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, September 30, 2014

poppy art quilt ~

good morning all ~

lately, i've been working fervently on class samples, this time for  timeless quilts from missoula, montana, as i've been asked to teach an art quilt class this early november, where we will be focusing on bobbin play, and i'm very excited to about it! how fun!
 any art quilt... well, my favorite kind of art quilt, begins with apiece of hand dyed fabric {this beauty is called the navajo gradient} from vicki welsh!!!  yay!  and a lovely, so very elegant stencil by rebeccabaer.com.  beautiful-beautiful!
 and i'm customizing it!  just look at these possiblities, with a stencil and paintstiks... grape and watermelon.  yummy.  this is not a quick process... a bit messy, and lots of scrubbing action with a stencil brush... but the results?  priceless!!  lol
 and a pretty spectacular background calls for a spectacular motif.  a large-scale print of a poppy.  {forgot to get a picture of the whole fabric}... slightly cut up, rearranged, and embellished, of course.  here's a shot of my auditioning:

 and now for the finishing touches... free motion quilting, of course. my favorite thing to do.
if you're living in montana {or want to travel there lol!}, this class is happening on saturday, november 8th, at timeless quilts and friends on reserve street, 10-4pm. {406-542-6566} we're going to explore lots of embellishment, bobbin play, and couching to create your own one-of-a-kind styled art quilt.

it's gonna be a good time!!

soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie

Monday, September 29, 2014

God's Glory ~ a late summer tour of big sky country ~

hi there ~ happy monday greetings to you all!

today is just a bit of looking back on a great summer, but more... and i just wanted to share some of my {latest} favorite summer shots of big sky country and our most recent road trips ... 

a slowing down.  a deep breathing in.  a long pause.  and glorious respite from a fast world. 

and most of all, to give thanks for all ~ and worship the Creator who gave it to us for a reason...

looking into the rocky mountain front labor day weekend
Psalm 19:
God's glory is on tour in the skies, 
God-craft on exhibit across stye horizon, 
Madame Day holds classes every morning, 
Professor Night lectures each evening...
The words aren't heard, 
their voices aren't recorded, 
but their silences fills the earth; 
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere!
that's how God's Word vaults across the skies 
from sunrise to sunset, 
melting ice, scorching deserts, 
warming hearts to faith.

the revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together. 
the signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
  The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.  
God's reputation is twenty-four carat gold, 
with a lifetime guarantee.  
The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.
country roads...
God's word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
  You'll like it better than strawberries in spring,
 better than red, ripe strawberries.
and the iconic and epic mountains of glacier park.  this at many glacier.  very beautiful!

swiftcurrent lake which sits right in front of the many glacier lodge

There's more:  God's Word warns us of danger 
and directs us to hidden treasure.  
Otherwise how will we find out way? 
Or know when we play the fool?  
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
  Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work, Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray, accept them when i place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God Priest-of-my-altar.
lake mcdonald views that i never tire of basking in...
Keep me from stupid sins, 
from thinking I can take over your work, 
Then I can start this day sun-washed, 
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin. 
These are the words in my mouth; 
these are what I chew on and pray, 
accept them when i place them on the morning altar, 
O God, my Altar-Rock, 
God Priest-of-my-altar.

happy autumn!
soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie

Friday, September 26, 2014

{more} with paintstiks and free motion embroidery

good morning greetings ~

still... having some great fun with my paintstiks, and a few stencil patterns, specifically the leaf ones.  {still} love how the pattern of the towel comes through the printed leaf.  the blendability of stencils and color is endless!  

and i never tire of it!

and what i think gives it so much more depth, sparkle and visual interest... thread.  plain and simple, just a tiny bit of free motion action lends itself to making this kind of simple project stand out and say... "come!  take a closer look."
i used mostly solids... polyester, but a variegated would be wondrous, as well!
yes, stabilizer is a must!  above you see the "clear-type" of a wash-away stabilizer, this is called "badge master" and it stabilizes beautifully, and more so, it washes out the same way. 
this time, the rubbing plates {from cedar canyon textiles} come in handy to create a border full of blended colors, all across the bottom of the dish towel.  but how fun on a t-shirt, a sweatshirt... a jacket!  denim is wonderful as a base fabric for paintstiks, too.
i'll be teaching these techniques and much more mid-October and beyond.  

i'm enjoying the possibilities, and exploring the options is just pure fun.  hope you are too.  have a blessed day!

xo
leslie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

stencils, rubbing plates, paintstiks n' t-shirts ~ fun combos

hi there sweet friends ~

here are some fun fall-styled ideas for painting on black t-shirts... but this time i'm using paintstiks, instead of fabric paint, or the silks acrylic glaze paints, either.  

