Friday, August 15, 2008

so much to do ... so little time!

Been a busy week, lots of ups and downs with work, energy, creativity. But, I think I am on the upswing.

I have the 2 current lap/crib size quilts ready to layer and get the quilting started. The pin basting is the hardest part for me, strains my body!

I have decided it is okay to stop the bigger pieces of work and make a few small things to feel like am getting to be creative. I have realized there is a lot more opportunity to see the variety of pieces my brain needs to see happen if I make say, a series of ACEOs, my current 'item,' it was previously pins/brooches or post cards!! I helps eliminate the challenge I have when it takes so long to get the utility size quilts and the larger wall art I have previously made, to completion. I have always liked having several pieces in the working stage, mostly as I get bogged down in the amount of energy and time one of the larger pieces takes to reach the inner view I see for that piece!

On that note I am currently working on a new ACEO series using some scraps from the Gypsy Rose, who by the way is one of the ones on the short list! This new series is interestingly enough a combination of the color way of Gypsy Rose (very narrowed) and the design element of Blocks Inside My Box (in the attic window application of tumbling blocks, a traditional quilt pattern). I am sewing into the lower sill's seam a collection of fibers that will be woven together and embellished with a variety of things in a representation of trees outside my window! This is a small application of an design idea I have had for years (there is a quilt that has been waiting those many years, to have this applied!). I am excited to see how it works in miniature, and if it is fun enough to add to the ~25" equilateral pentagon I have waiting for it! If not .. I will know before I start on a much larger more time intensive application and have to finish because I started it (albeit not necessarily for years!). This may well be the reason behind the hesitancy to get that work started!

I am doing my best to not jump on the challenges I know are going on! I want to finish a bunch of stuff I have, the lager pieces, and get to feeling like I have the time, space, and permission (needed from myself) to continue to start 'new' pieces! I'll be able to locate scraps from most of these larger pieces to make a small series of 'something' as I work! Maybe the smaller items could be challenge responses... like the Gypsy Rose ACEO series was.

Well, I am always brainstorming the next 'thing' I'm hoping for some quick, fun, item I like to make will start to sell at Arts Walk this Fall. Though I know there are limited sales made at Arts Walk for all the artists. Heavy Sigh! I am still waiting to be 'discovered'! Isn't that every artists narcissistic tendency that keeps us moving forward? I can't be the only one who feels this way! (isn't that a line from a song?)

I am off today but must work tomorrow. Looking forward to getting a lot done this weekend still! There are items I could photograph and get listed on Etsy too... So much... It's good to be busy!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just keep swimming...

Last weekend I picked up a small figurine of 'Dori" one of my most admired of animated characters~ she now sits on my desk at work to remind me it is a matter of just keep moving, progressing through the stuff to do at work as well as life in general! So, a busy work week, but progress at some rate on several 'projects!"

Gypsy Rose is on her second border treatment, I'm thinking one more and I will be ready to layer/baste/quilt! Recently I have been viewing several quilts on Etsy that are comparable to the size and utility I am anticipating for Gypsy Rose. Good market research and I'm getting a feel for the potential price range I can entertain! Several sellers wash and dry the utility quilts, an idea I was considering for personal assurance it would withstand the use, more an affirmation than a question of it's potential! As well as an assurance to the buyer it will withstand use, as it is being sold as a functional work of art.There are several quilt tops in the 'stash' I am playing with in my head to see where the quilting design will take me so they too, can get in line for 'de-stashing', my current personal goal. I have (probably said this already, too) recently set up my New Home machine, which was a gift several years ago, in it's own cabinet, bringing the 'arm' even with the table top... yeah I had to have discussed this with Nolan's quilt! The point of the bird walk, to note the exploration of machine quilting as a design element that will enhance the longevity of a quilt is a fun place to brainstorm in my busy, busy brain! The encouragement of a more quality product being offered consumers is a positive projection of customer appreciation!

However I must admit I purchased several yards of fabric this past week. The coordinates were just too inviting and full of awesome potential! All designed by Dan Morris, his 'What's your sign?' and 'Sky's the limit' series. They just so happen to coordinate quite well with the 2 Robert Kaufman 'stargazers' prints I have in both blue and black colorways! I have been running with the throw quilt size as a kick start point for a few smaller functional/collectible art pieces as a matter of design process for a while, all the way back to the Hexagon series from 1999-2000 projects! I am sooo presumptuous. Just keep swimming, swimming!

No progress on my new dress, still unsure of which traditional block I want to use. I suppose it will settle down and decide some day! LOL Some gatherings of fabric I have done for projects in the past survive long enough to become that item Others however get pulled away for a more immediate application. This no doubt reinforces the need to collect an amazing amount of fabrics in a wondrous variety! Too, funny, but true! I have continued to collect fabrics for a 'project' that is long finished! Blue and whites, Autumn, Paisley only a few that I am always looking for ... my available palette is obviously then full the the colors, and designs I love in combination the most. No doubt what leads one to have a personal style of their own to some degree. I have an inordinate amount of unfinished pieces that are a rainbow combination similar to the border used on 'Iris' and in other variations! These will, and are working their way to the front seat. Most if not all of my projects that are in the 'wall' and other non standard applications of quilting genre have their roots in a larger piece of quilt design that has been halted for one reason or another.

