Thanks to Ryliss, of Tacoma Sewing & Design School
, last year I got connected with Amy of Sew Well. She's a blogger who is part of the Mood Sewing Network
. Since then, Amy & I have followed one another's blogs.
And then, one day I noticed that I was getting traffic from her site. Whoa... did she talk about me? I followed the link and discovered that she listed me as part of the Seattle Sewing blog community. How cool is that?! Thank you Amy.
I'm sorry I wasn't able to meet up with you at Sew Expo this year (I was wiped by the time Tula's class ended at 11AM Sunday!), but I do look forward to meeting you in future and your sweet baby girl. Congratulations to you and your hubby!
Every year when February turns into March, there's a HUGE 4-day sewing event called Sew Expo
which is held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds - also known as the Washington State Fair. I have attended this event off and on since I was a kid and actually learned to sew from some of the women who helped start the event. In the last 5 years, I've become more dedicated to both my sewing and as such attending. I always learn something new and interesting and walk away feeling rejuvenated and wonderfully inspired.
This year, after overdoing it a few years back, I signed up for no more than 4 classes a day, usually 3 and gave myself at least 1 day away from the show to just piddle at home. I don't put any pressure on myself to sew these days because my brain is too full. Plus, this way, I can wander the show at my leisure and also give myself time to think about what I'd like to purchase rather than make an impulse buy. One of my goals is to buy items for a specific purpose or project, rather than, "This is pretty, but I don't yet know what I'll do with it, but I have to have it!" My pocket thanks me for this.
The Showplex as Viewed from the Vogue Fabrics Booth
I love that there are a few vendors you can count on attending each year and bringing wonderful fabrics or patterns or something inspiring such as the Seattle group that sells Japanese Sewing Tools, Marcy & Katherine Tilton, Bravo Bella, Jan Bones, Billie's Designer Fabrics, Nancy's Sewing Basket, and Vogue Fabrics just to name a few.
Plus, there always seem to be a few new vendors that surprise and delight you. One I discovered this year is By Annie, from Utah. I'm designing up some bags to use for my outdoor activities and stumbled upon her cool "soft and stable" which makes a bag stand up on it's own! And then I saw she had patterns and kits (which included the small piece of clear vinyl - Yay!). So, I figured why not start with her designs & kits and see how they work as I'm running around like a wild woman. I picked up a few small bags patterns, including one for cell phone + a couple other little things and her Yoga Bag pattern. I'm very excited and so is my stash of quilting cottons!
Vogue and Butterick Creative's Closet
Fashion Show with Marcy and Katherine Tilton
I make a point of attending at least one fashion show a year. This year, I saw the Tilton's / Vogue & Butterick Fashion show. I really like what they bring to show and how they approach creating. They don't put limits and allow themselves to discover new techniques. Plus, they always include something from Diane Ericson, a very creative and inspiring woman, and several other amazingly talented sewists in their community.
The piece that stood out to me this year was Diane Ericson's jacket made from a used drop cloth. My first thought was, "uh....um...." then I saw it and was like, "OH THIS IS LOVELY! I'D WEAR THAT!" eyeballs all bugged out with surprise! Diane's jacket is the bottom row directly below, photos left and center.
I also love that the Tilton's are aware of what is all the rage in Paris. They bring us such interesting designers and techniques to study and learn about.
They left us with a wonderful shock. One of the newest crazes in wedding dresses, in Michigan in fact, is CAMO. Yes. Camouflage. I'm not surprised because many of the auto factories would be practically empty during hunting season, especially opening day. If many husbands are into it, often wives are. Plus, many women, including some of my dearest friends, hunt and fish. My auntie used to bow hunt. While it's not my preference, I can see it's place. I'd probably wear camo if I was out photographing or counting birds. Hunting just isn't my thing. Though I do think the dress below right is kind of pretty. It's snow camo. Not for my wedding, but it would be a fun pair of pants or an interesting portion of a jacket. Usually I just feel awkward in any form of camo. How about you? Would you choose camo? Have you worn it?
Marcy always does an excellent and thorough job of reporting on sew expo, plus their booth is divine and I always make a point of buying something from them to support them and inspire my sewing. If you'd like to see better photos of the outfits or find out what Vogue or Butterick patterns were used, please go look at her Newsletter:
Classes at Sew Expo
with Diane Ericson, Monica O'Rourke-Bravo,
Jan Bones and several others.
