Catch Up Progress

Happy New Year! Alright, it's a little late, I know, but still.  I haven't been good at fitting in blogging into my schedule lately.  I think about it all the time, don't get me wrong.  But sitting down and writing something has been a struggle.

Anyway, enough of my pity party.  What have I been working on?!

All my Christmas knitting was completed way before Christmas.  It was a huge weight off my shoulders.  I've got one or two other little things that didn't have to be quite done by Christmas, so I've still got those on my plate.  Everyone really enjoyed their knitted gifts.  Arlyn and Jenn got their Lucy hats, Shannon, Grandma and Aunt Cricket got arm knitted cowls, my nieces got their slippers and a caterpillar toy, co-worker Kate got her coffee mug cozy, Chelsea got a slouchy hat.  I felt like I was on a roll as far as making things this Christmas!  I also sewed a Schoodie for best friend Andrew to give to another friend.  And I made Dylan a sailor bracelet, and I'm working on a friendship bracelet for co-worker Nick.

As for things knitted for me, I'm still working on my Doctor Who shawl.  I finally figured out the lace pattern the other night.  I hardly have to look at the pattern anymore!  As a result, it's going much faster, and all I want to do is work on it.  I've also pulled out my TV Knitting Blanket again and was working on that (before I figured out the lace pattern in the shawl).  One of Dylan's friends has asked me to make him a hat, so I need to go out and get yarn for that...and Arlyn needs to give me back my US 8 DPNs she borrowed to make her first hat.  I tell you, knitting monsters over here!

I still have plans for that one silhouette embroidery project.  Someday I'll get back to it.  I also have more plans for other projects that I just need to get supplies for...and a better workspace.  Soon!

I got a book titled The Creative Entrepreneur for Christmas from my sister.  I'm starting to work in it a little more diligently than I have in any other creative business book.  I will, of course, go back and put things into my creative journal that I've read about before in other books, but The Creative Entrepreneur has been the kickstart to it all.  Finally!

I have plans to maybe revamp the blog schedule to see if I'll pay a little more attention to it in the coming months.  I'd like to work more on the Facebook page, too, as well as get a logo going for myself and whatnot.  Step by step, it'll all happen.

Progress and Updates Week of September 1

I'm off a couple days again with two reasons.  Wednesday was my uncle's birthday, so I was distracted from posting due to celebrations.  But, also, I got a phone call from my boyfriend's mom wondering if I had heard from him recently because there had been a workplace accident on the ship.  The ship's Facebook page named no names, so we were both in the dark about what happened and who was involved.  All we knew was that two of the three people involved were now in a hospital ashore. Lo' and behold, Dylan was involved.  That was no surprise to me.  His mom called me back a couple hours later saying that she had talked to him and he was in the hospital with a concussion, broken hand and bruised ribs.  While I was worried, I knew he was alright, and that's all that mattered to me.  I was able to talk to him a little early yesterday morning and he gave me a brief rundown of what happened before he went to rest more.

SO!  What have I been working on?  I did start the embroidery finally...but my thumb split this past weekend, so it was difficult to continue on that.  I'm almost done with Amanda's cowl (I hate kitchener stitch on laceweight yarn, let me just say).  I gave my sister her shawl and she loves it.  I took pictures of her in it Wednesday to post on Ravelry.

I've also started sewing my Halloween costume.  I'm going to be Chell from Portal and Portal 2.  I'm super excited to be making my Halloween costume again.  I used to do it every year as a teenager, but since college, I haven't had the time to put anything together.  I already have one of the tank tops, and socks that resemble long-fall boots.  I need a blue tank top, ballet flats (so I can walk around outside) and I need to get fabric paint for the back logo, as well as some white fabric for accents.  I got the fabric on Tuesday, and cut it out and started sewing it yesterday.  I have the pants portion done, though I think I need to add knee patches and another pocket to make it more screen accurate.  Which leads me to my next thought.

I'm working First Friday tonight at the museum.  It really puts a damper on my weekend creativity, because all I want to do is sew this weekend, but I can't today because I have to leave the house early enough so that I don't run into traffic on my way to work.  There's just lull in my creative process that is my job.  This is why I miss The Grove so much.  There, I was able to sit down and knit while I was working (of course I wasn't being paid) if it was slow.  And even if someone needed help, I was able to jump up, help and then go back to my knitting.  Those were better times.

