Friday, December 14, 2018

“Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.” ~ Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Mosaic Extravaganza 2019 Workshop - Testing the Waters of Fabric Art Design...
In the world of fiber, textile, quilt, and fabric art, the constant feature is always changing. There are new techniques, new products, and new teachers. But where is the 'somewhere' we're suppose to draw the line when it comes to developing our own style or testing the waters of design?

In this workshop, which begins on January 3rd, 2019, you're not expected to copy an inspiration object, someone else's pattern, or an instructor's carefully planned venue. Well, maybe a little...

I will be helping you get to a place that will resemble this photo to some extent. From this point, I'll be helping you to fill in this mosaic using your 'inner designer'. "Don't have one," you say! Well, let's see if you still think that way at the end of this workshop...

Grab some fabric scraps, some fusible web, a pair of scissors, and a tacking iron. Then sign up for this fun and challenging online workshop.

Let's scatter some color together!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Developing an 'Artist's Eye'

We all have this to some extent. We use a facet of this ability when we arrange our home decor or mix and match our clothing choices. We use our sense of position, balance, color, shape, and compatibility.

If we've had a long relationship with fabric, we have most likely expanded on that ability by learning to appreciate texture, finish, complimentary color, pattern, etc.

For those of us who strive to turn our love of fabric into a higher level of artistic application and appreciation, we need to realize that it takes training and practice to develop a creative 'Artist Eye'. In short, we have to change the way we see and rewire our brains to accept our specialized vision.

Believe it or not, our brains are often our biggest hindrance. With experience and time, our brains learn to anticipate and make decisions about what we see without any conscience effort on our part. So how is that a hindrance to an artist? Our brains function on a level of practicality and efficiency. For instance, it may see a bowl with a medium sized round, red shape with a stem, and a long curved yellow shape next to it and immediately identifies them as an apple and banana. Once the objects are identified, the brain thinks its work is done and ceases to look for further information.

It's that missing information that is absolutely necessary to an artist, no matter the medium they choose to work in. To develop an 'Artist's Eye', we need to stop seeing just a single or collection of items and see the whole scene or vignette.

For example let's revisit the bowl of fruit we talked about earlier. The brain took the expedient route to identifying the objects and stopped there. But what would the brain trained to see through an 'Artist's Eye' tell us?

• The mood of the scene is tranquil and homey as the bowl of fruit sits on top of a dining table in a country style kitchen.
• The bright morning light is bathing the fruit in a yellow and magenta tinged glow.
• The marbled blue bowl that holds the fruit has deep purple hued shadows around its bottom and icicle blue highlights around its rim.
• The polished, honey-colored wood table top provides a perfect canvas for the scene, giving it both dimension and stability, its wood grain a natural contrasting pattern to the smooth curved shape of the bowl and fruit.
• The strong circular highlight on the apple's top ridge gives it a delicious depth of color range.
• Sharp angles, soft curves, definitive lines, color value, warmth and coolness, mood, texture, pattern.

These things are present but not initially registered by the brain. We, the artist, must prod the brain to see these things. If practiced enough, the brain will begin to adapt to our 'Artist Eye'.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity - Key #1

~The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.~  Pablo Picasso

Key # 1 - Don't Discriminate

Does a line have to be straight? Does a circle have to be unbroken? Does creative energy have to follow the laws of reality? Good sense says that they do, but creative ingenuity says otherwise. 

The photo above is a portrait, or is it? How you answer that question will tell you a lot about how your 'good sense' affects your creativity. 

Discrimination is usually based on preconceived ideas or philosophy.  Try reversing some of your natural thought processes when tapping into your creative processes. Test the limits of your reality and see what might hover beyond.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Scrap Busting Project - Sticky Note Pouch

We all love our Sticky Notes! but how do you keep them in good condition and readily available when carrying them in your purse? Well, I've got the perfect solution and it's so easy to make. And if you're looking for a gift bag stuffer or small gift item, this is it...

Have friends who would love one of these? 
Why not share it with them
Check out the tutorial here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

2019 Scrap Busting Challenge

You know you need this! So join the fun and make something beautiful.

You're being challenged to create one scrap busting project each month in 2019. Twelve months = 12 new creations. Here are a few helpful guidelines...

