Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tweek and Color

when I went and measured the cuff forms I actually have on hand I needed to make the original drawing a little wider one way and a little shorter the other way

so while I was redrawing the thing, I decided to play with some color too

next step?  off to the bead boxes to see if I need to order up any materials to make this happen

it's certainly different from anything I ever done before!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

At LONG last

the chair is finished!

finally got the braid and the tacks along the bottom edge

a very big TA DA!  

considering the fact that I had never seen this chair as anything but a naked wood frame (which had been moved around with us for over 30 years!), the finished product looks pretty great

I'm working on a new piece of jewelry

the stone in this is ruby and zoitzite, and I let the stone decide what color the beads should be (the biggest round beads in the "collar" are the same stone)

not sure exactly what the finished product will look like, but I'm enjoying the journey

this piece, however is much more planned!

I did this drawing last night -- now I need to go through the boxes of beads and stones and see what's available on hand to make it out of

the quilting has begun on this piece

I had started doing the space between the foliage and the wire one way then changed my mind and picked it all out

something different will be in order when I get back to this

today we have a lot of errands to tend to -- time to get to that!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Howling at the moon

this piece is finished and stapled to the stretcher bars

whoot!  whott!

I still need to put a wire on it for hanging, but aside from that, it's all done

this is probably the fastest drawing to completed piece ever -- the drawing was done on Jan 15

now that this is done I'll get to the quilting on the Party Line piece, and I've started working on the drawings for some other pieces

Merry Christmas!

one of the things the DH asked for at Christmas was money to get him a new chair (the old recliner was falling apart)

last weekend the local Lazy Boy store had a sale and we went to check it out -- this lovely was delivered yesterday afternoon, and they took away the old broken one


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Finished, reworked and a new beginning

The Finished:

after a lot of picking out and fussing this piece, titled "Couch Puppy" is finished

and the changing didn't stop right up until I stitched the facing on, deciding at the last moment to cut about 4 inches off the bottom edge, leaving a lot less "floor" on the piece and dropping the focal point of the piece (the face) a bit

I learned a lot doing this piece -- when I started it I had a very basic pencil sketch - but I had great influence and feedback from a fellow artist Barbara Yates Beasley who not only inspired me, but actually helped me figure out the how too!

the artist's group I belong to has been talking about what influences our work and the idea that there is nothing new out there, we are all "stealing" ideas from each other (last month's homework for that group was to read a book titled "Steal Like an Artist") --- this month we were supposed to do a piece of work and talk about how it was influenced, and by whom --- guess my home work is done!

in addition to that, this piece fits perfectly in the series I'm working on -- originally I had titled it "Slice of Life", but I've changed the title to "Through My Eyes" as it is more easily understood

I have two more pieces for that series that are ready to be quilted -- I'll be working on those soon

The Reworked:
I made this bracelet last year for a beading challenge

originally it had a magnetic clasp that was worked into the end so it looked like the sea horses had little crowns on their heads, which looked cool, but made it so that the bracelet would only fit a specific sized wrist

earlier in the month I though I had this piece sold, only to have to refund the money because it was too small

I decided, when the piece came back, to see if I could rework it and make it more flexible for sizing

so all of the edging came off and was reworked with this beaded toggle clasp

hoping that will fix the problem and make it more "sale-able"

The New Beginning:

for over 25 years, the Hoffman fabric company has sponsored a challenge -- they release a specific fabric and you are required to use that fabric on the front of the piece in some way, but aside from that you can do just about whatever you want

I've been entering a piece in this challenge every year since 2010 

the fabric for this year is pictured there in the little colored picture

ever since I first saw it, I've been thinking about Fiestas -- it just makes me think about the amazing twirling swirls of the long full skirts the dancers wear at those dances

those little drawings there are the beginnings of my design work for this piece

this should be interesting -- these projects always are -- no doubt lots of ups and downs in the next couple of months as I work through this getting it to whatever it will eventually be

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A or B?

I need to decide which of these two blue pieces should be the one that gets entered in the challenge that is themed "Blue"

so is it the necklace with the pua center, the irregular edges and the new style chain?

or is it the deep blue of lapis made into a cuff bracelet?

which one fits the "Blue" theme better?  What do you think?

the quilting has begun!

