periwinkle spiral cobalt grid aqua wave magenta circle blue line

December 23, 2013

reviewing and recycling

Life has been crazy the last few months, and I have made some changes and am planning others to ease stress and make time for me.  Right now, as I'm looking forward to the holiday season, I am working on a long term cleaning out stuff project.  I'm very good at collecting, but not very good at distributing.  And I don't have space for many things that I once thought were important or essential, but aren't really that necessary anymore.

What I am realizing:

  •  I know that I will probably never get outside studio space.
  • There are so many choices and options everywhere that it becomes hard to choose - which book to read, which show to watch, stuff to see on Facebook and people's blogs, work to do, news to read, art to create...
  • I will probably not make everything I want or can think of - I may never learn to spin or use resin or oil paints.
  • I know that I want to focus on finding my voice, my style, one more time. I want to use grids and shapes and knitting and words and color.
  • I want to dye yarns and fabric.  
  • I want to knit.  
  • I want to hand stitch.  
  • I want to write.  
What I have  done so far:
  • kept only those patterns and creative ideas that I want to make and think I will make, discarding ideas that are too complex for me or too "foofy" (as my brother would say!)
  • got an Evernote account to put things in to avoid building up paper again - color combos, images, recipes, how to's are all stored and organized and available on the web, anywhere.
  • put all my altered books in one place.
  • put all my journals in one place.
  • stored all but the most meaningful pictures of family and life and stuff, and those are in one container to grab quickly if there's a tornado or something.
  • got all my running the household and family stuff files in order (except the budget which will happen very soon)
  • got a paper shredder on sale and using rewards points so that I can shred bills and things with names on them instead of storing them
  • started saving bank transfer and bill paying confirmation reports as pdfs instead of printing them - computer storage is cheap
  • started go go through a couple of my free Kindle ebooks every day, to delete the ones I am not really interested in after all.
  • organized all my art and creative books and magazines in the unused dining room space, neatly on shelves.
Some goals:
  • to clean out all the art stuff and donate what I won't use but is still good
  • to go through my clothes and weed out things I don't like or that don't fit anymore
  • to write at least once a week
  • to cook healthier meals and plan ahead for meals
  • to play in my art journal and not care about how it looks, it's the creating or remembering that is important.
  • to revitalize my day job - which is important to me as well
So it appears that I am ready to start the new year.  This season has so many memories, of our house and Christmas trees and Christmas cookies, of getting presents and giving presents, of mom and dad doing all of the traditions, religious and family.  I was so blessed to have so much, not only things but love and caring.  

July 14, 2013

k2tog (knit two together) - my show at the Iron Spring Gallery in Ballston Spa NY

Here's some shots of my current show:

looking into the gallery room

" intersections"
 "liminal wave"
" urban clouds"
"vintage trims" collage book

All of the pieces use knitting as design elements.  The half circles in "urban clouds" and the feather and fan pieces in "liminal wave" are based on the free range knitting techniques of Jane Thornley,, and are used with her permission.  The ruffled circles in "intersection" are my design. 

I am looking forward to continuing with knitting.  I have lots of ideas, and now just have to find the time to create.

June 25, 2013

On vacation!  A stay at home week which I am spending preparing for my show at Strolling Village Artisans, which I will be hanging on Sunday.  So far I have cooked, cleaned, worked on the altered book, worked on the ocean piece, and successfully changed the light bulb in my sewing machine.  I also completed a set of Artist Trading cards for the group I belong to, Arts in the Cards.

February 24, 2013

I am now part of a small group making Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs.  They are one of my favorite things to create and I have a collection of over 200 so far.  I've made them with fiber and fabric, collage, drawing, using markers and really just experimenting.  Here's the blog, this month's theme is sky, and I've posted my ATCs there.

February 4, 2013

over-dyed yarns

At a garage sale this past summer, I got some wool yarns that were various ugly shades.  I spent some time over-dying them to make them more usable.  I used Wilton's cake coloring and McCormick food coloring.

Here they are right after the microwave steaming:

Here they are dried and ready to be wound into balls.  The colors are much more subtle than I am used to due to the underlying original colors.  The orange and green were not over-dyed but were natural color amd for particular projects.  I am thinking that the subdued colors will make great scarves or felted bowls, or a knitted backdrop for an art piece.

and here is a view of my hand with lines, able to be seen because of the dyes... it eventually washes out.

I still have lots more to play with and dye.  One batch of four skeins turned out to be acrylic, but I will donate those so someone else can use them.  I want to try using Easter Egg dyes next.

January 21, 2013

Having a three day weekend is great for getting organized.  I know that this blog is not very active, but I am hoping to change that.

I recently finished a new wall piece.  Technically it's only one layer so I can't call it an art quilt.  The base is wool felt, that has been felted more and shrunk, and stitched with a grid.

The best part of creating sometimes is the gathering of stuff.  I have a lot of supplies, vintage things, yarns, fabrics, buttons....

This is a pile of round things, vintage buttons, belt buckles, metal rings, and buttons. This led to fabric circles:

The fabric is mostly hand dyed feedsack fabric, and I used a set of pastry cutters to draw all the different sizes.

This is about midway through.  I stitched the circles on, and added lines both straight and crossed.  This was definitely an improvised piece and looks nothing like the sketch I did.  That happens to me a lot.  I discover new stuff that adds something, so I use it.  I added some knitted circles and did a lot of beading and embellishing.  Here is the final version:

and a detail shot:

I am very fascinated with the knitted circles and ruffles and how they randomly shape themselves.  I am sure I will be using them again.

And when I made some mac and cheese I saw some other cool circles:

Finally, since his coloring fits in with this entry, here's Rowan contemplating what to write about next: