Last weekend I worked on this binding too.
Also from one of Kevin Smith's books. This one I did follow closely.
I also think it would work better with a thicker signature, but I'm okay with how it turned out.
Things I learned. Do not use a Japanese screw punch (or really, any hole punch) with your book perched on your knees with only a thin floppy phone book as support. Things will tend to slide around. This is not a good idea. Unless you are very comfortably settled on your coach/comfy chair and are like a sloth and too lazy to move and you'd rather suffer the consequences of messy hole placement. Then it's okay.
More advice. Try out the things you have on hand. You might have a whole lot more stuff on hand than you remembered and it will totally surprise you and make you feel that you need to donate half your house to an undersupplied craft circle. Or it might inspire you to set up a special trip to go thrift store shopping with your best thrift store shopping bud for neato buttons. Either or both.
Even more advice. When you finished a project, congratulate yourself. Take the time to appreciate your handiwork, focus and creativity. SIt back and bask in the glory of your creation.
Really. Why not. After all that time feeling guilty for NOT finishing all these piles, why not turn it around and be happy?
Along with my pile of scrap fabrics (from which I made this quilt), I have a little basket of scrap yarn. Obviously, I have a scrap disease.
First, I spent some time doing this.
Yes, I started binding one of my older ROD journals and then ripped it all out and then re-did it. Do I like it better. YES. Am I completely satisfied. Nope. But now I know a bit more about these two bindings.
for example, some bindings look better spaced apart, and some work better with narrow signatures. This would look MUCH better with fatter signatures. But it was a pretty easy binding and I'd definitely do it again. It's from one of Kevin Smith's books.
This is how my journal ended up looking. You won't find this binding in his fabulous book, but the ideas are all there. I just kind of wandered away.
Oh, and when/if you wander off the instructions, take a moment and think. Just a few moments might save you some trouble. Just saying.
Like don't cut out a hole for an eyelet that ends up being much bigger than you need (both the hole and the eyelet) so that you have to actually sew the eyelet in even after you've tried to hammer one onto your journal like a dozen times. Not a dozen times, just like that. About that.
A not good photo of a good button.
And here it is. Not at all what I had planned.
Oh, right. There was no plan.
I've been home alone today. That doesn't happen often.
Since I knew I would have uninterrupted time, I decided to focus.
Or try to focus.
Ta Da! I finished my knitted blanket. These were all left over Mission Falls yarns from hats and sweaters I made when my kiddos were littler. I don't make sweaters anymore because, sigh, no one actually wears them. Partially that's because we don't wear a lot of sweaters and secondly, we don't wear the kinds of sweaters I'm able to make.
So since I found this pattern in the Mason Dixon knitting book, I decided to use up some of my stash. Yarn is one of the things I have stashes of.
I finished it with this crocheted border (a little out of focus). I ran out of the maroon yarn so I added bits of other colors. Not planned, but I kinda like it this way.
My favorite part of this project was that I NEVER had a plan. I could just knit without thinking, which has been GREAT because I like to keep my hands busy AND I have no brain.
Before I did the edging, I finished this.
Which is a doll blanket. Or a practice square. I just wanted to brush up on my crochet stitches, which are pretty limited. But I by practicing, I did move this out of my pile'o'unfinished-stuff.
This is another yarn stash, and my next knitted blanket.
I loved the color combination and planned to make a sweater for my girls. That didn't happen back when I realized they wouldn't wear it. Maybe I should have figured that out before I bought the yarn. Maybe that wouldn't have made a difference.
What else did I do today? I'm saving that for tomorrow!
I keep delving deeper into my closet. It's a big closet. I had this feeling that there were lots and lots of unfinished quilt projects. Lots. And after I thought I had gotten everything out, these were what I found. Three with semi-finished blocks, a bit of left overs I was playing with and a grouping of fabrics that I wanted to put together in something. Actually, there are several piles of fabrics that I have grouped together, but I intentionally ignored most of them. The piece of fabric on the lower right was the group that most inspired me at the moment.
Then last week in the middle of the night I woke and couldn't get back to sleep and somehow wandered into my closet and went straight to a pile tucked in the very back under a couple photo frames. They were hiding.
So now I have this.
But that's not the worst of it.
Nope, it's not. Here is a pizza box full of quilt blocks. I made them. There is evidence. But did I have even the faintest rememberance before I opened the box? Nope.
