Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 30

Really short on time today.  Considering this is a quickie sketch with no real thought to carefully maintaining proportions it's really good.  It's just a little vitamin bottle that was sitting on the table in front of me.  Not bad for a rush job.

March 29

One of my favorite coffee mugs.  It's hand made and has all these cool designs in the glaze. 

March 28

This is a sketch of a little desk cone that I got from a former boss.  My awesome cone.  I just decided I wanted to sketch something and saw it on my desk and thought why not.  So here it is.

March 27

More knitting!  It's interesting to see how my tension changes depending on where I am.  The very beginning I was just chilling at my aunt's house and it came out nice.  However, since then a lot of this has been done on the train/bus and it really shows.  That's where the mess ups in stitches happen, changes in tension; I need a lot more knitting practice.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26

Today's painting marks my filling an entire sketchbook.  I've never filled a book before.  Not a journal and certainly not a sketchbook.  Feels rather good.  More trees, but then I do seem to like them.  I think I need some warm weather and sunshine.

March 25

Came home and barely knitted a bit onto this before falling asleep on couch sometime between seven and eight.  I'm not sure why I was so tired, but at least I got a little done.  Less mistakes too.  Not much else to say.

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 24

Went to Lincoln Square Pottery for their two hour weekend workshop ( )  It was so much fun.  The instructor Ed is a trip.  He's one of those people who make you say, I want to be that cool when I'm in my sixties.  He's awesome and tells the best stories.  Anyways, we learned how to make a slab-built pitcher.  It was really cool, working the air bubbles out of the clay, pressing it with the big press, in my case pressing a pattern into it, cutting and assembling, and finally applying a glaze color.  I chose a pale blue because I was warned that if I used a darker color the pattern wouldn't show as well.  I had to leave it there to be fired and glazed.  When I get it I'll post an updated final picture.  A random side note:  The second picture at the top is the cloth used to put the clay through the presser and then work on.  I was really amused that they are all Dragon Dice mats.  Made me smile.  I've missed my dad a lot the last couple days.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 23

Today my creativity went to dancing in an amazing charity show with these fantastic ladies and several others who I wasn't able to catch pictures with.  I was actually the closing number for the first act.  I didn't feel worthy of it, but it went really well.  The event benefited Heartland Animal shelter.  It was put on by my good friend and beautiful dancer Moxie.  It left me with a really good vibe at the end of the night.  Such a good time.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22


I decided to try weaving with yarn on my pot holder loom.  The last time I went to Chicago Weaving School, Natalie said I could achieve a weft-face weave, on it.  It's a lot more complex without a shuttle or warp stick, but it is totally possible.  I even remembered some of the patterns.  I put the ruler in at the bottom to keep me from weaving down too far to weave the edges in at the end.  It's also keeping some of the warp in place.  A couple pulled off, but it seems stable enough.  It's not great, but it's not awful.  My edges are coming in farther than I would like them to.  It probably has something to do with using a wide-toothed comb to push the weft down.

March 21

This is how I spent the majority of my day.  On the clock.  As a wrap up for some in-house professional development we were given a scratchboard and a couple tools and asked to represent what we had learned in the program.  It focused on inquiry and getting kids to use deeper thinking skills.  I chose to make a spiral staircase.  Of course I chose to make a spiral staircase.  We were given a smaller board to practice and experiment with, and I destroyed it.  I didn't understand how to make things "look right".  So as with all new mediums, I went to the interwebs and looked for tutorials.  Yes, I had to have someone explain that drawing with a scratchboard is like drawing in reverse.  When you draw, you put on the page what you want, where you want it.  With a scratchboard, you have remove what you don't want.  The project took me six house to complete all told.  It was more exhausting to use creative energy that long, than it is to chase my preschoolers for nine hours straight.  I'm really happy with how it came out.  I'll be really disappointed if I don't get to keep it.  I'd like to frame it.  I'm not sure I'll do scratchboarding again.  It was an interesting exploration, but this one really drained me.

