Friday, December 23, 2011

Ice Dyeing Again!

Even in the midst of Christmas shopping and making Christmas presents, I had to spend a few minutes in the dye studio yesterday and ice dye some fabric. I needed some fabric therapy. This piece (one yard) is Strongest Red and Clear Yellow. I also dyed a half yard and four fat quarters. I don't have time to load them online yet, but if you are interested, drop me an email and I'll make time to take pics and send them to you.

While these beautiful pieces of fabric were washing and drying I got to work in the studio and made this precious tool belt for my grandson (he's pretty precious too). I already had this in the plan when our son asked me to make Hudson two tool belts. One for their house and one for ours, that way he can help Paw Paw in the workshop. I used fabrics out of my stash. Faux suede  and Building Blocks by American Jane Patterns. I found an online tutorial for the pattern. One-Hip-Mom has a great blog with the tutorial. The tool belt went together quick and easy. She has some other great tutorials on her site too. Check it out!

Okay, time to get back to work on the next little Christmas surprises!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Christmas Project Down, Time for the Rest!

One Christmas project has been completed and I'm ready to clean up my studio and get on with planning the next! My studio is in chaos, well, chaos for me. You all know how I like my studio organized and straightened up, I just can't create with piles for fabric on the floor, on the worktable, and sitting on different stools and counter tops.

Last night I had a great time at the Dallas Area Fiber Artists covered dish and Christmas Silent Auction. I was able to win a beautiful necklace made by my dear friend, JoAnn Musso, and a black and white original painting by Flo Barry. Both are wonderful women and I am so blessed to have handmade creations from both of them. I try to get one of Flo's black and white paintings every year for Jeff's office. I have decorated it with black and white photos and art work.

Next on my " "To Do List" is cleaning up the studio and planning the next Christmas surprises. I have a couple in mind, but I can't tell you, because then it may spoil Christmas for someone. Sorry. I am going to create my plan of action for dyeing fabric, planning out shows to enter, new creations that are in my brain, (some I've pulled fabric for already), plus planning out the creation of our new master bedroom quilt. I've dyed most of the fabric already, thought I had dyed it all, but after I ice dyed a yard to add in, I've decided that I may need another yard. Just love the ice dyed fabrics!

I hope all you have a productive and beautiful day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Creativity!

I'm still busy working on my Christmas creative list. These little notebook cases are darling! I am streamlining the process of cutting, quilting, stitching together. I'm almost done with all the quilting, but I need to take a break and stitch some of these together today. I'm seeing my BFF tomorrow and want to let her pick one out! Today is going to be hit and miss on the stitching because we are having rain storms. One wave has already gone through and another one is on its way. I have great surge protectors on my machines, but I still hate to be sewing along and the power surge. When I have the machine off I'm going to plan out my next project or two.

Since I'm making so many notebook covers, I have been using quilting stitches from The Free Motion Quilting Project. Leah has great quilting patterns and tutorials on her site. I truly appreciate the hard work and time she has spent on this project! This has been a great time for me to be able to try out new quilting patterns and expand my mind and not stay with the same quilting designs that I usually use.
Okay, need to get busy before the next wave of thunder storms!
Create and be Happy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Getting Organized

I know I talk a lot about organization in my studio and here I am again and this time I'm promoting a friend of mine who has written a book on organization. Kathy Wright is a dear friend of mine and has written a wonderful book on being a busy mom and being organized.  The book is named appropriately The "Wright" Way to Get Organized. I'm telling you about this book now, because it would be the perfect gift for someone on your Christmas list, or download it for yourself! Kathy had the book published on Blurb, so downloading or ordering the soft or hard cover books are simple!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I am up to my ears with projects and things to do. With getting ready for Christmas, taking care of household things and celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, I don't know if/when I will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today I've been working on my website, Studio Jules Art. My step-son has taken care of it inthe past years for me and the time has come that I needed to take it over and off of his busy plate. I truly appreciate the hard work and time he spent on my website in the past years. I decided to move it to the blogger site and use it as my gallery and categorize my art work and art quilts by year of creation with links to Etsy and Art Fire for the ones that are for sale. Plus it links back and forth to my blog easily.
Take a peek and let me know what you think here on my blog post.

