Archive for the ‘challenges’ Category

Postcard exchange-May

For this exchange I made a postcard on the circus theme. I had trouble coming up with an idea for this one, because I didn’t want to do your basic big top tent or clown or anything like that, and I really liked the Ring of Fire piece that had been given in March for the circus theme. I considered an elephant of some sort, but wasn’t real inspired by that idea, so I tried to think of the more unusual parts of circuses and thought of the sideshow. My first though with a sideshow is the bearded lady or the strong man, but then I thought of the song Lydia the Tattooed Lady (which is all my mom’s fault because she likes to start singing it at me because of my tattoo), and that was an idea I could get behind. So I was thinking I would do a piece with some sort of tattoo design across it, maybe something geometric/tribal looking, and I took to the internet to find ideas. I didn’t find any geometric designs I liked but I did find some pictures of actual tattooed ladies and got some ideas from them. Then I was trying to decide what to use as the background to look like skin, and I realized that I have some leather I could work and leather actually is skin. After a moment to get over the slight yuck factor from that thought (it doesn’t seem gross until you really think about it, does it?), I got excited and started drawing. So, here are pictures of the whole process!

The postcards exchanged were again really awesome, and mine was well-received. A couple were exchanged at the April meeting, because the makers couldn’t wait to give them away :-), so I’ll include those in with the rest from May.

Calm was a very popular theme this time, and I can’t wait to see what people make next! At this point, I don’t have a plan for my next post, but I have a few projects in the works, so I’ll have to post about those as they get worked on. Worst case scenario, I’ll post the next exchange in July!

Postcard exchange-March

The new project that the Designing Quilters group is working on is an exchange of what we’re calling fiber postcards. Everyone who was interested in taking part in the exchange chose a theme that we wanted postcards made for us on, for example my theme is fractals, my mom’s theme is stitch, etc. Then we went around and everyone who is participating in the exchange got to choose six themes to make postcards for. We have to have one postcard done every other month, although several people have gotten way ahead, and we exchange the ones people have finished at those meetings (theoretically each person only brings one postcard to each exchange to give away, but those who have been working ahead often bring more). The postcards all have to be 5″x7″ and when we chose themes we had the option to choose if we wanted all the cards in the same orientation or not, although only two people requested a specific orientation. Other than that, there weren’t really any restrictions set, and it has been really fun seeing all the variations! I will split the postcards up based on each exchange, and since the first exchange was in March, I’ll post about those first.

The first theme that I made a postcard for was Calm. It took me a while to come up with a way to represent calm, since the things that make me feel calm (rock music, storms, the ocean, etc) tend not to appear calm on the surface, and things that look calm tend to make me fidgety. I had recently had an idea for a piece based on something my mom has told me several times in the past, which is that I am like a rock, calm and steady, which makes me laugh because that is not at all how I feel inside. So I had been thinking about doing something, possibly an embroidery piece, basically showing the contrast between how I feel inside and how I look outside. This made me think of how, especially in very chaotic situations, I have noticed that calm can sort of spread out from one person or point. So I decided to do an embroidered postcard where the background is full of all kinds of overlapping designs and looks incredibly chaotic but there is a ripple of calm spreading out from the center. The recipient of my postcard said she sees it as everything being sucked into the calm, which works just as well for me! Here are process pictures.

The other postcards were all really awesome. I tried to get good pictures of all of them, but we set them out on a table as we got there so there was a lot of coming and going as people set down new ones and picked up ones that were already there to look at them, so hopefully you can see them all.

That’s everything from the March exchange. We just exchanged more in May, so I will post about those, and some that were brought to the April meeting, tomorrow.

Favorite Holiday ATCs

Our final set of ATCs was originally going to be on the self portrait theme, but there wasn’t much enthusiasm in the group for that, so we changed it. We finally decided on the theme of favorite holidays. This one was kind of tricky for me because the closest thing I have to a favorite holiday is Christmas, and other than that I don’t especially care about most holidays, and we had already done Christmas themed cards. Thanksgiving was another option but I wasn’t thrilled or inspired by that idea, so I decided to try and come up with something unique. Everybody has days that are important specifically to them and feel more like holidays than “official” holidays, so I decided to think out what one of those is for me and do that. I considered my birthday, but I haven’t been overly enthusiastic about my own birthday since about age 13 and choosing someone else’s birthday as my favorite holiday seemed weird. Then it occurred to me. My favorite holiday is the day that Andy came home from the hospital for the last time and we could finally focus on getting him back to healthy and getting our life back on track. For those who may not know, my husband (then boyfriend) Andy was diagnosed with Leukemia in December of 2011, and spent 8 months undergoing intensive chemotherapy, most of that time while also being stuck in the hospital. I decided to call this holiday Remission Day, and got thinking.

