New & Improved

February 19, 2010
photo courtesy of Jana

For the past few weeks I’ve been revamping, refurbishing and doing a little polishing up of the ole image.

The Beginning

I started this blog way back when, after I had chosen the name for my company, REDBARN STUDIOS.

I’ve been in love with red barns (not blue or brown but RED!) for as long as I can remember. They absolutely fascinate me. In trying to come up with a name for my company I tried all sort of different names, including that ever famous exclamation of mine…Flippity Dippity Designs (remember that one Susan?).

So the hunt was on to find something that tied well into what I know of my past and what I wanted for my future……..and REDBARN STUDIOS was born.

(In my best Britsh voice: Can you discern that I have intense feelings of deep affection for the colour RED!)

Connecting

Now back to this blog. I wanted to name it something in keeping with REDBARN of course. And in those humble beginnings is how Barnyard Chatter got started and also why I always signed off with…….See ya next time “In the Hayloft”.

I wanted my blog to be a place of art foremost, but also a place for friends, new and old, to come sit, chat, laugh and romp in the hay while we have fun creating and learning. That idea about why I blog hasn’t changed. It’s really me who’s evolving.

(you still with me? …thanks)

The Revamp

Over the last couple of years my work has evolved as well and I’ve had a few rethinks about what I want to pursue……always asking “what did Grace want to achieve?” If I could do “IT” (whatever it was) any which way, what would I do? How can I best let my art, my creativity manifest itself through me?

*Remember this quote form an earlier post “Clarity trumps practicality. When someone is clear, and they take action from that place of clarity then practicality has no choice but to move aside and let manifestation occur”…… Christine Kane*

I’ve picked up a few things, run screaming past some and, others still, I’ve just left by the wayside knowing that that was not the course I wanted to pursue.

What I know for sure (yeh I know, I sound like Miss Oprah) is that I want to create art….period! All that extraneous stuff…..I’ve found over time that I really was not that committed to and if one is not committed to something wholeheartely then it’s not really worth doing.

With all that said, this will be my last post from this blog, Barnyard Chatter. All right folks, stop the fluttering…..I’m not going anywhere. She’s been a good place to rest my non-stop thinking and pondering and working through. But her time has come.

Da   da   da-da   da   da-da   da-da   da-da      (overkill much…..nah I like it! the girl’s still gotta have fun)

New and Improved

Remember that revamping, refurbishing and polishing that I spoke about earlier? I’ve decided to move forward using that wonderful company name I took all those months to come up with, and actually try to brand myself.

I AM REDBARN STUDIOS!

(and the crowd goes wild…YIPPEE!  HOORAH!  YOU GO GIRL!)

So my NEW blog is named…..(yeh you guessed it) REDBARN STUDIOS.

Y’all know that I love, love, love colour, the saturated the better, and what better way to showcase all that colourful artwork of mine than a deep rich background. All I’m saying is don’t be stunned when you get there, okay?

And just so you know, the water is in deference to my homeland, the Bahamas…we’re surrounded by it’s shimmering beauty.

…check out the new ME here:  http://www.redbarn-studios.com

Now I must tell you and I’m not ashamed to admit it….I want friends! I want followers! I want you to jump at the chance to find out what I’m up to over at REDBARN STUDIOS, so go change your RSS feeds and sign up to follow me below….

Subscribe to RedBarn Studios by Email

or better yet Subscribe to the JOY-Love Tribe and get updates and extra goodies in my newsletter.

That leads me to the best part. I’m feeling so good that in celebration of my new blog address I’m doing a special Give-a-Way. The first person to leave a comment and sign up on my “new and improved” blog will receive a half yd of my beautiful hand dyed fabric AND one of my hand-made journal notebooks, a new design not yet published.

{ NOTE: giveaway has ended }

And because I’m in that happy place, the next 4 people to do the same will each receive one of my hand dyed FQ’s. What the hay….let’s celebrate! So……

Welcome to the “new and improved”Me!

