Friday, November 29, 2013

And the score is...

hhmm.  You wanna know something.  I am no good at math and I NEVER keep score in a game or in life.  I am not one of those who shall remain nameless (Cock a doodle do nor first peep peep) who obliterate the accomplished item from not only the initial page but the impression three pages down.  LOL 
I do not count stitches, yardage, hours or finished projects.  And if I am now forced to carry a list to town it is usually to check to confirm I missed a few things when I return home.  ;)

The seasonal accessories are all under their covers.  My stuff is pretty much done except for the paint cans.  I'm waiting on the Rooster to figure out how he wants his spices arranged in the pantry.  :O  Then we'll tackle the tools and paint. I may have some paint for that far back corner which will have a clothes bar set up when the boxes for the kitchen remodel leave.  Feels good.  Move ahead five free jumps!

I did a deep clean  of the upstairs and found some missing fabrics for my wall hanging. I'm think I'm at the miss a turn stage of the game with it as I think and then decide about stenciling or stamping any leaves on it.

If the name of the game is fun, I am advocating this sticky back foam for stamps.  LUV it!  This technique just skips me right into the final round with confidence that I'm a contender for the prize.  :)

I am feeling my points adding up in my copycat journal. Unlike solitaire this involves watching the other player's moves and then that  makes you think about your next move.  Its good.

The year long monthly technique class from Julie Balzer is really helping me understand how to do things.  I signed up for the 12 months of classes and I am definitely getting my moneys worth.

I can have a leisurely play time this evening with my scrapbook layout and reflect on a score that reveals that this week's work was fun indeed!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Playing 101

 Happy Holidays to me!  I went and splurged on a couple of books and some stencils and stamps.  I am actually not much of a game player but I do like playing.

I really like using stencils, masks and stamps. There are some wonderfully talented people making useful supplies and tools.  I do support them as you can see.  lol  I really wanted the Balzer Bits leaf stencil but it must be a hot item because it sold out before I could finish my order. :(    But I have also been studying them and realizing I can make some myself.   I tried my hand at leaves.  File folders, card stock, clear packing tape and mac tac were supplies I had at hand.  I'm familiar with stencils from marking quilting designs and even have some of those kinds of stencils.  I'm not sure I want to use a stencil forever so I am happy at this point to try for something with a shorter shelf life.  But, ah, the logistics of design.  I need to study on this a bit if I want a leaf on my fabric.  ;)

I spurted out too much paint so I tried my new stencil.  In my rush to spread the paint before I ran out or it dried, I sponged lightly. oooh, I like that! 

Foam stamps are quite fun.  I didn't have time for that but I'm thinking I might get a better leaf image with inner spine and outer outline from cutting the sticky back foam into a leaf shape for a stamp.  Maybe tomorrow.  When I have a bit more time I'd like to try carving some stamps.

I am also carefully copying a mixed media tutorial each week so I can improve my skills. Andrea Walford   I am just trying to focus on gaining control and experience with my supplies.  I'm learning what brands, what consistency, what mediums and even which techniques I like best.  My credit card scraping needs work and so does my white space but the benefit of copying shows you where the differences lie and makes you think about what you art doing. I realized I was hurrying again so I stopped before I made a mess I couldn't fix.  I think my mind is on my new books!  lol

LOTS of light fluffy stuff yesterday.  I was game for going out today because I was expecting those game pieces.  Happy Thanksgiving to my neighbours to the south!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wow: What if...

I had been studying the overall look of the fabrics for the wall hanging these last few weeks and I'm pretty satisfied with it.  At least I thought I was!

I started with a hand dyed fabric and coordinating gradients.

Originally I'd thought to do half of the blocks of hand dyed fabric and the other half would be from the coordinating fabric which I cut in three strips and I also saved two narrow strips to divide the three sections.

 Then I started to see a scene. :O  So I started adding some Bali's with leaves.

But I began to wonder what would happen  if  I broke up all the fabric.  Would I get a smoother diagonal flow and spread the focal point over a larger area?  It had started to look a bit like a bulls eye to me.

So moved the flannel backed table cloth from the dining room wall and began to transfer the layout on my new design curtain. 
 The left hand blue doesn't work, too blue.

 The right seems jerky.
I might need to take out that splotchy one that is third down on the right altogether.  ???  I had thought I was happy!  lol

I am still wondering what if...  So I tried a bit more.  Quite fun and I know I can tweak forever sew I'll be doing some final sewing before next Wednesday.

