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 Textile Evolution

Liz Kettle Artist, Author and Creator of the Stitch Meditation process

Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

What's the Word?

I have committed to my focus word for 2014. I don't stress out about finding my right word by Jan 1. I start thinking about it mid December and usually by mid January it has presented itself. Some years my focus word arrives quickly and other years not so fast. Are you ready for the big reveal?

I actually have two words!

Intention  

and

Allow

I have never had two words but they both presented themselves repeatedly the last couple weeks.

Intention is about purpose, planning, being strategic and mindful of what I am doing, why I am doing it and how to get the most out of and put the most into every class, networking event and even in my daily encounters. My art always comes from a place of mindfulness and intention and I want to bring that same power of intention into my business.

intention-sketch-1-of-1I created this little doodle in my sketchbook. I am enjoying the little fact that intention breaks out like a traditional 9 patch quilt. Planning and simplicity.

 

 

Allow is a more personal word and is related to how I set my intentions. With allow I want to remind myself to use more of my feminine energy...the yin energy. I grew up and went to college in a very masculine (yang) era. We were taught that to succeed in business women had to turn off the natural yin energy and increase our Yang energy. Not in those exact words of course but we 80's dressed for success women wore ties and suits with giant shoulder pads. I shudder when I think of those big floppy bows we wore around our necks after the tie fad faded.

With allow I want to remind myself to be in balance; using both masculine and feminine energy in both my business and personal life. I often get out of body/mind balance and let my brain think it controls everything and become distrustful of my body and intuition.

Do you use a guiding word for the year or make resolutions? What are your big dreams for 2014?

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A Bit of Holiday Textile Cheer Tutorial

 

 

christmas-cards-liz-and-cass-web-1-of-2

 

Happy Holidays to all our Textile Evolution Community.

 

My studio mate Cass Mullane and I decided to whip up some fun textile cards for the staff at Cottonwood Center for the Arts where our studio is located. They were so fun and easy I thought you might like a quick tutorial.  I know it is a bit late for Christmas cards but this technique works with any theme. Cupcakes for birthdays, hearts for Valentines or shamrocks for St. Paddy's day...you get the idea.

 

christmas-cards-liz-and-cass-web-2-of-2

 

Steps:

1. Rip strips of fabric 1/2" to 3/4" wide. This is a great stash buster for all those little bits you have left over from other projects.

2. Find a stabilizer for your base and cut to the desired size. Ours are 4"x6". Just about any stabilizer will work. You can use muslin, tear away stabilizer, craft fuse or Form-Flex All Purpose which is what we used.

3. Apply Misty Fuse fusible web to your stabilizer base unless it already has a fusible base.

4. Lay your strips on top of the fused stabilizer and follow manufacturer's directions to fuse the strips in place.

5. Now for the fun part! Embellish it!

6. You can stamp a design with paint on the surface like our tree cards.  Be sure to choose a strong design. I love wooden printing blocks for this part. After stamping the design we stitched with metallic thread and added some shimmer paint for extra shine.

7. Our sassy snowgirls are created using various sizes of faux ultra suede stitched with metallic thread. The black coal eyes and buttons are small circles of black fabric fused on the snowgirl bodies and their noses a simple open lazy daisy stitch. For a final jaunty touch we stitched on ripped strips of a plaid for a scarf. These girls are going out on the town!

8. Trim up your cards if needed and apply Misty Fuse to the back of the fabric/stabilizer. Fuse to a purchased card base. Stitch around the outside with a zigzag stitch and you are ready to receive the oohs and ahhhs from everyone who gets one.

This would be a great project to do with kids too.

 

You can find wooden printing blocks at Artistic Artifacts, and if you are in Colorado Springs Blue Twig Studio and I have blocks available.

 

Don't forget to take time to just be and breathe during this crazy busy time of year. Celebrate the seconds of extra sunlight we have each day and each precious moment with your loved ones.

 

Stitching is perfect for slowing us down...

 

 

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The Gift that Keeps on Giving!

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I first met Megan Dougherty way back in the early days of Quilter's Home before it morphed into Generation Q. Well, I didn't actually meet her in person but we wrote for the same magazine and I read all her articles so it is almost like meeting her in real life...in a stalker sort of way. Megan is not what you think of when you think 'quilter'. Megan is slightly irreverant, seriously funny and a quilter all wrapped up an a nice little package.

If you are looking for a great gift for all your stitch friends this is it!

Megan has just released her first book: Quilting isn't Funny. This book will have you all in stitches! (yes, I know that is a really bad pun)  Quilting isn't Funny is a collection of essays about the crazy world of quilting. I received an advance copy to review and skipped immediately to the Brief History of Quilting essay because I love history. What could be better than Quilt History?

