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?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Love Story ~

Hi there sweet readers ~

Today, I invite you to read a love story.  It's a personal one. A journey of a million heart miles... to unending joy.


While healing, faith, and hope are all woven in and through this story, it's not unusual.  Because this story was written by an awesome God.   {and still is!} 

Come ~ I hope you'll take a few minutes to read it.


I am so honored to have been asked.  It was a sweet {and challenging}  journey down memory lane to write out this story.  Even sweeter to know His love story is written in our hearts; Brian's and mine, together. To think, remember, and be so very, very, grateful.  And {more} Amazed at the One who holds us in the palm of His Hand.  I pray you will be blessed by it.

Drawing in Paper 53 App {1-11-13 by LAM}

My blogging friend, and wonderful artist, Jennifer, from Studio JRU has it published on her blog today.  
Thank you Jennifer, for your love, encouragement and boundless patience.
Psalm 37:3-7
"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and patiently for him..."  

Soli Deo Gloria
xo
Leslie 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pretty Prints ~ Sprays & Dyes with Stencils ~ Giveaway!

Hello there ~

Happy weekend is over... but I am thankful for a little messing and painting in the studio.   Here's a sneak peek of a detail on a new 8"x8" canvas piece I'll show later:

More Gelli plate printing was also on my mind with some old papers I've had for a long time.  Stencils, squiggles, stamps, thermofax prints and stuff like that make for some happy creating for me.
 I'm going to add a few of the custom printed papers to my shop, but I also have plans for postcards, and mixed media canvas with these beauties!

The fabric below is a commerical, garment cotton, with gathered satin ribbon, lace, and embroidery. I thought it might be interesting to see how it printed with the s.e.i. dyes.  Here's a close-up of the printing using the stencil "Three Totems."

I spied these new sprays, "Color Shine" at Michaels over the past long weekend, and with a special extra 25% bonus coupon they were mine. They have a pearly/metallic paint additive in them, with a metal ball so you can hear it and shake it all up to mix prior to spraying. Pretty color, a bit of glitz, and shine; easy to use; easy to blend, too.  I used them on paper, below:
And then on fabric: this time a polka dot print was the canvas.  Cute!  Stencil pattern: "African Orange Stars with Border."
I combined both s.e.i. dyes and then a top layer of the Color Shine sprays.  Hope you'll be able to see the gold metallic flecks of paint and shine on the print in this closeup:
They are really, really pretty!

{love the polka dots!}
Layering was my idea on the next piece with Margaret's stencils.  At the top of the fabric is "Dotted Quatrefoil", followed by the African Stars, Branches, and Sunshine in overlayers, and underlayers! {are those even words} Guess they will be nowMy idea is to quilt this in another collaged fabric/journal style quilt.
Oh yes, I want to show you another photo of the white commerical garment fabric, showing the entire fabric piece sprayed.  Love the texture it with the lace and ribbon insets.
So don't you think it's {finally} time for some information about the Give Away?  Well, Miss Margaret has 'left it up to me' so to speak, so this is the scoop: 

Leave a comment on THIS POST about what your favorite PAIR of stencils are... don't know which two?   
Well, you have to get to choose!  
If you need to refresh your memory 
{a term I hear often in the courtroom}

I'm going to pick THREE winners, 
one week from today ~ Sunday, March 3rd.
 So..."Have you got your stencil on, yet?" 
Blessings ~ have a great week!
xo 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Come On Over to My House ~

Hey there readers and friends ~

One thing about printing and experimenting with fabrics, stencils, thermofax screens, dyes, paints and mixed media, is that I've collected some pretty cool samples, all ready to come out and play at my house! I've wanted to make a house for a long time, but just didn't know how I wanted to do it... until now!

So come on over... and visit the construction zone!
 This is a piece of organza I printed, using a thermofax screen {Margaret's of course}, gel medium, newspaper and organza.  What I did was layer the newspaper on the bottom, organza on top of that, and then the thermofax screen on top of those two, and scrape gel medium over the top.  Let it dry.  Wash out the excess newspaper print that was left.  And there you have it, a mixed media piece that is visually very interesting, and super fun to make! I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but it is pretty dang cool.  

 I've decided to apply that organza as a layer over these wonderful printed, stenciled fabrics I've been creating using the Joggles stencils.
 And in that stash, I found a fun print {above} ~ perfect for a nice roof, from a previous printing frenzy months ago!

