Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mail Art Received

A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of Christmas cards, bills and advertisements in our mail box, was this beautiful mail art envelope from Lenna...

And inside, there were three gorgeous postcards from the Creative Swaps Mail Art Swap...

from Rita in Wisconsin...

from Rebecca in Australia...

and from Becky in Arkansas...

Lenna worked at swapping mail art to send back that she thought we would love. I'd say she was right on with her choices for me--it felt like Christmas had arrived early and I definitely love them!!

Thanks so very much for a great swap, Lenna;) And for your incredible art, big thank you's to Lenna, Rita, Rebecca and Becky!!!


Monday, December 27, 2010

A Little More Christmas...

Karla hosted a lovely holiday craft day about a week or so before Christmas. We crafted and ate a delicious lunch and crafted some more! There was also an ornament exchange. Lucky me got to bring home this beauty that Beth made...I love it!!

I made this one with little girls in mind...


(back) was pleased when Shawn and her daughter, Bethany received mine;)

A few more ornaments I put together for the girls in our family...

And a glimpse at our tree that I didn't get up and decorated this year until December 20th! But here it is on Christmas Eve all ready for a visit from Santa, which is what really counts, right?

It was a very merry Christmas day at our house---I hope yours was too!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to You;)

Sending Happy Holiday wishes with a photo of my recently completed (as in yesterday-recent) bitty blocks mini quilt---made using adorable 3.5" blocks I received in the Traditional Christmas Bitty Block swap!

May hope, peace, joy and love surround you this season and always.

Marilyn xo

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Liam loves books...

Liam really loves Dr. Seuss books...

Liam turned ONE last weekend...and the theme for his party? Dr. Seuss, of course;)

Oooohhhh, I said to his mother, I've seen some new Dr. Seuss fabrics recently that are colorful and fun--surely we can think of something to do with them!!

We decided on a cover for the gift table, and that worked out beautifully, but after the party, it could transform into a quilt for the Seuss lovin' boy.

Liam and his book nook...



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December!

I think it's amazing that I have some holiday sewing to show you and it's only the first of the month!

For a "Traditional Christmas" bitty block (3.5") swap in the Bitty Block Committee on flickr, I made 12 of these little Rudolph blocks. They were mailed out last month and I've also received back several from the other swappers. When the last few get here, I'll be ready to make them into a Christmas mini quilt for decking the halls!

For the KC Modern Quilt Guild Holiday Swap at November's meeting, I created a holiday placemat:

I was inspired by the Modern Quilted Place Mats by Alissa Haight Carlton in the 2010-2011 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts. This is the back of the placemat:

I was really happy when it went home with Angela! She is the sweetest person and is a genius with her quilting designs!

The swap gift I received is from Jaime...

And just how perfect could it be?! Holiday fabric and a pattern for four different sizes of the most darling duffle possibilities? Thank you, Jaime!!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Intentions/Excuses and Creative Swaps Mail Art

Alas, my poor neglected little blog! My intentions are good, but my weekdays are full and my evening energy is pretty much non-existent.....AND I wouldn't change a thing! Remember my sweet grandbaby born almost a year ago? And my new childcare "job"? Well, after having the summer off, we're back at it and I love our time together;)

This is Liam on Thanksgiving (sorry for the sunny glare):

His mommy's little rocking chair came down from the attic and he was trying it out--nice fit, I'd say. I sent it home with them for a second generation of memory making...*sighs* and *smiles*.


So now, after making the proper excuses;) how about some pics of creative stuff?

I think I'll pick up again with another Creative Swaps project...this time, Mail Art.

I started with white 5x7 envelopes and traced mandalas onto the fronts and part of the flaps. I colored them with my favorite prismacolor pencils and filled in the rest of the white space with coordinating chalks. After protecting them with a spray sealer, rubber stamped words and images were added. The postage photo is one I took in Taos, NM and used to create stamps at Zazzle during one of their postage sales.

(backs of the envelopes)

Although it was optional, I decided to include a postcard (which just happened to be the perfect size) in each of the envelopes--more rubber stamping, my contact info and faux postage--very simple. I also included the web address for the mandalas I traced.

All of the envelopes were mailed individually to Lenna so they would go through the postal system. After the Dec. 4th deadline, Lenna will swap out the envelopes and return them to us in a mail art envelope that she creates.

