Sweet, sweet curiosity.

This blog is all about things I have made. You can find intense embroidery, paper quilling mania, crazy gingerbread houses, masks, puppets, steampunk clothes, ornaments, wackiness and sculptures on this site. So have fun and check it out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quiller Peace Dove

With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to a couple of pieces that could stay up all year round, but would have a special meaning on your wall at your Christmas time.  Therefore I created this "Peace". I have been enjoying the wickedness that is zen doodling and really tried to use some of those styles to fill in this peace dove.

I was attempting to create some tranquility in the colour scheme by choosing teals, blues and whites.

I hope you like it! This piece also feels like a jumping off point for me.  I really do like the zen doodle approach to filling in the space and I have already several ideas in my mind of pieces I would like to create using it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quiller Air - The final in my series of Elements

In my Quilled Elements Series I have finally reached my end, I think.  I thought there were only four elements but according to a lot of different sources there may be another "Spirit" or "Aether" so I might be doing another one, but for now of the standard four elements this is it!

Upon the suggestion of many people on craftster, I used yellows, greys and light blues to create this air piece.  I wanted to show movement so I used flowers and there petals playing in a bustling wind to demonstrate air. 

I wasn't entirely sure about which flowers to use, I did sketch up one but it was very difficult to render in that tiny, tiny scale, so I ended up doing a mostly generic flower.

The other really great thing about this series is that Etsy's facebook Page has featured my Earth Quilled piece.  There are 2800 people who like me, they really, really like me... That was pretty keen...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sculpture Class - Makin' a lady.

I believe in constantly challenging myself and recently I had the opportunity to take a really great class on two weekends with Off the Wall Artists Studio.  I have actually taught there myself, but I had the opportunity to study sculpture with Ruth Abernathy and I didn't want to pass that up.  Ruth has done some amazing bronze sculptures all across the country and she also has worked in theatre making props. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to pick her brain about sculpture and propmaking and she showed me a very practical and fascinating way to sculpt. We also  prepared our pieces like they would be finished for a bronze sculpture which is done with hot wax.  Here is the piece that I came up with.

As I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted to sculpt before I started the course I began with a drawing of a woman from four different angles, however there was not a great deal of focus on the neck and head in the drawing and I can see where that is where I needed to do a bit more work on that relationship in this sculpture. However it is a learning experience so I don't feel so bad! 

The wax is a fascinating process, It can be entirely frustrating as it can be difficult to manipulate. Fellow Artist Marc, was attempting to get a smooth surface on the wax which took a great deal of time to get something that was satisfactory.  I made this sculpture on the first weekend, and have started a polar bear in the second weekend, but it is going to need a bit more work before I would call it finished.

All in all I was very happy that I took the course. It gave me a lot of confidence in my sculpting skills, as well as a very practical way to approach sculpture as a propmaker.  I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about sculpting! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I like to play with chevrons and pretty colours.

 Another bit of inspiration: Play.  Sometimes it's just the best feeling ever to be silly and just play.  That's why I love my dog so much cause no matter what I am feeling, he is always happy and absolutely always wants to play. Once he sees he has your attention, it's time to get the ball, and it is time to play fetch, or tug-o-war or watch me sit on the ball...
 Some of this was a bit of experiment for me, I was trying out some more drastic colour palettes and I used my new favourite fill technique that I like to call "random squidgees". I have rarely used black in any of my pieces, but I thought it suited this well and it had a kind of juvenile feel with the rest of the colour tones combined.  The chevron pattern has been something I have tried to work into a piece for awhile and I felt it really suited this phrase, especially because I was certainly not trying to be scientific about my pattern, it's a bit, well, playful...
My favourite colour in this pattern is the puce.. it just makes me happy...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Grow and never stop growing!

Another bit of inspiration: Grow....  Lately I have been stretching myself and pushing myself to grow inwardly and to become more of the person I want to be. I guess that really only happens through change and growth. This word is a great reminder for me to not be really upset with my mistakes as I must simply grow from them. 
 This flower is from my garden in the spring, I don't know what it is..( surprise, surprise... I don't know what half the flowers in my garden are..) However I thought it was really pretty so I used it here.  I am really happy with the way the flower turned out and hope that I will do more flowers like this in the future. The two tone pinks came out better than I had anticipated...
I also am in love with this font. I have changed it a bit from the original but it is called Pinstripe Limo.. love it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A simple reminder to breathe.... Quilling style

 Part of my inspired words series: breathe. I have been feeling a bit hectic lately and I myself needed the reminder to slow down, take a breath and wind down a bit. 

