Sunday, December 6, 2009


Here is the newest completed project from my studio. This little angel is made from Tyvek, organza and a little polymer clay and wire. She is ready to take flight. I would love to make a few more of these with fabric faces and am wondering what skills it would take to do so. Faces baffle me. I have never been able to draw a decent one so I do worry about creating a fabric one. I also like the dimensional aspect of the face and wire. I love the feel of different textures so I run my hands over all my creations to "see" what they feel like....would fabric make it all feel too similar? Any advice from my readers would be appreciated.

We had S-N-O-W yesterday. It has created a winter wonderland of sparkling trees that look like they have twinkling white lights in their branches and as the wind blows, spun sugar falls from them. The sky is so blue today that I feel if I looked hard enough I could even see the stars. This has inspired me to get on with another winter project so I had better be heading back to the studio.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fabric Beads

A while back, I wrote about some fabric beads that I had made. I wasn't sure what to do with them but loved the way they turned out. Well, I decided to learn a bit more about beading and made this beautiful necklace and earrings. I keep looking at my stash to see what else would make wonderful beads.

If you love Beryl Taylor's work, Interweave Press has a new DVD out called Layer by Layer. Beryl shares her techniques as well as some of her artwork. I enjoyed the DVD and watching what Beryl can do with what others might discard. Her ideas made me want to get to the dollar store!!

This week I am starting a class called Alter Fabrics offered through I am really looking forward to it. The class was postponed this summer and is being offered now. I had nearly forgotten about it until the supply list came out. Now I am pumped!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My adventure in this project started with a trip to the sewing machine store where I had taken my machine for its yearly checkup. And hanging there was a beautiful embellished jacket. I knew I HAD to have one and, sure enough, a class was being offered. I immediately signed up and so the journey began. It all started with a sweatshirt and 16 fat quarters that complimented each other. I chose greens and purples with a splash of red and coral.

These fabrics were cut into various rectangles and then sewn onto a deconstructed sweatshirt. Then the fun began...I decided to stipple the whole thing. Others in the class used fancy machine stitching around the rectangles. The point was to not have the sweatshirt show.

The final step was to add embellishments (ribbons, yarns, laces etc) and binding. Below is the finished product, front and back. It was a lot of work and there are some steps that I would change but overall I am pleased with the results.

I am now working on a couple of projects that don't involve the sewing machine. After spending hours stippling the sweatshirt jacket, I am ready for something much less involved.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have always been fascinated with beads. I love the feel of glass beads dribbling through my fingers. The ping of the glass as it hits the bowl and the light the beads catch as they bounce off the bowl are only the beginnings of the joy I find in beads. BUT then the DH says "So are you taking up another craft? More stuff to put in your craft room?" And then the guilt sets in...should I really venture into another realm? And the answer is a definitive YES!!!! So I am now working on my first major beaded embroidery piece. It is a cuff. The beads above are what I have selected to go with some wonderful cabochons.
The pictures don't do the cabochons justice. There is a beautiful olive green running through each of the stones as well as a hint of purple and of course, browns and beiges. I am not very far along and find that my wrist doesn't allow me to do hours and hours of work on it but I sure am enjoying the process and, for me, that is what it is all about.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Beadfest was a blast. I took a polymer clay/wire class with Donna Ray-Kocun and stepped out of my conservative artist mode to make the bracelet pictured above. We used Donna Kato clay which is non-toxic and has a sheen to it when baked. I found the clay hard to work with at first because it tends to crumble but the finished product makes the frustrations of the early clay manipulation well worth it. The class also had us using a Coiling Gizmo. The wire beads are made with this contraption and it is so much fun. I am eager to try other wire works on it.
I was able to shop to my heart's content at the vendors' market and got some incredible deals. The seed beads in all colors made it hard to select a few. As you can see I bought a variety for all the projects that are still in the planning stages.
I also found these fun cabochons and matching beads. I think they will make a wonderful cuff. But then I can imagine them in one of my art quilts as well. We shall see!!
Wire came in all kinds of colors. The above is aluminum and is the base for the polymer clay/wire bracelet I made. It is very pliable. I wonder if it will work on the Coiling Gizmo? Hum.....
This wire is used on the Coiling Gizmo. The colors are outstanding. I already have an art quilt planned using some of the wire, the Coiling Gizmo and, of course, beads.

