Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where is my Round TUIT?

This is simply a list of all the blog entries I intended to write but never got around to doing. Why? I don't know. I either didn't have a good enough photo, or I couldn't think of what I wanted to write, or I was busy making something else that I would eventually not get around to writing a blog entry about, or I was busy reading a book, doing housework, or surfing Pinterest.  It doesn't really matter. Most of the time I just forget to do it and get sidetracked doing something else. Which makes me ask myself, "Why am I writing this blog anyway?" and if I cared about it "Why do I procrastinate on writing these entries?".  When I'm motivated and care about something I get it done. So this is something I should think about.  In the meantime, this is a list of things I have been doing over the past several months. I'll include a short description for each item and a photo if I have one. Here goes.

January thru June 2014

* Embroidered quilt pieces, red heart quilt pieces and a Quilted Eyeglass case
These are simple scrap quilt pieces that I have been working on, on and off now for awhile, building up a pile of 'things' to make other 'things' with. The eyeglass case is one 'thing' I made from the other 'things', the embroidered quilt pieces. I think I posted a photo of this to Facebook.

* Sky Photo Book, digital collages, and digital art
This is the result of my 2013 365 day project. I took a photo of the skyline out my front kitchen window everyday for one year. I put all those photos in a photo book I made on Shutterfly for myself and I created digital collages of all the photos and then used those photo collages to create digital art in apps on my iPad. 

* Icicle ornaments with red and blue colored copper wire
This is a continuation of the icicle ornaments I was making for Christmas 2013. Even after making several and giving them as gifts in 2013, I still had several vintage glass beads to use on more projects. I found some beautiful red and turquoise colored copper wire to use instead of simple silver and copper colored copper wire and wire forms for snowflake shape beaded ornaments. 

* Wire wrapped tree of life with pyrite beads
I really like the wire wrapped tree-of-life pendants and ornaments I've seen and I keep making them trying to get better at it. I've seen so many beautiful ones on Pinterest, they are all very inspirational and I have a few design ideas I want to try. I choose pyrite for this one because it was a gift for my son's birthday and I put 20 beads for his age and made it into something that could be a key chain if he wanted to use it that way. 

* Collages with painted paper, Blue Butterfly, Orange Butterfly, Flowers and Butterfly
Last summer I posted photos of butterfly collages made with fabric, paint and some paper. I'm still drawn to the butterfly theme in artwork and explore different ways to represent it.  In the last year I have been doing some mixed media painting exercises I found in books and on line and I've compiled a large collected of painted papers to use in collages. I've completed three more butterfly collages done in paper and paint on canvas and each time I do one I learn a little more. 

* Collage with Big Leaf
One day, a couple summers ago, my husband came in from doing the yard work carrying a big leaf (9"x6") full of holes. It was cool looking and he thought I might want to use it in some project. He knows by now that almost everything I touch I can find some use for and the more mixed media work I do, everything becomes a 'potential' subject, tool, element, etc...  I wasn't sure what to do with it at first but I definitely wanted to use it. So to preserve it for future use I first painted it with acrylic paint and used it to stamp some prints on sheets of paper, then I basically glued the entire holy leaf onto another sheet of white paper with clear acrylic gloss medium and set it and the stamped papers aside, ... until this year. I was sorting through some papers and came across that leaf and stampings and had an idea for a collage. This was one of those instances when everything else I was doing was put on hold until I finished the collage with that Big Leaf. 

* Spoonflower fabric, hunt for the reddest red
I love the concept of what Spoonflower does, design your own fabric and have it printed out. How cool is that?! Awesome! I was so excited when I found their site a few years ago, I immediately joined and set about preparing some of my quilt designs in Photoshop Elements (PSE) to try out their service. I even researched how to correctly create a seamless repeat pattern and created a test print file of what I was working on to have printed. I ordered a print of that design on a quarter yard of fabric and anxiously waited to see my design printed on fabric. Sadly, I was disappointed. Not In the quality of the print or the fabric, but in the colors. I use a lot of primary colors, especially red and black in my designs, and all my reds printed orange and some of the other colors shifted. I knew they had a color code guide for their fabric printing but I was hoping I wouldn't have to get that technical in my PSE editing. No such luck. At that point it didn't look like even changing the color codes in my design would print a Red I would be happy with. I didn't want to go through multiple experimental prints (they all cost something) and more PSE edits. I decide to wait. Spoonflower was bound to improve in multiple ways over time and I would feel more like doing all the technical work to find the color code and print match I was looking for further down the line. 

And that's what I did this year. I purchased a print of their new, improved, color code chart and created a repeat print pattern in PSE8 using their codes of all the reds I wanted to test and all the primary colors I was likely to use in a design. I'm happy to say it turned out beautiful and there are multiple 'reds' that meet my design needs. I haven't done any more with this for now but I am working on some Christmas fabric designs that use bright colors, including red, and I am curious to see how they would come out. 

* Simple placemats
This is one of those boring, simple, but satisfying craft projects. I had one of those "Why am I making this so complicated?" moments one day when I was working on a patchwork placemat. I'd had this big idea of a patchwork design I was going to use when making a set of placemats. Well, halfway through the first of four I suddenly got bored, or tired or realized this was going to take longer than I was willing to commit to something as functional as a simple placemat. They get spilled on, stained, washed frequently, etc.  Duh, they are table protection, just placemats. This is not a wall hanging project or a decorative tabletop quilt piece, it's just a placemat. So why am I approaching it like something special? That's when I decided to KISS (keep it simple stupid) and use colorful pieces of fabric from my large collection of fat quarters and just layer, machine quilt, and bind uncut pieces of fabric. What a concept!? As a quilter, for years (decades!) I've been cutting to pieces countless yards of fabric and sewing them back together. You'd think I'd get tired of that.  Well, in this case I did. There are many beautiful fabrics that stand alone and don't deserve to be cut into little pieces and that's what I went searching for in my collection. Now I have multiple beautiful, colorful, interesting placemats and didn't overwork myself making them.

Well, that catches me up to July, I think, and seems like a good place to stop today.