Thursday, February 28, 2019

Art Elements Birds Of Prey Theme Reveal

This month's theme over at Art Elements is Birds of Prey. I was the lucky host for this theme and chose it particulalry because I love owls, hawks and eagles. But specifically owls!! I know many people who share my obsession so I figured it was time for this sort of theme challenge.
I had sooooo many ideas for projects that I wanted to create this month but here it is the end of the month & I finished a few but not nearly the list I had in mind.
The first thing I started was a VERY lengthy freeform peyote beaded piece. That consumed quite a bit of time. I generally only bead at night for 3-4 hours while watching tv. So this piece was created mainly at night for about 9 consecutive nights plus I spent a Saturday & Sunday afternoon beading as well. All in all it took about 45-50 hours of beading. I probably could've done it quicker if I had known what I was doing-haha. I had never tackled anything quite like this. So here is Athena's Owl.
I glued the porcelain cabochon (by Laura Mears Designs) onto stiff stuff & beaded around it. I cut the stiff stuff as though I was going to make a pendant out of it then started some free form peyote around the beaded owl. Once I had enough beading I wrapped it around a stick and kept doing freeform peyote.
The stick was nice an smooth with a 'Y'  shape. There was one knot on the branch that I left open for the knot to poke through. There is a slight ruffle around the wing area of the owl. It's been awhile since I attempted a ruffled peyote piece. I need to work on that a little more, but this was enough of a ruffle to mimic the wings.



Athena's Owl perched in a tree

Next piece was also a Laura Mears Design cabochon. I paired it with a teardrop labradorite and a moon snail shell almost the same color as the owl. Originally I was going to make a necklace but had a change of plans.
Various views of the beaded pendant placed on wet felted fabric and embellished
 I decided that this piece needed to be a mixed media wall 'jewelry'. I created a wet felted piece approximatelly 12' square and placed it on tan wool (thanks to teammate Jenny's upcycled skirt). I did some free motion machine quilting then stitched the beaded owl pendant in the center. Added some hand embroidery and beading, then stapled the tan fabric backing to a stretched canvas to hang on the wall.
Full view. The color is distorted in this full view. The above collage is much more accurate.
If you follow me or our monthly challenges you know that I am creating a goddess or spirit doll eacah month. So this month's doll is Athena-goddess of wisdom & war with her faithful owl riding on her shoulder.
Various stages of the doll development

I used a pattern that I had never used before from Patti Medaris Culea's book, 'Creative Cloth Doll Making'. I have had this book for years and had never made one from her patterns, so this was another new thing for me. Especially since I hate following patterns. I prefer to wing it. About halfway through the process I did ditch several of her ideas in favor of 'doing my own thing'.  I made mistakes galore but learned quite a bit in the process.
Making the needle-felted owl was another 'new' thing for me this time. I have never attempted anything 3-d so this little guy was one of those things where I watched a YouTube video and then did my own thing. I 'winged it' no pun intended-haha!
Red headed Athena with her owl on her shoulder. Complete with warrior shield and spear

Athena in her full glory sitting on a pedestal. I am really jealous of her gray velvet cape. That turned out better than I expected. Maybe I'll have to make one for myself.
Last but not least. I tend to procastinate when tackling something that is new and daunting-like the art doll and the needle-felted owl. So while pondering how I was going to go about making her I ended up making a quickl little journal cover using the needle-felted owl I showed you all in the theme announcement post. It was gifted to me by team mate Caroline.
I actually made it to fit a small sketchbook/journal. The leather strips slip over the outside covers. Took about 15 minutes!
I thoroughly enjoyed this month's theme, but then again I love every month's themes and the whole creative process.
I do hope you will all take some time to visit everyone's blog and see all the creations from this month's theme.
Here's the list of participating guests and team members.

Guests:
Tammy
Beth
Cat
Anita
Kathy
Alysen
Linda
Rozantia
Jennifer
Hope
Sarajo
Melissa
Sarah

Team Members: 

Caroline
Cathy You're here!
Claire
Jen
Jenny
Karen
Laney
Lesley
Lindsay
Marsha
Niky
Sue

36 comments:

  1. I adore Laura's owls and what you made with them, wow, just wow!
    Athena and her owl are also fabulous. Well done, well done indeed!

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    1. Thank you Cat!I knew I had been saving those cabochons for a good reason.

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  2. I have no idea how you do it all! I love all your pieces, always, but doing that freeform peyote around the stick is awesome! And your felted fabric is amazing as well! Thanks for a great theme!

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    1. Thank you Sue! I love trying new things even though I am intimidated by them. The stick took me the longest because I wasn't really sure what I was doing. Now that I have done one piece like that I want to continue trying our freeform on 3-d objects.

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  3. That seed beaded stick, and the wet felted wool painting are amazing! WOW!

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    1. Thank you so much! I really had fun, can you tell?;-)

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  4. It looks like owls are popular. I just love the owl on a stick that you made. It is really lovely. Your felted project is awesome too. Being a red head I have to love your Athena. Well done!

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    1. Thank you so much Kathy!! I do love owls and it seems I am not alone.

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  5. Well I'm just gobsmacked by your beaded piece...utterly stunningI And as always your textile pieces is beautiful with so much depth and texture..and as for Athena - superb! Thank you for this great challenge.

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    1. Thank you so much Lesley! This theme really inspired me.

