I had pretty much set aside painting, since spending all of my time doing so was NOT paying off.
I have not been able to market my paintings much at all,
and after all, I have bills to pay.
So I went back to publishing craft patterns, mostly sewing, and making primitive dolls.
Then out of the blue came a quiet little convo on my Etsy shop. A local shop owner had seen my work on there and loved it! She wanted to carry my paintings on consignment in her shop. And she pays well!!
I eagerly took all of my work in to her shop, and there they all are.
All of my paintings, cards and even a pumpkin head (which I threw in for good measure! LOL!)
So this has given me the excuse to pull out all of my art journal supplies and splash around! The water seems a little warmer and there is a faint little stripe of "hope" on the horizon!
If you follow this blog, then you know that when you come here you don't always know what to expect!
I am a lover of art, and so often my head is turned by lots of different styles! I enjoy lots of different crafts and a couple of different styles. But when Fall hits, my heart always turns back to primitives. I also really enjoy prim and vintage styles for Christmas. So here I am, presenting a primitive doll for the Fall season!
Hester is approximately 30” tall, including her stem.
She is made of muslin, painted and aged with a mixture of stains and sanding.
Her face has been hand painted and she has wired movable fingers.
She has painted boots and stockings.
Her dress is made of cotton and is adorned with cotton lace and 3 rusty tin buttons down the front.
I had so much fun making this doll! It has been a while, but I don't think I'l l ever really stop making folk dolls.
Last week I was fortunate to hear a lecture and slide show by the wonderful quilter, Sue Garman.
She is a fantastic quilt designer, prolific quilter,
(completing no less than 20 quilts a year on average-and they are not easy panel quilts! LOL!),
and an amazing hand quilter, and even does beautiful longarm quilting! She does it all!.
I found these pics on Pinterest. If you simply type Sue Garman Quilts into the Pinterest search you will have a feast for the eyes!
I especially love her green and red quilts.
But what really struck me was her focus and organization-which is what allows her to finish so many quilts. She talked a lot about getting as much prep work done on a quilt ahead of time as she could. So for example, on an applique quilt, she preps every single block, making all of the vines, circles and pattern pieces, for every single block.
She then separates all the pieces by block and before she begins the applique, bastes down as much as possible on each block before beginning. I think this is a more efficient way to get it all done.
I was so inspired by her beautiful intricate quilts. Each one looked like it would take me a lifetime to make, yet here they all were, quilt after quilt!
So I went home to look at all of my UFO's. I fully admit that I am a serial starter!
I have no less than 10 QUILTS IN PROGRESS!!
This is my oldest one,the civil war quilt; War and Pieces. I decided to focus on this quilt and try to finish it to give to my brother for Christmas.
I pulled it out, and realized I have all the blocks done, so all I have left is to set the center blocks and finish the border. I began trimming all of the blocks and OH! I foumd that one of the blocks was supposed to be set on point, but I had appliqued it as a straight set! Grrr! So I have to re-do the entire block! Luckily there was plenty of extra fabric with this BOM, (I purchased it through Keepsake Quilting). I just had to purchase more backing fabric which was easy to find.
So I prepped it and began again. I took Sue's advice and basted everything down. It does make it easier as there are no pins for the thread to get caught up in, and it makes the block completely mobile. I appliqued most of this while waiting for my mother at the eye doctor!
I also began prepping everything for the border.
This civil war quilt is really a learning piece for me. I have used just about every type of applique on it, from needle turn to machine! What is your favorite method of applique? I still haven't settled on a particular technique!
I have scoured the internet looking for a wool company that hand dyes wool in both primitive and contemporary colors. I have always loved both styles very much. When it comes to wool, primitives really dominate the market. And it is understandable, because the latest surge of interest in wool and wool projects has mainly come from primitive artists. I do love primitives, especially the historic reference that is evident in the style. But I am happy by nature, and I have trouble staying within the darker colors of that palette.
I gotta be me!
But I digress,
I have recently found a wonderful little company called In The Patch Designs, that dyes both prims and beautiful contemporary brights, and even pastels(almost impossible to find!) I was so excited when I started working with their wools I decided to offer them to you in my Etsy Shoppe!
And look at how cute they are packaged, with coordinating buttons!
So pop on over and have a look. I am sure you will find a bundle or two that you can't resist!
I belong to a wonderful quilt guild. It has almost 300 members and it is vibrant and active. We bring in national teachers every year, and there are tons of little quilt Bee's of every type, buzzing around all the time. Right now I only belong to one Bee-it is called Bee Woolie. It is a wool applique Bee, and let me tell you, the members are very talented!
We have been slowly working our way through Sue Spargo's stitch book:
If you are not familiar with Sue Spargo, run,...don't walk over to her website and FEAST YOUR EYES!
Seriously, she is some kind of EMBROIDERY GODDESS!
Anyhow, this month it was my turn to teach a stitch, so I "learned myself" the Van Dyke stitch!
I started a sampler to put all of my practiced stitches on. And I have to say, I'm obsessed with it! It is all I have worked on the last two days! Today I am driving to Designer's Desk to buy more fibers!! and I'm scouring the internet looking for more WOOL!
Here is my sampler so far:
I am so inspired!
Some of the stitches used: buttonhole, pekinese stitch, crested chain stitch, fly stitch, whipped woven circle, threaded running stitch, Tete de Bouf stitch, pistil stitch, woven picot, and French knots!