Saturday, January 25, 2014

finishing up...and something new...

I did finish the paper work I showed you last week with the manipulated Amaryllis image. It started out with this first one. I didn't like some of the areas I did in watercolor so I cut them away and filled those areas with cloth.

---click on the images for a much better view---

manipulated Amaryllis image, watercolor, colorpoint paint, fabric
 I printed another image, used some paint and then did some free motion embroidery with some hand stitching. Those 5 pieces in the bottom right hand corner are the watercolored pieces cut away from the image above.

manipulated image, watercolors, colorpoint paint, fme, hand stitching
Here is another image I played with in PE....this one is more like a sketch and when I turned it around and added some pencil looks to be a dancing goat to me. You might see a horse or a deer or...

amaryllis image manipulated in PE

my dancing goat

The Amaryllis bulbs are on their second round of producing flowers so there may be more playing when those bloom.

Amaryllis will bloom again
I have never had any formal training in Art or Art History so when I read about this class on Facebook, I just couldn't pass it up. We studied Matisse the first week and now we are studying Gaudi. I am so happy to have found this class. I have already learned so much and have really gotten into doing the exercises demonstrated. Check it out at this link. If it interests you, you can still sign up and I believe the class will be available online for 2 years so there is no rush to keep up. You can work at your own pace. There are 9 teachers...a different one each week and each presents a different artist. It is so worth the cost. The name of the class is STUDYING WITH THE MASTERS and you can read all about it here.

some of my art supplies and a book recommended by Jeanne Oliver

in the style of Matisse / a new journal started

collecting patterns in a journal

I've been continuing to work on my daily stitching project and the blocks are adding up.

just a bit of my own embroidery in each already embellished block

an appliqued bird block for the center surrounded by vintage cloth

A very full week. Went a bit backwards with the Downton Abbey coat this week. I found a mistake at the armhole so I had to back out 7" but I'm almost back to the top again.

We had a freeze this week with some very icy streets that looked like snow but created havoc on the roads with lots of accidents despite the fact that all the schools and some businesses closed for the day....but we're back to normal and expect tomorrow to be in the 70s. I just love the variety.

Hope you're all safe and are having a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

a full week...

I did lots of playing with the filters in Photoshop Elements this week. I used the images of the beautiful Amaryllis bulbs that have been blooming for the past few weeks right on my kitchen table.
Here's one image that I used for some ledger work.

click on the images for close-ups...
Photoshopped image of the Amaryllis seen in my last post

I printed it on watercolor paper, did some painting with watercolors and with this Colorpoint paint I found in my closet from years ago. I cut out some areas from one of the paintings and put it down on another...just had a great time playing.

watercolors, dimensional paint over printed image

I've done some free motion quilting and hand stitching on this but it's not quite finished. Will show you the finished page next time. It has evolved slowly.

I spent a good amount of time this week straightening out my crafts room. I haven't seen the tops of my work table in a long time. Nice to have that surface back. I built this work table about 20 years ago from a steel frame and plywood. I even added a padded section for ironing that is right next to my sewing machine.  I'll take you around the room with pictures. The room still needs some cleaning out and organizing but, at least, I've made a good start.

a small cutting board here. a much bigger one in another room...paints, brushes, glue, needle book, journal, etc., etc.

more paints and beads under the table, spun yarn in baskets, ironing surface and....

sewing machine, threads. window behind that hanging quilt

old books, machine quilting books, lots of threads for hand stitching

haven't gotten to this mess yet. baskets with ufos, all of dad's photography up top. the drawers are filled with things from fabric to computer equipment. i bought this hutch when i got my first full time job when i was 18.
I wont show you the closet in this room that is chock full of stuff that needs sorting out. Hopefully this motivation that hit me will last a while longer so I can get it all done. The closet is full of yarn and different collage papers, lots of raw wool for felting and spinning and every other craft project I've tried in the past 25 or so years. Very little fabric in this room...that stash is in my bedroom since I ran out of room here.

The Downton Abbey coat is moving along. Just need a couple more rows to finish the back.

the back...ready to start one of the front panels

It was 29 degrees here this morning but I've already received some of the seeds I will plant this Spring. Will have to wait till the end of March, at least, but I'm ready.

Hope you're all having a great weekend.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

and so it goes...

the daily stitching has continued and i've washed some more of my grandmother's cloth to use. I wasn't sure whether i'd be able to use it because it was stiff and so discolored...not in a good way...but 2 hours soaked in oxy-clean and they turned out beautifully. I was amazed. so I will cut them up and incorporate them. I've decided to vary the shapes and sizes of the blocks to add interest and also so that I don't have to cut into some beautiful patterns on the cloth.

and don't on the images for better views...

daily stitching squares

I continue to stitch a little on the Fun Times cloth every day and am getting closer to finishing but still have a ways to go. every time I lay out all the panels, I see areas that still need some work.

added contrast here so the white stitching shows up

and I cannot resist showing you some more images of the beautiful Amaryllis flowers that are sitting on my kitchen table that were a gift from a friend. I think these will be the last blooms for this year. I've enjoyed these so much that I think I will be forcing bulbs indoors every year from now on.

the back of the Downton Abbey coat is about 25" long and I'm just about to start the armholes. I hope to have the back finished by next week.

we've been having some beautiful days of sun and 70 degree temperatures but the cold days are bound to be back before long.

have a great week and see you next time.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

a daily project for 2014

I've seen lots of ideas lately for a daily stitching practice. I like having something easy to pick up and stitch when I'm stuck on a project. I decided to cut up some of the vintage cloth I've accumulated, that I probably will never use, into 5½" squares. My hope is to do some small stitching motif on one square each day throughout the year and then stitch them all together into some type of blanket. I've already cut up enough for a little over a month and have stitched on 3 of the squares...

click on the images for a better view...

5½" squares to get me started

some bullion knots, the number 1 and a flower motif (the white is hard to see)

a leaf and flower motif with cast-on stitches

I received 2 beautiful Amaryllis bulbs from a friend and I am so enjoying watching them open up into gorgeous flowers. It's amazing how many flowers are produced from just one bulb.

such a beautiful pink/peachy color

love how the light comes through the thin petals

I have done a bit more work on the Fun Times cloth...

a bumpy bit (about 2" wide) with embroidered vines

and the Downton Abbey coat is growing slowly...

it measures 17" so far

I know there's lots of weather out there, so stay safe and warm. We go from 22 degrees one morning to 75 degrees the next afternoon, but expecting a freeze again Sunday night.
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