Friday, January 17, 2014

Focus on Fibre Art Entries

Wow!  It sure takes a lot of time and effort entering pieces in shows!   I just loved the theme of this show - Prairie - lots of opportunity for hand stitching!!  I spent the most of my time this week  photographing my work and re photographing my work - wishing again that I had better equipment, lighting and space to take photos.  Because of the weather, I had to take them inside so I opened all the curtains to allow as much natural light in as possible.  Eventually I had enough photos that reflected the true colours of the pieces.   Finally all the applications are completed and it is ready to go.

The following are just small portions of the detail shots I took of each one (a close up of a close up).  As you can see there's lots of hand stitching in two of them and machine stitching in the other.  The skies are painted in two pieces.  Two are stitched over the pieced fabric landscape, the other is stitched over a painted fabric landscape. 

That's all I am able to show you for now.

On another note (a musical one), I brought my necklaces to choir because two members had expressed interest.   They ended up being passed around and I sold 7 of them without really trying.  I was running out (I only brought 10) so they asked me to make more and bring them back.  How encouraging to me when trying out a new item!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I Had an Idea

These tiny landscapes are 1" square
For some time I have had an idea rolling around in my head but needed to do some research to figure out how to do what I wanted to do.   In another life many years ago I made coloured porcelain jewelry.   In fact I layered coloured porcelains and manipulated them to create patterns - checkerboard, swirls, etc.   I also sculpted miniatures into tiny earrings and pendants.   So you could say I like to challenge myself to make things that are smaller and smaller.   Recently I experimented with fabric beads and made a few fabric beaded necklaces which people seemed to like.  I also made some tiny fabric landscape pins which a friend suggested I turn into necklaces.   But I wanted a way to protect the fabric and make them look finished.

Well, I looked online and found tiny metal pendant frames and glass cabuchons.  I ordered a few but wondered just how small was do-able.    I cut tiny bits of fabric, ironed them onto thin fusible craft bond to make the tiniest fused landscapes.  Then I glued them onto the back of a glass cabuchon and glued the cabuchon into the metal bezel 'frame'.

And these 'large' ones are about 1 1/2" x 1"

I looked at several types of glue but was worried about the toxicity of some of them so I ended up using a gel medium to attach the fabric to the glass and a non toxic glue (Weldbond) to attach it all to the bezel.   I made sure the Weldbond came in contact with the glass sides to have a stronger bond.   I have been wearing one to see how sturdy it is and have a few volunteers ready and willing to try them out.  I also purchased a glue called E6000 which was recommended on several sites but I haven't used it yet.  It says to open windows etc when using and the weather here was not condusive to doing that just yet.

Since the fabric is under glass it is protected but it does make it difficult to photograph (again inside because of the winter weather).  The small ones have flat glass and seem to photograph equally well with or without the flash but the larger ones are curved and the light tends to bounce off them so they are better without the flash.

I think I will put some in my Etsy shop but first I have promised to bring them in to choir so people could have a look.  Here they are drying in their little plastic box - just about ready to go...

Next up I am trying to decide which piece(s) to submit to the Prairie themed show (Focus on Fibre Art Association).    They are due in February.  I have four which are suitable and it may come down to which ones can photograph most accurately.  I have some photos already so tomorrow I must tackle the rest and start writing up statements etc.   I really want to prepare something to submit to Quilt Canada as well so I guess I will be busy for the next couple of weeks.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesdays over at the Needle and Thread Network where you can see what Canadian Fibre Artists are doing this week.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Starting the New Year Right!

With fabric of course!  My favourite fabric shop - The Running Stitch - is having their January Sale so off I went this morning with a generous gift certificate from my son.   I had a list but sometimes I am just captured by colour.  I did try to stay within certain colourways since I have a few projects in mind.  I purchased a Gloria Loughman online class on Craftsy before the holidays and I want to work on it this winter.   I also wanted to do a winter themed piece since I tend to shy away from them (not sure why).  But you won't see too many winter colours in this pile of fabric!   I seem to be drawn towards combinations of blues, orange, and purple recently.  I also purchased some fabric to make bags for my work as it travels to shows.   And I am planning on making more fabric beads and pendants.

And now I'm editing my post because I almost forgot to show you the yummy yarns and rovings I bought from Wooltime earlier this week.

New Year's Resolutions?   I have no resolutions to speak of but I will continue to organize and de clutter.   My theme in the past year has been to strive to take care of business (both house business and quilt business).   I got rid of lots of large objects that were stored in my basement, I purchased a furnace protection plan, completed some repairs to my home, traded my aging vehicle, and am working on organizing cupboards - all with the idea that the less I have to worry about the more I can be creative. 

I think it is a good thing to reflect on the year just past and see where we are at.  In 2013, I took part in two successful  shows in Ottawa plus a group exhibit at the local library  My colour challenge piece was exhibited at Wabi Sabi, Fibre Fling and Fibre Fest.  I had a piece in the 'Sacred Threads' exhibition.  I opened my ETSY shop at the end of November.  I am moving forward.

My Tree piece for the SAQA Trunk show is on its way and I plan to enter pieces in a 'Prairie' themed show and  Quilt Canada.   We have a spring show coming up with Out of the Box as well.   I want to keep entering shows but  I am trying to be careful to not take on too much, to pace myself, play, and spend time with friends.    'Living Simply' is my underlying long term goal.

IF I had a resolution (which I don't:) it would be to be more active physically.  Last year was a difficult one healthwise - nothing life threatening but just things that prevented me from exercising a lot.    It didn't stop me from dancing the night away on New Year's Eve.......I think I'll just keep dancing into 2014........

And here's a picture of Dru wearing her christmas necklace (not for long:)