30 January 2011

My Cosmo Ya'll and Post 200 Giveaway

My girl Jemellia is quite the seamstress and fabric is really her thing. She is hosting a Monthly Bag Challenge using the Amy Butler book Style Stitches.

Having never sewn a bag or used a pattern before, I took a class at the local quilt shop, Quiltworks, with my buddy Leslie using the Amy Butler Birdie Bag pattern on Friday. I chose to use a French General fabric with a bird on it for my first ever sewing project of this kind.

It went so well! I was thrilled with the outcome.

I thought "Oh my gosh, I am good at this!"

And then...

The Cosmo bag... I chose this Dena Fishbein blue with birds, of course, from Hawthorne Threads. Love their website.

Just so you know, Amy lists this as the first bag and calls it easy. I could gouge her eyes out for that. Thank God Leslie had shown me how to do the Birdie bag or I could never have figured out much of this pattern.

That last step was horrible, ridiculous and the wonkiest stitching of all is right there in the handle of the finished product. I am still reeling from the beastly ghastliness of it. Other members of the bag challenge produced some lovely bags and they can be seen in the Flikr group. Not everyone is as surly as me about it!

That's why its called a challenge and thus I am more determined than ever to complete all 12 bags this year but only because Birdie is so cute! And by Birdie I do mean Jemellia.


This is my 200th post. I would like to celebrate. I feel like shipping out that Cosmo bag but I have as much time in it as it takes to get a Master's Degree, so no. I will however put together a little surprise package of ephemera to one of you, something like what you see above. Please leave a comment here to enter. Entry will close at midnight Thursday, 3 February, 2011. I will announce a winner by random drawing on Friday.

Thank you for coming here!

26 January 2011

Little Angry Fairy

This month I completed all my projects from Silver Bella in November. I was not able to finish one thing while there. User error. Class times too short for unknown reasons. And me saying "this class time isn't long enough" didn't help anyone. Not anyone. I see that now...

This is the Caged Fairy class sample by Kerry Lynn Yeary.

My version. I thought I would be a genius at folding wire. Seriously. I thought I would. I was wrong...

The angry little fairy is my daughter. First day of preschool. She was so mad that I wanted a stop and take a picture. So big and bad with her little rabbit and grimace. That rabbit is like 4 inches long. She was so tiny. And angry. Lawdy, I love her so much.

The Junque Journal entry for the class.

Next and final installment is CoCo's class...

23 January 2011

2010 In Review

Twenty-Ten was a significant year of struggle and growth for me. In the midst of all the pain and miracles I made a lot of things. I furiously worked it out with my hands. Here, I have selected an item made each month that represents new techniques for my arsenal of art.

In January I completed the Hodge Podge Journal from my Silver Bella 2009 class with Rebecca Sower. It began my love affair with journals.

I made this journal for Holly Abston in February.

This is a collage made in March for Shelley Overholt who had a heart attack in her early 30s. I was moved to make this.

I knitted all year but this was new in April.

These journals were thank you gifts in May to our bankers who brought in dinner for us when we were so beat up from life. They happen to be all ladies and so smart and loving and lovely.

Heather Ales taught me to solder and this is my favorite piece from the year, made in June.

I made so many of these necklaces as gifts throughout the year, this is one from July.

Valances in August from vintage western barkcloth.

In September I made this case for my journal. I made a lot of these cases for gifts last year. Yet another love affair, an amalgam of many techniques.

This upcycled necklace in October was a first at this kind of jewelry collage.

I haven't shown you this I made in November to wear during vendor night at Silver Bella.

I had not made a quilt in years until this one for my husband's grandson. It felt so good just to cut fabric and sew and sew. I appreciate you guys showing so much love to me for this project.

I failed to include any of the things I made for Jemellia in 2010. She received almost one of each of the things above.

Now on to 2011. I start with out with a wonderful win from Jackie's blog Good Grief Girdie. She made this lovely calendar which I will look at and enjoy each day in 2011. Thank you,, Jackie, I admire you so very much.