{and i had a really good time!} and it will be a real fun time as i've been working hard on making samples for upcoming classes at the bernina silver thimble!  

first, i used a stencil from stencil girl products, a stencil brush, and a paintstik, which i just lightly rubbed onto a paper plate, or took the paint directly from the stik to the brush, and then pounced the paint through the stencil onto the t-shirt.  {it's really helpful to have a t-shirt form board, and a 'grip-n-grip' mat ~ a type of sticky kinda sorta, grippy mat that works great! and i kept it on top of the cardboard t-shirt form, but under the t-shirt fabric to keep it steady. {it's not so much fun when it moves on ya!} 

i played not only with stencils, but also with the paintstik rubbing plates, too.  

and of course, i had to add some threadplay once the paint was dry.  what a fun way to customize a t-shirt, and i am pleased with how they turned out.  

i hope you'll "stick around" for a minute or two to see the results!


you must stabilize the backs of the garments, but that is a simple matter of temporary adhesive spray {505 brand is what i use}, and using fusible fleece as a stabilizer on the back of the t-shirt.  spray it on... and go to town with needle and thread!
sweet owl rubbing plate from cedar canyon textiles
sometimes i added words.  and {sometimes they turned out better than others}!
i used magnifico thread {100% polyester} from superior threads, keeping it to two or three colors only.  and a 90/14 titanium topstitch needle.  a ball point needle would have been appropriate to use as well, but i didn't have one on hand at this juncture.
keep it loose...keep it happy... and with the cedar canyon snowflake stencil... i decided to style it as more of a "star" motif, if you're imagination takes you there {and mine did!}

are you ready to get your shine on and play with making your own style of t-shirt?  it will be alot of fun, and i'll be sharing lots of tips.  if you're interested, just call to the store {406-452-7222} to add your name to the call list.

thanks for comin' on by.  blessings on your beautiful wednesday, and glorious autumn day!

xo
leslie

Monday, September 22, 2014

a rosey black t-shirt with free motion embroidery ~

hi there, happy monday!

well, as i noted in my last post, as i was lamenting the troubles with the bleeding paints... note there is an upside! and that is simply that silks acrylic glazes work beautifully on the black t-shirt.  why?  i don't know!  i wish i did.  but ~ i washed it and it didn't run, bleed, nor did it fade what. so. ever!  hmm.  the picture below tells the story, after washing and drying: 
you see that elaborate painting style?  {uhhh not!} ... really simple... just some basic "c" shapes, and small ovals, circle-shapes... i blended the paint colors just a little bit... pretty simple.  add a few triangles for leaves, and you're good to go!

and i finished fine-tuning those simple shapes on my t-shirt with a bit of free motion thread action:
{and i like how the black fabric "shading" shows under the paint color}

and the stars of the show are; king tut, magnifico, masterpiece and fantastico threads, all from superior threads

i kept my threadplay pretty simple, too.  the painting laid down just a color base design, and all i really needed to do was add a bit of enhancement, or highlighting with the threadplay, or, what could be said to be free motion embroidery.

i first began with the king tut, in the center of each flower motif, utilizing the peachy color for a little bit of contrast.  then i went to the magnifico purple and periwinkle for the petals, and the fantastico  variegated green for the leaves. masterpiece {100% 50 wt cotton - beautiful}, was in my bobbin the whole time.  and a 90/14 titanium topstitch needle {from superior as well}.  and a ball point needle... yeah, well, i didn't have one.  but the titanium topstitch {from superior} worked like a dream, actually.  