I decided that this was another time that my usual more pictorial style wouldn’t work, and I wanted to try to use inkle weaving to make the card, so I decided on an abstract design meant to show the feeling of moving from darkness and doom (because I can’t think of a less melodramatic way to say it right now), back into the light and adventure of every day life. So I warped up my loom with thread moving from black and browns into the brighter colors of reds and greens, but with a few blacks thrown in there because life isn’t all happiness and joy. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, at least that I can find, while I was working, so you don’t get any process pictures this time, sorry. 😦

There was a big range of holidays chosen, and the cards were all really cool, as usual. Some of the more unusual holidays included Holi, an Indian festival that involves throwing colored pigments, National Procrastination Day, and the Festival of Broken Needles, which is apparently a holiday specifically for seamstresses! There were plenty of more standard holidays as well, of course, including Independence Day, Arbor Day, and Halloween/Valentine’s Day (she couldn’t decide on one so she combined them!). Here are all the pictures.

Looking through my pictures I realized that I have 7 of these cards when I should only have 6… one must be my mother’s that I borrowed for taking a picture and haven’t gotten back to her, woops! This was the last group of ATCs, so next up I’ll post some wedding stuff, and then I’ll post about the Designing Quilter’s current project, a postcard exchange!

Fall ATCs

Remember when I said I would post about the fall ATCs soon? Obviously that didn’t happen, sorry. But seeing as my mother is the person who has been pestering me most to update again, and tomorrow is mother’s day, I figured now is as good a time as any to start posting again! And school is done, so I suddenly have more free time. First, the post about the fall ATC exchange, then more about life in general, and soon more posts about ATCs, my wedding dress (!) and new projects. This time I promise those posts will come soon, cause I’m going to write them today!

The fall theme was a bit tricky, because I usually work in more pictorial images, but all of my inspiration was scents, sounds, and colors. I knew I wanted to do something with fall colors, but I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of doing leaves or just abstract color combinations. When I really think about fall I think of the crisp feel and smell of the air, along with the damp smell of leaves and the scent of bonfires. So I decided to do something portraying bonfires. I didn’t just want to do a fire with logs, that was too boring and I was trying to do different things with my ATCs, so I finally decided to do a sort of close-up of a fire.

I have really been impressed with what Vicki and Donna do with the many, many layers that they put on their pieces, so I decided to play with layering to try to get the real fire texture. I figured that would be easier to do on a larger piece so I decided to make all the cards as one larger piece and then cut it up. It turned out to be sooo much easier in my head. First, I discovered just how hard it is to get a flat piece of fabric to lay in a way that looks like the motion of flames, or anything really other than a flat piece of fabric. Then I realized that I would need to sew down each layer at a time because there was no way I could stack all the layers up pinned down the way I wanted and then be able to sew them down without taking the whole thing apart, and I knew I would never get it back together correctly. So it became a matter of just slapping layers on and hoping they didn’t look terrible. I can’t honestly say that I really liked the piece for most of the time I was working on it. I managed to get it looking okay as a whole, although I probably would have started over again if I hadn’t left it to the last minute (procrastination is my favorite past-time). Then I sewed the lines for the edges of the cards on and cut the cards apart and decided all but a couple of them looked terrible. In the end, though, when I finished the edges off and added a few extra touches to some of them, I’m actually quite happy with them. They don’t look anything like I had originally pictured, but since I can’t remember now what I originally pictured, that’s not a problem! 🙂 The wonders of time. Here are my pictures of the whole process.

