Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Allison in various mediums and colors!

The weather is seriously wonderful here on the coast of Rhode Island and it is hard to concentrate on work work. We have 10 yards of compost sitting outside just waiting to get spread around!!!
But, back to Artgirlz and the Nation. We had a wonderful Self-Portrait Class last weekend! It was very gratifying to see hands and spirits at work! We used fabrics, papers, the sewing machine, glue, gel medium, the scanner, and the camera through out the day. Christy was once again our competent lunch server and superior scone maker. Linda brought oatmeal cookies to help the energy levels up.
We started off the class by doing an exercise from "Mixed- Media self-portraits" by Cate Coulacos Prato. Kelli Perkins instructs how to do a portrait in a mirror with transparent paper and a marker (p. 51). Tape the paper to the mirror, close one eye and outline your face. It is quite an interesting spacial and visual exercise.

I love this image of Jackie with the crack in the face! She mixed paper and fabric and was having a great time with our Bernina and the Stitch Regulator!! What a better way to do needle doodling!!
Linda (above) first did a drawing, added color, rubber stamps and and outline of the original sketch. She painted up leaves and machine stitched plain and painted leaves for a hair do.
Friends Elaine (L) and Alayne (below) showed up a bit nervous about their Artgirlz Adventure but I think we managed to put them somewhat at ease and they just rocked!

We were lucky to have the two big cheeses from "Art Is You" join us. Ellen and Sallianne dove right into their projects and shared some of their visions for their most wonderful fall gathering in Connecticut! Sallianne added some wonderful words about the class on her blog... and below you can see two images of her work.

Ellen's smiling self!
I believe that a good time was had by all! We formulating plans for the next class in which we will work on book components and celebrate the Summer Solstice!!!

Does anyone have any self-portrait tips?
Bye Bye for Now!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Sue and I headed to Florida with Al to check out the Artgirlz Southern Headquarters and say Happy Birthday to Midge! It was very relaxing...reading, sudoku, hanging around the pool, jumping in the pool, eating, walking, biking, and generally enjoying the warm weather! It was all about palm trees, surf shops, fresh orange juice!

The girlz have been working hard on their new digs and it is almost ready to welcome their furniture! As it is, it is quite easy to move things between the porch and the dining area...modular living at its best!
They have reported that garage sales are excellent sources of furniture and odds and ends and that garbage picking is an endless source of creative supplies! Just walking around the neighborhood one finds palm tree parts, leaves and pods that are just begging to be wrapped, painted cut up and put back together.

Sunday morning we checked out the Cocoa Beach Farmers Market and came home with some delicious mangos, beautiful hydroponic lettuce, and oranges. Al bought some local organic honey as a gift and Sue and I brought fresh lemon grass and brought it home. We've stored it in the freezer for a refreshing addition to home made treats!

We arrived home last Monday to very rainy, windy, New England spring conditions!! And back to work building Artgirlz Nation!
With spring in full swing, it is all about the gardens! Raking leaves, digging, moving rocks, trees, shrubs, constructing new veggie gardens, planning, scheming...Sue and I planted peas a week or so ago, and Allison and I have been forming lovely large pea pods out of fabrics, felt, wool beads and threads...Ours happen to be green, but in this wild world we live in, I don't see anything wrong with blue, red, or yellow peas, or a combination for that matter!

Al made up some patchy fabrics from a variety of green cottons stitched onto a piece of batting.
A piece of green cotton was used for the backing. After cutting a pod shape out of the pieced cotton, the top edges are finished with a binding. Stitch along the bottom of the pod and add your peas. This particular pod has four 3.5cm and two 2cm "peas". The leaves are just shapes cut from patchy fabric and the tendrils are "tubes" filled with a piece of wire.
The pea above was put together with a sewing machine, embellishing machine and hand stitching! I used two layers of green felt for the pod to give it stability. The word "peas" and the leaves were needle felted with an embellishing machine. The machines are great to play with and don't use any thread, just 5-7 needles that punch fabrics together. The possibilities are endless!!!
On this side, I went over the letters with French knots.
The other side of the pod has needle felted leaf and pea shapes with a bit of hand embroidery. I used a Bernina decorative stitch around the top of the pod and to hold the piece together. The peas can be stitched or glued in place. Using Artgirlz wool felt beads, you can make pods of all sizes!!!

Check out our Peas on Earth Economic Recovery Package!!! ONLY five bucks...with goodies to make a little pea pod pin, and charms to help you through these tough times!

Have fun! I think that we are going to do a survey...have to figure out the details, but would love to hear from you!!!