Wednesday, December 29, 2010


For those who bid on a CatNip Quilt but didn't win; here's my offer:  *note is from Ms. Stella's blog*

Ok kitties from everywheres! 

Since so many of you bid on the CatNip Quilts That Woman makes she wanted to lets you know; if you wants; you can buy one for $30.00 each and she will gives Missy Teri 25% of dat.  Dat way anykitty who wants one can haz one & still be doing a great thing for Mr. B & Missy T.  K?  Any questions; or if you wants one... Please email That Woman here:  stacy (at) rocketmail (dot) com

AND if you orders one (or more) Please puts your kitteh's name so She can putz it on da quilty.  Plus! She is tossin in a free CatNip bird too! 

P.P. Essss.  She has LOTS of different colors and fabrics so you don'tz gotta has dis one; you can have a fancy one dat will match something in your house.  (She is sucha doofus; I tellz her to make the cute catz one but She says some of peoples wants it to match their stuffs) 

Ms. Stella O'Houligan

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where Art and Cat's collide

Please allow this catblog crossover but I wanted my quilting friends who are also cat lovers to have an equal opportunity to win!   You can post your comments on this blog (I'll combine them both when I post the winner)

I took this photo and I LOVE it; but for the life of me I can't caption it!  So if you write a caption and it makes me fall of my stool laughing; you win and I'll send you this prize! 

I had gotten this adorable bird pattern two years ago from Spool

Then, someone had reposted it on the CBlogosphere as a cat toy and it reminded me! The two fancy birds I had made  were found by Mr. Larry and became his favorite bitey toys and they didn't even have nip in 'em!  So then, light bulb moment... I thought; wouldn't it be fun; stuff them with stuffing AND nip .  So I've made a few for my own girls & they hang on our tree till Christmas (way up high at the top and outta reach!)

I've brought this one down so y'all can see Miss Jack and get an idea how big they are:

So if you want to win one write me your funniest caption and I'll choose by January 1st and then post the winning caption!  :)   This one's out of Christmas fabrics but I also make them in regular. 

this one was requested by The Gurl for her room; it's lime green polka dots under and over is green; pinks, yellows & fuchsia plaid. 

This one is NOT a cat toy owing to the fancy headdress!

IN other news I'm also making this offer:

As you all ready know; you can bid on one of my CatNip Quilts at the auction going on over here   and I will toss in a bird toy for the winning bidder too!  As bidding closes at midnight tonight I think it's OK for me let slip that I had donated TWO quilts for the auction so look for the other one coming up next week along with the quilted cat note card you see in the post below. :)  Good Luck and happy bidding! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Auction for a Good Cause!

Right now there is a rather heated auction going on and I'm happy to say that one of my Catnip Quilts is at the center of it! 

So I thought I'd take a moment to let my art blogger friends know about it in case they might have cats of their own & would want one of my Catnip quilts! 

The funds are 100% donated to help a fellow cat blogger AND a dear friend of mine Teri Thorsteinson.  So come on over & check it out!  I'm bidding too on some other wayyy cute stuff!!  You can see lovely FiFi playing with one of Teri's quilts I gave her here and it's the cutest thing evar!!! 

The auction for these current 30 items goes until the 20th of December; (but shhhhhh... next week there might be another surprise along with one of these!)

Piece Out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Life imitates Art

When I completed this quilt that I titled 'Salmon Upstream' I hadn't purchased the rose bush that gave the beautiful blooms you see here and had no idea one even exsited!  The name of the rose bush is 'One Perfect Moment' and it certainly is.  The roses last for ages in this  perfect state of bloom; not to small, not bloomed out.  I purchased it last year and had it in a pot; when it failed to thrive I broke down & planted it in my yard.  It has rewarded me ever since with many long stemmed beauties like the ones pictured here.  

I never considered myself a rose person and only had one real bush that was a gift from my daughter who was 6 at the time called 'Double Delight'.  It still takes my breath away with it's beautiful roses but I can no longer tolertate the rich fruity heady scent of them without triggering a migraine, so they live in the farthest corner of my yard where I can see them; but not smell them.  

These have virtually no scent at all which is sad in a way but good news for any folks out there like me who  love to bury their whole face in the gloriously soft petals and inhale deeply their delicate fragrance.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sometimes I forget...

Just how much I LOVE to bead!!!    Then along comes an opportunity to get my 'gear' out and thread up a needle!   Below, a small commissioned piece.  This was requested by a client when she found the "Tree of Life" had been sold recently at the Framery Gallery.  She requested similar greens in the background & something with the line from her favorite poem entitled: "I must go down to the sea" to accompany her newly remodeled bedroom.

The calligraphy was done on broadcloth that I colored with acrylic paint.  Lisa Englebrecht had gifted me a bottle of FW's white acrylic artists ink and I love the effect! 

