Saturday, March 31, 2012

Magnolias


My world seems to spin really fast these days and the one thing that I don't want to happen is for spring blooms  to come and go around me without taking the time to capture them.  As I was pulling out of the parking lot at work on Thursday, I notice the magnolia bush growing right at eye level.  Somehow I remembered to bring my camera with me yesterday so I could take some great close up shots of these beauties as I was inspired to trace or sketch them for designing with.  I love the layers of petals extending in many directions and, of course, the pink hues; so soft, so feminine, so sensuous.  

I'm working hard in the studio this weekend on my workshop!  Hang in there, I know it will be worth it and as soon as I expect to finalize it, I will let you know.  It won't be too much longer - promise!!!

Have a wonderful day and remember to take your camera with you to capture all of the wonderful flowers that are blooming right now.  You can savor them all year long!

Margaret

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Studio Sunday

I feel like I am getting back on track here in the studio.  It's the perfect weekend to stay focused inside because of the overcast skies and scattered rain.  I warmed up yesterday with the Jane Davies' technique but quickly lost interest as my small detailed sections got lost in my thicker black lines, but I plan to revisit this technique again.  Here is my version LOL - looking a lot like Jane's.   I really do like the strong graphic look of it and I really do want to experiment more with black and white and limited color.


 From there, I moved on to playing with more color (by default).  I started with a piece of acrylic paper 12" x 12" and using Derwent Inktense Blocks, I added water and made lots of drips from different sides.  Eventually I added more white paint to blend some areas.  I started layering more color and Thermofax screen prints and stamping then I decided to cut up the piece into 4 equal sections.  This is a fun way to create a series that I learned from Mary-Beth Shaw when I took a class from her at ArtFest in 2008.  These are the pieces I created at ArtFest in her classs.  Mary-Beth is a fantastic teacher!!!


So I cut up my layout and started turning the pieces and developing them more and the 4 pieces look like this:


Then I added some stickers, and later removed them.


I'm thinking about transferring all 4 of the designs to fabric and building out each piece with stitch and embellishments.  They are great backgrounds to build on top of!

Lastly, a little note about paper towels.  Never dispose of paper towels because you can scan or photo these to use in Photoshop Elements (hint, hint).  


Have a fantastic Sunday and I hope you are able to make some time to be creative today!!

Margaret

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thank Goodness for Weekends!!!


This week totally spun much faster than the one before!  I have been super busy at my job as a corporate paralegal and I haven't even been able to spend some time blog surfing to check out what everyone has been up to - and I can see lots of great new posts - so please excuse me for my lack of comments.  It was a late night for me as my husband and I, with some new friends, went to a show at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.  I had no idea what to expect as I wasn't involved in any of the night out plans but I was pleasantly surprised by the show.  It was six or so live performances by groups that perform the oldies from the 50's and 60's.  I love music so even though I was a little younger than most of the audience, I've heard some songs and could definitely sing along.  What amazed me was that a few of the groups were actually real artists with records and everything from their own Top 40 days!  I am going to have to look for their videos to see them as they were in their younger days but the have Still Got It and you can tell that they have done what they have loved their entire life!  Click here to see the information on the show.


So I'm warming up the studio for a busy weekend!  I'm off to get my second cup of hot, creamy coffee so I can get moving.  I wanted to share a Jane Davies posting that I just checked out.  Scroll down to the bottom to see the video of her creating flower sketches.  What I loved about her process here was that she began with small details and then created the flower petals around those small details.  I'm pretty sure that when I attempt to draw flowers, a lot of times, I will start with the outside shape of the petals first and that can limit the drawing.  I loved how her drawing evolved outward and how she created her petals.  The finished page has a very artsy and free-flowing appearance.  I will have to get warmed up with this exercise.

Anyone up for the challenge??  I will post my drawing (no matter how ugly).  How about you?