Here's the deal. I was pregnant and my mother threw a shower. I bought this fabric and had my friends put blocks together - just pick from some design block books I had, and pin them to paper. Then I was going to sew each block together and make a sampler. Which I did. At least the blocks. I can almost remember sewing them up. But then 10 days after my daughter was born, my mother went into the hospital and - whoosh - I never opened the box again. My daughter is getting ready to turn 15 now. And she's not really a pink girl. But I'm going to put these blocks together anyway because ... I remember this party and how happy I was and now I have a big grown (mostly) girl that I love more than I imagined (and I imagined one BIG love).
I don't think I was ready to open this box till now. Now I can reconnect with that wonderfully happy time.
But will I do it before or after the other pizza box?
Before or after the rolling stone quilt?
p.s. after I wrote this I turned around in my room and voila! there was box on the top corner of a shelf. Another quilt project set aside. Oh well, I've added it to the board.
Journals. What ya goin' do?
I've filled these in the last two years. Less than two years. About two years.
(Sorry, my pedantic self just will not be quiet!)
Which made me feel good, looking at the all. Plump and delicious.
And then I went into the hall and saw these.
I made them. All. Except that one little spiral bound on the left side end. That's supposedly where I keep track of everything.
(Insert laugh track)
I made these too. Even as I write this, I have more in the works.
What am I going to do?
I feel a bookbinding coming on. It's true. I can feel it in my fingers - tingling again.
AARRGGHH! I'm going off the rails again!
But first, I MUST deal with this sweater!
I have a list.
You can't tell, but that's a large index card. I finally made a list of all the knitting projects I had going. Some got stalled for good reason. Like... This is the shawl I started, then ripped out when I got the count off in my lace, then knit again, while visiting family TWO years ago, then lost the second skein of dye lot yarn on the way home. So it sat. I think my projects talk to each other at night. mumble mumble complain complain I ignore them. After all, it's their own fault, stupid dye lot yarn. mumble mumble complain complain Last week, I took my project to my meeting of knitting buddies and had a revelation so... it may get completed.
Some projects just lost my interest.
I'm going to muster the strength to push through my boredom and finish them. I'm committing myself to that. Soon. Soon...er or later. Really.
Some projects had the people attached to them grow several inches and now need to be attached to other littler people.
Some just got put aside when I couldn't knit and haven't been taken up yet. Maybe they were hidden behind those mumblers.
So now I've made my list. And I've devised a plan. A loose plan, but a plan nonetheless. I like the word nonetheless. I think I get bonus points for every time I use it. And more bonus points if I don't use green in whatever I do after this list.
Because there will be an after this list.
When I made my first smell-the-spray book (i.e. my pat-the-bunny version from Mary Ann Moss's Stitched and Stenciled on-line class) I made a few too many pages.
And then a few more.
Oops! Now I'll have to made another book.
So I gathered up most of the pages and thought, this time, I'd make it with several signitures.
There were a few pages that I just couldn't bring myself to include. I tried to like them. I certainly overworked them enough. I added edging and stitches.
It's not them. It's me. I know that they have potential. I just want to see other pages for now. We can still be friends.
When I get involved in a project, sometimes I just click along, and then sometimes I push when really... I just need to take a break. This is a perfect example. I'm feeling like I need to get things DONE! NOW! NOW! right NOW!
I think it's the cats. They've been on pins and needles waiting for the next project completion.
I've told them they might have to wait. They're not happy about it, but they're going to try to be patient.
I'm not sure what direction I want to go with these. I've done some fun stuff. Stitched, added textures. Added tabs.
They're a smogesboard of textures (and smells) and that's fun. But something is missing.
I've decided to slow down with this one. Pause for a moment and let it perculate.
Wait and see what shows up. Who knows, maybe I'll actually have a flash of insight.
Unlikely but possible.
Maybe till tomorrow.
So I was doing all that urban graffiti spray stuff (in my not so urban, never did any graffiti kind of way)
And then I saw THIS class. Urban Notebook with Dawn DeVries Sokol. Now, there is NO toxic spray paint on her supply list. She uses Liquitex sprays. Indoor stuff.
I mean, really.
But I was intrigued. Plus she promised binding. I have a thing right now- an uncontrollable urge to do binding. (I say uncontrollable since I have no desire to control my impulse).
I don't have any before pictures, because that would be some cardboard cereal boxes and the like.
Use your imagination.
Then, I made covers.
By accident. Because I'd already sprayed some cardboard for no apparent reason and when I saw her supply list I thought "Hey, I already have all of that". Do you see a theme here?
And here are some of my "pages"
And then.... I got to get out my japanese hole puncher. Which just tells you how good the day was.
And quick as a wink, I bound it up. Really. Pretty darn quick.
And I even used the new longstitch binding that I got from Diana Trout's class. See all the points of interest merging? SEE?