I thought I would share my favorite paragraph with you.

'During the Roman empire, Octavia, the wife of the emperor Claudius, began gathering the wives of other Roman statesmen in order to share quilting knowledge, trade fabrics and patterns, and plot assassinations. When Claudius began to suspect that Octavia's 'quilting salons' were potentially lethal for him, he had Octavia killed and installed himself as Supreme Quilter, even though he didn't know a nine-patch from a poisoned dagger. He then used his position among the quilters to orchestrate the murders of his second wife, his mother, his dog, and that snippy Flavia Sabrina who was always making fun of his color choices. This, of course, was the first quilt guild.'

I have belonged to guilds like that! There is a Flavia Sabrina in every crowd! It gets even better but I don't want to spoil the surprise! Go order yourself a copy and one for all your stitch friends.

Or maybe if you take a couple seconds to leave a comment on this post you can win your very own autographed copy! You should probably order one today though because I won't pick the winner until Tues Dec 17th because that is Ruth's birthday! We will have cake and confettii. Anyway, you may not get it in time for gift giving so go order the gift copies now. You can read a few essays while you are wrapping them.

If you don't win from my blog post you can keep trying because Megan has set up the mother of all blog hops! Look how many you can visit! Quite a few are giving away books but you will need to get set up with your favorite tasty beverage and some snacks because some of these bloggers are worth checking out even if you don't win a book.

If you want to meet Megan, head over to her site to get the scoop and read all about her QSMASB calendar project. You seriously have to go see the preview! How often do you find a calendar with photos of Quilter's Shirtless Men and Spicy Burritos? A different qult, man and burrito each and every month. You can order your 2014 calendar now.

Go leave your comment before you start looking at these awesome blogs because you will get distracted and forget where you started.

Dec. 9 - Victoria Findlay Wolfe – Bumble Beans Inc

           

Dec. 10 - Lynn Harris - Little Red Hen

Dec. 11 – Teresa Coates – Crinkle Dreams

Dec. 12 - Joshua Helms - Molli Sparkles

Dec 13 - Liz Kettle – Stitch Journeys

Dec. 14 - Leah Day – The Free Motion Quilting Project

Dec 16 - Lisa Sipes – That Crazy Quilty Girl

           

Dec. 17 - Charlotte Newland – Displacement Activity

Dec. 18 - Teri Lucas - TerifiCreations

Dec. 19 – Cheryl Sloboda – Muppin.com

Dec. 20 – Kelly Biscopink – Stitchy Quilt Stuff

Jan. 6 – Generation Q

Jan. 8 – Rose Hughes – Rose Hughes – Quilt Artist

Jan. 9 – Janice Ryan – Better Off Thread

Jan. 10 - Flaun Cline – I Plead Quilty

 

Jan. 13 – Heather Jones – Olive and Ollie

Jan. 14 – Meg Hilko – Without A Stitch On

Jan. 15 – Laura Lochore – Quokka Quilts

Jan. 16 – Elaine Wong Hasselhun – Dashasel Sews

Jan. 17 - Kim Lapacek - Persimon Dreams

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Quilt Market Fabric Finds

Fall Quilt Market has closed. It is always a relief and a bit sad when it closes. A relief that we get a few hours off our feet but a bit sad to say goodbye to all our friends and of course we never get enough time to see all the quilts in the exhibits let alone the booths. I always come away inspired and full of ideas for projects.

 

I thought you all might like to see some of my favorite fabrics designers and their collections:

 

leah duncan GM art gallery

 

Leah Duncan. So sad the picture is blurry but you can see her booth is adorable. Leah's collection is called Meadow and she has captured that beautifully in her designs with out being over simplified.

 

Angela Walters QM Art Gallery

 

Angela Walters with her Drift collection. I love how it made you think of the water and ocean without being quite so obvious.

 

Pat Bravo Rapture QM art gallery

 

Pat Bravo's Rapture line is fun, fresh and airy. I don't think Pat has ever designed a line I didn't love.

 

art gallery safari moon QM

 

Safari Moon by Frances Newcombe is whimsical and bold.  You could almost hear the monkeys calling.

you can see detail shots of these fabrics and read about the designers on the Art Gallery Fabrics web site. Yes, they are all under the Art Gallery brand so you know the quality is the best there is. I can't keep my hands off their luscious fabrics! Give them a few days though to get all the photos of the new lines up.

 

carolyn friedlander QM

 

I also love Carolyn Friedlander's fabrics. Go check out her Slow Sewing Studio movement on her web site.

 

Jamie Fingal fabric line

Jamie Fingal has a fantastically fun new line of fabric. These fabrics will just make you happy.

