kings and queens...

Yup. It's that time again. Time to design and make costumes for the annual Russian school play in January. I took the last year off, but this year I'm back for another round...

This years story is The Tale of Tzar Saltan, of His Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich, and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan. What do you say that we'll call it Tzar Saltan for short? If you click on that link you'll read the wikipedia entry about the poem by Alexander Pushkin. The whole poem is here, translated to English of course. And the famed composer Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov wrote the opera for the tale, here's the most famous bit of music from it. Of course if you'd like to see the cartoon version, that's here....

As one can see the tale is pretty famous, been done very famous people. We, the Russian school volunteers humbly accept the challenge....

Here are the sketches that I drew of the costumes. They are really more of an idea, an inspiration for the kids to see while they are rehearsing. The actual costumes will depend greatly on the fabrics and clothing available to us and may not closely resemble the sketches. But I'll try...
The Swan Princess and Prince Gvidon
The kite bird and Chernomor the leader of the sea bogatyrs
The three trouble makers

Prince Gvidon as a bumblebee and the magical squirrel
Tzar Saltan and his Queen
Wish us luck! The sewing marathon is about to begin!


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.


I though maybe I'd show proof that I have actually been working in my studio lately. Somehow this afternoon my creative energy has fizzled out, so I took a few pictures of work recently completed and some work in progress. Maybe posting it here will get the juices flowing again and I'll get back to work after the kids are in bed... well I hope anyway...

Here are three little pieces that I recently finishe
d, they are called Okoshechki/Окошечки/Little Windows 14, 15 and 16. One (at the top of the post) will be donated to a good cause and the other two will languish on my walls till they find a good home. I used scraps from my Sketched Fairytales jewelry to make these.I had a playdate with Vivien on Wednesday morning. We played around with techniques from Rayna Gillman's book. It was sooo much fun, if only we had more time.. Here are some details from the fabric that I printed.And I leave you with some teaser shots of hand stitching that I am working on for a challenge piece...

journal quilt

This is 46/52, my journal quilt for this week. As it was a crazy week filled with deadlines and once again sick children, I chose to just use the scraps from the blue colorway of the Sketched Fairytales jewelry. I layered the strips horizontally and used silk thread for some simple stitches. The edges are painted with acrylic paint.

I am looking forward to assembling all the journal quilts together in Photoshop®, what a fun collage that will be. I trying to also think if I should keep my rules the same for next years journals or if I should add a rule or two.

sketched fairytales blues

I have completed the blue colorway of my Sketched Fairytales Fiber Jewelry collection this weekend. It's probably a good idea to get it to the gallery before the biggest shopping weekend of the year, so out it goes tomorrow morning. This was a fun project, I enjoyed figuring out ways to make the blue colorway similar yet different from the red colorway. I even kept one piece for myself this time, shhh.... Oh, happy news also to report! I just learned that two of pieces were accepted to The 7th Annual Art Inter/National Exhibition... Here and abroad at The Box Heart Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. They are Alenkii Tzvetochek/Crimson Little Flower 3 and Alenkii Tzvetochek/Crimson Little Flower 4. The opening reception will on January 12th. I am very excited to be selected to this exhibition, what an honor. Thank you!


It's amazing what can get accomplished when everyone falls back into the daily routine. I made quite a bit of progress on the blue colorway for the Sketched Fairytales Collection.

I fused the batting to the painted fabric and free-hand machine embroidered it for my sketchy look.
Then I cut it up into the appropriate pieces for the three different types of cuffs and bracelets. The simplest embroidered ones are the ones I call the round cuffs. I recycle cardboard rolls from masking tape and cover them with batting for super softness. The medium amount of embroidery goes on the cuffs, in this case it was all metallic thread. These will get beaded closures and edges. The most amount and the most delicate embroidery will be going on the bracelets, they are also the smallest. I just got the satin stitch pattern done on these, I'll go back in with metallic thread and they'll look pretty different soon.

sketched fairytales

I am very excited to report that I have some of my work in a gallery. The Link Gallery in Estes Park, Colorado to be exact. The owner liked my fiber jewelry pieces and I created a whole new line for her gallery. I am calling it Sketched Fairytales Fiber Jewelry collection and I based it on the patterns seen in Russian decorative arts that I love and use everyday in my art. I wanted the pieces to have a light and delicate feeling, so I used a textured cotton and free-hand sketched the designs with Neocolor® watersoluble crayons. I then free-hand machine embroidered the cloth with rayon and metallic embroidery threads. Different pieces have different amounts of embroidery on them, and various beaded and yarn trim. These were fun to work on and I am already starting on some different colorways. I am very interested in hearing the feedback from gallery customers.She also put some of my Окна/Okna/Windows art quilts in her gallery, I hope they do well. I also made some very small art quilts, Окошечки/Okoshechki/Little Windows that are framed in shadow boxes.I have Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero to thank for all this, she saw my work, thought that the gallery would like it and told her about me. Thank you Jeanie!

And PS: I found out too late about Blog Action Day (how do people keep up?) and just wanted to say that I try to live by this motto in my life and art: "REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE". It's the least anyone can do!