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?
Showing posts with label It's All About The Cross. Show all posts
Showing posts with label It's All About The Cross. Show all posts

Friday, April 13, 2012

Explorations ~

Perhaps you're tired of hearing about my leftovers... but that's the "Story in the Studio' lately!  I have several new ideas 'roaming the range' in my head, but I am going to stick with the goals I've set for a few more projects.
Once again, this is fabric I made two summers ago, using Jacquard Dye-na-flow paint-dyes,  pulled from that 'what-to-do?' fabric pile of mine.  I decided I had nothing to lose... it was muddied up a bit: browns, oranges and yellow-golds. As usual, I forgot to photograph the plain fabric but you can still see it underneath the stamping and stenciling processes. 
I started with this stencil seen below, applying turquoise acrylic fabric paint. 

Then I switched to this stencil, using a different blue color, and also a bit of yellow.  I applied paint using just a small part of the overall pattern of this stencil:

Then I went for the foiling, applying this copper/gold leaf product first:

It's a little high maintenance as it is super, super thin and quite flimsy-flakey.  But worth it, I think. Hmm... there's a thought (or two!) I used a small paintbrush to apply it.

I also applied various meandering lines of the Jones Tones Glue and foiling technique. 
 A cardstock back, with the ribbon hanger and little heart covering up the glue.

It's been quite a journey to think about creating these crosses.
Turquoise and orange, copper and gold... I love how the combination of colors came together in this entire, ugly  'muddy' fabric, how it was cut apart, and brought into new life.  
And that, is what it's all about! Quite a wonderful picture, really.
Unending Love.  New life. His sacrifice.
I pray you are struck by the true beauty of the Cross of Christ.  It's not a fashion statement.  
It's just pure love.  
Given Once, For All. 
Have a great weekend!
Linking up with Studio JRU today!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cross My Heart

This is another piece of embellished fabric from my ever-ongoing 'to-do' list, done as a demonstration for a Paintstik Class I taught over a year ago. See more about Paintstiks - click here)  I used three colors of paintstiks;  periwinkle blue, copper and silver metallics. I applied a bit of subtle texture with the copper and silver metallic colors, using a small vegetable bag made out of plastic mesh.  It made the small teeny tiny dots of copper color.  With the silver, I just drew on some big, loopy swirls, and with the purple-blue color, I drew simple free style lines all over this 'blank canvas' of fabric. 
Since my foiling supplies were still handy - hanging out on the table, (cuz I hadn't put them away)... they got added into the mix!
I cut two larger crosses from this fabric.  These are about 5" x 8" as compared to my  mini-bookmark crosses, sized at about 3.5" x 4.5" or so from my paper-fabric. (seen below)

I really love this deep pink and golden rusty-orange-pink tones, and I think it looks good with the copper accents, too.
After the fabric is cured, I added batting and backing fabric, as well as some of the  heavy duty tear away stabilizer. I quilted it, using Rainbows thread; a polyester variegated pink from Superior Threads. When the quilting was finished, I drew my shapes onto the backside of the backing fabric, and cut them out.
For sale in my Etsy shop!
Time to apply the cardstock. It's the cardstock that really gives these pieces a firmness; a stability I personally prefer in the finished product, which also enables these pieces to hang quite nicely as well.  First, I apply glue to the cardstock, using a UHU glue stick. Then I place the cross-shaped fabric onto the sheet of cardstock, and cut it out again. I finish the edges with a zig zag stitch in matching thread, which holds all the layers together. VIP TIP: I tried stitching it first, without cutting out the shape, and it's real difficult to do that after stitching, and not cut your threads!  
 For finishing, and to make the piece so it can be hung on a nail, I cut a small piece of ribbon, placed it in the middle, and finished with a remnant of fabric in the shape of small heart to cover up the glue. (above)
The best needle is a 90/14 topstitch - titanium if you have it.  If not, then a 90/14 microtex or metallic needle will work very well, too. This needle will even pierce through the glue substance that is the base for the foil.  That's what a good, sharp needle will do - pierce cleanly, through all four layers;  fabrics, batting and heavy paper.
Also, it's very important to replace the needle often in these circumstances.  Paper (and dried glue) will dull a needle, very, very, quickly.  Want to know more about needles, tensions and threads?  See my "The Thread Tango" post here!
And what to do with the leftovers after cutting out the two crosses?  Hearts, hearts... hearts.  I'm a tad tired of hearts ~ at least for awhile, anyway!  And zig zag stitching, too.  But -- I am so glad to have them in my "Ta-Dah-Done" pile!

If you'd like to see more about how I make these zig zagged edges, visit my postcard zig zag tutorial ~~~ here!

Thanks for checkin' it all out!
Linking  to  Dear Lillie Blog today, too! Fun! Go see!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I've been meditating on Christmas.  
Infinite Love.
And living beyond. 
I heard a new Christmas song this year, by a group called GO FISH ~ "It's All About The Cross."  
Click above to view their video! (Update 12/22/11)
(Oh I love the harmony of this men's trio)
Detail Christmas placemats with decorative stitches and words
Wondering how we savor Christmas.
God With Us.
What it means to come as a child.

And I've thought about how I can live out and show that Love no matter where I am or what I do.  
From the words I speak... and the words I write.
Every day. Every moment. 
At work. At play.
To keep learning and listening.  
To come simply.  
As a child. 

"Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children."  Luke 18:16 NLT  
We knew this better when we were in our childhood.  Before we grew older.  
We've forgotten it, or perhaps given up on it, too easily.  
The simplicity of being a child.  A child of God.
We've been caught up in the trappings of the world.
The 'feel good' & 'it's all about you' and hurry up to wind our way around the next corner, to have 
or make, our lives more satisfying. 
The pressure of time, responsibilities, and more. 

I bet we all could say "Been there & done that!"  
I know I can.

But what about this: 

(Courtesy of Buzz Light Year from the movie, Toy Story)
Think about it.  
So much truth to that simple, child-like statement.

After all God came down to us as a baby! 
Though it was foretold ~ no one expected it.
Ahh... the unexpected!
And what unexpected JOY it is! 

So as we come to the manger as a child to celebrate Christmas, may we truly come ~
 to know the baby in the manger that came for us! 
Really.  All you need to do is come.
Come as you are ~ just come.
My favorite Christmas Bowl ~ a gift from my Mom many years ago...
 Don't let imperfection rob you of your Joy!

  For if we were all perfect we wouldn't need anything... 
not each other, not family, and not Christmas.
Not the Christ child that is at the heart of ALL of it. 
Because it's really all about Jesus on the cross.
Without that, we all would truly be hopeless.
Because that is what He came to do.
To give us a hope and a future.
Come Let Us Adore Him!
A shot from the Potomac Valley, taken January 2008 on our way home from Missoula, MT

Don't forget who's in charge of your real joy.
 We can choose HOPE.
Choose now ~ not to be hopeless, nor joyless.
For God so loved us, 
He sent us His only Son.  As a baby. As a child.
Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven." Matt 18:3 NLT
 "Be not afraid!"
"For I give you good tidings of GREAT JOY 
that will be for all people!"  
(Courtesy of God from the the Book of Luke.) 
A family heirloom; made by the kids' Great Grandma Ada 
Have a Merry Christmas!
Glad tidings to you from the McNeil family. 
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