Diane wasn't at Sew expo in 2012 and I missed her classes in 2011. So this year I made a point of taking every class she offered. She taught:
- Solving the Mystery of Pattern Sizing
- Growing your Creativity
In "pattern sizing" the projector wouldn't work and she didn't have her slides, but she handled it like a pro. I didn't feel like I missed out on anything and she gave us a few tips to think about: fabric, fit, style.
In her creativity class I think I wore out my pen I took so many notes. Creativity is one of Diane's areas of expertise. This woman is so amazing! She gave us so many starting threads with which we can follow to build our creativity. One thing that sticks in my mind is how we define ourselves. Diane said that we do this by "the risks we take, the things we "say", and by how we put things together. This is what sets us apart and is what gives us our design edge." Now I'm even more excited to play with the paper airplane stencil
Monica O'Rourke Bravo (Bravo Bella)
I watched, in years past at sew expo, how ridiculously full the Bravo Bella booth was. "Boy I'm staying away from that one!" I thought to myself. I avoid crowds, and avoid any opportunity that has the potential to turn into a shoving match. As an empath, I pick up WAY too much of other people's energy especially in crowded, confined spaces like a booth. But, this year, I've nearly purchased 3 different bra patterns, and am on the cusp of making my own bras. So, I figured, instead of trying to learn what I can from the Bravo Bella women in the 2 seconds you get with them in their booth, why not just go take a class where people tend to be a bit calmer. Besides, Michelle is likely teaching as a way to lead sales. So, she's likely to talk about her patterns and products at least a little. Then I can decide if I'm up for this or not. She offered 2 classes - Bras & Panties. Well, turns out I am up for the challenge of bra making and I'm SO glad I took both of Michelle's classes.
In her panties class, while Michelle was setting up, we got a moment to meet her husband and sweet little boy. He even played peek-a-boo through the chair with me. I also figured that it might help Michelle & her hubby a little if their son was occupied playing for even a couple moments. I wished I had Pi with me. Oh to see the delight on a kids face when they meet Pi, my purple dragon puppet
. But I'm on a tanget. Back to Panties! Michelle talked about fabrics, elastics, shapes, and even showed us how to copy a pair of panties that fits us well. That worked out perfectly because I have a few pair I absolutely love and have wanted to duplicate using my knit scraps. Whoopie!
Bras. This was a most informative class. We learned about patterns on the market, how to determine your breast shapes and how that affects the pattern you need, sizing, fitting, and how to make a fix to ready-to-wear. I must interject that Michelle is an excellent teacher. She's a physics teacher by day and it definitely shows in the way she teaches her sewing classes. She gave us great hand-outs with even a bit of room for notes, she was thorough, had great slides and "show-and-tell". Plus, since she is familiar with the principles of physics, she also applies that to bras. Hello, what are bras but object to defy the feats of gravity. The engineer in me was most excited to know that some science is behind her sewing work. :)
I did make the trek to her booth and brave the crowds. I got fitted, picked up her starter kit and asked about sports bras. She recommended one of her kits and the same bra for daily and sports wear with just differing fabrics. One week later, I already have the pattern cut out and have begun sewing. Thank you Michelle & Bravo Bella team! Go see her or take a class if you ever have the chance. (or any of the others in this post). Michelle, like Jan Bones, brings you the most useful tools, patterns, and information. She's tried things out and makes a point of offering things you will use. For example, she has this wicked awesome measuring tape that you wrap around you and it snaps in place - NO HOLDING. I used it to measure my leg in 10 spots from knee to ankle as I learn to fit leggings. It's brilliant!
Jan Bones (Lingerie Secrets)
Oh Jan Bones. How I adore this woman. A teacher at heart and a talented designer. To me Jan embodies practical delights. Practical because ever pattern, design, technique always fills a purpose in the most effective way. She wastes no time and always shows you the most interesting things. Delight because once you start to learn from her, you realize that while her work is quite practical, you can also make it fancy, flashy, and fun while not worrying about whether something will ride up or down or be ill fitting. I got caught a few years back dismissing her patterns because the covers weren't "fancy" or "chic". "Oh those are simple. I could do that without the pattern." Yeah, sure, but I didn't have Jan's years of experience nor the family teachings she had passed down. So be not fooled my sewing friends. Consider that Jan's practical, straight forward and non-complex approach might be do-able without buying from her, but in reality, you gain SO much more by taking classes from her and making her patterns. I've even gone into her classes thinking, "Well, I probably won't learn something new." HA! I laugh at my younger self, who at times couldn't "see past the end of her nose". Ha! Yes, you will. I learn something every time.
