Tag Archives: Art Pillows

Creativity: Art Pillows Galore!

Pile of art pillows made by Paula Manning-Lewis

Pile of pillows currently in my studio and available for purchase!

Do you love soft things like I do? Then I have a sweet art pillow you may LOVE! I finished up a new heart pillow yesterday. It has stripes of green, yellow and red on one side and my daisy art fabric on the other side.

I really LOVE making these sweetheart pillows! They are the perfect size to take with you when traveling by car, bus, train or airplane. They make a great neck pillow! Plus, with a neck pillow like this, you will be the envy of your fellow travelers! Just fit the crook of the heart on the back of your neck. Perfect fit.

As with ALL of my pillow designs, you can have a custom pillow made, choosing your own favorite fabrics and colors. Contact me directly at plewis11@comcast.net for more information. Don’t forget, I also make “Memorial pillows” to help you remember your lost loved ones, using a favorite shirt or any piece of clothing.

I’m working on releasing some other fabric designs very soon. If you have any thoughts on any of my images you would love to see in fabric form, please let me know! I’m open to suggestions.

Next up, more peace sign pillows! Stay tuned or better yet, subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner of this page for automatic updates. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! Have a glorious, love filled day!

 

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Creativity: Memorial Pillow

I’ve posted about my Memorial pillows before, last month actually. Today, I’m working on another one, commissioned by the same person who commissioned the first pillows I made. Let’s just say he was happy with my work! 🙂 If you don’t know what Memorial pillows are, check out my previous blog post about them. 🙂

photo of memorial pillow commission I'm working on

Memorial pillow commissioned by a client

Do you have items you would like me to make a memorial pillow from? Contact me via email (plewis11@comcast.net) or comment here for more information. You can also go directly to my Etsy listing for your own custom memorial pillow HERE.

If you don’t want a pillow, I can make just about anything you can come up with, a doll? a quilt or blanket? A wall hanging? You name it and we can discuss all the details, ie, price, size, etc.

I hope you are all having a lovely day! Thank you so much for reading my blog! 🙂

Friday Funday: Artist Date!

 

Friday is Funday in my art studio. I like to put aside all the “business” stuff and have a day to play and enjoy being an artist. Julia Cameron, who wrote the book, “The Artist’s Way”, which I read for the first time almost 20 years ago, recommends taking yourself on an “Artist date”. This is something you do to feed your inner artist. Whether it be going to an art supply store and browsing supplies, or going to an art gallery or museum and looking at art for inspiration. You can do what I do and play in your studio or wherever you make your art.

I forget about this a lot of the time but it’s a great idea! Not just for artists either! EVERYONE should have self dates to feed their creativity or their spirit. You can go it alone or with a friend. Museums and galleries always fuel my inspiration. There is nothing quite like seeing what other artists are doing to light a fire deep inside me to create something new. I recently made a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe with some out of town visitors. Georgia’s work has always had a way of making me want to go out into the desert and paint a landscape. Even though it’s been YEARS since I painted a landscape!

This week, I decided to stay in the studio and paint. This would seem like a normal day in the studio for me but for Friday Funday it’s all about being free and not trying to control what I’m painting. No judgements, no mistakes, just FUN!

8 x 10" oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, "Abstract flower".

Playing with paint today this 8 x 10″ oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, “Abstract flower”.

Today, as everyday, I started with a 20 minute meditation. I had another painting show itself to me today (see above). Before this week, it had been about a year since I had taken out the paints and brushes. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was looking for something new to do. My thinking was I needed to make art that was functional. Something that would be used and not just hung on a wall or stuck in a closet.

It started last summer with creating an adult coloring book. Interactive art! I hand drew 20 mandalas and published my own book. Now available in printed and pdf format in my Etsy shop.

After the coloring book I was reminded of how much I enjoy sewing and pulled my dusty old sewing machine out of the closet, and had it cleaned up and serviced so it would work again! I found Spoonflower.com and designed my own custom fabric using my art. I started making dolls and art pillows using my custom art fabric.

Now that I’ve totally taken a tangent from my original topic, I will come back around to say it’s all related! Art and creativity is all about play! It’s about going with the flow and creating whatever comes to mind. Why be pigeonholed by painting? Painters can create in other mediums too. The coloring book project forced me to pull out pencils and markers to make line drawings. The sewing project took me completely out of my normal creation zone and back to being a kid who made dolls for the State Fair. Not to mention creating custom fabric bringing out the graphic designer in me to create designs in photoshop.

What I’ve learned from the whole process is sometimes it’s important to do things differently. When we feel like we are in a rut, shake things up! Get out of your comfort zone. Instead of painting, try your hand at ceramics or sewing! I still have an urge to make pottery, but haven’t gotten that far just yet. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

What should I blog about?

