Saturday, August 31, 2013

direct from the garage workshop

After 9 years of having the dog's toys in a cardboard box on the floor of the family room, yesterday began a new era -- the arrival of a beautiful hand crafted maple chest from the garage workshop of the DH -- way cool!

now we just have to teach the old dog that this is actually hers and she is allowed to take things out of it
and while we're showing off finished objects, here is the finished felted camel

I used some dark brown yarn to embroider eyes and nose on him

this was a fun project -- I would consider doing another knitted and felted animal

the beading adventures continue --- square lemons and triangular limes!  I'm learning a lot about this technique in general and it's been fun

not quite smashing pumpkins -- but fusing pumpkins!  the very first one is all ironed down -- I hope to get the rest of the fusing done this weekend

I've been knitting a hat that has an interesting spiral pattern -- and beads

I've done enough on it now that you can actually see the pattern -- and I'm really please with the way the colors of the two yarns and the beads look together

time to get to it

Thursday, August 29, 2013

not all work is art

a few months ago we had a new storm door installed

and of course none of the places in the door jam that the old door attached to were in the same place for the new one

ever since we had that done I've been saying I need to repaint -- I even got a quart of paint

this week I finally started on the project -- by filling all of the holes where the old door was attached with wood putty

sometime this weekend I will do some sanding and then put on some paint

it will be good to get this all done while the weather is still warm enough that I don't mind having the front door open

I got the floor boards all stitched on this project -- so here we have the paper with the drawing of the pumpkins sitting on top of the cloth wall and floor

hopefully today or tomorrow I'll start working on those

more playing with beads!

my idea to stack the squares and connect it all together with a triangle actually worked!!   next step is to work another triangle on the other side

maybe today

lots of things to do -- need to get to it!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

fresh out of the wash

the camel felted pretty well -- there was some shifting of the stuffing at the base of the back legs that I'm not that pleased with, but on the whole he's pretty good

a bit more work to be done and he'll be finished

these items were in the felting load too -- the bag that I had been knitting, there on the left, felted up beautifully, so now I can start planning for the lining and the embellishments

there on the right is the item that was formerly a sweater that I made for the DH and had outlived it's useful life as such, but I thought I could make good use of the wool felt, so I tossed it into the load too -- there is enough there to make a nice bag too

time spent in the studio included putting up the "siding" on the wall behind the pumpkins

when I did the small piece, I used paint to create a sort of "weathered" look to the fabric I used for the wall behind the pumpkin -- the search of fabrics in my stash revealed a small piece of fabric that was printed with the look -- cool!  -- and there was just enough of it to do this piece

today I hope to get started on the floor

more bead fiddling

the bigger green square came out pretty well -- of course, since it is bigger, it did take longer to build

I like the look of the two squares stacked together -- I think I'll try building a triangle over that stack and see how that works

time to get to it

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pumpkins -- or why making art is sometimes like beating your head against the wall

this started out as an experiment with using paint on fabric and progressed to an actual finished piece

along the way there were some, uh, "technical difficulties" (bang head here!)

the photo on the left was the first attempt at "framing" --- the stitched piece was stitched to some fabric (that I really liked the color and texture of) and I made the attempt at putting it on a wood framing (stretcher bars)

hummmm, well, what are the flaws there -- let me count them up -- never mind

after some ranting, some ripping and a trip to the art supply store, it has been put in a frame with a mat

and here is a detail shot that shows the stitching of the shadow under the pumpkin as well as the "crackle" of the paint experiment on the wall behind the pumpkin

I'm really pleased with the fiber piece -- I still want to do something with the stretcher bar idea, but that is for another day

so since we're talking about pumpkins -- here is the next wall hanging project all drawn with pencil onto the muslin that will be the "paper" on which I "color" with fabrics and stitching

this is a seasonal wall hanging for my daughter, so it needs to be something that can be rolled to store, so no using of paint or stretcher bars for this one

I am going to do fusing and machine thread painting though

hopefully today I can find the fabrics I need in my bins to get started

further experimenting with beads revealed that I could use the same technique that made the triangles to create a square -- cool!