This year, I took 2 of Jan's classes at Sew Expo. Darts and Lingerie Bottoms. Oh my goodness. Suitably inspired, learned how to adapt patterns I already have and bought a few new patterns from Jan. In the darts class, Jan went from head to toe using darts. It was even more fascinating than I anticipated. She brought in several garments, showed us techniques that were outside her patterns and also showed us some of her patterns. Plus, she talked of discoveries she just made with darts on some pants in unusual placements. I was giddy when I left.
In Jan's Lingerie Bottoms, she showed us the slew of great patterns she has. But, none of it felt like a sales pitch. More like, "Aren't these fun?" She made cute versions of her long undies that can be worn as leggings. She made us laugh with slang terms that none of us knew or would have assumed could have been "naughty" in another country. And she showed us these sleep shorts she designed that are straight of grain in the front, bias in the back. I bought the pattern and am scouring my stash for fabric to make them. I, like Jan, love a little cotton sleep short in the summer.
Chance Sightings and Meeting Other Sewing Bloggers
For the first time, Sew Expo was like seeing many old and new friends. It was almost like going to the grocery store in your hometown and running into people you know. I of course met up with my dear friend Carla and we wandered and got inspired. I think my quilting friend may be inspired to sew clothing! Oh goody, goody! I also bumped into other local sewing friends and had good chats. The fun discovery was looking over and seeing Maris (of Sew Maris
) and her friend. She didn't know me, but I've been following her blog. She was very nice and even posed for a photo. She invited me to join the Ziggi sew-along
and talked about sewing meet-ups. SUCH FUN!
The next day when I was shopping in Diane Ericson's booth to be inspired by the garments she made and had hanging for our viewing pleasure and for some bits of dropcloth created by her son, I turned around and there was Shams of Communing with Fabric
. That was the day I forgot my phone at home, so I don't have a photo of her amazing full-length jacket. I made a point of saying Hello and how much I liked following her blog & the bits about the recent Google adventures. What a lovely woman. She was actually at sew expo to meet with Vogue
about her Open Letter to Vogue
post. How exciting is that?!
Tula Pink's Fabric Form and Function Class
The only reason why I attended a 3rd day this year was for Tula Pink
. While I am not a quilter and have only made one quilt, I find the world of quilting fabric and quilt designs most inspiring. In fact, I love sewing dresses and skirts in quilting cottons. In 2013 I read Tula's book, City Sampler, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
. It was a lovely book, well written and filled with delicious color.
On Sunday, Tula taught a class called, "Fabric Design: Form, Function and Imagination." I took 8 pages of notes. I have considered designing fabric myself and wondered what it's like from Tula's perspective. She was very generous in talking about her own experiences, how she designs fabrics, and what things are required of designers. The most fascinating things to me from this class were:
- She designs mainly with pencil and graph paper - wow, I prefer to draw that way too and always thought I should be doing it on fancy drawing paper. Maybe my method is perfectly sound. :)
- She too has moments when she "hates" or "dislikes" or has a design that doesn't fit and puts it "in a drawer" for a while, then pulls it back out and loves it. Oh I can't tell you what a relief this was to know. Sometimes I feel so alone in this love/hate relationship with my own art.
- Ideas are a dime a dozen. So don't freeze because your first idea isn't perfect, get started and keep creating and you'll stumble upon one that does work.
- Tula really thinks deeply about how her fabric will be used. As such I believe she ends up with the best look and it's one of the many reasons why people flock to her work. Reminder to self!
- Be true to yourself. Do what makes you happy. Because if it makes you happy, likely it will make others happy to.
She also gave us lots of great info on pricing and pay without revealing all her secrets. And the section on digitally coloring the fabric (this is after you've done your due dilligence hand-sketching) blew my mind. So many questions, but we were out of time.
I'm so glad I took her class. It was worth every penny. Plus, the woman is FUNNY. That made it even more fun. I love to laugh, don't you?
Two weekends ago, FaerieConWest came to Seattle and what fun it was!
