Thursday, May 29, 2008

Off The Beaten Path

I started walking again now that the weather is finally starting to turn warmer - gee it's only end of May!! But I was not in the mood to stay on the walking path and decided to venture onto some of the horse paths. I also remembered to take my camera.

First stop was the bridge over a section of the Des Plaines River. Stupid me forgot that it had rained so much and the ground still hadn't dried out. So the area under the bridge was a squishy, slimy mess. Thankfully I didn't get stuck but did discover that my shoes are a.) not waterproof and b. ) have holes forming where the sole meets the shoe. Ugh!

Clearly I was not the only idiot attempting to check things out.

So I walked down a little further - clearly the shoes were ruined so let's go for broke.

I am so glad I did! This is along a bend in the river.

This was the newly redone bridge over the river along the horse path. I'll bet those horses are happy they can cross over rather than through. That water is still mighty cold!

And then this guy walks right out in front of me! Hey if you are going to cut me off, then stop so I can get a great shot! Clearly he doesn't speak human. Bummer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cyber Fyber Round II

I saw a posting by Arlee Barr about Cyber Fyber on the Fiber Arts/Mixed Media website. So I decided to check it out.

Well it turns out that Susan Lenz is hosting an international postcard and ATC swap. You have to look through the postcards or ATC's posted and pick one out you love. Contact Susan by leaving a message on that postcard and send her an email. Once she responds, you get that postcard or ATC and info on sending her one in return. She then marks that postcard as Trade Being Arranged. I picked number 240 and received it yesterday!!

Here it is!

And in return, I sent my going green postcard challenge postcard. I finally finished it because my honey bought me a new sewing machine!!!

The best part is - she's going to exhibit all the postcards and ATC's together in January, 2009 at a gallery in South Carolina. Good luck Susan!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Latest Art Addiction

Ever have one of those days when you want to create but don't know what to do? Have you ever gone into a slump and need to find a way to kick start your creative juices? Well I had the same problem. It wasn't for lack of ideas, I just needed to create but didn't want to work on any of my projects. Sketchbooks were always a problem for me because I had a tendency to try to bring each idea and sketch to a final piece. Kind of defeats the purpose of a sketchbook doesn't it. Well Quilting Arts Magazine and Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine periodically run ideas for sketchbooks so I have found myself sketching in them more.

On the right are the sketches from the viewfinder onto tissue paper. After blowing them up on the copy machine (left side) I glue these onto pages in my sketchbook to create new and interesting pictures/designs.

The other day was my big, creative breakthrough day! I found an old piece of cardboard I had cut to create a viewfinder. It was out of white cardboard and the center opening was 2" x 5 3/4". I started dropping it over books with pictures and saw some interesting shapes. I became very excited. I hunted down some tracing paper and started sketching around the shapes in the viewfinder. I was able to get about 8 pieces on one sheet of the tracing paper!

Next step was cutting them out and enlarging. I blew them up on a copy machine (yes we actually have one in the house!) to 180%. Then I cut them out (you only get one per sheet this time). Next came the truly inspiring and fun part. Ok I might be just a little addicted - not as bad as that chicken guy - but close! You need one 8 1/2" x 11" spiral bound sketchbook, a glue stick and a pencil.

This picture was created from an outline of small sailboats and their masts.

These were from a small detail of a building. Reminds me of vases or maybe a musical instrument.

Another from a part of a building. Looks like jello molds.

Small architectural detail that was made into it's own building. Reminded me of Dorthy and the Wizard of Oz.

I started playing with the pieces and gluing them onto pages in the sketchbook. Then I started gluing two different ones to the same page. I cut pieces up to create comic book type pages! I started seeing a picture out of roots and created an entire cross section view of a pond from the lily to the bottom of the lake. I could see an art piece developing from this. Small mini pieces put together to create an entire picture.
Wow! Once I started I couldn't stop myself. I have started carrying it with me to piano practices to work on while waiting. After burning myself out on the gluing. I pulled out the pencil. Now I had to create pictures out of the shapes on the pages. I sketched and came up with some really fun and interesting designs. All you have to do is start extending the lines from the photocopy to create a new picture. Who knew a forest could develop out of small sailboats and masts.

This was a cross section of a part of a fish. I created a fish and bubbles hiding in the seaweeds.

This was an outline of some plant. I made two copies and glued them bottom to bottom and connected them to create a plankton looking piece.

This was from roots and a rock. I made two copies. I glue one to the bottom of the one page and the other to the top (reversed) on the next page. Then connected together. I colored with oil pastels and watercolors. Reminded me of a cavern under the water.

I glued different sized pieces to two pages. It creates a picture but is broken up into different sized squares.

I colored some of them in with colored pencils, watercolors and oil pastels. I think I may actually have some new and interesting pieces that will come from these experiments. Who knew working in a sketchbook could be so much fun?!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Colors of the Wind

I am so excited! I finally get to post my quilt to my blog for everyone to see. This is my entry for the "Voice That is Great Within" challenge hosted by Annie Copeland and Michelle Verbeeck. We were challenged to create something that shows what makes us tick creatively. I had to think about it for a good month and then actually did a sketch.

I drew out my design on white cotton fabric using watercolor crayons. I added the water to blend. I love the happy accident for the face! Once dry, I heat set it with an iron and then fused purple organza (from my friend Christine - thanks!!) into the head to create the hair. I machine quilted to create more of a hair like appearance. I hand quilted the sky and grass. I added beads to create more of a field of flowers. The large flowers were from a beautiful orange/pink batik. I cut out the shape, sewed together, turned outside and then added detail with purple thread. I hand stitched down, added beads and fibers.

My piece is about my creativity spiking when spring hits. The colors from the sky, flowers and nature are very inspirational for me. The head is representational of coming out of my winter slumber to enjoy the weather outside once again!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Collage Mania II

Two very exciting things are going on! First, my collage piece "No More Time" is one of six featured collages in the May/June issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine hitting the newsstands today!! Pokey Bolton, editor in chief of CPS and Quilting Arts magazines squeezed this article into the current issue so that it would appear before Collage Mania II starts. Which leads me to the second exciting piece of news. Collage Mania II starts on May 5th and 6th with all the proceeds being given to American Cancer Society. There are about 235 collages for sale from over 100 artists internationally. This is being hosted by Virginia Spiegel

Please take a look at all the wonderful pieces being offered and see if something strikes your fancy. You can get some cool artwork and give to a worthy cause at the same time. Remember Mother's Day is May 11th!!

Sorry if there are typos and bad grammar. I'm doing this while on hold with the Illinois Tollway Authority!

Trees Again (and some fishes)

Finally had a chance to experiment with the last three stenciled trees and fishes. This time, I just stenciled trees with black dye and aloe vera gel. Yesterday was semi nice outside so I decided to dye the backgrounds with setacolor. I liked the results. I think I may have the trees out of my system for a while!

Meanwhile, this is Madelyn's latest design/art project. She surprised Steve and I with "I Love You" cut out of paper and laid out on our kitchen floor. Remember she is only in kindergarten so the spelling isn't exact yet but she is making amazing progress!!