Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Exercising the word for the year

 my word for this year is REACH

yesterday I took a long reach and cut this quilt

and I've already been using the InkTense pencils on it, darkening the hat stand

and now I'm thinking about trying to create a hat box to totally cover the hat at the bottom of the piece

painter's do this kind of rework all the time -- painting over whatever part of the canvas that doesn't "work" for the greater good of the piece

I've never done this before -- in a way it's sort of liberating!

this piece is slowly coming together

after a trip to the fabric store yesterday, I've started attaching the circles to the backing 

this one too is a REACH since it is different than my usual style and size

looking good!


the latest piece from the garage workshop!

the DH finished up the stand he built for my new printer -- it has a nice sturdy shelf under it to set paper on

I've already put it to use!

this is his next project

originally it was a closet for doll clothes for my daughter

he's going to rework it into a kitchen cabinet unit for Mr Cute to go with his stove

first step?  he's taking the drawers apart to rebuild them





Sunday, April 20, 2014

some finished work and overcoming

 a bit of beading all complete

this started with a challenge to use something out of the ordinary in a piece of jewelry

in this case, the black dividers between the beading is from one of the plastic sleeves they use over a bottle to keep it from banging into other bottles in the bag

while I like this piece (and have already listed it in my Etsy shop), I decided it was not "outside the box" enough to enter in the challenge

so I'm working on this piece for that

the silver rings in this are star washers from the hardware store

not the usual item in a piece of jewelry!  and this one will have a much more organic shape than the cuff does

this is as much of a plan as I have for it right now, so it's sort of a "happening"

earlier in the week I finished this piece -- a tote bag for my daughter

she picked out the fabric and I was happy to do a little sewing for her

this piece is titled "First Saturday in May" -- it was originally made in 2011 for the Hoffman Challenge that year (and is the only one I've ever entered that didn't make the cut to travel)

I decided recently that I wanted to try to "rescue" it


I've decided that the way to do that is multifaceted

I'll be removing the label, the sleeve and the facing and then CUTTING it into two smaller pieces

after that I'm going to do a lot of coloring with Inktense pencils and sticks on the piece with the hats on it to improve the contrast

I'm not totally sure what exactly I will do with the other piece  -- it will be interesting



you might remember this piece that I did earlier this year


at the time I thought about doing a series of pieces based on the moon, but comments in a critique group sort of dampened my idea 

until we had this

and I have decided that while it may not be the most original (read:  never done before) idea, the idea still speaks to me, and I think it may speak to someone else too


if I'm going to do another piece as part of this "series", I want it to be the same size

and since I did the original piece over a home made stretcher bar that the DH had created out of scrap lumber, I went to that source again, and he created me another stretcher bar

now I need to work on some drawings

and speaking of drawings, I recently did this one

this idea has been stuck in my head for nearly a year -- seen in that fugue state between sleep and wakefulness on the morning a friend died, this drawing is much closer than anything else I've been able to put down on paper -- it needs color to be understandable

I'm thinking about doing this piece to be submitted to a show that happens every other year titled "Sacred Threads"

we'll see how this all goes

and then there is this

both of my knees have this lovely taped "octopus" on the inside edge

I've done two weeks of physical therapy and I can say that this is largely a three steps forward, one step back process

which means of course I'm already impatient to be "better"!

trying to just do what I need to do --- progress in this case comes slowly






Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Long Time No Blog

I've had a hard time the last week or so managing time and technology 

We're coming up to the hanging of an open exhibit quilt show, which means I'm spending a lot of time figuring out how to arrange some very unrelated pieces together and handling a lot of paperwork

And in the process of transferring a lot of files from the old computer to the new computer, some data on the external hard drive got corrupted so I had to take the drive to the "computer hospital" and get it retrieved --- ACK! (and frankly if it had been anything but the HUNDREDS of pictures of Mr Cute and my art work I would have just tried to live with the loss~)

Along the way I have been working on this piece, and it's coming along nicely

Last night I did the "sandwich" of the beading and the backing around the metal cuff, so this should be done soon

Last week I turned the house upside down looking for the long cable that goes with my knitting needles for the next big project

Finally gave up -- it will reappear in it's own good time -- so I'm knitting on hats for Cheyenne River Reservation until the new cable I just ordered arrives (I figure it's okay to have two long cables anyway)

Time to get busy -- lots of things to do!

