Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sewing: Love Art Pillow

This week, a FaceBook friend, Peggy Bass, posted a challenge in our Hands That Create group. We were to make a piece of art out of a word or phrase that meant something to us. We could use whatever creative medium we desired.

The moment I read the post, I KNEW that I was going to make a LOVE pillow in black and white.

Last night, I was feeling spent by life and needed to do a self-nurturing project. I was sitting in my studio lounge chair looking at my book shelf of unfinished projects. I saw two pieces of white fabric I had machine quilted 2-3 years ago, sticking out asking to have a purpose.

How could I not oblige them?

(The white fabric used was recycled from my great-great Aunt Dorothy's curtains. I think she would feel honored by my creative use of her home decor.)

And look at this! I am going to do a little tutorial of my steps.


I cut my LOVE letters out of the black blender in my Life Goes On fabric line for Frond Design Studios. (www.fronddesignstudios.com)


Here is a pic of the adhesive that I ironed on first. It is my personal favorite: Heat n Bond lite. 


I fussed and fussed with my hand cut letters until I liked the layout. The placement is always worth the time it takes to get it just right.

Next, I carefully peeled off the paper backing and ironed them down.

Then, I zigzagged the living daylights out of them.


Love, love, LOVE doing appliqué with a walking foot. It makes everything go so much faster.


How could I not add black pom-poms? Especially since I have two large reels of them! I didn't pre-pin and this step took a lot of time. Pinning would have made this process quicker.


Next, I sewed the layers all together, inside out, with my zipper foot. It seemed like the easiest way to deal with all the pom-pom bulge that was sandwiched between the layers. I made sure to pin, pin, and pin all the way around so that everything would lay nice and the pom-poms would not get caught in the seam. 



Then I stuffed it full and closed up the little opening with white thread.


Voilá! There is my LOVE pillow looking cute.


Today, Louis and I joined up with the Frond crew and went on a photo shoot. I brought my pillow so I could utilize the locations to get some good shots.



And of course, I wiggled a few pictures out of Louis. He does such a great job. Love my man and love his photogrsphy skills.




Recognize the background? This is a mural I did awhile back at The Meat Market in Cedar Rapids' Czech Village. They have wonderful smoked salmon and other tasty meats that this peskatarian doesn't nom-nom, but I hear are marvelous!

So, there you go! Hope this inspires you to use your favorite Frond fabric and make something awesome.

Also, take time to nurture your heart. A little "me time" benefits everyone.

-melissamariecollins

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Art- Laughing At Trouble

Today I had studio time at a coffee shop. I really enjoy taking my creative supplies to-go style. A new setting brings new inspiration.

Flowers, Melissa style, came bursting forth today. It has been years since I have painted flowers. Years since I have even photographed them. They used to be my favorite subject matter.

Time to return to flowers and what they mean to me.




Poppies have always caught my attention. They are tall with big petals. Something about them feels strong yet delicate. When I looked up the meaning, I couldn't help but paint it. 


What a meaning. Full of mystery and life. No wonder they have always captured my attention.


What a pretty little flower the Harlequin is. The meaning tickles my fancy! 

When I walked out of the coffee shop, the wind blew this picture out of my hand, whirled it up and around......then it landed face up. 

I heard the message loud and clear. 

There are some things that I need to no longer be afraid of, and "laugh at trouble" when it comes knocking at my door. After all, it is our perception that makes things difficult. Very seldom is the problem as big as what we make it.

Life is a beautiful journey and I am determined to enjoy it one moment at a time.

May your world be full of mystery and joy.

-melissamariecollins


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Art- Revealing

I am a creative emotionalist.
My art communicates what I feel.
Even to me.
It brings the unseen to the seen realm.
It reveals what I contemplate.
Is the center of my gravity.

May you find your way, hear your spirit, and live your calling.

melissamariecollins

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Art- Wrapping Like A Rockstar

Oh! 
How I wish that I could rap. 
I really can't. Silly made-up songs are my specialty.
BUT! 
I can WRAP.

Here is my latest wrap-style I came up with:




Word.

I was pretty excited about it.

My friend received the gift with an appreciative smile and kind words. (Love that Nichole and the young woman she is becoming.)

Now, don't get your mind thinking that ALL my gifts look this good! If I don't have the time for fabulous, the gift might be unwrapped or tucked into a paper bag.

Hope my pic inspires you to try something interesting the next time you are wrapping.

Sorry, it's not a tutorial. I seriously lack the patience for it. Just sharing inspiration. 

It is kind of like fairy dust.

See you later!
Melissa

Monday, June 2, 2014

Art- Morning Creative Meditations

Art.
Quiet.
Reflection.
It is here that I hear.
Here that I see.
Peace.
Love.
Joy.

May you find your way.
melissamariecollins


Friday, May 30, 2014

Fashion- Modern Hippie Style

Floaty rayon pants- check
Comfy shirt- check
Heart shaped sunnies- check!
Flowers in my hair- check CHECK!!
Red lipstick- why of course.

This day is going to be amazing. I just KNOW IT!

I was raised by a Jesus-loving hippie. We lived in the country, in what is now called a "village" (who knew the United States has villages???). Making hair wreaths to put in my hair is a cherished childhood memory.

Fashion is an expression of who we are. You dress how you think. Think about it..........

Peace, love, and joy on your life journey.

-Melissa

Photography by the amazing Louis M. Collins. Check out his fashion blog: amomentinfashion.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fashion- Jeans

I HAD to buy pants.

I had held out as long as I could because whatever I buy now is "transitional" clothing.

So....one night when I had an abundance of patience, I went pants hunting. The goal was to buy one pair of inexpensive jeans that would work with the shirts I have in my closet.

40 pairs later, I came to the conclusion that I have two style choices when it comes to jeans:

1. Mom jeans
2. Tight fitting jeans

There is nothing imbetween for a curvy girl because I....
well....
I fill out jeans. 
I seriously cannot figure out why they appear to only change the waist width from size to size. Why, oh why? Obviously the people designing them do not have the same struggle.

However, my trip was blessed with a SERIOUS find of BRIGHT BLUE wedge sneakers. I've wanted to wear that trend, but hadn't found the right pair. Man oh man! This was the RIGHT pair and made the whole pants struggle worth going through.

Check out my style!

(Photo of course by that hot photographer I'm married to.)

See you later!