30 January 2012

seeking the source

Ask any artist why they make what they do and in one way or another they will say, "Because I have to."

Ask any artist where they get their inspiration from and they will reply, "From somewhere deep inside."

I've always thought that artists have an extra switch inside them, one that allows them to be more in tune with a special energy - creative energy.

Lately I've been thinking on that energy. How can I become closer friends with it? How can I honor it?

I don't want to control it. That would be like stepping on it and stamping it out. But I am finding that I want to be more in tune with it. When I walk into my studio lately, I just want to be still. To put my hand on fabric and let myself linger without agenda.

That's what I want more of. To be connected with. That calm stillness that defines creative energy, the deep mystery that welcomes me without judgement or compromise.

29 January 2012

where i stand sunday

 I'm completely mesmerized by the tiny shifts in color, the small waves of texture that change each time you look away and back again. Simple. Clean. Beautiful.

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. 

28 January 2012

from the studio

This is actually the view from the studio window last weekend. Doesn't look like this anymore but I wanted to post it to remind myself that its actually winter here. Looks more like autumn now, all the snow has gone. I'm in no way complaining but I've got this dread hanging out in the corner of my mind that one day I'll wake up and there will be twenty feet of snow on the ground and the westie and I will have nothing in the house but kibble and coffee. Okay, so the last part wouldn't be so bad but the first part would be less then ideal.

I've been working on several new pieces for a show that Jackie and I are doing in April. I'm working on a mixture of Remnant Collages and simpler more art cloth based pieces.

This particular one is being slathered in brighter colors (well, bright for me at least):

For the record? I fully expected those intensely hot vibrant screaming pink X's to not be intensely hot vibrant screaming pink X's once the paint dried.

They still are.

I'm committed to not attacking them with a bottle of brown paint. I think. Not sure. They make me kind of twitchy.

Here's a full on view of it along with a companion that was attacked with duct tape:

Guess I was curious about using brighter colors on some pieces. The urge has mostly passed.

These two are representative of ones that are based mostly on art cloth:

The one on the left is complete. For those of you who have visited my Spoonflower shop, the background was the basis for the print there called Overcast Morning.

I'm not sure if the one on the right is finished or not - what do you think? The background is the Blue Birds on a Wire from the shop. I kind of like the sharp structure of it but I don't know if I'm content to leave it alone. There's still time to debate it.

Jackie and I visited the gallery space and took stock of what sizes would work best . We need some larger pieces to create some drama and while this is outside of my comfort zone, there's a part of me that can't wait to see how this pans out.

I give you Beast #1:

And lest you say, "But Lynn, that's not so big", I offer you a comparison: I am 63" high. That means that this canvas is more then half my height.

This requires some kind of bizarre dance on my part to work with it the way I do the smaller sizes. I laid it flat on the floor and spun it around and gave it dirty looks and decided that when I work on Beast #2, I will do things differently.

Here's where I left it:

Those big white spaces need to be filled in yet and then I can get to work printing and layering and gluing and flinging paint about.

There is sort of a strange red, white and blue thing going on with this. Totally unintentional and not something I'm wild about but that's nothing paint can't fix so I'm not worried.

Things are moving along pretty well. I've got a deadline for myself in early March in the form of an appointment with a photographer to get high res shots taken. Nothing like a little extra pressure to get things moving, right? ;-)

27 January 2012

Off the Print table giveaway winners! :)

Okay, I have to admit - I was kind of not liking the idea of only choosing one winner from the comments on my blog. So I made an executive decision to choose two! :) Without further ado, here they are:


Congrats ladies! Send me your mailing addresses at FibraArtysta@earthlink.net and which fabric you'd like and I'll get them ordered up and in the mail to you.

To everyone who participated in the blog hop - thanks for stopping by the Spoonflower shop and I hope there is something there to inspire your next project! :)

23 January 2012

Off the Print Table fabric blog hop

I spent some quality time with the fabric I got from spoonflower of my hand printed fabric and I have to tell you - I'm SUPER excited!!! :)

So much so that I just have to share with you!!

I've organized a giveaway blog hop. What that means is you visit a different blog every day this week and leave a comment at that blog to get in the running to win a free fat quarter of fabric (in the pattern of your choice) from my spoonflower shop.

I'm the first stop on the hop (obviously, right?) so here's what you need to do: leave a comment on this post letting me know which pattern you would pick if you're the winner. On Friday I'll announce the winner of the free fat quarter from my blog post.