I wish I could share the excitement and enthusiasm that Beadfest generated. There were so many knowledgeable people willing to share, there were so many ideas taken from the displays, there was so much shopping to do and most of all there was the passion for all types of beading.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am off to BeadFest this weekend. I am looking forward to a couple of days off from work. In addition, I get to take a polymer clay and wire class and spend a couple of days shopping. Last year I found it almost overwhelming. This year I plan to be more focused...but really, how can anyone focus when there are so many bead projects and so little time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I don't know why I can't remember from time to time how to upload multiple images into one blog but since I am drawing a blank this time, I will post a second time in one day and show you the fabric beads I have been working on. I was supposed to take a class on fabric beads and how to use them but was bumped from the class and was put on a waiting list....well, the call never came for the class so I decided to try on my own. I think they came out pretty well. And here are some more.

(OK, so adding photos in the text is as easy as moving the photo, or in this case, copying it and placing it where the cursor is and then deleting the original!!! Duh!!! Sometime technology makes me feel so stupid.)

Anyway back to fabric beads....the beads turned out to look nothing like the pattern on the fabric and that is wonderful. Each bead turned out to be unique and beautiful. I suppose if you want uniform beads, you could use something without a pattern. I used a colored Easter egg pattern for the beads at the top of this posting and a star printed pattern for the ones in the middle. I am eager to try to use them in jewelry or in a fringe for one of my art quilts. I used Modge Podge for the glue and, once dry, painted them with clear nail polish to give them some shine. We'll see how they hold up.

New Artwork

So it has been a whole month since I last posted.  The excuses roll off the keys of my computer but the truth is, there really isn't any excuse. I have been playing with the stuff I learned in Carol Murphy's Tempting Techniques class. I have never been one to go over the top but Carol says that there can't be too much of anything on a mixed media piece so here is my over the top cover for my book.
I learned to use transparencies and how to transfer images onto tape and make all different kinds of paper. I still haven't finished the inside pockets of the book but when I can't figure out which project to work on, I am sure I will go back and complete this book AND fill all the pockets with examples of tempting techniques.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tempting Techniques Class

I have just finished taking an online class from called Tempting Techniques by Carol Murphy. It was a lot of fun and some of the techniques, I will definitely use in other projects. I haven't completed all the techniques yet but found a lot of fun with Penscore pads and making my own "stamps" for stamping/painting impressions. The above image's background is using Penscore pressed into shells, rubber bands, a plate and the bottom of a basket. The same goes for the image below.
And finally this one using buttons, keys, a pitcher and the bottom of a plate.

This is the third or fourth on-line class that I have taken from Joggles and I have been very impressed with them. I would recommend them to any who are interested.  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Out of the Box

I am a yellow/red, fall/winter person and I have a hard time starting a project that doesn't start with the aforementioned colors or themes from fall and the lime green background here with a blue birdhouse was completely out of the box for me. But, I love how it turned out. The bird house is made from fabric paper (thanks to Beryl Taylor's instructions from her book under my favorite books)and the roof is copper leaf. The leaves are done with various threads. The background is hand-painted muslin. This miniature "quilt" reminds me that sometimes I need to step out of the box and expand my creative wings.

Speaking of stepping out of the box, I am taking Carol Murphy's class called Tempting Techniques offered through and am having so much fun. Penscore is a new product for me and I have been having a blast creating my own "stamps". Lumiere paints are also something I have never played with. I am still working on getting results that I like. I LOVE these on line classes. This is the 4th one I have taken from and I have not been disappointed. The instructors are great and I have learned so much from them. And there are so many choices...well, as you can see I am a big fan. 

 birdhouse details

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Graduation and bac to the studio

My two boys...well, young men. Chris' red cord means that he graduated cum laude and yep!!! I sure am proud. 

