About Me

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I started this blog on November 23, 2009 just because I wanted to chronicle my artistic endeavors and see "in black and white" how many different directions my artistic brain would go.  I challenged myself to try different mediums and that this blog could be a platform to post my achievements and failures.  I cannot believe it's been six years now!  Over the past 6 years I've learned a few things from writing this blog:
1.  Art is in my blood, I will always be thinking or doing something artistic
2.  About 80% of my work turns out better than the original idea
3.  I am not a fast artist, I have to start on an idea and then let it sit for a while
4.  It's OK that my "artsy" brain sometimes goes in 1,000 different directions at once
With all of this said I now consider myself a mixed media artist because I a lot of my talents cross over into other projects I've already started; It's a great life and I wouldn't change anything about my crazy artistic brain!  


Friday, March 17, 2017

Reverse Wool Applique

Two weeks ago my mom and I went to the Quilt Convention in Hampton, Va.  We have done this for a number of years and I am always so inspired by other people's work.  There are vendors, quilt guilds displaying their guild challenges and anything and everything in between.  I took over 300 pictures but I'll save that for another post.  Tonight I want to tell you about this wonderful lady I met who does reverse wool applique.

Michelle May is the owner and designer at The Raspberry Rabbits located in North Carolina.  We had a wonderful chat in her booth.  I was initially drawn to her pumpkin pattern.  As I looked around Michelle started telling me the stories behind each of her works, for example, the pumpkin pattern was named "Peter's Pumpkin" from the nursery rhyme.  I did end up buying this pattern along with her adorable book called Fabled Fusions.  The Peppermint Tea pattern was inspired by Alice in Wonderland's Tea Party and Wish Upon A Star was inspired by Michelle's love of the Wonderful World of Disney show that she used to watch as a child.



As you all know I like working with upholstery because it adds texture to a piece of work.  I told Michelle that I was going to try to make Peter's Pumpkin out of my upholstery stash:


It turned out being a little bit more difficult to work with than I had anticipated because of the many layers of upholstery (including the batting).  It was THICK and this was all hand stitched.  The backing was a velvet paisley print.  I ended up changing the beige background because it was too hard to sew through (as it was leather).  In the next picture, you can see that it is off-white wool felt.  The first layer of the pumpkin, the brown part, was in fact leather.  The second layer was a tweed upholstery and the third layer, orange, was wool felt.  The stem was two layers which consisted green velvet and the same brown leather I used for the pumpkin.

In the above picture, the upholstery with a mustard color background had a raised wool design that I cut out and then used for the vine and the decorative pieces at the bottom.


This was so much fun to do!  I think my next project is going to be O'Ryan the Stargazer from her book Fabled Fusions; O'Ryan is the cutest little owl I've ever seen!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Painting, painting and more painting

This Blog is all over the place just like my brain!  A few months ago I was all about quilting.  I was going to create a new quilting blog but, with my creative gene, I've bounced back to painting.  When I tell people I'm an artist, I quilt, I do handwork and I paint people ask, "What medium?" or "What do you paint? What's your style?"

I paint mainly in acrylics but I also like watercolors.  My style?  I've never been able to define this.  It's not folk art and its' not realism.  I like the word whimsical but that in itself is open to interpretation.  Abstract, pop-art maybe?  You be the judge.  Here are some of my latest creations:

Wall hanging for the princess in your life (wood)

Snowflake wall hanging because I love snow! (wood)

Nothing is more patriotic than a red, white and blue anchor (wood)

My Christmas reindeer (paper mache)



Because the word home should be done in folk art colors (one piece wood)

My idea of fun pumpkins (paper mache)

Paper mache trinket boxes

Stoneware catch-all tray

Saturday, December 17, 2016

My new website: October Cat Studios

Without further adieu, here is my website.  I will still keep blogging here but my website is for those of you who just want to see my work without listening to me ramble on and on.  It still needs tweaking but here it is!

http://octobercatstudios.com/

I made the name plural (October Cat Studios) because I have many creative outlets and in my mind each one is a different studio, but sometimes they  like to visit each other.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Thinking about new things

My family and I moved to Lexington, VA in June.  We moved from Portsmouth, VA which is 3.5  away but we moved from the East coast (Virginia Beach area) to the mountains and I absolutely LOVE it!!

I have always been a "Jill-of-all-trades" artist, I sew, I quilt, I paint, I knit, I sculpt and I do photography among many other things.  When we moved I realized that a lot of my creative endeavors have fallen by the wayside.  I'll try anything once, if I like it I'll stick with it and sometimes it may be a one-time thing for me.

I have used this move to refocus on one or two hobbies and purge everything else.  Over the past few years I've been gravitating more towards textile art, quilting and hand embroidery.  The second week here in Lexington I was invited to the Quilt Guild... YES!!

