Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Progress made on the Obama Quilt

I love this time of year....The holiday season always brings warm thoughts to mind about being with family; playing games and staying cozy inside the house. When it's cold outside, that's when I'm the most creative. Living here in Southern California it's very seldom that we have very cold temperatures. Winter officially began this past weekend. The weather was overcast; just perfect to help unleash my creative juices. I reviewed my animal photos from safari and did some preliminary sketches of the "big five". They'll be water color photos that will be revealed soon. I also did the some piecing on the Obama Quilt. I'm in love with the main focus of the quilt; the stars section of a flag featuring a ink painting of President elect Obama; but not so please with the photo collage to be featured in the stripes portion of the quilt. Consequently, I decide to also fabric paint these photo vignettes onto the stripes. Decisions, decisions!!! Just below are photos of the quilt in progress. Tell me what you think.
Living Creatively,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ultimate vacation over..Back to work!

I've been home several weeks now from the vacation of my lifetime......The South African Cape Town Visit and Safari at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve. It's been a little hard unwinding and getting back into the swing of things from the time away. Since arriving back to work almost two weeks ago, I've been quite busy including two business trips out of town. Eeek! Sadly, I've past my studio several times this weekend and peaked in.... I need to get back to my craft table...pronto! Undoubtedly, my travels have provided great inspiration for future project. During safari, I witness so many magnificent things. Someone asked of me "What was the most incredible thing you saw?" There were many things that compete for the most incredible; but I think the most unusual was witnessing the determination of the dung beetle pushing his neatly rolled pile of elephant"s**t" back to his shared nest for his mate to lay eggs. So funny was how he tried so hard to roll this big thing up a hill and it rolled back over him. I died laughing. Yet his determination was incredible at the same time. Equally fascinating was watching lioness and their cubs devour a huge Cape Buffalo. I've attached a picture of this phenomena. The "Circle of Life", survival of the fittest, that's what it's all about in the Africa bush. My next water color subjects, which I'm hoping to complete by this weekend, will be of the big "5"; the lion, the camp buffalo, the leopard, elephant and rhino. I was able to see them all; up close and very personal. It was awesome and inspiring trip.. Living Creatively, Santeena

Monday, December 1, 2008

Beautiful South Africa

I'm back from beautiful South Africa! I had a wonderful time taking in the sights, meeting great people and sampling fantastic foods. And yes, I did get some great inspirations for future art projects from my experiences, including beautiful scenery like views of Cape Town's famous Table Mountain and from animal sightings during safari. Check out the great shot of the 16 year old female leopard seen while out on a game drive at Mala Mala Reserve... Awesome! From the huge collection of photos I've taken during this trip, I'm having a difficult time choosing which ones to try to reproduce as water color images. Way too many great shots to choose from! Stay tuned for my decisions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Indaba - Conference (it means 'an item of news' in Zulu)

Indaba! Certainly an item of good news. 48 hours before my flight leaves from LAX to London, and then on to South Africa. Wow, I can't believe this exciting time had finally arrived. Those who know me, are well aware of my gibber jabber about this trip. Africa with all it's majestic and wonder is a place that I will finally behold in the next few days. I've packed my water color travel kit with the intent to capture some magical moments of nature. Great if I do, but also okay if I don't. I plan to live in moment during this memorable time, relax and count my blessings. The last leg of my journey has me staying at the Mala Mala Main Camp Reserve near the Sabi Sands river in Kruger National Park. Featured are a little flavor of what Mala Mala Main Camp has to offer; excellent game viewing and wonderful accommodations. I'll be taking a break away from blogging while in paradise. I'm certain however, that my creative spirit will be alive and well. I'll capture Africa's beauty through photography and sketches or maybe not! What I do know is that I this time will be very special...and Thank God, as always for my blessings... Living Creatively, Santeena

