Monday, December 5, 2016

So Much Inspiration!

Another week, another workshop! Last summer I saw this class listed at a local art store and had to have it. But, "Oh no!" I had something on the calendar already. Bummer. But on further inspection I found she was teaching the class again in December so I called immediately and got myself on the class list. So Saturday I enjoyed an absolutely delightful 4 hours taking a "Tape & Spray" workshop with Zoya Scholis. The process involves tape and masks and spray bottles of watercolor and you wind up with an abstract piece that may or may not be what you had in mind at the beginning of the process.

First the taping

Here it is midway through the process
This was as far as I got in class

And a second piece not yet completed
So much fun! And after the class we drove up into the Sierras to Nevada City to visit my Sister-in-Law. We spent a lot of time looking at galleries and now my head is bursting with ideas. So little time, so much art!

The Diva Challenge

This is a Use-My-Tangle challenge, the tangle being Moowa by Anya Ipsen.

Tangles Used: Moowa and  Basketweave
It took me a while to get a result I was happy with using this tangle but I do like it and look forward to trying it again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beads 'N' Things

Last week was just way to full of Thanksgiving to manage a post so this one will have to do double duty.

Stitching and Things

A while ago I mentioned that I was working on a large project. Well, in between all the Thanksgiving preparation I did manage to put the final touches on it. This is a beaded cuff designed, kitted and taught by Leah Ready for the Greater Pacific Region of the Embroiderers' Guild of America.

Shibori Ribbon and Beads on a stiffened felt base
I am really pleased with how it turned out and am grateful that Leah was willing to teach this workshop for us.

I also made this fun little Fabric Origami Ornament with one of my groups a couple of weeks ago. I found an on-line tutorial that has really good directions on how to make these just in case one of you can't resist ;)

Diva Challenge
Last week's Diva Challenge was to use reticules and fragments to tangle your tile. I went a more stitchy route (surprised?) and worked on something I've been meaning to do for a while. I did a felt applique last summer using Molygon and have been trying to decide ever since if I want to add surface embroidery to it or not. So Saturday evening I printed out a picture of it on glossy photo paper and tangled the Molygon areas with patterns that at least resemble stitches I could use. It was a lot of fun but I may have to try again on a larger print out since this was approximately quarter scale.



This week's Diva Challenge was Reticula/Fragment part 2. This time the fragment was supposed to be asymmetrical. I'm not really sure what is meant by a fragment...just a portion of a tangle? Anyway, I just drew a grid and picked a tangle that is asymmetrical. Having now looked at Carmela's blog I see that I may not actually have done what was intended but having put all that ink down and also having a policy of showing my first attempt, here it is.

Tangle Used: Florez

Wishing you all peace as we move through the Holiday Season.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Prayer for Unity

The past week has been a hard one. My spirits were lifted when I saw a piece on TV about the Positive Post-It Movement and how it is being used by people in NYC subways. Later that same day as we were driving to lunch we noticed that the Unity Sculpture in Fremont, CA was covered with Post-It Notes. I guessed why and we went to check it out and sure enough, there were lots of supportive messages as well as few expressing their fears. Someone had left Post-It Pads and Sharpies so you could add your own message, which I did.

Unity by Bruce Beasley, 2014

I'm still working on that one, last ornament for my exchanges this year and hope to have it done by next week. So in the meantime, the only thing I have to show is my Diva Challenge for the week. I started by stringing my tile with the symbol Umoja which means Unity in Swahili. I filled the areas with Keeko and OOF, leaving some of the OOF only partially tangled.

Tangles Used: Tipple, Keeko, OOF

This week I leave you with the music video Unity by Shinedown.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How to Finish a Tubular Ornament

I had several people ask me how I had finished the ornaments I posted about earlier this week. So here is how I did it.

