Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring is Trending

We have been having some crazy weather and more is coming tonight.  Cold and the new driveway is willing to accept vehicles.  Warm- not so much.  The snow and slush that has mixed with new gravel is making life very interesting. :{  So I have mixed feelings about the warm weather! 

I DO luv Pantone's colour palette for spring.  I actually have a number of them in my closet and definitely in my fabric stash.

Hot pink is definitely on trend but I'm embracing pale dogwood, myself!  With lots of greenery thrown in.

And then there are stripes.  I haven't met a stripe that hasn't made me smile.  I scored the Coldwater Creek jacket at the thrift shop!  :)

I am enjoying the group of fashionistas at the 40+Style Club.  We learn and we post photos of the daily challenges using our capsule grouping.  It makes for a busy day taking photos and then a quick upload on the weekdays of the challenge.  That is one week of learning and gathering a core of about a dozen articles of clothing, shopping, or shopping our closet.  Then ten days of posting, with one week of socializing (and showing off the also rans)!  I should get faster at this as I progress.   The ladies are most encouraging and last week I got to be a poster girl.  Actually I think it was for most improved.  LOL  I have learned the importance of things fitting and the value of accessorizing.  My mixed media art and fibre art lessons/principles really help.   I need to start smiling but coordinating the requirements,  throwing clothes all over the place,  learning to take selfies,  and then standing still after clicking 10 second timer is all very challenging. 

The new 'me' is going for light-hearted and, casually contemporary.  I'm losing the dark look and embracing the light.   It certainly makes shopping an whole lot easier which makes me very lightheaded.  lol

Through one of the members I also discovered a blog- The Vivienne Files.    I spent Sunday evening going through the 'Starting From Scratch' tab.  Here are two examples of a personal colour wheel.   This totally appeals to me.  I'm just about ready to commit to my basic neutrals and my accent colours.  I was almost going to say navy and grey (no more black) when I realized I have very little navy but I have LOTS of green so it may be green and grey.  Aqua (teal) is one colour and I'm thinking pink (cranberry) for the other.  The 'other' light will be white/ecru/cream- depending.   I did think of two capsules- one for summer and one for winter but remembered KISs just in time.  LOL  But those kahaki sections can still work when I go grey taupe and green based taupe so I can have those for summer.    Then think of all the combos with lights to darks and prints that pull together two colours.  I hate clothes shopping so this would focus me on MY colours.  A jean skirt is a must,  almost considered a neutral and I'd keep my black pencil skirt and LBD (little black dress).

Spring is my favourite season even though it can be quite cool and muddy here.  But the idea of fresh air, pussy willows and green grass just make me happy!  I am happy to put away all the stuff that has managed to accumulate from the previous seasons, spring clean and start all over again with lots of white and minimal clutter.

I'll be accessorizing things that best show off the charm of this old character lady.  ha!  you thought I meant me.  I meant this old house!  We have a  showing for a prospective buyer this week and a contender for our own purchase/consideration.  So I have not been making much art but I have been busy!  Spring is shaping up to be very exciting and summer is looking to be busy!  Bring on the daffies!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Winter Wrap up!

Looks like winter is preparing to leave like a lion.   The warnings are up but I do hope to get away tomorrow for art 101 with the grand kiddies.  We have a sketch date at the library!  :O

I have been working on my garment selections for wrapping up the season.   Seems I need to lose the dark colours and embrace the lighter.  I can do that.  The next grouping will be more colourful.  This is my winter capsule.  I won't be buying much more black.

I seemed to have hit a wall with the journal updates and so I just cleared the deck desk, put my head down and got at it!  I shoveled away all the bits and pieces and used the glue stick liberally.  I'm not quite done but I'm to the point where a finish is in sight.  Hopefully that won't happen again.

I ordered a few clothes internationally and I won't be doing that again.  $54 duty!  I never paid that for any art supplies.  sheesh!  I shall be wrapping myself with stuff from theBay.  I like online shopping but not the duty for international stuff.  TheBay is Canadian, online, and I can do easy returns if I'm not happy.

