INKED Block Hop begins **NOW**! :)

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I can’t even begin to express how excited I am that this day has finally arrived!! (This is a long post but please read all the way through. Lots to know about and I don’t want you to miss any of it!! :) )

When I finally got to spill the beans about my fabric line, Inked, last October at Fall Quilt Market, it was a dream come true. But now that the fabric is nearly out in the world? Unbelievable. As a designer, the thought of people choosing my patterns and colors to use in their work is such an incredible honor.

I thought long and hard about how I wanted to celebrate. I’ve hosted many blog hops and I wanted this one to be super special. Not only because it’s my first fabric line but also because I think the quilting community is a gaggle of some seriously creative and fun people. Both on the designer and the maker side.

I wanted the party celebrating the release of INKED to reflect that – a way to shine a spotlight on all the people that help make the quilt industry tick while at the same time offering a huge thank you to all of you who will be welcoming INKED into your studio and work.

So here’s what we are doing: Over the span of the next 12 days, I’m going to introduce you to 10 quilters. These are some incredibly nifty people. Some I’ve known for a while and some I met not long ago at Quilt Market. I’ll show you their beautiful shining faces, let you get to know them through a few interview questions (I swear I can’t stop interviewing people, it’s like a compulsion) and then point you toward their blog where you can get instructions on how to make the quilt block they contributed for a sampler quilt we’re calling INKED MASH-UP.

All of the blocks are pieced and range from traditional patterns to original ones to the truly free spirited (read the list of participants further down the post and take a guess who the skull block belongs to.) They finish at 12″ square so you can mix and match your favorite blocks to create your own custom quilt. The finished quilt measures about 45″ wide  x 60″ high.

 

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photo of INKED MASH-UP by Susan Atwell of Fat Quarter Quilt Farm

 

Each stop on the hop will give you directions on how to make the block that the designer made for the quilt plus a giveaway for a five piece fat quarter set featuring the fabrics they used. (Only comments left on their blog post will go into the drawing for their giveaways.) THAT’S A WHOLE LOT OF FABRIC FLYING AROUND!! 

Mid way through the hop, I’ll bring you back here to introduce you to the wonderful crazy awesome Susan Atwell, who longarm quilted INKED MASH-UP. I’ll tell you her story and there will be a surprise giveaway of more products from your’s truly.

I won’t lie, it’s a long hop. But it’s totally worthwhile in every way and it’s my way of saying thank you to all of you for sharing your creative world with me.

Here is the hop schedule:

March 2 – Susan Brubaker Knapp

March 3 – Teri Lucas

March 4 – Jessica Darling

March 5 – Debbie Grifka

March 6 – Lynn Carson Harris

March 7 – Jen Osborn

March 8 – Lynn Krawczyk’s blog for Susan Atwell + bonus giveaways!

March 9 -Flaun Cline

March 10 – Lynn Krawczyk

March 11 – Cheryl Sleboda

March 12 – Maddie Kertay

March 13 – Lynn Krawczyk

 

** Because it has been requested repeatedly, I have etsy listings in my shop for pre-orders of INKED. Please understand that I do NOT have an exact date of when the fabric will arrive to me. All I know is that the line is scheduled to begin shipping in March. This could mean tomorrow, next week, the end of the month – your guess is as good as mine. You are welcome to purchase a pre-order listing but bear in mind that it will most likely be a few weeks until you receive the fabric.**

 

So without further ado, let’s start the INKED Block Hop!!! :)

First up is the fabulous Susan Brubaker Knapp.

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Susan is a fiber artist, quilt pattern designer, and teacher. Starting with Series 1400 (summer 2014) she is the host of “Quilting Arts TV,” which airs on more than 400 Public Television stations in the U.S. Quilting started as a hobby, but turned into a passion and a business. Susan teaches nationally and internationally, and have produced numerous patterns, two books, and four workshops on DVD. 

 

And this is the block that she made for INKED MASH-UP:

susan's block

Directions on how to make the block & the giveaway for the fabrics Susan used are happening on her blog so make sure to visit her!! :)

 

 

Let’s get to know Susan a little bit better, shall we?

 

Q: What is your style of quilting?

Susan: I started out as a traditional quilter, and still make traditional pieced and hand needle-turn appliqué quilts. And I still (occasionally) hand quilt. But most of what I do now falls into the art quilt/fiber art category. 
 
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Q: Do you have a signature style?
 
Susan: My two primary techniques for creating the surface of my quilts are fusible appliqué and wholecloth painting. Then I usually heavily thread sketch before I free-motion machine quilt. 
 
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Q: How did you start quilting? Did you learn from a friend or family member? Or did the obsession find you on it’s own?  

Susan: I made my first quilt with my mother when I was 10. (I still have it!) She was a home economics teacher before I was born, and started quilting in the mid-70s, when quilting had a resurgence just before the American Bicentennial. But I didn’t quilt again until a co-worker at the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper forced me to go to a quilt class with her. I was working as a graphic designer/page designer, and she enticed me with a gorgeous coffee table book of very graphic Amish quilts. I think I got really hooked when I learned to hand quilt. 
 