so now I want to make some more pieces and see if I can put this all together as something

time to get busy!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

thinking outside the box

to consider another shape -- the triangle

I needed to figure out if my pencil drawing was even possible

so in a couple of hours yesterday I did these two interlocked triangular links --- together they measure about 1.5 inches

this morning as I was waking up I had an idea to take this pattern and try making a square --- we'll see how that works

perhaps this picture should be titled "I can't come back, I don't know how it works"

during this morning's walk with lab, this was what we saw -- it was good flying weather!

fall is coming

while it is still hot right now, the birds have begun their migration from wherever they spent the summer to wherever they spend the winter

this morning we had dozens of grackles strutting around the back yard, perching on the fences, making a lot of noise outside my patio door

guess it was good flying weather for them too

Saturday, August 24, 2013

work from the garage workshop

earlier in the summer the DH started working on these flowers for my garden

since we didn't put in plants, it does give a pop of color out there in the garden area

he has some plans for some iris for out there too -- just have to get some lumber to build them out of (we used to be able to pick up stuff he could use for these projects for 51 cents at the Home Depot here, but now they just throw those small pieces away -- guess they weren't making enough money on them, which is a bummer for the DH and a lot of other folks that were using that as a good source for small projects!)

since I'm getting close to being done with the knitting part of the bag I'm working on, I did some prep work for a project I'm going to start next

a couple of  years ago I made a knit hat that had a spiraling pattern -- the pattern included instructions for adding beads, which for that particular project was not what I was looking for

I've decided to give it a try

so I spent some time stringing about 200 green and purple beads on the very fine green yarn that will be knit in with the purple to make what I'm thinking of as the "Eggplant Swirl Hat"

I've never tried to knit with beads before, but I think it will be interesting

Friday, August 23, 2013

finishing, updating and still working

it's done

this is not the best of all possible pictures, but it was a "quickie" taken yesterday afternoon as I was pretty excited about having this done

today I will take some better photos that will show the clasp and some better shots of the fringe

I'm really happy to have this finished because I'm starting to think about what the next piece will be

I've been thinking about playing with some 3D beaded links for a bracelet, maybe something like this drawing

time to teach myself a new technique to make those triangles

I've been thinking about "remodeling" my Etsy store and actually creating a working website of my work

part of what I'm thinking about is a unified "look" 

which includes sprucing up the "models" I take pictures of my pieces on

this styrofoam head, for example -- I've had this thing for over 30 years -- it's been used to style wigs and as a "holder" when I was spray painting some head shaped objects -- most recently I've used it as a hat stand to photograph hats that I have created -- but it looked pretty ugly

yesterday I made a trip to the hardware store and plunked down the money for a can of spray paint in a soft brown tone --- this is the neutral I have selected to use for my new display pieces --- it is enough contrast to show off the work but not so much that it conflicts with the lighting for getting good photos

I'll be making some changes to some other display pieces too

baby steps to something much bigger
this is for sure a "did I do that" moment

it took a little over an hour to do the stitching on this piece, and I'm VERY pleased with the results

today I hope to get the edges done so I can have the DH build me a wood "frame" that I can mount this piece on

certainly it is very different than anything else I have ever done

another picture from the neighbor's flower garden taken this morning during the "walk with lab"

we had over an inch of rain and some hail last night, so the petals of some of the yellow flowers have been beaten off, but I still love the look of this

time to get busy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

experimental work continues

this piece, for instance is a test of using several techniques combined to create a small art quilt

the top section is painted and crackled, and the bottom section as well as the pumpkin are fused

next step -- the stitching -- I plan to do a lot of thread painting on this

we'll see how this goes
making progress on the knitting of this piece --- still have to do the gussets and the strap

I hope to have this ready to go in that felting load on Monday

and an actual finished object

a baby's hat that will go into the box for the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation

I love this color combination -- reminds me of an egg plant

this morning's walk with lab resulted in this photo

one of the biggest mushrooms I've seen growing in the yard

it reminds me of my grandmother, and this poem she used to recite to me:

UNDER a toadstool crept a wee Elf,
Out of the rain to shelter himself.

Under the toadstool, sound asleep,
Sat a big Dormouse all in a heap.

Trembled the wee Elf, frightened and yet
Fearing to fly away lest he get wet.

To the next shelter—maybe a mile!
Sudden the wee Elf smiled a wee smile.

