge, gigantic, desktop. FUN!

It got here early – great right? Um. Have you seen my studio lately? There is, quite literally, not an inch of empty space in which to settle a honking huge desktop computer.

Instead of working on the posts I meant to put up this week I’ve been furiously weeding stuff out, throwing and giving stuff away, and moving all of my inventory up into what was my older girl’s bedroom. This involves hauling stuff up two very, very long flights of stairs. Over 600 books (that’s another story for another day) and lots and lots of teaching supplies. My goal is to have only art MAKING supplies in my workspace. And…. the computer is going to be for art making. And video editing. Watch this space for fun news about online classes…. eventually.

All this rambling is really just me making excuses for not having all the giveaways up, or doing a really good review of this book. But there you have it. The book is a show catalog from an exhibit SAQA travelled around a couple of years ago. I couldn’t find anywhere that you can actually buy it anymore which maybe means… oooooh it’s RARE! (see me laughing here.) My Family Ties series is on page 39. All the rest of the art in there is really gorgeous. You’ll like it!image

 If you want a copy of A SENSE OF SCALE leave a comment here letting me know what and how you want to see me teach online. 
Do you want PDF’s delivered, videos to watch, how much interaction do you need? How comfortable are you with FaceBook (they have “secret” groups that would work as a class communication platform) or YahooGroups (no a big fan myself but if you want them I’ll make it work!)
I’ll pick a winner the day after Christmas.

And… Congratulations to the following winners!

Mini Thermofax Screens – Mr. & Mrs. Fancy Seagulls
Charlotte Keyimage

 Mini Thermofax Screens – I love you
Shariimage

Book – Fabric Surface Design by Cheryl Rezendes
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Itty bitty little screens

Even a tiny little ATC (Artist’s Trading Card) needs a focal point, somewhere to rest the eye. These cards-in-progress are a mere 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ – sweet to hold art in the palm of your hand eh?
 

 
Sometimes it is a blast working in this VERY small format. So small that it doesn’t matter if you mess up.
 
These thermofax screens are so small that they don’t need a frame at all. Just use duct tape to “bind” the edges and it will hold it stiff enough to get a clean print. If you are interested in making screens this small you can arrange a number of images on one page and order one full sized imaged screen. Just make sure to give it enough space around each image to cut it into it’s own little rectangular screen.
 
 
Today’s giveaway is another set of little bitty thermofax screens. These two are DaVinci sketches, perfectly sized for Artist Trading Cards.
imageLeave a comment telling me who your favorite master artist is.
What can you learn from studying their work?
I’ll choose a winner a week from today.

Work in Progress, giveaway – QA Magazine

Just a very quick post for today’s giveaway.

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Here is a peak at the progress on the two concurrent pieces I’m working on.

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I’m still going back and forth between the two, working on one while I think about what to do next with the other.

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Today’s giveaway is an extra copy I have of Quilting Arts Magazine issue #64. (I have an article in it.)
Leave a comment letting me know why you read this blog.
Specifically – what do you want to see more of?
I’ll pick a winner next saturday.

 

(And congratulations to Rosalyn who won Valerie Goodwin’s book, Art Quilt Maps!)

Spoonflower fabric and a book giveaway – America From the Heart

imageThere are a few really busy days left before Christmas break. This weekend is full of wonderful music including my son’s first recital. He’s really mad at me for signing him up. Tough beans kiddo. Rehearsals and a performance for me with the orchestra at our church’s yearly community Nativity Celebration. The Messiah Sing-In is one of my favorite things to do at Christmastime. Info here if you are in the Raleigh area and would like to join in!

I took this picture at this week’s rehearsal with the Moku Hanga app. The french horns do a LOT of counting measures waiting for our turn to play. (Do you see my reflection in there?)

 

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To stay with the music theme – my first batch of pretties arrived from Spoonflower today. A little bit ago I spent a day playing around with photoshop and created several musical instrument designs.

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Then off they went to Spoonflower to be printed up. These are now available at my Spoonflower shop if you happen to be in need of fabric featuring french horns, flutes, or violins with wings. I know, not something everyone needs.

imageNow I need to figure out what to do with some of these. They are fat quarters printed on a good quality quilting cotton. I’m thinking my next order might be a white on white print to play around with dying.

So for today’s giveaway – an extra copy I have of the book, America From the Heart: Quilters Remember September 11th, 2002. 1023845lPost a comment and give me some ideas for what I can make with these wonderful fat quarters! I’ll pick a winner next friday. 

book review and giveaway: fabric surface design

51HwcAeSEhL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Let me introduce you to the book, Fabric Surface Design by Cheryl Rezendes. In the interest of full disclosure, her publisher contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to review the book. I said sure, and the book arrived and was added to the “to do” pile. It takes a long time to get through that pile.

Last week I opened the book. By page two I knew I liked this author. A couple more pages and I had to struggle with my choice to give my review copy to my readers. Cheryl is a teacher after my own heart. She succinctly touched on every one of my soapbox crusades right in the introduction.

  • Don’t try to make masterpieces.
  • Give yourself time to learn.
  • Play.
  • Be willing to experiment and let go of preconceived outcomes.
  • Take time to learn to truly SEE what you are looking at.
  • Learn from “mistakes” – they might lead you in a very good direction.
  • Chocolate and dry roasted almonds are on the basic supply list.

