Monday, October 31, 2011

No Power, Cable or Internet

Hello everyone!  Sorry for being quiet over here. 

I'm so bummed that I have NO ELECTRICITY, NO HEAT, NO HOTWATER, NO INTERNET AND NO CABLE.  Of course everything in the fridge and freezer needs to be thrown out :(

My town doesn't expect to have service back until Friday so it looks like I will be out of communication until the weekend.  Promise to post as soon as possible!

Thanks for standing by!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

LuAnne Kessi and Permission to Play

Art touches our lives in so many ways and if there is one thing I love about having art in my life is the connections that I have made to people across the United States and around the globe.  How amazing it is to be able to have a conversation with a like-minded soul and make friends through the internet!  I have been to some fabulous creative workshops and retreats over the past 10 years.  The driving force to attend has always been about stretching myself as an artist and learning new techniques.  If you asked me today what I made or learned during those workshops, I would probably have to think a bit to recall exactly what I got out of it.  But, if you asked me what the most memorable parts of these events were I could answer you easily - "that's the one where I met Pat" or "that's the one where I met Debbi".  It's the people who I have met who share a part of themselves with me and I with them.  Those are the moments most remembered and I wouldn't trade them for anything!

In selling my Thermofax screens, I have already met so many new people, created on-line friendships and shared art and life stories.  This is what it is all about.  LuAnne Kessi is one of my new acquaintences.  LuAnne is a very creative and sharing artist who runs a workshop called Permission to Play, which is a free class offerring to cancer diagnosed patients, is hosted by her art journal quilt group by the name of "Living Well with Cancer and Healing Through Quilting."  When I found out that the P2P workshop in October was all about Thermofax screen-printing, I donated a handful of my screens to LuAnne to share at her workshops. 

LuAnne puts together a slide show after each workshop showing what everyone had made and I urge everyone to check out her blog, May Your Bobbin Always be Full, to learn more about the P2P workshops and LuAnne's own beautiful artwork as well.

I am thrilled to share the link to the P2P workshop post where you can see all the fun they had with screen-printing including a very special Thank You!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm In Quilt Scene!

Most of you are probably tired of hearing about me being published (LOL) but here is the LAST one for 2011.  I currently do not have any other publications lined up (at this very moment) hehehe

I'm sure you remember seeing this bag.  I painted fabric with acrylic paints and then screen-printed with my Doodled Squares and my doodled flowers Thermofax screens.  It was a blast and it was such a fast and simple project.

Well, now you can also see it here, (a little worn), on page 114 of the International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene magazine that just hit the newsstands!  It's accompanied by my instructions for creating the general bag structure.

No laughing please :)))  I'm all for a multi-use project!!!!  The fact is, I was laughing when I saw the Table of Contents page on the Quilting Daily site.  A fabulous flower pot for sure!!!  Seriously, I love the way they presented the bag.  I never for a moment thought that it would be included in a full-page photo!  And I know I've said it before but I am so grateful to Pokey, Helen, Ellen, Lindsey and Interweave for all of the opportunities they presented to me in 2011.  This has been my year for publishing and I can only hope that I have more opportunities in 2012!

Stay tuned for some serious studio time this weekend!!!  Oh yes, let's not forget about the big SNOW STORM coming tomorrow night!  This is October, right????

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Studio Sunday Follow-UP

I thought I would post this before I jump into Monday!  Well, I just need to hem one side of this binding but I like the way it came out.  Check back this week as I create another that includes the flower image stitching extended outside the screen print! 

I thought this was a more modern looking finish to this little 6 " x 20" art quilt.  Have a fabulous week and check back soon!

Studio Sunday and Mini Screens

Well, the usual is happening here in my Studio this Sunday.  I feel like I completely wasted Saturday as I just could not get focused in one direction.  Kind of like tossing everything in the air and trying to catch what comes down which then jumbles everthing all up.  This is how I feel.....fried

However, I'm simplifying (for the moment) and experimenting with these mini Thermofax screens that I made.  I'm finding that I really like screening in white then using watercolor paints to bring the image back into focus.  Tell me what you think????  These screen images are approximately 3 1/2" wide.  I have played with them using pink watercolors with the white print on a chartreuse background and then I decided to take a step back from the brights and try using a tea-stained muslin as the background.

