Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hand Dyes

I've been silent. We were gone for a week and then it always takes me a week to get back on track. But before I left my friend Grace had her annual dyeing party. I was really happy with my results this year and I wanted to share some photos.

This is a piece of Shibori. Last summer we didn't get this quite right but I was so happy with this.

These two pieces are for my Studio Journals class. Sharon wanted us to play with design. It is just like making snowflakes. I'm slowly catching up with my class. The good thing is that we work at our own pace.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Treadle Sewing Machine

I'm so excited about this and wanted to post some photos. I picked it up last Thursday but it had been in the car until Jason came home so this is the first chance I've got to post it.
I bought it at a yard sale in Lincolnton a little over two years ago for $50. Jason refurbished the wood case and we had the metal pieces powder coated. Then it went off to Danny Wicker to have the sewing machine refurbished to working order.

Now it sews and works great. It's really a gem and Danny, who has fixed and seen everything, had never seen a National Treadle Sewing Maching before so that was interesting. It really looks like a piece of furniture. It's even going to be allowed in the main part of the house, probably the dining room.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hodge Podge

This is for my Studio Journals class. It is a complimentary color study. I wanted the blue circles to show up better and I wasn't really satisfied with my watercolors earlier in the week, so I got out my watercolor crayons which gave a much richer effect. I would like to try the crayons with the salt technique and another where you use cling wrap for a different effect. I didn't do the fabric/fiber additions because, well, today is Friday and the next lesson is out, so I'll save it for later. That is the great thing about this class. All of her exercises can be used over and over to spark creativity.

Sharon also wanted us to explore the color wheel. One of the ladies shared a photo of a thread wrapped wheel which intrigued me and another showed a sample of one she had stitched years ago from a free pattern, which unfortunately was no longer available. Well, I searched for a stitched color chart and found one for purchase but it won't be finished for the class. Anyway, I was struggling with using the correct colors. I know this sounds silly but if they aren't labeled how do you know. (The ladies from my class know what I'm talking about.) So, I was coloring with Natalie and have some older Crayola's with the right names on them. I figured this was the only way I would be happy. I think it's pretty.

Now for some piffle. This is my latest finish. Sometimes when I can't focus or am stuck on a project I find a small cross-stitch in my stash and I usually finish it within a couple of days. Sometimes I feel better and sometimes, like this time, I find another little one to start. I should just post it here and ask for help but I guess I haven't reached that point yet.

So, it is July in North Carolina and what does Natalie want to wear with her customary dress...tights. Winter tights. We went to the grocery store like this today.

Here she is sitting at the table with me while I worked in my journal and what she was working on. She was also into her watercolors today. It seems only Crayola offers her the vibrance she desires. Anyway, she started to paint her hand and I had her make a handprint to put in my journal. One of the ladies in my class is staying with her daughter and grandchildren, and someone suggested she do this. I thought it was a great idea and as soon as I saw the paint on her hand I knew I had my opportunity. I should put her piece of art in my journal, too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Studio Journal Color Study

I wanted to make sure that I got to work on at least part of my exercise for this week. This week Sharon has us working on color. The first photo is a watercolor wash that I then sprinkled salt on. The salt is supposed to pull the color away and create a very interesting effect. The green worked but the red was already drying. I then thought it needed something so I added the stamps. This was kind of my warm up and I wanted to try the salt technique.

Next was a color study. We were challenged to find colors in magazines. I started with the multi-colored one in the left hand corner and built from there. I can see how helpful this will be when planning a project. I to often work strictly in my head and then I get frustrated. Sharon tells us that ideas don't necessarily have to be seen through and to often I've felt that everything I think of has to come to fruition. I need to stop doing that and I reall think this class will help. We have several other exercises for the week but Jason leaves tomorrow so I never know what time I will have.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Studio Journal On-line Class Part I

I started purchasing supplies from when I made my doll and I religiously read Barbara's newsletter each Sunday. I noticed the listing of on-line classes and perused them with some interest. I'd never taken an on-line class before but I felt like the available classes at my LQS were not feeding my creative mind. Then my friend, Susan and I were talking about Joggles and she mentioned this Studio Journal class. I went back and read it's description again, and thought this was just what I needed to get my mind working in a different way.

So far it's been great, although I can see why I don't get anything done. Natalie doesn't like when I do anything, so she really doesn't like this. And reading the Forum (where students can interact with the teacher and each other) is very addictive. Our instructor is in Australia and the students are all over the world, although there is a large NC constituent.

The first lesson invited you to decorate your sketchbook to your liking. I decided a collage and an inspirational saying would help take the "blank page" stigma off the project. I chose a magazine picture that I liked, something that made me smile and an uplifting saying. It says "You know that feeling when you've called your mother, balanced your checkbook and folded your socks. That's how I feel"

The second page I outlined the page with what Sharon uses to describe the studio journal. I left the inside blank so that I could note how that statement makes me feel. I've added two statements with room for plenty more.

Next in the lesson are some rubbings, or frottage. I've been looking at things in the house differently and found that most things are smooth. I plan to do some more frottage but as lesson two was released yesterday I need to move on.

Next Sharon wanted us to draw like we stitch. I found myself doodling but in a good way.

Finally, she gave us a picture of Van Gogh's Starry Night and wanted us to draw in black and white how we would stitch it. I would like to work on this some more, eventually. I also printed out a photo of a Cezanne picture that I would like to work like this. I also found an interesting picture of a spiral staircase that has striped carpet on the stairs. I think it would interesting to work in a drawing. I used to draw extensively as a child and I'm beginning to see why. It is very releasing. Just prior to starting this class I started keeping a small journal of doodles and ideas that, just like this, may never be anything but are on paper. I also have written some poetry and liked quotations in there.

Next is color. I have my magazines at the ready and will hopefully get to start working on that tonight.