30 June 2013

where i stand sunday

*** Don't forget to leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to win a free online class for using Transfer Artist Paper taught by Lesley Riley! A winner will be chosen on July 5th. ***

I've talked about wanting organization for a long time. Not perfect, just reasonably under control. I hesitate to show photos, feeling vulnerable, embarrassed, cringing at the judgement that I know people will fling at me.

But I know I am not alone. I know there are other artists out there that share the same struggle. So I'll share the journey, offer a chance to see how to find a way out of not only the physical clutter but the mental mess as well.

Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

29 June 2013

win a free online class with The Transfer Queen - Lesley Riley! :)

Do you know Lesley Riley? Do you know about the product she created, Transfer Artist Paper (TAP)? If you don't, you really should and I'm more then happy to introduce you!

Lesley is known as the Transfer Queen and it's for good reason. I first met Lesley many years ago in Houston at the International Quilt Festival. I took a class with her on making a mixed media book and I remember the first time I watched her to do an image transfer - I was completely mesmerized! It was like magic!

In that class she was teaching it with inkjet transfers and matte medium. But since then she has gone on to create a product, TAP, that is SO much better in SO many ways - it makes transfers super magical!

The thing I like best about the product is that it's not just for fabric and you can draw directly on it with markers and other tools to do the transfer. I don't have an inkjet printer anymore (which is the type you need with TAP) so I love that I can still do transfers in a snap with TAP.

You can use TAP on paper, wood, metal, clay - it's an equal opportunity transfer product! :)

Lesley is making it super SUPER easy - and FUN! - to take a class with her. She's teaching all the things you can do with TAP over at CraftArtEdu. Online classes are my savior - I can take them anywhere, anytime and in my pajamas. :)

In Lesley's class, she shows you all the ways you can use TAP and also a project to put all your new wonderful pieces together:

Not only is Lesley a very talented teacher, she's incredibly generous. And she wants to give YOU the chance to take the class for FREE!

Simply leave a comment on this blog post and I'll randomly pick a winner on July 5th. The winner will take the class for free. And what's more is that my blog is not the only place you can enter to win.

Visit Lesley's blog for a chance to win a free package of TAP!

Visit these blogs for another chance to win a free class:

June 26 - Christine Urias
June 27 - Karen Watson
June 28 - Judy Coates Perez
June 29 - Theresa Wells Stifel
June 30 - me! - You're already here :)
July 1 - Claudine Hellmuth
July 2 - Gina Rossi Armfield
July 3 - Carolyn Dube
July 4 - Liz Kettle
July 5 - Jane LaFazio
July 6 - Joanne Sharpe
July 7 - Pam Carriker

Get commenting and happy blog hopping! :)

25 June 2013

it began with one sentence

 Remnants Collage 1
10" x 10" on canvas
Lynn Krawczyk

This was the first collage in the Remnants Collage series. Now the series is on it's 33rd piece. I remember the day I made it, something clicked. Something felt like home. And I remember the thing that sparked the work: a single sentence.

Here is what I wrote in my sketchbook when I was considering trying collage work: It is a chaotic mixture of all things past, all things present and the want to make them all sing together.

That's all it took. It made me brave enough to take old projects that were collecting dust and cut them up to reassemble them into new collages.

This is the type of thing that The Written Sketchbook class is about. It is about using writing to connect to your artist self and be aware of how you approach your artmaking. It's also about using writing to generate ideas for new work.

The class walks you through six different types of writing and gives you some exercises to try out. It also shows you other artists that are using writing as an integral part of their art making process. This is more then me trying to sell a class - this is something that speaks from the deepest parts of my Artistic Awareness.

And I want to share it with you.

Class begins on July 21 so there is still more then enough time to grab a spot. Class interaction is being run through a Facebook group and there is swag that comes with registering, including hand screen printed pocket journals:

I hope you'll join me! :)

24 June 2013


Don't wish for the rain to go away.

Dance in it.

23 June 2013

where i stand sunday

Her day spoke of love, respect, trust and completion.

The word to describe it escapes me. Special, lovely, happy - all do not do it justice. All are too weak and overused and without that special feeling that wrapped itself around the edges of everything that happened. It was a joy to stand with Sidney on her day, to watch her happiness and to wish her all the goodness that the future can bring her and her family.

Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

18 June 2013

join me for a LIVE webinar this Thursday June 20th!

Happy, excited - thrilled! I'm doing a LIVE webinar on June 20th (this Thursday!) with Interweave. Woo!

The webinar is about two things that are very near and dear to my heart - color and Thermofax Screen Printing. (Sure you hadn't noticed that I like them.)

If you're unfamiliar with a webinar, this is how it works. You go register here to reserve your spot. You'll get directions on how to connect with the webinar and then on June 20th, I pop on the line and tell you everything I know about Color Stories and making a 3D Color Study and introduce you to Thermofax Screen Printing.

