Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The 2017 Newport News Fall Festival of Folk Life

I absolutely love this festival!  I grew up in Newport News so coming back to do the festival just warms my heart.  I have been on the juried side in the past, and my mom has been on the marketplace side BUT since they are moving to Wisconsin I decided that I wanted to be in my mom's place this year.  My mom has taught adult art classes through the NN Parks and Rec for 40+ years so she has a huge following in Newport News.  Since she is moving I wanted to do this for all of her students who want to keep up with her and my dad and their new adventures closer to my brother and his family.

Because I was on the marketplace side this year I was able to combine my sewing and painting talents under one tent.  Had I been on the juried side I would have to pick one category.  I realized a long time ago that my brain doesn't work like that, I am definitely all over the place when it comes to my artistic endeavors.  Here are a few photos of my tent at the Fall Festival:


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Whimsical home decor

Because my boys are out for the summer I don't have as much time to paint but here are two of my most recent items:

I don't have a before picture of this one, it was a 1970's beige color.  It is not recommended for food but you could use it for jewelry or sewing notions, etc

Thanks for looking!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Save the Date!

October 7-8th, 2017... I've been accepted into the Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife so please come see me!!  Here is a temporary link NN Fall Festival  I will update this link as they update their website.  I don't have my booth number yet but you all will be the first to know where to find me.

I will still be selling my fabric bowls but will have new items as well.  A new line I will be introducing is my whimsical hand-painted home decor.  Here is a sneak peek of my pink and black end table:


A close-up of the base:

I am also working on a child's bench that I will have in the show so stay tuned I'll be posting pictures soon.

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!

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.