I finally got through the other projects waiting ahead of this piece in the sewing queue and started doing the stitching on this piece

looking good so far

if you saw Sunday's post you may recall that I had decided to rip out what I had originally done on this piece because I was not happy with the reflective quality of the original

since I was reworking, I decided to make some other design changes  --  I removed the layer of organza that was over the entire surface and cut some irregular "clouds" out of it to lay across the top of the piece like little wispy clouds -- the organza layer has been replaced with a layer of fine pale gray tulle that has just enough shimmer to give the look of moon light without screaming "reflective!" -- and instead of trying to hand embroider three trees, I decided to go with one appliqued tree on top of the tulle

like the Party Line piece (picture posted here) the cutting of the clouds and the tree is all free form with no patterns at all -- I find that I like this approach for trees and foliage!  I'm also doing this tree with raw edges -- another departure from my usual approach

what does all this experimenting mean?  I'm not sure.  I just know that I'm enjoying the process and some of the results are giving me that "did I do that?" feeling

can't wait to get back to the studio!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

up sides, down sides

this is an up side

yesterday afternoon I finished the beading on this bracelet and spread the goo on the back that seals all of the stitching

when I get back to it I will be cutting it out of the backing and working on creating the "sandwich" of bead work, plastic, metal cuff form and leather that makes the final piece

this is actually the second piece I've created in a month that fits the theme of the latest beading challenge -- and I think this is the piece that I will actually enter -- I just think it will do better in the voting

this one is an up too

I'm getting very close to finishing the upholstery of the chair I've been working on, and one of the things that was needed was a pillow 

ta da!  the back of it is the same deep burgundy as the center of the flowers on the front

looking good!

and the chair is down to needing the final fabric across the bottom and the decorative braid and tacks around the lower edge

should get this finished this week

this one, however, is a down

I like the moon (in fact, it came out way better than I thought it would), and the way I added the ring around the moon worked well too

the snow at the bottom is good

there to the right of center is the beginning of a tree, but here is where things start to get difficult 

for one thing, hand embroidering that tree and the two others that were planned in the original drawing will take a very long time, and I can tell already may cause a problem with puckering the whole center area of the piece

secondly, the layer of organza over the top is too reflective -- I was looking for that sort of hazy, glow-y look you get on the night of a big full moon, but this is just not quite it

so I'll probably be picking out all of the embroidery then I'll need to think about how else I can get the look I want it to have

more up

finished another hat -- this one has some interesting patterns that just "happen" when you use combinations of yarn together

I started working on the mittens to go with this hat last night

this bird house sits in the corner of the fence around my patio

during the last snow storm, this little "snow cave" formed around it

I love the look of this!  (now, how can I do that in fiber?) 

Friday, February 07, 2014

more working in the cold

more correctly, more working inside to avoid the cold! 

this piece of bead work is moving right along

when I was looking through stone pieces I had on hand, I discovered I had three pieces of lapis that went together, so I pulled out the beads and started working on this piece earlier in the week

lookin' good!

I hope to have this done in the next few days

and there is this piece

titled "Party Line" this is ready for the next step which will entail the use of my new InkTense pencils to put a number of other smaller birds in the back ground  and perhaps some additional foliage to be added the same way

today, its a lot warmer, so we're heading out to do some errands (good to get out of the house!), so it's time to get to it!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

the up side of all this cold weather

when it's too cold and snowy to go outside and do things, I get a lot more work done in the studio 

this piece is all done!

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out

and this piece is done!

if you want to take a look at some other photos or see about having it belong to you, the link to my Etsy store is at the top right of the blog

I even finished a pair of mittens -- to go with that last hat I did

today more time on taxes, starting a new beaded piece, and some time on a new quilt

time to get there

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

moving along nicely

this piece is one of those "did I do that" moments

the center is a piece of quartz druzy that I got in a neat little shop in Santa Fe last spring

because it is natural, undyed druzy, I decided to keep the piece in soft white/beige/gold colors

the brass wings are two sided and actually move slightly

I'm working on the chain for this piece (a little piece of it shows there at the bottom of the picture)

this should be finished in the next day or so, then I can get to the next piece that is already developing in the back of my head

the quilting is done!

time for binding, label and sleeve

I'm starting to feel like I'm living inside a snow globe

yesterday was clear but cold, and we went out and did errands -- picking up groceries and dog food so now we're good for a few days while it's supposed to snow and be colder still (ok, when 30 degrees is the high temperature for a whole week, it's COLD!)

this picture is what my big blue spruce tree looked like from the comfort of inside the living room through the front window  ---- BRRRRRRR!