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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Contemplation

It’s approaching noon and I’m still in my pajamas. I didn’t get out of bed until after 7:00 this morning. I haven’t done anything but drink coffee and read.

This is the height  of lazy decadence and I’m enjoying every moment. However, this is not a sustainable state of being for me. I’m already getting a little antsy from sitting around too long. I’ve been worried that I’ll turn into a do-nothing, lazy bum. I’m pretty sure right now that that is not going to happen.

Retirement is, after a long time, becoming a part of my brain. I finally realize that I don’t HAVE to do something every single minute of every single day. I still like getting up early, but it doesn’t have to be before 6:00. I enjoy starting the day with a leisurely cup of coffee and time for the gym before doing anything productive.

And by productive, I mean making art.

And time is slowing down in that area, too. I’m being more thoughtful about what I produce. I have a very clear line in my head between what I think is commercial craft product and art—though I don’t really like the terms of ‘craft’ and ‘art’. I prefer the idea that art is the concept, the idea and that craft is the process needed to make the vision into reality. And that there are some items that fit into people’s homes more readily than others!

Ambition is not in my vocabulary anymore, if it ever even was! I have dreams of market viability but have no drive to do the work to make it happen. And I’m actually okay with that.

My life is at a place that I never dreamed it would be. I’m comfortable, happy and doing only what I want to do. How amazing is that?

I feel like I’ve written this same thing recently, but it’s still so very true. Life is good!

 

Up or down?

Started adding some quilting to this piece and thoughts of Irma were in my head as I created this swirling design.

I worry about my relatives in Florida and my son in Charleston, who may evacuate to my brother’s home in upstate SC. Hope for a good outcome for all of them–that’s all I can do at this point.

So I continued to quilt and to fret and now I can’t decide which way is up on the piece!

This way, with the turquoise wide end pointing up?

Or turquoise pointing down?

It’s been around for a while, so I’m at the point where I simply want it done! But I don’t want impatience to push me into the wrong decision, so I’ll let it rest!

 

Watching paint dry

Been doing that a bit the last several days, trying to get pieces mounted and finished. These are ready to be glued down now.

So, while I was waiting, I decided to distract reward myself with a bit of fun. I had these three pieces that I started on a play day and thought I’d pick one to work on.

This is what I picked and how it looked after I was done playing on the sewing machine.

Then I started playing with additional embellishments–beads

a funky little birdhouse

some lacy leaves that are hard to see!

and then I found the buttons! I think I’ve found the solution!

Maybe fewer……………

Feel free to chime in with your opinions! Whenever it’s decision time, that means it’s a good time to take a break, get something to drink, maybe write a blog post………..that’s where I’m at! Coffee and blog. Thinking………….

Time to finish

There are a ton of unfinished projects sitting around my studio. I seem to get them almost done and then a distraction pops up. It’s really time to buckle down and have a pile of finished projects sitting around for a change.

This series is first up–because it was at the top of the pile! Need to decide on background colors. I am not using the fabric I show in the pictures, but I will paint the canvas as close to the colors shown as possible. Navy blue paint is hard to find, but I guess that’s what black is for when mixing!

Just like at the eye doctor—which is better, number 1 or number 2?

DB Grid 1

DB Grid 2

Number 1 or number 2?

DB Third 1

DB Third 2

DB Line 1

DB Line 2

DB Mod 1

DB Mod 2

DB Dance 1

DB Dance 2

DB Land 1

DB Land 2

And finally, there are actually 2 that I’m sure of, right from the beginning!

Tomorrow I have to go out and get the size of canvas I want to put them on, find the paint and get the job done!

Hoping that as I look at these pictures, all my decisions will become obvious…though right now I’m leaning very heavily towards painting all the canvases navy. Maybe. I think. Possibly.

For sure, this is the hardest part for me!

Simply a technique junkie

Since the 1970’s, I have been a constant learner of textile related techniques. Whatever was the latest design fad or invention, I was right in there learning all about it.

A little wacky twist

I bought books and gadgets and took classes constantly. I made quilts and collected fabrics–and embellishment materials–and more recently, beads. I’m learning about stamps and paints and doing embroidery again.

I make textile collages intended to be hung on walls for decorative purposes. Sometimes I can call myself an artist, and even say it with a straight face. However, deep down, I wonder if I’m not simply a technique junkie.

Here–cut it like this, stitch with this thread or add this paper or bead or piece of lace…I know when I make a piece whether it is ‘good’ or ‘nice’, ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful.’

Faultlines

Is it artistic or just a compilation of whatever stream of thought process attracts me at the time?

Or is that what being an artist really is? I don’t make art  to express big ideas, or political statements. I make art because it’s attractive…to me. I like the way the colors and shapes flow together. I like the contrast between the hard and soft of fabric and beads. I like the textures of different fabrics.

Categorizing oneself is not always useful. In this case, does it really matter if I call myself an artist or a technique junkie? I’m not going to stop making. And I’ll probably still tell people that I am a mixed media textile artist. But I DO think about what makes me feel that I can say that…

Planning time

After my QU class, I decided that I am totally in love with the navy fabric that I dyed and that I MUST create something using it. However, this is a time when I am not at my studio and don’t have any of the fabric to play with. So it’s all a mental game for planning.

I do have some pictures of what my first idea would use. The navy fabric, of course and then this.

Blocks that I have made from mostly turquoise scraps and then not done anything further with. I have enough fabric and scraps that coordinate with this to make probably 3 full quilts, paired with that navy.

However, I want to start with these blocks and cut some silhouetted shapes of leaves or flowers out of them and place them on the navy background. Or perhaps the reverse–the navy placed on the scrap blocks. Probably some of each.

I really don’t want to make full size quilts anymore, but I can’t see any other way to use up all the fabric that I have. Using this planning time to develop ideas for reducing my stash could be the best outcome.

And I DO have these lovely blocks to play with also…

Hmmm–since this stash is obviously weighing me down, my next priority is to use, use, use it!

Quiltmaking, back to the basics, here I come!