Monday, November 09, 2015

Future Artistic Endeavors

Found some inspiration at Michael's! The purple gem with the Mermaid Tail sparked an idea for a Mystical Mermaid Treasure themed piece with an ancient old world feel with some sunken treasure! I can't wait to get to work on it! Abalone and Tarnished Silver inspired color theme!

I want it to be visual story that as you gaze at it you can dream up a story!  So you won't be seeing the mermaid herself!  I want that part of it to be left to the viewer's imagination.  I love art that invites me to daydream and I hope that I will be able to create something like that in this piece!

I still have the Wandering Rose Memorial to finish and another Series that I have an idea for as well that is more about capturing the experience of specific types of wine and visually translating that.  My idea for that one is that as you gaze at it you are feel like yup that is exactly how Merlot or Chardonnay or Champagne tastes and is like with all the nuances!  Very subjective but I'm excited about that series as well as this new Mermaid one!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Dry Erase Shadow Box for Hashing Out Ideas!

So while contemplating what to do next I was having a hard time visualizing what I actually wanted to do and nothing seemed like it would work out right and I was feeling upset at my lack of ability to doodle out and hash out ideas in a safe way that wouldn't affect the piece itself!  

I had a thought, what if I could put it behind a shadow box and draw and how could that come about and so I thought just some 1 by 2 wood and some plexiglass would work and my Hubby has the skills to be able to make such a thing!!!
So I told him about it and he built my idea for a plexiglass shadow box to use to doodle out ideas over my current piece using dry erase markers!

You could probably use any shadow box to do this or use a cheep frame taken apart from a discount store.

I love what I doodled and finally have an idea I feel more confident about trying to bring to realization!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Wandering Rose Memorial: Gold Scalloping Chain Stitch

I added a gold scalloping chain stitch on the light gold moire in the corner.  It's very imperfect but I think further embellishment will fix that later on.  I might be ready to move on to the next stage of embellishment and add some Silk Ribbon Embroidery!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wandering Rose Memorial: Little Yellow Zigzag Stitch

Today I added a little yellow Zigzag Stitch!  Not sure if I all out love it but we'll see what I think as I move on and get to the further embellishing stage.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wandering Rose Memorial: Tiny Vining Feather Stitch

Today I added a tiny vining Feather Stitch in a fine gold silk thread!

I totally skipped a week of work!  That's the trouble sometimes with trying to start a habit sometimes you fall off the wagon.  But as long as you get back to it as soon as possible, it should be okay.  Last week was pretty busy, and I honestly felt a little blocked as well, but if I'd prioritized a bit better I could have still worked on it a tiny bit each day.  Well at least it's Monday again and I've got mission accomplished for today!  LOL

Friday, October 16, 2015

Wandering Rose Memorial: Little Yellow Feather Stitch

Today I did a little seam to make me happy again. It's a light yellow feather stitch! 
My plan of doing a little bit every day to start building consistency is paying off with almost all the seams in the seam layer done! It's my least favorite layer, I much prefer silk ribbon and beading layers! LOL But first things first! One step at a time!

I'm going to take a break for the weekends, but my goal will be to do a little bit each workday as possible.  I want to build that habit as an Artist to help me with my further ventures down the road!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wandering Rose Memorial: Gold Herringbone Stitch

Not sure if I like today's addition of the gold herringbone stitch. It may come out later on. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wandering Rose Memorial: Swirlies!

So I'm trying to start building consistency of working on something every day.  Today I added some back stitched dark green swirlies in silk thread!  I plan on playing with them later on.  I know it seems extreme with the dark against the light but hopefully with later layering it will be balanced out...that is what I do!  I keep balancing the composition as I go!

