Creative Distractions






This Monkey Mind of mine has kept me distracted on several fronts.  Needing a little Spring in the middle of dreary winter, I came up with the idea of painting heavily starched white linen and making up linen flowers to embellish everything I own.  I experimented spraying starch, tinted with watercolor paints, on the linen and  also tried painting the linen with acrylic paints in all shades of pink before cutting out petals and hand sewing them together.  This has been a popular project among my friends and daughter hence more coming up.






I’ve also been working the sticks and made up a cowl for a girlfriend and a baby girl dress for another.  Both are made out of malabrigo yarn.  I increasingly love well engineered knitting patterns and this simple baby dress qualifies with it’s “knit in one piece” construction, knit in pockets in a complimentary gray yarn and spots to use two of my blue vintage buttons. (patterns here: Ravelry: Bulle pattern by Karen Borrel and Ravelry: Vite Cowl pattern by Kristi Johnson)

I was fortunate to take my kids to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit at Alcatraz in San Francisco this weekend.  The exhibit is a combination of visual and audio art meant to honor and bring attention to imprisoned artists around the world.  It was a treat to see but I think I fell most in love with the whole Alcatraz experience: San Francisco on sunny winter day, the quiet beauty, the history, the smell of Eucalyptus on the island and the color scheme . . .  SWOON!  A project in Alcatraz Palette is in my future for certain.













Circles and Squares






Recent Creative Work includes a quilt top of my own design: pieced concentric circles cut into 10×10 inch blocks and reworked.  Once again I found inspiration in Modern Art.  You can see the poster that inspired me here: AnuiColor | Flickr – Photo Sharing!.  This quilt top is still in search of a name.  Do you have any good ideas?

The cowl is made from 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rasta yarn.  The free pattern is here: Ravelry: Blue Brambles pattern by Alyssa Heath.

Did you notice the new picture in my blog header?  The pic is a herd of curious Chamois we ran into hiking around Zermatt, Switzerland.  It was such a treat to see them and how lovely are they in the fog?



Let’s Break the Rules. Shall We?

Let’s break the rules.  Let’s deviate from the pattern or not even use a pattern at all.  Let’s create with nonconventional/non-flavor of the week fabric. Let’s repurpose when we can.  Let’s think outside the box.  Anyone with me?


Ha!  I sound like such a rebel don’t I?  Obviously I’m being a bit dramatic but must say I’ve been pondering a lot recently on the substrates I use for creating. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but I am often left overwhelmed by all the newest fabric lines that seem to appear every hour.  And don’t get me wrong, I cherish my designer fabrics and special threads, etc.  Sometimes though, I feel like bucking the system and deviating from the norm.  This theme helped in the making of my latest baby quilt pictured above.  Not surprisingly, I named it “Break the Rules” baby quilt.  It garnered this name as I used nontraditional fabrics (ikea canvas and denim and cotton from the remnant pile off my local fabric shop), made up my own design that is pretty modern and nontraditional for a baby quilt.  I also mixed techniques making this using both traditional piecing and needle turn appliqué.


I followed the same theme with a cowl I made yesterday.  Once again though the beautiful green yarn was lovely, my rebel streak made me add a postage stamp splash of orange.


For some real rebels check out Luke Haynes who often makes his quilts with repurposed clothing.  His fiber art is off the hook cool.

LUKE! – Luke Haynes.

Also check out my friend Bianca who sews almost exclusively with vintage patterns and fabric. She is amazing.

Thanks! I made them!.

Now I need to play with some of my plentiful designer fabric and work on a sweet toddler girl sweater because we modern girls are allowed to be girly and traditional too.



Yarn Wrestling

Have you ever has a handmade project that physically abused you?  Last night I finished up a cowl of my own design.  I made Purl Bee’s Super Soft Fluted Cowl for a friend last year which by the way was not abusive at all (pattern here:  I had three leftover Purl Soho Super Soft Merino skeins that were beckoning from my yarn stash.  After perusing some lovely stitches, I decided to make a cowl using the Lotus Flower Stitch (pattern here:  My heart is happy, my fingers are not.


I was hoping to send a tutorial out there but I’m afraid of all the hate mail that may come my way. So I will just let my fingers heal and snuggle in this yummy warmth and look forward to some more friendly knitting projects.

By the way, the backside of the pattern below I think is so much prettier then the front.  Wishing all a nurturing crafting weekend.