Art Business Webinar – will you join me? :)

EP11725Building An Art Business From the Ground Up

January 22, 2015 at 1pm EST


When  I decided to get really serious about my business and launch Smudged Textiles Studio, it was one of the scariest, most exciting, anxiety inducing, thrilling experiences of my life. And I’ll tell ya, those feelings never really go away. It’s part of the charm of the whole thing. :)

Figuring out the details was the least fun part. Lots of trial and error and reading books that were either super dull or oddly condescending. I’m asked all the time about how to do this or that. I learned during Fall Quilt Market that Cheryl Sleboda is often approached with the same questions. So we are teaming up and offering a webinar on how to get your art business up and running.

What will we cover? Here’s the rundown:

  • 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!

Can’t make the live event? No worries. You can still sign up and you’ll receive a recorded copy after the webinar is done. (That way you can make us repeat ourselves as many times as you want.)

The nifty thing is that while Cheryl and I have a lot in common with how we approach our businesses, we also differ enough that we can offer a rounded point of view. We’re super stoked to get the chance to share with you!! :)

Sign up now and start your new year out on the right foot!



peel & stick wallpaper assemblage


A couple of weeks ago I got an order from Spoonflower for some soon-to-be-in-the-shop stitching kits and they included a wee sample of their peel and stick fabric wallpaper. I knew I wanted some as soon as I saw it but since I don’t have a bunch of blank walls to slather with it, I knew I’d need to let Art Brain have her way with it. And she did.

I took a photo of the fabric covering my print table and goofed around with it in Photoshop. I ordered up the smaller size for the project I did and the magical mailbox portal brought me this:


I’ve had a little wood box kicking around my studio for a while. I decided they needed to be friends.


I figured the stick part of the wallpaper wouldn’t be super thrilled about the wood part of the box and I was right. Between the grain and the uneven surface and the dirt that I wasn’t able to wash off, it was a little bit of a challenge to get it on their smoothly.  Luckily I am very stubborn.





The fun part came next – filling it up and gluing things to it and screen printing on it. Assemblages are a hard one to explain. They don’t follow a formula and they sort of have a mind of their own. About the best piece of advice I can give is this – anything can be used in one and my favorite thing to do is to back myself into a corner on purpose. What I mean by that is I’ll add an element to the work and glue it down straight away. I don’t debate it, I make it permanent and then I’m forced to work around it. It adds a weird kind of challenge to the whole thing that I love.

I’ve also got this weird quirk that I always order far more promotional materials then I can ever use in a lifetime. This would be true of the bookmarks that I ordered for my book. Instead of letting them linger around the studio, I decided to let them have a little fun:



Glue. Cut. Paint. Repeat. And presto – you get an assemblage out of the whole deal.




It’s a goofy little thing. But I like it and it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. And that peel and stick wallpaper? Yes, I want more of that too. I have more boxes that need covering.


a discount until 2015 & weekly INKED giveaways! :)

Okay, some shop talk today but the kind that I think you’ll really like. If you’ve been thinking about picking up anything from my etsy shop, now’s the time to do it. For the remainder of 2014, everything in the shop is 10% off. Everything. Just enter the coupon code THANKS10 at checkout and etsy will automatically deduct the discount.

discount code 2

Thermofax screens, my Aurifil floss collection, my book, DVD workshops, my stencils from Artistcellar – it’s all on sale! So give yourself a little giftie or pick something up for that special artist in your life. :)

And I’m also kicking off weekly fat quarter giveaways on my Facebook Smudged Textiles Studio page today! :) Each Sunday I will post a photo of two fat quarters from my new fabric line INKED, leave a comment there (only there, please) to get in on the drawing. The line doesn’t ship until March 2015 so rather then simply taunting you with it until then, I wanted to get some of it out into the world now. Head on over and leave a comment, I’ll announce the winner next Sunday along with the new set to be given away.

Thanks everyone – 2014 has been an exciting year and it’s all because of you! You all rock! :)



where i stand sunday


The quiet sign hangs above my writing desk now. I keep moving it around my studio, maybe because it’s message makes me anxious. But in a way that spurs me into action, an understanding that if I waited until a convenient time to make the leap, much of what I would do would never become reality. It’s a difficult philosophy to adopt but one that has served me well – simply jump in with both feet and see where you land.


Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.



swatch buddies winners! :)




And the winners are..

The two winners of the Swatch Buddies giveaway are Sandra Taylor and Barbara Fox! :) Thanks for commenting everyone!



swatch buddies & INKED giveaway! :)

One of the biggest things I learned at Quilt Market was that the quilting industry is a big place and there is an infinite number of awesome products out there and it’s the place to see them all herded together in one place. Swatch Buddies is one such company that I’m extremely happy to have “discovered”. And now I couldn’t be happier to introduce them to you as well. :)




INKED on Swatch Buddies Designer Series cards


So what are they? They are cards (either plastic or paper) that you can attach small swatches of your fabric from your stash. Why would you want to do this? Ever go to the quilt shop and buy fabric with absolute certainty that it will be perfect friend for something in your stash and when you finally hook the two of them up they are no where near compatible? Yeah, me too.

Swatch Buddies will help you skip those kind of mistakes. You can take a little piece with you and always know if the friends you are buying for it will jive. Organization, baby – what could be better?

I’m using the Designer Series, which is the largest plastic card they offer:


This means that when someone asks me about INKED, I can just pull these out and I have the whole line with me. Can’t tell you how silly happy that makes me!

Plus there is the fact that the fine folks over at Swatch Buddies are quite possibly some of the nicest people on earth. They are offering a discount for anything on their site, here are the details:

From now until December 7, you can get 30% off anything on their site using the code Smudged30

These would make great gifts for the quilters/fabric junkies/textile hoarders in your life. Doing a gift swap in your guild and stumped what to get for the member you don’t know that well? Give ‘em a set or two of Swatch Buddies, makes it simple!

AND as if the discount code isn’t enough, I’ve got a couple sets to giveaway! :) Also, I’m giving away a fat quarter of INKED with each set. The fabric doesn’t ship until March 2015 and I feel as though I’m simply taunting you with it every time I mention it so here’s your chance to get your hands on some before next spring.

Leave a comment on this post by Friday November 21 and I’ll announce the winner on Saturday November 22. The first commenter (determined by if they posted before the other winner) chosen will get to pick which set he/she wants. Sound good? Here’s what’s up for grabs:

Giveaway set : #1 Swatch-It-All paperboard set, 15 swatch set. Great for fabric, paper or paint swatches. Plus a very happy bright orange/red FQ of INKED:

Giveaway set #1

Giveaway set #1


Giveaway Set #2: Swatch Buddies 12 card set (plastic cards) + a groovy yellow/green FQ of INKED:

Giveaway set #2

Giveaway set #2


Get commenting and stop by Swatch Buddies to use that great discount while it lasts!!! :)


Quilt Market – part 1 – the booth and products

I exhibited for the first time at the International Quilt Market last week. I’m still working on catching up. Yesterday I spent the day happily pushing everything around in my studio to make it tidy so I can start working on new and exciting projects that I’m itching to get started on.

I’ve been thinking about how I wanted to share the experience of Quilt Market with you. It’s hard to put into words but for me, there were three main components to the trip: the booth & new products, the people and the art. I don’t feel like I had enough time to really see everything and everyone but I’m happy to park it all here to share with you.

I spent a few months obsessing about my booth. While there are a couple of things I’ll do differently the next time, I’m really happy with how it came out.



Today’s post is a closer look at everything we corralled into that little space (a 10′x10′ booth is much bigger in your mind then it is in reality). It’s sort of a summary, I want to give a much closer look at everything (especially since some things I don’t have good photos of like the white quilt on the right hand side made by Rossie Hutchinson) plus I’ve got a lot of new products to talk about. They’ll get their own posts but for now? For now I want to just share with you what it was like to basically recreate Art Brain in a booth.

**My fabric line, “Inked”, ships in March 2015. If you would like your local quilt shop to carry it, you can find it here on Red Rooster Fabrics website so they can order it. All other products that were designed by me plus my floss collection with Aurifil will be sold directly through me. I’ll be adding them to my etsy shop over the next few months and will post more information about them here when I do.**

First I have to say that this could not have happened without Cheryl Sleboda’s help. And that’s not flattery, I mean it.  She’s like a booth ninja, nothing scares her and every time I turned around she was up on a ladder or assembling something and doing it all with a smile.