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  6. Love love love everything! The beaded piece is incredible, the textured wall jewellery is stunning and your doll! She is perfect. I'm really happy to see the owl on his journal cover too. Thank you for a brilliant theme, it's been great fun.

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    1. Thank you so much Caroline!! I had fun stepping out of my comfort zone this month & trying some new things.

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  7. First off, thank you for such an inspiring theme!
    Now, as for your designs... They's so very great!! I don't even know how you manage to find so much time in the month to make such beautiful pieces. That first one is sublime. I love all the texture and subtle blending of colors. It's my favorite of the bunch. All of your pieces are to be admired though. Thanks again for the inspiration in so many ways!

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    1. Thank you Hope! I try to cram as much creativity in as I can each day. I have to admit once the reveal is over I do take a few days off.

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  8. I love to see someone tackle a giant beadwork piece in a short amount of time! Each one is a learning process in itself, but it's my favorite type of beadwork to do. Maybe some day we can bead at a retreat and share ideas! Also...so jealous of your Laura Mears collection. I really need to make a more concerted effort to snag a few more pieces from her. Thanks for hosting a great challenge!

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    1. Thank you Lindsay! I asked myself several times while I was beading that stick 'WHY am I doing this?' I felt like I had jumped in over my head and didn't think I would ever finish it. But then once I was done I wanted to do another. Beading is so addictive. I would love to meet up for a bead retreat one day;-)

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  9. Wow Cathy, your free-form peyote project is super-gorgeous, and I really, really like it! I too had thought your owl in the wet-felted project was going to be a necklace pendant, but it looks right at home as wall jewelry too. :) I loved your sneak peeks of the needle-felted owl, and it looks perfect with your Athena doll. I could never make anything in 15min - I think I'll just spend it overthinking stuff, so I totally admire your quick journal cover. (And thank you for the fun challenge!)

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    1. Thank you Anita! I pondered over necklace vs. mixed media piece and the felting idea just won me over. I am now planning a second felted piece with a beaded centerpiece. The journal cover was super simple. It was meant as a quick diversion.

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  10. I saw your social media sneak peeks and was astounded, but nowhere near how much I am at your finished pieces!! All are just... so .... awesome. You really stayed with Home Dec items this time. How large is the Athena Owl on the branch? And Athena the doll ... I think I exhausted my adjectives on Instagram :) .. can't wait to see the following months interpreted in your exclusive style!! Alysen

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    1. Thank you Alysen! I debated the jewelry vs wall art issue but really wanted to do something different and out of the box. It's scary and frustrating at times to go for something new but usually worth it.

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  11. Okay... I am in awe at what you created and also how much and diverse pieces! To think that you wanted to create even more... I am exhausted just imaging that! I have to say, you should never ever invite me to your home... I am so in love with "Athena's Owl"! The colors and how the organic shapes of the beads go over the wood, is gorgeous and I have the urge to touch it! It looks so wonderful organic and overgrown. The first time I feel the urge to bead myself! I also love all the other pieces you did! But Athena's Owl just speaks to me! Okay.... I am repeating myself... but I love this piece so, so much! :)

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    1. Thank you Claire! I always want to create more-there's just so many ideas in my head and not enough hours in a day. I am happy with everything I made this month but I do believe the beaded stick is my favorite. You are welcome at my house any time;-)

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  12. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I am humbled in your creative genius presence! WOW!! off for another look but WOW!!

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  13. I don't even know where to start because I am just stunned at the beauty and creativity of these pieces. Having attempted a total of 1.5 peyote stitch bracelets, following a pattern, I can barely begin to imagine the talent it takes to freeform that branch so artistically. The wall jewelry is divine and so rich in tactile details. The book cover is superb. And the doll is so perfect. Athena's owl was the mascot of my undergrad college and this piece would be so at home on display in the library there.

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  14. Thank you Tammy! I am shocked that I was able to do all that beading on the stick. My previous freeform peyote pieces were so frustrating that I swore I'd never do another. Now I am ready to tackle another freeform project. Practice, practice, practice! Having Athena's owl as the mascot must have been super cool.

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  15. Loved the theme you picked this month - was a lot of fun.
    The beading of around the owl and the stick is simply amazing! I loved how that piece turned out.
    The wall piece is stunning and love your Athena doll!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I am so glad everyone enjoyed this theme as much as I did;-)

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  16. All of these pieces of art are SO amazing Cathy! I love that you are able to do so many things with various materials and just go for it to learn techniques and then open your own door to creativity. Thanks for picking such a fun theme!

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    1. Thank you Marsha! I do have fun just 'going for it'. Sometimes it's a hit, sometimes a miss:-)

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  17. The beaded owl tree is unbelievable! But then, each piece you created has a unique feature of its own!

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  18. Thanks for the fabulous theme, Cathy!! I'm totally smitten by your Athena's Owl and the tree perch you have for it... so cool. Your Athena doll is pretty amazing too. Lovely creations all around.

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    1. You're welcome Sarajo & thank you for participating and your lovely compliments.

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  19. I'm sort of like Laney - I'm so overwhelmed with the awesomeness of it all that all I can say is WOW! Your work is so diverse, abundant and absolutely original. Just wow!

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  20. Thank you for hosting an incredible theme challenge. I am blown away by everything you made. You are so talented at so many things. But the beaded stick is what really sings to me. It's just lovely and makes a gorgeous sculpture to display. The wall owl is incredible and why do you have Jenny's skirt? LOL! The doll is so detailed and I just love her. Great job, friend!

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Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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