"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Inspiration....

....for the paper tubes creation that headlines this blog.

I was scrolling through some of my Pinterest boards and rediscovered this pin.  Ellen may have introduced me to paper tubes...but this pin inspired the piece I made that is at the the top of this blog.  I love everything about it.  I love the way it's floats on and down the wall.  I love the gradation through the colors.  I love the static edges. I just love it!

It was a collaborative art project by over 100 students from Becker Middle School using recycled magazines and can be found here on their school art blog.  Lots of fun art projects ...Mrs. Hare is very creative!

Friday, February 27, 2015

White on White...

...and a little gold.

This is a page spread in one of my shared art journals.  I am really drawn to tone on tone neutrals.... which is kind of unexpected since mostly I am all about color.  And I always like a little touch of glitz and shimmer.

After texturizing the background with watercolor....I stitched a black grid.  Then I filled the squares with snippets of this and that, added a few buttons, and accented with gold thread.

For this page I fused and stitched concentric circles of fabric and embellished with gold thread and liquid glitter.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Rainbow Banner

Our church is nearing the end of a major renovation. The goal of the project has been to make the building more accessible and welcoming with the addition of an elevator and all kinds of improved and new spaces.  And with new spaces comes new opportunities for banners...so Joan and I have been busy.

This rainbow spectrum quilt will be part of a welcome wall as you enter the the lower part of the building.  It's hard to get the whole quilt into a photo and give you a feel for the size....but it's 18 inches wide and 63 inches long.

The inspiration for the color scheme was a beautiful piece of upholstery fabric....and we bought a scrumptious stack of new batiks.

The first step was ripping strips of various sizes from the batiks....it's alway hard for me to make that first rip or cut into a new piece of fabric.

Then we started sewing...slicing...shifting...repeat.

When we got to the yellow...we realized we needed transition fabrics...it was just too stark of a contrast between the yellow and the orange and green. We wanted the colors to flow into each other.

That led us to search our stashes for transition colors for the whole piece...which ended up being a good thing. Some of the transition fabrics were sewn in and some were all fused on top.

Then we just kept going and going...or should I say sewing and sewing.


My dining room has been command central for several weeks....complete with a piece of rigid insulation as a design board. It's important to constantly step back to get a different perspective. Taking a picture and putting it on your screen also helps with the process.

Then at some point we just had to stop.

Finally it was all finished off with coordinating strips of binding and wavy lines of topstitching using variegated thread.  We are pleased with our result.
Stay tuned to see it in the new space!  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pinterest Evergreen

I saw this on Pinterest and it inspired 
me to make this card for a friend. I used 
floss to hand stitch the pine branch.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Marilyn's Kandinsky Circles

These are Kandinsky's circles.......

And these are Marilyn's.

Here's another creative exchange I did with my sister Marilyn. We each had a 12 X 12 piece of thick corrugated cardboard.  We were to make some sort of art piece...using only things we found around the house...with a nod to mosaic. 

Marilyn made this awesome version of Kandinsky's circles. For the background squares she used oversized paint chips that she had laying around the house....and for the circles she cut out various circles from one old magazine. It lives in my breakfast room in Lexington.
I turned mine into a mosaic mirror.  I used rows of beads, buttons, punched squares, colored matchsticks, fabric, and ric rac. 

We thought is was pretty interesting that our color schemes were pretty much the same.  It was also funny how the the small mirror in the center gives the illusion that mine is smaller.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Perfect Project...

...at the perfect time.

I have been doing cross stitch for as long as I can remember.  I generally have one going...although not at the moment...hmmm.  When I was between projects a while back my friend Patsy offered me a kit for this beautiful spectrum of flowers. It was the perfect project at the perfect time.

It lives in my dining room in Maine. I shopped around my house for different items for the shelf to mimic to spectrum of colors...and I change it up now and then.

I just love it!  Thanks Patsy.

Patsy is also an avid cross stitcher...and she takes on unbelievably complicated ones.  I will have to take some pictures of some of them to share at some point.  This snapshot of the tiger is part of a very large one....the detail is incredible.

