Sunday, January 31, 2010
The snow is softly falling on this last day of January. Ours was a gentle drifting down for a change with only a small accumulation, thankfully not accompanied by the usual winds.
This little purse is an example of what you can create with just a few bits and pieces of fabric, ribbons, thread and buttons. They were purchased while I was away to a trade show one January and it begged to be sewn at 10 pm.
Sometimes creativity is sparked more by how little we have to work with compared to the overwhelming amount of 'stuff' we are usually surrounded by daily.
"Flowers in January" is a pattern and kit that can be purchased from the web site.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Today is the first full moon of 2010 and the biggest one of the year. It's at its closest point to the Earth. If you live near the ocean, tides will be at their highest for 2 or 3 days. This should make for some great wave watching. These are the days I miss the ocean the most!
Instead I watched it early this morning from my hilltop in Idaho slowly make its way to the west. Called the Full Wolf Moon due to the hungry wolf packs that used to howl at the edge of Indian villages. We heard the coyotes yip down at the creek, remembering the wolves howl up in the mountains on camping trips. Thrilling and scary all at the same time. Very primeval.
I stitched these strips together from scraps this morning and added a very large moon. Will this become part of larger piece or have some bare trees and wolves added? Time will tell.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
This little collection is part of a larger selection of scraps put together for some slow stitch (sewn by hand) ideas. The plan was to show how many different small projects one could create from what we would put in the scrap box. Because I'm so easily distracted, this is as far as this project has progressed!
I pulled out several assorted blues and this pile ended up more in the turquoise range. I have been enamored by turqoise for 2 years running now and I believe it is here to stay.
I found this lovely description about the color turquoise by googling color meanings: "A mix of blue & green, turquoise has a sweet feminine feel while the darker teal shades add lively sophistication."
I'm equally enamored by hearts. Several strips were sewn by hand and then the heart shape was cut out.
The black and turquoise wools were from thrift store garments, taken apart, washed and dried. The heart and dot scallop were appliqued onto the black wool. The black was then buttonholed onto the turquoise wool after the scallop border and small circles were cut out.
Tenative title is "Blue Heart Special". It still may grow with some borders and stitched words, and it definitely needs some fibers and beads.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
January 26, 2010
So where does one start? I suppose I'll start with what is inspiring to me and hopefully it will be to you too. But maybe first a bit of history.
I love handmade things. It seems upon reflection that I have always gravitated toward needlework. It wasn't until just a couple years ago that I learned my paternal grandmother from Tennessee was a quiltmaker. My maternal grandmother did fancy work and embroidery. So if you put the two together, then you have me!
Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to learn by their hand, only by what they left. Because of this, I am most adamant about teaching my grandchildren the joy and skills of creating by hand. I am doubly blessed to have a daughter who loves to create as much as I do!
I taught myself to embroider in high school in the 70's from looking at several pieces my mother had stashed away that her mother had done. One piece is a silk dress from a WWII parachute. Another dress was handmade with no pattern and appliqued and embroidered. Even in Jr. High I was haunting the isles of the local 5 and dime for bits of fabric and jewelry findings. I embroidered lots of clothes for myself and friends and even took my box of threads with me when I went away to the Army.
When I moved to Sacramento in the 80's I was introduced to the fine art of needlework with the local Embroiderers Guild and also the work of Judith Baker Montano. That sent me on a quest again for all kinds of fabrics, ribbon, beads, and buttons. I took it all to Italy where I taught myself to quilt. That was as far as that went, as Italy was just too fascinating to do anything but absorb all that was Italy!
About 3 years ago, I was at a point to start spending more time with textiles again. I had just spent several years in the paper and art stamping arena running a business designing and manufacturing art rubber stamps. I started to combine all the the things that I love. It feels natural to put it all on fabric. It was easy to go from embellishing paper to embellishing fabric.
I love to embellish! It creates so much more interest and depth and makes art much more personal. Hand work is of special interest to me and is a consuming passion. It slows me down just a bit and helps me appreciate each nuance as the piece comes together.
One of my goals is to use what I have as I create new pieces. Not only am I concerned about overusing our resources, I am also haunted by the thought of one day seeing all my 'pretties' on a yard sale table in little baggies!
Visual Harmony - My first solo art quilt show in September 2009 began a new direction in my life and work as I strive to obtain a balance of color and form, sustainablility and simplicity in all that I do; basically make-do and use it up! Exploring this idea along with inspiration for your own creations will be the focus of my natterings for some time to come, along with some day to day humor involving my dogs, cat, turkeys, chickens and assorted family rambling around on our small acreage.