I moved more into art quilts about 2006 when I  discovered my inner artist. I have no formal training in art past some classes I took in high school. When I made my first major art quilt (“Teach Me to Hear Mermaids Singing”), it was like something that had been a tiny hot coal inside me suddenly burst into a bonfire. I had no idea I was capable of making art like this. 
 
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Q: Why do you enjoy quilting? What keeps you coming back to this art form again and again? 

Susan: First, I love making things with my hands. Hand quilting, embroidery, cross stitch and knitting are all very meditative. And they keep me from nibbling my cuticles. I also love making things that are utilitarian; it brings me joy to see my children sleeping under quilts I’ve made for them. My art quilts are about something deeper. They are my way of helping others to see the beauty – the overlooked miracles – that I see in the world around me every day. 
 
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Q: If you could offer one piece of advice to a beginning quilter, what would it be?
 

Susan: Have fun, try new techniques, and follow your bliss.  

 

You can visit Susan online at these locations:

Website
Blog
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

Twitter

 
Tomorrow we’ll learn what makes Teri Lucas tick and see the block she made for the hop – see you then! :)
 
 
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no deadline art – a wee bit of painting

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I’ve been goofing around in between deadline work with painting on a little canvas. It’s been fun to just mess around with shape and color without an agenda. This canvas is really small, only 10″x10″, but I’ve got a lot of BIG canvases lurking about the studio. I’m eager to attack them. Paint flinging! Woo!

 

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no. 8 of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

 

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I guess I’m still in a layering mood. I love writing in artwork. But I have this quirk that I prefer to not be able to read it. I just like the motion of it and the mystery of what it’s trying to say but can’t. One of the things I love most about Thermofax Screen Printing is that it makes detailed screens so easy to produce.

Tossing together a screen with random writing was easy to accomplish:

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I printed it first in white paint, didn’t wash out the screen and then in denim blue paint to give it a truly blurred obstructed look:

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I just made this new design of little pie charts and I’ve got a thing for this retro blue color so I decided this week was all about blue:

 

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Here are the details on this square:

Square base: 100% cotton fabric pieced from a leftover quilt top

Ink: Simply Screen white paint, Dick Blick denim blue textile screen printing ink, Martha Stewart sea glass paint mixed with Golden Screen Printing medium

Printing tool: sponge brushes

Screen type: Thermofax screen

My love affair with layered printing is strong. I love being able to build a variety of marks into a single piece. But I’m feeling the need to make sure I explore the simple designs too. Next week’s square will return to that.

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surface design tip – save the paint!

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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This surface design is pretty short and sweet but it’s saved me from wasting paint. It’s a super simple solution. If you’ve got paint in a cup while you’re working, just put a paper cup over top of it in between working with it. This will significantly slow it down from drying out.

paper cup over paint

It won’t save your paint indefinitely, only a well sealed jar can do that but this will help things from getting dodgy while you work.

 

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no. 7 of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

no 7 full

 

no 7 close up

 

I’m doing a ton of printing for some secret projects right now. Won’t be too long until I can let the cat out of the bag but something I do is what I call Waste Printing.

When I’m done printing whatever I’m working on and there is still paint left on the screen or other tool, I’ll print it off a few times on spare fabric or my print table fabric if I can tolerate having wet areas while I work. Aside from the fact that I don’t like to waste paint, it creates random fabrics I can use in my collages.

The result is really interesting. The prints are never perfect and the patterning is chaotic, random. I love the lack of of inhibition of that kind of printing. For No. 7 I wanted to recreate that look and feeling. And since I’m kind of into monochromatic patterning right now, I went for a black and white color scheme.

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: 100% cotton fabric

Ink: Speedball white textile screen printing ink

Printing tool: paintbrush

Screen type: Thermofax screen

 

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Using a paintbrush to print with let me get that sketchy printed look.

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Because of how busy my schedule in the studio is right now, I’m relying heavily on Thermofax screens for this project. After I’ve got The Giant Project wrapped up, I’m going to veer off into other screen printing types but for now? For now it’s me and my hand dandy Thermofax screen. :)

 

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Instagram Digest & winners of the book/stencil giveaways! :)

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Before we get to our Instagram geekiness, let’s announce the winners of the Fabric Printing at Home giveaways! :) The two winners are: Jan Buffington and Marcia Coling.

Congrats guys! You both get a copy of the book and a set of my stencils. Thanks to everyone who played along with the giveaway and if you weren’t selected, you can snag a copy of Julie’s fabulous book on Amazon. Happy paint flinging! :)

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Today is Instagram Digest day! Means that I share some favorite photos that I’ve posted to my Instagram account over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been participating in Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s 28 Patterns in February challenge so I’m going to post a few of my favorite designs from that today. I’m in love with the daily practice of it and I’ve been having a blast with it.

 My username on Instagram is girllovespaint. If you’re also on Instagram and would like to let everyone know where to find you, leave your username in the comments on this blog post and we’ll swing by and give you a big wave hello. 

