Friday, September 28, 2012

My last class at The Fabric Patch, sad to see you go!

This week I taught my last class at the Fabric Patch, sadly, after many many years they are closing. For some reason I just always thought they would be there, they were one of the first quilt shops I discovered as a new quilter. Carolyn Reese owned it then, she is the brains behind "Road to California"  and when she decided to sell the store and concentrate on the show we saw it change over to a wonderful new owner. But like everything in life, things change and ready or not, it happens.  Good luck to everyone that has enriched my life somehow over the years. It was sad seeing the empty shelves as the students arrived but the spirit in the shop remained up and positive.

I had a wonderful class, filled with 14 amazing students. Sometimes I have a class where they seize the moment and jump in with both feet. It was great to see them all having such fun exploring the fun of colored pencils, watercolor pencils and inktense pencils on fabric. They start with a smaller block to get the feel of the pencils and pressure and the sealer, then when they are feeling like they are ready and have picked their favorite colors they move on and start the bigger block. They had some amazing results and I was inspired by them, as I often am by my students. They each approach it uniquely and so I benefit from seeing all the different approaches to the same technique! Thank you to all my students for a great day and to The Fabric Patch!

Its always so much fun to be able to relax, paint, and just color with a group of other women! The time flew by as we had tons of fun creating!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sometimes it just works!!

I have been working on some art box paintings for our new release and realized I had to redo some of them do to the fact that my museum wrapped canvases were of lesser quality than the others I bought. A bit frustrated and discouraged I headed back to my studio to work through the problem. I drew up a bunch of different images and ideas I had but nothing seemed right, it just didn't do it for me. I remembered that I had thought of something the night before and thought that I should make one up before deciding to do all 6. I drew up my idea and then transferred it to fabric, and as though a miracle happened, it all seemed to come together for me. It happens every now and then but I was so excited about this project! It is so me! I started with my design,transferred it to fabric and then painted it, adding details here and there. I am so excited to share it with you, although I have many others to do still. This is my "garden girl" which is so me! I hope you like her as much as I do!
A variation of this design will be available as part of my newest art box line, November 1st, 2012. Look for it at

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A day, A Moment, A Memory

Today is the day I have the twins, its a fun filled day of activities. I have to plan my whole week around it since it requires my full attention and some thought. I happened to have a moment with Megan today, one on one, her and I. She had gotten up early from her nap and had walked into the kitchen, sucking on her two middle fingers, groggy and wanted me to hold her. I sat down at the breakfast bar with her on my lap and she spied my paints and sketchbook. Well now she wanted to paint so I sat her up at the bar, equipped with a water brush, my watercolors and some paper. As she painted I thought I would take this opportunity to try and capture this ball of energy as she was busy in one spot. As I started to sketch her I thought her head always looks two times too big for her body to me! Its all that hair and the fact that she had just woken up and her hair was a mess didn't help. She seems to sport this look well, that style that so many movie stars pay too much money for, Megan has down to a science. Her hair, once long, now sits on her shoulders, grown out from last years late night scissor episode where she decided to cut her hair to the scalp right before Christmas pictures. It is forever recorded in our family history photo books. But now she has embraced the shorter hair style, I think she prefers the fact that she doesn't have to endure the pain required to comb out longer hair!
My quick painting of Megan, I haven't journaled this page yet.

She is a princess with an attitude, as smart as a whip and loves to help me do everything. I asked her to look at me a few times so I could see her face to paint it but she quickly decided she didn't like that since she was busy painting herself. Here she is, my quick painting of her sitting with me during a few precious moments of quiet painting time together.
This is Megan's painting, I draw some things, per her request, then she paints them.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Workshop at the Acacia guild

Last weekend I had the opportunity to teach my art appliqué class at the Acacia quilt guild. The thing I like the most about teaching is getting to meet all the amazing women out there. Whether it is quilters or art quilters or artists, these women are so amazing and inspiring. One of the women I met that day was Mary, she started quilting when she was 63 and she is now 98 1/2!!! She had brought her latest quilt to show at the meeting the night before which was a huge dahlia quilt. I was blown away.

