Friday, November 2, 2012

Mixed Media Fun!

Over the past several months, I've been experimenting with different techniques for mixed media collage. I wanted to add a lot of texture with a lot of different mediums.  Here's the end results...

I drew her face on vintage French book paper.   My goal was to draw a decent face!

My daughter was the inspiration for this next one. She has a very crazy stressful job!

In an Attempt to Balance her Life, She lost her Head!
           I drew her face on vintage ledger paper.

I discovered Plaster of my new favorite things! Messy, but Fun!

Free Form in Plaster Craft.  Can't wait to do more!

Happiness is a vintage baby dress!

I think this is my favorite! I bought this vintage cutie on Etsy. It was a very very pale yellow when I started. My secret ingredient?  Liquid Nails!

                                      I wanted to do something really whimsical for Halloween...

The gnarly tree is plaster craft. I had so much fun with these colors!

                                                          Last, but not least...Pumpkins!

Be Grateful!

That's it for awhile. Time to get my house in order for Thanksgiving and the arrival of family. I'll still be sewing...not quite as messy! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

You only turn 30 once

Birthday Flowers from her sweet husband!

My daughter, Kira, turned 30 in August! It just doesn't seem possible, but you can't stop time, darn it! I traveled to Utah to spend a couple of weeks with her and help celebrate with a girls bash that I'll never forget! It was a beautiful night in SLC and we held the party in her backyard.  Not sure which was louder the music or the laughter, but we had FUN!

Vintage Hankie Garland

I've been collecting vintage hankies for years and decided to make a garland with them to hang on Kira's deck for the party. I sewed them onto jute with vintage buttons. It was hard to get a good photo of it, but you get the idea. We also strung lights and it looked so pretty at night.

Her newly landscaped backyard and garage. A windstorm caused a HUGE 50yr old Blue Spruce to fall and take out the garage.  What a mess it was!

The theme of the party was INDULGE! It was very "girlie" with lots of pink and salt water taffy and vintage linens and candles every where and did I mention PINK?  

Candles in various cups and glasses

Shades of Pink!

Nice water bottles, eh?

Kira wanted a coconut cake and a coconut cake she got! Buttermilk Coconut Cake to die for! She also had a raspberry filled cake which was just as good. Each cake must have weighed about 10 pounds! I made her  crown...the BIG 30! You're never too old to sport a crown, right?

You CAN have it all!

Her sister, Adri, drove up from Vegas and surprised her. It was awesome!

Kira and Adri

Me and Kira....she's my best friend!

I still can't believe she's 30! I'm so proud of the woman she's become. Very successful in her career, married almost a year to a wonderful man and she has a heart of gold! I am one blessed mama!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Heirloom French Hand Sewing

Back in 1990, I took an heirloom French hand sewing class with a friend of mine. Our girls were 2 and 3 years old at the time. We both loved to sew and wanted to expand our horizons. We had visions of making our little darlings sweet summer dresses made of batiste with delicate lace and hand embroidery. This was our ticket to pure bliss!

The first thing we learned how to do was Shadow Embroidery. I've never done anything so fine and delicate in my life! The back of the design is just as beautiful as the front. I wish I had taken a photo of it before I put this together. It almost looks like a fishtail design. The point being you get the "shadow" effect on the front. I elected to embroider Kira's initial with some delicate flowers and leaves. This was going to be the bodice of a little sundress. I don't see a you? Hey, my intentions were good! :)

Isn't it DIVINE? The rosette is made from satin ribbon and finished off with  a vintage button in the center.

Next was learning to sew entreduex, which means "between two" in French. It's a way of connecting lace to lace, lace to fabric, or fabric to fabric. I remember getting frustrated over this. It's very delicate and took some practice, but the results are well worth it. It's used in heirloom sewing and baby clothes. Very beautiful!
The "batiste" fabric is a very pale green. Those are two different laces sewn together at the bottom. I had to add the millinery flowers because....well, I just HAD to!
I had to add this teeny tiny crocheted pin cushion because it just seemed to fit. No pin cushion is complete without pins, right?

Last, but not least was smocking. Again, the plan was to use this piece in the bodice of a little sundress, connected with entreduex and then more on the bottom. I can still see that vision in my head! Now why none of this came to fruition is beyond me. I'm just happy I saved all of it. I did make Kira some adorable Easter dresses that had smoking and hand embroidery involved, so I wasn't a COMPLETE failure!