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Everybody's All-American

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES..Barack Obama!.. I'm elated with the election of Senator Obama. What a triumph for all Americans and the world. Yes he's "Everybody's All-American". I kept the promised to myself to create a fiber arts piece inspired by our new prez. This wall quilt, which will be approximately 36 " x 24 " will be designed as an American Flag with the stars section featuring Tsukineko ink sketch of the new president. The red and white stripes will feature a photo collage also of the president, his family and the many Americans of all races and creeds who make up the melting pot of our great country. The beauty of photographing your art is that you can see the progression of your work as you go along. In the photo of the ink drawing I just whipped out, you can clearly see that the color value is off. The colors need more blending. This will help with more realistic shadows on his face. I love going back and tweaking my pieces! It's an opportunity to practice the craft more. So back to the drawing board with this drawing. I hope to have the entire piece featured in a preliminary form by the end of this week. I've entitled it "Everybody's All-American" and hope to display it at an inauguration party at the beginning of January. Until then, "Living Creatively" Santeena

Everybody's All-American

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 44th President of the United States.. Barack Obama!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve Excitement

I can clearly remember when I was a little girl how excited my sisters and I were each Christmas Eve. I was closest to my sister Deborah who is just three years younger than me. Deb and I shared a room. Each Christmas Eve, we could hardly sleep in anticipation of the toys that Santa Claus was to leave for us because in those weeks just prior to Christmas, we of course were not naughty, but nice. On the eve of the Presidential Election, I feel the same way. I'm so excited. I'm excited for America. I feel confident my candidate of choice will win this election and go on to create wonderful change for this country and all americans. I just learned that my presidential choice Senator Barack Obama has won the first community election; the one held in the Dixville Knotch, New Hampshire community election with collection of 15 votes for Obama, versus 6 votes for John McCain. YEAH, O-B-A-M-A! Remember my creative link to the senator? Yes, I still have the vision of the Obama Fiber Art piece floating around in my mind. I've promised myself that I will start piecing this quilt this weekend. I just need a little reprieve from all this election excitement and then I will get to humming on my Bernina. Godspeed Barack Obama! You are indeed loved!
Living Creatively, Sandra

Monday, October 27, 2008

What I know for sure...

Was in the San Francisco this past weekend for the "O" You Conference at the Moscone Center. The Bay Area weather was just perfect!. Got a chance to met with while I was there a couple of fabulous quilters who just happen to be friends; Jeanette from Powder Springs, Georgia and Ann from Terra Verde, Florida. I met these two wonderful chicks during a couple of travels to Negril, Jamaica for Quilting Retreats hosted my my first and favorite quilting teacher Lisa Sheppard Stewart. It's great to be able to catch up with others who have the same love for fabric and quilt design. These ladies are truly very talented! Speaking of talented, although not expected, we were blessed with the presence of Oprah Winfrey. I got this quick shot of her as she graced the main stage. Oprah's best friend Gayle King alluded that Ms. Winfrey may make an appearance at the end of the day and she certainly did! The conference overall was much like many very well put together business conferences I've been to in the past. Great speakers (love, love loved Suzie Orman - she inspired and scared me at the same time!) were right on with the messages they delivered. Beautiful women, young, older, white, black, straight and gay - Yes, all women were all represented in attendance which I thought was just great. What I know for sure it that all people, but especially we as women basically want the same things: We want health and security for our families; we want equal opportunity in the work place; we want to be cherished by those we love; last, but not least, we want some time away to renew. I certainly got my time to renew this weekend...for that I'm grateful.. As always, Living creatively, Sandra

Monday, October 20, 2008

C-R-E-A-T-E-tively me!