i lowered my top tension if i needed to, depending on whether there was puckering, or if the threads were pulling too much one way or another.
so the acrylic paint, the silks glazes are shown with their color descriptions as well as the thread colors. {but i forgot the peach-colored one in the middle of the flower  - sorry about that}.  but... i couldn't quite let it be.  sometimes that is what sleeping does to me!!  lol.  things... ideas... inspiration sometimes won't leave me alone.  it happens often to me.  how about you?  so... let me hear what you think about the final detail i added, below:
 and it all begins with your bobbin. and a really beautiful, thick thread.  enter into stage right:  razzle dazzle thread. in beautiful, bright silver.  a black would have been good... but i didn't have that color... or purple, which i did have...  but one has to make a choice, so there you have it:   


i love the result.  and this will be a beautiful t-shirt i would be happy to wear and enJoy.  would you?

thanks for stopping in!  blessings on a fine day, {or week} ahead!
xo
leslie

Friday, September 19, 2014

trouble shooting silks acrylic glaze paint ~

hello there ~

i've been on a fact-finding tour of sorts, using the silks acrylic glaze paints on fabric.

they are shimmering, and beautiful, and very blendable, which is one of the facts i love about this product the most.

that being said, i have found them to be a challenge in keeping the bright, transparent color once an item has been washed.  so... i've been experimenting with other factors, in the hopes of enhancing their "color stability" through washing. 

as the package label on the back says, they are fully cured after 48 hours.  but just waiting 48 hours doesn't quite work ... at least, not on fabric.

 so... enter a fabric painting product, GAC-900.  it's a fabric painting medium, an additive for acrylic paint, to make it more "fabric-friendly." as the label says, "provides a soft hand, and greater launder ability."  

the directions say to mix is on a 1:1 ratio.  now let me say also, that this product is geared specifically to golden acrylic paint brand... which is a very high pigment paint {and very beautiful color}.  however, i used it with the silks acrylics and it works just fine, but it does appear to take the color down on this paint, at least more more than i liked... so you either adapt, or add two coats when you are painting with silks.
and in case you're not sure the type of paint i'm referring to, it's the jars, seen below.  they are really.... really... beautiful!  and i am determined to figure out ... {hopefully} how to keep them that bright, bold color without fading, after washing.
note: these paints are easy clean-up... soap n' water.

and this is the color i get when i put them on, straight out of the jar when using they GAC-900 and after washing, meaning the towel was pre-washed, and heat-set, and then washing afterwards: 

gorgeous color, and the pattern of the towel showing through is appealing to me, personally. this is why i love them as a paint medium. 

but i do not love this result on the t-shirt.  and it didn't seem to mater whether it was 50/50 cotton/poly, or 100% cotton fabric on the t-shirt.  
 BUT... it didn't do this at all... on the black t-shirt i tested {prior to quilting}... {same fabric blend which is 50/50}

and even after heat setting with an iron, and in the dryer, too, this is the result of my experiment on the dishtowel.  not bad, but not as vibrant, either.  so even with GAC-900... it did fade after washing, as seen in the application onto the cotton dish towel below, although i did find i could add another layer of paint, even on top of the threadplay, as it won't adhere to the polyester thread.  and i had a great time with the threadplay on this lovely heart {stencil by margaret applin from stencil girl products}, fyi:
and so this is the way the paint reacted with GAC-900 onto the canvas apron, seen below.  not bad.  it did run a tiny bit, tho.

so, to be frank with you, i just don't have a great answer, or solution to this issue.  it has been a bit frustrating to me.  but in a nutshell, i will still continue to use them, and i will follow these steps, and continue my research!

1. pre-wash items to be painted.
2. add GAC-900 to paint
3. wait till paint dries, and put into a dryer on very hot setting.
4. wait 48 hours, and heat set with iron.
5. do a patch test with a spritz of water.
6. if it runs... don't ever wash it again!  and if doesn't, rejoice!
what can i say?  i think it's a love-hate relationship!

anyone out there with other suggestions?  i'd love to hear em!

blessings,
xo
leslie


Monday, September 15, 2014

st. peter's mission ~ cascade montana

monday... full of grace!