There were so many amazing costumes. Having done my own costuming for years, including corset making, I have great appreciation for the time each person spends to create their look. I was only able to capture a few folks in photos. They include one of the 2 bird costumes (one was a bird elder and the other was a crow with the most realistic looking head & beak). Then there was the always entertaining and engaging Wotan the Faerie Smasher. He's over 6' tall and does a great job getting kids involved and keeps them from getting bored. One mom had to peal her son off of Wotan's arm. He put up quite a fight! Next we have pan riding a gnome or troll. This guy (wish I knew his name, but we did have a nice conversation) had a new costume each day. He took one of Patricia Hedegaard
's sculpting classes with my mom and I. Such a good human bean. Then, the last, but not least, is Spot the dragon with her owner Lee. Spot can look up and down, look left and right. She's a super cool puppet by Folkmanis. Yay! Puppet people!
The Wildhair Studio Booth
Three of us woman'd the booth - Me, My mom Peg
, and our dear friend Becci. We had fun chatting with Marca
and dragon and teddy bear artists who were our next door neighbors. We spritzed our booth with the Fairy Felicity Sprays
to welcome in the joy and invite customers via their olfactory memories. We wore the flower crowns that Peg designed and had for sale (just like the ones you see her and Becci wearing below).
I made a point of wearing an outfit that I made for each day. The first day was a Katherine Tilton
pattern in dragon skin. The second you see in the photo below and left was my Colette Patterns Parfait dress
which was its inagural outing - and the day I choose to wear flip flops, it started to SNOW! Then, the last day I wore a dress that I upcycled by combining 2 skirt bits made of muslin that I hand-dyed with a fun batik t-shirt. It's my faerie / cinderella dress. However, I was too shy to ask to have my photograph taken. So, I'll have to have a photo session and post photos later.
House Elf Adoptions
For the first time ever, I began selling my sculpted creations. You may remember the many I created for the Little Alters 2013
project. That gave me the inspiration and confidence to begin to put myself "out there". As I worked on creations for Little Altars, I found myself channeling messages for the recipient and the end result of my sculpture was an offering and message. For example, Lynn never seems to have time for herself to create, though she loves to make art in all forms. That month I couldn't get Ganesh out of my head. I'd never sculpted an elephant, but that didn't seem to matter. And so, he was offered "the remover of obsticles" as a totem for Lynn to remove obsticles that keep her from her sacred creation time, which helps her rejuvinate.
About a year ago, I sculpted all kinds of faces in paper clay. I painted them with about 5-10 layers, then all of a sudden hated them. Hated. "Oh god these things are ugly." So, I put them in a box and tucked them away in my art supplies. I didn't want to look at them, but I knew from past that if I threw them out I'd be even more disappointed with myself and filled with regret. About 1 month before FaerieConWest
, I got them out thanks to encouragement from my mom. We gathered bits that suited each face and vintage swarovski rhinestone crystals, I pulled out frames I had stashed away and my paint box. I set about painting frames and they revealed their personalities as house elves. I knew when I originally sculpted them that each one was destined for someone. They were born to help people overcome, remember, heal, and to instill their home as a sanctuary for rest, rejuvination and respite from the daily grind. What I did not know is anything about the people who would buy them.
As I finalized eyes, lips, direction of look, and combinations for each elf's face, I would squeel with delight! They all make me so happy. And I even saw faerie lights around my home, inside and out as they came to life through my hands.
Each one is up for adoption, and if you are ready, they will help you in more ways than you can imagine. Ready can mean many things - open to the idea of fae, complete with a previous phase of your life, about to step into your power, etc.
Above are 4 adoptions which took place at FaerieConWest.
The upper left is Bee. She had the bee and her lips painted as a last minute addition the night before the event. And Sunday, a little girl named Beatrice stopped by the booth with her mom. They admired each of the house elves, but when I pulled Bee from the opposite side of the booth, something magic happened. Brings tears to my eyes as I write. Bea had a moment of recognition, a gasp, and a tear nearly fell down her cheek then turned to hug her mom tightly. How does one describe this...? It was so genuine, and was what the faces were telling me as I sculpted them. Though I didn't know it at the time. They wandered about the festival, but ultimately came back and adopted Bee. She's going to be put in a place of honor on their altar. I know little Bea will have great dreams and Bee will help her trust her heart as her compass in life.