Here it is in -progress with a lot more scratching still to be done.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 20

Man perspective is a bitch.  It was really hard to capture the curve of the tiara in the design.  I don't think I did it very well.  The left side is better than the right.  The right almost looks mangled or dented.  It's been a while since I sketched.  Additionally, I did this without using my thumb as a guide, this was all free hand, no measuring with pencil.  I'm not sure if that's progress or just a different method.

March 19

I spent some time cleaning out more in the studio, working towards the finished product.  I think I decided that instead of painting it I wants to, tastefully, decorate with framed examples of work, either my own or pieces that inspire me.  So after that I didn't have a lot of time to create.  I worked on the applique a bit since I haven't touched in in about a week I think.  It always looks so messed up in progress.  Eventually it's going to be usable.  I'm anxious to get it done and use it!

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18

This is based off a doodle I did in a meeting today.  The black on white was a little frustrating because too much white kept being drawn up.  But I like it.  Here is the original sketch:

P.S.  My new studio is fantastic!

March 17

I've lived in my apartment for almost 5 years now with the second bedroom set up as an office.  Any time spent in there was spent cleaning because when you have a room you don't use (at all) you tend to dump stuff in it to deal with later.  This was only a place for things to live, I never used it as an office.  Recently I was thinking that I should just downsize to a one bedroom.  Then I realized, it didn't have to be an office...what if it was a studio?  I started having grand plans for how wonderful it would be.  Then the instant gratification issues started.  This is going to take a lot of work and I want a studio NOW! So on a day I set aside to clean the house, I instead spent hours in the office working towards a studio.  The above pictures are the before.  Here are the afters:

It is in no way shape or from done.  However, it is usable.  I was looking around for a new desk for my art table because I do need to store office-type things in here, and realized my desk would be perfect if not for the hutch.  Taking the hutch off took and hour because you have to take the desktop off to get at the screws that hold it all together.  Halfway through, as I was wrestling with the heavy desktop/hutch assembly in an area I had not given myself enough space in I admittedly thought, "Doing this alone might have been a stupid move.  Can't reach my phone if I get stuck.  I'll have to be extra careful not to get stuck."  I'm not sure these are the thoughts of a sane person.  Anyways I did get it off and the desktop reattached.  Got tons of things cleaned out and have many many books to be donated to Open Books (a literacy charity).  I want to repaint, get shelves for over the desk, move both bookcases to one side of the room, and there is more cleaning out to do.  But it's a start!  Hooray for creating creative spaces! (And for restoring dining rooms to their original functions.)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 16

Every time I think I got the hang of seed stitch I come to a place where my brain clearly wandered off and I did the wrong stitch and I find myself having to undo one or two rows to fix what I messed up.  The problem is that knitting, like crochet and embroidery creates a very zen mood in me.  I relax, and I do zone a little.  Maybe I need to make sure I'm not choosing a stitch that alternates if I'm going to zone out while doing it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

March 15

My creative moment was really random today.  While waiting for the bus, I noticed a puddle in which I could very clearly see the reflection of a street light.  I couldn't get the camera to capture the amount of detail that I could see on light part itself.  There were several rings in the light cover and varying levels of light through those rings.  I started playing in the puddle with my foot.  I tapped in various manners (quick, slow, hard soft, different distances, splashing, pushing, etc) and watched how the resulting ripples played across the reflection.  I was so fascinated by the puddle, I may have neglected to signal the bus driver and missed a bus.  So I went back to playing, but watched a little more closely for the bus as well.

