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A Special Anniversary…

Mixed media art assemblage created by Judy Gula to celebrate her parents 50th wedding anniversary
Judy Gula sharing her mixed media art and quilts at the March 2019 Judy's Altered Minds meeting

We are holding an anniversary for my parents tonight, November 23, 2019. Chet and Pat Vincentz have been married for 60 years! As pictured above, one of the treasured items decorating the room is the mixed media assemblage I created as a gift for their 50th Anniversary.

In March of this year I presented a collection of my mixed media and art quilts to JAMs (Judy’s Altered Minds) and enjoyed sharing the story of this piece, and others I have created, with the group.

Detail, 50th Anniversary mixed media art by Judy Gula

Describing and sharing photographs of this special artwork was one of my earliest blog posts and 10 years later, I want to share it again with you as I celebrate another of my parents’ milestone anniversaries!

50th Wedding Anniversary
Orginally published January 23, 2010

My parents 50th Wedding Anniversary was in late November. I am very close with my parents, both geographically and emotionally. Many of you have met my Mom while vending at shows, but might not know that I worked with my father for over 20 years.

Detail, 50th Anniversary mixed media art by Judy Gula

I have great love, respect and admiration that they successfully stayed married, started and grew a business while raising three kids.

And I think they still love each other!

So they deserved a special anniversary gift. I had a vision a couple of years before their anniversary and began gathering stuff, some with emotional meaning and others that worked with my vision.

We have only four photos of my parent’s reception from an old pocket camera. Copies of these photos are collaged to the back of the clock case, and one is stepped out. Some of the meaning behind the embellishments:

  • My Mom’s birthday is June = the pearls.
  • We vacationed at the beach each and every year in August =the shells.
  • My father raced Porsches professionally for many years = the monopoly race cars.
  • My parents now spend the month of February in Florida = pink sea shells.

Later we added the drawer to hold anniversary cards, photos and documents.



Mixed media art assemblage created by Judy Gula to celebrate her parents 50th wedding anniversary

Quilters’ Quest & Artistic Artifacts

Artistic Artifacts filled with Quilters' Quest 2019 shoppers

Quilters’ Quest is a free annual shop hop event that encourages fiber artists to explore quilt shops located in Maryland and Northern Virginia over the course of 10 days. Artistic Artifacts was delighted to be invited to participate this year for the first time and our shop in Alexandria, VA was added to the roster! The 2019 dates were October 11 through October 20.

Shoppers admiring the Artistic Artifacts quilt created using Quest Cuts from the 2019 Quilters' Quest Shop Hop event

Book Room Stylish was selected as the 2019 color theme, with traditional colors in hues of blue, green, red, and brown. Each participating shop created Quest Cuts, a set of six 10 in. fabric squares coordinating with the theme. We used our beautiful and unique Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik for our packs! Shoppers could earn a free Quest Cut pack with a purchase of $40, or you could purchase it for $6.00 (limit two packs per in-store customer). Each shop designed an exclusive quilt (using some or all 60 Quest Cuts squares that could be collected throughout the Quest), offering a free copy of their quilt patterns. Pictured above are shoppers admiring the Artistic Artifacts quilt.

Artistic Artifacts welcomed so many new quilters and friends during Quilters' Quest

We enjoyed preparing the store for this event and have had so much fun meeting so many new quilters and friends! Each participating chartered a bus (or two!) for their customers’ convenience — purchasing your seat on the bus meant you saw all participating shops in two days while leaving the stress of driving and traffic to a professional!

Bus chartered by the Traditions of the White Swan shop in Hagerstown, MD full of Quilters' Quest shoppers

When the busses were due (pictured above are customers of Traditions of the White Swan in Hagerstown, MD), it was all hands on deck for staff!

Quilters' Quest shoppers at Artistic Artifacts

During the Quilters’ Quest Shop Hop we demonstrated block printing, letting shoppers have a try at using our hand-carved wooden printing blocks and our Artistic Artifacts textile paint for surface design.

For Quilters' Quest Shop Hop we demonstrated block printing with our hand-carved wooden printing blocks and our Artistic Artifacts textile paint.

We thank our volunteers who stepped up to help with with demonstrations, stamping Quilters’ Quest passports and more — we couldn’t have done it without you!