Unfortunately, I don’t have as many or as good pictures of the other cards for this group than I usually do. I helped to swap the cards into their groups, and then we got very busy discussing other things, so I didn’t have a chance to take good pictures of the cards before they were swapped and they didn’t get passed around after getting swapped. So I have good pictures of the ones I got, and some general pictures of the ones I didn’t. Here are all the pictures I do have.

There’s only one group of ATCs left to post, and I’m going to write that post right now, so it should be up in the next day or two (I’ve gotta spread them out you know, don’t want to spoil you). Now a life update. The wedding went incredibly well! No real hitches and no major disasters, which was amazing and also really relaxing. I’ll post pictures of the dress my mom made for me (it is such an awesome dress that I wish I had other places to wear it to!), the fabric flowers that Virginia made for us, and a highlight or two from the wedding soon. We also bought a house in October! Life has just been blowing up with things to do! Once I get my work room into more order I will post pictures of that as well (it’s getting there, but I still have boxes all over the floor and want to get that dealt with before showing anyone).

Summer ATCs

My ATCs for the summer exchange were a lot more involved than my spring cards. And the involve electronics! Sort of. Coming up with my cards for the summer exchange was even more difficult than coming up with the spring ones, because when I think summer everything I think of is smells and sounds and feelings (sunscreen, humidity, heat etc) which I couldn’t figure out how to make into images that I liked. Then it finally occurred to me that two of my favorite things in the summer are the smell of rain on hot pavement (I recently came across a word specifically for that smell but I can’t remember it now), and thunderstorms. So I decided I wanted to put a thunderstorm on my cards and I wanted the lightning to actually light up! They didn’t end up how I was picturing them originally, but they’re pretty darn cool.

I made the lightning light up using LEDs and watch batteries. I originally asked the fiancee if he could rig something up for me so there would be a little button or switch inside that you would push, but he wasn’t real interested and couldn’t come up with a real good way to do it and finally just sort of quit thinking about it. But when he was trying to figure it out he mentioned that it would be easiest to just use the LED and the battery straight (because you don’t actually need anything else because voltage on the battery is correct for the LED already, or some other electronics concept that I only vaguely understand) but he didn’t know how you could keep the leads (the two metal bits sticking off the LED) separate so that it was only lit up when you pushed them together. My first thought was a spring, but if it were a metal spring that would create a short and it wouldn’t work. Then I suggested foam and he said it might work, but he didn’t think the foam would hold up well. But I went hunting around the random junk in our apartment and found foam that worked! Then I had to figure out how to get the light and battery to stay in the right place in relation to each other and the rest of the card, while putting enough stuffing, or whatever I used, in the card so that the light apparatus wasn’t creating a great big bump on the surface. I ended up solving both problems by using multiple layers of timtex, two of which had space cut out for the light and battery to fit in to. To get the lightning itself, I ended up cutting the shape of the lightning out of the front fabric and putting a piece of nappy liner (my mom has some of the strangest and most useful things) behind that fabric so there was some sort of surface to the lightning. Then I painted gold onto a piece of this papery stuff, also from my mom, which went underneath the light to try and give the lightning some sparkle. Then came the layers of timtex, all finished off with another piece of fabric on the back. I sewed around the edges with the sewing machine to keep things together, and I can tell you that my machine did not like going through all those layers! Now, process pictures!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And here are all the other summer ATCs, there are some more really cool ones! I really like the one my mom made, and the flower garden done with the ribbon embroidery.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next up: fall!

Christmas Artist Trading Cards

I am participating in an artist trading card (ATC) exchange. Its 6 cards every other month, and the theme for the December exchange is Christmas! Who ever could have guessed that theme? 🙂 The cards need to be 2 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ and can be made using any technique, and this time around I went with embroidery. I don’t know exactly how/why I decided to do hedgehogs, they’re not especially Christmas-y, but that’s what I did. Well, there is one rabbit too, but it’s mostly hedgehogs (I’ll explain the rabbit later).

