Monday, December 31, 2012

Art Intentions for 2013...

It feels like a year of new beginnings and a lot of finishing...

Some of my art goals intentions for the New Year are:
1. Do art daily! Even if it is 10 minutes of making a background in my journal. Just do it!
2. Do a monthly art journal calendar to keep track of what I do for my daily art time.
3. Work on my  Ticket to Venice journal.
4. Finish my ROD (Remains of the Day) Journal.
4. Paint on a canvas (board) .
5. Make more books!
6. Work on the Craftsy classes I signed up for.
7. Find my art style... an ongoing search.
8. Go to Art Unraveled in Phoenix in July.
9. Do more art quilting.
10. Make my taupe quilt.
11. Do more embroidery.
12. Finish the scarf I am knitting!
13. Redesign my blog title with photos behind the title so it always looks the same on all browsers.

I also wanted to mention that the other day a few of us who are local but taking Mary Ann Moss' Ticket to Venice online class met up in Fremont at the studio of one of the participants. We spent the day gabbing, playing, looking at each other's art, and getting motivated to work on our journals for the class. I had SO MUCH FUN!! It really rejuvenated my spirit for doing ART and making it a priority in my life. I was so busy looking at stuff that I actually forgot to take pictures of the day but I am sure it won't be the last time we all meet and play!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Journal spread December 2012

More journal pages I have been working on.
Journal spread  December 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

New washi storage...

new washi storage by Cali-rhoz
new washi storage, a photo by Cali-rhoz on Flickr.
Works better than the other free-for-all container although... it's already full! And I still have 4 more rolls... and no doubt more in the next year coming, so I will need to start a second container too!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Making a Whole 30 Commitment...

After dabbling around in the Paleo/Primal eating world for the last year and some months, and after a few months of eating things again that are NOT helping my body at all (breads and pastries), I have decided to do the Whole 30 in January to get me back on track. Seems like a good time to start off right again, changing my eating habits back to those that made me feel better in the first place.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another Rainy Day...

Another rainy day in Sacramento... a good day to work on (again) the reorganization of my art room. After I put all my art stuff into the closet thinking it would be easy to get to there Pandora (the black cat) had to be isolated from the other cats who were beating her up so my art room became her room and then it was mpossible to get into the closet. So yesterday I brought everything out and traded the art cabinets with some of the fabric bins I do not use on a daily basis. Today I will finish rearranging so that I actually have space to work again.
The problem is that I do 2 activities that both have a lot of stuff associated with them and I want to be able to access it all in this tiny space. NOT going to happen, so I had to re-evaluate and make it work better for me (again).
Today outside the front door:

Rainy day
The oranges this year are so tiny. I hope they are still sweet and not bitter like we have had in past years when they were small. I guess we didn't give them enough water at the crucial time. In the years we water them right they are large and delicious. I may pick a few today and check them out.

Oranges in the rain

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Resurrecting my Art Journal...

First off had to add 2013 to the title page since I had hardly done anything in it all 2012.
I started it off with a bang (see these pages in my Flickr account) but then managed to lose the journal in a box of stuff I packed up and put aside and just found it again earlier this month. So, since I only had a few pages done and why waste a perfectly good journal, I just added another year and am keeping on in the same journal.
So I did a couple of pages last week...

Then last night started playing around with more backgrounds. Tonight I worked on one page so here is the background...

And the page...

Taking a bit of time to get back into the groove of things. I have to relocate my supplies which got moved when I cleaned out my closet and moved them in there. Now that I share my art room with one of our cats who needs to be isolated so the others don't beat up on her, I have to move her stuff when I want to get into the closet to take out any supplies. Not the easiest way to do art...
I think one of my projects over this coming 2 week break is to rearrange things a little so my art stuff is in easier reach. I need a bigger room!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I may need another washi tape container...

Not that I ordered a few more tapes from Amazon this morning... Just sayin' .. storage is getting tight -- time to use them more!

Monday, December 10, 2012

It needed some Day of the Dead ornaments...

So I started with this...

and made a couple of prototype ornaments...

Basic idea ok, sewn and stuffed with batting. Now for some tweaking...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nightmare Before Christmas Tree 2012

We haven't done our usual tree (or any tree) for a few years so this year we decided to dust off the old Nightmare Before Christmas and Halloween ornaments and do a tree... Halloween might be Oct. 31 for some folks but it lasts all winter for us!)

It still needs a bit more -- maybe I will add some sari ribbons this year! Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sari Ribbon...

First I saw some on someone else's craft blog... Then I found some on Etsy... next thing I know I am the proud owner of a bunch of gorgeous sari ribbons...

Dreaming of ways to use it in my fabric art...

