Sunday, December 28, 2008

We're Bursting With Creativity!

Another creation from Art and Soul in Portland. Push play arrow to see it in action.

While I was playing with Photoshop, my husband, Peter, was experimenting with Pinnacle. The result is this wonderful video showing a music box that I made in Thomas Ashman's class at Art and Soul. Starting at the bottom, we have legs made of copper refrigerator tubing pounded flat and bent into pleasing shapes. Atop the legs is a heart-shaped Altoids tin that houses a music box. The dancing doll is a collage covered in plexiglass that was hand cut...yes, hand cut...with a jeweler's saw. Thank you Petey for making an awesome video and special thanks to Sadie. You're a good actress!

Little Cowpoke

Today I decided to learn my way around Photoshop Elements. I found an easy-to-follow tutorial at Atomic Cupcake and spent most of the morning experimenting. The vintage photoframe is courtesy of photographer Steve Paxton . I used one of my favorite pictures of all time: my dad as a little boy in his hometown of San Francisco. There is a sweetness in his expression that makes my heart melt.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Power Struggle

I made this one afternoon just for fun. Embroidering on flannel turned out to be not so fun, though. It's just too stretchy!
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Aloha, 1994

After a trip to Maui, I decided to give Hawaiian quilting a try. This pattern is called "Breadfruit". It is hand appliqued and machine quilted. The trick is to use LOTS of pins so nothing moves while you're appliqueing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Touching the Elements

This is a little treasure I made in Nina Bagley's "Touching the Elements" class. It was a wonderful 2-day class at Art and Soul in Portland where we learned to drill rocks, wrap wire, set eyelets in metal, and look at things found in nature in a whole new way. At the bottom, is a copper book filled with mica pages and decorated with a dried leaf and some fibers. The book is attached to a stick by hammered copper wire rings. Suspended from the stick is a sea-smoothed pottery shard found on a beach in Fort Bragg. The stick is then wrapped with hand-dyed silk ribbon. As we move up, there is a little metal frame that has been decoupaged with various papers. This holds a beautiful turquoise piece of pottery found on the same beach. The "windows" are made of mica. This is attached to a mossy stick, found in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites where Art and Soul was held. Above that is aged copper mesh with fiber laced through copper eyelets, topped by a root-beer-brown piece of sea glass wrapped in baker's twine. I like how this piece brings back memories of hunting for treasure here and there.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Take one clever book, add one sock and voila! You have your very own Bonehead! I cut out the "85" and sewed it to his back so he looks like a jock. He'll soon be off to his new home in Oregon. Merry Christmas, Austin!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Necklace for Kay

Awhile back, I took Sally Jean Alexander's "Soldering for Virgins" class. If you ever get a chance to take a class with her, do so! She is an awesome, down-to-earth artist who willingly shares her techniques.
Yesterday, I created a pendant for my sister-in-law, Kay. I cut glass (Ouch...still perfecting my craft)to fit back-to-back vintage images and then soldered it. The back is a snippet from a vintage songbook that reads "In the dark sky you". I like how the song is incomplete so you can imagine fun things you might do under the dark sky. I twisted a piece of sterling silver wire to hang 2 antique rhinestone rondelles and a pearl. At the bottom, I attached shredded hand-dyed silk ribbon in bone and celery green to represent the colors that her daughter chose for her wedding. Well, back to the soldering iron for more fun!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Little Buckaroo!

Meet Sadie, the newest member of the family. This picture makes me laugh everytime I see it. She is enjoying her new home...especially her pretty kitty pillow in front of a warm fire.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where's My Blanket???

I made this coat from Pendelton blanket fabric back in 1996. I embellished it with hand embroidery. As you can see, it won a blue ribbon at the Sonoma County Fair. Unfortunately, it has such a boxy shape that I never wear it for fear of ending up on "What Not to Wear". One of these days, I will either remodel it or repurpose it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yee Haw!

I made this jacket back in 1996 out of black Pendelton wool. On the back is a hand-embroidered a cactus from my own design . The cactus flowers are done with silk-ribbon embroidery and the spines of the cactus are accented with beads. Note the cowgirl "smile" pockets. I practiced making a basic straight welt pocket. Once I had mastered that, I designed a curved welt pocket. I practiced on scrap fabric until I got it to look right. It took about 15 tries! The next obstacle was to figure out how to embroider the little arrow that goes each end of the pocket. I lived in Sonoma at the time and there was a very upscale western shop called Rodeo. I would go in there and examine the arrows on the western shirts, then go home and try it. It took about 5 or 6 trips back and forth until I finally figured out how to make them. I entered this jacket in the Sonoma County Fair that year and won 2nd place. The lining didn't hang well enough for a blue ribbon. I guess by the time I got the jacket done, I had no patience left for the lining!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fit For a Queen!

I made this pillow about 4 years ago for our beloved kitties. For the center, I think I used an "Aunt Martha's" embroidery transfer but I can't find the pattern, so I'm not quite sure. The embroidery is surrounded by scrap pieces, machine quilted, and sewn into a pillowcase complete with zipper for washability. Inside is an old Temperpedic pillow. In the winter, we put this near the fireplace as a cozy lounging spot for some very lucky cats.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Closer Look

This how-to book was my mom's. The copyright is 1959, so she must have had it when she was a newlywed. When I was a teenager, I used it to teach myself how to embroider. The jeans skirt was my canvas and as you can imagine, denim was not the easiest fabric to learn on. When I look at this now, I can't imagine how much time it took for inexperienced hands to do all that satin stitching!

My Oldest Surviving Project

I've been making things as far back as I can remember. One thing that I've saved all of these years is this jean skirt. Back in 1974, everyone was making them.
One day, my friend and I heard about a contest sponsored by Levi's to find the most creative use of their jeans. We hopped on the bus to Portland and entered our jean skirts in the contest. I don't remember what the prize was, but we were sure one of us was going to win!
On the day of the judging, we took the bus back to Portland to see if we won. When we got there, we realized that we were definitely out of our league. There were amazing projects everywhere. Looking back, I'm so proud of that teenage girl who was confident enough to enter a contest.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hello, World!

Once upon a time, there was a dabbling artist who was trying to think of a name for her new blog. She thought of many, many names but none of them were quite right. Along came a handsome, clever husband who said, "Call it The Third Wish".

The dabbler said, "Perfect! The third wish is always the biggest, best wish."

"No," said her clever husband. "The third wish is where you realize you that what you had was wonderful, but you ruined it with the first 2 wishes. The third wish is where you make everything wonderful again!"

And so a blog was born to show the wonderful things the dabbling artist has made!