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This book is a comprehensive overview of just about every surface design technique you can think of using paint. Plus foil. Plus image transfer. Plus lots and lots and lots more. It’s three HUNDRED pages long and every page is stuffed – STUFFED FULL of stuff I tell you! (picture my wildly gesticulating hands as I say this.)

com·pre·hen·sive
adjective

1. of large scope; covering or involving much; inclusive
2. comprehending mentally; having an extensive mental range or grasp.

 

The table of contents you see up there is, well, ridiculously inadequate to give you an idea of what is actually covered in each section. For instance, “chapter 8 Nature Printing” describes printing with plants, flowers, food, fish (Gyotaku) and the sun. Each technique is nicely outlined and illustrated with a page or two. Now remember – three hundred pages. Every chapter is like this and includes enough information about every technique to help you find supplies, tips to avoid pitfalls, pictures of the process, and spotlights of artists who use the techniques.

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My favorite parts are the tables. There is nothing I appreciate more than seeing someone else who has done the work and experimentation and put it all down in an organized fashion for me to use as a reference tool. There are a number of tables in this book. I love tables.

At this point I could go on for days and days listing all the techniques. Let me just say this instead. I BOUGHT MY OWN COPY. This is at a time when I am trying my hardest to winnow down my book collection. Sigh.

 So – only because I already promised myself I would, I’m giving away the review copy.
Leave a comment here telling me what surface design technique you have been wanting to try.

I’ll bet you it’s in here!
I’ll choose a winner next Thursday.

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Cheryl also has an Etsy shop that I think you should go check out named CherScapes where you can find some pretty cool stuff! Wearable art, hand dyed and painted cloth, and gorgeous silk scarves.

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You can buy Cheryl’s book here.

By the way, even if you can get it cheaper on Amazon, I ALWAYS recommend buying a new book from the author. When you buy a new book (that isn’t self published) on Amazon the author only makes a few pennies. When you buy it directly from them they make about half of what you are paying. And it’s usually signed which is cool. (I do buy used books via Amazon.)

Work in progress & Giveaway

Yesterday was a lovely day in the studio. While the rest of the country gets snow to play with (and shovel) we just get lots of cold drizzly rain.  I had my usual million mile long list of things to do but didn’t. Instead I made time for some actual art making. I call myself an artist so you think I would do that more often. 

 

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I actually worked back and forth between two pieces of cloth that were cut down into smaller pieces when I moved from printing overall texture to composition.

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Flipping back and forth gave me time to think about what to do next with the cloth on the design wall while I was printing the cloth on the table.

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Layers of imager were added in varying levels of transparency.

I’m back from scurrying around to all my appointments this morning and am going to get OFF the computer and spend an hour working on these a little bit more.

Tomorrow is another book giveaway so today is another pair of mini-thermofax screens.
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Leave a comment here telling me about your working style.
Do you prefer working on once piece from start to finish or are you as scatterbrained as I am? (nobody is as scatterbrained as I am!) I’ll choose a winner next Wednesday.

 

giveaway: mini thermofax screens

Congratulations to Autumn Adams who is the winner of Desriee Habicht’s pattern book and fabric bundle. In answer to my question, “how does art help you through the rough times?”  she said that “The wonderful thing about creating is that it puts you in the “now” so that while we are grieving we are also celebrating life because creating is giving birth.” I wholeheartedly agree.

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Today, because I would rather spend some time making art instead of writing about it, I am going to give away a sweet little set of mini thermofax screens. I know it is hard to see them – they are a pair of royal seagulls dressed up in their funky finest… a small version of the pair I used (in a different technique) for this piece.

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Today I hope to spend lots of time in the studio – screen printing. I spent the morning repairing all the broken paypal buttons on my thermofax paint page – did you know I get to carry ProChem’s textile paint now? It’s totally my favorite for screen printing. I have them in the basic primary and neutral kits as well as my favorite three pearlescent silver, gold, bronze mix.photo 4-1

Leave a comment here telling me what kind of art you would love to make on a cold, wet, shut-in kind of day.

I’ll pick a winner next Tuesday.

Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Melinda Bula

Copy of Best head shotPart of the fun of teaching is meeting your colleagues, which then become your friends. I met Melinda Bula while teaching at the American Quilt Society show in Paducha during what is now affectionately known as the tornado year. We had quite a lovely adventure together, spending an extra day in town after volunteering to get bumped from our flight. You can read about it here.

We have seen each other since but mostly as we rushed past each other on our way to classes. We did sit next to each other for a delightful hour at a reception in Houston and oh my, had she had another adventure! Her class supplies just happened to be on a train that DERAILED!!!  So there she is on the first day of the International Quilt Festival with a room full of students and no kits, no supplies, nothing. I think she might have had her quilts that she flew with.

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And here is how I know she is a great teacher even though I’ve only poked my head into her room once or twice to check out what her students were doing. My roomie (also a teacher) said she that Melinda’s students were laughing so loud most of the day that she had to shut her door so that her students in the room next door could hear her teach.

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As teachers do, we looked over each other’s products and I came home with one of her patterns. I didn’t intend to make it but wanted to see how she self-publishes them. Who knows, one of these days I might make a few patterns.

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I opened her pattern and oh my! You are in for a treat! This pattern is pages and pages of paint/cut-by-number pieces complete with a color chart that makes it super easy to recreate one of her gorgeous floral wall quilts. Her work is simply delicious and the instructions were clear and easy to understand.

Want it?

Leave a comment here telling me what you think makes a good teacher. 

I’ll pick a winner next Monday.

