Week 15 of the 365 day challenge

15 Apr

Week 15. Wow. We passed the 100 day mark this week. I also have a severe sinus infection this week, so I’ll keep this post brief. Here are the inchies and tweenchies I created this week. I guess I didn’t do any twinchies this time.

And here is my sketch for the week. Another flower sketch using water color pencils.

I hope you are continuing with your challenge. Please share your progress in the comments.

#bts365days

~deb

Blue Twig Studio

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

 

Week 14 of the 365 day challenge

8 Apr

Week 14 of the 365 day challenge. My how the time is just flying by, but I’m still enjoying myself and I hope you are too. Here are my weeks worth of inchies, twinchies, and tweenchies.

I actually completed the weekly sketch this week. Woo hoo! I found a photo of some Plumeria flowers that I liked. So I created a basic sketch and then added watercolor pencils to it. I love using watercolor pencils, don’t you? I did add a little too much color as the flowers are mostly all white, but they still look nice I think. At least you know they are flowers, right?

Now I am on to Week 15. I hope you are still enjoying the challenge and are making your own progress. Please share what you are working on. I love to hear all about the challenge.  Follow the daily posts on Instagram and  Facebook too.  #bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio - 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

719-266-1866

Modern Hand Stitching book review and a giveaway

7 Apr

My friend Ruth Chandler has a new book out called Modern Hand Stitching. I know I have mentioned that Ruth is a stitch goddess, and I truly mean that.  She does amazing hand stitch work and she makes it look so effortless and easy and beautiful, so that you really feel like you can do it too!

Modern Hand Stitching by Ruth Chandler

Modern Hand Stitching by Ruth Chandler

I am loving her new book Modern Hand Stitching. She has been working on this book for awhile now and I am pleased to say it is finally available for purchase.

The book is broken up into easy to read chapters with lots of great photos. There is information on the tools of the trade, including needles and threads and thimbles, etc, plus a nice section on how to create your own Stitch Play reference book (in case you aren’t able to take the class from Ruth).

She walks you through numerous basic stitches and then variations of the stitches. I love the little boxes with extra helpful tips to make your stitching experience the best it can be. Even if you have never done any hand stitching at all, you can follow along with the easy to read instructions and close-up photos. She truly makes it easy for you to do!

There are fabulous Inspiration Pieces (which we will be doing individual classes on in the near future)  included that Ruth has created, each one using only one type of stitch for the entire piece. If she didn’t tell you that, you would never know, because they all look so rich and detailed and complex. There are also art pieces stitched by others that are included in the book so you can see examples of using hand stitching in a variety of ways (full disclosure: I have a piece in the book).

One of my favorite things about the book is that Ruth encourages you to be creative and make the stitches your own. Go ahead and be wonky and use unusual materials and layer your stitching.  She truly does want you to have fun and enjoy the stitching. Too many of us grew up learning embroidery and having to take out stitches that weren’t exactly perfect. That takes the fun out of it. Ruth isn’t the “embroidery police”. She says if you make a mistake, just keep going. It’s OK!  Nobody is going to notice it anyway.

I’m happy that the book is finally in my hands (and in my store). I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about using hand stitching in their art work. And if you are able to take her class - that is even better! I know you will take away a new set of skills and learn that hand stitching can be enjoyable and relaxing and can be included in a variety of art projects. Plus you will make the adorable Stitch Play sampler reference book.

Stitch Play Sampler by Ruth Chandler

Stitch Play Sampler by Ruth Chandler

We are hosting a Book Signing at Blue Twig Studio on April 12th from 10:30-11:30. If you are in the area, please stop by to meet Ruth and get an autographed book. We will also be having some giveaways during the book signing, so you will want to stick around. If you aren’t local, you can still purchase the book here, and I will have Ruth sign it for you (be sure to let me know in the comments section of your order if you want anything special written).

If you are interested in taking the Stitch Play class with Ruth Chandler, be sure to get registered early as there is limited space available.

And finally, we are doing a giveaway of a this fabulous book! Just comment below to be entered in the drawing. Please comment about your favorite stitch to do, or what stitch you would like to learn how to do.

