Handwork

Working on hand sewing projects is strange. You are sitting down, relaxed, to work on a project, but your mind could be racing. It might be a time that engenders new ideas or brings resolution to problems.

For my current project, I work on it a bit and think that I don’t want to put a whole lot of stitching on it. Maybe I’ll fill just one more circle.

Then maybe one more.

But then it needs some here to balance.

Hmmmm….does it need some beading or does the metallic paint give it enough bling?

I thought this piece was going to stay simple and serene. So many thoughts running through my brain that cannot be seen as I sit calmly stitching, one little stitch at a time.

Strange…

Almost done, I think.

No beads on this one. Keep it simple. Soft edges so wrap around the canvas. Yep!

Finished and really just the way I envisioned it. Hand work really gives you the time to think things through!

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Fun idea

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…………….oh, wait. That’s another story. Anyhow, one of my inspirations was the work of Jan Mullen of Australia. She kind of dropped out of sight at some point and I haven’t heard anything about her in years. The other day I ran across a blog that she started a couple of years ago and I tried one of her ideas.

She quilted some feathers on paint chips for a project she was doing so I thought I’d try it.

It’s not great, but practice will make it better, and I HAVE paint chips!

I have no idea what I’ll do with them, but I’ve held on to them through several color decisions over the years and I simply could not throw them away. So, I’ll play!

These little pieces came out of the last workshop I took with Deborah Boschert. I love the way the mixed paint looks on the hand dyes.

I’m not going to force them into being something; I’m using them just as they are. I’ll be adding some stitching to begin with, using these thread colors.

And then there is another piece that I cannot cut up into smaller pieces. I want only a border around it, with the raw edges of the piece showing.

These colors are not true…the light color is a pale turquoise and the three colors on the right are what I am considering for the border right now. More thinking to do on this one, but I know which direction it will be taking. I’m not sure if this will be an all machine project or if there will be hand stitching involved.

It’s so much fun to have new ideas and projects on the design wall. Makes me impatient to get into the studio every day!

Gosh-I made a decision!

Many decisions are hard for me and I put them off as long as possible…it’s that I always see so many ‘what ifs’ and when a decision is made, that eliminates all the other possibilities. That’s a momentary sadness, but also a victory for moving forward!

This decision was aided by your input and I am going to finish each one of these pieces separately.

Which then involved some more decisions about edge finishes, final size and canvas paint color…mostly resolved when I found this great silk recycled yarn with which to finish the edges.

ALL the colors and thin enough that it wouldn’t overwhelm the pieces.

I especially loved the fuzzier bits! Decided on a nice deep brown paint for the canvases, after considering mounting the pieces on burgundy cotton or brown wool. I’m waiting for the paint to dry now before I mount the pieces and then I will actually have some total finishes for the upcoming Artisan Showcase.

Progress comes in little steps and I am continuing to take those steps, one after another! Soon I will have them done, right? Right?

I keep saying that, but then I start something new. It is a good thing when you never run out of projects or ideas….

Lazy and loving it!

This was a decadently delicious lazy day today. We started out with breakfast with my niece, her husband and their daughter and my sister-in-law. Bacon…need I say more?!

All I did for most of the day was play on the computer and a little laundry. Aaaaah…the sweet sound of no responsibilities.

As I passed a pile of “stuff” in the studio, I decided to play a bit. It was a container of spilled and dripped alcohol inks, which I have never played with before. Well, alcohol is easy so I tipped some into the container and started laying down some deli papers.

I am thrilled with the results! The first ones, of course, had the darkest colors.

And it took several times of adding more alcohol to use up all the ink that had spilled.

Of course, I didn’t scrub or mix the colors much. I wanted all the variety I could get.

Even at the end, when I did scrub and mix, the color was beautiful.

Don’t ask me what colors were in that box—I can’t even read the labels on the bottles that were in there! And don’t ask me what I’m going to do with these papers, because I can’t tell you that right now either. All I know is that I need to get a new, full bottle of alcohol and play with everything left in the little treasure box.

Supposedly alcohol inks will stick to anything, and I have a few old tiles that might get a bit of paint thrown their way. Wish one of those ‘famous name’ teachers that know all about this stuff lived in my neighborhood!

There is research to be done, and fun to be had! Hooray!

Blue Lake 2017 Report 1

Just in case you haven’t read one previous word that I have ever written, here’s what this is all about. In the summer, I go to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for 10 days and teach middle school kids fiber arts. We do different projects every year, because there are repeat attendees and we want them gaining additional skills all the time. Many of the students come into fibers not even knowing how to thread a needle or tie a knot, so what they accomplish is always impressive.

Let me show you the design phase of what the students did this week!

They were exposed to the design guides of Deborah Boschert, and totally understood the concept behind each one. I wish that I had learned some design principles in middle school!

They had to sketch out some possibilities and then make collages, starting with the one they liked the best. Most only completed one collage, but the time was very short for a project of this type.

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Tons of details, color choices, stitch notes–they planned well! I’m not going to try to match any of these design pages with the finished product, but you may see the matches as you see the pics.

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I am so proud of these young artists!

There will be one more Blue Lake post to touch upon a couple of other projects and then we can call Blue Lake done for another year!

A step at a time…

I don’t usually like to drag out a subject or project that I’m blogging about, but this may take a while. In Deborah Boschert’s classes this weekend, we created fabric (which I haven’t touched yet!) and then eight small pieces illustrating design concepts. I’m working on finishing the eight pieces and it won’t make sense to show them all and then every step along the way. I’m working on them as a group right now and adding machine stitching to the pieces.

Some of them are getting some stamping, painting and additional fabric. I will try to show what I’m doing as each piece is finished, so you will see this particular group of fabrics quite often until they are done…and I have a teaching trip to Blue Lake for 10 days starting next week. Could be a while!

The first composition I did in class was this landscape.

I knew that I wanted to add a large leaf or tree on the right in paint. So I went through all my stencils and stamps and couldn’t find one that was just right. Simple solution to that issue–freezer paper stencil!

Practiced on a scrap and didn’t like the opacity of the white paint and decided to go with orange. I also hate to waste paint, so after stenciling the piece, I flipped it over and pressed it onto another scrap for the reverse print.

This was after I played with oranges on a green scrap, with stencils and a screen.

This is where I’m at right now.

No stitching on it, but I’m pleased with stencil and orange paint.

I’ll continue working on this series, but I won’t detail each part like this! That would bore both you and me! More later, and I know that it will get done————–a step at a time, bit by bit!

 

Now to relax—-aaaaah!

Quilting Unlimited is over and it was another fabulous event. I was not involved in the planning or execution this time so it really was a carefree weekend. Of course, there is always the creative tension and exhaustion of teaching and taking classes, but it’s so much easier when you don’t have to worry about any of the logistics.

There really isn’t too much more to put into words. I’ll let the pictures show you the fun! This was what was happening in the class I taught.

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So much lovely work.

And here is a brief glimpse into the classes I took. Both were taught by Deborah Boschert and I absolutely learned a lot and had a wonderful time. Wonderful teacher and I highly recommend her to any program chairs looking for a teacher!

Surface design with stamping and ink and cool tools–

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Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of everyone’s pieces.

And Sunday was a design and composition class. We did 8 little examples of design principles and learned a lot as we created.

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These all will be finished with stitch and embellishment, too!

So much fun, creativity and learning in all the classrooms!! It was a great weekend at Quilt University.