  1. Use whatever scraps you have on hand to create something new. That could include fabric, beads, paints, glitter, threads and fibers, craft supplies, paper, etc., etc.
  2. It can be a practical or artistic project - or both. It can be a gift item or something you've created for yourself.
  3. The project doesn't need to be large or time consuming. Just create something new from scraps you already have.
  4. To join this challenge - just comment below
I'll be featuring my projects monthly and would love to include some of yours, as well. Want to join me? Make sure you have commented on this post. Then, just send me a project photo and the following information to by the 5th of the month. (Example: You should send me January's project information no later than February 5th. And the same for each month thereafter.)
  1. Short description
  2. If you're a blogger, send me your 2019 Scrap Busting Challenge project post link. I'll include that in my feature post.
  3. Your comment ID so that I can verify that you've joined this challenge
Prizes Up For Grabs
Here are some prizes that will be awarded to some of our participants in April - July - Oct - Dec. (You must be up-to-date with each month's project and be participating in the monthly feature as described above to qualify)
  • Handmade journaling embellishments
  • Starbucks $5 gift cards
  • Free Fabric Art Tutorials
  • I'll be giving away some of my monthly project pieces
  • Handmade gift items
  • Free online fabric art workshops
OOPS! I started this challenge late - what do I do?
You can join this challenge anytime, however, you still need 12 new projects completed by Dec 2019. And to qualify for prizes you will need to verify your projects by joining the featured program outlined above. 

~ Questions can be sent to me at ~

Scrap Busting Projects - Quick Gift Idea - Tablet Pouch

Visual Inspiration.

All you need is a few scraps from your craft projects to create this beautiful and useful gift item. I created this tablet pouch from sample scrap swatches, lace, handmade flowers, and trim. The inside is lined with quilted cotton for more protection. It's constructed in one piece, then folded and stitched on the sides. Top flap has a velcro closure. Easy and so much fun to design. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

GIVEAWAY: Fabric Art Workshop of Your Choice

Creating Art with Fabric Giveaway
Jungle Love by Fabric Artist Lynda Coker

9 Winners - Every Saturday from November 3rd - December 29th,
I'll be giving away a free workshop - 
Winner's Choice. 
(Click on Workshop tab to view available workshops - Workshops are conducted online in a private Facebook group. You must have a FB account to participate in the workshop.)

TO ENTER - Fill out the giveaway form (You must be 18 or older to enter)
Winner's will be notified by email and must respond within three days or another winner will be selected.


Lina - November 3rd - Winner # 1 - Lina chose the Color Reborn workshop
Mindie W - November 10th - Winner #2 - Mindie chose the Mosaic Extravaganza workshop
Marsha J. - November 17th - Winner #3 - Marsha chose the Color Reborn workshop
Mia L. - November 24th - Winner #4 - Mia chose the Color Reborn workshop
Angie W. - December 1st - Winner #5 - Angie chose the Mosaic Extravaganza workshop
Wanda B. - December 8th - Winner #6 - Wanda chose the Color Reborn workshop

Nicole H - November 10th - Winner # 2 - Nicole failed to respond to email notification within specified time frame resulting in a new winner being drawn.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Scrap Busting Projects - Quick Gift Idea - Personalized Paper Clips

Visual Inspiration.

All you need is a few scraps from your craft projects to create this beautiful and useful gift item. They make great party favors, gift bag stuffers, or add it to your custom gift wrapping.

You'll need: large paper clips, card stock, glue, and bits of lace,
trim, fabric, floral petals, beads, etc.  Then just let your imagination take over. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Scrap Busting Projects - Key Pouch and Eyeglass case

One thing is certain in life, If you sew or craft -- You have SCRAPS! What isn't as certain is finding ideas to make fun and useful items from that scrap pile. So this series will offer you some visual inspiration.

Front View: Made from fabric scraps. Inside lining is quilted cotton. Velcro closure on pouch with a snippet of braid trim. Pouch measures 6" x 6".
Back View: Fabric scraps with satin ribbon trim across top. Key pouch and eyeglass case - great small gift ideas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Scrap Busting Projects - What to do with Fabric Scraps

When I'm finished with a sewing, quilting, or fabric art project, I always take the time to add fusible web to the back of any leftover scraps that might otherwise be thrown away. I then tuck them away in a drawer until I'm ready to use them. How can they be used, you ask? I use them in fabric art pieces, fabric mosaics, fabric collage quilts, etc. Color of Autumn is one such piece.

