Saturday, January 26, 2013

{thrifty-chic + consumer crafts}

As the editor of the DIY Weddings blog at Craft Gossip, I'm always looking for great resources for handmade weddings. I recently had the opportunity to go on a mini shopping spree at Consumer Crafts  and it was so much fun! I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of products available. I sailed through the ordering process with ease, and saved a bundle with the back-to-basics sale going on through February 4th. Checkout was a breeze, and though you have the option to purchase as a guest, I registered my account because I know I'll be returning often!

There were so many tempting products in the craft basics section alone, but I finally settled on some adorable mini chalkboards,  a larger vertical chalkboard, and some shimmering silver paint that I can't wait to try! At a mere 37 cents each during the sale, the  mini chalkboards will make chic yet affordable wedding favors that double as place cards. The larger chalkboard would be perfect for a seating chart, menu board, or a stylish sign to point the way to the ceremony. Best of all, it can be used after the wedding for home decor! Metallics are a big trend for 2013 weddings, and the Old Silver paint will add a lovely shimmering finish to the chalkboards. The products will be landing on my doorstop any day now, so be sure to check back soon for a tutorial!

In the meantime check out the instructions for these DIY chalkboard place card favors featured at the company blog, Crafts Unleashed. You can find Consumer Crafts on Pinterest or stay connected via their Facebook page . Be sure to stock up on your crafty supplies before the sale ends on February 4th!

{Please note that I wrote this post as part of a Blueprint Social campaign. The opinions expressed in this post are all my own.}

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{the thread that weaves} seabird collage

The Thread That Weaves workshop continues, and I spent a lovely morning in my studio putting the finishing touches on this seabird collage. The mottled background is a piece of deli paper painted with Golden Fluid Acrylics in my favorite nature-inspired colors. I found the sparkly bobble and the wire-wrapped branch in my stash, and thought they made the perfect finishing accents!

This collage began with the center of a vintage doily, a strip of frayed burlap, and a painted piece of Fabriano paper. I wasn't sure where it was headed, but then I found one of my favorite Red Lead Paperworks stamps, "Follow Your Star" and it all came together. The doily reminds me a bit of a sand dollar, so I added some cut-out images of sand dollars I found at Vintage Printable. A glitter pen added a bit of starry sparkle.

This collage is still a work in progress, but I'm calling it Pacific Dreams. Last October, I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and the experience lingers in my mind. I loved the silvery waves, the misty gray skies and the endless horizon. I've been a beach girl my whole life and love the vivid blues and greens and white sands of the gulf. The rocky shores, and crashing waves of the Pacific were a revelation and the sense of mystery in the muted seas captured my imagination. I used silver thread to stitch the lines of the map, and to represent the love of the water that weaves throughout my life and my art. The sea inspires my art, but where do you find your inspiration?

Monday, January 14, 2013

{cloth paper scissors winner!}

Imagine a drum roll and lots of fanfare as I happily announce the winner of the Jan/Feb issue of Cloth Paper Scissors!! And the winner is...

{Dolly LaBelle!} 

Congratulations Dolly! I will ship your prize out to you right away. Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments and for entering the giveaway. I wish I had a copy each of you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{Book Arts} The Thread That Weaves

Have you ever considered the various themes that twine themselves throughout your art? Perhaps a favorite motif, a love of nature, words, or the dreams that inspire you. I've spent several lovely hours pondering that question while taking The Thread That Weaves online workshop with Roxanne Evans Stout. The word that keeps coming to my mind during this experience is beautiful. The workshop is filled with beautiful images, techniques, artists, and most of all a wonderful instructor with a beautiful spirit. We're only into the second week of the workshop, so there's still plenty of time to join in and explore it for yourself. All the details can be found here.

Roxanne asked each of her students "What is the thread that weaves throughout your art?" Some of the lovely and inspiring answers can be found in the post "things that hold mystery" on Roxanne's blog River Garden Studio. I wrote about the things that inspire my art, and gathered bits and pieces from my front yard and wrote down some words that come to my mind when I think about winter and the month of January. These ideas were going to be the theme of my book. But...

On Monday, I took an acrylic painting class and painted my first ever seascape! Lovely shades of blue and green flowed from brush to canvas and lingered in my mind as I began working on the collages for my book. So I decided to follow my muse and dedicate this first book to my love of the sea.

This shimmery, silver thread represents the love of water, and especially the love of the ocean, that flows throughout my art and my life. I plan to use it for stitching waves and other motifs all through my book. I love the structure of this book and I already have 3 more just waiting to be painted and embellished, but for now I will surrender myself to the mystery and beauty of the sea.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

{Cloth Paper Scissors} Giveaway & Conversation with Donna Downey!

Something wonderful arrived in my mailbox yesterday: the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors! This is one of my favorite magazines, and the January/February 2013 is exceptionally special.

To my absolute delight, I was honored to be chosen to participate in a new feature of the magazine, a "conversation" with an artist! I was especially excited because I'm a long time fan of the featured artist, Donna Downey. Around the turn of the century {the year 2000 that is!} I discovered scrapbooking, and not long after that I was irresistibly drawn to  Donna's amazing memory-keeping style. Back then, scrapbooking was quite basic compared to now, but Donna's work was a wonderland of dimension, color, fabric, and style. Over the years, she has developed into a talented mixed-media artist, and shares inspiration on her blog through her Collage Monday, and Inspiration Wednesday series, and so much more.

And look! My sweet friend and talented artist Michelle Mathey is also in this issue! Check out her amazing artwork on her blog Pigment of My Imagination

Now for the giveaway! I received not one, but two issues of the magazine in my parcel, so I want to spread the love and give one copy away to one of my lovely blog readers. For your chance to win the magazine, just leave a comment on this post before midnight CST on Sunday, January 13th, 2013. I will announce the winner on Monday morning. Best wishes to all the entrants, and many thanks to Donna Downey and Cloth Paper Scissors for this wonderful experience!