Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Inspiration o' plenty!

I enjoyed last weekend with two of my favorite people - my college roommates. In between eating, talking and shopping :) , we went to a botanical garden. Yow, was there every plenty there to get inspiration from! Colors, textures, shapes, color combos... and that's even if you don't garden! I may use inspiration from both of these flowers in a future felting project. The tulip, left, is a pristine white with the prettiest stamens of inky blue with creamy yellow pollen. And the peony at right is great for texture and edge treatments (and the color ain't bad, either). Click on them to enlarge and enjoy.

These flowers were at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, and info can be found at .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cathy Kiffney Ceramics: It Feeds the Soul

~~~ Update: Cathy Kiffney will be holding an Open Studio Show & Sale May 16th and 17th. See her site for more info. ~~~

The area in which I live has the distinct advantage of being home to many extremely talented artists. Cathy Kiffney is one of them. I am struck by her colors, shapes and textures. Her ceramic pieces, like oil paintings, are best seen in person to really appreciate the details. But, in the absence of presence :), her photographs (these from her site) convey the essence of her talent.

Her website is and is candy for the eyes. It also includes a bio of her and a description of how she makes these beautiful pieces.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tips for Stitchin'

Since making life easier is always a nice thing, here are 3 things that make my sewing a little more fun:

Tip #1: When I think I'm going to be using pattern pieces over again, I cut them out in inexpensive fabric first and use the fabric pieces for cutting the real thing. The fabric pattern tends to cling to the 'final' fabric, so I don't have to use pins.

Tip #2: Reinforce pockets at the "top". Just a few back-and-forth stitches at the corners and top of 'divider stitching' will make pockets sturdier. While this one doesn't exactly fall under the 'fun' category, it does fall under 'pain avoidance' of not having to repair ripping pockets.

Tip #3: Turn the music on! Especially when doing tasks that are...well...tasks and not the fun stuff. When ironing on interfacing or ripping out seams, I find that a spoon full of music helps the boring stuff go down (to paraphrase a famous seamstress :). I use BB King, Delbert McClinton and Steve Ray Vaughn to get me going and Jose Feliciano and Diana Krall to calm me down (usually when ripping out that seam - arrgh!) name a few.

I hope one or more of these gives you a few more Ahhhh moments in your day :).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Scrap on The Hill

This was another Scrapel Hill challenge entry.

Someone said they wanted this as their gravemarker. Despite the morbid thought, what a great idea:). If you click on the images, it's a lot easier to see the lightbulb brain and light switch nose on one side, horseshoe mouth on the other, the crazy bottlecap/button/wire hair, the copper pipe ears (or is that steam?), pop tabs, keys, a whole lot of glass and ceramic bits ... and more!The artist is Jeanette Brossart. If I meet her, I'll tell her she needs to visit Luna Park!

This is great inspiration for my garden. Someday, there will be sculptures of our bits and pieces - wine corks (too many of those!), plastic caps of all kinds, bottle caps, plastic newspaper bags.... and the list goes on.