Yesterday I started on Christmas projects for the Dallas Area Fiber Artists Silent Auction and as Christmas presents for some well deserving fiber friends. The other day I bought Simple Quilts and Sewing magazine because it has some great projects and ideas in it. One that really caught my organized eye is the notepad project by Betty Berginski. This is a great project to use fat quarters and/or scrap fabric in your stash. I've really enjoyed cutting out and making several of these as gifts!

Notepad Case

Inside of Notepad Case

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

December Shipping/Shopping

Well, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, but Christmas Shopping is still happening! To celebrate the shopping season, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on all Art Work and Art Quilts in my Etsy and Art Fire shops. Use Coupon Code ARTWORKFREESHIP in both shops to get the free shipping on these beautiful pieces!

The piece above is called "Confused". It is mixed media on stretched canvas. Painted with textile and acrylic paints, denim, silk, cheesecloth, painted Misty Fuse, papers and beads. It is listed in my Etsy shop.

I have a lot of fabric that isn't posted on either shop (just haven't had time to take the pictures and post them!), so if you are looking for a certain color, color combination, or size, shoot me an email and I'll let you know what I have! The Ice Dyed fabrics are fantastic!

Okay, off to clean up my desk, do much hated paperwork, and clean up the Christmas decorating mess. I've done as much as I can do this year for decorating. What isn't done, is going back in the attic!

Happy Shopping with FREE SHIPPING everyone!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday Free Shipping!

Color Explosion - in my Art Fire Studio
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just love this day. It is the one day every year that I get to serve my family. Have them in our home and cook big. I love to cook, but don't get the opportunity to cook big very often - aka, empty nest syndrome. I get to spend today visiting with my parents, sister, sister-in-law (brother is working so his plant workers can have the day off - such a good guy!), nephew and Mr. Wonderful.
Cosmo, our precious Maltese, is all dressed up in his Thanksgiving bandanna and ready for the company to arrive.

Tomorrow is Black Friday, so I am offering Free Shipping on everything in my Etsy and Art Fire Shops. If you shop StudioJulesArt on Etsy use the coupon code "BlackFridayFreeShipping" and if you shop StudioJules on Art Fire, the Free Shipping is already taken care of.

I pray each of you have many things to be thankful for this year. Family is on the top of list!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ice Dyeing, Oh My Goodness, I'm Hooked!!!!!

Okay, in my post day before yesterday I told you about my first day of  "Ice Dyeing". I'm hooked, hook, line and sinker. This is the way I'm going to work for a while. Just look at what happens!

These two are already posted on StudioJulesArt on Etsy.
Colors used: Lilac, Fuchsia, and Clear Yellow

Colors used: Slate Blue, Basic Red and Lemon-Lime Green

Can you believe how beautiful and gorgeous these fabrics are! Here are the other two. They are in my StudioJules Art Fire studio.

Colors used: Lilac, Fuchsia and Clear Yellow

Colors used: Slate Blue, Basic Red and Lemon-Lime Green

Friday, November 11, 2011


Double Tulip Quilt, Quilted by Alma Baugh 1966
As we look back in history, World War I ended, on the 11 hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. When I was checking FaceBook this morning there was a post from The Quilt Index reminding me of the significance of this date in history, along with a post of a quilt made in 1918. I'm reminded the "quiet" way women have played such a strong roll in our history by creating quilts to warm their families, give direction to slaves through the underground railroad, pass on family histories and love, oh, the list goes on. I appreciate this important piece history and how it has played in our lives and how it has evolved into elaborate traditional quilting and art quilts. I give great thanks to the pioneer women who passed down this tradition to their daughters and granddaughters. There is a history of quilters on Mom's side of the family. The picture above is of a quilt on my quilt rack. Two of my grandmothers' cousins made the blocks in the 1920's and then her step-mom (the only great-grandparent I knew) quilted it in 1966. After Mimi finished the quilting, it laid on my bed. My mom kept the quilt until my 40th birthday and then it became mine. Lucky me! I'm so blessed to be able to treasure this piece of family history and know the history of the blocks and quilting. When Mimi was quilting this quilt, the blocks were old enough that the fabric was thin and fragile. Mom asked why she was spending time quilting a quilt that was already in slightly poor condition, and the answer was that it was the best way to spend the day and to pass time.

Today, I treasure getting to spend my days in my studio, passing time, continuing a family tradition of quilting, even though it is in art quilt form, not traditional quilts.Well, I periodically make traditional quilts, just ask my grandkids!

