Saturday, August 31, 2019

Art Elements August Octopus Theme Reveal

The end of August already? Where does the time go?
I have had a super busy summer with physical therapy, a backyard living area project that seems like it will last forever, kitchen cabinets painted AND trying to play wedding planner for my daughter.
So its not surprising that I didn't finish ALL the things I wanted to create, but I did manage to at least get a couple of octopuses finished.
It was Claire's turn to host this month's theme at Art Elements and she chose the octopus. Claire has quite a love for this sometimes gruesome looking cephalopod. They are quite amazing with their long arms with all those suckers and their ability to move so swiftly to capture their prey. I think they're pretty cool especially their ability to camouflage themselves in order to ward off predators. Some of the colors are amazing.
close up of my green goddess octopus

As usual I had a bazillion ideas for what I wanted to do. But then reality set in and I decided I could only tackle small projects right now that I could mostly work on at night while bingeing on Netflix. The other projects that I did start are in the ever growing pile of UFO's (unfinished objects). Waiting for that day when I am at a loss of what to do. hahaha
I promise I cut this square but by the time I did the blanket stitch around the edges it distorted somewhat-ugh.

Above is the first octopus I created. the base is an old wool blend sweater that I washed in hot water and dried in the dryer to felt. It wasn't tightly felted since it was a wool blend but it still gave me a good sturdy base to needle felt into. I used bright red merino wool roving along with some peachy color for some contrast in areas and then for the bottom portion of the arms that are flipped to see the suckers I used some tan merino. After needle felting I stitched around the entire body/legs with the sewing machine which made the octopus really stand out from the base. Then I used some cotton embroidery floss to hand stitch along the arms but the roving was so puffy and not fully needled into the base that I lost my stitches among the wool. So back to the cushion and more needle felting. Second time around for hand stitching I chose perle cotton rather than regular DMC 6 strand which was sturdier and you can see a bit more of the hand stitching.
Close up showing the O bead and seed bead suckers.
Then came time for suckers. These O beads that I used are a picasso finish in tan and I thought they'd be perfect. Well, I couldn't find them so I initially beaded the suckers with copper O beads and it was just way too flashy. Then while I was looking for beads to do my second octopus I found the picasso tan beads. Sooooo, I cut off all the copper beads and re-beaded. I am much happier with these colors. Forgot to mention that I backed the green sweater base with a piece of solid black felt before machine stitching, so I used a blanket stitch around the perimeter to capture the felt backing to the front base. This bright red guy is eventually going to be placed on a mixed media background which I didn't have time to work on. I envision using a canvas to paint & collage then attach the felted piece. So stay tuned to see what transpires.

Next up is my green goddess octopus That you see in the close up in the first photo. She took some time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I had bought this lovely green fish leather from Lisa Peters Art last month. Lisa is the one who actually suggested I use fish leather for the octopus project so Thanks Lisa!

I drew a pattern for the octopus then transferred it to black stiff stuff beading base. Determined what sections I wanted to bead and got those beaded before I added the fish leather. After doing the beading I cut as close as possible around the entire drawn octopus before I adding the fish leather. I cut my original pattern up to use as a template for cutting the fish leather but added extra so I could stuff some of the legs to make them more dimensional. I used leftovers from the green felted sweater from the first octopus to place on the stiff stuff base before I applied the fish leather. Then I added a few more beads along one side of the legs to suggest some suckers and voila!
Green goddess with fish leather & beaded arms.

Again this green octopus is going to be placed onto a background that is started but not finished.
The back is multi layered and still has beading and possibly hand stitching left to do. The creation of this background may be a future blog post on AE since it's a major project! But here's a glimpse.

This was such a fun project even if I didn't finish or get to do all the things I wanted to do. I hope I can get the background for my green octopus finished in the next few weeks.

I am looking forward to seeing all the octopus creations from the AE team members and guest participants. Grab a beverage, sit back and do a blog hop to see what everyone made this month.

Guest artists:
Cat
Evie and Beth
Hope

17 comments:

  1. This post makes me happy. I want to be friends with those two amazing creatures! A wonderful job, Cathy.

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    1. Thank you Cat! I want to see & touch your wire crocheted octopuses:-)

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  2. OH WOW!! that beaded fish leather octopus.. WOW!! just WOW!

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    1. Thank you Laney. I was worried I would screw up the fish leather but it turned out pretty good.

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  3. You amaze me with all of your vision and skill Cathy! I love how the stitching added texture to your felted piece. The fish leather beaded piece is magnificent! :)

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    1. Thank you Marsha! After seeing your O beaded tentacles I almost wish I had used 15's to anchor them rather than 11's. But I am NOT redoing the beading on that again.LOL

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  4. You were tight on time when you made these!? That boggles me. They are so intricate, thought out, and stunning!

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  5. Wow - both pieces are mind blowing! I can't believe you did all that stitching and felting - just amazing! Love the second piece with the beading and the fish leather texture - I can't wait to see the finished piece!

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    1. Thank you Beth! I hope my pieces turn out like I have in mind. I will post them when I finish.

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  6. Wow is indeed the right word for these. So many different techniques and materials used to such amazing effect. I look forward to seeing both octopuses in their final settings. The background you've started for the red one is awesome.

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    1. Thank you Tammy! Hope I can finish them before the end of September;-)

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  7. These two octopuses are beautiful! I will be eager to see the large when it is finished. (Actually, I am amazed at what you got finished considering the list of things you have going on!)

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  8. Love the layers and elements, especially the background in the Green Goddess octopus construction! So inspiring!

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  9. These are both super cool! I don't think I'd have the patience for what you did.

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  10. The octopus goddess is so very special! I can't wait to see it in an assemblage but it looks totally cool as is! I also love the red octopus, there is more movement about it and you cut off the tiny beads to replace them with other tiny beads? Heroic!

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Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

Art Elements August Octopus Theme Reveal

The end of August already? Where does the time go? I have had a super busy summer with physical therapy, a backyard living area project tha...