Lately I also have been thinking about my dream to be an Artist.  And I know technically I already am one and I realize that now.  It's been hard for me to acknowledge that to myself feeling like I'm not a real artist.  But now I am going to start working on heading towards building a portfolio of work that could be considered fine art and be in a gallery.  I still feel like at this point people will totally laugh at me for thinking I might even have a slight chance to do that eventually.  But I think I can do it.  My media is different than traditional artists and I don't totally fit within the Crazy Quilting world for art quilts either.  I still think what I do is just as valid as anyone else, it's just different.  Right now I need to look into copyright issues that could come up with fabrics and materials I use and start working on pieces that are completely free of that issue.  When only working privately for myself and gifts it didn't really matter as much.  With the goal of being a Fine Artist it's important that I create with that in mind.  Also to create things that are the heart and soul of what I do but done in a way that I can allow to leave my possession.  So much of my current work could never leave my hands...including this Memorial Piece!  It has too much meaning for me personally.  So I need to work on things that are meaningful to me but I can let go of.  I also don't need to do this for income, my ultimate goal is *just* to create fine art!  It will only be icing on top of the cake to one day be sold.  If it never happens then I will be just as content having built up a portfolio of art!

I'm now acknowledging that what I do is art, it has emotion in it and people connect with it on an emotional level.  I always have a larger goal of showing people things that bring them enjoyment, maybe tickle a desire to find more details within it to enjoy.  It is meant to be framed on the wall, and has no use for it other than to bring enjoyment to the viewer!  It may be that I use pieced fabric as my "canvas" and I use forms of needle art, other objects, and textiles as my "paint" but it is art.  I'm not sure what genre it belongs in.  I don't think it's even fully crazy quilting because I don't finish it in a traditional way or create quilts.  So this is what I'm trying to hash out right now at the beginning of this new journey in my life!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wandering Rose Memorial: Fearless Freehand

Almost a year later and I added a new seam treatment detail freehand inspired by the way she fearlessly created beautiful things without fear of imperfections!

I used a light pink swiss made cotton thread that was in my stash and used chain stitch in wavy lines.  When I first set out I thought they were going to inter-cross, but as I worked it ended up wanting to be parallel wavy lines.  No matter it's still overall like the idea I had in mind when setting out and taking the risk to just do something and not be paralyzed by fear.  I just kept remembering how she would be so fearless when creating!  She made such beautiful things all the time and fear of not doing well didn't seem to stop her!  I can see the imperfections in my waves but you know what?  There are no straight lines in nature, there really is beauty in imperfection.  I'm trying to embrace this more and more and take risks.  I want to just flow more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wandering Rose Memorial: Perfection in Imperfection

I added a couple more seam treatments yesterday.  I'm not embellishing them more yet but I want to keep getting more seams stitched to really have a solid base layer to embellish over.

I used to have so much trouble with this step, I know I have a tendency to over-think it all and end up getting stuck because I want it to be perfect.  Wendy taught me a lot about the beauty in imperfection.  She would simply find an idea she loved and put it on the block and it always turned out so beautiful!  She completed whole quilts for her kids that were not perfect but were so stunningly beautiful!  I always admired how she simply did stuff and didn't over think it like I do.  If she had been stuck on perfection the quilts would never have been finished.  Sometimes when I see beautiful work I purposely notice the imperfections that create a whole of beauty and let it soak into my heart, that there is proof after proof that there is beauty in imperfection.  Sometimes it's the imperfections that add interest to things that give it a special unique beauty that can't be replicated.

So I'm doing my best to go with the flow, to find a stitch I like and go with what feels right and not over plan it but just do it.  To trust my creative instincts because they usually steer me right, and if not I can always do it over.  Without taking risks we aren't truly living.

I really appreciate each comment left for me, thank you to everyone who is supporting me in this.  Thank you for caring and reading what I write, it means a lot to me.

First I chose a Chevron Stitch and picked a red wool thread and I threaded the needle and just put it in place and eyeballed the placement and spacing.  It's not perfect, but there's something wonderful about it not being absolutely perfect.  Proof that a human made it, and people are imperfect yet beautiful too.

The second one I chose was a combination stitch, a chained feather stitch.  I liked the feeling of tiny rose buds this one gives and I used a fine light pink silk thread.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wandering Rose Memorial: Applique Quote

 I really wanted to add the quote "Always remember you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you'd ever imagine." because I really strongly feel that it summed Wendy up so well of who she is and what she would want each person to know about themselves that I just had to figure out a way to incorporate it.