I love duct tape. Duck tape too.
So now have another, other journal. But I have a plan for this one.
So there. That is MOSTLY where all the spray paint has let me. I am still in process on several of these, but now at least I feel more organized mentally.
The next step would be to work on my Creativity Queue. That would mean NOT starting any new projects, but just focussing on completing or making headway on what I have going (including, ahem, some that may not have made it on this spray marathon).
Anyone else interesting in playing with me? We could have a weekly check in. I belong to a knitting group (yes, I do something other than spray) and having to do show and share and have people see the progress really helps me focus. So I'm asking. Just wondering. Anyone else?
And no, yours would not need to involve spray paint.
Unless you really really want it to.
One thing can lead to another. When you have a bunch of spray paint laying around (or does it lie around?) things.... get sprayed.
This is a big journal I use to plague my kids. I force them to draw stuff in it. And I thought it could use a nifty cover.
Then, of course, little booklets that I have "altered" and messed with but really really HATE...
get a fresh start. Can you smell the toxic fumes? I assume they're toxic since there are all kinds of warnings.
This is chaos unfolding. But here's the kicker. On the right, where my katoocus (how is that word spelled?) should be sitting - those bold folded cardboard thingys? See them. Well, they're a WHOLE other project that is creeping along.
See what happens when the spray gets uncapped?!
All of this began innocently enough. I love to watch Mary Ann Moss videos. What's the crime in that?
But the thing is, I'd run out.
So I ordered up her Stencelry class. Innocently. Aimlessly.
What else is a girl going to do in the middle of the night if not watch a pair of happy dancing hands begile her with spray paint?
Really, I want to know. What else???
But I was NOT getting spray paint.
Until I accidently did. So then I made these. Just cause.
I got to use my sewing machine. I was NOT obessed. Enthusiastic. That's the word I'm going with.
But then there was a second class, Stiched and Stenciled, with it's own little book project.
A 'pat the bunny' sensory delight.
I don't have a good picture of all the different textured papers I put in, but I love to run my hands across the pages and feel the stitches and the papers. And I edged some of the pages. And it has this toxic chemical spray smell that I LOVE!
And of course I made a few too many pages. Even though I crammed too many in the first book, I still had a bunch left. So there is the possibility of a second pat the bunny book.
Note to self - look for some bunny paper.
But since I'd also cut a little too much paper, and then I happened to be down the street from my spray paint dealer.
I've gotten a little carried away. NOT obsessed. Just VERY VERY enthusiastic.
So the point of this post is for me to get a little mental handle on what all I'm doing.
This is my desk.
I need to make a list of the projects-in-waiting. Tammy @ Daisy Yellow calls it her Creativity Queue. Anyone interesting in having another go-round with a little focussed creativity? I really need to STOP adding projects to my list.
Only problem is, this is only the first half of this post!!!!!!
The last two weeks, I've been participating in Daisy Yellow's Creativity Queue Challenge. I think it's a good idea to pause for a moment (but only for a moment, apparently) and think about what this has done for me.
It is a sad fact that I have many MANY unfinished projects. Mostly, this doesn't actually make me sad. But I have several friends who shake their head when they see just some of my UFO's (if they only knew how many more there were, I think I might be able to elicit some gasps). My UFO's mostly don't bother me because I think many of them served a purpose at the time, and the purpose may not have had anything to do with having a finished project. But now and then I do look at my mass of trailed off items and think, maybe I should....
So participating in this challenge did indeed lead me to finish, or work toward finishing a couple of those projects. I pulled out a knitting project, and although it isn't done, I was able to plan what needs to happen to finish it, and I'm working on it steadily. I got two pieces of art ready to display. I cleaned up various corners of my art space. These were all good things.
Another aspect of the challenge was getting to see other people working on their queue. That was more fun than I expected (mostly because I didn't have any expectations, so ...) I felt like I had a chance to run around to other ladies creative spots and peek at their projects. I always like peeking. And since in our household we're working on developing our ninja powers, this sneaking and peeking was all part of larger training regime.
But the part I appreciated most about this challenge was that it allowed me to look at where I'm putting my energy through a different lens. Am I focusing on what I really want to be doing, or am I getting bogged down by "shoulds" I set for myself and haven't let go of? I realized, for example, that I really want to do some more sewing right now. But instead of launching into yet another new project, I found a couple of old ones that will let me review some sewing skills and get my sewing supplies in order without a huge shifting of space and effort. I finished a pillow slip cover. I have some half-made purses I'm now putting together. All the supplies were already bought. Just needed to sit down and do it. When I put these projects away, I was feeling overwhelmed by not knowing how to move forward with them (either in terms of technique or style). This time, I felt so free to experiment and play, and apparently my little brain was working on some technical problems, because I just sailed through those previous roadblocks.
