31 March 2012

Complete & Utter Frustration Creating A WordPress WebSite

I finally went ahead and registered my domain name as Musing Crow Designs. I've used a the WordPress 'builfer' because at least I was somewhat familiar with it. I am tearing what little hair have out trying to get this to work

Most frustrating is uploading images. They have to be sized to work with WordPress. Here at blogger I am able to to upload what I want.

Maybe I can get the company that I registered the domain with to just point it to blogger and be done with it !

26 March 2012

Rain: The Feeling Artist Trading Cards

Over at Arts In The Cards the theme for this month was "Rain". People who live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest know a lot about rain - in fact we just had the wettest February ever. That's hard to believe.
I chose to show the way I 'feel' about rain. I painted a sheet of watercolor paper with my 'rain', added an overly of an image of rainy day that I printed on plain white tissue paper. Finishing touches were a painted skeleton leaf, a metal bumpy 'moon' and a word which I chose as they came to me when I worked on each card. I really enjoyed this theme and the muse was gracious enough to visit immediately. I love when 'f-l-o-w' works it's magic!

23 March 2012

New Felt Bags - All For Sale

"Vortex" Chartreuse & Magenta Side 1  (8.5"L X  5" H)
My mission for our retreat on Vashon Island last week was to make some felted bags for sale. A wonderful woman, Retro Rose Rhonda who owns a rockin' store ( Vital Elements) here wants to try to sell some of my bags. I'm thrilled at the opportunity and have about 7 more felted pieces ready to roll onto the sewing machine for their free motion fun.
Side 2
I thought that I might add one or more of the bags to my Etsy shop before I bring them into Rhonda - just to see if there is any market there. Let's face face it - if I can sell bags sans the commission  it would mean more in my pocket to use for more materials.

What I found most interesting that I was having a difficult time getting my free motion mojo going while I was away but I found it again easily once I was home. Odd? I dunno- but that is the way it turned out!
Three bags finished. The red one is on Etsy right now - if I find time I may add these other two. I have 7 more ready to be quilted - so hopefully before long I will have a passel of bags!

One would think that with 4 days to get things done I would have accomplished more!  That was not how it worked out though. There were about 3 hours out of the day for meals and then, of course, the trips to one of the most luscious quilt shops ever - Island Quilter. They have the largest collection of Kaffe Fassett's fabrics anywhere. What a delight!  I finally had to forgo lunch (as delicious as they are) just keep my focus going. Next year I will plan to skip lunches and go to town only once!

Next up will be some photos of real quilts - you know the thing I was supposed be doing at a quilting retreat!! This is an extremely gifted group of wonderful women and amazing quilters.....
"Undulating" " Green & Red Side 1  (8" L X 4.5" H)

Green & Red Side 2

Green & Red Interior - green silk

"Radiant"  Red & Black Side 1    (8" L X 5" H)

Red & Black Side 2

Red & Black interior

20 March 2012

A Week Of Color on Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers : Yellow

Yellow Rose. In honor of Day 2 in Kim Klassen's Week of Color from her class Beyond Layers.

A Week Of Color on KimKlassen's Beyond Layers

I do, in fact, have things to say about my wonderful St. Patrick's holiday retreat to beautiful Vashon Island, but I've been side-tracked. Side-tracked by a week of color interpretations on Kim Klassen's great Beyond Layers year of inspiration class. What better color to begin the week with but green!

This image is from Vashon Island and it brings to mind the verdant promise of Spring - when all the world turns green for a time - before the buds on the trees and bushes turn into roes, daffodils, leaf greens and blossom whites.

14 March 2012

"If You Don't Get Lost, You Can't Be Found"

This image is from a photograph
 I took some years ago combined 
with two glorious textures from Kim Klassen.

I'm off for a little gal's retreat - right on the water with amazing, fresh, healthy food prepared and served to you. What a lovely thing to do on a vacation! I'll be back soon. Be well and happy

Wordless Wednesday : Happiness Is A Direction

11 March 2012

Stora Dimun Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Shawls"

My work buddy Christine graciously agreed to model my latest finished shawl. This shawl is a Faroese shawl and is from Cheryl Oberle's wonderful book "Folk Shawls" . I have been working my way through this book and this is my 6th or 7th from the book. Although knitting this shawl  gave me some fits at the beginning - now that I have it in my head I will be starting another. It isn't a difficult pattern you just have to read the pattern through first, use markers, and look ahead because some of the shoulder shaping instruction are provided after the instructions of for the body of the shawl.  I just about missed them! The best thing about this type of shawl is that it is constructed specifically to be able to stay put on your shoulders ... and it works!

It's generously sized - perfectly sized. For this shawl I used the yarn that was suggested in the book ; Blackberry Mills silk blend yarn in 'trillium' (and after looking at photos of purple trillium I can say that is very well named!) I am thoroughly captivated by this type of shawl and can't wait to get started on the next one - which will be knit with Malabrigo Rios in ArcoIris.  I have to admit that I have found Malabrigo yarns to be completely addictive. The resultant fabric has such a lovely drape and is so soft - it works against my skin and I have always been allergic to wool on my neck ... it's an amazing work of art yarn - akin to my other favorite - Noro Silk Garden.

10 March 2012

"By My Hand" - Mixed Media Watercolor


Watercolor on 9" X 12" on Aquarello hot press
I've been so happy to get up and work on one of these little fripperies. I'm starting to work a bit larger as well - and liking it - which surprises me a bit. I love this color palette and working with it has been a fine antidote to the grey, rainy days we've enjoying around these parts of Western Washington. The blooming crocus and budding daffodils assure me though that Spring, and warmer weather, are close.

I'm falling more and more in love with watercolors - learning how to use them and all of the amazing things that they can do. I used some 'Perfect Glaze' on small areas in this painting, but, unfortunately, you can't make it out in these photos.

I'm not sure what's happening but I have enjoyed a great couple of weeks - feeling more clear and having far more energy than usual. Perhaps it's a reaction to the solar flares or an astrological happening - I just hope it can continue. The rush of creative energy feels so fine after experiencing some grey times in the past couple of years! Rush on!

Another very cool thing that has happened is that I was asked to teach an introduction to Artist Trading Cards. The class is scheduled for April 14th. I'll offer technique classes to follow of there is an interest after the introduction class. Four people are already signed up for a class of 6. I can't help but be surprised - more surprised because in 2006 I remember saying that I would "never have an interest in mixed media". Hah! Now it brings me so much pleasure.