It's not entirely finished here; I need to bind it.  The center pinwheel section is only 5" x 5" and has over 60 separate pieces alone! The entire finished size will be closer to 10" x 10".   I love the pinwheel motif  as it reminds me of the colorful baskets you see on bikes coasting down the boardwalk. 
Somehow when I'm making giant quilts (be they art quilts or commissioned memory quilts) I forget just how much I love to sit and bead small motifs like this one.  The 'Sea Stars' are a challenge as they are real and very brittle.  (and need to be kept in a container so the cats can't find them!) 

While I was at the Bowers show; another vendor there had wanted some of my cards and I really wanted something she had so we traded.  I think I got the way better end of this deal.  This is a piece of woolen needlepoint that was clearly removed from some type of framework.  She indicated it was from back East but that is all she knew.   I fell in love with the rich red wool and the elegance of the seed bead work. 

You can see the different shades of seed beads used here. I love the counted cross stitch feel of it.  When I used to make ccxstitch works that included beads they were my favorite to work.  I have quite a collection hanging in my entry way and kitchen, but nothing as elegant as this.

The use of the difference in size of beads here is noticeable and used to great effect.

I am particularly enchanted with the way the silver lined beads look here.  As you move the light source across the piece it changes and takes on a whole new look.  It's quite stunning.  There are a few beads missing in the upper left corner that I will replace.  I think I'll mount it on a frame and hang it as is rather than use it in a mixed media work.  It's only 8" x 10" give or take. 

...I gotta get back to work; I've 4 memory quilts right now, each is 70" x 70" and they are due at the end of November.  I'll be offline for a bit till they are done. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Festival Shots

I realized I completely forgot to post these shots of us at the Holiday Festival at St. Pauls! 

Here was our booth!

Right smack dab in the middle of the action! 

These girls were too cute!  They are modeling the festival's hottest sellers!  TUTU'S!  

How friggin adorable is THAT?

Why yes, I had to have one too.  At just $10.00 How could I pass this up?  I fell in love with the black & white ribbon!  (if you must know, when I'm in a slump I will wear it at my sewing machine, I have a fabulous tiara & wand too.  hey, whatever works right???~i can't talk about my slippers yet)

Here was a blue one I wanted for 'The Gurl' but she declined.

Saw this one later & nearly traded mine in, but alas... no black & white ribbon...
See how those darlings caught my eye!!
I can only wonder at a Church facility that offers this sort of sign.  I just had to capture it on film.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Day Two at the lovely Bowers museum.  Sadly I didn't think to get pictures of the lovely grounds but it was right off to inside and a day of laughing, visiting, and learning.  

Ellen and I got a chance to actually go see the museum's quilt exhibit and that was cool.  BUT we also got in on the last day of the 'Weird and Wonderful' exhibit that featured not only one but TWO shrunken heads!  It was soooo cool! 

The museum store was exquisite and was choc full of wearable art as well as other interesting things.  It's nice to know that there is such a unique venue right here in my own backyard.  But very soon it was time to get 'back to work' so off we went!

You can see my helper today attempting to do her homework!

Cindy's lovely little hexagon pincushions!

My card selection (happily dwindling!)

Some of my quilts
It was way fun!  Tessa, one of the show co-coordinators was asking vendors if they wanted to be 'videoed' for the Bowers website, etc.  At first I wasn't going to do it but then I figured if they put me on their site & anyone looking there might see me & my quilts & maybe even want one!  So I sucked up the nerves & did it.  It was very fun, if they actually use it I'll be sure and link it... You'll be able to giggle along with me trying to be all sophisticated.  

That lady on the left hard at work is a singularly gifted calligrapher and I'm so proud to say I know her and she's a lovely person as well!  Lisa Englebrecht.  I spent so much time at her booth just in awe of her work.  Both Ellen & I had fun just looking through all her works, prints, pens, books... It was sooo inspiring!  I wanted to run right home and make stuff!  

above & below are her 'cast offs' that were free in a bin

I watched her demonstration and she wrote my name!!!   I so long to have such an elegant hand as she does!

The day practically flew by and it was lovely to have a helper to wrap everything up & make the trips to the car for me!   So, until next year...  me & El are puttin' our feet up, watching a Harry Potter marathon and enjoying some well earned time off! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Across from our booth, the museum had giant drop down video screens from the ceiling.  They flashed the signage for each artist.  Nice touch!

Here's our booth, I shared space with my fellow artist Cindy Cooksey.  She is sitting in front of some of her quilts.  A few of mine are hanging to the right of our customer and friend Jeanette Kelly.

We have one more day to go.  Sunday we are there from 10:00am to 3:30pm.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

International Quilt Festival Houston

It's always exciting to have your work chosen for this venue given the size of it and the vast number of quilt submissions they must receive.  I am forever humbled as one wee fish in such a giant Ocean of glorious works from all over the world! 