 I am doing up all the laundry for our star boarder.  He should be back home by the end of the week.  There will be a little less game playing and more creative stitching.  I will put finishing touches to the guest room and send the bunk beds off to Joshua as his room is slated for finishing this month as well.  It is a small room and my custom bunks fit wonderfully.  Downsizing.  I luv it!

Not a lot crossed off my list but a good start.  That's a wrap!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Marching to the Challenges

Thank goodness for clean fresh calendar pages!  I am totally behind on most things.  :/

 The over forty and for me, sixty, style challenge completely stole my month.  It was like my first visit to Michael's Craft Store.  I wanted just about everything.  Looking at the gaps in my recently edited closet sent me off on the clothes hunt.  Gosh there is lots out there!  I got a bit side tracked but I am now back to basics and the 70% around home apparel.  February's challenge was clothing our unique body shapes.Who knew I was hiding good legs,  Well, except the Rooster!  ha!  
The March challenge is Spring and my thrift shop jacket is apparently on trend for colours and will work for the 15% errands and the 15% Dress up section.
It has been a real eye opener and ego let-downer to lay out a lovely ensemble on the bed, dress, and then confront the full length mirror, take a selfie and analyze!  What I saw on the bed and in my mind's eye is not what the camera reveals nor what, ' the people that you meet, when you're walking down the street...' see!  vbsigh   So it will be onwards and upwards from the low point of crying in the closet!  I think I want people to see 'light-hearted, relaxed and rural' as I approach.  Seriously I have learned a whole shopping bag full of useful tips and information.  Why don't they teach us this stuff in school?  You know, home ec???

I will now be marching in light as opposed to dark clothes!  I'll share my spring capsule next week which will highlight the Pantone colour pale dogwood!  I do have lots of 'greenery' and my closet is full of stripes which is also on trend!  :}

My game scores have improved with our young house guest.  My dear hubby has absolutely no luck in games and when asked if he 'really' wanted to play he said yes.  His goal is not to win but to be under 500 points in a low score wins game. lol  My challenge has been to keep my mind on what I'm doing as talking, dealing, sorting and gathering is a bit like rubbing ones tummy, patting ones head and ...  you know!

I did gather the brackets and hinges to complete the sewing room but we've been rather busy playing games!   The work party is scheduled for next weekend.  I had cut out a dark brown tunic and skirt but I have lost my enthusiasm since spring green would be better than brown bark.  I know, I know, scarves, etc.!    lol  heck, paint splatters can lighten just as well.   And then as I was looking to make brown fabric photo worthy I pulled fabric from my quilting stash.  Oh, MY!  I DO have options!!!

 I have managed to keep up with the grand kiddies and Art 101.  We finished art landscapes and are doing Architecture.  Cityscape's are all about lines and shapes with foreground, midground and background.  Their journal/planners are up to date but sadly mine are a mass of loose papers and not enough penciled data!  :[

 I am a regular follower of ...And Then We Set It On Fire... which is featuring Clara Nartey for March.  The challenge is to stitch for 31 days.  On our sewing machines.  I am IN!!!
 I had also signed up for a class on improvisational hand stitching for my evenings but I haven't got past gathering my supplies. My presence has been required at the gaming table.   I may have to carve some time out of the housecleaning slot!  8-}

  We had a lovely 'get away' which is always a time of rejuvenation.   While some of us were preparing for March, Eliana stylishly and exuberantly embraced the freshness of winter's wonderland. 

And I, myself,  will be drawing a big deep breath of fresh air and flinging myself into March's challenges.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

You win some! You lose some!

I think I am going to lose the battle with my February agenda! 

One must be available to get things done!

The ever increasing list of errands is not corresponding to the shortened days in the month.

We are losing two art days this month due to field trips and away days.  February's colour is violet.  We could be sending purple hearts to valiant people.  I left supplies for 'homework'!

Interesting read for Josh's library.  A mystery that takes place in our own province and capital city.  I learned a thing or three and it actually takes place during the upcoming Festival du Voyageur where we can check out the ice sculptures after our fiddling concert.

