Week 8 – 365 days of art

26 Feb

Finished with Week 8 of the 365 days of art challenge. Enjoy the show!

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I hope you are making time for art in your life.

#bts365days

~deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO – 80918

719-266-1866

Week 7 – 365 days of art

19 Feb

Week 7 of the 365 days of art challenge is done. So far so good with keeping up. I did use a couple of postcards this week that I had already started from before, so I guess I didn’t do one every single day, but they are all ones I have made. :)

A few hearts as this week was Valentines Day.

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Are you doing your own challenge? How is it going? Are you keeping up? It isn’t life or death, so just do what you can. If you miss a day, it is OK. If you use something you have already done before (like me) that is OK too. The point is to keep at it – keep making something every day if you can – keep being creative – keep playing!!!!

#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

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

719-266-1866

Multi-purpose cloth coasters

13 Feb
Guest post by Design Team member Deborah Pace
Comments in italics from Deb (Blue Twig Studio)
Deborah received some MPC this month to play with (as part of the Design Team). Let’s see what she created!
1. Supplies used:
Paint Brushes (various sizes)
Optional: Graphite paper, Permawriter, Sealant
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2.  I decided to use the Multi Purpose Cloth as a center setting with coasters.  Choose a pattern.  Either your own or from an image free design.  I chose a fish and seashells for my design.
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3. Cut the cloth to fit your pattern.
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4. Transfer your design onto the Multi Purpose Cloth
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5. Paint your design.  I used acrylic and Lumiere paints. (Lumiere paints are yummy!)
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6. Optional:  Outline your design.  I used a Permawriter to outline my design. (these turned out really cute)
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Lastly, have fun with your project and enjoy!
Deborah
Thanks Deborah for another fun tutorial. I love the MPC as it is so durable, easy to paint or sew, and since it is non-woven you don’t have to hem it! Perfect for a project like this. 
~Deb
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Week 6 – 365 days of Art

12 Feb

Week 6 of 365 days of art challenge is now complete! How are you doing on your own challenge?

I try to mix up what I am doing, using fabric and paper and paint and stamps and stencils, etc. Whatever is at hand mostly. I know there is so much more I could be doing with these, but for now I am happy to be able to complete my one a day. :)

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#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

A scarf project using Treenway Creative Silk Pack

11 Feb

Guest blog post from Design Team member Lynnita Knoch

Comments in italics from Deb

This month’s Blue Twig Studio product was a Treenway Silks package: Creative Silk Pack, in Winter Night Sky colors. It contains (8-10) silk hankies, (5) silk cocoons, (5-6) silk carrier rods, and some degummed throwsters silk. For those unfamiliar with these fibers: Silk hankies are 10″ squares of silk fibers held together with a “selvedge…” The Bombyx cocoons are the home of the Bombyx silk worm and are spun of a continuous thread one mile long. They can be cut, painted, and sewn. The carrier rods are a by-product of reeling the silk from the cocoon. Some of the filaments get wound around the machinery. This silk is then slit and removed. The rods are 5-5 1/2″ long when whole and unscrunched.  The degummed throwsters silk comes from a “throwster” who takes several silk filaments, assembles and twists (throws) the silk to create a reeled silk yarn that is substantial enough for weaving or knitting. These fibers, cocoons, and rods can be dyed in many colors. In the Winter Night Sky pack, the various silk fibers are dyed in shades of blue to purple.

 

Treenway Silks Creative Silk Pack in Winter Night Sky colors.   Contains silk hankies, cocoons, carrier rods, and degummed throwsters silk fibers.

Treenway Silks Creative Silk Pack in Winter Night Sky colors. 
Contains silk hankies, cocoons, carrier rods, and degummed throwsters silk fibers.

 

Project:  This product gave me some thought on the best way to use it. I love working with silk fibers. However, you cannot felt silk without adding some wool fibers to trap the silk. Wool has little barbs that hold them together, but silk does not. I took a class last year with Noriko Endo (a Japanese fiber artist) on using silk fibers. She made beautiful silk scarves and wall hangings. I decided to do a silk scarf. I cheated by using a white silk scarf as a base, instead of just fibers, as Noriko Endo had us do in class (as there were not enough fibers in the package for me to make a scarf).

 

8mm Habotai silk scarf - 8" wide x 54" long.

8mm Habotai silk scarf – 8″ wide x 54″ long.

 

First, I painted the scarf using a variety of paints: Pebeo Setasilk and Setacolor shimmers in greens, blues, and purples, and silver; and Liquitex Acrylic Inks in copper and bronze (you can use any fabric paints or inks or dyes that you have).

 

 

 

Pebeo Setasilk and Setacolor Shimmer   fabric paints in purples, blues, greens, and silver.

Pebeo Setasilk and Setacolor Shimmer 
fabric paints in purples, blues, greens, and silver.

 

Liquitex Acrylic Ink in bronze and copper.

Liquitex Acrylic Ink in bronze and copper.

 

One end of the scarf after the painting has been completed and heat-set.

One end of the scarf after the painting has been completed and heat-set.

 

A couple other products that I used were Angelina fibers to add glitz and glimmer to the silk fibers, netting to trap the silk and Angelina fibers, and water soluble stabilizer to hold the layers together until I stitched them.

 

 

 

Angelina fibers.in several shades of blue, bronze and copper.

Angelina fibers.in several shades of blue, bronze and copper.

Water soluble stabilizer.

Water soluble stabilizer.

 

 

One very necessary item that is needed when working with silk fibers is hand lotion. The silk fibers tend to stick to fingers unless lotion is applied frequently. So keep a jar or bottle handy while working with the silk fibers. :)

 

Hand lotion - very necessary for working with silk fibers.

Hand lotion – very necessary for working with silk fibers.

 

When pulling silk fibers from a silk hankie, stretch the fibers out to create a thin layer.

 

 

 

Stretching the silk fibers of a hankie apart to create a thin layer.

Stretching the silk fibers of a hankie apart to create a thin layer.

 Pulling off a piece of a silk hankie to work with.

Pulling off a piece of a silk hankie to work with.

 

Since I used a silk scarf for the base, I applied thin layers of the silk hankies to create texture and interest. (If a silk scarf base is not used, then a base created from multiple thin layers of the silk hankies applied in opposing directions on top of a layer of heavy water soluble stabilizer is necessary.) Besides the thin layers of the silk hankies, I added thin strips of the carrier rods, strings of the degummed throwsters silk, a whole carrier rod, Angelina fibers, and some silk flowers that I had in my silk fiber stash to the scarf.

A small portion of the scarf showing the thin layers from the silk hankies, curly strings from the degummed throwsters silk, thin strips of the carrier rods, silk flowers, and Angelina fibers laid on top of the painted silk scarf base.

A small portion of the scarf showing the thin layers from the silk hankies, curly strings from the degummed throwsters silk, thin strips of the carrier rods, silk flowers, and Angelina fibers laid on top of the painted silk scarf base.

 

 

After adding all the fibers, I added a layer of netting to trap the fibers and a layer of light-weight water soluble stabilizer to hold it all together. I sewed the layers together on my sewing machine using metallic threads and silk threads for further embellishment. I stitched approximately 8-10 curved lines lengthwise down the scarf. I also stitched across the short ends. (If creating a base of silk fibers, rather than using a silk scarf, then netting is not needed, as it is necessary to machine stitch with small circles no larger than 1/4″ in diameter to hold the silk fibers together.)

 

Hand-painted silk scarf embellished with silk hankies, silk carrier rods,  silk cocoons, degummed throwsters silk, Angelina fibers, embroidery and beading.

Hand-painted silk scarf embellished with silk hankies, silk carrier rods,
silk cocoons, degummed throwsters silk, Angelina fibers, embroidery and beading.

 

 

Once I was done with the machine stitching, I further embellished the scarf with embroidery using silk floss. Ruth Chandler’s book, Modern Hand Stitching, is a good resource for stitches.  I added buttonhole, fly, lazy daisy, and seed stitches. I also added beading to the silk flowers, lazy daisy flowers, and the silk carrier rods. Finally I cut a couple of the cocoons in half lengthwise, added beads to them and hand-stitched them to the scarf.

 

Detail of completed silk scarf.

Detail of completed silk scarf.

 

Product Review:  The Treenway Silk Creative Silk Pack was fun. The silk fibers can be used in many wonderful ways. Winter Night Sky is just one of many colors the dyed fibers come in. Just remember to keep hand lotion available when handling the silk fibers to keep them from clinging to your fingers and getting everywhere!

 

Keep creating!!

Lynnita

 

Thanks Lynnita for another fun project idea. The scarf is at the shop if anyone wants to stop by to see it in person. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

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

719-266-1866

 

 

 

Circles ATCs

7 Feb

I almost forgot to post the Circles ATCs for the January blog challenge. :)

It is always fun to see the ATCs arrive at the shop and see how everyone interprets the theme and what they decide to create using the theme. And of course, they are always so much better in person than in the photos. It just makes me happy to see them.

Enjoy the show. They are all so fun and creative and inspiring. I ended up with one just a little bit small as I cut it wrong, but hopefully nobody cares. There is one postcard in the mix as Patty wasn’t sure about the ATC size, so it is a bonus bit of art. (The ATC size is 2.5″ x 3.5″)

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Now on to the winners. Who will get these wonderful creations this month? You know you can’t win if you don’t enter!  I use random.org to select the winners so there is no favoritism or choosing the one I like the best or anything like that. You do get extra chances to win if you send in more than one ATC. And I am not eligible to win even though I always participate. So the winners are…….Lynnita Knoch and Linda Logan.  Woo Hoo!!!!!

Congrats and I will get you your winning ATCs. Thanks so much to everyone who participates each month.

The February theme is “From the Heart” and I look forward to seeing what you create for this theme. Tell your friends too. The more the merrier! Everyone is welcome to participate.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

Week 5 – 365 days of art

5 Feb

Moving into February and now Week 5 is complete. Another week of playing and making postcards. Most of these are not that complex, but they are all fun to create. I’m using all kinds of stuff that is just laying around the studio – fabric and papers and stamps and paint and rub-ons.

Enjoy the show!

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If you leave a comment, I may send you one of these postcards in the mail. Just for fun!

If you are participating with me, just use this hashtag to tag your post or your photos so we can all find each other.

#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

5 simple projects created with the monthly Ribbon Club Kit

3 Feb

Guest post by Design Team member Deborah Pace

Comments in italics from Deb

 

When I received the Ribbon Club Kit, I have to admit, I did not know what I was going to do with them.  But, as I was looking at them, trying to figure out what to do, inspiration hit and here is what I came up with:

Supplies:  Ribbon Club Kit (the monthly ribbon club kit includes 10 different 1-yd cuts of ribbons and trims which are usually color coordinated or themed in some way)
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Project #1 – Card
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Here I took an ordinary card and embellished. I took one ribbon and added it to the bottom part of the card and with the second ribbon, added it to the top.  I can leave the card as is or add more embellishments.  This is a fast easy way to decorate a card in a hurry when you don’t have a lot of time. (dresses up a plain card quickly)
Project #2 – Book Mark
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a. Take a piece of colored cardstock and cut down to size to fit your ribbon.
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b.  Glue ribbon to cardstock, punch a hole at the top and add ribbon.  Voila!  Another super fast, easy and fun project.  This would be a great project for kids.
Project #3 – Necklace

Want to add a little something to that plain old necklace you have laying around?
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a. Take a piece of ribbon, and weave it through your necklace.
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b.  Once you have woven through, knot the ends.
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c.  Tie a bow.
Project 4 – Rose
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a. Take your ribbon and fold one end over.
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b.  Fold over again so that you have a point at the top.
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c.  Take a needle and thread and start a running stitch through the ribbon.
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d.  Gather and tack.  Continue to gather and tack the length of the ribbon
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e.  When done, knot the thread to secure the ribbon.  A rose is born.
Project #5 - “Just for You” Plaque
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a.  Take a piece of corrugated board and peel off part of the top layer so the ridges are exposed.  Add a bit of gesso and let dry.  Add some torn pages.  Punch holes at the top (optional)
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b.  Add a piece of ribbon around the board and a tag.  Add decorative ribbon along the side.  top it all off with your rose.  Tie ribbon at the top for hanging.  Done!
All of the ribbon projects were fast, fun and easy.  Who knew you could have such fun with ribbon and be so creative at the same time. The monthly ribbon club kit gives you a variety of ribbons and trims each month – all with plenty of creative potential. Of course, you can just collect the beautiful ribbons and build your stash up. :)
Thanks Deborah for some great project ideas that are all easy to do, but also add that bit of extra special to a gift or card. 
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play
5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

February ATC Challenge – From the Heart

1 Feb

We are ready for the February ATC challenge. For February the theme is FROM THE HEART. Yes I know, February and Valentines Day and Hearts are all very typical. But sometimes it is OK to do what everyone else is doing. And I love hearts!  (The January ATC challenge photos will be shared in a few days.)

heart-quotes-roses-valentines-day-2013-greetings-wallpapers

From the Heart gives you room for more interpretation than just using hearts. Perhaps you want to do something about the things that make your heart sing. Or the love you have for someone. Or something that you are passionate about. From the Heart is all about love and joy and passion and purpose.

