I had to wait awhile to post pictures of this so my daughter wouldn’t see her birthday card ahead of time. I’m having a lot of fun using my mono prints and stamps to make impromptu cards (anyone else out there boycotting purchased greeting cards and all they stand for? UNITE!).
So here’s what I made to celebrate my daughter’s offspringing…
I really enjoyed adding beads to my embroidered patterns and I suspect that technique might make another appearance. I especially enjoyed finding a use for my needle lace pattern AND avoiding the greeting card industry. It’s evil y’all. Buy card stock on sale and draw a picture. Your loved ones will love it even more than that $7 card that sings.
P.S. I used my mono prints recently to create a thank you card (plus two bonus bookmarks I included…that could be used to create two new cards…). It’s the gift that keeps on giving, as well as a gift that’s fun to give. I highly recommend purchasing a cheap gelli-plate and going to town. It’s kind of a “no wrong answers” situation: even your least favorite print can be turned into your favorite bookmark.
I’ve been having a lot of fun carving my own stamps since my class with Jane LaFazio. I decided to make a stamp from the wave pattern I used for my last needle lace design. I’m thrilled with the results.
I’m digging the rubber stamp carved “chatter” inside the waves – I tried to let this flow while I was carving instead of doing a full excavation. (There were so many unintended puns in there that my fingers got sparked off the keyboard for a second. Unintended y’all, I promise.)
I especially like seeing the end products next to the pattern. So different when it’s transferred to ink on page vs. needle laced. If you’re digging that, wait til you see what’s next!
So I really like metallic and silk thread…and they’re very finicky. I think Seahorse Dude is kind of gnarly as a result, which makes sense when you think about his time underwater in the ocean…moving on…
Earlier today…I was getting a smog-check on my car next to a craft store…so I spent my time wisely.
It’s fun to see my rubber stamp patterns come to life in stitching!
This weekend I took another wonderful class with Jane LaFazio and I’m having a great time finishing my small art quilt. Following Jane’s suggestion I took this opportunity to commemorate a fun trip in an art quilt. My family was fortunate enough to visit Turkey a few years ago and I *just almost* finished the scrapbook from the trip. So I raided the box of leftover souvenirs and I’m creating this art quilt as a final homage and memory creation of that travel experience.
Jane taught us how to incorporate paper and cloth into our base quilt, then we began embellishing each quilt square in anticipation of putting them back together again. Here’s a few shots of my WIP…(I’ve wondered more than once how this will all come together, but I’m seeing it now and getting more and more excited with each finished square and re-working of the pattern).
I’ll share finished product when I get there.
Making and crafting to my heart’s content and hoping the same for you…
I’ve been working on a needle lace pattern I created to represent a set of waves and I really like how it turned out. I enjoy in-process pics so I’m posting a few.
How It Started
I stitched a few free-drawn leaf patterns first that I liked and didn’t like (yes on silk thread outline, no on structural veins that don’t connect because lace loses its shape).
So then I tried this wave pattern sketch of mine…
I’m really loving how this wave pattern came out matching my expectations for movement in thread. And now an artist friend has suggested that I abstract this pattern and go bigger…I’m hooked and thinking….how can one abstract a needlelace pattern…I have ideas….
Today I attended a Cyber Security talk with my local ISACA chapter (blah blah blah what I do during the day blah blah blah), but there’s an amazing set of needlework art on the walls of the college where we meet. And that’s what we’re going to talk about here.
The plaque describing where these come from was gold and shiny and defied all pictures. And my brain was filled with cyber security details related to my work, so I didn’t even write down the details or take a rubbing (now that’s a good idea for the next meeting! the plaque is engraved!). I promise I will write this down at my next monthly meeting – specific credit is due!
The mixture of small and large needlework stitches fascinates me on these works (and they’re not even behind glass y’all! I didn’t touch the stitches – I swear – tho I wanted to…). So here’s the best visual I’ve found so far of how this is created: Petit Point . I believe these items are from the early 1900’s.
Mastery to the Nth degree, in my book. Reality: This artist started with long blank canvases and stitched complex three-dimensional patterns on them with different threads in different material:stitch parameters. I’m just beginning to imagine how to create this kind of diversity in my threading.
I love being a part of this long history of tapestry, embroidery, needlework and crochet. We are making pieces of love that last the ages (on this topic: Please please check out what Amy Meissner is doing with historic handcrafted and found pieces. She is a huge inspiration for me, and I love to see how she is incorporating sewn pieces from our cultural past into a new future. I also love how she uses found items in her art. Very thought-provoking for me…).