As far as the house search goes I had seriously invested dream time in one we thought was the one! It sold while we were working things out with the Rooster's pencil. :/   All this looking sure takes time.  I'm dreaming about a new one whose basement isn't quite the spacious studio the one that got away had!  lol

I joined the style club and they are such encouraging ladies.  But that, too, takes time gathering outfits, photographing them to share and then commenting on the other ladies.  BUT, I am learning to embrace my aging body and learning all kinds of new tricks.  I'm learning to tell a story with what I wear.  And, darn it, I am 'getting it' why some people are so into fashion fun. ;^)  It won't be my first luv but hey, who doesn't want to look good. The Rooster found my selfies on my phone and now I have another 'advisor'!  LOL

Jesse has been with us almost five weeks now and I must say my card playing skills are improving.  Unfortunately I think our waistlines are increasing along with our scores.  :/  He has taken up jogging but I have declined.  I'll just run faster on my errand trail.

The sewing room is clean and I got hubby's coveralls mended.  I am still learning clothing styles sew I will soon be ready to  try tunics in various colours and styles.  Who knew light would be a colour option for me!!!

Unfortunately the art room has just become a repository for stuff.  I got new alphabet stamps in the mail from the Wunderlust people.  I so enjoy that class and I'm only behind by half a class, watching that is.  :}  But I think I buried my big journal. :/

And of course my hand work is undone.  I haven't even been able to re-hem my skirt or make a pom pom for the hat! 

Today I am off to have the car surfaced for our usual February get away!

But things even out and I expect quiet and boring will return soon.  If I win some and lose some in the end love conquers all.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

One and the same

Amazingly what one learns about making art and decorating one's house.  Same principles also apply to one's clothes closet.  And vice versa!

1) Needs to fit!  The dresser looks great by the bed but I can't easily make the bed every morning and that corner is just about eye level with a less than wide awake Rooster.  So, plan B.  Assemblage is a wonderful mixed media style but I can barely get the top off the child proof laundry detergent bottle.   I stroked  the Dremel off my 'have to have' list.  Therefore all the ill fitting clothing have been edited out.  Well, I kept a few warm and slouchy tops- for cooler art days.  They will likely not survive the painting messes any who!

 2) Colour!  I do luv colour but apparently it showcases better on a neutral background and as eye popping accents. The orange art room tends to clash with and colour most of my art project appraisals.  :O  My colourful (and busy) backgrounds are benefiting with knocking back with swathes of gesso and the application of baby wipe rubs.  I have learned all this after investing in coloured walls and now I'm continuing under the influence of the current grey trend.  Grey, BTW, shows up colour wonderfully.   Much as fire engine red may suit my colouring I won't be wearing a full skirted dress in it. A bit more subdued and who knew that blue jeans are considered a neutral.  I must add, mind you, that I was looking at some red shoes the other day!  lol

3) Rule of thirds.   Gosh this applies in photography, art canvases, windows and drapes, groupings of threes so why not the old body!   duh!  Proportion and lines has less to do with body shape and a lot to do with what will make a pleasing silhouette.  Half black and half white with a red belt and gold bulls eye buckle is not too pleasing.  Now I am a short plumping hour glass who needs to embrace my curves without giving star status to the plumping parts.  It is good to identify one's nemesis and then skim lightly over them!

4) The yes and no lists.  I rather like those white minimalist houses but I'm not neat enough to maintain one.  So relaxed Ikea works.  I'm giving my French Provincial chairs to my DD#2 and my dearie is swallowing the recovering costs and adjusting to the new swapped mid century modern book case. ;^)  Family Affairs!!!    Follow alongs and Project Lifes are not my style.  My own blogging themes,  making my own journals and adding some of the bought ephemera works for me.  Making art for Ikea shelving is my happy place.  Unhappily, vbsigh, bosoms are a fact of life for us X rated figures.  Much as I wish I was that 60's Twiggy model, I ain't.  But turtlenecks are not my best look.  I need to lower that neckline and get a nice bit of jewelry under my chin to draw the eye up and help  acquaintances who are stuck- well, you know where!  An interesting aside is that I have a tee shirt with a bit lower neckline and luv it.  So this is really about what makes you happy.  I luv stripes.  I'm not giving them up but I will be thinking rule of thirds and columns of colour when I do it.