Book Review and Giveaway: Valerie Goodwin’s art quilt maps

I’d like to introduce you to Valerie Goodwin. I have followed her work for several years now as it truly speaks to me. It is organized, beautiful, and deep. And very architectural. I love, love, love it.

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This might be why. I studied architecture in college but chose not to pursue my graduate degree – Valerie is an architect and a professor at Florida A & M University. Yup – I’ve always wanted to be a professor too. That one might still happen someday. I get such joy watching her succeed and the fact that she has introduced textile art into her own life and ALSO into the life of her architecture students is, well, just SO COOL!

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And now she has a book. It’s my favorite book of the year. Personal taste here – there are a ton of wonderful books out this year but I love this one. Mostly because of the eye candy. I loved reading the very first pages about her quilt history. She learned from her grandmother but left the needle arts behind when she entered the male dominated world of architecture. I am so, so, so happy that she found a way to join these two parts of her life.

The book itself takes the reader through both the mental design process and the techniques and materials you would need to create your own textile maps. If you love project books you can follow Valerie’s methods and instructions in a linear process and be very happy with your results. She gives the reader plenty of information and a clear road map from start to finish.

 

I tend to be more interested in understanding the thought process behind a good artist’s working method so that I can understand what it is about the work that speaks to my heart. This book is just deep enough to satisfy that craving for me.

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The illustrations feature the clean lines, the layers of subtle texture, and the visual storytelling that I appreciate in Valerie’s artwork. The writing and instructions give me a peek into her process and there were several things that sparked ideas for what I might like to incorporate into my own work.

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I think Art Quilt Maps provides a great balance between “how to” and “why.” I love seeing the work of her students and how they have taken her techniques and internalized them, creating unique works of art.

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Wouldn’t you just love to see this book show up in your stocking?
I’m going to give away a copy to one very lucky reader.
Has your artwork ever been inspired by a place?
Tell me about it here.

I’ll choose one lucky reader on Friday.
Tell your friends and have them come check it out too.
And if you don’t want to wait until then – you can buy it here.

Artist spotlight: Desiree Habicht

Welcome to Christmas! Does it seem to you like this year has flown by!? I blinked and it happened.

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Christmas Card by Desiree Habicht

 So… I have a huge pile of interviews, reviews, and giveaways that have been waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) for me to get around to posting them for you. I am very happy to introduce you to a few more of my very favorite artists.

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Desiree Habicht is a multi talented artist working in both cloth and watercolors – and probably other media that I haven’t seen yet. We had a great (email) interview months ago and she has been patiently waiting for me to get around to putting this up. I know you are going to love her art as much as I do!

Lyric: Did you always want to be an artist.
Desiree: Yes, I can say I have always been an artist. My mom often reminds me how I was always making books and cards for people as a small child. They were always fully illustrated too! Everything was fair game and I often sketched on whatever I had close, math homework etc. I was born to create.

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Tortured Soul by Desiree Habicht
art quilt

Lyric. Describe your journey.
Desiree: I am a self taught artist and was fortunate to have worked with interior designers, professionals and builders doing faux finishes and murals along with my fine art. I worked for years, and as my children got older I was able to travel all over to paint on site . At the point of being almost empty nesters everything changed. In 2000 our daughter was hit by a drunk driver. After 8 months of hospitals and life support we brought our daughter home. She required full time care and all of our lives were forever changed. I was now at home figuring out my new life and saw the TV show “Simply Quilts”. As I watched I was thinking I could do that at home. I started with one quilt class, one night a week and quickly moved into designing my own patterns and art quilts. That led to the opportunity to design fabric which I love. Art is a gift and allowed me to reinvent myself so I could care for Jennifer and still create and work from home. Art is a never ending journey.

 Lyric: Why Textiles?

Desiree: I love textiles, the feel, the ability to create art from fabric and to create fabric from my art! Quilts symbolize comfort and warmth which they provided me in many ways. My art quilts allow me to tell a story or share an event with my viewers. I love putting in hidden elements and symbolism that mean something to me. Textiles also opened up a whole new group of friends and colleagues which I am so thankful for!

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Old World Tiles by Desiree Habicht
cloth, pastels, painted wonder-under, netting, thread, paint, ink

8404655533_03f1a9d83f_bLyric: Whats coming up that you would like me to share?
Desiree: Right now I have some of my quilts in a book available at Amazon called “Cutting Edge Art Quilts” by Mary Kerr. I also just self published my first pattern book that goes with my latest fabric line ” Gumdrops and Lollipops”. I also have a new fabric line coming out  called ” Monster Trucks” which will be sold by Quilting Treasures and will be available at your local quilt shop.

Lyric: Is there anything else you want me to tell my readers.

Desiree: Yes, I want to encourage everyone that no matter what your facing you are not alone and art, quilting, and creating can be both therapeutic and healing.

Desiree’s patterns, art quilts, art work and workshops can be viewed on my website www.desireesdesigns.com. She sends out a monthly newsletter with upcoming giveaways, classes and shows, that you can sign up for on her website. You can also follow Desiree’s blog, http://myclothesline.blogspot.com, and see her monthly contribution to The Sketchbook Challenge blog that both of us contribute to along with some other amazing artists!

And now – the first of many giveaways over the next few weeks. Desiree graciously shared a sweet little bundle of her fabric and the pattern book to go with it. If you have any little sweetlings in your life you are going to love this giveaway. If you are anything like me it won’t get done in time for Christmas but I think these are perfect for valentines day!

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Leave a comment below – telling me now your art helps you through the rough times.
I will pick a winner on Monday.

The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop – Giveaway

Welcome to another stop on
The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop!