 

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Cooking in Houston

houston skyline

Ruth and I are in Houston for International Quilt Market and Festival.  As we got out of the shuttle from the airport we were stunned to find the sidewalk from the curb up to the front door of the hotel strewn with about a dozen of my postcards. It was as if Houston was expecting me and put out the red carpet! :-) Evidently the UPS delivery person had arrived shortly before us and dropped the box of my postcards and a few had escaped. The postcards were probably so excited to be here they couldn't wait to jump out of the box and tell everyone about my cool new classes that will be on-line soon.

 

This is the first time we arrived well before our first event which isn't until 3pm today (Fri). We got here at noon yesterday and spent the afternoon walking around downtown Houston and grocery shopping. It was fun to explore the 'big' city.

 

One interesting discovery for me on our big walking adventure is that I am not very talented at walking on sidewalks! I realized after the third time I tripped on the little edge of the sidewalk joints that I don't normally walk on sidewalks. At home I am walk on the edge of the street or on a trail. It was very funny. I am sure it didn't help that I was looking up most of the time.

 

houston reflections

 

We enjoyed the architecture of this busy city, counted the number of oil company buildings and spent a lot of time looking at the ever changing reflections in the windows. We found a beautiful garden around the Public Library that was a quiet magical oasis in the city.

 

 

houston construction
 

We haven't stayed downtown for a few years so it was fun to see all the changes. Our room faces Macy's. Well it used to be Macy's but now it is a pile of rubble...a very big pile. I am totally fascinated watching the big diggers moving all the rubble. They look like giant dinosaurs. It is a bit noisy but most mornings we will be up well before the construction starts.

 

We always stay at a Residence Inn so we have a kitchen. With our food allergies it is so much simpler not to mention cheaper, to have access to a kitchen. Traveling with allergies can sometimes be difficult so we were thrilled to find that a wonderful gourmet market had opened not too far from the hotel. We were like kids in a candy store looking at all the amazing foods and taking in the fantastic smells.

 

We found a fig preserve that we couldn't resist so we put our heads together to come up with a meal around it. We decided on sauteed acorn squash, mushrooms and onions with a wonderful garlic infused olive oil. To that we added sauteed pork chops with a balsamic glaze. Not too shabby for hotel room cooking!

 

Some of our followers have mentioned how fun it is to go to the quilt shows we go to and it is a lot of fun hanging out with people who love the same things we do. However, the travel part is not so much fun. After so many years we have it down to a pretty good science. Our bags are packed precisely to 49.5lbs We always forget the same things (coffee filters) and generally remember to pack the most important cooking tools: a large Teflon skillet, sharp knives, cutting boards, Serranos coffee from Monument CO, Ruth's home made salsa and baggies. We almost always have a TSA search love note in our suitcases.

 

Let me tell you, it isn't easy getting all our teaching supplies in as well as our kitchen essentials. Sometimes clothing must be sacrificed but we figure no one is paying that much attention to how many times we have worn that same tee shirt. Fortunately, the Residence Inn has a laundry room too.

 

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Perfect Paper Piecing ~ Choose the right thread

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Paper Piecing! I spent the last weekend finishing this quilt top and table runner. Starr Design Fabrics created the pattern and fabric kit. This project has been in the works for 13 years! I know some of you can relate. I purchased it on my 40th birthday so I know exactly how long it has been hanging around. One reason it has taken so long to finish is that I discovered after oh...about...the second star that I really don't like paper piecing. (gasp!)

 

Fortunately, I have a great friend who doesn't mind paper piecing and she helped me get through these blocks. Truth be told she made most of them. :-)

 

One benefit to working on a project like this for so long is that it has a bit of my personal thread history in it. I started this quilt before I had embarked on my mission to undercover all the mysteries of thread. So, it is a bit of an experiment on what threads work best with paper piecing.

 

I started out with a medium weight cotton thread. Nice and strong but it made it difficult to get all the many points to meet where I wanted them to meet. Too frustrating for paper piecing these complicated patterns.

 

Next I tried a couple different ultra-fine threads. I began with InvisaFil and DecoBob both by WonderFil. These ultra fine threads worked great and gave me totally flat seams and the points all behaved nicely and met where they should. But, these particular poly threads are a little stretchy so when I was tearing away the paper the stitching stretched a bit and had to be repaired in a couple places.

 

My recommendation for paper piecing thread is Coats and Clark Dual Duty Fine. This thread is strong, not as stretchy as the others I used and is fine enough to give you nice flat seams. Don't forget to shorten your stitch  length too.

