Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ollie's first quilt

2012-01-31 18:52:13 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-31 18:52:13 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Time to get my fingers flying and put together a quilt for our little Ollie. He is doing pretty well in the NIC unit as he continues to grow. I think he last weighed in at 4 pounds/3 oz. Still just a little guy with a long journey ahead but he's holding his own and growing.

It was so much fun picking out the brightest colors I could find-with a monkey or two thrown in-of course. The plan is to do a simple 5" charm layout with one border. Estimated final measurement should be 32" X 45"=or close. My measurements are always a bit funky.

I plan to bind the quilt with left over strips of the charm fabrics and then tie it. Or, depending on how fast it goes together, I may just do some very simple grid machine quilting lines. We'll see!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Circles of color

Circles of color by janellcl
Circles of color, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
I was playing around with different paints on a piece of watercolor paper and ended up with this. I like it a lot-. But now I want to print it in color on regular 11 x 14 paper and  cut it up and use it in a collage. AND-being the technically challenged person that I am-I can't figure out how to print the darn thing so it is bigger than 1 inch by 1 inch. You know-I used my Iphone and uploaded it to Flickr and now can't get a 'real' size to print. GRRRR>>>>>

Lately it seems that I get going on a project and feel excited and caught up in the fun and color and whatever and then....WHAM...I hit a roadblock and slam to a stop.

That's what I'm going through now. When I quilt it usually helps to step away from the machine or ask a good friend (you know who you are!) to check my seams, or check my math, or re-read the pattern with me and my problem gets worked out. Of course, there is usually a bit of swearing as well as laughing involved before there is sucess... but that's ok. It's all between friends!

However, the more I move into mixed media experiments the less I think I know and the more I need to learn. Right now I will plan tonight to ask my ace computer geek at home to help me figure out how to print this! I'll keep you posted on my success!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Surprise fabric gift!

2012-01-26 12:47:26 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-26 12:47:26 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

An 8 am dentist appointment usually doesn't make me smile-even if I don't have any cavities! But yesterday I was met at the door by one of the friendly dental hygienists who carefully handed me a big Tupperware box full of fabric! Over the course of 10 years of dentist visits we have shared updates about our mutual quilting obsession.

Even though I haven't seen her for a while, she remembered that I love making postage stamp quilts. This is just a quick pic of the contents of that lovely box. Besides being lots of little scraps that will be perfect for my postage stamp projects, there were also larger pieces that really intrigued me. How about the batik turtle???? Turtles are a favorite at our house so I am already thinking about what to do with this.

Unexpected quilting/fabric surprises are the best!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Easy pattern with left over fabric

Placemats 55 by janellcl
Placemats 55, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

This easy peasy placemat pattern is ideal for using up some of the strips of fabric I found in the Studio. Seems that I am either saving 1 1/2" squares for my postage stamp madness or 2" any length strips. Our little snow buddy seemed to be perfect when added to this simple set pieced placemat. Add hand or machine embroidery and binding and I'm ready for a cup of tea.

Must keep digging through the drawers and shelves. I know there are more strips of fabric just waiting to be discovered!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Corner of my desk

DSC01278 by janellcl
DSC01278, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
The cleaning or moving stuff around or whatever you want to call it is continuing in my studio. I have officially decided to call the room in the basement where I keep all my quilting and art supplies my STUDIO. Doesn't that sound more serious than Craft Room or basement room? This picture is one little corner of my desk-full of things I love that help me and inspire me.

One of the concepts that I am struggling with is what to call the type of stuff I do in my Studio. It is a wonderful blend of quilting, embroidery, journaling, coloring, photography, knitting, painting and messing around with stencils, glimmer mist, and markers. All together it is wonderful and I think it is art.

When I was going to graduate school in Madison, many years ago, there was a man who walked the downtown streets offering to wash windows. His name was Art. He was someone who just existed in downtown Madison and never hurt anyone-talking to himself sometimes-offering to wash windows.

Some smart college guy eventually had tee-shirts made up. They said: What is Art? Art is a window washer in Madison.

Lots of people bought that tee-shirt. They didn't know Art but they felt like they did because he was always around. That's what I think art is-the little things that make me smile or ponder life every day. The shiny sun that slimmers off a rain-glistening leave. The soft luxiousness of mohair spun into a cloud of bliss. The shimmer and gleam of my glaze markers when I color a zentangle design. If you look too quickly, you miss these things. And, sometimes, you have to slow down and just enjoy them.

