CQJP July Block

Monday, February 28, 2011

Bye-Bye Heart Month

February ends, and we wave good-bye to Heart Month with a little poem for heart happiness.

She’d loved fully, loving well.                          
Her lover’s leaving broke the spell.
She then began to hide her heart
Inside a locket on a chain.
She forced it in a too-small space,
She bent and twisted it in place,
And once she’d snatched it from the sun
Saw not the light in anyone.
It could not swell with pride or care.
It could not grow held hostage where
It could not breathe locked from the air.
So, it began to fester there.
                                          S. R. Cuss

Don't let this happen to you!

Keep your heart happy. Wear it on your sleeve and let it breathe, exercise it often, and show it off to everyone.

Okay, I'm climbing down off the soapbox now.
Hope you cultivate a Happy Heart!

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

This week's challenge:

card 1:- place an assortment of found objects on your paper and spray around them with a watered down gesso mix. Allow to dry. Then paint

card 2:- find one of the following: a rock, branch or driftwood and use the shape or object as a basis for your creation.

I began with a warm wash.

 added some burnt sienna
 arranged the found objects
 sprayed with the gesso mix
 added some acrylic irridescent gold to the gesso mix and sprayed again
 added quinacridone gold to the mix and sprayed
 once dry, the found objects were removed and showed some nice texture, but I wanted more
 red oxide was added to the gesso blend , the objects were re-arranged, and then sprayed a final time

 Ah, this is more like the textured background I had visualized
I painted in a branch in blue/brown mix, added small touches of green and a hint of orange/red  and this challenge is complete

Next week's challenge:
card 1:- choose an old painting that doesn't work, choose a subject unrelated to that painting, and paint over it using a medium of choice, using transparent and opaque paints
card 2:- combine themes, painting something that makes you blue, something that makes you green, and in between them, something that makes you laugh
wow! that sounds like a challenge, for sure! What would you paint to make you blue? Or green?
Hope you're having fun creating.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."   Scott Adams

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Thursday, February 24, 2011


 I stained some laces in a tea/coffee mix.

Wonderful bits of stained lace for some upcoming projects.

What have you been doing?

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from SuzPosted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tats

Tatted from Lynn Morton's "Tatting Jewellery", this motif, created with Yarnplayer's Luna, size 40, had crystals added to the picots.
 What do you think?
I like the design, and I love the Luna!

But, I'm thinking there's just too much bling.
I think I should remove all the bicones, re-tat this motif, and add some bling, but more judiciously.

I've started working on more Luna jewellery.

Have you been tatting?

Thanks for visiting.

Hugs from Suz

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

Inspiration Sunday's painting began with the following instructions:
card 1:- on wet paper,draw freely with water-soluble crayons, using other tools if you wish, and when dry, select a colour scheme, and draw/paint your subject overtop

card 2:-paint using a triad ( on the colour wheel)

I decided to try two smaller paintings this time, rather than 1 larger piece, and used two different papers, one of which had an old beginning painting on it.

The top paper is thin and smooth-- hot press watercolour paper, 140 lb.
The bottom is 140 lb  rough watercolour paper.

I began with wet paper and watercolour crayons in my chosen triadic colours of orange, purple, and green

 I scribbled with the crayons, then let the paper dry.

Looks pretty messy, don't you think? 

The original scribbles become an unusual background for this painting. It seems to have a lot of movement.The green and purple in the tree trunk is not very visible in the pic, but I really like the way the two colours wove together to make interesting shades of both.

The second painting began with windows of orange over the scribbles and the underpainting.

 I decided to add green, wooden framing
Adding shadows and line gave a bit of depth. The background visible through the orange glass looks like distant objects, while the 'building wall' is left unchanged.

I think the textures and movement of the crayons scribbles added to the result, and although neither painting is very realistic, the exercises are to promote new directions and possibilities. I would not normally have chosen to paint over crayon scribbles, but this can produce some interesting effects.

I'm stretching my knowledge and trying new things.

Have you been stretching and creating this week? What have you been making?

Next challenge:
card 1:- place an assortment of found objects on your paper and spray around them with a watered down gesso mix. Allow to dry. Then paint
card 2:- find one of the following: a rock, branch or driftwood and use the shape or object as a basis for your creation.
Sounds interesting to me. I wonder what I'll find in the middle of winter?

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Swap

I was in a mini fabric collage swap on A Swap For All Seasons, and B was my swap partner. You can check out her blog here.
B sent me this:

Isn't it so cute? I love the words, and since I often have problems with sleeping, I'm hoping this will help resolve that, and be a talisman  for a wonderful night's sleep.
 I like all the layers, the seed beads on the flowers, and the floating sequins that add a bit of sparkle. I love the colour scheme, the movement in the piece, and how it all fits together beautifully. Thanks, B! 

Here's what B received, on Valentine's Day:

Beginning with a base of quilted fabrics in earth tones, I added a layer of lace sunflowers, hand-painted with acrylic paints, which leant a nice metallic sheen. I put in two small, white tatted flowers, then covered all with a layer of bronze organza. Buttons became the sunflower centers, and french knots were added to the tatted flower's centers. A yellow, square 'crystal' adorns the button centre of the largest sunflower for bling effect.

