Random Musings on Art and LIfe


Learn from my Marking Pencil Mistake

June 30, 2021

There are few things more frustrating than mistakes that can be avoided. In this post, I share my mis-adventure with a marking pencil — and how you can avoid this mistake in your fabric art projects.

Beautiful Beaded Stitches for StarFlower 6

April 1, 2021
Beaded stitches on stitched painting by Shelly Stokes

I put the last of the beaded stitches on StarFlower 6 a few days ago, just in time for a visit from a photographer. One of the beaded stitches is an old favorite, but the others a new to my Paint•Stitch•Bead toolbox. Let’s take a look. Beaded Wheatear Stitch For the slender pink elements, I…

8 Ways to make a Beaded Heavy Chain Stitch

February 4, 2021

A month or so ago, I started experimenting with Beaded Heavy Chain Stitch, first with the stitch itself and then adding beads. And now I have eight different versions to play with! Who knew that a couple of hours of play would create so many possibilities? My first thought was to add the beads to…

I’m dreaming of a Talavera Awning

January 20, 2021

Does the current state of the world have you dreaming about crazy stuff? Has lock-down fever finally got the best of you? Well, I know I’m getting a bit stir-crazy when I start dreaming about a Talavera Awning.  I know that sounds a little crazy. And no, I don’t literally want an awning made from…

Stitched Paintings by Shelly Stokes

January 6, 2021

As we begin the new year, I’m making time to celebrate a few wins from 2020. It was a challenging year, but were definitely “wins” to go with the losses. For me, one of the biggest wins was getting four of my Stitched Paintings out of the closet and into their final form. I started…

6 Steps for No Trace Freezer Paper Stencils

December 17, 2020

After getting a question from one of my students, I wanted to test cut a stencil to make sure it wasn’t too fussy for freezer paper. I was feeling too lazy to trace the design onto the freezer paper, so I cheated. And by doing so, I discovered a wonderful shortcut for making what I’ll…

How I frame a Stitched Painting

December 4, 2020

Having completed five significant five large pieces with my Paint•Stitch•Bead technique, I decided it was time to figure out how to get from finished embroidery to finished art. In short, I had to learn to frame a stitched painting. In earlier years, I turned my stitched paintings into quilted panels. But… the addition of beads…

Yes! You can Reuse a Vinyl Stencil!

October 20, 2020

A good question has come up several times over in the Paint•Stitch•Bead classroom. Is it possible to reuse a vinyl stencil? My knee-jerk reaction to this question is to say “nope — vinyl makes for a one-and-done stencil.” But is that true? Is it truly not possible to reuse a vinyl stencil? I painted this…

StarFlower 5 Complete!

July 30, 2020
StarFlower-5-Complete cover image

Completions are a big deal here at Cedar Canyon, especially when a project stretches out for months. Needless to say, I’m happy to say (shout?) StarFlower 5 Compete!!! Ahem… did I say that loudly enough? When I wrote my last update a few weeks ago, I was chuckling about the value of Ugly Brown Beads…

The Case for Ugly Brown Beads

July 18, 2020
Ugly-Brown-Beads cover image

As much as I love bright colors on dark fabric, there are times when my muse takes me off in an unexpected direction. My current project includes a lot of stitching in warm colors in graduated tones. (Think gold, rust and deep reds). It even provided the case for  — get this — ugly brown…

Are Paintstik Colors Eraser-Proof?

June 18, 2020
Paintstik-Colors-Eraser-Proof Cover Image

One of the things that makes me crazy is adding stitching to a shape and then deciding that it just doesn’t work. After several stops and starts on my current project, I knew I had to give up on lattice-work for this particular shape. But that left me facing a big (and rather scary) question.…

Fill the Hole in a Vintage Guatemalan Huipil

May 18, 2020

On a trip to Guatemala in February, I purchased a number of vintage hupiles (Guatemalan blouses) from Chichicastenango region. I loved the geometric designs in the weaving and knew they would be perfect for an upholstery project. But… when you repurpose these used garments for a project, you have to Fill the Hole. And that…