Books as Inspiration vs. Prescription

Guest post by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

I pondered this “Inspiration vs. Prescription” idea one day when browsing through the new books at Artistic Artifacts. As artists — name your media — we probably use books for both inspiration and prescription.

  • Some books are just eye candy and must-haves for that reason alone.
  • Others teach new techniques and skills to add to our “tool box.”
  • There are those who select a book for the instructions to make a project just like the one the artist author shows in the book.
  • And then there are those books that make you wonder, “what if?”…

Kaffe Fassett's Brilliant Little Patchwork Cushions and Pillows

For me, one of the books that falls into the last category is Kaffe Fassett’s brilliant little patchwork cushions and pillows. With a subtitle of “20 patchwok projects using Kaffe Fassett fabrics,” my first thought was, since Artistic Artifacts doesn’t carry his fabrics, why carry the book?

But as I leafed through the pages, I was quickly inspired by the possibilities. Rather than recreate the patterns and fabric choices used in the many projects in the book, I started dreaming about how some of new fabrics in the shop would look instead.

I had already been playing with ideas for the She Sells designs from Frond Design Studios. Looking though the book, I decided that the “chrysanthemum cushion” might work well, as it uses a huge patterned fabric.

Selecting a stripes pattern was a no brainer — the Woodstock 1969 colorway of the Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik was perfect with the She Sells: Aqua I wanted to use. Add two of the Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik Fruit Sours patterns, in Tangerine and Blue Raspberry, and I had a match made in heaven!

I also decided I wanted to make a table runner, rather than the pillow called for in the book. I estimated my fabric requirements using the fabric guidelines in the book. I wanted to use the Blue Raspberry Fruit Sours batik as the back and binding, so I went with one yard there, and ½ yards of the other three fabrics.

Christine Vinh begins piecing a table runner, inspired by a Kaffe Fassett project

Using the cushion pattern as guidelines, I cut the fabrics. When sewing the shell and ombre stripes together, I added stripes at each end to extend the center panel to the desired length, then added the border. I machine quilted my runner with a variegated thread and finished it off with the binding. A fun and easy project completed in a few hours!

Variegated thread used to machine quilt Christine Vinh's table runner sewn from Frond Design Studios fabric and Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik

In the detail photo above, you can see how the variegated thread coordinated with the fabrics — I loved how it turned out.

Christine Vinh's table runner and the Kaffe Fassett project that inspired it

Above, a view of my completed runner and the inspiration pillow project from Kaffe’s book.

This project was so fun and easy to sew that now I’m imagining doing another one, with another She Sells colorway paired with one of the new Barnboard colorways, also from Frond Design Studios. Below, She Sells: Sand and Barnboard: Violet.

She Sells: Sand and Barnboard: Violet fabrics from Frond Design Studios, sold by Artistic Artifacts

Or perhaps She Sells: Ultramarine and Barnboard: Summer, below…

She Sells: Ultramarine and Barnboard: Summer fabrics from Frond Design Studios, sold by Artistic Artifacts

The Malachite pillow from Kaffe Fassestt’s brilliant little patchwork cushions and pillowsBack to Kaffe’s book, I also liked the pattern design used in the “malachite cushion” (pictured right). Kaffe noted that he wanted to play with the swirling lines and color variations of his Jupiter fabric by further cutting the fabric into triangles and piecing it back together.

As soon as I saw the recent addition to our Australian Aboriginal fabrics, River Dreaming by Barbara Egan, I loved the movement! I thought it would be interesting to see how the pattern changed by cutting and piecing it according to Kaffe’s instructions.

I selected the River Dreaming Black for the top and decided on Plum Seeds Red by Kathleen Pitjara as binding. I followed the instructions in the book — again, a quick and easy project. But while I love the finished pillow top (pictured below flat, without the pillow form), because of the overall swirls of the fabric, it is hard to see the quilt pattern.

River Dreaming Black fabric pieced into pillow by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

So. lesson learned! Next I tried using the River Dreaming White with the Black version, and played with my fabric choices and placement to get the look I wanted. Pictured below, this work in progress using the same pattern has a better ‘bang for the buck’ with the black and white triangles alternated.

