Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Creative time with presents

I love to create.
And gift giving is something I enjoy.
So when it comes to wrapping presents I enjoy that as well.
This year I cut paper snowflakes and used them as masks for spray painting large sheets of white paper with all sorts of colours of Smooch Spritz. You can find them at
I would never have found them if it weren't for Diane Nunez (love her work!) who was working at the IQF Cincinnati show last April. I went into the booth to say hi and watched her demonstrate this fun product. Naturally I got them in every colour! They made beautiful paper to wrap with.
You can see them in the SmileBox below - the flakes were scanned as well as a couple photos of the paper.
Wonder if you see how they relate to "Connect the Dot Design"?
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The holidays have been great. I always enjoy the process of trimming the tree. More specifically I love getting the ornaments out, looking at them, reminiscing over where they came from, whom, what trip, what little shop. This little guy is one perfect example. When I was growing up my family had an ornament identical to this one. I hated it. Who knows why! I just did.

Until one holiday season we had a fire and though not a big fire much of the tree was destroyed -- including Santa. A few years later, having my own tree I missed this ornament. I began a casual search for him.

That was in 1992. And every time I was in an antique store I would look for this ornament. Finally this year my partner found it on line. So now he has been restored to my tree!

Another ornament that did not survive the fire was a paper angel that my Aunt had cut -- two angel silhouetted face to face with wings spread. I guess that was one of the places that cut paper became such a fascination.

Now I have graduated to folded paper.
I watched a video on "tea paper folding" on YouTube. Basically it is diagonal folds creating a dimensional triangle that can then be nestled into another...

Then I took that simple idea and played.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Doodling Around

I have always doodled. From the margins of notebooks in school to a quilt recently. I find myself with a pen or pencil in my hand making repetitive marks that turn into patterns or messes. I seem to do it a lot.

Not all of it was uninformed -- I have had inspiration along the way.
Especially from the new craze, Zentangle... is the official site
another site with great information on various patterns is it is literally a clearing house of patterns.

Now just so you understand - the whole idea of Zentangles is a few simple marks repeated to create seemingly complex designs. And it is doodling with the intent to have a quiet, meditative moment.
And really it is doodling. So don't think you have to get a book. Of work on square paper like they do. You can doodle with purpose and have fun! THAT is the point.
Not to mention that I find it a great way to think about repetitive patterns and how they are created to then recreate them in thread...
If you have any questions or I can assist in some way. Please let me know.

other links...
Interested in patterns and how other utilize them...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wasting time?

I lost an entire day!
Lost it to Adobe Illustrator and creating Spirograph type images...
It was a lot of fun.
And I spent an entire day (ok - so almost two!) and so they were not a silly waste I thought I would share the resulting images with you. Perhaps they will one day end up in a Connect the Dot Design class or translated into a quilted image? (Approximately 6 minutes)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Last Fall I went to Baltimore Ohio to attend a three day quilting class at the Crow Timber Frame Barn. It was a terrific experience.
For those of you unfamiliar with 'The Barn' it is an ancient structure that Nancy Crow moved and rejuvenated into classroom facilities with a dining hall. Set on her pastoral and picturesque farm it is the perfect retreat from daily chores to focus on learning.
Sandra Palmer Ciolino is the perfect instructor for those looking to understand and master quilting. Patient, wise and focused she is not only adept at quilting herself she also has a background in education that assists in your learning! If you have quilted a little or not at all you can benefit from her instruction not to mention the scores of quilted sample she has for every idea. I had no idea what beautiful results could be achieved with a walking foot!

A great opportunity for learning AND getting away!

Above is a design I developed in Sandy's class in 2011.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You might have noticed how sparse the text is in my blog posts... Not really my favorite activity, I struggle to communicate effectively in text.
And yet I am gearing up to launch a web site, (not operational yet!). A professional is actually building the site and I have to create the content. I don't just want images so that requires writing!
Taking a break from writing content I was watching the DVD that accompanies Making Your Mark by Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan
While watching the DVD I was inspired to do some auto writing or free writing - done to create a pattern. Here are some examples.
Writing in vertical and horizontal likes writing over the top of text to create a darker line and obscure the text.
Applying the ideas of cross hatching to text. Can I make a sphere sit in space?
Randomly curving lines of text used to suggest a form with a little added colour.
 Not sure where the text idea will go from here, but love the ideas of creating with text. Stay tuned!
If you live in the United States and would like to study with Claire and Leslie they teach at the Crow Barn on occasion,
Click on Art Retreats and then Spring 2013.
Happy creating.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


A while ago I did some blind contour drawings - looking at the object being drawn and not the paper, except I was drawing with my sewing machine. Last week I did several drawing of a different nature that focus on shading. Not shading to express a form rather shading for shadings sake.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Connect the Dot Design Samples

This past fall at the Uncommon Threads Quilt Guild's Annual Retreat I launched a new class, Connect the Dot Design, a class where design is made a simple as a connect the dot picture.
The class was a success. After finishing teaching it the first time I decided that more samples were needed than just drawings on paper.
So I pieced one. Nice black and white for contrast (un-quilted at the moment).

As well as a sampler. (detail)

It is easy to see who else was at retreat. Our national teachers was Susan Cleveland.
She is the "Piping Hot Binding" lady
Her work is pretty special. I have loved seeing images of it, the chance to see it up close was even better. I love her simple, graphic approach to design. One thing she shared was a nifty use of a thicker thread like her 12 weight thread, Spagetti, from Wonderfill
what was so interesting about using this product is that she suggests using a top thread (like the 12 wt. Spagetti from Wonderfill) in a contrasting colour and matching the bobbin thread to the background fabric. Adjust the tension so that a little pop of bobbin thread 'breaks up' the line of the top thread. The look is more like a hand stitched line.
If you know Susan's work you will also see that the choice of solids and graphic background is also a nod to her work. Thanks Susan for your inspiration.

Also - this is one of the first times I have used the beautiful fabrics (that I have had for years) from Carol Bryer Fallert. I loved the graduation of colour - and then wondered what to do with them. This was a good choice.

This class is available for your guild or group. Just let me know!
And yes! it is for complete beginners as well as those with experience in design.