In Stitches!

May Theme
Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 9
Art Challenge:  Stitching
Journal Prompt:  “All that I’m after is life full of laughter.”

Laughter.  That’s all I needed to hear to turn things around for me.  Sometimes you have one of those crappy weeks and you just want someone to make you forget about everything with a good laugh – the kind of laughter that starts in your toes and works its way through your belly and snorts its way out!

The photo I chose to use this week was about just one of those times.  The sniggering, chuckling, ‘wet your pants’ kind of conversation where no one can keep a straight face.  I thought of these silly, laughing girls and decided they needed to be stitched into a ‘crazy’ quilt – art style!

I printed the photo on MOAB Somerset photo paper – love the quality, plus you can apply wet medium and the ink won’t bleed.  Photos take on a ‘painted’ quality instead of a photographic look.  I also gathered up some scrapbook paper from October Afternoon 8×8 pads – they have smaller printed patterns and work well with the scale of the photo.

I cut the scraps in varying sizes and shapes and laid them out with a touch of UHU glue stick onto newsprint until I had the arrangement I liked best.  Once they were tacked down, I just started stitching random patterns around each “fabric” section.  They instantly took on a quilted look!

Instead of covering the entire two-page spread, I left uneven edges for interest.  I split the “quilt” with a paper trimmer so I could adhere it in the journal, but still open and close the book.  Once it was on, I didn’t like the white paper showing (I struggle with leaving white space).  I used a blue gouache (opaque watercolor) mixed with white gesso and used my fingers to spread it around the quilt.

You know me, always trying to practice the lettering, I took out my fat little Pitt brush pen and wrote the word “laugh” on the edge of the page.

This page makes me happy.  Creating it made a yukky week turn better by reminding me what’s most important in life and by remembering the comfort, joy and love of unconditional friendships! 

You are going to love this week’s Featured Artist, RUTH RAE!  She is a master of artistic stitching and we are thrilled to see what she has in store for us!  You can see her interpretation of the challenge HERE.  So now it’s your turn!  GO LAUGH!

For more information on this week’s challenge you can find us here:
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ – a thriving “community” and classroom for “The Original” Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

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  1. Sandi Keene

    Another gorgeous page, Lo! Your lettering is amazing and I love how you are using it as a design element on so many of your pages!! The quilt look is beautiful. You and I went for a similar design!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks Sandi – and I love how we had a similar favorite type of Laugh – the wet your pants kind! haha xoxo

  2. Mary Nasser

    Oh my gosh! I love, love, love this, Lorraine!! So delightful! The photo, patterns, blue and lettering!!

  3. Rae Missigman

    This made me smile so big! I love your layout this week as I have a soft spot for quilts and stitching…You really are becoming quite the letterist as well (and if that isn’t a word it should be! ) I could sit for hours and not get those even beautiful scripts….YOU are amazing! xo

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Sweet Rae! You are the QUEEN of textiles, for sure! So let’s find some time to create together more often! love you!

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    I love this page, it’s so inspiring! In fact, I’m totally going to steal your idea of incorporating a photo. I love the idea of quilting with paper. Awesome lettering too!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Steal away sweet friend – so glad you were inspired!

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    The laughing photo combined with the quilt makes such a comforting page. I just love it and your Laugh lettering is awesome!

  6. B Champ

    I agree with Mary about your page, it is great and I agree with your comment about Ruth Rae’s project…..I could not get a comment entered on her page though and she has no contact info that I could find….
    Would anyone know what kind of machine she uses??

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you so much! I think the key to Ruth’s work is that she is using a "free motion" arm to do her stitching. That, and a lot of practice and experience – LOL!

  7. Mary W

    When I think of the Art 5 girls, I think of this picture. Your idea to make a crazy quilt was perfect. A beautiful warm friendship full of diverse thinking, ideas, quirks, etc. is the essence of a crazy quilt full of wonderful things to see. This page is a tribute to friendship and since laughter is a key component, it makes me smile every time I see Rae bent over laughing as the rest of you enjoy some great moment between yourselves. I’ve never seen a crazy quilt with circles before and can’t help but wonder why and think it adds the element of laughter to the quilt. Great layout and writing!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Mary! You definitely go the "quirks" part right – LOL!

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    Great inspiration for me, I even have a plan in my head after seeing this post, thanks!

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    I love everything about this page. Your lettering is phenomenal!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Kimberly – I struggle so much with my lettering – it’s always practice, practice practice!

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    Oh My Goodness, Girl! This is amazing! ‘Crazy Quilting" was once a passion of mine, and this even brought back some old memories for me, and sure enough, laughter, as I see you girls laughing and having fun. 😉 Thank you for this, Lorraine – it’s awesome! Also, I LOV*E your hand lettering – it turned out so beautifully!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you so much Sue – so glad it brought you back to a happy place!

  11. Roben-Marie Smith

    I love how you quilted the papers and photo…very clever and so cute!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Sabrina – I feel like these girls are my heart!

  12. Kathy Perry

    Wow…this is totally AWESOME! And I think your idea to add the blue was perfect! Great stitching!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks so much Kathy – I am really happy you liked it. Thanks for commenting!

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    Love this page. It blends all of my (past and present) creative passions (art journal, scrapbooking, fiber arts) into one wonderful piece. The blue really pulls the whole piece together IMHO. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      So glad you like it Crystal! I can only imagine what you will create with yours!

  14. cindy arrington

    Lorraine, you inspire me to keep practicing with that dip pen…your lettering is beautiful. I love your quilt idea and nothing, but nothing beats laughing with friends. Well done.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks Cindy – I have to admit it is one of the most frustrating things I have ever used, but by gosh I am going to keep at it! So glad you were inspired – thanks for taking a minute to comment today 🙂

  15. Avatar

    How wonderful, and inspirational! I really like this idea for framing photos.

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