I remember my mom teaching me how to crochet when I was quite young. I never took to knitting but I remember crocheting doilies (not sure I ever finished any) like mad for quite a few years. When I received my fiber bird nest from Vicki, she inspired me to play around with some fibers. I went in search of a pattern which I found by Myra Wood. I modified the pattern and ended up making a pouch versus a handbag. So here is my crocheted bird nest pouch!
It measures about 7x7 so just enough to stash some money for shopping excursions! The large button is vintage. I learned I'd likely add more bits to give it more of a bird nest feel next time but otherwise I'm happy with the first attempt.
I spent yesterday playing around on the computer with my Digital Magic class and practicing stitching on a crazy quilt block. Likely more of the same today with some gardening thrown in if the weather holds out.
Happy Canada Day tomorrow to all my fellow Canadian and Happy July 4th to all my American friends! I will return to blogging again on Monday!
Enjoy your weekend and any celebrations you have planned!


Digital Magic

I mentioned yesterday that I am currently enrolled in an online digital class. The class is entitled "Digital Magic" taught by the very talented Marie Otero.
I use Paint Shop Pro to create the majority of my digital art but I really want to start creating and using the variety of tools Photoshop Elements provides AND I want to manipulate my own photos more.
In our first week we learned various ways of creating a vintage look with our images. The original photo is on the top with the sepia image on the bottom. We also experimented with layering images to create a vintage look. I get quite a few butterflies in my garden and I managed to snap the photo below last year while this beauty was "resting" on the bud! I had been trying for quite some time to get a decent shot so was delighted when this turned out. I love the vintage variation of this photo - I see lots of potential with future collage content.

Am busy learning more today!



I decided to return to blogging a week earlier than anticipated as I plan to be taking some time off later this summer. I want to thank all of you that left the wonderful comments about my studio on the previous post. Thank you all SO much! Appears as if the window seat drawers were quite popular. Must admit, they store all kinds of goodies.
A very warm welcome to my new followers!
I spent a considerable amount of time over the last week going through the Where Bloggers Create studios, all 450 or so! So many original ideas and beautiful spaces. Thank you again to Karen who organizes and manages this event.
I've been up to all kinds of things over the last week. I picked up some hankies at the thrift store, most of which have embroidery of some time on the corners - great find!

I also picked up some doilies while I was there. These have since been dyed.

I am taking two online workshops currently, one digital and one using my embellishing machine so I'll be sharing photos of various projects over the next several weeks. Watched Alice in Wonderland on DVD yesterday - the visuals are just stunning! Lots of eye candy.... Chat tomorrow....



For many years my creative time was limited due to life, career and space constraints. I found with a minimum of time to create, I didn't want to waste time hunting for supplies. Organization skills come naturally to me and I hope by sharing my space with you, I'll also provide you with some ideas and perhaps inspire you along the way!!! Come on in for a visit.....
When you look in the doorway, this is what you will see!

The room was our previous rec room and measures 19'x13'. The cabinetry was built to store toys etc. When we bought this house 18 years ago the walls had a puppy themed border print (don't know what I was thinking). I painted the cabinetry and customized it for my purposes with the shelving above the fireplace added last year. The floor is linoleum (looks like cork) for easy clean up. I picked up the center table at a thrift store, added new legs. It is covered with oil cloth which can be wiped down easily.
Now, I did clean up for your visit!! It looks like this when I'm having a class or in between projects but when I'm creating, it gets messy! I will post a photo in the future when I'm in the middle of a project. Currently, I'm doing a lot of digital.
Clean up takes me 15 minutes or less - NO KIDDING because I have a place for everything.... So, let's take a closer look....
I had been looking for a chest of drawers for some time and came across this last year at a liquidation store. You can see the before photo in this post. I removed four of the drawers, added a false base (plywood), painted the entire piece off white, added clock doorknobs (love these) and inserted storage boxes/drawers from Ikea. These are covered with scrapbook papers and spray painted. Metal label holders on the drawers are from Lee Valley Tools.
In order to give the appearance of a sideboard, I added slat wall above this which was trimmed with stock molding. I love the flexibility this wall provides as I can change the contents depending on my interests and needs. Now, I had four extra drawers left over from this project. I'm very lucky to have a retired woodworker across the street who "customizes" things for me. He built a frame for the drawers to create a dresser which I painted. The drawer handles were very ugly so I spray painted these black.
I have one additional cabinet which was built as a work station. I generally create standing up with the exception of sewing. I'll either create at this work station or at the table in the center of the room and quite frequently both. This next photo is of the cupboards and shelving next to the window seat. The stamps I use most frequently are on small shelves with boxes/bins containing various supplies. I find it really convenient to pull down a bin/box when I'm creating (makes for very easy clean up too).
When I took over this space, the window seat had large spaces where bins were stored. When I moved into the room I had these customized with drawers.

