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Annual Art Retreat

Annual Art Retreat

In my last post, I showed you how I was creating some mark making tools for our annual art retreat. We had the retreat and had so much fun creating abstract artworks. I apologize for the poor quality of the photos as the light is very bad at the lodge where we stay and I was in a bit of a hurry.

The process involved each of us starting with the same size piece of painter’s canvas and then ‘changing’ the canvas with a variety of media and techniques. Some of the steps were timed and some not. It took us nearly a full day to ‘complete’ our pieces. Some of us are still working on them, some may tear them up to use in a different way and other’s may keep the end result as is.

Here are some of the supplies that we used and you can see the piece of folded canvas at the front of the table.

We did construct a few more mark making tools, mine are on the left, Paula’s in the middle and Louise’s gelli printed feather brush is on the right.

I thought it would be interesting to see the pieces as they progressed so I will show each person’s piece separately.

This is Deb’s piece from start to finish.

Here is Louise’s piece. I think she is still working on it.

Here is Paula’s piece. You can see the light shining through the picnic table in these photos. We usually forget that the picnic tables have spaces in between and this always causes issues with such things as printing or marking over the surface. I think Paula is planning on cutting/tearing this into smaller pieces to use in some manner.

And here’s Sally’s. You can’t see this in the last photo but she has added hand stitching and beading. She was not sure if she is finished with it or not.

And lastly, this one is mine. I think I am finished with it and actually happy with the result. Usually, I don’t tend to like my attempts at abstraction. I didn’t add much color so maybe that’s why I like this one better.

We had a great time and I am always amazed at the different styles that come from each person. We know each other well enough that it would be easy to recognize who’s piece is whose.

Snow and Ice – Guest Post Carole G.

Snow and Ice – Guest Post Carole G.

This is a guest post by Carole G. one of our forum members. You can follow her here:

During a recent very cold winter with thick ice and deep snow, I was inspired by the start of the melting process on a stream – the ground was frozen, the rocks covered in snow but little by little patches of water were starting to appear under the thick ice and white snow. It was the magic of the slow melt that influenced this piece of felt work.

I started off with a blue layer of felt and built on it in white, my fibres included merino and silks. As I wanted patches of blue to show through I let the background blue peep through in places and added runs of blue into to the top layer of white.

Here is a close up of the fibres showing how the silk adds a new dimension.

I partially felted the piece then stitched buttons in by pulling the loosely felted fabric over the buttons and sewing them in at the back of the fabric. I continued wet felting until I was happy that the button shapes were sturdy and then removed the buttons to leave stone like shapes in the piece.

And this is how it looked as a whole piece.

Although happy with the effect I felt the piece needed sparkle it needed the magic of the snow and ice so I embellished with beads both matte and sparkly and added stitch to create this ice and snow piece.

You can follow my creative meanderings on both:

Book Review

Book Review

I thought it would be fun to go through my library of fiber art books and do a review of some of my favorites. I don’t have any other books by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn but I have seen some of their other books. I have to say that I would recommend anything written by them. They are a great team and pack a lot of useful information in their books.

If you click on the photo above it will take you to Amazon. I think the book is out of print because the new copies are really pricey but you can buy them used for less. Or look in your local library, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find this book. I love this book. I refer back to it frequently and have read it cover to cover at least three times.

The book has two sections the first is “Design to Embroider” and the second is “Stitched Images”.  The first section is about how to develop designs on paper and mixed media, where to look to find ideas and exploring those ideas. It is a good start to basic design and how to relate it to embroidery. The photos and examples are wonderful and inspiring. They show their own work as well as work of other artists.

Section two of the book is about taking your designs and making them into an embroidery. There is information about fabric paints and various methods of using them, working with applique’, stitch themes, machine embroidery and selecting a theme. This book is not a step by step instruction book. It does give basic information about how to use various fabric paint products but it doesn’t contain any projects to follow. The book is geared towards getting you to think about your own designs and how to develop backgrounds and then add stitch to make a complex experimental stitch piece.

The book talks a bit about using different stitches but it is not a stitch dictionary and limited directions for individual hand or machine stitches. What it does is give you lots of ideas about how to interpret designs and various approaches to use to achieve the desired effects. Every time I read the book, I find something new to consider. If you only do traditional embroidery from a kit and don’t want to learn how to design, this book isn’t for you. If you’d like to take a more experimental approach and learn how to design your work, you’ll love this book. All the reviews on Amazon are 5 stars!

If you have a favorite fiber art book, I’d love to hear about it. Hop on over to the forum and  tell us about your favorite book.

Busy Times

Busy Times

Sorry I haven’t been able to post in a couple of weeks, we’ve been very busy with Family and friend commitments, weddings, engagements and 50th birthdays.  I’m so glad its all over now and we can get back to normality, plus I’m partied out and pooped lol

The only thing I’ve been able to keep up with is the weekly TAST and I don’t want to get behind in that as it’ll end up being a lot to make up for.

I am behind in my course with Victoria but as its an online course this one is able to be done at leisure and I’ll always have it, which is great. This time  we had to do some pages in a book and as I’m not a really big fan of altered books I’ve used some pages just to play and i’ve used  calico and a couple of canvas’s.  The pages are so far done using acrylic paints, pressed flowers and stamps made from leaves, you can see that I’m not very good at the stamping bits lol  But I am still having fun so that’s the main things

The next one is on canvas and using water color pencils and painting with coffee, of all things, lucky I bought a jar that we really don’t like so I’ll keep that for this use.  I still have a lot of stitching to do on this but at least its a start.

I do prefer to work on calico so this is my tree. This is done using acrylic paints and coffee again. Victoria uses memory thread which I don’t have ( YET) so  for the main area of the tree I used the 6 strands of thread and the rest is using 3 strands, I still have a fair bit to do on this as it needs flowers, bugs and spiders. The foliage is her thread salad stitch which I really like and can be used for a lot of fill in work and more foliage.


Then to go completely off topic ( sorry) I wanted to show you the Smoker that my Hubby made for the 50th birthday present. It works like a charm and our friend loved it.  Darren loved making it so much he now wants to get into some Blacksmithing and his brother is a true artist in this field. If you ever see the new movie I Frankenstien  then look out for the shackles and cuffs as  they were made by my very talented brother in-law , who by the way suffers from MS and he keep himself very busy forging and creating all kinds of art work and engraving.


And last but by no means least is my gorgeous Granddaughter Charlie, we’ve been helping out while mum does a little part time job that she loves. She’s such a little sweetheart, at 7 weeks old she’s  full of smiles and a very contented baby. Were all so in love xo


So till next time Happy Felting and Stitching or whatever it is you love to do xo

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