Apparently I am a year behind the curve. Already found a Sari Ribbon Blog Hop online from last year and a whole lot of Pinterest links and even You Tube videos and online shops with projects and so much more! I had never even heard of sari ribbon until a couple of weeks ago when I saw a small package of it in a rubber stamp store of all places! When I got home I Googled it and found some on Etsy and here we are, me and my sari ribbon!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Out of the Box Circles...

On Thursday I went to the Country Sewing Center for the "Out of the Box" art quilting/sewing class. This time we made cut up circles:

Here is a close-up of the green background one:

I really enjoyed making these and got a lot of ideas for what to do with them... mostly thinking of a fabric bookcover. I will be playing with these ideas and will post what happens!
UPDATE: Found out where these come from! Check out Sandi Cummings and her Thinking Outside the Blocks book!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Finished the tote bag for Kit...

Finally! I started it in a class a few months ago then didn't get it finished until this weekend.
I am happy to finally have finished it -- not just because I showed it to her in the process a couple of months ago and she probably thinks it fell off a cliff or something! But also it taught me a few things about tote bag making... and... now I can start on other projects that have been waiting in the wings!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Quilt Guild and relearning how to knit...

Last weekend was the River City Quilter's Guild Quilt Show and this year I remembered in time to actually go to it! It got me inspired to do some thing on my taupe quilt (like start it).
While I was there I met one of the women from the Art Quilt group who invited me to their meetings which was nice since that is really the kind of work I am more interested in doing.
Then on Tuesday I went to the Guild meeting. I was impressed by how welcoming and friendly they all were so I joined the guild. I figured if I go to meetings and am around these creative people some of that will rub off and motivate me more -- since hanging out by myself these last few months and not doing anything crafty was definitely not the way to go!
Also that Tuesday I had a knitting lesson from Anna of Anna's Yarn Shop in Elk Grove. When I went to the shop a few days ago she was very nice to me, a very beginning relearner, and when I expressed disappointment there wasn't a beginning class I could join until next year she suggested an hour's lesson. It turned out to be better actually because I like one-to-one lessons where I can get all the attention. She has me making a cute scarf that is easy but looks complicated.
Here it is at the beginning:
I will post pix as it comes along!
THIS is what it will look like.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Break and the return of my muse...

She's back!
Well, slowly no doubt, but I realized the other day a lot of the stress I was having had to do with not using my creative outlet to let any of it go. I was really missing artwork and sewing so...

It has been nice to have a week off for Thanksgiving Break to have time for all this.

I am taking a few baby steps back into it all and we will see where it takes me!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rethinking the Blog...

Autumn Equinox 2012...

Not really sure that I want to blog anymore, except maybe when I travel.
Maybe later...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Misplaced my crafting mojo...

It's just been too hot for me and my creative juices went out the window for a while... but now that school is back in session and I will have less time to sew, I will no doubt get more done (I don't know how that works either)... working on a cute tote bag for a friend then working through some of my fabrics to make some clothes. I'll be back...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A day of dyeing and having fun...

Spent the day dyeing fabrics and trying out a few new things today.

This is my favorite bleach discharge on black kona fabric. 
My favorite black kona bleach print
My friend Beverly tried a stencil as a bleach discharge and I love the result! I will have to do some of those next time too!
Stencil resist on black kona

And we tried various sun-print type methods with Seta Dyes. Wrapped fabrics:
Tied bundles
to make these: 
Result of tied sun dyes
and while I was wrapping, Beverly was making leaf prints: 
Leaves on sun dye fabric
I thought I was taking lots of photos but I didn't end up with all that many. I will photograph a few more results and show them another time. And next time I will attempt a better documentation process! But it was sure fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Figured out stretch stitch today!

I do not own a Serger.

However I wanted to be able to sew on jersey (t-shirt) type material and make a top but I had never done it, so I found out that I needed to get ballpoint needles and use a different foot (for my Baby Lock it was a G foot) and got some jersey to practice on.

It is actually pretty easy:

stretch zig zag

Now I just need to make something and test out my new skill!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recycled Circles...

I have my Art Quilt class to go to on Thursday and I needed to have something that I was working on to bring so I thought I would try some of the Recycled Circles that artist Jane LaFazio makes.
Here is one example from her Flickr page:
blue and orange

So here is the one I am working on:
First just the circles pieced together (held together with Steam2Seam)...
Recycled Circles 1a

As you can see, my "circles" need some work being rounder!

I have started the stitching, which will take a while. This is what I will bring to class on Thursday:
Recycled Circles 1b
Then once it is all stitched I will connect the four pieces and add any other embellishments. I also have to add it to a backing. I am sure I am not making it in any method she teaches, as I am just winging it from seeing her photos. But I love the idea so I may make a few to just play with them. I think this will just be a wall decoration, although I did see one in Flickr from LaFazio's class that was made into a pillow.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Month Mystery Blocks Finished...