I think today, I'll finish up Amanda's cowl, and start on her next project.  It's something easy I can put down when it's time for me to go to work tonight.

Again, I apologize I've missed posting on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  Next week should be better.  I'll try to post pictures of my costume progress, too!  Have a good weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Late Progress

Whoops. My Wednesday was sort of busy, and I did actually take pictures of the two knitting things I finished while I was blocking them...but I never got around to sitting down and writing a post.  Oops.  Sorry about that.

I finished the improv shawl I was working on and blocked it yesterday.

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And I also got around to blocking my Thinking of Waves shawl!

Stella is helping.  Clearly.

I keep talking about that embroidery project that I STILL haven't gotten around to touching.  I think about it here and there, and work on the reference pictures for it, but I just haven't found the motivation to actually sit down and work on it.  I've even thought of titles for it, but the motivation/inspiration just isn't there.  I hope it comes soon.

In other news, my sister requested that instead of those slippers she wanted me to make her, she wants her very own Lonely Tree Shawl!  I'm so excited to work on it, and started it two nights ago right after I was done with the shawl I made up.

I'll post an Inspiration Thursday here shortly!

Project Progress Wednesday: Knitting, Shawl Hanger and a "Coming Soon" Project!

So, I'm trying out this new blog schedule this week to see if I can manage doing something for my blog at least once a day.  Wednesdays are Project Progress days.  So, here we go! I already posted a picture of my Thinking of Waves shawl that I'm working on.  I have 5 rows left and then the bind off, and it's done!

On Monday, while browsing Facebook, I came across this idea on the Plymouth Yarn Company's page.  By using shower curtain rings, and a clothes hanger, one can make a nifty thing to store knitted shawls and scarves!  I saw that and immediately thought, "Hey, I have some of those shower curtain rings lying around underneath my sink, and I'm doing absolutely nothing with them!"  So I jumped up and grabbed my supplies and instantly made a scarf/shawl hanger.  It was perfect because I had just been thinking while picking up my room the other day that I didn't have any place or way to store my hand knitted shawls.  And now I do!

Shawl hanger

I have another fibers project in the wings, but I'm not sure I'm quite ready to talk about it yet.  It has to do with silhouettes and embroidery.  I'm looking forward to working on it and actually plan on messing with it today.

So that's all I have for this week's Project Progress.  What have you been working on this week?

Fall 2012 Recap

Last Semester, I had 5 classes and 15 credit hours.  They were as follows:

  • Roman Art
  • Contemporary Mexican Photography
  • Watercolor II
  • Printed Textiles
  • 3D Fibers

Roman Art was a blast.  Contemporary Mexican Photography was a joke.  Watercolor II was alright.  Printed Textiles was amazing.  3D Fibers was also a joke.

That about sums it up.  But let me show you some images.  Let's start with Watercolor.

I don't have too many images that I took from Watercolor II.  That class build upon what I had previously learned in Watercolor I.  It was an odd semester, though, because our professor was sick for about a month and we'd come to class only to see a sign on the door stating that she was not going to be there and we were encouraged to work on our paintings during class time.  Ha.  Haha.  Hahahaha.  My friend, Kelly, and I decided that it we could work on our paintings better at home and spent the time in some other productive way until 3D Fibers later in the day.  I've never done so many self portraits though.  Our assignments were a 21st century art piece, 7 self portraits in different styles, another self portrait utilizing geometric shapes, white on white, an imagined landscape, and an artist study.

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I enjoyed revisiting watercolor, however, I did not enjoy studying my face so much.  I hope to upload images to my Drawing and Painting portfolio.

3D Fibers.  Ohhh...3D Fibers.  Let's just say that our first assignment was 5 weeks spent on creating a group project with paper plates.  Paper.  Plates.  PAPER.  PLATES.  What a joke.  I don't meant to be so negative, but I was expecting something more from an upper division class!  My group's project came out fairly well regardless of the material we were given to use.  We made a barn owl we fondly named Wesley after Wesley the Owl.

Wesley the Owl

After that project, we had something a little more of what we were expecting, however, with less time to work on it.  I made jellyfish.

Jellyfish in Progress

I totally want to revisit this project and make better jellies.

Dyeing the Jellies

I believe after that was a wearable project...I don't have images of it though.  I made a "Security Jacket."  I basically altered a shirt I bought at Goodwill and made knitted, crocheted and sewn pieces to go on it.

