Thank you for visiting artful embellishments. This is the third year for this blog and I am so happy to keep publishing. I started in 2011 and began with a quilt of the week, this lead to the leaf of the week for my newly designed paper tree that is located on the wall of my garage in 2012.......2013 is going to bring a lot of excitement and positive change. As a personal challenge for 2013, I plan on designing a artist trading card each week to be featured on the blog.
With so many interests, there will be quilting, art quilting, leaves (and more leaves), as well as experiments in thermofax screen printing, fabric dying, and tons of DIY recycle projects. I may even enter that altered fashion scene. To a happy and healthy 2013, may we all find happiness in those things we create....thank you for stoping by artful embellishments.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Leaves 50-58

The leaves are almost completely off the trees here in Michigan. I thought I would finish up my series of brightly colored leaves. There were 8 remaining. Two of my favorites are the "The Game" and the dragonfly, sans wings.  I loved this upholstery fabric, it is so bright and cheerful, but all leaves eventually come to an end, in this case I just ran out of fabric.  These are leaves 50-58. I have reached my 2012 goal of 52, but the tree hasn't reached "full".  I plan on expanding my leaf collection to include paper and different fabrics. I hope to work on those very soon.  To the end of the color season in nature, to the beginning of color for my tree.

Journal "I am"

I always wonder what to journal about. I found a book that gives some neat suggestions. One of them is "I am..."  Let me tell you how much fun that can be......I started by practicing my quilting stitches. The more you draw them, the easier it is to sew them. I used water colors and gelatos. If you haven't used gelatos by Faber-castell you are missing out. They write like a crayon, and when you put water on the color it turns into water color. The colors are so vibrant and rich. This is such a fun thing to do when you don't have a ton of time, but are stuck somewhere. I think the funnest thing of all is writing your own text that is not legible to anyone else. I have a lot of "I am's" in there. They make me laugh. Especially the "I am a rock star", Debbie that is dedicated to you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


 Journaling is still something that I want to try to do more often. I just finished an entire notebook full of notes on a class in which I take the test tomorrow. An entire notebook of about 80 pages in 6 weeks.  Hate to let that go to waste so I will have to alter, paint, stitch, glue, and otherwise destroy that book soon.  Before I get ahead of myself, this page is very simple. I used my favorite techniques of acrylic paint, sizzix dies, old book pages, buttons, stamps, embossing ink, and song lyrics.  Very simple but calms me every time I look at this page. I need to do more of these pages, I should actually do one a day. They are so relaxing to do as there is no right or wrong answer.  To journaling more and worrying less.......

Guest Spot Kirsten's Glass

I have mentioned my good friend Kirsten in past blogs. She had invited to me to a glass fusing class back in May. I think glass work is so beautiful, but cannot find enough hours in the day. Perhaps losing a job or two would be a wise choice. Anyhow, Kirsten took a class through Delphi Glass in the Lansing Area, and this was her project. The picture is on the right and the glass replication is on the left. I am so amazed at the detail. Who thought you could do that with glass? She is taking some more classes and I can't wait to see what she creates.  Her and I still think we should have a studio somewhere peaceful and quite, complete with a golden retriever and camel....at least I think it was a camel....To our dreams Kirsten and thanks so much for allowing me to feature this beautiful piece of glass on my blog.  Perhaps you and I should start an art wars for reality tv, glass versus fiber.........

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Tree October Style

Well for those of you who remember my 2012 project, THE TREE, will remember the photo below. This is what the tree looked like with just a few leaves. The photo above is 50 leaves later. I did laugh right out loud, as it doesn't look all that much different. I guess this 2012 project may extend to the 2015 project. I am amazed that this tree looks as bare as a tree on a january morning. Well, I guess that gives me something fun to work on all winter long!!! Hope everyone is enjoying fall.

Screen Printing on Journal Paper

Well I am totally infatuated with thermofax screen printing. I have blogged recently about taking a course from Lynn Krawczyk. Well I am now practicing my screen printing in my journal (sketch book). In this one I used multiple different screens and experimented with different types of pain. I also used these delux pens called Decocolor Acrylic Paint markers. They have a tip that is 1/4" wide. They make great additions to the journaling tool box. So expect to see many random screen prints, in off the wall colors with no real message at all. Happy screening!

