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Art Suitcase

I saw a couple of pictures on Pinterest where people had taken an old suitcase and transformed it into a case for carrying art supplies to class (or to a friend’s house).  I love them. I “pinned” them and told my friend Liz about them and she fell in love.  She challenged me to find a suitcase and then we would work together to transform a couple of suitcases to take with us when we take a class or when we go to Houston in October.  Grace was with us the day we were looking for suitcases and got caught up in our fever and joined us in this challenge!

Here is the suitcase the day I bought it. ($2 at our local thrift store!)

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I had to clean it up but it really is in good shape.

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Next step was to find some fabric to cover it. I wanted a fabric that would coordinate with the suitcase color because I did not want to paint it and the inside was in really good shape.

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We met at Liz’s house this morning and the transformations began:

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I bought a 12 x 18 inch piece of sheet metal at Lowes and I covered one side with my fabric. I used Mod Podge to adhere the edges to the back side of the metal. Then I used E6000 glue to glue it to the inside of my suitcase. Here is a shot of all the stuff I have laying on the covered metal so the glue would stick well.

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The inside flap was the same gold as the suitcase and it looked ‘blah’. Grace and Liz said I should paint it. I mooched a bottle of acrylic paint from Liz and WOW! I love the difference!!! On the left is that covered metal sheet.

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And this is the opposite side of the flap. Same gold color, but with a great pocket in excellent shape.  I used Heat N Bond to fuse this piece of striped fabric to the flap, tucking it deep into the pocket.

Here are 3 shots:  two of the open suitcase showing both sides and one of the outside.

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Isn’t it cute????

Now all the background work of transforming the suitcase is done. There are several small projects I want to accomplish to make it a truly useful tool. I’ll keep you posted.


fun with cards

I love to send cards. The real ones sent through Snail Mail. I am often frustrated by the choices I am offered when looking for cards.

I found these at Michael’s on sale this week for only $2.50!!! :

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They are very simple kraft paper cards and envelopes:

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My collection of “stuff” exceeds my ability to use it all! Ribbons, paper bits, fabric scraps… I found some bits and pieces and spent about 2 hours in my studio this morning playing.

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I now have 25 pretty cards I can use when I want to send out a quick note.  Here are a couple of close-ups:

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A piece of scrap fabric and a small paper word. Stitched on by machine using a longer stitch.

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A paper scrap from a journal project last year and a small copper piece I found on sale about 2 years ago.

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Washi tape on the diagonal, a small paper word, and an ATC made by my friend Liz McNabb.

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Washi tape on the horizontal with another ATC I chose during the ATC swap in Houston in November.

So much fun! And 25 cards for less than the cost of one at the store. And mine are unique!



felting wool

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Yesterday’s blog post told you about my wool felted flower class with Vickie Clontz.  My flower was dry last night so I was able to finish it up.  I’m much happier with it, but it’s way too large to wear!!!  MY BAD!! Vickie gave us a pattern to follow, but mine just kept getting bigger and bigger, way outside the suggested lines Vickie gave me!  I think I’ll use put a long stem on it and put it in my studio.  I may even make a few more and make a bouquet (idea from Judy Whitehead – thanks, Judy!).

While the flower is pretty, and I’m glad I made it, my main purpose for taking the class was to learn how to wet-felt wool fibers. 

I have a project in mind using this technique. Before I start wet- felting a couple of pounds of wool fibers, I wanted to make a maquette.  Basically, a maquette is a rough draft.  I used a couple ounces of wool this morning to practice the technique and make a sample piece of wool felt. I actually stopped before the wool was felted. I made what is referred to as “pre-felt” (I learned SO MUCH from Vickie Clontz on Saturday!)

I won’t share the step-by-step process here because teaching the process is something Vickie does for a living and she really is quite good at it.

These are the bunches of roving I had stashed away

And here is how I separate the fibers

And here is the nest of fibers I made. The shiny stuff is angelina.

Here is the nest after I’ve started the wet felting process.

And here it is, rinsed and ready to dry flat.  At this point, I can either continue the felting process or I could try shaping this (I think it shapes better if it’s fully felted). I’m choosing to dry it flat because of the next step in the process of making my maquette.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

NC Quilt Symposium 2011

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This year’s Quilt Symposium will be held at Peace College in Raleigh, NC. Here is a list of the lectures on Friday and Saturday.

