Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Saving an Embroidery Project

I've been thinking about embroidery a lot lately, and then out of the blue my new friend gives me some craft books including one of taking doodles and then using them for embroidery patterns. Of course the book had interesting doodles but I'd prefer to use my own. That is the plus side of  being an artist; I can draw my own art.

The I started reading a novel called Calligraphy of a Witch or maybe it's called the Witch's Calligraphy. At any rate, the heroine does embroidery to help her overcome being sold as a slave. So once again in some strange way embroidery has entered my life.

So last night I stitched a floral design on a dish towel that I bought years ago for that purpose. Then I picked up an old project of a hummingbird that I was making for Guy's mom. Somehow I'd done a lot of the chart wrong so I'd abandoned the project. But I realized the important thing wasn't to slavishly copy the pattern in the magazine, just as long as the end result still looks like a hummingbird. So now I'm just eyeballing it, following the coloring and the lines of the pattern, and not worrying about following the design. It's the only way it's going to get done. I didn't even have a record of what color floss I'd already used. But I'd already finished the body and the beak, so I just have to get the wings right more or less. When it comes to the hibiscus part, I should be able to use the chart again. I feel good that I'll be able to save it and not lose all the labor I've already put into it. I started it in 2009.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Crocheted Gloves

Today at fighter practice I made some great progress on the fingerless gloves I'm crocheting on a size D hook. The yarn likes to split so I have to go slow, yet someone complimented me on how fast I crochet.  I guess it is all relative. The yarn is mostly shades of green/blue but every now and then a dark blood red shows up. Once I finish the ribbing on the cuffs, the rest of the gloves are shell stitch and I'm looking forward to that part. I got the pattern from a library book. There are about six things in there I want to make so maybe I better buy my own copy. I'm happy to report I finally learned how to crochet ribbing. So maybe some house slippers or socks are in my future. And it wasn't hard at all. You just crochet in the back loops only of each single crochet row.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Shopping Day

Today I got a rare shopping day to replace supplies. Art supplies are getting more and more expensive, yet people seem more and more unwilling to buy art for prices that create a living wage for artists like me.

I got some Bristol paper for calligraphy and illumination. And since I lost my pens when I moved, I bought new calligraphy pens and ink.  I also got paper for mixed media, so I won't use up all my calligraphy paper on paintings. None of the supplies were on sale, but luckily I looked on the web first and managed to get a 40% off any one item coupon for Joanne's that Michael's honored. I also got a Michael's ad good for $10 off if you spent $50.  So between the two coupons I saved $15.

I want to crochet some fingerless gloves and I found some thin yarn on clearance for $1.99 a skein. Did you know each skein has a code telling you the weight of the yarn? Look for the glyph that says 1 for fine yarn, etc. and you'll find it easier to be sure your yarn is matching your pattern.

I wish I'd had more money, because I had a  30% off your total purchase coupon for Joanne's. I could have really stocked up on quilting fabric, but it was expensive enough getting the calligraphy supplies and the glove supplies.

McCalls has a new steampunk pattern out.  And also a summer blouse pattern I want. But I will wait for a .99 sale for those items.

It's expensive being multi-talented. I think Michael's overcharged me for the calligraphy ink. The locking cabinet at the back of the store said either $3.99 or $4.99, but when I checked my receipt in the car it was $5.50. But by then I was too hot and tired to care, so I started my 45 minute drive home.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Little Yellow Hat

Yesterday I was going to an SCA meeting and had 5 minutes or less to find a crochet hook because I was in the mood to make something. No such luck but I did find a tube with four double pointed knitting needles, so I grabbed those. I managed to get a good start on a baby hat for my granddaughter Maggie. Go me. It's a bright yellow.

And now I just remembered I keep a hook or two in my purse for just such occasions. Laughs.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Girl Under The Grapes

This is the last painting I finished. It is done in Gouache on paper. I can't seem to get it to upload for my Facebook friends, so I think if I put it here they can at least see the blog post. Its 11x14". I'm just happy to be painting again. I started a new one, but I'm not sure I like it enough to post it. We'll see. Paintings can change a lot between the start and the end.

