Friday, August 29, 2014

104.... Off the Wall Fridays

If you've been watching me progress through Elizabeth Barton's Masterclass this year - you might be wondering. . . OMG what is she going to do with all those monthly masterpieces?  Funny, I was wondering the same thing. . . . grin.  I'm not a huge one for making things and leaving them rolled up in the corner.

So in that light, I scrapped my letters  and put them to some purpose.  You see, recently, my boss moved me to a bigger cube at work.  She's been trying to get me to move for months, but me not liking change kept putting her off.  Finally, she enticed me by reminding me that. "There will be more room to decorate. . . " She really does know me well - grin!  Our company encourages us to personalize our space in any zany way we want.  I tend to put quilt samples - art ideas  and whatever odds and ends that are inspiring me at the moment.

Well with my new cube - which I love btw! - there is a nice back wall corner.  I thought - gee you'd think I would have something that would look cool in a corner.  Well - I do - at least half of one.  I haven't quilted July's assignment up yet and its really growing on me.  I thought with a little revamp and a little more work - it could be made to go into the back wall corner - with the two half meeting in the corner.
 A little more work turned out to be a lot more work  - of course - but well worth it. I found that it not only will it work in the corner - it looks great flat!  Plus I got to use up a ton of scraps!  Now just to quilt it and I can put it up!  (Ohh and you know I'll be saying a lot of  "Yes I made that and yes I dyed the fabric myself"  grin!  My workmates still think that I'm making log cabin quilts on my days off. . .  not to disparage traditional quilters!)

Ohhh, by the way, Off the Wall Friday  is two years old this week!!  A big THANK YOU for your participation and encouragement over the last 104 weeks.  In 20 years of quilting I've never managed to stay creative consistently year round - now with all of you to answer to - I am!  If I don't say it enough - you all are the greatest and a huge blessing!  

So what have you been up to creatively?

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Letters Continue - Off the Wall Friday

Well, I got a blocked out piece for the Letters challenge. . . sort of.  I mean, I tried.  I took my sketch and came up with the fabric version and it was . . . . lame.  The first sketch from the concrete letters seemed so powerful.  and big. . . monster big.   My version just seemed flat and too graphic rather than the 3d I wanted.  Elizabeth thought so too. 

The circles in the background are a lot more subtle in person.  That effect I really liked.  I'll have to use that again sometime - it adds just a ghost of interest without being too dramatic.  But the rest I just scrapped!!  I thought it was lame - Elizabeth did too - why finish it?

So I'm spending the rest of the month working out how to draw the letters the way I want to drawn them  - in the right perspective and orientation.

This whole experience reminds me that sometimes you're the windshield . . . . and sometimes you're the bug!

So what have you been up to creatively?

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Word About Letters. . . .Off The Wall Friday

Have you notice this on-going Love/Hate relationship I have with my masterclass with Elizabeth Barton?  I was struck with a bout of a it this week exploring our new topic, Letters.  Now, let me just say that out of all the topics we've explored over the year, this is my favorite. I've been wanting to do a Letters series forever.  I LOVE letters.  Combing my two passions of words and fabric together seems like a match made in heaven right?!

Sighhh. . .well, you'd think so.  But with such a passion for the topic, came a million ideas.  A lot of them were fueled by my pinterest board on typography.  Others were in folders of graphic ads I've collected over the years.  With so many ideas how was one to pick? Should I go graphic, conceptual, or just darn pretty. . . .

Out of desperation,  I chose this photo from my pinterest board as inspiration.  I then did the usual - traced it  - edit it - did value sketches.  They didn't seem quite right, but I am under a deadline so I handed them in. I wrote
Elizabeth that  I eventually wanted to do a series of these using words with a themed meaning.  This was just a starting point for some  monster pieces. 

So she thought that was a great idea.  Why didn't I do it with this piece?  Oh and Why is the light source so uneven throughout your value sketches?  Of course, the answer to that is that. . . .Wellll, I don't know how to draw 3d letters and what do you mean the light source needs to be constant.  I HATE that I know so little about art and it always adds to more work.

Luckily there is literally a video on youtube for  everything. After a long afternoon of work, I managed my own drawings.  Not only did I come up with a theme for the words (I won't spoil it - you'll have to guess it), but I learned how to use photoshop to do my value drawings AND got my printer to work with my laptop.  So I feel all accomplished.

That said, I missed the deadline for Quilts=Arts=Quilts.  Its just as well though, I want to spend a bit more time on The Curves perfecting the stitching.  I'm having a ball working on it but it does take a ton of time!!

So what have been up to creatively?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Off the Wall Friday

Since my studio day was spent shopping for and setting up my new printer (which should help my work - but today . . . .not so much!) - I thought I would play host and just offer this as my contribution to the group.  I got it from Pinterest  - with
which was pinned from tumblr....Thanks PaulZII..

So what have been doing creatively?

