Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Planning the next steps

I am not a huge sketcher, usually I don't do things with sketches.  But this piece has been making me sketch.  Mostly because I don't really trust myself to keep the visual thought I had for long enough to actually achieve it, considering how long it takes me to get anywhere with it.

So what I'm thinking is using the purple/brown/gray thread to surround the brown square, and then stretch it onto the frame... then crochet yellow into it, coming out of the arch.  I don't know if I will use this actual frame or if I will build a new one with the same dimensions.  This frame already has a lot of hooks in it that I made, and I'm not sure I need that much for this piece, so I might save it for a future thing with more layers.

It's gotten cold outside, and now my fingers are cold inside.  Cold fingers!  Not good for crochet!  Need more hot tea!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Filling in the space

Well I figured out what to do with that arch but it is taking forever.  I hope the effect at the end will be worth it ...

Yesterday I didn't know what to do.  I wanted to work with the arch but I really didn't know what I wanted to do with it.  I had all kinds of grand plans but nothing concrete, nothing I could act on.  So I organized my yarn.

Organizing things makes me feel better ... I separated it into a bag of various white yarns and then a bag of various color yarns.  I use a lot of white yarn and I have several different kinds of white.  Something about white yarn on a white wall is really awesome to me right now so yeah.  A whole bag of white/off white.

It was seeing the yarn that made me think of what to do with the arch ... originally I had wanted to make a square, so I decided to make a square by surrounding the arch with yarn.  And that's how I got to the image you see above, which is about 2 or 3 hours of work.  This takes so long but it is relaxing, so I guess that is a benefit.  I was also inspired to get some craypas out and do a "sketch", mostly because I miss using the craypas.

I've been scattered but I am trying to focus.

Monday, October 27, 2014


I bought this yarn and I love it.  It's rainbow dyed but I only used the red/orange/yellow part today, and this happened.

I wasn't intending to make an arch, when I set out I was going to make a square, thinking I might make some square pieces to use for my next thing... then I miscalculated, and my straight line started to arch, and I went with it.  I'm not sure if it will be at this orientation or if it will rotate a little when it's time to use it.

I also have some great purple earth tone yarn I was thinking of using, but wasn't sure what to do with it, and really wanted to get my hands in this yarn with some yellow.

I started some small frames and even some very small circle frames.  I have been applying to shows and they all want work under 24" or 36", so I thought maybe I'd do some small things.  But I actually really like working large with crochet, it seems easy for things to get really big really quickly.

Also today I tried out using a bowl to hold the yarn instead of letting it flop around.  I know yarn bowls are a thing, but I've never tried one.  I used a regular bowl that I made last time I tried ceramics.  It was lovely.

Today I started out at the dining room table doing online shopping for various things we need (stickers, child size sunglasses, bathroom non-slip step stool).  It was taking a while and I was watching my time tick away.  And finally I stepped from the dining room table into my "studio," just 3 feet away, but I was able to focus and get some more work done.  I've been leaving my space set up, with frames and yarn out (though the yarn is in a plastic bag, cats), and it has been nice to have that space out and ready for me at a moment's notice.  Though I can only work when the kids are asleep, I still get easily side-tracked, and seeing things lying out there has been really nice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My "studio"

I have been doing a lot more work recently but I don't have a studio.  I have been working in the dining room and basement, and sometimes outside.  My whole house is my studio!  Haha!  I have work piling up on bookcases, and recently I took over an entire shelf of a built-in in the dining room in order to store some supplies that I have been using on a semi regular basis.

So here is a studio tour :)

My work station is our old dining room table from when we lived in small places.  The table folds out so I can use it, and then folds away so we don't lose the space a permanent set-up would take.  I have considered using the drawers for art supply storage instead of dining room storage, but haven't gotten that far ... it feels unsafe, with two toddlers running around, they could easily get those drawers open.

Frames for my next 3 pieces :)

Here is the built-in.  On top there are some of my recent works, the first shelf is my art supply shelf, the second shelf is serving bowls, and the bottom shelf is my husband's scotch collection.  I'm working on finding a piece of furniture that can better serve for the scotch collection / wine storage / drink glasses so it doesn't have to be hidden in the built-in.

So there you have it, my current "studio".  It has great light, hardwood floors, and lots of windows!  Not bad.  If only it had a slop sink ...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Work work working

Some updates on the piece I have been working on for a couple of weeks ... I think maybe the major portion of it is done, and now I have to clean up the threads.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

School and a new piece

The kids have started school!  This means I am alone for three hours a day, twice a week.  CRAZY.  I have decided to use this time to focus on art making for the first time since undergrad.

