Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday -- June 26, 2012 -- Owls for All

The mysterious nature of owls is endearing to most everyone, and in my opinion, their eyes are a big part of this appeal. The pensive, yellow-eyed stare of a Great Gray Owl makes them appear to be thinking or perhaps even plotting a sinister next-move. This spine tingling reaction I have toward owls is one reason I've collected this week's top ten favorite owls. Most of the owls in this collection have big round eyes with goofy looks on their faces! Much more relaxing, don't you think? If you are an owl fan, this week's collection will give you all sorts of ideas about how you can add more owl-love to your life! Enjoy...

DIY Felt Owl  --  A fun sewing project for your household

This friendly owl can be easily hand stitched using the simple whip, running, and simple straight stitches. This would be a great project for you to introduce basic stitches to an owl-loving 10+ year old. Lupin on Etsy can provide you with this fun pattern and all the instructions you will need. Your young girls will be so proud to show off their creation!

Owl of Blodeuwedd -- Wool Felt Brooch

This handmade wool felt brooch is meticulously made using 7 layers of felt with an average of 400 tiny hand stitches. The brooch measures 3" x 2" and features a charming embroidered feather on her wing. Love that part! FoxOwlRoad on Etsy tells us the "Blodeuwedd" is the oldest of creatures and she calls this owl the Bird of Wisdom. This fiber jewelry would be perfect most every season of the year on a jacket, scarf, or coat. This is a treasure for the grown-up girls.

Owl Slippers Hand Crocheted in 100% Cotton

These fun house slippers will be great fun for folks of all ages. FrancescasToyChest on Etsy will hand crochet these Little Pea Shoppe pink/green/blue pair in any size or you can request a brown/orange/tan pair for a more realistic colorway! Machine wash and dry on low heat, these slippers will get softer and more beloved over time.

Beauty in Every Shadow by Dolan Geiman

I'm a big fan of Dolan Geiman who creates original mixed media works with wood, paint, printmaking and collage. This acrylic and found paper collage on wood features a majestic owl and a gorgeous tree trunk, which I also love! Dolan's art is appreciating in value and I highly recommend that you check out his many terrific art assemblages.

Needle Felted Owl Family

I am a fan of the charm that St. Paul's artist ScratchCraft has added to these 3-D wool felt owls. The four owls actually look like a bonded family unit to me, and I would have guessed they loved one another even without the red heart that tells me for sure that they do! Perched on a tree branch and measuring 4" wide and 2" tall, this hanging fiber art is a beauty.

 Pleased as Punch -- Recycled Chubby Owl

I like this owl's attitude! This lamb's wool-stuffed friend stands 7" tall and would add a fun, graceful note to your home decor. The body of this owl is made from up-cycled, felted wool and the eyes are hand sewn. This owl from ForMyDarling on Etsy has so much personality, I think you will want to give him a name!

Mid-Century Modern Hootie Owl Needlepoint

This 14"x15" needlepoint pillow certainly takes me back! If you were alive in the 60's and early 70's, you probably remember the Sunset Needlepoint Kits that helped us learn needlepoint on a printed canvas. This bright red and coral owl is a great example of a charming home made decorating style that is newly popular and still colorful! This fun vintage pillow is being made available by Call Me Anytime Vintage and will bring a pop of color to your mid-century decor.

Hand-Knit Felted Owl with Tufted Ear

The talented folks at Woolly Something have created this wool hand-knit sculptural owl that they then felted and stuffed for standing display. It stands about 7" tall and has poly-pellets in base for easy standing. It looks so soft and fluffy, and while it may not be a toy, I'm sure that the young people in your life will have trouble keeping their fingers off the soft ears and wings! The stitching around the eyes is simple and dramatic: I love it!

Recycle Wool Owl Tote Bag

This handsome owl is ready to give your fashion statement a fun boost! Handmade from brick red recycled wool and reinforced with pellon interfacing, this fun tote bag is ready to be a playful and practical addition to your wardrobe or a favorite gift for a young owl lover. I particularly like the use of the wool plaid fabric in this piece. You can find it at the popular Grannies Raggedy Bags on Etsy!

Funny Animal of the Week -- Good Morning Owl!