River Dreaming Black and River Dreaming white fabrics pieced into pillow top by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

Both because I wasn’t afraid to ask the question, “what if…?” and because I gave myself permission to play and experiment, I’ll end up with another great graphic pillow.

Take some time and browse through the books for sale at Artistic Artifacts, or on your own book shelf, but with the focus of using the ideas of the author as a springboard for your own imagination. This is a good exercise to do with some of the earlier books you may have, where the fabric used for the samples is outdated. Visualize how the designs and techniques could be brought to life with some of the new and fun fabrics available today: swapping out calicos with modern cottons, for example.

In addition to the books in the shop, check out the book recommendations from members of Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs). Each fall we devote one meeting to sharing thoughts on favorite fiber and mixed media titles, both new publications and favorities from our past. Our ongoing list is a downloadable PDF published on our website.

And remember, we have a new Facebook group, Artistic Artifacts’ Creative Minds, a virtual extension of JAMs. On Facebook group members from all over— art quilters, collage artists, art journal keepers, surface design enthusiasts, paper crafters, assemblage & art doll artists, and more — have a place to share ideas and projects with one another. Come join us there and share your own projects and thoughts on Inspiration vs. Prescription!

To sum up:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match fabric lines and colors and textures.
  • Give yourself permission to play.
  • By giving yourself permission to ask “what if” and play, you will learn along the way… and most likely will be very pleased with your results!

Transforming Upholstered Chairs

Fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt used wooden printing blocks and fabric paint to transform an upholstered chair

While Judy’s away, we are sharing a wonderful post by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt, who recently completed the transformation of an armchair using fabric paint and a selection of the wooden printing blocks sold by Artistic Artifacts that Judy had gifted her with.

Yes, Judy is on a well-deserved vacation to Italy! If you haven’t been checking the Artistic Artifacts Facebook page, do so — she is posting some absolutely gorgeous photos of scenery, color and texture to make us all drool with envy.

A sampling of photos taken by Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula while she is in Italy on vacation

Upon receiving the blocks, Judi Hurwitt promised a project and a blog posting…and wow, what she dreamed up! She purchased an upholstered rocker/glider combination arm chair from a neighbor that was in great condition, but upholstered in a pastel nursery fabric (as shown at the top of this post).

Stage 1 of transforming an upholstered chair with wooden printing blocks and fabric paint by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt

After givng the chair a coat of opaque white textile paint, Judi began her surface design treatment. The above photo shows the chair after the first stages. Because she knew she ultimately “wanted heavy layering of colors and textures,” she began with her lighter colors, shades of yellow and magenta that she blended. She notes that the above photo shows how she “had also begun to apply the same paints in white, two yellows, and magenta with some of the wooden blocks. I used the same colors as the base colors, particularly the white, to create a resist for later, darker layers.”

Detail, Stage 1 of transforming an upholstered chair with wooden printing blocks and fabric paint by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt

Detail of this first stage, above. We think Judi could have stopped here and it would have been a beautiful project as is! And actually, she did stop there for a time…her blog shares her experience with “artist lock.”

Detail of final surface design treatment on an upholstered chair with wooden printing blocks and fabric paint by fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt

She got back on track after time to finish with a complex blend of color, pattern and texture — we’ve shown you just a small detail “teaser” photo above. Visit her blog, Approachable Art by Judy Hurwit for the finished chair, and more on how she transformed it, including many more of her photographs (several used here with her permission) and info about breaking out of that artist lock.

Plus, we have another chair transformation to share with you!

Wing chair upholstered in batik fabric from Artistic Artifacts; chair owned by Ellen Taylor of Arlington, VA

The batik beauty pictured above began life upholstered in a large floral/fauna fabric featuring colors that no longer suited the owner, our friend and customer Ellen Taylor. Didn’t it turn out wonderfully?

The before view of wing chair owned by Ellen Taylor of Arlington, VA

The “before” wing chair is pictured here, right, and was in good shape otherwise. Ellen perused many of our beautiful batik fabrics before finding the perfect one for her redo. While she didn’t upholster the chair herself, handing it off to a professional, depending on the complexity of your chair and your own level of expertise you might feel up for the challenge of doing it yourself. Either way, you end up with a one of a kind piece of furniture that sparks joy every time you see it!