Again, the fabric is "batiste" in a yummy peach shade. All that embroidery work was done by hand.

My friend ended up buying a smocking machine which is really cool. It actually gathers the fabric for you, with your guidance. Then you hand embroider whatever you want on it. It's an interesting technique and I was very pleased with the way mine turned out.

I came across this little "stash" while searching for something else. I knew I had saved it and would someday do something creative with it. A sampler of those pieces as well as some others I used in dresses I made for  Kira. I had to add a piece of that stunning French lace that I hand sewed down the front and back of her wedding dress. I'm in a sincere love affair with that lace!

I wish you could "feel" this lace in your hands. There's just NOTHING better than lace from France!
Just had to add one more....*sigh*

The test is to see if I can actually part with this and give it to Kira. She's turning 30 in August. It seems like yesterday I was dreaming of these beautiful little dresses.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Imperfection is beautiful!

I recently had the pleasure of taking a KC Willis class at one of my favorite little shops here in OKC, Paper Crown! I met KC online last year when I took her Collage Camp workshop. We became friends on facebook and the rest is history! Finally getting to meet her, in the flesh was such a treat. We both feel like we've known each other a long time...kindred spirits!

I titled this piece "Imperfection" just seemed to fit!
Me and KC...LOVE her!

The beautiful thing about this class was... KC just put a blank canvas in front of me. I added the background fabrics, she gave me some direction and let me

Crazy patchwork hearts!

After I machine stitched all the little pieces in place. This was time consuming, but well worth it.   

I added vintage buttons and lace....
More do dads! I wish you could feel all the different textures.
KC said, "there are NO seam rippers in ripping out stitches." You get what you get. I LOVE  that. A lesson in letting go and seeing the beauty in the imperfect. 
I had to add in a few "clumpies", strips of fabric, an old doily, and millinery flowers.  Clumpies are what you get in your washing machine when you wash canvas and the edges fray. You're left with this AMAZING ball of clumped up thread!
There it BEAUTIFUL "imperfect" wall hanging! It measures 29"x 21". 
Thank you, KC, for a WONDERFUL day! For sharing your secrets, your knowledge, your amazing talent and your heartfelt stories!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just Like Grandma Used to Do...

I've always enjoyed hand embroidering. My mother did it, her mother did it, and I'm sure my great grandmother did, as well. There's just something soothing about holding a threaded needle in your hand and turning out something beautiful!

I took Home Ec in junior high school and of course we had certain sewing projects we had to complete. When we were given a free for all project, I chose embroidery. I embroidered all over a pain of denim jeans. And I mean ALL OVER!!! This was the 70's, so it was a hot stuff! In high school, I embroidered roses on denim shirts. I even had a guy pay me to embroider a shirt, yellow roses, for him. Still, one of my favorite things were the kitchen t-towels, as my mom called them. White cotton flour sacks great for drying dishes. 

I came across a pattern at our local quilt store awhile back for these t-towel patterns. One for each day of the week. Cute cottage flower pots! Then you add a scrap of your favorite fabric to a corner and stitch it with a blanket stitch all around the towel. I'm so in love with these! I've collected these "days of the week" towels over the years from antique shops. When I hold one in my hands, I can't help but wonder what the women were like who took the time to sit and stitch and maybe reflect on their life. Here I go getting all nostalgic and sentimental! Where's my kleenex? :)

I Should Have Flipped This One Around
Tuesday In The Works
There's a Lot of French Knots!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The House That Love Built

I made this collage for my sweet step-daughter, Tori, for her birthday. I didn't have a plan in mind when I started it. I wanted to try some new techniques, well new for me, for the background. I painted the background and then did some "glazing."  I added a page from an old book and removed part of it and glazed with another color. I wasn't too sure I liked it until I turned the canvas around and suddenly saw a tree evolving. It was then that I got EXCITED!
The rest just took off from there...

The House That Love Built
The tire came from a model car my hubby was building.
It was a "spare!"

My Grandsons, Riley and Blake
Aka: Rooster and Hootie Bob!
Tori and WONDERFUL hubby, Chris!
Eldest grandson, Jon!

So happy you like it, Tori!