 I was kind of going for a movement in the quilling, something I have been working more on recently. I also love the shot of purple in this piece.. it was a last minute decision that I am really happy with.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A little paper quilling "Creation"

 Inspiration is a funny thing. One minute you have nothing to say, and the next you are churning out work like a mad quiller... well that has been my experience lately. I had this notion of surrounding myself in words that would inspire me, beautifully quilled words that make you feel warm and fuzzy with there colourful surroundings.  So I began to quill and in the next week or so you will see how much I have done lately!
 I say: Let's create. Let's create people, let's create art, let's create joy... oh boy I am sounding like a super cheeseball, but why not? I chose to surround the word with a simple shape: a diamond. They can be used to make so many more interesting shapes and patterns I really just had fun with it!
This is the first time I have used white as the letter outline paper, it did present some challenges but I liked how it turned out. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Paper out on the sea... "Water" quilling

 Water, water, everywhere...

The Latest in my series of earth, fire, wind, water.. I may have said this before in other blog posts but I do really like creating waves with paper quilling.  The fluidity of the paper and of the easiest curved shapes it makes creates water with very little imagination or work on my part.  Hence why I spent a bit of time figuring out different ways to show water. I wanted it to be water in more than one form, so I chose to do some sections with some still water and some sections with some very vibrantly moving water. 
I have also made a big shift in my choice of base paper. I had been working for quite some time with thick cardstock, but I found I was still getting reactions in the paper to moisture and there was some warping. To counteract that I tried a plethora of different glues, but I didn't like a lot of them because the less wrinkles you have the shinier the glue.  I have now moved to 1/16th inch thick matte board and it works like a charm, no wrinkling and I can use my favourite kind of glue, just regular elmer's glue. It dries with a lovely matte finish!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Quilling in the Soil : Earth

As part of my Four elements series I now present you with: Earth.  I had a lot of fun with this one and did a lot of research on soil sediment for my inspiration.

  I used my newest favourite technique to fill in the soil. It's basically trying to randomly crumble the paper in order to get a really irregular shape that can then be squished into place. It actually takes a lot longer than one would think to do!
 I put little roots growing from all of the plants and flowers, rocks all throughout the soil and a fossilized fish structure deep in the earth.

This is for sale on my etsy site if you are interested and I will soon have more in the series finished to share with you soon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quilling on Fire

So I have been focusing really hard on some new ideas I have been pursueing... I am in the middle of doing a series of earth, air, wind and fire and this is the first one I have completed.

 I used a new technique to fill in so that I could create the flames. I essentially randomly creased and bent the paper to create the technique you can see here.  Then I used 4 different paper tones to create the flames.

This is for sale on my etsy site, if you are interested. I will have more of the series to show you soon, as I am working on earth and water right now!

 It also kind of reminds me of the Hunger Games for some reason... the whole girl on fire thing... (woops, I let the geek out again...)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tiny Quiller pieces...

I have been on a quilling bender recently and have been doing almost a piece a day. Here's a few I have worked on, so expect more on the blog soon, because I have been a busy gal!

 I found a plethora of tiny wooden frames for a good deal, so I picked them up. They are 2 inches by 2 inches and the space inside is really only 1 inch squared.   I decided to challenge myself to see how hard it would be to get tiny detail in the style that I do quilling.  I chose three totally different subjects.  A poppy from my backyard, a fossil and a cupcake... I feel like there is a joke in there somewhere...


Here they are:

The poppy I think was the best success story from this tiny quilling adventure, I like the way the shape turned out. It also inspired me to do more flowers in the future..

The Fossil was acutally really hard to do, as you can see it was difficult to get all those tiny lines to correspond with one another in a way that made sense, but I think overall the image is clear, I just wish I could have portrayed the shadows that really made the original image pop.

The cupcake was really just kind of fun... Tiny cupcakes should bring a smile to someone's face...

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Zombie inspired embroidery! How Fun!

With this most recent embroidery swap, I have been feeling really into the Zombie movies as of late( Walking Dead Season 2- awesome...), so when my partner listed this quote " Rule #2: Double-Tap." I thought I would use it. For those you who don't understand, it's from the movie Zombieland and its one of the main character's rules.  The rule really makes sense because how many Zombie movies have you seen where they kill the guy once but he comes back alive and they have to kill him twice? If you just kill him twice to begin with, you don't have to worry about them coming back alive! It's also kind of funny. So I decided to approach it in a kind of comic style way.

 I used watercolour paints to get the red and green circus top pattern. I like using watercolours with embroidery better than acrylics because you can still sew through them really nicely without worrying about crunchy fabric.  However, it does mean that I can't wash it out afterwards. I know a lot of people do that because of iron on patterns but I just use sunlight and a window as a light box and trace my pattern once I have designed it.
I do love searching for the perfect font and this time I used American Captain for "Rule # 2" and American Purpose Casual for "Double-Tap". I believe they both came from fontsquirrel.com which right now is my favourite font site.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Zombie movie inspired embroidery

For a recent craftster swap, I made this piece of embroidery for someone who is a big fan of Simon Peg and Nick Frost movies. I did a lot of research over popcorn, discovering once again how funny these two are. After watching Hot fuzz and Shaun of the Dead I came up with one design, and executed it. Then I hated it and started over.. The second design I stuck with though!

