Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nurturing Creativity - Week 13

Man, I don't know what the deal is but the past two days I've been exhausted. Mentally caught a breath earlier today and realized I hadn't posted my nurturing creativity challenge for this week. So, let's see what the cards have in store.

Stream of Consciousness

Well, first we have to assume that I could possibly be conscious!!! Questionable this week, but I'll still take a stab at this one. Basically....don't overthink stuff. OK, that sounds good so far. Like to just draw without an idea of where it might be headed. Same thing for writing. Hmmm....I wonder where this could lead. The idea is that giving your creativity a little vacation you might be surprised what might just bubble to the surface. And the first one to comment anything about "bubble brain"......well......just don't do it, OK????

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thread Lace and an ATCs

First off.........I've just completed the April ATCs for the Birthday Swap. Since April is "Financial Literacy Month", I chose a money theme. The title of the ATC is "If Money Grew on Trees" It took me a little while to get inspired for April but when I found a stash of very tiny old foreign coins it all fell into place. The background is a commercial fabric of abstract trees. Then I added the coins and some organza with little shiny bits on it to put in the trees. The "ground" is some bits I had left over from another project with dyed fabric and scrim.

If Money Grew on Trees
In another group, we are working on several embellishing projects. Our current one is thread lace. I'd never done it before so I went in search of the supplies needed and actually found them. That's amazing because these are not things I use often. The first is water soluble stabilizer and the second is my embroidery hoop! I was supposed to start with some kind of grid...but well.....I'm not a grid kind of person really. So I skipped ahead and just did a free-hand tree! It didn't take very long and it was a lot of fun! When I was finished, I just cut out the area with the tree and soaked it in water for about 10 seconds and here it is! Oh and YES....I'll definitely be doing this again!! The brain is imagining all kinds of things I can make this way! The picture below is the lacy tree on a piece of muslin. It is not attached at all, just for a plain background.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nurturing Creativity (wk 12) and A New Addiction

Yeh, like I really NEED a new addiction, right??? Well, I've got one anyway.........

But first, my Nurturing Creativity pick for the week --
Nurture Others

Kinda self explanatory really. And this is one I hope I do all the time.....not just for this week. I have received so much encouragement in my artistic journey that I love to pass it along to others. And the group of art friends I have?......it's not trouble really to be encouraging. They are all so talented!!! I just make honest comments!

As for last week's success.......I actually tried several new things and could possibly (probably?) do them wrong on purpose because I had no idea what I was doing. But I just plowed through and "did it my way!" (passing homage to Frankie!) Here are some of the results:
My New Addiction -- Zendoodles and/or Zentangles. I had to look it up to see what on earth it even was. Oh my goodness... Way cool stuff. HAD to try it. Here are my first attempts. These were all done for an ATC trade so the size is 2.5" X 3.5".

The great thing about these little fun projects.....they don't take up studio time. I have a stack of blanks and my pens where I watch TV. GREAT way to survive during the seemingly endless barrage of commercials!! More of these to come, I'm sure.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today's completed project

Remember the Pin Weaving I did earlier?? Well, it was just too cool to sit around and gather dust. Turns out...it is the perfect size for my new phone pocket! You see, we no longer have a land line so my cell phone needs to be with me all the time during the day at least. I'm forever leaving it somewhere I've been and not taking it with me. Can't count the number of times I've had to have someone in the family call me so I could track it down!!! I HATE it clipped to my clothes or in my jeans pocket. So I made a Phone Pocket that I can slip on every morning and leave on the door knob when I come in at night. Hopefully, it will not be misplaced as often or maybe even not ever!! Too much to hope for??? Probably, but I'm aiming hight anyway.

I wove two shades of purple (my favorite color) fabric for the lining and pocket. Found a lilac ribbon in my stash and sewed that into the seams on the outside of the pocket so it would be strong. Just did a satin stitch all around the edges with purple metallic thread. A little square of Velcro and it's functional!!! I've been wearing it today and it is very comfortable! And when I prepare meals, I just slip it inside my shirt. Looks like a very weird lump but hey! it stays clean that way!