Now, I know a tour wouldn't be complete without seeing inside some of these drawers. Have also added a little corner I like.
So, there you have it! I hope you've enjoyed your visit as much as I've enjoyed sharing my space. I spend most days in here, along with my art critic (he doesn't get too excited about much) with the occasional visit from my hubby.
It is a luxury to have my own space and I enjoy and appreciate all the time I spend here. I've come a long way from my first "studio" - a closet! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask and come visit again!
For those of you who follow my blog regularly, I'm going to take a break while I visit all of YOUR studios! I'll be returning to regular posting on July 5th!



Today is the final treasure casket. I enjoyed making these so much I may end up making more sometime down the road but that's it for now!

This casket is actually a combination of two projects. Rowena Light offered a project entitled "Down among the daisies" in the August/September 2009 issue of Stitch. This was a journal cover with stitched daisies on a textured background created using various threads and scraps. I stitched it up but couldn't decide what to do with it. Well, the treasure caskets came along and low and behold, here it is!

Thank you to Janet Humphrey for a wonderful and fun pattern!

Thank you to everyone who has followed my treasure adventures. As always, I appreciate ALL of your comments.

I will be participating in the Where Bloggers Create event so look for my studio post tomorrow - it's LONG!



Here is the third casket! The background is cotton overlayed with lace then painted with Adirondack colour washes. Instead of sewing the sides, I decided to attach eyelets and tie the corners together with embroidery threads. It is not nearly as sturdy as the others but a nice change. Regretfully, colour wash is not permanent and if this got wet at all, the paint would run. I did like the colours though and plan to experiment some more with this background. So, what do you think?

Tomorrow is the last of the caskets and if I do say so myself, I think I've saved the best for last!



This is my second treasure casket and really LOVE the colours on this one! I am currently taking an online course with Dale Rollerson entitled Embellish, Stitch, Enrich with the focus on experimenting with the embellishing machine. I'll share more about this in future posts.

I started this one with a base of black felt layered with a hint of metallic foil and silk rovings. This was machine felted then overstitched with my sewing machine. The ties were braided embroidery threads with a bead attached.

I learned a)silk rovings blend better than wool rovings and b)felt is very easy to work with!
WAIT, there is another one tomorrow!



Something different this week!

In the June/July 2009 issue of Stitch with the Embroiders' Guild of the UK, there is an article for a treasure casket with laces by Janet Humphrey. This has proved to be a very popular project as I kept seeing them pop up in the project page from previous issues. So, I thought I'd give it a go! Well, I got a bit carried away (nothing unusual here), made one then couldn't help myself and made four more! Have no idea what I'll do with them but they are very easy and fun to make. I'm sharing my first attempt today and will share a different one each day this week. All use different techniques.

I started by creating a digital collage layering a flower photo from my garden with some text. This was printed using my inkjet printer on cotton coloured very lightly with dyes then treated with digital grounds. The inside is lined with dyed cotton and the casket is trimmed with wool to coordinate. I learned a) I needed to have a plain background versus dyed as the clarity would be vastly improved b)I need to experiment more with digital grounds c)I cut the pattern slightly shorter than I should have d)I could easily further embellish with beads, threads etc.

Fun for a first go but WAIT til you see the one tomorrow!

Thanks to all of you for your very kind comments about my ATC's! Always a treat to have comments.....


