"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Thursday, June 26, 2014


They covered my hair in black veiling, encased my body in heavy brocades, and assigned jeweled insects as my familiars. Surely the small miracle I performed did not warrant becoming a prisoner of their adulation?

Small mixed media collage, done about ten years ago. Alas, the gold in each corner isn't showing up in the photo as well as I would have liked. The piece was done for a members show at the Grants Pass Museum of Art, with the theme The Number Three.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Other Life

Here's what I do when I'm not stitching, sewing, or doing other artwork. I do target mounted archery. This is the first photo of me on my own horse, Delight, doing a run at the canter. It is one of the most fun things I have ever done on a horse, and yet it took a lot of courage on my part to learn this...especially at my age. It still scares me to let go of the reins, and shoot while going that fast, but I keep at it, and I keep getting better, as does my mare. And I love the feeling of power it gives me. I truly do feel like a warrior.

Photo by Carla Erland Resh, taken on the course of the Rogue Mounted Archers (The club we belong to), Eagle Point, Or.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Love of Stencils

Recently I have discovered many wonderful uses for stencils. Years ago I stenciled a pattern of twining leaves high on the walls of our dinning room, and I may have dinked around with a few since then, but nothing very exciting. Over the last two years or so, I have had all kinds of fun with them. The nice thing about stencils is, they are inexpensive, and can be found in all sorts of places. I picked up the variety you see above from JoAnn's fabrics, Michaels Crafts, Home Depot paint dept, and the rose I found at the Goodwill.

It started with seeing Rice's work over at the Voodoo Cafe. She used stencils to cut out patterns for the Alabama Chanin-type clothing she was making. So, not only did those posts inspire me to make some of the same types of clothing (and buying the AC book), doing all the stitching by hand, and getting back into embroidery, but it also got me using stencils in new ways.

The little amoeba-looking beaded star was my first attempt. I never used it on anything because the beads (only ones I had at the time) are heavy, so it's still in a drawer, waiting for a home. 

I started on cloth first, both for design and for stitching around, and for reverse appliques. I did three boleros, two tank tops, a T-shirt, and a sweatshirt. Here are three examples.

I have just started using them on paper for my artwork for background designs. My first try was on this color pencil and ink drawing of Nomad 2. Here is a close up of the stenciled part of of the background.

I drew around the stencil with a light pencil, then colored it in and added highlights. Worked great.

What's next? Well, once again, Rice has featured a new technique that I want to try, using stencils. You draw the stencil pattern on cloth, much as I did for the above drawing. Rather than use paint to color it in, you go over the drawing lines with stitching.  You end up with a lovely stitched pattern. Since I love the little boleros so much, and they are so easy to make, I want to try this way to use a stencil next. Rice used it on denim (or maybe it was linen, I can't remember), and it looks wonderful.

Just an FYI, if you have never visited Rice's blog site, I highly recommend it. She is always finding new ways to decorate fabric...she's now into dying her own embroidery thread...not to mention her other projects and trips to art conferences, photos of her cats, and just general fun everyday thoughts and, yes, sometimes a rant or two, but she's always inspiring.  Some of her posts will make you laugh out loud.