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by hand – illustrated quote

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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And don’t you forget it. :)

2 - you are awesome

 

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the everday creative – does artist = introvert?

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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* Please meet my writing desk friends. I have a weakness for cast iron chachkis. I’m pretty sure my peace sign fingers are giving my Day of the Dead writer bunny ears…

Hi. I’m Lynn. I’m an artist. And I’m also an introvert.

Which is something that a lot of people seem surprised by. After all, I tape TV segments and DVD workshops and teach classes. None of these things reek of being an introvert. But the honest truth of it is that while I can do all these things and enjoy them immensely, I also need tons of alone time.

There was a time when I would not have ever thought I could do all that I do. So what changed? I finally wanted to do something badly enough that I decided I needed to just find a way to deal with my instinct to spend all day in a blanket fort.

I see more and more artists raising their hands when this subject comes up. It makes me wonder if there is a correlation. For me, being an artist lets me be outgoing – I use my artwork to be boisterous and loud. I get to stand beside it quietly and let it do the work for me. I wonder if that’s how so many introverts turn to art.

Whatever the reason, it’s a form of expression that I don’t really have the nerve to make any other way. Might sound a little strange but I’m happy to let Art Brain be the loudmouth when my shyness kicks in.

What about you? Are you introverted or extroverted? Do you think your art helps you be more outgoing if you are part of the introvert camp?

 

The Everyday Creative is a series of blog posts pondering the things that everyday artists encounter. Being an artist is not always a magazine spread picture perfect experience. These posts pay tribute to the angst, the messy studios, the glue that shouldn’t be where you found it and that blue streak of dye you accidentally got on the dog.

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inspiration in motion – a twist on printmaking

Printmaker is one of the titles that I proudly call myself. But unlike the traditional printmaker, it’s not the end product for me. It’s part of my overall process and plays a big roll but it’s not the completed piece. So I always love finding people that do the same – use printmaking in non-traditional ways.

I’m in love with this artist, her approach is so thoughtful and beautiful. Enjoy the view into how she works. :)

 

 

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Contemporary Printmaking: Tamsin Pender from Workshops n’ Docs on Vimeo.

 

no. 6 of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

no 6

 

 

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I still design 90% of my screen images by hand. Meaning that I don’t do a lot of computer work. I’ll bring my hand drawings into photoshop to tweak them so I can burn them into screens but rarely do I do a design completely on the computer. I want to become more comfortable with that though so I used this week’s square to do that.

It’s not an earth shattering design but it’s a little difficult for me to warm with the perfection of computer designed work. I compensated by doing some scruffy printing to make it look worn.

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: 100% cotton fabric

Ink: Simply Screen Paint and Dick Blick Textile paint

Printing tool: Sponge Brushes

Screen type: Thermofax screens

I printed it in one of my favorite color combinations – blue and orange. I love every shade of the combination, went a bit bolder with it on this one.

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deconstructed color – INKED style

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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My fabric line, INKED, begins shipping next month and projects are churning to make it’s release into the wild a big huge party. So I thought I’d take this Deconstructed Color post to take a closer look at all the colors that go into some of the fabrics from the line.

I made this Triple Star Block a few weeks ago from INKED:

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I have a weakness for pieced star blocks and the brown/orange/teal combo. Makes me all giddy.

And here is it’s breakdown:

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created using CSS Drive

 

It’s so amazing to see all the color that lurk right under our eyes! :)

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Fabric Printing at Home Blog Tour & 2 giveaways! :)

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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The fabulous Julie B. Booth is celebrating the release of her new book, Fabric Printing at Home, and I’m excited to help her shout from the mountain tops about how wonderful it is! :)

book cover

 

Before I get rolling with my post and the things I want to share, let me mention a couple of things. There are many of us on the blog tour and you get a chance to win a copy of the book at each stop. I’m also doing an additional giveaway and I’ll talk about that in a minute. But make sure that you stop by everyone and give them some love and enter for a chance to get your hands on her book. Here’s the list:

February 2: Lisa Chin
February 3: Lynn Krawczyk
February 4: Jane Davila
February 5: Carol R. Eaton
February 6: Judy Gula
February 7: Susan Purney Mark
February 8: Teri Lucas
February 10: Deborah Boschert
February 11: Lynda Heines
February 12: Cheryl Sleboba
February 13: Terri Stegmiller
February 14: Jackie Lams
 
Also make sure that you stop by Julie’s blog every day until the end of the tour because she is doing daily giveaways of tools to help you stock your printing toolbox – isn’t that incredible????
 

I did a review of the book on this post but I honestly can’t say enough good things about it. It’s such a fresh easy approach to printing fabric and Julie is so generous with her knowledge it’s incredible. (And she knows a lot. She’s a paint flinger if ever there was one.)

I contributed one of the pieces of artwork in the back of the book and I had a blast making it. Here is the little piece I made:

Lynn K Orange Cream Coffee Cups

 

I printed the background with corn and radicchio. Seriously. It was the most fun thing to go into the produce area of my grocery store and realize that I could use nearly everything there to print fabric with. It was something that I had completely forgotten about until Julie reminded me.

