Monday, February 9, 2015

For Nancy D

Hi Nancy D!

You asked me a question but posted it via no-reply email.  I tried to find you in cyber space but could not.  So here is your answer.

When I posted that purse I was pressing the side seam open and stitching the handles down on each side.  As I made more of them I realized that I could simply make the handle, fold it in half (both the short and long one) and stitch them into the seam allowance before I finished the purse by putting them close to each end of the zipper. I doubled their strength by stitching them again when I finished the purse as I sewed the half circle that completed the bag portion.  I hope this is helpful.  If not send me an email at claudeblarson@yahoo.com and I will send pictures.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck.

Om shanti shanti shanti - For you yogis out there!

Good morning.  It is icing and preparing to snow outside today - again, here in the northeast.  I could be disappointed except that I have the day home from work and I am stuck in a house full of art supplies.  So, life could be worse.

This is my latest piece that I completed yesterday.  It is another experiment on an 8X8 canvas with various acrylic paints and mediums.


The base canvas was gessoed and painted red.  I then used some stencils to add gesso over the top and of the red and washed it with a gold toned, but not metallic, acrylic paint.  The Om is made of modeling paste that I put through a stencil I made with an old manilla folder. I painted it with metallic gold paint.  The lotus flower was cut from some old book pages that I painted yellow and then low lighted before I matte medium applied them to the canvas.  Shanti was stamped on some tan tissue paper that I found and adhered with matte medium as well.  The small collage on the bottom right is a collection of tissue paper, painted deli wrap, gelli  monoprint and gold wrapper from a Harry and David pear.  Finally, I added a few marks with acrylic markers and some permanent micron pens.  

As with my previous pieces, I added a quote around the edge.  Because of the subject matter, I used a quote I have adapted from the Buddha.  





I love this affirmation because no matter how my day went yesterday or last week or last year - each day is an opportunity to be my best self again.  To endeavor to be honest, humble, hard-working and peaceful.  What more can I do but try to be these things.  

So for all of you fellow yogis out there, I say let your art, music, writing, passion be your bliss.  Let it fill you with peace and let it shine out from you in all directions.

Thank you for stopping by the blog.  The light within me honors and respects the light within you.  NAMASTE.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

More Secret Admirations

Keeping with my play time theme of Secret Admirations, I made another mixed media piece on an 8X8 inch canvas.  Once again I placed a quote around the edge to add interest to the piece and meaning from the giver to the recipient.  Here's a look, let me know what you think.


The piece started with some papers attached to the canvas and overpainted with Golden Fluid Acrylics.  Then I stenciled and added more hand painted papers and scrapbook scraps.  I also punched some flowers out of hand painted papers and card stock.  I used acrylic markers and permanent pens to add swirls, lines and dots around the canvas.  The stem is some photo paper that I had painted with alcohol inks.  The book page petals are attached with matte medium over hot pink tissue paper.


Once again I added a quote around the edge that reads in its entirety;

If every time I thought of you a flower bloomed, 
I would walk in my garden forever.  


Well, I have a few more pieces in various stages of completion but wanted to get back in the blogging habit.  Stay tuned for the upcoming work/play.  I am still not sure in which direction they will go but I am having fun in the process.  

As always, feel free to leave a comment and thanks for stopping by.  Stay Warm and Happy Shoveling from the newly snow carpeted hills of New Jersey.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Productivity vs. Play Time

It occurs to me that I haven't posted on this blog in a loooooong time.  I haven't been ignoring my art or laid up with any particular situation.  I have been producing.  A LOT!  I decided a couple years ago to stop buying stuff and use what I had.  I wiped the art balance to zero and only bought what I needed to complete a project.  I went a long time without buying anything because I had plenty of fabric, thread, paint and various other materials with which to make art with.  Since that New Year's Resolution I have kept a ledger with all my sales and purchases.  I sought out a good show/sale to take part in and I have been in the black everyday since that new year began.  I have been lucky - but I have also been paying attention.

I attend a reasonable number of art/craft fairs throughout the year.  I noticed a few things there that have been very helpful.  The majority of artists have many, many works at a relatively low price point.  But, if you look at the larger pieces, well, that's where  you get a glimpse of what the artist really loves to do.  It is usually more intricate, larger or more complex than the smaller works at lower price points.  But if you want to make some money as an emerging artists you have to build your money in small increments and draw in the attendees with some really intriguing pieces that makes them want to step into your space in the first place.  Well lit and well planned displays are key to making this happen.  I know that if a space is too unorganized or uninviting, I will probably stroll by and not stop in.

So, to the heart of the matter - it's nice to be blogging again about new work.  Because the show is over, the holidays are just about over (I usually sleep in the new year) and I can put aside the productivity that was my focus since summer and just PLAY!

I am using some Golden paints that I have left over from some marbling that I did a while back and I am just playing with acrylics, mediums, collage (which I love) and mixed media.  Here's what I have so far...

This piece is 8" X 8" on canvas.  I started with collaging some papers on a gessoed canvas and then painting over them.  I then added things like lace, collaged papers, stencils, pen, acrylic pen, and tissue paper printed with text.  I like the idea of adding text but I am not always a fan of using a quote that I have seen many times before.  So, I decided that these little pieces would have text in a more secretive way.  I add it to the edges so that the message is more intimate from the giver to the receiver.  