Dye selection
 Yesterday I spent a good part of the day dyeing fabric. In the August/September 2011 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine, there is an article on Ice Dyeing. Oh yum! So yesterday I decided it was a great time to try it. Here are some pictures of the beginning of the process. I selected my dyes and dyed 2 yards per color selection.

Fabric, Ice, Dye

I only had enough ice to dye two color selections, so I'll ice dye the other two tomorrow. Lucky for me, we have a nice under the counter ice maker!

In the instructions it said to cover the fabric, ice and dye with a cover, well I used my favorite fiber, cheesecloth. I also put some cheesecloth at the end of the tray to sit in the dye run off. Can't wait to see how it all comes out in the wash later today.

Cheesecloth over the ice

Here is a picture of the fabric and cheesecloth, the ice has all melted and is ready to start the rinsing and washing process. There will be pictures tomorrow of the completed pieces!

Ice has melted and ready to wash! Love these colors!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dye Color Decisions

Decisions, Decisions...what's a girl to do. I need to get busy dyeing fabric so I'm not behind come the first of the year when the quilt shows are all gearing up. Last week I made a delightful trip to United Notions/Moda and bought 5 bolts of PFD.

Today, I'm sitting here with my list of dye colors and my color wheel. Trying to decide what new color combos would be pretty and pleasing to the eyes of my customers. 

So, help me out here ya'll, what color combos do you like?

Monday, November 7, 2011

IQF 2011 - It was a wonderful time!

Standing with my Old Alton Bridge quilt
Oh, it was a wonderful time at IQF 2011. The Friday night reception for the quilters in the Lone Stars III book was exciting. I had a wonderful time getting to know some of the quilters, signing each others books and seeing the quilts.

Here I am with my friend Amy Walker
Saturday we have spent the day looking at the quilts with our wonderful friends, and former neighbors, Dale and Amy Walker. Amy is my dear friend who introduced me to appreciating antique quilts, which led to me deciding I could make traditional quilts, which led to me getting board with piecing and discovering art quilting. So to the day with her was icing on the cake for me.

After we looked at all (close to all) the quilts, I reported for my interview with the Alliance of American Quilts. Treat for me, I was able to meet Amy Milne. What a wonderful woman! I have an admiration for her energy and excitement about the "Save our Stories" project and the work they are doing.

Okay, how much shopping did I do at festival? Well, not as much as I usually do! I had my list of dyes to buy from ProChem, the Masters and Masters 2 books from SAQA, my annual splurge on fudge, and Jeff bought me a bracelet. That's it! Believe it or not! This trip was about seeing the quilts with Amy, spending the time with Jeff, the book reception, and the was not too high on my list and I know that is hard for some of my "dye" hard friends to imagine, but it's true.

Saturday we were going to go to the Gala on the Green, but we just couldn't get the energy to go. I had awoken Friday morning with vertigo and it was just about gone, but still teasing me a bit.  Sunday we  drove home, listening to a Nickolas Sparks book and I loads of ideas stitching around in my head. I always have more ideas than I have time to make art quilts, but it is the passion that gets me up in the morning and into the studio each day.

Today I worked on some charity quilts and will finish them up tonight while, hopefully. Tomorrow, well it will be a day to "dye" for and working on the background of a new little quilt I'm testing out.

Happy creating everyone and enjoy your creative brain more than that other side!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

And The Winner Is....I mean Are....

Waiting to pick the winners!
Well, Cosmo the Gentleman, (yes, that is his registered name) did his duty this morning. He just wasn't up to it last night, so first thing this morning we came up to the Studio and got to business. Here he is with our wonderful fiber bowl and 13 entries. Now, Cosmo reminded me that I have not just one, but two extra copies of IQF Quilting Scene, so he is going to pick 2 winners! Well, okay then!

Picking Winner #1

Winner #1 is Gail! Gail enjoys free motion stitching/quilting and couching instead of satin stitching (I need to try that, I have several couching feet!). Congratulations Gail, I'll email you to get your address.

Picking Winner #2
Winner #2 is Lu Peters! Wonderful! Lu is one of my favorite people and I'm blessed to be the DAFA Show Co-Chair with her this year! Lu has two favorite techniques, variegated quilting threads and adding embellishments.

