Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Finished Work (yippee!)

Here is the completed work, my challenge to myself!  It is about 3 hours of work done over two days (two naps' and one evening's worth) and is the size of a standard picture frame.  I didn't do anything fancy besides the painting and the crochet, no other materials were stuck in there, which is what I am planning to do for my large piece.

Some extreme close-ups:

I wanted to make it seem like it has many levels, and a literal foreground and background.  I tried to pull and push the crochet parts into the front and back of the image by tying them to different parts of each other...  Does this even make sense, the way I'm describing it?

Basically, I was experimenting.  I feel like I could have gone further.  I would add more layers, more collage pieces.  I might add embroidery pieces, plastic pieces, or something else that can be embedded into the crochet web.  But I think this was a good experiment.

I took one picture of it in front of the window with the beautiful red tree behind it, and I kind of love the way it looks.  Almost like it is meant to be in front of a window, using the scenery behind it as part of the work.  Maybe I can use that when designing the imagery (like if this is a piece that's meant to go in front of a window with a tree behind it, or buildings behind it, or whatever).

All in all, glad I challenged myself to finish something.  I didn't make it in one day but I made it in two, which is pretty good!  I feel accomplished.  Tada!

Monday, November 18, 2013


I challenged myself to make an entire mini piece today, the crochet and painting and stretching.

I actually almost did it.

During the babies' nap I made two small paintings and cut them like I wanted them.  And I made one of the attachment crochet pieces.  And found a suitable picture frame.

In the evening I finished all the attachment crochet pieces, so now it is ready to stretch.  But I can't do the stretching in the apartment while the babies are sleeping (will need to hammer into the frame) so it's just not going to happen tonight.

So close!

I wanted to do a whole piece because I want to finish something.  I want to go through the whole process.  The last piece I finished, only the second one ever, I finished in November (?) 2011.  Since then I have started a few but never finished.

Using a picture frame as a guide makes it easy to stay small and not get out of hand.  I have a bunch of picture frames, I can make a few small works.

I'm going to finish this one tomorrow.  Then I'll have SOMETHING.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lately working late

This is what my work looks like when I am working on it.

I do most of my work at night.  Sometimes I get some things done during the babies' nap during the day.  But actually this is a better view than I get while I work on it because I normally can't stretch it out as I work, I just have to imagine.

I am really getting into crochet.

I love that it has an immediate building quality that I don't always see with other media.  I can see how the stitches build structures.  If you make a chain like this or double back through here, it produces this shape or that shape or stretches or becomes stiff.  There is a real sculptural quality to crochet, something I hadn't considered in fiber before.

Another thing I love about crochet is how quickly my things become HUGE.

One moment I'm making a tiny circle that is the seed for a portion of my piece, and the next thing I know, the piece has become over a foot in diameter, and getting larger and more amorphous by the minute.  I don't know in what direction it will expand until suddenly I see it bubbling and frothing out to the right, or oozing down to the left, and I follow it with my army of hooks and yarn.

I wish I could show you but I can't because there isn't a way to stretch anything to its full size yet.  I don't even know what some of these pieces look like really.  I have to use my imagination.  I have one enormous piece, it takes up probably more than 5x5', but it is stuffed into my yarn bag.  (Another great thing about crochet, even though it is huge, it folds right down into my yarn bag.)

A few weeks ago I took a rare opportunity and bought some wood to be a frame for one of the pieces I'm working on.  It's pretty big (3.5x2.5') but not TOO big.  I'm trying to contain the size because the weight of the frame may make it hard to hang and store the piece.  But now the wood sits un-built because if I put it together I have nowhere to store it in our small apartment.  Maybe soon there will be a place.

I'm excited to have so many pieces in progress.  I bought some blue/green/purple dyed wool yarn the other night so I could start on another piece and have a wider color palette.  I haven't gotten to it yet, but it is exciting.

It's also exciting because it's like my secret.  Since I have to use my imagination, since the pieces are still stuffed in my yarn bag, since even if I laid it out it doesn't make sense to anyone else, it is totally mine.  I'm the only one who has it right now.  Just for me!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Birthday Terrarium

I have been wanting to make a terrarium for a long, long time but never did it.  Then Ilan got me a terrarium for my birthday, and I immediately set it up.  Yay!

It is full of lichens that are apparently hard to kill.  The less you water them, the better.  Indirect sunlight.  Done!

Maybe if this terrarium is successful I can make others.  But for now, this little guy is sitting on the book shelf.  Should I call him Terry?
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