 

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radicchio printing

 

 In addition to all the wonderful ways you can use kitchen tools in your printing, Julie also helps you learn to use items like stencils. So to that end, I will also send the winner from my blog stop a set of my stencils that I designed for Artistcellar, Marked.

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So here’s the deal. Leave a comment on my post here for a copy of Julie’s book and a set of my stencils – any old comment will do but if you want to share something positive and fun going on in your life, that would be great so we can focus on the happy things in life :) – and I will choose a winner on February 15 at noon EST. Sound like a deal? Get commenting and make sure you visit Julie and all the others on the tour!!

 

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no. 5 of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

no 5

 

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I have a habit when I print fabric that I want to make it super complex and full of layers and it should take days to finish and I need to have five hundred steps to make it and…well. You get the point. With a very stressful week last week, I found myself getting tense when I set about making No. 5 for this project. I gave myself a mental slap and decided that in the spirit of needing a wee bit of simplicity at that exact moment, I would use this week’s square as an exercise in that – embracing simplicity.

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer has issued a daily project for February – 28 patterns. I thought “How fun! If I keep them simple and easy I could play along!” This is the pattern I drew for Feb 1:

 

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So for this square I did a variation on that pattern. All the time pushing back against the urge to make it super complex and learning to love designs with lots of negative space.

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: 100% linen fabric

Ink: Simply Screen Paint and Martha Stewart craft paint mixed with Golden Screen Printing medium

Printing tool: Sponge Brushes

Screen type: Thermofax screens

I even embraced simplifying the printing and only used one screen.

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Nice and easy. And I love it. :)

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take a collage class with me through “STITCHED”!! :)

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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— This post is a little long but please read all the way down to the bottom, there is a video preview and a giveaway to get in on if you register using the link in this post. —

One of the things that I wish I could do more of is teach. I get emails every week with invitations that I have to turn down, traveling to teach is simply not something I can work into my life right now. So when Alma Stoller announced she was putting together another session of STITCHED, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Let me explain why.

I participated in STITCHED a couple of years ago and it was a really positive experience. I loved the community of it and I couldn’t be more thrilled that Alma has brought it back.

It is an all or nothing type deal – meaning you pay a fee and get access to everything. But you get access for an entire year and Alma is pushing the boat out this year by adding sparkly new content each and every month.

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Here’s the summary of what you’ll get when you sign up for STITCHED:

-seven online classes by an eclectic group of artists: Hanna Andersson, Lynn Krawczyk, Celeste Beck, Lesley Riley, Lidija Miklavcic, Carrie Payne and Carmi Cimicata.
 
-In addition, Alma Stoller will post a new online class every month for the entire year. Everything from doll making, silk ribbon embroidery and crochet, including two art quilt classes called Ladies of the Canyon and She’s so Unusual.
 
- There will also be a 12 x 12 Block-of-the-Month every month for the entire year.
 
- and 6 giveaway prizes that any registered STITCHED student can win.
 
STITCHED 2015 will last an entire year. It starts March 1st 2015 and ends March 1st, 2016. It consists of over 25 online video instructions for only 89.00 dollars. It is hosted in a private ning.com site.
 
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The classes are all video based so you can make us repeat ourselves over and over and over again.
 
So what’s the cost? It’s only $89. Which is an incredible bargain considering everything you get and that it’s good for twelve months of art making.
 
 
REGISTER FOR STITCHED
 (* Register using this link and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a set of the stencils I use in my class. Three winners will be chosen on Feb 28.*)
 
 
Want to see what I’m teaching? Thought you might. I’m extremely happy to present Stencil Mania Textile Collage. :)
 
Lynn K PLAY stenciled collage full
 
Lynn K PLAY collage close up 2
 
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We do a lot of paint flinging via stencils – both commercially produced as well as creating our own using freezer paper. I walk you through my entire process for how I create my collages – start to finish. I debated how to teach that and I thought since there aren’t any time constraints on this one, I’m just going to show you the whole thing. I taught exactly as I would if you and I were hanging out in my studio making the collage together.
 
And here’s a little video to give you a taste for how the class will look:
 
 
 
 Registration is really easy and if you register via the link in my post here, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a set of stencils to use for the class. I’m choosing three people for stencils and I’ll announce the winners on Feb 28. (If you don’t use the link to register in this post (either the one earlier or the one below) then I won’t have your name so be sure to click there if you’d like a chance to win some stencils.)
 
 
REGISTER FOR STITCHED
 (* Register using this link and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a set of the stencils I use in my class. Three winners will be chosen on Feb 28.*)
 
SEE YOU IN CLASS!!! :)
 
 
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The Printed Fabric Bee “Petroglyphs” theme & giveaway

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Ok, let me just tell you up front – this week on the blog is going to be really hopping. Giveaway today for The Printed Fabric Bee, huge online class announcement tomorrow, awesome book tour blog hop, fundraiser – we’re doing it all!