Digging through my mom’s fabric stash, I found two fabrics that I liked for the background on the cards so I decided to make 3 cards on each fabric. I cut out strips from each piece that were wide enough for the long side of the card (I think the original strips were 5 inches wide but I don’t remember exactly) and long enough to fit three cards, with seam allowance, on each strip. And then I went to town. This was the first time I free-hand stitched things that needed to be a certain shape, rather than just a pattern along a seam, and I’m pretty happy with how it went. The hardest part was figuring out 6 different designs to do (they could have all been the same or just re-used several, but I wanted to make them all different) and still make the hedgehogs look Christmas-y. That’s where the bunny comes in. After the first hedgehog I was thinking I could do a couple different little animals, and thought a rabbit and a squirrel would work quite nicely. So I was thinking I could do one rabbit, one squirrel, and and one hedgehog with Santa hats on and then the same but with reindeer antlers and a red nose. I only had to get about halfway through the rabbit to decide that it was a much more complex shape than the hedgehog and I really didn’t want to do such a complex shape 4 more times. So I went back to just hedgehogs.

Once I got the embroidery done, I needed to finish the edges and put a back on the cards. My mom was quite helpful in that, as she usually is, and I’m happy with how they turned out.

The exchange is happening at the December Designing Quilters meeting which my mom and I will miss because we’re going to be in Hawaii (so excited!) so we have to send our cards along with someone else. Because of that, my mom made a cute little bag to put the cards in.

IMG_3914

I’ll be getting 6 cards back from other people and I’ll be sure to post pictures of those when I get them!

Beauty and the Breast, the Show!

I’ve been getting sillier with my titles lately, this one is a vague reference to Spaceballs, “Spaceballs the Movie, Spaceballs the T-Shirt, Spaceballs the Action Figure, Spaceballs the TV Show!” or something like that.  So, last Thursday was the opening reception thing for the Beauty and the Breast show (my previous posts about the show can be found here and here) and I actually managed to get the night off so I could go to it! I didn’t actually end up spending a lot of time there though, because I went to a talk with my dad that was being given at MSUM by the author Sherman Alexie (he’s one of my dad’s favorite authors). The pieces look even better all together, and there were some I hadn’t seen yet, not to mention I hadn’t seen the space at all. The pieces fit well in the space, and it was so neat to see all the different takes and thoughts about breasts, and how the same prompt gave everyone such different ideas. That’s one of my favorite parts about these shows, to see all the different things people come up with based on the same prompt/subject.

There’s not a whole lot else for me to say about the show (only one paragraph, amazingly short for me, I know!) so here are the pictures, with a few details in the captions, of course.

My next few weeks are going to be really busy cause I’m going to be out of town for three weekends straight starting in a couple weeks, so I need to get as much homework done ahead of time as I can. My point being that little to no fiber stuff is likely to get done, but I will try! And if anything does get done I will tell you about it! And if I think of it I will get some good pictures of my mom’s work room so I can start the series of posts showing studios/workrooms that I’ve been thinking about.

Beauty and the Breast Redux

The title for this post popped into my head and the word redux just appealed to me, so I went with it. Well, my life has gotten crazy busy. I started school again last Monday, and I have soooo much work for my classes that I haven’t had time to post anything, and barely had time to work on any projects! So I probably won’t post nearly as much until the end of November or so, because I almost certainly won’t be finishing anything, but I’ll try not to disappear. I’ve been thinking about doing a series of posts showcasing people’s studios/work rooms, so I may try to do that while I don’t have time for crafting.

Now, to the actual subject of this post! I told you about the Beauty and the Breast show in a previous post, and this is another piece for the same show. I’m just gonna copy and paste the description I did of the piece for the show, since I already wrote it and I have a paper yet to write tonight as well!

I have always been intrigued by the idea I see represented in the Tree of Life motif. That interconnection of past and future, birth and death, with the present/life in between, in a harmonious, even beautiful, way has always appealed to me. In thinking about breast shapes in nature and how our identity as “breasted-beings” affects our relationship to others, I kept coming back to the shape of boles on trees, and the tree of life. Women, and indeed breasts, are often a tangible connection between life and death, past and future. We create new life in bearing children, and breasts are an integral part of nurturing those children. And women are traditionally the care-takers of the old, and the bodies of the dead as well. When I think of a woman comforting and caring for a dying person I always think of the phrase she is “cradling him/her to her breast”. Of course, in this context the word breast is used simply to refer to the chest portion of a person’s anatomy, but I think the use of the term is telling and important. In this case the breast is meant as a source of comfort, in many ways harking back to the comfort of a baby at its mother’s breast. And so, women are like the trunk of the Tree of Life, a connection between the past, present and future, between the dead, living, and yet to be born. In a way then, the female form can be seen as a beautiful symbol for life in all its stages.

