CGM Podcast Episode #73: Star Spangled Sammy

Listen to the episode here

Show Notes 

Life Update:

  • The weather! For fewer complaints (and a great quilty podcast, listen to Frances over at Off Kilter Quilter.
  • Sam is singing the Star Spangled Banner in her school's talent show. I'll be the proud mama in front...wearing earplugs. ;-)
F.O.'s and WIPs:
  • Mini Quilt: Scrap-collecting bird. Blog post here.
  • More Lifebook and art journal pages.
  • Duds blog post.
Email Questions answered! Thank you Linda, Carrie, Sharon, and Prithi for your emails.

Organizing book mentioned:

by Marie Kondo

Classic Movie:
The Long, Long Trailer 
with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Book Review:

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Thanks for listening!!



Mini Quilt: Are You Gonna Use That?

I made this little quilt over the long holiday weekend. An extra snow day allowed me to finish it up!

15" x 16"

This is my fabric version of a paper collage by artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire. I have admired her work for several years, and have had this silly bird on my list of art quilts to make for awhile.

Here are a few closeups:

I purposely left a few of the threads hanging from his beak, since he is picking up sewing scraps after all.....

This little quilt was made using fusible appliqué (I use Pellon 805/Wonder Under) and various hand dyed and text print scraps form my stash. For the music notes on his body and beak, I used a rubber stamp and dark brown archival ink stamp pad.

He's going to hang out with me in my studio for awhile, then I will probably pass him on to a friend I know who loves birds and bird watching.



What We're Reading This Month

The Jaguar's Children by John Valiant

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
(on sale 7/28/15, I am reading an advance copy)

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis

Samantha (age 8):

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Magic Animal Friends Book 1 by Daisy Meadows
(on sale 5/26/15, Sam is reading an advance copy)

Maddy (age 4):
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel

What are you reading this month?




The often frustrating thing about making art is you don't always end up with what you envisioned. I start out with an idea, inspiration, or picture in my mind, and it is often as clear as if it was sitting in front of me. I know exactly how I want it to look. It happens that way for me most often with quilting because frankly, that's where my "skills" are. I'm good at it. I'm proud of the work I do there. I'm happy to share it when I can. And I've learned how to make even a sow's ear of a quilt look reasonably decent (rip, cut, sew, repeat...).

This art journaling thing though...no bragging whatsoever about any supposed "skills" I might have. LOL, that paintbrush often has a mind of its own I think. I still get a vision about how I want the page to look. I pull together a small collection of supplies I want to try out on a page, and go for it. Sometimes I have success (it looks the way I wanted it to). Other times....not so much.

So today, instead of just showing off my "skills" I'm going to share a few of my not-so-great efforts lately. I call these my duds. Now, beauty and/or dud-worthiness is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the maker. Believe me when I say I am not looking for any compliments or "oh, but they're beautiful/nice/lovely" comments. I'm also not looking for "yeah, you're right, they're shit" comments either!

This is just me, keeping it as real as I can, and sharing my "duds" today because I feel like as I go on this art journal/mixed media journey, I want to share it all with you. The good, pretty, and the ugly. Not just the "she's got skills" pieces. Here we go:

Art journal page: Bloom Where You Are Planted.
What I like about it: colors, background texture, stencils used.
What I hate about it: the flowers look crazy and you can tell I tried (too hard) to pretty them up with the white dots. I actually like white dots as a visual element on journal pages but it just doesn't work on this page. And that written quote - ugh. Just terrible writing, but I'll chalk it up to lettering practice gone wrong.

Closeup so you can see the background texture, which I actually liked. 
Made using old book pages, comic book pages, punchinella stamp, flower stencil, acrylic paints. 

 Art Journal Page: Don't Worry About a Thing...
What I like about it: The background texture and use of a cut-out from a magazine.
What I don't like about it: everything else. Hot mess. 

 Art Journal Page: Oh, What Fun
What I like about it: Background texture - I love making backgrounds, taking the opportunity to play and just have fun playing with texture on a page. 
The "problem" comes with knowing what to put on top as the focal point. 
What I don't like about it: This one isn't so bad to me, although I should have stopped at the first layer of black paint splatter. While I like the element of the Starbucks bag cut out (Oh, what fun), I'm not altogether happy with the way it works on this page. If I decide to go back to fix this page, I might take the quote out, and change it to a silhouette of kids playing to fit the "Skip, Jump, Run" stamps.

 Lifebook 2015 page: Celebrate Simplicity
Lesson by Tamara Laporte, Lifebook 2015.
What I like about it: I loved this lesson, and watching Tam create her page. She makes it look so easy!
What I don't like about it: yeah, not so easy in the actual making of it. My colors got muddy/washed out, the watercolor paper started to shred a bit in parts I went over too often, I don't like that bottom right floral element or my "pooping star"....Sam's words, not mine, but she is right. Thanks kid. This is a lesson I will definitely try again when I'm not feeling so salty about my first attempt gone dud.

So there you go. I will of course not let any of these duds keep me from playing, having fun, and making mistakes. That's the fun of crafting after all. While it can be frustrating, it's a long, sometimes hard, process to the "she's got skills" place we aim for, with many many duds along the way.



Art Journal Page: Take in Beauty

Take in beauty, send out love.
Made with a printed paper napkin, acrylic paints, graphite pencil. Dylusions 5 x 8 journal.

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