Ellen is a member of JAMs (Judy’s Altered Minds), which meets at the Artistic Artifacts shop on the third Sunday of each month. If you don’t live close enough to join us in person, we hope you will join our new Facebook Group, Artistic Artifacts’ Creative Minds, which serves as a “virtual” extension of JAMs.

Representing all levels of expertise, Artistic Artifacts’ Creative Minds is a online home for our Creative Minds to encourage and support like-minded friends! Group members from all over have a place to share ideas and projects with one another. Art quilters, collage artists, art journal keepers, surface design enthusiasts, paper crafters, assemblage & art doll artists — come join us there!

Floral Block Printed Quilt-let

sewingleafstemquilt

When new wooden printing blocks arrive, I usually cannot resist adding one or more of the designs to my own personal collection. This piece is a result of my jumping to try out WB110 Leaves and Stem, a nicely sized and detailed rectangular block in a variety of colors.

Digging through my bin that stores my printed swatches, I found one of the Leaves and Stems prints and paired it with another print, a 4-up grid of WB344 Daisy Square Flower on a pink/green batik. Both had been printed with green textile paint and I knew I had the perfect complement in my stash: I chose a bright batik to sew these together with sashing and borders.

Using the pillow case construction method to complete quilt-let

There are several names for the technique I used to complete this quilt together: pillow case construction, escape hatch, knife edge: you end up with a traditional 3 layer quilt with no binding. Very easy to, and it creates a nice finish (here’s one explanation).

Using the pillow case construction method to complete quilt-let

Cut a slit very carefully in the back fabric and pull the right side out.

Cut a slit very carefully in the back fabric and pull the right side out

Once the quilt had been turned inside out and was pressed and ready for quilting, my next experiment was to try a heavier thread for my free motion quilting. This is more toward the 12 weight on the flowers and leaves. I carried the leaf motif down the side to join the flowers and the leaves.

Detail, free motion quilting

Completed block printed quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Finished: one more quick quilt-let! I love the leaf stamp and look forward to using it again.

I’m Teaching Block Printing for The Fiber Art Connection!

As noted in our latest enewsletter, registration is now open for Session 2 of The Fiber Art Connection, with classes beginning September 1. Each of the six lesson is a two week long artist immersion, for a total 12 weeks as well as a bonus week.

The Fiber Art Connection is a fully-interactive online class platform that allows teachers and students to connect: participate in live calls and webinars as well as a private Facebook community and message boards. If you are unable to attend the live calls or webinars, no worries: everything is recorded, and will be accessible to registrants indefinitely.

The lineup for Session 2:

  • Desiree Habicht, Lesson 1, Old World Tiles: a wonderful introduction to using Acrylic inks on fabric that adds painting techniques, inks, netting and threads to create the look of old world tiles.
  • Lenore Crawford, Lesson 2, Gelling Crocuses & Crazy Colored Shoes: learn her technique to create beautiful, ultra realistic fiber art in a class offered exclusively to the students at the Fiber Art Connection — a method that allow you to cover almost anything with beautiful fabrics. Plus, her Crazy Colored Shoes, long requested by her students, is being offered for the first tim exclusively for the Fiber Art Connection
  • Lisa Chin, Lesson 3, Create your own Stamps for Fabric Design: learn how to carve rubber stamps using your own drawings (or copyright- free images) to customize hand dyed or commercial fabric. You will learn how to carve words and patterns and how layer stamps as well as discuss the best paints, inks and stamp pads to use on fabric.
  • Libby Williamson, Lesson 4, Stitch-Paint-Whimsy: enjoy two weeks of creative fun as Libby guides you through her free-motion stitching techniques, combing cloth and paper fibers and assorted mark-making techniques to create textural, brightly colored art.
  • Suzanne Connors, Lesson 5,Introduction to Eco-Printing: experience the magic and surprise of color that can be achieved with Eco-Printing (using plants to dye and print on fiber through contact printing methods). Learn how to choose and prepare plants for dyeing; to understand the print process on protein fibers; different techniques of folding, tying fabric, shibori and other types of resist as well as methods of constructing and cooking bundles.
  • Judy Gula, Lesson 6, Wooden Block Printing and More: learn to lock print on textiles using hand-carved wooden printing blocks. You will explore several different surface design techniques that will give each of your blocks a hand stamped or designed look.