Over the course of this week, follow the blog hop (the schedule and links are below) and leave a comment at each blog with the same type of comment and they will each draw winners from their posts' comments. You can enter at each blog so that's five chances to win some fabric - who doesn't love that?? :)

I hope you enjoy the fabric I'm offering in the shop, I'm so very excited about it. I'll be steadily working on adding more over time, this is only the beginning!

So be sure to leave a comment here to get in the running to win a free fat quarter and then visit these blogs over the week for four more chances to win:

Tuesday January 24

Wednesday January 25

Thursday Januray 26

Friday January 27

Have fun! :)

22 January 2012

where i stand sunday

I've lost myself in this piece. Not in a way that implies I don't know where to turn but in the way that I'm floating through it, easy and willing to give it whatever it needs. I find myself wanting more of a spiritual connection with my work, to go much deeper then what's on the surface. I'm drunk with the expectation of possibility.

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. 

21 January 2012

fiber art groups column #1

I admit that every time I publish an article it thrills me. How could it not? Its a mixture of two things I love - fiber art and writing.

So when Quilting Arts picked me up to write a series of columns about fiber artists, it was an incredibly gigantic HUGE thrill. The only thing that made it even sweeter was the decision to kick the series off by featuring the fiber art group that I belong to, Running with Scissors.

I could brag on them but I think our website and the article does a good job of showing off who we are and I truly feel fortunate to be part of such a fabulous talented group. Our article in the February/March 2012 issue discusses one of the things we do as a group, the Escape Artist Retreats.

I hope you enjoy meeting all of them and I hope the article inspires you to organize your own Escape Artist Retreat! :) 

20 January 2012

pinterest anyone?

Okay, can I brutally honest? The first time I heard about Pinterest I thought, "Oh no, not another social networking site I have to keep track of...."

Because let's be honest, you could make a full time job of just maintaining your online presence.

But I kept hearing about it and got curious and went to look. Its not what I thought it was. Its basically a way to bookmark everything that you like. Again, I thought "Big deal."

Until one night I was surfing the internet looking at artist's sites and bookmarking the pieces I loved and then trying to organize them the regular way - which let's be honest is pretty much the equivalent of shoving things to the back of the junk drawer, you never really go look again.

Then I remembered that I could visually bookmark them on Pinterest and I requested an invite. I've been loving it ever since.

I will say that it can be a major time suck if you let it. I tend to give myself no more then ten or fifteen minutes at a time so an entire evening doesn't slip by.

Here is one of the boards I set up:

I call it "surface design inspiration." See what I mean about it being a far more useful bookmarking method? When you click on a picture on the board (when you are logged into pinterest), it takes you to the original source so you can go back as often as you like.

I'm rather smitten with it because of this.

I don't have nearly as many boards as some people on there but its good fun, digging through everything, sort of like a treasure hunt.

I just wanted to talk a little bit about it because I was so skeptical and now find that its really very useful. If you're inclined, you can find my boards here.

Pin away! :)

17 January 2012


The light is low and so is the energy of the day. Its a quiet kind of meditation, a connection I need.

Leaving tiny marks with needle and long lengths of sewing thread. Adding color where there was none before.



The reason I began in the first place.

14 January 2012

happily announcing new fabric for sale :)

Hello, my name is Lynn.

And I am a fabric addict.

I buy it. I make it. I gasp over it. I pet it. Its my tool as an artist and I can't get enough of it. (I'm sure you understand.)

Its been in the back of my mind for a long time that I'd also like to sell it.

You see, its not all about making money. I consider fabric sacred, a complete form of expression all on its own. To be able to share that makes me feel like I'm putting a special kind of connection out into the world.

I thought long and hard about what my fabric would look like. Earthy, rich color (with a dash of the 70s color palette) - graphic strong imagery and designs. These were the things that I wanted to reflect most.

And so I got to work.

My etsy shop has been churning out thermofax screens for over a year and the addition of some thermofax screen printed fabric is a welcome addition. So in the shop you'll find what I'm calling the Stone Sketches collection.

Clockwise: skipping stones, stone garden, stone totem and stone riverbed

These are all designs that I drew by hand. I love the look of simple hand drawn imagery and it felt like a good solid marriage to hand printing them.

I printed them on Kaufmann kona cotton solid fabrics. I toyed with the idea of dyeing my own fabric but that would cause two issues: (1) printing new pieces for the shop would require more time then I would most likely be able to find in my schedule to keep the new pieces coming on any kind of a regular rhythm and (2) the cost would be significantly higher then what I've got them priced at.

I sell the patterns in two different colorways and in fat quarters ($10) and fat eighths ($5). Each one is one of a kind and what you see in the listing is the piece that you get.

