Sunday, August 29, 2010

what's wrong?

I'm sitting in my studio. All of the beautiful new fabric is on my work table sorted into colour groups, the bits and pieces of my dragon flies are gathered together with the last bit of painting on their wings done, my quilting books are all out on accessible shelves ready to sort--and I'm playing internet poker. I just keep procrastinating. I have no deadlines, and so no incentive to get my act in gear. But I do have a few deadlines in that my art quilt group will be here next Monday, and I have a meeting the day after tomorrow when I'm supposed to have some samples ready for discussion--not even started yet.

So tomorrow, I may just have to start writing those dreaded "to do' lists again. It was fine to say that I would take a year off the heavy production work and show entries, and just see where my muse might lead me. Obviously it's leading me into sloth. A lesson learned. I don't have the self discipline to function without clear objectives and a focus for my energies.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An explosion of riches

I used the last of the little bit of extra money I made this summer, and bought fabric. (To be honest I used a wee bit of credit as well). I ordered 20 fat quarters of African fabric over the internet. These are from Uganda. The pieces I've made with the African fabric have sold well, and they are certainly eye-catching in my booth. So it would be nice to have a couple for the sales coming up this fall. So having done that, I needed some calmer "filler" fabrics to add to the mix for my piecing. On my travels, I also finally found some appropriate beads to go with the African fabrics. Finding any insertion beading has proven difficult, but I finally checked out a store half way across the city and not only did they have them, they were on sale at 50% off!

The Gloria Loughman book has been put aside. I have been sorting my library and came across a book on stumpwork dragon flies by Jane Nichlas. All of a sudden the idea for the Acceptance collage for my Serenity pent-tych was there, and I've been working on that. The stump work is hand embroidery and it's been along time since I've done much of that. I can certianly see that my fine hand sewing skills have deteriorated over the time away from the work, but I think I can finish the dragon flies well enogh for the use I have in mind for them.

The Serenity pent-tych has been in the works for a couple of years. It is based on the five concepts expressed in the Serenity Prayer: the concept of a Higher Power, Serenity, Acceptance, Courage, and Wisdom. Each piece is entirely separate, and each is based on a different colour scheme, but they are of the same size and similar techniques, and each concept is expressed in a distinctive Celtic Rune. But developing five distinctly different but similar desings has been a challenge. I was discussing this yesteday with a knowledgeable friend who suggested researching the symbolism of each concept via the Internet. Duh! Wish I'd thought of it sooner. Regardless, I have decided to use dragon flies as a symbol of acceptance, as they, as a species, have accepted everything nature has thrown at them over milions of years--and survived.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mixed results

I made a small sampler of techniques based on the Gloria Loughman book. The overall design is the pits, with too busy fabric and value problems. I won't be adding it to the sample book, but I think I'm going to cut it up and made a couple of small purses out of it. My fabric paper bookmarks haven't sold at recent sales, and I thought I might make a few quilted ones to test, so every scrap of the sample will be used. Here are a couple of pictures. Whoops! The first oneis up side down, but I think you can get the image.

Here is a close up. I didn't try out every technique in the book, but I plan to. I have an idea for another piece, with a very different look, that will include some of the more subtle ways she breaks up her shapes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Best laid plans etc

I've been seduced by the book Quilted Symphony by Gloria Loughman. My sister and I have been playing with paper and coloured pencils and construction paper and glue! We were almost embarrassed to be buying children's art supplies in Wal-Mart ( You don't need artist quality stuff to play with!) But we decided to claim we were shopping for "the grandchildren", if asked. The concept and resulting images are very far removed from what I normally do, but this is a year for play and experimentation, so I will travel where ever my Muse directs. Certainly my experiments with using African fabric paid off, as I've sold two of the three pieces I made--and for a good price!

However, neither of the recent sales were particularly lucrative. But on the positive side, I have lots of stock left for the other two sales I have committed to, for later in the fall. (HoHoHo) I had hoped to make enough to be able to spend a day or two shopping for supplies South of the border, but now I have neither the funds nor the need. Well, there's always the Internet!