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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!



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!

trip to Mary Jo’s

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Yesterday I put a post on my Facebook Wall that if I could finish my errands in time, I would go to Mary Jo’s. I had a request for pictures of what I bought. I wish I had taken my camera (I really do need to get in the habit of always having my camera with me!). Sadly, I did not have my camera so have no pictures of Mary Jo’s. 

For those of you who do not live locally, Mary Jo’s is a fabric store in Gastonia. It has been around for over 50 years and boasts 32,000 square feet of fabric and notions. People come here from miles around; occasionally there is a tour bus full of quilters who have made a 2 day trip to shop here. I live about 45 minutes away so consider myself extremely fortunate.

Yesterday’s trip had 2 purposes. I was looking for dupioni silk for a small quilt that I sketched over the weekend.  Here’s what I bought:

My second purpose for going was to see if I could find some lightweight cotton fabric to make pantaloons. I’m dancing on Saturday and the expected temperature is 86 degrees.  My costume consists of several layers of clothing and I’m thinking a lighter weight pant might help make me a bit cooler. Here’s the fabric I found:

I’m signing off now to go cut out and make the pantaloons.  I’ll post a picture when they are done.

An hour has passed and here are my pantaloons!  I’m excited to be able to wear them on Saturday.

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!

Fab Friday: Intention

I shared with you a couple of weeks ago that my word for the year is “Intention”.  Being on vacation made it difficult to focus (and to blog!), but the word would cross my mind occasionally and I found myself making better decisions for my health as we went along – I managed to eat LOTS of good German food and not gain weight!  I also found myself more easily able to enjoy the moment we were in and the experience we were enjoying at that moment (I have a tendency to want to see what’s around the next corner).  

My intention for today is to continue to sort through my stuff and make decisions about what I will use, how I will use it, and how I can best store it so that it will be USED and not just OWNED.  One of my year’s goals is to reclaim organization in the area of  my art.  I’ve been busy over the past year and have been guilty of opening cabinets and tossing stuff in and then digging through stuff to find what I’m looking for and not taking the time to put stuff where it belongs.  The result is I have stuff everywhere and it’s all in a jumbled mess.  I feel like my mess is a sign of disrespect to my studio and to my art.

I like my studio. I’m able to create and sew and I find peace in that room.  My studio was a birthday gift many years ago. My husband had a friend of ours come in and put built in cabinets in and a counter top for my sewing. He cut the cabinets down so that the  height is perfect for me.  I feel very loved when I sit down to sew.  In that room is a small closet that we converted to a desk space for me when I was working on my masters degree. We had a desktop computer there. It recently ‘died’ and we’ve taken it out which has opened up some space that I want to use for some of my non-sewing activities. 

Here is a picture of the closet area before I started working on it:

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Funky bracelet

pulling stuff togetherstarting to weaveReady to Stitch!Ready to go to the dance

I was able to steal away to my studio for a little while on Saturday afternoon. Rachel and Adam went to look at houses and Steve went for a kayak paddle. Left me ALL ALONE in the house for about 2 hours. I headed straight for my studio. I first spent about 15 minutes re-acquainting myself: petting fabric, rearranging piles, etc. Then decided with the time I had I better not start any of the larger projects calling my name! 🙂 So, pulled out a few odds and ends and made a bracelet.

A group I am a part of, FABS, went to Saluda a couple of weeks ago. We went to go shopping at a very cool store called Random Arts. What a neat little store!!! I wish I had thought to take my camera with me!!! It is a store full to the brim with odds and ends: ribbons, charms, “found” objects, copper mesh, cardboard “things”…….. A true treasure trove for any artist. I bought entirely too much stuff, but am looking forward to playing with it all! One of the things I bought was this piece of loosely woven fabric that they had used to make funky bracelets. It’s what I played with on Saturday. I got to wear my bracelet Saturday night when Steve and I went to dinner and dance at the local Catholic Church’s Irish night supper. I felt beautiful!

Until next time!