About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

buffalo collage details ~

hey all ~

after creating at least seven of these collages, i've discovered what i think is a better option than using 1/4" steam-a-seam tape, for tacking down the edges the collage, as the original pattern has indicated.  after creating your animal on a base fabric of voile, you cut it out, and place it on the background {pieced} fabric base.  you need to tack it down in order to quilt it, but also to keep it from shifting.  using the tape is awkward, time-consuming, and one can never get it in every nook, curve, and sharp angle.  secondly, it didn't always fuse well through all the thick layers of fused shapes.  

so, roxanne's glue-baste-it is my new favorite product, and i am now using to tack my finished collage animal onto the background of my quilt landscape.  i have found the edges are more secure and less likely to catch in a foot as i quilt them.  a little goes a long ways, and the precise tip makes the application easy to do.
so this is what the animal shape tracing looks like underneath.  as the pattern directions mention, extend your images beyond the line.  how you choose to cut... well that is a simple matter of what you can creatively choose as well! you don't have to follow the lines...   that's right. you can emphasis shapes a bit more, or take excess off, trim to open up a space, too.  that's your prerogative  you are the "CEO" after all ~ the "creative embellishment officer" of your studio!
the face of the buffalo... it was fun to add the bird and arrow! i also chose to emphasis the nostrils a bit, matching the flower shapes, and adding a hint of dark brown velvet...
the eyes of the buffalo are small and round, and i tried to keep light round flower shapes under the eyeballs... cuz that's kinda how they look in real life... {minus the flowers!} lol
one of the key elements in this pattern is using dark-reading burgundy reds on the left side of the head, gradually going lighter ... into shades of pink, coral, light colors to the right.
the body of the buffalo, see below, is the top part of the back and the hump.  i think it's also fun to group like-sized flowers together... and i do it {usually} in groups of 1,3,5.  odd numbers.  and i like to transition them to other areas, to emphasize curves, or shoulders, humps... bumps and butts!

it's fun to change up the center of a flower every once in a while too... like i did below:

i leaves for the ears, and in one side, i chose to add two of them!  just because.  you know.  because... it's your design. you can.

and a nod to the lovely design style of laura heine... but also to the artist bev doolittle ~ adding a bit of wolf imagery from a piece of fabric, and hiding it in the leg.  i love doing this.  no one may ever see it... but it's very cool, and that's enough for me.
a group of delicate cream flowers on a brown background adds a lot of interest to the legs, as well as a curvy swirly image too:
and i continued that same coral-on-brown motif in the back leg area, and transitioned it into the tail, too.  i think it not only adds a great color texture, but adds cool movement to the tail. it was totally worth the extra effort to cut it so delicately, and note that i left some of the dark brown as a narrow edge on the entire design.
and about that tail... here's some "buffalo ed" for ya! courtesy of our montana magazine subscription:

in case you wonder...  ben the buffalo is "at rest and not agitated."  lol
and here he is.  you can hopefully see better the total picture of grouping of flower shapes to emphasize shape, shadow, dimension and color.  

time to quilt "big ben."  he's my new favorite, and i am looking forward to his finish!

soli deo gloria!

Monday, March 2, 2015

a winter's day adventure with the lacey creek ranch clydesdales ~


last week began with a day's adventure, and a {tiny} break from collage quilts!  i went along as the "official" photographer {tongue-in~cheek}.  it was a spectacular wintery day spent on a ranch up in the highwood mountains... with two big beautiful clydesdale boys:  jerry, and ritchie, their owner and also with their handler friends.  we were treated to a little history of their coming to the ranch, the breed itself, and how they are cared for, and how they were harnessed.  now they're ready to take us for a ride as bob drives them out of the barn.  and just look at that beautiful craftsmanship of the barn! and those horses... aren't they beautiful? 
we were treated to a carriage ride; one of the finest in the world!  the wind was brutal cold, but we were covered up in wool blankets, and if it had been a nicer day, we would have been able to ride longer, but it was 11 degrees, and the wind was about 15-20 mph.  at any rate... the ride was fantastic.
and our friends from taiwan were able to get a bit of a lesson in horse grooming as they made friends with these awesome animals... this is joseph getting acquainted with ritchie:
no {small} detail was forgotten... and our favorite baby, matthew got to go for a ride, too!  and between blowing bubbles and snuggling in his blankets, he had a great time i'm pretty sure!!  he was so so good the whole time, giggling and smiling at anyone!

