Showing Up

The hardest part of my day is waking up. I have two alarms set four days a week: one at 4:45 and the other at 5am. The 4:45 one breaks me out of whatever deep sleep I was in so I can slowly start moving towards being fully awake. The 5am alarm is the final push to get me out of bed. I never hit the snooze button because I know I'll just go right back to bed and miss work. In fact, I keep my phone across the room so that it forces me to get up to turn it off. 

Showing up to work isn't too much of an issue. When people are depending on me I always try to make it a point to be early or on time. But what happens when you need to start showing up for yourself? Personally, when I have plans to work on something on a certain day and then don’t force myself to sit down and do it, I’m disappointed. I was depending on myself to show up. I didn’t . This is something I need to work on now and in the future, ESPECIALLY if I’m going to make art a full-time thing. 

A lot of creative marketing blogs and podcasts discuss the idea of showing up for your audience. That's what I've been trying to do for you these past few weeks. If I have something to show you, and I show up to present it to you, the more likely it is for you to want to continue to see what I'm working on. And that's all I want. (Hopefully, my start time can be a little later than 5am, though.)

So, check this out!

I made another Mini-Felted creature (fox/wolf?). He measures 4" x 2.5" x 3.75". I haven't quite decided on a name yet, but he looks like a Frank or Frankie to me. I'll sit with him just a bit longer to decide, but I think that will be his name. As soon as he has a name, he'll be up for sale.

I would love to start having some audience participation in naming some of these creatures. Do you have any suggestions on what to name this little guy?

Knitting Plans

After the last couple of weeks, I feel as if I haven't made a whole lot this week.  I was thinking about it last night and I average about one knitted item a week and am usually working on some other project at the same time (usually unrelated to knitting).  Typically I'm not a one project knitter.  I have a scrap blanket in the works, and plans for another blanket.  When I was working on my Embrace Sweater, I kept that one at home and took another project (I think it was my Doctor Who shawl) out and about with me. Right now I'm solely working on a Sea Foam Cowl that I'm using up some stash yarn with.  Last week I was moving (*gasp!*) all of my stash into my new storage unit, because, you know, I'm moving.  But, I made sure to pull out some yarn I totally forgot I had so that I had something to use this summer.  This is due to me realizing I was almost done with my list of projects I had planned for last year.  I think, also, that's why I started working on one thing at a time.

I was also a bit bad, and bought some new yarn last week.  I couldn't resist it.  It's Wanton Fiber's Tart in the Koi colorway.  It's Alpaca and Silk...so soft and heavenly!  It came all wrapped up like this:

Wanton

And when I opened it....ERRMERGERD.  I love it so much.  It's sitting next to my knitting spot as motivation for me to finish the Sea Foam Cowl and start knitting with the Tart yarn.

Tartkoi

I've already planned what project I'm going to make with it.  I've been wanting to make Purl Bee's Bandana Cowl.  With a little math, I was able to adapt the bulky gauge pattern to comply with my new sport weight.  I hope to finish it before my trip to Alaska, because it's going to be super warm and soft up against my neck.

I also made more project bags on Monday.

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I made a total of 7, two are the foxes.  I made a second one for a coworker who also knits.  I really hope she likes it because it's a total surprise.  The two on the far right are for Den because I gave her a refresher on knitting.

So, there's really no excuse why I shouldn't have a tutorial for these.  I was good a took pictures to make a tutorial for tomorrow's blog post.  That's all I have for you today, so please stop back tomorrow for the project bag tutorial!

Lots of Knits

As if I don't already knit quickly, I finished my Glam Shells shawl this week. I really like how it came out. I was afraid the pattern might be a little cliché, but I really enjoyed it! The body was an easy repeat to remember and the lace went quickly. 20140417-002918.jpg

I just finished another Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief. This one is for Damian for his graduation! He had some Plymouth Yarn Company Gina that he got from The Grove a few months ago and asked if I'd make it for him. Two day (probably less if I really put my mind to it) project!