Greetings after a quiet weekend here on the annabella blog. Craftin’ was a-happenin’ in the interim, just no postin’. I continued to follow the sun around the house and garden, take pictures, contemplate (my navel and others’), read and think about my current art path.
Here’s a quote from the Tom Robbins book I mentioned that I’d like to share:
“That’s the value of artists, isn’t it? Even when they aren’t aware of it, they’re dreaming our dreams for us.” (I would argue this might better read, “that’s oneof the value of artists…,” but I’m taking this out of context, plus who am I to split hairs with Tom Robbins?) The bottom line is that we are all, as artists, dreaming our own dreams as well as those of the collective conscious. What we do with all that energy and content is up to us.
I spent some time with the embroidery quilting square and tried out another outline stitch.
The swirls are slightly different from this angle, and it becomes obvious how the consistent outline stitch brings the curves forward more than the broken overcast stitch.
And a side image
I have my next outline stitch picked out, but I think I should add beads to those blue dots on the first “L” so I can get a balanced view of my next stitch. It’s a fun project to pick up from time to time to push my free form skills.
On the patterned work front (also related to my upcoming Art and Soul Retreat…plus the reason for today’s serendipitous title…):
This weekend I started sewing the arms, legs and body as pre-work for a doll I plan to make at the Art and Soul Retreat. This would be quick and easy work with a sewing machine, but alas. I got an awesome sewing machine as a gift recently, and I’ve read the manual front to back (with the machine in front of me, identifying each part), but I’m very intimidated when it comes to threading this bad boy and engaging that foot pedal with some cloth involved. I’m on a waiting list for a class in which I get to bring my machine, pick out a pattern, and pay an expert to walk me through the process.
Until then, here’s my hand-stitched version (front and back). Hopefully this holds up in the “stuffing” process for an appendage so skinny. Please note strategic positioning of hearts – at least one of those are gonna be a tattoo y’all!!
I’m working on the legs and body next, but the serendipitous part is that I found what appears to be a machine-sewed skirt at the very dimensions of this future doll!!! I was unfolding the material to lay out the arms and legs and found this!
I can’t decide if I’m more pleased by the triangle of sunlight on my dining room floor or the ready-made pleated skirt. They’ll each get reused multiple times…it’s a skinny doll.
Here’s what we call “stress flowering” in a plant we got from a neighbor. (Get that baby in a better pot with auto-watering asap!)
There’s lots of wackiness going on in the garden these days – I’ll try to capture some better photos to share soon.
[First of all: Look at me trying new site templates and stuff! For those of you following me: how ya’ diggin’ it? Suggestions for improvement? I LERV that top photo. I found several logs fallen that had been drilled by woodpeckers in another life. Alongside a bunch of fun acorns with stems. I couldn’t stop until every hole was filled!]
ON TO TODAY…
This morning was kind of weird because my power went out right after I made my ceremonial morning latte (Krups has started my days for the last 19 years, which is – not coincidentally – the age of my child. Making a good latte before venturing out into the world became important early on…and early in the day…).
It was weird at first because my kitchen electronics started beeping at me while I was making my coffee. My stove beeped and flashed a cryptic “PF”* message in the digital display. Huh. Moving my purse strap from the surface of that, in case it decides to turn itself on later. Steaming milk on my Krups. Microwave beeps and flashes. OK, need to reset the clock – must be a power surge. Then, as soon as my milk is steamed and my latte machine is cleaned and put away – all power in the kitchen goes off. What timing! Thank you Coffee Gods! (* “PF” = Power Failure; I thought I would have to consult the manual but I figured it out all on my own!)
A quick trip outside (in my house shoes and star socks, because I work from home and have no shame) tells me that one of those transformer electrical thingies attached to a nearby telephone pole has stopped working and they have to “call in a crew.” Bummer. Huh. What now?
I’ll remind you in this moment that I work in IT from home, so I’m pretty much reliant on every electronic device in my house – including that stupid WiFi router whose plug now means nothing. If I’d had a bunch of meetings scheduled I would have hoofed it to the nearest Starbucks, but today was a magical no-meeting day, so I informed everyone of my electronic tragedy (via text – my only way out!) and hunkered down.
Then I actually wandered around the house in a strange fog thinking: what shall I do next? How will I communicate with anyone? Who might have started following my blog while I was asleep and how can I thank them?!?!
