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!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

a finished object

the cuff bracelet is done!

it came out looking very much like the original drawing -- something that doesn't always happen

progress is being made on the hasp part 

when I started doing the door I was concerned that the color of the fabric was too intense, but now that I've started putting on the hasp, I like it

I've been spending at least an hour every day working on packing boxes and getting rid of things into one of three containers -- a give away box, a recycle box or running papers through the shredder -- yesterday I shredded all of the tax documents for 2002 -- YIPPEE -- I'm hoping to start actually moving my beading supplies to the newly emptied cabinet in the basement this week -- eyes on the prize here!

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's time to vote!

the competition I created this piece for is being voted on

you can use this link to go to the voting page and select your favorite piece from the group

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

news from the garage workshop

the DH finished the refinishing project he's been working on while I've been reupholstering the chair

this table is old, he remembers it from his childhood, and over the years the top of it had been damaged and replaced and damaged again

he put down a whole new layer of walnut veneer on it, treated it with tung oil and waxed the whole piece

I think it's beautiful -- and it goes really well with that chair!

the bead work is finished and last night I coated the back with the fray check

today I hope to start putting together the bracelet

Saturday, March 08, 2014

progress on all fronts

the more I do to this the more I like it!

at the current work rate this should be finished by the end of next week --- yippee!!

after a long hiatus, I finally got back to work on this piece

the top picture is where this was a couple of weeks ago, the bottom picture is where we are now

yesterday after I had done the stitching around the tall, golden looking grass, I decided that it needed some color (it originally was just stitching against the background)  my solution was to pull out my newly acquired (as a Christmas gift) Inktense pencils and color inside the stitching

WOW!  it really changed the look of that foliage, and it added exactly what I was looking for

now I need to figure out what gets done next

the stitching has begun on the horse shoe lock piece

unlike the first of these pieces which was against a very bland gray and white background, I've decided to do this piece against a much more intensely colored, wood grain patterned fabric

this may create challenges of it's own, but at least so far I like it

this is a sort of anatomy of the designing process

I started with little stick figure dancers, then went to some bigger dancers, but the idea lost it's charm as those figures got big enough to actually do the piece 

since it is a piece that would make it's debut in a fair grounds building with not such great lighting, it needs to be bit enough and bold enough to make a statement in those conditions that can be seen from 15 feet away  (ie:  it needs to have that "come hither" something that will draw folks across a crowded room)

during the morphing of this design, I've been reading about the father of abstract art (Kandinsky) and thinking about this design in a more abstract way

which brings me to that bottom square -- thinking about those dancers and their partners from the point of view of the pinata hung above their heads -- all circles of swirling skirts and sombreros

I'm pleased enough with this to think about color and the real size of those pieces -- we'll see how that goes

Friday, March 07, 2014

art projects continue

this bead embroidery piece is coming along

it's not really like anything else I've created

I've finished to "pattern" and now I'm working on the background fill (the "boring" part?)  I think I will be able to get this finished in time to enter it in the competition I designed it for

this is the second in the series I'm working on that features weathered sheds with unusual locks through the hasps

the one with the leaf is waiting for me to do some painting on it and then the quilting, so it was time to work on the drawings for the next one

I think this one will be fun

meantime the packing and cleaning continues -- I'm struggling with doing some of that physical work as my knees are hurting, but I'm trying to keep the end goal in mind 


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

juggling those many hats

last week I was going full blast on this project

right now, however, it has been put on the back burner so that I can work on a piece for a competition

 this is the piece I'm making for the competition

it is totally different from anything I've done before, and I'm enjoying both the process and the way it looks so far

then there is this piece

I had originally put three birds up there in the sky, but it just seemed like too much, so over the weekend I picked two of them off

I still need to make the small ones in the sky a bit darker (you can barely see those in the picture), but I'm a lot happier with the look of this now

just need to get back to the quilting part

and there is this

the photo and the beginning of the quilted piece

this piece is ready for some painting and then the quilting

coming along

since last Friday I've been busy working on a lot of things other than art -- like taxes and doing research into real estate and touring a facility to hang an art quilt show and cleaning out the space that will be my studio in the basement

hope to work in the studio today