I'm glad that I took the time and effort to participate in this challenge.
Now, I still have a long list in my Creativity Queue, so instead of dropping the challenge altogether, I plan to keep going and see where it leads me. Focusing on one or two projects has helped me get traction and feel productive.
Plus I still have that knitted blanket to finish.
I've been trying to post about activity I've actually done on a challenge day (and some of us are keeping track, Tammy). But as I write this it is Friday night, and tomorrow (Sat) I have family coming in from out of town and between getting ready and enjoying their visit, I won't have time to do any of the myriad of projects I've been thinking of. So I'm posting tonight (but it might be tomorrow by the time I finish) about what I did today (yesterday), since this was my creative free-for-all day.
Most of this I don't have pictures for, so you'll just have to take my word for it. First, I painted an elephant. No, seriously, I didn't paint an elephant. Just had to throw that in there. (Although you can't prove that I didn't) No first I played with my new art supplies. That may not seem to be something on my previous creativity queue, but you can bet it was as soon as they arrived! I admit that after reading Tammy's effusive enjoyment of Golden airbrush paints, I went and ordered some. BUT, in my own defense, I'd been building up an order for some time and they tipped it over into the "free shipping" category, so I pressed the button and ordered them. THEY ARE FANTASTIC! I have been slowly working my way into an "altered" book. It's actually one of those crappy give-aways that the little people get at the fast-food extremely nutritious joint we sometimes rarely visit. As usual I can't just start with a real book. I'm working my way up. But since this is me as usual, I'm okay with my completely circuitous route. I'll try to post a picture of the work in progress, but mostly so far it's looked like a crappy kids book smeared with gesso. Now, with color, it has suddenly developed a little dignity.
I also took down one of my new duct-tape journals and tried to do a little of the watercolor and graphite sketches I've been doing. It was completely unsatisfying. Here I had really good quality paper after the drawing paper I'd been using, and I didn't like it at all. I have to stop and appraise what felt so wrong about it. The size was larger and maybe that threw me off. But it seemed strange to not like what I was doing, since I'd been having so much fun in my old journal (that I filled up), so I kept trying. They are BORING! So I finally set that aside.
And then an impulse struck. Several peoples' blogs I read have talked about making scrap journals (including but not limited to Roz Stendahl, Carla Sonheim and Diana Trout). So I pulled together a small selection of papers that I had painted or colored in some way, some scrapbook paper that I bought on sale, and a couple misc sheets I had around, cut them down to manageable size, pulled out my binding materials and in about an hour total, had two small scrap journals to show for myself. And there was no dithering involved!!
A couple things made this process much easier. One, I'd just sewn up a bunch of duct-tape pamphlet style journals, so I remembered all the steps and points of caution. I tell my little people that practice actually does matter. But they're asleep right now, so I can't rub it in. Second, Roz had a mini tutorial/video in which she taped odd sized sheets to each other to hold their position while she sewed (using low tac tape of course). You can see a bit of the blue tape above. It worked like a charm. Instead of trying to pin sheets between fingers while I twist to work the needle, I just taped a few of them down and it was so much easier! Third, I made a single signature because the sheets were pretty thin. I could have made a double signature structure, but that would have added time and really, these are scraps. I just wanted something to play with.
Next week I will have to come back to my watercolor exercises and figure out what went off. I felt I was on the right track there, so I don't want to get derailed (oh, analogy taken too far, I should have gotten off one stop sooner).
The Creativity Queue Challenge may end tomorrow, but this was an excellent idea (Thank you Tammy) and I have not only accomplished a lot myself, both in projects and in revising my mindset, but I have really enjoyed seeing many of the other participants blogs. I'm just going to see if I can keep this perspective moving forward.
That and I didn't get my knitted blanket done, so there is that still in my queue!
I start each day reading a little news and some political/economic commentary. When I stopped working full-time and started being a care-giver (for little people and parents), I had a day when I think I talked and thought about nothing but food and poo. Bo and I met some friends for dinner and I realized I had nothing to talk about. Someone asked me if I'd read anything interesting recently, and I could feel myself staring at them with a big blank in my head. So I started making a point of reading what I could just to shake my head up a little. If nothing else, the rattle was entertaining.
A year ago, during my hiatus, I dipped my toe in the world of blogs, and got hooked. So now along with my mental exercise, each morning I read a few blog posts of people who inspire me. Starts the day out on a good note.
