Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pin Weaving - Mojo Doll Creativity Shield

Last week I had posted pictures of my small studio mojo dolls and promised to tell you about how I had used up some fun yarn scraps to make their wonderful creativity shields. It has been a busy week filled with ups and downs, but as promised here are the steps for the pin weaving.

The very first thing you'll want to do is create a
small loom. This I did by taking scrap foam core
board and trimming it to the size I wanted.
To hold the yarn in place to weave I cut a 1/2" notche approximately every 3/4" across the top and bottom of the board.

After this was done I wrapped yarn thru the notches.

Once this done, you can take scraps of various
yarns, thread them onto a large yarn needle
and weave them in and out. As loose or as tight
as you like.

Leave yourself several inches of yarn as you start and stop
the adding of the various yarns.

With the weaving all done you can tie these off and create
a fringe,
or re-thread them onto the yarn needle and run them thru
the back to hide the ends.

With sides tied off, turn the cardboard loom over, then
by snipping from the middle you can now tie these off
top and bottom to finish as you like.

I chose to hide my top threads, while adding extras to
the bottom to make it fuller.

These are tons of fun to make and the possibilities to use them..
well, endless.

Have fun! ~Rose

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Little Studio Mojo Dolls

A fun idea was recently passed along to me.... why not create a little doll for the studio that could be jazzed up with all the things you like, and therefore give you creative boost. This little doll was to be instilled with lots of positive mojo.

Liking the idea, I set off, and having some new interfacing products I want to test for ease of use and beading this seemed perfect. And, after all, two would be better than one.

The test began with selecting a red and pink silk similar in weigh
t and texture for the test. You can see this in pictures here.

Each of the sampled products:

Sulky Tender Touch


Pellon 865F Bi-Stretch Lite

Each of these were stitched together and subjected to a bit of machine & hand stitching that proved very similar results.
Both worked well
, but I do have at least one more to test -
Pellon Designer Lite (for another day).

I went on to embellish these two little dolls and had a great time weaving yarns to make each of them a shield.
Look for the little weaving step-outs later this week.
I do hate having to run these tests but manufacturers stop making materials, or change 'the recipe' which then makes finding a good alternative necessary.
At least this time its been FUN, too!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Design Group - What are they Doing?

Design Group met yesterday and almost had to swim home... you just can't tell from the pictures how we all had to bundle up in plastic to make it to the cars...

The photo here is of the wall of words:
Our warm up exercise words were,,,, monopoly.... cheers.... & ear
We had a lot of fun, so much so that the rest of the photos are on the slide show here.

Hope you enjoy it... I'm headed back out into the storm.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Design Group 1-19
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thinking About Organizing?

Today I went through torrential rains in order to make it to Design Group
We continued our work on creating stamps using foam, and I promise to show those pictures later this week.

But, for now my mind is still spinning with thoughts about organizing our work spaces. Are you thinking about yours? Well, the one thing I believe you should keep in mind is that Organizing Can Be Fun.... o.k. you can stop laughing now.

Really, take the few steps below, make the process fun:

1. Think about what you do in the space.

2. What tools do you use in this space.

3. How about the type of materials?

4. Lastly, how do YOU operate?

Once you think about these things for a bit...
Dream up just how you want your space to look like, and how you see yourself working there.

Keep in mind:

Clean does NOT mean organized....

What you have in this space and how it looks should make YOU happy.

Add things that inspire you, nourish you and make YOU feel good.

Would love to hear about your special place. Big, small--something in between.

More about Design Group soon... promise! Definitely, fun.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm Back -- Tales From Valley Quilters

Boy it seems like such a long time since I had a chance to share with you about what's been going on. Travel starting a week ago last Sunday took me to into the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles for a visit with two quilting guilds there. Over the week I gave three 1-day workshops, all my Fast-Piece Applique and in total I had just over 50 students. All's I have to say is WHAT FUN! I do love teaching this workshop for everyone goes home with a piece almost done, usually just in need of embellishments, but even better, they go home knowing a new, fun and definitely easy technique to sew curves, circles and all the funky shapes they can think up. And boy, I've never seen two pieces even remotely alike. The folks in the SF guilds came up with some great stuff, too! One class seem hooked on spirals, and in another faces and people popped up. The construction method lends itself to almost anything and we saw a lot. The folks pix's I'm sharing here were from the first group-- and as photos come in I'll try to share them here. The lecture selected at these guilds was The Organized Quilter. Always a January favorite, with everyone figuring out just where to store all those holiday decorations and gifts they may have gotten. We use a bit of quilter's magic during this presentation and everyone has a chance to share ideas on how to save time, and become Stuff Masters. There are always new ideas being shared, so no one goes home without a mental note or two. I always take time to remind everyone that it's important to not only set a goal but to share it out LOUD with someone, so there was definitely some great quilt goals being shared!

