Sunday, January 25, 2009

Time Warp

It is amazing how quickly 6 weeks can go! I have been busy but unfortunately not creatively constructive beyond the knitting and crocheting I am doing to keep me from going looney tunes! :) I have been collecting yarn from trips to the local thrift stores and big discount stores. It is hard to resist a $1 skein of yarn! I decided it would make sense to list these creations in my Etsy Shop as I don't seem to be creating anything else. I made a cowl for my daughter while she was here. She picked out the yarn from my stash and she really liked the results. I have to say, I picked up that particular lot of yarn at the thrift store. It is wool, mohair, silk, and another fiber I don't immediately recall. It was 'made in... ' France or Italy. I collected it while I was still only collecting fibers to use as embellishments, a good way to end up with a fun stash! However, there were 5 or 6 skeins of obviously expensive quality yarn. I didn't like the yarn, beyond a possible embellishment opportunity, and struggled for quite a while whether to purchase the lot of them. Ever the bargain hunter, I picked them all up, not knowing how I would ever use so much of such an ugly yarn, but it sure felt soft! So, you can now imagine my surprise when this was the yarn my daughter requested, and really liked, she thought it would look awesome knit up into a cowl. I shared my opinion of the yarn and we all laughed, my son chimes in amidst the chuckle to say he really, seriously thinks it's an awesome yarn and wouldn't mind something out of it himself. It still makes me smile! I am reminded to listen to the little voice that knows, and just 'Believe' a simple word, a simple concept, a powerful reality.

I have been playing with making dollhouse quilts, little 1/12 scale quilts, pieced, quilted, possibly embellished. I have been struggling with a best fit traditional block combination, rejecting every one systematically, wanting to find the one I could construct with the least amount of effort. That hasn't really been a fun way to brainstorm creatively, once again reminded that finding a 'production product' may not be the way my work as an artist will go! So maybe what I ought to be thinking, not the typical turn of the century dollhouse, but perhaps a more resent history, style. I wonder if there are people out there designing 1960's & 1970's wear for miniaturist? What would I want on my bed? My second thought, it is small art, and can easily become equip with a small hanging sleeve or hoops, an easy alteration to make in a timely manner. It needs to be designed in scale, can be bold and bright and big, but first appealing to a small audience of 5" dolls! :) There's a design challenge and a new size of work. My postcards and aceos have a different focus. Although, could my "trees outside my window" series work as large picture windows for upstairs rooms of unique doll houses? There's an application I hadn't thought of until just now! The leaves might be a bit big for to scale.

Now here's a funny brainstorm. A few weeks ago I picked up a tie dye 'kit' at the thrift store. It contains strips of dye embedded fabric, approximately 1/4 inch wide and a couple feet long. Intended for creating tie dye effects with one application producing multiple colors, even allowing blending of color edges, and a variety of patterns. I suspect I could get effects that look like the batiks being produced today. Could I make dollhouse scale tie dyed blankets, tapestries to be used as 1/12 scale dollhouse enthusiasts trip down memory lane? Much better application than making myself a bunch of t-shirts. Hummm, what size... maybe 7" X 9", that equals 84" X 108" a possible queen/king sized throw. This will be fun to play with. Okay, what about using the awesome rubber stamps I have to make one of a kind Celtic tapestries with images stamped on little tie dyed throws?

I have been looking for a free set of plans, patterns, designs for making a simple dollhouse scale bed. There are several available that require unique construction methods, I don't really want to make miniature furniture. I now value why these small pieces of furniture can be so worth the price charged! I wanted one of those, cut it out of cardboard, paint it, it's done, kind of thing; just to use as a display for any miniatures I come up with. Well, after much fruitless searching on the wonderful world wide web, I took a colleagues advice and went to the library, an option I hadn't gotten to yet! I found several good books on construction of dollhouse scale furniture. The only 'cut it out of cardboard' pattern I have found is for a traditional, to be covered in leather, wing back chair. I could adapt the design, pad the upholstery, some what more reminiscent of my grandmother's chair, and use it to display my miniature 'quilts' over. But, no bed pattern. So I have a mind to design one myself! Maybe see if it is easy and share the silly thing with people looking for the same kind of thing. We'll see how far I let my imagination wander before I actually produce the miniatures as well as the displays!

I have started making several sets of miniature knitting needles. I tried actually knitting on them but was a bit frustrated, so I pulled out my "0" needles and am knitting with embroidery floss! I have seen only 2 other artists on Etsy selling these miniature knitting projects. Thought they might be fun and potentially saleable, we shall see. I am striving to make mine, mine, not just another version of what others are offering. We'll see where my imagination takes me! I'm thinking my scale needle have to be a size 15 or so and the resulting knit ought be lose in construction. Also I ought cut my embroidery thread down to 2 strands to represent a 2 ply yarn, perhaps. Then I had the insane idea of making broomstick lace models, I have an amazingly small hook, just not sure my hands would manage it, that's a challenge!

Well, I have numerous projects in line and a zillion more jumping around in my head, so I will go see if I will let myself create, even if I do have to knit a silly scarf I have currently on the needles, or crochet together a pale green shawl of hairpin lace. Now that would be an amazing miniature scale needle art to try and create!

Just an addition as journals go... I am unsure if I want to pursue a place to show my work during Arts Walk this Spring. I am a bit discouraged, I wasn't really at Traditions, beyond the little corner, and would love to maybe do that again. But I am not sure I want to go and ask, I fear they will say yes because they are nice, not because of my work. I could stop thinking about it as a sales outlet and see it for just what it is, an opportunity to show my work and make connections. The latter hasn't happened yet. I wonder if there is a down town business association... maybe they would reply to an artists inquiry about the best way to approach arts walk? It'd be interesting to hear their response any way! They could share with each other, and other business owners the advantages of hosting an artist, and see if more places would consider showing local work.

Enough! I'm off.

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