You will be jealous…

Yes, you will be jealous that you are not the new owners of this commission piece when it is done! I’m liking it a lot and I’m pretty sure the new owners will, too.

And BAM!!! There is a huge spike of uncertainty in my head as soon as I write that. Well, nothing to be done but continue on, because it has to get finished before that final decision is made!

Looking at possible embellishments.

At this point, the only beads I am positive that I want to use are the long yellow bugle beads in the center. Embellishment is a voyage of exploration, though, so we shall see.

Trying to get it blocked square and even and then a detail of what I have so far.

It’s coming along and should be done soon.

I’m also narrowing down what I want to spend some quality time studying. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a lot of gelli plate printing on fabric. Did I tell you that already? Anyway, I picked up a few more playthings while I was out yesterday.

Now all I need to do is clear off enough space to work effectively. THAT will not be an easy task!

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Working on what to work on

Spent some time tooling around the internet, trying to decide on a concentration to study, but still not quite there. There are some projects hanging around the studio that have to be finished, so trying to get at those while thinking about other things!

This is finished and ready to be mounted. Of course, I had to paint up a canvas and wait for the paint to dry…tick tock tick tock tick tock! I have decided to change the title that it had while being constructed (The Light Cannot Be Constrained) to the meaning of the symbol that I found for the center–The Light That Makes You Gasp. That phrase struck a real chord with me.

And I had too much paint so I had to use it up. It doesn’t go back in the tube, or in the jar if you mix a custom color! I grabbed a piece of fabric and some alphabet stencils and printed some dark letters.

My friends Chet and Jan have a commission piece that I’m working on, too. I showed you the planned out major stitching areas (which is unusual for me, for sure!) and here it is all cleaned up with straight lines and ready to go.

It’s sometimes a pain to remove the paper, but  it’s still waaaaay better for me than marking up a quilt top. I never have the danger of non-removeable marks this way.

I’ll probably spend some time on the internet again today, visually exploring, but I want to get more of the quilting done on this piece, too.

No deadlines is strange, but wonderful!

‘Self-directed workshop’

‘Self-directed workshop’ is a term I saw posted by someone on FB today. It’s a wonderful description of a great way to work. See something you like, get intrigued by something you have never done, remember something that you started and would like to re-visit…There are so many paths to explore and I’m certainly in the mood to grab onto something and study it in depth.

I keep saying that I want to get away from commercial fabrics and use only fabric that I have ‘created’ in some way. However, that means more than just skimming the surface of some technique and thinking that I know it.

Today is going to be an assessment day. I’m giving myself permission to hang out on the internet and surf for fun stuff. Ask myself what I MOST want to do and learn and spend some real time absorbing it.

This will be quite difficult, I believe, because I love everything to do with textile and fiber and stitching and printing and painting and beading……………..I want more than superficial so let’s see what grabs me enough to dig deep!

Aaaaand….no pics today because I don’t know what direction I will be traveling! Wish me luck!

Always–finish and start…

Yes, finish up some things, start others. I am always grateful that I haven’t faced any creative blocks and that I always have something new to get started on.

Trying to finish up my little cards, I screened my label on the backs. Well, at least I tried to!

Some of these came out all right…some, not so much. On this one, I overwrote on the paint with a black pen and it was fine.

The light backgrounds needed a different paint, of course, and I found some actual screen printing ink that I didn’t know I had. Not the color I had planned on using, but it was made for printing on fabric!

It works much better than thin paint and I had a tip on my FB post that small, detailed screens NEED thicker paint. I did not know that and I’m sure that tip will help me in the future.

Hmmm…which of my challenges to start on? I’m not naturally tactful, so I’ll say it straight out…I’m starting with the least attractive project to me. I definitely want to do it and will enjoy it. However, it’s the photo inspiration project so I’m working from someone else’s initial vision and putting my interpretation on it. It will be fun, but my goals for this year are aimed at bringing forth only my own original ideas. So it needs to be done!

I have a very clear picture in my head of what I want to do, so I started gathering my materials.

And hit a stopping point almost immediately! I need cream or white cheesecloth and all I have is brightly colored. I don’t want to try to place it after I sew the mica tiles down. It will work better if I do it at the same time, so this will have to wait until I get to the store.

Guess this is a sign that I should be lazy, maybe read a book, knit or play a game. Do something different. Yep, I can handle some do-nothing time.