With this piece I had a lot of issues the first time around as well, that seems to be my theme for this show. On my first try, I just started making the shape of the tree trunk by felting down lengths of yarn, like I had done to make a tree before. Apparently I did something different than I had done before because the background started getting really stretched out. Of course I didn’t notice this until I had the trunk quite a ways done and had finished the roots. So, totally disgusted with it, I stopped for the night and sent my mom an e-mail with pictures asking her advice. After showing it to her in person and talking the next day, we both agreed it would be best to just start over, and I’m glad I did. It was much better planned from  the beginning the second time around and ended up with a much better shape that way, and it just went smoother. I ended up felting the whole trunk by hand, which I hadn’t expected to do, and just doing the roots and branches with the machine, Even so I had a couple spots in the roots where the machine started to cause some serious stretching, which I’m quite perplexed about as that’s never happened before. But I am so very happy with how this one turned out.

Both pieces are off to the show. I ended up putting a price on The Temples but marking this one as not for sale, I find I’m rather attached to this one. And oddly detached from The Temples. In a way I think that may be a sign of where I’m at in my life. Anyway, the show has an opening reception next Thursday which I’m hoping to get to, depends on if a co-worker will swap shifts with me, and if I do make it I will put up pictures of the whole show. And the artists too of course!

Beauty and the Breast

This is the project I was working on on Monday.  And I think it is the first project I have ever finished, looked at, and just plain liked. But before we get to the pictures, here’s some explanation. The piece is for another challenge show, and here’s the prompt I got:

Beauty and the Breast

Breast shapes appear ubiquitously in nature.  Rounded, small hills. Grand, pointed peaks. A profile line moving softly around a curve. Spirals wrapping toward a center point. These shapes repeat in manifold patterns, reminding us of the breast in human form.

How does our identity as women and “breasted-beings” affect the way we understand and interact with others?  Breasts are both subject and object; a source for life; pleasure; compassion, fullness and sacrificial giving. Cradling life from the beginning to the end, we hold close to our breasts the experience of life.

In this exhibit, we invite you to view studies of the line, form or pattern of the breast worked on 8×8 or 12 x12 canvases.  These canvases stir the imaginative link between breast as shape and the reality of human form. Together with the larger pieces they invite you to ponder “who can deny the beauty of the breast?”

I wasn’t all that excited about it at first, and I definitely couldn’t think of anything. Really I just kept picturing hills and thinking that’s what everyone’s going to do, and it’s just not interesting. Then I got to thinking about how you could make it like really, slap-you-in-the-face kind of explicit that the hills are breasts, and I got an idea I loved. So first, here’s a drawing I finally did of what the piece actually ended up as.

IMG_3577

Before I did the drawing, I tried just starting right in felting, and it went badly. I tried to get it like what I was picturing in my head, but it just wasn’t right, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it and was just so frustrated I almost totally gave up. Looking back at the pictures, it’s not so bad, and if I hadn’t been very definitive in what I wanted, it could have been usable. But then I was talking to my mom about it, and she suggested doing the piece in 2 parts, since what I was having trouble with was that the image in my head was rectangular, and the space I was working with was square. I was uncertain about that at first because there’s a bit in the center of the piece that is very important, but she suggested basically sliding it all to one side, so you don’t get the full curve of the hills and the whole scene is a bit off-center. I figured that at least that would look all artsy, then when I drew it out I decided it looks pretty cool.

My first attempt

My first attempt

So I pulled that apart, and actually cut the background down to 8″ rather than 12″, which I originally thought would be too small, but turned out to be juuuust right (which makes me think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears). That seems to be the moral of this whole project, even if it doesn’t seem like it will work, it might just turn out perfect. So here are the pictures of the finished project, and then I’ll give some explanation of the piece itself.