This morning I read Roz Stendahl's blog and she talks about journal choice. She points out how important the physical characteristics of your journal can be, how it can influence what you do and how you feel about it. I have found Roz, as a very experience (and opinionated) journal keeper, has helpful insight into the entire process of journaling. This has been invaluable to me. I don't have to do what she does (and she in no way suggests I or anyone do), but her very detailed discussion of different aspects has shed light on some unproductive habits I have (both in thought and action).
It's been a little more than a year since I started journaling. I say journaling, rather than doing art, because it was the shift to journaling that let me do art. When I started keeping a journal and drawing my cats, instead of thinking of making a piece of art (for which I felt woefully unskilled), I could make a series of sketches in my journal that let me explore drawing and this made me feel comfortable. I continue to sketch my cats, but I was able to do other things in my journal, since it was just a little journal. I really enjoyed (and enjoy) trying something, and then just turning the page and trying something else. They don't have to be connected or planned or anything.
A year later and I am still exploring what journaling means to me. I love seeing other people's journals, the myriad ways people express themselves. Often they give me insights to what I can or would like to try to do. Sometimes they affirm what I am doing. But sometimes they make me feel raw and undeveloped. I have to guard myself against that, and that itself has been a good exercise for me.
I'm grateful that I began journaling. I'm grateful for all the ladies that have contributed to my knowledge by sharing their experience.
I took a picture of all the journals I've used this year (and a few loose sheets). Each of these journals have taught me something. The first few were complete and total explorations. Later in the year I gave myself the challenge of "using up" a couple journals. I had bought these many years ago, written or drawn an page or two and then set aside. Using these and filling them gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment (talk about items on a Creativity Queue). From using so many different kinds of paper, I began to understand what characteristics I liked and wanted to use again. Sometimes the paper forced me to do more drawing. Sometimes it really encouraged a more mixed-media approach. During the last year, often the paper dictated the choices I made.
Now however, reading Roz's post on journal selection, I know that I have learned enough to begin to make choices not to satisfy some past impulsive choice, but because I want to explore the journal in a specific way. I have a better sense of the medium I want to use and how I want to use it. All of this is exciting for me. I can see that that excitement breeds more exploration and experimentation and that is exciting too.
Happy Creativity Queue everyone!
A couple days ago I was talking about good days and bad days, and on that day I was having a good day. Today, not so good. But despite that, I still took up the challenge. And because of that, it was a better day. I was waiting for some news and I can very easily spend the day in suspended animation, flitting from task half done to unfinished project. But today, instead, I focused on getting one thing done. Actually I focused on just the doing part, one part at a time. Which was how I eventually got the project done. And the project? Why, my armless husband, of course.
When I was growing up, my mother covered several cushions that we used in bed. One of them was a triangle wedge shape to put behind our backs when we were sitting up in bed. Later in college I had friends who had back pillows but with "arms" on them and they called them husbands. I just called mine the back pillow, but I've grown to like my armless husband. However, it's been many years, and I have been meaning to replace the covers because they're much the worse for wear. My mother made a series of slipcovers over the years, and I decided this week to duplicate them. She's not around (sad moment) so I drafted my own pattern, and managed to put it together, velcro closure and all.
Why did it take me so long to makes these? For the longest time I didn't get going because I couldn't decide what material I wanted to use. I wanted something soft but not boring but durable. I also wanted to use fabric I already had. So there I sat, for months, because honestly although I have LOTS of fabric, I didn't have what I wanted. But I think I've mentioned I'm stubborn, so... there I sat. Oh, and color, I was being picky on color. Soft durable cheerful fabric that was on my shelf (or under my bed, or in the closet, or in the trunk, or ... but somewhere in my house). Then this week I was cleaning up one project and this fabric I've had for many years leapt into my hands shouting USE ME! So I used it. Because I wanted to do something with a little more zing, I decided to do these little raw edge strips on the side. They had a touch of interest without being overwhelming (or scratchy). I am very well pleased with todays challenge results.
Eventually I got my news (neither good nor bad, just news). When I think about today, I like that cleaning up one drawer and finding a piece of fabric led to getting this project done. I like that I met my goal of no new materials and also got to add in a little design element that pleases me. I'm happier having worked on this project than I would have been today.
Happy Creativity Queueing ladies!
