Posted in Art, baraka, creativity, surface design

Starting Point

Am I finding an approach to creating art (in whatever medium) that works for me?

Were my struggles and basically dropping out of the design class I had wanted to take for so long all Hosni Mubarak’s fault?

Or am I just more of a verbal person than a visual one?

This is a mind map related to the piece I’m just starting.  So many things seemed to come together in synchronicity.  When I tried to think about drafting a blog post on these topics, my thoughts shot off in a zillion directions.  Each bit seemed to make sense standing along but I couldn’t organize my thoughts into a cohesive whole.

And here is the beginning — more pix will follow as the work progresses.  I want to create Moebius strip, so tested this concept with kraft paper (a gift from our lovely apartment manager who found a big heavy roll abandoned in a vacated apartment)

I cut and folded a strip to make a double thickness, since there will be batting inside the finished piece.

Then I twisted it into a Moebius strip to test the concept.  This will also serve as a mockup as I continue working on this piece.

Time to cut the Tyvek (from a huge piece I bought at the Sewing Show) and get drippin’!

Not having a studio space where I can be messy, I invented the small-scale paint bag.

and here’s what this work in progress currently looks like, until I can get more white acrylic to keep going!

Posted in Art, creativity, productivity

The one that got away

Well, it REALLY got away!

I was going to post a scan of a coloured sketch done as part of Elizabeth Barton’s Inspired to Design class which I’m currently taking through Quilt University.  But for some reason my scanner decided to make it a TIF file and I can neither post it to the class gallery nor here.

Oh well, too bad.  Here’s another sketch, based on one of the National Geographic photos of bees’ nests I blogged about earlier.

Now all I have to do is try and figure out why my scanner has suddenly decided this week to save everything as a .TIF instead of .JPG!

Am certainly learning a lot in this class.  She challenges us to cover our design wall with sketches each week.  My wall is four bifold closet doors each about 24 inches wide and 80 inches tall, so I haven’t yet covered the entire space in either lesson.  I left a lot of last week’s sketches up until yesterday when I realized I needed to be able to contemplate the work I’m engaged in now, so I removed them into a folder.  I was very good and didn’t throw anything into recycling!  Although some sketches were just horrible and never made it to the wall in the first place.

My inner critic works overtime. Maybe I should visualize packing his bags and sending him off to the French Riviera for a long, decadent holiday!  Then I could just say “Get back there and work on your tan!” whenever I hear “That’s rubbish, you can’t draw, just give it to the animal shelter now and be done with it.”

How do YOU turn off your inner critic?

PS:  got it back by playing around with the scanner settings.  This never happened before although I suspect that using grayscale may have something to do with this! The colours are placeholders, not a final decision, just a step along the way, or perhaps a step off the beaten track, who knows?


Posted in baraka, productivity

New Year, Clean Slate!

Appreciation was the virtue I pulled a day or so ago, reminding me to be more expressive when people do nice things.

So, a shout out to my DD, who is the most organized person in the family.  Here are the “after” shots of my lair, er studio.  No “before” shots are fit to be shared, and that is one hundred percent moi!

As can be imagined, the closet doors do double duty as bulletin board/design wall, soon to be covered with sketches for Elizabeth Barton’s Inspired to Design class through Quilt University.  But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that under all the masking tape and paper there’s actual doors.

My prized write-on/wipe-off globe.  It just sits in the stand so you can put Antarctica on top if you feel inclined.  The ginger jar is modern and I use it to store inspirational concepts, as suggested by Julia Cameron.

Scrap busting pillow and on the bed, Who Moved My Haloumi?  a quilt that has turned out to be oddly prophetic!

Also much appreciated was the tactful way DD accomplished this rebarbative and gargantuan task, non confrontationally and kindly, and without throwing much out (although I know she would probably love to!)  I just trundled back and forth to the recycling bins and the Dumpster with stuff and she tidied and vacuumed away very cheerfully.  Since then, I’ve tidied away a few more bits and pieces and really made an effort to keep things shipshape.  Why, I recycled the remains of one of last year’s calendars (I have to keep two desk blotter sized calendars, one for editing and one for everything else ~ just not quite ready to recycle the work one yet).  I also scrubbed industriously at my whiteboard to try and clean it off.  I hate how whiteboards get messy and you can never quite clean them totally.  Mine is more of a pale green, blue, and pink board these days!

