Sunday, February 22, 2015

Knitting in Lucerne Valley, CA

 Spring has arrived at my home in Lucerne Valley. In spite of the chickens trying to eat these daffodils when they first sprouted, they've managed to bloom.

Moonrise in Lucerne Valley CA
 I'm enjoying the perfect weather before the blasting heat of summer arrives. We have a very short spring here. And it is still winter according to the calendar. I bought a red pear tree to plant as well as 2 olive trees. The olive trees are different varieties and will cross-pollinate each other. The label promises more and better fruit if you do it that way.

I think this photo will be a good reference for a future painting.

The sunsets here are often spectacular.

Northern Lights Cowl folded in half.
 A nice knitted cowl to stave off the cold.  With much of the U.S. still covered in snow, I'm sure someone out there needs this so it is going in my Etsy shop.

Pretty cowl (neck scarf loop) to keep the chill off.
 The cowl in it's normal width.  Hand knitted in acrylic yarn. The name of the yarn is Northern Lights.
A view of Lucerne Valley, CA at sunset.

The view from my front yard.
I hope some of the Joshua trees bloom this year but I don't see any buds yet. They have huge white flowers.  They don't bloom every year and we didn't get much rain this year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Making a Gelatin Printing Plate

I just poured my first Gelli plate for printmaking. The directions should have been simple, but there is a discrepancy between how many packets of gelatin to add to the mix. It says '7 1 oz packets' but the whole box weighs 1 oz and has 4 packets. So as per the directions I have to let it set overnight. I wanted it to be twice as thick so I will double the recipe next time. I don't have enough glycerin right now to do another batch. I made my best guess and we'll see how it turns out. Also, the new clear acrylic frame I'm using as a mold wasn't really flat on top when I opened it. It was slightly convex. So I hope it all comes out. I think that is why I've been procrastinating. The instructions are a bit ambiguous.

Friday, February 06, 2015

One Inch Square (Inchie) Art

Today I figured I was well enough to get back to the business of being an artist. I was dying to get started on several projects. The first one is making an Inchie Art Embroidery Piece. I'm doing my best to stick to a natural color scheme (white, brown, tan, muted tones). So I pre-washed and ironed some thin muslin. Part of this I dyed in a coffee bath. Part of it I left natural and hung to dry. Then I ironed it and drew a grid of 1" squares on it.  If this was going to be my final piece, I would just embroider every square. But since I rarely do things the easy way, I'm going to cut out and hem each piece, so in reality, only some of the squares will have embroidery or embellishments on them. The rest of the squares will be part of the seam allowances. This muslin was very thin so I doubled it to make a better foundation for the embroidery.

My first square is a little brown sheep. The second one is a bit of pink ribbon. The third one is a button sunflower. Some of the squares will be set on the diagonal, and some will be horizontal.

My kitten thought it was playtime and he really interfered with me getting much done.  Then we both took a nap.  The coffee dyed fabric should be dry now so I'll go bring that in and iron it.

Ready for embroidery and embellishing.

One inch grid on muslin.
Brown sheep with button head. I tried to hold the button on with French knots but it just popped right off.
I think I can do better.

Button sunflower, brown sheep, and pink ribbon.  I'm looking for just the right thing to put on the ribbon inchie.

Button sunflower on the diagonal.

The 2nd project is a primitive doll or prim. That was why I bought the coffee in the first place. So I also threw the doll's face into the boiling coffee.  She's hanging out on the line too.
Polly Pyewacket before coffee bath.
After being boiled in coffee. I thought it would be much darker. I may have to bake it.