Helping a customer select fabric during Quilters' Quest 2019

Above, our Australian Aborigine-designed fabric and Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander in Orangeade were the perfect complement to one shoppers batik log cabin blocks — we hope she shares a photograph of her finished quilt with us!

Fabric and batik panels on display at Artistic Artifacts

Above, seasonal fabric display and hand-drawn Indonesian batik panels available at Artistic Artifacts.

My Italian Vacation Journal

An inside spread from art journal created in Italy by Artistic Artifact's Judy Gula

This summer I was thrilled to embark on the first Artistic Artifacts creative retreat, headquartered in Ischia di Castro, Italy, an amazing medieval city approximately one hour northwest of Rome. The artistic goal was create custom art journals — one of my page spreads is shown above and I include additional images here.

Everyone on the tour had accommodations in apartments in the village, and gathered each morning for a variety of mixed media lessons to create original and layered journal pages.

Our Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paints used with wooden printing blocks and on gel printing plates

All the necessary supplies were shipped ahead to Italy and were waiting for everyone to play! Above, our Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paints used with wooden printing blocks and on gel printing plates.

Mixed media art supplies available during the Artistic Artifacts creative tour of Ischia di Castro, Italy

Above, a variety of rubber stamps and ink pads, as well as a variety of pens, markers and more (including Gelatos).

Students working during the Artistic Artifacts creative tour of Italy
Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts used Kraft-Tex for her journal cover

I taught my students my favorite journal format, as shown in a previous blog post. My cover is shown here — I cut a piece longer than my page spreads intentionally, so the extra (seen right) can wrap around to the front to form a closing flap. My journal is tied shut with sari silk ribbon.

One key difference from journal I’ve featured in in the past was the substitution of Kraft-Tex Kraft Paper Fabric for the cover. I had previously used and loved Roc-Lon Multi-Purpose Cloth, but unfortunately it has been discontinued by the manufacturer. The Kraft-Tex took paint and ink beautifully and was easy to sew (to bind the page signatures), and has a wonderful, leather-like feel — it’s ideal for a journal cover!

Click through this gallery to see my journal pages (shown randomly). I wanted mostly Madonnas, as there were many in Italy — and beautiful! St. Francis slipped in there too (we can always use a Saint on our side).

 

After our morning studio sessions, we spent our afternoons and evening with guided tours, sightseeing and of course delicious authentic Italian cuisine. One visit was to the town of Fabriano, where papermaking was demonstrated for us in a private tour: fascinating! We all gathered ephemera from these excursions to include in our journals.

A favorite afternoon excursions was to The Tarot Garden envisioned by Niki de Saint Phalle (she was assisted by a large team of master craftsmen) and located in Tuscany. You can see images of some of her beautiful outdoor sculptural art featured in my journal pages. Here are a few photographs I took in the garden. (In the photo captioned Wheel of Fortune, my husband Dave Gula is seated with me in front of The High Priestess; the Wheel of Fortune is to the right.) What a beautiful, inspirational day!

 

Traveling is really inspiring to your art and soul. I’m looking forward to my block printing tour in India in March 2020 — there’s room for you to join me too!

The 2020 Italian Creative Retreat will take place in September and will focus on stitching. One of my best friends, Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution, will be joining me for this exciting trip! Email Italian Cultural Tours to indicate your interest in traveling with us in 2020! Details will be posted on the Artistic Artifacts website as they are finalized.

As Seen at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

Artistic Artifacts booth at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival 2019

We always enjoy the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival — relatively close to home, and so many of our customers and guild members make the trip down. We received a lot of comments and compliments on my book Colorful Batik Panel Quilts and all the samples and products we had with us: thank you! While we love being busy in the booth (pictured above), of course we hope to have a few moments free to enjoy the quilts!

We were blown away by the hand appliqué work of Barbara G. Buchanan!

Mary Down Under No. 2, hand appliqued by Barbara G. Buchanan, machine quilted by Maria O'Haver

Above, Mary Down Under No. 2. Barbara’s entry read: “This is the second quilt of a triptych using four of 25 blocks from the original red and green Baltimore Album style Mary Mannakee quilt made in Montgomery County, MD, 1850-1851. The original is in the DAR Museum, Washington, DC. Australian Aboriginal designs are the focus fabrics. I designed the border using motifs from the original Mary’s border. I also used batiks and other fabrics as needed. I used window templates to preview the [Aborigine-designed] fabrics to get just the right design element. This was crucial, as these fabrics are a challenge to use, but so rewarding when you realize that they will work. It just takes a little more effort.”

