Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage." Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

Procrastination... I'm a master at it. I work in a flurry for several days and then I allow myself to fall into old habits. I spend my time thinking and planning what I WANT to do, researching techniques I want to TRY and then I put everything on hold. Can't figure out if I do this because I'm afraid of failure or maybe I'm afraid of success??

However, I did finally finish this small art quilt I started in a workshop back in October with Laura Cater-Woods. It is titled "Driftwood". I used the small piece of driftwood attached to the center as inspiration and sketched the driftwood, made a pattern and used an assortment of dyed silks and a couple of commercial cotton batiks to create it.

Here is a close-up:


After completing the free motion stitching I did add a few beads here and there and of course I added the driftwood with some dyed cheesecloth wrapped around it. I plan to hang it from a piece of driftwood. Currently I don't have an actual piece of driftwood large enough, but I do have a few nice old sticks that I found that might work.

After finishing "Driftwood" I finally completed "Autumn Detritus". This piece morphed from what was just going to be a mixed media painting into more of a mixed media fiber piece. I painted the canvas and kept adding layers of colors and textures. Then realized the paper towels that I had used to sop up the excess paint needed to be used in this piece. I tore the paper towels into irregular shapes and used wonder under to attach them to a piece of felt. I free motion stitched over the paper towels and the felt, then zapped the felt with a heat gun to burn holes and distress the felt. Then I added more paint to the paper towels and felt to blend the two. After that, I added beads then attached this felted/beaded piece to the painted canvas. I also used alpaca fibers, and some heat distressed polyester fabric along with some mesh from a vegetable bag. I also added some twigs to the background.

Here's a couple of close-up shots:


Hindsight is 20/20 and looking at it now, I wish I had made the felt piece much more irregular. It looks like a bean! Should be more like a pile of leaves and rubbish.



I have almost complete another small art quilt that I did while I was supposed to be finishing my project for the guild. I will post that later when I finish sewing on the final pieces.

Hopefully I can force myself to go finish my project for the guild because I have another project that is due by April 15 and it has to be shipped to a gallery in VA which means I need to get it done soon, so that it will make it there in time.

Live your life creatively~ 
cathy

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another Play Date With Bleach

I spent a few hours playing with good old household bleach experimenting with different weight fabrics and different applications. My last play date with bleach is posted here.
This time I decided to play around with a 'resist' in the form of a crocheted doily.
I have lots of these doilies. My grandmother used to crochet them and I've picked up a few in antique stores over the years. They come in handy while working with clay. I use them to lay down on the clay and send it through the slab roller or use a rolling pin to impress the clay with the design of the lace. Very cool results on clay. SO... Here is my first piece with using the doily as a resist on some black cotton.

I actually used Tilex spray instead of chlorox since I wanted to spray over top of the doily. This worked just as well since Tilex's main ingredient is bleach. I sprayed the Tilex pretty heavily and the doily became saturated and actually started to absorb some of the black from the fabric beneath it. I left the doily on the fabric approximately 15 min. Took it to the sink and soaked it in water. Washed then threw in the dryer.
Really should've ironed it but you can still see the lovely kaleidoscope pattern the doily created.
This black cotton discharged to a creamy off-white with touches of blue/green here and there. Really pretty.
Next piece was done the same way but I used 3 small doilies rather than one large one.
Interesting colors and design I think!

Then I grabbed a new batch of black cotton and used rubber bands to crimp at intervals.This cotton discharged to a beautiful rusty orange color.

This next piece was using the same cotton and trying a circular crimping with the rubber bands.

Love it!

Then I tried a piece of black cotton from India that I had and it was almost a faded charcoal rather than black. I used a roller with squares on it to print the design using regular bleach.
The roller randomly sprayed flecks of bleach in areas and I also went back over it twice with the roller so the design is a random checkerboard. This piece discharged to a peachy tan color.

Next fabric I tried was a black cotton twill. I loved the colors I got on the last experiment with the twill and I was hoping for the same rusty golden colors. Not quite the same with this twill but I do like it.