I organized the shop in a cleaner way this year and the hand printed fabric has a section all to itself. I do hope you'll wander on by and take a gander. :)

But my wheels didn't stop turning there. I was unhappy with the fact that printing yardage, and even half yards for that matter, would be really difficult to do. It wasn't something that I thought I could do often and the price that I would need to sell them at to make it worth the work sort of scared me a little bit.

And then it hit me: Spoonflower.

If you're not familiar with Spoonflower, its a print-on-demand fabric service. You visit a designer's shop there, purchase their design in any length of fabric (and several types of fabric) that you'd like and they whip it up for you.

Here's a little video of how they do their magic:

(Please notice how they print the fabric. Its printed on one side only, the reverse side stays white. And they print it so that it has a white border around the whole thing. Not a big deal but its there.)

It was pretty much a no brainer for me to decide to open a shop there.

Not only can I offer unlimited yardage of the Stone Sketches collection (in additional colorways from the etsy shop) but I can also offer versions of my art cloth as well. Art cloth is something I've been asked to sell many times but have either had plans for the pieces or couldn't sell them for any kind of reasonable amount.

Now I can. :)

If you read Quilting Arts, you'll recognize the blue and yellow/green/orange piece from my last article with them about how to print your own art cloth.

I also added a piece that I did with gelatin plate monoprinting and a thermofax screen printed piece featuring my beloved birds on a wire theme.

I couldn't be happier with the job that they do with the printing of them. And of course I just had to order samples before I could be sure - oh the torture! ;-) :

 I hope you'll stop by and take a look - its my sincere hope that there is something there that will inspire you as much as I was creating these!

Happy creating! :)

12 January 2012

by popular demand :)

I frequently get emails asking how Dooley love is. So I thought I'd bring him to the blog for his very own post. He tried out my new rug when I got it. He thinks he looks pretty spiffy on it. (I agree.)

He says hi. :)

11 January 2012

new ready-to-print designs in the shop!

While I know that one of the greatest appeals of thermofax screen printing is the opportunity to have screens made from your own artwork, I also know how enjoyable it is to grab a screen that's all set to go and get right down to printing.

With that in mind, I'm really pleased to bring you 25 new ready-to-print designs. And I gotta tell you, there really is something there for everyone.

Your favorites from the past year have remained and I've retired several older images to make room for new, fresh designs.

I've created an easier way to find the type of screen you want with new categories. Screens can now be found by looking in the following categories:

I'm really happy to work with super talented designers. And I thought you might like to meet the people that create these wonderful images for your screen printing pleasure. So without further ado, please meet the lovely ladies who are behind the designs!

Jackie is a mixed media fiber artist. Her non-traditional cloth and mixed media creations incorporate hand dyed, commercial & vintage fabrics, drawing & painting, hand & machine stitching, Thermofax screen printin, metal embossing, and whatever else sparks her imagination.

The fundamentals from which Jackie creates her pieces are her studio art and graphic design degrees. She combines these with the raw materials of her experience as a professional graphic designer and as a mother, wife and homemaker. 

For Jackie, creating art hasn't been a hobby, its been a need. No matter what limited resources she has at her disposal - tools, supplies, techniques, and (most elusively) time - Jackie is able to turn them into something the world has never seen before.

Unraveled by Jackie Lams

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 I am a mixed-media and textile artist living and working near Houston, TX. The last ten months has seen me obsessed with developing a very personal marking-making technique I call Stacked Journaling. Using only my handwriting as a design element in my art has intensely focused my creative energies while allowing me to inject much more of myself into my work than ever before. I utilize paper, paint, fabric, dyes, inks, wax, and a myriad of tools, as well as my thoughts, hopes, worries, memories and family stories to create my art.

Handprint by Judy Hurwitt

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jennifer Solon is a collage artist who creates abstract compositions from hand-dyed textiles, papers and paint.  Using a variety of surface design techniques and pigment, Jennifer transforms plain white cloth into multi-layered constructions that often incorporate nature motifs and digital imagery. This process is highly improvisational, guided by intuition, a sense of play, and the joy of experimentation.

Inspired by her walks along the Maumee River, Jennifer often references the natural landscape with her use of organic forms such as seed pods and river rocks.  While not a literal translation, her work evokes the memories of a certain time and place. Jennifer's collages explore the simple and complex relationships between color, shape, and texture. 