The studio is calling. I haven't been in there for any length of time for a couple of weeks and it shows. While I am away I think the muses play and create an awful mess!!!  It won't quite take a shovel to get to where I can create but it will be close.

So clean-up is on the agenda for now. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Graduation Day

Today was #2 son's graduation from college. Chris now has a degree in music education. The day was very long with a two hour drive in each direction and 4 hours of graduation ceremonies. Lunch at Chris' favorite restaurant ended a  delightful time with the boys. 

Colin drove home for the graduation and heads back to Ohio tomorrow. He has been on vacation since his wedding and it was great to see him. Unfortunately Chelsea had to work so she is left holding down fort in Ohio. I am sure their cats are glad one of them stayed home.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

                 My new daughter-in-law, Chelsea and my son Colin at their wedding.

What a joy it is to have a new member of the family. The "kids" decided to spend their honeymoon on the East Coast ad have used our place as home for their various activities. They have spent the week with us and we are delighted to have them here.

Since the wedding last Sunday, I haven't had much chance to get into the studio but have BIG plans for getting there this week. I want to try using my jet ink printer to print on dryer sheets. This idea came from the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. I have painted, melted, stamped on and sewn dryer sheets but have never tried putting them through the printer. I can think of several projects that could be enhanced with the use of printed dryer sheets. Can't wait to get started!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Countdown to Wedding

I may be away for a bit since Colin and Chelsea's wedding is next week. Being the mother of the groom and far away from the hoopla has meant that I have not been very involved...and I am not complaining!!! 

My dress is at the cleaners being pressed, my shoes and handbag are ready and all I have to do is pack. That can be a chore since we don't know what we will be doing during our downtime other than making airport runs when all the relatives arrive. We will just go with the flow. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

I am looking forward to having a daughter-in-law since I have raised only sons. It will be nice to not be the only girl in this Patterson clan. Now on to the packing!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I LOVE threads and fabric and color and fiber and beads...well, as you can see, the list goes on and on and on. I started organizing my threads recently.

  Someone suggested that I sort things by color. Having been a counted thread embroiderer most of my life, I had sorted everything by number. This system was no longer working for me because I was no longer using patterns designed by someone else. 

Starting was easy but there were those odd colors that defied catagorizing (is this a word???-spell check doesn't think so) like the blue green or green blue. But all in all, it works well for me. I also did this with my beads. 

The problem with beads is that they need to be contained within the containers that house each color. I am still trying to find a system that will work for the beads. Anyone have any ideas that have worked for them? I would love to hear about what works for you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two Weeks To Go

Two weeks until THE WEDDING. Yes, my eldest son will tie the knot with his lovely bride. It has been hard on us since we are in New Jersey and he is in Ohio...where the wedding will be...but we are excited. Needless to say, I have been busy shopping for a dress (found it last weekend) and now need shoes and a handbag to go with it! 

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The weekend was spent traveling to Ohio for a surprise visit to my daughter-in-law to be. It was the weekend of her bridal shower and she thought that I wasn't going to attend...but I decided mid-week that it would be fun to be there even though it meant the whole weekend away. 

It was delightful to see her and see her face as she noticed that I was there. The only disappointment was that I didn't get to see my son...he was working and wasn't even in the same city as the shower. 

Five plane rides and a whirlwind visit made the weekend very short. No time to be in the studio this weekend!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I found some beautiful fabric that I am going to use to make bags for "my" girls...ok, I don't have any girls of my own but I do have a daughter-in-law, Chelsea and Chris has a significant other named Ashley. I adore them both and am making them bags with matching accessories. I found some wonderful patterns by Amy Butler ( I can't wait to get started. The only problem is which girl gets which color.

I am now on the prowl for fabric for my own bag. Now back to the studio!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Time flies when you are having fun. And fun is exactly what I have been having.  A weekend at the Jersey shore...New Jersey that is, revived the spirit and made me realize that maybe spring would arrive soon. Sun, sand, blue sky and COLD made treasure hunting a treat. No one ventured onto the beach except us (my BFF and me) and boy, did we find treasures. Lots of beautiful shells now are waiting to grace various mixed media projects. 

