Friday, December 30, 2011

Monthly Mosaic: 12/11

1. Snowman Wine Charms; 2. My Assistants; 3. Snowman Ornament; 4. Material for the Nursery; 5. Ballerina Socks for my Little GIRL; 6. Tacky Lights; 7. DIY Button Project; 8. Brent's Favorite Christmas Ornament

For someone who is easily distracted by images this monthly mosaic idea may be the end of all productivity. I saw it on another blog, only she does weekly mosaics. I am reasonable enough to know that isn't going to happen but thought, hey, I can surely handle this monthly. So here it is, my first monthly mosaic. Images that made me smile during the month of December. Maybe some will make you smile too. Or, maybe you'll get the same idea so I can look at yours, and then get even less work done! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Morris Family Christmas Card, Decoded

To those of you who have ever wondered what the images in our Christmas Card mean, this contest is for you!

We have a lot of fun every year listing the events that occurred over the past year and determining how to show them in a Christmas Card. Lots of people ask what certain parts mean and what they represent. Steven Jones (genius!) had the idea to post the card on the blog and see how many of you can guess what each part of the card represents. The winner will receive a signed Christmas Card.... ok, just kidding. The winner will receive a set of Snowman Ornaments or Wine Charms (that won't be available again until July, you lucky dog!)

So here's how to play. Check out the card and guess as many items as you can. (To receive extra credit be as detailed as possible.) Send your list to me via email ( or through Facebook inbox. (Remember, if you post it as a comment on my blog or on my wall you will be giving away your answers!)

I'll announce the winner New Year's Eve! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part Three

Time for the details! The hand stitching on this piece challenged me but was so much fun and gave me some ideas for the future!

I wanted to make the flowers 3-D but really wasn't sure if I would like the final result. Deciding to do ribbon petals really was a leap of faith because if it hadn't worked the entire piece would've had to be restarted... thankfully, I not only loved the ribbon but intend to use it again in some future nursery pieces!

... Back to the process. I started by hand embroidering the petals and center that were originally attached. This is a pretty typical style for me, one that I rely on all the time!

After that, individual petals were drawn into ribbon and cut out. To keep the edges from fraying the petals were burned with a candle. (Thank you, years of pointe shoe ribbon burning for providing me with experience!) This actually curled the ribbon a little which helps it take a petal-like form. Finally, these were attached to the piece, stitched at the flower center so they have the ability to 'pop' off the center.

Beading and hand stitching finished the dragonflies. By using sheer fabric the wings look more delicate and thin.

The hand stitching took longer that I initially expected, but was very worth it (and I still finished well before the Christmas deadline!).

See more of the techniques:
Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part Two
Sunflower and Dragonflies: Part One

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part Two

In the second (and shortest!) "Sunflowers and Dragonflies" post I'm going to show you the layers that created this piece. Fasten your seat belts, its gonna get wild!

At first this looked very much like a Dr. Seuss fabric project. Between the spinning lines in the back and the funky flowers I felt the need to rhyme while working. The flower petals are only half capacity so that I could go back later with a more 3-Dimensional petal look.

After the background flowers were fused the yellow borders were attached so that the remaining flowers could then be added. Tiny dragonfly bodies were also added at this point. All of these fabrics were fused and not stitched until the handwork was done.

I'll give you a sneak peak of the outlining in the stems, but again, I'm spacing this out because my last post (tomorrow) will be another long one.... hand stitching, petal burning and beading, oh my!

Catch up if you're behind!
Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part One

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunflowers and Dragonflies: Part One

I've got a new favorite! I just recently finished a new toddler piece and am so excited to show it!

"Sunflowers and Dragonflies" was commissioned by a friend from college who I haven't talked to in years. She found my shop on Etsy (speaking of, you should totally go check out her work: SunChaser Studio) and wanted a piece for her little girl's room. While sketching it I realized there were lots of opportunities for new techniques in this piece, especially in the details.

Color and Design Plans

I wanted the background to be splotchy with pinks and purples but didn't see any fabrics fitting the image in my head. Years ago I had used Neocollor II crayons on a few works and thought I'd give it a try again.

Materials needed for Neocolor II: Layer board, scrap materials,  fabric, water and brush, Neocolor II crayons.

To do this process crayon is drawn directly on to the actual fabric. For a smooth appearance color with the side of the crayon. If lines appear it is hard to get rid of them later. Once the crayon is complete the fabric is painted with water to blend colors and lighten the crayon. This part of the process really involves soaking the fabric so usually it is done over layers of other fabrics to absorb the water. I like to make a base layer which keeps me from wasting so many bottom layers of fabric. This is done by covering g a piece of foam core with contact paper and then taping an old fabric piece over that. The crayon/water process can be repeated as many times as needed until the desired background is finished. You can also use the crayon directly on the fabric without wetting it (especially good if you want to see your lines.)