I used Microsoft Word to get the Font and Shape and printed it out.  Above is the test print.  Below is the final print onto fabric.
I tried different fabrics and settled on this printed cotton.  I also had to change the type to bold so that enough ink would transfer to the fabric.  I loved this rose print, it's perfect for this!  And it was the last bit of this fabric that I have in my stash so I was really happy it printed perfect onto it since there's always a risk involved with this method of transfer.

The method I used was to simply print it on paper first and then tape a piece of fabric over the print and re-feed and print it onto the fabric.  I then iron it and give it a shot of steam to help set the ink on the fabric.

Here it is after I appliqued it into place, I plan on embroidering around it later on.  I want to work on more seam treatments before I embroider around it though.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wandering Rose Memorial: Starting Work

Okay here's how the block was left off as way back in 2009.  I guess looking back through old posts I never blogged the last progress I had made which was adding some Turkish Oya up in the right hand top corner.  As well as a few more seam treatments over there too.  Also I had finished the rose garland and added some silk cut out leaves to the center.  I started on some dangling leafy vines at the base of some lace and never finished it up.  I remember Wendy seeing those additions and loving them!  I really miss her!
So today I finished up the last leafy/vine dangle, not sure what to call them, LOL!  I also started thinking over what seam treatments to add next.  I want to make sure I get the depth of layering in this piece so I'm going to focus on getting more seam treatments in before I start adding motifs and such.
It's nice to be embroidering again, I've always loved it and always will.  Even if I pause for a time here and there I know I will always, always come back to it again.  It was very soothing to be focused on stitching.  Also I can feel my creativity brimming with inspiration and I've always loved using CQ as an outlet for that.  I'm always creative in some way.  The last year I've been on a journey to a healthy weight and along the way I've found that I'm a FOODIE!  LOL  And I enjoy creating new things to eat that support a healthy weight and are really yummy!  I even have a food blog!  It's neat how creativity can translate into so many areas of life.  I know that might seem random but I figured it might be nice to update you all to my life right now too.

I believe my CQ has taken a backseat for a while since I was needing to be more active and this tends to be a more sedentary activity.  I'm better able to balance things now so I believe that I can reintegrate this part of my life too.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wandering Rose Memorial

I have a bit of bad news.  My dear sweet friend of 15 years passed away from cancer on Oct. 12th.  I don't know how many readers I still have that also knew her but Wendy aka Wandering Rose also did Crazy Quilting and Embroidery.  I remember when I first taught her CQ and she created her first block and also started a blog.  I was her friend when she met her wonderful husband and in her wedding.  She created a beautiful Wedding Pillow for an Anniversary Gift for me which I treasure very much!  She did beautiful thread painting, and created quilts for her children (that I also got to help her with).  She always amazed me in all that she accomplished and did!  She was a beautiful person and I got to be her friend.  She was there for me when I needed her, always gave the best hugs and made you feel valuable just because you were YOU.  We laughed together and we cried together!  We had bad times and wonderful good times!  If you need a laugh read this story she shared that cracked me up so bad and still gives me a giggle.  It's really hard to write this but I know I need to as part of my grieving process.

The wonderful thing about Needle Artists is that many of us share a common thread of having very romantic hearts.  There's a saying that is very popular in Crazy Quilting that makes an appearance on many quilts and that is this:  "When This You See Remember Me"
I will never forget her, she will forever reside in my heart as the dearest of friends.  I recently saw a quote on Pinterest that I thought was perfectly fitting of Wendy as well as what she would want each and every person to know about themselves as well:
"Always remember you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you'd ever imagine."
I was thinking over what I wanted to do and I thought of a Memorial Crazy Quilt Block to honor her but I had no idea how I would start it when I looked over and saw an old block that has been unfinished for years.  It's from the time before cancer and Wendy touched it and she loved it and the theme is ROSES, roses, roses and the colors are the exact colors I think of when I think of her.  Bright, bold and beautiful.  It's the perfect block to finish into a Wandering Rose Memorial.  I seem to do my best work when it has love and meaning behind it, and that's probably why that block sat for so long it never had a purpose.  But now it will and in my mind I can envision such a beautiful work filled with roses because that was her favorite flower of all time!

