Monday, March 30, 2009

Crafty Chica's Latest Book

In between all the mad dash to finish Winter White for the Parkersburg Art Center show, this wonderful new gem arrived in the mail. Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing has all the elements I've come to expect from the enthusiastic and inspiring designer/author: bright colors, funky images and textures and most of all an encouraging "you can do this!" attitude which infects everything she touches.

The projects in this book include wearables, items for your home and a great section on purses made from anything from a funky towel to an Indian placemat. Throughout Kathy offers tips, techniques and anecdotes from fellow crafters, all with the result that even those who were intimidated by the sewing machine will find themselves happily scouting the dollar store, yard sales and thrift stores for items to alter, and fabric stores for the fabrics to make their projects sing. A list of suppliers is included in the back, including a list of sewing machine manufacturers, to help you find the right tool for your new sewing adventures.

I was really delighted with this book, but I must admit I love everything Kathy does. Even if it is a project I probably will not make, I can take ideas away from it and apply the ideas and techniques to something else. Congratulations on another job well done!

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Parkersburg Art Center show is hung and the opening over, now I am playing catch up with a bunch of things I let hang while I was in the studio. For instance, getting flyers out to local businesses about sponsoring the Studio Art Quilt Association conference in May, reviewing Crafty Chica's new book (it's a great one!) and revamping my website.

With that in mind, I am putting together a FAQ for the website that has more to do with my art and processes and a little less about where we get our beads, etc. So I am asking for questions that you are curious about, things you may want to know about how I make the work, processes, materials, etc. I am curious to see what someone else would want to know about these things. Since I am the one making the work, sometimes it is hard to step back and see the big picture. Thanks in advance for sharing your questions with me.

More blog later, as I have photos from the opening, a book to review, and lots of fun stuff to catch up on!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Portrait Commissions

While finishing up the final piece for the Parkersburg Art Center show, I have also had to clean the studio to search for fabrics and yarns for that piece.  As usual, cleaning and finding things I’d forgotten I had has proven to be a huge inspiration.  I realized that I miss my old smaller embellished pieces, and would like to do some more of them.  So in that spirit, I am launching a new venture, commissioned portraits, based on old family photographs and/or family treasures such as old baby dresses, etc.  Here are a few examples of what I am talking about, to whet your curiosity while I get the official page up at my site.


April 7, 1967, based on a found baby dress from a thrift store, and a photo transfer of me on my third birthday.  This piece was done for the “It’s My Birthday!” show, and was exhibited at Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine.  The work is embellished with crocheted flowers and beads, and the crown is stitched with perle cotton and embellished with shisha mirrors.


“Mom-Mom and Me” photo transfer fabric journal.  Velvet cover embellished with mother of pearl, bead and thread embroidery, using a photo transfer of my paternal grandmother.  Inside pages include more photo transfer, applique and embellishments, all telling stories of activities I remember sharing with my Mom-Mom.

ophelia 72 web

“Ophelia” made with a found baby dress from a thrift store, and embellished with photo transfered images of my daughter.  This piece has a lot of work, the entire background is covered with shisha mirror embroidery, and there is a beaded heart in the center of the bodice.  This piece was featured in the FAVA Artist as Quiltmaker show, and the image was used on the tshirts from that show.

study for dita 72

I can also do pet portraits in this style.  “Study for Dita” was based on the photo of my friend Lisa’s beloved cat, Dita.  This piece was all hand and machine embroidery, embellished with beads and set in a quilted frame.

I am really excited at the opportunity to be able to work in this way again.  I will post the web page as soon as it is up, or you can email me at andiandmarty (at) gmail (dot) com to talk with me about arranging your own personal piece of artwork.