Oh dear – dire straits. So I drank my coffee, read a little (Tom Robbins, Tibetan Peach Pie is the book du jour – I recommend it if you can handle his brand of zany. I think it’s entertaining, especially in smallish bits.) Then I went really crazy and walked the Scruff-Man over to Marge’s to pick up some new wooden spools she recently found in a drawer. (Apparently “morning sun” smells different in the neighborhood than “evening breeze.” I was equally entranced and sad that “morning smells” seemed like distant memories. Maybe I should be getting up earlier again – instead of hitting snooze – and hitting the streets with the dogie. It was quite lovely and not too hot at all.)
The wooden spools are great, but here’s what really caught my eye.
Like the hero and mentor that she is, Marge asked if I brought any of my current art with me to show her. Like the artistic coward that I am, I admitted that I didn’t think any of it was “good enough” or “done enough” to “show anyone.” Silly rabbit. I promised I would get over that and bring her something soon. I’m Girl Scout Promising and Pinky Swearing on this y’all.
Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.
A circle’s round and has no end,
That’s how long I will be your friend.
[I had to stop my Pandora Lauryn Hill radio station to remember that song enough to web search it. Audio-multi-tasking-challenged]
So here’s one of the things I could have/should have taken to show Marge.
The previous versions of this were here and here. I’m having a lot of fun with these pre-printed quilt squares my mom sent me as a package. It’s puckering a bit because I don’t have it in a hoop – not sure how to solve that problem (believe you me, I have imagined several self-made “square hoops” that are exactly this size – some made of twigs and pine needles. Is there a market for this?! I doubt it. Is it even possible?! Probably, but why?)
After the basic French knots I looked to my favorite embroidery pattern book for some outline stitches (another amazing Christmas gift…that I requested):
I used yellow thread for the base stitches and I’m using the dark orange for the overcast stitches.
I’m planning to add beads at some point, but I may put more outlining in place before I do that.
Today I was kind of all over the map. I worked crazy hours in meetings and also seemed to manage some interesting art in my breaks. Sometimes it seems that one feeds the other…
On my lunch break I took (daylight) pictures of the palm pieces I’ve gathered over the last 5 years. These are pieces of palm trees (usually really tall ones) that fall to the street in wind storms where I live. These storms aren’t necessarily “rare” here, but they happen seasonally and for the most part we don’t see this kind of stuff in the streets on a regular basis.
But then there’s a crazy wind/rain storm that happens for a couple of days (if we’re lucky) and people tend to leave them in the streets and sidewalks for awhile. So the last storm is responsible for my cool eucalyptus leaves hitting the ground from so high up (poor worms/bugs who were feasting on their edges! They’re left with the remaining leaves I guess.). That recent storm also left some new palm pieces I came across in a recent dog walk.
Which inspired me to post a bit of a gallery here, of my palm canvas finds. The first two I came across were way too big and intimidating for me to start painting on, but I have a vision for this medium, and the smaller pieces I came across recently seemed like a good testing ground.
This one sits in a corner of my office, by turns mocking and inspiring me.
This one arrived at a craft fair as possible table decoration, and when they didn’t have room for it they said out loud, “I guess we should just throw it away.” And my supersonic-craft hearing kicked in and I ran across the room to say, “I’d like to stow that in the backseat of my car, if that’s ok with you?” So now I have a life-size palm frond on which to paint my next masterpiece. Get started already, huh?
Is it just me, or do the 3rd palms look like Alien casings? I’m not sure if I’ll be painting on the front or back of those (which is all relative, in relation to the tree right?).
So I’m excited about the 3rd palms because they’re not as big as #1 and #2, so whatever I paint on them can’t possibly be as serious as what happens on #1 and #2, right? Anyways, I picked up a stub palm frond that I can try all my acrylic pain on first. So nervous I am, with these palm fronds. I see the possibilities but I’m not sure how to get there.
I tried to use my lunchtime sun to also capture some better pictures of my drawings without much luck. But I did capture this, which I like. The wind kept blowing the paper off the stump I was using, so I grabbed this glass orb to weigh it down (used to be part of a solar light in the garden). Turned into a nice shot, I think.
So I picked a square and decided to start sewing French knots in the loopy pattern. Turns out there’s a cursive capital “L” in the loopy pattern that I didn’t see when I started.
This is one of my first free-form embroideries – what fun! I have big plans for these L’s involving beads and outlines of other colored threads. Stay tuned. It was fun to free-form on this square, but it’s interesting working without the tension of a hoop. By the last “L” I think I finally had it figured out.
I wish I could sew all night, but time for bed. See you in the new creative AM.