Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Fun Halloween Play day at Lauretta's

It is always so nice to be able to get out of my studio and visit someone else's design space. My friend, Lauretta, has a wonderful studio space and she invited me for a fun play day. We shared projects we have been working on, things we plan on starting and then we started to play. She set me up on her long arm quilting machine so I could work on some free motion quilting and then I set her up with my gel plate and we did some mono printing. We had lunch and laughed and had so much fun all day. She has decorated her house with such wonderfully themed vignettes of her spooky Halloween collections. I wanted to share them with you, go here to add some music for the tour first. I took some liberty and added a dead frog in one or two of her containers with Photoshop to add more eewww to her already creepy set up. Thanks for a great play day!!

By adding filters in Photoshop you can take any photo and turn it into a great graphic Halloween card or party invitation!

I added a filter to this photo to get this creepy picture, what a cool Halloween card!

 Then here is some of our mono prints we did, just playing on fabric with paint.
I hope everyone has a fun, safe Halloween! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Working on some Christmas card ideas

It's that time of year again, time to paint my Christmas cards. I love doing it and I love watching my students paint their own cards. I am just playing with some ideas and photos I found, doing some small paintings to see if I like them enough for my cards. While i was in Vegas this week i saw the most amazing candied apples and the strong lighting in the hotel made them so shiny, they almost look glass! I think with some fun lettering and maybe some bows and tags added they would make a nice card. For me, the hardest part is deciding what I want on my Christmas cards every year!

Are you painting your cards this year?

I think I am going to do some birds next!

I am not happy with the puppies, they're off and I won't paint them again since its not what I want for my cards.
- Desiree

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Sketch Class

I had seven women in my sketch class today, what a wonderful day it was too! The weather was perfect for sketching on-site at the Canyon Crest Center. We parked next to a lunch place  called Jam n Bread and we could smell fresh bread cooking the whole time we painted. The tables outside the deli are set up next to a stream and Koi pond with rocks and reeds and even a bridge. There was so much information to take in and we discussed how to edit that information and put in what tells the scene the best. Watercolor takes some thought ahead of time to assure a good outcome. This was a big jump off point for my new students but they rose to the challenge and painted some great pieces. Here is my little sketch done as a demo. We then ordered our lunches and sat together at the bar and shared our paintings, discussing all the artwork that was painted today. Great Job Ladies!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chloe is certified!!

Well Jennifer finally fulfilled a long time dream of hers, to have a service dog. She was insistent she didn't want to have a Lab or Golden since she works so long at a shelter and prefers mixed breeds. The funny part to this story is that we ended up getting her sisters dog at 8 months old and she is a purebred Boston Terrier. The breed is known for its energetic enthusiasm for life. They can be hard to calm but are very loving and attentive.  Jennifer decided that she would be a good service dog and started training her to do things like pick things up, retrieve things for Jenn etc.

We went through all the tests, applications and received our service dog license last week! We are legal! Jennifer is also taking some advanced training classes with Teryn, and amazing dog trainer! We want Chloe to alert someone if Jennifer is hurt or needs us. I am so proud of both of them, they are amazing. Here are some photos from class today and I the sketch I did of her for the International Postcard Exchange can be viewed by clicking the link on the right, Postcards from my walk.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My new art boxes are done!!

Today I finished up and shipped my art boxes for release November 1st! I am so excited about this new collection of work. We still have a few original boxes left so drop by the ArtBox and check them out. The first group is whimsical song birds done on painted fabric and quilted. I had started another collection of old keys which I also love but it was all collaged and I think I want this group to stay as a fiber group. The fabric is painted, gessoed, stamped, and distressed before the birds are placed on and painted. I then shadowed and highlighted before quilting.

 This next group are my vintage women, each sporting a hat with a lot of meaning. Each painting also has a saying; Friendship goes best with Tea and Cookies, Baking feeds my soul etc. This series has more women and collection pieces that go along with them. If you are interested in a custom piece please feel free to contact me!
 My process was to first draw out the girls, this is where I refine the drawing and make sure I am happy with everything before transferring it to fabric. I then choose the fabric background I wanted them to have and then I transferred them to the fabric.
 I then began to paint the face and continued until everything was painted, shadowed and detailed.
 As I was painting the figure I was using some of the dots and splashes in the background fabric to turn into flowers, bees etc.
As I paint I wipe off some of the paint so that some of the background shows through in some areas.

