Sunday, May 26, 2013

Little Man's Nursery Projects #2 - Baby Mobiles - Pirate Ships, Fish and Bubbles

I've created the baby mobiles for all of our children. I had Pinned a bunch of ideas for Baby T's nursery and really fell for the simplicity of the dot mobiles. This was a really cheap and easy project - about 6 pieces of shimmery cardstock punched into 1" circles. Before I started to assemble the mobile, I ran across Alisa Burke's amazing fish baby mobile  I loved the carefree nature of hers and the added texture addition of fabric. It was quick to free motion sew a few fish from fabric and paper; such a fun and perfect touch!

This is a simple project, but it makes a fabulous and colorful impact in the nursery. All I needed was an embroidery hoop, scrapbook paper and scrap fabric. Once the dots and fish were completed, I just chainstiched it together in a random pattern. I love to watch it sway in the breeze - I can't for little Tommy to rest in his crib and enjoy the symphony of color!

After the bubble and fish mobile was completed, I started to become re-interested in papier-mache. And of course I created yet another Pinterest board.. In my late night Pinning sessions, I came across the amazing Ann Wood. Her pattern and tutorial for a papier-mache boat is wonderful!

I had promised Kiddo and my dad that somewhere in the Baby's nursery, there would be a pirate.. I adore this little pirate ship that hangs in the corner. It was fun to make, but it is a bit time consuming. I had thought it would be fun to have a small fleet of them, but yeah.. For now and the foreseeable future, there will be one ship flying high and seeking mischievous adventures!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Little Man's Nursery Projects - #1 Gone Fishing Improv Baby Quilt

My sweet Little Man's nursery theme is "Gone Fishing". My husband wanted a fishing motif, I wanted nautical and neither of us liked the typical colors.. What did we end up with? A fishing motif in sweet, soft oceanic color tones. Lots of cool blues, clementine orange, sandy browns and a touch of light green. The nursery is serene and the whole family enjoys being in there.

I wanted to create a number of items just for him, like I did with the girls, even though my time is honestly more stretched now. I wanted to create a couple pieces of art for his room that would be meaningful. At the top of list of thing I wanted to create was a large quilt piece to be focal in the nursery. And I had no ideas. Inspiration would just not come and I was getting sick with it. I wanted it to be more art than traditional, but I wanted it to be pieced. And I have come to accept that I really, really don't like creating realistic or literal pieces. I gave up and created a pretty simple modern quilt.. and hated making it. There was no connection, no piece of me in this other quilt. Finally a good friend told me to trash it and start over. Ugh! Really? I could never do that.. and so that quilt has become a carseat cover, a much more functional and adorable use for a quilt that held little meaning.

What to do? I'm still a novice at improv piecing, I can count on one hand the number of projects I've created in that style. However, I'm always happy when I create in that fashion. I decided that I would do an impressionist piece with a single fish that was not too abstract, but not too cutesy. I loved the process, I was eager to work on it and it felt right.. I finally found the quilt that gave my son a piece of me.

The details of the quilt..

It is 22"x30" - I had originally envisioned a very large piece, but we ended up having less wall space and I had to par it down.

It is completely pieced - no applique or fusing at all. This is huge for me. Of course for bed quilts, I've always pieced, but it when it comes to art pieces, I've run from piecing. I always felt like the precision of piecing would somehow kill the spontaneity of the art. I never had that feeling with this quilt I think because it was improv pieced with a very vague plan. This is also the very first time I used curved piecing as well.. It was not that scary and the gentle waves were perfect for this piece.

I quilted it on my domestic machine. Given its smaller size and that I learned how to FMQ on my domestic, it made the most sense. Maybe one day I'll enjoy quilting art pieces on my mid-arm, but um..yeah not yet. The majority of the quilt has 2 motifs - white waves and blue bubbles. The little bit of white sky has fluffy clouds and I left the fish unquilted.

My single goldfish swimming in a sea of blue. Looking for new adventures and eager to see the world. My sweet Little Man, that is my wish for you.

I am linking up this post to Amy's fabulous Blogger Quilt Festival.
I heartily encourage you to visit and dive into all the amazing quilts that have been posted.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

An Experiment With Plaster, Watercolors, Fabric and Embroidery.. Or Fresco Embroidery..

Ever since I dived into Plaster Studio: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving, I've been experimenting with adding plaster to my repertoire. I have absolutely loved including plaster into my work, but I've been searching for ways to marry it with fabric. In the book there are a few projects that use it with burlap to create some beautiful pieces, but it wasn't quite me. I didn't want the fabric to simply be a substrate, I wanted it to breathe and have a relationship with the final piece. I have a number of ideas I want to explore with different fabrics and types of plaster (gesso, joint compound, plaster of paris, etc), but I'm so excited and I wanted to share my first piece with you.

This piece started with a single piece of linen and was frosted with a thin layer of joint compound. Once it set, I painted the background with a wash of watercolors. Then with perle cotton, I embroidered a primitive design of two homes. To add stability and color to the project, the piece was then deconstructed and hand sewn on to another piece of linen. Once it was secure, I free motioned it all together with a flannel batting and heavy canvas back.

It is delicate, simple and thoughtful. This piece is a gift and has a long story behind it.

It is the start to hopefully many more "fresco embroideries". I love the texture and fragility of it, though I hope I can find the right combination that will allow more detailed embroidery without impacting the plaster too much.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nesting - Nursery Projects and Watercolor Fun

I apologize for the lull, it has been crazy here nesting and getting ready for Little Man. Baby Girl started to come 6 weeks early and I just knew this pregnancy would be similar. Sure enough, we are 6 weeks out and I'm already dilated and effacing a bit too quick. Eek!

Even though the blog and Facebook page have been quiet, I've been quite busy with projects, artistic experiments and enjoying the start of our summer.

I will write a full post on Little Man's nursery projects once they are all finished. Here are some sneak peeks..

When I'm not working on projects for Little Man, I've been playing with watercolors. I figure that maybe the easiest way for me to create for the first couple months after his delivery.

What's next? Little Man's induction is on June 17th and we're hoping he will stay put till then. I'll be guest curating on the amazing Jenny Doh's site, Crescendoh, this summer. I will have my first solo art display at the Sandy library in September. And I'm still waiting to hear if I was accepted at Craft Lake City.

For now I'm not accepting or seeking any teaching opportunities. The rest of 2013 will be centered on finding the balance in our family with our sweet little boy, gearing up for homeschool and enjoying these rare moments. In those quiet times, I'm eager to find my artistic voice and settle down with a few choice mediums. I hope that in 2014, I will be able to break open some doors with my art, embrace our homeschool lifestyle and find new ways to inspire others as well as connect with my fellow artists. There will be some blog and Facebook lulls while we adjust, but I hope you will stay connected with me as we enjoy this last chapter of babyhood.


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