Over there I’ve described a little bit of the inspiration and sketchbook work I’ve done that has led to the beginnings of a new series. I’ve spent some lovely time with a few of the thousands of photos from last month’s road trip, lots of lovely time on photoshop, and time in the studio with paint and cloth. Photos of petroglyphs from Mesa Verde were turned into thermofax screens for some lovely little prints.

photo 1-6Lots of stitching still to come.photo 2-6These small pieces will be mounted on gallery wrapped canvas.
photo 3-6This is one of my photographs printed onto cloth – not sure where this is going yet.

Now for something fun. I’d love to share my love of thermofax screen printing with you! Two lucky winners will receive one large thermofax screen each. You can choose one of my ready made screens or I’d be happy to create a screen from your own image. You could use photoshop elements to create your own image – just follow this tutorial.

Leave a comment here by Friday the 20th.
Tell me what has inspired you today!
Do you use a sketchbook?
Do places inspire you too?
(make sure I have a way to get hold of you if you are the winner!)

Book Review and Giveaway: Dreaming from the Journal Page

home_dreaming_bookI know I’m late – it’s been busy. I really didn’t want to throw this last giveaway up without a true and proper book review because  Melanie Testa’s book, Dreaming from the Journal Page, is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. She is a talented artist and a gentle soul with a rock hard core of strength and resilience that inspires me. I first met her several years ago and you can read my series of interviews with her here.

photo 2-1I have two copies of her book or there is no way I’d be giving this pretty thing up. It’s very exciting to me that I have one to share because I hope you will love it as much as I do. Dreaming from the Journal Page is a beautiful blend of technique and inspiration for those of us who explore more than one medium.

Both her work on paper and in cloth is deeply textured and layered but manages to retain a clean simplicity  and purity of focus. I have always loved her deep connection to her subject matter and her love of decorative forms. This book is a look into Ms. Testa’s process and gives one a glimpse of her work that leaves you feeling uplifted.

photo 1-12Melanie guides you through a basic understanding of some of her favorite materials and techniques. She introduces the reader to basic information on paper, brushes, paints, glues, and gives you the instruction, “Your job is to experiment and learn the qualities of each so that you can pair a technique with a planned outcome.” Then she gives you a detailed chart of which techniques might work well with which materials. Chapter 2 guides you through an exploration of color with different media such as collage, watercolors, and dyes. I find her challenges and prompts to be well thought out – giving enough instruction that the reader will not feel lost but leaving room for playfulness.

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The third chapter runs through myriad techniques such as soy wax resist for dye, and frisket resist for watercolors. She talks about solid grounds and gradations, stamps and stencils. There isn’t anything new and earth shattering in this chapter, just good, solid basic information – well written and sumptuously illustrated.

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My favorite chapters are in the back of the book with page after page from her journals, her textile art, and even some more low key projects such as t-shirts and pillows. I can spend hours looking into the layers of her creations and always come away happier and with a desire to create something beautiful myself.

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Knowing that she wrote this book throughout her cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process makes it all the more amazing. You can read more about Melanie on her website/blog at http://melanietesta.com.

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I can’t wait to give this lovely book to one of you! I hope it will be as inspiring to you as it is to me. Please leave a comment for your chance to win. Do you have any stories about art and healing in your own life? What do you think art is for? Why do you create art?

I’ll draw a winner next Sunday June 9th. If you absolutely can’t wait I highly encourage you to go ahead and purchase the book! If you really want to support the artist buy it directly from her (signed) here!

 

 

 

Giveaway: Quilting Arts Gifts 2012

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It’s not too late to get started making your holiday gifts for this year right? (Riiiiiiight… I start mine December 15th!) This issue includes my article on making an art scarf with a beaded fringe.

 

Leave me a comment telling me your favorite easy gifts to make and it’s yours! Last year I made these snowflake ornaments – love them.

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And as an extra little gift from me to you – I have this sweet cell phone case for you. I don’t think it will fit a smart phone but if you have one of those great “it’s just a PHONE kind of phones it will be perfect!)photo 3-5

 (open to US readers only this time.)

Congratulations to mjkasz who is the winner of the Sketchbook Project Journal. I didn’t use a random number generator this time. I couldn’t help myself but choose a middle school teacher. I have a 7th grader right now. His teachers and I deserve combat pay! “I created a prompt book like this to use with my middle school students for their self exploration. I would certainly like to have this book to use in my retirement to help me explore my creative nature as I am loving the extra time to create with fabric. Really this is more about reinventing myself as a textile artist than retiring to do nothing.”

And since I have an extra I’m giving a copy of Down the Doors Remix to BOTH Beth and Ellee. Enjoy! 

Giveaway: Down the Doors Remix

Congratulations to Jayna who wins the butterfly gadget case  – hope you love it!

I have another fun giveaway for you. I know it’s not really fiber art related but her you go anyway. Chance’s End calls itself “violin backbeat electronica” and  it’s been fun working with Ryan Avery, the talented violinist/graphic designer and seeing how he’s “remixed” my artwork for use in his album covers.
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You can follow this link and listen to all the music on this album. My favorite track is Gravity. Or maybe Sleep on the Interstate.

photo 4-16Are you interested? Know someone who might be? Leave a comment telling me about ways you reuse your artwork and I’ll pick a winner next week. Make sure to scroll down and enter the other giveaways that are still open!

Giveaway: The Sketchbook Project Journal

This book showed up in my mailbox unsolicited a while ago – the publishers probably hoping I’d love it and blog about it.