Originally working primarily in fabric, Jennifer has transitioned to a more mixed media approach. Textiles - and the tactile texture they impart - still play an essential role in her collages. Recently, Jennifer has drawn upon her background in technology to create a series of digital collages that combine images from a variety of sources (including photography from her travels, digital renditions of earlier pieces, scans of the fabric she creates, and hand-drawn elements). Many of Jennifer's mixed media collages include digital imagery as a component. These images are also available as prints and custom fabric. 

In addition to being a featured artist on Quilting Arts TV, Jennifer has been published in Quilting Arts magazine. She enjoys teaching others and offers local workshops in a variety of surface design techniques. Jennifer lives in Perrysburg, Ohio with her husband and two daughters. For more information, contact her at info@jennifersolon.com.

Along the River by Jennifer Solon

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I enjoy many forms of art, including embroidery, doll making, watercolors, art quilts, printmaking, collage work, and all things strange. 


watercolors by Leann Meixner

The next item to be featured from the shop is something I've been working on long and hard to bring to you so check back to find out!

10 January 2012

destruct-o box experiment update

I thought I'd post a little update about my assemblage decay experiment (that I have affectionately nicknamed the destruct-o box experiment).

If you missed the original post, here's the gist of what I'm doing.

I'm taking this perfectly fine and innocent assemblage:

And leaving it outside in the elements to see what will happen to it.

I thought about posting weekly updates but the truth is that its not changing radically enough to make that interesting. (It would kind of be like, "Hey look! Let's-watch-paint-dry!" kind of post and no one wants to read that.)

So here's where its at now:

Not a huge change. The only visible wear so far is that the two glass knobs that were on the top fell off (that happened when it fell off the fence and whacked onto the hard patio blocks) and the buttons are starting to loose their hold in the bottom left corner.

I did end up tying it to the chicken wire that runs along the fence to keep it upright. (And for the record, no, I do not have chickens. What I do have is a little dog that is full of curiosity and a small wooded area behind my house that is home to many different creatures. Its to keep the white fuzzy dog safe because he thinks everything wants to be his friend.)

It had fallen off the ledge after a couple of days and I took a full day to decide if I wanted it to stay that way or if I wanted to interfere. In the end, I chose to butt in. My thought was that it would just fill with snow (if we ever get any this year) and I wanted to see how the sun has an effect on it as well as the general weather. So up it went on the fence again where the sun hits it like a spotlight for several hours a day.

Our weather has been incredibly mild for this time of year. (I'm not complaining.) I expect the decay of it will speed up if winter ever decides to take hold here.

I'll post another update in a couple more weeks.

09 January 2012

Foto/Fiber fundraiser - want to help do some good? :)

Have you heard of Fiberart for a Cause? Its this incredibly powerful project that Virginia Spiegel heads up and she's been at it since 2008. In that time, she's organized events that have raised $215,000 (wow!!!) for the American Cancer Society.

And its all because of the generosity of fiber artists.

In 2010 she made the decision to hold a single special event every so often to add to the impressive total already accumulated and the 2012 event is nearly upon us.

Please allow me to introduce the Foto/Fiber 90 Fundraiser.

Here's how it works: there will be 90 photos, 90 fiber bonuses and 6 fiber art pieces available for you to get your hands on when you make a donation directly to the American Cancer Society during the dates of the fundraiser.

On February 15, if you make a donation of at least $100 to the ACS, 
you get to choose a photo and choose a fiber bonus.

On February 16, if you make a donation of at least $50 to the ACS, 
you get to choose a photo and a fiber bonus will be assigned to you at random.

Here's the details of each kind of art you can get:

The photos were taken by Virginia Spiegel, Karen Stiehl Osborn and Cynthia Wenslow. You can seem more about the specifics of the photos here but I have to tell you, these are three very very talented photographers - good stuff!!! 

  Daybreak by Karen Stiehl Osborn - one of the photos available during Foto/Fiber

What's a fiber bonus you ask? Its a little goodie package of fiber goodness put together by one of 36 fiber artists. You can view the full list here - great list, right?? :) I'm donating three of them, here's a sneak peek of them:

I'll be revealing the full view of each bonus in my February e-zine (going out on Feb 1) so sign up for that to get a good look at what will be available.

And 6 fiber artists (including your's truly) have donated artwork that will also be available to snatch up. You can see more info about that here. There are different qualifications for getting in on the drawing for each of these. For the one that I've donated, Remnants Collage 4, all you have to do is donate at least $100 and you'll be eligible to win it.

Remnants Collage 4
by Lynn Krawczyk
8" x 8" on canvas
published in Sew Somerset Winter 2012 issue

I've loved Fiberart for a Cause from the very beginning. I lost a family member to cancer and am happy to participate in anything that helps to fight the disease.

