"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ongoing and Future Projects, Plus the Finished Scarab Necklace

There is a project I really want to start which involves embroidery and beading on a Goodwill find jacket. The problem is, the design is complicated, and the jacket is dark purple Ultrasuede. Tying to transfer a labor-intensive Elizabethan design onto the said dark fabric, which has a nap, is something I still haven't quite figured out. I will, eventually, but for now, I am playing with this stenciled design for a sweatshirt.

I bought the midnight-blue sweatshirt at the Goodwill for $3.99. It is a nice heavy one, and in very good shape. A lovely blank canvas. The rose T-shirt was one I bought at the Gap years ago. It was faded a bit and the neckline had gone all funky. But, the rose-pink was on the blue side of pink, not the red site, so it was a perfect for the dark blue sweatshirt. I don' remember where I bought the stencil. It could have been at Home Depot in the paint department, JoAnn's, or Micheal's. The paint is an old pot of Lumier pearl blue, but was so old that it had almost turned to paste. I added water, stirred it like crazy, added more water, stirred like crazy, repeat...until I got it usable. Barely. However, because it was so old, the "pearl" effect on the knit is patchy. I ran into the same issue when I used some old gold Lumier on the Crown Bolero. But, I like the effect. It gives the stencil design a bit of texture.

So, here is how it went.

The rose Gap T-shirt cut in half, with the stencil painted on. The white lines are made with soap.

The top photo is truer to the color of the shirt. The second photo makes it look a yucky peach, which it is not. But you can really see the patchy effect of the paint.


The stencil pinned to the sweatshirt.  The top two photos of the shirt were taken in my garage, where my work table is, and where the light is better. The bottom one was taken in my dinning room, where my sewing machine is set up. The light isn't as good, but the colors photo truer. I also noticed that the design is a tad off center, so I will have to adjust a tad and re-pin it.

I will stitch around the pattern, then trim away the pink material from the edge, so the finished design won't be square, but rounded like the stencil. After that, I will add accent stitches around the whole thing. I had originally intended to make this a reverse applique by cutting out the larger parts of the design so the dark sweatshirt would show through, but changed my mind. Mainly because with the blue paint, I didn't think the reverse applique would show up very much. I'll just go crazy with beading inside those shapes instead.

So, that's the project that is going to keep me busy while I try and figure out how to deal with the purple jacket.

Along with getting this sweatshirt thing going, I finished the Scarab Necklace. Again, lousy photo, taken in my garage with the best lighting I can get at the moment (outside it is dark and raining). The scarab was part of a broken necklace in a  box of jumbled, broken stuff I bought at least a year ago. I really liked him, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with him, so he has been sitting in my stash for all this time, waiting for me to make up my mind. While looking for something else I came across  him again, took him out, set him on my work table, and contemplated him for a few days. Well, I thought, he's got this Egyptian vibe going, so let's play with that, without going all Cleopatra.

The necklace is made of all kinds of bits and pieces...rock chips, coral chips, black glass beads, turquoise chips, red crystals, and frosted glass blossoms. The large copper jump rings were in a tube of copper rings meant for either electrical work or plumbing. I don't know which, as my husband found them somewhere and brought them home for me. I also wanted to play with the contrast of "silver" wire and the copper. The thin copper wire was a pain in the butt to work with, but if I did two layers of wrapping, it looked really kewl.

The necklace is choker length, which tends to be my favorite. I am going to try and get much better photos of this piece, as you really can't see the lovely colors very well in these.  But it does give you an idea of how it came out.

So, that's what's in the works, and that's what just got finished. Another project lurking at the back of my brain involves a pattern for a short kimono I bought back in the 70s. I made one back then and wore it out. I am thinking of making it again, out of linen, and doing a jellyfish applique/beading/stitching design on the back. Pinterest has some amazing photos of jellyfish, that got me all fired up to try that kind of design. Also, I happen to love jellyfish, and could stand for hours, totally hypnotized, in front of the jelly tanks at the Newport, OR Aquarium. Actually, Robert has had to drag me away from them on several occasions, I got so mesmerized.

Anyway, that's what I have in store for the winter...well, except for the make-your-own-rubber stamp kit I want to order from Amazon, and the jelly printing I want to try (which has nothing to do with jellyfish, thank goodness), and the SCA costumes I want to make for both  Robert and myself, and working in my art journals, and doing more drawings, and...and...well, you get the idea.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Journal Pages 3 & 4

Never fear, I am not going to inflict every page of this journal on you, but these first pages, as I start, have all been quite fun, and not dark, brooding, or depressing at all. This comes as some surprise to me, as I usually go into a funk at the start of winter, and don't come out of it until the sun comes back, sometime in May. And if you wonder why I live in a place where it rains half the year, I can answer, "Because for my husband, his funk starts in April or May with the coming of the hot summer, and doesn't go away until October, when the rains come back." Well, they do say opposites attract.

