Thursday, February 28, 2013

Medallion Paint Bucket

On my work table: Grouting finished. Ready to plant.

Thoughts on design: I'm particularly liking the four rows at the top that weigh down the medallion and the uneven fill-in tiles.
Order and disorder.

I just heard of a place that sells real grouting and tile glue not too far away. Looks like I'll be testing out some new materials soon. I'm wondering about durability. The portland cement certainly seems to hold up well for the outdoors.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2 To Go

Oh, man, look at all those leaves. I feel like I'm wading through the mire...
But oh, so beautiful...
Yesterday, I heard Ellen Anne Eddy talk about thread painting. She said that she would probably stitch a shape first then cut it out and sew it to a background to avoid the rippling. Ok, that must be the official way to do it, but I've been thinking that it would annoy me to work like that because I like working with the whole surface. I'm probably putting up resistance because I don't want to change my techniques. I know that the rippling (usually buckling in my case) will all quilt out.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Paint Bucket

Finally finished gluing the medallion-theme paint bucket. 
I use a glue labeled "contact cement," which I get locally.
Now for the grouting. I use portland cement mixed with some sand and a black coloring to darken it. Seems to work. My rule is simple: I've got to be able to obtain materials locally. And if I can recycle, all the better.

Looks like we might have some sun today. Fortunate because now I'm going to go pick grapefruits for market.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Bit of Sun

The temperature hit the mid-60s today with some sunshine, which inspired me to finish a plant container for my garden. I've been gluing it together for several days.

All recycled stuff: bamboo from the garden glued to a 2-liter plastic water bottle cut in half. The tie is from the seams of a flea market garment cut apart. I have a whole sack of seams.

It's not planted (despite appearances) so I'll go do it now before the weather turns cool and rainy again.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wing Cloth Center, 5

This could possibly take another 50 posts. I'm spending around 3-4 hours a day stitching (usually at night). But after all, one does not count time on something like this.
I've never had such a woven look. Usually the strips in my mazes flow in the same direction so that they become entwined and tangled. Here the strips are either vertical or horizontal. 
I hadn't planned on making the wings so wide and extending beyond the blue sky, 
but they seem to be taking over.

Linked to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wing Cloth Center, 4

Inching along everyday....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

3 To Go

The big segments test my patience and my machine motor...
yet their beauty pleases me.
Thoughts on palimpsest: 
the sleeve of a man's white cotton shirt (the base fabric) retains its presence by its shape. fabrics have the patina of me.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wing Cloth Center, 3

Inching along......
and enjoying it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

4 To Go

Yeah, this is the final countdown.
A top branch, leaves reaching to the sun.
Of course, the last four segments are the biggest--I shouldn't get too excited.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pink-Red Minimal

I picked a Valentine for Valentine's Day, one that I could stitch on. And I worked on it a bit and blogged about it over at MulticoloredPieces. The original piece begun around 15 years ago looked like this:

A small publicity design in a magazine inspired it, which I re-discovered in an old sketchbook when putting order in my "stuff." Dated Aug. 1997.

For a long time, I was unable to admit the source inspiration; I felt like I had stolen another artist's idea. However, I now see that my piece has taken on a life of its own. Other design ideas have shown up in my journal where I scribble down creative thoughts. Just playing around with the design elements. Lots of possibilities...hmmm, maybe I should finish the first one.

I'm now doing reverse appliqué into it: 
                                                                  1) Series of circles.

    2) Free form elements.
   3) Bean-shaped forms.
Excavating: And as I stitched, I remembered:
The flaming arc on Geraniums from My Garden came from the trimmed striped forms of Pink-Red Minimal. Funny how one thing leads to another.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

7 Down, 5 To Go

With this segment, I've finished all the small ones.

Testing out an arrangement.
Not exactly what I'm looking for. 
("And what exactly are you looking for?" 
"Good question. A tree 'look', I suppose." 
"And how can you achieve that?" 
"No idea. All I know is that I don't want it to look like someone else's tree or a standard tree. I want to give the impression of a tree in a different way. A sort of meditation on the wonder of pomegranates." 
"Hmmfff. Good luck with that...")
Sorry for the intrusion of the inner critic. I can usually keep it muzzled and stuffed in a box with a padlock. The big segments will give this more weight and consistency.