Gee, didn't notice it until I posted the pictures but it looks like I've been bleeding on my design wall!!! Checked it out.....nope. Just got a bit sloppy with a painted piece I guess. So, if you were worried (yeh, right.....) worry no more!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fractured Architecture

A group of us are now starting a new project. The original is a line drawing of the canal houses in Amsterdam (or a reasonable facsimile thereof!). There are ten of us and we will all do the 10 different houses. Then the hostess will swap them out so we all end up with one of our own houses and one of the houses from everyone else!! And it is a large project. 33" high and somewhere around 70" or more wide!!! I could hardly wait to get started.

There are five main components for the background. Working my way down from the top -- the sky, the house, the sidewalk, the canal wall and then the canal. There is also a bridge in the middle with houses on it also. The only really important parts that have to match are the sidewalk and the canal wall. And there will be one fabric that will run throughout each house. The hostess dyed it and sent us all a piece. Somewhere in each house there has to be some of this common fabric. That will help tie it all together in the end.

So, to begin, I've been playing with techniques for some of the background or base pieces. I have some sky, some canal wall and some canal.

This is a piece of woven fabric for the canal wall. Each strip is 1/4" wide so this could make a wall for several of the pieces if needed.
OK, so I'm now addicted to woven fabric!!! This is a piece for a couple of skies

This is a piece that I pleated (rather irregularly by hand) in parts and left other parts unpleated. Then I stitched with metallic thread to reverse the pleating. I think it makes great current or perhaps slight waves from the wake of a boat!
This is a technique I've seen but never tried before. I have a 1/4" grid cookie rack that I used to poke the fabric through for this piece so the "bricks" are apx. 1/4" square. If you ever try this, I found it much easier to keep the already poked parts from coming out when I poke in the area next to them if I sprayed it with spray starch before poking! Then I ironed MistyFuse to the back of it to keep it all together and so I could add it to the slice of canal wall somewhere in a couple of houses. Or, perhaps some of it will end up being a roof or something..... We'll see.

It's good to be back on the computer and able to upload pictures and a lot of other things!! More tomorrow!

Nurturing Creativity - Week 11

A day late because the power supply on my computer FRIED!! I mean smoke and everything! Thankfully, I have 2 geeks in the family and one bought the part and the other one replaced the fried one. I LOVE having computer geeks living here!!

So, anyway, about nurturing creativity. Picking a card...................and the winner is.........

Do It Wrong

OK, the concept is to (at least for one time) ignore that voice that keeps saying "You're doing it wrong!!" and just go ahead and do it wrong! Then to discover that the world doesn't come to a grinding halt...and my favorite....that your passion for your art doesn't disappear! So what if it isn't perfect. Sometimes the imperfect things have a beauty all their own and some turn out to be awesome! So what have you got to lose???? GO FOR IT!!

This is perfect timing for this one for me. I do have one project that HAS to be perfect but others that I can just play with and the play ones have smaller parts that if they don't work out...well....I really haven't lost much time or supplies! And who knows just what I might discover!!!

Care to play along! Then DO IT WRONG.....at least once in your life!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Some things completed today

It's been a bit of a productive day after all. Drizzly and gray outside but I've got my tunes cranked up and it is all joyful and fun in the studio!!!

In one group I belong to, we are playing with some embellishment techniques as a group. This month one of the techniques is stamping. I have tons of stamps but I wanted to do more of a Complex Cloth for this project. I used a piece of medium purple hand dyed fabric from my stash as the base. Then I used dark purple acrylic paint and stamped it on with a piece of one of those plastic mats that go on the bottom of your sink so dishes don't break. This one is shaped like stones. Then I used a commercial stamp of different sizes of ovals with a light green acrylic. To finish it off I used a brayer wrapped with a rubber band and painted with Lumier Halo Pink Gold. I wanted both the circular and the linear look when it was done. And here it is!!

