Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ornament Swap - 2013

Since this is the "season to be jolly" I thought I'd share the latest swap from some of the talented artists from one of my art groups.  We were to exchange "little art pieces" to hang on our Christmas Trees … it was very difficult to decide which ones to keep and which ones to trade.  These girls do this to me every year!

Fran [me!]

On Dec. 4th there was an art "class" at Kerri's.  We had a lot of fun playing & visiting.  These are the projects we created [first picture is from Kerri's blog - second picture is from one of the gals who was at Kerri's] but let me add the Christmas Tree canvas is much more beautiful up close and personal:

Reindeer ornament, an altered vintage bingo card,
an 8 x 8 deep set canvas and a paper 3D snowflake. . . 

We gathered at Michele's house on Thursday, Dec. 12th for a holiday party … her home was also where we gathered for our Halloween party.  She cooked us a delicious meal that included lasagna, ziti, sausage, meatballs, salad, brownies, snowmen cookies and a mouthwatering cheese cake complete with cherries for the topping!  We had a wonderful time visiting and creating.  Our projects for the evening were these two sweet ornaments that Michele & Sue created for us to do:

3 x 3 Canvas and a Snowman Tea Light -
I told you they were sweet!
Some members of  In My Vintage Room & Beyond art group
in Michele's [pictured in the front left with the red sweater] beautiful dining room.
Next to Michele on the left is your's truly, Doris, Maura & Mary.  On the right is
Sue, who was co-hostess, Laura, Janice, Donna and at the head of the table is Miriam.
Several gals were unable to attend this gathering!

As I have mentioned in previous post's, my multi-talented friend Pam has gotten me into wool applique recently.  After I had finished the snowman runner I made these silly snowmen pillows [Pam gracious gave me the pattern] to give as gifts; I had a hard time getting them off my bed, however.  I didn't want to part with them.  They are made from warm and natural, which is a fabric batting quilters use, and the nose and cheeks are wool, stitching for the mouth and eyebrows.  Silly button eyes give them character, don't you think?

On the 14th of Dec. six gals gathered at my friend Marilyn's house for another holiday party to share friendship and create.  We usually meet at Marilyn's every other month to either create something in an art journal or alter something.  This day we altered plain, wood blocks cut from a 2 x 4. . . .we all had the same theme, which was a photocopy of two dresses.  This is what we came up with:

It's hard to capture the textures in these photos, but we used vintage laces, fabric, gauze, plaster cloth, mica flakes, etc.  Give us a little paint, some bling and great company and let us go!  

This has been a busy month [for everyone, I know] I actually started this post before Christmas, but here it is on the heels of the New Year and I'm just finishing it.  That's the way I roll….I'll be back soon with some post Christmas pictures ….

Have a safe New Year's Eve and a healthy, happy, wonderful New Year!  Bring on 2014 - I'm almost ready!!!

Thank you for visiting . . . 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Snowmen on the Run . . .

As I've mentioned before in the previous post that my friend Pam has been doing wool appliqué and penny rugs for some time now.  A couple of weeks ago we got together and cut out all the wool [after several trips to Sturbridge, MA to purchase some of the wool] to make a snowman runner for our tables [from a pattern].  We brainstormed a little, changed the pattern a little and came up with our version [close to the pattern] of these adorable snowmen:

The beginning - black wool felt . . .  
All the wool pieces cut and laid out  . . .
The start - the blanket stitch . . .
The finished results . . .

There are some sparkly beads on the snowflakes and trees that are not showing up well in the photos.  I am by no means considered "good" with thread and needle [I actually hate to sew, but admit, I love doing this]; I struggled with a little bit here and there but in the end I was pleased with the outcome.  I will post Pam's runner and some of her other "objets d'art" soon.  

In the meantime friends, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Christmas is fast approaching, an art class at Kerri's on Wednesday, Cookie Exchange on Friday, a lunch and shopping trip with some friends on the 9th, a Christmas gathering of one of my art groups on the 12th as well as an "art" party at Marilyn's on the 14th.   So much to do and never enough time.  But, no doubt, everything will get done and I'll have a good time to boot!  I must admit, our house is decorated, trees are up, most of the shopping is done; I don't want to say anything to soon as I don't want to jinx myself, but I'min a good spot for a change!

