Sunday, February 25, 2007

Look, PJ- I can draw!!

Only one more drawing class to go- and I can say that it has been worth it. Not that I'm going to be a Michaelangelo or da Vinci after a six week community ed class, but I now believe something my brother Paul (PJ!) has been telling me for years- that drawing is a learned skill that anyone can do, with teaching and practice.

I haven't produced a lot of drawings, but I'm pleased with what I've done. The little paper smudgy things are wonderful, I never knew you could get effects like I've gotten with that little gizmo! I finished the one of Shannon, and learned a trick for transferring a drawing from tracing paper to drawing paper. I'm getting better at "seeing"- and at least know that's a skill I will continue to develop.

So, here's the two drawings I will probably display for the open house next weekend.

And my completed one of Shannon. Seeing the photo, I think I will be re-working this one. And, I know I didn't get the eyes just right. But, for someone who swore she would never be able to draw, especially people- I think this is a good start.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks weather-wise. We've had gloriously warm days, and then we've had snow. I couldn't resist taking this picture of Sadie, blissfully ignoring the snow as she chews on her bone. Total focus!

Two lookers at the house this week, no offers yet. And I am feeling incredibly unmotivated to sew anything. I'm just using the sketchbook, hopefully something will inspire me!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Changes, changes. . .

It has been a crazy, eventful week and a half since I last posted. I haven't been near my sewing machines since I finished the Valentine cards. I have been cleaning like a crazy woman, and painting the red wall in our master bedroom boring beige, like the other three walls. We've decided to take advantage of the strong real estate market here, and put our house up for sale. With Shannon moving to Florida in a few months to live with her brother and sister-in-law, it just seemed like the right time to downsize. And, unlike our last home, I do NOT expect this one to take nine months to sell.

We have some decisions to make over the next few months. Maybe we will end up buying a smaller home here, maybe not. I am at peace, despite the fact I honestly don't know where or what I'll be doing in a year. We will likely be renting for at least a few months, and I'll need to have at least some space for creating- I'm in the Journal Quilt project for the last time, and I know being able to make fiber art is the one sure way for me to maintain my sanity in the midst of chaos. I'm even thinking of investigating outside studio space- although, I'll be first to admit I haven't a clue where to start with that one.

I am two thirds through my weekly drawing class. It is going better- I now know I can recreate something with a grid, and found a wonderful tool for pencil drawing- a simple little paper blender. Works great! Hopefully I will get a drawing done this week I can post.

Our first prospective buyers will be here to look at the house tomorrow afternoon. I'm off to shovel yellow snow in the backyard. Having two dogs with a very small yard does have its downside!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Well, I got the message that Blogger has decided I need to switch to the new version- so I just bit the bullet and did it.  I'm still playing with a Wordpress blog I've set up- but the learning curve on that one feels steeper to me than Blogger has been, and there are not many outside resources to help the process.  So we'll see.

I have finished a total of 16 Valentine theme cards this week.  Five I've already sent off to Karey Bresenhan's Heart 2 Heart project, 5 are for my Art2Mail group, and the rest are for family and friends.  In my last post, Nellie commented about ways I can deal with the flatness I disliked about some of my hearts.  I decided to do an experiment with one card.  I'd already outlined the hearts with beads- and was not happy with the result.  So even though I'd already backed the card, I ripped off the beads.  I had some Bling Bling yarn in a color that went well with the card, so I couched it around the hearts.  While I think I will avoid yard with intermittent blobs of fiber in the future, I am still happier with this.  And, since this card doesn't 
have to go in the mail, I just covered my threads with more hearts, fused on.  Here's a picture of all three versions:

And, a selection of the other cards I finished:

I think I am done with hot pink and red for awhile.

I am now halfway through my six week drawing class. I wish the teacher had done more basics, but I am still pleased with my first drawing, one of my daughter. I've still got work to do on it- but for someone who's been convinced her entire life she can't draw, this is a major breakthrough. With some coaching from the teacher, I was amazed at how her eyes came to life under my pencil.

Like I said, still work to do on it- but Shannon is recognizable!

I'm in one of those "what next?" stages. I think it is time to move beyond the ideas floating in the brain, and start committing some of them to paper. And, I know what I want to do for the last year of the Journal Quilts- totally different from past work, and it will be a stretch for me. For that one, I'm signing up for Marilyn Belford's portrait class at Quilt University. You'll hear about my progress- or lack thereof, since I can't post pictures before the Houston show!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sorry, Sean

but 2 minutes left, the Colts just intercepted again, the Bears are 12 down- so I don't think this is Chicago's year-- again.

I have been working on Valentine postcards all weekend. I got five mailed off Friday for Heart 2 Heart- I want to send some to a few family, and I have my Art2 Mail group too. So I'll probably be working on more cards this week.

Here's the five I finished and mailed--

I tried a different edge finish on every one except the black, and I think I like it. I also did not end up using hardly any of the thread painted hearts I did last weekend. The metallic ones worked, but the others just went flat on the background fabric. Even the trilobal polyester!

I added glitz with paint, foil, beads, and some neat metallic embroidery floss I found.

These are a nice distraction, and quick gratification. I have a quilt floating in my head, but it hasn't gotten beyond that point yet. Somehow, I just haven't had the motivation to start something big.

I started a drawing class a week ago- we did our second class Saturday morning. I really want to improve my ability to draw my own designs, and I'm hoping this will give me some tools to help. I am a bit frustrated, the instructor seems to think we should move into drawing faces pretty quickly, and I find that rather intimidating. So I've dug out a drawing book I bought awhile back, and I'm trying to work through some of the exercises. When I have something worth posting, you'll know.

Beyond that, not much else going on. Consolations to all you Chicago fans out there, I don't know of any city as sports-jinxed as they are.