Random Musings on Art and LIfe


A First Gallery Exhibit: Contemplations in Cloth

September 22, 2021

At the beginning of the month, I had the honor of participating in my first gallery exhibit at One Division Art in Buffalo, MN. The exhibit was titled Contemplations in Cloth. I enjoyed working with gallery owner Christopher Hoffman, and shared the exhibit space with Carolyn Abbott of Brainerd, MN. Carolyn and I worked together…

How to Sign a Stitched Painting

August 20, 2021
Sign a Stitched Painting cover image

In preparation for my first gallery show, I had to solve the problem of how to sign a stitched painting. The pieces were finished. They were stretched on internal frames. They were absolutely ready for the packing crate. Except that… oops!… Nothing had a signature! Now I knew I could sign the back of the…

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…

A Talavera Awning in 4 Simple Shapes

March 5, 2021

About a month ago, I wrote about my dreams for a Talavera Awning. Today, I’m excited to say that I have an update for you. It’s going to happen! It’s going to be a Talavera Awning in 4 simple shapes! Yes, I’m excited. I see this awning design as an extension of my stitched paintings.…

Make and Use a Quick Silhouette Vinyl Stitch Guide

February 17, 2021

In my stitched paintings, I often have long, narrow shapes to fill with embroidery. A few days ago, I had the almost brilliant idea to make a Silhouette Vinyl Stitch Guide.  So what makes it “almost” brilliant? Let’s just say I learned a few things along the way.    Create a Vinyl Stitch Guide To…

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…

How I get more done with Studio Stations

November 4, 2020

A few months ago, I decided it was time for a studio make-over. I had everything I needed, but I was forever setting things up and taking them down. Thankfully, Engineer Brain had a good idea –– it was time to set up Studio Stations. The first big change was a permanent home for my…