Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Felted Soap

Today I learned a technique of felting that included needle felting and agitation with wool roving on a bar of soap.  The process was incredibly quick and easy and fun!  Why would someone want to felt a bar of soap?  As I discovered, it creates a soap and wash cloth in one.  More interestingly, wool has a natural anti bacterial quality, so no mold, mildew, or germs will grow.  I discovered you can use this technique on handmade soap or commercial soap.  Let the bubbles begin!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

In Stitches...

After taking a class on embroidery stitches, I've toyed around a bit on practicing what I learned.  I found that it was difficult spending a few minutes here and there to really grasp the concept of some of the more intricate stitches.  Last night, I sat for 4 hours straight practicing 4 new stitches that I had learned about a month ago.  By the time I was ready to call it a night, I felt completely confident in my ability to pick up and stitch in the future without having to refer to my instructor's example sample! 

In fact, it really caused me to yearn - for the first time- to create a hand-sewn quilt!  I think I've opened a Pandora's Box!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spirit Crossings

I've recently become involved with an art group that has really given me a jumping off point to get serious and disciplined about working in my studio daily.  I've taken several classes; from felting and stitching, to creating journals from recycled materials, and learning to set up a shop using Etsy. 

Today I finished a piece for a challenge called Peoples of the Earth.  My inspiration came from Jean Auel's Children of the Earth series; including "Clan of the Cave Bear", Valley of the Horses", and "The Mammoth Hunters".  Since I am involved with a gem and mineral club, I was fascinated with the items the character, Ayla kept in her amulet and the reason she thought they were signs from her totem.  This in turn made me curious about the spiritual beliefs of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon people.

I think this is the first project that I started from concept/idea to completion since college!  I am very pleased with it.  I feel like I am starting to unfurl my creative wings!  Let me know what you think.

Materials: Canvas, gesso, acrylics, book pages, maps, matte medium, modeling paste, rubber stamp impressions, match boxes, mica, various minerals, seed beads, craft glue, waxed twine, beeswax, and marker.

I actually used match boxes to hold mineral specimens and cut spaces into the canvas to insert the shadow boxes.  Here's a photo that shows more of the dimensional aspects...

Here are a few of the details of the collage...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Every Inchie Monday: Ruin

I love New Mexico!  This week's inchie is from a photo I shot of Pueblo Bonito, an old ruin in northernish New Mexico that I found extremely compelling.  I love the photo as it is so much that I kept it simple by cropping it and sizing it down.  I call it "Doorways".  Since it is a digital image, it almost feels like cheating to just crop and shrink, so I may go back in and do some distressing on the image I printed out.  Stay tuned...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Winter Barns

The beauty of winter as seen by me on my way home from an early morning workout while driving through a snow storm...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Illustration Friday: Wheel

Original photo cropped and manipulated using Photoshop.

Photo Friday: Environment

This theme is right up my alley.  I am passionate about the environment and using recycled and upcycled materials in my mixed media collages.  This photo was taken of our conservation land and layered under a recycled envelope window, newspaper, lace, fabric, and pattern tissue.

This is the original photo of our conservation land.