So yes I am still here and I do still love Crazy Quilting and Embroidery and everything!  A lot has happened in the last year or so since I've last blogged here.  But now I will be working on this project and blogging it.  Wendy deserves nothing short of the best eye candy I can create!  LOL  She would love that!  And that is what I will do!

Wendy I will always love you!

Wendy Lynn Blake
May 14, 1976 - October 12, 2014

Friday, August 16, 2013

Operation Snowflake: June's Flake

Well I started working on this flake for June and feeling a little lazy I decided to not use two shuttles but use the work arounds for one shuttle and ball... oy... the work arounds just don't work as well as using two shuttles I wish I had just filled another shuttle! LOL Now that I'm half way through I'll just finish it anyway.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Operation Snowflake: May

Finally took a photo of May's snowflake! It's "Ice Crystals" from the book "Big Book of Tatting".

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Crazy Quilt Throw: Four Block, Block

I started making a larger block with four small blocks from my Cream Crazy Quilt Throw.  I figure if I make these larger blocks maybe it will be easier to keep working on them in larger chunks at a time.  At first I went to lay out all 48 to see how to put them together but what I saw was it doesn't really matter they are all really well randomized in the piecing so I can just throw 4 together and it will work...I'll make it work! LOL  I forgot what the size was going to be so I had to check back on my blog posts and found that I had decided on 8 blocks by 6 blocks.  So I'll need 8 blocks of 4 and then 4 blocks of 2.  I might add the blocks of 2 to some 4's to create 4 blocks of 6 which would make it overall into 8 larger sections to work on before piecing those together.  Anyway 48 single blocks just feels so overwhelming, which I believe is why it's sat for a few years with just a little work here and there.  It feels a little overwhelming to piece these all together too but I think if I can get going it will start to snowball for me.  Crossing my fingers that I can keep it up...I kinda see it as a miracle that I even have all 48 pieced in the first place!!! HAHAHA  I started in Sept. 2007 finished piecing in June 2009, and now starting to put those together in Aug. 2013 sheesh!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Operation Snowflake: May's Progress

Here's the snowflake I chose for May. It's "Ice Crystals" from the book "Big Book of Tatting". It says intermediate on the pattern but it is very easy and a nice one to tat after the last one! LOL

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Operation Snowflake: April "Leaves Flake"

This snowflake is so pretty but for my tatting taste all the things I loved about it were the very things that made it annoying for me to tat! Oy! But at least I have this beauty done, albeit imperfectly done but DONE! LOL  If anyone else is interested in tatting it you can find the pattern here: Leaves Flake Snowflake
Now to continue playing catch-up...

Friday, April 19, 2013

CQJP 2013: April Block Progress

I added chain stitching to the wavy line. Added some vintage tatting from my stash. And doodled a bit of a motif and started filling in a vine stem with back stitching.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

CQJP 2013: April Block

Here's the start of my block for April.  Ahhh this makes me much happier!  Nice and bright!  Sunny and cheerful!

I'm going to make the cabochon into a pearl surrounded brooch.  I folded a piece of lace and thought it makes a great napkin!  Then I started marking a seam.  Last block I didn't do seams first and I hated that I didn't!  So this time though it feels like I'm walking uphill in sand, I'm going to do the seams first!  Then get to all the rest.  I just feel like I draw a blank when it comes to seams, motifs I always have ideas flowing.  I'm not sure why it's so hard for me to envision seam treatments.  Maybe it's because I want them to be perfect and I'm not that good at being meticulous even though I enjoy the look of meticulous! HA!  Whereas motifs are very free-form and look great that way.  Oh well, I'm hoping it'll get easier as I do it more, that's usually how it is.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What do you do? Inspiration, Motivation, and Oz! LOL

