Saturday, August 4, 2012

Custom Order Completed

Here is my most recent creation, a custom cuff for a male co-worker.

This layered fabric cuff includes a red and black print cotton fabric, 
cotton batting (doubled) and a layer of recycled jean fabric as the lining. 

I sketched the Tribal style design and then free motion stitched it with heavy cotton thread.  
A random zig zaggy free motion filler around the main parts of the design 
make it puff out like trapunto. 

I then painted the raised areas with black lumiere fabric paints, 
heat set with an iron and it was ready to create the clasp. 
I was so fortunate to find this really unique metal piece 
on a pair jeans I purchased a long time ago. 

It helped to complete the tribal look and gives the cuff a fabulous focal point. 
If you are interested in a unique custom piece for yourself 
or someone you care about
contact me.  
I really enjoy the challenge of creating custom orders. 
 All for now, Happy Weekend Creating!! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Etsy Shops are open again!

Hey all, I am finally getting used to working and trying better organize my time off. 
Yesterday I added 2 items to each of my formerly empty Etsy Stores.  
heatherp22- my unique handmade jewelry shop
My "Tree Necklace Set" 
my "Feather (peacock) Necklace Set"

Aquariart- my fiberart and polymer clay shop
I added the greener hand-painted silk chiffon scarf from last week's post

and my "Coral Rose Wet Felted Wool Purse".

I hope to be adding more items over the next few weeks everyday. 
Today I am working on a fabric lined, crochet granny square purse 
that includes crocheted flowers.
I used Classic Elite Provence, a mercerized 100% Egyptian cotton yarn 
that drapes beautifully and is very soft..
This was my design for a Crochet Class I taught at Gail's Knit here in town. 
I have lots of items yet to be photographed 
and the early morning light starts very, very early this time of year.
My plan is to bite the bullet and get out there. 
I may luck out with some cloudy days this week if the weather reports are true.
It is Monsoon Season in Las Vegas!! 
The thunderstorms are energizing

and the rain so appreciated! 
Have a great week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Inspired by my new job

Hi, I finally found some time to update my blog.  
I love my new job but it can be exhausting and I have taken a little vacation from blogging.
One of the many art projects the clients do at my new job is painting silk scarves.
I have been so inspired by their creations and color choices
that I have been just itching and twitching
to get into my silk paints at home and have some fun.
Over the last month I made four scarves 
and put together a home made steamer:
Here is the Recipe:
a very large dedicated stainless steel pot,
(meaning it will never be used to cook food again)
2 old vegetable steamers upside down,
a 12" wide stove pipe from Home Depot ($6),
some old towels,
plain newsprint from Dharma,
2 wire clothes hangers cut with wire cutters
wire snips to cut top of stove pipe inserts for wire
heavy duty aluminum foil, painters tape
and a 14" square stone tile from my husband (free)
This is what it looks like:

This was the perfect heighth to just fit on top of my stove under the overhead fan 
with the to paper, towel and tile stacked on top to hold in the steam. 
I suspended my rolled scarves on another piece of hanger 
hooked over this horizontal wire. Tape marks the center. 
For more detailed directions on how to steam silk ask in the comment section.
I finally steamed my scarves a week ago, 
washed and rinsed, rinsed, rinsed.... them yesterday and then ironed them.
I photographed the ones I steamed this morning and
one more (it has not been steamed yet)
that is a surprise birthday present for my mom.
It is fun to just combine colors in abstact designs and 
sprinkle salt here and therelike I did on these two.

I think what I love best is using gutta,
especially the metallic gutta to draw and then fill in with color after.
This one uses gold gutta and very intense colors.

This is a sample from a silk painting class I took last year finally steamed.

This is the surprise birthday present.

My mom loves blues and purples in somewhat pastel shades
so I drew lots of butterflies in clear gutta and filled them with color.
The background is a wash diluted with isopropel alcohol.
If I have time I would like to add a beaded edge at least on the ends
to give this one a really nice drape.
I have to finish a few more to make the next steaming date worthwhile.
My deadline is the end of the month 
as Mom's birthday is August 6th!
Sssssshhh!  Don't tell her okay?
So I will be back with more scarves then. 
Happy Belated 4th of July to everyone!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

In Memory of Robert H Brunton, III(le toisieme)

I think part of the healing process for me 
is to look back at old pictures and remember the family stories. 
This picture is from 1955, we lived in Framingham Massachusettes then. 

I am sure here you can see the resemblance I have to both my mother and father.
My dad had blue eyes, my mom hazel.  
My eyes are a greenish brown 
but the rest of the facilal features and hair coloring is a wonderful mix from the two of them 
just as are my children are a wonderful mix of my husband and I.  
In this picture my Dad as a baby taken in 1930 on the right and me on the left taken in 1956.

Heres one more with my Dad on the right taken in 1937 and 
me in my Easter outfit taken around 1959. 
My sister Bonnie is 3 years younger than me, here we are both in our Easter bonnets.
I think I am about 9 years old here so Bonnie would be 6. 
A year later my third sister Laurie was born, we are 10 years apart. 
Unfortunately I don't have many pictures from those years. 
When I was is High School my parents were both involved in the local theatre group.
They talked me into trying out for the mute clown in the play- "The Red Shoes".
Here is a picture of my Dad in his high school years and me as the clown in 1969.
 (Note the resemblance to the clown)
During this time I remember developing black and white photographs together in the basement, learning to repair lamps and the wearing of tin foil pyramids as a humorous anecdote. 
I am pretty sure he read too many Kurt Vonnegut books. 
Here we are in the very early 70"s, my Dad's 3 girls.
Left to right: Bonnie, Laurie, Heather

This was the year I was away at college and came home for Christmas Break broke. 
I had to be creative with my gift giving.  
My Dad's favorite music was "The William Tell Overture", 
the theme from the Lone Ranger.
He used to play it on Saturday mornings while we all gathered the rubbish 
and packed it in the old station wagon to drive it to the dump. 
So, I wrote to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump, 
(the rhythm of the opening theme)  
around toilet paper rolls 
and stuffed them in a garbage bag with lots of crumpled newspaper. 
I remember him laughing so hard he cried.  
In 1975 I married my husband of 36 years, John. 
Here is one of many really bad candid wedding shots.

From left to right: My mother-in-law Fran, My husband John, Me, My Mom Alice, my little sister Laurie (only 10 years old), my Dad, my sister Bonnie and my Best Friend Gina. 
Dig the psychodelic bridesmaid dresses, the floppy hats 
and those (Austin Power's) Baby Blue Tuxes? 
Here are my sisters and I at an Easter gathering a few years later. 
We all have some of my Dad's looks and humor.
Here is a glam shot where we have our "Easter Candy lip stick" on. 
From 1979 to 1982 I made my Dad a grandfather twice.  
Left to Right: front; 
my grandfather (Robert H Brunton Sr) and grandmother (Dorothea Harding Brunton, 
my husband John , me holding Jessie my 2nd born. 
And in the back; my sister Bonnie holding Corrie my first born, my Dad and my sister Laurie. 
At this time my mom and dad had divorced and I didn't see my Dad very often. 
We made the most of the times we did see each other. 
 Here we are at my sister Bonnie's wedding dancing. 
My Dad moved to Washington State and shortly after that 
so did my sister Laurie to go to college. 
He loved hiking and camping in the mountains.  
I spent a few weeks almost every summer visiting with my girls and he got to be "Grampy". 
My girls remember overhearing his horror stories though the open window 
when they were supposed to be in bed sleeping,
while Dad and I slipped into his hot tub after a long day of hiking or sight seeing. 
One summer he told about all the cyotes and mountain lions 
that were in the woods where we were camping out by Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia River. 
My sister Bonnie was there visiting too. 
When we went to bed in the pop up trailer that night my sister and I were whispering and 
having trouble falling asleep because my Dad and Jessie were having a snoring duet. 
My Dad had the low notes and Jessie the high. 
One of us said, "Some cyotes huh?" 
and we giggled so hard the entire camper felt like it was going to start moving down the hill. 
Here he is trying to steal Jessie's bag of popcorn. 

And here is my dad, Laurie, Jessie (hidden in back) and Corrie, 
all sucking their thumbs with Jessie and her "blankie".
Looks like we are at the airport waiting to go home. 

In 1988 my husband and I and our girls moved to Washington 
and spent more time with my Dad than we had in years. 
I am grateful for that time 
even though that is when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease 
and his life slowly became more and more limited.  
We moved to Las Vegas in 2003 and again I did not see my Dad as much. 
My last visit was in 2010. 
Here we are both a wreck. 