Materials Needed:

Stitched ornament (Mine was on 18-ct canvas 64 threads wide x 64 threads high)
Two 1-1/8" circles cut from mat board  (or a size that fits your ornament)
Two 1-1/8" felt circles
Two 2" fabric circles
9" twisted cord
One 2" tassel
sewing thread
#10 embroidery needle
sewing awl
white glue


1. Trim the canvas leaving 1/2" canvas seam allowance all the way around.
2. Pierce the center of the mat board circles with the sewing awl.
3. Glue felt circles to mat board.
4. Center a fabric circle over a felt covered mat board end cap. Using running stitch on the back side, gather fabric around the mat board to fit snugly and knot to secure. Repeat for the other end cap.
5. Thread the ends of the twisted cord through the fabric, felt and mat board. Tie ends together to secure hanger.
6. Thread the hanger of the tassel through the fabric, felt and mat board. Tie ends together to secure.


1. Fold the side seam allowances to the back of the stitched piece and ladder stitch into a tube.
2. Fold the seam allowance at the top into the tube. Place the fabric covered cap with the twisted cord hanger on top of the ornament tube and ladder stitch in place.
3. Turn the ornament upside down and stuff with Polyfil.
4. Fold the seam allowance at the bottom into the tube. Place the fabric covered cap with the tassel on the ornament tube and ladder stitch in place.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Now How Do I Reset My Internal Clock?

I envy those of you who live in places that don't use daylight savings. It isn't that I don't like daylight savings per se, it's the time change that gets me. It's easy enough to run around the house and reset the clocks, but my internal clock will be off for weeks. <sigh> There was an article on with excellent visuals of how changing or not changing the clocks would effect the amount of light in our lives. But enough whining! Let's get on with the art.

I have set aside Take-A-Stitch Tuesday for a bit. Last month I did InkTober and right now I am working on ornaments for various gifts.

I literally could not resist this one. I don't even know who I may give it to!

From the 2016 Just Crossstitch Ornament Issue

I actually made 5 of these but one has already been given away. Very fun to stitch, a bit tedious to make into ornaments. But the result was so worth it!
Holiday Twirlaments by Kathy Rees

Diva Challenge

This is a Use-My-Tangle Challenge and I was really excited to see that the tangle is Eaxy. I saw this on a tile a month or so ago but couldn't find step-outs. I can't believe this pattern is made out of selectively positioned Xs. I would have never guessed!

Tangles Used: Eaxy and Isochor

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Falling Into Autumn

Our Indian Summer weather seems to be over and we have had several days of rain. Enough so that the new, green grass is beginning to come up through the old, dried grass.

And even more important to our water situation, we've had snow in the Sierras. So here's to a (hopefully) wet Wet Season.


Diva Challenge

I wasn't feeling very well last week so I never got my Diva Challenge posted even though I finished it. The Challenge was to use NZeppel and Flux in a DuoTangle, two tangles I really like.

Tangles Used: NZeppel and Flux

This week's Challenge was to be Halloween themed. I decided to make a Zendalla using bat shapes. When I want to do something like that I use the website Drawerings. So grateful to have such great tools out there! As a sort of Tangle-joke I used the Tangle Garlic Cloves to keep these little vampire bats at bay ;)
Tangle Used: Garlic Cloves

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I Have a Proposition

I don't know how it works in other states, but here in California we have 17 State Propositions on the ballot this year, plus 2 County and 5 City Propositions. And then there are the offices to vote for. I've been working on my ballot since the end of August and was so relieved to have it done and in the mail on Monday! Now I can sit back and tangle ;)


Diva Challenge

The Diva's challenge this week was to use Leaves/Autumn as a theme. I used the Diva's method of tracing around some leaves I found on my walk. But I then cut mine out, pasted them to my tile and used them as a mask while I spritzed watercolor on the background. I'm going to get some low-tack glue for next time as it was a bit tricky to get all of the mask back off! El Prado was a new tangle to me and I really like it.