5) Armed with your YES list, edit your closet.  Downsizing has been easier since I reconciled that I would not be revisiting my folk art period!  :{   And while I kinda like the Victorian style of mixed media I won't be spending a lot of my art budget on lace and pearls.  A lot of what isn't my art style is passed on to the grand kiddies who haven't discovered their style yet.  lol   Ideally I want to reach into my closet and get what works quickly, easily and happily.

6) Accessories.  The secret weapon for colour and creativity.  Those statement accents on the coffee table or bookcase.  The bit of metal or glitz near the focal point in the mixed media art.  The earring, bracelet or scarf.  Amazing what a bracelet does to an outfit or a brooch to a drab cowl necked sweater.

7) Capsules!!!  This totally makes sense to me.  My home decorating focuses around tweaking the seasons.  I have created four bookcases in my basement that store colours and accessories for the four seasons that we enjoy.  I luv arranging vignettes and it beats shuffling rooms full of furniture around.  No surprise that my randomness leads to various aspects of my art and crafting life.  If I embrace the slower pace of winter which keeps me indoors  and spend my time sewing and hand stitching  my life is far less frustrating.  I guess one can snow dye but dyeing is likely a fall outdoors project for me.  It was a no-brainer for me to make four clothing capsules.  One for each season and they actually over lap a bit so I just shuffle the seasons from accessible to not so accessible along the hanging bar.  This works better for me than colours or kinds which I tend to associate with seasonal wear anyway.  And if I need orange I do know where in the seasonal line I can find it.  It also shows up gaps and the unnecessary number of the same four items and lack of a fifth but different.

The biggest thing I learned is nothing stays the same.  House decor goes through trends.  A major colour shift occurs every 10 years like brown to grey and minor accessory styles change yearly.  Classic is timeless.  Most of us have seen the rise and fall of crocheting, paint by numbers, scrap booking and grunge art.  But fabric, paper, and the colour wheel are a basic.   My 30 year old body exists only in old photos and in my mind.  Reality reveals we all change.  Selfies (for your viewing pleasure only)  are an excellent tool for showing that!  And after the first half dozen painful crying jags one focuses on line and proportion.  Mind you, dressing in one's bedroom then going for the selfie in better light does not prepare one for the full mirror view of a bent over and half clothed confrontation enhanced by the lighting in a change room.  I wonder they sell ANYTHING!!!   But covering the body is not really negotiable so lets happily and comfortably embrace it.  How about with some style?

Another aha! was percentage.  One day a week I dress up for church.  One day I have scheduled for errands.  Those days I MUST dab some makeup on.  See colour above!  Five days I am at home happily messing about.  Party wear opportunities are extremely rare.  So the 3 ball gowns were tossed.  Just kidding.  However the sparkly top that no longer buttons was sobbed over and laid to rest in the discard pile.  That defining moment actually led to unearthing my cloth measuring tape!  :/  If my math is correct, 14% of my closet should be semi formal (?) maybe classically casual.  14% should be casually classy.  And a whopping 71% needs to be for a comfy, casual, creative country chic (k).   And it sure isn't!   But I do have a list for future forays into the change room, lighting be d***ed!

SEW- I think tunics, with a bit of shape at the waist are my ticket to creative freedom.  Even a loose thin belt would work.  The pattern will be easy to fine tune.  Easy to sew, easy to wear and I do have fabric!  The prototype waits beside Nina and the Rooster's coveralls.

Being creative.  Whether it is through my homemaking,  chasing the muse, or revealing who I am to all those who pass me on the street, it is all one and the same.

Monday, February 6, 2017

SEW here is February!

My focus for February is all things sewing, including my sewing room.  It needs a few tweaks.

