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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Leaves 201-220

Leaves 201-220 were made using heavy body acrylic paint and old paper towels. I found some old manilla folders and painted those with some heavy body acrylic paints that were just about gone. I enjoyed using up the iridescent gold, copper and silver.

I also had saved some paper towels that I had used to clean my brush from the You, Me and the Sea Retreat in Seaside Oregon. A few of the artist mentioned that I should keep them as they were colorful. I adhered those very paper towels to the manilla folders with matte medium that contained glitter.  The results were very unique! Inspiration from others is so powerful!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Leaves 171-200

Spring is in the air! The temperatures have returned to high 70's.  With everything in bloom, I spent some more time working on my leaves! Reaching 200, the tree is coming along!

 Using various pieces of fabric paper, painted paper and decoupaged scrap booking paper the leaves are all originals!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Dutchess aka Fergi

This quilt was just a blast to do. It is for the Quilting Arts "Passages" reader challenge. I have had many rescue dogs pass through my home over the years. The Dutchess, Fergi, came with a buddy named Finn. (Please note the spelling of Dutchess is in reference to the singer's album, not british royalty.) They were such a mess. Found dropped off at a park and ride, they were very ill, malnourished, and weak. After some good vet care, good food, and a few trips to the groomer, they just blossomed. Both got adopted by amazing families. The Dutchess got adopted by a wonderful couple who lived very close to me. Lizzie, would bring the newly named Chloe to see me. She seemed so well adjusted and loved. The quilt was made using various fabrics and then heavy stitching with over 30 colors of thread. This is often referred to as thread painting.

The picture to the right demonstrates some of the detailed stitching. 

The picture below is the actual photo used to make the quilt. I usually blow up the photo to use it as a pattern.

The picture to the right and below is what my sewing area looks like as I get started.

The next few pictures show the actual art quilt in progress.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

ATC 96 Pink Flower

ATC 96 Pink Flower was created on a retired manilla folder. Used for a number of years it had seen better days. The flower was done by a stamp. I had found some Perfect Pearls. This system is genius. It is like painting, but it is with a dry brush. First stamp or draw the image you wish to paint. They have a special stamp pad and pens for this. Then dip your dry brush into the powder "paint" over your image. Voila! This is so much fun as you can mix colors. It also allows for different colors within one image.

ATC 95 Fly to the Trees

ATC 95 Fly to the trees was made following a mistake. I had a piece of cardboard that I had painted and stamped. It is one of my favorite pieces. The cardboard was only 8"X 8". I was cutting up ATC cards and cut one too short. So much for measure twice cut once. I was so bummed. I then decided to use my sizzix die cut to cute out the bird of the remaining board. He has now been placed on an ATC!

ATC 94 Dragonfly Schematic

ATC 94 features one of my favorite stamps. It has a dragonfly with dimensions. It reminds me of old drafting scrolls. A long, long time ago, I worked for General Motors. I was responsible for checking out drafting prints from the drafting center. I remember looking at the beautiful detail that was hand written on all of the engine parts. Each component had it's own drawing. This has since been replaced by the computer design. Still an art form but not nearly as beautiful as the original drawing of each draftsman. This stamp is nostalgic to me. I use it whenever I can!

ATC 93 Mermaid

 ATC 93 features another mermaid. Just love these images. They also feature colors that I rarely use. I typically stay away from blues and greens.

ATC 92 Mermaid Cocktail

ATC 92 features a mermaid. They are gaining popularity after my recent trip to portland. In seaside, they feature mermaids like she is their mascot. This mermaid is actually sitting in a cocktail glass. Hence the title of this ATC!

ATC 91 Flower Bird

ATC 91 I couldn't resist doing another bird ATC. My infatuation with birds and pears rivals my addiction to making ATC cards! I embellished with some found objects including paper flowers, metal circles (not sure what from) and the crystals.

Butterfly Wings

I couldn't resist doing another 5 X 7 piece of art! This one was painted mixed media paper that was embellished with paper tape, images, stamps, embossing powder and the butterfly wings.

ATC Swap ArtChix

The ATC Swap sponsored by ARTChix was a pleasant surprise. What a great opportunity to feed my addiction of ATC cards! They requested that you make 6 cards with the theme of "Nest". The catch? You had to use their images. Not a problem for me, as I their images are a hoot. Pun totally intended.

Using the ARTChix images I chose different bases for each. Shockingly, only one contained fabric paper. The remainder were painted mixed media or drawing paper. The embellishments consisted of magazine text, book text, crystals, paper tape, fabric trim, die cuts, and stickles paint! The swap ends early june. I should receive 6 ATC cards from other artists. I will feature those after I receive them. So exciting!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Dogwood

There are just not enough days of the dogwood tree in bloom. I absolutely look forward to this every spring. It is like the appearance of dandelions, sunsets, and the moon. This was altered in PIXLR. I actually shot this from my car while stopped at a light!