Friday, April 04, 2014

we go around in circles 'til we're very, very dizzy

I'm working on a quilt project

last night I finished the first step of these, so they now go to the sewing machine to have some decorative stitching done with lovely, "glow-y" rayon thread

last year for Christmas I made my daughter a pair of boot socks -- the first socks I had successfully knit

a couple of months ago, she mentioned that it would be nice to have another pair so there would be one to wear and one to wash

I had yarn left from the first pair -- the pattern was fairly painless -- why not?

so now she has two

the second and last pair

 the DH has been working in the garage workshop

as sometimes happens, our projects spill into each other's area of expertise

he built this awesome display box to hang on the wall that holds a modern icon of St Nicholas, Tsar of Russia and a brass key to the Kremlin

but he wanted those pieces to be on a velvet background

he did the wood working -- I covered the background and figured out how to mount the key without damaging it

pretty cool
he just rebuilt this table too

I had used this in a corner, tight between a desk and the wall to set a printer on in my old office set up

he's building me a whole new printer stand for the new, larger, heavier printer, but we couldn't see tossing the old table just because it wasn't stable on it's legs anymore

he took off the old wobbly screw on legs and put on new permanent legs and restained the whole piece

COOL!

my birthday was over the weekend

my friend from California sent me this amazing box -- it had these great fat quarters of fabric in it and this wonderful hand painted card

I think she originally bought these fabrics when she made a trip "down under" a few years ago, and they are very cool

the card will be added to my collection of her art -- I need to get a few small frames so I can hang them all on my studio walls

this was the computer that I had been using for a number of years -- the screen was starting to get very difficult to work on, and it was running on Windows XP -- a dinosaur!

this is my new computer -- and part of the reason that it has taken me a whole week to get a blog post done!

this one runs on Windows 8 -- which meant I needed to get new versions of many of the software packages that I work with -- especially Adobe PhotoShop which I use to "tweek" all of the pictures that come out of my camera and my cell phone so I can use them on the web

but the new stuff has new "features", making just enough of a change that it has taken me all week to figure it out

I think I'm going to like it a lot!  and I should add, a huge big THANK YOU to my sister for making this possible right now -- it would have taken me another couple of months to make this happen if it weren't for her generosity

so, now that we're back to normal, it's time to get back to work -- errands and packing and hopefully some time in the studio today



Saturday, March 22, 2014

is ours two short rings or one long one?


last night I finally finished this piece

it is titled "Party Line"

it has a very old school title, but it was created in a way that is very new for me

usually there are  several drawings, then full size patterns when I do one of these, but the only thing I did for this one is a very rough pencil sketch on a sheet of notebook paper

all of the stitched grasses were free form cut and stitched, then the gold colored grass was added with stitching and Inktense pencils

and at the last minute I decided it needed a border that looks like a mat around a painting in the binding frame

I'm glad to have this one finished at last

and the verdict on the bracelet was that I really didn't like those small pieces of stone at the sides, so I pulled them off and went to a design that more closely matches the necklace this is to go with

and I am very pleased with how this is going

the stitching on this piece has begun --- concentric "circles" the basis of the whole design

I need to create 17 of these to cover the surface of the piece -- just 14 to go!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

about the mitten

I thought this piece was done a while back

but it just begged for some little splash of color (one of the members of my on line critique group suggested a puddle of blood -- suggesting some murder mystery no doubt!)

after mulling on this I originally wanted to put in a yellow mitten (a yellow mitten being an important childhood memory), but it simply didn't show up well enough, looking instead like a dirty smug there in the snow, so I settled on a bright orange one instead (a pair of orange mittens being a much more recent and important memory to preserve)

NOW it's done

this piece is done too

I had thought that I was going to add some fringe, but in the end the fact that the bottom edge already has a matching "finish" all the way around, it just doesn't seem to need it


and having finished the necklace, I'm now working on a bracelet with a piece of the same stone

the verdict is out on how this will go -- I really like the center stone, still not as sure about the side stones

we'll see how it goes

Monday, March 17, 2014

returning to a prior project

now that the bracelet is done, I'm back to working on this piece

when I did the necklace part originally, it was the same width at the front ant the back

after I finished working the beading around the stone, I decided that I wanted the front of the necklace to be wider to fit along the sides of the stone

which meant I spent a couple of days tearing back part of the way and reworking it so it gradually gets wider

sort of a pain, but it looks SO much better

now I need to make a clasp and  add some fringing

 the hand stitching is complete -- time to make the quilt "sandwich" and take it to the sewing machine for quilting

after fiddling with color and doing a lot of measuring to figure out how big I want the circles to be, I have printed out the full size pattern

this piece will be 45 inches square when I get it done -- big enough to be seen from across the room in a fair grounds building 

the deadline for this piece is July 18, when the quilt must be in their hands, so it's time to get to this!


today's chores include laundry and a trip to get groceries -- time to get to that!