Friday, December 31, 2010

Snowman on Snow Days

I attempted three snow sculptures this week.  The first was a snowman.  His snow life was cut short when we sledded over him.  (1. He was not very tall, the snow was not packing well. 2. It was not a sled, more of a salad serving bowl that we used to 'sled' down the hill.) My second attempt was an igloo, complete with an entrance way.  This was bombed by a surprise snowball attack from my brother.  My third and final attempt was a snow angel.  Moments after I climbed out of my angel it was run over by Brent, in his truck. And I do mean moments.  I'm almost positive he was aiming for me. 

Tuesday, I settled for making a snowman in fabric.  I felt it was safer for the snowman and me.  He was created with fused fabrics and then quilted by machine.  

I added beading for the first time (and it won't be the last time) and did some hand embroidery for the details.  


The result was a drier, warmer day for me, and fun wall hanging! 

See this on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Very Best Assistants

I'd like to introduce you to my assistants.  They are possibly the best fans you could ask for... faithful, kind, and supportive.  They bring warmth (and sometimes odor) to my studio.  Unfortunately, naps occur frequently, so we are working to improve work productivity. 

Toeby likes to play.  Mostly while I am working.  I frequently get hit in the leg with a toy which is his sign for me to throw it .  It is nice to take breaks from my projects, but the frequency of his 'play times' continues to increase.  When he gives up he usually decides to sit right next to my legs... usually resulting in tail injuries.  

Daisy Mae prefers to watch from a distance.  She studies every movement and piece, never making judgement.  Her only vocal outbursts come in the form of loud snores.  

We work comfortably together in our shared studio space.  I have learned to walk around the water bowl as opposed to knocking it over every time I walk by.  Brent and I have both learned that the dogs like to pull the cotton batting out of the container to play.  Perhaps they think it is indoor snow.  

Toeby and Daisy have learned that when I enter their room and light a candle I'm staying for the day, and that makes us all happy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Morris Family!

As I scurry around finishing the shopping lists, wrapping gifts, scrubbing toilets and baking quiches (not in that order) I am looking forward to my week and a half break with family and friends. Regardless of how many last minute tasks come up, or finishing touches need to be done, it is nice to spend the evenings with the people I love. I hope that you will be able to do the same throughout this holiday season! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tropical Thoughts on a Snowy Weekend

I like the beach. A Lot.

I like sand, sun, waves.  I like the warmth of the sun.  I like to sit on the beach for hours and hours.  

I am not, however,  a fan of cold weather.  I don't like to wear socks or bulky clothing.  Cold air makes me grouchy.  If it is going to be cold, I want it to snow, but only if I am watching it from inside.  

So, nothing made me happier than to get a commission for beachy scenes, especially during these snow days! I was asked to make a beach themed necklace for a woman in Mathews.  Only one necklace was needed, but I made a couple extras so she could pick which one she wanted.  Here is the process, and the results!

All of the bottle top pendants are started on fabric.  They are created with fusing and hand stitching techniques.  Sometimes I use other materials like pens, fabric paint or beads.  Once that is done they are covered with resin to seal and protect the fabric.  

The resin hardens and is glass-like.  From here they can be strung to be necklaces or wired for ornaments.

The beach scene with the birds was the final pick.  I have to say my favorite was the palm tree, but I love them all, of course. I think the next step will be wine glass charms... perhaps over Christmas break, or, maybe over a few more snow days!  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Late Holiday Entry

Here is a late entry to the holiday season.  These are dove ornaments made by fusing fabric.  I had these beautiful white fabrics, one with silver glitter and one that has a white flower print, that I wanted to use for doves. I thought I would make a couple, add them to Etsy, and see the reaction they bring... who knows, maybe an idea for next year! 


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Starting over... again and again

I have my students create sketch after sketch before starting a project.  They hate it. I tell them over and over again, "better to start over on a sketch than start over on a project."  So why is it, that on my last three projects, I have started over every time? And not just a little start over, I mean, nearing completion and then throwing the thing out.  Sometimes I get a better idea, sometimes I just don't like it, sometimes I get bored with it.  Whatever the case may be, someone on a limited amount of studio time (me) should be learning to use time more wisely.  

For example, Unity.  I started this piece and created the entire thing with stitching.  Hand stitching. No machine work. It was the exact same image, but done with thick solid threads.  After working on it for DAYS, I hated it, threw it out, and started over.  Do I love the final piece? Yes. Should I have focused on planning before hand? Yes.  

Then there was Charley's Giraffe.  I have already admitted to procrastination on this, but spending an entire day working on a background painting only to find that it looked too 'grown-up' for a child's nursery didn't help. Best to throw it out and start over!  

Now I am working on Caitlin's Cats.  I've been working on this since October, but started over last weekend.  There were two driving forces.  First, I don't have to have it completed until Christmas because I know she isn't coming home before then.  Second, I hated it.  It was very small and geometric.  The background kept the cats in seperate sections which made it look too uniform.  I found myself not working on it simplly because I didn't want to.  (You also have to realize that one of these cats knocked my toothbrush in a toilet, so finding motivation to work on her can be difficult.)  

Last weekend I pulled out different fabric, drew some cat silouhettes and started sewing.  I like the detail in this new background and am ready to begin again.  Lets hope I can keep it at just two re-dos now....