Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back to Basics

Yes, I do have enough fabric to last me the rest of my lifetime. But I can't help going out rummaging around now and then. My favorite shopping spot is the Goodwill bins, the final stop when things don't sell at Goodwill and are headed to landfill.

These are the beauties I rescued this time:

And I can't just let bits of hand embroidery go to the dumps:

Then I headed to the Senior Center rummage sale and found these unique bits:

Even a cutter quilt of old fabrics priced at $1:

I confess, I can't pass by this bright 60s fabric without buying it. Probably because I made so many clothes out of this stuff when I was a teen. I have a whole bin of it, and it's so bright, I don't know what I'll do with it. But someday....

I'm back to quietly stitching bits of fabric together by hand, and it feels really good.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wrapping up Pamela Allen class

I'm finally finishing up my lesson #3 from my Pamela Allen class. This one was about using stripes and patterns to accent design and also about steering away from pure bright color. It was a fun one, and a great wrestle with composition to work with so many bits, but I've pretty much decided that pictorial pieces are not my style.

Here's my first attempt. I was thinking about little Mexican villages that are these burst of color in the middle of drab surroundings. I wasn't trying to be very accurate, thus the peaked rooftops that you wouldn't find in Mexico.

Here is Pamela's revision. She recommended opening up the front for more space around the church and building a wall around it.

I made a number of changes and still see other things I would do differently (change the too busy house in the background, put the stained glass window shape back in), but I've lost my steam on this one and ready to move on.

Pamela is teaching more online classes this year and has now listed some on her website. I highly recommend them!

Over on Portland Art Collective, Tammy is giving away one of her beautiful Victorian tassel dolls, all dressed for spring. Leave a comment here to enter.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bauble Break

Sometimes I crave total silence, and this was one of those times. Living with a husband, 2 teenage boys, and a demanding bulldog, I often feel like I never have a solid chunk of time to focus on what I want to do. So for my birthday this year, I gave myself a blissful retreat--alone-- to the beach.

For 3 nights I painted and read, took walks and stitched.

A perfect place to work on simple baubles:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pamela Allen lesson #4

I'm still working on my lesson from week #3, so I'll post that later. Here's a little exercise we did from week 4. The focus for the week was on negative space, and we warmed up by doing a chair formed from the negative space. In other words I started with the tan and black lined fabric and cut the negative space from the colored fabric to form the chair.

It was very challenging even though I've done these sort of exercises in drawing already. I was so focused on getting the right shapes that I didn't give any thought to composition. Here're Pamela's suggestions to improve the composition of the piece:

My main problem was lining up fabrics right along the rungs or right with the seat line. And I always tend to crop closely while she allows more space around an object. I do like these changes she suggested.

The main part of this lesson was to do the same technique of using only negative space but now of a woman sitting in a chair. After one very dismal attempt, I decided it was way too tedious to try to rework, so I'm abandoning it and going back to work on lesson 3. I got the lesson of the importance of negative space, but can't say I enjoyed it.