Friday, June 3rd
9:00 am Rayna Gillman Pushing Creativity with What If?
10:30 am Jan Krentz The Great Star Review
2:00 pm Frieda Anderson Frieda’s Fun Fast Fusing
3:30 pm Pepper Cory The Art of Real Scrap Quilting
7:15 pm Margaret Miller Looking Ahead with Margaret Miller
7:15 pm   Participants’ Fashion Show
Saturday, June 4th
9:00 am Joyce Becker Landscape Quilts
10:30 am Sharon Schamber My Quilting Journey
2:00 pm Lyric Kinard The Elements of Art for Quilters
3:30 pm Mary Ellen Kranz The Top Ten Ways Quiltmakers Can Use Computers
7:15 pm Leslie Riley Making Time for Making Quilts
7:15 pm Patti Cline and Cindy Page Shesa B. Quilter meets Emma C. Fortune

Grab a friend and come to Raleigh!  Browse the Quilt show, Shop with the vendors, and listen to a lecture.  This promises to be a great opportunity for a memorable road trip.

Busy week

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The past 7 days have been busy!

Rachel and I drove up to see my Mom last Tuesday (has it really only been 7 days??). Here is my mom holding miss Kiyah at her home in Burnsville, NC. We ate lunch in downtown Burnsville and did a little shopping before heading home to have dinner at Ted and Lauren’s house that night in Matthews, NC (I put over 400 miles on my car last Tuesday!)

Then on Saturday, I took a Felted Wool Flower class with Vickie Clontz. Vickie is very talented with wool and I wanted to learn the art of wet felting. Here is my merino wool fibers laid carefully on a piece of bubble wrap ready to start the felting process:

And here are the flowers we made in class:

Mine is one on the top right. When I got it home, I didn’t like the way it dried so I re-wet it, fulled it some more and shaped it and let it dry. It’s now ready to assemble. I plan on doing that tonight. I promised Vickie I would wear it at Symposium this weekend.

Which leads to the final “busy-ness” of the week. Getting ready for classes at Symposium.  North Carolina has had a Quilt Symposium every year for 32 years in a row. A State-wide Board of 21 members work to make this a continuing endeavor.  I have been serving as President of the NCQSI for the past year. I have one more year to serve.  The Symposium is being held this coming Thursday through Sunday at Peace College in Raleigh, NC.  I’ve signed up to take 2 classes with Leslie Riley. I’m very excited about the classes, but have had some preparing to do and some of that has required me to learn new things. Most of you know I am not techno-savvy and tend to hate gadgets and computers unless they are extremely user friendly. I am proud to say I’ve managed to learn to upload, download, mirror-image….. to print these wonderful images onto TAP paper.  The TAP Paper will allow me to transfer the images to cloth, polymer clay, glass, among other things.  I will be using the images to create collage this weekend.

Aren’t the images wonderful????? I got them from a great site: The Graphics Fairy.  The Graphics Fairy is a blogspot hosted by Karen. It contains over 2,000 copyright free images!  I love it!!!

So a very busy 7 days behind me with an even busier tonight and tomorrow as I finish up my felted flower and finish getting packed for Thursday morning. I’m hoing to take my computer with me to Symposium and blog each day.

Off to the studio where I need to find all those tidbits of stuff that will make my collages sing!

my new favorite ritual

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I realized this morning that I have a new ritual and I am loving it.  For years I’ve gotten up and poured my first cup of coffee and sat in front of the TV to watch the morning news.  For the past several weeks, I’ve bypassed the TV and I’ve headed back to bed with my first cup of coffee.  I am an avid reader – always have at least 2 books going and have been known to have up to 4 going at a time! I realized this morning that I’ve been doing this long enough that I think it’s my new ritual!

First cup of coffee in bed with a great book. What an absolutely wonderful, marvelous, magical way to start my days.

I am now off to tidy my sewing room a bit and do some sewing.  My to-do list for the art side of my life is sooooo long!!! I promise to get back to you with pictures soon.

Good news

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 I’ve been quiet on the blog front lately, but I’ve been very busy in my life – remember the old saying about the duck sitting calmly on the water, but her feet are going a mile a minute?? That would me of late.

Remember my post about being brave? One exhibit rejected my quilt for their show. I got a very nice note from one of the curators telling me how much she liked my quilt and that she was sorry it was not going to be in the exhibit. I thought that was really thoughtful.  Here’s a picture of that quilt:

The National Quilting Association has accepted my quilt “Cold Foot Contest” into their 2011 show. I’m very excited about it. The show will be June 16-18 in Columbus, Ohio. I wish I could be there to see it hang, but unfortunately I have other plans that weekend.

Finally, my last bit of good news is that I’ve been invited to join a group of fiber artists known as Fiber Art Options.  I went to my first meeting as a member yesterday and it was so inspirational to be in the company of these talented artists. I will be posting about upcoming events as they get closer. I believe being a part of this group will be a huge motivation to begin new work. All those sketches and ideas will need to be dusted off and brought into existence!