What do you do when inspiration and motivation to create seem to have flown out the window?  Lately it seems the mood to create has left me.  My garden is blooming like crazy and I'm enjoying taking photos of the flowers again, but CQ and Tatting have been pushed aside with no desire to pick it up.  I'm happy to be taking lots of pretty flower photos and tons of them are on my Honey Bee's Photos blog!
I also took a trip to visit family and it was fun!  I had packed some tatting for the airplane but I never picked it up once!  LOL  I did get that round of chains finished weeks ago on the doily but I still haven't taken a photo of it!  LOL  It's like procrastination set in and got out of control! LOL

I did pick out some pink and yellow fabrics, inspired by my roses.  I think I better just buckle down and make a block at least...sometimes it's like giving your battery a jump-start to just DO IT.

How do you overcome the blahs?  Do you wait for it to come or do something to jump-start yourself again?  It seems that not even eye-candy on Pinterest is helping!

Sometimes I can figure out what's demotivating me, but I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it this time.  My last block was really hard to work on and it's been harder and harder since then to work on things.  I had the idea to crumb piece a block and make it really "crazy" inspired by "The Patchwork Girl Of Oz", since I've been reading through all the Oz books and love them, but I hated the results.  Hopefully the pink and yellow rose inspiration will do the trick.  Hmm, maybe it's color!  I know I get energized seeing the bright colors in my garden, and my bright colored blocks are the ones that are making me happy, so maybe that is what was demotivating me.  Also the color of the crumb pieced reject is what really put me's anemic looking to me and just upsets me to look at it, I hate it, I need to throw it away and get it out of my workspace! HA!  The only way I would do it again would be if I picked a rainbow of jewel toned colors, and in fancy fabrics too, that's how I "see" Scraps in my mind.  She's bright and spunky and whimsical, and she's a bit crazy (of course being crazy patched) but very fun and has lots of energy.  Hmmm, maybe I will work on this idea after all for next month.  Scraps my not be able to drink tea with us, but she'd be a fun addition to the tea party!  In Oz that never stopped the ones who didn't eat from hanging out with the meat people who need to eat at any dinner or feast. ;-)  I could see myself doing a whole Oz series after reading so much about them.  I'm almost done with the set, I just finished "The Lost Princess Of Oz" (in which Scraps is one of the main characters again) and started "The Tin Woodman Of Oz" after that there are only 2 books left.  I think it's really neat reading Baum's letters in the intros of each book and in "The Tin Woodman Of Oz" he talks about how the Oz books are for all ages, the young and the young at heart.
It's funny because I didn't start reading the Oz books because of the movie or anything, in fact I never really cared for the old movie that much and I HATE the song that everyone loves, it's like nails on a chalk board to me kinda like the titanic song...HAHAHA ;-P  Anyway the way I got into reading them was searching free books for Kindle and I read Baum's "The Sea Faries" and loved it and then when searching for more books everyone raved about the Oz series so I figured I would probably love those too.  And I do.  Then it just so happened that the new Oz movie came out in the midst of reading them!  LOL  I really loved the new Oz movie too.  It may not be perfectly true to the books (they never are) but I loved it and all the nods to the books and I felt it was true to the spirit of Baum's Oz.  I think he would have loved the movie!  It's so neat how what once could only be seen in the imagination is now able to be put into movie form!  I could see how now the ideas in the Oz books could be made into movies and really work!  The porcelain girl was so cool looking in the movie! Wow! Ya, Baum would be impressed.  Live, yet porcelain!  So cool!  I digress...LOL

Okay I better get to work if I have a hope of getting a block done this month! ;-)  At least I'm feeling better to have talked about it!  Thanks for read/listening!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Sweet Shot: Sun-Filled Rose

 Here is my Photo Of  The Day plus some extras.  I just love the sight of the sun shining through petals and leaves!  These just look so cheerful I thought I'd share it with you all too.

