Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Little Dress Shop

I went to a post Day of the Dead event in Claremont California this weekend, and met the owner of a little boutique situated in Claremont's Old Town area.  The Little Dress Shop is owned by a dear friend of my Aunt's...a woman named Marsha Valencia.  In conversation, I learned that she has an object I created a few years back on the altar inside of her store.  As a Christmas gift for my Aunt one year, I had dipped a Corona beer bottle into latex paint and, once dry, I carved out an image of La Virgen De Guadalupe with a sharp needle.  My Aunt eventually passed this bottle on to her friend Marsha (fabulous!), and now it lives on top of her altar...surrounded by objects of beauty and spiritual significance.  If you're in the area, you should stop in this cute little boutique and treat yourself to something unique...!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

chez sucre chez: looking back, looking forward

I'm such a fan of cross stitching and other needle work. Check out this blog...I wish I had the energy to turn out a whole phrase in cross stitch...Bravo!

chez sucre chez: looking back, looking forward: "remember these? i've been thinking of them often lately. i think it may be time to start stitching up letters again to make up some mor..."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Honoring the Dead in Atwater

These are images of a beautiful altar assembled by Pablo Alvarez and Michelle Castro.  It was constructed to honor and remember past loved ones (including pets) during Dia De Los Muertos.

Dia De Los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Dia De Los Muertos Quilted Table Setting

My talented mother hand made these fabulous quilted place mats for Dia De Los Muertos.

This is a wall hanging that she made to coordinate with the table setting, but I'm using it on my sofa instead :)

Halloween in West Hollywood...

Happy B-lated Halloween!!  I made it my mission this Halloween to re create Lady Gaga's meat dress that she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards...vegetarian style, of course!  It turned out to be more difficult than I imagined it would be...but I managed to turn it out 4 nights before the Halloween party at my work...Woohoo!  I didn't win a prize, but I had a great time showing it off Sunday at the West Hollywood Halloween Parade...


Monday, October 25, 2010

Handmade Dia De Los Muertos Banner

Here's an example of a simple handmade papel picado banner I made to decorate my kitchen in honor of Dia De Los Muertos.
The first panel was folded in half and cut with scissors (like a paper snowflake)
Cutting out the black panel...First with the exacto for the skull and then scissors to create the flowers, diamonds and hearts.

DIY Papel Picado Framed Gift

Since I was a young girl, I've had a fascination with the art of paper cutting.  I've spent countless hours folding up different types of papers and snipping away with the sharpest scissors I could get my hands on (and ruining many expensive scissors in the process...Sorry Mom!!!).  When I discovered Papel Picado (The Mexican Folk Art of punching/perforating paper) I knew my world would never be the same!  I was mesmorized by the sight of the most intricate designs cut from delicate and colorful tissue paper...hanging in rows and flapping in the wind...  The sight still takes my breath away!  This powerful curiosity and reverence of papel picado has inspired my experimentation, over the past few years to create my own.  Armed with scissors, an exacto knife, store bought gift tissue paper, and a cutting mat, I've created banners for Dia De Los Muertos altars and single panels as wedding gifts for friends of friends.  Most recently I created a single panel as a birthday gift for my friend Nicholle.  I've photo-documented a few steps of the case anyone feels inspired to do the same!
First I started with a rectangular panel of tissue paper.  I cut a simple scalloped edge around the outside w/scissors.
I started cutting out Nicholle's name (with and a super sharp exacto-knife) and then a design developed above and below her name.
I held my breath with every cut....If I had made a mistake I would have had to start all over...Yikes!

The finished piece, framed with colored paper behind to add contrast.   

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Needle Felted Mushroom Ornaments...

Today I spent my Sunday turning out red capped mushroom ornaments.  I have them available on Etsy as a set of four.  I have more sets coming...!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Portraits with patch work and embroidery...

I've been working off and on for the past 3 years on appliqued, embroidered and patchwork portraits.  I started out making them for friends as gifts, and eventually I was commissioned to create a couple by the boss of a friend.  Here is just a sampling of a few... Mainly I work with archival quality fine line pens on cotton muslin.

Felted Shrooms...

This summer I spent a week in North Carolina, at the John C. Campbell Folk Art School.  Each fabulous day I spent 6 plus hours learning the art of both wet and needle felting.  While exploring the grounds in between classes (and sometimes during), I became enamored with the local forest fungi.  I've never seen such beautiful looking mushrooms in my life...and I'm pretty sure prior to this experience the closest I've  ever been to wild mushrooms were the white lawn variety!  Anyhow, I decided that I would spend my time at the JCCFS needle felting forest mushrooms.  When I got back, I put them in a shadow box for display...***By the way, the super cute red cross stitched bird was a gift from my friend Karla.  She designs the cross stitching patterns herself and sells them on Etsy (including the finished pieces like my little red bird).  You can find her shop at:

Mushrooms of the South Eastern Appalachian Mountains

My weekend, "beat the heat" project....

 Still fresh from my first ever needle felting class at The John C. Campbell Folk Art School in Brasstown North Carolina, I decided to take my skills to another level and create something familiar to my immediate environment.   Having cared for many out-door succulent and cacti plants throughout my life, I thought this was a no-brainer!  Why not create mini indoor desert plant sculptures that will last forever? I had plenty of the green wool roving, and of course the vessels I've collected from various thrift stores.  All I needed to buy were the river rocks...