Thought I would share some ATC's I had made from late last year. I'm working on some new ones but similar to these. All are layers of various fabrics. Images are from Lisa's altered art.
Enjoy your weekend and chat again Monday!



I've got mail - AGAIN! Last week I had a real surprise when these arrived in the mail for me from Trudi! Trudi has been experimenting with zetti lettering and I am the lucky recipient. The top photo now hangs in my studio. Just love those COLOURS! The second is a postcard and an ATC size card and custom digitally designed envelope! Trudi sells these on her etsy.
Thank you girlfriend!

Earlier this week I showed a photo of the red pepper spread I made and mentioned I put it on pizza. Well here is a photo of the pizza. I use a whole wheat pizza shell , spread with red pepper spread, add broccoli and cauliflower that have been lightly stir fried, top with a fresh tomato then grated mozzarella. Bake in a toaster oven about 6-8 minutes - half a pizza serves two. You can use whatever vegetables and cheese combination you like. Makes for a very fast and easy lunch and low cal too!
Let me know what you think?


As I had all of my scraps out for doing mail art recently, I ended up doing some tags while I was at it. Fun way to use up those scraps - gotta like that!!!
Not a very productive day art wise yesterday as I was working - I do my husband's books so lots of figures going on in my head.
I did manage a bit of practice hand stitching - a very slow process I might add! I need LOTS of practice......



I've noticed on several blogs of late mail art! Well you know me, I had to give it a try! I experimented with some manila file folders I picked up at the thrift store awhile back. Lots of layers of scrapbook papers, some fabric and various spray inks and paints. I did the first few then I had to do more.
I can see doing lots of these in the future. It is a great way to use up scraps and tons of fun too! Two of these have already been sent off and received.
Thank you Terri for sharing your mail art! This spiked my interest.
Sharon did the most incredible post on her blog yesterday about the giveaway she won. Thank you so much Sharon for your very generous comments! I'm happy you are pleased.

I didn't get much art accomplished yesterday. I spent some time taking photos of my incredibly clean studio (it won't stay this way) for the where bloggers create event. Am working on a digital design for a new avatar.
Back tomorrow with more......


Hope all of you enjoyed your weekend!
My friend Patricia joined me on Friday and we made red pepper spread! I use it to spread on pizza instead of tomato sauce. Delicious! We also made bread dough which we ended up using to make pizza crust for lunch and hamburger buns for supper! Yummy day........

I spent some time in the studio and did manage to experiment with dyeing some silk ribbon. I used OzEpol dyes from Australia. The ribbons took the dyes well but are quite pale as you can see. I'm going to experiment with Procion next as I want to obtain some vibrant colours.
Have cleaned the studio for some photos. IT'S RAINING AGAIN! Where is summer???


I mentioned some time ago that I purchased a subscription for "Stitch", a publication by the Embroiderers' Guild of the UK! The byzantium bag by Joanna O'Neill was one of the articles from the April/May issue and I decided to give it a go during my time off last month.

Mine is very similar to Joanna's. I used thai silk, upholstery fabric and cottons for the base. Embellished with lame and beads. Quite a fun project to do.
I came across an interesting blog I wanted to share yesterday. It's all about crafty storage, mostly scrapbook rooms but lots of ideas.
Am really hoping for some warm dry weather this weekend BUT I think rain is in the forecast. Summer can't get here soon enough!
Enjoy your weekend!



My mailbox has been busy of late.
Earlier this year I participated in a charm swap. You can see my charms here. It has taken a bit of time but I received these yesterday! They came from Australia, Kentucky and Maryland just to name a few.... Thank you ladies - I love them all!

Also received some reading material. These are all by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn - Doubletrouble, two well known extremely talented UK textile artists. They use both machine and hand embroidery techniques. I think I'm going to be busy reading and experimenting!



Don't you just love getting mail! These are all the way from the UK. Lorna and I did an ATC exchange and these arrived earlier in May! Lovely colour and textures. Thanks Lorna!

I also shopped online last month. These are lovely soy silk rovings and work wonderfully in my machine needle felting.

Some books I ordered arrived also.

There's more but I'll save it for another day! Good art day today - it's raining!

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