If you share on any of the social media platforms, leave a message stating that and that will give you another chance to win the book. Of course, Ruth will autograph the book for you too!

Leave your comments and share the post and be sure I can reach you to let you know you have won (or check back to find out). I will draw the winner on April 13th.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

House ATCs

6 Apr

Another fabulous month of ATCs. The March theme was HOUSES and they are all so cute! We didn’t get as many entries this month as the last few months, but they were excellent entries. I so adore seeing the entries every month.

So we will have 2 winners this month. And the winners are……..ta ta ta da………Sonja Milojevic and Margaret Bremner. Congrats and I will be sending you your ATCs. :)

The theme for April is STEAMPUNK and I can’t wait to see these ATC entries. It should be lots of fun!

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

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Book Club – Mixed Media Self Portraits – chpt 2

2 Apr
Mixed-Media self-portraits

Mixed-Media self-portraits

Our book club is reading and working through Mixed-Media self-portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato. We have completed Chapters 1 & 2. Chapter 2 has numerous exercises to help you get started doing self-portraits.

We chatted about getting to know ourselves, and did we really want to do that. :)  But of course we do. I think that is one of the primary reasons so many of us do art. To try to find out more about ourselves and the journey we are on.

I found the questions at the beginning of the chapter to be a bit difficult. Not difficult in the sense that they were hard questions, but difficult in the sense that many of us share space with somebody else (spouses, children, loved ones, room mates, etc). Because of this shared space, many of our answers might be tempered by the compromises we make about decor and food and lifestyles when we share living space. Perhaps the better questions would have been what would your space be like if you lived alone. I know that my shared space is different than what my own space would be like (at least I think it would be). Granted we are often living with people who are similar to us, so the choices and compromises aren’t severe, but I still think that your living space/style would be different if you are alone or if you are living with others. What do you think?

We also shared some of the artistic exercises we had done from the chapter. The transparency on the mirror was a common one. I have done that exercise a couple of different times but I couldn’t find my transparencies to share. Perhaps I didn’t keep them. I did create a mixed media piece with my transparencies (this is an older piece) where I layered several of the transparency drawings on top of each other and printed the result out on fabric. Then I added stitching and paint and trim, etc. The layering made it less scary as a self-portrait.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that all of our artwork is actually self-portraiture in some way or other. Just because there isn’t a face on your art (which is what we usually think of when we think about self-portraits) doesn’t mean that your self is not part of the work. We all have certain colors, styles, mediums, etc. that are unique to us. Part of you is in every piece of art you make. :)

Again, there were lots of examples in the book of self-portraits from a variety of artists as well as helpful hints to get you started creating self-portraits. I enjoyed reading about the process that many of the artists went through to create their self-portraits.

Next month we will finish the book and hopefully have a better grasp of our own self and the ideas behind doing self-portraits.

Our next book club meeting will be April 25th at 1pm. Come and join the discussion or just follow along here on the blog. Please share your thoughts about creating self-portraits. Have you done one? Why did you create it? What did you like or dislike about the process and the results?

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio - 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

 

 

Week 13 of the 365 day challenge

1 Apr

Week 13 (lucky 13!) of the 365 day challenge. I seem to have a good rhythm going with creating the daily inchies & twinchies & tweenchies. I haven’t missed a day yet.  Woo Hoo!!!!

The weekly sketches seem harder to complete for me. I didn’t actually do a sketch again this week. However, I did work on some Mandalas and I’m going to count those as my weekly sketch. We did Mandalas as a project for our Tuesday Tarts art group last month. We learned about making the Mandalas and created a couple during the group meeting. One exercise we did was quite fun to do. We each started with a basic Mandala shape and then added a row of pattern or design or whatever. Then we passed our Mandala to the right and the next person added a row of something. And so on and so on. We had 12 people in the group and we all contributed something to every single Mandala. I was concerned that they might all look sort of alike at the end of the exercise, but I was quite surprised at how diverse the Mandalas were. We each ended up with a special Mandala that everyone had a hand in creating for us. I took mine and colored it in with gel pens and markers.

group mandala

group mandala

I also did 2 other Mandalas that I colored in with gel pens. I enjoyed the whole process. It was fun to create the Mandalas but it was even more fun to color them in. Perhaps next week I will get back to doing my sketches again.