The bonus week will be filled with projects, ideas, and helpful hints on a variety of topics. It is also an opportunity for you to submit your big questions at anytime during the week to any of the artists for an answer, as well as a closing celebration of all that was accomplished during the Session; to show off the projects that were made in class.

The Beauty of Art Dolls

The National Institute of American Doll Artists, NIADA, founded in 1963 with the purpose of promoting the art of the original handmade doll, is hosting its annual Conference and Dollmaking School this week in Old Town Alexandria. Today (Saturday, July 23) and tomorrow there are events open to the public, including Artist Demos at Torpedo Factory Art Center and an Exhibition and Sale. We’ve welcomed some NIADA attendee shoppers this week, and in honor of their event, and our own class next month, Mermaid Art Doll with Leslie Brier, we wanted to share some art dolls that we have on display in the shop, have been made in our classes, or have been shared with us.

Mermaid Art Doll by Leslie Brier

Mixed media artist Leslie Brier’s Mermaid Art Doll class is suitable for both beginning and experienced doll artists. You’ll cover your own soft-bodied doll (Leslie has dolls you can purchase to use if need be) with your choice of a vintage or batik provided kit, plus your own treasures of fabrics, laces, embellishments and trims. See more of Leslie’s art dolls below.

The below mermaid art doll by Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula should be familar to many, as she graces our business card!

Mermaid art doll by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Art doll by Kathlyn J. Aviles

The above was created by Kathlyn J. Avila-Reyes. In 2009 we wrote about hosting an exhibit/sale of Kat’s work…take a look at the wonderful photos from then! Judy couldn’t resist adding the beauty pictured here to her own collection, and she has been a much-admired resident of the shop since then. Look at the amazing detail!

Detail, fiber/beaded art doll by Kathlyn J. Aviles

Earlier this year Kat held a very successful show at the Art League of Alexandria; over time her work has moved away from pure fiber to ceramics but remains absolutely stunning. Visit her website for to view her gallery.

Mary, Star of the Sea by Sharon McDonagh

The above is by Artistic Artifacts staffer Sharon McDonagh. She began with an unadorned store bought Santos figure and altered it from head to toe to become Mary, Star of the Sea (Ave Maris Stella).

Items used to create Mary, Star of the Sea by Sharon McDonagh

This was Sharon’s submission for a recent Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) challenge. Members each gathered 10 items in a paper bag, and the bags were randomly exchanged. Participants could use any mediums and techniques to create their resulting piece of art; the only rule was that at least some of each of the 10 items had to be used. The assortment (pictured right) Sharon received consisted of small sea shells, blue braid trim, blue feathery yarn, a magazine page altered with Citrasolv, translucent printed map tissue paper, blue handmade fiber paper, a piece of woven grass trim, an upholstery fabric sample, painted foil and a silver color Gelato.

Figurative work often results from classes we host here at the shop. In early May we welcomed Leighanna Light of Taos, New Mexico. Leighanna calls herself a “Thingmaker,” and oh, such beautiful things! One of the classes she taught was titled Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal, and one of the attendees was Linda Morgan, a member of JAMs who is known within the group for her amazing mixed media fiber and assemblage work:

Art dolls by Linda Morgan completed in Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal class with Leighanna Light

Above, Linda’s work from the Faux Etching class. Below, additional art dolls by Linda.

Mixed media assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

Mixed media assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

Below, Jello Mold dolls by Linda Morgan.

Jello mold assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

As promised, more art dolls from Leslie Brier, from the small, a multi-beaded figure pictured below…

Beaded art doll by Leslie Brier

…to the tall, Leslie’s “Machine Age Santos.”

Machine Age Santos by Leslie Brier

Mixed media art doll by Leslie Brier

Above, “Sugar” by Leslie Brier.

