Thursday, January 30, 2014

Party after math!

Well, today is full of picking up toys, cleaning up and sorting laundry.  The cloud of white at the right of the photo is an almost full box of Kleenex which is now a mound of snow!  :(

The art time left me three sheets of background and some gelli prints. Before I did a big clean up I did some playing of my own.

I remembered  some of my Creative Jump Start tutorials which are drawing to a close with ordinary household objects providing the theme.

 I do really like mono printing.  One excellent tutorial used a black plastic garbage bag taped tightly around a glass cutting board. This was a  wonderful substitute for the trademarked gelli plate.  The paint was white and the printing was done with black card stock.  Very doable and also very striking.  I like the effect of rubber bands on the cardboard roll but next time I'd use rolling pins of even just a bottle as they would roll smoother.   I hadn't thought to use ink sprays on my gelli plate and they add another dimension.  There is an artist grade tissue paper which I didn't have but cheap tissue (left side of photo) gave 3 prints off one prepared gelli plate.  Tissue disappears in collage work even better than deli paper. :) 

This isn't getting the playroom back to pre-party state  nor the rest of the upstairs. :o  But I certainly have some more party ideas to try tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

wow! party help

This is a sewing party and my grandchildren are all about helping to get the confetti flying!  A wee blankie for the doll!

The girls will be sharing a bedroom and the older is all about pink and purple sew...

The younger can chose from the supporting cast!

This scrappy trip around the world project is looking like two distinct colourways .  No problem!  Two quilts it will be.  (story of most of my projects!)  And then a quilt for the Grand son!  ;)  His colour choice is green.

And speaking of green, I did get my wall hanging to the first stage.  Just saying! ;)  Now to figure how to get leaves on it.

I also did a little thinking about the teacup wall hanging.  I'm for simple but I need to get those cups to pop a bit more.

My first applique block is also available for show and tell.  Eleven more to go!

I shall invite the guests to tour other parties that The Needle and Thread Network may be hosting but I shall confiscate the tea, the gooey cupcakes and most important, I shall wipe their sticky fingers.  Party On!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Two's company and three is definitely a ...

Party!  Craft party, that is!

First we started with a quilting party.  It was a slow start as piecing wasn't too exciting  But then...

they discovered Nina's decorative stitching!  ;) The bicycle was the biggest hit!!!

Then we moved from dry to wet!

I'm not sure that Jolina is past 18 months but I do believe she is ready for stronger stuff!  This wee one is 'an old soul' and who knows what she thinks!  ;)

 Josh took to gelli printing instantly.  Eliana likes to do her own thing. And nobody insisted on wearing a lamp shade!  lol

I do believe a doll quilt qualifies as a finished project!    woo hoo!

Monday, January 27, 2014

In the mood to party!

Looks like the party is ON!   And pink and purple are the colours of choice.  We  will be entering a hot pink and passionate purple party zone.

The invitations were issued and when all the rest of Sunday's guests were to leave we were to have a girly couple of days.

But then the blizzard descended and everyone stayed for the pajama party.  Now beds were actually found for all the guests.  This is the after party and because the weather caused all kinds of revisions to every one's plans,  big brother crashed our girly party!  :O

I did want to add that Jolina's nap quilt was finished and has been broken in!  ;)

 I also got the colour coat of paint all over the hutch and when the Rooster gets the drawers done I'll  add a finished coat to the whole front.  I also need to find a few more drawer pulls.

Now back to the party!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ticking off the trys!

First I must say that I am just plain TICKED!  What a winter.  Last night's gale force winds broke branches, lifted and tossed shingles and deposited 5 foot snow drifts.  Hard packed snow!   argggh!  The far left side of the photo shows my fence and my clothes line!  :(

Most frustrating.

Good thing I can quickly get into smiley mode when I'm in the play room!

I am really happy with stenciling on the gelli plate and then transferring the image and especially the reverse image to fabric.  It is also possible to get a ghost image when you 'clean' the stencil with a baby wipe and chase/swipe the excess into the open areas of the stencil.   The three papers on the right show the three ways.  I am very happy!  :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trying new things

The weather is once again trying to blow up a situation. That is certainly not new and is starting to get real old!    I did get out to the chicken coop before the path began to blow in AGAIN.  My Rooster is spending all his spare time clearing paths! :O

I am working away on getting the hutch painted. I had left it with just some primer for the holidays. I had totally forgot the middle section of glass so I primed that and started in with a can of 'old white' chalk paint on the rest.  I hope to have the knobs and hinges back on for a photo finish on Friday! ;)

The new journal calls for a 'selfie' for the second week.  VBGROAN!  oye!   I take all the pictures for the family and I'm happy not to be in any.  I am NOT photogenic.  Ha!  I'm sure I can't be that old biddy I sometimes glimpse as I pass large areas of glass in a mall.  ;)  Okay, I did that and now to hide it in amongst all the extra's.  Actually that wasn't too hard and I printed it on a dictionary sheet. Upside down but...

Next I wanted to try using a stencil on my gelli plate and transfer the image to cloth.  VERY COOL!

