Monday, November 29, 2010

Somewhat Eccentric- My Charming Engflish Cottage!

I have actually completed a realistic piece!  This is my latest Interpret This! piece, and I'm pretty happy with it.  My perspective on part of it (the steps) is a bit off, but everything else looks like I wanted it to.  No question what this is!

I had a lot of time to think while I was making this.  I did enjoy the process, but kept wondering- is this really ME?  Is this the art that only I can make?  By the end of the month, I'd pretty much decided it isn't.  I'm glad I met the challenge of proving to myself that I can do a realistic piece reasonably well, and I'm sure it would improve with more practice and time.  But it's just that- a fun piece, not something pulled from my guts or psyche.  And that's really what I want to do.  I just am still figuring out how to get there.

Fun pieces have their place, and I'm sure this won't be my last one.  I have several UFO's I hope to finish next year that I'd put in that category, or the "traditional bed quilt" category.  But I'd also like to have a cohesive body of work that just says 'me.'

I do think there are some hints in this one.  I didn't realize how much saturated colors dominate my stash until I went for fabric for the red bricks.  I knew they were a pretty dulled red in the photo, and even eliminated my original choice because (even I) could tell it was way too saturated.  I thought I'd done a good job of toning it down- until I got the brick wall mostly constructed.  Bottom line, my stash of de-saturated fabrics is woefully lacking.  But apparently the use of saturated colors is part of my voice, since I got a couple of comments to that effect on the IT! blog.  It's a starting point!

I think I've learned that I need to pay attention to the details, even on an abstract piece.  I was thrilled to hear that I'd successfully portrayed sunlight and shadows on the big tree/bush.  I sure tried, and I'm glad it came off.  I loved making the smaller plants, using variegated and multiple thread colors.  How good are these??

So the journey continues, I keep doing the work.  At some point I hope to look back and be able to say "That's MY voice speaking."

And thanks for reading my musings and thoughts!  If you haven't already seen it, there's more photos of the piece on the IT! blog.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November Reveals

have started on the Interpret This! blog.  There's already some wonderful work posted, mine will be up tomorrow morning.  And I'll have more to say about that tomorrow night!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Crazy Friday

No, I did not get up in the middle of the night to fight with shoppers over deals.  I just got done putting something in the crockpot for dinner, then I'm down to the studio to work on my IT! piece for a couple of hours.  Then I head up to Salt Lake to Sidney's house.  Today we are quilting Cory's (middle son's girlfriend) memory quilt on Sidney's Handiquilter with the computerized stitcher.  We already picked out the pattern, I can't wait to see how this is all done.  I do know I love the idea of having a totally done quilt in a matter of a few hours. Pictures on the process tonight!!

I will probably stop at some stores on the way up- how can I resist? (Hey, I'm down almost 15 pounds and a pant size, and even the smaller size is loose!) We'll see how traffic is, since today is also the BYU-Utah game, in Salt Lake.

Thanksgiving here was pretty quiet and laid back- we went out, since only three of us were home.  DJ's sister met us at the restaurant, a buffet.  I thoroughly enjoyed skipping the hassle of cooking- but the food wasn't as good as ours, of course, and their turkey was downright disgusting- a processed turkey roll.  So I opted for broiled chicken and roast beef, much better.  There was lots of salad, and even some of the vegetables were not bad.  I waited til I got homed for dessert- my less than 200 calorie chocolate cheesecake.  Yum!!

All in all, I have a lot to be thankful for.  I plan on enjoying the rest of the long weekend- sewing, relaxing, maybe even a trip to the gym in there.  I hope your Thanksgiving was full of family, friends, good cheer, and gratitude.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Snow and Cold--

is what we woke up to today.  After a lot of it has melted off, here's the view up our street towards the mountains.

It has been a weird year for foliage.  Most of the trees are bare, but a few are still hanging on to their leaves.  I love the fall colors against the white snow!!

The kids and grandpa went out back and made a snowman.  He's all dolled up in bright colors!!