She was supportive and we got to know each other much better and I feel fortunate to have become good friends with her. :)

The easiest way to share the booth with you is through photos. So here goes.

The boxes were waiting for us when we arrived...

The boxes were waiting for us when we arrived…


I got the floor from FLOR. (I've been looking for an excuse to buy their carpet tiles for ages...)

I got the floor from FLOR. (I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy their carpet tiles for ages…)


View of the left side...

View of the left side…


View of the right side...

View of the right side…


The back wall featuring my new fabric line, "Inked", from Red Rooster Fabrics. Many thanks to Cathy Arnett for creating The Great Swatch Wall of INKED.

The back wall featuring my new fabric line, “Inked”, from Red Rooster Fabrics. Many thanks to Cathy Arnett for creating The Great Swatch Wall of INKED.


This is "Pathway", a quilt pattern I designed. It will be for sale by the end of 2014. The quilt shown here was made by Patrice Smith.

This is “Pathway”, a quilt pattern I designed. It will be for sale by the end of 2014. The quilt shown here was made by Patrice Smith.


This is "Interrupted", the second quilt pattern I designed. This quilt was also made by Patrice Smith.

This is “Interrupted”, the second quilt pattern I designed. This quilt was also made by Patrice Smith.


I've got an Aurifil floss collection also called "Inked". (I kind of like color a little bit if you haven't noticed.)

I’ve got an Aurifil floss collection also called “Inked”. (I kind of like color a little bit if you haven’t noticed.)


My hand stitching addiction knows no bounds. This is a pattern + starter set that I designed.

My hand stitching addiction knows no bounds. This is a pattern + starter set that I designed.


"Create" and "Stitch" inspirational posters designed by Jackie Lams. All the signage in the booth was designed by her, it looked awesome!

“Create” and “Stitch” inspirational posters designed by Jackie Lams. All the signage in the booth was designed by her, it looked awesome! These posters will be available for purchase as well.


Booths are nothing without samples and I had tons of help in that department. Here are a few of the pieces that hung out in the booth for the show:

Pillows made by Cathy Neri (she did a mini version of my quilt pattern "Interrupted" for a pillow cover), a paint flinging inspired pillow by me and a pieced INKED pillow by Cathy Arnett.

Pillows made by Cathy Neri (she did a mini version of my quilt pattern “Interrupted” for a pillow cover), a paint flinging inspired pillow by me and a pieced INKED pillow by Cathy Arnett.


A chicken (LOVE the chicken!) and pin cushions made by Lisa Chin from INKED.

A chicken (LOVE the chicken!) and pin cushions made by Lisa Chin from INKED.



Journal covers made by Deborah Boschert from INKED.

Journal covers made by Deborah Boschert from INKED.


Reusable lunch bags made by Carol R. Eaton from INKED.

Re-usable lunch bags made by Carol R. Eaton from INKED.


A *very* cool bag made by Patricia Wolff from INKED.

A *very* cool bag made by Patricia Wolff from INKED.


Patricia added this special touch - isn't it great?? :)

Patricia added this special touch – isn’t it great?? :)


A slouchy bowl made by Cheryl Sleboda. You have to have chocolate in a booth right? The table runner beneath it is by Deb Kolar, I'll get a better photo when my booth arrives home.

A slouchy bowl made by Cheryl Sleboda. You have to have chocolate in a booth right? The table runner beneath it is by Deb Kolar, I’ll get a better photo when my booth arrives home (it’s still traveling via UPS).


A box bag made by Cheryl Sleboda. I shouldn't say it, but this is one of my favorite prints from INKED. (Don't tell the others.)

A box bag made by Cheryl Sleboda. I shouldn’t say it, but this is one of my favorite prints from INKED. (Don’t tell the others.)


Whew! Big blog post! I’ve got two more about Market that I’d really like to share – the people and the art. Those will go up over the next few days. Thanks for sharing the experience with me and thanks again to everyone who made it happen!! :)


i’ll be at quilt market – come visit me! :)

fb banner promo


If you’ve been visiting with me on Facebook or Instagram or even here, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been prepping to exhibit at Quilt Market for the first time. (I’ve not shut up about it, you’d seriously need to go out of your way to avoid it.)

