Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting ready for the demos

As I mentioned in April, there will be demos of some of the different techniques that we use in doing our art. Here is a list of the various demonstrations coming up.

TNT textile needle thread

Sunday demonstrations

May 9th - From brown paper to fabric

May 16th - Shibori

May 23rd - Fabric manipulation

May 30th - Various cording techniques

June 6th - Using the embellisher and felting

June 13th - Screen printing & fabric painting

June 20th - Sampler of processes

I am preparing for the Shibori and the Cording demos and am having too much fun. It is a dangerous to allow myself to start exploring new areas when I am doing further research. However, I let myself get distracted and a little off course (but I was able to wander back on course).

While doing research on getting a real marudai for myself (a Mother's Day present from my wonderful husband), I came across a new thing that I had heard about before, but avidly avoided in the knowledge that it is best not to follow my Internet searches wherever they lead me. This time I did follow. And now am hooked on card weaving. 

I have ordered a kit and a booklet and while waiting I went a wee bit crazy. Not being a patient person, waiting the week and a bit that it would take to get my kit was just too much to bear. So I got out my collection of used gift cards and dead credit cards and started to cut them up and punch them out. VoilĂ , weaving tablets or cards. The photo with the Christmas tree card tablet shows a finished card. These cards are about 2 1/8" square.  I even made a smaller set of cards out of the off cuts (these are about 1 1/4" square and are shown on the tray loom photo).  Then, I fashioned a loom out of a tray (that idea needs more work -- the sides of the tray hamper the weaving a bit) and because of my need to always reinvent the wheel, I made some innovations to the ideas on the Internet (involving Easy Bobs and Sharpie markers). I have woven two bands now and I really enjoy the process. 
I can envision creating bands for purse and bag handles and other trims, as I do with my kumihimo equipment. This is another way to create unique trims for fibre art creations. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Studio Inspirations Show coming up

Studio Inspirations, the art group I belong to, has a show coming up in May and June at the Art Mad, an art store/gallery in Stittsville, Ontario, on the outskirts of Ottawa. Our group has been busy and has created some amazing art to fill the walls and displays of the venue.  Some sneak peeks are shown on the rack card for the show.
After the opening, every Sunday afternoon will feature demonstrations of some of the techniques that our group members use.  

If you are in the area, come on down and take a look. There will be lots of lovely artwork to see and to buy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back to work

I am finally getting back into the swing of things and actually getting things done.

It continually amazes me how much longer things take to do than one imagines. Currently, I am working on a yo-yo design for my City and Guilds course. I am not a fan of yo-yos (aka Suffolk Puffs) and have had a difficult time trying to figure out what to do with them. I had been thinking of doing something stone or rock based.

Recently, I noticed the lovely barnacles on a shell in my washroom. 
Then, I was searching for something completely unrelated on the Internet when I came across some images of barnacles. There they were again, my yo-yos! Well, the theme issue was solved. I went into my stash and found pale, neutralish fabrics and started making yo-yos. I made tons of them -- more than enough for any project envisioned. That took several hours. Admittedly, making the yo-yos was fairly mindless work that could be and was partly done while spending time in other activities. However, it still took several hours. 

Choosing the background fabric took another 30 minutes at least. Then, I started to arrange all the yo-yos on my background. Well, that took almost 2 hours. Yikes! I arranged and rearranged, then left it for a while, then revisited and revised several times. I find the use of a reducing glass to be very helpful in this process. I can look at the piece through the reducing glass, giving me perspective, yet I am still close enough to rearrange without constantly moving back and forth to examine the piece.

I am also in the never-ending process of organizing my studio. At one of the times away from the project, whi
le clearing up, I came across some cheesecloth I had painted at an earlier time.  As I was putting it away, it crossed my mind that it might be just what I needed for my barnacle piece. The colour is not right, but I do like the effect.  This just goes to show that clearing the studio is a good thing.

This is sort of what the piece looks like right now. The colours in the photos are quite different than the actual piece. The blues in the photo are duller than in real life and the yo-yos are distinctly pinker. Also, the green cheese cloth will be replaced with a blue green cheese cloth. This however gives me a good idea of a what this will look like when finished.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Sad Time

The last few months have been very sad around here. My step-father had cancer and things took a definite turn for the worse.  He died, peacefully and at home on November 6, 2008. He was cremated exactly 28 years after my father died (who also died of cancer) and his funeral was exactly 28 years after my father's funeral. My mother, who has never lived alone in her almost 80 years, is having to make great adjustments. It is a very sad and lonely time for her, even though I am trying to be there for her as much as possible. So, I have not be blogging, or doing much of anything else recently.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Haiku a day

I am still plugging away at various exercises from Sharon Boggan's Studio Journals class. I have lots of pages of wonderful design "seeds" and am having lots of fun.

Yesterday in one of the forums for the class, someone mentioned Virginia Spiegel's daily Haikus, she writes five of them each day about ordinary things she sees from where she sits to have her coffee each morning. She tells how examining the object (whatever it is) helps one to see. I thought the idea was great, but I am only aiming for one Haiku each day. Click on the link above to see her process of writing Haiku. I did not use her method exactly, but did borrow the idea of thinking about the bar from all five senses. Today's Haiku is about a mini O'Henry Bar sitting on my desk.

Bright yellow wrapper
Nutty sweetness in the bar
Conquers my hunger

Yesterday's Haiku about my mini tripod:

Orange, silver, black
Strange three legged bird stands tall
Holds digital eye

OK, a poet I am not, but I think this is a useful daily exercise -- sort of like stretching the noticing (focusing and seeing) muscles. It helps me to focus and see that which is around me, to notice it and focus on it in more detail. Perhaps with a start like that to each day, during the rest of the my day I may notice more and more richly.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going Around in Circles

Just let me say, I am glad I did not get arrested this week. I have been going around in circles or at least in search of circles (one of the assignments in my Studio Journals class with Sharon Boggan). So here I was walking around photographing circles. They are everywhere and it was fun. One of the multiple examples that Sharon had in the class notes was hub caps -- well you know, there are an endless variety of hubcaps out there and I got a little carried away.

Shocking, I know. With every cool hubcap I saw (and had to photograph) I felt like a thief staking out these cars. I was sure that at any moment someone would call a cop and I would have to explain. Of course I did have a camera full of circle photos and only circle photos to back up my story (plus my course notes, but they were at home). But even had the police been convinced by my camera full of circles, there was no way to guarantee that they were not going to haul me off to the loony bin. So, over all I had a blast taking all these circle photos, but am hugely relieved that I still have my freedom!

I had great plans of taking photos different shapes each day, but life got in the way. Also, quite frankly, I am now a wee bit obsessed with circles. I may just have to go with that for a while. I want to take the hub caps further (no pun intended) and play with the other circle photos too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I painted some beautiful papers last week and some not so beautiful papers (grin). I used watercolours and I used acrylics as well, both artist grade and those lovely, cheap bottles of craft grade that I still have hanging about and am trying to use up. I feel very virtuous.

The first photo shows the whole stack of papers. Though there are a few rosy pink pages, there are not as many as appear in the photo. As always, the notorious camera is showing colours that are not really there. Many of the rosy coloured papers are actually golden and quite lovely.

The next two photos show the same papers up a little closer.

The last two photos are of some of my favorite papers that I have painted. Yum! Again, there is virually no pink in these at all -- trust me.

Many of these papers are really thick and rich and wonderful. I almost want to frame them as abstract pieces of art on their own. But, I won't. They will mostly be used for various backgrounds for my sketchbooks.