Can't make it at 4pm on Thursday? No problem! You'll get a recording to keep forever sent out to you a couple of days after the webinar airs live. (I registered for Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's webinar that way. She did one on blogging. I couldn't make the live event but I have her webinar on my computer. It's pretty cool, I can make her repeat herself over and over and over and over and over again. She never complains either.)

In my webinar we'll be talking about how to identify your personal Color Story. And then we'll walk through a project to make 3D Color Studies - which are these:

I'm the kind of girl that likes to have something tangible after taking a class so these little projects can be used for more then just a Color Study - home decor, mixed media assemblages, torture a sibling with them. Totally up to you. I'll walk you through the steps during the webinar and then you can replay them to make them later on.

The Color Studies are made with Thermofax Screen Printing and Swipe Printing. So we'll learn all about those two.

All I know is that I don't get to teach in person nearly as much as I would like. So I'm super excited about this new format to connect with all of you - I do hope to see you on the line!!! :)

17 June 2013

perk up your summer shoes with Thermofax Screen Printing! :)

I bought new tennis shoes.

They were too clean and too plain. Thing is, I buy the boring colors because quite often my only other options involve glitter or strange buckles. But I got to thinking this time around, I've got skills. I could turn them into something far more interesting all on my own.

I admit I was a little apprehensive. I've never tried to screen print shoes before but I figured what the heck? What's the worst that could happen?

I thought I'd walk you through how I made them in case you're like me and find yourself wanting shoes with a little more personality.

Hope you enjoy! :)


* Canvas tennis shoes
* Fabric screen printing paint
* Tiny & Teeny Spiral Thermofax Screen set
* 1" wide sponge brush

I have to say, the tennis shoes I buy are canvas. How "pure" fabric they are, I can't say. But they don't have a lot of coating on them so that's something to be aware of if you're striking out to buy a pair to print.


Step 1:

Stuff the shoes with something so they are firm. (I entertained the idea of wearing the shoes while I printed them. But I decided nothing good could come of it and opted to find a better solution.) I had some acrylic craft felt laying around the studio so I used that. The idea is just to give yourself a firm surface to print on.


Step 2:

Place the tiny spiral on the shoe in a spot where you want it to go. Hold it down with one hand and print with the other:

Brush the screen printing paint through the screen with a sponge brush. Peel the screen back carefully and repeat on different places on the shoe until you're happy with the number of spirals you've printed:

The uneven surfaces of the shoe make it a challenge to get a really clear print. So I decided to embrace the imperfect print and just go with it.

Repeat the same printing on the other shoe. Let these spirals dry completely before moving on to more printing.


Step 3:

Repeat the printing process with the Teeny Tiny Spiral in a different color. I chose blue this time around.

Add as many spirals around the shoe as you like. Repeat for the other shoe.

At this point, things look pretty good:

You could certainly stop here. But I kept looking at my print table and at the shoes and then back at my print table. I decided I want to mimic the wonderful chaos of the fabric that covers the table and did some more printing.

I printed four more layers:

1. The BE Thermofax Screen printed in brown paint.

2. The Birds on a Wire Thermofax Screen printed in black paint.

3. Swipe Printing in purple.

4. Swipe Printing in yellow.


Why no pictures? Because I got carried away and forgot to take them. (It was a paint bliss fit, I take no responsibility for myself when that happens.)

But I will offer some explanation.

You can see that the brown and black printed images are really smudgey. That's because the screens aren't small like the spiral ones and trying to force them around the shape of shoe proved to be a serious pain in the you know where.

What I ended up with was really messy prints. I'm okay with it, I like the look but you need to be aware of it if you like clear neat prints - not sure you'll get them with the larger screens.

Once I realized I had gone the messy route, I decided to just go for it. I did Swipe Printing first in purple and then in yellow. What in the world is Swipe Printing? Dip the end of a sponge brush into paint, dab it twice lightly on a spare piece of fabric or paper towel and then quickly and lightly swipe the paint across the project you are printing.

Easy peasy. Adds color and depth. Plus it's a relief from the graphic nature of Thermofax Screen Printing.

I gave them a whirl in the dryer for about 20 minutes to heat set the paint. Ironing seemed like a poor idea. It was noisy but I'm pretty sure it did the trick. Watch the heat setting, I went the medium route. (You could also let the paint cure for about a week to make it permanent. But who has time for that?? Try the dryer.)

In all honesty, this kind of project is why I love Thermofax Screen Printing so much. I did it on the fly, in the spare seconds I had in the day and just rolled with it. 