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And finally, something that I'm even more excited about...I made my own stitch markers!

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I used charms and split rings from Michael's.  Damian, Den and I were browsing the charms when we came up with the idea.  I can't wait to start using some of them soon!

I also found some yarn in my stash that I can use for more knitting in the coming months.  I'm traveling a bit

Project Progress: What I'm Knitting Right Now

Good morning! I thought I might show you what's on my needles right now.

After finishing my Doctor Who shawl, I decided to dig in my planned projects bag.  I pulled out my Zitron Filigran yarn to be used with The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief pattern.  I had been wanting to make it ever since I saw it at The Grove during my internship.  As the pattern calls for DK weight, and Filigran is fingering to lace weight yarn, I'm going to have to add a lot more repeats to get it to the size I want.  Honestly, it's going pretty quick for being such a small gauge of yarn.  Also, the colorway is perfect for me.  Of course, it's called Ocean, and it keeps me pretty engaged, wondering when the next color will show up!

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Also on my needles is something I picked back up.  I had an itch to work with Ewe Ewe's Wooly Worsted again.  I remembered that my friend Amanda had asked me to make a Puzzle Pieces changing mat for her future children.  I had kind of set it aside for a while to focus on other things, since she doesn't plan on having kids right this second.  But I needed something with instant gratification yesterday.  I can make each piece in about 30 minutes.  I probably made about 6 or 7 yesterday alone.

Photo Mar 26, 10 05 15 AM

So, that's what I've been working on this week.  I need to do a little more work on my felted deer, which is sitting neglected in the corner by the kitchen table.  Whoops.

See you tomorrow!

Thinking About Halloween Already

So, it's almost the middle of September, and I've already started on my costume for Halloween. I mentioned it in a post last week.  Here's a sneak preview image. Photo Sep 11, 10 10 13 PM

I'm pretty proud of that pocket, let me just say.  I've started on the shirt portion of the costume, but I need to go back and redo a few things on it before I'm ready to show pictures.  I had to go back to Joann's twice to get piping and more of the duckcloth in white.  I also was able to get a blue tank top yesterday to go underneath the costume one.  And I got fabric paint for the back design.  Come to think of it, I should have gotten grey as well.  Damn.  Oh well, another trip back to the craft store for me, I guess.

I haven't been motivated to work on the embroidery project.  But here's a little something.

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I've started on the border, but I'm planning on making it more elaborate than just a line of embroidery.  We'll see.  It's sort of evolving on its own as I think about it.

I also said in my last post that I was finishing Amanda's Cowl.  Let me tell you, kitchener stitch is a bitch.  But I made it.  Here's a picture of the lovely bias.

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I've already started on her next project, too.  I'm loving the puzzle peices!  They're just so simple and I can knock them out one by one pretty quickly.

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Amanda usually leans towards chocolate browns...she must be having a green kick considering the last project I made for her, and this one!

The yarn for my sister's Christmas present arrived today.  I can't wait to get started on it.  She picked out the Lucy Hat in the same colors as pictured in that link.  I'm looking forward to getting started on it.

I think that's all I have for progress this week.  What are you working on right now?

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!

New Year, New Update

ihnfiwthiaditwflyer_wastedrita(Image via The Curious Brain)

So I suppose this blog is a year old.  Happy birthday to....it?  Me?

This image is clearly how I feel right now.  This is the last semester of my college career and the question "What are you going to do after you graduate?" continuously pops up in conversation.  The image says it all: "I have no fucking clue what the hell I'm going to do after graduation (but beer and snacks help)."

I apologize for not updating last semester.  Things got in the way.  I really hope to plan a post on everything I made during Fall of 2012.  I also plan to post on my recent adventure to The National Needlearts Association Tradeshow that I attended last weekend!

Hopefully as I ease into this semester more I will be able to post more and post in progress images of my projects I'm working on.  My Senior Exhibition class this semester should aid in getting myself more motivated to write and keep you updated on my artist life.

Until then...!

 

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.