Have a happy and creative weekend!
Margaret

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Thermofax Screens for Art Journaling and Scrapbooking

Boy have I got some super funky new Thermofax screens in my shop!!!  I'm really, really excited about these new Grunge Border sets!  Not only are they cool to add to fiber art, but check them out in your art journals and scrapbooking layouts!  I've had lots of fun experimenting with them on paper and fabric and I think they are great way of adding a little swipe of interest to one edge or all edges of your projects.  Each set contains 3 grungy borders on one screen.  Mix them up... apply sections... or just plain have a fun time with them!  I'm sure you will find many ways to incorporate these designs into your projects.



 I will be announcing a new giveaway on April 1st so mark your calendars!!!

I hope you are having a great week filled with lots of creative ventures!  We are breaking temperature records here in the Northeast and we expect near 80 degrees tomorrow!  I know better than to pack away gloves just yet!

Margaret

Monday, March 19, 2012

Quote of the Day

Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
Blaise Pascal 

I love having the Quote of the Day on my blog because I look to read it just about every day.  Today's quote makes me think about all of your lovely comments on Saturday's post and how they lifted me up.  I am dedicated to my workshop project because of all of your interest and support and I can't tell you how much I appreciated your wonderful words and your positive energy to get me over my mental obstacles!  



It was absolutely beautiful here yesterday with temperatures in the high 70's in the sun.  I'd been needing that sun and promise of spring so I spent more time outside than in the studio. Many people in the neighborhood were out getting started on their spring clean-up so I took a little walk to see what this area actually looks like off my regular commuting route.  I chatted with a neighbor, explored the yard, check out the buds beginning to reveal themselves in a flower garden in our yard and just kind of got familiar with my whole new environment here.  

There was a lot to notice during the day when people were out and about and I wasn't driving in the dark to and from my job.  Of course, I shut myself in my studio every weekend anyway so I haven't seen much of my surroundings since we moved here in January.  Did I mention my studio has a sliding glass door that goes right out to a brick patio?  How lucky am I to be able to slip in and out of my studio into the beautiful sunshine waiting for me outside!  

I think a couple of outside chairs and a small table would be a great addition to my studio patio.  The perfect place to sit and hand stitch and enjoy an ice-cold lemonade while listening to the birds chatter.  I know the perfect place for a new feeder!  I'd better get a couple of bird houses quick to encourage nest building where I can observe it.  Today I heard the sweet sounds of the cardinals that I have been missing since it is still a little cool to open up all the windows.  Soon...

I wish everyone a wonderful week and I promise to be back on track for the weekend!  Thank you again for stopping by and hanging in there while I pull it all together!

Margaret


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Slumps

I consider myself a pretty positive person which is why I get aggravated when those critical demons show up making me doubt my abilities to create.  Yes, today is one of those days where I'm battling the self-talk.  The voice that keeps saying, "who are you to think you can pull off this workshop?"  And, "how do you think that is going to look to others?"  And, "how did I create all this great imagery," and "do you really think you can teach this to others?"

Yes, that little buzz in my head that makes me cringe, but I keep moving, keep pushing on.  It started this morning when I was set up to video backgrounds and I kept yawning.  Stop and start again.  I messed up my words.  Stop and start again.  Get through it and then find out that the stupid video recorder is tipped in the wrong direction and I have to do it all over again.  LOL  Technology....a lifesaver and a royal pain in the butt sometimes.  Then looking at the backgrounds I created, the self-talk started, "those look like crap!"

It is no mystery to me that a lot of the imagery I create is serendipitous, unplanned and experimental.  Isn't that what a lot of art is?  Starting somewhere and pushing and playing until we are rewarded with a beautiful outcome?  Of course, that is coming from someone who hasn't had formal art training and everything I do is experimental.  The question is, how do you prepare others to be experimental and keep them engaged in the process enough to get them through to the end?  One step at a time...

I think if the sun came out today, my attitude would be more on track, but it didn't, so I'm not.  I think I will need to go take care of some housework and come back a little later, refreshed!  Maybe another cup of coffee...yeah, that too!  An hour of gathering inspiration from some of my favorite blogs would help!  I'm going to start with one of my favorite inspirations....