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The Sketchbook Project began as a fantastic art library filled with sketchbooks donated by artists just like you and me. Anyone can go in (Brooklyn) and look at the sketchbooks centered on various themes. Now they also have a traveling library and digital sketchbooks that we can browse at home.

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Guess what? I DO love it and here I am blogging about it.  The Sketchbook Project Journal is a mostly blank book full of pages to be filled, each with an intriguing prompt.

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The prompts make me laugh as all sorts of funny images dance in my head. They make me think and imagine and wonder. 300 prompts on luscious white paper ready for your ink. (Or pencil or crayon or paint… whatever makes your boat float!)

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I love it enough that I wanted to keep it and fill it up myself… but I know myself too well. It will sit neglected in a pile on the floor of my studio just wishing and hoping to be used. I’ll look at it and feel a little guilty.

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So I want YOU to use it! Do you have a strong sketching practice? Will this be just what you need to get you going? Will it be easier to play with a prompt to get you going?

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Tell me about it!

I’ll choose a winner from the comments on this post next week – this is a really fat book so US entrants only again. (And yes it makes me sad when I say that – I love my international readers.)

Congratulations to Betty who is the winner of the Travel Accessories by Craft Tree booklet and to Kath who actually HAS an ipod to go into the ipod case that I’ll send off soon! I really do love it when little lovelies find a happy home.

Another Random Giveaway

photo 1-5Anybody want this sweet little 3″ x 4″ gadget case? It’s just a little too small for my iPhone but you could be creative in what you might use it for. Since it is closed on top it would make a lovely little case for business cards or something similar.

This drawing is open to international readers as well as US readers!

Tutorial Redux – Beaded Fringe (and another giveaway)

I thought I’d share this tutorial with you again since it goes along with the last post. this isn’t the same instructions that are in the book but it does involve gadget cases.

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!

Materials:

  • 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. If DVD’s are easier for you to learn with you can find this and a lot more on my instructional DVD:

Bead It Like You Mean It!
200.BI.coverAnd now for a little surprise.

photo 1-7Anybody want it? Anybody out there still use an ipod classic? My daughter has my old one but isn’t interested in this case.

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You could get creative and fill in the holes with beaded cloth of your own. Who knows.

Leave a comment here telling me what you would do with this lovely little beaded thing. 

This giveaway IS open to International readers – I’ll draw the winner next Monday. (tell your friends to stop by and leave a comment too!)

Congratulations! go to Manuella – the winner of Ann Fahl’s Applique booklet. She says “I love Ann as an artist and admire her work. I am on a learning journey and haven’t found my favorite technique till now. I am open to every new techique to learn and would be very happy about this book.”

Giveaway – Travel Accessories by Craft Tree

Now moving on to Today’s GIVEAWAY!

51m5FhYsjKL._SX225_Here is another compilation of articles from Interweave’s authors.

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Travel Accessories includes my article on making little carry-away cases for your electronics.

photo 2-11Leave a comment here. Tell me something that you’d like me to write up a tutorial for.

US entries only again. I’ll draw the winner’s name this Friday.
The giveaway for Ann Fahl’s booklet is open until Wednesday.

Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Ann Fahl

I’d like to introduce you to another friend and artist: Ann Fahl.

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Indiana Memories by Ann Fahl 57″ x 51″

The first big quilt show I saw was the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival and I was enchanted by this quilt of Ann’s. This picture doesn’t really do justice to the vibrance of the color and the beauty of the cloth and thread. I do remember that show opened my eyes turned me on to quilts as ART!

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Three Water Lilies by Ann Fahl 30″ x 25″

Lyric: Did you always want to be an artist?
Ann: It was never in my life plan to be an artist. But as a daughter of two classical musicians, I was born an artist. Coloring was one of my first pleasurable activities as a preschooler. My parents would find me coloring in our little office at the front of the house very early in the morning. It was both the act of coloring and enjoying the colors as they appeared on paper that I loved. I also added some crayon drawings to the new wallpaper in my bedroom. I thought I had done a wonderful job of embellishing the little animals and flowers on the paper, but my mother didn’t think so.

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Water Lilies on Yellow by Ann Fahl 28″ x 28″

Lyric: Describe your journey to becoming an artist.
Ann: My plan was to be a business woman, be CEO of a business or something. After 10 years in retailing I realized that no matter how high I got in the organization I was never going to love the job. I loved to sew, so I quit my job and started “Creative Sewing” I did anything that was needed, clothing, alterations, and home accessories. By accident I took a quilting class, and the rest is history. I also became CEO of my own business.

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Images from the book, “A Black and White Tale” by Ann Fahl and Jaquie Scuitto
(click the image to read more and buy this delightful book of verses and art)

Lyric: Why textiles as a medium?
Ann: Children are very tactile. Wanting to touch fabrics, animals, flowers is part of human nature. So I am very tactile, but fabrics also add the excitement of color. The machine processes we use now to create quilts, are very repetitive and calming. All these things, when added to my inner artistic base sent me on my way to become a professional artist. Teaching and writing about what I love is a bonus. At this point in my life, thoughts, activities, everything I do is all wrapped together, to create me. It’s hard to separate one part from the rest of me. It’s one big package.

photo 1-16I love hearing about how and why people come to be where they are as artists. We all have such different and fascinating journeys. And now to the really fun part. Ann has a lovely new booklet out called Appliqué Ann’s Way: A new look at machine appliqué. I have a copy for one of YOU!