For the last year or so I have been in a Turkish/Persian mood. I think seeing a photo of a beautiful patio with hanging colored-glass Turkish lanterns may have started it, but I'm not sure. I have since bought a large etched-brass platter that came with a folding wooden stand, so I use it as an end table in the living room. Suddenly the cushions on the deck took on more color and pattern. A few months ago we drove up to Eugene, OR to cruise through the Cost Plus World Market store, where I bought a few very small colored glass lanterns, for out on the deck. I also came home with a jar of apricot and cilantro tagine sauce, which I used to cook a chicken with in the crockpot.It was wonderful!

It's all gotten a little crazy, and so far I am still on a roll, having borrowed two Moroccan/Turkish cookbooks from a friend. I now make my own hummus and tagines, want to have my hands henna painted, and have long been addicted to couscous.

Which is why my journal pages seem to be more about exploring than anything else. I guess while the fog rolls in, the rain pours down, and the dark settles in over the house, I can dream of Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, or anyplace else on the planet where the sun is shining.

The cowboy was the last thing I added to this collage, other then the title of Modified Plan. That came from the fortune I saved from a fortune cookie, "Be prepared to modify your plan. It will be good for you", which seemed to fit the whole idea. It's as if the cowboy and the intrepid lady on the motorcycle are trying to get back to each other. Maybe she packed the wrong map?  I think the cowboy's horse knows the way, but he's not telling.

I am tossing this in as well. It is the start of the scarab necklace I am going to make. The scarab was part of a broken necklace I found in a box of junk jewelry I bought a few years ago. I've been thinking about the scarab for quite a while, wondering just what I wanted to do with it, and now I think I am ready to play. Playing means things could change—a lot—between now and when it's finished. Photo is a little dark, but that will be the story of my life until I get off my lazy butt and make a photo light box. Oh, and that's not a hair in the photo, that's a line of marker bleeding through from the other side of the paper the piece is on. That shadow...yup, that's my fat head.


And apologies for the sudden shift from left-centric text to centered. Blogger decided that, and for the life of me I couldn't get it to stop!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Journal Pages 1 & 2

Okay, so the Introvert Chronicles is up and running. Well, it's started, anyway. With the weather still rainy, I have the perfect excuse to play, not that I really need an excuse. But if it's sunny and warm outside, I feel guilty about staying inside.

These first pages are pretty simple, and I hope to keep most of the rest of the pages the same. Might not always happen, but that's the plan.

Page 1 is the back of the cover, which is only heavy cardboard. Not something I can slap paint on, so the whole thing is collage. Again, LOVE Pinterest. A never-ending cornucopia of designs, maps, photos, etc., etc. I just make sure I don't use the artwork of someone else. Only vintage stuff, or copyright free.

Page 2 was my first time in ages playing with watercolor washes, using an old set I discovered while cleaning out art supply bins. I probably bought the set back in the 80s, but I brushed the spider webs off, and so far the little cakes of color still work fine. The page is about a documentary we watched recently on bees called "More Than Honey." It was very interesting, but sad as well, to know how fast the bees are dying, worldwide. I talk to all the bees in my garden..."Hi, it's just me. No worries."...and I have never been stung.

I do like the way the hieroglyphics seem to be just as busy as the buzzing bees.

So that's my start of the Introvert Chronicles. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Introvert Chronicles

Now that my horse event season is pretty much over, I can go back to drawing, painting, sewing, embroidery and beading. Also, journaling. As I have stated before, I have a love/hate relationship with art journals. I love them, but am not very faithful. Over part of the summer I did a quickie, small-page, slap-and-dash journal that was fun...but still has empty pages. Event season just got too complicated and I just got too tired to play with it.

A while back I popped into Michael's craft store, and they had all of their art journals/sketchbooks/drawing pads on sale. Buy one, get one free. Seemed like a sign, so I bought one 6"x8" sketch book and got another one free. I had already purchased a bigger sketchbook to use for drawings, but these smaller versions are perfect for an art journal.

The covers are bright yellow heavy paper. Not something I could paint over. So I cut up an old collage I had done at the end of last winter, and that I didn't really like (I had just slapped stuff on paper to get back in the groove of playing with paint and collage, so it was never meant to "be" anything), cut out a corner of it which I thought worked with the title I had decided on, "Introvert Chronicles."

Haven't done anything but the cover, yet, but am looking forward to filling it with whatever catches my fancy, or with whatever angst I am feeling at the time. I might post some of the pages, if they aren't too personal or depressing! Mainly I hope to fill it with a lot of ideas for beading and embroidery as well as drawings and more collage. My main concern is to keep it from getting WAY too serious or complicated ,which usually happens, and is usually why I've walked away from so many other journals.

So here is the cover of the Introvert Chronicles. I still don't like the bright, in-your-face yellow coming through, so may end up trying to paint it and hope the cardstock doesn't crinkle. We'll see.