Learning new techniques to express art forms in different media is important to me. Clearly seeing shadow and forms in design and then being able to replicate what I see on cloth art comes natural. However, I'm always looking for new ways to upgrade my skills. To that end, I finally got a chance to take the portrait class from Patt Blair working with Tsukineko Inks and Fabrico pens. Patt is a wonderful painter, quilter and teacher! Tsukineko inks are a fabulous brand of Japanese inks that when applied with a cotton stump like tool really yield nice results. I needed to formally learn the technique of using these inks, because I plan to incorporate this media into my future fiber art pieces featuring portraits. I'm a great admirer of the work of Hollis Chatelain. Hollis is a phenomenal artist and quilter. I'm in awe of her work, especially her depiction of African portrait images recreated from her experiences her times in Africa. I'm so excited that next spring she will be teaching in the Northern California area. I'll ber sure to sign up as quick as possible to get some good learning from Ms. Chatelain. Check out my first ink drawing piece featuring my niece Shaunna. I think it's a fairly good representation of her. This work was done with the inks on a faint pink muslin cloth. The warm tones of her skin are developed from sand, truffle and believe it or not, purple color inks. Not quite sure how I will eventually piece and quilt it. We'll see! As always...
C-R-A-T-E-tively me! Sandra

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Textures Exhibit - Reception October 10th - Spectacular!

The Textures Exhibit at the Merc is currently running through December 7th here in Temecula. Our opening night reception this past Friday evening was a huge success! Beautiful quilts large and small were eloquently displayed throughout the foyer of the gallery. A notable standout was Kris Estenger's "Figuratively Speaking" featuring her signature subject dress pattern, this time with several found objects most notably car parts. Our Textures group did a fantastic job at putting on this show. Every single member worked very hard in doing their part to make this show a success, in particular our group organizer Carol Niles, she did an awesome job at pulling the show all together! All Textures members were present at the opening night reception along with their family and friends. My "50th Year" quilt finally made its debut. Here's a shot of me with fellow Texture member Phyllis Binkley discussing this piece. Plans are already in the works for making next's years exhibit even more of a success. Can't wait!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

40 Days and Counting!

The trip of my lifetime to South Africa is just 40 Days away! I can't wait. With my schedule being as hectic at work as it is and also the last minute tweaking I'm doing to my fiber art pieces before their exhibits, I'm about to crash and burn! I'm so ready for a needed vacation. This trip to South Africa is my gift to myself for my 50Th birthday. It also serves as a sort of rites of passage into the second half of my life. This fantastic voyage is made up of many segments starting with a day lay over in London after a 10 hour flight from LAX. Whew! From London I take another 12 hours flight into Cape Town, the sort of Beverly Hills of South Africa. After several days gallivanting in Cape Town, I then move on by motor coach through the beautiful Garden Route of the Western Cape in South Africa stopping at a charming coastal city named Knysna, known for it's beautiful beaches, lagoons and tasty oysters for eating. I then travel on further to two more exciting cities, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg for sites and then finally spending four days in Kruger National Park at the Mala Mala Main Camp Game Resort for safari. Without a doubt this trip is life changing with each stop sure to yield very special memories. It is the safari portion of this trip that I most look forward to! On safari I will hopefully see the "big five" which is the lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and the water buffalo. I'm also certain to see my favorite animal, the glamorous giraffe or as I lovingly refer to them as "tall blondes". Anyone who knows me well is aware of my strange love of giraffe's; there featured in every form all over my house and featured in many pieces of my artwork. I can't wait to see them once again up close. Here's a candid shot of me several years ago at the San Diego Wild Animal park feeding a tall blond trying to get ready for my safari! I plan to take many pictures of course. I hope to paint and quilt amazing images from this adventurist trip.....

Living Creatively,


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Textures Exhibit - Reception October 10th

Time sure flies! It's almost time for the Textures Fiber Art Exhibit featuring the much talked about "50th Year Quilt" at the Merc Gallery here in Temecula California. D uring the same period, I'll be featuring the "Green Quilt" over at the Temecula Library. How exciting! These are the first of several showings I plan on participating in the near future. I'm loving this time in my life. So much to look forward to! My work keeps me busy during the day, and my crafts (fiber arts and oil painting) have me busy during the evenings and weekend. I took a needed day off today to relax, reflect and then finally to plan the details of the next several weeks... Stay tuned...

Living Creatively, Sandra

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

POTUS 08 - "Easy on the eyes"!

It's a historical election year. For the first time in a long time, we have a exciting new voice in American in the form of Barrack Obama, an African American who is running for the President of the United States. I couldn't be more elated! As an African American woman; I'm proud of his accomplishments and I fully support his political platform. I will proudly cast my vote for him on November 4th!