 I chose to do it in a cross hatch style, although I wasn't totally satisfied with around the eyes as they look a bit racoonish,  I had a lot of fun of with this though.
 In the movie several people tell Shaun "You've got some red on you" in reference to at first a red pen that has leaked on his white shirt and then later when he is covered in Zombie Blood. This movie is so funny...
I also took a long time picking my font ( as always...) This one is called Neoretrodraw and is a free font. Hope you like it! I know my partner did which makes me super happy!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Teaching at "Off the wall"

Hey Folks
It's been three weeks since my last post and boy have I ever been busy! I went to Winnipeg for a week in the relaxing outdoors of Falcon Lake, then I spent the last two weeks teaching a propmaking course with Off The Wall - Stratford Artist's Alliance.  This is a great organization that teaches backstage and artistic skills of all kinds. I had a great experience teaching students of all ages about maskmaking, puppetry, carpentry, painting and sewing. I was very impressed with their abilities, attitudes and ideas.

This is a chandelier that 3 students worked on to make. One student bent and welded this together, the others used spoons, plastic champagne glasses, packing tape and some vacuum-formed beads to create this very cool piece. It isn't quite finished in this picture.
If you are wondering what this is - It ends up turning into a Russian ceramic stove. I will also show pictures of how this turns on out when it gets finished. It is an incredible transformation.

If you are interested in learning backstage skills or other interesting artistic skills this is a great place to learn them.  I believe there are several workshops in the fall coming up - there is a sculpture course, a hat making course, a bijoux course ( bijoux is jewellery making and costume decoration..), a scenic painting course, an introduction to tailoring and a corset making course.  All of the teachers for these courses are absolutely amazing in their field and are fantastic teachers, so if this interests you check out this site:  http://www.stratfordoffthewall.com/classes-fall.html

Friday, July 27, 2012

Stu- Stu- Studio...

So I have posted a lot of my renovation so far and my studio has been a place where I have tried to furnish and find things to make the room functional. A lot of what I have in my space is Garage sale finds, or goodwill / restore mashups or things that I treasure!

 Here is my sewing desk that I found at a garage sale. It has a sewing machine that is turquoise and cream from the 60's when you swing it up.  I reupholstered the seat that came with the desk with fabric that I found that is really from the 60's.  Believe it or not, the desk was already magenta, so clearly I wasn't going to pass that up at a garage sale... On the wall is my hoopla collection, all of which I have received from swaps that I have participated in. ( You can also see my kitty walking through this photo...)
     The Drawers and the table are kind of fun. The drawers we found at a flea market and they are actually two sides of a vanity that have been taken off of the vanity and then stacked on top of one another, then painted.  They are great storage for art shtuff.

     The Desk is a short, skinny door ( 24 inches wide) that I got from the restore. I bought legs from RONA to go with it and I really like it. I wanted something long enough that I could work on more than one project at the same time on it and be able to shove stuff underneath it. The other great thing is the hole for the door handle. I got a little desk grommet to go in there that provides a great spot to put cords through for my glue gun or and laptop.
 This chair I found at the SallyAnn for 7 buckaroos!  I reupholstered it with a geometric fabric that I have had for ages and haven't quite had the right project for.  I am pleased that I could use it on this chair.  The wooden stool in the foreground was what I was working on before this chair and just this Wednesday after 4 hours of working on that very uncomfortable wooden stool I just went out to all of the Second hand Stores in the area until I found this great chair. Two hours later and some demolition and reupholstery, I had a nice cushy seat to work on.
 There is more to my studio than just this one corner, I swear, it's just, well, not organized enough to be worth a photo! When I have organized it I shall share it with ya.
And just in case you forgot, this is what my Studio looked like before we moved in!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Geometric Fiesta Monogram

I have loved making all my swirly monograms but I am feeling a little less curvy and more geometric lately, so I wanted to do a monogram that was more in line with that and a bit different but still fun.  I was inspired by Mexican  Woven Blankets with all of the gorgeous colours and shapes and decided to use that to create a geometric fiesta monogram!

 It was actually really interesting to try and repeat patterns, which can be difficult sometimes..I viewed it more like a flowing repetition than an exact replica of pattern, because I would go crazy that way.
  This is for sale on my etsy site as well. If you like this style but have no use for the Letter B hanging on your wall, I can do any letter of the Alphabet or any shape!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Awesome" Quilling Geometric style

So the other day I was feeling Awesome. So I decided to make this little geometric shape covered word!  I wanted to try a little something different than all of the round swirly shapes I had been doing with my quilling before.  The geometric shapes are fun to do, they still take a long time and a bunch of patience, but I have enjoyed making them. 
 I was attempting to kind of do a bit of a crystalline shape, or shattered glass... but I wasn't forcing myself to stick with that either, mostly a jumping off point for the idea.

 If you do want a little splash of awesome on your walls, this is for sale on my etsy site!