Congratulations Ladies! I hope you enjoy this magazine as much as I have. I think I have read through it 3 times this past week and there are wonderful articles in it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

IQF Quilting Scene Give Away!

I just can't contain my excitement about my "Truck Quilt" being a part of the International Quilt Show Quilting Scene magazine! I'm in such a stitch about it that I just have to share it with you. Starting right now, I am having a GIVE AWAY of a copy of the publication. Here are the rules. Post a comment on my blog with your favorite fiber or quilting technique. On Wednesday night, November 2nd, I will put all the comments in a container (probably made of fiber, no doubt) and my precious little Studio dog, Cosmo, will pick the winner! 

Cosmo, my precious Studio Dog
Oh, don't worry, he is up to the challenge, as long as I give him a treat! So, make those comments, I can't wait to read them!

For those of you who (or is it whom) already have the magazine, my quilt is on page 37!

In case you haven't already figured it out dear readers, my favorite fiber to include in my art quilts...painted or dyed cheesecloth!
Now what's yours?!

Happy Posting!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Time with Sandra Sider, President of SAQA

The past few days have been absolutely wonderful. Sandra Sider, President of Studio Art Quilt Associates, is one of the most pleasant, knowledgeable and fun people I have ever met. From the moment she walked into my home, I felt like I had known her forever. Sandra was here to conduct critique sessions and speak to the Dallas Area Fiber Artists, and I offered to host her. While Sandra was here she spent one-on-one time with me talking about my finished projects, the projects I am working on and the ones that I'm going to work on. And yes, I had to sit down and write notes. The insight and encouragement she gave me is priceless and I can see further down the "Fiber Art World" road now. The timing of this visit was perfect for me since I just quit working at the Soma Intimates store and was in a minor slump and trying to get back into my creative groove.

The program Sandra gave to the Dallas Area Fiber Artists was wonderful. She had curated a Fiber Arts show in New York. The slides of the work were wonderful and learning her thought process was provoking and has me thinking about how Lu Peters and I will hang the DAFA Annual show in April.

To make things even more perfect this past week, we were involved in watching (and still are) the Texas Rangers in the World Series. Now, Sandra is a big Yankees fan, but while in Texas, she is cheering for the Rangers. I have to share with you that Sandra has a "lucky t-shirt" that she wears every time she flies. It is one that she bought in Naples, Italy, and Naples in Italian is Napoli. And the best catcher in the world is Texas Rangers, Mike Napoli!

When I dropped Sandra off at the airport yesterday she told me that she was going to wear her Napoli shirt all day and all day today, to help the Rangers win the Series.

I just love this lady and have the greatest respect for her! Thank you Sandra and I look forward to seeing you again in Houston during the International Quilt Festival and again sometime in our "Fiber Future"!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I've Been Published!

 I am so excited! The "Lone Stars III: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1986 - 2011" is out and my Old Alton Bridge  quilt is on page 280. I didn't know the book was in stores until my friend, Connie Akers, told me at dinner Saturday night that she had seen it that day. So, Sunday morning we were at Barnes and Noble right after they opened to get the book and....the "International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene" magazine.

I had not mentioned it before, I wanted to keep it a secret until I saw it, but I had received an email about a month ago that they were considering my Truck Quilt as on the the quilts in the publication. And it's there! On page 32! As a Fiber Artist, one of my goals is to have my work recognized and publicized and I'm just in awe that it has happened twice, at the same time! What a wonderful way to inspire me and keep my in the studio creating and thinking up new ideas (that's not hard to do...those thoughts keep me awake at night, as I'm sure they do you too).

Speaking of being influenced with wonderful inspirations, I am currently hosting SAQA President, Sandra Sider, while she is conducting a critique session in Forth Worth and speaking to the Dallas Area Fiber Artists tonight. Being able to spend these 3 days with her and glean from her expertise has been encouraging and eye-opening. Sandra has given be wonderful confirmation on completed projects (and how I can improve the flow of one of them), guidance and encouragement on works-in-progress and best of all, she loves watching the World Series with us!

Alright, I'm off to work on a few pieces before we leave for the DAFA meeting!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Looking Forward

Under the Sea
This past week was very busy with work (yesterday was my last day at Soma), catching up from the quilt show, catching up from the daughter and granddaughters being here and getting organized for the upcoming week.