This discharged to more of a salmon/coral color. I used a sponge roller to lay the bleach down in the stripe pattern.

Final piece I tried is a piece of black burlap. Wow! Love the color this discharge to-bright red!
With this piece I used comet gel rather than liquid bleach or the Tilex spray. I just squiggled some gel on, let it sit for maybe 5 min. Rinsed, soaked, washed, dried.

Not sure what I'm going to do with some of these but I have several designs in my sketchbook for using some of my discharged fabrics.

Right now I'm working on a project for the North Suburban Needle Arts Guild. They have an annual project with a theme. This year it's 'Pathways'. The project is due at the guild meeting in April which is 2 wks away. Forever the procrastinator I am now just starting to work on mine. I started sketching the design the first week in March but I've been tweaking it and researching it before actually cutting my first piece of fabric. I'll post it when finished.
I still have several more projects that I just completed but will save those for another day...
Until then- live your life creatively~
cathy

p.s. The blog banner is a piece of fabric I disperse dyed in a workshop I did with Barbara Schneider a few weeks ago. I have a couple more things I disperse dyed in her class I will post in the next few days.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Multi-tasker in ME?

It used to be that I could do 14 things at once. And actually know what was going on.
Well...That was then and this is now. Rather than multi-tasking I should maybe call it dual-tasking. I can handle a few things at a time and that's about it.
Currently I have been focusing mainly on painting, sewing and more sewing and more painting. So forget about blogging, forget about laundry, forget about dishes that need washing, doctor appointments that need to be made and my poor dog barely gets to go outside because I'm so caught up in my feverish frenzy of art-making.

I'm patiently waiting for my daughter to arrive home from college right now. She is gracing us with her presence for 2 nights, then she's off to Florida for spring break. Once upon a time I used to get to go on spring break with her...
Oh well, I've got art to make!
Anyhoo, since I've got a minute or 2 to spare while waiting for her, I thought I would update my poor old blog.
These photos are way overdue in posting.
First up, is Somerset Studio's Jan/Feb issue which a piece of my artwork landed in.
I sent it as a response to Girl Gone Thread Wild's blog back last spring. It was to create a piece to call attention to the devastating murders in Juarez Mexico. So many young girls have been murdered in the past few years and now they are making news again with more senseless murders. The challenge that Monica proposed was called "AdDRESSing the situation". The piece had to incorporate a dress of some sort.
I'm sure I posted a photo of my piece back in the summer before I shipped it off, but here it is again.
I didn't even know it was going to be in that issue. I used to receive a letter or postcard from them telling me my artwork was going to be in a particular issue.
I was so surprised when I opened up the magazine and saw my piece featured prominently on the first page of the article titled "Without Words:AdDRESSing the Situation". WOW! I did the Snoopy dance of joy. It's been a while since I submitted anything for publication and this was pretty cool. Also pretty cool that Somerset
did the article to call attention to the victims in Juarez. Thank you to Monica and to Somerset Studio.

Next items up are the art doll swap that my friend Sandy and I did recently. We usually do a swap once a year or so. We come up with a medium to work in and a theme usually. This time there was no theme, just an art doll that began as a muslin
bendi doll. She sent me the blank doll last year. We changed the deadline a few times I think and then just said 'send it when you finish it'. Her doll arrived at my doorstep in early Jan. just after the Christmas holiday and I was so excited with the outcome that I got busy working to finish my doll for her.
Here is the doll Sandy sent me.
He/she is so wonderful. Lots of textures and I love the bird face she added. The individual feathers are just gorgeous!
I had already started my doll for her, but was stuck on trying to figure out what to do with the head.
It took a while to get all the coats of paperclay on this doll's head, but finally I got it right and was able to paint it and ship it off to Sandy.  Here is the doll I sent her--'Little Miss Susie Sunshine'

Daughter should be here any minute now. I will post many more creations in the next week or so. I've got lots to share.
In the meantime, live your life creatively~
cathy