Lower left is the Pook. This guy popped when I put in his turquoise eyes. I screamed with glee. When I first painted him, I thought bleah... this spotty paint job is so tacky. But, it's what he wanted and what makes him stand out against the orange leaves and purple feathers. He was adopted by Carl. Carl is a cool guy who has just stepped into retirement, a new phase in his life. As Carl admired him, I said, "This guy will call you to task. He means business. You know, like when we sometimes need a swift kick in the ass." To which Carl said he needs that sometimes to find his keys. Perfect! Sometimes I don't know why I say these things. They just fall out of my mouth into the air. I'm so thrilled he's going to live with Carl. A good home he will have! And I do believe that Carl is in for some adventures. :)
On the upper and lower right you'll see 2 wizened dragon eyes. Their irises are vintage swarovski crystals. As I was sitting at my desk pondering what to do with my dragon like stash of crystals, I began to sculpt eyes. I draw eyes all the time. One, two, pairs, singles. I did a whole series of pins in 2012 that were just single eyes. The dragon eyes are to be used to seek wisdom with only the purest of heart. They will be kept on altars and used by two very magical women who are dear friends.
Next Show: Spring Fairy Festival in Tacoma, WA
| || |
Saturday March 22nd 2014 10am-7pm
Sunday March 23rd 2014 12-5pm
At Freighthouse Square
My mom, Peg, and I will be vending next at the Spring Fairy Festival which will be held at Freighthouse Square.
Mom made some amazing little wands and channeled the fae as she spent an entire year crafting them. Every one is unique and special.
I will be bringing the house elves for adoption. I have a feeling a few will be picking out their next home at this event.
It's unusual for me to talk about the #lingerie or "hey what's that under there?" As I tend to be quite modest. But since it's International Womens Day, I am taking a moment to remember and feel grateful to all the women who have burned their bras and blazed trails as scientists so I could be a Mechanical Engineer in what is still very much a mans world. I'm grateful that because of those brave women, that I can be both girly and smart. This photo and sewing my own bras is one of the million ways I combine and apply my artistic and scientific talents. Here's to you girls! (Ha! Get the dual symbolism?)
So... The underpinnings I've purchased are wearing out. I've grown to dislike the utter waste of time of "what I call
" shopping and coming home with ill fitting ready-to-wear #RTW clothes. That was a (Miranda Hart
reference in case you didn't get it)
As such, I've been studying the making of lingerie and undergarments through sewing patterns, pattern drafting and observing my RTW. Last year I learned to sew Jan Bones Smoothie Panty and have made my own Sports Bras. Now I'm ready to sew the daily and fancy bra wear.
Sewing bras is no small feat, but I made up my mind that I want to do it and so I signed up for a couple mini classes from Bravo Bella
at Sew Expo. She demystified many things, offered fittings and kits in her booth. She's an excellent teacher. Her background teaching physics can be seen in how she approaches her bra designs and construction. As an engineer and sewist, I deeply appreciate this depth. And so today, without fear of failure, I dive in to make a muslin and fit my first #mesewn bra.
Dragons and Faeries!? How about geting smashed by a Faerie Smasher? Whatever tickles your fancy in the world of Fae, you'll find it at FaerieConWest 2014
! Peg, of Peg's Wildhair Studio and I will be vending at FaerieCon West this month! In fact it's only 2 weeks away.
The Faeries have whispered in our ears
"Make Faerie Dust!"
And of course we must.
Peg is giddy and I delight.
The scent is mystical and warm and light.
Come see us friends!
You never know
Here are a few photos of costumes and such that Peg & I have created and worn to FaerieWorlds (in Eugene) and FaerieCon West over the years. Plus, I a photo of the baby dragons we made in Patricia Hedegaard's classes. What fun we've had! Below these photos are some of our favorite performers and details on the dates/times for FaerieCon West!
FaerieCon West 2014
WHERE: Seattle Doubletree Hilton
- Friday Feb 21st - 1PM to 6PM (Masquerade at 8PM)
- Saturday Feb 22nd, 10AM to 6PM (Masquerade at 8PM)
- Sunday Feb 23rd, 10AM to 5PM
Won't you come and play with us?!
I'm taking several great classes over on Skillshare
. One of which is, Pass Go: Design your own Table Top Game
taught by Grant Rodiek
. It's really fascinating to step into the world of game mechanics from the limited scope of "card" or "table top"game. I love playing games, and could kick your butt at Texas Hold 'em, but haven't really gotten into the mechanics of them until recently. I feel like a door is just opening for me and I've a whole new world to explore, learn, and then play with. And, I'm learning from people who are doing this work right now that I might otherwise never meet. Thank you Skillshare
"Creativity is not a talent. It's a way of operating."