 The background fabric is again, a ghost print, and it was quite a bit more muted than the last one in yesterday's post. I added a glitzy-edged ribbon in orange, and black stitching for a few house details.  I think it may need some lace curtains... hmmm.
And I'm trying to decide which sun to choose for my little house scene. First choice:  a smaller sized peach-colored tone I printed on the gelli plate.
OR... a larger print of the same design, but sprayed with the s.e.i dyes, in yellow and blue.  

The cool,multi-colored dotted piece of fabric was also made using a thermofax screenprint purchased from Margaret's etsy store; another piece waiting for a home! 

I added some extra blue paint for clouds, right onto the background with my fingers.
Now I just have to choose which sun ... 
and think about other elements to add.. or not add.  
{if only building a real house was this fun and easy}  
More fabric choices, perhaps.  
More stitching & quilting, of course!
   Can't wait!
So which one do you like the best?  
And a big thank you for joining in the fun this past week! 
Giveaway details this weekend...and I always look forward to seeing all the creative hearts sharing 
 with Studio JRU In the Studio Fridays~
~Blessings to you all~  
xo
Leslie

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love Story Collage ~

Hello sweet friends ~


I'm excited to show you {more} of what I did with that beautiful 'ghost print' on "The Dream Team Post" from yesterday

But first, I'd like to answer some questions in the comments I received on the paints I've used.  By the way, I do respond individually, and usually also post a reply in the comments section.  I use anything as far as acrylic paints go.  Typically what I can find on sale.  I've used the inexpensive craft types, to mid-range, and the more expensive, which is the Golden brand, in my limited experience.  I have found that Golden is a great quality paint, with beautiful colors, but high pigment, which gives a wonderful range of playability in mixing, etc.   When I buy it, I usually buy at Michaels {40% off}, but they don't have a great selection. They do have a great selection, with about the same savings online from DickBlick.com {although I then have to pay shipping} I've used Liquitex paints too, and the Michaels brand; all of which are good.  If you should want to put acrylic paint on wearables, like t-shirts or other clothing, it's recommended that you mix fabric medium into your acrylic paint. {I haven't done this}  Although I do want to also say that I plan to incorporate some of Margaret's thermofax screens, using this medium, and playing with some old t-shirts... just for fun!  The medium I will use is Golden's GAC 900.  I originally purchased it for screen printing, as it leaves the paint "open" longer, & it won't dry so quickly while you're working with it.
Helpful info on the label!
I hope that answers your questions. I'm not much of an expert!  If not, please let me know and I'll do my best to respond with what I know.

So on with the design story, which begins with Sunshine!

After heat-setting this print, I decided to add texture with a stamp and the Stazon ink pad; a permanent ink.  Optional: Use a glue stick to lightly apply a dab of glue to the backs of the flower to keep them in place when stitching them down.

I'm also incorporating a second design.  These are {so pretty} fused flowers from the "Layered Flowers Duo" stencil.  I added a little round, piece of batting, centered in the middle of the flower, before fusing the second purple fabric to the back.  A bit of "puff" just for dimension and of course, fun!
I decided not to go with the traditional batting I typically choose. This time I'm using an OeSD stabilizer called "Fuse and Fleece," a cut-away stabilizer I purchase at my local Bernina shop {Bernina Silver Thimble} where I teach.
A second layer of stabilizer is also added.  This product is a heavyweight tear-away type, placed on the back of the fused fleece. Also from OeSD, it's a superb stabilizer, especially for heavier decorative stitching, which will be incorporated into this collaged piece.

Oh such fabulous texture!  I dig this ghost print. You can even see a bit of the stamping and free motion stitching on the fused flower, below:
On the far right {below}, is a third stenciled design; a strip printed from the "Flourish" stencil. Love that periwinkle blue 'pop' of color...
I really, really, love the text that shows off on those {surprisingly} beautiful blobs of turquoise!!
I love that subtle bit of 'poof' in the center of the flowers.  There's more substance, and dimension, keeping them from being totally flat.
And why not add a bird ~ {or three}.
And the title of the piece comes from a stamp "it's all about love."  I stamped it onto a leftover piece of a very thin cotton voile fabric that had lace insets.  You will see that it bled a little bit when stamped, but that's ok. 
And because this piece is backed with the heavyweight  stabilizer, the decorative stitches finish out beautifully.  This is King Tut thread.  It's thicker texture, and subtle, yet vibrant color is a great accent on this piece. And I chose that decorative pattern specifically because it looks like the quilt pattern of "flying geese."

