This quilt has been a UFO in my work bin for over a year now. But I was suddenly inspired by another blog to slash and slice these squares into quarters and halves. Then I'll resew the whole thing back together. Fun fun fun!
The other project that I’ve had to make the hard choice to put away for now is my Creating Art at the Speed of Life workbook. I‘m not going to put it away long term, like the girly dresses. It’s not that I can't get to it. It's more like I ready to go out on my own. The book is going to stay in my art area as an inspiration spring board for when I’m feeling stuck. I have realized that I am not stopping art journaling anytime soon.
I shared my art journal with a fellow artist friend. As she flipped through the pages, her little son asked, “Why is she making that?” Her response was “Well, she’s trying to figure out what things she likes to work with and what makes her heart happy.” I loved that explanation!
Working on the first 11 lessons has revealed several things to me:
I’m trying to figure out a way to incorporate art journaling as a daily or nearly daily thing for myself. I find it so refreshing as long as I am doing something I want to do instead of having to stick to a planned activity.
What lessons have you learned about your art lately? Leave a comment!
One life lesson that is hard to learn is knowing when to cut your losses. Like my little girly dresses I started at the beginning of the spring. The first batch I got done and my daughter wore them all the time. Then I had a second set that got assembled later, but lacked the hem, finishes, and buttons that needed to be added on. Alas, they laid around all summer. And our summer season here is so short. Before I realized it, summer had gone by. Also, I realized she had already begun to outgrow what I made. At first I asked myself, “Why go to so much effort if they can only wear those clothes for a couple of months?”Then I was reminded that it was great fun to make them and even more fun to see her twirl and enjoy them, even if the period was brief. However to finish that last batch seems like a lot of effort in the wrong direction now. So, I will fold them away for the next child, and my time on them will be much shortened.
Have you had to make the hard choice to stop a project and come back to it later? Tell me about it below!
I read through Lotta Jansdotter: Open Studios recently. It was somewhat interesting to peek inside other artists' work spaces and see how they organize (or not) their space. My own space is being lightly renovated so that I can be in it year round now. No more having to figure out where to stash my stuff so little fingers don't get hurt. I've also been pinning some dream stuff. Feel free to follow me on Pinterest. Have a great rest of your week!
With summer, my time in my sewing studio always decreases. My fingers twitch to be outside and I know I’d sew a crooked seam (that’s a quote from Anne of the Island, but I digress…) But the other day, one of my children requested one of my big kangaroos in yellow. So I quickly found my pattern and away we went!
What do you think?
It was nice sewing again. It felt like meeting an old friend for coffee. Quick but fun little time together. Must do it again soon.
Do you sew more or less at certain seasons? Leave a comment!
One of the things that working through my mixed media lessons has done, has reminded me about my lifelong struggle with value and shading.
One project in art class in high school, I remember my teacher (after much frustration on his part) asking me to look at my work from across the room while he held it up. This was a portrait I had been shading. I didn't know what his problem was with my work, but I did as he asked. When I turned around, the face on my portrait had completely disappeared. It was a very powerful lesson for me that I never forgot.
And yet, I did forget. Another one of the critiques from my VQF entry was that I lacked contrast. At first, I didn't get it. Then the memory of my teacher floated through my head. Looking back on my past pieces, and my lessons I see that the only pieces that have good contrast are the ones with white or cream backgrounds. Working with colors though seems to confuse me. I pick colors based on what I like, not on what would be best in my piece to make it 'pop'.
What struggles do you have in your artistic work?
My contest entry for the Vermont Quilt Festival came back to me last week. Alas, I did not win. I did get the judges critique sheet though, which I was happy about. Now I know what things I need to work on for the next contest I enter.
I called my entry Moonlight in Vermont because the theme we had to work within was Winter Wonderland. I wanted to capture the illusive shading of purples that happen to the snow on a night of full moonlight. And I personally love the song.
The picture doesn't show it too well, but I used this very interesting material called Angelica film to cover some areas of the quilt and it gave those places an iridescent kind of shimmer. I also used hand embroidery stitching both around the edges and throughout to quilt the piece together. All in all, I was pretty pleased. It seems my hand stitching could use some improvement, according to the judges sheet, so that is something I can work on this coming year.
Finally I have crossed the line in my mind. I've always been an out of the box quilter, but now that I have officially made my first mixed media quilt, I know I am not going back anytime soon. I just want to keep pushing and keep exploring this new world and discovering more about myself and my art in the process.
Have you tried to find more in your art recently?
When I took on my mixed media class-at-home, I told myself that I wasn't going to go out and buy a ton of new stuff. Right in my book, Creating Art at the Speed of Life, the author even says to not get hung up on the supply list, but to substitute, be creative, and have fun.
But what happens when you actually cannot proceed with a lesson without a particular supply?
The last lesson in the section I was on (lesson 10) called for printing an image onto a transparency sheet, and then transferring that image onto your sketchbook.
Seriously? How many of you have transparencies lying around your house? Or even have access to them? Do people still use transparencies at all??
And how could I substitute that? Was there some other more common clear plastic that I could print on so that I could transfer? If there was I wasn't aware of it. And I was stubborn to not go out and buy a pack of transparency sheets for a one-off lesson that I would probably never do again. So yeah, that lesson took me about...oh...a month to complete.
(Just as an aside: in addition to the drama of getting the transparency, then my transfer didn't even work! I ended up with ruined sketchbook pages and ruined transparencies. It was pretty frustrating.)
Excepting all that hoop-la around the last lesson, I enjoyed playing with texture through these last lessons. I also feel like these lessons helped me think more critically about building up layers of texture, how much effort that takes, and what a spectacular effect it has when you finally get all that building done. The depth that comes from that effort is something that I am going to incorporate in my own work.
I was finally able to finish constructing the little girly dresses I started months ago. I still have trims and hemlines to go, but that's it!
What do you think? Any long term projects you are getting cleared off this week?
As I prepared for baby this past week, I had a sudden urge to finish one last project. For my other kids, I had a proper diaper holder that coordinated with the nursery set that someone had given us. That set had been packed away long ago, and I was loathe to pull it all out for the truly only functional piece- the diaper holder.
So, instead I went to One Yard Wonders (love that book!) and found a laundry bag pattern that I thought would be a great substitute. It took me one day to prep the fabric (iron, trace, and cut). And a few hours of another day to sew it all together. Here it is!
This turned out to be HUGE compared to what I imagined it would be, but that was fine since I was afraid it was going to be too small. Instead, size-wise, it turned out to be just right.
Alas, I realized yet again that I incapable of following a pattern. I already know this about myself, but for such a simple project, i thought maybe I might just follow the directions. But no, I could not. I never seem to truly assess my supplies before I begin, and then I run out (like of my lovely purple bias tape). It all turned out all right in the end, and still sewed up quickly though.
Do you ever feel the need to attempt a last minute project?