 

I have gifted my paper piecing hero with all my add a quarter rulers! I won't be paper piecing in the foreseeable future. I hope to get this quilt top quilted later this fall but have a baby quilt to do first! Another boy grandbaby will be joining us in late Jan. Love those boys!!

 

 

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The Joy of Finishing

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About 13 years in the making but finally finished this weekend!! The good news is that I still love the fabrics and the pattern after working on it for all these years. My only regret is that when I started this the only fusible product readily available was Wonder Under. The center is layered fused fabric applique so it is really stiff in the floral sections.  Misty Fuse would have been so much better to use and would have left the quilt soft and cuddly.

 

I am very good at finishing projects but have a few large quilts that have been languishing for years...interrupted by quilts for the boys and more recently my grandchildren. I realized about 8 years ago that working on the same quilt (or any project) especially those that are repetitive blocks are just not my thing. I also moved away from making other people's patterns and started creating my own. I got rid of all those projects except for a few that I really loved. Getting rid of those I really didn't like anymore was such a great relief and gave me more room for art supplies. I highly recommend it. Of course finishing makes you feel Great too!

 

 

 

 

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Looking for July

Anyone seen July around? I remember turning the calendar page to July but the next thing I knew it was the middle of August already! School starting? Really?

 

Ruth and I both had tons of company...grandchildren on both fronts and a few other house guests too. It was lots of fun and much laughter was heard at both our homes.

 

We did get some great work done too!

I finished this piece which was accepted into the Standing on the Shoulders of Cowboys exhibit at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs. That was an honor because of the amazing number of pieces that were submitted. This piece, titled Rust 'N' Dust is composed of rust dyed fabrics and machine embroidery on an organza layer.

 

rust n dust liz kettle

 

Ruth finished the final pieces for her new book Modern Hand Stitch the evening before she had hand surgery! Talk about a hard deadline. Her samples will amaze you and we will give you some sneak peeks over the coming weeks. Her book will be out later this fall.

 

Ruth has a bit of recuperation ahead of her so send her lots of healing energy. I know she can't wait to get back to stitching again.

 

 

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Art and Soul Blog Roll + a Giveaway

Only 39 days until the Portland, OR Art and Soul event! Sept 30-Oct 6 2013 That is a great reason for a giveaway! 

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I love teaching at Art and Soul because where else on earth can you be completely immersed in doing what you love, surrounded by hundreds of people who also love the same thing, in a beautiful setting on the river? The creative energy is so thick you can touch it.

I also love Art and Soul because it changed my life! I am not trying to be dramatic here. It truly changed me, it touched my art and my soul.

If you are looking for a place to learn, explore and build your wings this is it.

I am teaching three classes this year and they are all so very different.

 

First up is my gelatin plate printing class Monday Sept 30: Delectable paper and cloth. We use both a traditional gelatin plate as well as the Gelli plate. Total creative abandon in this class. I am always blown away by the energy in the room and the fantastic papers and fabrics that emerge.

gelatin print papers

gelatin plate printing portland a and s

delectable cloth class work

The next day, Tues Oct 1: Mixed Media Mayhem! You better eat a good breakfast before this fast paced stash building class. Before I was half way through the day teaching it in Va Beach students were asking when Mixed Media Mayhem II would be ready for sign ups! We cover a ton of techniques and create unique bits for your stash. this is just a sample of the cool stuff we will make.

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My third class is Stitch Dancing on Sunday Oct 6. This is the class that was featured on Quilting Arts TV with Pokey Bolton. Using thread and tiny ephemeral bits of fabric and silk roving we create these luscious embroidered pieces. You will love the process and all it's possibilities.

stitch dancing free form embroidery

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Ok, so after I read what I wrote I realize that my three classes aren't all that different from each other. They may be based in the full range of mixed media but they all are about learning techniques, exploring possibilities, asking 'what if' and surrounding yourself with beautiful stuff. :-)

 

Follow the blog roll and visit my fellow teacher's sites to see their amazing classes and some of them have sweet giveaways!

 

Aug 19 Serena Barton http://serenabartonsblog.blogspot.com


Aug 20 Clarissa Callesen www.Clarissacallesen.blogspot.com


Aug 22 Jen Crossley http://amarkintime.blogspot.com/   and   

Barbara Worth Rainey http://fireflypress.blogspot.com


Aug 23 Jill Berry Blog: http://jillberrydesign.com/blog/

 

 

Gotta have a giveaway!

book giveaway

 

Post a comment below and you will have a chance to win a copy of First Time Beading on Fabric by yours truly, a bead mat and a collection of beads and sequins from my personal stash including a lovely purple cabochon. I have been cleaning up and out lately so you may find some other goodies to help you get beading right away!