I was rather concerned about getting the pieces lined up right with each other, and getting the temples the right shape, so I copied reference marks from my drawing onto the fabric, and checked and double checked that everything lined up. The hills went much easier than I expected cause I didn’t felt them down as tightly as I thought I’d need to. And the temples went just right. First I put the black outline down, then I basically colored it in with the roving, and I was so happy with how they came out! The people were rather tricky because they’re so tiny. The head of each figure is only slightly bigger than the felting needle itself, so the roving kept getting just pushed through a hole in the background rather than felting to it. It took a bit of tricky felting, but I made it work.

For the show, we are supposed to write a short story to go with the piece. I thought this might be the hardest part, but when I got the idea for the piece, the beginning of the story came with it. The exact wording of the story was a bit trickier, however, and may still change, but here is the current version.

            The Temples had always been at odds. They both believed the female form to be sacred, but disagreed on what that meant. The Left Temple believed the mystery of the female body should be preserved, and therefore covered as much as possible. Their rituals were mysterious, and always solemn. The Right Temple believed the sacred form should be celebrated and shared with all. They wore little clothing and conducted their rituals outside as often as possible, sharing and explaining them with anyone and everyone. They probably would have just ignored one another, but they were each on one of a pair of hills that they both considered to be a holy place, and so they hated each other.

One morning a stranger appeared at the Left Temple. This stranger asked many questions about their beliefs, and hoping for a new disciple, the priestesses gladly answered the stranger’s questions. As the morning wore on, the priestesses became frustrated with the stranger’s insistence that to always hide the sacred would lead to people forgetting about it, or believing it to be obscene. Finally, in their frustration, they told the stranger to leave and join the rest of the heretics on the other hill.

That afternoon the same stranger came to the door of the Right Temple. She asked many of the same questions, and the priestesses gladly answered them, as they would answer anyone’s questions. Even the Priestesses of the Right began to become frustrated as the stranger questioned their beliefs, pointing out that if the scared form is always seen and flaunted then it would become simply part of life, and unremarkable. They too told the stranger to leave, and join the charlatans on the other hill.

The next morning both temples awoke to discover that in the night a bridge had been built between the two hills. They all rushed outside to see the bridge, and were outraged that the other Temple would have the audacity to build such a bridge. The High Priestesses of each temple decided to cross that damned bridge and give the other Temple a piece of her mind! As both Priestesses attempted to cross the bridge at the same time, they inevitably met in the middle. They glared at each other for a moment in the wind between the hills, although the Left Priestess had trouble seeing through her blowing hair. Just as the Left Priestess opened her mouth to inform the other Priestess what she thought of this bridge, she noticed the Right Priestess was shivering. Being a compassionate woman, she swallowed her ire and offered the other Priestess her jacket, knowing she herself would be warm enough with the extra covering of her dress. With a small smile of thanks the Right Priestess accepted the jacket, and in return offered her hair tie for the Left Priestess’s blowing hair.

And so began a discussion and exchange of ideas that began an era of peace between the two Temples. The Temples both changed, although there are still differences, and they no longer hate one another.

As I worked I realized the story is sort of a metaphor for my relationship to my own body. I have felt many times that the shape of my body is a nuisance that should be hidden as best as possible to avoid being treated differently, especially when I was a teenager. But in many ways our culture tells us that a woman’s body should be seen, generally as a sex object, and that a resourceful woman will use her body shape to get her way with men. As I’ve grown up, I think I have been able to find a middle road, accepting my body, but not exploiting it.

I am glad that I decided to make a piece for this show, both because of what I learned about myself, and because I just love this piece! I don’t know what it is, but it is very visually appealing to me, and feels like the most artistic piece I’ve done. It’s also the first piece I’ve done that, when I finished it, I looked at it and thought “that looks good” rather than noticing all the little details that weren’t how I pictured them, or all the little mistakes. I think this even beats out Serenity for my favorite piece I’ve made. As always, I would love to know what you think of it!

We’ll call it a progress report

I was in Wyoming last week for my cousin’s wedding, we got back to town Wednesday, and that’s totally my excuse for not posting sooner. Then I got home and got lazy, *sigh* sometimes I just feel like being a lazy bum. But now I’m going to post! Cause I need to clean off my dining room table so I can do more crafting, and if I tell you guys I’m gonna clean, then I’ll probably do it! Anyway, I did some fiber stuff on my trip, and got some new fiber and fibery things, to tell you about. And then I have an update on the Dreambird project I’ve been working on!