Now what does this political statement on my candidate of choice have to do with art? My mother use to say that when a man was very attractive that he was "easy on the eyes". How appropriate! This is certainly true of Mr. Obama. I've collected dozens of pictures of him (incidentally, looking very presidential) that I'm carefully placing into a paper collage, one that will then be fitted into a patriotic quilt that will become part a permanent part of my personal collection.

Regardless of whether or not my choice becomes the next POTUS, this is a wonderful time for me. I never thought that I would see this phenomenon in my lifetime...I'm so proud and will reflect these feelings via my fiber piece... I'll keep you posted.

Living Creatively, Santeena

Monday, September 1, 2008

Beads, trinkets, feathers and more beads

Hey there....

Well, for the two art quilts I'm feverishly working on to have completed by September 13th. I finally finished the piecing for each quilt top and I'm now onto the fine details of embellishment. Although this process is sometimes very time consuming; the need to place each bead "just in the right spot" is critically important. A long process, but the part of the quilting process I enjoy the best. On the 50th Year Quilt, I've chosen adrinka buttons, african beads, cowrie shells, feathers and trinkets. These fun items are all just waiting to be picked for careful placement on this very personal quilt. After it's showing, this art piece will definitely be a fixture in my personal collection. I just need to find the right spot for it on a wall in my home....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


My 50th Year Quilt is once again going through metamorphosis. What is this, the third change? Oh well! I'm a firm believer that you must really feel comfortable with the way each of your projects evolve and how they are completed. And this quilt is no exception. Suddenly it's evolving in the right direction. I'm happy with this latest representation. It now evokes the emotion I have about turning 50; spending time in Africa celebrating this monumental time in my life...As Martha Stewart would say " It's a good thing". Here's a snapshot of the new African dress print in the quilt..a new block, new placement of beads, trinkets - a whole new feel!

How to make an American Quilt

As usual, I fell asleep with the TV on. Sometime early this morning I woke up, and the movie "How to make an American Quilt" was on. This movie is about several women in Grasse, a small town outside Bakersfield, CA. It details their relationships, both past and present. Each story is cleverly told by each woman through flashback stories. They have intimate conversations about their lifes over the construction of a beautiful group quilt. The women carefully share both past pains and hopes for a promising future. It's a smart movie from the novel of the same name written by Whitney Otto. A New York Times book review said. "It's a tribute to an art form that allowed women self expression even when society did not." I so agree! I just remembered I had the book and hadn't yet read it. What have I been waiting for? I plan to fit it to my incredible busy schedule this week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It was definitely time to tweak

This past weekend, I was consumed with working on the two quilts I have in the upcoming local exhibits. The "Green" quilt is coming along nicely. A friend of mine Della previewed both quilts. She's put in first dibs on this quilt that I aptly named " It's not easy being Green" . However, I'm having some issues with pulling together the overall look for My 50th Year piece. After I fully quilted the dark background for this piece, I decided I didn't like it and without hesitation quickly cut the quilted dress body away from the background....How traumatic! All that time I put into trying to carefully quilt (and I'm the worse quilter) between the patterned design of the background fabric only to cut it away. It be's that way sometime! I've attached a new lighter zebra print background, with a golden dupioni silk inside and various animal print outside borders. See just to the upper right. Much better.. Now check out the new overall look of the quilt below.. The light field spaces on the zebra fabric will allow me to put the Adrinka symbol meanings in a readable space. It's hard to make changes. But I've learned over the years, to keep an open mind with design process. Change is good, especially as we try to recreate something or ourselves, patience is a virtue.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Being Green

Okay...Here's my tribute to the "Green Craze": My new quilt featured in full view just to the right "It's not easy being green!" My motivation for creating this whimsical homage to the concept of being attuned to the environment, is from my looking at how difficult it's been for me to try to be "green conscious" at all times. I do try, but I'm not where I need to be with this process. I think we all fall a little short here, but we'll get there...!

