Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time to Heal

The other day while browsing the Hive (an online artist community) I saw a post for a free e course being given by one of my fave inspirational artists.
The artist, Tam, is so amazing. I have watched so many of her vids on you tube just when I need a little inspiration. Her work is gorgeous and makes me so happy. When I saw she was offering a free course I had to take part! I signed up at her site and am waiting for my first assignment like a good little student. I had always wanted to take a course, but there just isn't enough money in the budget for things like that. I think a lot of people have that feeling. Tam is offering this course free out of the wonderful goodness of her heart! I wanted to spread the word and encourage people to go sign up on her site and take part in the free course or one of her paid courses if you can. She is such a lovely artist. Take the time today to enjoy art.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wee Book!

I have made a wee book. I joined the one tiny thing book swap on craftster and managed to bind and make a wee book I'm very proud of. I can't share it yet as it isn't in its new home, but I can share a picture of its packaging!
Inside that little fun happy box is something I can't wait to send away! I know Kira will love it just as much as I loved making it. Giving away art makes me truly happy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Charley Harper Embroidery

I've finished another block for the Hoop Up and send swap on flickr. This was a side swap (someone not in my group). Marianne's theme was Charley Harper illustrations. After commenting on how much I hoped we got paired up we didn't so Marianne asked if I'd like to do a side swap. I said of course! I have had a Charley Harper coloring book here for ages that I've wanted to use to stitch. I choose this image because it is one of my faves and would go with the color theme Marianne was wanting. I used two different pieces of Amy Butler fabric to applique the leaves. I thought it was a nice touch and would go well with the piece Marianne had already done. It was fun and I hope she really likes it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tis the Season

It's that time again. Time to start planning holiday gifts! Time to stock pile fabric in hopes to get everyone's gifts done! In that pile is enough fabric to make lots of gifts. An entire quilt kit for my little sister (minus the backing fabric), red and white polka dots and stripes to make my Mother in law 8 place mats, peacock blue and green fabric to make my Aunt a Chinese coin quilt (minus backing), fabric to sash and boarder some embroidered quilt blocks for my Grandma (blocks not embroidered yet!), and lets not forget the shirt the Hubby wants embroidered (not in the pile). Yikes! So much to do so little time! I've also decided to do the trim the tree swap over on flickr. Make 3 ornaments and get 3 in return from secret partners. Just sounded like to much fun. Ornaments shouldn't take that long? Right? LOL
What can I say, I guess I like the pressure. Today I'm going to try to finish up adding boarders to my Mom's quilt (yes, I'm still working at that, don't ask.) and get some more pages in the wee book I'm making for Kira done.
So here is the goal of this post: WIP Sunday! Each Sunday from now until Christmas I'm going to document something I'm working on. Blogging keeps me motivated. No more side projects! Focus on the goal here people!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Art Journal Page 4/5

Art Journal Page 3/4
Originally uploaded by AlwaysInspired
Another 2 page layout in my art journal. I think it helped me feel some closure on the art festival I organized for the art center. I used a flier that I had made up for the event and gessoed it into my journal. After lots of hours of doodling I have a zentagle with the flier underneath. I used a bit of distress inks to give it an aged look, but it doesn't come through in the picture very well.The art fest was successful and my art journal entry makes me feel like it is over. For this year at least!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall is Here!

Originally uploaded by AlwaysInspired
The art festival was a success. We raised a lot of money for the art center and had a lot of fun. A few minor hiccups, but that is to be expected. My Little Two Feathers doll sold for $95!
I'm working on a few projects. A tiny book for a swap, an embroidered block for the Hoop Up swap,a new art journal layout, and my Mom's quilt. I've started planning Christmas gifts as well. Ahhh, this time of year goes way to fast! Our new kitchen cabinets will be here the week of October 4th so we are also trying to get ready for that.
I thought I'd share a photo I took a week ago at my Uncle's farm I took the photo through the lens of my sunglasses and it gave it a really cool aged effect. Fall is here!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh Deery!

Deery for Rachel
Originally uploaded by AlwaysInspired
I finished another block for the Hoop up and send swap, over on flickr. This time it was for Rachel (Sweetteamom). Here theme was whimsy/forest. Digital Misfit designed and drew up this sweet little deer and I just had to stitch him up! I added fabric applique to the tree and flower centers. I used blanket stitch, backstitch, split stitch, seed stitch, stem stitch, and satin stitch. I think he turned out super cute!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Art Journal Page 2