I had to interrupt my trip to go rescue my daughter in Iowa from her broken marriage. 
This is a terrible picture but you can tell that Parkinson's took a lot out of him. 
He couldn't even smile anymore. 
I believe he is free of the suffering and happy where he is now. 
I hold all the good times dear in my heart and hope to see him again.
 "One Day"

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I want to apologize to those people who entered my contest this month.  
My Dad had a stroke the day after Easter and passed away April 16th., 84 years old.   
I just started my new job and have been working everyday for 2 weeks and a day now. 
I just did not have time or the right moment to sit down and take care of blog business 
until today.  
So, the winner of my 6 little polymer clay flower beads is......... 
drum roll and cymbal crash! 
BETH OF EBBeadsAndMetalworks!!!
 I have your shipping info Beth so I will send them along this week. 
My Dad 
Robert Henry Brunton the III, 
was a brilliant man who put himself through college at night 
while working to support his new little family when I was a baby and young child. 
He was a microwave engineer who had two patents,
one of which was a device that helped the first rocket launch into space in the 1960's. 
I remember watching that launch knowing that he was there in Florida at Cape Canaveral,
invited because his device was part of the rocket. 
I have good memories of boating out in Welfleet Harbor in Cape Cod, Mass.
We used to drive the boat out to an island that was underwater at high tide
but the best place to dig clams at low tide.  
I remember digging for clams and watching the boat as the tide was going out,
warning my Dad that he better go move the boat
because we had to keep moving it so it wouldn't be beached at low tide.
This time we missed it and had to sit in our boat, stuck in the sand,
 until midnite or so when the tide came back in. 
We had 2 buckets of raw clams, a few potato chips 
and 1/2 of a tuna fish sandwich to share between the four of us. 
It was my mother's birthday and we were supposed to go to the drive-in theater
to see Dr. Strangelove and Erma LaDeuce (spelling?) 
two new hit movies that had just come out. 
We could see the screen in the distance 
as we tried to navigate with a compass in the dark back to the marina. 
That was a little scary. 
When I was in college my parents divorced. 
My Dad left for Canada and then the Washington State for a new life with his present wife.  
A lot of life lessons were learned many the hard way. 
Now that I am older I am grateful for all those lessons however painful they may have been.
About 20+ years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
13 of those years we lived not too far away in Washington State 
and I and my family were able to spend time with him. 
His quality of life slowly and painfully diminished 
and his frustration was palpable even on the phone. 
His tremors and medications made it more and more difficult 
for him to walk and talk.  
I know that he is no longer suffering and that is a blessing. 
The rest I have to deal with a little at a time and 
I am very grateful for my job. 
The problems that my clients deal with everyday
help me to be filled with gratitude for all the things that are good in my life. 
I will miss him and remember him with love. 
I am working on scanning some old pictures to post the next time I can get to it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mad Bunny Baskets!*!

Inspired by a crochet newsletter I made these little 
Mad Bunny Baskets.  
Why are they mad you ask?

 Well you would be too if you had to carry around an Easter Egg as Big as You! 
I crocheted the baskets with 100% cotton yarn and a size g hook 
so they would be a little stiff and stand up.
The little mad eyes, nose, whiskers and mouth are embroidered on. 
The eggs are crocheted in the round over plastic hollow eggs 
(only 50 cents a bag at Walmart) 
using variegated pink and green sock yarns 
and lots of fun little bobbles and flower shapes to make them perfect for Spring!  

They have little hangers so that they can be displayed on those ever popular Easter trees 
or any other place you would like to display them. 
These were gifts for some of my lady friends,
 with a few chocolate kisses tucked in the baskets of course. 
If I get my act together maybe I will make some more 
to sell in my Etsy shop next year. 
It's a little too late now. 
Happy Easter and Spring to you all!!  
Leave a comment and I will enter you into 
You could win 
these little spring flower beads!
There are 6 of them left.
I will randomly choose a winner 
next Saturday, April 14th. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I apologize for my rather long absence from the Blogosphere. 
 I have been busy preparing and training for my new job.  
Yes, after two years I have finally landed a job!  
Woooo Hoooo!! 
I will be working at Opportunity Village, 
an organization that provides jobs and services 
for adults with disabilities.  
I will start as a Direct Care On Call staff person 
and hopefully end up working 
in their wonderful Arts and Enrichment Program. 
 I am both ecstatic and a little overwhelmed with new information.  
We have had two full days of orientation and training so far 
and one more tomorrow. 
I am so grateful for this opportunity which brings me back 
almost full circle to my original dream 
of having a career in Music Therapy.  
I drifted from this original plan 
due to factors in and out of my control 
but I feel so much better prepared at this point in my life 
because of all my diverse experiences; 
music, arts and crafts, theater,dance... 
I will try to keep blogging but honestly 
I may not have the time to post weekly 
so thank you to all my faithful followers.  
I will never give up my passions for all the arts 
I have been dabbling in the last 8 years 
but I may not be quite as productive. 
Hopefully you will still stop by and say hi, 
I have so enjoyed all the friendships I have made online.  
Love to you all!  Heather

Monday, March 12, 2012

Celebrating I met all my goals on time this month!!

