Tuesday, May 19, 2015

feeling refreshed

The house is back in order, the garden cleaned up and my studio work progressing nicely. I think.
The last corner of my table cloth project is finished. My good friend Linda, who can cut with scissors like a wizard, helped me with the blue flowers and dots. Linda cut them out and ironed them on and stitched a bit before handing it back to me. I am so grateful, because really and truly, I can't cut well at all and I wanted this flower to look crisp.
For those who are seeing this for the first time, the piece began life in one of Karen Ruane's online courses. Others were using hankies, I had two old pillow cases I wanted to make use of.

I am very happy with the out come. Only trouble is the darned thing is so old and fragile that where on earth can I put it? I might have to add a large bow and wear it as a cape along with my tiara on my birthday week.

This little piece was begun before I went to England. I meant to bring it with me when I attended Karen's real time, in person class in London, but I had it mostly finished before the date arrived.
 Since being home I have added the lace and ruffle on the bottom edge and a few minor details. I'll back it during the summer when I need easy tasks to have with me when we go to the camp.
This piece began sort of by accident. I had cross stitched the blue bird on a scrap with no real intention, and a year ago embroidered the gold flowers as an idle pass time.
 I often have plops of fabric lying about on the floor and scuffing through them leads to colour or texture combinations that I become inspired by. The gold and blue bits fell onto some white-ish linen and the piece evolved. This is my shake and back method. Start with something, throw it on the floor and see what happens over a few days. No shoes allowed in the studio.

The shake and bake method can be pretty hair raising when I get the paints, pastels and glue out. I am taking a 5 week course with Karine Swenson via Carla Sonheim's blog. (here) The first week's assignments are about lines. First messing about on paper with any drawing tool, then messing about on decent paper with paints. These are 6" x 8" on a very hard paper, and have some qualities I like.
pastels, watercolour from a tube squished on and smeared with a flat edge

charcoal, conte and wet brush through the charcoal

This is a close up of an 8" x 11" on watercolour paper. I like the intersections where I've added the gold marker.

I'm still sewing summer clothes for Steve and myself in an effort to have local, ethical clothin (I know, it ain't that simple). I am happy with this sleeveless tank top. It is meant to go with an orange and white skirt that is a bit louder than I expected. If I made a gold or orange top, I would feel just a little bit over 2000 volts of "See Me".
I've looked all over but can't find any photos of the skirt. I'll have to model it with the top sometime.

This top was a nightmare to sew. It is really very simple but the chiffony fabric is a horror.
the front hem is straight across while the back hem scoops down. There aren't any detail shots because there aren't any that help to redeem the drabness of the garment while on a hanger.
 After finding a fine enough thread, fine needles, using lots of pins, cutting carefully, getting lots of online advice, the fabric still crimped and pulled. There are 7 seams, including two armholes, the collar facing and all the hems and not a bloody one of them didn't need to picked out, redone, or just left to look awful. Worst of all, it has absolutely no hanger appeal. It's just a drab looking piece of fabric. But it looks good on because it drapes beautifully. I haven't figured out how to take a decent self photograph with this camera so I'll have to wait to show you.

In the works are a green shirt for Steve, a shirt dress and slip for me, several tops for me and a bedskirt. I hope those experiences are a little less horrible. So yup, I've been busy.

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