Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

I thought I'd start off the year on a positive note and write an entry for my poor, neglected blog!  This fall, I was feeling like I needed to put fewer demands on myself and do less rather than more, hence the two-month hiatus.  Of course, things got busy here between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, and now that all the baking, shopping, decorating, hosting, eating, and celebrating are done, it's a good time to take a few moments to catch up.

Above is the piece I was working on in the fall, which I finished sometime in November.  I decided the woven painted pieces had a watery feel to them, what with all the ripples and circles, so I appliqued some solid waterlily shapes on top.  They look like they're floating, so I think that's what I'll call it.   I enjoyed this technique of slicing up painted, stamped or dyed fabrics and weaving them together.  It makes for a very unique background.  I'd like to try using it more.   Here's a close up:

And now on to the next project!  The FANE has been planning ahead for our group exhibit at the NSQG's annual show in May.  We wanted to do another 3-D kind of display and after much discussion, came up with the idea of stringing together some small shapes to make an 8-foot-long piece.  Each member is to make three of these, made up of basic shapes between 3 and 5" square (but they can also be circles or diamonds) connected by a short (2" or less) piece of yarn or ribbon.  We chose the name "FiberFall" for the exhibit.  I like the sound of that!

This is the ideal project to be done as a daily exercise, or at least, in small blocks of time.  I decided to get a head start on it the other day and made my first shape, below.  I still had a bunch of blue fabrics out from my "Summer Blues" WIP so I grabbed some of them and came up with this:

As usual, it took longer than you would think, mostly because the metallic thread I used kept breaking and I had to try several things (change the needle, adjust the tension, rethread the machine, rethread the bobbin) before everything went smoothly.  Then I hand stitched on the wire spiral in the center.  These pieces have to be seen from both sides, so the back looks just like the front.  It's a start!  I'm thinking I may create pieces to fit into the themes of Earth, Air, and Water (I always like to have a theme!).  And since I'm starting off the new year with ambition and gusto (cough, cough) I made another one this morning!  I think I'll hang these on the diagonal for greater movement and interest.

Even though I haven't done much blogging, I have been reading.   As a matter of fact, I am the new facilitator of one of the adult fiction book clubs at the library, so now it's my job to read!  This past fall we read The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland, North River by Pete Hamill, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (one of my favorites).  This month we will be discussing The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (I read this last summer and loved it).  I also picked up Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love).  We can all use a little creative inspiration for the new year, and this book has gotten very good reviews.  But it's already overdue on my library card so I'd better get cracking!

How have you started off your new year?


Vivien Zepf said...

Good luck on the 3D project! If each piece is a little gem like these, it will be great.... but might take you right up until the day it has to be done. These are so time and hand-work intensive.

Please continue to share your adult book group reading list; I'm always up for recommendation. FWIW, I loved The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry too.

Norma Schlager said...

You are inspiring me to start my little squares. I really like what you have done.