The text wraps around the edges and is a way of reminding the recipient of what the person who gave this to them intended.  

This text reads "I love you, not because you are perfect, but because you are perfect for me."  
And it wraps around to a third side.  It allows the non-informed viewer to just see the front but the beloved person to know the intention.  

My second piece was just painted on the canvas then collaged and over stamped and penned.  The gold circle is a piece of foil that was on top of a bottle of hard cider someone brought over to our house for a dinner gathering.  

This one also has a secret text message from the old Harry Chapin song "circle"

As I see you here again,
A thought runs through my mind,
Our love is like a circle,
Let's go 'round one more time.

I discovered these acrylic paint pens at a local art supply store and I like them for drawing and writing on my pieces.  They come in a lot of colors and widths - I plan to get some more next time I go there.

Well, with my art fund well in the black after my productive period and intense preparation, I am going to bring in the New Year and indoor time of the cold winter months in my studio just playing.  I plan to see you soon with some more playtime pieces and experiments.

Til then - HAPPY NEW YEAR! to you and yours.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my very long post.  Feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Quilting Arts Holiday Issue is Here! (Read on for a chance at my giveaway)

Hello fellow fabric enthusiasts!  I just received notification that the Quilting Arts Holiday 2014 - 2015 issue will soon be hitting the shelves.  I have a project in there that I am very enthusiastic about.  It is a small purse that uses upcycled jeans and a bunch of my hand dyed fabrics as well as some silk and commercial print.  The project inspired me to make a bunch more of these purses which can be seen on my Etsy shop, RandomActsofPiece.  However, the only way to see the purse that is published in the magazine, is to buy the magazine.  You can do that using the following link:

http://www.interweavestore.com/quilting-arts-holiday-2014-grouped?utm_source=QDCL&utm_medium=BL&utm_campaign=QAHolidayHop

And you can use the coupon on the side of my blog to save a few dollars on your purchase.  Just enter the code at checkout.



Here is the cover of what looks like a really cute issue.   I have the other holiday issues and have always found them to be good resources for gift giving and decorating ideas.



As part of the blog hop, I am giving away a hand dyed silk scarf to one person who leaves a comment on blog about either the magazine, previous posts on my blog or my Etsy shop.  Good luck and have fun on the blog hop!


Here's a quick sample of one of my faves from the collection of upsycled jeans purses that I have made.  I love keeping functional things really fun!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rock Cairns Continued

After a hectic winter snow dying and shoveling mountains of the white stuff, I finally finished another rock cairn quilt.  This one has a hand dyed background with black and white batiks and one commercial print.  It is mounted on black and grey silk dupioni.

Keeping with the theme of what I like about rock cairns, this one is named "balance".  In a whole of so many black and whites - yes and no - and things to do - It is a reminder that it isn't all black and white, hence the shade of grey.


Ironically, I cannot get this image to be centered on the blog page.  HMMMMM coincidence?? I think not.  I'm letting it go.  


Final shot - here is one of the batiks that I collected at a quilt shop in Fairbanks, Alaska.  I have been adding to things here and there - so there it is.  

Thanks for checking out the newest release from my studio!  I'm glad you stopped by.  Feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Rock Cairns - Interrupted

So, I was all gung-ho about my rock cairns and then a shiny thing went by.  Dupionni silk to be exact, and some jeans, and some pretty fabrics and away I go.  Inspired by a little scrap of fabric that I was about throw away, I put together a purse.  And then another purse, and then another and then two more.  While I was at it, I used the same fabric combinations to make some journal covers.

Here is one of the purses that I have recently been focusing on.  I used a back pocket from a discarded pair of jeans.  I have some Dupionni silk, hand dyed fabrics, crossweave cottons, batiks and so on and so on.  As you can see in this picture.  I cut off a jeans inseam and added it to the purse strap for interest and added strength.  


This is the other side of the bag.  I hand dyed some crocheted doilies that I bought at yard sales and flea markets and cut them to add color, texture and interest to the reverse side of the bag.  The strap has two pieces.  One is long and had the jeans inseam and the other is hand dyed .  There is a couple of D rings to make the strap adjustable and to keep the loose strap end in check, I sewed a couple of belt loops together. It is sturdy because I quilted it using low loft cotton batting and good quilting thread.  


I like the way the colors pop through holes in the doily and the luster of the silk is a nice contrast to the denim fabric.  I free-motion stitched down the doily very closely so it wouldn't catch on stuff.  And finally, since the table was covered with all these fabrics, I made a journal cover with them.  


The journal is about 8 inches high and 5 or so inches across.  I think this photo might be upside down but, you get the idea.  Have these projects completed in 2 for 1 time due to consistent fabric selection is making the task more efficient - which is not often how I work.  But the productivity is keeping me motivated to go on.  Now, I am on the lookout for any jeans headed for the trash.  I've even used a pair of my less comfy ones - which takes them out of my closet and reduces my guilt for keeping them hanging around.  Here is a journal made from one of my other fabric collections.  


Love the silk on this one.  I hope this inspires you to cut up (or at least save) some of your own jeans.  Thanks for checking out the blog and  happy stitching.  Feel free to leave a comment.