Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Color Journal

I recently purchase a book about exploring color by Julia Caprara. The book has a number of exercises to help you learn to work with color. One of them is making a color journal. I have to confess though that I find doing journal exercises to be a bit contrived, but I wanted to give it a try anyways. So the best thing to do though in this situation, is to do the exercises in a way that suit you.

I chose red to begin with. It's my favorite. I decided to save myself the step of carrying my camera around everywhere looking for red, and instead picked a few photos from my hard drive. Mostly they ended up being fruits (I like to take photos of them while they are on the vine!!) But there was one butterfly and a lamp with a red glass. I did a couple little drawings with colored pencils to go with two of the photos.

I haven't done much more yet, but the other photos are shown below. I have taped them on some pages in the book.

Lots of red! I could probably find even more photos, but I just decided to stop there. I am not done with the red though! I wanted to try doing something with some paints and do something with some bit of embroidery. I'm not sure how far I will go with the color journal idea. If I feel like I am learning something from it, then I will go on, but there is much else to do too that teaches one about color!

It's vacation season here. I keep on stitching and drawing and taking photos, but computer time is limited!!! Summer is altogether too short! I be checking in soon again though. Until then keep on stitching and creating art!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sewing and Creating a 3D Canvas for Embroidery

I used to sew quite a bit of clothing. I made all sorts of different garments, even a wedding dress for my sister. I am not sure what made me stop, maybe less time, and the outlets had decent quality for the price. Times have changed though. But first, my creation!
I have sewn a simple tiered skirt. I followed a pattern, and it was no problem. I wanted a bit of embroidery, but with this kind of print I thought I should start simple, so an initial would do the job. I haven't ever done any embroidery on clothing, cross stitch over waste canvas on clothing, yes, so this is a little different for me, and  something I would gladly do more of.
I have a whole pile of antique embroidery books full of letters for marking clothing and linens, but after looking at them, I thought I could do my own letter.  That way it would have the look I wanted. I sewed it on a scrap of fabric with crewel threads with interfacing on the back. Then I appliqued the patch on. Maybe next time I will embroider right on the garment, but this is good. I can remove it should I feel the urge. I know there is much more I could have done with this, but I made the decision that I would put a limited amount of time on this first project, so the embroidery is purposefully simple, but it's just a beginning!!!

As for why I decided to make my own clothing again. I really do not like the way the garment industry is run these days. Cheap and cheaper, no quality, horrible working conditions. Sure, you can buy quality, but it will cost you dearly. This is all only part of it though. I think as part of my "artistic awakening" I have realized (something most fashionistas knew a long time ago), that your clothing choice is part of your self-expression. I will ever be a fashion horse, I like comfort a little too well, but it's still a way to express something that is inside me. I can make my own fabric choice, create a customized garment, and to use it to do one thing I have been thinking about for some time now: showcase embroidery.

I kept thinking I should go shopping for a garment that I could do some embroidery on, but every time, I hit a mental wall. So, there was nothing to do but make my own! Everything is in your own hands. And most importantly, it's the perfect way to create a 3-D canvas to put embroidery on and show the world how amazing it is.

Monday, July 9, 2012

June 2012 Embroidery Journal Project

I have finished my project. It's different for me, so I was actually hesitant to post it here at all. I call it Sun and Rain. It's a texture study.
The background represents the sun, of course, and the blue, the rain. The blue is not to mean puddles though. It is holes in the sunshine. June goes down as the rainiest on record for us. It was often very unsteady weather with periods of rain and sunshine, sometimes both at the same time. I think most of you know the type of weather!

Anyways, why a texture study? Because it is just now that I feel inspired enough by the idea of creating textures in my work to really begin learning how to use the stitches to create interesting textures. It isn't that none of my projects have textures, but the idea with my texture studies is to focus on texture first, then color and design. I hope to get better at all three in time. So I chose to mark my beginning point with a journal project. I can't think of a better use for a journal project than to set a marker where you are with your artistic progress. And I want all of you out there to remember that we are not static, we are capable of improving. Just because today you can't create the project or artwork you want, doesn't mean you never will be able to. Work, push back your boundaries, test the water outside of the box, but most of all reach inside yourself, learn about yourself, and express what is in there. You will be surprised at how far you are able to go if you keep on your journey.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Frog Update

I got a question somewhere, what happened to the frog eggs I collected in the spring. Well, they are still alive, I am happy to report! We put them in a plastic box and filled it with water and some plant material. 
I have to confess that I forgot about them for awhile. I knew there was a chance that they all died, so as time went I was more reluctant to have a look. But it turns out many of them are still swimming around!
I have even seen two that have made it to small frog stage. We set up the box with grass in the plastic crate so that they could hop out when they are ready.