Lines drawn onto fabric with pink and purple crayons, then placed on top covered foam core.

Between soakings.... The darker purple areas are still wet from the water. The pink has then been drawn over top of the wet fabric to darken the pink shades.

After the background fabric was finished it was easy to assemble the remaining fabrics and begin piecing the work together. However, because this is only one of several techniques I want to explain about this work, and because this post has already been long enough, I'll save the next step for tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wine Charm Shout-Out: Doodles

Oh, if I had a dollar for every doodle I've created. I surely wouldn't be working anymore... which also means I wouldn't be doodling, considering how much time is spent doodling at meetings!

I created four different doodle wine charm sets this year. Although there are some similarities (clearly I love dots and spirals!) there are some differences worth pointing out... in my opinion!

Spiral Charms, Set of Four
The spiral charms are just that... charms full of spirals. These link together and spiral around each other which made them fun to make. The blue and yellow color scheme is one of my favorites.

Sunshine Wine Charms, Set of 4
These sunshine charms were created by cutting tiny scraps of warm colored fabrics into stripes. Each dot is fused in a different location creating four different asymmetrical designs. Tiny dots are added with ink to add more detail.

Doodle Wine Charms, Set of 4
These four charms are actually called the Doodle Set and combine the elements of sunshine and spiral. Spirals in various shades of blue cross and break blue stripes. A yellow dot is found in each charm unifying them.

Stripe Charms, Set of 4
The last set, the stripe charms, have pink center stripes with other stripes in various colors. A pink dot is also placed in each charm to unify the set.

All charms are sealed in resin for protection and attach to wine glass stems with beaded silver hoops. Purchase these from my Etsy shop, or check out the others!

Wine Charm Shout Out: Holiday

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wine Charm Shout-Out: Holiday

It's time to get ready for the holidays! 
This year I created two wine charm sets for Christmas and Valentine's Day. These little charms are designed and cut from scraps of fabric. (See the process!) It's a great way to use some of those fabric pieces I just can't throw away!

Christmas Charms

Red, green and yellow Christmas presents, lights, ornaments and a tree make up these wine charms. They are detailed with silver ink and have clear, white, and silver beads. 

Valentine Heart Charms

The Valentine charms have big and little hearts in four shades of pink. They are highlighted with silver and have pink and silver beads.

Both of these are available on my Etsy page. I need ideas for holiday charms for next year... any ideas?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Art Room Envy: Fabric Stashing

I love seeing how people store their fabrics, usually wrapped on bolts or cardboard. I got this beautiful image on Pinterest from and it inspired me to take a look at my own fabric supply...

Which, unfortunately, looks something like this.

In my third week of Art Room Envy I was determined to find a better way to store the fabric I have... on a limited budget. I didn't want to buy materials or take the time to cut the cardboard. After walking around the house I had the economical (and green!) idea to re-use magazines. By wrapping the fabric around the magazine I can neatly store the fabrics and re-use materials!

The finished result is a work in progress... I still have two bins of fabric to go. The finished fabrics are starting to look great on the bookcase!

Next week I'm looking at work spaces and am still looking for ideas! Leave me suggestions if you see something I can use. If you've missed a previous week check them out!

Art Room Envy: Introduction   

Art Room Envy: Thread and Wine

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nursery: The Beginning

Finally! After designing 7 nursery pieces for others I'm finally designing for myself! 

Only, this time I get to create the entire nursery! Brent and I are expecting our first child this April, and plans are already underway...after all, I have about 6 pieces I want to complete before April 1!

The first step involved Brent's work more than mine. I did the fun part: the designing, but he (and Grandpa Nelson) had to do all the work. Luckily the dogs were around to assist as well.

Check back in later to see the projects progress. I'll be starting with some gender neutral plans!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Art Room Envy: Thread and Wine

In my second week of Art Room Envy, the goal was to clean up the nest of threads in the closet. I'd seen this cute idea on Pinterest but didn't have mason jars readily available.

I did, however, have various wine and beverage glasses from previous glass painting projects. Ordered by colors of the rainbow, they are a fun and beautiful addition to my windows!

This week I'm working towards organizing the fabric stashes... do you have any suggestions?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Art Room Envy: Introduction

I've been experiencing art room envy lately and decided to do some updating and cleaning. Thanks to some exploration on Pinterest I've gotten some great ideas, but still have more to do. Over the next few weeks I'll post entries relating to arts and craft storage idea; sharing what I've found, stolen from others, and done on my own. Maybe you'll be able to steal ideas from me!

In the meantime, share ideas with me using Pinterest, Facebook or by leaving a comment!