As long as it doesn’t last too long!

Towards my dream journey……

I do want to create more thoughtful work this year. But I have some work to do before I can get to ‘work’!

Challenge 1: Commission work for dear friends

Challenge 2: Knot Even Quilters group art quilt challenge for upcoming show–Text and Texture

Challenge 3: Salt Valley Arts challenge Inspiration from Photo fund raiser

Challenge 4: Teach 2 classes and take 2 classes, covering each weekend in January

Looks like January will be my wrap up 2018 month and 2019 resolutions and projects will start in February.

Bet I’ll start a project or two before then…I’m not that strict OR organized in what I do. I feel lucky to have just figured out a direction in which to travel for the coming year!

Fibers-it’s all fibers!

I seem to be taking a little break from the quilt based fiber work this week. Maybe until after Christmas. If you follow me on FB or IG, then you know that I am indulging myself with some gorgeous yarn.

This fabulous, soft loveliness has been tucked away in a drawer for quite a while…you know, one of those things that are “too good to use.” I’m sure you have something like that. And it was so expensive that I could only allow myself the luxury of one skein, so it had to be just the right project. Well, nuts! It will never get used that way and I want to see it and touch it, not have it hidden. That’s one of the joys of working with textiles–the touch factor!

Asking myself what small knitted item would I use was an easy way to decide on cowl/infinity scarf/shawl and I went looking for a pattern for something different. I discovered a stitch I had never explored, the linen stitch, and the project was born.

Yes, the linen stitch…as with every other knit project I have done, it took a couple of tries to get it right. I couldn’t tell right side from wrong side when I started and the ‘rhythm’ of the stitch is very similar to seed stitch so I kept drifting into that.

But I finally got it and I am totally in love with linen stitch.

Such a great texture…and as I was admiring my work I noticed it! ONE stitch messed up–about 3 inches in–with 5 or 6 inches knitted beyond it. Noticeable? Not very. Worth ripping out 5 inches of good knitting to fix? Oh, hell no!!!

Can you see it?

There’s going to be at least another 50 inches of fabric knitted before this scarf is done and one wrong stitch will never be seen. But I will always know it is there AND it will make me do a better job with the rest of those 50 inches!

Anyway, it’s a happy time whenever I am working with fibers and knitting is a whole lot easier to pick up/put down during this busy season than some of the other stuff I do.  Lots of Christmas stuff coming up and I want to be relaxed and happy with it instead of rushed and stressed.

 

Because…………

And he cut it all by himself! So proud and happy!

Looking forward to the next couple of holiday weeks. Hope your holidays are great, too.

Experiment time

Last summer at Blue Lake the print teacher let us play in her studio one afternoon. I had the idea of combining paper and fabric prints so I made some of both.

It turns out that we were using water soluble ink, so the fabric prints would not be washable. Bummer! Today I decided to try and make them more permanent.

Mat gel medium, rolled out on a plastic sheet (usually pick these up as cutting mats from a dollar store)–one was a very thin layer and the pic shows the thickest layer.

The next step was the hardest–lay the fabric face down and wait for it to dry!

I was a little impatient and pulled the first one, the one with the thinnest layer of medium, while it did still feel a bit damp. Not good!

Pulled the ink off the fabric and left it on the plastic. The other prints came off very nicely, but the gel medium gives them that nice plastic finish that I’m not crazy about.

Next experiment–iron, wrinkle, iron again…some of the wrinkle lines remain, even though the back looks perfectly flat. Not a problem for me, since I will want the texture when I use these.

Now the original question–will this make the inks permanent? No, it does not!

A lot of the color came out with just a quick rinse and the medium got kind of flaky. It laid down smoothly again after another ironing. Also, I used the piece that was not completely coated…again, I’m a mixed texture lover, so none of this is a disaster to me. Simply additional texture.

My last experiment was to lay one of the prints ‘plastic’ side down and get it wet to see what would happen. Aaaand………the ink would have rinsed out if I had done this in a sink. As it was, the ink pooled and moved but remained and the print still has good color. (No pic, sorry.)

I decided that I did not want to bother putting medium on both sides of the prints. That would have made them very, very plastic-y and having it on the right side of the fabric is enough to protect it from casual water drips during or after construction use.

The next step will be to sew with it, but that will have to wait for another day! I love ‘what if’ days!