Linked to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

6 Down, 6 To Go

If I weren't immersed in this idea, I would be chomping at the bit about now.
I can barely keep the countdown straight--turns out I have 12 segments, not 11.
Ok, this pomegranate still makes me happy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wing Cloth Center, 2

Just inching along...
The beautiful burgundy fabric ravels easily, but is soft,
thus easy to sew as long as I don't try to do any fancy cuts into it. 
I can't say it enough: my number 7 milliner's needle does all the turning and with a smile. 
The needle and I are one.
This is fairly easy stitching as there are only three to four colors.

Monday, February 11, 2013

5 Down, 7 To Go

The weather's cold and rainy, so it feels good to stay inside and work on pomegranates.
Pomegranates make me happy, at least my sewn ones.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Red Line, 2

This sketchbook page requires more documenting. The stitching of the man was first.
I played with pulling threads to create a fringy effect on the mustache 
and the grass.
I found working with the glue stick efficient, easier than pins with such small pieces. Got a few bubbles, in the face, for example. Note to self: try ironing it all out to get rid of bubbles before stitching.
The writing was, as usual, an adventure. I penciled it in first. Don't know that it will ever get better, but, I kind of like the unevenness of it. Triangles again. In this case the shattering effect.
Excavating: The idea of a childish figure that represents something horrendous comes from War Games I: A Study in Contradiction (Dec. 1995), inspired by the first Gulf War.

Still on the drawing board, another piece about the 2011 Libyan mess will have similar imagery. Unfortunately, this theme may continue for some time.

Being surrounded by emotional people, I do my best not to cry. Someone's got to hold things together and calm everyone else down so we don't slip into mass hysteria. Art helps to keep a grip. However, the political assassination of a courageous man brought tears to my eyes...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wing Cloth Center, 1

Just wanted to sit and stitch, not think about anything but stitching....

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Red Line, 1

For some things, one cannot remain silent. A difficult subject has arisen and requires attention. And so I have turned to my textile sketchbook/journal. I first used a glue stick to attach the base fabric to the sketchbook paper then the small pieces to the base fabric.
Then, the stitching began.
The blue triangles represent a shattering. A red line has been crossed. 
Tunisia is on the edge...There will be a News Update over at MulticoloredPieces later today.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

4 Down, 7 to Go

For some reason, this one just didn't want to be finished. Lots of leaves, I guess.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

3 Down, 8 To Go

The countdown keeps me on track.
Getting some distortion in the base fabric, which adds interest. 
Testing out some layout possibilities with what's finished so far.
All in all, I drew right branches and left branches, high branches and low branches. 
It will be like putting together a puzzle.

Monday, February 4, 2013

An Adrenalin Rush

There's a reason why I call my method of appliqué "extreme" needle turn. Doing the first cuts on the center of the Wing Cloth was high adventure.
I folded back the uncut pink and brown to get them out of the way.
Only the center corners are attached by appliqué. This remains tentative, nothing pinned down yet. 
Of course, the possibility of absolute failure adds to the adrenalin rush...

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2 Down, 9 to Go

I finished a second segment of

The leaves go faster and I'm trying to loosen up on the machine while drawing the sketch lines.

I ripped away the newsprint from the back.

For practical reasons, any hand stitching I add will be only to the background...too much paper remains behind the pomegranates and leaves.

Then I tried laying the
segment on the background, which will eventually be sliced and sewn back together.

Or at least I'm now testing the background. It could change, but I'm rather liking this.

I find brown an interesting color to work with. It can go from rather cold and gray to rather warm and orange-ish.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Abstracted Pomegranate, 3

Finished a page for my textile sketchbook/journal.
I'm tempted to add hand stitching into the green background, maybe doodling. However, I will resist. First of all, my rule for the textile sketchbook is speed (relative). Secondly there's rather a lot of paper on the back that would require picking out. Thirdly, I like the simplicity of the design.
The red background fabric, although mostly covered, still has a presence. The red extensions make me think of new scientific theory, which suggests that all living things have an energy field around them, a sort of aura. I like the idea of auras. That is, we extend beyond ourselves in some sort of ephemeral way.