Birds, Bees & Blossoms

Birds, Bees & Blossoms completed hanging arrangement
Completed hanging arrangement

ArtPrize 8 is right around the corner and I am very pleased to say I, with Russell’s help, have just installed my entry at the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown.

Beeline stitching and tweet detail
Beeline stitching and tweet detail

Birds, Bees & Blossoms features whimsical birds conversing, while bees buzz amidst white and pink blossoms on light green backgrounds. It is a grouping of 9 mixed media pieces, all visually connected by the leaves and branches. Acrylic paint, decorative papers, fabric, plastic, colored pencil, ink, and embroidery floss are used throughout the individual pieces.

Blossom and bee detail
Blossom and bee detail

This grouping began as my own wishing and waiting for warmer and brighter days, filled with sounds and sights of springtime.

ArtPrize8 begins on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and ends Sunday, Oct. 8, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Come and fill your senses with a wide range visual delight!  It’s a great place to see art, and meet artists from all around the world!

Expanding Art on the Net

Last fall, my friend Toni and I helped each other to make Etsy shops.  My Etsy shop can be found at

My Etsy Shop!

I’m very excited to have this shop as it is one more way to have my work available to the public.  Bluebirds of Happiness are the latest creations I’ve been working on at the Farmers Market and what doesn’t sell at the market will be available at my Etsy shop.

- created at the Iron Mountain Farmers & Artisians Market at Art on the Spot
– created at the Iron Mountain Farmers & Artisians Market at Art on the Spot


Buzzing along …

This shows the beginning stages of my next three paintings, themed with bees and blossoms.
This shows the beginning stages of my next three paintings, themed with bees and blossoms.

One of my goals as Springtime approaches, is to incorporate bees into three collage/paintings measuring 11″x14″.  Above, you will see the beginning stages of my work using my blossom sketch, bees I’ve drawn and cut out pieces of paper.  I find as I walk outside and see beautiful pink blossoms on the trees and pink and yellow tulips popping, I want to incorporate those into my artwork.

detail of painted background applied leaves and beginning of painted blossoms
detail of painted background applied leaves and beginning of painted blossoms

Shown above are the blossoms I painted this morning as well as the background color and the collaged leaves.  While working, the thought crosses my mind, “do I want to apply any ink to these paintings, or just stay with embroidery for detail?”  Time will tell!

Have a great rest of your week!

Paint Cut Glaze Paint Draw

more collage Prior to the NoBo First Friday show (in the usual creative frenzy of thinking I will get even more accomplished before the show), I began nine more bluebirds for 5×7 paintings.  I finished my first one last night!  A section of it is shown in the upper  right corner of the photo.

I began with a small canvas and applied color to the outer edges.  While at one of my favorite stores, Two Hands Paperie, I found a beautiful pack of papers.  After choosing one of these lovely paper as a background for the bird, I cut it to the desired size and applied it to the canvas.  Using one of the previously painted nine birds, I trimmed it out (similar to the one with the white background) and applied the bird to the background.  At this point the background competed for attention with the bird and I brushed on a glaze to tone it down.

Next, I painted more leaves and branches.  After allowing drying time, I picked up a pen and added lines for shading and outlining.  The ink added more depth and dimension to the piece.  All that is now left to do is sign it!

If you are so interested by this little bluebird and would like to inquire regarding purchasing, contact me through the “contact” tab above.

Have a beautiful day!


Mail Art entry 12!

Cut, sew, draw and repeat …

Mail Art entry 12a

Stage 1 of front:  I sewed the little orange ribbon on, the little butterfly cut-out, and then drew the rest with the addresses and stamp.  Still seemed ho-hum …

Mail Art entry 12b

For the flip side I cut out tulips from a rectangle piece of paper and then tore around it.  I sewed the tulip silhouettes, ribbons, and the cardboard cut-out onto the back. After stitching it onto the backside of another sheet cardboard, I scribbled into some of the border with the blue ink pen and added a request to Spring … still not pleased.

Mail Art entry 12c

Thinking a few raindrops might help, I added those, but still not enough …

Mail Art entry 12e

… I decided to darker the one set of scribbles in the border and add a second set.  The looseness of the line gives a “stitched” look to it.  Back to the front …

Mail Art entry 12f

… more color was added with marker and some Prismacolor to help give it a little more  brightness.

Off it went … with added postage.


Still Playing with the Cat!

I grew up on a farm and we had lots of cats all around us!  Those images from younger days still permeate my brain.

While reorganizing my art studio, I came across a box of brass plated fasteners and thought back to elementary school with all the wonderful projects we made!  The thought occurred to me, “Why not combine the machine stitching of collage items with moving parts!?”  And so the gold cat began to form.

I like to think of this project as a result of spring boarding from the stitched bookmark;  I use similar technique, but add moving parts.

I began with a pattern I designed using a manila folder for the base.  Next, I cut out pages from old paperback novels and sewed those to the pieces but first inserting the brass fasteners into three places on the main body: 1 in the belly button area to hold upside-down u-shaped legs and two in the upper bust area to hold each arm.  After sewing the pages on, I applied a diluted mix of white acrylic paint and mat medium, with touches of metallic gold in furry areas.  Pulling out gold ribbon with wire, I fashioned a skirt and top which I sewed onto the main body.  Using a black art marker, I drew in other furry details, face and paws.  Finally, I attached the arms, legs and tail to come up with this result!

From Hand to Machine

Today called for a change of pace!  After doing some intensive bead work, I pulled out my very old heavy duty Singer sewing machine, my box of paper collage and various materials, and got to quick work!

The Heaven Scent bookmark brought a needed focus to the day.  Sometimes it’s just good to work on something that’s simple in a “plan-as-you-go” kind of way.  I started with my first rectangle cut from a heavy page from a magazine and chose several other colors of paper to go with it.  Sewing in a free form kind of fashion with the sewing machine can be great fun!  You can create your own design or let the printed material help to guide your way.  At times I may sew two separate sides and then stitch them together.  Other times it may begin as a larger sheet that is folded in half and then stitched.  Use the discarded thread ends, bits of ribbon and a loose approach, and it is a delight to see the result!

I find it is very helpful to pull myself away from a large project to just get the creativity flowing in a new way, making those new brain connections.  It’s like being on an island and finding your way around;  an island is only so big, you can’t get too lost!