first you have to have an idea……

Do I want to make a large quilt or just a small picture?  Do I want to paint with paint, watercolor pencil, thread, fabric, inkjet picture, or a combination?

What is the focal point or theme of my piece?  Does that decision alone determine the size and medium?  It has to play a part-some subjects can’t be contained in a small piece, and some demand more free-flowing blends of color.

I’ve never really thought any of this through in the past, I’ve always looked through a book until I found a pattern that sparked a starting point then modified just enough so it didn’t count as a copy.  This is hard!  But, I think if I can learn how to work through these questions on each project I’ll be  a better artist for the effort…

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Just checking in after many months-life continues to change, as expected.  Clay has all been sold, fabric is once again king.  Quilts have taken top priority once again.  I am moving in to an area of quilting I have alway avoided until recently, but now free style quilts seem to be demanding my attention!  Here’s a sample of what I’ve been exploring.  More than that, I have so many ideas of how to sew quilts without worrying about if the points match, if the blocks all line up-there is a freedom of style just calling to be explored.  But work and life keep getting in the way……

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Another year has almost come and gone, another year of trying to sort out who I am, who I want to be, what direction I want to take in life.  The only certainty is that I will retire in 63 months!

I no longer play with clay or fabric.  Pen and paint have captured my attention again.  I just sorted out my paper tonight-one box for watercolor paper, one box for drawing paper.  And both are labled this time!

Gary is down with bronchitis again for the 2nd time in a month-not a good start to the winter.  I’ve had a couple of colds, nothing serious.

Ros is in a nursing home.  We’re very careful not to refer to it as such.  She has dementia, but still has enough cognition to pick up on certain words.  She’s still trying to fill her room to the brim with “stuff”.  No matter how much she has, none of it is the right thing.  None of the clothes or shoes fit, the shampoo is the wrong kind, as is the toothpaste…she’s making Gary and Bob crazy with the phone calls to the point that neither one will talk to her any more.  And that just makes everything worse.

Sandy is pushing the limits of friendship seriously-as she gets older she reminds me more of my mother-her opinion is the only correct one and anyone who disagrees just doesn’t know the “real” facts.  Unfortunately, most of her facts come from Rush Limbaugh and his clan!  It’s gotten to the point that I’ve had to tell her (several times) that we are poles apart on politics and the world in general, and most of the cute little email blurbs she insists on sending me just make me mad.  Some days I don’t even want to talk to her!

But time keeps marching, with no regard to who is ready to move on and who isn’t. 

I have my annual physical next week, and I’m very afraid that I’m going to hear bad news.  I’ve been having a twinge regularly in the area of my right ovary for almost a year, and I wish someone would do what I ask and find a reason to do a hysterectomy!

At least I won’t have to do a big family thanksgiving this year!  Maybe we’ll just have Barb come over for dinner and have a nice long weekend to ourselves!

Wow!  I haven’t been here since June!  Summer is gone, winter is almost here.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I have a house to clean and food to start preparing.

We have a new furry kid-Annie from next door has come to live with us.  Her old house stands empty.  She’s been fun, and a challenge.  She is very good at catching and killing small critters, so we have to watch her when she’s in the yard during the day.  She has moments when you can’t tell if the growl is serious or just play, and she has really big teeth, so care must be taken.

I haven’t posted for a long time, so I thought I should put some notes down about what’s been going on in life since February.

I still play with beads-I have a software program that I use to design loom and peyote patterns with.  I’ve sold a few patterns on a site called The Bead Coop.  I just finished a piece that needs to be framed.  I’ve created patterns with several Kanji symbols.  The one just finished is in two shades of blue, and is the symbol for “calm”.  I want to find a mat for it,  I’m not sure what I’ll mount the piece on yet. Two possibilities are fancy origami paper or watercolor paper that I’ve decorated.  I’d like to frame it to hang in my cube.

I’ve also been playing with my tech pens again, and enjoying it very much.  The pieces I’m doing are all very small-3×3 or 1.5×3-just scribbles mostly-draw some lines, add some dots…..

I’ve discovered a wonderful new toy-beads!  Small sparkly little morsels that I can weave in to all kinds of beautiful things.  Purses and boxes (no surprise there!) would be lovely to create.  I’ve experimented with many stitches, even made a bracelet and a necklace-well, the necklace isn’t quite finished yet, but I have an idea how I want to finish it off to wear.  A strange thought hit me while making the necklace-what will I wear this with?  I don’t wear blouses anymore….

That’s a thought I’m not really comfortable with-I know I’ve been avoiding “nice” clothes because I don’t feel at all attractive.  Why waste pretty clothes on an unpretty person?  And I can’t let myself be sucked in to that negative vortex! 

And as always, it comes back to money!  I don’t have pretty clothes because I don’t want to spend the money on them!  I need to start taking more pride in how I look!

Back to the beads….I love the loom and peyote patterns-there is so much I can do with designing my own charts.  And I’ve got this idea of using beads to create things from crochet charts-one bead = one sc stitch!  Double croched, two beads for the “leg”, one more bead for the space….and filet crochet!  I need to find the Ann Orr book I used to have…….

Here I am, back to thinking of ways to make boxes….I always seem to come back to making little boxes and bowls!  I’ve been beading lately, and just found the neatest book-“Little Beaded Boxes”

And I still have ideas mulling around in my head of ways to make boxes in clay, with bead and cane decorations…..

Maybe I need to start paying more attention to my muse!!

A new dining room set-one that I choose, not one that someone gives me because they don’t want it anymore!

A new stove-preferably a flat top!

A trip to Scotland

A fishing week vacation at a fishing resort-one where I stay in a houseboat!

A trip to Alaska-at least a month

A trip to Canada-another month

Trip to England

To visit Eagle River, MI and see the lighthouse

Where will this year take me?  Or rather, what path will I choose to follow?  I will NOT spend another year sitting back and letting things happen to me-I will make every effort to be proactive rather than reactive.  I’m going to make my own “bucket list”-it may take me years rather than months to get through it, but so be it! 

The clay is talking again-my fingers feel the smooth satin of well conditioned clay, waiting to be formed in to beads, canes, pots…..

There are times I wish I could take the path of the “selfish” artist-put time in the studio ahead of home, family, friends-but somehow I can’t do that.  And truly, I don’t think artists are really that selfish.  I think art needs outside influence-artists need the interaction with others to feed their inspiration.

A new hurdle in the road-the oven died last night!  I think it can be saved-it may just need a new bake element in the oven-only $100 instead of $400-500.  But …….

Do I really have more problems in my life than most other people, or do I just handle them badly?

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