March 14

More fun with pouring medium.  I managed to get some squeeze bottles so I can control the pouring more than just out of the side of a plastic bowl.  It was fun.  At one point I had a bottle in each hand and was just swirling all over the place.  I felt like a kid.  After I had all these colors I got a toothpick and started swirling within the puddles.  It's a psychedelic mess, but it was fun.  I painted the background white this time because when I painted on black I learned that the medium makes the paint dry slightly transparent so the colors seemed a little dingy.  When the paint on this dried the places that hadn't been mixed were bright, but it seems as though the colors that I swirled with the toothpick continued to blend together after I was done.  Those colors still seemed to dry muddy, but the unblended ones remained very bright.  More fun to come later.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13

It's been a little bit since I painted.  Overall I'm happy with this.  When I was painting it I couldn't figure out what about the water/land line that was odd and not sitting right.  As I sit here I realize that there is no foreground background change in the line, it is just a solid vertical line.  I think there should be an angling off.  Time to study some more images.

March 12

I started this a while ago as a surprise for a friend.  The applique didn't come out as well as I would have liked, but I hope she likes it when it's finished.  Which will hopefully be soon.  :-)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 11

I continued working on my seed stitch piece.  Messed up several times because I wasn't paying attention.  Which means I got to practice pulling stitches back out without dropping stitches in the process.  Looking at the part I did yesterday versus the part I did today there is a big difference.  The stitches are not as even and there are mistakes that I didn't catch.  Oh well, on to tomorrow.

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 10

I gave up on the green yarn for now.  It was seriously frustrating me.  I'm not sure if it was the size 7 needles or the single ply yarn or both.  Anyways, I got out size 9s and some random white yarn I had and started seed stitching again.  It's coming out much better this time.  You can actually see the pattern.  I still have a hard time getting an even stitch in the first couple rows after casting on, but otherwise I think I'm doing pretty well for someone who has been knitting for less than a year.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 9


Weaving Day! Natalie let me give a table loom a try.  I was a little intimidated at first, but once i got the hang of it it was pretty cool.  This is a weft-face weave.  After she saw I had the hang of it she showed me how to weave with two colors.  After that is was all about patterns.  I had so much fun.  This is the finished project with all the ends woven in.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

March 8

 I am a potholder making machine!  I'm probably having more fun with this than I should, but I spent 2 hours last night just weaving potholders.  That and rather anally separating all the colors into their own baggies.  I was getting frustrated by hunting down my next looper in the massive bag of assorted colors.  Now I can just grab the colors I want and not worry about it.  Of course if I keep up at this pace I'll run out of loopers really quickly.

Friday, March 8, 2013

March 7

Remember these?  I had some much fun making this.  Since making the scarf I'm a little obsessed with weaving.  I managed to find cotton loopers.  When I was growing up all we could get was nylon ones.  The problem with nylon loopers is the do not insulate against heat (kind of important in a potholder), and they actually melt if the dish you're handling is too hot.  I've been looking up different patterns to try.  This is my no means my last potholder.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 6

Not my best work.  I was really distracted.  The biggest issue for me is that I feel like there should be a lot more background and mid-ground trees.  I know, I know, "Don't judge, just breathe".  It's bad, but i could be better.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 5

Major snow day means lots of chances for photography.  One my lunch today, I went out while it was still snowing and spent half an hour tromping around looking for snowy thing to photograph.  This is what I found.  I should say, this is the best of what I found.  Some of my pictures did not come out well, I posted the best ones.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 4

I started appliqueing the embroidered felt down.  I really do not enjoy applique stitch.  It is tedious.  I takes a long time to go no where.  That small section there took 45 minutes.  Unfortunately, the only way to finish it is to applique it.  On with the stitching!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 3

This is the embroidered piece that I will applique down onto my coffee sleeve.  Annoyingly, I ran out of time to finish the Y.  It will take me about 2 minutes to do, but when you're out of time, you're out of time.  The flower design is inspired by an Egyptian lotus my sister created for my belly dance business cards.  The shimmy?  We'll coffee certainly does help fuel those and goodness knows too much coffee will cause involuntary shimmies.  :-)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 2

I decided to get out my crochet hook today.  I've made cup cozies for others, but not for myself.  This one is going to be mine.  It's made with single ply yarn and sized for a grande coffee cup..  It isn't finished yet.  I'm going to embroider a design on felt and then applique it on.  But not today.