Now I am on to Week 14.  My how the time flies!  How are you all doing on your challenge? Please share your stories.  I love to hear everyone’s different stories about their creative journey. Follow the daily posts on Instagram and  Facebook too.  #bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio - 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

719-266-1866

April ATC Challenge – Steampunk

1 Apr

SteampunksentimentBTFC

Are you ready for the April ATC challenge?  We are going to have fun with this month’s challenge! Steampunk is an interesting genre and I’ve seen so much amazing art done with this theme that it was inevitable that eventually we would embrace this theme on the blog.

images

 

There are lots of ways to interpret it. I think it was intended to be steam-power meets industrial meets Victorian. But I have also seen it be used as post-apocalyptic, retro-future, fantasy science fiction, and even horror iconography. There are always lots of gears, watches, machine parts, hats, lace, etc. I think it is a fun theme and I know you will all do a wonderful job with the interpretation of it.

steampunk eye

 

 

I can’t wait to see everyone’s Steampunk ATCs this month.

The March theme was HOUSES and I will be posting the entries in a few days.

ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. A little bitty piece of art created by you. Here are the rules guidelines for the challenge.

  • your ATC needs to be 2.5″ x 3.5″
  • you can use any medium you like (paper, fabric, metal, clay, etc)
  • you can use any technique you like (a great way to try something new)
  • art work is on the front
  • your personal info is on the back (name, location, contact info, date, title)
  • all skill levels welcome
  • this is a WTA – winner take all – so one person will ‘win’ all of the ATCs submitted (if we get more than 20 entries, there will be 2 winners – if we get more than 30 entries, there will be 3 winners, and so on)
  • submit one ATC (you get one chance to win with each ATC submitted – if you submit more than one you get extra chances – but make them different since one person will win all of them :))
  • you can’t win if you don’t enter :)
  • deadline is April 30th – you can drop it off if you are local or mail it to the address below

I’d like it if you could include your city, state and country on the back side of your ATC. We have several Int’l participants as well as people from all over the USA, and I know they would love it if they knew where you were from. We don’t all know each other personally, so the info you provide is greatly appreciated. Another idea is to include your email or blog address as well. It’s not necessary, but nice for the winner to have in case they would like to contact you.

I love this monthly challenge and I am always grateful to those of you who submit entries. Tell your friends too. The more the merrier for this challenge, as we have extra winners with more entries. And really, everyone is welcome to join the fun no matter what skill level you are at. :) It is a great way to practice new stuff.

gears

Have fun and I look forward to seeing your STEAMPUNK ATCs for April! For those of you wanting to work ahead, the May theme will be MOTHER NATURE.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

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Ruth Chandler – stitch goddess

31 Mar

Ruth Chandler is a stitch goddess. She creates the most amazing stitch work and she inspires me!

She teaches at my shop Blue Twig Studio as well as at other national venues. She has a new book out called Modern Hand Stitching. And I am happy and proud to call her friend. I wanted to share an interview with her to help you get to know her better too.

Ruth Chandler

Ruth Chandler

 

When did you start creating art?  I started stitching at age 4. I learned hand stitching from our Japanese landlady – we would sit on the porch and stitch and eat mandarin oranges and Japanese crackers. I started by learning Sashiko and then added more stitches. It was a special time sitting and stitching together.

What other types of art or creativity have you done?  Mostly I have worked with fabrics. I learned to sew my own clothes and also to do quilting when I was very young. My first quilt was a hand appliqued, hand quilted, queensize Hawaiian style quilt – probably not the best choice for a first quilt! :)  But I have also done indigo dyeing and fiber arts. I have designed my own line of bags and created patterns and written books (she is also the co-author of Fabric Embellishing: the basics and beyond). While I have tried a few other art things, including a recent class on using PanPastels, I much prefer working with fabrics, textiles, fibers, and threads.