I think this may be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done for my art career. I’m debuting five new products and launching a wholesale arm to my business. I pulled it together in four months and honestly? I’m excited and worried and giddy and scared all at the same time. I’ve obsessed everything to within an inch of it’s life so I’m confident that it’s as good as it can be. That’s a pretty good place to be.

The blog is going quiet until after Market is over. If you are interested at all in following along with the wild ride as it happens, I invite you to visit me at my Instagram account. My username is girllovespaint. I’ll be showing all the new products I’ve got there first before anywhere else. I’m not taking my laptop so blogging won’t happen until after I’ve regained the ability to stay awake after I get home (I expect to be tired).

I’m not attending Festival, only Market.

If you are coming to Market, please stop by and say hello! Here’s all my details:

Smudged Textiles Studio

Booth #1562

Schoolhouse presentation: “Break It Apart: How to Get More out of the Patterns You Sell” on Friday October 24 from 5:30pm-6pm (I’ll have chocolate and fabric and I’ll be sharing).

Keep your fingers crossed for me that it all goes well and I’ll be back here in a bit to share all the details – woo! :)


fling paint, make buttons, give gifts

Usually when I hear that people are already making holiday gifts, I cringe and quickly find something else to think about. But really? Making small gifts now is a pretty good idea. And Interweave is making it easy for you, thought I’d give you a heads up.


These addictive little buggers are a combination of some super easy paint flinging and quick assembly to create fun gifties. Interweave gathered a few of their Gifts issues together (including the one that has the article I wrote on how to make these), the supplies you need to make them and put them all in a kit.

There’s nothing not to like about these and after having made close to a hundred of them, I can say that they are super easy. So grab a kit and get flinging!! :)



where i stand sunday

19oc14 where i stand

I stare down at the utilitarian mat and imagine filling each circle with a different pattern, color, texture, daydream. It’s an obsessive shape for me, one that I find endlessly fascinating and work into nearly every composition I create. It is the promise of endless opportunity contained in a simple clear shape.


Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.


throwback thursday: {untitled}

I did some photo only style posts back on my old blog. Just things I found interesting. I’m especially fond of this photo, I think architectural decay is one of the most fascinating things around. Texture and color galore and a strange mixture of electric energy in the letting go. So on this Throwback Thursday I give you one of my favorite wordless photo posts that I simply called “{untitled}”.




p a u s e



This pause has me looking at these good things in my life…

What I’m making…hand printed fabric for my fellow members of The Printed Fabric Bee. I’m a wee bit behind (if by that you understand I mean two themes behind). Feels good to have paint in my hair again.

What I’m readingThree Graves Full. I’m a horror fiction fan. More the Twilight Zone-ish type, not gore. I just started reading this one but it’s good so far and since it’s coming up on Halloween, seemed a good time to start a new book.

What I’m eating…cider mill donuts. (Isn’t everyone?)

What I’m wanting…an Oliso Smart Iron. In yellow because it’s happy. A new ironing board and iron are high on the list of studio items to upgrade

What I’m hoping for…more cuddle time with Carter. Napping on the sofa with that dog is the cure for anything that ails me. :)



where i stand sunday



28se14 where i stand


The light feels heavy and longer, it’s pushing. Like I’m in the way. It’s the byproduct of struggle between summer and autumn. Two things trying to occupy the same space and all we can simply do is watch and wait for the change to take place.


Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.


Throwback thursday: how to make art in 10 minutes

At my old blog I posted for many years. And lately it’s been nagging at me that if it ever went away (maybe because I just don’t post there anymore or the computer gods decide to smite me), all that writing would be lost. Gone. Presto poof.

So I thought I’d use the concept of Throwback Thursday (the posts people put up showing old photos of themselves from years ago) to move some of that content here and let it see the light of day again.

Here is one that is still very much relevant in my life since I’m often asked how I manage to get so much stuff done. Hope you dig it.

* * * * *

how to make art in 10 minutes

I’m like everyone else – I’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it in. There’s just no getting around it.

Basically it came down to a very simple ultimatum: (1) Stop doing anything but the day job or (2) Figure out a way to fit art and fun into my schedule.