She stitched this awesome farmhouse for me for my 40th birthday! How lucky am I?

It hangs in my dining room in Lexington...you can see it to the right of the glass balls.

Speaking of Patsy...when I wrote about my cathedral window quilt I mentioned that Patsy was on her 3rd or 4th...she is actually on her 5th! (I have already changed it in that post)  That's hard for me to believe....and I watch her work!

This is either Patsy's or Jane's....but I just wanted to revisit
the beauty that is a cathedral window quilt.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Laura Meddaugh, Jubilant Acrylics

Jubilant...is just another word for JOYFUL!
Every once in a while I come across an artist who feeds my soul. 
Laura Meddaugh is one of those artists.  Her work just makes me happy...and 
I have really enjoyed getting to know her a bit..she oozes joy!

Laura's work has gone through several different phases and you can find her Facebook photo-stream here here at Jubilant Acrylics.  I met her while I lived in Madison and was quite taken with the color and whimsy in her work.

Remember this happy wall I posted when I talked about "Surprised by Joy?"  I mentioned that the three lower pictures on the right were done by Laura.

When I first met Laura she was doing these amazing miniature pieces called "Rooms With a View." It's hard to tell...but the small watercolor is actually dimensional with the window cut out and the outside background recessed. Each piece features some sort of famous piece of art which generally sets the tone and the color palette. And...they always have a clever title...this one being "Sunny side Up" featuring the tummy up cat and sunflowers.

It hangs along with a few of her later pieces that are much different...but just as colorful and whimsical.  The piece on the right, "Strawberry Fields" has one of the fields cut out and is backed with a piece of fabric. The one on the left is "Dog Day Afternoon."

Two other "Rooms With a View" I own are "And the Beach Goes On" and "Down on the Farm."

I think these "Rooms With a View" are incredible!

In Maine I have two of Laura's pieces that I see every time I come into the house from the garage. "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" and "This Is What Democracy Looks Like." (based on the teachers' union protests at the Capitol in Madison in 2011)

It was during a visit to Laura'a home studio that I saw the glass balls hanging in her dining room that inspired me to do the same thing at my house....I posted about it  here.

Thanks Laura!  I'm a huge fan!  And, I think you could call me a collector of Jubilant Acrylics!

After all....jubilant is just another word for JOY!

A Creative Challenge

Marilyn and her two kids...Holly and Fred.
My sister Marilyn and her kids are famous for their snowman making. In a recent note she suggested I make a snowman and put it on Facebook. (and I decided it should go here on the blog too)

So...since this is our first day above freezing and the snow was actually packable...that's just what I did.

It's kind of a Jr. version...but will make a nice greeting for Vinny the postal carrier.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Baseball Decorating? Why Not?

   Did you noticed the baseball figures on the mantel in yesterday's post?  
   Well...here's the story.

I am the one who does all the decorating and arranging.  Paul just doesn't care...or at least that's what he says.  His mantra is that if he cares he might have to help.  And to be real honest...this arrangement works for me...because I do care...and most of the time I don't need help.

When we first got the house in South Portland we were slowing moving things up from Lexington one car load at a time.  During several of those first trips Paul quietly placed a baseball figure somewhere in the house. I'm sure he meant it as a joke...but there they stay.  I kind of like them....I think he knows what he's doing.

I actually chose to fill the beautiful butter bowl from Paul's grandmother that sits on the lower shelf of the coffee table with baseballs.

Baseball decorating?  Why not?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Connected by the Bridge

When we were looking for a house in Maine a few years ago we just assumed we would end up in Portland. We loved living there before and hadn't really considered anywhere else. Well...we ended up across the Casco Bay Bridge in South Portland....and we love it.

I bought this original water color many many years ago at the Sidewalk Art Fair in Portland.  I have always loved that view of the Portland skyline from South Portland...and here we are.

If you walk to the grocery store from our house on the Greenbelt Walkway and look to the right you get this view....right where Rachel Mason Burger painted it.  What a nice connection!

It lives above the fireplace in South Portland.