"Under the Sea" is a upside down mini-quilt (9x12) that spun off from my "Outside In" quilt. I haven't finished it yet, but hopefully I will sometime beading on it this weekend, definitely this next week. It is due to SAQA-TX by the 28th for the SAQA-TX exhibit of 9x12's at the International Quilt Festival. I have a sunflower quilt also and need to get busy on beading the center of it.

With so much to do this next week, I couldn't help but add to the mix a 2 day workshop with the Trinity Valley Quilt Guild. Larkin Van Horn is our guest speaker this month and is giving us a 2 day workshop on "Beading is Applique'". I'm so excited to be able to spend two days with her and learn more about beading on my art quilts.

Saturday, Sandra Sider, President of SAQA will be coming to town for critique workshops and a speaking engagement with the Dallas Area Fiber Artists. And she is staying with me! I'm so excited that I get to entertain her for a few days and bask in her knowledge and expertise. Saturday night I have invited DAFA and local SAQA members to my home for a cookout and a get-to-know Sandra evening. Our new grill has been completed, so we are going to get the chance to test out massive grilling on it and enjoy our fire pit with great conversations. If you are a local SAQA member, contact me and come for the cookout Saturday night!

Now, I must get to beading...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Where Have I Been?!?!?!?!?!

Gosh, I knew I had been busy, but I didn't realize it had been weeks since I paid attention to my blog! My weeks since my Painted Cheesecloth workshop have been filled with working for Soma Intimates and getting ready for the Trinity Valley Quilt Show in Fort Worth, TX.

The quilt show went well. Here is a pictures of my friend, Kathy Mayhew, in our booth at the show.
Now I am trying to find time to finish unpacking from the show and see what I need to dye for the Texas Federation of Fiber Artists show in February. February is the semi-annual conference for the Texas Federation of Fiber Artists. There will be a gallery show, classes and a dinner. I'm going to vend the show with Kathy's surface designed fabrics and my hand dyed fabrics and fibers.

As much as I enjoy the ladies at the Soma Intimates store, I had to give them my notice this past week. I really hated doing it after only a couple of months work, but my fibromyalgia just isn't cooperating with the routine. I've been in a lot of pain the past two, going on three, weeks and I just had to give it up. I'll work this week and then I'll be back in the Studio full time and working on loading more fabrics in my online shops, vending quilt shows and developing classes to teach.

I was encouraged at the TVQG show by our members and members of other quilt guilds to teach and learn the dying process and my painted cheesecloth process. The experience of working out in the public and not being able to pace myself properly has taught me that I must find an avenue where I can pace myself and work with my passion and be able to share it with others. So, there is my focus and that is what I am going to strive for. Passing on my passion, and as artists, don't we become more passionate about our art when we can pass it on and see the excitement and joy it brings to other artists?

This week our daughter and twin granddaughters are here for a visit, so we have been busy, busy, busy with these little "Princess Angels". Yesterday, we went to the Fort Worth Zoo and saw lots of animals they don't get to see at the LA zoo.  I would love to show you pictures, but for some reason my phone isn't wanting to forward pictures to my email address, so I'm stuck right now. Why do we hold our selves  hostage to technology?

That reminds me of what my dear friend, Lu Peters, wrote in an email to me lately, "Obviously technology is not my strong suit! If it fits under the sewing machine or in a hoop, I could manage it!" Isn't that the truth! Keeping to the basics is so much easier for some of us than trying to master the latest and greatest technology.

Well, I while I was writing this I realized that I do have a cable that I can use to transfer media between my Droid and computer, so now I can get the pictures from the zoo! Maybe I was maxing out the memory capabilities of the phone or something.... Who knows, not me for sure!

Okay, so here are a few of my favorite pictures from our visit to the zoo yesterday....

Oh, to have a long neck and be able to reach things!

King of the Jungle!
See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil...
Amanda and Sadie feeding the birds

I'm reading several magazines right now, one of them is "Artful Blogging". I'm ready for inspiration and encouragement to keep motivated and improve my blogging habits and art. So, and I may have said this before, I'm going to make a better habit to keep in touch and let you know what I am doing and what I am learning!
Stay Creative!

Friday, September 23, 2011

DAFA Workshop and Being Creative Today!

Everyone is being creative!