Hum.. I get the feeling I am repeating myself. Is it possible I am saying it again as I have in my previous posts speaking to my application of scraps, colorways, etc.? Heavy sigh, well there is a lot to be said about realizing your telling the 'same story' over again! If I'm going to be narcissistic I better be aware enough to not apply the same evidence on too many repeat occasions!

I called the Intercity Transit trip planner this morning and can get from home to the Seattle Convention and Trade Center (actually approx a 2 block walk from) in 2 hrs 15 min for $7. I am entertaining taking the bus to spend the afternoon at the PNQF! The return trips, the last two depart at 4:38 or 6:38, probably a max of 3 blocks from the Center. I'll have to drive to the Transit Center and leave my car downtown for the day, but Sunday parking is free down town. And the transit worker said she parks her car in the vicinity and has never had an issue. Geeze, think I've covered all the bases! I am cautious about the amount of walking I will put myself through if I chose to go, a significant decision... okay, I think I have wandered far enough off the quilting train into transportation! (trains of thought weave their way together of their own accord on occasion!)

Enough playing with words! I think it would be a blast to go to the quilt show, even alone! Not something I would have entertained 5 years ago... interesting!

I am still knitting. I've finished 3 pieces, yet to sew final seam but am thinking I will decide if it is to be something and what later! I'm in the just make it, it's quite meditative and at the moment I am in need of such distraction. I am off to get a few things underway!

Bright Blessings!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Too Tired to Muse

I have had a very busy few weeks at work! It is a great thing I love my job! However, I don't love when it limits the time I have to play with fabric!

When my energy level goes down limits my ability to play with my textile/quilting/beading projects and I can get bogged down in inertia, then nothing I have 'in progress' will talk to me, and new stuff wants to crowd in on design time, but not move to fruition 'cause ... you guessed it (!) I'm too tired!

In the last month I did accomplish completing and listing my 'full' submission to the Etsy EAST Street Team (Earthpath Artisans Street Team, search East Team on Etsy) Gypsy Challenge! I have listed all 12 ACEOs in the Gypsy Rose series in my Etsy shop! (Link in side bar!)

When the doldrums's hit I found myself wandering in a local $ store (retail therapy!), I picked up several skeins of inexpensive 'fun fur' type yarn for possible application in future projects. They were very unique looking and soft. The latter not being a necessary consideration for my textile art (unless I use it for future meditation focus dolls or items... humm, once again, brain storm is never ending! LOL); I found myself wandering to an activity I did for years, but haven't done in years!! Knitting! So I indulged in the fondling of fun fur and knit a single scarf from one skein. I have always followed a pattern in the past but I want to mess around a bit now. Going to make a few single skein length and sew them each into mobius strips. They look nice over neck once and even more unique and fun turned to wrap twice! So I will build an inventory of scarves. Odd as I did not ever see myself going there. But it is a perfect use of my time while having a regular night out for pizza and a movie with friends! Much easier than bringing the beading along, less complicated and I can get a bunch more done! Less focused energy needed in the current knitting projects. It will be my endeavor to not follow a pattern again, to any more of a degree than general dimensions, perhaps. Following a pattern, much like with cross stitch, is a very specific and focused way of expressing myself by only executing an other's designs. Many, many hours of restful, therapeutic enjoyment on hand work that was intended for gifts and personal use has given me the skills and confidence, no doubt, to express myself the way I do. I'm unsure of what will be done with the scarves, they seem like nice gifts though! And I could sell them at the Fall Arts Walk as another of my 'creations'. We shall see!

Anyway, I have finally decided on the next border application for Gypsy Rose in Blue, it sure took long enough! I have the strips cut and I'll get them applied as soon as I get myself off this confounded box!

My June Challenge for Etsy FAST (Fiber Artist Street Team, search EtsyFAST Team) themed - Heroes, though not completed in time to 'post' as an entry, has begun the beading, still in progress. I am enjoying playing with design element in my head! :)

I have selected a pallet of fabrics for the inset of a new dress I am designing with Fabric my mom sent home with me! I made a new dress with one length of fabric (a nice seersucker plaid in mint greens) my mom sent home and got the 'nice' comments at work! I have also finished a 'unique' dress with a bargello front piece and an odd skirt. Conan's input: "It would be okay to wear to like say, a Ritual or an outing, you know, with friends. I don't think it's work attire." [or something very similar, he is very capable if telling me exact wording.] My very observant son! I did tell him that if I hadn't questioned the work wear ability I wouldn't have necessarily have asked him and I appreciated his input! I am currently considering deconstructing the dress and making it into something else! :)

I am still thinking destash my inventory of unfinished projects, at least a few! However, now that I have allowed myself the indigence of knitting, and clothing construction (Note how I discuss in terms NOT connected to my 'textile/fiber art', *smile* then It isn't breaking my purpose!)

I added a new RSS feed to the side bar, directing visitors to Etsy. I think it may be a promotional potential as it has something to do with increasing Google search bot to pick up etsy for handmade goods, I think! So it can increase traffic to etsy and potentially then my shop. Seems like a long shot, but I am committed to put some time in to promoting myself, I think it is the necessary energy drain to get me work selling so I can buy what ever materials I want to play with ! SMILE - my true motivation for selling my wares in the first place! :)

Okay, I'm off to play!

Bright Lammas Blessings to all, may your harvests be bountiful!