Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mermaid's Treasure

This beautiful deep sea nymph sits atop an altered cigar box, amid just a few of her favorite things.  A Chinese lantern, coins, gears from a ship long forgotten, a bejeweled cross and shells which she painstakingly collected off the coast of Trinidad.  Jeweled sea anemone adorn the walls of her sanctuary, while fish and sea horses glide by.    
The box measures 7x7x2 inches, the clasp and hinges are the original hardware. Golden acrylic paints were used to paint the box and Golden's molding paste for the stenciled shells along the sides.  Sea weed and broken nets are interpreted by hand-dyed cheese cloth in turquoise and green which cling to the bottom and run along the sides.  It is then further embellished with Golden's gold mica and garnet flakes.  
The piece is signed and ready to be put in the mail today.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Stockings

Christmas without stockings, I don’t think so!   These 4” by 6” fabric postcards can be framed, mailed, stood on an easel or placed on the refrigerator with magnets.

Each 4” by 6” postcard was machined appliqued using rayon thread and hand embroidered. The colors are dark blue, Christmas red, green, gold.  The backs are ecru color and stamped with the words “Post Card”. Each postcard was individually made with attention to detail.

Swarovski crystals gives that flash of starlight and adorn the snowflake and the lace.
This is the time of year when we remember friends and long to be with family. So write a short note on the back of one of these cards, or make one of your own (see blog post of July 8, 2011) add some postage and send to that someone letting them know that you're thinking of them at this the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Monday, November 21, 2011

Going Home


I am going home to Trinidad for a brief visit.  The last time I was there it was for my mother's funeral four years ago.  I am not certain that I will be able to post. It's not that I won't have computer power or that I will not have a lot to say, it's that I will be very busy visiting with my five year old nephew, Mark. He's taking me to see his new school and on a field trip to the post office. The last time I saw Mark he was two, so we have a lot of catching up to do.

I'll be back!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mancuso Quilt Show

I attended the Third Annual Mancuso Quilt Show held at the Palm Beach Convention Center last weekend.  Though the show was smaller than in the two previous years, there were fewer quilts and even less vendors, the artistry and the craftsmanship of the quilts that were there, were stunning and impressive.  Here are a few of the quilts that caught my attention. 


Monday, October 31, 2011

The Reliquary

Deep in the forest of Trinidad and Tobago lives Mama Dlo. The abbreviation of her name from the French "mama de l'eau" translates to "mother of the water".  Hunters often boast of seeing a beautiful woman sitting on river rocks warmed by the sun, loudly slapping her mermaid like tail on the surface of the water just before she disappears in a flash of green-gold.
She and her sometimes lover Papa Bois, are believed to be the guardians of the forest. Together they keep watchful eyes for any one who would be purposeless and wasteful in the killing of animals, cutting down trees or polluting the rivers and streams.  If such a person is caught my Mama Dlo, he finds himself married to her both in this life and in the next.
This reliquary (a place for sacred object) was created to house the memory of the love child of Mama Dlo and one such indiscriminate hunter.
I painted the box with Golden's black gesso, attached a Loteria Card to the back wall and added black/grey roses.  The love child and the Memory key are from Tim Holtz.
All Hallows Eve

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's All About Texture

Sam Lord's Treasure Embroidery
Texture, it's what begs you to reach out and touch the surface.  One of the seven elements of design (line, shape, direction, size, color and value) when used with the other elements create interest, dimension, depth and enhances the visual story of the piece.  Fiber artists use threads of various thickness, a variety of stitches, found objects; while painters would use a build up of paint and/or make marks on the canvas.  Whatever the medium, texture is where it's at!
Sam Lord's Treasure Painting
Royal Poinciana 

Friday, October 7, 2011

National Quilt Museum

We took the back country roads after leaving St. Louis, MO driving through and around fields of sorghum, corn, alfalfa and soybean, going east, then south to Florida. Our destination - The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY. Founded in 1991 and by a special act of Congress, was awarded the designation "The National Quilt Museum of the United States".  It's the Mecca for quilters!  What an amazing place. It takes your breath away!  There were antique quilts, circa 1800s.  Quilts from the Chicago School of Fusing, (where admittance is determined by one's ability to find Chicago on the map) featuring quilt artists, 
Freida Anderson, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Denise Havlan, Jane Sassaman, Carol Taylor, Ricky Tims and so, so much more.  I have seen some of the quilts before, at the various shows, but upon seeing them again, I was just as fascinated as I was the first time I saw them. Judy Coates Perez' Primordial Sea, is one such quilt.
It took us about two (2) hours to see the entire exhibit, unfortunately one is not allowed to take photographs (copyright issues, flash issues and so forth) but I was allowed this one at the entrance to the Museum's shop.

While in Paducah, we took the opportunity to visit Eleanor Burns' shop Quilt in a Day and Quilters Alley.  We rang the door bell at Caryl Bryer Fallert's, Bryerpatch Studio but sadly, no one was at home.  Paducah is such a pretty town, we had lunch at Kirchoff's Bakery and Deli (made their first loaf of bread in 1873) and enjoyed a stroll along the Ohio River.  Our visit to the National Quilt Museum is one that I will not soon forget.  Hopefully my travels will bring me back to Paducah and to the National Quilt Museum.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Feeling Fall

I'm back in the studio.  It takes a few days for me to settle in and get back to work so here are some shots of fall which is just around the corner, you can feel it in the air.  These photos are of my neighbors' properties in Missouri, some of whom took their pumpkins to the farmer's market and then invited us to sit awhile under this beautiful awning.

