Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Lessons!

I've been working away here finishing new lessons for on line classes and creating some fun stuff! Two current classes include Creative Beadmaking and Altered Fabric, both still available at Joggles.com and because I got behind when I was ill over the summer I have been putting finishing touches on the lessons lately. I want to share a few photos!
This necklace was created with heat distressed Kunin felt beads and a gem stone bound with a wire casing, all part of the bead class. Matter of fact, it's the final project!
Marbling is my favorite technique when altering fabric. It's very addicting and you never know what you'll end up with! I could have wrtten an entire class just on that!

This blue piece holds a combination of techniques including painting with bubble wrap. The base fabric was gorgeous on it's own, but I think this kind of stuff is spectacular! If you are interested in any of my classes check out my web site at http://www.skeelhaven.com/ . I'll be posting January workshops before too long but my classes are all still open.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New classes

I have scheduled several On Line Classes to start over the next two weeks. Each class has loads of step by step photos and the details for each are listed at the links above each photo. If you have never taken an on line workshop before, it's easy! The lessons are posted weekly, and each site has a system to either email or post messages back and forth so you work at your own pace and on your own time schedule. There is no official class time, but every student can see the other students comments, questions and posted photos and benefit as if they are in a classroom together. This is especially great because students from all over the world can (and often do!) participate in the same class. It's okay to sign up a little late, too, so go for it!If you are interested in any of these workshops the links and a quick peek for each is here. Follow the links for detailed information on each workshop, including number of lessons, price and additional photos.

Yesterday I started the Artistic Bead Creating, at Joggles. Create an assortment of original beads to match all your projects.October 30th I begin the Queen of Hearts at Cloth Doll Connection. She was created with absolutely no sewing machine . October 30th I begin The Harpy at DollStreet. Learn to adapt the techniques to create a Harpy as you imagine her; a beautiful goddess, angelic or an evil temptress.November 11th I begin Altered Fabric at Joggles. Begin with plain fabric, add dyes and paints and end up with fantastic pieces of original cloth for your own projects.

I hope you will join me for loads of fun in one or more classes soon! Till then, Happy Creating!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paisley Praise

It's been a long summer but I am finally well enough to create again and have my first new piece since May! While in the hospital with pneumonia and in really bad shape because of my compromised immune system I felt the hands of angels caressing me when I closed my eyes, giving me comfort and peace. During my 2 week hospital stay and the months of recovery following I continued to feel angels praising God, thanking Him for my healing and keeping my spirits high. This ordeal inspired "Paisley Praise." Her name comes from the paisley fabric on her upper sleeves, which was intented for the Hoffman Challenge (http://hoffmanchallenge.com/2009challenge/winners09/dolls2009.html) but as I was ill I missed the challenge deadline. I am nearly recovered, just working on getting my stamina back and avoiding germs as best I can, and now I am thrilled to share photos of my new piece with you. I will ship her out today as I finished her just in time to go to the Celebration of the Doll Exhibit held next weekend at the Houston Quilt Festival and I am already scheduled to teach her in January, 2010. I hope you like Paisley Praise as much as I do!
Paisley is an all cloth doll with articulated hands and a needle scolpted face. Her wings were created with layers of fabric feathers embellished with free motion embroidery. She is kneeling in her Renaissance garments giving thanks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Twilight Sculpt -Work in Progress

This past weekend I spent at the lovely home of Annie Hesse taking a class with Tasmainian artist Susie McMahon, who was wonderful. I've not done much sculpting in the past and never attempted a realistic figure in paper clay. It was soooo much easier on my hands than needle sculpting fabric. Below are photos of the actor Edward Pattinson who played Edward in the movie Twilight. I wanted to recereate his chiseled jaw line but seem to have done a decent job at capturing more than that. Not bad for my first attempt! I need to work on my painting skills, since I've not done much painting but I think I may have found a new love, and I don't just mean Edward! I'm looking forward to adding that wild hair and the manly eyebrows to complete his face to see just how similar they are.


So did I come home and start the body for this Edward doll? No! I started collecting photos for a new sculpt... Robert Downey Jr. will be my next sculpt attempt. There is a ton of character in his face and it changes drastically when he smiles so I expect it to be a much larger challenge... but where is the fun if there is no challenge?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Renovating the Yard

Our oldest son Brian is marrying a wonderful girl named Alisha this coming Labor Day weekend. For the rehersal dinner they requested a cook out here and in our party barn. We didn't think that was fancy enough (- that's our excuse and we are sticking to it!) so we are renovating the back yard. Craig hopes to never have to mow a huge yard again and thinks gardening will be easier. We'll see about that! So he bought a baby back hoe and a dump truck for the project. He built some raised areas using landscape timbers and we are giving the yard tiers. This is a diagonal view of the yard. Using 720 red brick pavers we created a 17' across patio around the new fire ring so we have a great place to roast marshmallows now. I laid all the brick except the ones Craig had to cut to fill odd spaces. So here is an in progress view of the fire ring in the rear with Craig, my mini-greenhouses in the center (with the covers off so the seedlings get sun because it was in the 80s today), the new stone walking path and closest is the stone raised bed with azaleas. The board walk, deck and porch were projects a few years ago. The wood wall is further out and extend across almost half the area side to side. It's wonderful being married to a man who can do anything but boy are we tired!




Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Beads


I have had so much fun creating beads I had to share more. The leaves are finished here, and ready to string. Below are a few jewelry pieces created using my hand designed beads. This is going to be a wonderful class! I hope you like them too!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

String 'Em Up!