Friday, March 29, 2013

My First Doily: Progress

More chains! One more row to go till this round is done.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sweet Shot: Lady Bug

Thought you all would enjoy this photo I took today too.  Such a cute little Lady Bug hiding in my Daylily leaves.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sweet Shot Serendipity

Gotta love it when right as you are taking photos and have everything just right...wildlife lights upon that very spot!  This is what's called a 'Hummingbird Moth'.  Not a hummingbird but a moth, a large one that is mistaken for one when first seen, they hover and sip nectar too. LOL  I even love how its wings are lit cool!

I remember the first time we saw one of these we didn't know what in the world it was and tried and tried to get a photo of it to see what it was!  They are really common here in the desert and they love all the nectar plants, and usually come out in droves in the evening! LOL  Today I looked out my kitchen window and saw my yellow climbing rose all blooming...made me really happy!  Gotta love that I got roses blooming in March!!!

My First Doily: Progress

After a long have finally resumed progress on my first doily.  Here's the pattern!  It's such a pretty pattern.  Not sure where the finished doily will end up but, my goodness it will be finished and I'll have finally made one!  LOL

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Operation Snowflake: March Snowflake Finished

Finished with the Tatted Snowflake by Nancy of Be-Stitched!  Yay!  It's my biggest one so far! 

Now I'm going to work on the doily I mentioned the other day that has been sitting since 2008!  I had to print the last couple rounds again because who knows where the pattern which I had printed disappeared too! LOL  At least it's still up online!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Stash!

Just came in the mail yesterday from Flights of Fancy!  I joined the monthly Trim and Treasure Club!  Yay I really love this month's package!  Gotta love the pretty honeybee trim!  That's the kind of bee graphic I like too...I don't care for the cutesie versions out there, give me vintage etching!  LOL

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Operation Snowflake: March Progress Halfway

Gotta keep tatting on...LOL  This is a Tatted Snowflake by Nancy of Be-Stitched.  These larger ones take more time to get done, they are like tatting 3 snowflakes in 1!  LOL  The bad thing is my fingers are really sensitive to the harsh thread so it's hard for me to just keep going till it's finished.  I have to pace myself.  I might need a shield for my other hand too for pulling rings closed.  It's almost like tatting a doily! HAHAHA well it could be the start of a doily, they usually start with something like this and just keep going with rounds getting added.  I still have never completed a whole doily!  I still have my first and only one waiting for the last couple rounds to be added! LOL  WOW could it really have been waiting since 2008? SHEESH!!!  I will finish that thing!!!  LOL  I think what kept me back was all the chains to be done in the last rounds but now that I have my finger shields that shouldn't be too bad anymore.

Friday, March 22, 2013

CQJP 2013: March Block Finished

Here is the finished block!  I'm waiting to turn it into a page.  I may do it differently but I want to collect a few more before I go ahead.  I'm just not feeling the inspiration for turning it into a page at the moment. LOL

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

CQJP 2013: March Block Feather Stitching

I added a bunch of feather stitching in three different shades of metallic thread. I also added a hand charm and a sweetheart rose in its fingers.
I feel like this block could be finished. I will have to sit on it and see.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CQJP 2013: March Block More Beading

I have added a few more beading components, a piece of lace, and a bit of silk ribbon embroidery.  After this I'm feeling a little bit stuck, not sure what's next!

I've added a few 4mm sweetheart roses here and there.  I also added some different colors and sizes of pearls.  I made little flowers using bead caps with a spacer in the middle, and added some pressed metal leaves.

Here's the vintage lace butterfly I added.  I think it's a perfect little touch!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

CaptureYour365 POTD: Daffodil Bouquet

Yay the daffodils are blooming in my garden!  I used to hate how for the flower of the month things, with March being my birthday month, that the daffodil was always the one represented!  I always wished for Sweet Peas, Violas or some other more romantic flower.  But now after missing my garden flowers in the winter, it's the Violas and the Daffodils that are cheery and happily showing themselves!  They make you happy to see something finally, and symbolize the return of the garden!  I also really love these light yellow more ruffly variety too!  This photo just says springtime, cheery, bright, and fresh!  And they smell so good too, it's a green-light-fresh smell and it makes me happy!  Now I'm wishing I had more Daffodils planted!