Do you have a favorite way to store your fabric, thread or tools?
I'd love to have you share them here and I'll make sure they get added to my booklet on the Organized Quilter that is currently being revised and is soon to be available as an eBook.

Please Share!
or As we said during our meetings last week...
AbraCadabra....Help us get those quilts made!

Having fun -- and ready to stitch,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Art Quilt Exhibit - Noble Seasons: Spring

The invitational art quilt exhibit -
Noble Seasons: Spring
has been touring for the past year.
It may be seen as a group for the final time
over the next two months at the
Soft Expressions Gallery
1230 N. Jefferson St. Suite M -- Anaheim, California.

Many of the artists will be on hand this coming Saturday
between 1:30-4pm
for the exhibit's opening reception.

The pictures of the works here, while beautiful, do not compare to seeing the works in person, so if you do have an opportunity to see them...Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Design Group - Into the Room Excercise

My weekly design group had their first meeting of 2010 on Tuesday.

This group is an important place for each of us, and possibly for very different reasons. My schedule is usually so busy that I use this special weekly opportunity to fill a two-fold need. First off is just time to play, and as an artist nothing usually makes me happier than to jump in, get my hands dirty and try something new. The second reason I love these sessions as they are, in most cases, totally different than what I am personally doing in my own studio. That bein
g said, the group can always be convince to have a play day that may help you get that something special done.

The one thing that we had discovered early on is that we all enjoyed and needed a little exercise to help break away from 'what been going on' and really be 'in the room'. I highly recommend this to anyone who just needs to get things going...

We start with a basket filled with paper slips that each of has contributed.

STEP #1 On these we have written a word or phrase. One person picks on... the
timer is set for 5 minutes... and we're off:

STEP #2 Off in this case means that we have to come up with our own thing relating to the topic, select and cut felt pieces to represent our idea.

When the buzzer rings we then glue all our pieces in place.

Sometimes we chat about these, but more often than not, we just enjoy the process.

We do 3 or 4 of these before heading into the project for the day, and sometimes what came up in our quickie exercises may find it's way into the project itself.

Today we used three slips.
The words were:
sky's the limit; five; d

The wall shown here shows all of little works.

We finished up the 'into the room' time with a pencil & paper redo of one of the words (artist's choice). I chose five, and the last picture here is my quickie sketch of five...

Then it was onto the project...

Surrise Inspiration

Thanks to Val for sending me photos of the sun rising from her back porch. It re-inspired my own morning walks... this morning saw a rosy-winter morning that quickly turned ORANGE, with a capital O. Great start to the day. Hope you enjoy Val's photos.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Inspiring Winter Walk

Below is a slideshow of the walk, in my neighborhood... Signal Hill, CA

It's always amazing how each time there is something else found while taking in the views, and not just the ones framed by the hilltop sculpture found there.

I'd love to see pictures or hear about your own favorite place - close to home.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Signal Hill Walk
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Inspiration - Close to Home

At the start of the new year I always look back over what has been and begin to sort things out. It may have been places visited, conversations, photos seen or taken, words from some highly respected person from the past, or the wisdom passed on anonymously. From the sorting I find all sorts of inspiring 'stuff'. I also love to hear where people turn to for inspiration, and not just for their art... but for life.

As part of this years sorting I began thinking about all the places that the many people I have been chatting with, live. While on Twitter just last week I met someone from another Signal Hill... one on the other side of the continent. I'm sure there are tons of them out there, but it was full to Google map that other Signal Hill to see a bit of the lay of that other place.

With this in the back of my mind I went looking a bit closer at my own hill. When I look for inspiration close to home I walk to the top of the hill. It has a park there with views that go on forever. I'm going to share my SH over the next few days, but I'd love to hear about that close to home place where you go to renew your batteries, maybe gain perspective and be open...

New Year - New Decade Greetings

Happy 2010!
Boy this year is already gearing up to be pretty exciting, and I'm really grateful to be living during times where I am able to share my personal artistic journey with through these fun, on-line tools.

Blogs, Facebook Fan pages, Twitter have opened up the lines of communications where we get to chat back & forth easily with so many new & old friends.
Even my faithful website this year gets additional help from my new Etsy Store.
Most importantly I'm looking forward to hearing from many of you as you share your journey as well. Click-and join in the fun!

Had to RE:Share the amazing quote from ~Lao Tzu that I found last year. It continues to say it all for me:

"Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream."

So, as we go forward on this adventure together I wish for you an abundance of optimism and solutions to water and nuture your dreams.

Happy Stitchin'