Time has been running away from me lately. The big art festival that I've been planning since May is almost here! After Saturday I will breathe a big sigh of relief. Please send sunny warm weather thoughts, because we don't have a back up plan if it rains and we can't have it in the park!
I thought I would share my 2nd art journal entry. I did a two page spread this time. I called it "mystery of sisterhood".
Art Journal Page/Spread 2
I used a lot of different techniques. The background is torn paper collage with inks and a glaze over the whole thing. Here is a closer photo of the left hand side page. The ladies at the bottom corner are actually my Grandma and her sister. I printed out the photo in black and white and hand tinted it with water color pencils and shaded it with chalk pastels.
Art Journal Page 2
A closer photo of the right hand side shows the honey comb texture I got with bubble wrap and distress ink. The tag is held on by a rusty brad, (which I rusted myself), and on the back has the title of the work.
Art Journal Page 2
It was a fun entry and I can't wait to have the time to do the next one!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Pretty Earrings

My Pretty Earrings
Originally uploaded by AlwaysInspired
A while ago there was a giveaway that I blogged about featuring the jewelry by Andrea Niblack. I just adore her stuff and entered the giveaway and won!
You can find her gorgeous things at not one, but two etsy shops!
I think I'm going to see if I can find a necklace to match my new pretty earrings! I already had one pair of Andrea's gorgeous earrings so these were welcome additions to my wardrobe. He quality and attention to detail is fantastic! She is also just about the sweetest seller on etsy. Quick to respond and always a delight to do business with. Go check out her gorgeous earrings, rings, necklaces and such at her wonderful etsy shop.
Please ignore how not wonderful this picture is! It is very hard to take a photo of yourself and make sure earrings show!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sad Little Gnome

I finished another block for the hoop up and send swap over on flickr. This time it is for Marilyn and her theme was enchanted forest. I knew Heidi (Digital Misfit) would have the perfect pattern for me to stitch. She had drawn this one up and offered to let me use it. Marilyn had done her inspiration piece in redwork and I was intrigued. I've never done it before so I thought I would go with it. I varied my stitches so that it wasn't boring being all in red. I used split stitch, backstitch, stem stitch, French knots, and satin stitch. It turned out so cute! I hope this little sad gnome girl finds a wonderful home in Marilyn's enchanted forest!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Butterfly Kisses

I have a very special cousin who has moved away from home. As she is near to my heart I thought I should make her a special piece of art to hang in her new place. I turned, once again, to my crafty partner Heidi (Digital Misfit) and asked for something girlie, full of whimsy, and fun. Heidi never disappoints! Our collaborations just keep getting better and better! She designed and drew this sweet little butterfly girl and I did the rest.
Butterfly Kisses
The girl is many different medias. The background is torn paper, with inks and a glaze to create the rich texture and depth. I did the face and hair in colored pencil, watercolor pencil, watercolor paint, acrylic paint, and graphite pencil. Lots of layers and shading until it is just right.
Butterfly Kisses Close Up
I added a bit of lace for a little 3 D element. Her dress is collage with graphite and watercolor pencil accents. Little collage butterflies for her to catch in her net!
Butterfly Kisses Angle
She was made with tons of love and I know she will certainly bring a smile to my cousins face.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Art Journal Page 1

Art Journal Page 1
Originally uploaded by AlwaysInspired
I've been wanting to start art journaling for a long time. I always put it off, tell myself I can't do it, or just plain get lazy and don't make the time. I decided to get a start. Seize the day! I thought I should start my journal with a "self portrait". Not that this looks like me, but it is a reflection of myself. I didn't do a background for this page. Just let the creativity flow into the image itself. I'm so happy I did it! I'll do another spread today hopefully. Merlin also needs a bath, so after puppy washing a little art will be nice.
Another reason I decided to start my art journal is because I want to teach it to some local kids at the art center in November. I plan on helping them construct a book and then start the process of journaling. I am using a hand bound notebook I got in a swap ages ago and have been to scared to do anything in. Now's the time to use such a pretty book! Wish me luck on staying motivated!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Madam a New Exploration

My name is AlwaysInspired and I have craft ADD. LOL I'm always trying something new. I love a challenge. Don't get me wrong, I have my standby things I love, but I like to push the boundaries and try something new. I don't always succeed and sometimes I only try it once, but sometimes the planets align and I do something that makes me smile.
I've played with paper clay and always drool over dolls with paper clay heads. I'm not much of a sculptor, but I like to squish clay as much as the next person. I played around with clay and made this head. I had many ideas for her, but when I started she choose her own identity.
Meet Madam.
Madam Head Shot
My first ever paper clay prim creation! She has a mohair wig with a bit of vintage jewelry adornment. Her clothes are fully removable as well. Lots of lace, ruffs, and a few pearls.Madame French Courtesan
She has a sheer white bustle over her lavender damask dress. Under the white panel on the back of her bodice are hook and eye closures.
Madam Back View
I painted on her shoes with purple metallic acrylic paint and added a bit of lace detail.
Madam's Shoes
Madam has a wired petticoat to give her skirt the right amount of fluff. I used wired ribbon gathered and it worked out wonderfully! Under the underskirt are her little sheer bloomers. If you'd like to see them head on over to flickr! I'm trying to not clog up with tons of pics, but I adore details.
Madam's Wired Underskirt
Overall she was a success. Will I do this again? Who knows, but it made me happy while I did it this time so that is all that counts!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hoop Up Block for Jessica

I finished another block for the Hoop Up and Send swap over on flickr. This one goes to Jmbmommy (Jessica). Her theme was quotes and after seeing her artsy quote I decided I'd go that way too. The quote is from Michelangelo. I found it searching art quotes. I immediately saw an image in my head and wanted it to look graffiti like. I think I nailed it. The font was found online. I didn't want to go too graffiti like and have a hard time stitching it. The brain was drawn from a reference photo online and then fill stitched with variegated pink thread to get the color differences. The color waves and puddle were drawn by me. I hope Jessica loves it as much as I loved stitching it. I could just touch that brain all day the texture is so cool!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Look What I Got!

