Tag Archives: Liz Kettle

Have you met Liz Kettle?

9 Jan

Have you met Liz Kettle? Liz is a wonderfully creative and inspiring teacher. I’ve been lucky enough to take several classes from her and have loved every one of them. She is a lot of fun and extremely generous in sharing all that she knows and loves about mixed media and fiber arts. She is also a personal friend of mine, and I feel quite blessed to know her and have her in my life. She teaches classes at a lot of venues, and I am happy to say, she also teaches at Blue Twig Studio.

I thought it would be fun to do an artist interview with her so she could share a little bit more about herself. I also encourage you to visit her website Textile Evolution to learn even more.

Meet Liz Kettle. 🙂

Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle

  • What type of art do you create?

My art is a bit of this and that. I love abstract, collage and really, just about every style of art with the exception of photorealism. That is why I work in mixed media. I use whatever medium best expresses the story or idea I am trying to convey.

  • Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere of course. I find great inspiration in nature, whether hiking in the mountains or simply looking out the window. But, I am just as likely to be inspired by history, reading a book, or contemplating the patterns made by the stacks on my desk.

  • Do you remember being creative as a child? Or is art something that you came to later in life?

I was frequently found creating when I was little. My Great Aunt and mom were often involved in some fun craft project that I begged to help with. I made my first skirt by myself in middle school and fell in love with embroidery shortly thereafter. I have always loved textiles and stitch. I considered myself a crafter most of my life and didn’t decide that I wanted to have more expressive control over my work and learn to be an artist until I was in my 40s.

  • What is your studio space like? What is the best part of your studio?

I am fortunate to have two rooms in my home for my studio space. One is the textile/stitch studio and the other the mixed media, wet stuff studio. Of course I am back and forth between the two spaces all day long when working on a project! Fortunately they are close together on the same floor. I am constantly fighting the organizational battle. I pull so much stuff out when I am working that it is quite the disaster until I finish with that project. I do clean and restore order between projects but it is a losing battle most of the time. I simply love to be in my studio. The best part is probably all the built in shelving.

  • Do you have a favorite art quote you would like to share?

I am a bit of a quote junkie! LOL! But, I think my favorite is by Terry Pratchett from one of his books in the Wee Free Men series: “Open your eyes and then open your eyes again.” I think that quote speaks to the core of what being an artist is. You must be mindful of what is present here and now as well as what is possible if you are brave enough to see.

  • What inspired you to begin teaching? Do you have a favorite teaching story to share?

I started teaching so I could share my knowledge about thread that resulted from years of experimentation and research. I soon found that I loved it. When a student gets excited about a technique I teach or gains confidence from the skills I teach, I get immense satisfaction. I love inspiring someone! I have so much fun teaching and have enjoyed so many wonderful students that I can’t pick out one story in particular but I get the most satisfaction when I am encouraging a student to bravely step out of their comfort zone and they become so confident and proud of themselves as a result.

  • What type of classes do you teach? Which is your favorite class to teach?

The classes I teach are as varied as my art style is. I teach basic tool box classes that give the student a solid foundation so they feel confident in their skills and I teach some more exploratory classes that help the student develop their own style and self-expression.

So now you know a little bit more about the fabulous mixed media & fiber artist Liz Kettle. She is teaching at Blue Twig Studio this quarter. YAY! Her next class is Magical Stitches on Jan 19th. This is a fabulous class where you learn about stitching and beading on silk and fibers to create an ephemeral thread lace embroidery. The pieces created using this process are simply yummy. Here are some samples.

Liz Kettle

Magical Stitches Class by Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle

Magical Stitches class by Liz Kettle

She is also teaching Layer It Up Collage on Feb 16th. This is a class where you learn about layering and composition by creating a wonderful fiber collage of your own. Liz shares a variety of techniques to help you in designing your own fiber collage piece. Here are some samples.

Liz Kettle

Layer it up collage class by Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle

Layer it up Collage Class by Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle

Layer it up Collage class by Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle

Layer it up Collage Class by Liz Kettle

The last class she is teaching this quarter is the Needle Felting Journal. You will learn about machine needle felting (Liz has machines for you to use if you are interested in learning but don’t have your own machine) and play with all kinds of fibers and ribbons and roving and bits and pieces of stuff. You will also do a bit of hand stitching on your piece to finish it off. You will then make a mini art journal cover and learn a basic way to create your journal. This is a fun class with lots of oohs and aahs going on.