Thank you for being with me here in 2010. It was a tough year. I made it through because of you, people who have loved me and held me up.

Thank you.

20 January 2011

Natural History Art Journal

Here it is, my first ever art journal. I learned the basic structure and got a start in my class with Donna Layton. I worked on this during the Care and Keeping of Betty Jean last spring, finishing the final two-page spread recently. It is my story as a little girl. Going through my childhood home and memories really sparked this. It was lovely to go to these pages and work.

It will make no sense to you. It isn't supposed to.

It is about being born, coming home, God and church (not even remotely the same thing as it turned out) and growth.

I now am absolutely wild about journals.

I feel so happy to have learned these skills...

to have employed the techniques...

 and finally proud to say...

 "looky what I did!"

16 January 2011

Tinkered Treasures

Where Women Create had a Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway with 3 guests and gifts per day. I entered nearly everyday and was so fortunate to be the winner of this little set of Tinkered Treasures from Elyse Major.

Thank you so much to Jo and Elyse!

Nest time, my first art journal...

13 January 2011

Have You Seen My Whipples?

Well, let me tell you all about them! Artist Lynn Whipple came to Silver Bella 5 and, other than Kaari Meng and the attendees themselves, I signed up because of Ms. Whipple.

She is the most delightful, energetic, positive person. But not annoying. Seriously how does she do that? It's because she is sincere in her joy to share. She was so very generous with her techniques and her praise. Lynn's work above and below.

Recently Heather Ales announced she would take on the challenge of not buying any new supplies for the year of 2011. I really love the idea of this challenge. She does allow buying products she will use within two weeks for a specific project. I have been thinking about this quite a lot. I find I am able to say 'no' to new things by never entering the shop in the first place. I have definitely walked around Michaels with my coupon just looking for something to buy. I mean, I have a Crop-a-dile for god's sake. I don't even really know what to do with it, but I have one.  While I am not going to stop buying supplies, it has made me think about organizing and using what I have to accomplish these unfinished projects.

Lynn at work. Why is so so awesome?
One thing I need to do is stop enrolling in classes while I have so many incomplete projects. I made a list, a long list, of projects that still need to be done. I believe there were about 15 things on it! Last year, I bought three online courses I never did use.  Because classes have offered so much growth and inspiration to me, it is hard to say no.

I did sign on for the Brave Girls Soul Restoration Workshop. Its a 6 week commitment and I intend to take it seriously. It started this week. I am a little scared about it.  The Soul Restoration Workshop says you will print out over 100 pages. And just in time! My printer stops working. Since I also start teaching again, I sucked it up and replaced my dinosaur of a computer. That was a task. I still have to learn how to use everything. However, it feels so peaceful to start the year out feeling good, replacing broken things and getting organized.

So...all this about Heather and the Brave Girls project really is about my Whipples. I decided to just start working through that Incomplete Projects List. Whipple projects were first. I am very delighted with these ladies, 'found aunties' from old photos.

Mama always said pretty is as pretty does...

Just bloom...I cannot take my eyes off this gal.

Fly Girl...Soar...

Once I finished the projects I made a page in my Junque Journal being assembled from the Silver Bella swap of the same name.

This journal is to be a collection of things from Silver Bella and the Gilded Nest as well as other events from the year.

Below is my first art journal, from a Donna Layton class in my last post. In class we mostly talked about the making of a journal. She brought books full of inspiration as well as her own remarkable journal. I did these final pages in the Whipple style. 'Kindergarten,'  my school photos from K through 5th. I will have to show you the rest of the journal sooooon. 

When you can say yes to a class, how do you say no? I got so much inspiration from meeting Lynne Whipple. I could actually hear her encouraging voice in my head while working on these projects.

Oh sure, find a balance between learning, and creating. Sigh. I want to do it all. All the stuff, all the classes and all the time. My mother used to say 'keep chunkin' hard.' Just keep at it. I will keep working on balance. Saying yes. Saying no. The trick is to find the stillness to enjoy it.
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