Our wonderful Program Director
Linda Disosway
Suzanne Morgan
working on her abstract creation
This past Saturday I spent a wonderful day with members of the Dallas Area Fiber Artists, teaching my Painted Cheesecloth and 12x12 Sunflower workshop. Here are a few pictures of the members and their creations!
Valery Guignon
also working abstract

Valery's painted cheesecloth

DAFA President - Janet Jelen
working on Sunflower placement
Karen Fischer and Pam Patton
sharing creative ideas

My work schedule this past week hasn’t allowed me to be in the studio very much, but I’ve made some progress today and have the basics to three art quilts in progress and the thoughts of several more are written down. Here’s a peek at what I’ve gotten started. Hopefully I can finish these next week before I leave for the Trinity Valley Quilt Show in Fort Worth. If you are in the area, don’t forget to come by, see the show and say Hi!

While I have been working in the Studio today I have been listening to "Sister's Choice" by Emilie Richards. I love her books and to my wonderful surprise there is a quilter in this book. One that, like me, wanted to venture beyond the traditional quilts and enjoyed exploring art quilting. I appreciated the way she expressed the way quilter's are. Paraphrasing, they always have a quilt in process, a quilt on their work wall, a quilt under the needle, quilts in our heads, quilts waiting to be bound, quilting until our final breath. Isn't that how we all feel?

Continue to be creative my friends!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Busy Day

Today was another busy day, running errands, hair appointment and shipping my Old Alton Bridge Quilt off to the International Quilt Association. It has to get ready for the release of Karey Patterson Bresenhan  & Nancy O’Bryant Puentes' third book, Lone Stars III:  Texas Quilts Today. I am honored and blessed to have this quilt included in their book, recording the history of quilting in Texas and how it has evolved over the years. Karey and Nancy released information to us earlier this month that the book has been featured in the September issue of Texas Monthly. I am thrilled for them that the book is getting such wonderful press and recognition. The Old Alton Bridge Quilt will travel with the book exhibit to the new Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas and other shows and museums this next year. I will dearly miss this quilt hanging in my home, but I am so excited that it is getting to travel and be viewed by other people.

For those of you who don't know the history of this quilt, I'll tell you. The Old Alton Bridge is a historic bridge in Denton County, Texas, close to my home. I took a picture of it before I left for a workshop. it was late in the day, sunset, and it was early enough in the Spring to where there wasn't any vegetation emerging yet, so my picture was blah, boring, but I had a great subject to work with. When I got to the workshop, I had taken an enormous amount of commercial fabric and three yards of fabric that I had hand painted a week or so before. I ended up using just my hand painted fabric, as you can see. I took the week long workshop to jump start me off of traditional quilts and into art quilts. I think I made a good jump, leap and hurdle!

Oh, and have I told you, this was my first art quilt.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Painted Cheesecloth Workshop - September 17th

Good Morning! I am teaching a workshop on September 17th for the Dallas Area Fiber Artists at The Point, C.C. Young Center. The enrollment is now open to Non-DAFA members!

This is a fun, messy and easy workshop. In this workshop we will learn how to paint cheesecloth with textile and/or acrylic paints and various ways to dry the cheesecloth. Then we will create the above sunflower 12x12 Art Quilt.

The workshop fee is $35 for DAFA members and $40 for non-DAFA members. Click here to go to the flyer with information regarding the workshop. Sign up today because the workshop is in a week!!!!

Looking forward to a creative day with you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nancy's Crystal Fantasies

Yesterday, I posted about some of my favorite blogs to read. Well, Nancy of Nancy's Crystal Fantasies has this great bracelet that would be fantastic to go with my work clothes.

Oh, did I tell you that I'm working part-time for Soma Intimates at the Shops of Highland Village? Oh yes, and I love it. The ladies I work with are beautiful and a joy to work with and the customers are the best! The store just opened last week and we can only wear white, black or cream. Oh, I know what you are thinking...Jules is an artist! A child of color! My words exactly to my manager!

Anyway, this bracelet of Nancy's would be PERFECT for work! You know, when you have to wear the same colors over and over the key is to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
So take a peek at Nancy's blog and her Etsy shop! She has some great pieces full of color!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Overwhelmed and Moving Toward Being Creative

Have you felt so over whelmed that you just want to crawl back in bed and play Scarlet? You know, "worry about it tomorrow". It's Tuesday and I feel like it's Monday... I'm sitting in my Studio, finally, after running the morning errands, needing to input the receipts from our purchases from vacation and this past weekend and desperately wanting to get my hands in my fabric and create a new quilt. Good things come to those who wait, I know, but I really need some "quilt therapy" today. It has been over two weeks since I've had a chance to enjoy my studio!

