Monday, September 26, 2016

Altrusa Mouse Tree

Mice for Altrusa  are being made for this years tree.  Only a few weeks left before they will be needed.  The mice are based on Amelia mouse by Country Bumpkin, the pattern was in Inspiration magazine.  Here is momma mouse.  So far she is the only dressed mouse, but I am working on little beaded vests for some of the smaller mice.

Mamma mouse.

Back of  Mamma mouse.

Mamma mouse and her clan.  The mice range in size from 5" for
mamma mouse and 2.5" for the infant mouse.

Family picture.

 The mice are made out of felt in colors ranging from dark brown to gray,  The eyes are round black beads. So far I have left off the feet and tails.  I'm not sure that they will be seen so why add complications like fitting an outfit around a tail!  The original Amelia mouse wasn't dressed but embroidered with pastel silk ribbons, so that is another possible idea for the mice.  I'm still finishing the other mice and working on the beaded vests.  The vests will be out of felt so that they can hold all the beading.  For the tree top I was designing an angel mouse.  But a clock, out of heavy cardboard, for the tree top with realistic little mice would be cute too.

There is always more to design and make everyday!  So I need to get back to the fun.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thank Goodness the County Fair is over!

I must admit that the Santa Barbara County Fair wasn't that fun for me this year.  My entries were only small ones but I think they came out nice.  Unfortunately, as usual, some of the entries were lost in the house only to be discovered after the fair.  So there has been a lot of organizing of the craft room which is actually stretches across the entire house right now.


Merdoll took third place at the Santa Barbara County Fair.

Of  my few entries, I liked this doll best.  I'm calling this a  Merdoll, because it lives under the ocean.  It was made using batik fabric in ocean colors.  The doll has only a vestigial nose and the side of the dolls face has gills.

Close up of merdolls face.

No nose.

Side view of  Merdoll, showing hair braids and webbed hand.

Merdoll with baby.

It is hard to see but the Merdoll has a pouch with a tiny baby.  I decided that Merpeople have pouches like seahorses.  The top of the baby's head with a small braid is all that is poking out of the pouch.

Close up of tail.

The tail is supposed to to be whale like.  At first I was going to just have elongated legs with webbed feet.  But Lee suggested whale tail and picked out the fabric.  I think the tail really makes the doll.

Paper cutting entry this year was a Christmas sleigh ride the pattern was made by Alison.

Christmas Scherenschnitte pattern by Alison, took first place at the Fair.

This Christmas paper cutting is 4.5 x 8 inches and I downloaded it from Paper Cuttings by Alison, 

Close up of Christmas cutting.

The people on a sleigh ride while the hidden world of nature is below them. 

I only entered 5 pieces of work this year and I haven't shown the others because they will be gifts.  Next year I am trying for 10 entries and have already started on a basket made from recycled t-shirts.  With a little luck I will make the basket a tutorial.  I hope that everyone will want to enter their fairs next year.  Count Fairs are part of the American culture and it would be a shame to lose the Home Arts.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Embroidered Twinchies

Two inch embroidered badger.

Two inch embroidered pomegranate.

These images are embroidered twinchies, two x two inch squares with embroidered images.  These are really fun and challenging to make.  I started my twinchies by ironing a piece of black cotton and stitching it to a muslin background.  The two piece of fabric create firm base for the embroidery.  Next I stitched several two inch square outlines with one inch between each.  I marked the fabric this way so later I could cut them apart leaving half inch seams.  I decide on a black background because I had never embroidered on a dark fabric before.  After the fabric was ready I sketched a basic outline of what I wanted and then chose fibers and started embroidering.  The badger was made with one strand of DMC floss using a long and short stitch.  The pomegranate was a bit trickier.  The split in the fruit is actually appliqued fabric.  Two pieces fabric leaving an opening in the center.Next tear shaped beads are sewn inside the opening,  Then I added a bug shaped bead and sewed a leaf.  It was a fun project that is challenging to embroider.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Christmas Scherenschnitte

With the county fair coming up I am getting together the projects to enter.  Below is a Christmas Nativity cutting I did last year.  The cutting came out really well but was a bit hard to cut.  I bought it from The site now has downloadable patterns and it features some really nice Christmas designs.  I really love that it is so lacy and has so much detail.  At first glance it can be hard to see that the pattern has all the elements of the nativity.  I think this will be one of my entries this year once I get it framed.  

Nativity scherenschnitte.

Nativity scherenschnitte close up.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Art Classes

This past January, after years of using clip art and other peoples patterns I finally decided to learn to draw.  I had taken drawing classes in the past and they didn't go well.  I could understand the concepts of drawing but not put the theory into practice.  So in January I decided to take a drawing class through our community college.  I felt this was my last chance to actually learn to draw.  So I collected supplies and off to school I went, ready to humiliate myself if it meant finally being able to draw.  When I started the class I was at the stick people level of drawing.  I was even proud to be able to draw stick people.

Last drawing before starting drawing class.

 The picture above shows what I considered a good drawing, so I really had no where to go but up in the class.  The instructor empathized contours over several class sessions which really helped to get us started at really seeing the object.

Contour drawing of wood.

But what really got me thinking was that drawing is an illusion!  Drawing is using the minds tricks to make something two dimensional look three dimensional.  Once I understood the tricks it became much easier to draw!

So here are the last two drawings I've worked on.  

Lion drawing.

Human face.

These last two drawings show that I am still struggling but represent a huge step forward.  The lion is not proportioned properly and the mane is not that good,  The face was an exercise in balance.  This was my first try at drawing a face.  I had practiced eyes but not within a face and balancing the nose and mouth.  I know I can do better and will!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Been a while

It has been quite a while since my last post.  Unfortunately I've been unwell and unable to craft anything to post about.  Sadly, pain in my hands caused a lot of issues with holding a needle.

But I'm lucky that anti-depressants help the nerve pain in my hands!  So a couple weeks ago my doctor changed the dose of  my medicine and I could hold a needle again!  Here is a picture of what I embroidered last week.

Bee Eater from Trish Burr's book "Needle Painting" Embroidery. (front)

Bee eater (back)

Being able to embroider again feels wonderful.  There are some mistakes including the over sized eye.  Definitely need more work on shading and colors.  Still it isn't a bad start after such a long time of not being able to pick up and hold a needle!  Hopefully the bee eater is just a start!