This is a little project I made in the early weeks after our move. I can never resist the formed paper packaging materials, so when I noticed this one in the recycle pile I snagged it. I quickly realized that I would like it better with a frame. This one is made from a couple layers of cardboard and covered with a few layers of paper. I painted it, first with the primer I was using in the kitchen, and then with acrylics. The size is about 8" wide x 14" high.
I set it aside on the counter in my studio and as has happened so often, it started communicating with its neighbor!
The red piece on the right is a fabric chenille that I made earlier this year. I was disappointed with the project for a couple of reasons, but I realized that I would like it a lot better if I could add a shadow box style frame, and that the texture of the fabric chenille would be an interesting way to create a center. Anyway, I've whipped up a few more frames and experimented with some 6 inch square chenille centers. The only finished piece so far is pictured below.
I would like to spend some time developing this idea, so maybe by next week.....
September 1, 2019! Yes, I've been able to hold to my restART date! This weekend I've fiddled around with a bit with a new idea and hope to have something ready to share by next Friday. My work space is more or less set up, but not really. That will take awhile...
In the meantime I want to share these wonderful figures. We recently explored the Ernest Thompson Seaton Archive at the Academy for the Love of Learning near Santa Fe. These two guys are displayed on the cabinet there without any information about the maker or origin. I got the idea that they were one of many things of this type that Seaton brought into his campfire talks of the 1930's or earlier. They are about 3 feet tall and carved from wood. It looks like the arms were made separately and then added. Weathering adds to their charm.
If I could make these...I would. Maybe they will inspire something.
I give up any pretense of working on my art (or my blog) until further notice!
The opportunity to move to a different house came up rather suddenly and I started packing up my studio on June 24, when I arrive home from a week-long get away. We moved on July 17, and just today I was able to begin unpacking a few things in my new studio.
Our new house has the interesting feature of a gold fish pond in the front courtyard. We thought it was too crowded with fish, most about 8" long. We found a guy who was willing to come over to take as many as he could catch to move to his pond. We helped him catch 23 fish. My job was to hold the plastic bag open in the water to receive the fish as they were dumped out of the net. None of them landed on my head, although it felt like a possibility each time. I was reminded of my "Fish Out of Water" sculpture. By the time we had stirred up the pond for an hour it was such a mess, we gave up knowing there were a few left. This morning we counted nine fish that emerged from the depths to feed. The plan was to get rid of all the fish, but I think we will keep these after all.
The good news about out move is that I have a few new ideas that have blossomed while I was unable to put my hands on any art supplies! My goal is to be ready to start working again on September 1. Check back again in a month to see if anything is happening here!
My sister was the first to spot these treasures as they were being unpacked in the store. By the time we returned they had been sorted into bundles of 6 potholders for $1.50, so what could I do except buy a bundle. Of course they bring back happy memories of making these when I was a kid. The colors combinations here are a bit surprising and I like them. The 2 pictured on the left are my favorites. I've been working with grid ideas this spring in some painting experiments. The 6" x 6" painting below seems just a few steps away from a potholder, but not as functional! I know I will enjoy using these little gems.
I posted a photo of this Uncommon Quilting Square a few weeks ago, lamenting that my zipper supply was almost gone. LOOK WHAT I FOUND.
That was the best item, but not the only treasure I found. Check this out: a bag of crewel embroidery threads, a couple of bead necklaces and a short string of large wooden beads. It would be fun to work out a little sculpture that uses a bit of each of these things. I'll need some time to figure that out. Stay tuned!
I am more or less at the half-way point on my Uncommon Quilting Challenge for 2019. I am rating this a success, even if stop right now. Might happen.
To start this design I folded the red fabric in half and made 5 cuts that each became 2 sides of a triangular opening when I laid the fabric out flat. I made 2 more rows of cuts going the opposite direction. Then I folded back the flaps to create the triangular openings. I laid this over the yellow and print fabrics, letting the circles peek out. All of the was stitched in place. At this stage I realized that I had used a 6" x 9" piece of batting by mistake. So, I added the strips of yellow on the 9" edges to bring it out to the 7" width, strengthening the design in the process.
The pink shape that is the centerpiece of this design was intended to become the top of a baby's bootie. My grandmother cut this from her original pattern and it survived at least 65 years waiting for this moment. I added the red background, the lace and worked out a stitching pattern that repeats the negative shape. It looks like a valentine!