The project after the wearable one was a felted project.  I felted over wolf figurines that I've had since I was a kid.

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Clever title, no?  I made 5 total, but the three pictured above were the best.

Printed Textiles had to be my favorite studio class of the semester.  We learned so many new techniques that I'm continuing to explore.  Our first print was a random one.

Barney and Baby-Bop at the Beach

Seriously.  That's what it looks like.  Haha.  I guess it was just the colors I subconsciously chose.

Our next assignment was to explore tessalations.

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Leap-Frog was next.

Leap Frog in Progress

I did all of that in one night.  It sat like this for a while because I wasn't sure of a border.  I ended up putting one on, but I'm not too fond of it.

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The last assignment was pretty much anything we wanted.  I chose to do a compositional piece about my dream studio.

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At this point we had learned the photo process of making screens for screen printing.  You can see here that I really utilized this technique.

Finished Dream Studio

During the critique, we decided that this print looked much better with the sides cropped.

So, that's a brief synopsis of last semester.  A lot seemed to happen both inside and outside of school.  I was hired and laid off, relationships were haywire.  But, hey, I survived.  I also was accepted into the Annual Undergraduate Juried Show in the Harry Wood Gallery.  More about that in the next post!

Shibori Stitch Resist and Indigo Dye

For Advanced Surface Design, I proposed my next project after the reliquary to be creating a rock garden using stitch resist and Indigo dye.   I planned to cut a piece of fabric into three pieces, stitch resist them separately, dye them, and then sew them back together again. The stitch resist took about 5 hours alone.  I stayed up till 3:30am for the first one.

After all three had been stitched and the stitches were pulled tight, I put them in the indigo dye.

The most rewarding part of this project had to be when I was taking all of the stitching out after dying each piece and seeing the resist lines on the fabric.

It was also fun to watch my hands turn blue.  There's something so rewarding to me about getting my hands dirty in the creative process.

I had made a plan of how I was going to get the entire project done before the critique.  However, the critique was changed to an in progress critique and so we did not have to have our projects completely finished by March 26th.  On that day, I simply had a piece of blue fabric that had been stitched back together with some shibori on it.  Clearly, it needed something else.  So I decided to start making french knots all the way around to make a simple border.

After that, it still needed something.  I consulted with my professor and we decided it needed something to break up the middle ground: red stitches.

And then after I was finished with that, it still needed something, didn't it?  Another simple border.  I dyed a piece of cotton navy blue, but it wasn't dark enough for my liking, so I put it in the indigo dye a few times to get it an even deeper blue.

And then, it was done.

Project Progress: Reliquary, Better Late Than Never

I kept meaning to take pictures of the progress of this reliquary project for Advanced Surface Design, but it just never happened.  I maybe have one shot of me embroidering it.  Also, blogging is one of the last things I'm thinking of as I'm in panic mode (this entire weekend was panic mode) trying to make something work, or trying to finish it on time.  So, here is my Requiem for a Sand Dollar.

The embroidered purple swirly things are meant to be something like mermaid tails because it is a folk belief that sand dollars are lost mermaid coins.  The blue embroidery reminded me of tentacles. The strings along the sides are threaded through the middle (under the sand dollar).  They are attached to the shell at the bottom and when you pull them, the box closes.

However, you have to pull pretty hard and hold it.  It won't stay closed.  This frustrates me because the size requirement says 6x6" (or 7, she gave us an inch of breathing room).  And open, it's not that size.  My sister made the comment that it is a reliquary for something from the sea and the sea cannot be contained, so it wants to burst out.  I liked that.

Also, the sort of flower embroidery on the outside was meant to represent the design on sand dollars.

Why did I do a sand dollar?  It goes along with the ocean theme I had started last semester in my first Surface Design class.  Also, I was thinking about how many reliquaries have bits of bone and things from saints.  Well, a sand dollar isn't but a skeleton of a sea animal so I thought it was fitting.

Critique is this afternoon (Monday, February 13), and I'm a bit nervous because I felt like this project could have gone so much better.  Namely, I wish it would stay closed without me holding it.  But, again, it's the sea and it cannot be contained.  I'm considering having it hang on the wall until we get to me in the critique.

Now, I would like to know what you think of this.  Please let me know in the comments below!