With that said, I had a great surprise yesterday. One of my Blog Readers gave me a "Favorite Blog Award". I'm told "Liebster" is a German word for "favorite" or "beloved" and have received this Liebster Award from Betty at the Arts and Crafters Supply Community.

The idea is to link back to the blog who picked you and then add give the award to 5 of your favorite blogs with less than 200 followers.  Then they can do the same.  We of course are looking to promote each others blogs and get more followers.  So join in the fun to help promote not only your blog but help others too.

If you visit each blog and follow each one you like the numbers will increase dramatically and you will have made numerous new friends and contacts!

Without further ado, here are my favorites:

So, I'm off to clear off my desk, find my studio table and start on a few new quilts! The 2011 International Quilt Festival is coming up and the Texas SAQA members are putting together another display of 9x12 Art Quilts and this year they are going to be for sale! 

The SAQA Benefit Auction starts on September 12, 2011, so click here to see the mini-quilts up for auction and don't forget to bid!

Have a Creative Day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted! I've been busy, we went on vacation to California for a week to see our daughter and her family. Played on the beach with our precious granddaughters and played at other parks and amusement sites. While we were on the beach we collected sea shells, sand dollars and rocks that the waves brought in. I was collecting the sand dollars for art quilts and put them in my husbands pocket...when he took his swim suit off, he rolled it up to squeeze out the water...and crushed the sand dollars and sea shells. There are some large enough pieces left that I think I might be able to do some things with them and I'm sure it will involve painted cheesecloth.

While we were in CA we had family pictures taken by our friend Paul Kawabori. Paul and his wife, Amy, are wonderful friends of our daughter and Paul is the most fabulous photographer. Paul shot new head shots for me and they are just wonderful! The family pictures are great. The girls were in more of a playful mood and weren't always wanting to cooperate, but hey, their 2!

The day after we got back from CA I started a new part-time job at Soma Intimates. So far this week it has kept me busy and I'm learning my time schedules and trying to balance this position with studio time. I'm sure it is going to take me a few weeks to balance my time out and I'm anxious to get into the studio. I have a few quilts in my head and I need to play with fabric!

Have a Creative Day and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting Things Done

This week has been busy, busy, busy. I finished preparing my hand dyed fabrics for the Trinity Valley Quilt Show and just have cards and patterns left to prepare. I also need to prepare kits for the Painted Cheesecloth and Sunflower Art Quilt workshop I am teaching to the DAFA members on September 17th. But I think this will wait until closer to the workshop so I know exactly how many to prepare.

I have taken time for myself this week with a wonderful massage and mani/pedi on Tuesday. Then I did a little shopping. Since my birthday is tomorrow, I decided that it was time to take some time off and pamper myself a bit.

This morning I received a wonderful email about one of my pieces of fabric being included in a Treasury on Etsy. Here is the link to Style Study #26 Mediterranean. It is a beautiful, relaxing collection. I'm honored to have one of my pieces included!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reorganizing my "To Do List"

I am truly thankful for all God has put before me - the challenges and the rewards. I am thankful that He has given me my faith, my family, and the talent and drive to create beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful) artwork. Today was a wonderful morning at church and I have been able to make time this afternoon to catch up on group discussions, Etsy discussions, business development emails and watch a few movies in the process. For those of you who know me and are getting to know me, you know that if I could multi-task in my sleep, I would. I just have a hard time “not” multi-tasking. Even with the perpetual habit of multi-tasking, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. Trying to accomplish so much in what seems so little time. I started to give you my “To Do List”, but I decided you could already relate and didn’t need (or want) to be burdened by my overwhelming need to do so much.

I will share with you that I have read and been involved in some wonderful discussions lately. I am a member of TAFA, the Textile and Fiber Art List. There are a number of us linked on LinkedIn and Rachel led us into a discussion this week on how we price our products. Great discussion on how we set our pricing and being careful not to under-price our products, and/or ourselves, and how hard this is sometimes. The timing was apropos because I had just received the weekly email from Etsy Success about using Product Worksheets to help with the pricing of product. I have already priced my products and do a lot research when I’m in the process and calculating my wholesale and retail prices. However, this discussion and online support from Etsy has me reevaluating my process and double checking my pricing. Reading and networking with the other artists involved with TAFA and Etsy is wonderful support and I appreciate both groups tremendously.