It's a good day to stay inside.  I've been working on my IT! piece- after almost deciding to hold off finishing this one and do something else.  This afternoon, we are all going to see the latest Harry Potter movie, and we have a nice pot roast in the crock pot.  It's a short week at work- so right now, life is looking good.  Stay warm- or if you are fortunate to enough to be in the Southern Hemisphere this time of year, enjoy the warmth!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Musings and a Teaser

Not much blogging going on here- there hasn't been a lot to blog about.  But I am well into this month's Interpret This piece, and so far relatively happy with where it is going.  This photo really does lend itself to interpretation on a number of levels.  So here's your sneak peek at a very small part--

I have my background parts down, now on to the myriad detailing.  I think I will end up doing more stitching before I sandwich this than I will quilting.  It feels good to be so far along early in the month!!

Our WAQ group met yesterday, and got to hear all about Houston from Suzanne who spent four days there.  All the winners were traditional quilts- a switch.  And nothing new or exciting.  Some vendors were peddling items that were ridiculously expensive for what they were.  Don't know if I'll ever make it to Houston, but it would be nice to make it to the Long Beach show one day.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do next year with my art.  After listening to Suzanne, I just think more and more that I need to forget about classes and just do the work.  I'm even starting to question book purchases- I looked at Gloria Loughman's new book yesterday, and didn't buy it.  It was beautifully done, but had no real new information in it.  I have enough resources at hand, I just need to do the work!  I'd also like to finish several UFO's that I have, and both my sons have made specific requests.  Plenty to think about as I head into the new year, with a milestone birthday very close on the horizon.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

While it lasts. . .

I'm enjoying our decidedly not-November weather.  It was in the high 60's-low 70's yesterday and today, so both days I've taken the dog out for a walk.  Today we went up the canyon and hiked for an hour or so.  It feels great!!  And it's all supposed to change come Monday- drat.

I have been working on my IT design.  Once I started drawing patterns, I realized none of my grays were large enough.  So I hit the LQS this morning, and managed to find a couple that I think will work.  A sign of the times, this is a shop that has been around for years- the selection of fabrics seems smaller.  I was glad to find something I can make work, because gray clearly is not a big color this year.

I'm also continuing to knit on the sock, although not as much as before.  I'm to the boring part- knitting in rib up the leg until I run out of yarn.  But I'll get there!

Well, the picture isn't from today- but this is a look at where we hiked this afternoon. 

 The trees are barer than in this photo, and most of the color is gone- the mountain is pretty much shades of brown that we'll live with for the next several months.  But the views from the top of the mountain (hill?) we climbed to is still spectacular.

 They've started gating the campground that where the trailhead is located, so I had to climb through the gate.  The nice thing is that nobody else was there, so Shiloh got to run off-leash the whole time.  Hopefully it means she's worn out!!

The weight continues to come off- last time I checked, almost ten pounds.  I do my 'official' weigh-in on Monday mornings, so we'll see.  I've found the best motivator for me to get some activity in each day- the added number of calories I can eat!  It makes the hour at the gym doable.

Maybe with my extra hour tonight I can get more work done on my piece.  We'll see- later!

Monday, November 01, 2010

November Challenge Photo

We got our photo for November, a cottage door in England--

I really like the soothing palette in this one- the greens, touch of red, and the soft grays.  I think I will have fun with this one.  I've already done some playing in PSE, and have some options that I think are doable.

That's what it always comes down to for me- can I pull it off in the short time frame?  I'm just counting down the years until I'm no longer working full time and can really dedicate more hours to my art.  One day. . . 

The other thing I'm working through- do I try to do something more realistic, or abstract the photo?  Right now, I'm leaning towards more realistic, maybe because this photo has some commonalities to a couple of other realistic quilts I've done.  I'll think on that a few more days, though.

I can't believe it is November.  I think we are just going to go out for Thanksgiving- I just don't feel like cooking the huge meal for a small group, which is what we will be.  And since DH and I never agree on when the turkey is done, we will also avoid the annual turkey war.  I'll just make a couple of low cal desserts to have when we return home, and be done with it.  Works for me!!