Just a little Valentine Day Love Note from me to you.... I'm re-sharing a favorite tutorial for making unique custom message pillows!
1. Cut one piece of fabric approximately 8" x 6".
Paint one side with Valspar Chalkboard Paint (found at Lowe's Hardware)
2. When the paint is dry, fold a 0.5" edge on all sides
and stitch in place to keep the fabric from unraveling.
Also. trim the corners at a diagonal to keep excess
fabric from showing. Be careful not to cut any stitches.
3. Cut two larger pieces of fabric approximately 14" x 10".
4. Stitch the painted chalkboard fabric (black side
up) to the right side of one of the larger fabric pieces.
Position the painted fabric vertically 2.5" from the
bottom and centered horizontally on the larger fabric.
5. Place the two right sides of the larger fabric pieces
together and stitch. Remember to leave an opening to
turn the fabric and for stuffing the pillow with batting.
Once the pillow is stuffed, sew the opening shut.
6. Write your message on the pocket with
chalk and clean with water.
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
It has been quite some time, in fact, many months since I visited this place. To be honest, I have started several posts, only to abandon them almost as soon as I began to write.
The last half of 2014 was busy, and I busied myself preparing for trips and teaching, so it was easy to sort-of ignore this blog space. After returning home, there were the holidays to occupy me. As days passed, I began to wonder how I would ever explain my absence...
Last summer, as I continued struggling with grief from my mother's unexpected passing, I started mulling over an idea. Perhaps, I needed a sabbatical. I shared my thoughts with my husband in September. Thankfully, he was supportive and thought it was good for me to take a breather.
As 2015 approached, I became more and more excited about a whole year to just paint, rest, and reflect. However in the beginning I felt drained, all I could think about was wrapping the repose of winter around a weary self. I spent time inside a warm home cooking comfort foods, catching up on reading, and doing housework to occupy my days. Then a cloud of guilt and fear settled in. I was not sure if I wanted to share with anyone that I was on sabbatical, worried I might not be missed. I also felt bad having abandoned my business, which was something I had worked so hard to build. I found it difficult to unwind and just let go, which next brought an unwelcome state of creative paralysis with occasional tears. All these years, I had been so driven by my next to-do that when there wasn't any must-do, I literally did not know what to do!
Luckily, I have time... Time to just BE! Only now am I starting to experience a return of my creative self.
As for the remainder of the year, I will continue to operate at a slower pace, intentionally allowing space for personal time and creative endeavors with moments to ponder thoughts on how I want to approach the future. I will check-in from time to time, as I have art or news to share. Thank you, one and all, for your support and may I also wish you a very belated Happy New Year.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Longing to sharing a few tender moments, I sat perched on a stool in the laundry room, my gaze transfixed by the unfolding of moments out a small window. I have carefully listened every morning for the sound of their voices, and have waited until just now to create a memory of their visit.
Watching them, I knew it would be soon. And so it was.... they took their leave, today.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Every summer starting around the time I was eight years old until entering high school, my mother would spend hours reading to my sister and I.
Even on hot days, the three of us would camp out under a shade tree in the backyard lounging on aluminum-style lawn chairs, as mom regaled the entire Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott. I enjoyed these moments, listening to my mother's soothing voice, and daydreaming my way through the adventures of Jo March and her family.
I think of this fond childhood memory even more so now, since my mom passed away last year. Although not a mother myself, this Mother's Day I was lucky enough to receive a very special gift.
Over many months, my family has been sorting and passing along old photos, and miscellaneous treasured items belonging to mom. Although I have received some cherished mementoes, there was still one thing I longed to have, that precious set of books read to me every summer.
But after searching high and low, several times, the books were no where to be found, and my father began to think mom had donated them long ago. And as time wore on, I also began to lose hope, thinking my dad's hunch just might be right.
However just recently, my sister was cleaning the very back of a large closet, even though it was a space that had already been searched. Through her persistence, she uncovered a box hidden by a mountain of old magazines. Inside the box were the very books thought to be lost forever.
My sister had planned to surprise me with a package in the mail, but could not keep her discovery a secret. Call me crazy or superstitious, but I believe the timing serendipitous, perhaps to coincide with the Mother's Day holiday, or perhaps just a simple reminder of a mother's love and one last gift from mom.
* Photos Courtsey of Christa Nall
Monday, April 14, 2014
This week I have several exciting happenings to celebrate! Not only am I commemorating another birthday, but I am also heralding the debut of my new gift line, Janie's Woods by Mudlark/Madison Park Group.
I am always proud of the retail products I lend my artworks to, but I am especially thrilled with this giftware, as each piece is of the highest quality. It is also very special to me because the collection is named, as a tribute, after my late mother.
Sometime amidst sorrow and despair, there are glimmers of light and hope. Mudlark/Madison Park Group gave me the opportunity to do what I do best, make art. Instead of focusing on the pain and loss of a kind gentle soul, I am celebrating my mom through this collaboration with two really wonderful manufacturers. They have helped me to create a lasting dedication, bring attention to my mother's life and her battle with cancer. Now, I have the opportunity to share with the world the essence of her radiant soul, which served as inspiration for these beautiful pieces.
The collection is truly incredible with such a wonderful selection of items. I have pictured only a few in this post. I hope you will consider purchasing pieces as gifts for someone or for yourself. They are sure to compliment any decor. Look for the Janie's Woods collection in local retail shops, department stores, or purchase on-line.
My sincerest thanks goes to everyone involved in this project from Mudlark/Madison Park Group. I have been blessed by your expertise, wisdom, and caring. And thank you, dear reader... for your continued support of artists. It is through you spreading the word to others and purchasing our treasures that we have reasons to celebrate!