holding up

That's what this guy does. He is an Atlant and together with the others Atlantes he holds up the entrance to the New Hermitage.

I admired his physique and took a picture. Yes I did. He's made of granite, very strong. I chose to manipulate him in Photoshop and print him on a dryer sheet. Then he needed a few stitches in silk thread....
holding up my mantle

Atlant Spb © 2014 Natalya Aikens
And now he's in my Etsy shop ready to hold up your mantle.... ;)


I have been wanting to do some hand stitching experiments on plastic. I've hand stitched on plastic plenty times before, but never experimented with heavy duty, multi-layered hand stitching. I had a few bits left over from this project and figured they would be perfect for the experiment.

I cut them up into little squares and they became my portable hand stitching project. Perfect for dance class waiting rooms. Still many more stitches to go here, but the sunlight streaming onto the worktable in my studio was perfect this morning for a mini photo shoot and I thought I'd share....
street signs outlines
cross walk
turn this way
I'll have an update after several more dance class waiting sessions. And perhaps I'll even get these done in time to get them into my Etsy shop for holiday shopping! there is a worthy goal....


Playing in Photoshop is something I enjoy doing. So when the opportunity comes up and it's a commission too, how could I resist?

The client liked the dryer sheet prints in my Etsy store, but wanted something a bit different. You want images from two of of the most photogenic cities in the world? That I have a special connection to? And you want me to play with Photoshop and dryer sheets? Where do I sign up?

I thought I'd share a few of the images that I have been playing with. These are Photoshopped creations from my own photographs. This is the mid stage of the project as they will now be printed on the dryer sheets and will look very different in the end.

a detail of St. Basil's in Moscow
one of the towers of the Kremlin
detail of the Choir Singers bridge in St. Petersburg
The Mariinsky theater
A side entrance to the Hermitage
Hopefully next week I'll be able to share the final project. Now back to the studio!

day twelve

Today I spent a lot of creative and not so creative time at the computer... sigh.... But then! Yes with just a half hour to spare before picking up kids from school, I got into my studio! I was very excited to finally be starting on a long awaited project for ... a baby. Yep making baby stuff here. And since my sister-in-law occasionally peeks in on this blog, I cannot tell you what kind of baby stuff is being made here. Got keep the surprise, especially since the surprise will be on us too - no one knows whether it'll be a boy or a girl. And very soon, she's due November 14th (I better get cracking). So the picture above has nothing to do with reality, but the ingredients are similar should you wish to play a guessing game...

Oh and by the way the creative time on the computer today consisted of me uploading photos to my Etsy shop. Yep my long neglected Etsy shop is once again open for business. So please peruse at your leisure...

art quilts at play

My friends Jane Davila and Elin Waterston have a new book coming out this January. It's the follow up to their other book - The Art Quilt Workbook. Now they show you how to play with all that you have learned. An array of wonderful artists was asked to play and create the art in this book and I am lucky to be one of them. Here's a little teaser below, that's one of my "home:house" art quilts, did they choose me for the right topic or what? Oh and I have given a teaser about this book before, long long time ago when I first completed all the art. Take a look at this post. I had said back then that I wanted to try more 3D work, well... I still want to.. and I will eventually... ahem.. Meanwhile go to Jane and Elin's blogs and order your advance copy now! Oh and the book release party will be on February 21st at the Country Quilter. PS: I lowered all prices in my Etsy store, come shop!


Black Friday passed rather sadly around NYC area... I thought that I would try to counter that a bit by doing a little promotion here... There are three websites that are featuring small affordable works of art by artists of different mediums, much better than a shopping spree at the mall.

~ The Fine Art Department is a brainchild of Tracy Helgeson, and fe
atures 27 artists including myself.

~ Small Art Showcase is a brainchild of Jeanne Williamson, featuring 16 artists.

~ Etsy, is known to many already as the place to buy all things handmade. I took the Handmade Pledge this season and will doing some shoppi
ng on Etsy. And as mentioned in another post I recently opened a shop there myself. Please come and check it out. At the top of the post is one of the Okoshechki/Little Windows that you will find in my Etsy shop... below are cuffs and necklaces from my Sketched Fairytales collection.

journal and tagged

This weeks journal is 47{52}, the ingredients are: upholstery fabric, synthetic organza, tulle, color catcher sheet, dryer lint, paper, variegated cotton thread...

I got tagged by Vita, who's blog I recently discovered and thoroughly enjoy and her illustrations are delightful. I responded to a similar tag over a year ago, you can read my answers here. Let's if I can come with seven new goodies.... and try to make them art related...

1. While I was attending the High School of Art and Design in NYC, I got a really cool opportunity to attend drawing classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We spend our Saturdays sketching in the Greek and Egyptian halls.

2. When I was about 7 years old in Russia, I read in a daily calendar a job description that really stuck with me. It described what a fabric print designer would do and I don't think I have strayed too far from that path...

3. I love doodling! Used to do much more of it especially as a teenager while on the phone. Now I mostly multi-task while on the phone and have to set aside time for doodling...

4. I majored in fashion illustration at the above high school. We would go out to the sidewalk on Fifth Ave and 57th street and sketch designer store windows while the passerby commented or got annoyed that we were taking up too much space.

5. When I was about 8 or 9 years old my parents gave me a book about an artist that really appealed to my melancholy nature. She was a prolific illustrator of some of my favorite stories and she died at 17... Nadia Rusheva

6. I used to devour Greek myths as a kid, first in Russian and then in English. I just discovered a great book for my girls that I cannot wait to read with them..

7. I started making a bunch of little art quilts from my Okoshechki/Little Windows series while doing Open Studios in Houston. I just finished and put them for sale in my new Etsy store. Come check it out!

Well, there they are, seven little known facts about myself.. and now I get to tag seven others:
Thanks for playing!