I'm thinking it might be cool to stitch in the flower lines and extend the stitching outside of the screened area to create more depth.  Let me know if you are interested in this set and I will add them to my Etsy.  The set would be $15.  The flower image was created from tracing one of my flower photos seen here.  Of course if anyone is interested in this as an 8 x 10 screen, please contact me as well.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Refueling and Releasing Creativity

TGIF!  Welcome to Friday!  What a week it has been for me at my job and I'm glad to be back in my studio, refueling my creative energy getting ready to spend two full days releasing those ideas that have been brewing all week.  What I find is really funny is how some of my best creative thinking comes while I am sitting in traffic driving to and from work.  Does anyone else have this experience???  I will be sitting in traffic, stop and go, stop and go, and all of a sudden something will come to me.  It isn't necessarily a huge spark but even a tiny morsel of an idea will continue to grow while I'm in drive. 

Sometimes this happens in the shower as well, but for the most part, I think I am trying to move along quickly to get done and get dressed.  It is once I've driven as far as I could at a good speed and then come upon the usual highway backup that I start to settle in.

What time of the day stimulates your most creative thinking time?  Do your ideas just come upon you at any time or do you see a pattern?  While you are walking, or washing the dishes?  I would love to hear from you on this.  Really, leave me a comment!

My Giveaway Winner, Gill, has been in touch and I hope to get to work on her design soon!  I am hoping to share some of this process with you.  I hope to have new ideas to show you on my Studio Sunday posting!  Let's get creative!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And the Giveaway Winner Is.....

Woohoo!  Here we are on Giveaway Day!  I've used the random number generator and the magic number is 8!


Please e-mail me at so that we can get started! This is going to be a fantastic experience for both of us!  So get your doodle(s) ready and let's get started!!!
Thank you all for participating!  Stay tuned for status updates on Gill's designs!

Happy Autumn everyone!!

Friday, October 14, 2011


It has been a week!  This time of year, things start to pick up at the office and I'm in the thick of it!  So when Friday comes, I feel like I am opening big huge doors and stepping through to Heaven!  Just thinking about all the creative time that awaits me makes me giddy! 

So here we are one day away from the giveaway deadline and I'm getting super excited!  I can't wait to work with the winner on his/her designs!  My friend, Claire, who visited me last weekend for an art play date, has generously given me permission to show her doodle and a little glimpse of what we created with it once we made it into a brush in PE7. 

Of course, we could have continued pushing the design further and further but we ran out of time.  I love the stage that we got to with it and I can see its potential for becoming more and more interesting.  This is what I plan to do with the giveaway winner.  Take your design and push the limits of what I can do with it to provide a unique design in a digital layout for fabric or paper as well as a Thermofax screen to be able to use on many surfaces! 

Sunday morning I will announce the winner!!!!  See you then!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Doin' a Happy Dance!

Yes!  I am doing a little Happy Dance!  Why, you ask?  2 BIG HUGE REASONS!!!  First, we are getting close to the giveaway date!  Saturday night at midnight!!!  I'm super excited to work with the giveaway winner to design their Thermofax screen and digital layout!!!

And the other reason I'm dancing????  I just received an invitation from Quilting Arts to submit a proposal for a Workshop DVD!!!!  Woohoooo!!!  Sooooo exciting!!!  Of course, I have to come up with a good idea (easier said than done)!  On that note, I'm off to brainstorm :)

Check this out - I think this looks like a batik design made using soy wax.  What do you think??  I love how Sequana has been finding faces in my designs.  Does anyone see a face or animal or something in this design?

This was a quick design layout that I made using this little image.  We have some oak trees at work that drop leaves with very interesting shapes so I brought a few home and scanned them.

Just a little more inspiration for the giveaway winner!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Studio Sunday

I'm posting kind of late today because I was really, really busy.  Hubby took off early on a motorcycle ride and I got up early and broke out the paints and screens.  I painted a lot on paper and I screen printed a lot on paper and fabric but I don't have much to show for it.  But, the ideas are flowing which is a good thing! 

The countdown begins for the GIVEAWAY!!!  Leave your comments before
midnight on Saturday, October 15th to be eligible!!!
I'm so totally excited, I can't wait!!!

Yesterday, I had created two screens to use, once again using the same doodle imagery as in my last post, and I love the way these borders came out!  Just another example of creating personal imagery.