ritchie give us a beautiful view of intelligence, grace, and a "where's my carrot?" kind of attitude!

patricia gets to lead ritchie back to the pasture after being groomed and cooled down. just look at the powerful build of these horses...
below is dice, and he is half percheon and half quarter horse.  isn't he cute?!  nice little round body, and he had quite the character, too.  he is the ranch's saddle horse, and he gets a bit of a carrot treat, too!

it might have been cold, but it was a great time!

if we'd had a bit more snow, we would have ridden in the sleigh... maybe next time?
patricia makes friend with dice, and he is a sweet, 
friendly guy... and also looking for {more} handouts!

below is the main house, a perfect setting in this sweet valley of the highwood mountains... atop a small little rise above lacey creek.  this is the lacey creek ranch.  it is spectacular.  amazing.  breath-takingly beautiful... especially when the sun came out to shine on us...
bob, the owner, treated us to a delicious lunch of hot carrot soup, fresh, giant yeast rolls, ham, asian slaw and banana cake with browned butter frosting.  major yummy goodness all the day long.
it was a lovely sparkly day of adventure.  this wasn't the end of our day, only the beginning, and i have more to share!

i hope i get to go back... and practice {more} photography on these gorgeous horses, and amazing landscape.  thank you guys, for showing us a great time. bless you.

soli deo gloria.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

white buffalo collage beginnings ~

i know.  

someday... i'm gonna move on to other projects, techniques, and fabric goodness... but maybe in a 'couple somedays' and whatever that means, i am not sure?!    and so... the more you do... the more you wanna do... and that's how it's been with me in this super technique.

and who wouldn't want to play with a "white buffalo" ~ a new pattern just released a couple weeks ago from, yes, you guessed it ~ laura heine.  just look at those cool arrows on that fabric {from art gallery fabrics} on the left border?!  i think i fell in love more with the background fabrics at first, than the buffalo ones.  but it's all good!
buffalo... yes it's been a design i've been purveying across the web, so right away, i had to dive into this baby!  the color theme is burgundy reds, mauve pinks, corals, and sage green and of course, brown.  i also took creative license to change up the legs a bit, adding a fourth one in the back, and straightening out the front just a bit.
i have also found it's a bit difficult to find large, creamy, and also brown themed florals ... but i worked with what i had, and i think it's going to turn out!
and i'm using brown silk velvet for the horns, tail and some of the hooves, too.
i'll be showing some close-ups, and some other fun design details and more in this very montana-esque fabric portrait of our iconic {montana} white buffalo! 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"potpourri" giraffe collage finish ~

hi there ~

he's a tall one, right!  and now he's hanging out with all his friends at the quilt-a-way shop here in great falls, montana.  i so enjoy this shop, {and i'm working one day a week there, so i can hang out too!}  what a fun, super group of people, there.  

i'm playing with a new idea, from a drawing out of my sketchbook... it's a bighorn sheep. {with a heart nose!}  yes!
have a wonder-filled day!
soli deo gloria!