Let’s start today with the fabric giveaway hosted by The Printed Fabric Bee. Lynda Heines was the Queen for February and she chose Petroglyphs for her theme. Here is the set of 6″ fabric that is up for grabs:

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You have until February 14th at 8am CST to enter to win.

Leave a comment on Lynda’s blog post or on the post on the group’s blog here.

* Do not leave a comment on my post here for the giveaway, you need to visit one of the other two locations linked above for a chance to win.*

 

Here is the piece of fabric I made for her.

 

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And the piece I made for the giveaway pack:

Lynn K for lynda heines petroglyph give away fabric

 

When I started poking around the internet for ideas for this fabric, I was surprised to learn that Michigan has petroglyphs. The Sanilac Petroglyphs are only a few hours from me and maybe after The Mitten unthaws I’ll take a trip out there to visit them. I decided what better inspiration could there be then to use imagery from my home state? So that’s what I did.

Lynda requested orange and blue for her color choices. I started with a bright orange fabric and wanted to put some handprints on it:

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Just a quick note – I use water based paint exclusively. This washed over very easily with warm water and a little soap. Do NOT do this with oil based paint.

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I added the little black spirals with some paint drawing. I wasn’t feeling the screaming bright nature of the orange I had chosen so I pulled out my trusty RIT dye and gave it a little bath:

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Much calmer:

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I added those little footstep drawings up there but still wanted a pop of color. I went back to look at the imagery of the Sanilac Petroglyphs and chose the little dog like figure (shocker, right?). Made up a Thermofax screen and away I went:

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It was a fun theme to explore! :) Don’t forget to get in on the drawing!

 

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the everyday creative – i love labels

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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detail of Remnants Collage 31

I’ve been thinking a lot about labels lately. Not the type that tell you what kind of party to throw for your clothes when you toss them in the washer. But the kind that identifies who I am.

Which sounds like a really tall order to me.

Some people hate them and rally with all they’ve got against them. And while I see the point, I don’t know that I agree. Mostly because when someone tells me they are an artist, the first thing out of my mouth next is “What kind?”

I think labels are a jumping off point and not necessarily a bad thing. Granted, not all of them are friendly. But the ones that are an enthusiastic little handshake that says “I’m a painter” or “I’m a knitter” or “I collect walnut shells and have 5,421 at last count would you like to see them?” have a pretty good purpose. Why am I giving this so much thought?

Well, I’m in one of those angsty little art periods where I’m working to inject some new life into the things that I love to do. It’s a balance, these times. You get so excited about the new shiny (squirrel!) things that the old ones get a little jealous. You can’t abandon the ones you love in favor of the newer models. If I had to choose only one label for myself, it would simply be Surface Design Artist.

Those three little words cover a lot – printmaking, screen printing, monoprinting, hand drawing. All things I do and more. I’ve been pushing things around on the website too to try to neatly categorize everything. (Take a gander at the navigation bar if you haven’t lately, lots of new stuff there.)

I feel comfortable with that label. It’s certainly not all I do but it covers a good chunk and in a way, it is kind of like a security blanket. It’s a declaration of self and from that perspective, you can stamp that label across my forehead. :)

 

The Everyday Creative is a series of blog posts pondering the things that everyday artists encounter. Being an artist is not always a magazine spread picture perfect experience. These posts pay tribute to the angst, the messy studios, the glue that shouldn’t be where you found it and that blue streak of dye you accidentally got on the dog.

 

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surface design tip – squeeze bottles are your friends

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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I’ve been flinging paint for a long time. I can chatter on about it for hours if you ask me. I’ve accumulated a bunch of little tips and tricks over time and since I get a lot of the same questions a lot, I wanted to share some of my favorite surface design tips here on the blog. They aren’t earth shattering, they’re just the kind of small things that when you do them for the first time you think, “Why didn’t I do this sooner??”

Here’s one of my favorites – squeeze bottles.

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plastic squeeze bottles

 

I use the 2 oz. size (just follow the link beneath the photo if you’d like to visit where I get them). It sounds silly but it took me a while to find ones that I like. Some of the first ones I got were really stiff and hurt my hand after only a short while of using them. Others had caps that did a poor job of sealing so the paint got weird on me. (Nobody likes weird paint.)

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Those right up there? They’re the Goldilocks of squeeze bottles – just right. They’re soft so my hands don’t get peeved at me and the screw cap seals tight. Plus the little red caps give extra protection against enemy air.

They come in really handy for paint writing and direct drawing.

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 Hands down one of my favorite paint flinging tools. :)

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no 4. of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

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I have a thing for neutrals. I’m the kind of chick that when it’s all grey and cloudy outside, I just stand and stare at all the shades of neutral painted everywhere. I love it, it’s incredible. There are endless variations. I think you notice it more when there seems to be an absence of color, the tiny shifts stand out like a waving flag.

