Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hello! I Am Still Here

It has been a little while, but I have been busy actually making stuff.

I think I mentioned a book that I purchased just prior to our trip, Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts. The author, Rayna Gillman, now has a Interweave Press DVD Free-Form Fabric Art that I purchased to really get motivated and allow me to see the process in action.

The DVD is full of useful information but one criticism of the video, in fact all Interweave Press videos, is that they seem to be filmed in one take without a script, pretty much "off the cuff." I would like a more scripted, polished finished product. I found the same thing to be true for the Strathmore series of journalling videos, but they were free of charge. I really like this technique of quilting, I just think the production could be a little cleaner. I know, everybody is a critic.

Anyway, I decided to get out my scrap bags. Because I have only made 3 quilts in my life my scraps are not that varied, I also cut up a a fat quarter, a couple of men's dress shirts, and a pair of boxer shorts--yes--clean used boxers! Here is what I have to show for myself:

The scrap pile.

Strips sewn together.

Strips sewn together, cut up, and reassembled.

I am pretty pleased and think it may end up a crib blanket for TOMA's new godson for next year's trip to Italy. 

So that is the lead-in to my list of projects for the next 11 months. I will be making all of the gifts that we take with us to Italy next August. Between the money spent in Italy this last trip and the veterinarian bill we have to save mega bucks to make up the dip in our savings. 

I decided to go through my yarn stash, which is always fun. I love to see the yarn that I forgot I had, it is a little like shopping in my closet. Right now on the needle is a scarf and a pair of socks. The point is to use yarn I already own to keep busy and save money. Okay, I purchased a jelly roll and some backing fabric for two baby quilts. One of our cousins is having girl twins on November 5. We left the baby gifts with her parents, but will need a gift next summer. Originally, I bought the fabric to make 2 matching coin quilts, but maybe I will cut up the strips for a free-form quilt. The way I figure, making the gifts is two-fold. It provides lovely handmade items for our friends and family, and entertainment and a creative outlet for me. This especially works well if I do not make any additional purchases. 

Here is one finished scarf and one WIP:

Finished: made of Noro Silk Garden (2) balls. The pattern can be found here:

WIP: Using same pattern but a hand-painted wool purchased 8-9 years ago, knit into a sweater that was completely finished that I did  not like on me. So I disassembled it, wound the yarn into hanks, soaked it in water and hung it to dry. One of my cousins really liked it, so the scarf will be for her. I will probably make matching mittens.

I have not been drawing or painting, but I only have so much time for this stuff.

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I cannot get Ms. Sonheim's blog onto my Blog List, so here is the link:

Snowball Journals


I wanted to write about a new book that has inspired me even though I have not read it.  It isDrawing and Painting Imaginary Animals, by Carla Sonheim.  If you go to her blog (which is now on my sidebar within my blog list) you will find tutorials from the book as well as chances to win a copy. I have Ms. Sonheim's first book, Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists..., and did a few exercises from it and like most other books about making art, shelved it. But since I am not making any unnecessary purchases at this time (to replenish the savings account due to a few large unexpected expenses) I decided to give it another look through.

There are a few projects in it that are similar to those in the new book, and I am having a lot of fun. I may be a little addicted to making "imaginary creatures." It is such a free way of creating/drawing something that is a true surprise at the end. It encompasses all of my favorite things: drawing and coloring without too much pressure for it to turn out good in the end. (I think we all care about the end result no matter what we are told when playing around.) It also reminds me that the outcome is better when I use a loose shaky line rather than the hard smooth line that I usually make.

Here is what I have done so far, including the ones that did not come out as I had hoped. (Just to show that I can post unhappy endings...)

First and second tries: green cat (Black actually sits this way on TOMA's lap) and orange cat

Third try: too much media! The markers and colored pencils were overwhelming--yuck!

Fourth try: I liked it until I messed it up with the spots

Fifth try: I like this one

Sixth try: I like this one too, except that in my sketchbook it is sideways

Seventh try: I like this one too! The dog is a "one-liner." Also from Sonheim's Mixed Media book and blog

I already have another paint blob waiting for me tonight after dinner. Try one of these, they are so much fun.

Baci e abbracci