May 06, 2014

Evolution of Stitch Along Book Cover

How the cover of a book comes together is different from book to book. For my latest book, how the cover came together is especially interesting and so I thought I'd share the story with you. At one point, we were all thinking about white back stitches with sans serif lettering on red fabric. But then somewhere during the process, we decided to change it to white satin stitches with slightly different lettering on coral fabric.


Even before that, my first attempt was making red back stitches on white fabric.

IMG_6221We all knew that the other cover images would fall in place like this ... and we were going back and forth as I tried all of these different stitches and fabrics. It took a lot of time but it was really fun and exciting.

IMG_6238Once it was decided that it would be white satin stitches on coral fabric, they asked me to not stitch the letter O in the word ALONG so that the designer could place a piece of embroidered work right there at the O. SUCH a cute idea!

IMG_6407I worked during daylight and well into the night for several days to get all these variations stitched.

IMG_6353And Scout watched me stitching for those days.

IMG_6361And once the cover came together, we all knew we had a winner.

And that's the story of how the cover of Stitch Along came to be. :)


May 05, 2014

Announcing My New Book :: Stitch Along!

I am honored and excited to announce my brand new book: Stitch Along!

Photo 110 Master stitchers offer 30 amazing projects in this truly adorable book. The designers are:
Jackie Bowcutt, Liesi Cross, Megan Eckman, Carina Envoldsen-Harris,
Pam Garrison, Mollie Johanson, Charlotte Lyons, Rebecca Sower,
Sami Teasdale,
and Nicole Vos van Avezathe.

This book is available everywhere books are sold, including Amazon!

Photo 2

May 04, 2014

Announcing :: Art Jewelry with Diane Cook!

I am happy to announce two very special art jewelry workshops coming up in Studio CRESCENDOh on July 11th and 12th with Diane Cook.

On July 11th, she will teach the Brave He{ART} class where students will learn to design and assemble a repousse heart. Repousse is a method of decorating metals with hammers and punches.

Brave Heart AquamarineOn July 12th, Diane will teach the Viking Knit Bracelet. Viking knit is a form of knitting and looping, which you will do with wire!

Untitled-2Can't wait? Me either. Enrollment is NOW open here and here.

See you in Studio CRESCENDOh. If you want to. :)

April 23, 2014

Happily and Sorrowfully Ever After

IMG_9973FangGrrr and Butterfly returned to an all-better Lion. The magic yarn had brought Lion back from death. "Lion, what were you trying to say to me when you were dying?" asked FangGrrr.


IMG_9976"I was trying to say that we all have flaws, FangGrrr. And we all have fangs. I have them too ... see?"

"If you think you're the only one with flaws and fangs, you're wrong. You are not along, FangGrrr. We all hurt."


IMG_9986"AND we all love. We all hurt and love," said Lion.


IMG_9987"But what about Snake?" asked FangGrrr.

"The more you engage with Snake, the more you empower Snake. Snake is an asshole. Disengage with assholes. Snake is Snake's own worst enemy," said Lion.


IMG_9988And with that, FangGrrr, Lion, Butterfly, Fox, and other friends played ... and they lived sometimes happily AND sometimes sorrowfully ever after.


IMG_9989The end (of part one).

More adventures of FangGrrr to come. ;)

April 05, 2014

Painting by Heart :: Coming April 26th and 28th *EDIT! 27th & 28th*

I'm happy to announce that I will be offering my Painting by Heart class once again in Studio CRESCENDOh this April! This is a one-day class offered on April 26th and 28th (EDIT! The classes will be April 27th and 28th) ... once on a weekend and once on a weekday. Enrollment is NOW open here.


Some answers to questions that I've been getting about this class:

Q: I've taken Painting by Heart before. Can I take it again?
A: Yes. There are several people who have taken it again and been able to digest and relearn important lessons.

Q: Can I sign up for both days?
A: For sure. It will be the same material but again, you are welcome to take it both days to better digest all of the information and just get quicker into your groove and to do more back-and-forth feedback with me as you desire.

Q: Seems like every time, the content slightly changes. Is that correct?
A: Inevitably so. I try to keep the same skeletal structure but as I continue to grow and evolve and discover, I do bring in new knowledge into class. :)

Q: Will you offer it again this year?
A: I plan on offering this class in Studio CRESCENDOh no less than 4 times a year.

