Friday, November 9, 2012

Losts to catch up on...

Since I didn't create a post yesterday I have lots to catch you up on today. Yesterday's daily schedule got completely blasted out of the water since I took my mother-in-law to the airport. She is off to Tacoma Washington to visit grandkids and a new great-grandson. She called last evening and said that she arrived there safe and sound. We left here at 4:00 AM. So needless to say that I was not very energetic once I returned home as a matter of fact I went back to bed and slept until almost noon. Once I was awake and my brain matter was computing again, I did get into the studio to work on a few things. I finished the quilting and applied the binding to this table runner.
I really like this one. It is a mixture of free form feathers and a stencil motif that looks as though it lies underneath the feathers. I also embellished around the motif with some more feathers to fill in the background. This is a beautiful table runner.

I have to tell you about Tina and my play day on Wednesday. We had decided to work on a cute bunny pattern that we had gotten in our packet from Charlotte and our rules were that there weren't any rules except that we would work out of my scrap bin. We fused our bunny as we wanted to get it done in one session. So here is our day in photos,
The scrap bin as we worked out of it.
You don't see me often in the photos during the creative phase as I am usually alone making the messes.
This is Tina's bunny minus his eye.
and this is my bunny. Once the bunnies were fused together our next step was a little dissection. We laid the bunnies on top of each other and then sliced them through the middle with a gentle curve.
Then we swapped bottoms and realigned the bunnies.
We were amazed, although we shouldn't have been, how well they lined up after the cut was made. Tina chose a blue fabric for her background and put her bunny on point,
while I chose an over-dyed polka dot print and set my bunny square.
That is where we were when we had to call it quits. I have added 2 borders since to my bunny piece but that is all the more I have done. I am letting some creative ideas brew before I decide what else I will do with this piece.

I did take some time to do some more drawing exercises Wednesday evening. The first one I found harder to do as there were a lot more details and shading and the lines were a lot more implied and not so bold. It worked out though. It is of a knight in armour seated on his horse. This was also drawn upside down.
I also changed the scale of mine a bit. That also made it a little harder to do. The second drawing I did was of a girl sitting also done upside down.
I had more trouble with this drawing than the horse and rider. I had the tv on in the background and I do believe that had a lot to do with the difficulty that I had drawing this one. So lesson learned do not try to multi task while drawing you will not be as pleased with the results. I find that often times in the studio while I am quilting I do it in quiet and solitude. I do not like to have my concentration broken by multiple interruptions. So the lesson learned here and it will be different for everyone, is to find the mode that you work best in. Do you like energetic music in the background, do you prefer to be in a group were you feed off of other's ideas and energy, or do you prefer to be alone? Do you have a particular time of day that you do your best work? What happens when you get interrupted or if your whole day is turned upside down due to an obligation? How do you get yourself back into the creative frame of mind? I know for me that if I have some sort of quilting to do that I get back into that creative mode much faster than if I just go into the studio to "create something". The quilting portion gently eases me back into creativity faster than other stages of the creative process. So another lesson for me is to have several pieces at the stage to quilt on and if I am having difficulty getting into the creative zone I can warm up by quilting and then the ideas and energy start to peak.

Do you see the importance of creating? Do you even think that it is important? I do! Because the beginning of the Bible says, "In the beginning God created..." Genesis 1:1, it goes on to say what He created but do you see that He felt it was important to tell us that, In the beginning...He...Created...and then He created us in His image so therefore if He created us in His image and He began the whole process with creating it must be a very important component of His nature and ours. It is in our nature to create things. Don't put yourself down by saying that you are not creative or that you could never do this or that. Did you walk without ever falling down as a toddler? Did you write your name in beautiful understandable cursive handwriting the very first time you ever held a pencil? So why do we think that we have to succeed with a beautiful masterpiece the first time we try to create something out of a pile of scraps? I think our bunnies are fabulous but Tina and I have played a lot with fabric and we know how to put things together and we aren't afraid to experiment with new ideas and even cut things apart and put them back together. It is supposed to be fun and if you are trying to follow what someone else says is fun but you don't then stop... and find out what makes you forget time when you are immersed in the middle of it. Try something new, try something old, try to find what truly makes your heart sing when you are doing it. That will bring you great joy and the Author of all creativity will also find great joy in you.

Have a great day and remember that you are creative everyday. Take a look at you outfit that you are wearing today. You put that look together, perhaps you accessorized it with jewelry or a scarf or something unique that says "this is me". Wear it boldly and let yourself be known by your creativity. Someone somewhere will appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Play day today...

Yesterdays quilt presentation at the Prime Timer's group was well received. I had a great time and I got lots of feedback from the group. I enjoyed myself and we had a great lunch too. It was fun but a lot of work too. Now comes the less than fun part of unpacking everything and putting it all away. I have to do that this morning so that I can be ready for Tina to come over for lunch and play day. We are going to get together once every week or 2 just to play with composition or color or whatever we decide to do. Today is our first play date and we are going to be working on a rabbit that Charlotte Warr Anderson put into our lesson packets from the retreat several weeks ago. I will go into that more tomorrow but for now I will let the anticipation build. This afternoon is all about fun.