Today, I am all about the Daisy Yellow Creativity Queue challenge, and this is how I'm interpreting it. MY LIFE IS A CREATIVITY QUEUE WAITING TO HAPPEN. I have so many little projects cramming my life, my days, my dreams that I get overwhelmed, which for me, leads to (sadly) inertia OR starting a new project to distract myself (momentary happy face, leading to.... If this seems at all like a deep dark confession, you have never met me. However, in the kind light of morning (at least this morning), I am semi-well rested and ALL my little people have returned to school (last week had sickness) SO I am defining my WHOLE LIFE as items in my creativity queue. Cleaning out the frig today will be one item. How is that creative? Well, let me tell you there is a whole lot of fungi/slime/who-knows-what creation going on in there and I intend to engage it, enrage it and rearrange it (into my trash can). If monks and nuns can spend their time scrubbing floors and seeing it as serve to the Lord their God, then I can clean the frig in honor of my own Creative Muse. Plus, this morning I was throwing away a plastic veggie tray from the grocery store (checking to see if it could be recycled, of course) and realized that it had a really fun pattern on the bottom. I think I will be using it as a stamp later today. How is this nor all creative?
Do I seem a little manic? Perhaps because I actually slept last night what you are witnessing is a woman full of vim and vigor instead of one dazed and confused. Or maybe it was just that good a weekend.
But in anywise, these (above and below) are a series of small studies (yes, I'm calling them studies) that I have been doing in my visual journal. I have spent a long time trying to break out of the careful careful use of color/line. I see the work of people splashing on paint, drawing with wild abandon, and my very tight wound inner core just cringes. So I am slowly slowly unwinding.
These were done with; 2 Lyra Graphite crayons, both 9B, one regular and one water-soluble [I thought I was getting something else but I am delighted at this happy accident], Cretacolor Aquastics, which I bought several years ago and never used, and an old kids palette of paint that at sometime last summer I outfitted with a new palette of various half-pans and tube paint.
What I'm trying to do here is just loosen up, and I am SHOCKED at just how hard that is. I am the person who would only let my kids play with one color of play dough at a time because I don't like the colors mixing. And while I'd readily admit that there was some out-of-control stuff going on then (illness in the family) that made me want to regain control over something, still, this is the way I chose to express that need. So when I say I'm working hard at loosening up, I mean it.
Today I 'll do some more of these in-between my other creative-life adventures.
Those of you doing the Creativity Queue hop - thanks and have lots of fun. I look forward to seeing your adventures too!!
What a fabulous day! Did I spend it crafting? No. Did I made a brilliant aesthetic insight bringing a new level of complexity and meaning to my craft? No, although I did enjoy writing that sentence. No, I spent it mostly watching the artistic and creative endeavors of my 3 semi-little people. And boy, was that fun. For myself what did I do? Well, before I had to run off this morning, I did the above. I cleaned my work area. From this photo you might think that this is chaotic space. But actually, my back faces (can I say that?) this chaos. And all the things within an arms reach of where I sit (see tie-dyed shirt) are things I use regularly. The bulletin board is my and my children's work (it is not an inspiration board, it is a lovely mess). But in preparation of tomorrow, I cleaned off my table. I put away all the odds and ends and bits and bobs that accumulate because I have the luxury of working in this space day in and day out 24/7.
First, I will cap this day (hopefully - and I am, in fact, full of hope on this one) by knitting on that blanket again. I aim to get one more strip done tonight. I have about seven strips left, and if I can keep plugging along, I should be done about the same time as this challenge. So here's hoping for no more viruses or unprogramned events.
Second. You are probably hanging on the edge of your keyboard wondering what I am in preparation of that starts tomorrow! WELL!!!! Tomorrow is the kick-off day of International Fake Journal Month. I mentioned it only two days ago, and I mention it now because as of tomorrow, I will be putting my Blob Blog on a month's hiatus and starting a new sub-blog, Paint By Numbers. The plan is to use that blog to document my foray into IFJM. If you are interested, hop down to my recent post, or jump to the link provided. Really, as Roz says, "Life's so short, why live only one?"
I have a basic outline for my character for IFJM, but most of it will unfold as the month allows. I am curious about where this will lead. Will the storyline displace the focus of the journal? Do I, in fact, have an actual character, or just a situation? Will my initial goal of this character's journal develop as I hope, or will it head in another direction all together. That's what makes it so much FUN! And the kicker is - IT'S MY JOURNAL, MY CHARACTER AND MY IFJM EXPERIENCE so I get to take it wherever I want.
Hope you had a good Day 4 and see you on Day 5!