Pumpkins going to Market
Butterfly Hill Farm

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On the Road Again

Rob and I are on our way to Kirksville, MO for Rob's 45th high school reunion.  We are having breakfast at the Saint Louis Bread Co., approx. 20 miles from St. Louis.  Hope the see the Arch.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

See The Forest from the Trees

Do you have a piece of hand dyed fabric that's shot with wonderful color and you're not sure what to do with it?  Well, I took inspiration from Design Matters TV and cut a yard of hand dyed fabric that I've been cherishing for some time now into 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" strips. I then sorted the pile of strips into groups of like colors, four strips per group. Each group was machined stitched together to create a 4 1/2" block. 
Once all the blocks were made, they were sewn together using the traditional rail fence pattern but... not in the traditional color scheme.  I placed the lights together, ran the mediums and the darks through the design to create a look of reflections on water. I then quilted expanding circles throughout  the wall hanging. 
When that was done I thought it looked a little flat and needed something, so as is my custom I left it on the design wall for a few days and just looked at it.  Then it dawned on me, perhaps I could stitch in some metallic thread, I tried it, but it did not work.  I then tried Shiva Iridescent Paintsticks, darking the darks and highlighting the lights.  It was too subtle.  It needed sparkle, so dusting the quilt with 007 Bonding Agent, I foiled the quilt.  I did not want the sparkle to stand out, I wanted subtle flecks of light dancing through the quilt. The foil did the job.
Although this piece started out as reflections on water, when all was said and done, I called this wall hanging, See The Forest From the Trees.  The piece is reminiscent of the deep forest with the light filtering through the leaves, reflecting off tree trunks and pooling on the forest floor.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Embellishments: a decorative detail or feature added to something to make it more attractive.
The Oxford American College Dictionary.
There is no end to the possibilities for what an embellishment can be.  They can be made of paper, fiber, clay, metal or a combination. It can be painted or hand/machine embroidered. They can be treasured or found objects, one is limited only by one's imagination.

Embellies as they are called in the quilting and scrapbooking world can be used on hand-made cards, quilts, (art quilts are also included here), hats, clothing, etc.  I use embellishments to personalize some of my gifts, as in the card with the whisk. The young woman for whom this was made loves to cook.  The card was machined stitched, the Grungeboard heart was painted with acrylic paints and the whisk (embellie) was attached. The quilt is machined stitched and the glass "life preserver"(embellie) was hand stitched to the base fabric using metallic thread. Seed bead were then sewn onto the quilt. Enjoy.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beading Bracelets

It did not take my sister very long to discover the bead shop, amysfunkybeads.com  five minutes from the house.  Within ten minutes of walking into the shop we were signed up for a couple of classes.  Allison and I are both self taught bead queens and so we felt that a beginners class would fill-in some of the holes in our knowledge and introduce us to new ideas and explain how some of the basic tools are used.  That afternoon we learned wire wrapping, which was always a challenge for me, how to use the crimper, explained the bead board and introduced us to the bead stopper.
 Now I know what to do with all these beads, pearls, gears, etc. Did I mention magpie?

Armed with all this new found knowledge, we were off to the next class - netting and in our case, a bracelet.  After choosing our seed beads, crystals and clasps we settled in for two and one half hours of beading fun.  Allison made a red and gold to my green and blue bracelet.  As it turns out, we're pretty decent beaders.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Sister & Me

So... while Miss. Kim was at the races, her mom (my sister, Allison) and I were off to the Dali museum, the Chihuly Glass museum and the Florida Aquarium.  We were unable to take any photos at the museums as photography was "strictly prohibited."  Nevertheless, we spent many hours wondering the beautiful galleries.
Our first stop was the Salvador Dali Museum which holds one of the world's largest collections of his work. We stood before paintings of strange landscapes in awe of his imagination only to find out that not all of the landscapes were born of his imagination but were real landscapes from his boyhood home of Cadaques and Port Lligat.  We marveled at the beautiful colors, pure and true and his ability to capture light. 

Soon after leaving the halls of surrealism, we drove for a couple of minutes in pouring rain and arrived at the Chihuly Glass Museum.  As I was unable to use my camera I brought out my trusty sketch book and made some quick sketches of my impressions of the glass art.

The gallery was not very big but the color was intense and although I would be afraid to own any of the pieces, God knows I would break it, it was all very beautiful.
Our last stop was the Florida Aquarium.  The oceans have always made me pause in awe.  I was once a diver and my deepest dive was 65 feet.  That was an experience!   
We saw jelly fish, and star fish, sand dollars and turtles.

  Of course the highlight was the Leafy Sea Dragon and the Rosette Spoonbill.
Allison and the Jew fish
I caught my sister hanging out with the largest Jew fish I have ever seen.  The best part of all of this though, was the time we spent together.  We did a lot of laughing and talking about things both great and small, our mom and dad who we miss very much and of my five year old nephew, Mark who is into anything with wheels.  We had the best time ever!