I did re-visit some painted fabric that I used on my patchwork placemats that were featured in the 101 Patchwork Projects publication earlier this year.  I had photographed the center parts of the placemats with the hand painting and manipulated it in Photoshop Elements 7 and I love the soft and graceful lines of the brushes I made.

And here is a layered image where I have changed the opacity and shades.  It makes me think of beautiful bed sheets and big euro-sized throw pillows in white linen with big chunky aqua-colored trim.

This is a different variation of imagery that you can begin with to create from. I think I'm going to have to make a Thermofax screen or two using those brushes.  The lines are so choppy and uneven and very painterly like. 

While painting today I discovered how well the Adirondack Color Washes work with gesso.  Most of the time when I have used them, I have sprayed them directly onto the paper using masks or stencils.  On the watercolor paper that I painted today, I sprayed the color washes while I was applying gesso (all with my fingers, by the way) and I found a brand new palette to use.  A lot lighter than I have gone in the past but it is a good thing because I've been trying to tone my colors down.  Because you are mixing the color washes into the gesso, you have more control over their final shades.  When you spray the color washes directly onto paper, as soon as you add paint or water, the inks are re-activated.  This works in some cases and in others, it just causes frustration.  I used Eggplant and Wild Plum with gesso on this background.

(Oh, is that yet another image created from a doodle?????) 

Check back mid-week and you might see even more!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Margaret Applin Designs Giveaway!

WOW!!  I am sooooo excited about this giveaway!!!  And I am totally THRILLED to see how much interest was generated (with a big huge Thanks to Terri Stegmiller for getting the message out there)!  I promise you that the winner will NOT be disappointed and I hope the winner will send pictures so I can share what they make with their imagery and Thermofax screens!!! 

I feel like this weekend will be a VERY creative one for me!  I'm continuing to explore and push design elements to their limits to create more and more personal imagery and I'm really excited to apply these designs in a variety of ways.

These images are a couple that I have been working with.  Remember....everything you see here began with a doodle!!!  So get your pencils and pens ready!!!

I love this one with all the layers and soft tones. 

And this fun design re-created from a section of a doodle!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Studio Sunday and Margaret Applin Designs Giveaway!!!!

I'm getting an early start in the studio today.  I really want to get the creative juices flowing and pick up from where I was last week.  I had a great visit with a good friend of mine, Claire, yesterday as she joined me in my studio for a little personal imagery play! 

Which leads me to my Margaret Applin Designs Giveaway!!!  This giveaway is 2-part. 

The first part is one Thermofax screen of your choice from my Etsy selection.  Any one of the currently posted screen designs - it's your choice!

The second part of my giveaway is my personal design service.  Margaret Applin Designs will design a layout for a Thermofax screen for you using your own personal imagery. The winner of my giveaway will send me a doodle (or two) of their own personal imagery for me to create their design with.  I will order the screen for you and ship it to you at no cost as well as provide the jpg image of that layout for your future use.
And that's not all!  In addition to the Thermofax screen I provide to you, created from your own personal imagery, I will also design a full-color layout (provided as a jpg), using the same personal imagery provided above, in an 8 1/2 x 11 (or size A4) format, whichever is preferred, that you can then use to transfer to fabric or paper for your unlimited use!!!!

As an example, if you take a look back at this post, you can see how I combined a couple of doodles of mine to create a digital design I transferred to fabric in a variety of ways and additionally created a number of similar Thermofax screens from.

So this giveaway is all about me designing for you using your personal imagery.  Why am I offering this type of giveaway?  I believe that I can provide you with a new and exciting way of looking at your own personal imagery and how it can be used or applied in your fiber art or mixed-media.  I will work with the winner to ensure you are happy with your Thermofax screen design and full-color layout within reason.  There will be a limited amount of design hours provided as this is a free giveaway.

So how can you win???  Leave a comment here between now and midnight October 15th and I will select one winner using a random number generator!  It's that easy!!!

[Disclaimer:  All personal imagery provided by the giveaway winner will be strictly their own personal imagery and will not be duplicated or used by Margaret Applin Designs in any fashion.  Margaret Applin Designs will destroy any files created using the giveaway winner's personal imagery once the digital files are provided to the winner.]