 

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TAP Class with Lesley Riley Giveaway!

image transfer India voyage small-1

TAP image transfer on metal shim

 

I LOVE Transfer Artist Paper aka TAP! I was at the front of the line to purchase it when it was first released by Lesley Riley. With this fabulous image transfer paper Lesley ended a lot of frustration for mixed media artists world wide. No more worries about the type of printer ink you had or the endless search for the paper or transparency film that works. TAP solved a lot of problems and took the mixed media art world by storm! It was awarded the coveted Most Innovative New Product by the Craft and Hobby Association in 2011.

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TAP image hand tinted before transfering

 

I use TAP in a lot of my collage work and I have TAPped on tote bags, banners, lutradur, metal, wood, ceramic and just about every sort of fabric you can imagine. TAP is a frequent winner in my classes too. Students always fall in love with it when they see how versatile and easy to use TAP is. Lesley has a new on-line class on CraftArtEdu where you can learn all the great techniques, tips and tricks directly from Lesley Riley herself...right in your own home:  Create with TAP Transfer Artist Paper™ with Lesley Riley. You can even watch a preview of Lesley's class.

 Now for the fun part! Lesley is offering you a chance for a FREE class! She organized a blog hop so you have multiple chances to win. To enter to win the free Create with TAP class just leave a comment on this blog post. Tell me what you would like to create with TAP. I will choose a winner using a random number generator on July 9.

But wait! That's not all (said in my best infomercial voice over) If you head over to Lesley's blog and leave a comment there you might win a 5 sheet package of TAP to play with!

 

Check out the rest of the bloggers who are participating in the hop. Only a few winners have been chosen so you have lots of opportunities to win.

 

June 26 - Christine Urias - Scraptime

June 27 - Karen Watson -- The Graphics Fairy

June 28 - Judy Coates Perez - Judy Coates Perez

June 29 - Theresa Wells Stifel - Stifel & Capra

June 30 - Lynn Krawczyk - Fiber Artysta

July 1 - Claudine Hellmuth - Claudine Hellmuth

July 2 - Gina Rossi Armfield - Joyful Purpose

July 3 - Carolyn Dube - A Colorful Journey

July 4 - Liz Kettle - Stitch Journeys

July 5 - Jane LaFazio - Janeville

July 6 - Joanne Sharpe - Whimspirations

July 7 - Pam Carriker - Pam Carriker

July 8 - Theresa Martin - Theresa Martin

 

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3 Artists + 3 Days = Creative Frenzy

Jamie-Judy-me-at-AA-3-of-5

I just spent 3 amazing days with fellow artists, Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts in VA and Jamie Malden of Colouricious in the UK. We convened in VA at Artistic Artifacts to create, experiment and wreak creative havoc. Judy provided the space and access to her truly amazing stash. Judy's mom Pat brought us chocolate for fuel and her entire family welcomed us and tolerated our creative take over.  Jamie brought a new batch of wooden printing blocks from India and I brought thread and some pieces I had started.

 

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Jamie Malden of Colouricous wood block printing a pieced quilt

 

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Judy Gula and Jamie Malden discussing piecing techniques

 

Often when artists get together they bring their own piece to work on but we decided that we would love to create jointly. Wow! What a great experience. We completed 5 pieces and have 3 more in various stages to finish as soon as we get a chance. We created a glorious mess, shared laughter and stories

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I learned so much by working side by side these fantastically creative women. It was such a great challenge to have one artist start a piece and hand it off to someone else to do the next step. Then it could be passed back to the first person or on to the third. and back again. Something I would never have thought to add to a piece was now mine to figure out the best way to incorporate it and then how could I make it even more than when it came to me? It was exciting, frustrating and challenging.

 Jamie-Judy-me-at-AA-5-of-5

I also learned more about my own working process which is always a good thing! I came home with lots of great ideas for projects of my own. Judy recorded some videos about the different techniques we used so you will want to be sure to sign up for her newsletter so you don't miss them. I highly recommend this type of retreat for your own creative journey.

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6 Miles of Seperation

I once again find myself living 6 miles from the edge of a major wild fire.

Yesterday the fire spread 8 miles is a few hours.

6 miles is too close.

6 miles is scary.

 

There is nothing between me and the edge of the fire but hundreds of acres of trees. Trees stressed by years of drought.

 

This is the photo I took yesterday at 3:30 just a couple hours after the fire started.

 

This is the photo I took when I picked my son up from his colleg class. Just 3 hours later.

 

Of course when disaster strikes close to home you make plans for evacuation. Photos and family history are packed. Actually, they have been packed since the Waldo Canyon fire last year. We didn't get enough snow or rain this last year to warrent unpacking. My art work is at the studio in Colorado Springs. We have talked about what things are the most important to bring. We have a plan.