It's actually pretty amazing to work on my own art and not feel guilty about it.  In school, I was like, I'm paying for this studio time!  I better get some work done!  And my teachers were always hanging around, and the other students.  After school I felt like ... it was maybe self-indulgent to do my own art.  My first job out of school was in a completely different field, and that job took many hours of my day outside of time in the office, so it was hard to really work on art.  

Then I went to grad school for art therapy, spending a short amount of time on my work but mostly focusing on other people and their needs.  And then I really didn't make my own art, when maybe I should have...  I remember spending a few days on my first crochet piece and thought, wow, this is amazing, I could be doing this all the time (but never made another piece).

Now that I don't have the time to work as an art therapist, and I spend most of my day focused on the kids and their needs, it still does feel self-indulgent to work on my own work.  But at the same time, being a productive artist makes me feel more like a whole person, and feeling like a whole person is important when you spend so much of your energy on others.

So here is what I have been working on this week.  I made the frame over the last several weeks but the crochet was yesterday and today.  Today I worked for almost an hour and a half, with my music blasting - IN MY OWN HOME.  It felt amazing.

Now it's time to go pick up the kids. :)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Submitted work to a show AHH!

The kids will be going to school starting next week and I have decided to use the time they are in school to work on art.  To I guess make a real commitment to working for the first time since undergrad.

All summer I have been actually doing some work with the crochet mixed media stuff and I am really enjoying it.  I now have two new pieces plus an old piece all in the style of my new work and I submitted to a show this afternoon.


I have only ever one other time submitted work to a show and I was rejected.  I have never shown my work anywhere except for the senior show in undergrad and the final show in grad school, shows where everyone gets to put in a piece.  I am so afraid of judgement I just have never submitted my work anywhere else.  I also don't feel like I ever really had finished work before except for the odd painting or maybe a print here and there.

I don't even have real equipment to take pictures of my work.  I borrowed a camera from a friend and I used free software that came with my computer in order to edit it.  And my computer doesn't have wifi (the air port is broken) so I had to make my phone a personal hotspot, connect via bluetooth, email the images to myself, and fill out the submission form on my ipad (the personal hotspot also wasn't super reliable).

Anyway, without further ado, here are 3 untitlted pieces :P


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crochet and painting

I'm not sure this is finished, it certainly isn't a professional photo.  I'm challenging myself to finish 3 works by the end of August and apply to a non-traditional fiber works show.  Honestly I think it is a waste of money.  But if I don't apply to shows, I will never hope to be in one.

It's four layers ... the back is a painted piece of particle board, then a layer of crochet (enlarged broomstick lace stitch I just learned), then a painting, then more crochet with white thread.  

I've been incorporating a tapestry needle in some of the work and I kind of love what you can do with it.  You can enlarge sewing stitches just as well as crochet.

I always use so much red and purple!  I started a blue and green piece and it went nowhere. Hm.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More crochet

I got started making a very large piece after buying a big frame that was on clearance about two weeks ago.  The size of the frame was really exciting to me and I got to work.

This is two weeks of work during stolen time, kids' naps or when my husband takes the kids for a little bit so I can work.

Today I was tying the crocheted piece to the frame and reinforcing some of the design, it seemed like it was getting lost in itself.

Sorry the photo isn't great, I am working on my dining room table right now.

I think I'm just going to put a towel over it when the kids wake up so I can keep coming back to it until it is in a state where I can safely store it upright.

I really have no idea where it's going, it just is kind of happening.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Newest experiment

against a white background

on a brown background

Here I am trying some more finishing techniques, like trying to get some of the crochet to match up with the paintings, having the yarn weave in and out of the painted objects, and re-incorporating shrinkydink plastic.

I'd say with moderate success.

Feeling pretty productive lately!

Sunday I went to my friend's studio and we worked for a few hours.  It felt amazing, like old times, like being in the studio when I was a student and my whole job was to make art and experiment.

I don't know if these pieces I've made lately are finished.  I look at them and feel like they aren't finished, though I don't know where I would go from here.  I'm just keeping them in stasis.  I'm not ready to be like "done!" and hang it up and move on.  I feel like there's more to it than this but we'll see.  I've kind of been wanting to do some embroidery and then stretch it onto the back of the frame, but...
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