Sunday, December 10, 2017

Carve December #10 / Tropical Growth

This painting by Wifredo Lam (1902-1982) in the Moderna Museet in Stockholm caught my eye.  I like the gentle colours dramaticized by bold geographic shapes. This painting has many opportunities for carved stamps inspiration!  I also see stencils and quilting ideas.  

Certainly not foliage one would find in Sweden!  I must learn more about this Cuban artist.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Carve December #9 - Scandinavian Woven Hearts

I've made many woven hearts over the years out of paper to hang on our Christmas tree.  It seemed fitting to carve one during Carve December!
Image result for swedish woven hearts

The stamp needs a bit of clean up and it just isn't the same using blue!

Yes - red seems much better.  Now to figure out why I can't rotate the picture...

Friday, December 8, 2017

Carve December #8 / Josef Frank

While visiting Millesgarden in Stockholm, I was delighted to find an exhibit of Josef Frank fabrics.  Sometimes we just get lucky!  The next time I was there (1 year later), there was an exhibit of horse and cowboy sculptures from a museum in Colorado!  I much preferred the fabric!

Josef Frank was born in Austria in 1885.   Born of Jewish heritage, Frank moved to Stockholm with his Swedish wife in 1933, aged 48, to escape growing Nazi discrimination.  He died in 1967.

I enjoyed the bright bold patterns:

I carved this simple butterfly stamp inspired by Josef Frank:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Carve December #7 / Graffiti

Always keeping my eyes open for random art...

I think I'll try this stamp on some fabric next.  Wouldn't it make cute fabric?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Carve December #6 / Gamla Uppsala Kyrka Cemetery

This neat and tidy cemetery intrigued me...

Hearts were a go to symbol for me many years ago...  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Carve December #5 / Subway Angel

I really enjoyed riding the Stockholm Metro from station to station to just enjoy the artwork.  This little angel caught my eye:

Sometime after I retire, my plans are to make a series of mosaics using the rocks, shells, and glass shards I've picked up thru the years.  For now, a rubber stamp:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Carve December #4 / Stockholm Metro Art: Flowers

The Stockholm Metro stations are amazing!  The next time I go back to Stockholm, I'll explore the stations first so I don't run out of time on my trip to see everything I want to see!


Rubber stamp inspired by Stockholm Metro art:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Carve December #3 / ABBA

While in Stockholm, we visited the ABBA Museum.  We budgeted an hour or so, but ended up spending almost 4 hours there!  We had so much fun.  There are activities and we sang and danced and really enjoyed ourselves.  My stamp is inspired by beading on one of the costumes I admired.

Stamp inspired by the beading:

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Carve December #2 - Gamla Uppsala Kyrka

Photo is from inside the church where the Celsius family is buried. Anders Celsius was a Swedish astronomer, physicist and mathematician.  He invented the Celsius temperature scale.

My stamp inspired by the church artwork:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Carve December #1

I am participating in #CarveDecember this year.  31 days of carving stamps!  How fun is that?

When I travel I take tons of photos that seem to just sit on my computer.  During #Carve, I am using photos from my trip to Sweden as inspiration.

Day #1 is from City Hall in Stockholm.  This is the location of the Nobel Banquet each year.

Carving the stamp was fun, and I kept the design as easy as possible as I haven't carved one in a very long time.

This is how one print looks:

Four rotating stamps (after printing this I pitched the stamp pad as it was very light)

 Second try with a better stamp pad.  This one was more fun and I ended up with ink all over my fingers!  Messy art is always more interesting...

Additional repeats.  It doesn't match up the greatest, but I didn't measure when I drew it on the block.  Not bad for a first try!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Morning sun

When I lived in Cordova, we had the most amazing sunsets.  The sky to the west was filled with beautiful color.  To the east, there was a row of barns that blocked the sunrises.