 

A plan doesn't help with the helpless feeling as you watch homes being turned to ashes in minutes.

 

I went down to my basement studio to finish up some packing for a trip to the mountains this weekend and I had such a wave of sadness hit me. Sadness that all of my 'stuff' my art supplies, vintage fabrics, vintage papers, art papers, bits and bobs could all vanish in an instant. Totally out of my control. There would be no way to replace any of it. Insurance wouldn't even begin to cover the precious bits I have collected over the years. 

 

My sadness didn't last more than a couple minutes. I started sorting through some fabrics and quickly realized that it is all just 'stuff'. What is

 

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Spring Quilt Market review-Art Gallery Fabrics

Spring Quilt Market review-Art Gallery Fabrics

Ruth and I both adore Art Gallery Fabrics! The hand of these fabrics is simply amazing. The patterns are unique, cutting edge and the colors incredibly yummy! We did a video--correction LIZ did a video Ruth will not be held responsibile for this---of the beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics booth at Spring Quilt Market in Portland.

 

Vendors spend an incredible amount of time, energy and money to create a unique booth at quilt market. We thought you all might enjoy seeing it. Apologies for the video! Liz kept thinking she could re-orient the camera. She blames it on her enthusiam for showing you all how awesome their booth is.

 

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Wabi-Sabi Tarts

How about a chance to win this amazing piece of art by Serena Barton? Details at the bottom!

 

giveaway pic

 

My friend Serena Barton has a new book out that you are going to LOVE! It is titled: Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop and it is full of fun mixed media techniques that embody the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi or embracing imperfection.

 

I decided to put one of the exercises in the book to the test by trying it out on my Tuesday Tarts group. We are a bunch of textile based mixed media artist who meet once a month to try out a new technique. This month was my turn to teach so I picked one of the projects in Serena's book: Acrylic Paint and Re-Inkers (page 28). We ended up with a larger than normal group because it is summer so I had to stand on a chair to be seen and heard. It was pretty funny.

Liz teaching at tarts-2

 

Of course finding the exact same re-inkers Serena used proved to be a problem but we went with the assortment we had. I did experiment with the Adirondack Color Mists and they worked well although the color may be slightly less intense. This group is good with going with the flow. Actually, they are excellent at just playing and not worrying about the final product!  One member experimented with using alcohol inks and we had a lot of different brands of re-inkers. The re-inkers are available on-line if you don't have a store near you that sells them.

 

Here is the series of photos I took as we worked through Serena's excellent step by step instructions. I had created a sample but just read the directions to everyone as we went along. We only spent a little over an hour on these and everyone created a great piece and had a lot of fun just playing.

 

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Look how clean and neat it is...didn't stay that way long.

 

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At this point paint was flinging and I had to get out a bull horn to be heard over the chatter and laughter!

 

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The layers and depth we were able to get using Serena's techniques is great...though hard to tell in the group photo. There is a lot to explore in this book and everyone in the group loved the possibilities between the covers.

 

I am just one stop on the blog hop so you will want to check out these other blogs for their projects and interviews. Jill Berry has a book to give away and is drawing on June 10.

 

6/1: Sara Naumann
6/3: Jill Berry
6/4 Carol Sloan
6/5 Liz Kettle
6/6 Joanne Sharpe
6/8 Seth Apter
6/9 Alicia Caudle
6/10 Pam Carriker

 

Now to enter to win the beautiful piece of Serena's you need to go visit her new wabi sabi art workshop blog. Leave a comment to enter. She is drawing on June 8. If you win you might want to remember that my birthday is on the 16th! :-)

 

Last little goodie! You can find Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop on-line and at book stores but Serena has a special offer!!

 

You can order a signed copy from Serena with a bonus of a little packet of collage materials for your own wabi-sabi work. Use the Paypal button under the book listing on her Classes page. Shipping in the continental US is 4.00. and from.
 
To purchase the book from Serena:

http://www.serenabarton.com/classes.php

Now, go make something!

Liz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Angels In My Studio 2013

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I am thrilled to announce that I am a participating teacher for this year's Angels in My Studio on-line workshop Series!

This workshop is about

cultivating your creativity

connecting with your intuitive core

nurturing your inner artist

learning mixed media art techniques

having fun and playing

Guess what else? I have a spot to give away in the class ~ details below!

This amazing 5 month workshop series is being taught by 11 talented mixed media artists. Just look at this line-up! 

Tamara LaPorte -- Healing mixed-media inner guardian angel

Chris Zydel -- Something super magical is in the works, guaranteed.