I am also on a quest to cover my body in a becoming style and that has involved selfies, and measuring tapes and thought provoking quizzes.

I will need to review my old UFO list and think about an upcoming wedding quilt.

I did pick up my new ruler foot, a set of rulers, some practice fabric and a new machine quilting book.  Time to dust off Nina who is quite raring to go!

Much as I've enjoyed 'beating' my guys on game nights, ;^)  I need to pick up the handwork and make it a priority.

I really hope this month doesn't fly by as fast as the first one!

Friday, February 3, 2017

January ARTifacts

Seth says:

"Every year I have so many "art memories" from my travels, my teaching, my adventures in NYC, and my studio work. I have decided that 2017 will be the year of ARTifacts where I document my adventures in art for the entire year in a physical book.

I would love to have you join me. This would be a no rules collaboration. Just find or make some sort of artist book, planner, scrapbook, 3-ring-binder, folder, or other container to document your creative experiences, whether they be in art, craft, or anything else. Then get to documenting in any way to style that works for you.

I had a good number of people express interest in joining. And an equal number of people asking what exactly the project is. I was purposely vague because I wanted it to be a reflection of you. For me, I am looking at this project as an artful way of keeping track of my daily life as an artist. A dossier or scrapbook of sorts that is filled with words and images that document the creative part of my life."    The Altered Page

I  already had three ways to record 2017

My big memory keeper which I may spend an hour a week updating with permanent pen,  photos, mark making and ephemera.  I very pleased to have completed 7 months with this method and I can see style improvements monthly!  :)

My planner is a smaller version of the memory keeper.  I jot down plans, ideas, and try things.  So it is more like a doodle or scratch pad.  This is no stress and what is, IS!  Very freeing and hints at my evolving interests and styles.

Then I have the journal I made which documents my 2017 year of discovery.  I've made a good start.

I am happy to start a new month.  I can refocus and pull back on the areas I got too wide in.  My personal journey journal will be getting  more attention.  And I really do hope my planner has less out and about and more in and get busy!!!   I plan to make art and that is a fact!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Janus, is the door still open???

Janus- In his role as the Guardian of Exits and Entrances, Janus was also believed to represent beginnings. The explanation for this belief being that one must emerge through a door or gate in order to enter into a new place. Therefore, the Romans also considered Janus as the God of Beginnings and his name was an obvious choice for the first month of their year...a month referred to by the Ancient Romans as Ianuarius, which is not so far removed from the modern-day "January," taken from the Etruscan word jauna which means "door." Originally, however, Janus was honored on the first day of every month, in addition to being worshipped at the beginning of planting season and again at the harvest. Deference was also paid to him at the most important beginnings in the life of an individual...such as birth and marriage.

What a busy month.  We have been house hunting.   The idea of an empty basement has me wildly excited!  No!  We haven't even got to the offer part so this is is just wild speculation on my part.  The Rooster is more interested in pantry space.  lol

We also have a house guest.  So my skills at hand work haven't moved along much but my card holding has improved as has my game playing skills.   My mark making pens and my thread and needle have not had much chance to play.  Nice to have a 20 year old young fella bump us out of our rut.  But we were telling him there is one thing lacking since he arrived.  Sleep!!!  lol

 I joined a style challenge that had me delving in the depths of my closet and sharpened my previously non existent selfie skills.   This is my relaxing Sunday afternoon outfit.  I am not comfortable with wearing leggings in public.  But so nice at home!  Trying to look good sure takes lots of time.  I had to stop to shop for a couple of basics including this top.  :O
 The room I had picked to begin the whole house 'touch up and call it done'  project was the art room.  This is the final run through for our 'ready to move' purge.

I hadn't expected to do much but the seasonal sort of all the smaller bits for scrapbooking/planners turned out to be relatively easy and quick.   There isn't  a lot of room to do much but tidy and easy access is always good!  ;^)

Last page for the January set of planner pages.  I can't quite comprehend how the time has flown.
But I did notice that Janus is also available for the beginning of each new month.  phew!  I can start again with all my good intentions!