Monday, April 25, 2011

Meditation and Doddleing

So what to these have in common.  I can't do either.  No really.  One of the latest things to do is Zentangles.  Again - go and google it.  It's suppose to be relaxing, just let your mind go and create.

I can't - never had.  But I liked the looks of this little art form and how it's being used.  So I gave it a try.  I have a best friend who lives about an hour's drive from my house.  And after a long dry spell of not seeing each other and having a "girls day", we are trying to get together one Saturday of the month and create.  Wendy was over on a rainy, cold Saturday in February (again with February) and as she is this skinny thing with no insulation, we didn't last long in the studio.  Wendy loves doing art journals and she's a really good artist.  Some of the things she was doing were these Zentangles.  So I thought I'd give it a try.

This one piece took me the better part of an hour to do.  I just didn't know what to do in the empty spaces.  So I went back to the various websites and looked at what others were doing.  My second attempt:

One thing I noticed, I like to work around words and phrases.  Sometimes it's an idea (the mushroom in the first one, hugs and kisses in the next.  One site had the paper in grids and they filled each grid with a different technique.

I really thought the jigsaw pieces were kind of fun and then the lower left corner was "inspired" by a piece of jewelry on a Chinese statue at work.  The final (unfinished) piece is all David Bowie's fault.

I also had to add a little color to it.  After all, magic happens with red shoes.

Why I don't / can't doddle.  Most of the art I do tends to be structured.  Weaving, Spinning, dyeing, sewing, quilting . . get the picture.  Even my "random" stripes in my weavings are structured (same number of each colored yarns on each side).  I don't know how to turn off that side of my brain, or if Ieven can.  But as a decoration with some of the other paper things I do, I can incorporate parts of this art form.

Working with the Other Fiber

Another one of my past times is paper.  Tissue Paper, Rice Paper, painted, marbled, torn, wrinkled . . . .

It's all texture.

My latest "OMG" project (and again in February) is Fabric Paper.  Fabric paper is easy to make using supplies you may already have on hand. The project possibilities of this art are endless. Almost anything imaginable can be created with fabric paper: purses, art quilts, ATCs/ACEOs, postcards, bookmarks,  paper quilts, wall hangings, folders, journal covers . . . .  Just Google "fabric paper" and you have loads of other blogs and websites that have detailed instructions.  But what I did (in a nut shell);

Start off with a light weight fabric.  My first was a light muslin foundation.  I have other light weight polys with lots of bright colors that are on my list to play with next.  I bought a length of vinyl plastic table cloth material to create my paper on.  It measures 11" x 18" so I can make large pieces if I want to.  Using a glue / water mixture, I paint the muslin with the and then added old used dryer sheets that I have stamped color on.  Then that got a layer of glue on it and I smoothed it out with a fake credit card AX sent me.  I have lots of those - knew they'd come in handy some day.  I added a layer of white with gold dot tulle, torn pieces of vellum (from my wedding invites) and this was covered with a piece of white tissue paper.  It needed a little more color so I took a paint brush to some of my stamp pads and added the orange streaks.

The vellum (dark green) pieces didn't adhere well to the rest of the fibers and parts of the final piece of tissue paper torn and peeled away in ares, but I like the effect.  This is one of the classes I will be teaching at the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber retreat in June.  I think I'll play more this weekend.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Catching up with my blog

Sometimes I wonder why I even started  a blog.  It's not like I make the time to write about the stuff I've been doing.  In fact, I've done quite a bit lately and as I don't like to blog during work hours, I'm way behind - so bear with me.  Course blogging also helps me know where I'm at in my fiber growth.

Let's go back to February:

I have a friend, Cindy, who a few years back (OK - maybe 5 - 7 years ago) asked me to help her get started on weaving.  Cindy is the type who always has to be doing something - usually it's embroidery, but she wanted a shawl.  I really don't remember her asking me what she needed, how much etc. but I supposedly told her the whats and hows of.  So Cindy went out and bought a really nice ridged heddle loom and bought two different size reeds.  Now let's jump to last year.

We get the house.  My weaving studio is the garage.  I call people who have fostered my looms for me that I now have room if they are not using them.  Cindy has my 24 inch 4 harness floor loom, so I make arrangements to pick it up (it's been sitting in her storage shed).  While I am there, she asked if I would like her ridged heddle loom (with shawl warpped), because she can't figure it out and it's a big mess.  Those who know me, know I won't turn down a loom.  So I take it and everything gets put in the garage - I mean studio.

February came and I decided it was time to look at the shawl and see what I could do.  The yarn was a nice soft, slightly fuzzy acrylic.  I don't remember ever weaving with acrylic, so this should be fun.   It was also slayed 10epi and the yarn was a thick yarn (more like 8 maybe even 6 epi), plus it was in a 24 inch reed, much to cramped.  I moved it to my large loom and went from the 24 inch wide to something more like 30 inches wide.
I tried to keep to her warp pattern, but missed a few threads in the transfer process. Weaving with acrylic is not much different then weaving with a slightly fuzzy wool.  I had no problem with fraying or pilling, the sheds separately nicer and the acrylic was not extremely stretchy.  I could only weaving on Saturdays as this time of year was a bit chilly and the studio is NOT insulated (yet).

Cindy didn't give me her weft yarn, so I got a Cafe` colored acrylic from Walmart that blended well with her shades of blue, grey, white and brown.  I thought I'd weave a twill pattern to show off her yarns better.  I finished the shawl the middle of March and didn't get a picture of it.  Oh well.  I delivered it to Cindy's house just about a week ago and talkedto her briefly.  She was surprised and said it wasn't what she envisioned, but liked it.  I invited her to come up here and really learn to weave, if she was still interested.