Havi Mandell -- Deeply meaningful Angel Book

Cheryl Irwin -- High vibe Angel/Goddess Mandala and Intuitive Spirit painting

Claudia Olivos -- Glorious angel painting on a large canvas

Kristen Powers -- Brilliant Al fresco angel painting (and a carved rubber stamp mini-lesson)

Liz Kettle -- Powerful protective talisman for you to carry/wear

Melissa Muirhead -- Sweet, sweet angel pendant on a Scrabble tile!

Rachel Payne -- Playful, free-form, intuitive Spirit Doll

Justine Van De Weg -- Magical Fairy painting

Galia Alena -- Profound, Sacred Art journaling

Why Angels? I think that Sheri Ponzi who is the creator of this course says it best

"I realize that it doesn’t really matter if angels are “real” -- what matters is the very real experience of clarity, ease, calmness and support we feel once we invite in the possibility.

When you allow the possibility of angel magic into your life, everything shifts. Everything.

When you allow the possibility of creative play into your life, everything shifts. Everything."

My class is all about trusting your intuition. We are going to create a really cool talisman to wear. I am so excited about this project!

You can learn all the details about the workshop, teachers, projects and register on the main Angels in My Studio web site. If you find out about the class from me please use the link here to register so we know where students found us as this is how we are paid.

Ok, so on with the giveaway! You will have to leave a comment to enter of course. Tell me which of the lessons you think is most out of your comfort zone and will help you stretch your creative and intuitive muscles. I will use a random number generator to choose the winner on Sunday June 2.

Stitch Happy!

Liz


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Love your photos! Warning: rant

me and judy at va beach 2013I have so many great things to share with you all about my travels the last 6 weeks. Great classes taken and given. Wonderful memories of making art with inspiring people but before I get to those posts I have a deep need to share my views on photos of yourself.

 

In my travels the last 6 weeks I have had 3 important encounters involving women and photos of themselves. Two hated having their picture taken and one boldly showed her swimming suit clad, approaching 70 year old body, declaring the joy of being at the beach she loves.

 

The two women who said keep me out of the photo because I hate photos of myself could not have been different! The first a plump middle aged nurse who gives her heart and energy to her patients. The second a young mom perhaps a bit too thin who shares her love of creating with others and encourages them to live richer lives through art.

 

I am sorry to say that I jumped on both of these two ladies rather vehemently. Not sorry that I shared my views but maybe I was a little tough on them. You see, I used to be like them and I have learned that it truly doesn't matter what you look like. To borrow a phrase from motivational speaker, Lisa Nichols: It doesn't matter what your package looks like! 

 

What matters is the shine from your eyes and the smile of grace and beauty that lights up your face.

 

We have this media fed myth of physical perfection that is such a lie. It keeps us down and unable to be the powerful force of creation we are meant to be. It makes us sick and lonely, unable to love ourselves or even be kind to ourselves.

 

I too hid from photos for years...always offering to be the photographer rather than the photographee. I hated the 40 pounds I couldn't lose after having kids. I hated the 6 inch scar that splits my belly so it will never be flat even if I ever manage to lose that last 15lbs. I hated my big man-sized hands with nails that are soft and broken all the time. I hated my big wide feet with the short stubby toes deformed from too many years of living barefoot. The stretch marks, the scars and the bumpy bits all made me want to hide. And I did.

 

It took a lot of work and kindness towards myself to change my perspective. I am still a work in progress but I started with my hands. I realized that if I had been born with sweet dainty hands with slim fingers and beautifully shaped nails that they wouldn't be as strong as the hands I have. My hands are perfect for working and making art. I am not slowed down by worries that I might chip my polish or break a nail as I dig in the garden or create art. My hands are perfect for me.

 

If I still shied away from having my photo taken, I would have missed the opportunity to capture the photo above of me and my dearest friend Judy Gula. This was in the last few minutes before we closed down her on-site store at the Art and Soul retreat in Va Beach. We were both exhausted beyond measure, not well groomed, hot and sweaty. But, we were happy to be there together surrounded by people we love and basking in the energy of hundreds of creative people making art. A priceless photo in my opinion.

 

The third lady I wrote about? She was using that beautiful photo of herself in a collage book she started in my class. All her friends and family will see it. She told me that while it isn't the most attractive photo of herself with all her lumps, bumps and saggy skin in plain view, the photo perfectly summed up the joy and deep happiness she feels when she is at the beach. We can all take a lesson from her.

 

I challenge each of you to begin with one part of your body that you don't like and find the reasons to love it. Take time to create a journal page or small art piece about it. Repeat until you love each part of you.

 

Write this down and paste it on your mirror, your computer monitor, your car! Breathe it in every day.