I'm not saying that I'm going to end this blog but at this point I'm thinking about starting a NEW blog that will focus on everything quilting.  I will also write about hand embroidery and different textiles I use in my art quilts.  I'm still trying to come up with a catchy name that will encompass all of these.

Please check back in a few weeks to get the link to my new blog.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Decorating and zentangles

     We are moving in just two short weeks!  I'm not that much of an interior decorator but one of the bathrooms in our new-but-old house needs some TLC.  We currently have a glass door on our shower but in the new house I get to pick out a shower curtain... which then entails picking out the rugs and any other accents.  I have had so much fun with this!
     It took me a while to decide on the perfect shower curtain (which I'll probably change out six months after we move in, because I'm like that). This is the shower curtain and it looks like it has a white background but it's really a cream color.  I'm thinking of hand sewing beads onto it because it just feels like it needs beads, plus I love to hand sew.
     I bought it from Target online.  It's made by Boho Boutique and the name is Utopia.  This picture is from their website and it's even more gorgeous in person, the red and orange really pop.  I bought two rugs (one orange and one cream color) locally.  I bought fabric from JoAnn's to eventually make curtains but I need to take measurements first.  And finally I decided to do a few zentangles for the walls.
     I probably only needed to do one or two but I've done three so far.  There is light blue and olive green in the shower curtain also that doesn't show up to well in Target's picture.



     I can't wait to move in and get this bathroom all set up so you can see the final product.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

What I've been up to

     We are moving in June!  My husband is a Methodist pastor and if you know anything about us Methodists it's that the pastors move often.  Since we are in the Virginia Conference we will stay within this state.  When we got married we were assigned to a quaint little town on the Rappahannock river called Urbanna, Va.  Six years and two kids later we moved to Portsmouth, Va.  We have been here five years and are now moving to Lexington, Va.
     So, needless to say, this is what's been going on in my life for the past few months: helping the kids transition, packing and purging, starting to change our address on bills and looking for new doctors, etc.
     I am still working on my two young adult fantasy fiction stories but yesterday I revisited one of my other passions, zentangles!

So if you don't hear from me for another month or two it's because I'm knee deep in boxes.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

More Art Dolls, this time with a story

Since my last post my writing has really taken off!  I have jumped into the wonderful world of fiction writing and as of today my first story is up to 20,000 words.  What am I writing you ask?  Fantasy for young adults.  I enjoy reading books with the main character being around eight to ten years old so this is who my book is for.
     In January I had a rough idea for a story and as I was sitting in my art room I noticed  my three art dolls "talking" to each other, they had a story to tell me.  My first book is their story.

Meet Azraella, the matriarch of my woodland friends, she is very calm and level headed.  Oh and she is an ant.

Meet Bazorg - He is the "clown" of the group.  He is a bird and not too smart at times.  He and Edric (the raccoon) don't get along to well.

Meet Couna - She is a bat and is very shy and quiet,  She only trusts a few other animals and Bazorg is her best friend.

Their names begin with the of letter of the alphabet in order in which I designed them.  "A" for Azraella because she was the first one I created.  Bazorg was my second and Couna my third.  This first book, so far, has characters named through "G".  I would really like to turn this into a series but I don't want to jump the gun yet.
     Domin-eye, Edric, Frena and Gumlop have also been created (3-D) but I don't want to share all of my secrets yet.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

More updates

Since quitting my job, and spending more time at home, I have started to clean out my art room. Purge, get rid of stuff that I haven't used in years.  I am at a crossroads as to which direction my art and creativity are going.  I figured that if I cleaned out (and I mean CLEANED OUT) my room it would be cathartic. Clean room = clean mind = fresh start.  I'm about halfway finished and it feels great!

My second update is that I've started writing again.  I wrote poetry and short stories in middle and high school.  I never shared them with anyone but I loved writing.  Since "picking up the pen again" I have been writing Haiku's.  I am working on another blog dedicated to my poetry and ponderings.  There I will share some of my older work (1980's) with my newer works.  I'm not great at it but I love writing my ideas and ways of thinking down on paper.

I am also revisiting my love of photography.  This was my first "artistic endeavor" and since cleaning out my art room I have stumbled upon some of my photography portfolios.  I used to take black and white photos with a manual film camera.  I will be incorporating my photography into my new poetry blog. 

A few days ago I had a free day so I went to an antique mall and took pictures.  This adventure was two-fold, not only was I polishing up my photography skills but antiques inspire me to write.  Yesterday I saw this little elf-boy that I remember my grandmother putting out at Christmas, my mind then went back to what her house looked like and what my brother and I would do while we were there.