Finished the first month of the Mystery Saturday Sampler with 2 weeks to spare! I was so afraid I would never finish but once I started it was easy, just one step at a time and then they were done!
Here are the sawtooth stars:
Month 1 sawtooth stars
And here is what they look like finished per Month 1 instructions:
Month 1 Finished

1. I joined this Monthly Sampler to learn new techniques. That said, I did learn a lot this month: how to make flying geese, how to make a sawtooth star, how to use the Wing Clipper tool (very handy for cutting the flying geese right), how to piece the star so the points are properly showing.

2. I am NOT into Civil War quilt colors so even though the colors are ok, they would not be my choice. I like some of the fabrics individually but not so much in the mixed colors of the stars and side pieces. I will be interested in seeing the rest of the quilt block colors, although she said from the beginning it would be all Civil War quilt colors. Not sure what I will do with the quilt top once it is finished.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Learning Sashiko...

Sashiko is a style of Japanese embroidery using short running stitches as a decorative (or perhaps originally to reinforce old cloth) pattern. Traditionally it is done with white thread on dark blue (indigo) woven fabric. If you Google it, there are a ton of examples and some gorgeous more modern designs.
I took a class at Fabric Garden to learn the basic techniques. After a small practice piece, this is what we made:

Sashiko class sample
The leaves are from batik fabric and are fused on with Misty Fuse. It was a fun class and it felt good to walk away with a finished sample. If I want to make this a wall hanging, I just need to finish the edges. The instructor was going to quilt hers in dark blue sashiko stitches around the blue areas (hers was on batting) and then bind it. I may do that as well for more practice. I like the simplicity of it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Working on Mystery Saturday Sampler

Finally starting out on this first set of stars for the Fabric Garden Mystery Saturday Sampler.

The woman who is leading it said "this first block is an easy one"... well, it has taken me nearly 2 weeks to get started on it because I think it scared me too much! Making 3 blocks of a sawtooth star (that means 12 flying geese among other things) for this beginner was a big "stop in my tracks" thing until I finally sat down and just started it...
Start of block 1
This was just one square and the directions...

So I just started cutting and sewing and pretty soon: Block 1 with directions

Making block 1 geese
Finally I had one set of the flying geese...
Geese with directions
So I put together the first star pieces... Star 1 before sewing together
And sewed together the first star pieces...

Middle Star 1

And now I have 2 more sets to make and the last side pieces to sew on and then I will have the 3 blocks for the month!
The way the monthly sampler idea works is this: If we finish the month and bring the blocks to the next class then the next month set of supplies (cut fabrics and directions) are no charge, otherwise it is $5. So there is a little incentive, aside from just wanting to learn the techniques and make the sampler.
I will post the rest as I get them made this weekend.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finished Evie's Table Runner...

Another finished project! Made for my friend Evie:
Evie's Table Runner
Here is the full front:
Table Runner front
and the full back:
Table Runner back
It's basically reversible if she wants. I love the new (for me) batik fabrics that are out in stores and while they aren't for everything, I love them in things like this. I know the batiks have been out a long time but since it had been around 20 years since I had been in a fabric (or quilt) store, they were new to me when I first saw them last December.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Quilt Blocks #1 and #2...

Ok I admit, I am doing it backwards! I started with block #5 to catch up to the current week (which is already last week) and now am going back to do the first 4. Here are blocks 1 and 2... and now that I have done these I am rethinking my color choices...
Here were my original color choices:
Fabric Selection for Quilt Along

Quilt Block #1: (ignore the background fabric, it was just to show contrast) 
Quilt Block 1

Quilt Block #2: (ignore the background fabric, it was just to show contrast) 
Quilt Block 2

and here is #5 again just to see the colors: 
Quilt Block 5 trimmed

What I am thinking is that even though the colors "go together" as fabrics I think the blocks are more conducive to different kinds of colors. Here are some of the photos from the group so far: Flickr Group Photos for Quilt Along.
I am going to think on it and decide this weekend. It is really good practice for me to make these blocks and since I haven't made too many yet I can always redo if I decide to change the color grouping. Meanwhile Block #6 came out yesterday, better take a look at that too!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A few projects finished...

Zipper bag to go with my sister's tote bag:
Liz zip bag
My Embroidery Class Homework from Week 1:
Emb Class HW 1
Block #5 for the online Quilt Along: Quilt Block 5 trimmed

Working on: Finishing up the table runner for Evie:
Working on Evies tablerunner