This week’s print is a little bit of an experiment in layering more then one pattern on top of each other. It went kind of argyle on me but I like it, I think it has a unique quality to it. I do love me some good layered printing. :)

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: commercial medium grey cotton fabric

Ink: Simply Screen Paint

Printing tool: Sponge Brushes

Screen type: Thermofax screens

 

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Maybe this color palette is a reflection of Michigan’s winter. This is the month when we are smack in the middle of it and you can start to feel the weight of it. It’s inevitable that they grey will work it’s way into things. Do you ever do that? Does your work ever follow suit with the seasons?

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instagram digest – coffee, doggie burrito, organizing & stitching galore

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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I’m madly in love with Instagram. It’s my current favorite social media platform right now. Such a wealth of inspiration and new people to meet. I post there a lot and since I know not everyone is a member of the site, I’d like to bring some of my favorite pics to the blog every so often.

My username there is girllovespaint. If you’re also on Instagram and would like to let everyone know where to find you, leave your username in the comments on this blog post and we’ll swing by and give you a big wave hello. :)

Here is a little photo parade from my feed for the last couple of weeks.

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by hand – illustrated quote

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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One of my goals for this year is to start sharing these little illustrations I do with quotes. I’ve been doing them for a while but hoarding them. Not sure why but I love them and they’re fun so I’m bringing them to the blog. I hope they brighten your day and maybe give you a little inspiration boost. :)

 

1 - by hand illustrated quote

 

 

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inspiration in motion – i want to live in this exhibit

It’s sometimes hard to remember that the world is huge. Being wrapped up in the day to day of the business of living – it’s not always easy to see past our current to-do lists. I’m no different, I need constant reminder. The easiest way is to watch beautiful videos made by incredible artists willing to share their experiences with others.

I think video has an inspirational effect that is absolutely magical. So I’m going to share some of my favorites here on the blog in the hopes that they will move you, inspire you, thrill you the same way the do me.

This one is about an exhibit called Event of a Thread by Ann Hamilton.

the event of a thread from Paul Octavious on Vimeo.

 

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the printed fabric bee sneak peek – petroglyphs for Lynda

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Do you know about The Printed Fabric Bee? I blogged about it a while back when it first began. I’ve been chugging along with the rest of the group but in order to give it some more attention and keep myself on track with the deadlines, I’m going to be blogging here about it more often.

The Printed Fabric Bee is a group of professional surface design artists participating in a monthly fabric exchange. Kind of like a quilting bee but for the surface design geeks instead. Lisa Chin and I co-founded it over a year ago. 2015 is our second year of being together. We have two places that you can see what the group is up to – our Facebook page and our blog. We also host a giveaway of 6″ squares for that month’s theme so I’ll be reminding you about those giveaways here as well.

Each month a theme is chosen by one of the members and the rest of us make fabric to suit. Lynda Heines is the current Queen of the Hive and she chose Petroglyphs with blue and orange colors. I was surprised to learn that Michigan is not without these wonderful artifacts. Cass City plays host to the Sanilac Petroglyphs so I’ve decided to do a tribute to those.

1 - Lynda petroglyphs sneak peek

 

This is not finished yet, it needs more layers and I’m thinking perhaps a little toning to bring down the screaming orange but it’s the start. I’m using mid-month to offer a sneak peek of where the fabric is heading. My final fabric along with the giveaway collage will get posted at the end of the month so stick around for that!! And be sure to follow along with us at one (or both) of our two homes. :)

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no. 3 of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

 no 3 of 52

 

no 3 close up

 

Printing on really dark backgrounds is not always my strong suit. Paint that is opaque enough to take it on is stuff I usually don’t enjoy using so that leaves me with the challenge of figuring out what will work. You can see the magenta and the cream color paint up above in the close up shot sort of looks like it’s seeping into the fabric. I knew these were low opacity but decided to give them a whirl anyhow. I think the transparency makes it interesting.

I’m also working on doing more multi-color printing. Which means multiple screens and splitting up the design into their appropriate stages. I’m getting more comfortable with it and finding that I actually really enjoy it.

Here are the details on this square:

Square base: hand dyed deep purple cotton from Cherrywood Fabrics

Ink: Martha Stewart craft paint mixed with Golden Screen Printing Medium

Printing tool: Sponge Brushes

Screen type: Thermofax screens

no 3 in process

 

no 3 with paint

I feel like I want to see this pattern on a much bigger span. It’s a little quirky. I labeled the screens “bubble thought” because that’s what it reminds me of.  I almost printed it in a super high contrast black and white, might still do that. It makes me think about if some of these designs will get expanded into larger spaces. I won’t lie to you – it’s hard for me to just do a little piece and to restrict it to only screen printing. I can feel myself getting all beady eyed and sticking my tongue out to concentrate – bring me more paint! Muauahahahahahahahha!!!!

But really – the exercise of one technique on a small scale is a challenge for me. Which I guess is the point of this whole thing. So that’s No 3, I’m already plotting No 4. :)

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Want to start a business? we’ve got you covered

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Sign up!