Welcome back to the second half of my Creativity Queue Challenge post. And don't you know it, life really is unscripted. Today I am at home with a very sad and miserable daughter who has a stomach bug that just won't quit. But in-between nursing, and since I'm here already, I was able to work on my planned project. Here it is:
As I said earlier, I began with a project I'd started from an article in Cloth Paper Scissors by Diane Taylor. I learned a lot from the beginning of this project about fusing tissue paper and fabric (Make sure the tissue paper is not too sturdy - the underfabric could barely be seen through the tissue I ended up using. I wanted to to be sturdy enough for the glue, but foiled my own purpose). I chose a palette of colors that were a little tame for what I've been doing, but I like them none the less and felt they went with the design. I do tend to like to start out a little 'safe' and experiment as I learn through doing. Some people can conceptualize better than I do, and I have just come to accept that for me, the process unfolds more slowly.
I began by adding a couple little buttons and some embroidery (very little). I haven't done any real embroidery in a LONG time, so that was really fun. I tried not to go overboard, otherwise the day would be spent in fiddling. Just went with my gut and then stopped!
Between attending to my daughter, I painted or gessoed the two pine panels I had. I painted one with craft acrylic paint and gessoed the other. No real reason except I wondered if they would be different.
When they were dry, I spread PVA glue on the panels where the fabric would go. I ended up spreading it with an old credit card because honestly, I don't like messy fingers. But some people really like the feel of doing it by hand (fingers) or I could have used a brush.
Here's how they came out!
This one is from a sketch I did of one of our cats. She's kind of fat. Don't worry, she doesn't seem to mind. I think she just takes it as a measure of her worth. The bunny I did from a sketch at the SC State Fair I was able to go to last summer. Roz Stendahl REALLY encourages the idea of going to fairs and sketching live animals and I will say it was more fun than I could have imagined. The people watching me sketch had fun, the owners of the animals (if they were there) had fun and I think the animals also enjoyed it (once the bunnies decided I wasn't a predator they kind of relaxed and preened themselves).
Now I admit the panels are not on my wall yet, but hey, I really do have to go take care of the girl. We may spend the afternoon watching Netflix while I work on yet ANOTHER unfinished project (a knitted blanket for another little person).
So if you've read I Am Rushmore!'s post and this one, then you know that while life is always in motion, and rarely in the direction you (I) expected, there is always time for Creativity. Good luck, have fun, enjoy and RELAX!
Thank you to Tammy at Daisy Yellow for sponsoring this challenge. What a wonderful way to encourage all of us to just keep making and doing and playing.
Yay!, today I get to be a hostess with iamrushmore, which is super cool. We are co hosting the Creativity Queue Challenge, which is (as I understand it) to attack some project I had begun (or wanted to begin) with gusto and verve. Well, I added the gusto and verve, but I think she Tammy (who created this Challenge at Daisy Yellow) implied them.
To any and all visitors GOOD LUCK and have at it (whatever it might be). We are all granted permission to settle our vision on ONE THING and DO THAT! A couple of my friends only have one project going at a time (how do they do that?) but some of us 'collect' projects that we begin and then set aside. For myself, I know there are many reasons for that and only some of them are excuses. Sometimes I've learned what I need to out of a project and want to move on. Sometimes I don't know how to move forward. Sometimes I don't have what I need to complete it. But TODAY I plan to focus on what I can do and what I've been wanting to do.
So, my challenge is to FINISH a specific project that I started a couple months ago. I love the magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors, and last year when I had a hiatus of sorts, I went through back issues. In issue 18 (May/jJune '08) there was a project by Diane Taylor that I wanted to try. It combined fabric (which I have stockpiled from my quilting days) and drawing (which I have started to explore this year) and it was small and workable for me. It also included free motion stitching, which I want to practice more. So it seemed like a good mix of things. Only problem was, I got three small panels done, and they've been sitting on or around my sewing machine since then.
One of my overarching goals this year was to create art that I actually wanted to put on my wall. And I wanted to put these things on my wall, but they needed to be finished somehow. Then I came across a blog entry by Jane Davies (I couldn't find that post but there's her blog) where she talks about how she 'frames' her art work, and it clicked for me. I bought some 'cradled birch paint panels' from Dick Blick (which was what she used, I think) and some PVA glue. And there they sat. Today my challenge is to ACTUALLY prep the panels and attach the work I've done.
I'm writing this Tuesday night and posting it in the wee hours, and then tomorrow (which is now today) I will post what I accomplish.
Oh, and in preparation of action, I always like to do a little housekeeping. Or rather, when I get ready to do one thing, I often feel compelled to do another. So as I got the things out and ready to work on tomorrow (today, this is getting confusing), I also cleaned up two shelves that sit over my sewing machine and which have been slowly falling into chaos. Now they are tidier and the next projects I want to work on (which I started even longer ago) are all stacked and ready. Plus the things I need to have on hand are actually where I can get them.
Good luck and I can't wait to see everyone's posts!