{love the detail of the stamping/text on the blue paint below} Have I said that too much?!
And... what every responsible and {quilted} bird should have in a quilt.. a genuine thread nest! Like many of you, I saved those snipped threads as I worked on this piece.  I simply rolled them up in an oblong-ish little roll in the palm of my hand, and free motion stitched to attach them.  Bakers Twine was applied in a brown and white twist for the branch.  I could have used a real branch, but I wanted to experiment with the twine.  

I wish I had added a bit of batting to the birds too... but I didn't think of it until it was done!!  {sew it goes}
And frankly, I'm not super excited with my decision on the  eggs.  I loved the color of the Perfect Pearls dimensional paint, but the eggy shapes didn't quite hold the way I had hoped.  I  could have made them from fabric or used some beads... but I wanted to be adventurous!  
I thought about quilting the edges of the flowers, but in the end, I left them alone... {I could still change my mind!} And I didn't want to add alot of quilting to this piece, as it will take visual attention away from the gorgeous texture of the print. 

A faux piping finish with soft, curvy edges to finish the piece and I then add a little 1/4" plastic ring to the back for hanging.  {more on that later}  
And little dots of gorgeous color in each flower center with Perfect Pearls dimensional paint.  Love that Color Show!
And to make my birds, I sprayed s.e.i. dye through a bird stencil, but I forgot to take a picture of it.  This was a 'white on white' fabric, and I love how the white flowers act as a little bit of a resist with the sprays, and give that extra shading and textural interest!
 Are you in love with these stencils, yet?
Sew... dang fun!  I love it.  It's my favorite {so far}. 
If you haven't seen the whole shebang of a collection, go check it out at Joggles.com
{You may want to jot down your favorites... hint hint... giveaway coming up soon!}
I've been working on a post to show you my 'faux piping' tutorial, and the finished back, coming soon.
Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Dream Team ~ Gelli Plate & Joggles Stencils

Hi there friends~it's a wonderful Wednesday ~

And, the Stencil Parade continues... It's time to bring that Gelli plate out of the cupboard and prime it with some beautiful paints... and Margaret's beautiful stencils from Joggles.  Can you say "dream team?!"

There are many gelli-printing videos on the internet, and Gelli Arts is a great way to begin, if you don't already know about it. I chose to employ a very  simple  technique, layering the paint with a couple of the new Joggles stencils.
I began by placing the gelli plate onto a recycled cookie sheet, which I keep stored with my gelli plate.  This surface is non-porous, keeps the plate secure as it clings to the metal surfaceI inked the plate with several colors; golden green, a magenta red, white and a little yellow/golden brown.  Lightly roll the brayer into it going crosswise and lengthwise. Then place your stencil on top.
Place your fabric on top of the stencil, and lightly brayer, and/or rub with your hands. 
And pull that gorgeous print!
These colors almost make me hungry, they are so yummy... if only I could live on paint alone!
Before inking up the plate again, you can also pull a ghost print {see further down}.  And of course, keep a few pieces of paper handy, and double your fun, by cleaning off your brayer with that beautiful paint.  No need to clean the plate, just put your paint down again... a little goes a long ways. Also, at least so far, I'm finding that it seems I prefer the fluid acrylics vs the heavy body paints for movability across the plate.
The turquoise blue blobs seen above are from a heavy body version of the acrylic paint, and it was 'globby' and didn't want to roll out nice and flat... I wasn't too crazy about it... until this:
And throughout this process, I realized I perhaps need a little more practice with the brayer and the paint. Too much and it's mixes into nothingness... not enough and it's a little blotchy. I think that kind of goes with the territory of using different thickenesses of paints, too.
But one thing for sure:  It's FUN. And that's the best part of all! Great therapy  {and you have something to show for the money you've spent!} lol

 And ~ oh.  my.  gosh.  THIS print makes me swoon.  I love these leaves... {Leaf Specimens}
and up close:  Can you say "dreamy?"  Oh my gosh, yes!
 Ooohhh la la!! 
 And upon closer examination of those turquoise blobs on the fabric... well let me say ~ they are soo seriously cool!  What was it I didn't love?  I've forgotten!   Just goes to show ... expect the unexpected!
Close up of the Sunshine printed image:
I'm so excited about these images.  I don't know where they might end up in my creative play, but I am psyched about the possibilities!
 The entire print below.  I used more of my BasicGrey fabric stash, this base fabric a light aqua and white grungy colorway:
 And don't forget to pull one more print; it's called a "ghost print" with the leftover image and remaining paint.  {see picture below}.  It's the inspiration for my next collaged piece.  I'll be showing it tomorrow. {and I'm very excited about it}.
So... I ask you...which is YOUR favorite... and
Have you ordered your stencils, yet?!
{More to come!}
EnJOY!
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