I chose option #2. (Obviously, right?)

Okay, so I made that choice but now what? How in the world do I squeeze in extra time? The answer was very obvious: I don’t.

Extra time is not the issue. Effectively using my time is. There are a lot of little blocks of time that go unused in the day. Ten minutes here, five minutes there. They hardly seem like they are worth anything but if you worked on a project for ten minutes every day, you’d have nearly an hour’s worth of work in on it by the end of the work week.

It’s a habit. Not one that comes easily and not one that I can always keep up with. Sometimes I’m just tired and don’t feel like working. And sometimes all I’ve got to give is ten minutes.

And that’s okay.

Those ten minute time blocks keep me moving. They keep me producing and when I feel productive, I feel happy.

So the next time you are sitting somewhere thinking about how you have no time to do something, take the time you would spend worrying about it and do something. Even just for a few minutes.

Ten minutes can make a huge difference in the long run.


“i can’t go back even if i wanted to…”

I’ve watched this a hundred times. Could watch it a hundred more. Stunning and brilliant…

SILVER & LIGHT from Ian Ruhter : Alchemist on Vimeo.








SAQA benefit auction

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 9.35.17 AM


That there piece up there is my contribution to the Studio Art Quilt Associates annual fundraising auction. Bidding on it opens today at 2pm EDT. It’s a reverse auction so the price starts out at $750 and ticks down to $75 over the course of a few days. There are tons of beautiful art quilts up there and all the funds go to SAQA to help them do all the art quilt goodness that they do throughout the year.

Swing on by and have a gander, hope you find something you just can’t live without!



where i stand sunday



I drive by the art academy every day to and from work. I feel a tug as I pass on the outskirts, a space marked by stone walls and elaborate gates. Guarded by sculpture and beauty and know that some part of me belongs there. I long to wander through it and shut out the rest of the world in favor of art but I will have to settle for standing on the outside looking in, carrying my artist self within me on the outskirts.


Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.


Here is the rest of the gate and one of it’s guardians:






i dreamt of a white studio

I woke up this morning with a complete recollection of the dream I had last night. Which is weird because I rarely remember them clearly, if at all. But this one? All laid out in explicit detail.

I was working in a white studio. Everything was white – the walls were brick painted white, the floor, the worktables (notice I used plural on that), the design boards. All white. There were splatter marks of color on nearly everything because I will never be neat with paint but the room itself? White.

Along the wall to my left were windows. Floor to ceiling, industrial looking. I understood when I saw them that I was in a rehabilitated factory. Everything felt old and I loved it for that. It had soul and memory and I felt as though it had welcomed me to it’s story.

The design boards were covered with patterns and designs and all manner of fabric and paper hanging off them. I was busy. And happy. Mostly I remember just being very, very happy.

I don’t know what it means. If anything. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. Maybe it’s just hopes for the future seeping into my dreaming. But I can’t stop thinking about it and if nothing else, I’ll hold it in my mind as a representation of what my artist self looks like in the quiet moments. Maybe it was a self portrait of my inner artist.

Have you ever dreamed about art? Making it? Where you wanted it to go? What you hoped it could be?



where i stand sunday


These are such a small part of the booth but a necessary component of the orchestra that is making up my first time exhibiting at the International Quilt Market. A low grade mixture of excitement and nervousness is with me throughout each day as the date creeps closer.


Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.



p a u s e (and why i stopped blogging)

I’m not one of those bloggers that believes in apologizing when I’m away from posting for a while. I mean, life is life, right? Can’t always be available all of the time to get a post written.But I have to admit that I’ve been trying to figure out my lack of posts lately. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog, it’s just something has held me back. I finally figured it out yesterday and I’ve made a massive mistake.

At some point along the way I decided that every post needed to be magazine worthy. I felt it needed to be grand and sweeping in order to be worthwhile. For the record? No one told me I had to do this. Something shifted in the way I viewed my blog and it wasn’t good nor fair. To you or to me. So I’ve been avoiding posting because that broken mindset told me that if I didn’t toil in my studio for an entire day writing an extremely detailed how-to post, you wouldn’t like it.

How silly.