hope you're weekend was full of amazing grace!  ours was, as we had another awesome road trip to glacier national park.  {more on that later!}

and we had a show-off day last weekend, in the early autumn beautiful, perfect day out in the country.  i invite you to sit a spell... and take in a few moments of the simplicity and grandeur of local scenery and history... i know i did!
the might missouri, or as some call it "the mighty mo" just outside of a little teeny weeny town called ulm.

the iconic vista of "square butte" just outside of cascade, montana,
yes... this is what i wait for... a beautiful horse ~ this was one is what i refer to as a "palomino paint" {not sure of the official color description} but i love it... against a stunning backdrop of montana sky and mountains.  
and the road less travelled led us to a beautiful, historic place that's been on my ''montana hit list' for awhile.  i'd never been there!  so glad we did... 
it's difficult {for me} to imagine what struggles daily life brought to these early missionaries.  
would have loved to been able to get into the church building in the distance... perhaps another day.

and the architectural remains of a beautiful stone building.  i cannot imagine how each stone was placed, and slowly built into an amazing structure...

you may think it's a bit morbid... but i find the old graveyards fascinating ... and peaceful in many respects.  the stories that are untold {at least to me}, and the history ... the hardness of the life lived in this wilderness, carved out in the time-worn stones... {or not}.
many of the graves are unmarked now... but some attempt has been made recently to show where they were, in the white wooden crosses on this hill.



symbols of faith.  love.  and eternal life.

... therefore we do not lose heart. though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. {2 Cor 4:16 NIV}
and... "as amazing as God's work of creation is, it pales in comparison to His work of redemption."  {jean fleming, pursue the intention life, ch. 9, pg 61 ~ love this book i'm reading!}

an interesting marker... a new "x marks the spot" if you will, where the ravages of time have dissipated the previous marker.  

i've often wondered about why today, we need to have a place, a marker... a stone, to mark our spot on history.  oh, i know there are myriad good thoughts, historical, {business related too ~ ugh} and misplaced, guilt-ridden, or just because "that's what we do" kind of reasons, or even just a lovely sentimentality. i'm just sayin i consider these things.  i also can't help but think of the thousands who were buried in the prairies of this country, without markers, in order to prevent thievery, or abominations to the graves, as the settlers rolled their wagons over the grave to "bury" the existence of such a thing... does that life mean less.  nope.  absolutely not.

but the reality is that this life here and now is what begins our eternal life.  that is what really is the heart of the issue.  i'm not sure i'm a fan of graveyards, per say.  i'm not sure i even want a stone when i pass.   because the truth is... this world will all pass away...  and what really matters is the relationships we have now. the life we live now.  that's what i want my legacy to be, in the life we live each day.  "stuff" ~ homes, cars, financial gain, and... even the most sweet and beautiful old graveyards, will not withstand the day Christ comes again.  

although i do love what these old ones show us... and i sense peace from many of them when i visit, as i wander tenderly through the prairies and mountain grasses of hard, weathered earth.  

i know this life wasn't the end for many... but only a new beginning, regardless of a marker, stone, or grand fence surrounding the worldly evidence of a life upon this earth.
and... "release the obsession with building a life and believe in the life Christ in building in you."
and as i gaze into the amazing vistas of this most beautiful earth God created for us... and the hard, hard rocks... i am glad He also gave us a Savior to turn our hearts of stone, into hearts for Him alone...


you cannot help but notice that there is "nothing" out there... that is, no human evidence easily perceived.  this was hard country ... back then.  it still is.  even today here are not many new homes or ranches even, clear out here.  some tried, in the hardy, determined stance of many abandoned homesteads we saw... some who survived.  not that many.  but then others who did, not only survived, but thrived, and passed on that thriving, life-giving, living, loving legacy of faith, grace, and mercy.  
and the blessing for today:  "may you be diligent in taking time to pause and reflect on the many ways God has blessed you. may you cultivate a heart that knows how to rest in God alone.  may you take every chance you get to spend time with God, to accept His love, to trust His direction in your life. as you look to Him, may you be reminded there's a God in heaven very much involved in your minute-by-minute life.  He intends to get us safely home. but don't wait til then to find your rest in Him. embrace a joyful, faith-filled life and perspective today!" {inspired by susie larson}.  amen.

xo
leslie
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