From her website: “Not everyone likes to appliqué. Ann wants to change that, because there are so many different methods available to us today. In Appliqué Ann’s Way she shares her six favorite methods; all combine the sewing machine with fabric and fusing. You are sure to find one technique that appeals to you! She includes tips and problem solving ideas as well. Whether you are a beginner, experienced or in between, you will find something to help improve and refine your techniques, it just takes a little practice. Whatever your level of ability, there is a technique for you.”

photo 2-17The booklet has 36 pages of instruction and black and white how-to photographs. 5.5″ x 8.5″ with stapled binding. I find her instructions to be clear and understandable and I think you will enjoy it.

Leave a comment here and tell me about your favorite construction technique for creating your textile art.

(happy day – this giveaway is open to my dear international readers!)

And congratulations to Arlene – the winner of the Notebook Covers book. She doesn’t carry a sketchbook with her yet – but maybe she will now!

I think Jeannie’s answer gives us one of the best reasons to do so, “Last winter my Dad suffered a paralysing stroke. It meant packing up quickly and heading out for a 5 hour drive. While staying for a couple of weeks, I found the importance of having a notebook with me. The hospital was old and beautiful. I went to the gift shop and purchased a little memo pad for taking notes from nurses and doctors since we are all at “that” age where nothing stays in memory for long. The lesson was that to keep my sanity, I went to the lobby and drew. I went out in the rain and drew. I have never thought of myself as a drawer or artist, but the ability to focus on something other than my situation was a gift. There is now a notepad and a mini moleskin in my purse – never leave home without it!”

Giveaway – Notebook Covers and More

Congratulations! to Mary who will win Victoria’s book 15 Minutes of Play

Her creative warm-up: “One of my fav creative warmups is to line up all the fabrics I think I want in the piece, then return to the stash & pick something that DOES NOT BELONG! All kinds of things can happen from there.”

Now moving on to Today’s GIVEAWAY!

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The publisher of my book was recently bought out by F+W Media. Interweave press is keeping its name but is now a division of the larger publishing house. So far, they have been lovely to work with and they kept many of my favorite people on board.

Notebook Covers and More is a compilation of a number of Quilting Arts Magazine articles by various artists over the years. Most are a variation on how to make a book cover of some sort.

 

For a chance to win this booklet, leave a comment telling me if you carry a sketch or notebook around with you. What do you put in it?

photo 1-10

Am I the only one who can’t remember anything unless I write it down? It’s not an age thing with me – I’ve always been like this. I call my sketchbook my paper brain. It’s definitely not a work of art – It’s full of all kinds of things like grocery list, meeting notes, my children’s drawings. Oh – and yes, sketches too.

I do like it when that book is all dressed up pretty though. I’ll draw the winner’s name on Friday. US entries only please for this one – I plan to post an international drawing on Friday!

Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Victoria Findlay Wolfe

victoria1

I’d like to introduce you to a new friend and fellow artist that I think you will love: Victoria Findlay Wolfe was my fellow guest artist when I filmed for The Quilt Show down in Charleston, SC. I posted a whole series of articles here about the city and the experience. We had a fabulous and exhausting few days while we were there together.

victoria2

Victoria has a background in the fine arts and is currently working with textiles, churning out quilts like a madwoman. She has more energy and is more productive than most people I know. You can see lots of her quilts here. She makes mostly bed quilts in a very fresh and contemporary style. What follows are Victoria’s own words about her journey.

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Everything But The Kitchen Sink by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

“Life hands us funny things sometimes. Often times, it’s things we would have never thought we’d have to deal with. Be kind. Be grateful. Find the JOY in each day.

picture 48

Cheap Hotels by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I set out for NY in 1994 to be an artist. I came to NYC with a suitcase, two boxes of paintings, and $200 in my pocket. (I do not recommend that to anyone) the $200 was gone in two days in NYC.

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Scrapping it up by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I set about following my dream, being the creative person I am. And, although I’ve done that, my direction has certainly changed. The important part has been being open to following the creative path that presented itself to me. Had I not found BLOGS, and beautiful quilts, I may not have found the deep appreciation for where I’ve come from. Quilting, was always something we did, because, that’s what we do in our family as MAKERS; We grow our food, we can our food, we make our quilts and clothes… it never dawned on me, that this would become my passion.

victoria6

“Double Edged LOVE” collaborated & quilted by Lisa Sipes, just WON BEST IN SHOW at QUILTCON!

Now, I have a deep respect for where I’ve come from, and from where quilters have come from. Always look back, and forward for that matter, with respect!”

Do you love her work as much as I do? There is a freedom and playfulness that speaks to me, combined with just enough order to keep things from getting out of hand. Love it. We exchanged and autographed our books as I dropped her off at the airport, eager to share each other’s work with our own readers.

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 15 Minutes of Play

is a book I really enjoyed reading through. In fact, it inspired the first bed quilt I’ve made in years! (I’ll show it to you eventually… it’s still waiting for me to quilt it.) In it she advocates setting aside 15 minutes at the beginning of your creative time to simply play and sew random scraps together. Does this creative warm-up time sound familiar to you? Victoria shows you techniques for using this “made fabric” in your quilts and gives some solid design advice.

I have a signed copy of her book ready to send to one of you.
Tell me what your favorite creative warm-up is.
In three days I’ll pick the winner.

If you just can’t wait and want to buy a signed copy of 15 Minutes to Play you can do that here. (US entries only on this one please. It kills me but they’ve raised shipping charges quite dramatically on this end. I hope to have at least one or two original postcards to give away to my lovely international readers. And – please be patient with shipping. I’ve had surgery and am still not quite back on my feet – I should be able to get out to the post office within two weeks. Cheers and best wishes!)