Liz Kettle

Needle felted journal class by Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle

Needle felted journal class by Liz Kettle

These are all wonderful classes and if you have been wanting to try something new this year, here is your opportunity. If you are interested in taking any of these classes, please let me know. They are filling up, and the classes are on a first come-first serve basis (once I receive payment in full you are on the list).

Liz also has several books (I told you she was fabulous). She is the co-author of Fabric Embellishing: the basics and beyond, as well as the co-author of Threads: the basics and beyond. She also has a brand new book out First-time Beading on Fabric. You can find Fabric Embellishing and the Beading on Fabric books on the Blue Twig Studio  Website. (Unfortunately I don’t have the Threads book in stock :(.)  Don’t forget to check out Liz’s website Textile Evolution to find out more about what she is doing and where she is teaching.

I hope you know a bit more about Liz Kettle now. If you have an opportunity to take a class from her, I definitely recommend it.


Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5965 Whiskey River Dr – Colorado Springs, CO 80923 – USA


A word for the New Year

19 Dec

The New Year is fast approaching, with resolutions on a lot of minds. I’m not so big on resolutions, but am going to choose a word for the year. My friend Liz Kettle at Textile Evolution always chooses a word for each year. A word that she can focus on or work with or contemplate for the entire year. Last year she encouraged a group of us to also choose a word and of course we all dutifully did. My word for 2011 was “focus” and I really tried to work on that throughout the year and to keep it ever-present in my life. I’m not really sure I was able to accomplish everything that the word encompasses, but I did try. In reality I should probably keep that word for another year since I do still need to work on it. But I am choosing a new word for 2012.


I also recently started following Quinn McDonald over at QuinnCreative and she also does a word of the year and has been encouraging everyone to choose a new word for the upcoming year. And in fact I have seen several people on various blogs and websites talking about chosing a word of the year. Mari Smith has a great post about it, and she is focusing on growth for the new year, as she is much more business oriented. Apparently everyone thinks it is a grand idea!


So I guess I am jumping on the bandwagon here and declaring the need for a word of the year. My word for 2012 is “play”. Since my tag line for Blue Twig Studio is “let your inner artist out to play”, it seems like a really good choice. Plus, then I can play all year and how much fun is that going to be!


We all spend a lot of time trying to do our chores and get things checked off our to-do list and trying to finish up with work assignments, but we forget to add in the playing part. We treat play as an afterthought, or at best something we do when everything else is done. Really? Is everything else ever done? We need play just as much as we need work (that’s the story I am sticking with).


We fondly remember being children and being allowed to play. Yes, as children we played a lot and expressed ourselves much more creatively. Yet there was always that sense that it couldn’t or wouldn’t last. As a child I was always told to finish my chores or my homework before going outside to play (or any other fun activity that I wanted to do). Just like needing to finish all your vegetables before you get any dessert! Well, this year I vow to try to Play first and then do my chores!!!!!!! Sounds like lots of fun, don’t you think?


What word do you think you would like to choose for 2012? What word speaks to you?

Houston Market Photos

1 Nov

OK. I am home from Houston Quilt Market and somewhat rested now, so I thought I could post some photos from the trip.

The first day Liz and I arrived in Houston to meet Ruth (after taking two days to drive which was so much better than doing it all in one day like last year) we had plenty of time to do something. So we decided to take the afternoon and head down to Galveston and see the Gulf coast. The weather was hot and humid (of course) but walking along the beach in the ocean water was wonderful. Coming from Colorado where we have very little water and certainly no ocean water, it was soothing and calming and amazing. The sand was so incredibly soft that it was more silt than sand, like walking in sifted flour. We gathered some sea shells and took some photos and eventually decided we should go walk around town and check out more of the sights. It was pretty quiet around town, with very few people out and about, but perhaps it was the off-season. We stopped in a few shops, including some antique stores which had fun stuff. We enjoyed seeing some of the beautiful Victorian architecture on the island. Here are a few photos of the Island.