Monday, August 4, 2014

I've Got Rhythm - Design Wall Monday

Well, just under the wire I completed my July assignment from Elizabeth Barton's Masterclass.  At the beginning of the month I was relieved to find that Rhythm was the topic of the month.  All Rhythm is a repeating element  in your work - What can be easier?  As I studied it though, I found (like a  lot of things) that it wasn't as easy as it looked.

What I struggled with the most is how to add rhythm without adding boredom.  After much sketching I handed in two that I thought were the strongest.  Elizabeth approved.

With those in hand, I blocked out my piece but somehow got lost along the way.  Notice how this isn't as strong as the sketches.  I started playing with a secondary rhythm in this one and it wasn't successful.  Which of course, Elizabeth pointed out.

I went back to the original sketch and finally got a piece that was much stronger.  I think she said it worked, "Stupendously well" .  Finally success.
Rhthym - fused on muslin fondation - 28" by 28

Although I did learn things about rhythm, I also learned something about construction.  This piece was collaged together using fused fabrics.  I used steam-a-seam light 2 and heat and bond light. I liked the steam a seam better since you could position them on the foundation but the heat and bond held better.  BUT I really hated fusing all together.  The piece ended up flat - stiff and not at all like soft pretty fabric.  I know its faster to fuse but I hated working with all that glue and paper.  It was a huge mess in my studio and as well as on my iron (even though I have an fusing sheet).  But for a quick assignment I'm glad I used it.

I really like this piece with the color palette (which is one of my favorites) and the play on value as well as rhythm.  I think I'm going to quilt it without batting (since its so stiff and flat already) and use it for a mock up for a future much larger piece.

See more great design walls on Design Wall Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Looking for a Good Book - Off the Wall Friday

Finally, I'm at the quilting stage with The Curves.  I love machine quilting  -  it means the end is in sight with a project.  Still, no matter how much I like quilting (hand or machine), by the time I get to this point in a project, I'm pretty much sick of it.  Also, I've decided I totally hate it.  Oh and why did I even bother spending all that time making such rubbish.

Needless to say, I get so close to a project that I've lost perspective.

So the only thing that keeps me going to the finish line is a good book.  I have a habit of listening to my favorite music when I'm creating and a good book when I'm quilting.  Lately, though, I'm having trouble finding a good book.  Is it me or has pop literature been dumbed down in the last 10 years??  Years ago, it seemed I never had trouble finding good fiction that although might not have been the most academic mind boggling works, at least had a little meat to them.  Now a days, it seems like everything has been written on a 5th grade reading level with plots to match.  Sighhhhh

I did sign up for a library card at the Free Library of Philadelphia when I found out that any PA resident could get a card for free.  Not only am I amazed at the huge electronic collection of resources that this library owns but that I can access it free with just library card and wifi.  Very Cool.

But now with this new resource, I'm at a loss at what to pick.  Because of that, I went back to my all
time favorite author, Laurie R. King and her Mary Russel series.  Right now I'm re listening to The Game.  Just in case you never heard of this series, its the story of Mary Russel who meets Sherlock Holmes when she's 15 and he's in his early 50's.   As he is in semi-retirement, he takes on Mary as him apprentice who later partners with him and eventually marries.  I love the series not only because it cleverly adds a whole new dimension to my favorite detective but also because King always is throwing in something  that I didn't already know.  I not only find myself googling word meanings, but also historical events and places.  

Anyways - that's my recommendation for a book (or series - it starts the the Beekeeper's Apprentice) that although fiction won't turn your mind into mush.

And since I'm only got 10 hours so far into the quilting and have least 20 more to go. . . . .

What's your Recommendation?

Oh and of course. . . .

What have you been up to creatively?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole - Off the Wall Friday

I'm Grumpy.  How often does that happen??. . NEVER.  Needless to say  - I'm Grumpy.  The week hasn't gone my way - and now that its Thursday - its getting on my last nerve.

First of all - I had a wake up call this week from Elizabeth that I - like Alice - had taken a trip down a rabbit hole.  And she was right - as usual.  I handed in one sketch of what I wanted my homework piece to look like and ended up blocking out a whole other one.  Now that wouldn't be such a bad thing - if it was stronger - but it wasn't  - sighhhhh.  I mention this because lots of times when a piece goes wrong its because we strayed too far from the original sketch and values.

This is NOT the sketch

Then I spent today going to a doctor's appointment which was cancelled . . . after I made the 45 minute trip there.  The rest of the day was spent basting my curves piece which is my least favorite part of the whole process.  Of course, the sandwich is a bit off - so it will have to be done again. Ohhh and yeah - the piece is too big for my work table - so I'm doing it on the floor.

So I'm grumpy.  But I won't wallow too long - I promise!  I'm going to remind myself that all my best pieces were the most work.  That eventually the doctor will get his act together  and get my appointment right.  And the only thing I have to do to fix my homework is follow my sketch - grin - go figure!

So hopefully your week is going better!

What have you been up to Creatively?