More paper play

Not many minutes to spend playing in the last couple of days, but my thought about wetting the paper stuck in my head. So I did it.

It didn’t add quite as much texture as I thought it would.

But a little bit of crinkle is fine. And since it was thick paper, I may have been a bit rough with it. There are a couple of small holes, but they can be covered with whatever additional embellishment I do……….or they can be made a bit bigger! Don’t know which yet!

I did decide to add a tree, rather than my original thought of a woman’s form.

And after I fused it down, I had a few different ideas for what I could have done. Oh, well, not the first time that has happened!

I really do have so much fun playing like this. It’s 166% satisfying and even more relaxing! Important to play, no matter what your age!

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Paperwork–lessons learned!

This piece is not even finished and I’ve learned a lot from it already.

First, don’t grab a piece of paper for the sake of using paper.

Next, have something special planned that really requires the use of paper.

And, for goodness sake, don’t use paper for something that would give the same effect with fabric!

The paper I used was thick and simply had a nice texture so I thought it would be fine. It is, but paper wasn’t needed! And if I really wanted to have a ‘paper moon’ then I should have used some of the beautiful specialty papers that I passed by. It wasn’t horribly difficult to use, but I did try to be careful not to fold or wrinkle it. I’m tempted to play with it a bit, though and maybe wet it and crinkle it to see what happens….hmmm….

And I think I would have liked using torn paper better than this nice, precisely cut circle. Next time.

I want to add more to this and finish it up but I’m torn as to what I want to add. I have a couple of ideas—wait–this might mean I need to do this more than once! That could happen, with variations, of course! Beads. It needs beads. Lots of beads. Yep!

Planning and playing

As I sit here relaxing on the couch, enjoying the soft evening air coming in the open window, I am suddenly hit by a panic moment. Dye day is coming up in a week or so. That means time to clean out the garage and sort all the dye equipment. I have a big project on the design wall. I have workshop projects and experiments that I want to do. I’m doing some PT with my knee and hip, so have appts there. And I’m not about to miss lunch with my kids tomorrow. OMG! How am I going to get it all done? And I want to do it ALL. Now.

I’m not even going to try and find any pictures that show the mess I’m in! I’m just going to say that I will be running around and cleaning and sorting and organizing and designing………I’m planning on being a crazy woman for a few days and may not post that craziness! I’ll get you all caught up when I get caught up.

And did I mention laundry? Yeah, that, too! Aaaargh–that grass keeps right on growing, whether I want to mow or not!

I’m looking forward to some of these kind of days….

Yes, it’s spring.

For me, spring is simply planting time. I’ve always lived in rural areas, with farms and fields surrounding the small towns I love. The rhythm of my life follows the rhythm of the seasons…planting time, growing season, harvest time, resting time.

Even if the planting is a few plants in a pot,

or a little row of annuals, or a single tomato plant.

That rhythm certainly is carrying into my art practice as well as my normal activities right now. This week has been absolutely glorious for all the flowering trees. They couldn’t get one more bud on the branches. More full and beautiful than I can remember ever seeing them.

I couldn’t get the pictures out of my brain. I also wanted to have some handwork ready to go, but nothing jumped off the fabric shelves to inspire me.

Until I picked up this remnant of hand dyed wool.

And put it back. And picked it up again.

I really did not have those beautiful trees in mind when I started stitching. I simply wanted to sew. And use some of my pretty hand-dyed thread. And sew…

Suddenly it seemed as though I was making a tree trunk and some flowers. The lovely trees came to the forefront of my mind and that picture will remain as I stitch on this fabric.

This strip of fabric is long and probably will be cut into smaller segments as I go along. Certainly isn’t blue skies and sunshine, but I’m not very traditional! For the moment, it’s flowering trees. It may grow in unexpected ways, as many of my projects do.

I’m simply so happy to be stitching.

Not watching paint dry

I’ve done a post or two where I’ve been stopped in a project while waiting for paint to dry. That might happen on this project, but right now I’m waiting for the paint to arrive!

But while I wait, I’ve started to come up with a plan for the Big Idea. I sketched out a bit of a plan, which is totally unlike my usual style of working.