Art is what I do. So it's ok that I do it in a Studio.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Helping Hand?

2012-01-20 19:02:22 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-20 19:02:22 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
The clean up in the studio continues. So far I have 5 bags of old gardening and quilting magazines. Seems like I have several offers of 'helping hands' to take them away for good use. May just start the distributing this weekend if we aren't snowed in.

I also have isolated three quilt projects that have all the fabric washed and ironed, the pattern attached, and even a few notes on what I was thinking when I bought the fabric. Next step: find some plastic boxes/containers that can hold the whole thing until it is time to start working on each of them. If I don't keep them isolated, but together, I think I will lose them again!

This is my left hand traced on journal paper. I have been playing around with Zentangles/doodling and have decided that hands are awesome to play with. I used Micron pens and then Sakura Glaze bright pens/markers for the coloring. What absolute fun!

Just asked my 7 year old grandson, Winston, to trace his hand for me. I think I want all 4 grandkids to do that so I can combine them into one project. Fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Studio clean up

DSC01276 by janellcl
DSC01276, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

As I haven't been able to sleep past 4 am the last two nights, I have decided to start cleaning my studio. Actually it is a big room in the basement that has all my craft/quilting/painting/artsy stuff in it. About half of it is taken up by shelves that hold all the fabric and patterns that I have accumulated as part of Lasting Treasures Designs AND as a passionate quilter.

That's a lot of fabric! It's also a lot of patterns and books and buttons and thread and yarn...you get the idea.

I need to identify what I have and decide if there is a reason to keep it and then re-organize it all so I know where things are and have room to do things and buy more things...whatever. I'll keep you posted with some pics along the way. I am looking for storage tips and will have some goodies to share as I 'inventory'...also known as pulling out drawers and looking at stacks of stuff to figure out what I have. Want to play???

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hopes and Prayers for little Oliver

Twinkling H20's sketch by janellcl
Twinkling H20's sketch, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We have a new blessing in our family. Jeanne's daughter and son-in-law have a new little one! Oliver Philip was born January 6th-9 weeks early but breathing on his own. The little guy is 15 inches long and weighs 3.7 pounds at birth. He has a long journey ahead of him to good health but we are holding him up-with his mom, dad, and big brothers-with our love and support.

A birth is a hope for new beginnings-a life full of possibilities and dreams. We ask for your good hopes and prayers for our family.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Little office helpers

2012-01-09 20:31:48 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-09 20:31:48 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I got these little Cinderella characters from Santa Claus. My favorites are the 3 little mice people in the front. I have these characters lined up on my office to help me with inspiration.

Don't know if you remember the story that Disney shared about Cinderella. The little mice helped Cinderella throughout the movie and were very instrumental in her getting ready for the ball.

The little mouse lady helped create her ball-gown. What fun to have help like that getting ready for a special event. Sometimes help comes from unexpected sources. You've just got to be open to offers!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year-New Projects

IMG_0229-Edit.jpg by turtleboy2010
IMG_0229-Edit.jpg, a photo by turtleboy2010 on Flickr.

I have been exploring working in an art journal for 2 months now. Amazing-there have only been two times where I had to sit and think back over a couple of days. It is a great way to keep track of what's on my mind without having to worry about putting too much information 'out there'.

If I don't like what I wrote-or don't want anyone else to see it-I just paint over it or cover it up and move on. But the act of writing down what's in my head has been good.

Picking out the tools to use each day has been fun. Who knew I would love different letter fonts so much? Or maybe it's the little tin these came in. Whatever...stamp, stamp, stamp away.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sketching over the holidays

PC300571-Edit.jpg by turtleboy2010
PC300571-Edit.jpg, a photo by turtleboy2010 on Flickr.

The end of December was spent doing all kinds of thinking about the New Year. With my retirement just around the corner it seems that I am looking at the things I love to do differently. What am I reading? What am I sewing? What am I sketching?

How can I use my creative energy to express what I see around me?

We visited the Oshkosh Public Museum last week and I sketched the Apostles' clock. We both took photos-sometimes of the same things. Interesting how things look different through different eyes.

What does your mind's eye see around you? And what can you do with that image?