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Daily Little Things

What’s this? I’m actually getting a post out on a Thursday, shocking!  Today I want to feature a few cards from my efforts in the 2019 ICAD challenge, and introduce a possible new daily project that I am trying.  I really have enough to do in my life, but as I always say, I will NEVER be bored.

From this summer’s index-card-a-day event, here is a group that all share the same concept in carrying out the prompt:

The prompts for these four cards were pendulum, tinker toys, guitar and skee ball.  I was not at all interested in these four prompts, and with a limit of time to produce a card each day, I had to get innovative with my interpretation.  For each of these, I looked at images of the subject, then extracted shapes, lines and patterns that I noticed in the images.  I then made paper cutouts of the shapes and arranged them in compositions that still had the elements of the object, but mixed them up in a new way.  These cards ended up being a lot of fun to work on once I tricked my brain into not seeing a guitar as a guitar, but a series of shapes to play with.  By the way, the guitar card is the only one that I drew the shapes with markers; I did not use my usual paper cut out collage technique on that one.

Earlier in the week, I received the current issue of Quilting Arts magazine.  One of the articles is a short introduction by Liz Kettle to daily meditative hand stitching.  It is another affirmation that if you want to be more creative, you have to make things every day, and build your skills.  One of the tips that Kettle gives in the article is to never remove a stitch in you daily stitch pieces – just keep going.  I absolutely agree with this!  If I keep redoing all the stitches that don’t turn out like I want, I’ll never finish anything, and I have enough trouble finishing things.  I have finished three 4×4″ squares, here they are:

I don’t know if I will keep this up daily, with so many other creative things I have in progress, but I have a goal of five of these little stitchies each week.  They are a great way to warm-up before working on a bigger project, and to play with design and composition.

Next week, more about the ICAD cards (I really love them!) and whatever I have stitched over the weekend.

 

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Funky Felted Flowers

As I mentioned in my last post, I took a class recently to learn how to felt flowers out of wool.  I’ll just cut to the eye candy, here is a bouquet of all flowers from all of the participants:

Flowers courtesy of R. Hosta, B. Hosta, A. Baker, J. Mack, J. Fassinger and J. Campbell

 

I have been trying out all sorts of techniques to make fabric flowers with a future series of vases in mind; this felting technique will be a nice addition to my repertoire.  It is not too difficult of a technique, but since it is wet felting, it can get a bit messy.  It all starts out with wool roving.  The most fun part for me is selecting colors.

Yesterday, I felted some more flowers.  Joining the stem and sepals to a flower is tricky, you have to get the timing right and be sure that flower hasn’t been worked too much in the early felting process.  Otherwise, the two parts won’t join.

I have lots and lots of wool roving around, and until now, I have not been very inspired by working with wool.  That’s all changed now, many felted flowers are in my future!

I’ll need to take a break from the flowers, I am already behind in the ICAD challenge.  What will I have to show on Tuesday?

 

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Another Daily Challenge

No, this doesn’t directly involve art quilting or any stitching, but it is all about my ongoing attempts at art journaling.  I am, for the third year, trying to complete the 60 day Index Card a Day (ICAD) challenge.  Check out the link, the artist that puts on the challenge has a great website full of ideas and tips for mixed media art journaling.  While I struggle to journal on a regular basis, I do believe it is a great way for artists and those who want to be creative to work on skills, habits and ideas.

Getting back to the ICAD event, the challenge creator posts lists of themes or prompts for each day of the challenge.  Sometimes, the daily prompt just doesn’t do anything for me.  That’s when I tend to go astray in keep up with the challenge.  When the prompt is something like “meerkat” or “cassette tape,” my mind wanders to things I much rather do, stitching, making a cake, taking a walk.  The first year I attempted the ICAD challenge, it did not go well.  I completed only 11 cards, and half of those were done six months after the challenge ended.

Last year, I fared better; thirty-three cards completed.  These are not intended to be great works of art, and I try to keep the time put into them to 15 minutes per card.  Of course, some take a bit longer, and I still want to fill in the gaps of the cards I didn’t attempt.

Today, I am six days into the challenge, and I have six cards:

Will I keep up the early momentum?  Now that I’ve blogged about it, I hope that I will.  The challenge started last Saturday, so I will post my weekly progress on Tuesdays.

 

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Three Strikes

Today’s post is a tough lesson in the reality of learning a new creative skill.  A lot of what gets made is not very good.  It is very difficult to admit that something (or in this case, three things) that I’ve spent a lot of time and materials on, is rubbish.  But there are a few positive things to take from this week’s work.  One, I finished three 8 X  10″ pieces.  Two, I tried some techniques that have potential.  Take a look:

I love the hand stitching that I did on these, and I am pleased with the effects created by the machine couching of the funky yarns.

What keeps tripping me up is the final assembly and quilting.  These three pieces were pillowcase bound and then lightly quilted to secure the layers.  I ended up with some lumpy areas and wavy edges.  The last one was especially troublesome:

These are just not up to my creative vision, and certainly showing my lack of technical skill.  Even though they are three strikes, I refuse to be called “out,” the only way I can get better with my quilting skills is to make more.  The really bad thing is that the color combination is making me crave Neapolitan ice cream!