Always-Young-Love-Quote

Or maybe you want to use the literal heart interpretation. Blood pumping and life giving.

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Or maybe you want to create something about your broken heart. We’ve all had our hearts broken at some point and I know from personal experience that creating art about your broken heart can be incredibly healing.

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The idea with doing the monthly ATC challenge is that you can interpret the theme any way you like and explore the various ways the theme can be used. It’s a great way to try out something new and play with new ideas. I find it very exciting to see how people choose to portray the theme.

I’d love to see what you create for this theme. Remember, you only need to send in one ATC (of course you can send in as many as you like), but you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Artist Trading Cards: 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 might win all of them)
  • you can’t win if you don’t enter :)
  • deadline is Feb 28th – 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.

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I look forward to seeing what you create for the From the Heart theme.  Turn your ATCs in by the end of the month to be included. Thanks to everyone who participates and sends in your ATCs each month. Feel free to invite your friends to join the fun. This is definitely the type of challenge that is better with more entries.

I’ll be posting the January winner in a few days.

For those of you wanting to plan ahead, the March theme is Fairy Tales.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

Book Club – Frida Kahlo

30 Jan

Our January Book Club group read “Frida: a Biography of Frida Kahlo” by Hayden Herrera. Anyone who loves art or follows art in any way should know who Frida Kahlo is.

Frida by Hayden Herrera

Frida by Hayden Herrera

Frida Kahlo not only was a gifted artist, but her life was incredibly interesting as well. She is perhaps best known for the huge number of self-portraits that she painted over her life. While many of us are afraid of doing a self-portrait, Frida embraced it and in fact nearly all of her art could be said to be self-portraits. Her work is fabulously detailed and full of layers and layers of meaning and symbolism. This author really looked at her art and what it might have meant, given what was going on in her life at the time. There is a lot of information in this book about Frida’s art work. Some of the explanations of her work made me go back and look at the art again, as I missed so much of the imagery and details the first time around. In fact, each time I look at one of the paintings I see something new. Another aspect of the art catches my attention. Is that what makes great art?

But much of the book was devoted to Frida’s life, from birth to death. Actually before birth as there is a lot of information about her parents and who they were as well. While we all like to think we are unique individuals and our own people – the fact is that our families and their histories also go into making us who we are. The people we meet along the way and interact with also play a huge part in who we are. Frida is no different. Her family and friends are hugely influential in her life story.

So much of Frida’s life and her personality (and her paintings) were influenced by her incredible amount of health issues. From her childhood bout of polio to a devastating accident when she was a young teenager that caused irreparable damage to instances of gangrene and infections and poorly executed surgeries – all affecting her greatly. She spent an incredible amount of her life in hospitals, taking medicines, visiting doctors, having surgeries, etc. She was in a constant state of pain. Which of course influenced her art.

Much of her fame came initially from her being married to Diego Rivera (a famous Mexican muralist of the time). Not only was Diego much older than her, and a notorious womanizer, he was a BIG personality and drew a crowd wherever he went. Frida was just his young wife for a time, but it wasn’t long before her own BIG personality showed up.  Diego was a huge fan of Frida’s art and was always promoting her to people he knew and encouraging her to keep painting. Their art was so vastly different from each other’s that there was no direct competition with each other and perhaps that helped each of them be so supportive of the other one.  While their relationship was often erratic and volatile, they clearly loved each other (they actually were married, eventually divorced, and remarried).

Of course, I could write pages and pages about Frida and the book, but I won’t. Instead I will encourage you to get the book and read it and enjoy it. This book has lots of personal details, letters, stories, photos, and paintings from Frida’s life. It is well worth the read and you will come away with a better appreciation of who she was and what her art was all about.

Our book club had fun discussing the book and we especially enjoyed learning more about the personal life of Frida Kahlo, which was incredibly interesting. If you read the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments about what you thought.

 

Next month’s book club selection is “The Art Spirit” by Robert Henri.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

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