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Then off to Market to see what there was to see. Liz and Ruth both had classes and book signings to deal with and I went along to help out as well as I could. But I was really there to search out vendors and look at new products and ideas, so off to walk the floor. I love walking around the Market to see the beautiful booths and displays. There are some amazing displays. The vendors really do a great job setting up their spaces. So much eye candy out there. I only took a few photos. Mostly I kept forgetting to get my camera out. But also I kept feeling like a tourist at the Market! Here are a few pictures.

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The Market was great and I have some fun new products on the way. Can’t wait for them to start arriving. Be sure to check out Blue Twig Studio website for new products as they come in. Also stay tuned for info on an Open House on Nov 10th, where you can stop by and see some of the new goodies.




Houston Quilt Market

29 Oct

Houston Quilt Market is great, but I am too tired and too busy to post any pictures or updates.

Liz and I drove Wednesday and Thursday to get here. Ruth was already here when we arrived, so it was easy to get settled into our rooms. We took Thursday afternoon and drove down to Galveston to check it out and walked along the beach and dipped into the ocean and it was wonderful.

Then busy all day Friday and today with Market stuff. And tomorrow will be super busy again, before I head home on Monday. So lots of fun and I’ll be bringing home some new goodies for the store.

I’ll post more later as I am exhausted. Too little sleep, too much walking and lugging stuff around, and not near enough time for everything.

Where Did You Get That Bag?

10 Sep

It seems like everyone has a laptop these days and you need a way to carry it around. My friend Ruth Chandler has an article about making a very cool and very fun laptop bag in the current 2011 Quilting Arts Gifts magazine. There are many fun holiday and gift ideas in this magazine. If you don’t have a copy yet, be sure to get one.

Quilting Arts Gifts

Ruth is very creative and very handy with creating her own patterns for things. She sees a need and just starts working on it. This bag is really great to make and you can personalize it any way you like to really make it reflect your personality. And the instructions are easy to follow. You can find the supplies for it on the Blue Twig Studio web site, including a kit that has everything you need (except your fabric and thread – you do want to make it your very own bag with your own fabric choices). Look how cute Ruth’s bag turned out. I know you want your own!




Ruth is a fiber artist, who started with garment making and traditional quilting (like many fiber artists do). She is the co-author of Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond (which everyone should own). She is currently teaching classes at Nana’s Quilt Cottage in Colorado Springs. She also teaches on-line classes with Liz Kettle at Textile Evolution. You can also find her on her blog. She grew up in Japan and you can really see the Japanese influence in her work.

I hope you get a chance to check out the article and also look at her classes and some of her fiber art work.

CHA Chicago

20 Jul

I’m at CHA (Craft & Hobby Assoc) in Chicago this week with Liz Kettle. It’s my first time to Chicago, so of course I am like a tourist. We had some time on Monday to go downtown and visited the Chicago Institute of Art Museum, which was really wonderful. They have such variety and it is so large, that it is difficult to see everything. But we tried! This exhibit of Chagall‘s stained glass “America Windows” was one of my favorites.

Chagall's America Windows

We also walked down to the lake and went to Millennium Park and saw some cool artwork. This giant shiny chrome orb was very fun to walk around. It is called “Cloud Gate“.

Cloud Gate

We stopped by to visit the newly unveiled statue of Marilyn Monroe. It was a lot of fun to watch everyone climb around and stand next to her and under her and look up her dress. She is pretty huge! Here I am standing next to her.

Marilyn Monroe

We walked for quite a while around the downtown area, and I enjoyed all the amazing architecture and art work that is part of the Chicago landscape. I wish there was more time to play tourist, but I am here to work.

Welcome to CHA

CHA is also a new experience for me. I did expect more variety from the vendors, but it appears that the scrapbooking craze is still alive and kicking up a storm. I’ve never seen so many papers and rubber stamps and little paper flowers!!!! There is not nearly as much mixed media or art products as I had hoped to find. But we did manage to find a few pretty cool things that I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for new products on the Blue Twig Studio website.

Royalty Free Images
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