A Month of Giveaways!

I have something for you!

May is my birthday month and as I look around there is absolutely nothing I lack. I also need to spend the month recuperating from the surgery that put all my insides back together (my body did not like the 5th pregnancy!) The kids are still in school too. That means I am doing a lot more staying at home, have more time to play with my blog, and have a goal to clear out my studio and give something back to all my wonderful readers!

soooo…..It’s a whole month of

GIVEAWAYS!giveawayThis is just the first stack that happens to be sitting on my desk. I think I can get my act together enough to DO this thing!

(The only regret is that I don’t have the budget to ship a lot of things like books overseas because of shipping charges. I’ll make sure to have several goodies just for my overseas friends! Oh – and I won’t be shipping things out each day, probably just in two batches – so be patient!)

FiberArt Now – Giveaway!

I  love looking at the innovative ways other artists are exploring fiber as a medium for creating fine art. It’s inspiring to see textiles being accepted more and more in museums and galleries.

Fiber Art now is an art magazine focusing exclusively on fiber and it looks to be a fantastic for finding a little inspiration, education, and illumination.

The magazine showcases artist’s work and explores the history aspect of fiber arts. Their website states,

 

“We seek to be informative and idea-generating for our readers. All of our editorial material is injected with a warm, personal tone. Each reader should feel that he or she is being spoken to directly, and we assume that every reader has advanced knowledge of the world of fiber arts and textiles. We seek to capture an interesting combination of the well-respected and well known as well as lesser known ‘finds.’ Every reader should open up their issue of Fiber Art Now and learn something new, whether they are the most seasoned and experienced professional or are new to the world of fiber arts and textiles.”

 

Interested?

One lucky reader who comments on this post by Monday February 5th will win a year’s subscription to Fiber Arts now!

Tell me what is the most innovative piece of fiber art you’ve seen? 

Book Review: Jane Sassaman

After introducing you to the amazing Jane Sassaman and her art, I’d like to tell you about her new book,
 
Now – You know my work is usually made from fabric I’ve dyed myself and hangs on the wall, not the bed. But I’ve got to admit – I’ve been having that undeniable compulsion recently to make a bed quilt. The problem is my attention span for bed-quilt-making usually lasts about a day and a half and then I’m done. I have at least four mostly finished bed quilt tops to show for my short attention span. After reading Jane’s book – I think I might just be able to pull something off!
With Jane’s signature style of bright and bold fabrics she shows you how to selectively cut and piece your way to simple yet impressive quilts. She’ll take two or three fabrics and give you a number of cutting and piecing options. Each one makes a unique and, dare I say, impressively gorgeous quilt. In this case, the fabric does all the work! She gives lots of hints for wise cutting and design placement to make your designs look well integrated.

Now I’ve got to admit that my very favorite part of the book is the section at the very front called “History and Designing Fabric.” I’m always fascinated by the design process and reading about how Jane works to come up with her fabric is very interesting.
Jane talks about being inspired by the 19th century Arts and Crafts Movement and William Morris who said, “have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I can certainly see those influences in her work. It’s a movement I’m very attracted to myself.

 Guess what – I think I need to go shopping.

If you can’t find Jane’s fabrics at your local shop try her online store.

Interested? Have I whet your appetite?

Leave a comment for your chance to win this beautiful book!
Tell me how you use big, bold, beautiful fabrics.
Make sure I can contact you – and check back in three days
(unfortunately this contest is only open to US entries)
or if you just can’t wait the book is
available at Amazon (and… I’ll be combining the comments here with those at my bloodspot blog. They are identical as I’m still trying to get things running smoothly over here. A random number generator will pick the winner.)

Here are some other stops on the tour that still have giveaways open.
Stop by and leave a comment at each blog to increase your chances to win.

July 18 Jan Krentz
July 19 Make It Simpler
July 20 Lyric Kinard
July 22 Jane LaFazio
July 24 Nancy Zieman

Book Review & Giveaway: The Sketchbook Challenge

I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful new book

The Sketchbook Challenge

Techniques, Prompts, and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals

If you’ve been following along here for a while you know I’ve had the joy of participating in the Sketchbook Challenge blog.  Our fearless leader, the talented, organized, and ever full of initiative Sue Bleiweiss has authored a book that pulls together the various artists (plus some) involved in the project.

Each of us chose to work a sketchbook with one of the themes and create a work of art inspired by our work in that sketchbook. Sue then pulled a technique or two from each artist to highlight.

 

This means that whether you like books for pure visual inspiration or to learn techniques there is something in it for you. Might I also say that there is something very pleasing to me in the books slightly smaller than standard size and rounded corners. No idea why but I simply love to hold it in my hands. I immediately chose the theme of “Circles.” I love that shape – no idea why. It shows up in my work over and over.

It was wonderful fun to work with a theme over and over through the pages of a sketchbook. For this one I seemed to be attracted to pen and ink with only a little color thrown in here and there. Even when the lines ore doodled instead of tightly controlled it looks clean and crisp. I keep trying to look loose and free and wonderfully textured like so many of the artists I greatly admire but I always end up back here. It’s not a bad thing.

The technique that Sue chose to pull from my finished artwork was screen printing. It’s one of the most direct ways that work from my sketchbook shows up in my textile work. Ink doodles are made directly into thermofax screens and discharged or printed onto my hand dyed cloth and made into artwork. (You can learn all of these techniques on my DVD “Surface Design Sampler Platter.”)