More on the quilt. It's the Drunkard Path's block, with cute drawings that I've added of green characters I've embellished the character's hair with felting and couched cording. I'm in the process of adding beads, and other trinkets, then I will quilted borders with variegated thread. I should finished this project this weekend.. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I remember that UFO

In any hobby or interest, one gets bored from time to time, and will suddenly abandon the project they're currently working on to start something new, something fresh. In the fiber arts world we call these abandon projects... "unfinished objects" or UFO's. Today I had the urge to go back and pull a couple ( I have about a dozen UFO's) of these pieces. Some of them I couldn't remember; but one stood out and I also remembered the time first begun and motivation for that piece. Something in my soul told me that it's this quilt's time for finalization. I found myself staring at this journal quilt with new eyes, combined with some new ideas. I used these new ideas on this soon to be "Ex-UFO". I've come to realize that life in general it's a good thing to "put something on the shelf" or make it a UFO for a minute. then later move it along, make process and finally.... COMPLETION!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Banner Details - Introducing "Papillon"

I do love Santeena's posted banner which I've proudly named "Papillon". The name is french for butterfly, a subject I used frequently. The pastel drawn face on the quilt is that of my niece Shaya. She reminds me somewhat of a butterfly; young, beautiful and free. For Shaya's hair, I use alpaca hair, needle punched on felt and embellished with beading, fiber stands, and faux flowers. I'm will finish the embellishments hopefully this weekend, refining details (adding real lashes, etc) , then give it a simple quilted background and finally photographing it again for a new and improved banner posting on the blog. I plan to feature this piece in a local showing at the Temecula Library this Fall. There's also the Textures Fiber Arts exhibit at the Merc and the trip to South Africa, all this fall. So many exciting things these to come.... I can't wait!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back home in the studio

Finally back home in my studio from the travel to Long Beach for IQF. The exhibits at this show were fantastic, I got much inspiration from several pieces there. When I returned to my work station, I had exactly in mind how I wanted to proceed with the 50th Year Quilt. As I pieced, then tweaked a couple fabrics and embellishments placed on this quilt, I smiled. I know I'm really onto something with this piece.. You'll see it soon. Sandra

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fun with Elinor Peace Bailey - Art Dolls at IQF

Well, it's 11pm and I'm settling down in my hotel room after an evening class making Small Art Dolls to wear. Elinor Peace Bailey, the instructor for the class is extremely talented and so entertaining. I have to admit, I'm exhausted and need to close my eyes, because I have an early morning lecture to attend regarding, what else? Making art dolls! I so love being in the company of extremely creative people. If you have an open mind, you can glean so many different ideas of how to approach your next project. Already, I've seen some beading techniques this evening that I would like to incorporate in my 50th Year Quilt. Thoughts on construction: Cloth with applique African designs; spice dyed scrim tucked nicely behind; feathered and beaded headdress; and beaded robe dress, metallic quilted background. I'm certain this quilt's composition will be tweaked several times before it's completion. We'll see!

IQF - West Coast at last!

..been a little while since I've been able to write. Of course, busy with earning a living and designing two new quilt concepts: 1) one for a showing this October for the Textures Fiber Art showing in Old Town Temecula at the Merc "My 50th Year Quilt" 2)another featuring Shaunna my niece as Cleopatra. She's so excited about being featured on a quilt. Since I'm scrambling to get going to the IQF Long Beach show, I'll make this post short to just feature a preliminary set-up of the "50th Year in African Gear"quilt. It will be approximately 24" x 36" with pastel or inked painted drawing of my mug on cloth (I haven't decided yet), beads, raffia, feathers, adrinka symbols and the kitchen sink. Smile, just kidding. Take a look by scrolling down through post....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Time earmarked to quilt..

With any passion you have, there are millions of thoughts about how you envision that thing will manifest...This of course, is especially true for artist. We all have this love for creating something beautiful with our hands, then displaying each work as if it's our very first work; much like we did as children with our fingerpaint creations in kindergarten.