Featured Artist Lindsey Guenther

Lindsey and I have never met in person, but through her awesome aunt Kirsten, we have connected on facebook. Lindsey is making this wedding knot quilt. She sent me these pictures and I was so enamored with the colors I just knew this needed to go on this blog! I typically use matchy matchy colors. Lindsey is able to combine these two bright colors for a punch! I absolutely love it. Lindsey is currently in Argentina studying abroad. She plans to continue quilting, when she has fewer academic commitments. Thanks Lindsey for sharing.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Cloth Paper Scissors magazine has a challenge for doodling. They have asked that you doodle your favorite art tools. The catch is that it has to be one color or black and white. The substrate must be flat and 4 X 6".  I am not a doodler by nature. However, with doodling being a huge part of art journaling I though why not.  I do love drawing dress forms, they are one of my favorite sewing elements, as is the needle and thread.  I did a practice run in the color pink, not my favorite so I went back to my trusty black and white. It suited my personality a little better. The dress form, needle, and tape measure were included, and hidden in the background is the work SEW! Happy doodling....

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Art journaling is something that I have featured before, but not something I am completely comfortable with or good at...... The art that I am truly enamored with is quilting, but for those of us who have done quilting, nothing is exceptionally fast, and well sometimes you want to see results, like yesterday. Art journaling has become huge and there are some amazing artists out there, just pick up a copy of Art Journaling by Sommerset Studios. You will be blown away by some of the art that can be created in someone's diary, to do list, or class notes. This page was done using acrylic paints, bubble wrap, cut outs from people magazine, clip art, sizzix die cuts, fabric trim, and metallic sharpies.  Of course I didn't know what to write, my to do list didn't seem so artistic, so I used some of my favorite song lyrics.  The instant gratification of completing something artistic is worth it, even if I do have a long way to go. I look forward to including more journal pages in between my quilts!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Crooked Tree Arts Center 32nd Annual Juried Art Show

My art quilt "My favorite Moment" was one of 35 entries selected for the 32nd Annual Juried Art Show. The opening night was September 8th and it was such a rewarding experience. On the right, a pamphlet features the winners and the honorable mentions. I didn't win any awards, but just being in the same room as some of these amazing artists was more than reward enough. One of my favorite entries was done by Sara Gauthier. She did a pencil drawing of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and John F. Kennedy.  It is titled "Abraham, Martin, and John".  This pencil drawing is 206" by 109". It covered an entire wall in the crooked tree art center. Her work can be found at www.saragauthier.com. The picture at the top was of Mike, my model for the quilt and I at the exhibit when there weren't any other visitors!

The Perfect Mermaid

This art quilt started out with the fascination of Rylee as the mermaid. I must admit this board was quite popular on the cruise ship The Allure. This was taken two years ago when Rylee was 11 and I am amazed at how much she has already changed. She is a teenager now, taller than I am, and is involved in all kinds of activities.  I selected this picture to quilt, due to the vibrant colors. Again the picture was taken into Photoshop CS5 and then posterized. I constructed the mermaid from various fabrics. Some were quilting fabrics, garment fabrics, and upholstery fabrics. Her face was challenging for me. It was constructed using fabric, stitch, and various paints. The final part that was fun to complete were the accents in her hair, bathing suit top, and her fin. These were done using decorative stitches, satin stitches, or quilting motifs. More art quilts to come!

Layer Upon Layer

Working with scrap booking paper can be extremely fun. Many of the journaling techniques for artists include using these basic papers as a base. Building on them is the really exciting part. There as many ways to build layers as there are art supplies. For the ones shown I did a couple of techniques. I took great phrases from magazine articles, tissue paper, old patterns, old book pages, various images and adhered them with medium to the 12 X 12 scrap book paper. I then used various colors of heavy body acrylic paint. After this dried completely, I added stamps. This includes regular wood backed rubber stamps, cling stamps, and foam stamps. Different types of inks were used including Tim Holtz distress collection, pigment inks, and dye inks. Finally I added interest by using embossing powders. My personal favorites are the metallics. The final touch came with various paper tapes. As you can see  a very layered look can be achieved. These layered papers can be used in art projects or in my case will become leaves for the tree!