This pic on a different angle shows the sheen of the paint, and the organza.

One of  Nicki Lee's hand-dyed lace dragonflies is hovering over the flowers. His eyes glisten as green faceted crystals shine in the sun.

B had said she liked my tatting, so I created a two-toned brown, tatted flower in the lower left corner, using the fancy picot stitch. Then, on a loosely braided stem, I added a free-floating woven picot leaf. It adds another layer of dimension to the piece.

A tawny-brown, 'suede' yarn is sewn around the outside of the collage, and extends for a hanger.

On the back, I added a paper, hand-painted heart trimmed with gold and sewn to red felt, adding a little message for my swap partner.

I'm so happy that B likes her fabric collage! I had a lot of fun creating this piece. Since this was my first fabric collage, I was pleased with how it turned out.

What have you been creating?

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, it's supposed to be a tatted heart:
'Modern Heart Motif' by Mark Myers
I think I tatted it too tightly, as the heart shape isn't quite right. I'll tat it again.

Wishing you a very
Happy Valentine's Day!
May your heart be happy!
I'm off to play crib with DH, and nibble on a bit of chili dark chocolate. Yum!

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thought for Thursday

February is the month for hearts and love. I usually think of romantic love whenever I think of red hearts and Valentine's Day.
But, there are many kinds of love we experience: of family, friends, children, nature, our pets, love of country,........................
So today, I thought I would share a poem with you that I wrote some time ago.

And Separates Join

It begins with a moment shared
On common ground. And separates join.
It is born with a similarity
Of thought or purpose,
And each separate, in some measure,
Complements the other.
The spirited beckons the fearful.
Sharing adventure, but learning, too,
To watch for hidden dangers.
The joyful encourages the wretched,
Lifting spirits but glimpsing
The darkness of sorrow.
The hurried propels the dawdler,
Teaching the value of time's passage
And discovers the gift of a minute's reflection.
And separates join.
They find solace in one another's company,
They share each others thoughts and dreams,
They soften the sting of truth
With kind words, and a touch, or a hug.
They support one another when knees buckle
And worlds collapse.
They push and prod and hang on
When the path becomes steep,
And the footing unsure.
And separates join.
They weave a cloth of moment's history
To cloak them from nature's fury
And life's bitter arrows.
They celebrate successes,
Cry with your sorrows,
And laugh with your joys.
Steadfast, strong, and sure,
They are there in time of need
To hold and help and heal.
They are precious gifts
Of immeasureable value.
They are Friends.
                             by S.R. Cuss

So take a moment today to hug a friend and express just how much you value their friendship.
Wishing you a Happy Heart.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Tats

I'm still working on my white piece, and creating tatting embellishments.
 I joined together 3 'ribbons' of fancy picot stitch to create this seam adornment. You can see the coloured thread running down the middle between two 'ribbons' of white.
 It's thick and stands up 1" above the fabric.
 In the centre, the 'ribbon' is created with the varigated thread I've used elsewhere. On each side, I used three threads to create a white 'ribbon':1 strand of DMC size 30, and two strands of super-glossy white embroidery thread.

It sure is shiny! And frilly! Ooops, and it looks as though I need to do some ironing!

It's joined to a line of tatted rick-rack or node stitch. I have a bit more of the white 'ribbon' to add.

This is where I placed the fancy picot 'ribbon'.

And in the lower left corner is a stem with a small flower opening, and one in full bloom. ( fancy picot stitch)
 I like the 3-d effect of the fancy picot flower. There are beads in the flower centres, but it's difficult to see them in this pic.

I've added some embroidery to the hanky

and to the wedding lace. Embroidered hearts seemed fitting. There are more hearts and more embroidery on the hanky piece to do.

I'm not quite finished my white piece yet. I'm having lots of fun embellishing, and I haven't even begun to use beads, or SRE. Choices, choices.

Hope your stitching or tatting is bringing you a whole lot of pleasure!

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

Inspiration card 1 read:- paint a wall, hiding your name in its surface
Card #2 instructed:- paint using 1 bright, fully saturated primary colour and 1 bright fully saturated secondary colour; they cannot be complementary. Use also a dark grey as a neutral.

I thought of a brick wall, and my first impulse was to use a warm red and an orange, but I have used those tones on several paintings.
Time to switch it up, I thought. So I chose my fave blue, and a yellow green. I used a dark grey as instructed, and decided to hide my name in the graffiti painted on the wall. And I made the graffiti saying quite silly, so as not to be misunderstood.

I found it difficult to create brick texture using saturated paints, but when I decided this would be a fun exercise, I began just to play.
Salt sprinkled onto the damp paint, and water spritzes, helped to create some texture, as did dry-brushing over the bricks.
I think the subject matter is recognizable, but it's not very realistic, is it? Maybe it's not necessary to have it look real. I find just 2 main colours challenging. What do you think?

Next week's challenge:
card 1:- on wet paper,draw freely with water-soluble crayons, using other tools if you wish, and when dry, select a colour scheme, and draw/paint your subject overtop
card 2:-paint using a triad ( on the colour wheel)

Hope you've had a creative weekend.
Thanks for visiting,
Hugs from Suz