I will press the seams open so I can do some leaf stenciling. What if I made my own stencils and masks!

I really am sewing.  I didn't get the baby quilt basted but the binding is picked out.  I made my three white curtains to cover my stash bookcases and serve as design walls.  I'm delighted to have that done.

I also made curtains for the laundry room open shelving.  I even managed to match up the main horizontal sections in this Ikea fabric.  :)  Once this wall hanging is together it'll be the sitting room sheers.  What if I don't have any more curtains to sew?  lol

I wonder if The Needle and Thread Network participants are also wondering what if?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Game Plan

I have the Rooster moved from surveying his kingdom from the rooftop to peering into the inner workings of the coop.  He is bending down low, surveying the needs of the nest, making his suggestions, getting all the ducks egg shells in a row for dispersal and executing the plan.  We will make our way through the various levels and arrive at the peak in time to meet Spring's arrival!

My job is to kinda stay one step ahead of him so I can point him in the right direction.  ;)

The basement is home to my interests: the laundry, and off season decorating accessories;   his interests:  the pantries, freezers, and all the utensils, bowls and bottles,  pots and pans, etc.  Then there is the no man's land of seasonal clothes,  household tools and repair kits.  The rest needs to leave.  I've been dabbling in the dispersal but I need a more determined disperser.  I won't be squawking too much because I am so tired of moving this stuff around. 

My four bookcases need covers to hide the collection from any dust bunnies and well, just to make folding laundry a bit more fun.  lol   Then we need to reorganize the pantry shelves and get rid of all the extras.  Clear and quick access to what we want is the goal and the challenge is to make things easy to put back in their designated spot. 

Once again I have seriously underestimated all the work involved.  I got a lot sorted yesterday but there is still too much stuff on the floor. :(   Today was to be a sewing day and I am still hopeful but I have a bit more prepping to do since the Rooster made his fly by last night.  Feathers will continue to fly down in the depths and up in the Coop and Saucer Playroom.  The good news is that it is still early in the game!  ;)

Monday, November 25, 2013

In the mood for ...


I always seem to fall into the category of average.

But I took a personality quiz once that was an eye opener for me.  It was Gary Smalley's Personality test which broke the four basic personality types into kinds of animals: lion, beaver, golden retriever and otter.  The surprise was that I was not half of one and half of another like most everything in my life but something like 98 percent otter.  And by golly, it was definitely me.  I found my tribe!  lol

Otter (Sanguine/Influence)
Strengths– Outgoing, responsive, warm, friendly, talkative, enthusiastic, compassionate
Weaknesses– Undisciplined, unproductive, exaggerates, egocentric, unstable
So the best way for me to motivate myself and get things done is to have fun.  These mood boards help me focus on the goal for the week and my blog helps me find playful ways to accomplish them. 

Let the games begin!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

FFF I've only just begun ...

To focus, that is.

Very interesting week.  I've learned a lot.

To do the next thing first requires a focal point.  Charging off is all well and good.  I am really quite good at that.  And I do generate a lot of dust and accomplish things. But to run to a specific and well defined end is entirely new to me.  Ding Dong.  That is me schmucking my head with a rubber mallet! lol

Oh, I do like blogging.  It is my journal, my inspiration notebook, my technique book.  My Learning Book!  whoo hoo!

This week:

I spent a fun day learning a new technique that will put more options in my mixed media arsenal. A day with the focus on finished things and not finished projects was inspiring.  I have things to browse through to finish wips!  :)

 The quilt top and backing for Jolina is ready for basting and quilting. I think she enjoyed herself in class.

I hope she learned good things from her elders.  lol

I learned to go slowly and intentionally.  I redid the technique page in my journal and I have better control with a brush than smooshing with my finger.  I am intrigued to continue the study of lines, grids, and columns.

 I am delighted to post that I finally got those design wall curtains sewn and up!  I'm feeling calmer already.  lol 

Not exactly finished but I did some texture on white card stock.  I need to clean my stencils better.  Then I thought to actually colour the modeling paste.  Now I need to patiently learn how to keep from smearing things!  I don't think you ever really finish learning!  :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

101 Following the Line

As I  study the lines on my paper of things I need to do and consider what comes next I am realizing that line and direction are very much related.  I know line is probably the primary element in design but I hadn't thought much about direction. 

In seeking to "do the next thing first" I realize I am really seeking direction. 

As I study a natural principle I hope that it can be applied practically in my day to day life.

