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Index Card A Day, Week Two

Like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I am three days (actually more than that) behind schedule.  So, here is Tuesday’s post on Thursday.  ICAD Week two is done, the prompts were suzani pattern, bookshelf, David Bowie, tiramisu, brocade, kite or rhombus and chamomile.

I was not at all interested in the David Bowie prompt.  This is my fourth year of participating in this challenge, and the first time that I completely ignored a prompt.  The creator of this challenge makes it clear that her prompts are optional, but until last week, I have stuck with them.  The card I made on the David Bowie day is a completely abstract mixed media experiment, and something that I could have created in response to a piece of music.  I have some ruminations on music-to-visual art explorations coming soon to this blog, but this card was not made with music in mind, just playing with supplies that I haven’t used much.  It started with some random cut outs from pictures in an old Life magazine, then dabbed with an embossing ink pad and dusted with the accompanying embossing power.  After heating the power to work its magic, I scribbled over everything with a few colors of water soluble crayons.  An interesting result, and I’d like to try the combination again with a bit more purpose and direction next time.  I wonder if the embossing stuff and crayons will work on fabric…

I was delighted that two of the prompts had to do with textiles.  I had to look up suzani pattern, and fell in love with it.  My mind is churning with embroidery and applique designs influenced by suzani.  The card on the left is my first attempt at interpreting suzani patterns.  I’m sure that I will explore it further.

On the right, the card for brocade.  The shimmery wave design was made with Kreinik Iron-On Thread .  And yes, it irons on to paper!  I recently bought a selection of this Iron-On thread to play with, and I am loving it.  It is easy to apply, even around curves, and is a much easier way to add metallic thread to a project than sewing with it.  I am hoping to someday have a class featuring Iron-On Thread, and I will have it at quilt shows, whenever those might happen again.  Meanwhile, keep checking back here for my adventures in creating.

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Getting out of 2017 and into 2020

Yes!  I finished the 2017 ICAD challenge, and I am so far keeping up with the 2020 challenge.  Here is what I churned out in the past few weeks to close out 2017:

Week 7 prompts: lyrics, denim or blue, night sky, love, layers, intersection, charm bracelet.

Week 8: sun or moon, swim, adjective, mirror, greetings from…, sepia, ghost or zombie.

Week 9: spring, summer, autumn, winter, sunset.

On Tuesdays through the next two months, I will post my progress on the ICAD challenge.  My goals for this year are to try combining art media and truly explore mixed media more and to make an art quilt inspired by one of my index cards.  Of course, the quilt will happen after the challenge ends.  For my mixed media goal this week, I have combined stamping, collage and lettering; ink drawing and watercolor pencil; fabric, stitching and paint; iron-on thread and paint; collage and watercolor pencil.  The prompts for week one were hopscotch, marigold, album, sequins, 1980s, dreamcatcher and highway.  It is not too late to pick up the challenge, why not give it a try?

Finally, I’m still rolling along with my 4×4” squares.  Here are the ones from May:

Onward to something else on Thursday, see you then!

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Close to Finishing…

It looks like I am on track to finish the index card collages from 2017 by May 31, in time to immediately start the annual challenge for 2020 on June 1.  As I look around my sewing room, I am realizing that these side challenges get finished at the expense of other projects, but the important thing is that I am still making something, reinforcing a daily creative habit, and learning more about materials, composition and design along the way.  Those are all good things that will positively influence my bigger projects.

Here are the cards from 2017 Week 5, prompts were polka dots, gyroscope, faux wallpaper, desert or dessert, orange, Fourth of July, favorite type of apple.

Week 6, prompts were perfume, kaomoji or emoji, charcoal, ampersand, steampunk, roots, onomatopoeia.

Coming soon, I will have some more musings on music to visual art, thoughts on combining vastly different influences, of course the 2020 ICAD challenge, and so much more in the upcoming weeks.

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Those Index Cards Again!

Well, I got a bit lost in creative projects over the past couple of weeks!  Among all the other things I am attempting, I am frantically finishing up a project from 2017.  That was the first year that I attempted the annual Index-Card-a-Day challenge.  It did not go well for me.  I started late, managed the daily creation of a collage on an index card for about one and a half weeks, then I wandered off.  The challenge ran for two months.  The time is near for the 2020 edition of ICAD to start (June 1), so this month I am trying to finish what I started three years ago.  I fared a little better with my ICAD completion rate in 2018, and I was even more disciplined last year.  I have all the cards for the past two years finished.  I don’t know why I waited so long to finish the 2017 cards.  Here is what I have so far from the 2017 challenge.

Week One – prompts: sunrise, lost and/or found, vintage, lavender, kawaii/cute, detour, alliteration

Week Two – paint chips, ombre, sunshine yellow, tetrahedron, wings, echo/repeat, leaves

Week Three – starburst, rainbow, sprout, alphabetize, gear/gadget, yin/yang, simplicity

Week Four – vanishing point, Alice in Wonderland, caravan/RV, portrait, green, farm, dashboard

I’m off to create, I have a long way to go.

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Chickens and Candy

Being creative does NOT mean that everything you attempt will turn out successfully.  Sometimes, my ideas just don’t work out like I thought.  Today was one of those days, but I learned a few things in the process, and that’s always a good thing.

Over a year ago, I started a large art quilt that was going to be for a SAQA show.  The theme was “Upcycle,” and my idea was to create a piece using an old feed sack and somehow incorporate candy wrappers into the design.  In my very first post here, I featured the feed sack that I chose, and you will see how the candy wrappers fit into the project.

I have yet to finish the quilt, today I thought I’d try an idea I have for the candy wrappers.  My original plan was to quilt the piece with thread sketches of chickens, and add the candy wrappers as random accents.  A few days ago, I thought I’d try making collaged chickens using the wrappers and applique the chickens to the quilt.  Using one of my own drawings, I first traced the drawing onto a piece of Foundation Stuff, and made another tracing onto paper to create a pattern.  I numbered and cut out the paper pattern pieces.

Next, I used lightweight fusible webbing to bond candy wrappers to additional pieces of Foundation Stuff.

Using the pattern pieces, I cut out pieces from the bonded candy wrappers, then assembled them on the Stuff with the drawing.  I often use a glue stick to tack pieces in place before sewing, once dry, the glue presents no problems to sew through.  However, I discovered that the glue does not work well on Foundation Stuff!  The Foundation Stuff is a new product to me, so I am learning the capabilities of it.  I was able to slather both sides of the parts I was trying to join, and weight them down until the glue dried.  Then, I carefully took the developing chicken collage to one of my sewing machines.

I use an 80 or 90 universal or topstitch needle and quality 40 or 50 weight thread when sewing with paper.  Use a long stitch length (straight or zigzag), and remember that paper will dull your needle very quickly.  I sometimes save needles that I have used for a little while, but are still useful, for sewing paper.  Once you finish your paper sewing project, discard that needle.

So, here is my trial chicken.  It is an interesting concept, but in the end, I just don’t like it.  I don’t like the candy wrappers, they overwhelm the chicken.  This isn’t going to work for the feed sack quilt.  At this point, I don’t even want to put the candy wrappers in the quilt at all, not even in my original plan of randomly stitching them across the surface.  Since the quilt is no longer for an upcycle challenge, I am fine with this.  Now, I am considering making 3-D fabric candy pieces for this project.  I won’t know how that idea will work out until I try it.

Later this week I will have some musings on music and trying to capture the moment that you first hear or see something that just rocks your world.