I have some photos to show you of recent art pillows I’ve completed. Other than that, I cannot think of anything to blog about! I’m going to leave it up to my readers. What do YOU think I should blog about? What are you interesting in hearing about from me? What artist stuff do you want to know? Now, hold back a second, I’m not opening this up to ANYTHING! I want serious ideas here people! 😉 Process, progress, thoughts, ideas? What do you want to know about this artist? Thank you so much for any input and feedback! 🙂 I want you to WANT to read my blog, I want it to be interesting to YOU! I already know what I’m interested in, what I don’t know, is what YOU are interested in. Please, let me know! In the meantime, I will share some photos of my latest #Artpillows! All 3 of these pillows and others are available in my Etsy shop. Follow the link to see them all!

Recycling

shreddingwool2

shredding wool

I have been living with guilt. For the past few years I’ve thought an awful lot about recycling and reusing. As an artist who paints on canvas, I had a real problem with what to do about putting more STUFF out in the world. In my personal life, I’ve always been good about recycling and not wasting ANYTHING. I recycle everything I can. I’ve purged so much stuff out of my life. I consider myself a minimalist. I only buy my clothes used at thrift stores, except for underwear, socks and sometimes shoes. I take my own bags to the grocery store. We compost our organic trash. I even save water as much as possible since I live in the desert.

In my art life however, I’ve been faced with a dilemma. Not only do I use brand new canvas and wood stretcher bars for my original paintings, I use toxic paints. This is not an eco-friendly way to be. I switched to water soluble oil paints over ten years ago. So, I no longer use the solvents needed for cleaning up after using regular oil paints. Still, I use wood from trees and the canvas is manufactured somewhere.

I have racked my brain for ways to reuse more and not use toxic substances in my art. I  paint on recycled items, old vinyl records, beat up guitars, old furniture.

My recent change to sewing has helped so much with my new mind set. I reuse old clothing, upcycle sweaters into new items. Now that I’m making pillows and dolls I have to use something to stuff with that is soft and fluffy. I’ve done a lot of searching online and found so many different eco-friendly ways to stuff my creations! I never would have thought about stuffing my dolls with animal hair, or plastic bags?! Honestly, I didn’t think those were very good ideas. The animal hair? I’m allergic to it, and I know I’m not the only one! Plastic bags? Too much crinkly crunchy noise from the plastic! No thanks.

shredding wool

Using my rotary cutter and straight edge, I cut thin strips from the sweater and then cut crosswise to make soft little wool pieces.

The one idea I really like is shredding old wool sweaters. I had one here in my studio from another sweater recycling project, so I decided to test the idea. I used my rotary cutter and straight edge to cut the sweater into strips and then cut crosswise to make little pieces. There was a lot of fuzz from those little pieces! What a mess! I made two small pillow forms and filled one with fiber-fill and the other with shredded sweater pieces. I washed the pillow with the sweater pieces to see how it held up.

wool filled pillow form

Wool filled pillow form, you can see it’s a little lumpy, but still very soft!

I’m pretty impressed with how it came out. The wool pieces are a bit more lumpy than the fiber fill, not quite as fluffy and soft, but still a nice cushy pillow. My thinking is I’m making decorator pillows and not really sleeping pillows, so I don’t think they need to be super soft. What do you think?

The shredded sweater stuffing takes a bit more time and I think I can figure out a way to make it more fluffy. I saw a blog post about someone putting chunky fibers in a blender to make it more fluff, but I haven’t tried that yet.

What I like most is reusing something old (don’t worry I wash everything in hot soapy water first!) and making something new, pretty and functional. 🙂 Granted, I’m still putting more stuff out in the world, but at least it’s eco-friendly stuff that isn’t going into a landfill! 🙂

Art Pillows

And just like that, I’m on to the next thing! This one has been on the back burner for literally years! No longer. I ordered more custom art fabric this morning and will be making a whole slew of Art Pillows. I call them art pillows because the fabric used to create the focal point of the design is printed with my own art work.

Just about any of my paintings can be turned into custom fabric. I look forward to a variety of different designs, using the art fabric and other fun fabrics and colors.

So far, I’ve made two pillows. The first one is made using my “Heart Love” design. Both pillows are available in my Etsy shop.

back of Heart Love Art Pillow, a nice soft suede upholstery sample

back of Heart Love Art Pillow, a nice soft suede upholstery sample

Side view of Heart Love Art Pillow

Side view of Heart Love Art Pillow

The second pillow was made using a variety of fabric scraps and an upholstery sample I had in my studio. In addition to my “Art Pillows” with the custom art fabric, I am making pillows using scraps and upcycled/recycled fabric samples and sewing notions.

photo of polka dot patchwork pillow

Back of Polka Dot Patchwork Pillow

Back of Polka Dot Patchwork Pillow

Side view of Polka Dot Patchwork Pillow

Side view of Polka Dot Patchwork Pillow