Grant's Game Design class introduced me to John Cleese's speech on Creativity which I also found quite fascinating. I'm also studying, "How to Win the Internet: Writing for Sketch Comedy
" by Marshall Rimmer
. So, observing and listening to John Cleese's process for creativity is utterly captivating not just for thinking about game creation, but also in "How do I write something funny?" I've many moments I've made people laugh in my life, but rarely were they on purpose. And most often, I was teased until I cried. So, unlike my hilarious brother who spent his entire childhood telling and retelling bad jokes until one day he really was funny, I always got too serious and wanted everyone to like me instead of trying to find a way to make them laugh at me and not take it personally. I find it odd to begin the discovery process to funny now as an adult. But, here I am and it's NEVER too late to start
For those who are interested, please take the 30 min to watch John Cleese talk about creativity. If you don't laugh, you're being too serious! His obsurdity is wonderful. I found listening to this while pattern drafting and cutting out my PB Jam Leggings pattern
Image Source: Fehrtrade.com. Ownership: Melissa Fehr. All Rights Reserved.
Image Source: Fehrtrade.com. Ownership: Melissa Fehr. All Rights Reserved.
If you haven't seen Melissa's new patterns for workout or running gear, do check them out. I'm nearly done with the XYT top
and will start sewing on my Valentine's inspired PB Jam Leggings tonight.
In the photo on the left, you may notice that I have several lines running vertically across the bust area. Why? Because I ran out of fabric and had to fudge to get the pieces to fit together. In hindsight, I should have just picked a different fabric for this piece instead of trying to fit several together. When I tried it on, the lines are SO visible when stretched across the bust. Hee hee... Kinda makes me laugh. But I learned what the results of my choice were and could decide to do or not do it again!
My Inner Critic:
My Inner Critic:
"Ripping out?! WTH, Gwen? Didn't you specifically tell some knitting friends that you never ever rip? And over such gorgeous fabrics."
"Well, yes and yes I did. But you know what? These fabrics are too good to keep in the form of clothing that doesn't suit. I wore them, enjoyed them. The fabric is still good. So Pbbbt! I'm making them into something new."
"Whatever. You'll probably never finish. I hope it's at least something usable and functional. And remember to never say never. Sheesh!"
Well now, there's a little insight into that nasty inner critic goblin that beats me up for every decision. Is yours as rude?
As you can probably tell, I'm clearing and cleaning my stash as well as my closet. I made 2 of the 3 pieces you see below.
The animal print top below is a RTW tank that I wear for yoga
, walking, dance and working out to Tracy Anderson
The cardigan was fun to wear for a while, but as you can see, it rather emphasizes my behind and widens my body at it's smallest point (my waist). I'm curvy and quite short waisted. Because of that, I need more fitted garments otherwise I look like a block. And the more I looked at myself in the cardigan, the more I didn't quite feel like I looked my best. And I've gained a little around my middle lately, so I prefer to not wear such tight fitting garments as the animal print work out top sans a cover-up.
The cowl never was finished. I couldn't bring myself to sew up the ends. I don't know why either. Just never felt right.
Now I'm sure, if you read the title, you're still wondering, "Who is this Flo you speak of?" Meet Flo, my curvy paper-tape body double. I introduced her to you when I wrote about Jan Bones class on making a Paper Tape Dress Form
. Well, to show her off a little more, I took photos of just the form with the negative ease animal print RTW tank you see above. I named her Flo because all I see are curves that flow in and out and around and up and down almost so fast that if you blinked, you'd miss the turn. For once in my life, I feel neutral looking at my body. In fact, I see better now why things don't fit in certain areas and I've been able to fit pieces on it, then sew and produce amazingly perfect fitting clothing. So here we Flo again!
One of my favorite parts of participating in the Little Alters Full Moon
art exchange project hosted by Peg Gyldenege
in 2013 is seeing the body of work that I created. So often we forget how we are. Others see it, but we put our creations out there and may or may not see them. Because every artist was remote for the entire project, we had to take photos and write about what we did because we wouldn't even see one another until the full year was over. When we started, MY FEARS were:
When we finished, I LEARNED this about my own skills and art:
- I'm not good enough.
- All these other artists are REAL artists. They're talented, they know their craft. My work will just seem childish and unfinished.
