Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
An Ant's Eye ViewOnce again I'm working away. Currently by big dilemma is what to do with the circles on my Youthful Energy piece. These are two options using ribbon. For one I used the same blue, organza ribbon. The other, I used a variety of ribbons. I'm just not sure. I guess that means keep working until the perfect solution appears. I think next I will try something a little looser than the ribbon, perhaps yarn. And then there is the question of embellishments. Do I add them? If so, what? Here I'm trying out some washers. I've also thought about beads. I think I might try those on my sample fabric since it is really hard to get a good feeling unless they are stitched down.
I added some star washers to my Busy, Busy, Busy. I think they add the perfect extra fun little element. Now I just need to work on the layout of the circles.
I added a little extra color to my Weathering Life's Storms quilt. The background need a little something to balance out all that black. The difference is subtle and hard to see with the different photographs. I wish I could take everything outside to use the bright foggy sunlight, but the boards wont fit through the doorway and I don't want everything falling everywhere.
Any finally, my crazy crowded art room. Even my husband admitted last night that I need a bigger space.
My third quilt is about the struggles of life and how something like cancer can be all encompassing. I want to also show hope in the middle of life's storms. The colors are much darker than I'm used to working with. I don't want it to be depressing. I don't know if I need to add a bit more lighter, but muted color to tie everything together and keep the black from winning.
The final quilt hasn't made it past the background stage. My thought is for it to be about overcoming it all. I'm planning on adding beading and lots of sparkle.
I would love any feedback! Thanks!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Okay, I signed up for the Sketchbook Project at the Art House Co-op back in the fall. The kids had just gone back to school. I had been reading books and articles about art journalling. It seemed like a great way to play, experiment and create in a nonthreatening way. Instead I made it into a big deal in my mind -- people throughout the country would see it and somehow I needed to be great among all those sketchbooks. I put so much pressure on myself that I didn't really do anything. But I had do something because I had already paid for it. So finially an incredibly busy schedule and deadline looming caused me to let go of my inhabitions and just get something in the book. I played with paint and watercolor crayons. I glued fabric and fabric paper. I even added a to do list in an attempt to fill pages. Do I love the final result, not really. But it is just a sketchbook and maybe it will show others that a sketchbook can be just a sketchbook.
Monday, January 17, 2011
One of my best friends works for the Washington State University Extension in Kitsap County helping small farmers, teaching preservation classes and encouraging everyone to eat local. Currently they are working on their first conference to teach and encourage the farming community. Shannon has been begging me to create art for the conference for months. With the holidays and a long to-do list I didn't have a chance until last week.
The big question was how I could represent farming in Kitsap. My first thought was the mountains. We are surrounded by both the Olympic and Cascade ranges. Mount Jupiter is the the view out my windows (whenever it's not hidden by clouds) and of course sunsets are absolutely beautiful set against them. The Puget Sound and Hood Canal also surround us, but I instead decided to focus on green fields. I used rows of bright circles to represent the many small farms dotted around the county. The composition was still missing something, so I added the wonky barn. The finished quilt is approximately 22"x19".
After I was almost finished with the quilt, another person in the office decided that she wanted something more realistic for the conference. Oh well. I decided instead to give the quilt to my friend for the birthday at the end of the month. I was creating the quilt for her anyways. Now she can hang it above her desk and I will know someone truly appreciates it.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
After painting fabric, I moved on to fabric paper. Once again I pulled out the muslin base. Then I added various scrapbook papers. They are a little hard to see with these darker colors, but if you look closely you can see an added layer of texture. I glued them down with watered down craft paint. I found that I like the craft paint better than white glue because it gives a slightly slippery feeling to the paper. Some people might not like that, but I find it nicer on my fingers to work with. I've always hated any type of chalky feeling. Once, I tried using white glue and junk mail. The fabric paper came out very dry and chalky. The cheap ads were probably full of acid anyways, so for now I will avoid the combination. After gluing down the paper base, I add tissue paper. I tried finding craft tissue at Michael's but had no luck, so I just use the large stack of gift tissue I bought at Costco. It will often rip when very wet. If it does, I just add another scrap to fill in any wholes. Typically I will add two layers of tissue to seal it nicely. And then of course the paints again. I used the same combinations for the fabric paper as I did the quilted fabric. These are the ten different pieces I made for Pizza Planet, plus one I had from another project that fit the color scheme well.
Now with the raw materials made, I started designing. I cut out square of each quilted fabric in 1", 2" and 3" sizes. I used my 12" square gridded ruler as a base and started laying them out, beginning with the largest size and moving down. It actually came together relatively easy. I then cut out lots and lots of circles in various sizes. Once again, my design method was trial and error. I did my best to spread the colors out. I then edged each circle with a gold leafing pen to help them stand out. I had to transfer all the circles off the quilt so I could sew everything together. My gridded cutting mat helped keep everything in order so I didn't get completely confused in the processes. I zig-zagged the squares together. I did flip two of the little squares in the process and had to cut them out and flip them back later -- whoops. Each circle was free motion sewn down with black rayon thread. Finally, I backed the whole thing with a piece of paint rag fabric and finished the edge with couched black yarn. Overall the composition is a little dark, but I really like the colors and circles. I have another Pizza Planet quilt in the works and look forward to exploring it more!