Sunday, October 30, 2016

more going backwards to go forwards

until very recently, ripping anything out really annoyed me -- as in I would have rather just started over with something different entirely

but in the last few months the idea of going backward to go forward has gained a lot of "cred" with me

and this week was another good example

this piece, for example has been rolling right along

until I got to the place where I had to do the road that runs down the right hand side and across the bottom

my original idea was to quilt this part so it looked like dry, cracked open dirt

problem number one -- that meant either flipping this big piece (it's about 3 feet by 5 feet) around and around to create those shapes, or teaching myself how to free motion quilt in circles

so I spent several days working on free motion quilting those circles

and I broke a lot of sewing machine needles

and it brought me to problem number two -- I really hated the way it looked

not because my circles were kind of "clunky", but just because I didn't feel like it worked as the design element I thought it would be

after thinking about it for a couple of days while I worked on something else, I decided it made better sense to quilt that area in long curved lines that look like rutted road -- or disc marks in a field

so yesterday afternoon, I got out the exacto knife with a fresh blade and "skinned" that side of the quilt, separating the backing from the batting to cut out all of those quilted circles 

back to where I was at the beginning of the week, but I'm a lot happier about where I'm going now

I have started doing the quilting on this piece

beginning with the trees and structures with black rayon thread

I hope to have this piece finished by November 19 so I can take it with me when I give my artist talk in the gallery where the other part of what this began as is hanging

this design has done some morphing since last week

since I could never resolve the barn issue in the original idea, I decided to go with this plan instead

work on the first silo has begun

the windmill is ready to be quilted
there has been some other work going on here too

when we moved into this house there was really only one thing that didn't look "finished" to me

a fireplace -- even a gas log fireplace -- needs a mantle in my mind

so the DH recently built one for it, and it has now been installed and I finished painting it yesterday

we're ready to "hang the stockings with care" when the time comes

the coming week involves traveling to the gallery where my piece is in an art show for the opening reception on Thursday evening and more work on a lot of projects


Sunday, October 23, 2016

a week of finishing stuff

because I work on a lot of things all at once, it sometimes seems like nothing is happening

and then suddenly, a whole lot of things are all finished together
this necklace, that I had been fussing with for quite a while is finally finished

it was a piece that had a lot of backwards steps along the way, but I think the final result was worth all that rework!

these two pieces are also finished

so this week I will be taking the photos and filling in the entry forms for the show I want to enter them in

and even though I worried about making the deadline, I should be able to get this done by a week from tomorrow

the costume building is done too -- Mr Cute is ready to be a Super Hero for Halloween

work continues on the windmill

I'm almost to the bottom, which means it will soon be in the que for quilting

which means I'm spending time fiddling around in photo shop, pasting parts of photos together to create the next piece

this one has been fiddled with a lot, but I'm still not quite satisfied with it -- it's a work in process

the coming week promises to be a busy one -- on Thursday I will deliver my piece of art to the gallery in Denver where it will be hung for the Contemporary Fiber 2016 show -- still feels surreal


Monday, October 17, 2016

a finished piece -- and a bit of going backward to go forward

this week this piece got finished -- hurray!

I still need to do some good photos so I can list it on my Etsy page -- sometime this week

this was where I thought this piece was going

three pieces to be hung together as a triptych, representing "Progress" -- old forest, farm, city

problem was, they didn't really read that way

the forest just didn't seem to fit with the other two

which left these two, as a diptych, still "Progress", but hard to tell that the farm was in the same space as the city

so I added the mountain range on the horizon behind the farm

now it works

so I need to finish up the quilting then I'll be ready to cut these two and bind them

and I have just about 2 weeks before the deadline to enter them in the show I made them for

I might make it

meantime, I'm making progress on this piece too

much to do, but moving right along

Monday, October 10, 2016

doing some very happy dancing

Early in the week I got some very exciting news!

I had entered this piece in a juried show that will be held in an Art Gallery in Denver the end of October.....

and it was accepted!!

I'm pretty excited about seeing me work in that setting!

this piece is coming along

the backing is on, the edging is done and I've started making the chain -- I decided to do this chain that is actual hexagonal links for this piece -- it's a bit "fiddly" and more time consuming than what I've done on some other pieces, but it has a better look for this piece

I hope to get this finished in the next couple of weeks

I have started quilting on this piece

the deadline for this piece (and the two others that go with it) is the end of October, so I need to move this one right along

progress is being made on this piece too

although this week I spent a good deal of time removing and replacing pieces in the sky, and even replaced one of the blades on the windmill

but I'm much happier with it now

meantime, the DH was very busy in the garage workshop

the frame that was originally on this painting had gotten damaged, so he created this new one for it

and now the painting has gone to my daughter's house to be properly hung

and after a long saga of not being able to get the materials and then having to have the table saw repaired, the headboard for our bed is complete!

he used beetle kill lumber that was tongue and grooved for use as paneling or flooring, but I really like the gray tones with the browns of the wood


I had hoped to have this project done, but I've done some moving backward and forward on this as well

the pants were just too small at the first "fitting", so I have remade those and now I can move forward

I got Mr Cute a new book recently, that is titled "Monster Needs A Costume" -- which seemed especially appropriate as a gift from me as I've been the chief costumer for Halloween for him

we had a good time reading it together over the weekend

Last Thursday I made a visit to a specialist to see if there was something that could be done to improve function and decrease the pain in my shoulder that has lingered on since I painted the deck back in September.   She gave me a cortisone shot in the shoulder and I've been resting it as well as doing icing and stretching.  I believe it's getting better --- now I just have to be careful not to overdo it and re-injure it!

Monday, October 03, 2016

the view from my window

over the past few weeks I've been watching the tree across the street slowly change color

it seems like each day it is slightly changed

and if it was not for the fact that I sit at my desk almost every day and work at the computer, it's likely that I would not be noticing this and would at some point look out and think "wow, that changed overnight!"

I sense that my art is undergoing a similar slow, steady progression toward ---- something

with the tree I know what the "end" result is -- all the leaves will eventually fall off and it will be bare for the winter

I hope my art isn't going to that result, but I'm good with it changing

this piece, for instance, has slowly developed and changed from the original idea

yesterday I decided I was done adding to the bead embroidery and will now finish it with a back and some fringe and a beaded chain that is a whole new design for my pieces

and I'm excited about where this is going

last week I managed to get all of the rest of this piece put together

now it's on to the quilting

the windmill is progressing nicely

I decided that the best way to create the frame structure was to create the "map" on tracing paper and actually stitch the fabric pieces together through the paper

when the whole unit is complete, I tear off the paper and stitch it down as one big piece to the background

I've never built pieces this way before, but it is working really well, so chances are very good that I'll use this technique again

it's the time of year for the making of Halloween costumes

Mr Cute wants to be Captain America this year

I'm working on it!