Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Creating, Recycling or Procrastinating?

When one has art work to finish, yet viewing a studio filled with stuff 
to be given away and still wanting to be creative, 
while not wasting precious time....... what word would you give this mental detour?
 Instead of being a procrastinator, Barbara Lee Smith coined the word 'determinator'.
So for the last couple of days I have been just that, a determinator.
 Notecards are my favorite method of saving these frustrating days 
when one wants to be creative.
Two above are part of my reusing 'things' I don't want to throw away.
 This had been a maquette for a large art work. 
The two cards above and these two below are cut from that 
maquette and reworked with thread.
 Before throwing away magazines I tear out pages that appeal to me, 
usually for their color. These become the 'frames' for the center of interest
in notecards and collages.
 This small piece placed on a stormy cloud page is from another maquette.
 Small scraps from an actual piece (Dominie Nash fabric)
plus window screening and a torn magazine page 
make up the composition for this notecard.
 Another maquette I was able to resurrect into useful cards.
 By taking off the large twisted blue fabric 
this maquette became five more cards.
 It was like creating a puzzle to use every scrap of that maquette.
 Of the five cards this was the most difficult, yet my favorite,
probably due to all the red.
 In a crowded studio, small bits and pieces are often lost.
Finding this tiny piece of painted orange canvas was exactly 
what I needed to set off a bit of embroidery. 
The rug was from another magazine page.
Thinking ahead to Christmas I found some glitter and 
 thread samples, a small embroidered pine tree and 
more colorful magazine pages for these last two cards.
It is time to get back into the right mind-set 
and work on that large piece waiting in the studio.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Recycle, Give Away or ????????

For a month I have been thinking about giving away a lot of stuff in my studio.
Books, equipment, old class room samples, projects, never completed,
fabric, yarn, cords and more.
 Books are easy to give away but I wanted them to go to people 
who would really use or enjoy them.
 Two art teachers came by last Sunday and took quite a few things. 
And, then this week, two granddaughters took a few more books.
 In getting out old classroom samples and projects never completed
I was seeing my past work with different eyes. 
The art teachers took some but I still have a lot more to give away.
 Much time had been spent creating for the teaching of hand embroidery.
You can almost tell the era of each sample by the colors and textures
and the use of found objects.
 I used the sampler idea often as well as large or heavy yarns to show off the stitches
 This must have been from my bright and heavily textured era....
another unfinished project.
 This was an unfinished sampler with textured embroidery and heavy yarns.
 I have always wanted to pour white paint over an entire embroidery,
so I tried it on this old piece this week. It really drank the white paint.
It actually needs another coat of white to do what 
I want it to do but it is taking forever to dry.
 A large embroidery on a rough linen that I never finished. 
I just might rethink this piece.
 I could tell that embroidery above had been influenced by some old geodes  
I kept in the studio both for the color range and the flowing design.
 At one point when I was doing a lot of workshops I became enamored 
with stripes and made many samples
 The workshops included manipulated fabrics.
Some workshops were aimed at sewers interested in functional items 
and some were looking for ways to develop ideas and designs.

I can see this sample used perhaps on the back of 
a jacket or vest or as table runner. 
I look back now, at so many old samples and projects I had forgotten
and wonder if some should be finished....
However that is a past life and new ideas are coming to me every day.
So I am giving away the past.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A day at the beach, NBM

I went to the beach today and didn't get wet or sandy 
or sunburned. I viewed the beach, first, from the second level ....
 The beach was at the National Building Museum and had been 
partnered with Snarkitecture to create a summer playground.....
 combining abstract architecture, organic and man-made
materials....all white.
Even white sun umbrellas, beach chairs and non-sandy walkways
leading to the non-water. Everything was white even a beach snack bar.
 I waded in a bit and found this non-water was difficult to walk through....
better to swim through and many children and 
some adults were doing just that. 
This graduated beach might have been 3 or 4 feet deep and the deepest end.
 A few little mermaids were swimming through the bubbles. 
There was a white pier, more like an island, to dive from
 but rules said, no jumping in and no throwing the bubbles. 
There must have been millions of bubbles, all the same size.
You could even buy a bag or bucket of bubbles at the museum shop.
So that was my beach adventure for this summer.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Anatomy of a party

It was Vicky's big birthday party at our home on Saturday evening.
The party was orchestrated by Alan, her husband, 
with a few suggestions from others. 
I,  thinking to plan ahead, and knowing that the food 
would be Indian (Vicky's favorite) went ahead with an Indian tablecloth
 with flowers, candles, and clementines in bright pink, purple and orange.
When the caterer arrived the centerpiece was moved to the side buffet.
 9 large chafing dishes were set up plus a large salad, dressing, 
and two sauces to go with the various dishes being served. 
I should have kept a copy of the names of the various dishes 
but I do remember that there were 2 hot appetizers, 
3 meat dishes, 2 vegetarian selections, 1 rice and something 
I have forgotten. And, several drinks to choose from.
 Alan chose 2 kinds of beer, one an Indian beer, as well are red and white wines.
There were a lot of photos being taken at the same time.
Several groups of Vicky's friends came so there were introductions, 
in the living room, after everyone arrived. 
 Some time was spent in the kitchen, too....Caroline had decorated 
everywhere she could add streamers and tassels and circular fans.
 Alexandra designed the sheet cake using paisley for the Indian theme 
but adding the Nats Logo (white W) as Vicky is a huge Nats fans,
Part way through the dinner the food started to disappear.
30 were expected but I feel more came. 
After dinner everyone went down stairs where Spencer lead a very rousing 
Karaoke song fest. Everyone seemed to enjoy this for quite a while,
This had been set up well before the party.
This is the last picture I took at around 1 AM.
I believe it was an enjoyable party for everyone.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hot summer walk, slides and local color

This week has been so hot but I continued working 
with varying the slides and their frames in my cool studio. 
  I did venture out for a walk in my neighborhood....
 to see all the color that summer brings.
 Beginning in our front yard and every other yard that has them, 
the crepe myrtle are full of heavy blossoms draping almost to the ground.
 Black-eyed Susans and Cone flowers are putting gold and pink in many yards.
 And, daisies are everywhere.
 Various colors of hydrangeas are almost through blooming.
And, I found only two gladiola on the whole street but this yellow one 
was on its last legs and so was I, so back to the cool studio.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Recycling Slides or Tossing Them? That is the Question.

Before June ends I want to add further explorations for recycling slides.
Much of this months was filled with many friends and relatives 
visiting DC for Clark's 90th birthday surprise party. 
This party day was organized, orchestrated, and produced 
by our daughter, Vicky, who along with her family
 gave Clark the biggest surprise of his life.
Now, back to the studio......
A month or so ago I started taking my old slides apart. 
I wanted to see if I could do something with 
the thousands I had besides throw them away.
 At about the same time it was discovered that I had a detached retina.
Discovering that it was hard to draw, at least with color, 
I spent most creative time varying ways to work with the slides.
 Painting or using markers......
 Removing the film and filling with small abstract drawings.....
 Embroidering symbols to fill the frames....
 Stitching the actual film on the sewing machine...
 Stitching film with colored thread or black so it wouldn't show...
 Filling painted frames with fabrics.....
And, just painting the frames with stripes.
I will continue working out ideas with the slide frames and film 
until I find a way to produce a finished object 
that I am happy with or till I've decided they should just be tossed.