As a new fiber artist, I've surrounded myself with like minded people who have the same passion about creating with cloth and fibers. I was with a group of art quilters this past weekend. We spoke of our works as if they are our offspring! It's actually quite entertaining! Quilting has so many facets to it. There's of course, beautiful traditional quilts with very precise lines and angles; that tend to be more functional i.e. used as bed covers. Then there's my favorite, the art quilts which really have no rules except that the piece must have the three layers and we proudly display then on walls for all to see! I can spend the rest of my days planning, purchasing fabrics and knick knacks for the project and then creating to my hearts content.

I'm business consultant (my day job). It's how I earn a living. Being an artist is my part-time (night job)....is my fabulous escape into a world of color, texture and form. I gleefully mix all these things neatly into something fun to look at. My challenge has been to find the time to quilt several times a week. I've decided that I will earmark at least one hour each day to right down and then at least sketch thoughts of my proposed art pieces. Planning this way will always keep the creative piece for me fresh. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes in coming days. Check out my new art quilts just posted to the blog below. Please let me know your thoughts.. Sandra

Monday, June 30, 2008

Here we go..!

Here we go! In my wildest dreams I would never imagine starting a blog. The whole concept of keeping an on-line journal seemed so foreign to me. I do believe keeping some sort of record of thoughts, ideas and such in general is a good thing. Even though we’re not aware of it, we all journal activities or make lists of “to do” or “done” items perhaps on a daily basis. The thing that’s wildly different and captivating about web logging is that people like me have a new format; a space that can be gussied up to feature our thoughts to totally bore and/or entertain our friends and family about what’s going on in our heads. Well, since I signed up for this space, decorated and aptly named it after my alter-ego “Santeena” I’m going to have at it! Santeena is musing…. She’s got some interesting thoughts mostly about her loves; for art, for travel and relationships in her life she is so blessed to have.

Many of you already know that Santeena is a doll a created for a reader’s challenge in Quilting Arts Magazine (please see art slide show for a view of Santeena). Her moniker is a combination of my name, Sandra and one of my idols, Tina Turner. Everyone knows that Ms. Tina has gams to die for. Her legs are legendary no doubt. But more importantly for me, Ms. Turner is a symbol of someone who successfully reinvented themselves from being famous as a lead member of the Ike and Tina Turner revue, to Tina Turner solo act and mega stardom at 45 years old. Tina is now 68 years old and going on a world tour! Who knew?

Okay, you’re saying what does this have to do with you Sandra? You don’t have the same gams as Tina and you certainly can’t sing? Tina and I were at the same point in mid-life when we acknowledge to ourselves we needed to step out on a limb and take the talent we did have to the next level…. Hence Studio Santeena; an outlet to unleash this creative energy of mine through art (journal quilts, paintings, writings,etc). Through Santeena’s Musing, I invite you to come along and share with me as I explore my passions for art and the likes. I promise a couple things; to always be transparent and never to be dull. C-ya soon, in the meantime do check out my slide shows of Santeena’s happenings.. Sandra

"First Kiss"

"First Kiss"

Cheetah Girl

Cheetah Girl
QA Reader Challenge "Inner Animal"

Little Freida

Little Freida
I just love Freida Kahlo!

Madam Butterfly

Madam Butterfly
Inked / Thread painted face with 3D hair bun

"Hello down there!"

"Hello down there!"
Rare find of shrimp like creature in a iceshaft in Anartica

Kiss of a Rose

Kiss of a Rose
Quilt Visions "Fantasy Flowers" Challlenge

Spring Bouquet

Spring Bouquet
Another quilted portrait with 3D organza lillies and leaves

Quilted Denim Jacket

Quilted Denim Jacket
Close up of Shaunna's quilted photo


Cherrywood fabric challenge - Lion King's travelling show

Elephant at Mala Mala Safari Lounge

Elephant at Mala Mala Safari Lounge
Couldn't resist posting this water color work of an elephant on safari

Leopard at night

Leopard at night
Another watercolor


My quilted rendition of the proud Apache leader

Something to think about....

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up"

Pablo Picasso