ATC 90 The silver screen

I am by no means a movie buff, but there is something about images from the silver screen that is very nostalgic. This woman looks like screen siren from the 40's and 50's. I couldn't help but embellish with ribbon and flower brads.

ATC 89 Home Sweet Home

 I loved this image of this house. It is built on a vacant lot. Each of us has a sentimental attachment to our our home. I added some studs and an old piece of a wooden measuring tape.

Leaves 131-160

More and more leaves! I had prepared a ton of different fabric paper sheets and painted mixed media paper. I was able to stamp, tape, draw, and decoupage them to make an original 20 leaves for the tree. With all the trees budding here in Michigan, if felt right to fill in the tree!

Fabric Paper

Here are some images of the new fabric paper that I have made. I absolutely love this technique and usually have 10-15 large pieces of this laying around for projects.

Stitched Flower

One of my favorite things to do is thread paint. It does take a while to complete a project, but it is very rewarding. This flower was stitched with over 15 colors of thread. It was done on a thick stabilizer. The flower was then cut out. The stabilizer is bright white and due to it's thickness (About 1-2 mm) I painted the edges to match the thread.  It was then stitched down onto a piece of fabric paper.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Leaves 121-130

Leaves 121-130 feature the second type of leaf in this batch. I painted some drawing paper from class. Needless to say I had to "start over" a number of times. Instead of wasting my "trials" I used thick bodied acrylic paint to make the base. Then I decoupaged and stamped the paper. The leaf shapes were cut using the AccuQuilt cutting system using the oak and the maple leaf dies. These tend to be slightly larger than the Sizzix as the dies are intended for quilting. The best part is that both the Sizzix and the AccuQuilt system cut fabric and paper.

Leaves 111-120

Well Spring has finally sprung in Michigan. It has been in the 80's the last two days and the trees are finally getting flowers and buds. Still in the midst of my ATC addiction, I decided to take a short break to make some leaves for my tree. There are two types in this batch. A few are made from fabric paper. This technique is featured by Beryl Taylor in quilting arts TV season 1 and in her book Mixed Media Explorations (a must purchase).  Seeing as today is predicted to be in the high seventies, I will work on getting a picture of the tree with all of the new leaves added to it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

ATC 88 Look After You

Look After You is one of my favorite songs. This image reminds me of two siblings with the older one looking after the younger....the way it should be

ATC 87 Cake?

Who can resists Marie Antoinette? She sounds like a real piece of work.  However, I received her image included in an order of art supplies and it was just too good to pass up. I just loved blinging this one!  Cake anyone?

ATC 86 Fashionista

Found in a magazine, one of my favorite words......Fashionista! I first heard this word when Aaron a friend of mine was describing his daughter. I just fell in love with it. Finding it in an old magazine was pure magic and it was begging to be used. I loved adding the crystal for her ring and the Ranger "Stickles" for her red lips! That glitter glue is pure bling!

ATC 85 Shimmering Luminosity

When you need a good prompt for any art, look in a magazine. (Not quite as hysterical as the 1940 grammar book, but close.) I really like mermaids. To explain that, well, no one has that kind of time. Let's just say because they are not part of my regular day.  I loved making this with the "shimmering luminosity" verbiage.  The shimmering plastic behind it was found deep in my stash of junk! Too fun.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Water Color

 The retreat focused on some black and white sketching to get us all warmed up. We then dove into water colors. It was so much fun to watch Alisa demonstrate. We then set out to make backgrounds and then to draw and paint shells on our backgrounds. It was loads of fun. No two people did theirs the same, so it was very interesting to watch how each evolved......

Alisa Burke You Me and the Sea Retreat

The You, Me and the Sea Retreat was held in Seaside, Oregon. Alisa Burke is one of my favorite artists and I was so fortunate to participate in this retreat. I suspect it will be one of many that I attend. The picture to the left is of a group of us at the U pub. (Located on U Ave of course!)
 The photograph to the right is Alisa Burke. She is such an amazing, talented woman. What is so amazing is that she is funny, caring, and a total fashion icon. I was so honored to get my picture taken with her.

The picture below and to the left is of Patty and Amy. We shared a table and they are very talented. It was a pleasure to spend time with them.
 The surfboard to the right is an Alisa original. Need I say more about her talent?
 Amy, Patty and msyelf flanked by Alisa's gorgeous artwork.

The pictures to the right and below are more of the talented artists that I was able to spend time with!