First, my fiber acquisitions.

On the way to Wyoming we made a stop at this great fabric store in Billings, MT, called Fiberworks. They had some of the neatest fabrics I’ve seen, and definitely the best collection of animal print fabrics I’ve ever seen at a store, along with lots of cool patterns. That’s where we got the penguin pattern. My cousin Colleen wants me to make a penguin for her, and I’m thinking I may start playing with colorful penguins… sometimes I’m a bit too ambitious I think, we’ll see how that goes. I also got the blue felt there, which I plan to use as the background for a couple pieces I’m doing for another show with the Designing Quilters, called Beauty and the Breast. It should be an interesting show, and those pieces are what I want to work on when I finally get the table cleared off. We also went to a fabric store in Wyoming which is where I got the plaid fabric. I just loved the colors, and it was on sale, so we got it for me to use to make an apron dress for SCA stuff. It is cotton, which isn’t exactly accurate for the time period and location, but it’s so pretty! And I figure it will be nice to have a somewhat lighter-weight apron dress.

The quilt blocks have a fun story behind them. I like to geocache, which is like a worldwide treasure hunt where people hide little containers (called caches), sometimes with little knick knacks in them, sometimes with just logs, and then post the GPS coordinates to the cache online and other people try to find them. It’s lots of fun actually, although when I first heard about it I thought it sounded strange and boring, but it’s not! The point is, there was a quilting themed geocache in the town where we were staying! I got my mom and my aunt to come with and find that cache which is where we found the quilt blocks, and then left a few buttons in exchange, because the rules are that if you take something you leave something of equal value. I’m not totally sure what I’ll do with the quilt blocks, but my mom suggested making them into a box of sorts to store/display the stuff I find from geocaches, and I like that idea. Then, on our last day in Wyoming, we stopped at a thrift store in town, which had great prices, which is where we found the pattern for the cute little sheep (I want to say it’s a counted cross-stitch pattern). It was actually a kit, but it looks like it’s missing the thread at least, unless it came with almost no thread, but it’s cute and it still has the directions and chart, so I’ll have to try it one of these days. Counted cross-stitch is one of those techniques I’ve never tried, and only been marginally interested in trying.

And now, the dreambird shawl!

I’ve been moving almost painfully slowly on it. I’m not quite sure why, cause it always feels like I’m making great progress as I work on it, and then it just feels like I stall out and suddenly it’s taking me a couple hours for each feather. And I can’t quite pinpoint a certain section that’s taking extra time, cause each section separately seems to go quite quickly and easily. Maybe I just have a weird sense of time when I’m working on it, although there is the saying that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. So maybe extra time is just disappearing… yeah, doesn’t make sense to me either. But I think I’m almost half done with the shawl, so maybe just another month or so, I hope.

 

Now, I need to go clean off my dining room table. It’s where I take most of my pictures and I seem to just pile up the stuff I’m taking pictures of all over the table. And the sewing machine is set up there. The poor table is just not that big, so I need to do something about the mess. And now, because I’ve told you that I’m going to clean, I might actually do it!

messy, messy table

messy, messy table

depression comix

a comic struggling to understand mental illness

Jen Muir Illustration

Wildlife and Childrens Illustration

The Geeky Hooker

Not THAT kind of hooker. The kind armed with a crochet hook.

carriescarr.com

technology explorer

James J Need

Writer & Mind Coach

Buzy Day

The adventure of NikkiM

allmostrelevant

Want to see what an Instagram with no pictures looks like? @allmostrelevant

Kitchen Overlord

Your home for geeky recipes, edible art, and nerdy kitchen gadget reviews.

All Night Knits

Sleep All Day. Knit All Night.

The Blog of Knitted Fog

art, life and stuff

knitnrun4sanity

Running, knitting, crocheting and blogging along.

Keep Me In Stitchez: The Blog

Following my passion, one stitch at a time

Knitting, reading, photography, and maybe more

Explorations, procrastinations, imaginations...

All She Wants To Do Is Knit

Welcome to Fiber Addicts Anonymous

WOMBAT QUILTS

An Aussie's adventures in quilting