It is important to end my Top Ten Tuesday post with a funny animal, and this little guy gets my vote! He looks a lot like some of the other owls I've shared with you today, and he may even stand about 7" tall like some of the handmade versions of his brothers and sisters! I know he will grow up to have the yellow, piercing eyes that make my spine tingle, but for now anyway, he couldn't look more cute and friendly.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Good to Know -- Fiber Artist Carol Ann Waugh

I'd like to introduce you to Carol Ann Waugh, a new friend and inspirational woman. It has been good for me to get to know this popular Colorado fiber artist, teacher and author and I think her excitement about what she and many others are doing in their art careers is inspirational. I first met her at a meeting of the Front Range Contemporary Quilters, which is  group that is dedicated to promoting innovative contemporary quilt making and fiber art for the Colorado art quilt community. Carol is the president of that organization and she was the first fiber artist I sought out in her studio as a new member of FRCQ. It was exciting to see Carol in her own space, and what a hip space she has! Her studio is located in the popular River North art district of Denver.

Carol is the author of popular books on art quilt techniques and folks love to learn in both her actual and virtual classrooms. For instance, as a teacher in the growing Craftsy community, Carol has made available online classes that help us learn her popular techniques, like Stupendous Stitching and Stitch & Slash. It is exciting to know that anyone around the world at any time, day or night, can log into a class taught by Carol and learn a new skill!

Technology like this is helping the time-honored arts of needlework thrive, and that is a juxtaposition not lost on Carol. The art quilt movement thrives because teachers like Carol encourage and equip us to experiment as textile creatives. Experimentation is a big-concept in the quilt world today! I don't think that the repetitive sewing of quilt patterns will ever be on Carol's radar. For one thing, that kind of quilting allows one to know what their final artistic outcome will be, before the first stitch has been taken. Instead, she is a wonderful sisterly guide in helping us all feel comfortable watching our exciting results unfold during the creative process.

Another popular class Carol teaches is truly a celebration in capturing our own creative style and that is the workshop she teaches on Self-Portraits made with fabric. As she so happily tells us, "No particular skills are required (for this workshop) other than the ability to let loose your imagination and have fun. By the end of the day, you will have broken out of your barriers and will approach future compositions with a new-found confidence and freedom to play, create, and be as original as you are -- in your artwork and in life!"

Can you see now why I like Carol and her art so much? Whether or not you live in Colorado, it is easy to learn from the good-to-know expertise Carol has to offer.

Here is some of my favorite pieces by Carol...enjoy!

Please Save the Earth, 48" x 52", Fiber

Tribal Dance, 40" x 58", Fiber
Gyrations, 40" x 40", Fiber

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Studio Scene -- Storage and Organization Fuel Creativity

Horizontal filing and drawer labels are my best time-saving tips. 
 The large drawers are filled with handmade fiber art pillow tops and I love them because they keep the fiber art smooth, flat, and organized.

The handmade fiber art pillows I make are shipped in a muslin pillow case
and tied with a lovely ribbon.
I think of it like a designer dress being stored in a zipper bag!
I label each one with a photo for easy reference: this helps my team fulfill orders!

Early morning light from the window...my studio table while I am alone and all is quiet.
That's the sweet spot in my day!

Keeping organized may seem boring, or at least, it used to bore me. I thought that a messy desk meant I was happily busy, but now I realize that it simply slows me down. I'm glad I've taken on the ritual of cleaning up my office and my studio during the last 15 minutes of each productive day. That way, when I begin again in the morning, I am energized!

What do you do to fuel creativity in your space?

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Photographic Adventures at Nestle and Soar

As a gal who never took a photography class, it is somewhat frightening to rely so heavily on great photos to operate my business! Kind of gutsy, even. Now I know that improving my photos on my own website, in my Etsy shop, and all along the Internet highways is the right thing to do, so I decided to learn from my good friend Kelly, who is quite patient with me. Today there are a few progress shots of pillows I am working on that have me kind of excited! I know that I still have a lot to learn, but each effort has a marked improvement, so that feels good. What is the one skill you know you need to improve to make your work or life more "just right"? I'd love to hear!

Soft Sunflower Pillow ©2010 Georgianne Holland
Coexist Tree ©2011 Georgianne Holland

Thanks for stopping by,