Thursday January 22 at 1pm EST

** Please note: If you can’t attend the live presentation, you can still sign up.  A recording that includes audio and the presenetation will be sent out afterward.

 

Believe me when I say I understand how intimidating it can be to get the ball rolling when you decide to start your own business. There are so many details to work through it can seem like you’re getting buried. But honestly? Deciding to do it is the hardest part. The rest can all be learned.

Cheryl Sleboda and I are going to help you do just that – figure out the odds and ends so that you can concentrate on building your business with joy instead of stress. This one hour webinar is packed with information and the thing that makes it really well rounded? You’re getting two artist/business owners for the price of one. We approach some areas the same but at the same time we have different reasons and viewpoints on others. It will help you see things from various angles and since there is no one right way to go about all this, it’s a good thing.

Here is the rundown of topics:

What you’ll learn:

  • From Hobby to Business – How to decide when it’s time to turn your art into a business and choosing which format is right for you (sole owner, LLC, Corporation).
  • Selling Online vs. In Person – How to decide which suits you best and the pros and cons of each.
  • Branding + Marketing – Why you need a brand, what it is and easy ways to market your business without breaking the bank.
  • Choosing the Revenue Stream that is Right for You – How working on multiple projects keeps your balance sheet happy.
  • Customer Experience – People will always remember how you make them feel before anything else. Learn how to keep your customers coming back time and time again!

 

And again, if you can’t make it to the live event but still want the info, still sign up. Everyone will get a recording to keep after the live event so it’s super easy to be in on the action. See you there! :)

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deconstructed color – winter branches

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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I should warn you – I’m on a path to blog more. A lot more. I’ve long been wanting a blog that has posts nearly every day. I’m now in a possession of an editorial calendar and a determination that rivals a teenager trying to text during family dinner. I want this blog to be a place of inspiration and a little spot to pause during your day. With all that being said, I hope you’ll subscribe using the handy dandy little box at the top of the sidebar. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

This is one of the new types of posts I’m excited about. My artwork is always layered with many colors and the fascination comes from knowing that what I’m able to see isn’t all that there is – that broken down into individual elements, there are endless color combinations in there.  And when I got my fabric, I was completely enamored with the color breakdown printed on the selvedge. It makes me want to do that to everything I look at.

So I thought we’d give it a shot. Here is one of the photos I took of our winter trees against our winter sky:

Jan 16

 

Some may say it’s gloomy. I disagree, I think it’s rich with color. Run it through a color generator program and this is what it says the breakdown is:

 

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Gorgeous, right?? Color – endless fascination I’m telling you. Winter isn’t such a boring artist after all, is she? What’s your favorite color of this season?

 

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The 100 Fundraiser – A Fiberart for a Cause fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Artist Virginia Spiegel is fundraising again for the American Cancer Society via her project Fiberart for a Cause. So far her fundraiser has earned over $240,000 in donations to the ACS. This year she has invited 100 artists to donate artwork to the cause and I’m honored to be one of them. Here’s how it works:

On February 4, 2015 Virginia will provide a link to donate $100 to the American Cancer Society. Anyone who does will receive artwork from one of the 100 artists participating. Artwork will be randomly selected but with the list of people participating, there’s no way there will be anything other then awesomeness available.

You can see all the artists participating and full details of how to donate on February 4 on Virginia’s site here.

I’m donating a diptych of two small printed collages.  Each one is a 7″ collage attached to an 8″ canvas with a sawtooth hanger on the back for easy hanging. They are called Dreamtime Graffiti:

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flat view

 

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The background pieces were created with deconstructed screen printing. The bird is an original hand drawing made into a Thermofax screen.

I do hope that you will participate on February 4 so we can help the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.

 

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no. 2 of 52 screen printed squares

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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Details about the 52 Screen Printed Squares project can be found here.

 

no 2 of 52

 

no 2 of 52 close up

Not only do I want to experiment with different kinds of screen printing with this project but colors too. Pink is not my normal bag but I wanted a strong color pop against the deep teal. It seemed to do the ticket. I was also bound and determined to use that fabric but being a collage artist, I have lots of oddballs sizes kicking around the studio. I decided to just piece two together to create the 8″x8″ base.

Here are the details for this square:

Square base: teal loose weave cotton fabric

Ink: Martha Stewart craft paint mixed with Golden Screen Printing Medium

Printing tool: Sponge Brush

Screen type: Traditional screen, pattern created with drawing fluid

 

no 2 of 52 overall screen

 

no 2 of 52 first layer

 

no 2 of 52 second layer and paint

 

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call for submissions to the Thermofax Screen Printing Design Team! :)

Okay, okay, I’m SO excited for this I can hardly stand it!!! :) I’m so pleased to announce a call for submission to the first ever Thermofax Screen Printing Design Team.

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All of the details as well as the submission form can be found on this page. You can apply to become a member until February 14, 2015.