Honestly, networking with the groups I am involved with online seems to fall to the bottom of the list sometimes because I put more time and effort into producing product. However, as of today, I have decided to spend more time networking and I realize that as I do, it will help me with my production process. When we get so busy with our lives and the “To Do List”, it is easy to let our priorities become misaligned. So my friends, I encourage you to evaluate your “To Do List” and see where you are out of balance and how making sure your faith, family, community and work on in the proper order. Oh, and don’t forget, we have to get some exercise too.

Are you interested in TAFA? Here are the great links to the different venues TAFA has available!

TAFA - the Textile and Fiber Art List
TAFA Market
TAFA on Facebook

Happy creating everyone!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hail Damage Repairs = A Creative Process

Today starts the first of the major hail damage repairs being made. After this morning we will no longer look out onto our English Garden through broken glass. Saturday and Sunday, the old roof will be ripped off and the new one put on. Then we will schedule the gutters to be replaced. This entire process reminds me of quilting. We rip fabric, dye it, cut it up and create something new and beautiful. We rip out stitches to replace them with better ones. I think I could go on and on, but I think you get my drift.

Hmmmmm, today I’m ripping fabric so I can dye it! I ordered new dyes this week and still have plenty on hand, so the dyeing process will happen this weekend when my buddy, Kathy Mayhew, comes over to enjoy my air conditioned Dye Studio. With this Texas heat, you have to have an air conditioned garage to dye in, otherwise you would have to dye during the night time hours. We have been reaching temps of 110°, today is suppose to be 108° and we are suppose to get down to a cool 102° this weekend. I definitely think we will break the record of the continuous days running of 100°+ temps of 1980.

Kathy and I will have a booth at the Trinity Valley Quilt Guild Quilt Show (September 30, 2011 – October 2, 2011), so we are working hard to have a beautiful variety of Kathy’s surface design fabric and my hand dyed fabric. We will also have some completed art work and hand dyed notions. Saturday Kathy is going to continue creating her one of a kind surface design fabrics and I am going to work on creating fabrics for fat quarter bundles. I wasn’t sure about dyeing fabric for this type of product, but after I did these three bundles, I decided it was a good idea, they are darling and I think quilters will really go for them.

What do you think?

Don’t forget about the Hot Sale in my Etsy and ArtFire shops! 25% off! Beat the heat and stay inside and create!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beat the Summer Heat, Be Creative!

Will this heat ever stop? Not anytime soon, according to the weather people. Texas is headed to break the record from 1980 of the most consecutive days with temps at or above 100°. I remember the summer of 1980 very well. I was attending college in the Texas Hill Country, taking summer school, walking to classes and the cafeteria in the heat; it was not the best summer of my life (for several reasons). This summer, I’m lucky; I get to stay in the air conditioned house and I don’t have to leave, unless I want to and when I do, it is early in the day. Yesterday, my car thermostat read 103° and it was only 11am and today it is suppose to be back up to 110°. What’s a person to do? Well, I’ll tell you! BE CREATIVE!

To encourage all of you to stay inside and do something creative, I am running a HOT Sale on my ArtFire and Etsy shops. 25% off everything! Just use the code HOT2011 at check out, on either (or both) shops! Now, since it is hot outside, please remember to drink plenty of water before you shop, hydration is the key to successful shopping!

Stay cool and be creative!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

On Their Way to Houston

It has been an interesting week. Shipped "Sunflower with a Passion for Color" to Lowell, got busy finishing up some pricing on items that I have dyed to sell, started a baby quilt, reorganized my desk and "To Do List", was feeling accomplished with what I was getting done. Then I got an email that there is a possibility that one of my quilts may be published in a magazine. I'm not telling you which one, or what publication. I don't want to jinx it or speak too soon, but it's fun and exciting to have one of my quilts recognized and considered. So you will just have to stay tuned for the news!
So, with my feet barely touching the floor and walking around saying "Holy Cow", I packaged up "Outside In" and the "Truck Quilt" to ship to Houston for judging. I have so much on my plate right now, I had to get some things off the "To Do List", so that there is room at add other things, you know what I mean!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to finish cleaning the house.