A student at this year’s Art & Soul Creative Retreat in Portland shared the below cloth doll with us: it made us happy to see what she had done with our Hand Dyed Fiber Collage Kits! Art & Soul Virginia Beach will take place this fall, September 26 – October 1. Take a look at the workshops available, which include a number of art doll classes.

Art doll created with Judy Gula's hand-dyed textiles by Art & Soul creative retreat student

Now go play with your dolls!

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts Store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

We’re beginning the job of packing up for Quilt Odyssey, which takes place July 21-24 at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center in Hershey, PA. Exhibits and the Merchants Mall are open to the public: Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00pm.

We’ve recently completed rearranging much of the shop, and are really happy with the changes. I thought I would share these with you today. One big one for us is pictured here: we moved the cutting table from the back of the store next to the register: much more efficient for our customers and staff!

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Above, the display wall that housed many of our mixed media supplies moved to the front of the shop. Below, many of the vintage paper packs Judy creates by theme, and Sandra Evertson’s wonderful Relics & Artifacts.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Above, samples from some of the many classes we hold here; below, patterns, notions and more.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Below, the gorgeous Tentakulum stitching threads and fibers.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Below, the bookcase on the rear wall is the perfect place for the displaying the amazing results from the Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) box challenge (more about that in a previous blog post).

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

The back wall serves as a wonderful gallery component, with sample quilts made with our batik panels, Batik Tambal exclusive batik and other fabric carried in the shop.

Block Printed Quilt-lets

I enjoy printing with my wooden printing blocks on fabric. I often print on small pieces of fabric using a motif, without an advance plan for how the pieces will be used.

When I saw what Jamie Fingel did for her Rebel Quilting (which I studied up on in order to take Jamie’s place at Portland Art & Soul), I thought that instead of using pieces of stenciled fabrics as Jamie does, I could instead use my block printed squares and rectangles.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

So I gathered up my stash of wooden block printed fabrics, a piece of felt, Misty Fuse, rotary cutter and mat and went to work straightening the edges of the printed fabrics.

After cutting a rectangular piece of felt, I applied Misty Fuse to the entire surface. My first attempt of fusing on a multitude of block prints and fabric strips resulted in lots of colors and patterns. Frankly, It was an ugly disaster! While I saved it as a reminder of what not to do, I’ve “conveniently” misplaced it to avoid the visual spreading out on the World Wide Web!

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Taking a deep breath I stepped back and tried to calm the arrangement down into something I’d be happy with. How to do that?

The big Aha! moment: limit the color palette of our quilt-lets By printing the wood block motifs in the same colors and by using a limited number of coordinating fabric in between the block prints.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Included in this post above are some of the art quilts I’ve made since that aha moment. These are the perfect size to experiment with some thread sketching and free-motion quilting. I “bind” the edges with a loose satin stitch all around to prevent unraveling and fraying.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I’m also sharing some photos from our June 11 Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt as I taught students how to print and design their own version of these quilts.

Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

We all had a great time creating that day! As usual, we enjoyed ourselves so much we didn’t take nearly as many photos to share as we should have. Everyone walked away with wonderful pieces!

Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

The 2016 Row By Row Experience Begins June 21!

2016rxrlogo

Artistic Artifacts has been participating in the Row by Row Experience for several years now, and its something we look forward to each summer, especially meeting so many new friends (and welcoming back treasured repeat customers) as they embark on their shopping expeditions.

The 2016 event is themed Home Sweet Home and opens this Tuesday, June 21! This event has steadily grown each year and thousands of quilt shops are involved: you can travel across the entire United States and Canada, and — new for 2016 —some locations in Europe!

The Row by Row Experience in-person shop hop focuses on each quilting business creating a full “row” that finishes to 9″ x 36″. Patterns for the row are distributed for free to any in-store visitor who requests one*. We recruited the talented Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts to design our row, and love what she’s done:

2016artisticartifacts_row

Paper-pieced houses and trees are sewn using a beautiful mix of Tim Holtz fabrics and our Australian Aborigine-Designed fabrics. The windows (blank here) can be filled in in a variety of ways and we will be sharing those as the summer progresses.