I’m just so thrilled about this, I do hope that if you are into surface design you will consider applying. I sing the praises of  Thermofax Screen Printing all the time but I’m just one artist and one of the best things about what we do is seeing how everyone uses the same tool differently. That’s the inspiration behind assembling this team. Woo! Paint flinging everywhere! :)

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no. 1 of 52 screen printed squares – a year long weekly art practice

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When I first began blogging years ago I had a weekly project. And I loved it. It kept me motivated to create during the week when the daily grind threatens to smoosh Art Brain and I always had something to feed the blog with. Eventually I ran out of steam on that project and stopped but I always missed having a weekly project. Art Brain and I have decided that 2015 is the year to bring it back.

I’m super excited to introduce to you my 52 Screen Printed Squares project. It’s just what it sounds like – 52 squares featuring screen printed designs. Don’t tell the other surface design techniques in my studio but screen printing is my favorite. So I’m taking this year to really explore it and spend some quality time with it.

Here are the details for the project:

Each week on Monday I’ll post an 8″ x 8″ square of fabric featuring a screen printed design. Each design will be created by me. (And because I know the question will be asked, these will not be for sale in the shop as Thermofax screens.) I’ll show the square and list what it’s printed on as well as the ink I used to make it.

Simple, right? Yeah it is but I’m completely stoked about it in every way. It’s likely that I’ll fall back on Thermofax screens pretty frequently. They are my true love after all but I’m going to make an effort to try out different methods of screen printing as well.

So without further ado, I bring you No. 1 of 52 printed squares for the 52 Screen Printed Squares project:

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No. 1 of 52

 

no 1 close up

 

Square base: brown hand dyed cotton fabric

Ink: Dick Blick Fabric Screen Printing Ink and Simply Screen Paint

Printing tool: Sponge Brush

Screen type: Thermofax Screen

 

no 1 in process

 

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2015 – clearing the decks, setting goals, and a new weekly practice

Don’t miss a single blog post! Subscribe so I show up in your inbox by using the subscription box at the top of the blog sidebar. I never share your information and by subscribing we can make art together all year long! Woo!  ————>

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This is how I begin each year:

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It’s become a ritual – on the first day of each year I take the fabric from my print table off and replace with a brand new clean piece. It’s a symbol that the previous year is done and all my new projects for the current year are priority.

Want to see the one from 2014? Here is most of it (it’s very difficult for me to photograph because it’s so long):

 

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A closer view:

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My print table fabric has become a record for the things that I accomplish during the year. My fabric line was printed on that, several articles were written, galley work was made. I’m always asked what I plan to do with them. The answer is nothing. For now. I have the idea in my head that they will become a running visual diary of my art career and that means I want to leave them whole and just the way they are.

The other thing that I do each year is set goals for what I want to accomplish. I like having a framework to guide me. I’m not crazy strict about it  but I  need them. I have three different kinds and I wanted to share them with you.

Goal type #1: Repeat Goals

These are the items that I accomplished in the previous year that I really enjoyed and would like to do again. For example, writing magazine articles. Can’t get enough of them, love writing them, love being published. So I will strive to write at least four articles in 2015.

Goal type #2: Trying/Learning Something New

These are the goals that require me to learn something new or go completely outside of my normal art practice. Why bother? Because becoming stagnant as an artist is not something I ever want to do. I always want to learn something new, even if it ends up being something that I do just for fun because everything feeds into the overall picture. In 2015, I plan to focus on learning hand lettering. Maybe even how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to work with them (I have a mental block about really digging into Photoshop and Illustrator. Not sure what that is all about.)

Goal Type #3: Pie in the Sky

These are the goals that when you think about them your inner critic shouts “Are you nuts??” (These are my personal favorites.) They can be downright scary and often feel impossible in every way but the way I approach them is that if I never try, I’ll never achieve them. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t. I rarely share these ahead of time, it’s a little bit of superstition on my part so I’m keeping my 2015 goals under my hat. But an example of one of these type of goals from 2014 was getting a fabric line. That one was not easy but I got it after a lot of hard work and determination (or stubbornness, whichever you prefer) and now I’m incredibly happy to add that to my list of accomplishments.

By now you’ve probably read on a lot of blogs and social media posts about the word that people have chosen to guide their year. I’ve decided to choose “play” this year. It’s sometimes hard for me to work in No Deadline Art because I always have a list of projects to boot out the door but I’ve realized that it’s like anything else in my art world – just need to make space for it.

And since I’m a framework kind of gal, I’m working No Deadline Art into the schedule in two ways:

1.  A new weekly art practice. The posts for that will begin tomorrow and repeat every Monday throughout the entire year. When I first began blogging I had a weekly project and I miss it dearly. Art Brain has become stupid excited about this and I can’t wait to share it with you so make sure you swing back tomorrow (and the rest of the year for that matter) to see what I’m doing.

2. Exploring more pieced quilts. I enjoy piecing and I want to do more of it. But I also want to do my own designs (shocker) and I found these sketches I did a while back during a recent tidy session in the studio:

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Now that I am in possession of a Sizzix, they feel more doable. We’ll see how they go.

So this is how I begin each new year in the studio. What about you? Do you have a word or do you set goals for each year?

 

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