And its pretty cool that we're fighting it with art, don't you think?? :) Hope you'll join me on February 15 and 16th to raise more money for the American Cancer Society!!!!

08 January 2012

where i stand sunday

 I crave handmade. Its become a lifestyle, wanting things that are produced with love and slow time and steady hands. Not only my own, but others as well. I want to surround myself with the beauty that comes with the maker's spirit.

I want to know that magic is there at every turn.


This outstanding handmade crocheted rug was made by Anaid Designs. Extremely wonderful seller, gorgeous product. Nothing about it not to like.

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. 

07 January 2012

shop open & the Featured Screen of the Month category

Okay gang, we're back in business (complete with a spiffy new banner seen above)!

The shop is re-open and ready to fill all of your thermofax screen printing needs. Because there are so many new and exciting things, I'm going to do a blog post featuring each one over the next week. (There's a really special announcement at the end of a way that YOU can be directly involved with the shop so you'll want to stick around for that!!!)

Today's post is about a new category of screen that I'm SUPER excited about!!! :)

Its called the Featured Screen of the Month and each month (beginning on the first of the month and ending on the last day of the month), a design from a fiber artist we all know and love will be available for purchase. Its available for one month only and I have to tell you - the designs are fantastic!

(Edited to add: This category is separate from the Thermofax Screen of the Month club. The club is coming back for 2012 and will be announced at the end of February. The club is an auto ship program for a set of designs. The Featured Screen of the Month allows you to pick and choose which design you like best to build your collection.)

The January Featured Screen of the Month is from the very talented (and fellow thermofax screen printing addict) Virginia Spiegel and her design is called "Yellow Leaf".

Virginia is not only an outstanding fiber artist but photographer as well. Her love of nature comes through in her artwork and the photos she shoots for inspiration are equally as impressive.

Here is her beautiful photo that inspired the design for her screen:

And here it is translated into the screen:

If you like the looks of the leaf (and how could you not?? So GORGEOUS, don't you think?), you can get one here until January 31 - after that it will no longer be available so don't let the chance pass you by!

There will be a new screen each month through November (the shop is closed for most of December so we're skipping that month). Here is the line up for future months:

February Featured Screen of the Month

* * *

March Featured Screen of the Month

* * *
April Featured Screen of the Month

* * *
May Featured Screen of the Month

* * *

June Featured Screen of the Month

* * *

July Featured Screen of the Month

* * *

August Featured Screen of the Month

* * *

September Featured Screen of the Month

* * *

October Featured Screen of the Month

* * *

November Featured Screen of the Month

What a line up, huh? :) Each month I'll do a blog post announcing it, the designs are absolutely wonderful and we are all very excited to bring this to you...

The next shop update post will feature the new ready-to-print designs available in the shop!

06 January 2012

gelli arts plate winner :)

Wow! So many great comments on the gelli arts plate giveaway!

Without further ado, the winner is (drumroll please);

Mary's Granddaughter

Congrats! Email me (FibraArtysta@earthlink.net) your mailing address and your plate will be in the mail soon.

Since there was only one plate to give away and so many of you were interested, the awesome people at Gelli Arts are offering free shipping for a week. All you have to do is enter the code LynnK at checkout and your plate will get a free shipping ride to your mailbox. Pretty nifty, eh? :)

Hope you'll give it a shot and if you do, be sure to post pics somewhere so we can all admire your handy work!

05 January 2012

on the topic of journals

I have found the intense interest in journals this past year pretty interesting. It would seem that everyone is looking at them in a new light.

I've kept one for as long as I can remember. When art found its way into my life, it went from just writing to also random sketches and a little bit of scrapbook action when I would tack in an inspiration photo or a card from an exhibit I liked.

But with all the excitement over the past year, its gotten me to wondering if my humble journaling habits aren't...I don't know...artistic enough?

I don't sketch. I don't draw. I don't watercolor. There's nothing epic in there. 

Its just me and my words and a small porthole into my head.

I've been journaling too long this way to change it. It suits me. And for some reason, this year I decided I wanted a super fancy journal. I get a new one every year. For 2012 I wanted something special and pretty to spend my time with. 

Here is what I chose:

Its a little rough around the edges, lots of pages. It can handle a sharpie.

Its got pretty much everything I need. Now I just need to fill it:

I've realized that there are some practices I have that I consider sacred. And this is one of them. I write on the computer all the time but there is an entirely different feeling to writing by hand, having to go slower, feeling the scrape of the marker against the paper.

Its meditation and peace and almost like a prayer.

One page at a time.