The only thing that I will say about the elections is that I am so glad that the phone calls will finally stop.

I am off to clean house, put my quilts away and prepare lunch. Have a good day. I will be back with photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Prepared for the quilt presentation

Everything is prepared for the quilt presentation. I am excited about this presentation. I hope it goes well. I thought that I might have 2 totes of quilts to take to share but it is more like 3 plus a another bag.

I took some time to do some drawing exercises last evening. I am really amazed how these beginning exercises are proving to me that I can learn to draw and how well I can draw already. Really. I am amazed. Here are the photos of several exercises that I completed in the book. The first one doesn't look like much but it was to show how the left side of the brain gets in the way when the right side of the brain is needed to be engaged in the drawing process.
It is the vase/face optical illusion that we are familiar with. Not too impressive I admit. The exercise was to create mental confusion by trying to draw the matching line while using verbal cues such as forehead, eye, nose, upper lip, lower lip and chin. It is difficult to draw the line while repeating these words at the same time. The left and right side of the brain are competing with each other and signals get jammed. The exercise gives us the cues of how to switch from left brain to right brain function. More impressive is this next exercise. Drawing a line sketch upside down. Evidently doing this confuses the left brain and causes it to let the right side take over. Here are the 2 drawings that I did. My drawings are on the left side and the image that I was drawing is on the right. Here is the first
and the second drawing.
I wanted to show you the drawings in the upside down orientation but unfortunately the blog program flips them upright, but what I want you to see is how close these drawings are to the originals. Isn't that amazing? I was amazed when I flipped my book over to see the drawing in the right orientation. I am so eager now to work through this book and see just how much I improve. I don't know why I put off working through this book for so long. What other things do we tend to put off for far too long before we give it our attention? What would happen if we just stopped procrastinating and got what ever it was done? Is it possible that we would actually be pleased with the outcome like I was with these drawing exercises?

Don't forget that today is voting day. Don't put it off. Get out there and let your voice be heard. This is one of the priviledges that we have in this country. We have a voice in how we want our country to be run.

So have a great day and remember to just do ___________(fill in the blank) and do it as quickly as possible. Don't ever think that it won't do any good.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cleaning, organizing and preparing day...

Today will be a day spent cleaning up the studio, organizing my thoughts and projects while preparing for a quilt program that I am giving tomorrow at the Prime Timers Group at our church. This is a group that meets at the church every Tuesday during the fall, winter and spring for a program and lunch. You only have to be 55 or over to attend. (I was able to attend last year even though I haven't quite reached 55 because I was the program coordinator.) This is a wonderful group of folks and I do miss them but I just couldn't commit to this with everything else going on in my life right now. So they did ask if I would put together a program of my quilts, what I do, a little of how I do it and why I do it. It should be fun so today I have to go through the house and gather up my quilts, wallhangings and what nots and organize a program. I know pretty much what I want to say but I just have to get it all together in a cohesive program. That's the agenda for today.

Now for what I did over the weekend. Not too much to show for except you can tell I have been working by this photo.
This is lint in my bobbin case. I should have cleaned it out several weeks ago but I just kept putting it off. Usually I will notice a change in stitch quality when lint builds up like this but I wasn't having any tension issues so I kept on quilting. I have learned a new trick for cleaning out this lint build up. Use a pipe cleaner. I have heard that you should not to use the canned air as the moisture can cause problems, although I know that is what my machine service people use. I also use an old 1" paint brush and that works great for the top surface lint. The trick to the pipe cleaner is to fold it in half and insert it into the little nooks and crannies and when you pull it out the lint is clinging to it. Just be careful that you don't get it stuck if you have little springs and what nots down in the bobbin case area. Having a pair of tweezers that can reach in to areas where big clumps are just out of fingers reach or stray threads are hiding is also very handy. Those are the very intricate tools of the trade for the primary maintenance that you should do. How frequently you do that depends on how much you use your machine. I should probably do that at least every 2 weeks the way I use my machine, others may only have to do this 2 times a year.

Here is one more photo of my weekend project.
This is my homework assignment for the Dyeing to Design online class I am taking. It is about working with value only to create a composition. I could have done some things differently to create a stronger composition but as I was working things kept morphing a bit out of my control. It is finished except for the binding and I learned a lot about value so that was the most important thing about the lesson. The quilting, I found, was a more important element when working with just value as nothing else distracts the eye. Now I will have to find some time this week to work on lesson 2. It is to create a quilt by using color to create a mood. I think that this will be challenging.

Well, on to the tasks at hand for today. I hope you have a wonderful day and remember to clean up those little messes before they bog you down and cause tension issues.