Where I live now, we have the most beautiful sunrises and the sunsets are blocked.  The view from our kitchen window reminds me to thank God for another wonderful day about to unfold.  I never tire of taking pics of this tree that stands alone in the fence row.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


The turkey is gone, but the cranberries linger on.  Breakfast this morning was a delicious mix of quinoa, mushrooms and spinach topped with cranberries.  Mighty healthy!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Crazy woman in red

Red is not my favorite colour, but I think this crazy woman block is one of my favs!  I like the colour combination of turquoise (this block is actually more aqua) and red.  Was that a popular palette in the '60s?  I think I remember my mom doing her kitchen in red and turquoise... I'll have to ask her...

This little block used up the red lace in my stash!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tea bags: Trash?

Trash or Treasure?  My friend Beth recently gave these tea bags to me.  These mini canvases are begging for some stitching and little pieces of fabric...  They will be in my traveling art bag when I leave for Germany.  They may look like trash now, but I can't wait to transform them into art for my journal!  It is always fun to reach to recycled materials, and tea bags are one of my favorites.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pencils... Germany!

I am going to Germany for 2 weeks over Christmas to visit my son.  While doing a search for things to do, I discovered that  two pencil companies call Nuremburg home!  There is a pencil factory and everything!!!  Unfortunately with it being Christmas weekend, i imagine that it will be closed.  I do plan on hitting the Staedtler store, as it is just down the road from my hotel.  It's funny how super excited I am about pencils!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

quilting road trip

Yesterday I went on a fabulous road trip with 3 girlfriends from my church quilting group.  We went to 6 quilt shops and the Herbert Hoover Museum in West Branch, Iowa.    It was a long day and I slept very well last night!  My favorite quilt shop was a quaint place called Helios Stitches n Stuff in the Old School Shops in Mount Vernon, Iowa.  Very arty with fun fabrics - it was my place!

Four yards of fabric came home with me:

Bees always catch my eye.  Someday all my bee fabric will go together into a quilt.

This piece screamed, "dye me".  

This looks stenciled.  Love the colours.  Had to have it.

Doodles!  This one came from Helios.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Crazy Woman: Fall Attire

She reminds me of fall colours.  Maybe she needs a jacket with the cool weather we've had!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A to Z ...

I've been trying to come up with a brilliant idea for A to Z posts.  Something fabricy, quilty, creatively fresh and new.  Nothing...  Until I was cleaning my art pig sty this morning.  (Yes, it is a horrible mess, but I've dragged out 3 big bags of trash in the past few weeks so it must be getting better.)    Anyway, I came across a clipping from a magazine of a label on a lovely piece of fabric.  The name of the fabric was "raspberry tea".   I love the idea of fabric colours being named with food names.   How easy is that?  I just need to come up with 26 food colour names by April!  I think I can do this. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Art Journal: Growing Brighter Every Day

I dug deeper into the old art supplies and came up with some mica chips to use on this page.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Design layers

layer #1
ice dye using chartreuse and aqua dyes... too bright

layer #2
ice dye with nickel dye.... too dark

layer #3
stencil using paint

layer #4
??? What's next!?!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Playing at work...

I have a great job!  Some days are filled with "play".  Tomorrow our library friends group will be in to help prep Christmas decorations.  Today I am working on the prep work before the prep!!!  My theme this year is a nature theme including butterflies, birds, and what ever else I come up with in the next week... 

This morning I worked on this canvas to hang near the circulation desk.  Black gesso, tissue paper, gold paint with a stencil, and a flock of butterflies I found when cleaning in the back stockroom (I have no idea where they came from). It is a good day, I have paint on my hands!


Monday, October 30, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ice Dye

I've been on vacation from work this week. It has been so nice to do "a little bit of this and a little bit of that" all week.  A little bit of ice dyeing always makes me smile!

This fabric started as a very bright watermelon color. Too bold for my liking.

I used "nickel" (pro chemical & dye) procion dry powdered dye on top of a layer of ice.  This piece is my favorite of my little experiments.  You can still see how bright the watermelon color was on the right side of the fabric.

A close up view:

"Amethyst" dye.  Too purple for me.  Off you go to another dye bath...

"Wisteria" and a little "Amethyst".  Not crazy about this one either: