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Monday, December 16, 2013

Birthday Week Recap

I feel like last week was a total whirlwind. School wrapped up. I had final meetings with the students and critiques. Also, it was my 36th birthday on Thursday. This is the closest to 40 I've ever been! eek! :) 

I'm only kidding, age doesn't scare me that much. I had a really fun birthday bash at home, complete with disco ball, dancing, lots of delicious food, and fun times with friends. It was more than a girl could even hope for. I was particularly excited about sporting my new red tights that night too. ha! My friend Tonya captured just a few fun seconds of the dance party here.  

Red tights=tons of fun


On Monday of last week, I was able to stop by the Old Capitol Quilters Guild meeting in Iowa City to see Vanessa Chrsitenson's talk. She was fabulous. She's so charming, funny, and talented, that it is always a good time to be in her company. I've had the chance to get to know Vanessa more over the last year, and really just admire her perseverance, dedication, and mad skills in the quilting and design world. 



Now that things have slowed down a bit for a while, I also feel like I can relax and do more of my favorite things---drawing, sewing, and crafting. Here are a couple of pics from last weeks doodling sessions, and the little bird ornament I finished last night. My great friend, Marie, came to town to visit and we each made one. It was so fun! 





And, finally-----the oh-so-lovely Jenny Gordy is due soon, and I really wanted to come up with the perfect gift for her. Jenny's style is simplistic, modern, clean, and just beautiful. So, I tried to keep that in mind when I came up with this bib pattern. I just fell in love with them. I had so much fun doing the piecing and the tiny bits of embroidery. I think there will be more of these in the future...maybe even a pattern or something to share.  They're just so fun to make, and it's nice to have a little simple elegance added to something so functional.  At least, it seems like that's a good way to look at making something like this, which will just be puked on by an adorable little one! ha! :) 






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Scotties skiing

Next week's Spoonflower contest is Vintage Skiing. I have never actually been skiing, so I had to "Google" my way through a couple of things. Although, in the end, I just used skis and nothing too technical. :) At some point, the idea of scottie dogs popped into my head. When I was growing up, I just loved scottie dog prints. I used to draw scottie silhouettes over and over again.  I would have totally worn this sweater..... with pride.....and probably made some kind of wooden or sculpey earrings to go with it. I had awesome fashion sense....for the 80's. ha! 

I sketched out a few ideas, drew them, and scanned them in. I thought adding a bit of texture and grunge added a kind of worn, er, possibly vintage feel to the whole thing. The contest had a palette restriction too. I have to admit that as a designer with a heap of choices in every department when designing, being limited in some way is actually helpful. 

This is my final design---Scotties Ski Ski Skiing Away! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Upgrade Underway

Hey everyone!
My apologies for the lack of posting as of late.  There's good stuff in the works. I'm hoping to have a few upgrades to the blog in the upcoming weeks and a tutorial or two as well! Stay tuned! 
Looks just like me, right?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lil GIF's






I admit, it's not much, but it's my first little GIF made in Photoshop. Now, onto making this thing into a project for the Design I students. This is going to be fun! :) 
You know what's better than mushrooms in a pattern?----moving mushrooms! :) 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A few new skills......


Wow, it's been a bit too long since the last post. Summer came and went with a fantastic trip to Europe wedged in there somewhere. 

John and I on our first day in Prague

And now, school is back in full swing. This term I am teaching Drawing, Design Fundamentals, and a new class Digital Art. The Digital Art class is exciting. It's a course that I developed and is finally in action! I have to say that I have a great job. Sometimes, I am totally overwhelmed---teaching, designing, sewing, keeping up with life----but how lucky am I to have a job where I can develop a course from scratch that so completely taps into my interests? Pretty lucky. Now, I will say that the five class per term class-load could go as well as a few of the totally non-committed students, but otherwise…

I thought I'd post about exciting things that happened recently. One, was that I finally learned how to make a Dresden quilt block! I have had the ruler sitting around here for almost a year now without even taking it out of it's little wrapper. Geez.
Last week, the lovely and uber-talented Vanessa Christenson of V and Co., taught a class at Home Ec Workshop here in town. It was an appliqué class. We learned how to work with hexagons, simple appliqué techniques, and the Dresden. It was really fabulous. I immediately came home and made up a couple of quilt block samplers using my anchors fabric from Spoonflower. 

A random little lilly pad I made up in class
One color of the tiny anchors---it's so cute, I want to pinch it! 
My first Dresden
My little samplers

I  started making one block from  "Block Party: TheModern Quilting Bee" at a class a few weeks ago, the stacked coins. I wanted to do some work using the super small scale anchors. I really love all of these together. My plan is to keep doing the Block Of The Month Club blocks using the book----AND----add in some fun blocks based on what I did in Vanessa's class. It might end up being a total mess, but you have to experiment a bit, right? :) 

Until next time…….




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Europe Drawings

These are two of my favorite drawings from our trip to Eastern Europe. The first one is from Rovinj, Croatia. The coast was just so incredibly beautiful. Clear blue water dotted with lots of people sunbathing and swimming. 


The second is from the beautiful town of Ljubljana. It was by far my favorite city on the trip---filled with lots of energy, people, and creative elements everywhere. I just loved it! There's a university there that contributes to the vibe and lots and lots of cafes along the river that are just always buzzing with conversation and their much talked about fashionable residents. It was just great. 



I have more to post later, but, for now, that's all. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search--Round 1


When in Europe on our lovely vacation these last few weeks, I received my first assignment from the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search Competition. I have wanted to apply to her studio for representation for a couple of years now, but the timing just wasn't right. And, at just the right time, her studio announced this competition, which has as the grand prize two years of representation by her studio! Yowza!

You can imagine, that vacation was a great time to feel inspired and excited about this challenge.  Paperchase, the amazing stationery company, is the sponsor for this round. The theme was "Playgrounds" and the challenge was to create a journal cover using that theme.Specifically, they mentioned old-fashioned playgrounds---none of those space-age new-fangled playgrounds here! Whew. 
I instantly thought of some of my favorite playground elements----towers to climb, funny little animals on springs, and those fantastic little geodesic domes. I just loved the idea of that colorful quirky dome as an element in the piece. Below are a couple of sketches and mock-ups I made while away. 



I was sans computer on this trip. So, my ideas could only develop so much. I couldn't wait to get home and go full throttle with this design! Many, many steps later-----after days of cutting paper, drawing little elements for the scene, and a dose of computer editing-----I came up with the design below. I just love it! I had some serious debate about including people in the image or not. But, finally I went with just the equipment---a playground ready and waiting for you to enjoy---jump ropes, bouncing balls, swings, towers complete with little telescopes, teeter-totters, and even a little play area for the water creatures too! So, each time someone uses the journal, they can decide---JOURNAL on the inside or spend a little time with their imagination PLAYING on the cover. 



The shortlist of the top 50 who move on is announced on the first---fingers crossed! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Citrus Fruit

Spoonflower always has such nifty little themes. An upcoming contest is revolving around the theme CITRUS. Check out my design below. 
I don't know about where you are, but here in Iowa, it is FINALLY warming up and starting to feel a bit like summer. I'm ready for picnics, ice cold drinks in jars, and sketching outdoors. I feel like this design captures that! What are you looking forward to this summer? 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Spring Market Quick Recap! 2013


Oh my---so many things to show from my trip to Portland for Quilt Market. It was such a blast. I got to hang with the lovely three--Linzee, Jenny, and Codi. And, we ate our way around Portland, sampling Voodoo Doughnuts, tasty local brews, and Salt & Straw's amazing selection of ice cream. It was pretty amazing----oh, and there was a quilt show too! ha. 
My favorite flavor. 





I tried out some new looks!


I tried out some new looks!
Iowa is just packed with creative ladies!
L to R: Linzee, Codi, Vanessa, Jenny, Me

 Happiness is the International Rose Test Garden! Oh how I wish we had scratch n' sniff blog. This place was so beautiful and divine.