Margaret

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Studio Sunday and Journal Pages

I have been really busy working on my on-line workshop and I am happy to say I am making great progress!  A few technical difficulties but I'm moving forward.  I was up until midnight last night and the last half hour in the studio I felt compelled to work a little in my journal.  Here are a few pages in process and finished.  I'm having a ton of fun with it and love going at it in a totally random fashion.


The butterflies are a new Thermofax screen I have made for journaling and scrapbooking but have not yet published.  Also the borders.


I fell in love with the soft tones of this flower bouquet in a magazine and had to use it.  (Oh, and a sneak peak of another new Thermofax screen for journaling and scrapbooking.)


This page has my Ornament Background-3 Thermofax screen applied between the butterflies.  That screen is one of my favorites!!

Well, the clocks move ahead and I have already lost a valuable hour.  Back to work!!  I hope you are having a wonderfully-creative weekend!!!!

Margaret

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thinking of Flowers

It's really hard not to think of summer when you have temperatures in March in the high 60's.  Welcome to the weekend!  There's lots to do!!!  Thought I would share one of my favorite shots taken at ground level.  I could just stare at them for hours!!!!  A little snow tonight but some warmer temps coming.  


THINK SPRING!!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Quilting Arts Happy Dance!!

Well!  There is nothing that will make a Monday better than a little Quilting Arts news!  Remember my mini canvas Thermofax screens?


You will be seeing a little more of them in the June issue of Quilting Arts Magazine!!!  Yippee!  Yaaaayyyyy!  I'm very excited for this article as it will show the steps of how I made these little babies!  I'm even more excited because by the time this article comes out, those of you who sign up for my Creating Personal Imagery 101 workshop will be on your way to creating your own!!!!  Double YAY!!!  FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!!

Have a great week and I will see you soon!!!!

Margaret


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marcy Tilton Newsletter


I needed to share this tonight.  If you do not know who Marcy Tilton is, you are missing some great design!  Marcy designs patterns for Vogue Patterns and is one of the most innovative wearable art designers that I know and that I have had the pleasure of taking workshops with.  I am sharing a link to her newsletter because her designs and garment construction are outstanding, not to mention ULTRA INSPIRING!!!! 


Marcy has teamed up with Diane Ericson for many years now teaching their "Design Outside the Lines" retreats which I can't speak more highly of.  Diane and Marcy are amazing fiber artists and their retreats are unlike anything you have ever attended and will always carry in your heart.  Even if you are not someone who enjoys creating wearables, their construction techniques and design lines can be applied in many different formats.  Even though it has been a while since I have focused on wearable art, I would jump in an instant to attend one of their current retreats simply to soak up all the inspiration and ideas that they share.  Truly amazing women!

For more inspiration, visit Marcy's website and Diane's website.  I am sure you will find plenty of eye candy and inspiration!

Here is a link to the retreat page - Design Outside the Lines - you will never regret going!!!!

Have a great week and I will check in later!

Margaret

Studio Sunday and Video!

Well, I meant to be posting hours ago, but due to a few technical difficulties, I was delayed.  I was up at 6:30 this morning (as I usually am on the weekends now so I can fit as much as I can into the day) putting together my introduction video for upcoming Creating Personal Imagery 101 workshop.  I'm working really hard on the workshop content, demonstration videos and instructions.  I intend on launching this workshop THIS MONTH and I will be busy, busy, busy getting things ready.  Here is the video - Enjoy!



I most likely will not be working on any new art until this is finished so stay tuned!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Margaret

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Custom Design Thermofax Screen Giveaway Winner!!!

Well, it has certainly been quite a day here in New England with a significant snow storm moving through!  That is why I am posting so late, sorry for that.

WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!!!!!! 

I used my trusty Random Number Generator and the magic number came up as 8!


I seem to be having a problem with my formatting screen (ugh) so I have no nice colors:(

CONGRATULATIONS Carolyn!!!!!

You are the winner of my new Custom Design service for a personalized Thermofax screen!  E-mail me at mapplinhapp@gmail.com so we can get started!!!

Thank you, as always, to everyone who joined.  See you this weekend!

Margaret