Before cleaning up my work island, I had a bunch of scraps hanging around so I made a couple of ATCs just for the fun of it.

The background of the first one is paper toweling that I used to clean up after a particularly messy snow dyeing day. I love the way they turned out so I ironed them and kept them! Then I put on a piece of "zapped" olive green organze. A green ribbon from a gift on the side and on top of that are three sizes of gar scales. They reminded me of arrowheads (and some think they might have been used for that purpose long ago) and the colors take me to my beloved northwoods of Minnesota. Hence the name.

The second one is perhaps leaping from my own harried schedule. The background is a commercial wavy striped fabric. On it is a length of gold an black ribbon wandering across the card. Then the same "zapped" olive green organza and some "zapped" metallic Lutrador. The big gold safety pin indicates the name of this one......and perhaps how I feel most days!!!
Trying To Keep It All Together
I also got some things done for another group project we just started that I will tell you about this weekend! So, check back in!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Some new ATCs and Nurturing Creativity - Week 10

The card for Nurturing Creativity - Week 10 is a very interesting one.......

Eve of Art

At first I didn't get the EVE part but it is an EVENING of Art. The idea is to go to a gallery or art museum and take in all the top drawer art. Then after that - to go to an ice cream shop where they do those amazing sculptures (not sure if an ice cream sunday from Culvers counts but that is where I'm headed). Like both ends of the artistic spectrum!! As I would adore to do both....no problem for me! Now to see if I can find someone to go with! Any volunteers??????

Some New ATCs --

One of the ATC swaps I'm participating in is Shades of Green (just like the Shades of Purple last month). Below are my 4 green ATCs for that swap.

Searching for Memories

Leaf it to Me

Planting the Seeds

Back From the Abyss
Then, as I was having such a good time.....I decided to make one for a friend of mine who loves poppies. It is called Poppy Power!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pin Weaving Adventure

A friend sent me a link to instructions on a technique called Pin Weaving. I thought it looked like fun so I wanted to try it. And guess what!! It IS fun. Takes a bit of time but it is a GREAT project for TV time (this one was done during the Olympics - mostly during the commercials!).

I think I'll line it (perhaps with woven fabrics?? YEAH!) and make a case for my cell phone. I need to wear it around my neck you see. We no longer use a land line so I need to develop a habit of always having my cell with me. So far, that has proved a much larger challenge than one might think!! LOL!! I'll post the results when they happen (no breath holding, please!)

If you are interested in this technique, here is the link my friend forwarded to me. (Thanks, Dahn!)


If you try it, let me know! I would LOVE to see your results!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nurturing Creativity - Week 9

OK, they say confession is good for the soul, right???? Let's see if it is true............

I don't think I did more than ONE thing last week to further clear out my studio. Why??? Well, you will know if you read the posts from this week. I've been abstracted!!!

(Oh yes....I feel MUCH better now!!) LOL!!

Now to see what the coming week holds.

oh oh....this one could be a REEAAALLLL challenge for me. Why?? The challenge is.....

Be Really Silly!!!

This one is a big stretch!! How will I ever manage to accomplish this????? Honestly...I feel like I already did this one. I found working in abstracts a bit out of my comfort zone and really a lot of fun just to play with. But hey, I'm game to give it another week...THEN I'll get really serious again. I wonder though if being silly could be addicting and become a way of life??!! How horrible!! The idea on the card is to do something in a different medium - not trying to make a masterpiece -- just PLAY!! I COULD try snow sculpting!!!! We still have plenty of the white stuff around.

So, those of you who don't like to be silly need not check back in this week at all.....(somehow I doubt many "non-silly" people even read this blog....................... )

If you want to be silly this week... GO FOR IT!! Then drop back in and share your silliness. I hear it is contagious............