The red and white striped fabric is some I bought many years ago to make Raggedy Ann arms and legs. I played with a sheer black ribbon that happened to be the same width as the stripe. If I had been thinking ahead and used blue ribbon, this could have been my Fourth of July offering.
The square on the left is made from a pair of antique lace cuffs set on a black background. The print in the center successfully joins the cuffs into a single design. The quilting just follows the lace design and holds it in place.
Finally, the square on the right is my favorite one of this group. This is based on a handful of scraps from a piece I made several years ago. I just can't throw stuff like this away! I laid the pieces out in a new design and added some fun, quick quilting.
On a recent afternoon with my Mom, my sister and I decided to have an art making challenge. Our supplies were limited to what we could find as we walked around the block and whatever art and craft supplies my mom could find in her small apartment.
I started with 2 pieces of light weight cardboard, each 6" x 9". My paints were the craft quality acrylics that come in 2 oz. bottles. I painted one piece of cardboard with a white/green combination. The second one with white and aqua paint. Paints were mopped around with a very sad little brush and a paper towel I then decided to splice the 2 pieces together into one painting. I accomplished this using a piece of brown paper bag glued on the back. By peeling the previously used 2-ply toweling apart I had something to use to cover the splice on the front side. This also added a little texture that can be seen in the lower center. Near the end of the process I added the gray paint to tone things down a bit and took a picture with my cell phone, The photo made the piece appear to be kind of purple in places. I decided that was a good idea, so then added some real purple. Finally, I got going with the black paint, squirting it out of the little bottle in one fluid motion. Black dots made with the end of a small paint brush were the final touch. I gave this a quick coat of sealer when I got home.
I am always happy when I get involved in a creative project like this and I was pleased to notice that my painterly thinking has taken a mini step forward.
More cute! "Silly" doesn't seem as appealing to me as the Whistling Cowgirl. Her face is a little more severe. But, her braids and hat are great and she has a fine little cowgirl outfit! She is about the same as "Whistling" at 18" tall, and the materials are the same. I had a little cowgirl skirt similar to this one when I was a kid - dusty rose corduroy with burgundy leather trim. I loved it! The Silly Little Cowgirl is hanging out this summer at The La Veta Gallery.
I have resisted making a cute doll for most of this year, but I gave in to this idea recently. Oh, so cute! Her little face is modeled from polymer clay. Her lips are puckered up to whistle, or maybe for a little smooch. She has a body made of wood with sticks for arms and legs. Her cow patterned shirt is trimmed with ultra suede fringe and she wears blue jeans and boots. I made the cowboy hat right on her cute little head and trimmed it with ultra suede, too.
She was briefly hanging out at The La Veta Gallery, but is now enjoying a new home! She had a companion there that I will write about next week.
It is the end of May and I have 4 more Uncommon Quilting squares behind me. I thought I was running out of steam on this - and way too soon. I keep a little basket of things I find that might inspire this challenge, but it was empty!
For # 17, I decided to try the "stitch and then paint" idea that Williamson used on some of her samples. I stitched a jigsaw puzzle pattern on plan white fabric and then painted in color using regular acrylics.
Square #18 was inspired when I was trimmed the seam allowance on a polar fleece project. The bright, fuzzy chunks were stretchy and fun. I ended up struggling with this because my machine stitching didn't show up at all. Finally, I switched to black thread, which helped a little. Days later I added the black rickrack. What I really need is a lighter background. But, I'm not going to take this apart, and I am going to count it in the total!
I started to have a little more fun creating the remaining squares. Square #19 was sewn up in a flash! I had saved the pull tabs from some cardboard packaging. I combined these with a scrap of a crocheted plastic produce bag and a few pieces of thick orange yarn. Then, I stitched around with black thread to hold things down, throwing in a few zigzag patterns.
Square #20 is one of my favorites so far. About 10 years ago I bought a big box of zipper at a sale. Some had been used, some were still in the original packaging. There were quite a few metal zippers and many in colors I hope to never need in a garment. I've used quite a few of these on various projects. One of the remaining gems was the green metal zipper that is the center piece of this design. There was an interesting glob of sewing installed by the original user to hold the zipper together at the bottom. The stitching there is as I found it. I added a design of other zipper pieces and continued stitching with black thread.