Thursday, February 14, 2013

Art C Girlz Ice dye challenge revealed!

 Back in October, Mary Lee gave each of us a piece of her fabulous ice dyed fabric- about a fat quarter- to play with.  She just wanted to see what we would all be inspired to do with it.

Something in the colors reminded me of this picture I took at badlands National Park in 2010.   I had printed this picture to use in one of the exercises in Jean Wells" book Intuitive Color and Design. This gave me the opportunity to do that exercise.  (which by the way was on the "just for me" list!)
 Using the colors in what I felt was the correct proportions, I created this strip set.  I had thought to do a bargello style piece.  But there just wasn't enough of it to make it interesting.
Now what?

I discovered that flipping some of the pieces made a HUGE difference!  Much better! 
With the quilting lines, I tried to add the visual texture you see in the badlands.

In Jean's book, she shows a finishing technique she calls a portrait finish; where you mount one small quilt onto a second one, like a picture frame. 
 So I created this second quilt to try that technique- adding small inserts from the dyed fabric for continuity. I had been wanting to practice close together quilting for a while, too!

This is the finished piece, which I am greatly pleased with!

So I am very grateful to Mary for challenging us and to Jean Wells for continuing to inspire quilters!

You can see what some of the other "ArtC Girlz" did here!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Zentangle a day

Following up on last week's post in a way.
When I first started doing zentangle, I did it every day.  I was learning, improving my repertoire of patterns, enhancing my skill.  Plus it is just a relaxing and meditative thing to do.  I don't always make time to meditate as I should, but I will sit down with a pen and create a small piece of art.  But as time went on things changed and I stopped doing it as often.  When I did pick up a tile and a pen, I was often dissatisfied with the results.  I was out of practice.  One of the blogs I read mentioned a book called One Zentangle a Day, by  Beckah Krahula. I looked at it several times at Amazon, but it was near the holidays and so I talked myself out of it.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided I was worth it after all.  I'm lucky to have found Karen's Yarn, Paper Scissors in Batavia a while back.  Small shop with lots to offer, actually- if you haven't stopped in yet.Anyway, she has zentangle supplies!  So I didn't even have to wait for the package to arrive.  :-)

Even though I am somewhat experienced, I am doing every exercise in the book as if I was brand new to the art.  This is a page from my sketch book, where each day there are new patterns (tangles) to learn, and sometimes an enhancement as well. Some of the "tangles" don't appeal to me, but learning them may benefit me later on. 

 After practicing, you create a "tile"- what they call the small squares we use for the art.
Sadly, the scanned images don't show the shading very well. 
 Here are my daily tiles for the past few days.  Not all masterpieces, but that isn't the point, is it? 
Day 2
Day 3
Day 5
Day 6
 In all forms of creativity,at least part of the enjoyment should be the process.
 It has taken me a long time to learn that!

Is your home sealed up from the winter winds?  Something as simple as outlet covers could cut your heat loss and reduce the amount of energy required to heat your home!  Every little bit helps!

  I am grateful for:
The beauty of the sun shining on a fresh layer of snow, making the world sparkle.
The luxury of time to spend on my creative pursuits.
Chicken enchiladas
A conversation with my son.
The people who adopt my foster babies and give them good homes!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just for me!

I have decided this year I am not playing.  Not joining swaps, or round robins, or other group projects.  Picture a spoiled six year old pouting and stamping her foot!  Somewhere there exists a picture of me in that pose, but I couldn't find it.  I admit it, I was that child. I bet all who have spent time with me are shocked.

Anyway, the reason I'm holding my breath and saying no is that for years I have been putting projects I want to do just for the fun of it on the back burner.  You know how it goes- I'll do that one as soon as I get the calendar quilt made, or as soon as I finish the challenge, or that quilt for so-and-so's birthday.  So this year I am going to get them out and do them.  Just for me.  Selfish quilter year.  Think I'll actually do it?

I got a small start on it Monday.  I got out Pat Ferguson's "Zen Quilting Workbook", which  I bought over a year ago, and made this little quilt! 
For those who don't know, zentangle is an art form created by graphic artists Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts.  I started doing it about 5 years ago.  I have always doodled, but this is a little more than that.  And I believe practicing the repetitive patterns involved in doing it has improved my free motion quilting!  I was not surprised to see people making quilts using this technique! 

This is the original "tile" I used for the quilt.  (sorry I didn't rotate it to be in the same orientation)
Some of the lines and darker areas are colored in with the same pigma pen used to create the original. 
I don't know what I will do with them, but I will do more of this- maybe on some of the beautiful hand dyed and painted fabrics I just can't bear to cut into. 

The "green" tip this week involves sharing.  Do you read a lot of magazines?  Get sucked into buying it at the grocery store when you picked it up to pass time in line? Tear out a recipe pr two and the rest goes into the recycle bin ( I hope).  Before you toss that magazine, why not share it?  My local library has a collection box for sharing them, as does the college where I work.  Give them to your child's (or grandchild's) teacher for use in art projects or other classroom assignments.  Take them to a senior center or assisted living facility.   Get the most out of them before they get recycled!

I am grateful for:
Eating real food again
An exciting Superbowl game
Knowing when to ask for help
How much my boss appreciates the very little things I do
Settling on a plan