My practice at my previous blog was much more lighthearted. Much more…all over the place. Because I’m a firm believer that building a creative life doesn’t happen only within your studio walls. It’s about all the tiny details in life. I know some “experts” will disagree but when I think about the blogs I like best? They talk about everything. And I mean everything – pets, kids, food, what color the sky is. You name it, it goes up. And that’s how I used to be be and I realize I really really really miss it.

So I’m going back to my old ways. I’m leaving behind the self-imposed pressure to perform and just do my thing like I did when first began writing a blog. I suspect some current readers won’t care for it and I’m sorry if you choose to leave but man, this joint has become too quiet for my taste. I’m going to do what feels best in my bones to liven it back up. Starting with this simple silly little post. I’ve seen some versions of it on other blogs and I dig it – I’ve given it my own name and twist and I really thing it brings humanity back to these posts and maybe you’ll find something we have in common.

Thanks for giving me the space to find my blogging mojo again and I hope you like it as well as I do. :)



This pause has me looking at these good things in my life…

What I’m making…lots and lots of plans for the International Quilt Market which is next month. I’m a bit of a spaz at the moment (ignore that twitch beneath my left eye, will ya?)

What I’m readingThe Lace Reader. (It’s my fourth time through it, love it that much.)

What I’m eatingChana Masala. It’s an Indian dish that involves chick peas, rice and too many spices to list and I love it. Awesome vegetarian dish.

What I’m wanting…this sweater that couldn’t say “autumn” more if it was capable of speaking.

What I’m hoping for…a long autumn with lots of color (whoa there winter, you’ll get your turn).


full on ninja planning mode

So if you visit with me on social media you know that I’m exhibiting at the International Quilt Festival in Houston at the end of October to celebrate my new fabric line with Red Rooster Fabrics and my book and all my other items that I geek out about. I haven’t had this many to-do lists since I first started my business. While there have been moments of panic, I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. The biggest item on my list is figuring out my booth design.

I did this the other day:



My garage floor now has a turquoise duct tape faux booth. I needed to see the size in real life because I’ve managed to make a 10′x10′ booth WAY bigger in my head. It’s good to see it and now I can plan accordingly. I’ve got a couple of big pieces, mysteriously shown in this box:




I’m so eager to show it all. I really am but I want to save it for the final set up because really, in pieces? Not so impressive. It’s just like printing fabric – the layers need to all come together in order for it to be any kind of interesting.

There has been some of this during the planning as well:


Atwater Brewrey is one of my favorites and cherry stout? Mercy. In Love. This one is tied with their coffee one. Yes, you read that right – coffee beer. Doesn’t get much better then that.

So the blog is going to be full of Market Market Market (say that part in the Brady Bunch “Marsha Marsha Marsha” whiney voice for full effect) but I’m hoping you don’t mind. Since it’s my primary occupation in the studio right now, it’s either don’t blog at all or take you along for the ride.

Houston Quilt Market or bust!! :)



evolution of a coffee cup print

During the blog hop release party for my book Intentional Printing, Virginia Spiegel cooked up a great exchange. The idea was to create 6″ squares of fabric featuring a mutual love amongst all the participants , the coffee cup. Each participant was asked to use three techniques from the book and include the cup as part of the design. The work everyone produced was incredible! :)

Gordana Vukovic was one of the participants and here are the twelve awesome pieces she created:


artwork by Gordana Vukovic, used with permission


(I was lucky to get the middle one in the third row – love it!) She wrote a blog post talking about the process that she worked through to make them and I thought you might like to swing by and visit her to see how she went about it. And while you’re there, be sure to take a stroll through her art portfolio – very lovely work! :)



sunday inspiration

A little bit of inspiration to wrap up your week, this one is quite cool. :)






time to TAP – Lesley Riley’s new book!! :)

The very fabulous and talented Lesley Riley has released another book and she’s celebrating in style so be sure to read on. :) Her latest masterpiece features all the ways you can use Transfer Artist Paper (TAP). TAP is Lesley’s brain child, it’s a very cool versatile product that let’s you transfer just about anything onto just about anywhere. (Versatility rocks.)

Here’s the book:



You can snag one here.

There are LOADS of projects in this book. I mean it’s bursting at the seams!! I’m very excited to have been one of the contributors and I flexed my TAP muscles by making this pillow:


I have an addiction to pillows. I have enough to build a house from. (Seriously.)