Just for fun I cleaned off my stencil by flipping it onto some fabric and I like that as well.  This has oodles of possibilities!  I can't wait to try more new things!  :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wow, trying pays off!

This wall hanging stalled a wee bit when I got an old wall hanging up in place in the front room. But I've gotten a good kick start this week. ;)

 I started to really like listening to Mini hum away as she chain pieced some colourful pieces for a very old UFO.  When I made my DS#1's wedding quilt I also cut smaller pieces so I could have my own version.  This just makes me hum as well!  I'm going to have to make this corner a regular scrap spot.  Two pieces together and sew.  Two pieces together and sew on...

I thought I'd warm up with making the binding for the youngest grand daughter's nap quilt. Turns out I hadn't started the quilting which was an easy enough warm up!  Some distortion and if I'd be tackling a bigger quilt I'd be giving this some more thought.  But I always wash my quilts as a final step and I'm thinking that'll be good enough!  A bit of hand sewing on the binding and it'll be done.

Then I settled into steady progress on this 'original design' that I want for the spot above the stove in the front room. I had thought larger slices but I should know 'moi' by now.  Smaller is my default setting. ;)  Now to get the fabrics to transition nicely up and down as well as that diagonal light source.  Thread play and some stenciling will help, too.

I have been trying to make more progress in my kitchen. This particular arrangement is making me want to try something else.  I am considering a wall hanging but I want something a bit less patchworky and more picture-like.  I have the tea cup stencil from an old stenciling book.  How to translate that into a wall hanging???  tap, tap, tapping of the finger...

Then I saw Brandy Lynn's facebook post and I am so very happy to pass along to my fellow Needle and Thread Networker's this great Canadian artist. This is my first try and I kinda like the effect and will do up a few more and see how it works out. 

And I hope to have the results of all this trying for next week's wow Wednesday!  :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday's try!

I haven't yet bought my 2014 calendar.  The free ones are not very pretty or else the spaces are small and they transfer marks to the brand new month underneath.  :(  Last year's pretty bought calendar barely made the monthly switches as I tend to look at the Rooster's plain and serviceable free calendar that is in the kitchen.   Planners for me have been the notebook type with a two page spread of the month that gets buried in the paper surrounding the 'puter.  :O   If I am planning my week I generally just scribble sections onto any available scrap of loose leaf found in the previously mentioned pile.  This year has a 'strict budget' on the top of the things to accomplish this year so I thought I just might draw my own grid.  I have some specific things happening in specific months and I need to know when I can sit around scrolling through blogs and when I need to be making progress on this year's commitments!  ;)

Then I saw Jan's postings on the her new journal, here and here.  I am still wanting to make art journaling more of a daily practice.  I did enjoy making  the 2 big binders from two years ago but I got behind at the very end and they just became way too big.  I also find myself organizing my week in a more purposeful way.  so...

I checked out the Document Your Life Project on the Art to the 5th blog.  I seriously need to curtail art supply buying, much as I'd luv the Moleskine planner.  hmm???   A search through all my mixed media sketch books yielded only one that qualified and of the 60 pages I still had 54 that were not tampered with other than some colourations around the edges.  Must be meant to be!  :)

So I am drawing grids and mapping out the week's focus AND making art!  At least I will be trying to!

I'm also trying to be a 'puter techie!  The tutorial videos are very slow so I thought to tweak my settings. HA!  I have given up as I went from slow to no go! This morning I hit the restore button. vbsigh!  I did try!  ;)

Monday, January 20, 2014

A keep trying mood!

Making slow but steady progress and I hope to keep trying!  I'm in an optimistic mood!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tah Dah! Way TO go!

I am beginning to see the value of forward planning.  I am not too good at thinking while I am running full tilt.  Then when I grind to a halt I'm disoriented.  But if I have a general focus and some projects preplanned then I can quickly get back on track.

I don't seem to have a calendar upstairs.  But I can certainly draw up my own.  May is going to be a big month and that will take serious planning to prepare for.  I am trying to keep each month's focus in mind and work around the fixed dates and take advantage of the lulls.  I'm not a detail planner but a specific focus and some general daily goals seems to be working and gives me a heads up to the busyness that is looming.  I planned with company in mind but quickly adapted to 'home alone' mode.   I had already taken steps to set up and organize a few zones; always ready to go, so to speak.  I was able to not only tweak them but actually try them out.  Now when I get to spinning around and start to lose my balance I already have my general plan in place and the zones are ready and I can refocus easily and get back to the task at hand.

Now I can show some actual results and not just photos of gathered supplies and  instructions.  woo hoo!

Mini has some patchwork pieces at the ready for quick piecing when I just want to be sewing something.  This is just pick up two pieces, sew them together and repeat.  Great for when you need something to do but you are feeling kinda fuzzy.  I can push Mini back into her corner spot and pull her back out easily.  This will also make a dent in the ufo pile!

I'm trying to keep the cutting table clear and that made it easy to got the quilt sandwich prepared and the binding cut.  I have three completed projects in the fabric department.  The wee runners from Wednesday and the big hot pad are completed.