 

 

In this case circle scribbles and dot doodles were made into screens and both discharged, painted, and foiled onto the cloth. An amazingly lovely collection of shibori scraps (wish I could remember the artist’s name) became even more circles in this piece. I have to say it was a lovely few days of playing with this design.

 

I know you will love this book!

You can buy it at any of the following suppliers

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

ArtPlantae

 

And I have  question for you.

Do you use a sketchbook to work out designs for your artwork?

How?

In celebration of the book’s release the following prizes will go to two lucky commenters!

From Mistyfuse (www.mistyfuse.com)  A 10yd combination package of Mistyfuse that includes 6 yards of White and 2 yards each of Black and Ultraviolet and a Goddess Sheet.

Total retail value: $48!

and

 A $25 gift certificate to ProChemical and Dye

From ProChemical and Dye http://prochemicalanddye.com/home.php

 

comments close three days from now at the end of the day on July 5th

 

And if you missed it – go see the other reviews that have been posted and leave comments there and keep an eye out for the upcoming reviews as well. There are prizes at every stop!

June 26:

Jill Berry  http://jillberrydesign.com/blog/

Sue Bleiweiss http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog

June 27:

Violette   http://www.violette.ca/

Kathyanne White http://kathyanneart.blogspot.com/

July 5:

Carla Sonheim  www.carlasonheim.wordpress.com/

Carol Sloan  www.carolbsloan.blogspot.com/

July 6:

Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/

Diana Trout dianatrout.typepad.com

July 9:

Tracie Lyn Huskamp  www.thereddoor-studio.blogspot.com/

Judi Hurwitt  www.approachable-art.blogspot.com

July 10:

Jane LaFazio http://janeville.blogspot.com/

Kelli Nina Perkins: http://ephemeralalchemy.blogspot.com/

Jane Sassaman Book Tour

July is going to be a very fun month here at Lyric Art! It’s going to be full of Artist Spotlights and Book Reviews and lots of fun giveaways. And it’s not just me, there are wonderful blog tours and giveaways going on all over the place! The first tour, introducing Jane Sassaman’s fabulous new book starts tomorrow over at Laura Wasilowski’s blog. Stop by there then follow the new links each day.

 

2 Laura Wasilowski       http://artfabrik.blogspot.com/
3 Jessica Sloan       http://remnantsfiberculture.blogspot.com/
4          
5 Judy CoatesPerez       http://judyperez.blogspot.com/
6 Jane Sassaman       http://sassaman.blogspot.com/
7 Linda Teufel       http://dragonthreadsopenbook.blogspot.com/
8 Gloria Hansen       http://www.gloriahansen.com/weblog/
9 Melissa Peda       http://100billionstars.com/blog/
10 Susan B Knapp       http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
11 Jacquie Gering       http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/
12 Weeks Ringle       http://craftnectar.com/
13 SewCalGal       http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com/
14 Jessic Kovach       http://twinfibers.blogspot.com/
15 Pam Matthews       www.delrayfabrics.com/blog
16 Frieda Anderson       http://friestyle.blogspot.com/
17 Pat Sloan       http://blog.patsloan.com/
18 Jan Krentz       http://www.jankrentz.com/weblog/
19 Anita Grossman Solomon       http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com/
20 Lyric Kinard       http://lyrickinard.blogspot.com/
21 The Quilt Show       http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/blog.php
22 Jane La Fazio       http://janeville.blogspot.com/
23 Free Spirit       http://www.freespiritfabric.blogspot.com/
24 Nancy Zieman       http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/

 

The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Tour

If you’ve been with me a while you know that I’ve been working with
The Sketchbook Challenge
We are a varied group of artists challenging our readers to get out their sketchbooks and draw. Skill level and confidence have nothing to do with it – the joy of putting pencil to paper is something I highly encourage everyone to experience.

Our fearless leader is Sue Bleiweiss and she’s taken us one step further and has written a book titled (what else!?)

 The Sketchbook Challenge

Each of the guests involved in this project are going to introduce you to a wonderful bit of the book. I think you’re going to love it! So stop by each blog on it’s given day to read about all the fun stuff you’ll find in this book and don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a prize.

June 26:
Jill Berry  http://jillberrydesign.com/blog/
Sue Bleiweiss http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog

June 27:
Violette   http://www.violette.ca/
Kathyanne White http://kathyanneart.blogspot.com/

June 28:
Kathy Sperino http://finishinglinesbyksperino.blogspot.com/
Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/

June 29:
Jamie Fingal http://jamiefingaldesigns.blogspot.com/
Lynn Krawczyk  http://fibraartysta.blogspot.com/

July 2:
Jackie Bowcutt http://stitchworks-jackie.blogspot.com/
Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.blogspot.com/

July 3:
Jane Davies http://janedavies-collagejourneys.blogspot.com/
Kim Rae Nugent http://kimraenugent.blogspot.com/

July 5:
Carla Sonheim  www.carlasonheim.wordpress.com/
Carol Sloan  www.carolbsloan.blogspot.com/

July 6:
Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
Diana Trout dianatrout.typepad.com

July 9:
Tracie Lyn Huskamp  www.thereddoor-studio.blogspot.com/
Judi Hurwitt  www.approachable-art.blogspot.com

July 10:
Jane LaFazio http://janeville.blogspot.com/
Kelli Nina Perkins: http://ephemeralalchemy.blogspot.com/

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