 As the painting progressed I continued to add details and shadowing with a charcoal pencil and some liquid pencil to give it a vintage look.
 When I was happy with the way everything turned out I collaged on some text at the bottom of the piece that says "Gardening Grows my Heart" and Garden Girl is born. I then took her to my sewing machine and quilted her, being careful to not ruin her expression. I hope you enjoyed the process!
All of these art boxes and more from some of the top fabric artist will be available at the artboxcsa on November 1st, just in time for your Christmas Shopping! See some other links below to see some of the other artists amazing work!

More artists showing their work for the ArtBoxcsa! 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Movie stars, UCLA, museums and princess skirts,all in one week!!

We had a whirlwind week with Jennifer going in to UCLA for a minor surgical procedure. The night before we went to have dinner and found ourselves in the middle of a Premier for the movie "Seven Psychopaths" with all the movie stars lined up for photos.  We couldn't get close enough to see them but we could hear the screaming for Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and others. It was so exciting as we sit outside on the patio of the restaurant directly across the street from all the commotion. It was a true Hollywood moment that, and although I grew up in California, have never seen one before. Lots of police, fans, photographers, security and then us commoners.

The next morning Jenn was checked in for surgery and we stayed with her until all was well and she was sleeping off the sedatives. She did great and we are good to go for another year!! Yeah!!
Every year it seems she has to go through this and we try to make it a bit fun for her and us. This time, as she was sleeping, we slipped over to the Hammer Museum, which we have never seen before. They were having several interesting exhibits and they have an amazing permanent collection of Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir,Toulouse-Lautrec etc.

One of the most unsettling exhibits, but thought provoking, was an exhibit by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu , their first US exhibit. So we walked up to the door and looked inside and there wasn't anything in there, I said to Randy, they must have taken it down already but the person at the door said, No, go in, its inside. We walked into a large white room with nothing on the walls at all. On the far wall was a small hole with dust on the floor but we barely noticed as we felt like the room was empty and whatever had been there was now gone. Off on the right side of the hole was a opening, a doorway that lead to a hall. We proceeded through the doorway and were startled by a large figure, peeking through the hole with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder. Dressed in Middle eastern tribal dress and American style combat boots he was very scary. The piece has many meanings and is a reminder of how one individual can cause chaos and fear. I am still thinking of it, and we found ourselves walking around him, a wax-life like figure for sometime. I thought to myself how safe and unaware of any danger I felt as I first entered the room and how quickly that changed. I had to go around to the empty room and peek through the hole in the wall, a big eye peered back at me, chilling! The exhibit is called "I am here". I would highly recommend a visit to the Hammer Museum if you have never been, well worth your time and students are free.

The following day we took Jennifer home and I began a project I had hoped to have done for the twins birthday on Friday. The problem was it was now Wednesday and I only see them on Thursday so I needed to finish sewing them now! I sewed until I couldn't keep my eyes open and then I had to go to bed. 
Thursday came and I wasn't finished but as they napped I sewed and sewed....

Tulle, tulle everywhere and then the glittered tulle, it covered every surface with sparkle.

Today is Friday, it is the girls birthday today, they are four. It is an age where they want everything they see on TV, the store and in books and magazines. It is so easy to buy them things, knowing they will love it all. But I know that although you can buy them, I need to be the one to sew them some princess skirts. I debated whether or not to sew a complete princess dress but knowing them they need to be able to shed the fluff at a moments notice and getting out of a fluffy dress isn't easy. I decided to make the skirts with lots of ruffles and plain tulle underneath the glittery tulle. I went with Marianne to several fabric stores in OC to pick out the perfect tulle. I found the most glittery tulle at M&L Fabrics, the woman cutting the fabric had to stop to dust herself off and clean the counter before she could proceed. I knew it was going to make a mess but I had to get it. My husband swears we just got the glitter cleaned up from Christmas and now its back. My sewing room, ironing board, floors are all sparkling. I only saw the skirts on the girls for a moment as they ran to moms car to go home Thursday night. Today I received a few pictures of them on their way to show off the skirts to their friends at school! There is nothing better than tulle and glitter for girls and princesses!

Well, its Friday night, that was my week, what did you guys do this week???
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