I strung some of the beads I've been working on. This batch of greens are complimented by some gold toned beads from my stash. Flat spacer beads cover the large holes in the round beads and an occasional green glass bead adds a little sparkle. This is a lightweight necklace and comfortable to wear! The red set includes a bracelet for a nice matched set. Very classy looking and I have just the outfit to wear with it!
These pressed polymer beads were fun to make and just popped out of my oven. I'm waiting for them to cool to add accent colors, but I think they are pretty cool already!
Okay, my favorites of the day: Marbled leaves. I began with polymer clay and have a little more to do to these puppies to finish them with pizzazz before stringing them, but I love the curl to the leaves. The curl held beautifully while baking too! They will look awesome on a finished piece. Who knew writing this on line class would be this much fun?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bead Crazy

Well here is another fine mess of beads!
These were sooooo simple to make I feel guilty putting them in an on line class so I'll tell you what I did here to releve the guilt. Hmmm.... I wonder if chocolate guilt can go away that easily...

First I started with wood beads that had a 1/4" diameter hole. A big hole is essential for this! Then I painted the beads gold. Then I used a flat yarn and wrapped the beads keeping the yarn from twisting. This yarn has gaps, which is way cool at letting the gold wood bead show through but I did another bead using krinkled eyelash yarn and got a totally different bead look.

The bead above is the same concept, same wooden bead with a large hole. It had a walnut stain and I didn't even paint it! The hole is much tighter now, obviously from the bulky fibers but can still be strung and hung!

I'm headed back to the studio to play with more beads and maybe create some new jewelry!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

BEADS!

This week I'm working on making bead samples for an on line class where I will be teaching how to make an assortment of beads for various projects. Here's an "in progress" bead. It's a little bit of tweaked and fried Tyvek and still needs "embellished" but it's looking good so far. I love the textures!

Here's a gaggle of embellished felted beads. My next step with these puppies is to create a project using them. I'm seaching for just the "right thing" to compliment them.

I've got too many fun ideas swarming in my head again so I plan to spend the afternoon in the studio with the French doors open to warm weather, daffodils and singing birds. That should make everything work perfectly! Don't you just love Spring?!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To Florida!

Well after a 6 month Sabbatical for health issues I am finally back to traveling and teaching. Tomorrow I leave for 12 days with the Fabric Floozies in Jacksonville Florida - my favorite doll club. First we have a three day class making Destiny (pictured above), then an UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) and then two days of Altered Fabric (aka Abused Fabric). They have planned outings for me, and lounging by the pool and I know it's my job but it will feel like a vacation! The weather has been decent here in Ohio but I think I could deal with 70 to 80 degree days for a couple weeks!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Memories

I think of my memory as a filling cabinet. Some drawers are pristine (not many!)and some drawers are poorly filed so finding things is a challenge, but at 2 in the morning I may sit up with an “ah ha!” and can finally let a question go. My filing drawer for remembering names seems to have developed a large hole in it and things just piddle back out of it. When I meet someone new I may forget their name in 10 seconds no matter how much they impress me. They say this is an old age thing but I don’t really qualify for that in years. I think my brain is full. This explains all the miss filings and why I can remember the stupid stuff like what I ordered at a restaurant while discussing a certain topic with my husband… although I may not perfectly recall the actual conversation. It drives him insane! And since that is my job in life, to drive him insane, I shall continue to do nothing about it. Here's an oldie but goodie in my doll collection: Angel Fish, the Mermaid Bride. She's a favorite workshop for me as well as clubs that invite me to teach. Angel fish collects riches from ship wrecks and has embellished her wedding gown with her treasures. Free form embellishing techniques on her wedding tail veil include silk ribbon embroidery, ribbon and fabric manipulation and incorporating beadwork as well as creating lace unique embellishments from lace. In this photo Angel admires her new Marcaset wedding band embedded with miniature swarvoski crystals on her elegant articulated hands. She's been sold for years and yet I remembered all that.




Sunday, February 15, 2009

First Post!

One is only 49 once and I say, just having passed that milestone it is time to move to Blogger and finally set up a blog all veiwers can access easily. So, here I are, if I had a hat it would be in my hand, but that would most certainly slow my typing, so it's just as well.

Oddly, I was only 29 a year ago, but decided to accept the white hairs, arthritis and failing memory issues and get serious about being a child for the rest of my life. I plan to play in the garden more, searching for faeries more often than weeds, to accept blooming weeds as wild flowers and to covince all guests that the fuzzies in the corners are not cobwebs but faerie nests and that they should get used to them because life is too short to hold a dust rag too often. I plan to play with art more, expanding my media range and care less about the mess than the mystery. And I plan to eat dessert when I want to, despite the shape of my hips or thighs.

That all being said, here is my newest creation, still a wee bit of work left to do. The Enchantress will be photographed and posted again as soon as her throne is embellished, when her AWOL crystal ball is mounted to the throne and when her newly arrived mini Tarot cards displayed. I hope you enjoy her!

The Enchantress is dressed in hand painted silk, wears a beaded pigskin leather corset, and dons 10 inch mohair locks. The tattoos on her face and breast are completed with 3 mm swarovski crystals. Her staff is draped with her favorite symbols of power: a crescent moon, a key and a celtic cross, and is topped with an azure swarovski crystal. The textured gilded throne displays an open crescent moon in the chairback and has a cushion for comfort during extensive readings. Some day I hope she tells me her name so we can be a little less formal. I mean, seriously, what does it take for that? I've already seen her without her underwear!