What’s your opinion?  Are creative people more untidy and disorganized than others, or does it just SEEM that way?  It’s one of my biggest struggles in life … please tell me I’m not alone!

Posted in baraka, creativity, stash

Just Magic!

Just Magic! is the name of this wall hanging, which I pieced yesterday and today.  The centre medallion is Spoonflower fabric I had made up from this sketch.

Readers will know I’m not one to avoid a challenge and that I oftentimes bite off more than I can chew.

I’ve decided to go for the WordPress Post A Week 2011 challenge, both here and at my new homeschooling blog, One Size Fits None.  This is very new and still very much a work in progress.

For 2011 the virtue I will aim to practice is Wisdom. Click here for more about the Virtues Project, which emphasizes shared human values and how much we have in common across cultures.

And I picked two slogans:

Just Magic!

and Use What You Have!

Just Magic! is more inspiring and less cliched than Just do it!  It reminds me that there are miracles everywhere and that there is magic in getting things done.

Use what you have is self-explanatory.  I’m using it to refer to knowledge and techniques — to use all the techniques at my disposal as well as the fabrics in my stash.

Now this is not going to be taken to ridiculous lengths.  In the Flickr group when it started (you commit for a month at a time), there were people saying their red pen had run out and they would make do without, a lady who agonized about needles for her sewing machine, and one person who was running a craft business and was still trying not to buy anything.  Not me!

I plan to use stuff up and curb full price impulse buys.  That still leaves garage sales, thrift stores, baraka, trading with friends, and sales at quilt stores, which deserve our support because we need them to be there once the stash is used up, right?

Related to all this, I plan to jot down a list of creative things I did each day.  This would actually make for a very boring blog because it would be all cryptic squiggles and stopping to illustrate each day would not happen.  I started this habit in mid-December and I can see that over time it will constitute a very useful record.

Activities I’m looking forward to:

Elizabeth Barton’s class at Quilt University. Every time it’s been offered, it filled up super fast and I kept missing out.  This class starts on Friday and I do in fact need to do a little shopping ~non fusible gridded interfacing.  Hopefully I’ll have the time to devote to getting the most out of this class and the work at home on my own machine format will be less stressful than the last design class I took, which was not a great fit for me.

Cindy Scraba is coming to our guild in March for a one-day workshop, midweek, which I signed up for.

and at Satin Moon next Saturday Arly Haner is doing a trunk show of scrap quilts, which I’ll be able to attend.

Posted in Art, creativity, journaling

The signs are out there …

This is to remind folks when to empty the dishwasher.   I’ve tried with the magnets that say “Clean” on one side and “Dirty” upside down so you are supposed to twist them around, but it’s easier to slap this on whenever we run the dishwasher.  It’s recyclable because it’s just on heavy sketchbook paper with a loop of masking tape to hold it on.  When not on active duty it lives on the whiteboard nearby.  And when we need a change of appearance, it’s quickly replaced.



Are you ever gobsmacked by synchronicity?  The other day I was browsing through an old copy of Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home (the only magazine for quilters that’s fun to read) when I found an article entitled A GPS for Quilting Creativity.  This is the March 2009 issue.  The wild thing is that I already did this exercise, although I have totally no recollection of having read this article.

Digging through older sketchbooks, I located the pages I’d created, and have now cut them into another sketchbook and personalized the cover.   That way this tool won’t disappear again and will be handy as I want to add to the pages.  For now I’m going to share K. & this is Y: (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!)

Last week I watched a documentary “Real Men Knit” which of course had interviews with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably.  I’m deep in the throes of domino knitting, and the other K is I’ve signed up to take Elizabeth Barton’s Quilt University design class and the artist to whom I look for inspiration is Paul Klee.  (Note to self:  do the prep work before the book is due back to the library and the class starts!)