Monday, February 23, 2015

"potpourri" ~ details of a giraffe collage

hellloooo ~

yup. you guessed it  ~ the collage bug still has me in it's grips! this time it's the giraffe, titled "potpourri." another creative and playful pattern by laura heine.  i have not been paid by her, {or received a special price either} to feature any of these fyi...  but i have been a big fan of her style and quilt shop for a very long time; since i first walked into her shop a little over ten years ago! 

you know, i have been cutting and fusing flowers for many years, to embellish with... and what really appealed to me with this particular animal, is the landscape of the giraffe body... what a great space to use super large flower motifs in!  i was a kid in a candy store, for sure!  and i had a terrific "already waiting" stash of flowers to apply.  i believe one the key elements in this giraffe design, is to put a very, very large flower on the flank... and build around it.  i chose a big big sunflower shape.  

the pic below shows how i started out... many things get changed around, tucked under, and placed over... as you play, play, play!  note you can also see some of my tiny scraps, leftover after cutting flowers out from the main fabric, and they make great "sideliners" on legs, n such!
i always start by grouping all my flower motifs by color, and then by scale/size, and i usually just stack them like decks of cards, surrounding the image.  this image was traced from the pattern, using a large sharpie pen, and i also used a fusible interfacing.  if you don't have voile, this type of lightweight interfacing works super well, too. or use a light muslin. either one is good.
i really wanted to use this flower, but it didn't work overall into the color scheme.  but then... it would have made a great mane for the giraffe.. but the background i chose would have made it disappear, but the lace edge on this flower would have made a great mane... maybe next time?!

below is a closeup of the eye, which is two halves of two different flower motifs.  i thought it was a fun combination that really helped the eye to pop.  giraffe's are generally heavy-lidded looking, at least to me... and that is the look i was going for.  the first pic is the "before" and the second is the "after" ~ the makeover, essentially:
 notice there is a tiny bit of polka dot fabric, and layered it with a very small, but oh~so~very~pretty piece of blue silk velvet for top half of the "horns." i also used it on the lip area, {but it's a bit blurry}.  and a paisley print motif on the cheek area, to accentuate the curves...
and rather than quilt the same motif over the entire quilt surface, i chose to define the leaves {very loosely} around the head of the giraffe just a tiny bit more, adding a different thread color and a different design. there's no need to get too much detail as it won't really be all that noticeable. but i loved the thread color, and i wanted to use it up... and i love this newspaper print fabric as the background, too.  i was happy that the quilt shop here carried it!
so i couldn't use my lacey edge for the mane, and instead, i chose to emphasize the mane of the giraffe with a striped style of floral fabric, one that had the same size motif in a repetitive, parallel line.  as you can see, i cut around the top edge, to emphasize the curve of the mane:

 and a close look at the details of the long neck, below, and a few smaller motifs that are of the light value, mixed in as i worked into the upper neck area.  it pays to keep smaller flowers grouped together... don't cut them apart until you need to, but it's easier cutting to leave them attached, in groups of two or three.
the shoulder area... notice how a pop of white and light, makes everything else come alive, just a little bit more. i enjoy adding tiny detailed flowers on top of larger motifs.  
below is the detail of the belly where i began with a large poppy, tucked under the sunflower, and then added a pop of turquoise in the butterfly, which was deliberate as to bring a bit of the blue colors from the lower leg, all together into the whole piece.
 and more butterflies!  and as you can see, i quilted the grass in straight lines.  easy-peasy.  i didn't need to go into a lot of detail on the hooves, as they get covered up {for the most part} with the grasses.  but because i used dark fabrics, you can see the dark shadowy illusion of them.

 detail of the legs, and i love the dark value fabric on the inside leg, compared to the right leg... i'm finding i'm getting the hang of this better, the more i do!  and i love that pop of white and black batik daisy the best!
 i really like the bit of sparkle the kaffe fassett fabric; those tiny little flowers on the leg area.  notice the tiny grouping, cut as one unit, makes for a lovely snap~crackle~and~pop!
 hope you enjoyed these details. 
i'll post the finished piece soon... 
as soon as i can get a picture of it, it is so tall! 
so. much. fun.  
and for those who have inquired, i'm working on putting together "rocky" the mountain goat pattern, very soon!

and i'm so excited by the response we've received, 
we now have a third class set up at the quilt-a-way.
date:  saturday-sunday, april 11th and 12th, 11-4pm.
thanks for coming on by!
soli deo gloria

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