Today isn't a "challenge" day, but what the hey. Here's something I've been doing for fun. Two ways to explore paint mixing. One is with squares. I've done these (and more) the last few days.
Both of these were done with a limited palette where colors were mixed a little at a time with the other colors in the palette to give different gradations. I'm not doing a good job explaining it, but I first saw it in "Water Paper Paint" a book by Heather Smith Jones. She has a variety of exercises to get you comfortable with watercolor and I enjoyed doing this kind of thing as I worked my way through her book. It was a variant of doing a color mixing chart, and since I'm not in school studying Fine Art, I enjoyed the playfulness of the exercise.
After doing a couple of those, like the ones above, I made some rock piles using the same idea, but focussing on one pigment.
I labeled the one on the right, but I have many more like the one on the left where I just used one color as a base and added haphazardly from the palette I had at the time. When I need to, I will go back and do something more systematic, but this was just playing around and having fun and I learned a lot.
Recently I've been going through another bout of restless nights, and having something so simple and immediate to calm my mind has been helpful.
A couple weeks ago I found a new blog, Daisy Yellow, which I have enjoyed tremendously. Yesterday she sponsored a challenge to do eight days of creativity by focussing on an unfinished project (even of it was only started in my head). Looking at the piles of unfinished projects around my room I had to laugh. I am VERY good at starting things. I get inspired. But finishing? Sometimes. Sometimes almost finished. Mostly I don't sweat it, but I would like to learn the art of completing projects. My mother was very good at that, as are several of my friends. The point here, as I understand it, is not necessarily to finish, but to just keep creating. Which I think is a marvelous idea.
However, the biggest challenge that I have taken on lately is actually this blog, so I give myself credit for jumping in and doing it. There is SO MUCH to learn, and I am SO GRATEFUL to the women who's blogs I've been reading for the sheer generosity of the knowledge they share. I am trying to capture that by high lighting people who have been so helpful, even when they have no idea. I learned the phrase blog stalker and I have been doing my share of stalking. But putting up this blog is my way of joining the conversation and pushing forward with this little art journey.
I have not only started this blog, but another that I'm trying to post to regularly called The Blob Blog. I'm not sure it was a good idea to start two blogs at once, but there it is. I've done a fair number of bad ideas and ended up in fun situations. The Blob Blog is a journal I'm keeping filled with Blobs that get transformed into animals or scenes (mostly animals). The Blobs can be either paint or college. Here's an example
On the right I've started sketching in the image I see. I started photographing after I'd done a couple so they are missing their "before" pictures, but I managed to catch the rest.
So here on Day One, I'm really just acknowledging that I am in fact having fun playing and creating and exploring where this all takes me and what it reveals.
Thank you Tammy!
I am inordinately pleased by these little duct-tape journals. And yes, in my head I always think Duck Tape. I learned them from a tutorial by Diana Trout (link here), and they have worked perfectly for what I need. I figure by they time they don't suit my needs anymore, I might be able to do something a bit more, shall I say, sophisticated. The smaller ones are only 5 by 5 1/2 and the 'larger' ones just 5 by 7 1/2. But they fit perfectly into my little bag or backpack and I won't worry about messing up a 'good' journal. Inside, they each hold a half sheet worth of darling new watercolor paper.
I bought a watercolor sampler from Daniel Smith (or rather my beloved bought them for me for Christmas and wasn't he impressed with his own gift giving) and the papers have been looking at me longingly for months, but I hadn't settled how I wanted to use them. I know that once I buy them, they are MINE and I could do what ever I want with them (Bla hahaha, that's my evil laugh). I could make party hats, airplanes (do I need to say paper?), grocery lists, love notes (to the gift giver). But, although I did not intend to any of the afore mentioned, I just couldn't figure out what I did want. Last time I ordered a couple sheets, bound them up and forgot to write what I had gotten. I thought I would remember and I thought I had kept the invoice. Wrong on both counts. So this time I actually noted inside each journal which paper it was. I definitely learn by doing, mistakes and all. So once I figured out that I really did want to just test out the papers and my skill and not take them too seriously (i.e. try something far beyond my ability or comfort which would prevent me from even starting) and USE THEM, I decided to cut each sheet in two and make two very small journals of each sheet. My hope is I actually just chug my way through, doing what I have been doing which is a whole lot of whatever, and see how the paper feels and reacts to me. Should be FUN!
I will be breaking out the first one during Internal Fake Journal Month (link here). Not for my character, but as my real journal because these are small and I will be doing less in that, plus my IFJM journal will be pretty cheap paper, given its context. So I will have double fun next month (less than two weeks!)