Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring day at the farm

Last Saturday, our family took a little outing to nearby Tilly Foster Farm. When we got there, we were surprised to see that it was "Draft Horse Day." We just intended to have a quiet walk on a spring day, but we got to see all kinds of unusual animals. Here are a few of my favorite shots (By the way, these were all taken by my daughter, Sarah, a budding photograper!).

Look at those hooves! Isn't he gorgeous?

These must've been some breed of miniature oxen. They were only about 3 feet tall!

I'm a sucker for this palomino coloring.

Here's a bold rooster.

Cassie is making friends with this yearling foal named Elmo!

This was an interesting interactive fiber art outdoor sculpture called "tree weaving." Someone wrapped twine around the trunks of two trees about 10 feet apart. Passersby were welcome to choose colorful strips of fabric from boxes nearby and weave them in and out of the twine. Neat!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Il Girasol

It's finished! Today I took the last few hand stitches to finish my piece for the Fiber Art North East show which is due May 6th. I made the sunflowers with a modified log cabin block, and skewed the pieces so they would appear to be turning towards the sun, as sunflowers do, which is the main thing I was trying to capture. I stamped on the leaves with acrylic paint, highlighted them with Neocolor crayons, and freemotioned around them. We had to keep the piece to 14" square and I always start out with a larger piece of fabric (because you can always trim it to size) but I always end up filling the larger piece and not wanting to trim anything. The sun looked a little crowded in there so I ended up making a separate little round quilt and stitching it on so it breaks the borders. I ended up using only one element from my previous attempts, the copper sunflower which is in the center of the sun. All in all, I'm happy with the bright, cheerful colors and the effect of swirling that I think comes through.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Going in circles?

The FiberArt Northeast group I belong to is preparing for another gallery show at the Mahopac Public Library, and our pieces need to be finished and stitched to the canvases by May 6th. I have been ruminating over my idea for my piece and running in many different directions. The basic theme I've chosen to go with is "sunflowers," and I began by playing with some of the new techniques I've learned over the last 6 months or so: thread sketching, papercloth, printing photos onto Lutradur, altering fabric with paint and paintstiks. Above are some of the collage elements I came up with, but I haven't been able to get them all into one pleasing collage.

This week, I'm taking another tack by piecing flower-like elements out of various yellow, orange, gold and brown fabrics. The first one I made is fairly large and I thought I might simply use this as the basis for the collage, and add other elements as embellishments.

Then I made the three smaller flowers this morning and I think I might make more of these and make more of a garden-like piece, adding some of the elements from the first photo.

At one point I felt so stuck with the sunflower idea that I abandoned it and played with some completely unrelated subjects, like the brightly colored squares to the left and the seahorse thread sketch on the right. Aagh! I don't think I work very well under pressure. It's hard to be creative on demand! If I get desperate, I may resort to showing a piece I finished in the fall of '08 (you can see a portion of it here). At least that will take the pressure off and help me loosen up a little!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Keepin' Busy!

Don't you just love the lavender and yellow color combination this time of year? I do! The spring weather is back so I spent some time outdoors today sprucing up the yard. I filled the window box liners with these cheerful pansies and planted any extras around the front yard. I hope my hubby will be able to get them up into the window boxes on Saturday because we will have 18 people here for dinner on Easter Sunday! Yikes!

So yes, I 've been a little busy. Here's what I've been doing:
  • Making lists! It helps keep me on track!
  • Shopping: for everything from food for the feast, to flowers for the yard, to decent spring clothes for myself and the girls;
  • Clearing out: especially the big drawers of old clothes under the girls' beds, closets etc!
  • Yard work: planting flowers (see above), thatching the dead spot in the lawn, removing the branches leftover from the tree that fell on our house in February, clipping the roses and lavender plants, removing leaves, yada, yada, yada...
  • Cleaning up: picking up, straightening up, neatening up everything!
  • Last minute stuff: which will actually start tomorrow: more cleaning, more shopping, some baking, other prep work.
  • A little bit of crafting: see the cute earrings I created below as a gift for someone special, but no new collages yet (maybe things will lighten up a little after Easter...)