If you're interested in future project suggestions like this one, please swing by the Thermofax Screen Printing Facebook page and give it a "Like!" so you don't miss anything. And if you print your shoes, please send me a picture at FibraArtysta@earthlink.net and I'll post it to the Facebook page for everyone to admire! :)

"The Creative Habit" read along - Chapter 7

If you would like to join the closed Facebook group dedicated to this read along to discuss the book in more detail, please send an email to Lynn at FibraArtysta@earthlink.net with your email address.
This is the sixth installment of the read along for "The Creative Habit" by Twlya Tharp.
Chapter 1 and 2 of the read along can be found in this post.
Chapter 3 of the read along can be found in this post. 
Chapter 4 of the read along can be found in this post.
Chapter 5 of the read along can be found in this post.
Chapter 6 of the read along can be found in this post.

* Posts will go up on Mondays from now on instead of Sundays. Thanks! :)

Chapter 7 - Accidents Will Happen 
This chapter is one of my favorites. It deals with the ideas of planning and serendipity. Tharp calls it "being prepared for luck."
She says, "The key words here are "prepared" and "lucky." They're inseparable. You don't get lucky without preparation, and there's no sense in being prepared if you're not open to the possibility of a glorious accident."
In other words, if you don't do the work and hone your skills, there's no chance that luck will show up and do the job for you.
I've always skirted this idea, not liking the thought of relying heavily on chance. I know some artists that do and it seems to work for them but for me? I need to at least lay the foundation before I let my creative energy wander off on a tangent. I don't want to burden it with having to do everything.
It's a fine line between planning and letting go. I'm a dweller, I like to spend 80% of my time on a project thinking and daydreaming and pondering and the final 20% executing it. It used to stress me out, made me wonder if I was simply a procrastinator. But the more in tune I became with my process, the more I realized that that is my process.

Letting go is not the simplest path. It's easy to get tied up in the way something looks in our heads and to want to force it to go that route. I don't know about you, but I've never had much luck when I try to do that. Those are the kinds of projects that get chopped up and used in collages. ;-)

How about you? How do you handle the balance of preparation and luck?

Next Monday we'll discuss Chapter 8 - Spine.  Happy reading! :) 

16 June 2013

where i stand sunday

I noticed the little twigs gathering beneath the wreath on the front door earlier this week. One or two, then more, then tiny unexplained mud splatters on the glass door. It wasn't until a sharp twill from a worried bird that I thought to look upward. A perfectly engineered nest is snugged in between the front door glass and the decorative wreath - a sanctuary of hope in which new life can begin.

Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

I tipped my camera up, carefully so I wouldn't touch the nest, and managed to get a good shot of it's contents. It will mean not using the door as often, altering the way I go about my day. But it's life and the switch will be temporary, I'm happy to oblige.

13 June 2013

10 June 2013

collaboration with Lisa Call

There's only one thing I like more then printing fabric (and you all know how much I love flinging paint) and that's sending it off to other artists for them to use in new ways that I wouldn't ordinarily think of.

Last summer I talked with Lisa Call about doing just that and was thrilled when she agreed to collaborate! Lisa is a master at piecing and machine quilting textile paintings. I have tremendous respect for not only her artwork but also for her dedication to her craft, it shows through in everything she makes.

As is her habit, she took the fabric and worked magic on it. I printed a red piece of fabric with blue Thermofax Screen Printed circles and a purple piece of fabric with some hand drawn paint doodles on it. She incorporated them into her "Portals" series.

I love that she combined them with her own hand printed fabric! Here are a couple that I am just totally in love with:

Portals #35
©2013 Lisa Call
6 x 6″
On stretched canvas


Portals #6
©2012 Lisa Call
12″ x 12″
On stretched canvas


Her meticulous, perfect machine stitching is such an incredible contrast with the patterns already present in the fabric - don't you love the way they play off each other?

Lisa blogged about it here.

There is so much joy in putting fabric out into the world, I feel like I'm getting to be a cheerleader for new artwork. :)

09 June 2013

where i stand sunday

I am a slave to the pattern, the never ending mark that can't find it's own beginning or end. It's the first shape I turn to when I put paint to fabric, an abstract kind of rhythm that never ceases to amaze and impress me.

Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell. 

03 June 2013

The Creative Habit read along - Chapter 6

If you would like to join the closed Facebook group dedicated to this read along to discuss the book in more detail, please send an email to Lynn at FibraArtysta@earthlink.net with your email address.

This is the sixth installment of the read along for "The Creative Habit" by Twlya Tharp.
Chapter 1 and 2 of the read along can be found in this post.
Chapter 3 of the read along can be found in this post. 
Chapter 4 of the read along can be found in this post.
Chapter 5 of the read along can be found in this post.

* Posts will go up on Mondays from now on instead of Sundays. Thanks! :)

Chapter 6 - Scratching

I've been asked on more then one occasion where I get my ideas from. (I'm sure you have as well.) People seem to find me particularly curious since I do abstract work. They look at me like I'm something to be studied because clearly my brain takes a sharp left turn in the imagination department since I'm creating work that has no tangible relation to something real.