Color of Autumn

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Series: Five Mailboxes Workshop Participant Showcase #1

I'm so delighted by the beautiful fabric art created by the participants in my recently completed ''Five Mailboxes' workshop. I will be showcasing a few of those works, so check back and don't forget to comment.

The workshop participants all used the same inspiration image, a painting by Artist Sally Bartos.

Kitty created this wonderful version

Interview with Kitty:

1. What have you learned?
I’m braver with my fabrics. Even with this being my second project with Lynda, I still had hesitation cutting into the fabrics at the beginning. I really felt like I needed to get it right the first time. With this piece using so many colors I got a lot braver towards the end. The videos helped a lot. In the videos, Lynda talked about the perspective of the piece. It made it much easier to do. And helped me see the detail! I have learned that I’m improving my ‘artist eye.’

2. Do you have a better grasp of your artistic style?
A little bit. I think I would benefit from a discussion of what artistic style is. Right now I see my style as seeing the details and using fabric to recreate the details!

3. Is it getting easier to see detail?
It's getting much easier to see the detail! I do worry that I’m seeing to much detail! But with that being said, I really love seeing the picture come together! I spent a lot of hours working on this piece. Time went by so fast!

4. Things you really like about your work.
I really love the colors and the texture of the piece. I also enjoy the perspective I can see in my version of the painting. The movement of the fence and the sky are my favorite parts!

5. Things you’d change if you were to make this same project again, and why. These are not necessarily things that are wrong, they might just be things you’d like better if you’d done them a little differently.
I would like to change the hills in the back. Maybe use more colors in it. I would like to see more of the rolling hills effect. I would also change the gardens. I do have texture in them. Maybe the texture looks too angular.

Thank you, Kitty, for sharing your thoughts with us. I'm looking forward to working with you in the Mosaic Extravaganza workshop starting January 3rd.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Using Inspiration Images to Develop Composition in Fabric Art and Collage

'Five Mailboxes' Painting by Artist Sally Bartos
The fundamental aspect of good composition is identifying and working with your focal point. The focal point captures a viewer's interest and brings them into your artwork. A focal point helps give perspective, sets borders, defines size, and often sets the mood of your work.

The general rule when positioning the focal point is that it should be off-center (both horizontally and vertically). To understand why, it helps to know the difference in balance and symmetry.

Symmetry – regularity, geometrically centered. For whatever reason, we humans tend to find symmetry boring in art, fashion, color range, interior design, etc. A centered focal point doesn't engender interest. Why? When our vision is directed first to the center of a piece of art, our brains tend to say – that's everything – and we don't look further. But when the focal point is off center, it implies that there is more in this image that we haven't seen yet and we let our eye roam.

Balance – equal distribution. For an artist, balance is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture, and space that give us a sense of stability and harmony. We like balance and strive to achieve it by composition and positioning.

Fabric Art Version by Artist Lynda Coker
Example: How did the artist, Sally Bartos, achieve balance in the 'Five Mailboxes' painting? If we consider the weight and position of the painting's focal point alone, the five mailboxes, they would tend to tip the scene forward. But when viewed with the balancing elements of the houses and hill, everything settles equally in place. As humans we tend to love balance because of the emotional result it gives us – harmony.

On the other hand, too much symmetry frustrates us emotionally. Most of us don't even realize why we feel uneasy about a room that is too symmetrically furnished. Think about a dinner table set with perfectly arranged dinnerware. Every plate, fork, knife, napkin, and glass are in arranged symmetry. It should be finished at this point. But what do we do next? We balance all that symmetry with a centerpiece that gives us emotional harmony.

A lot of the technical aspects of composition are done for us when we're working from a guide image. In my fabric art workshops, you notice that I use no patterns. However, I do utilize a grid, why? The grid automatically places the balancing elements in their respective positions for us. We don't have to decide how high or low to place the horizon or where to place the focal point to achieve interest and balance. the artist or photographer has done that work for us.

Art and fabric go together as yummy as butter on toast. Why not join one of my workshops and learn to use this wonderful medium to create artwork uniquely your own, or, simply purchase the video illustrated tutorial and create at your leisure.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Fabric Collage Tutorial Overview Video

Check my Tutorial/Gallery tab for more information on the 'FIVE MAILBOXES' fabric collage project. There is no sewing required to finish this artwork. The step-by-step video illustrated tutorial will assist both beginners/advanced fabric artists.