It doesn't matter what package you got.

 

What matters is your heart and soul.

 

You are beautiful just as you are.

 

 

 

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Spun: Textile Art at the DAM

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I am so excited about this comprehensive exhibit coming to the DAM. I have been hearing rumors for a few months and if you click on the Museum link you will get an idea of the scope of the exhibit. It is one not to be missed! I love this piece in the photo above. It is a woven wool Rain Cloak (charkheb) from the early 1900's. I just can't wait to see it in person. Be sure to check out all the great programs and classes that support this exhibition.

Cultures with Texture

Spun: Adventures in Textiles at the Denver Art Museum

 The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is gearing up to unveil its summer exhibition, Spun: Adventures in Textiles, on view May 19–September 22, 2013. The museum-wide exhibition blends ancient traditions and surprising innovations in textile arts. It will be home to an extensive collection of artworks that range from pre-Columbian weavings to modern fiber art, Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in paintings and photography. From wool to recycled plastics, embroidered silk to buttons, a variety of materials and mediums will emerge in a rich and colorful spectacle.

In celebration of the DAM’s new textile galleries, its inaugural show, Cover Story, harnesses the essence of Spun. Featuring approximately 60 objects, Cover Story provides an intimate lens into the ways in which textiles have permeated human life across time and space. Exploring further, delve into other cultures through Irresistible’s intricately dyed Asian textiles and the elaborate Navajo weavings in Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840-1870. Examine how blue jeans inspired the iconic images of the Wild West in Western Duds: How Clothing Helped Create an Archetype and witness the telling stories of social change through the photographs in Common Threads: Portraits by August Sander and Seydou Keïta. Or push the boundaries of textile art in Material World’s subversive social commentaries and hover between textile and technology in Transposition, among many others.

An interwoven medley, Spun is held together by a common fiber—a shared humanity in textiles. The DAM’s diverse collections explore the ways in which textiles enrich and encircle human lives, as textured and vibrant as the cultures themselves. For more information, visit www.denverartmuseum.org

Image descritption: Rain cloak (charkheb), Bhutan, early 1900s. Woven wool. Denver Art Museum; Neusteter Textile Collection: Textile Art department funds, by exchange.

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Winner Winner!!

In the crazy rush to get packed for two back to back teaching trips I totally forgot to pick the winner for my book giveaway last week!  First Time Beading on Fabric!

 

Thanks Sandra for the reminder. We thought we had that all caps thing fixed too! Technology is great but...

 

Now for the winner of a copy of First Time Beading on Fabric!

So....drumroll please....the winner is.....post #3

 

CAROL SLOAN!!

Oh dang...Carol has a project in the book so she already has a copy!

 

New drumroll....

Lets work from the last comment forward.

 

Margaret Wilburn

 

You are the WINNER!

Send me your snail mail address and I will post it as soon as I return home this weekend.

 

I hope to see some wonderful beading from you Margaret!

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ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist!

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I am thrilled to announce that First Time Beading on Fabric is a ForeWard Book of the Year Finalist in Crafts and Hobbies! Woo Hoo!!!

Don't you think this deserves a giveaway? I do! Leave a comment below by Saturday March 30th to have a chance to win a copy of First Time Beading on Fabric. I will use a random number generator to choose a lucky winner on Sunday March 31.

I have been under a spam attack! Sorry to make you register to enter the giveaway but it only takes a moment! Thanks for understanding.

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Slow down to Speed up

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I spent the weekend immersed in words. I love words! I love writing them, reading them, thinking about them, understanding them...if you love words you understand. My purpose for this word absorbing session this weekend was to slow down and making time to think about my students and customers. How can I help them, what do they need, what do they want, and how can I best share my knowledge with them.

I don't usually make the time to spend two whole days on planning. But, I realized that with my word of the year ACTION I could benefit from some planned action instead of just reaction. Reaction usually just has me putting out fires and making more chaos in my life. Do you ever take the time to step out of your normal routine and focus on your goals? I felt totally energized and ready to take on the world after my introspective weekend. How does it make you feel?

One idea that came out of my brainstorming session was simply to ask you! What do you need? What are you looking for? What sort of classes do you want?  Leave me a comment or e-mail me.

A lot of other ideas came out of my quiet day of thinking and writing. I have lots of ideas for new classes including video classes and some new books. Now, I have to gear up into production mode so I can deliver all these fun ideas into the world.

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Speaking of classes, I am back teaching on-line at Fiber Arts Mixed Media with my Layer it Up! collage class. Lots of fun techniques and some solid guidlines to teach you how to create great collage stories. Plus you get to learn at home! You can learn more about it or sign up here.

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