Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I've Done It Now

Call me crazy, but I saw this idea for a daily blog challenge last year, and thought I would like to try it this year.
 So here goes.  My theme will be "Dreams of Art Techniques Invade My Dreams"

Leaves it pretty wide open for what drives me. At the moment there are 1656 other bloggers signed up to participate. Wow! In order to make this happen I will be doing short posts that can work off each other, or sometimes not. It sates the day after tomorrow, I better get cracking on ideas!

Come along for the ride! Poke around on the list to see who else is nuts. Looks like there will be lots to explore and learn from.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Telling Stories

 This is my Aunt Mary, my maternal grandmother's sister. Her name was Malinda...
so why Mary I am not sure.

She & my grandmother are the gals I think I got my creative genes from. They were masterful with knitting, crocheting, sewing.  My grandmother made all my clothes for the first few years I was in elementary school. Of course as time went on I didn't want home made clothes. Young people, they just don't appreciate things like that.  They taught me some of those skills when I was very young.  No wonder I'm a fiber geek.

Both of these women always wore a whole wrist full of bracelets. I am fortunate to have inherited the whole lot. They are on her wrist in the picture above though hard to see.

There are 37 bracelets total. I wear 7 or so together often. They wore every one they had. I'm not that flashy. No two are alike. When my wrist moves the sound they make takes me right back to being a 5 year old in one of their homes. It's the sound of these two women moving through life.

As I thought about the story behind this card I made awhile back, and the larger story it holds, it occurred to me that all of our art tells a story of some kind.  Without the back story the art would never come to be.

When I sat down to write this post this was waiting for me in my email inbox:

"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it". Hannah Arendt

 It's beginning of a post by Fiona Dempster an artist I've admired from afar for some time. Check out her artist books, lettering pieces & her new blog. Here are Fiona's words on this quote. She goes on to say more all of which struck a cord with me.

"The subtlety in this is divine.  I think more and more I am coming to enjoy the things that are gently revealed, rather than those that are thrust upon me."

What little sounds or smells take you back & define how you came to be the person you are?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Parting Shots

My online photography class with the inspiring Kim Klassen ended a couple weeks ago. So I wanted to share my last few shots from assignments.

I learned so much. The "tension" of having an assignment, a task, a direction, was the most important piece. It makes it easier to grab some stuff, play with the light, and put together a pleasing set up.

What you don't see here is all the time spent gathering tid bits to try in a still life, all the shots just to see what it looks like through a lens, then the before & after of tweaking with VSCO. It's time consuming, but the process is fun & meditative.

I've mentioned how much I love the VSCO app. All three of the shots above were taken with my Canon then sent to my iPhone so I could do the edits in VSCO. I find myself using the app for almost all my pictures now. This last exercise I finally learned about spot metering on my Canon in order to get the right exposure with back lighting. An aha moment for me!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Box It Up

My obsession with making fabric boxes continues. I find it very absorbing. Carpentry with fabric, or "functional shelf art" are my descriptions.

Found a great pattern for a storage pod that I adore. The shape is so organic. 
One friend described them as uterine. I  think that fits.

 A couple shots of the pieces in process. I free stitched around the pattern on this fabric from my stash. I'm happy to have found something to make with several of the pieces I've held on to for years.

                  Had a good time picking our some fat quarters to go with other fabric I've had so I can make  more of these little beauties. Two of the pieces are from a Shibori class I took. 
       The perfect way to put them to use and have them on display.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Upcycled Dressers

Recently my husband suggested we redo a dresser that lives in our bedroom. He suggested a similar treatment to a resale find we did awhile ago that we loved when it was done. The two tone idea was compliments of my Pinterest addiction.

 The last paint job it received it was all chocolate brown with some very modern hardware. I like this SO much better. The new hardware is still more modern than the original but in keeping with the piece. It brightens up the entire room.The color in this picture is a bit washed out.
The rest of the hand me down pieces in our bedroom may get a similar treatment. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Valentines Through the Years

When I pulled out my file with all my Valentine ideas, scraps, examples, I was amazed how long I've been making them for my girlfriends. Then I saw a post this year about "Galentines". Who knew it was a thing that had been given a name? Compliments of Parks & Recreation apparently. I like it.

                These are dated 2005...11 years ago. Kinda crafty but they got the message out there.

 I went crazy with images, cutting little bits, stamps, fonts. No idea how I found the time to do about 30 of these in 2009. Every one was a bit different. Which is my usual approach, but not always.

These two are not dated, but they came at about this point in the line up.
The top had several iterations seen above, the bottom was the same for all with a message on the back.

 These mobiles were a big hit. I still see them hanging in friends houses. A great way to use pieces of interesting hand made paper from the scrap bin. They are about 16" long.

These are images I used for a little fabric quilted Valentine. I printed the images on muslin then used a backing piece and satin stitched around the outside edge. Alas I have no pictures of these. But I love the images.

Below are possibly my favorite. They are big. Had to use an over sized envelope.  I had a couple different messages. The left hand with the ribbon was for my husband. For the Gals I used a quote from Anna Quindlen that I adore:
“What I expect from my male friends is that they are polite and clean. What I expect from my female friends is unconditional love, the ability to finish my sentences for me when I am sobbing, a complete and total willingness to pour their hearts out to me, and the ability to tell me why the meat thermometer isn't supposed to touch the bone.”

Years later I got to hear her speak at a "Writer's Series" talk, which caused me appreciate her even more.

I found inspiration for these online (where else?)  They are small. Some ATC size 
and some a bit larger 3" X 4". Acrylic paint on Arches cover, Stamps and Cra-Pas for embellishing the edges of the hearts.

I bought myself a new sewing machine for my 60th birthday so decided to play with free stitching for my Valentines in 2013. I painted muslin with water colors and used my printer to do the message on the back then free stitched the mini quilts.

These were last years edition. You may have seen them here before.  I used my Gelli Plate for the surface design. I don't know about anyone else but I find the plate rather finicky. Could be the dry air here in the winter, or the acrylic paint I'm using. Anyone care to weigh in & tell me what success or failure they've had with the darn thing? Please?

Almost done. Last up, this years offering. Very simple but I like that. Post card size, done with hand made stencils and Shiva Paint Sticks. I love these paint sticks. Oil based so a little messy, but silky smooth and a great edge with stencils.

If you are still with me thanks for looking at my "Galentines" through the years.

Comments please!