Truth is, I can't explain how I get from inspiration to product. And believe me when I say I'm always trying to define it. But it's one of those things that mostly comes down to wiring. I find this chapter of The Creative Habit especially interesting because Tharp talks about that odd zone where ideas are mashed around until we find the one element that we can grab onto and create something from.

Fact is, we often look to external elements in order to gain internal inspiration. Twyla Tharp calls that "scratching."

She says, "Scratching can look like borrowing or appropriating, but it's an essential part of creativity. It's primal, and very private. It's a way of saying to the gods, "Oh don't mind me, I'll just wander around in these back hallways..." and then grabbing that piece of fire and running like hell."

Ideas are something I'm generally not short on. My brain constantly churns and I have a list that I dump them all into just to get them out of my head. But when I look back at every idea I have, very few of them actually see the light of day and I've always wondered what in the heck the point was to recording them if I don't plan to act on them. (Aside from the obvious "Write them down for later so I don't drive myself nuts trying to remember everything.")

Tharp says it perfectly in this passage about good vs. bad ideas: "A good idea is one that turns you on rather then shuts you off. It keeps generating more ideas and they improve on one another. A bad idea closes doors instead of opening them. It's confining and restrictive. The line between good and bad ideas is very thin. A bad idea in the hands of the right person can easily be tweaked into a good idea."

But getting to the good ideas isn't always easy. So that's why we "scratch". It's the thing you do when you need the next big inspiration but it's not showing up on it's own. For me, I go to the bookstore. I grab a giant pile of books, sit down in an oversized chair and let the chatter of the coffee shop and people laughing meld into a white noise. I stick my nose into books on topics I've never considered before and just zone out. (I probably look a little bit like a deer in headlights.) And with any luck, something occurs. More often, nothing comes of it but when an idea hits that I do the little gasp over, I know I've hit the nail on the head.

I've always likened ideas to dating. Some of them are instant magic and others are one time shots with a side of loosing his phone number.

Not everything will be made. Not every idea will be good. The trick is to be aware of this and let them take their own course. Choose the ones that make your heart sing and leave the others on the sideline to just be.

How about you? How do you scratch?

Next Monday we'll discuss Chapter 7 - Accidents Will Happen.  Happy reading! :)

02 June 2013

where i stand sunday

I set the cup down on the floor in front of me so that I can listen to the lecture, a conversation about where coffee comes from and how it's roasted and different ways to make it. It's a constant in my day, this simple liquid that ramps up my mind so that I can move through my tasks. I take it for granted, not realizing all the steps that it goes through before it comes to me. It makes me feel small somehow, knowing that I am the end of the journey and by far the least significant.

Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.  

The lecture was part of Coffee Camp at Roos Roast in Ann Arbor, MI. An exceptional coffee company run by exceptional people. The enthusiasm and care they show for their business is incredible.

Roos Roast van featuring the logo for one of their most popular coffees, "Lobster Butter Love"

Newly roasted beans.

01 June 2013

re-branding activities - Smudged Textiles Studio :)

Things are beginning to move swiftly for the new business name. I've got this incredible logo for the new website designed by Jackie and I finally got off my duff and got everything to Holly for her to start working her magic with the new website/blog. And I've got an incredible team to help make the business extra special and grand.

Having a pretty solid online presence, I knew that re-branding would be a bear. It means that I also have to switch over all my social media names and to be honest, that's a fairly terrifying prospect. But it's underway so I wanted you to be aware of it. Here's what's new:

Facebook - My personal page is the same but I'll be deleting this page at the end of the month. I've already put into place a new page for Smudged Textiles Studio  and there is a dedicated Thermofax Screen Printing page being designed as we speak.

Twitter - I've already changed my profile name to Smudged Textiles.

Etsy Shop - The shop name will change from FibraArtysta to SmudgedTextilesShop on June 13. Why not SmudgedTextilesStudio? Because Etsy shop names can only be 20 characters and SmudgedTextilesStudio is exactly 21 characters. Murphy's law, right? ;-)  If you have me marked as FibraArtysta, your links will automatically update.

Pinterest - I've already changed to Smudged Textiles there as well.

Instagram - No change there, my username is still girllovespaint. (I do.)

Blog- Eventually I'll stop posting here and will only be posting over at Smudged Textiles. But it's not ready yet, we're still at the beginning of the building stage and trust me, I won't be shy when it happens about letting you know.

I'd be lying if I said all this didn't scare me a little. It's a lot of change to take on. But it's the good kind of scary because it means that everything I've always wanted to do can finally begun to be built up.

So stick with me, I don't want to loose connection with any of you. We're trying to make it as painless as possible! :)