Saturday, February 21, 2009

Giant Tree Project

A while back, I saw an article (in FiberArts?) about a woman who covered an abandoned gas station in knitting as a statement about our dependency on oil.   Now she is working on creating a giant tree using 30,000 fiber leaves.   I love the wackiness of these projects so wanted to send something in.  

The theme of this tree is interdependence.  I thought of all the mosses and fungi that grow everywhere here in the Pacific Northwest, often living on the trees.  I had some leftover crocheted puffs from my Funky Baskets, so created this mossy leaf:

I wanted the leaf to have a firm foundation, so made a quilt sandwich with Timtex inside, machine quilted it, then sewed the crocheted puffs on.  The leaves are all 5"x7".  You can see other leaves that have been submitted and read more about the project here.   I can't wait to see the final tree once it's assembled.  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

My husband and I both loved the Swedish vampire movie "Let the Right One In,"  so that seemed like the perfect inspiration for a valentine for him this year.  After all it was a love story, of sorts.  The movie was visually gorgeous.  I was drawn into the grays, whites, and blacks of the Swedish winter scenery, and each scene contained a little splash of red.  I used some soft graffiti fabric I made and red velvet bits.  The backing is a luscious black velvet.  I'm very happy with it and think it captures the movie quite well.  I'm very fortunate to be married to a man who does not think I need to be locked up when I give him something like this.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mbuti Design

I stumbled onto a book called Mbuti Design: Paintings by Pygmy Women of the Ituri Forest by Georges Meurant.  It is full of motifs that they use in their paintings and body art.  It looked like they would lend themselves to stitching, so I made a small sampler to remember some of them:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Puff Garlands

I've been following all sorts of little whims and creating little bits of this and that.  I'm starting to feel like it's time to settle into a bigger project, but I'm not sure what that will be yet.  So in the meantime, I'm happily playing.

I wanted to try turning some of my little layered texture bits into a garland.  I cut circles of different textured white-on-white pieces, stitched them together and ran them through the washer and dryer.  They're a little squished in the scanner, but they turned out quite ruffly and nice.  If I do turn them into an actual garland later, I'll probably use a silk ribbon to connect them:

On this one I wanted to mix in some layers of paper.  I made 2 segments out of fabric, washed and dried them, then added the layers of paper before I stitched them all together.  The paper adds nice body to the fabric.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Art Field Trip

Yesterday I went on a little field trip with Nikki and Stephanie, a couple art friends.  We headed to one of my favorite galleries in the area, Mary Lou Zeek gallery in Salem.  Every year Mary Lou invites 100 artists to participate in a group show.  She sends each artist an object to create on/in/around in any way they see fit, and the works are auctioned off for a charity.  I participated one year when the object was a small wooden box and the proceeds went to an local environmental group.  The next year she sent us a plain 6x8" piece of corrugated cardboard with the proceeds going to a homeless shelter.  This year she sent out an assortment of hardbound books to benefit a literacy program.  I didn't participate, but Nikki had a wonderful piece in the show.  It's always fun to see the wide range of interpretations that artists come up with.  It's a very special show for worthy causes.  You can see it here.

The Mary Lou Zeek gallery is full of fun art.  I can never resist a face on something, so I picked up this wonderful little vase there:

After a tasty lunch at the Wild Pear, we went to Loose Ends, an unusual store out in the warehouse district.  It had imported items, home decor and some art/craft supplies.  I found this wonderful roll of stick and wire grid.  Not sure what I will do with it, but it had potential written all over it.  I'm seeing little fabric pieces hanging in some of the squares, or ribbons and fibers tied all over, or buttons suspended in the grids, or ???

Monday, February 2, 2009

Black and White Exercises

I've been working through some design exercises in Jane Dunnewold's Finding Your Own Visual Language book.  This one is on splitting shapes.  You start with a basic shape (I chose a leaf) and cut it into sections.  The goal is to put all the pieces back together, thinking about negative space, and keeping the overall shape of the original.

For the first page, I split the leaf using only straight lines:

For page 2, I split it using only curved lines:

And then finally I did a page that combines straight and curved lines:

I'm now carving some of my favorite leaves into stamps.

The book has many fun design exercises.  You can find it here.