Q: Will you ever offer this as a 2-day class and cover more info?
A: Maybe.

Q: Will you ever offer this as an online class?
A: Probably. But it won't be for a long while.

ALSO ...

There are a few opportunities that are now open for those who would like to paint in the company of other painters in The Painting Studio ... a great way to learn and share with like-minded painters. :) Enrollment for The Painting Studio is NOW open here.

April 02, 2014

My weight and my body fat.

Right at this very moment in time, I weight 115.5 pounds. This scale in my bathroom is extremely precise as I weigh exactly the same on the calibrated scale that I stepped on at a body composition analysis center this morning. 115.5 pounds.

IMG_9160The reason I was at the analysis center is because they specialize in the hydrostatic evaluation of measuring a person's body fat. The process is one where you put a bathing suit on and get submerged into water to get a true and accurate measurement of the fat that you have, versus lean body mass. The reason I wanted to do this is because I've known that how much a person weighs is an incomplete story in terms of how fit they are. A person could weigh 115.5 and look really heavy because most of it is fat. Conversely, a person could weigh 135 and look really toned and lean because most of their weight is muscle.

Recently I had two different people do two different measurements using one of those pinch instruments where they grab your skin/fat and record the numbers to calculate your body fat. The first person who measured me said I had 21% body fat and the second person who measured me said I had 38% body fat!

What was most upsetting about these very different measurements is that I felt I was getting really mixed messages. I mean, if someone said for sure that my body fat was 38% I could accept that and decide to work hard to reduce that percentage. But I felt because the measurements were so radically differet, with the second one putting me on the verge of being morbidly obese that I felt I needed to get to the bottom of this ... espcially because I've been training so hard to build muscle.

IMG_9167So ... after the official dunk tank this morning, the analysis revealed that my body fat is at 16.41%.

For my height (5'4"), and my weight (115.5 lb), and the measurements of my bones (they measured my ankle for this), my ideal body fat percentage is 22%. However, if my goal is to become a super duper competitive atheletic type, I could aim for a 13% body fat.


It feels good to get this information. I feel more motivated than ever before to keep doing what I'm doing, which is to lift heavy, run fast, get good sleep, and eat real food in moderation.

At the same time, I know that I don't wnat to become that person who chases numbers and percentages all the time. I know that the best scale is within me where as long as I am honest with myself, I have all the senses to know how fit I am based on how I look in the mirror, how winded I am when I run or go up the stairs, how my clothes fit, and so on.

Anyway, I wanted to share this information because if you are planning to get your body fat measured, I really really recommend staying away from those contraptions that people put onto your skin because you'll get inaccurate measurements. Also stay away from those things you grab like handle bars with electrical currants that go through you. That's the worst of all. I really do think it's worth the 50 bucks to go get dunked and get it right.



March 23, 2014

The Painting Studio is Back for April May and June!

I am happy to announce that The Painting Studio is back in Studio CRESCENDOh, a program that offers pariticipants the opportunity to paint for a full day in the studio, in the company of other painters.

This is not a workshop where methods are taught ... simply an opportunity to paint, watch others paint, and allow a natural dialogue to happen amongst those who paint together. To observe and be observed, to inquire, to share, and to inspire.

Enrollement is open here for April, May, and June sessions. See you in The Painting Studio. :)


March 21, 2014

Painting :: Trinity

Acrylic on stretched 3/4-inch thick canvas.
18 x 24 inches
Title: Trinity

Two full shots and 4 detail shots.
Listed here.







March 19, 2014

Announcing My New Book :: Washi Wonderful!


I'm super excited to announce my new book: Washi Wonderful!

Photo 1It's filled with projects that you can make using the truly wonderful craft item that we've all come to love over the years: washi tape! The designers who contributed the truly outstanding projects for this book are Ishtar Olivera Belart, Carolyn Garris, Avital Gertner-Samet, Cynthia Shaffer, Anne Stills, and ... yours truly. :)

Below is just a peek at the few projects of mine that are in the book ... gift packages adorned with a fringe flower, hanging tassels, and arrow.

Washi Wonderful will be officially on bookstands April 1st everywhere books are sold, including here on amazon.

Photo 3

Photo 2

Painting :: Fox and Friends

Acrylic on stretched canvas.
30 x 30 inches
Title: Fox and Friends

Two full shots and two detail shots.


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

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