- I'll be the odd one out because they all know how to work with metal/glass, but I don't like or choose to work with metal or glass.
- No one will like or appreciate what I do. I'm too weird.
- What if I have artists block and can't think of anything to make?
- How am I ever going to fill each block on that tray? It's SO daunting.
- I am a very talented sculptor
- My creations, no matter how far apart are consistently me.
- My art has a childish, cartoon-like sense about it and other people like it
- I'm very creative and think outside the box not only in my engineering and business work, but also in my art.
- I like to challenge myself, but need to have some stability, familiar territory & structure while I explore and challenge.
- Just try. Trust. Then try again.
- Follow your intuition and instincts. If you don't you're fighting yourself and the universal flow that is being offered to you. Swim upstream if you must, but you'll be happier if you flow with things.
- Step away from your work for a while (days, weeks, months, a year), then when you come back to it you'll fall in love with your own work.
Ta da! Here is my full body of work from the Little Alters 2013 project. I'm proud of my accomplishments and creations!
Last weekend was the one meet-up that we would have for all the Little Alters 2013 artists. We did not meet the entire time we exchanged, but rather we emailed and posted our art to one another. Lynn Vernon kindly hosted the group, fed us, and introduced us to her adorable dog (see below). About 3/4 of the artists were able to attend.
New friendships made, old friends reconnected, and plenty of art was created! We experimented with Gelli Plates by GelliArts
. These are printing plates where you roll paint on a firm jelly surface (think Jello jigglers), then press a piece of paper on top to print or pull the paint off. It's really fun and the results are quite fascinating... if you go into this with zero expectations that is. Have specific expectations and you may be sorely disappointed. Have none and you are very likely to be delighted!
Mono Printing with a Gelli Plate
Here's one of GelliArts tutorials to get you started with their Gelli Plates
. Such FUN!
Below are 6 trays up close. These trays contain the art created by other artists and then sent to the artist who's name you see below. The artists who particpated in the project were as follows. I've also listed a few of their talents, but my list is far from exhaustive.
- Peg Gyldenege - creator & organizer - metalsmith, glass, bead, wire, mixed media
- Gwen Gyldenege - that's me! - sculpture, mixed-media, fiber, paper, pencil
- Kimberly Kostel - metalsmith, wire, glass beads
- Marilynn Dondero Rich - glass & fiber
- Beth Drobny - mixed-media & collage
- Nancy Strahle - metalsmith, beads, wire worker
- Lynn Vernon - metalsmith & wire
- Kathy Dannerbeck - metalsmith & wire
- Lou Hernsberger - fiber artist
- Lynn Hranc - fiber, bead and mixed media
- Cyn Bicker - sculpture, fiber, mixed-media, bead
In my next post, I'll show you all the pieces I created during the Little Alters project. It's quite a lovely body of work. Something of which I'm most proud.
Hello dear readers and fellow artists!
For the final full moon exchange I had myself. Every time I looked at the two spaces all I could see was a little creature sitting & gazing at the stars or swinging or doing something, but always sitting between the two spaces as though it was one complete space. So as I've learned, rather than fight the visions that you're seeing, trust them and go with them.
I've learned the best place to start, if your piece will involve sculpting, is to begin with the sculpture itself. The rest of the details will take care of themselves once the sculpture is done.
So I found the color liked. Blue seemed to suit the thoughtful posing I saw the character in. I curled his toes and helped him sit gently on the ledge. The drippiness of this particular clay lent to him naturally turning his head as though he were listening to something.
I tried out a few backgrounds to see how I'd like them. Then I sat back in my chair across the room to see what that gave as an effect to the whole tray as well as just that little area where he would be. Unfortunately this first set of the backgrounds just didn't quite do the trick.
But he needed a little something more... He just felt so bare. And he was beginning to feel more like he was part of the stars, like a little being that had come down from the stars. So I gave him a crown of stars made from some star shaped sequins.
After basking in the warm glow of the oven I gave him a little paint. I thought having a background with lines as well as stars would be fun, having lines looking more like astrological symbols and charts. So I used up a piece that I had already folded into a box (marked with sharp lines) and fit it into the new spot's shape. The background is actually made from colored pencil and is very similar to the one I made for the pink moon several moon exchanges back.
Meet my star being. He watches over and listens. He is ready to offer any advice you might need. He encourages us to gaze upon the stars and listen for the answer.