Here’s a closer look:



The striped circles and Xs are done with TAP. Nifty, right? :) All the details on how to make it are in the book along with other groovy projects.

Lesley is introducing you to all the contributors of the book on her blog starting today. She’ll chat up two of us every day and hold a daily drawing for  rocking good stuff like the new book and TAP. So you’ll want to stop by and visit her everyday through Sunday this week, okay? She’s extremely kind and generous and talented so you want to know her even without the giveaways. :)




inspiration wednesday

Just a little bit of inspiration to break up the work week. :)





submitting a magazine article – an interview with Vivika Hansen DeNegre

I’m a writing junkie, do it constantly. It’s been a privilege to be able to write for several publications – Fiber Art Now, Sew Somerset, Cloth Paper Scissors and Quilting Arts Magazine. In all, I’ve written about thirty articles since 2011.

I get a lot of emails from artists who would like to submit an article asking for advice, wanting to know what the magic trick is. The magic trick is this – be brave enough to take the plunge. :) Editors at magazines are wonderful people. Incredibly kind and generous and always willing to look at new ideas.

Vivika Hansen DeNegre is the editor of Quilting Arts Magazine. I’m happy to also count her amongst my friends and to have worked with her so much. Here we are all smiles at the 2014 Spring International Quilt Market:


I asked if she would be interested in doing a little interview on the topic of article submissions and she said yes. My questions are specifically about submitting to Quilting Arts Magazine. So here’s what she has to say on the topic.

Lynn: Just how mixed media can a quilt be to be included in Quilting Arts Magazine? Does work with lots of embellishments or made with things other than fabric (such as paper) qualify? How far can one stray from the technical definition of a quilt to still fit in with the magazine?

Vivika: I don’t know about you, but I consider a quilt to be a piece of textile work with three layers, held together with stitching. I know that SAQA and other organizations have a broader definition of the term, and I gladly embrace their ideas. As far as mixed media quilts are concerned, just about anything goes. Paper? You bet. Embillishments? Of course. Every artist should make up his or her own mind about what is a quilt and how their artwork fits in, and create from that point. Don’t let definitions define your work, style, or ambition.


Lynn: Do you prefer technique or project focused articles? Or is it determined more by the artwork than either of those categories?

Vivika: For Quilting Arts, we look primarily for technique articles, but since this is a visually driven audience and we rely so heavily on beautiful photography, we also like to show finished pieces of artwork that include the technique. For instance, if you submit an article about embellishing with traditional French embroidery, include an image of a quilt or piece of artwork showcasing the technique. For our Special Issue magazines like Quilting Arts Holiday, Quilt Scene, and Modern Patchwork, we primarily are looking for projects.


Lynn: You mention “supporting information” in your submission guidelines. Can you give a couple examples of what that means?

Vivika: That means you have to tell us what you are proposing for an article. A good article proposal includes low resolution images (low resolution is not the same thing as low quality: the images need to be in focus and show the artwork) as well as a short (1-2 paragraph)_description of the technique or content you are proposing. If we need clarification, we’ll get back to you.


Lynn: Can you comment on the lead time for an article? In other words, how long should one expect to wait between approval and seeing it in print?

Vivika: Each submission is acknowledged by an immediate email upon receipt. Submissions are then reviewed within 3 months, and we get back to the artists by then. If you don’t hear from us (unfortunately, sometimes this happens!) follow up with another email and we’ll respond promptly. We work 6 months ahead on every issue, so keep that in mind when you submit seasonal projects and ideas. When an article is “booked” to be in an issue, you will be informed of the issue date. Occasionally, articles are bumped to future issues, and the artist is informed.


Lynn: Does the photography included with the submission need to be done by a professional?

Vivika: No, it just needs to be clear and good enough for us to really understand what we are looking at. Low resolution images are preferred. If we need to, we ask for further supporting images. We do all of our own photography in house, with the exception of process photos that are sent in by the artists. The exception is Head Shots – every artist should have a professional quality head shot available. (We only use head shots for our gallery/profile type articles.) Make the investment and have this done ahead of time!


Lynn: If you could give only one tip to someone submitting an article to help make it successful, what would it be?

