Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Frankenflower, mixed media textile collage

I found this Frankenstein face on a scrap of wood laying in the street. Awesome sauce! I love when the Art Gods & Goddesses leave me little treasures like that.

My first thought wasn't flowers of course.  I just wanted to play around with stamping and acrylic paint. I made a few prints on muslin scraps, was quite pleased, and increased my pile of do-something-interesting-with-this-someday.

Frankenflower, mixed media textile collage, detail-a

Someday arrived much later (two years? more?) and I was ready to experiment with sewing on my hand stampings.  Not in the mood for scary scary but fun - like electricity bolts. In shades of purple embroidery floss so it pops. Then hey, those orange beads I have a million of, use those. (As you can see they also pop up as fringe.) Since this was going the very handsewn route I emphasized the rustic-ness by layering scraps of purple fabrics and a base of orange fabric.

Wasn't sure how the image would read and was feeling pretty pleased at my clever title so I spelled it out in more embroidery floss.

Frankenflower, mixed media textile collage, detail-b

Now what? It didn't seem like an item precious enough for a frame but too fun to stick on a card front. Thus a little hanger of more fabric scraps so it can be displayed - because half the fun of Halloween is decorating! Go see for yourself at my Etsy shop: / Or if you'e in Amazon Handmade mode: /

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn Frippery

Sample, Embroidered leaf stamp

Sample, Embroidered pumpkin stamp
Printing isn't over until the paint runs out. That's what scraps are for - soaking up the dregs of acrylic goodness just. never. know. when something will be that perfect little something for an experiment. Because I like a quickie every now and then - a tide over between commitments. Projects that is. (What were you thinking?)

In these two samples (each a little over 2" x 2"), the detail of what I was printing was lost but it was helpful for giving me an identifiable shape to to embroider. The leaf shape is a real oak leaf - so perfectly miniature, printed in yellow. And the pumpkin is actually a stamp I made from strips of foam. Just so you know how long I'll hold onto something artsy, these were produced at least four years ago.

Each of the mini prints were covered with a choppy square or strips of sheer fabrics because I think it's interesting to introduce color that way. Then it's a matter of playing them off different colored threads and beads plus layered background fabrics.

The stitching is pretty straightforward. There's back stitch and cross stitch. The "open cretan stitch" behaved a little differently in the middle section of the pumpkin - and I really, really like it. Hope I can accidentally do that again.

By the way, a little shout out to The Embroidery Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden. Her book is the perfect size for my plastic shoebox of a sewing basket. More importantly her diagrams and directions translate well  to 3-D for me. That's a big issue because I'm spatially challenged. (Please don't ask me to back up cars and for godssake's, no origami!!)

As these are samples they won't appear in my Etsy shop, but other handiwork of mine already does. So scoot yourself on over: //

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Desert Blooms

Cacti Flowers Trio mixed media collages

Commission accomplished. Not one, not two, but three blooming cacti inspired textile collages. I based these on what I had actually seen with my own little eyes at Joshua Tree National Park this past Spring. The trip was taken specifically to catch the magnificent display of cacti in bloom after a rare wet winter.

Cholla Cactus textile collage, detail

My recipe was to start with a map printed background of where I found these flowers. (Thank you US Geological Survey for making that possible!) Next I sketched out very simple cacti shapes and cut them from various green patterned fabrics. The blooms were pretty similar in structure, but yes really, they had different colors -- and that made it more fun to riff along on the threads and beads I chose to match. The buttons are an echo of the desert floor, shades of tan and brown (and which button hoarder doesn't have an overabundance of these colors??)

Prickly Pear Cactus textile collage, detail

Look, Ma, no frames! I have used this technique before whereby I stain some junk wood boards (after letting mountain winters have their way first) and nail the collages directly on top. To give the edges more definition and interest I sew on thread-wrapped twigs. Variegated thread is quite effective here for that. Finally I use baling wire to make my curled hangers to continue the rustic vibe.

Barrel Cactus textile collage, detail

Each collage is 8" x 10" mounted.

I do offer smaller, similarly styled textile collages in my Etsy shop. They each feature a hand-carved arrowhead stamp on a Lake Arrowhead map background and include colorful plaid fabric as well as beads.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Ordered Thinking

Ordered Thinking textile collage sample

How can a 4" x 6" textile sample give me such fits? Because it has to feel right before I can move on to anything else  such as another sample or a real bonafide project. (And sometimes that 'feeling right' just might mean an emphatic toss in the bin. But that would entail a bit more angst, and fortunately the Muse sneezed in my direction -- so I saw a way forward.)

The crux of the problem was this little fabric scrap I stamped in boxes of blue and pink. How to add interest with stitch - just for practice.  No great expectations.  Except I can be a dog with a bone. Never mind the blow by blows of what about this, what about that. My "story" here is that these boxes reminded me of my own categories of thought -- areas that have yet to be resolved (not completely sewn around), while others are non-negotiable (enclosed). The little gems of beads are epiphanies of a sort. The sun or life force radiates its energy fueling existence as time marches on.

Wow, certainly wasn't planning to make some ontological statement. In my own muddled way I hope others can relate to this thinking about thinking. (Like looking at a a series of reflections in two mirrors facing each other.) Some may just conclude that it's a pointless exercise in navel-gazing.

And that's okay too because frankly I get irritated with having to "get it" in order to get it. What I hope is that I have entertained with the blue and pink textures of fabrics, beads, threads, and stitching.

PS I may actually turn this little textile fluffery into a mini hanging collage with a delicate beaded bottom fringe. If it speaks to you, let me know. In meanwhile other one of a kind pieces can be found in my Etsy shop: