Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm Breaking Into the Candy Corn to Celebrate!

I just got my November / December issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and am thrilled to share that I was included in an "On Our Radar" article!
I really cannot say enough good things about Cloth Paper Scissors. I started entering their challenges a little over a year ago. The challenges have always been fun and have pushed me to explore new materials and styles. Within a year and half of entering the first challenge, my work has been published in three of the magazines and a calendar. When I decided to start entering their challenges, I never dreamed I would be featured in an article.
The experience of submitting art and seeing it get published has been incredibly exciting and encouraging. As a result, I feel more confident about sharing my work with others and am more open to the possibility that art can be a bigger part of my life.
If you are a mixed media artist, I would strongly encourage you to check out CPS and submit some work of your own. Working on a project, meeting the deadline, waiting for results, and seeing your work published are all experiences that will enrich your artistic life.
Now for some celebrating!

I almost forgot... my mixed media house was also featured in the "home sweet home" challenge!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is With All the Cats?

Last weekend's happy hour with my girlfriends was a blast. Super sweet and funny ladies, Sangria made the day before, and a gorgeous fall day. Having company really motivated me to pull out all the fun decorations early. These cats are cut from black acid-free cardstock. I made them about 7 years ago and they still look great. Sometimes I put them over my kitchen cabinets, sometimes on the mantle. I used a pattern from a vintage paper craft book from Denmark. My mother-in-law is Danish and she gave me the book many years ago. The Danes make some amazing paper creations and over the years I have used this book to create many of my own.... Now if I could only find it.

I made eight of these 4 cat sets using a cutting mat, a tiny exacto-knife, and very small, super sharp scissors. I also made these before I needed glasses. Perhaps these cats even led to my need for glasses. No matter. It was worth it.

Even though I used a pattern for these cats, it would be easy to create all kinds of patterns using your computer or just doodling. These are a simple design cut from cheap folded paper. Think of all the designs you could create for other holidays. Hope your wheels are turning.

Update:  Found the book!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Here Kitty Kitty

After work today, I flew into a frenzy of fall. I made Spicy Sangria for a happy hour tomorrow after work and I pulled out every bat, pumpkin, and orange object I could find. I've been decorating all afternoon and having a blast. Although I might add more doodads to the Kitty collage at a later date, I really want to use it over my mantle today. So... time to complete this project!

Once I outlined all the pieces with the goldenrod embroidery thread (a task that left my hands more gnarled than they were already), I used these buttons to stitch all the pieces together. I am using these vintage buttons from my Grandma's button box. I love the candy-like colors and different designs on each button. You just don't see these details on buttons anymore.
 I added some black paint to the cat collage and hung it over the mantle.
I made lots of black paper silhouettes. I don't think the fire marshal would approve of all this paper next to all these candles, but I love the look and it is fun to think of different shapes to add to the mix. I tried to tone down the orange candles by using map pins to attach more vintage buttons.
As I looked at my completed decorating project, I was happy to think about my Grandma and all the little scenes she set up in her house for each holiday. (In fact, the ceramic pumpkins are from her Halloween collection.) As a child, these decorations were magical. As an adult, I find myself drawn to make them for my own children. And who am I kidding, I make them for myself too. Life is too short not to enjoy some silly fun.

Update: The yummy Spicy Sangria recipe is at Lifestyle Maven.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Inner Granny

Perhaps the fall coziness is bringing out my inner granny, but lately I am itching to stitch.

I made this table runner a few years ago and embroidered these fun sayings. Unfortunately, I stuffed said runner into my handy dandy "Halloween Decorations" bin alongside some cheap orange candles and now there is a vomitty orange stain right in the middle of it. Perhaps this year I will cut the embroidered ends off and turn them into throw pillows.

I started a new Halloween collage for above my fireplace. Stitching is making its way into the project. So far, I am thinking funky black cat, playful vintage buttons, background made of old math textbook pages (math can be quite scary.)

I cut the cat parts (ok that sounds evil) from smooth bristol paper and painted each piece with black acrylic.

I started stitching the pieces with this goldenrod embroidery floss.

I feel like a Kindergartener working on my sewing cards.  

I'll keep posting on that project. Hopefully I will finish it in time for Halloween. A funky black cat is just not going to work for Thanksgiving. 

On to other stitching...
A while back I posted the base for this project, a quilted piece using all neutrals. Now I am adding some science fictionesque embroidery. These shapes make me think of a space ship or a chemistry lab.

I have no idea what my goal is for this piece, I just keep adding creepy parts.
Oooh Eeee Ooooh.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Give a Hoot!

I'm starting to drag out the Halloween decor. These are my favorite. I made them a few years ago and love them on my mantle. I haven't cleaned it off yet, but wanted to share with you all just in case you feel like whipping some up with felt you might already have on hand. I didn't use a pattern, but stuck with simple shapes and stitches. The felt I used is a wool blend washed hot and dried in the dryer to create the yummy texture. The trim and vintage buttons came from my Grandma.

Hope these inspire you to start decorating. Have fun!