I can't say that much work has been done in the studio but now that I have been away from it for a few days, I am eager to get back and get to "work". I never have considered my studio time as work but as play.  Time for play time to begin!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I have sons and a DH as well. This has meant that most of my artistic/crafty life has been shared with the males of this house. I've shared 1/2 of the workbench in the basement ( covered with a vinyl flowered table cloth to designate "off-limits" for the power tools. I have had baskets full of supplies stashed around the house to be brought out when I wanted to create. I have had dressers filled with fabric and threads, hidden so no one knew about my secret passion. And now, finally, I have a TFZ. 

My TFZ (testosterone free zone) started about 37 1/2 minutes after my eldest left for college. After the tears were shed, I started by moving his stuff out and painted the room a delicious lavender ...purple is supposed to spark creativity and no right-minded young man would ever want to occupy such a girlish room. Adding white cottage shelves to three walls and a lovely farmers table under the windows, the room was ready for CREATING!!! 

Yes, I get teased a lot by my men but I think they are really proud that I have a created a place where my passion reigns.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sharon Boggon's Class

I took Sharon's class, Sumptuous Surfaces, last fall and completed the monotone piece. Finally, I am getting around to posting the photo. I am still  newbie at taking and posting photos so will do my best to let you see what I have been up to.

I am still working on the color piece for Sharon's class, even though the classes ended months ago. OK, so I am definitely not the overachiever when it comes to my art. Remember, 10 minutes a day? Well, if I am honest, most days 10 minutes is a stretch with working and all...but when I do get into the TFZ, I definitely enjoy myself and that is all that matters.

10 Minutes A Day

One of the books I have been reading lately recommends that one spend 10 minutes a day doing whatever it is you are passionate about. Of course, for me, that is 10 minutes in my studio doing something other than cleaning!!! It is amazing how much can get done in 10 minutes. And the benefit is that usually once I am there, the 10 minutes turns into a much greater amount of time. But if I am limited, I have at least set foot into the studio and tried to create. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Working Through It?

How do you work through illness? Do you get into your craft space and see what happens or do you give it up and let the healing begin?

I went to the doctor's today after coughing for 3 weeks. This all started with a sinus infection and now I have what the doc called "post-infection inflammation". What this means is that I am wheezing and have bronchitis. So, now I am on medication...and all I want to do is nothing. I want to curl up in a blanket and do nothing. So much for the creative juices flowing.

 I am trying to keep going to work because Colin, my eldest, is getting married in April and Chris, my other son, is graduating from college in May. And my days off are very limited. But we will have to see just how this medication affects me before I commit to the commute tomorrow.

The best thing about being sick is that one of my favorite magazines, Cloth, Paper, Scissors arrived today and I am more than wiling to sit here all cozy and read. The paint tube people on the cover look like so much fun. Maybe I'll venture upstairs to the TFZ after all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hobby, Craft or Art?

"How do you label yourself and what you do? Is it a hobby, craft or art and what is the difference?
I have always needed a creative outlet but never really had the space to create and leave the mess." With my sons becoming adults and moving away from home I have been able to take one of the bedrooms and build what started out as a TFZ - for those of you who don't know this term, it stands for testosterone-free zone. The TFZ quickly evolved into the craft room and now is my studio.  Does the name really matter? Maybe if I call it  studio, I will take my art/craft/hobby more seriously.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year. The beginning of the year has brought lots of excitement. My eldest son got married yesterday. I have a wonderful new daughter. She is very special not only to him, but to us as well. It is nice to have a daughter after raising sons. The bad part is that they live in Ohio and we live in New Jersey...for those of you who don't know, it is a nine hour trip by car between our house and theirs. 

I have made a promise to myself to spend at least 10 minutes everyday working on something that I am passionate about so my artwork should progress right along. 

So far I have finished a wonderful needlework piece but am having trouble photographing it. When I get a decent picture, I will post it here.

Time to get into the studio for a few minutes.