Pouches and Paintings

One thing about a poor Internet connection, is it gives me a lot more time to do crafts if I just walk away from the computer. The bad part is its hard to make daily blog posts if I can't get on line. So right now I'm at the library playing catch up.

I'm right in the middle of making 8 or so crazy quilt style pouches. I've got the pretty part done with the patchwork and the embroidery. I still have to figure out how to line them and assemble the straps. This is where I always get bogged down.

And the painting bug has bitten me again so I've been busy doing paintings in goauche of girls. I liked the first one where a girl is standing under some grapes. But the one I did last night of a girl holding flowers needs some work. And I need to start using watercolor paper, because I'm using more water than I planned and my paper is curling up. But I'm out of Bristol, so a trip to an art supply store is on my list, when we get into town again and I have money again. I hate running out of supplies. It really bogs down my creativity.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Friday, June 07, 2013

Joy Ride: A New Acrylic Painting

Hi Everyone,
I got up at 5 AM so I'd have time to water all the plants and work on a new acrylic painting before it got hot outside. In other words, before 9 AM. It was so weird how it came together. I found the canvas in my studio a few days ago. I wasn't sure what I wanted to paint but I got all the stuff out. Then I thought I might paint a witch. Then my eye fell on an orange Halloween pencil that I've had for years. And it had a witch, some bats, and a cat on it. So I used that for my inspiration.

By 8 AM it was already getting too hot to sit in the sun, and I kept dozing off with my paintbrush in my hand.  So I got up and moved everything into the shade and painted until 9.

If you want to buy this painting, make me an offer before I list it in my Etsy shop. (Size 12" x12")

Joy Ride

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Quilting Fever

After we got the laundry done, it was off to the library. Happily they had the book on spiral quilting I'd been waiting for. It is every bit as good as I was hoping, so I will be ordering it off of Amazon. It is a little funny that they keep saying 'It doesn't involve math', when it does involve geometry and measuring with a ruler. Last I checked those belonged under the 'math' umbrella.

I also got another amazing quilting book at the library and asked them to send for some calligraphy books for me.So if you want to design your own quilts that don't look like the cookie cutter quilts of days gone by, these books will fascinate you.  Check out Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts or The Quilter's Book of Design for inspiration.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Copyright Photos and Calligraphy and Illumination

Tonight I am gathering all my art supplies relevant to calligraphy and illumination hoping to do some painting at an SCA event tomorrow. And I just realized it is not the acrylic paints that I need, but the gouache, in my art studio out back, in complete darkness. I hope I have time to grab it in the morning because I've been in a painting mood all week and haven't gotten around to it yet.

In order to protect my livelihood, I've decided to only post small photos with my copyright on them. But since those extra steps take extra time, I am going to be posting less photos. It's too bad it's come to this, but I have had some issues, and keep reading about other bloggers with the same issues. Now I don't mind being put on Pinterest or places that link back to here, as long as no one is making money off of my labor. But I did get miffed when some of my archery photos showed up on archery sites that sell things, and they are not even real companies, but ad farms. So yeah, now, I have to do this and it irks me. And it makes my blog less interesting to you guys. And it is not even the photos you'd expect, like a nice shot of a rose. It's always strange photos that might be used to illustrate an article, like the photo of a cresting jig for archery showing up on a vendors page. One of them even has my boyfriend's face in it and was stolen off of Flickr. Not everyone in this world wants to play fair. Now some legitimate businesses have asked to use my photos for things like their monthly newsletter, and up until now I've said yes. But my friend, who is also a photographer tells them not only no but hell no, unless he gets some sort of payment. I think he is right. From now on I'm going to charge a flat fee of  $20 per use. All they can say is no, right? But they might say yes and I can then put food on my table or pay an electric bill.