So Angelica (Zombie Queen) messaged me one day on Craftster about doing a personal swap. I had embroidered on her tea towel in the tea towel tour and she wanted to swap something more. I agreed and had a wonderful time crafting for her. I received a great package in return.
Here is a group shot: fiber, a top whorl spindle, WIP bag to keep it all in, a great book about spinning, a gorgeous knit caplet, hand blended tea, chocolate, some handspun, a wee gnome necklace, and two embroidered blocks for my gnome quilt block collection.
Package from Zombie Queen
Here is a close up of the mushroom embroidery. She used blended thread and it looks awesome! My pic is sadly lacking as it was dreary and raining when I got to take pics.
Mushroom Block
A close up of the little gnome couple. Angelica even designed this pattern herself! I just love original embroideries like this!
Gnome Couple Block
I don't have an action shot of the caplet because I was looking rather ragged after camping. It is also still a bit too warm for me to be wearing it, but you can bet as soon as it gets cooler I'll be rocking it all the time! I can't wait to wear it to the art center where it will get lots of ohhhhs and awes from the fiber people that go there. Thanks so much for a wonderful package Angelica! I hope I can figure this whole spinning thing out! I've already started reading the book. I wish you were a bit closer for some hands on lessons.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I just love camping. The great outdoors, camp fires, fishing, smores, and lots of fun. I thought since it is a long weekend I'd share a few photos from our camping trip. We weren't able to camp all weekend because the Hubby has to work tonight for night shift. We did have lots of fun though.
We drove out late on Friday night. When we got to the camp site the moon was gorgeous! Aaron (Hubby) played around with the camera for a bit until he managed to take this stunning shot.
Merlin and I went for a walk. The waves were pretty high because it was super windy. Merlin had fun chasing them in and out, but I couldn't get a picture holding onto his leash and the camera!
As we were walking I stopped to take a picture of this feather in the sand. The textures made me happy. I also found a small holed stone as we were sitting on a log watching the water.
Drift Wood beach
Looking down the beach made me so happy! Water levels are very high this year and that means tons of drift wood washed ashore. I just thought this view was wonderful.
Just before we left this morning Aaron took Merlin out for a walk and came running back for the camera. He took several pictures of this Heron, but this is my favorite.
Overall we had a wonderful time, even though it was short.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day of the Dead Skelly Prim

We aren't leaving for camping as early as I thought so I have time for one more post before I run off to the lake for the weekend!
I wanted to share the Day of the Dead prim doll I made for Angelica (Zombie Queen) for a personal swap
.Day Of The Dead Skelly
Skelly is made of muslin that is painted with acrylic paints and aged just a bit with ink. I needle sculpted in her facial features, ribcage, arm bones, hands, leg bones, and feet. The body is a largely modified pattern I found for free online. The bead jointing is so fun! She is fully jointed at shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. The head was my own pattern that I had to get up in the middle of the night to draw out after having a dream of this doll.Day Of The Dead Skelly
Her lower jaw is movable with vintage buttons for the joints. I made the satin roses and some green cotton leaves for her mourning hat. Of course I made the hat too. All of her clothing is based on classic Day of the Dead dolls that I found online. The peasant shirt and can can style skirt were fun to make. I hand painted all of the lace for the can can skirt.Day Of The Dead Skelly Skirt
She has a little blue ribbon sash that ties at the back with a bow. She looks best standing as the

skirt doesn't let her sit very well.Day Of The Dead Skelly Back
Angelica loves her just as much as I loved making her. It was so fun to get to experiment with a theme I haven't done much with.
Now off to pack up the camping gear! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Whoa, background!

Whoa, background!
Originally uploaded by AlwaysInspired
I found a super fun technique as I was browsing around on youtube for fun mixed media techniques. I love watching other people's vids. They are great for inspiration. This technique involves spray paint and water! What fun! Sort of like that marbled paper. I did these two small canvas boards. No idea what I'll put on them, but making the backgrounds was so much fun. I'm going camping this weekend so prepare for a quiet blog.
I made the infamous rainbow cupcakes that everyone is making these days. I was super inspired by a Craftster quickie featuring everyone's favorite crafty gal KittyKill. Her videos always make me smile!