I've been enamored with mail art for a such a long and I was so excited when I read about this mail art swap! I can't wait to see the pieces I receive back and I'll share them with you when they arrive! For now, there are many to see on the Creative Swaps blog and they're wonderful!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Technique Tag Book

About a week ago I received my tag book from the Creative Swaps Technique Tags Swap...
All of the tags are beautiful and include directions for the techniques used!

From Laura Hummel in Maryland:

Yvette Snowden, also in Maryland:

Lisa Mallette, studiorose, in Florida:

Lenna Andrews, creativelenna, in Florida:

Marianne Baugher, ruffhavenpaper, Maryland:

Sue Stout, who also lives in Missouri (like me):

Kitty Mitchell in New York:

Rena Matus in Connecticut:

Joy Meadows, fifisdaughter, Ohio:

And my tag, which Lenna used for the cover of my book...

...and I imagine she did the same with the other tag books--making each person's tag the cover of their own book--what a fun idea!

Thanks, Lenna, for a wonderful swap and for your time and care to make it so!

Lenna is hosting a new swap for mail-art if you'd like to give it a try. The details are here. I'm looking forward to it. Mail Art has intrigued me for some time and this will be the perfect opportunity to jump in. There are already over 40 artists signed up and it will be great to see what others create.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Creative Swaps - Technique Tag Book

I met a lot of wonderful artists in the "Your Vintage Gluebook Online Class"...including the lovely Creative Lenna!

One of Lenna's blogs, Creative Swaps, is where she hosts amazing art exchanges--what a find! And lucky for me, sign-ups for the Technique Tag Books Swap had started when I got there.....decorate 10 tags using a particular technique(s)--all the same or each one different--and include directions for the technique(s) on the back of the tags. Then receive back 10 beautiful Technique Tags from other artists--I love this idea!!

I was inspired by a post on iHanna's Blog---"Paint with a Plastic Card".

Using the plastic card, I started with a layer of gesso on both sides of the tag:

Then I added Golden Fluid Acrylic (Raw Sienna) to the front, also with the plastic card. I sprayed a light mist of water onto the paint, let it stand for a moment, then scraped it again.

I added a second layer of paint, repeating the process, this time with Golden Fluid Acrylic (Green Gold).

When the tags were dry, I placed a Tim Holtz Mask (Flourish) on the tag and rubbed Distress Ink (Vintage Photo) around the edges of the mask using a blending tool.

To finish, I added a rubber stamped image with StazOn ink (Timber Brown).

The same paint technique was used on the back of the tag, but green gold for the first layer...

...and Lumiere Pearl Turquoise for the second layer. This time, after spraying the water, I blotted it with a dry terrycloth rag instead of the plastic card. All that was left to do to the backs was add the written technique instructions.

Decorating the envelopes (the actual pages of the tag book) was optional but I was on a roll and had a good mess going already so I started with a layer of gesso to both sides, gold gesso--from Mary who kindly shared some at one of our craft days.

I dry-brushed a metallic blue to the edges of the envelope...

and a metallic red in one corner.

I used white gesso to stamp a swirly design and text around the edges...

and StazOn Jet Black for two more rubber stamp images.

And ta-da, a really fun project!

My Technique Tags are on their way to Lenna and I can now look forward to seeing the completed tag books--I know they're going to be wonderful!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Another Doll Quilt Swap 9 Post-----

This time to show you what I sent to Anita. The front...

It was really fun "stalking" Anita for ideas as I was planning the doll quilt I wanted to make for her. We have a lot of the same likes, which includes the color red and that is where I started.

This is the back...

I loved that little girl fabric but had a hard time making a lot of it work on the front--how nice that quilt backs have moved away from plain muslin only!

I shared with Anita that I was initially a little nervous when I learned that I'd be making her DQS9 quilt. She is a very talented and accomplished quilter, you see. But I decided to trust the process and follow my intuition and that seemed to work. Anita was very pleased with it;)

Another mini quilt completed with 3.5 inch blocks. The Bitty Block Committee swap theme this time was "Red, Yellow and Blue".

Some darling little blocks, don't you think?
This one is mine...

These bitty block swaps have become so addictive, and FUN!