Cyndi will be teaching a new paper piecing class for us in October: keep checking our website for information, as it will be posted soon. Here’s a more detailed view of our 2016 row:

Detail, Artistic Artifacts' 2016 Row by Row Experience pattern, designed by Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts

Along with creating a row, most of the participating shops order a special fabric “license plate” for the event. The 2016 Artistic Artifacts plate reads Creative Finds.

Each state or province has a Facebook page (visit the Row by Row website for links) and participating shops post photos of their rows, license plates and submitted quilts (note that you don’t have to have a Facebook account set up to view these photos). Shops love to be creative with the theme each year, so check out the wide variety in how Home Sweet Home has been interpreted. (The Virginia state Facebook page includes Artistic Artifacts: www.facebook.com/VARowbyRowExperience.)

Each participating shop agrees to make a prize of 25 fat quarters of fabric available to the first person who turns in a completed quilt — not just a top, but quilted, bound, and labeled — using at least 8 different 2016 row patterns. This year we are seeing more shops creating their row to be used vertically rather than horizontally, which will add to the challenge of the finished quilts…it will be great to see the creativity of the participants!

You can travel and collect rows through September 6, 2016. Participants then have until October 31 to turn in a completed quilt for the prize. There are some speedy (and competitive) quilters out there, so be aware that most shops give away their prize fairly early in the summer!

We always ask our Row by Row customers to send us photos of their row, their quilt, their designs. Please do email us if you collect our row pattern and use it.

We hope to see many of you this summer!

* Please note: due to event rules, we cannot mail or email patterns: during the official timeframe of The Row by Row Experience, they are only available to in-person store visitors.

Artistic Artifacts at the Play Therapy Conference

Artistic Artifacts merchandise at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference

Artistic Artifacts is back this weekend with the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute, taking place this weekend (June 10-12) at the Crystal City Marriott. Highlighting the use of the Creative Arts, this is a continuing education opportunity for play therapists, arts educators, psychologists, social workers, counselors and more. The goals of the training institute are to introduce leading-edge play therapy strategies; explore best-practices in working with children and their families and demonstrate the value of integrating expressive arts and other approaches.

Artistic Artifacts merchandise at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference
Artistic Artifacts merchandise at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference
Selecting fabric to use in the creation of an ATC

Those that dedicate themselves to this rewarding work are usually artists themselves, so each year we bring in a sampling of our fiber and mixed media supplies for them, like the creative books, Sandra Evertson’s Relics & Artifacts (new designs coming this week in our enewsletter!) wooden printing blocks, Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plates and more in the photos above.

But we’re probably best known for setting up a creative workstation where attendees can create Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) while experimenting with various pens and ink pads, Gelatos, surface design techniques and more.

Lani Gerity Glanville is an artist/art therapist/writer/puppetmaker from Nova Scotia. She posted the image below on Facebook earlier this year, writing, “I’m working on the Zine for participants of my workshop at the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute.” Her class at the conference was titled: Master Class Visual Art Journaling for Teens & Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, Contained, a day long session to demonstrate to practitioners, “a way to present art journaling in your therapy groups or in individual work. We will be using simple office supplies and collage materials to create journals and then using a variety of ‘directives’ we will explore art journaling as a way of building strength, resiliency, and self-care.”

Collage art by Lani Gerity Glanville for Visual Art Journaling for Teens & Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, Contained at Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute

Collage art by Lani Gerity Glanville for Visual Art Journaling for Teens & Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, Contained at Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute

Lani has several beautiful websites! In writing about her preparation this class, she notes, “Over the past few years, I’ve been creating and posting morning pages every day on FaceBook and my blog, 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life. Here’s what I have learned so far.”

  • If you practice something every day, you get better at it.
  • If you practice something which encourages thought and reflection every day, you become more thoughtful.
  • If you practice something which makes you happy every day, you get happier every day.

This is certainly sound advice for anyone!

Making ATCs at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference

Above, an attendee at the conference uses a Pearl Pen to accent her ATC.