Tugged till the toadstool toppled in two.
Holding it over him, gaily he flew.

Soon he was safe home, dry as could be.
Soon woke the Dormouse—"Good gracious me!

"Where is my toadstool?" loud he lamented.
—And that's how umbrellas first were invented.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

let the fringing begin!

I finally got all of the necklace strung together

and I've started working on the fringe

fringing is a very time consuming process -- this one will be less so than some others  -- when I fringe I'm usually aiming for a variation of lengths, which usually entails careful counting and recording so both sides decrease evenly, etc.

because the bottom edge of the pieces already are at different levels, I can do this one by making each strand of the fringe the same, which is much faster

while there were times that I thought this piece was never going to be finished, I'm now getting excited to have it done because I think I'm going to like the finished product

and since it is "hump day", it seems right to show the picture of the surgically corrected camel

he's all ready to go into the washer to be felted

I had to remind myself as I was stuffing him with the ordinary fiber fill that I had available that he will get smaller and not to overfill him lest he blow up in the felting process (I don't really think that would happen, but it is an interesting mind picture!!)

the felting load is currently planned for next Monday -- I've found that it works best to do the felting load after all the laundry is done, immediately after the towel load because the water is the hottest then -- and I hope to have that bag I'm working on ready for the felting stage by then too

time to get busy -- I have a group meeting this evening, so I need to get things done

Monday, August 19, 2013

projects in process or pictures of nothing much

the knitting on this continues

right now it's not clear exactly what this will be by just looking at it

this started out when I was able to pick up two skeins of felt-able wool yarn that were not the same brand, but were colors that would combine well

and I'm knitting those two yarns together by alternating them back and forth every 2 rows

the plan is to felt this, make it into a hand bag with some cool embellishments

this doesn't look like much either

it was the first go at using paint and crackle medium on cloth

it didn't really crackle

but I'm still going to use this piece to experiment with some other techniques

and I'll be doing another "test" on the crackle idea (I think I messed it up by overworking the crackle layer)

we'll see
and then there is this

which will be having some rework done on it

the pattern instructions for knitting him were awesome --- the instructions for the sewing up not so much

so he wasn't ready to go into a felting load this morning --- maybe by next wash day!

time to get to that laundry

Sunday, August 18, 2013

time with the colored pencils

before I start fiddling with fabrics to create this piece, I wanted to try out some color and figure out what I want to use as the background behind the pumpkins

this version has a sort weathered siding
this version has a brick wall behind it
and this one has a rock wall

I think the first one is the best one -- there is better color contrast and the back wall is not so busy that it takes away from the pumpkins -- since they are the point after all!

I want to experiment with a technique -- my idea for that background is to have it look like weathered wood -- the way I've created that look in other projects has been to use a crackle medium on an acrylic paint

the technique works really well on wood -- I'm not sure how it will work on fabric, so I'll be doing a bit of experimentation with it

do you remember this piece I did a while back?

I'm happy to report that it  made $50 for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) --- happy dancing!!

this also means I'll be pulling out another piece to send them --- it is a cause I support, and since I'm making these pieces anyway, donating some of them for this purpose makes me feel good

the knitting of the camel is complete, and last night I started stitching up and stuffing -- I'm having to remember to stuff lightly because once I'm done with this step, he goes into the washer for some felting

while I was knitting I was quite willing to just follow the instructions even though from time to time I was thinking "what is all this weird shaping?"  --- NOW I get it!

time to get busy!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

after being activity restricted for almost two weeks, I decided to break in to doing more gently

I had been going great guns on this chair project "before the incident", and it was good to get back to it

the fabric for the back of the chair has now been cut and pinned -- all ready for the stitching, which I hope to do (at least some of) today

work on this piece is coming right along

once I had the top line all put together I put it on the display stand so I could figure out how long the outside edge needs to be --- so today it will be back to working right angle weave to create more "cords"

looking good

this week's "walk with lab" took me past the neighbor's great wild flower garden --- I love these kind of "ferny" plants -- they look too fragile to hold up those big lavender flowers

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


it's finished!

titled "Fizzz!" as it makes me think of a glass full of something bubbly

the deadline on this piece isn't until later in the fall, but I'm happy to have it done

this is coming right along! 

next step is to build the pieces that connect to the clasp

looking good!!