I think the dot is the first element but as I move it I get a line happening.  Aimless doodling can be a warm up but it is more profitable to commit to a direction.  And that direction should have purpose, a focal point, if you will. This crosshatching in thick acrylic paint is all about lines but I don't see a direction.

This week I was thinking I'd walk the line.  Ha! It has been the kind of week for a quicker pace.  I've been breaking into a fast trot! 

I had a full house for Creativity 101 and today I felt like I needed to step up the pace to a run.  :(

For my own study I'm wanting to do some copying so I can learn mixed media techniques.  I won't share the link as this is no testimony to a lovely tutorial.  Haste makes waste.  So I shall knock back to a well paced walk and redo this tomorrow,  paying attention to drying times, controlled splotches of paint, and thoughtful results.  This was a good reminder that I need to enjoy the journey, the process.  I do believe I'm finding a pathway!  Now if I can just hold that line!  ;)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

wow Nina is working

Doing the next thing first meant getting this baby quilt ready for use.

It felt sew good to hear Nina humming away again.  I'd hoped to get my curtains finished that are to hang over my fabric shelves.  They will be my new design wall.  I still hope to get them done by Friday.

I am also focusing on lines and grids.  This is a basic grid formed by regularly sized and spaced lines.  Fast but a tad boring.

The backing for this is lines.  I need to get a little less predictable.  But it needed to match the first quilts for her brother and sister.  I was also thinking regularly used and not heirloom.  lol   Her sister and room mate's quilt is on the right.  I think their room is going to be pink and yellow.  Quilting will be a diagonal of a large wavy stitch.

Discovering that grids show up as columns has been mind altering.  And then there are all the spaces within the lines.  I am quite excited about this and ready to work on the columns for my wall hanging.  I want to break up the larger pieces of fabric.  Getting the flow of light and seeing that as a line showing direction is working.  But I'm wondering about the focal point.   

I am also wondering what The Needle and Thread Network is up to!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The next thing first

I once heard a children's story about a spoiled prince who was sent to live with a dame in the countryside who made her living raising geese.  When he began to be cooperative and asked her what he should do, she said, "Do the next thing first.".  I just thought that so profound.

The problem is that being a procrastinator. I usually operate in crisis mode so I'm not sure what should be next.  I also find routine kinda boring but as I get older I can definitely see its value.

So what IS next?

Besides laundry, that is.  lol

I have some UTEE experiments to analyze.  I want to look at line. I 'get' line but I hadn't quite seen it as direction.  I am realizing I like a grid format but I'm definitely not symmetrical.  So while I was playing I was also thinking about lines, grids, and direction.

First, the UTEE.

I have no melting pot so I want to use stamps and an embossing pad.   That is pretty straight forward with the clear UTEE.  I need to add some coloured glazing but what if the UTEE was coloured?

So...   I needed some alcohol ink but Distress Ink in wild honey appealed so I used that. 

My large foam rubber stamp was really too big for the amount of UTEE I'd made and I began to realize the coloured crystals were a bit damp.  Drying would be good but I was impatient and for the last (top) spiral I pressed the sticky stamp down onto the UTEE.  Better.  But the most fun was using Distress stamp pads and glimmer mists.

The lighter star used squeezed lemonade distress ink and Tattered Angels Chalkboard in apricot.

The darker stars used antique linen and rip tide glimmer mist.

After I swiped the distress pad over the cardboard stars I sprayed with the glimmer mist and let it dry.

I embossed with clear UTEE and then heated it.  Add a second coating of mist.  I added Perfect Pearls, just because, and made sure I had lots of droplets.  Then I reheated the star and the mica kinda sinks into the liquid UTEE.  The dark stars are pretty classy but I also wanted to try lighter effects.

These samples used 3 different distress inks but I was liking the Perfect Pearls mist.  There is a lot of variations for the player.  The colour of the card stock, the stains, the mists, even the UTEE.  Lots of fun and most of what I learned came from googling!  Jennings 644 was especially helpful.

I also googled grids. I use the law of thirds, The Golden Grid, lots.  I can further that by breaking my page into 2" grids, keeping the golden grid in mind.  Very interesting.  But I also discovered that grids can also subdivide a page vertically and horizontally into margins, columns, inter-column spaces, lines of type and spaces between blocks of types and images.

I went searching for this fabulous book I found thrift shopping.  Look at the what ifs....

A good friend, Meredith, has invited me to play along with a Fibre Optics Group in Calgary.  The very next thing on my list is very often playing!  I will be looking forward to Foggy Tuesdays!  :)