My lemon thyme marinated chevre, tomato, balsamic mushroom, spinach waffle at the Waffle Window--yum! 

Bollywood Theater---by far THE. BEST. INDIAN. FOOD. EVER. EVER! 

Voodoo doughnut smiles. 

Codi loves it when I want to cuddle! :) 

The lovely ladies of Oliver + S, Made by Rae, and Wiksten


And, finally, Amy Sedaris now has a line of fabric with Windham! I think that I'd like to be an adopted member of the Sedaris family-----Thanksgiving's with David and Amy---sure, why not!? ha. Amy and I could chat fabric and crafts while David tells us stories. I can just see it! 
While at the Windham booth, I was lucky enough to get a fabulous little fat quarter bundle of her upcoming line "I Like You." It's pretty bold and wild, but as it should be right? 

There's a great catalog with Miss Amy herself in a few little get-ups made with her line and home decor galore featuring her ric arc and tulip designs. It's pretty great---check it out. 

 


I think my favorite might be this bold, stained glass-like print full of color. It would make a great dress. 



One of my favorite parts of market is always stopping by the booth of hand dyed Akonye Kena textiles. These fabrics are just so beautiful! I love the colors and always wish I had bought more--every time! 



You can really see the variation of color in this one. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Spoonflower Blog Profile

My first entry into the world of surface design was through Spoonflower.  This amazing resource is an on-demand fabric printing service where anyone can get their designs, photos, or anything really, printed on a variety of fabrics. But, Spoonflower, for us designers is really so much more. There is a vibrant, engaged community of creative souls from around the world! It's pretty amazing. This unique community did and still does provide me with creative and moral support, critique, and advice. The weekly contests initiated by the crew at Spoonflower provide creative jump starts with design challenges on such themes as Mardi Gras, Nautical, Australian Animals, or Hand-drawn fabric. For a designer like me, those little challenges have been such fantastic inspirations, and really gave me the inspiration to create my first portfolio of fabric designs. I can't say enough positive words about it all. 

So, having Kim Fraser, one of the owners of Spoonflower, post a profile about me on their blog yesterday was a really pivotal moment for me. It was just amazing to see my name on that site--something I could never have imagined a few short years ago when I entered my first Spoonflower contest. 

If you have some time today---check out the post. I hope you enjoy it! 

(and, enter the give away to win a big fat bundle of fabrics of mine from Marcus and Spoonflower!) 

-Greta 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Coaster Tutorial on Marcus blog!




Hi everyone! It's been a bit too long since last posting, but to tide you over, check out the post I did for Marcus' blog. You can learn how to make these delightful little coasters. It's a fun project and has a free embroidery pattern to boot! How can you beat that!? :) 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coasters Galore!

I decided to do a little crafting before my trip back home to Louisiana for the holidays. I made these adorable little coasters for friends and family.
Out of one fat quarter I was able to make about 20 coasters! I made a few packs of 5 coasters each, and voila!---a great gift for anyone for any occasion. 
I guess this can't really be called a tutorial, since it may be fairly lacking in step-by-step directions, but it was super fun to do, and I highly recommend making some of these little ditties. 
I bought a couple of fat quarters of my Eclectic Kitchen fabric when Spoonflower was having a buy one get one sale a few weeks back. Check out the fabric on the site here. 
I just love how well the watercolor design printed on this one! 


I decided to fussy cut the piece up into pieces about 5x3 inches each. 

Then, I added a small strip of 2 inch fabric to the edge of each one to create a 5x5 inch piece. 

 I added a little batting to the back side, did a little quilting with a few fun little stitches on the solid color portion of the coaster. Then, I sewed them inside out, right sides facing, clipping the corners and making sure to leave a little opening to turn them the right side out. 


 Then, I just sewed that little part shut to finish it off .
For some odd reason I didn't seem to take any photos of the final products, but hopefully you get the idea. I think more of these are in my future. I really loved this project. I am thinking about doing some embroidery (my new love) and using some of my anchor fabric I just got in from Spoonflower. What do you think!!?? :)  









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