Vivika: Just one tip? Look at back issues of the magazines and glean information about what we are looking for and how the articles are written. If you have a great idea, make up a sample and send in a submission. Keep in mind this is a visual audience with high expectations for unique artwork, thorough instructions, and a deep understanding of the art. And don’t overlook the opportunity of having your work published and noticed by our editorial team by joining in on one of our reader challenges. In the last several years, 3 of our cover artists were reader challenge participants.

And have fun! Ok that was more than one suggestion!


All magazines have submission guidelines for articles on their websites and/or in the magazine itself. If you’re interested in submitting an article to Quilting Arts Magazine, you can find their submission guidelines here.

If you’ve been thinking about writing an article, I hope this helps clear up some questions – happy writing! :)







I’ve been feeling quiet lately. Mostly because there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Planning up to my eyeballs (in a good way) and some new things that make me pause and wonder and realize that it’s time to sort of stretch and do some new things. Not always the easiest thing to embrace is it?

But the one thing I know is that being an artist allows you the permission to experiment when the calling hits. And it’s hit. So I’ll listen and just try to go with the flow as best I can.



piecing with hand printed fabrics



I’ve flirted with piecing for a long time. I’ve been practicing more with it and using my hand printed fabrics. I have to say that I’m falling in love. I hear all the time that hand printed fabric can’t be used for piecing. Not so.

I made this little fella with samples from my book:



It’s sort of scrappy and a little fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants design but it’s fun. And cute. And I’m getting ready to stitch it until it begs for mercy. (Is there any other way?)

So don’t hide those hand printed fabrics away, use them in your piecing – they play nicely together! :)



stencil/book winner & sunday inspiration

Well, I want to  say that I think someone has stolen 2014. I mean, all I do is blink and another chunk of the year is gone. That time warp is the reason for my tardiness for announcing the winner of the stencils and book and fabric. Better late than never, right?

The winner of the stencils, book and fabric is Beth G. – congrats Beth! I’ll email you for your address.

And on this fine Sunday afternoon, here’s a little bit of screen printing geekiness for some inspiration. (I’m a junkie and I’m not sorry.)




“Marked” and book giveaway! :)

Well it’s finally my turn to give a chat about Marked, my new stencils out with Artistcellar. And I’ve got some gabbing to do. But before we get to all that, let me show you what I’m including in my giveaway to celebrate:


Leave a comment on this post by noon on Saturday July 12 and you’ll be in on the drawing to win the goodies in the photo above, I’ll announce the winner later that afternoon. That’s my book, a set of stencils and a few strips of fabric I printed using Marked. So get commenting! :)

And if you’re interested in visiting the other artists on the hop, swing on by the Pinterest board I set up for Marked to admire their incredible artwork as well as link to their posts to check out their giveaways:

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 9.20.34 PM

Marked is all about my obsession with print. I love patterns and I love being able to apply it easily to fabric so really, stencils are a perfect marriage. I grabbed a hunk of my RIT dyed fabric and painted some deColourant (a medium that actually removes color from the fabric, almost like bleach but not as stinky or harsh) through them to get this fabric:





 (Just a quick note about deColourant – even though it’s one of the lesser smellier discharge mediums out there, you should still use it in a well ventilated area. You just brush it through the stencil with a sponge brush, let it dry completely, and then iron it to make the discharge magic happen.)

On the last piece of fabric there with the commas as the discharged image, I did an overprint of the Xs stencil in blue to jazz it up. The orange and black marks are fabric marker just to add a little definition.

I really loved how the fabric came out so I wanted to make something a little functional with it so I’d see it all the time. I chose the Beanbag Desk Weights from my book, Intentional Printing:





But I didn’t stop there. (Stenciling is really addictive.) I’ve been bitten by the hexie bug:



I grabbed the Xs and Comma stencils and traced them onto some scrap fabric with a fabric marker:





And made these little cuties:


(I have a pack of 450 templates. I think I’m going to making a lot more.)

What I like most about these stencils? They work with a lot of different styles – as well demonstrated by all the talented ladies on the blog hop. I hope you’ve been having as much fun as I have visiting all them. And don’t forget to leave a comment on my post here to get in on my drawing. Woo! Stencils! :)