I have my applique supplies in a container and my light at the ready!  I have been trying to clean up my fingers and get all the rough edges smoothed back for applique.  I may have to think about some of those thin plastic gloves for mixed media even though they make my hands itchy.  My hands are my Achille's heel.  :(

I don't really like getting my hands all messy because I know they then need time to heal up but sometimes ones fingers are the handiest tool!  lol  I'd really like to leap in and do big canvas collages but I'm settling for elementary school with cardboard cereal boxes.  I spread the whole box out flat and thought I could crop them but the reality is that these are practice pieces from all my on line classes.  Lots of fun!

We've only just started January but I'm feeling like I have at least gotten out of the starting gate!  A do have a ways to go but I AM going! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tea Party

I knew this week I would be having overnight party guests so I've planned the week to include a party.

But we have had two days of blizzard conditions so I am not having tea for two.   My granddaughter got a set of white china dishes that were to be painted and decorated.  Today was the day!  But we have had a tempest in the teapot instead. lol  But I am consoling myself with quilting.  The runner is quilted and after a few sips I shall attach the binding.  I just may brew a second cup and party at the completion!  ;0

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wow, Running

I'm running to get some of these runners finished up.

Blogging motivates me and whenever I can make things happen I try to take advantage!  The new section in my side bar for celebrating completed projects is looking kinda forlorn; reproaching me actually. :(  Sew I decided to make 52 asterisks and make sure I have something for every week.  Last week was embarrassing, only my sink curtains!  :(

And my feet dragging and tripping over my shoe laces is because I have let my free motion quilting skills lapse. :(  It is sew true that if you don't use it, then you WILL lose it.  The runners, therefore serve a purpose other than just pretty.

I loosened the wrong screw on my walking foot and I haven't taken it in to have it put back together but Mini is only too happy to use my old walking foot and do the first lap in this race.  She is a sweety and hasn't smirked once at Nina.  She is just content to have her corner and her stack of little patches to run through.  I should spring for a new light bulb for her though.

This wee runner is outlined with straight stitching and is made from a package of coordinating squares.

Nina has lots of lights and quite a few bells and whistles, including the BSR, Bernina Stitch Regulator.  But I learned to fmq without one and I rather like having the needle space free and clear of obstructions. I'm sure I will use it as it apparently really shines for the those teeny tiny stipples.

But I was sew happy to just warm up with some flowing movement.  Felt good!  I have a ways to go to pick up those dormant  fmq skills but I have finally gotten off the starting block and I'm happy to be back in the race.
This larger runner will be a very big hot pad for pot lucks.  I can see lots of close straight line stitching for this design but then that wouldn't be practicing my fmq now would it!  What if...

Now I need to run over to The Needle and Thread Network and see what all my fellow runners are doing this week!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tapes, transfers, tutorials

I'm multi-tasking mixed media this Tuesday! 

The CJS 2014 tutorials continue to be enlightening.  Sometimes the technique is not necessarily new but a twist has been added that brings art up to an whole other level for me.  The theme is Everyday Household Objects and they are always available and I am amazed at people's inventiveness.  The background for the opening photo, left hand page,  is good old masking tape.

The Stencil Girl Club has been so enlightening and the gals in the facebook group are very encouraging and helpful. There are video tutorials for members that have been worth the membership just in themselves. I used the tree stencil on the right hand page of the opening photo but I outlined it with a pen and then filled it in with a water soluble graphite pencil.  The wall/window stencil is actually on both pages.  It is pretty subtle in the left page.  I originally intended to just do the one page and had 'protected' the right hand page which had some smears and smudges on it.  When I uncovered it I just kinda continued with the momentum. lol

The FOG gals are working on transfers today and I have to admit that transfers are not my favourite mixed media technique.  I found my earlier try very  fiddly and time consuming.  I'm too impatient to rub off the backing.  But they are a useful tool in the artist's tool box. So I tried something different.

This process called for printing an image on a transparency.  I found a heavy and shiny page protector, trimmed it to two pieces 8 x 11 and fed it through the printer.  :O  I just picked and printed so I could say I tried.  lol  So I wasn't exactly prepared and perhaps a better piece of card stock would have been more appropriate. I should think about the size of the image as well.  But now I was excited.  What if I tried fabric!!!

No picture as I swiped the wrong side of the plastic sheet and got a smeary mess on my hand!  :O

I had set the printer to print four images.  I forgot about reverse imaging.  I also realize I don't have to be thrifty as once the image is burnished, ink side down, the ink all goes into the substrate and a quick wipe and the plastic sheet is ready for the next image.  I'm sure size affects the final result but just this quick try has me kinda excited.

I chose a colourful  image from my collection of saved images and printed it out.  You could see the ink droplets on the plastic.  I  flipped it over unto an old manila file folder.  I didn't have to burnish hardly at all.  I really like the spotty effect as it seeped into the manila. This was virtually effortless. I used my hand to just smooth the plastic sheet over the folder.  :)

I'll be curious to see the results that the Calgary girls achieve.  I'll be looking forward to their post and I hope they had as much fun as I did! 

It has been a terrific Tuesday!  I had quite a trip!