It’s not a ‘real’ blueprint, that I will make and stick to…it’s just an idea page. Lots of notes and what-ifs. Several methods to explore and that may happen with other and smaller projects. For this one, I want to stick with my original inspiration and concept.

And what is that? Raw edges, texture showing with batting, high contrast on top of the background, lots and lots…and lots and lots of stitching.

All the other methods and alternate avenues of exploration need to be kept under control until this one idea is finished. My mind comes up with different scenarios at lightning speed that my hands, of course, cannot keep up with. No sidetracks………….except for what I need to do to keep busy until that paint order gets here!!!!

Practice piece

Trying out stamping on my piece with white and quilting with black, as a practice for a possible method for expressing my Big Idea. As I showed you previously, the white paint is pretty transparent.

I quilted the leaves with white thread and that didn’t really add much to their definition. Next step was quilting the background in black. I knew that close stitching would work best but I didn’t want straight lines or stippling. I decided on pebbles, and liked it.

In this close up, it seems as though the white areas will end up well defined, but by the time I finished and stepped away far enough to take a picture of the whole block….

The leaves still look too transparent to me. I may go in and add more paint, but maybe not, since this is mostly for a trial run. While I was out running around, I did not stop at a shop that sold screen printing ink, but I did (finally) bite the bullet and ordered some, since I needed a few other things anyway. It should be here in a few days and I am eager to see how it works!

In the meantime, I will get that dyed batting ready to go and try to figure out and decide on a real design for this Big Idea piece. I still am very unsure of what I will do, but I love the prints with the real leaves and am leaning towards something with those.

Grandson hockey season ended today–kind of…he may play a few more games with another team and time for that always takes priority over studio time! Oh, yes, it’s still also springtime yard and garden season so it’s time to start wishing for more than 24 hours in a day. Glad I no longer stress over things that don’t get done!!!

Thinking, thinking, thinking!

Not much sewing going on right now. Mostly I am spending all my time plotting out a biiiiiiig project that jumped into my brain last week.

Part of it was trying to use up all those turquoise scraps. The pile was going down a bit at a time, until I looked in another scrap basket and found more! I piled those on the stack and decided to keep going until I USED them all. I got to a point where I eliminated the solids and used up only the prints and it worked. I made it. A huge old pile of scraps, made up into blocks. Don’t know what size any of them are, but I trimmed them up and squared them up and they are ready to be used.

That’s when the big idea hit…and I had to dye batting to use to make up all these individual blocks to fill this huge piece of wool that will be my backing!

The batting project slowed me down a bit and it’s good that it did. Lots of planning for this one. Here’s the batting drying, in the absolute darkest part of my basement, so the pic is what it is! But that batting is sturdy and took a beating and hung together well. Some of it will show, so it is now a color that will blend well and still add texture.

Now that backing—it’s 60 x 68 and part of my thinking is deciding which direction I will place it, how I will attach the top/batting…a block at a time, or quilt from the center out or one end to the other, or baste in the whole thing and quilt however I wish, or divide the design into sections. Or even make it a much smaller piece. All of that thinking was about the actual construction process and I didn’t even have a design figured out!!!

I thought I might do a tree and a reflection of a tree, in black and white stitching. I rarely sketch things out, but I grabbed my sketch book and it opened to a page that had…leaves drawn on it! I added a ‘feeling’ of the tree idea, but it may change into a more leaf oriented piece.

So, of course, I had to follow a tangent idea…if I use leaves, would they look good as painted/stamped/stenciled and then stitched? Stick with the black and white idea?

I have not been impressed with any white paint I have tried so far, for opacity.  I have not purchased everything that has been suggested, so I went with I had. Trying out stamping on a print fabric block, with real leaves, in white…………

Used craft acrylic and acrylic from a tube, with a bit of textile medium

Not much difference, but I liked the tube paint a bit better because it was thicker. Now to try it out with the black and white stitching that I’m pretty sure I want to do!

Since I don’t like to waste paint, I grabbed some dark teal and a piece of black and used up the rest of the white on those.

Of course they show up really well on a dark solid! It’s those turquoise prints that I’m interested in right now, though. I’ll work on my practice piece and see where all my thinking takes me next.

It’s a really good thing that I have had to wait for the batting to get dyed and then dry. Planning is not my strong point, so I’m happy to have a lot of time to think about this one!