Artiscape Recap

Every year for the past four years, I’ve been attending an art retreat in Columbus, OH called Artiscape. It’s a great mixed media art retreat put together by Lisa Ohmer of European Papers and the variety of classes runs the gamut of paper art to metalsmithing. This year’s theme was Venetian Nights and due to only having 5 days of vacation this year, I  went for three days instead of my usual four. It meant fewer classes but I was grateful just to be able to go at all.

This year’s theme was Venice Unmasked! and I desperately wanted to create some artist trades to give out to people.  I’d never been able to make any the previous years and so I had never been able to receive all the beautiful art everyone else had made.

In the end, I ended up with little wooden masks that I laser cut, sanded, and stained.IMG_20160413_205747IMG_20160416_202050IMG_20160416_212142

I decorated one in particular and entered it into the Art Trades contest and it ended up winning in the Art – Miscellany category!

IMG_20160424_230112Better than that though was all the cool little pieces of art I was able to trade for those masks. This is just from the first day of trading! I really enjoyed all the effort people took to make these.IMG_20160422_221301In addition the the trade contest, I made an entry for the auction which included a green beaded crown, a sea themed beaded bracelet and a decorated frame with a poem I wrote about the pieces.IMG_20160424_133459

Well, there was a bit of a bidding war at the end between a wedding and prom and the pieces ended up getting the highest bid of the silent auction. It was pretty neat to find out the crown was going to be used in a wedding ceremony! IMG_20160424_230124But beyond all that were the classes.  I was only able to take three this year and I was not very good at taking pictures but here are a couple of pictures of some of the things I worked on.IMG_20160423_115724

This is polymer clay! With some transfer foil and a texture I rolled onto it. I was sort of mesmerized by the foil transfer technique but overall, I’d say that polymer clay is not really my bag of tea. But I did buy a finished piece from the instructor at the art fair on Sunday which is so detailed that I really do appreciate the art and skill involved in polymer clay art. IMG_20160423_145107

Overall a great weekend and I didn’t even mention the group dinners, the marketplace, and all the wonderfully artistic people I got to spend time with. A great weekend and I’m looking forward to 2017’s event!



day 18

I attended the Fox Valley Sewing & Quilting Expo over the weekend and took a class to learn how to cover an umbrella. The class was taught by Judy Gauthier of Bungalow Quilts and Yarn out of Ripon, WI and the class was fantastic. Judy was wonderful and the class was filled with students from advanced beginner to very experienced but we were all able to finish our umbrellas that day.

The steps were pretty simple: Cut out 8 panels from a pattern, sew a rectangle for the tie and attach. (I still need to add a button and button hole or add some velcro.) It also vaguely reminds me of the Star Fleet symbol which makes me want to make a Trek themed umbrella!


Sew a rolled hem on the bottom of each panel. I think this part took the longest for most people. Some people had a rolled hem foot for their machine but most of us just used out hands to finger press things under.  There are many different ways to do a rolled hem including methods that require you to sew three times to get it done but I thought I did a pretty good job for just hand manipulation.


Sewed the panels together.IMG_20160318_120831

Attached to the umbrella and sewed in the rib tips after placing them for correct tautness.


And done! Well, about 95% done. I need to glue  a piece to the top and waterproof the fabric. IMG_20160318_154106

day 16

I’m sort of loath to buy clothes for work. In fact, I’m sort of in the Mark Zuckerberg/Dean Kamen camp where I’d like to wear the same thing to work every day without any social judgment. For Zuckerberg, it’s jeans and a black t-shirt and for Kamen it’s jeans and a jean button-down shirt. ‘Course, I’m not Zuckerberg or Kamen but what I can get away with is basically a uniform I wear every day: jeans, top, and cardigan. To that end, I’ve been meaning to make some easy tops to wear and settled on the Scout Tee by grainline. On day 16, I cut out the pattern on a few different cotton fabrics for me to mass sew them later – can’t wait!IMG_20160317_000332


day 11-13

After completing the caterpillar base, I spent two nights (days 11 and 12) working on the rest of the bracelet. There was some serious eye strain going on trying to bead with size 11 seed beads but I’m happy with the final result!  It looks like a piece of debris from the ocean, all knotted and tangled.  It also weighs a ton – there’s a LOT of beads on this thing as I looped 11+ beads per base seed bead from the previous day. That’s roughly 2800 beads on top of this thing!IMG_20160313_033412

Day 13 was spent knitting a cowl that I haven’t quite finished yet. And in case you were wondering, I took a day off on Day 10, mostly to pick up my husband from the airport in the evening.  : )

days 4-6

Called Orbital Odyssey, the pattern was fairly easy to get the hang of. The kit aaaaalmost had enough rings for two bracelets but not quite.  I might make some earrings out of it, however.


Finally tackled a macrame project from ages ago.  I had no idea how difficult macrame was mostly because I’m not super adept at tying precise knots.  Making sure knots were X distance from the previous knot was pretty difficult for me as a new craft. I’m even more in awe of my mom’s old planter holders she’d made to decorate our apartment.


This came from one of those craft subscription boxes that I never got around to making. The craft was pretty…lame and involved stencil painting a letter onto the bag and filling it with lavender. The lavender was fantastic and the stencil part might have been alright if the paint they’d provided was anything but pink.  Blecch. But it’s done and I have three sachets of fantastic smelling lavender to put up in closets.



day 3

Finished the dice bag! Used twine for the drawstring for now but I plan on switching it out to a cord later.


Later that night, I working on a gnome house pillow that I thought turned out just okay. It was cuter when it was flat and I now wish I’d turned it into a totebag more than a pillow.  It was fun going through my stash to find all the green bits and bobs.


Cat Tax.


day 2

I didn’t end up crafting on day 2 but I did do something crafty. I ended up attending a Ceramics 101 class at Milwaukee Makerspace to take the steps to start throwing and hand working clay in the future there. It was super informative and I’m looking forward to more classes.