Be well and good wishes to all as winter is moving in - I think it has already taken residence in Upstate New York….keep warm y'all.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Painted Floorcloths

In late September my friend Pam and I decided we needed to go to Sturbridge, MA. to see what was what.  We had been there during the summer and found a great shop that sold everything from antiques, candles, lighting, restored furniture to art and hand painted floor cloths.  We purchase a couple of small pieces of furniture and some hand dyed wool for use in a future project we were planning.  When we went back in September the shop had some new artwork and new floor cloths.  The pieces that caught our eye was a 16 x 20  canvas and a floor cloth of a penny rug.  

What is a penny rug you ask?  Well here is a definition I found on the internet [where else would you go for information???]:

Back in the 1800's most women had to make the best of the resources that they had, especially when it came to things such as splurging on decorations for the home.  So, they would keep the small bits and pieces of the wool and felt that they collected from their clothing, hats, coats, blankets, etc., and then use these precious bits of fabric to make beautiful decorations for their homes.

When they had a nice basket full of little snippets of fabric to work with, they would sort them into piles of similar colors.  Then, to form the desirable circular shapes, they would use a coin as the template to cut their fabric pieces from.  Using something as small as a coin would insure that the smallest of scraps could be used in the project.  This is how the term penny rug came to describe these little pieces of art.  What's also interesting is, the penny rug was not normally used as a rug at all, but rather, as a decorative cover for a bed, shelf, wall hanging or table runner.

This is a sample of a penny rug table runner I took off the internet:

Now to get to the point - Pam has been making penny rugs and doing felted appliqué for sometime now [and I have always admired how beautiful the art form was].  Pam and I have been painting floor cloths for years.  Now original floor cloths were painted on canvas cloth [the kind that comes on rolls before it is stretched on a wood frame]. . . that is not what we use for our cloths.  We paint on the reverse side of linoleum.  Yes, that is correct - the backside of linoleum remnants.  We cut them to size [or I should say
Pam's husband cuts them to size], we then use acrylic paints and then seal them with water based varnish.  I can't tell you how many we have made in the past.  So, on our ride home from Sturbridge we decided that we were going to paint pennies on a floor cloth.

After many decisions on how we were to accomplish this, our two minds came up with a pattern and we were off.  Unfortunately I do not have a picture of Pam's rug as she is gifting hers and didn't want me to put it on the blog.  Pam's rug is a little smaller than mine as I made a runner for my hallway, but we basically used the same colors for the pennies, she trimmed hers in a primitive red and we both antiqued our rugs before we sealed them…. 

The back of the linoleum ready for a base coat ….
Base coated with black gesso .  . .
Borders . . .
Painted pennies . . .
Finished piece in my hallway . . .

I had also painted one more floor cloth but I actually did use canvas cloth for this one:

This one is sitting in front of my kitchen sink…
the fold marks where I laid it over a chair to dry

will work out after a while  . . .

Yesterday Pam and I got together and worked on wool appliqué table runner - I'll post pictures when they are complete.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Gathering

I belong to an art group called  "In My Vintage Room & Beyond" and Friday night two of the gals, Doris & Beth, hosted a Halloween themed gathering, which was held at another member's home, Michele, who graciously let us use the dining room of her beautiful home as a meeting place.

Due to bad weather,  last year's Halloween gathering had to be cancelled.  However, our challenge for last year was to alter a paper mache Witch's Hat - because of the cancelation we never "revealed" our hats.  This year the challenge was to alter a Tim Holtz Alarm Clock.  So with our Witch's Hat and Clock in our bags we all showed up at Michele's for a wonderful evening of delicious food,  desserts and great conversation!  Everyone oohed and awed at the reveals!  Our hands-on project for the evening was to altered an old wooden thread spool and to create a Halloween inspired pin to wear - sorry, I do not have pictures of them.

Unfortunately, I don't know the creators of all of the hats and clocks....we forgot to put the artist names on the artwork!!!  But, nevertheless, I will share the pictures I captured last night and guess at the ones I think I remember:

This one is easy, Steampunk - it's Maura's!
Fran - that's me!

Here are the clocks that were altered - I believe I gave the names are correct:
Fran -me!
 Girls, please forgive me if I gave you credit for the wrong artwork or didn't mention your name at all!!!

Now let me introduce you to the members of "In My Vintage Room & Beyond" art group who were in attendance last night:
Sue, Maura & Mary
Mary & Miriam
Top row: Michele, Laura & Doris
Bottom row:  Donna, Janice & Jennifer
Doris & Beth
This little guy was our table favor......filled with chocolate!!!

Our next gathering is back at Michele's in December - she & Sue are hosting - can't wait!  Until later, good wishes . . .