This has been a very busy few weeks, I didn't have time to post 
because I had several deadlines to meet.  
I made two polymer clay heirloom bags for my friend Jen.  
The babies are her adorable twin boys; John and Andrew.
The purses are gifts for her mother and mother-in-law this month.  
I took photos for a tutorilal on my polymer clay page 
that show all the steps to completion I used in making these bags.
I will let you know when I get that posted.
The making of the bags is quite time consuming but definitely worth the effort.  
She gave me the photo which I then printed on fabric.
I strip the fabric off these purses and paint glue onto the carboard base.
Then I glue the picture and cover both sides with textured clay, mica powders for the sheen... 
I add favorite flowers for each mother, Chrysanthemums and Tulips.  
I chose red to compliment the Santa hats.
The purse is assembled in stages and baked several times.
I leave the back side plain. 
The other deadline was my local guild's quilt show.
The Desert Quilter's of Nevada have a huge quilt show every year.  
I turned in my quilts and garment on time. 
 I finished a garment I began in 2007 in a class with Rachel Clark;
a wonderful quilt designer who makes primarily garments, gorgeous coats, vests.....
do go see for yourself. 
I am so thrilled to have finally finished it. 
We learned how to fit our pattern to ourselves,
an extremely valuable skill
and how to alter patterns: one example- add a flare. 
She also shared lots of tips and tricks for different piecing techniques
like these curved flying geese.  
We learned how to draft them and then paper piece them. 
I loved that technique so I used it to flatter my figure with the curves on the sides of the vest.  
I love batiks so I used batik fabric as a foundation and applied all my piecework to that-
an excellent choice since this has been handled and stored for 5 years.
Batik does not fray and holds it's shape better than other cotton fabrics.
The piecing was assembled and then free motion stitched to the Batik base.  
There is no batting involved so that I can wear it more often.
 (remember I live in the Desert) 
I took Rachel's advice as she helped me to choose my colors 
and she was so right about limiting my favorite color, which is the turquoise blues.  
They really pop against all those warm honey, brown and red tones. 
That advice also helped me to not go overboard with the beaded embellishments as well.
 I was thrilled to find out this weekend at the Show
that I took First Place in the garment category!

I have two quilts that were entered into two different art quilt categories. 
 "The Angel Gabriel at the Lake of Compassion"
This one has a Third Place Ribbon in the Art Quilt- Original Design Category!
"The Door to My Imagination".
has First Place in the Art Quilts- Framed Category. 
Both of these quilts were quilted and then enhanced with paints and permanent markers. 
I used Shiva Oil Paint Sticks to paint after I free motion stitched my designs on muslin. 
I love this technique, just need to have good weather in order to avoid breathing the fumes. 
I sketched the doors on parchment paper, pinned it to a muslin quilt sandwich (mmm) LOL
 and outlined the important details.
 Then I spent a very, very, very ( did I say Very?)
 long time filling in all the sections with very small quilting patterns.
The wood on the doors is the tiniest free motion stitching I have ever done.  
I overdid it on purpose so that the doors would be stiff and stand up. 
  I also participated in my favorite part of the Quilt Show- The Fashion Show this year.
I will share more about that next week.  I need to take pictures of the items I wore.
It was great fun and I hope to do it again.
I was so proud of my fellow art quilters who also got ribbons in the show.
Our fearless Circle leader Deb had a first place in the photo transfer category,
we talked another member of our group, Jean, into entering
the wonderful musical wedding quilt she made for her son (a musician) and his wife
into the show and she got a First Place Ribbon too!!
My good friend Ricky got a Second Place Ribbon for her fabulous thread painted Raven.
Sandy and Mary, my fabulous doll making pals took several ribbons in the doll categories.
So many talented and fun friends- I am truly grateful to have them in my life.
I am going to see if I can get their permission so you can see their work too.
If you don't have creative friends like this check your local library for groups in your area.
When I moved to Las Vegas, someplace I never ever dreamed I would live,
I knew no one. I found a pamphlet at the local library for this quilt guild and
noticed there was an Art Qult Circle.
From the very first meeting I attended I felt like I had finally found people like me.
People who had an insatiable craving to create beauty.
The unique thing about our circle is that we not only have quilters,
but many other types of artists,
polymer clay, fine silver jewelers,
painters, people who knit and crochet, doll artists....
we welcome them all as it is so inspiring to see each other's work.
I hope you have or will find a home such as this too!
Have a wonderful week.