Monday, December 8, 2014

On the JOB - Arts in Healthcare

 We had two successful events during the month of November that turned out  very nicely. We celebrated Arts and Health Month at the VCU Medical Center by having an Arts and Craft Sale and an Arts in Healthcare Day. We also celebrated Native American Heritage Month by inviting Native American dancers to perform.
Vendor table I set up for the Arts and Crafts Sale. I had the following on display: art quilts, echo line drawings, photography, hand-painted pillows, portrait pillows and a couple books of my work. 

Doing arts and crafts with a caretaker during the Arts in Healthcare Day.
Native American Dancers performing in the Gateway Building on the ground floor.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fabric Handmade Dolls - popular!

Since the dolls I made, thanks to, are so popular, I've decided to create my own pattern to make for selling. Not sure how I will do it but it will be a cross between a cabbage patch and a raggedy ann doll because I definitely like the facial details over the button eyes as well as the thickness over the thinness. We shall see.
Doll for Julia with real hair from her locs she cut off right before her chemotherapy treatment. I used fabric paint for the face and gave her a necklace. Makes a great legacy doll.
Third doll I made. I was a bit more lazy with the face this time, opting to buy stick-on eyes and drawing the lip with a fabric marker. I also got ribbon happy and decided to name her Unique. I also gave her "highlights." Currently, I'm working on her brother.

First doll I made in which I hand stitched (embroidered) her entire face. She has button decorations on her shirt and skirt. This doll was given to a cousin for Christmas who had just had a baby girl.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Echo Line Drawings by Unicia Buster

How to Do Echo Line Drawings
by Unicia Buster

Materials: Fountain pen, drawing paper

How to:
Start with a line, the ends of which go the edge of the paper. The line needs to be wavy, curly, zigzag or a combination. Straight lines will not give an interesting effect.

Echo this line by outlining as close to the original line without touching it. Do this on both sides.

Continue echoing the newly drawn lines until the paper is filled. Make sure to fill in any loops created.

Our lives are like these lines. We each have one beginning (birth) and one ending (death). But rarely are our paths in life straight. We experience times when things are hectic, or when we feel like we are going in circles or when it’s smooth sailing. Along the way, we interact with others whom we affect or we have an effect on. Sometimes people we meet have a negative effect, thereby creating a ripple in our own line. These drawings can be made elaborately or simple. Try adding shapes, color or multiple lines. Like in life, sometimes you have to see where the road takes you.



"Spoon Fed"

"Hold My Hand"

"Alone in a Sea of Curls"


"Love Song"

"Rhythm Waves"

"People Unite"


"Flower Garden"


For purchasing information, please email Prices range from $55 - $75, including frame. Sizes are 7.5" x 9.5" (drawing) and 15" x 12" frame. Price does not include shipping. Thank you.

You can download and print this instruction sheet.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Almost Halloween! Facepainting Time!

Update: Below are the face painting I did for 2014 during the week of Halloween. I had a blast!

I did something a little different each day of Halloween week 2014. Monday, I did The Lorax; Tuesday, I was Cookie Monster; Wednesday, I was a unicorn; Thursday, I was a peacock; Friday, I was the Bride of Frankenstein and later that evening, Medusa; and Saturday, I was Harley Quinn. I also did quite a few other faces at the hospital, co-workers and patients, as well as at my church - eyes on eyes, Hello Kitty, puppy, Winnie the Poo and Olaf. Until next time....

One of the things I love about my job is the versatility I have when doing art activities with patients and their visitors. As in years past, I will be doing face painting in the lobby and in a few of the clinics. Of course, I can not post pictures of patients/visitors but here are some pics face painting I did on myself (one for each year that I've been working here at VCU Medical Center) and one on my roommate. I can't wait to see what I come up with this year. I think I'm going to make-up my face each day of the week of October 27th.
Myself as a tiger, ice princess and carnival-reveler and Shanaye as a forest nymph (2011-2013).

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fabric Doll and Hand-painted Pillows

I absolutely love making these dolls that June Lily's blog Make It and Love it ( This is my third doll.

This is nine small pillows stitched together. I hand-painted the pillow fronts with black 3D fabric paint and fabric markers in silver on one and black on the others (the text). I was continue the line art idea with a different medium than the drawings I'd done.

Art Show at Stony Point VCU Medical Center Clinic

These are pictures from my art show at the VCU Medical Center at Stony Point earlier this year. I didn't sell any but doing the pieces was worth it. This was my therapy when I was going through my rough patch right before and right after my surgery.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Art After Surgery

I know I've been MIA for a while. I had surgery March 4 and was home bound for 3 months. During that time, it was difficult to do art. I thought I would be able to do all kinds of art until I realized all I could manage was a pen and drawing paper. The above drawing is one of those drawing. I joined the website Check it out for all the drawings I did leading up to this one.

I will be getting back to the grind now that I'm back on my feet (literally) and doing art again. Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I'm finally going to begin work on "Metamorphasis." It's been a long time coming. I'm still going to start on the T-Shirt quilt but I figured while I have the momentum, I better get this thing rolling as well. So here are my humble beginnings:
Tried making a butterfly. Didn't like it much.

Found this stuff at my local quilting shop.

And this pretty fabric was at Walmart.

Found this illustration online. 

Traced it and added a seam allowance.

This is the end result. I used a satin stitch on the three layers (top fabric, inn-spire plus, bottom fabric). I like it but I think I won't use such a dark color thread and I think I will try it with a straight stitch instead. The thread is taking away from the pretty fabric. I thought it would look kind of like stained glass but it's not what I'm looking for. 

Based on a tutorial I saw on making a doll's fingers, I attempted to make the arm and hand for my life-sized doll.  It came out too skinny but I love the idea of using the pipe cleaners to make the fingers bendable without having to use stitching. Now I'm ready to go all the way and make the entire body.

These are definitely in the early stages and I have a long ways to go but I cannot wait to see the end result. I'm excited!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Just a Few Things I Did/Finished in the Past Month or So - Signature Wedding Quilt, Patient Quilt

Above and below is a project I started with patients at the hospital. I cut out square muslin for patients to decorate as they saw fit, then I stitched them together. This is from over a year ago. Recently, I quilted the layers together (stitch in the ditch) and added a binding. One will go on display in one of the units at the hospital.

I saw this adorable pattern and thought I just had to try it. I made them flat instead of a pillow and I painted on the face instead of stitching. I thought that would make the project easier for patients to do. I gave the red one to my son for Valentine's Day. It was stuffed with some money.

This quilt and I have been through some tough times. I started this in March (I think) of 2013 for a wedding in May. Making the quilt top with the pinwheel design was interesting - all those points - ahhh! I gave the quilt top to the then-bride for people to sign at her wedding. She then returned it to me and sent me a photo to add in the center at a later date. I wanted to learn how to free-motion quilt, so I took a workshop (sometime in October I think). After much practice, I did free-motion quilting in the black areas, using black thread. Of course, I did this after I stitched in the ditch the three layers together. I added the binding on the edges and wa la! She's done and her owner is pleased. It was a lot of fun and it was my first traditional quilt (using a pattern, making blocks, etc.). But I think I'm going back to my art quilt world. 
I have to say, I'm on a roll with my New Year's Resolution. I've finished three old projects thus far. Next up: a T-shirt quilt for my girl Mel.