….and all this to say “come visit my new blog” you say? Now really! How else would I/me/moi do it????

See ya next time “In the Studio”

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Manifestation

January 6, 2010

Here’s a short blurb from Christine Kane newsletter:

“Clarity trumps practicality. When someone is clear, and they take action from that place of clarity – then practicality has no choice but to move aside and let manifestation occur.”

Love it!

ART BREAK:

My first foray into watercolour. The pic above shows a small piece (2.5 x 3) painted on 140 lb watercolour paper. I made it to grace the front wrap-around cover of a new journal I designed.

A while back I bought myself a Winsor & Newton halfpan 12-set compact on sale thinking it was enough to start with but not enough expenditure if I found I didn’t like it.

Uh oh……I LIKE IT!

Took the watercolour paints out a few weeks ago looking for something different for my journals and this is what I came up with. Yummy!

Still experimenting with other paintings. I just love the mixed media aspect of these journals. It’s held in place on a piece of my hand dyed fabric with metal brads and staggered stitching.

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Wedding Guest Book

November 4, 2009

My friend, Delane,  had asked me to make a wedding guest book for the marriage of her son Ted to his bride Lauren.

I really wanted to make a special gift especially for Lauren, she’s the photographer who took those wonderful pictures of my work a while back. Her favorite colours were red, orange and brown and colours of the wedding were in the Fall colour range.

I had no idea where to go with this at first and took some time mulling over a few ideas, I remembered that she wanted me incorporate the words “our wedding, underneath the trees” in her wedding book so I started with that.

tree-stencilUsing a Stewart Gill stencil from their Flowers of Scotland collection, I reduced its size and cut out a new stencil out of freezer paper.

After ironing it to a piece of white silk dupioni, I painted it with Stewart Gill Brass Gold metallic paint.

I now needed to get Lauren’s words on the fabric. Because I don’t have access to a thermofax machine, I decided to try a new product

ez-stencil-wedding-bk

I had recently bought, Photo EZ silk screen. This was way cool and easy to use.

Photo EZ sheets are made from a silk screen mesh coated with a light sensitive water soluble polymer.

Using a saturated black image printed on plain white paper, it only needs sunlight and plain tap water to develop. Off I went and developed 3 separate screens for the front of the guestbook.

guestbooklauren9 The silkscreen was taped down with masking tape (above) and metallic paint was squeegees through the mesh with the edge of an expired credit card.

I added Lauren and Ted’s names to the front of the book as well. After drying, I was now ready to make the book.

Cutting 2 boards for the front and back, I covered them both in the silk dupioni.guestbooklauren3

For the spine of the guestbook I used two coordinating batik fabrics and staggered them on the left edges of the boards.

Lasty, I glued a passion red bookcloth (afterall, they are newlyweds aren’t they?) on the inside for the lining.

I cut papers for guests to sign and then decided to add some black cardstock so they guestbooklauren5can also add pictures to personalize their book. It was finally coming together.

Using a Japanese stab stitch method, I sandwiched the papers in between the covers and stitched the book together, tying a gold ribbon at the spine edge for a touch of embellishment. I named this one “Beneath the Trees”.

I wrapped the guestbook in my signature brown paper and tied a red ribbon around the gift.

guestbooklauren

I was very pleased to hear that Lauren squealed with delight upon opening  the package.  Check Delane’s blog for some pics of the absolutely beautiful bride Lauren made….and Ted looked dashing too!

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See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


New Work…sort of

September 7, 2009

I’ve been struggling these past few weeks to really get my head around my art. I keep starting on different pieces but nothing much happens to inspire me to continue. Yes, I am definitely in a rut.

I have ideas and sketch but I when it comes to implementing it, I stall. I refuse to push it though cause I know I won’t like what I produce. So instead I wait….

Begin Journal5

Struggling with fiber art I am but I have been making more journals and have experimented with something new.