Tangles Used: El Prado, Lazy Eights and Sand Swirl

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

So Many Tangles, So Little Time

I've been working on a big project but haven't got much to show for it yet but have been trying to tangle everyday.


I've been having fun keeping up with InkTober.

Diva Challenge

The Diva and her family just celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada so she decided that this was a good time to use the tangle Gourdgeous as a challenge. I used Festune too since I have always thought they look like little squashes.

Tangles Used: Gourdgeous, Festune, and Oke

Monday, October 3, 2016

How Can It Be October Already?

Is anyone else doing InkTober? I'm doing a modified form, not using the prompts and just trying to draw every day. Today is only the 3rd but so far, so good! I'm keeping them small so here I've done two on one page.

I'm also counting the Diva Challenge pieces towards my InkTober goal. This week's Challenge was a Use-My-Tangle using Daniel Lamothe's tangle Dreamcather. I enjoyed this tangle and can see lots of possibilities for it.

Tangles Used: DL-Nebula, Dreamcatcher, Snaylz Trayl, and Cayla
I also did a "catch-up" piece for challenge 267. The challenge was to use Drupe (very much not a favorite) and Pokeroot. I played with Drupe a bit and like what resulted but doubt it will be featured in many future pieces!

Tangles Used: Drupe and Pokeroot


TAST 57 - Feathered Chain Stitch &
Beaded Feathered Chain Stitch

TAST - Detached Chain Stitch

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just Add a Little Serendipity

I had the opportunity to try Botanical Printing at a friend's this week. We used certain leaves that have a high tannin content and water that had a high iron content to print on silk and wool. Leaves are arranged on the prepared fabrics, tightly rolled, and then steamed for a couple of hours. It was a ton of fun and so interesting to see what the result would be since there is a fair amount of serendipity involved.

Completed Silk Scarf
Close-up of Printing

While we were waiting for the bundles to steam we made felted bracelets using wool roving.

So Pretty!


Lock Stitch
Chevron Stitch

Weekly Diva Challenge

This week's challenge was to "Get Straight To It" or in other words use only straight lines for your tangles.

Tangles Used: Tipple (squares though), Carres, Xplode,
Miander, Nekton, Meer, Kathy's Dilemma, Screen
String Used: Hollibaugh

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Re-finding the Zen

I finally processed my pictures from our New Orleans trip. I didn't take as many as usual probably because we had been there before so I already have lots of great shots of wrought iron balconies and shotgun houses. But here are a few selected for your viewing pleasure.

This was hanging in our hotel. Very Zen I think!

We walked around the Sculpture Garden in City Park. There are pieces by artists from all around the world. This one really struck my fancy.
Karma, 2011 by Do-Ho Suh
At the Botanical Gardens in City Park

We went to the Whitney Plantation which opened in 2014. This plantation is dedicated to telling the story of the enslaved peoples.
Sculptures by Woodrow Nash representing
 some of the enslaved children
At the beginning of the tour each person was given a lanyard with a picture of one of the Children's Sculptures on it. Some of the children were interviewed as adults as part of the WPA program created by then President Franklin Roosevelt. Portions of these are on the backs of the lanyards.

This is a beautiful and heartbreaking piece by Rod Moorhead
 in the Field of Angels
The museum is well thought out and the docent was incredibly knowledgeable. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants a better understanding of this country and how it started.

Fun Fiesta at the San Francisco airport

Take-a-Stitch Tuesday

I got a week behind on these but caught up this week.

TAST 54 - Knotted Buttonhole Band
TAST 4 - Cretan Stitch

TAST 55 - Up and Down Buttonhole
TAST 5 - Herringbone Stitch

Weekly Diva Challenge

This week's challenge was to go back to basics and doodle for the sake of doodling...find your zen!

Tangles Used: Gravee, StarMaps, Printemps, and Nzeppel,

I did this while listening to a SF Giants game last night. They lost in the end but I had a great time getting into the zone and doing this.