Posted in beading, embellishment, quilting

Alzheimer’s ~ Chance to do your part

Idea Tree was made over a year ago, mainly to teach myself beading in order to complete Geode.

Just 7 by 10 inches, it’s small enough for the Alzheimer’s Quilt auction.  So that’s where it’s gone, and is waiting to go into an auction!  Please pop over to their website where you can look at a better photo, plus pix of all the other little quilts others have made.

Check out the current auction for a chance to get in on this great way to own a piece of original fibre art AND do something about the ever-increasing tragedy of Alzheimer’s.

The auction runs every month, so quilters, take a look and see if you have something small to send.  If not, challenge yourself to make something!

And needless to say once Idea Tree is in the auction I’ll be posting again, in utterly shameless self promotion!

Posted in creativity, quilting, surface design

Just Magic Challenge

The local fibre arts group I belong to that meets at Satin Moon decided to set ourselves monthly challenges this year to keep things interesting.

The challenge for January was anything starting with J, which one member dubbed the J-Cloth Challenge.  Here’s my finished piece, well finished except for the hanging sleeve.  The centre medallion is a sketch I made in the fall in Melanie Testa’s drawing challenge.  Thanks to Spoonflower it’s now on fabric and you can even buy it!

I considered beading this, but Young Sprout greatly admires it so I think I’ll leave it child proof at least for a couple of years.  Plus, his last name is different than mine and it’ll be cool to be able to say “Just Magic, in the collection of Mr. Young Sprout.”

This detail shows Dale MacEwan’s sunpainted fabric. It’s the pale pink and green in the middle between the green batik and my red and green shibori made in Susan Purney Mark’s class.

Combinations of red and green fascinate me.  It’s often found in nature from rhubarb and red leaf lettuce to geraniums, yet not exploited that much by artists for some reason, nor in decoration.  Maybe people think it’s too Christmassy?  What do you think?  Can those apparently overdone combos like orange and black or pink, red, and purple be revamped into something that doesn’t scream “Boo” or “Goo”?

Posted in Art


I’m not particularly enamoured of yesterday’s effort but in the spirit of keeping going with the challenge and not missing any more days I am posting it regardless.  Long story short, found myself downtown without ink (since I was going to a knitting class) and also without a pigma, so I was down to green ballpoint (crashing sound as art teachers everywhere faint!).  So I just drew round my hand and put in a pattern of dots like mehndi.


Hopefully I’ll do better today.

Posted in Art

Nature study

One theme emerging from my drawings is a preference for manufactured objects with natural things such as plants or landscapes.  Today I was at the cafe and decided on a planter about ten feet away, the only hiccup was as people came to the door they would obscure the view!  I struggled to draw front to back and not have the back of the planter showing through the plants.

Posted in Art, quilting


Another drawing at the cafe, done in the early afternoon so light changing was less of an issue.  Let’s just say it’s a good thing they have cultured marble table tops and not white tablecloths.  I’m frustrated because I still don’t have enough control of the lines the pen is making to convey shading and highlighting or textures of surfaces.  This thing was a bugger to draw, in fact it has panels attached to its legs so that on each side you are looking at two panels that meet at an angle.  To show them you would have to work front to back, and for me to draw a structure like this, I have to build it as a structure.  It took 15 minutes to draw this, so although I could have gone on drawing the cobblestone pattern around the poured concrete circle, I decided to call it a day.  Actually the cobblestone pattern (which I suspect is also made of tinted concrete in a mould of some sort) would make a nice quilt pattern, either pieced fabrics in similar shades or actually quilting the lines into the finished top.

Posted in Art, creativity

Lutradur bowl

This is a Lutradur bowl made as an inspirational prototype for Laine Canivet’s workshop at next summer’s Quilting in the Trees retreat.   I fused two layers together with Steam A Seam 2, stitched extra layers to form the base, then used Wonderfil Accent rayon in coral to embellish, along with other neutral variegated threads.  I enjoy the translucency of Lutradur, and that it doesn’t fray!  For other ideas involving heat and paint, see here.

This afternoon I resumed the cafe life.  This time I sat in the glassed in porch looking north and selected some elements of the landscape to convey gloomy clouds hanging over a misty landscape with modern street lights in front.  Reading that description, it sounds like an oil painting perhaps by Thomas Kincade or those paintings of Paris in the rain (are they all painted by the same person or is there a whole atelier full of artists pouting when the sun comes out????  “encore du soleil, quelle misere!”)

I did better with the ink and ruling pen, using a piece of scratch paper to start the ink flowing, so no nasty blobs, and it dried much faster.  This is a very edited landscape and I could probably sit in the same spot, pick out different elements, and make a completely different looking scene.

Posted in Art, journaling

The Sniffles

Since it was not practical to go to a cafe today I stuck with Pigma pen on paper and tried to draw a tissue popping out of a box.  At some time I will try again in pencil, which is outside of the scope of this challenge, but I want to improve my shading.  This turned out to be much more of a challenge to draw from life than I anticipated, and I deliberately ignored the artwork on the box, largely because with pen I would have no way to draw the artwork and show the long side of the box as being in shade.

Posted in Art


Went to the Ogden Point Cafe this morning.  It’s remarkable how fast the light changes early in the day.  Still frustrated by the smudging and by the way the pen won’t always start writing when I want it to, even fully loaded.  By the time I left the ship in the sketch had disappeared.  My hometown Brighton is on the English Channel and if you see a ship in the morning you’ll still be able to see it in the afternoon, just farther east or west.  Tried to convey the texture of the water which varies because of the shoals beneath the surface. At least I was able to sip on my coffee as I worked!

Posted in Art

The Cafe Life

My first foray into drawing at a cafe, using ink and a pen and drawing deliberately as opposed to doodling while waiting for a friend to arrive.

Lessons learned:

If you draw a coffee mug, you can’t drink from it until the drawing is completed

bring a wet wipe to clean off the pen

allow drying time before you can leave


Find I’m noticing reflections a lot more than before.  At the top of the gleaming white mug I could clearly see a reflection of my notebook.

Posted in Art, creativity, journaling, surface design

More lines, two steps forward, one step backward

after missing a couple of days in the challenge preoccupied with Spoonflower designing and ordering I got back into it and experimented more with the ruling pen.  Everything I’ve done is in the Flickr group under “wordnerd411.”


This morning I finally got the pen beak open to the width that suits me and the acrylic ink, mid way through this doodle:










The “good bits” are from after and the crummy bits are from before.


Then I decided to use the pen in my sketchbook, practice stars and writing, and although it would be nice if this were on cloth, I’m actually quite pleased with it:

The step backward is that I had the house to myself, did the drawing, washed everything and put it away and went on my merry way making more assembled fabric and listening to jazz.  Family members came home and “You’ve been using that stuff again!”  Like, I’ve never heard that line before!

Although to me the acrylic ink has only a trace smell, it apparently hangs around the house and is bothersome.

So now I can either use ink on paper at a cafe (using cloth would be difficult because of stablizing) OR use a Pigma pen on cloth at home OR try Setacolor on cloth at home and see whether the odour is detectable.  Setacolor is basically acrylic and to me has a smell but not a smell that bothers me.  We’ll see, I like the thought of being someone who sits in a cafe sketching but things have a way of not turning out like  they do in my imagination.