Most people use bookcloth for the spine but because I like the luxurious feel of it I use ultra suede (if I can find a matching colour).

Here’s my latest filled to the brim with 5 signatures of wrting paper.

Begin Journal tagThe cover is, as usual, quilted and I’ve sewn small beads on the spine.

The closure for this one is a button I found a few months ago.

I had to do a little bartering with my daughter to to be able to use the metal charm I sewed on the front cover. It says…

“we will never know unless we begin”

The words are apropos for my situation right now don’t ya think?chinese box3

I have also been experimenting with boxes. This is my first attempt. The top is covered in a beautiful chinese themed fabric and the edgechinese boxs and sides in a red bookcloth.

What I’ve found out is that making the inner compartments is a bit tricky but I really like how it turned out. An elastic that hops over a buton keeps it closed tight.

I will be adding the journal to my Etsy Shop this week. The box I wanna keep for a little while longer.

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See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


New Work

July 1, 2009

kgracehowes.atodds

I’ve finished a new art quilt “At Odds”, ready just in time for the QBL Show coming up at the end of this month. My muse feels good. Detail of the quilting below.

at odds detail

I also have 2 new journals that will go in my etsy shop. One is done in a beautiful tan leather and is filled with sheets of 140lb watercolour paper. On the front page of each signature is a cutout of a dragonfly. Love those creatures.

tan leather breaths journal9

The second journal is filled with 4 signatures of drawing & writing paper with a brown suede spine. On the front I placed a saying by William Wordsworth that I love…….”Fill Your Papers with Breaths of Your Heart”.

breaths journal Update: SOLD!

On the inside I’ve added 2 painted pocket pages ready to hold those bits of paper we all seem to gather to us.

breaths journal4

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See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


And the Winner Is…..

June 7, 2009

Without further ado, using the handy dandy random number generator at random.org,  the winner of her own personalized fabric mini journal is comment:

random numr

~~~~~~~~~~~ Linda Robertson ~~~~~~~~~~

our friend from down under…whoopee!!!!!

Linda if you will contact me (see email in sidebar) with your fabric and colour preferences for your mini journal it’ll be whipped off to you lickety split.

Well almost, it is going half way round the world. Wow, to know that one of my handmade journals will find it’s way to Australia…how way cool is that!

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment on my “The Website is Back Up” giveaway and to for Susan Knapp for introducing me to some new friends. I love all the comments and good wishes.

See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


RedBarn-Studios is Back with a Give Away!!

June 2, 2009

header icon 2

I have been working feverishly to figure out the glitch that occured when I tried to upload the new files and get my website back up. It was a frustrating few days but I am so very pleased to say that….

….I DID IT! Whooppee doo!!!!

So once again you can find me, my art and my patterns, including the latest one on my newly revamped website at http://redbarn-studios.com.

Yet again I am doing a happy dance. I should just call this the year of happy dances. Amazing what little things make us happy with life.

I had to reflect a lot these past few days on my words I chose for this year….intention and self discipline.  Intention to make what I want happen for my career and self-discipline to make sure I stay on track. Remembering them have helped me a lot this year.

Because I’m not a computer techno person and knowing I wanted to solve this crazy dilemma myself, I knew that more focus and less drama would get me what I needed and it worked. Now if only I could get my teenage kids to do the same…NOT!

So in order to celebrate my stunning achievement (lol) I am having a give away. I usually make  journals filled with 4 signatures, covered in beautiful batiks and/or ultra suede (check out my etsy shop for examples of fabrics).

For that one lucky person I will make a 1 signature notebook containing 36 pages of writing paper, from batik fabric, my handyed fabric  or silk dupioni in the colour of your choice.

I invite you all to leave a comment on this post so that each of you will be in the running for this “THE WEBSITE IS LIVE AGAIN” give away. On Sunday I will reveal the winner, by random number generator of course so keep the comments coming.

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See ya next time “In the Hayloft