 A retired school teacher, she is doing the things she dreamt of doing once she retired! She is still very active and was driving up until April of this year. She now is a bit more frustrated that she can't jump in the car and run to the fabric store to get something she needs on a whim any longer. This hasn't seemed to slow her down, instead she has it all figured out! She came to my workshop where I teach the students how to apply all sorts of colored pencils,watercolor pencils etc to fabric and make it permanent. Even with her arthritis she had no problems jumping right into the project. Her attitude, her heart and her spirit made you immediately love her. She told us stories and as we all laughed I thought about the fact that she has experienced almost 100 years of history! It is that willingness to keep learning and moving forward that was so inspiring to everyone. I hope I can age with such dignity! Here are a few pictures, thank you Acacia for a great day!
Some quilted blocks getting color! I have these blocks available for sale. Already quilted and waiting for you creative touch, contact me if you are interested. 

- Desiree

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

My Orange for Orange Aid Project-Riverside

The Riverside art Museum is having a fund raiser called Orange Aid and has asked local artists to paint a large fiber glass orange,a riverside icon. They provide the oranges and we are free to do whatever we like. These basketball sized oranges are a perfect size for display in a home or business. This year they are asking for sponsors and if someone sponsors they are guaranteed to get an original hand painted orange, done by a local artist. On the night of the Gala, on November 9th, the sponsor will be randomly assigned an orange through a lottery process, they do not choose. It should be a ton of fun and I can't wait to go to the Gala. There are a total of 125 oranges being painted and must be turned in by October 5 where they will be on display at the museum until the night of the Gala. I love to be able to help out the Arts and the museum all at one time! Here is my orange.

I first debated whether to fill the whole thing and cover the dimpled pattern but opted to leave the oranges texture which makes painting a bit trickier. I started by laying in my design with pencil.

I then laid in my background color, I chose to do a teal and tangerine color way.

I then added some of the color to my Poppies and stems

Now I am getting a feel for how it is coming together and so far I like it! I also have gone over my lettering with white so I can define the shapes. I then added color to the lettering, more details in the poppies and decided it still needed something. I had wanted to do something different on the top by the stem and hadn't worked out what that would be yet but then it came to me, a metal hinged faux top. I wanted it to look as though you could open the top. Here are the results.

I also added polka dots to the background and I am really happy with it. I have a week to make any additions or changes as I await the varnish I had to order. This has been such a fun project, thank you RAM and here's hoping for good homes for all the orphan oranges in Riverside!

To see another amazing Orange turned in by Reuben, another Riverside Artist, check out his blog. I love his orange and the great way he displayed it for all of us to see every side. I wish I had thought of that!!

- Desiree

Saturday, September 01, 2012

More sketching opportunities in Big Bear!

A painting of the marina and our hotel in the distance
We took Jennifer up to Big Bear for an amazing two days of water skiing, jet skiing and tubing. Casa Colina's Outdoor Adventure program and USARC hosted this adaptive event! Another wonderful opportunity for disabled people to have a chance to have some fun on the water in a safe and monitored environment. The weather was crazy weird, with bouts of thunder and lightening and pouring rain in the middle of August but everyone managed to have a great time. Randy and I even got up before dawn on Thursday morning and went out to capture the sunrise.

 The clouds were off in the distance but made for a perfect photo shoot!  I even managed to sneak in a painting and sketch onsite while I was there watching and photographing Jenn. I did something that was really fun, and I thought I would share it and challenge everyone that is reading my blog to do something similar and let me hear what you did!

During one of the downpours we ran inside the restaurant up there and sat in a small glassed in porch area and watched the storm take back the lake. Everyone was sitting just watching and hoping that they could go back out. Well I happened to have brought some fun art supplies so I passed out paper and intense sticks to anyone who wanted to sketch! It was such fun and helped pass the time until the sun was out again and everyone could resume their day of skiing. Before I left I noticed that Chris was sliding his sketch under the glass top that covered the red table cloth at the table near the window. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was leaving his sketch for others to see. I thought that was such a great idea! I had painted a small sketch of the boats and water and slid it unsigned under the table top glass too! What a neat thing to do! To leave a little piece of art behind for others to enjoy. I am hoping that the restaurant will not remove them and that next time we go there will not only be ours still there but that others will have done the same! I think a glass covered piece of art table covering is much nicer! Lets leave gifts of art and then share where they are and if you happen to get by that way please make a note to leave your art or take your picture with someone's art! My art is under the glass at B's barbecue on Big Bear Blvd, over looking the lake.

Another early morning shot of a fisherman getting ready to fish, I love this photo!

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