Who has inspired you the most?  Since I grew up in Japan, I am most inspired by the Japanese style of art. One of my favorite artists is Hiroshige, a Japanese artist from the 1800′s. I think the Japanese influence shows up in most of my art.

What are you doing now?  Japanese  Boro – an art form from the early 1600′s  (very wabi-sabi). It is kind of like recycling – never throwing anything away – using what you have – repairing instead of replacing.  (I am excited to tell you that we will be adding a class on this technique in the near future.)

Where have you taught classes?  Well of course here at Blue Twig Studio, but also at other  local quilt shops and guilds, Art & Soul mixed media art retreats, Houston IQF,  Textile Evolution retreat and on-line book study, and other shops across the country.

What are your favorite classes to teach?  The Stitch Play class because it opens people’s eyes to possibilities, and the dyeing class because you don’t know what the results are going to be and there are always happy surprises.

What would you like to learn?  My word for the year is EXPAND, so I am trying to expand my creativity by learning new techniques and styles and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

Any other comments? I love to see what students do with what they learn in my classes. The students inspire me and that is why I love to teach.

You can find Ruth at Textile Evolution and at Ruth Chandler Designs Blog.

Ruth has several classes at Blue Twig Studio, including the Stitch Play class that goes along with the new book.  Not only do you learn a lot about hand stitching, but you make this really cute reference book (similar to the one Ruth is holding in the photo above).

You can buy her book here. And since I know her personally I can have her autograph the book for you.  We are also hosting a book signing party at Blue Twig Studio on April 12th, so if you are in the area stop by.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio - 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

719-266-1866

Week 12 of the 365 day challenge

26 Mar

Week 12 of the 365 day challenge – Woo Hoo!!!! I managed to complete each of my little inchies & twinchies every day while I was in KC.  Using what is at hand makes you be creative, and after all that is the goal here. I did not get my sketch done for the week though. Bleh. Perhaps I will get 2 done next week.

However, I somehow forgot to do my weekly post about it. You know how it is when you are traveling or away from home or doing anything outside of your normal routine, you sort of lose track of what day it is.  I completely forgot that yesterday was Tuesday and I was supposed to post. Of course I was busy unpacking everything from the trip to KC and putting it all back on the shelves, and just trying to catch up on everything that happened while I was away last week.

So the post is a day late, but better late than never I guess.

Now I am on to Week 13. At least I am home this week, so I should be able to get everything done. How are you all doing on your challenge? Please share your stories.  I love to hear everyone’s different stories about their creative journey. Follow the daily posts on Instagram and  Facebook too.  #bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio - 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

719-266-1866

Week 11 of the 365 day challenge

18 Mar

Week 11 of the 365 day challenge – Woo Hoo!!!!  I’m still hanging in there doing the challenge. How about you? I did have to write this post ahead of time as I am traveling today to Kansas City. I can’t type on the computer and drive at the same time. :)

And oops, I almost forgot the last photo for today. I had to add it late, as I realized that of course I didn’t have the last day’s inchie photo done yet. So it isn’t part of the group photo that I took yesterday. At least I remembered before I posted, so you didn’t wonder if I forgot how many days are in a week. :)

I made my inchies and twinchies and tweenchies every day. Some days I have less time to play and so the inchie is very basic. Other days I have more time and can have a bit more fun with it. I figure at the end of the year, it will all look good!

I worked on another sketch this week too. I started out to do a tree, but it kind of decided to be more of a shrub instead. A little bit of color and some ink. I was quite limited in time, so it is not very detailed, but it is done.

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

Now I am on to Week 12. This week may be more of a challenge as I am traveling. Not being at home or at the store with all my supplies will create a different type of challenge for me. Plus I know I won’t have much free time.

I  encourage you to share what you are working on. I love to hear everyone’s different stories about their creative journey. Follow the daily posts on Instagram and  Facebook too.  #bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio - 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA

719-266-1866

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