Imagine then how awesome it was to click on those 'ruby slippers' (on the website for Quilts Inc, you can click on the shoes & be taken on a visual tour of the show) and under the Text on Textiles (go ahead; click! select 'special exhibits, then Text on Textiles)  page and see  see my Children of Lir quilt!  Can't you hear me 'squeeeeeeeeeeing'!!!

Then when I clicked the area for 'on the show floor' there it was again!!!

I'm soooo excited when I see this kind of coverage!  So often we send our quilts out to shows and the next time we see them is when they come back in the mail.  So I love, love, love to be able to see them hanging in different venues & even sometimes hear feedback! 

So, for now this wee fish is settling back to the bottom of the pond to get some work done, thanks for visiting!

pook, pook

Friday, November 5, 2010


Here are my two quilts in Houston right now!

First is the Cheetah that is in the exhibit for the 500 Art Quilt Book

Next is the Children of Lir Quilt in the Text on Textiles exhibit!.

THANK YOU! to my friend Jamie Fingal for taking these! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Demo Day at The Framery Gallery

Yesterday was great fun doing a calligraphy demo at the Framery Gallery in Whittier, CA.

There were lots of folks stopping by to watch the different demo's going on. I was happy to answer any and all questions about this technique.

The most common question from fellow quilters was

"Do you pre-treat your fabric?"

The answer is yes; and no. I don't prewash. Most often on small pieces (2ft by 2ft typically) I will fuse the fabric to WonderUnder (lite). That helps keep the ink from wicking out. I keep the paper backing on for ease in moving the fabric piece and it keeps a nice smooth backing surface to heat set with the iron after the calligraphy is done.

This was the scrap piece I used to demo lettering, centering, the use of the 'invisible ink' pens (I created a double circle) for lines or shapes to follow.

The most common question from everyone was "What do you do if you make a mistake?"

The scrap piece above turned into a wonderful example for that very question! Since I had put the circle on the piece I was toying with the idea of simply doing a circular alphabet and actually wrote the letter A at the top. But then 'saw' the compass points instead and changed my A into an N. After feeling all smug that I liked the compass idea better my good friend jo griffith (cartographer) pointed out (pun intended) that my E & W compass points were reversed . So then we all had a laugh saying things like 'Artistic license' and I said something dumb like 'I'll just make up a reason why that was actually intended!

So, onward through the demo a couple cute girls came over & enjoyed watching me write their names in 'fancy' writing. After they left I was in mind of children & turned my E into an Elephant. I did like the way it sounded then; Northwind, Westwind, Southwind, Elephant! (ya, I'm weird)

The correct answer of course is that 99% of the mistakes you may (and will) make in calligraphy whether it's on fabric or paper is; you simply must start over.

There is seldom room for error when you get to the stage (as seen in this photo of my piece 'Flight') where you are putting all your words on and you've just spent several hours painting bird feathers not to mention all the bias tape Irish Insular plaits on the frame. That's why it's crucial to use the 'invisible ink' pens to write out all the words first prior to inking them in permanently.

The reason for that when you are doing calligraphy especially; you are concentrating on making the letter form; keeping your pen at the right angle; spacing the letters and forming them properly. Spelling is the last thing on your mind! It's a perfect marriage between right & left brain thinking if ever there was such a thing. The artistic side is watching shape; space; color and the left side is reciting 'i before e except after c'.. wait, what? LOL...

What is marginally easier in a way is using a language that is not your native one! I was surprised at this but after I thought about it, it made sense. You are now creating the letter, watching the spacing and since you have no preconceived or 'wrote' idea of the spelling you all ready are paying close attention to it.

The second most common question?

"How long does it take to you to do that?"

Like any art quilter worth her fabric stash I would like to answer "All My Life" but since that's not very tactful the more accurate and helpful answer would be "I can't really say'. Practicing calligraphy takes many, many hours of time and for me it was all done many years ago when I was only working on paper.

When I started making art quilts I had the idea to put words on a quilt I was making (Children of Lir) and that is when I figured that my fabrico inks I used for rubber stamping were permanent when heat set so that ink might work on fabric too. It was trial and error watering them down to get a consistency that could be used with a proper nib; but ultimately the effect pleased me greatly.

I'm happy to say that particular quilt is now on display at the Houston Quilt Festival in the special exhibit titled 'Text on Textiles'.


The best news is that in today's artquilt world your very own handwriting is perfectly acceptable and in many cases more desirable (for it's ease). After all; most time you are using text as a surface design that will be altered or chopped up partially obscured or repositioned. The intent is not necessarily to have the lines of script readable by the viewer. Maybe a word or two but the script becomes an overall part of the design and can be very striking when done effectively!

That is not to say of course that you can't create a design that focus' on the words itself:

So as you can see; it's a fun technique to use and much more cost effective compared to fancy computer generated fonts; laser printing, etc...

Thanks for reading!