Mary Down Under No. 3, hand appliqued by Barbara G. Buchanan, machine quilted by Maria O'Haver
Detail of Barbara G. Buchanan's quilt

Above, Mary Down Under No. 3. We’ve never seen Australian Aboriginal fabric used in this way! Both quilts are 50 in. square and were expertly machine quilted by Maria O’Haver. In this detail photo you can see the care in which Barbara framed the fabrics’ pattern to enhance her applique pieces, as well as the lavish quilting by Maria to enhance it all. Barbara noted that she requested her triptych quilts be quilted“ as if they were cousins versus sisters.” She also noted that her husband Loren Buchanan provided design assistance!

We were pleased to see that we knew several winners, customers, students and teachers who are a part of our robust class program. Nancy Hershberger submitted Ghost Solder 1918, a 30 in. square wall quilt that was inspired by the poppy fields of Belgium — and it was awarded a blue ribbon for Best Sewing Machine Workmanship. Nancy is a big fan of our Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paints, and used them in this quilt!

Ghost Soldier 1918 by Nancy Hershberger

Cindy Grisdela won Best Use of Color for her quilt Confetti, pictured below, created in her trademark artful improv style.

Confetti by Cindy Grisdela
Roy Mitchell, Jr., instructor for The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) quilting program (photo courtesy DJJ Facebook page)

Last year while at Mid-Atlantic we shared in this blog post how much we enjoyed the special exhibit We Are Somebody, and learning more about Roy Mitchell, Jr. (pictured here center; his students’ identities are protected) and his quilting students, young men incarcerated at The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center. Please read it if you have not yet — their story is so inspirational! The DJJ quilting program is believed to be the only class of its type in a male juvenile corrections setting in the U.S. It teaches the skills involved — planning, design, measuring, geometry, sewing — and also critical life skills such as goal-setting, patience, frustration management, public speaking, and the value of precision.

A Thyme to Slant from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

This year they were again featured, with “All About Us” the theme of their special exhibit. We’re delighted to share our photographs of some of these quilts, known for their amazing uses of color and design, as well as stellar workmanship! Above, A Thyme to Slant.

Lotty Dotty from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

Lotty Dotty.

Crescent Moon from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

Crescent Moon.

It’s a Batik Thang from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

It’s a Batik Thang.

No Place Like Home from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

No Place Like Home.

Hearts by Judy

Happy Valentine’s Day! I wanted to share with you all some of my art quilts that feature hearts. Below, this features crazy quilt techniques, embellished with found objects. You can see my signature on this: created in 2005!

Crazy quilted heart with embellishments: an art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I’ve always appreciated this sentiment from Liz Kettle, from her Plethora of Pinked Hearts tutorial she shared with us years ago: “When I was in my formative art years, hearts were passé, trite and so unsophisticated [but] Somewhere along the way I realized that even if they were trite in the ‘serious’ art world I had fallen in love with them! I make my art to please myself these days, so even if the sophisticated shock artists of the world roll their eyes and dismiss me as trite… I am contented with my hearts.”

Detail of crazy quilted heart with embellishments by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Love the locket half, and the fun beaded fringe.

Needlefelted and beaded heart Love art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

The charm titles this one: Love.

Detail, needlefelted and beaded heart Love art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Detail above: needlefelted heart that combines scraps of wool, cotton, silk and more, encrusted with beads.

Hanging heart art quilt incorporating vintage clothes hanger by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I’ve often used vintage wooden clothes hangers to hang my art quilts.

Details, heart art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Beaded details: left, the stripes on these yellow beads were perfect to enhance the vintage fabrics grid, and my blue flower beads were a near-exact match to embellish this border!

Needlefelted and beaded nine-patch heart art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Beaded blue wool hearts appliquéd to needlefelted bases, then stitched to a hand-dyed wool base that had been bordered with cotton and machine quilted.

Beaded detail of needlefelted heart by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Detail above: it’s fun to sneak in accent beads, like this ladybug, to see who notices.

Beaded details of needlefelted hearts by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Remember, Valentine wishes don’t have to be red or pink or lacy to be heartfelt!

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