Also from Lani, we were also struck by this statement:

“As a student, I used to wonder why Edith Kramer, art therapy pioneer, repeatedly encouraged us to create art every day. She also encouraged us to keep a journal for things we were learning, for the ideas and questions that come to us. She suggested that these activities, if engaged in fully, would help us grow into our best selves, that we would be able to see our strengths and resilience unfold. There are a lot of intrinsic rewards built into utilizing our inner strengths, and nothing that promotes freedom, independence, and a sense of self worth better than the realization that we have the power to create our own inner satisfaction and intrinsic rewards.”

Left, creating ATCs at the Play Therapy Institute, right, close-up of ATC by Kelsey Grandy

Left, creating ATCs at the Play Therapy Institute, right, close-up of ATC by Kelsey Grandy, Artistic Artifacts volunteer.

Keep on creating art everyday!

Hello from Quilt Market in Salt Lake City!

Artistic Artifacts booth at Spring 2016 Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, UT

Artistic Artifacts presents during the Schoolhouse SeriesI’m at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City! Above is a view of one of the Artistic Artifacts’ booth walls, featuring our gorgeous Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik and a handpainted batik panel by Mahyar.

I was able to post some set-up shots on the Artistic Artifacts’s Facebook page, but once it all gets started, you simply get too busy to keep up… check out the show’s Instagram feed for some serious eye candy!

I was proud that my topic, Hand-Drawn Batik Panels was accepted for the International Quilt Market’s popular Schoolhouse Series! The Schoolhouse Series took place on Thursday, the day before Market opens, and  is a forum for manufacturers, publishers, and retailers to present new products, techniques, and books to quilt shop owners throughout the world.

 Mahyar Cats in the City art quilt by Christine Vinh

The above quilt by Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts was completed in time for me to use it at Market as an example of how our Batik Panels, handcrafted by many of Indonesia’s finest batik artists, can be used  in art or traditional quilts, or any form of fiber art. Because we’ve learned that many of our customers are afraid to cut into or sew the panel they’ve fallen in love with, I’ve scheduled Create a Batik Panel Art Quilt for Saturday, May 28. I need a few more registrants to ensure this class running, so I hope some of you will plan to join me!

Valori Wells’s booth at Spring Quilt Market 2016

Here’s a sneak peek of a beautiful new fabric line that Artistic Artifacts will be carrying…but we ALL have to wait until this fall to receive it. I fell instantly in love with Marks by acclaimed  quilter, author, fabric and pattern designer Valori Wells, collaborating with her mother Jean. Marks is her new line for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. which notes “the designs are a combination of their love of block printing and textiles.” Block printing…so no wonder I fell in love, right?

Marks fabrics in the Indigo colorway, designed by Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

It’s going to be a tough wait! Below is Valori’s “Plus Mob” quilt.

Plus Mob quilt by Valori Wells at Spring Quilt Market 2016

A Look Inside My Leighanna Light Journal

Textured canvas journal made by Judy Gula in a class led by Leighanna Light.

We were happy to welcome the very talented Leighanna Light to Artistic Artifacts at the beginning of the month. Leighanna lives in Taos, New Mexico, but squeezed in a couple of classes with us before heading to a vacation on the Outer Banks. And we’re so glad she did! On Thursday, May 5 we held her Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal class — Leighanna has developed a technique for creating an etched look to metal surfaces without the toxic chemicals, and the student work was spectacular…you will probably be seeing some featured here or on our Facebook page. Then on Friday and Saturday (May 6–7) she taught her “Lily’s Book,” which is subtitled Charming Canvas Book with Pockets. I took this class myself, and wow, what a treat!

Shared below is a gallery of pictures of many of my book’s pages. We all began with a large piece of gessoed canvas and then just had a great time with all of Leighanna’s surface design techniques. We used texture gels, gesso, plaster, molding paste and ink to create fabulous backgrounds and pages, added tabs, pockets, flaps, and more. Even as a student I couldn’t keep my own teaching hat off, so I pulled out wooden printing blocks for everyone to use, showed off using Paper Solvy to transfer photos, and more. It was an amazing two days and everyone’s books turned out full of gorgeous texture and color!

I’ve enjoyed adding to it post-class, adding special ephemera and bits. I included of fabrics and textiles I had rusted (Artistic Artifacts sells scrap packs of fabric I’ve rusted).

We hope to host Leighanna again, so keep your eye on our classes page…you won’t regret spending time with her!