Saturday, June 28, 2008

Studio Journal Course

Yesterday I received the first lesson for Sharon B's course Studio Journal as Designers Work Horse. Wow, what an amazing amount of information in the first lesson. It's like Sharon read my mind and designed the course to meet the needs I have right now.

A few things stood out at the very beginning. The first is to work at your own pace. That was a blessing is disguise. I am so busy right now that I wasn't sure how this course would fit in my life, even though I know I need to do it. This will make it fit. I can do it around other tasks, or as part of other tasks.

I highlighted one line that sticks out: Get your imagination going. I signed up for this class because some times my imagination fails. Or starts and peters out. Hopefully, this will help me sort out the entire process. Sharon likens a studio journal to a compost heap where things are added and new things grow from what you add. I already do that with my writing, so I understand how this works.

Our journals are a place to take responsibility for our own creative development. I love Sharon's statement that a journal "declares to yourself and your family that personal creativity is of value and important." Yep, that about sums it up.

I'm not sure whether to compress everything into one journal. Because I write and do fibre art, I'm not sure that keeping the two ideas in one journal is the best for me. For my writing, I have a notebook in my purse so I can jot down ideas no matter when I have them, and one by my bed so I can sleep at night. I'm more inclined to jot notes in one of those and transfer it to an art journal, but I'll see as things progress.

A creative journal can help stave off creative blues. You mean those one where I think my work is boring? Cool.

It will also help to solidify ideas. How many times have I come up with a great idea and run off half-cocked, only to have it fizzle because I couldn't figure out where to go with it? June's TIF is a perfect example.

In the front of my journal, I've now written:

Get your imagination going!

Discover your own path.

Take responsibility.

Value your creativity--make time for it and defend it.

Scraps are the threads of my creative life.

Patterns are recognized over time.

Work out direction before investing energy. (This one speaks directly to me and is the main reason I'm taking this course).

Now on to exercise two.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beyond Notan

I guess this is my June TIF.

And a close up shot:

This started as a quick project on balance and notan was used as the example. I fused the leaves onto the background last month, and tossed it in a corner. I kept thinking about quilting to take it beyond notan. It became the story that is possible.

However, I'm at a loss how to quilt the other piece, even after a week on my design wall. It is missing something, but I don't quite know what, so I'm going to let it sit for a bit more. I have a large pile of those WIVSP (works in very slow progress). I realized that often I have partially formed ideas in my mind and don't know how to bring them to fruition. As a result, I'm frustrated with the results. They are exactly what I thought of, unfortunately it isn't a finished product. Hopefully the journal class will help with fully forming ideas before I start to create. Or at least give me tools to figure out how to fix something that isn't working.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Studio Journal Course

I received the supply list for Sharon B's studio journal class through Joggles. Ooh, one more thing to do. At the Cirque, I purchased The Spark: Igniting the Creative Fire That Lives Within Us All. One thing mentioned is that deadlines feed our creativity. When we are pushed to the wall time-wise, it forces our mind to come up with alternate solutions to problems. From experience, I know this is true. I wrote a novel in two months because I had a deadline. Editing is harder as there isn't the deadline to work under.

Initially, I signed up for the Take It Further challenge to give myself art deadlines. I wanted the same intense need to be creative in the visual field. Although I've done the projects each month, some haven't seemed very creative to me, so I signed up for the Studio Journal class.

Unfortunately, I'd managed to pull a Scarlet O'Hara and put off thinking about it until tomorrow. Now I need to find ways to amalgamate some of my projects. My black and white entry can also work as my roosting robin challenge. Work from the journal class will give me sketches to work from for the TIF challenge (something I desperately need). I've also joined a local group to work through Jane Davila's book. Ah well, what's one more thing?

Here's where June's TIF is at. Does it need anything else, or should I just quilt it? Any earthshaking suggestions for quilting? I'm thinking maybe a fashion photo like on a pattern cover, and maybe scissors and measuring tape. Feel free to discuss.

Friday, June 13, 2008


One more sleep! Woo hoo :-}

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Strength of Love

I decided to do my piece for the Breaking Traditions show early (so I have more time for other projects). The photos are taken by my youngest daughter (used with permission). She took pictures of her older sister and her boyfriend. I overlaid the two photos using Photoshop and printed them on fabric. The borders are rust dyed fabric. I wanted to use rusty washers, but instead used stone beads that look somewhat rusty.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Bit of This, A Bit of That

I finished the first section on my Exquisite Corpse (well probably, I'm letting it sit on my design wall today just to make sure). And that is all I will mention--no hints, no clues and definitely no pictures. What, you wanted me to wreck Christmas?

I worked a bit on my quilt for the Breaking Traditions challenge. I've almost got it quilted. There are two small sections with rust dyed fabric I wasn't sure how to quilt. I had one of those ah ha moments. I thought rusty washers attached to the surface in those two sections would be perfect. I tramped over to Canadian Tire to peruse their washers. Galvanized steel. Stainless steel. Zinc. Hum. Don't think any of those will rust for me. I bought a couple packages anyway, and put them in a dish with some water. This morning, pristine and beautiful still. So I threw some fabric and nails on top and will rust dye some more fabric instead.

And I got bored. So I turned this:

Into this:

Monday, June 02, 2008

Stories That Are (Possible).

Does anyone else see how the TIF challenges dovetail together? The month I did my SpiroFloral quilt, I didn't like it. I would look at it from across the room, and it had no visual impact. Trying to pull the viewer in, I took something that worked and made something that didn't.

The following month, the challenge was on details. I so wanted to flip the two challenges. If I'd thought of the SpiroFloral in terms of details, I would have left it alone and had a stronger piece as a result.

Last month, the question was "what do you call yourself and why?" I write, that is one of the things that I've been doing almost to distraction since the end of last year after NaNo, but it didn't work with the art idea. Stories on a page, hum how to make that into fabric. Couldn't wrap my head around it, so did something completely unrelated.

And this months challenge: think about stories that are and stories that are possible. Hum, isn't that what a writer does? We create possible stories out of nothing but words. If you want a glimpse of my thoughts on writing, I've created a blog just for that. I might take part of my novel and adhere it to fabric, quilting over it. Or I might not.

I also recently joined a round robin group called Exquisite Corpses. We all played the game as a kid, but if you are like me, didn't know there was a name for it. Do you remember drawing something on a piece of paper, folding it over so only a few lines showed and passing it to the next person? What started as a giraffe ended as a kangaroo, creating a girroo. Or something. Maybe a kangaraffe. Because of the rules in this challenge, I can't say what I'm working on. So that is a story that is and a story that is possible. Once I send it on to the next person, who knows what will become of the concept rattling around in my head.

So I have a number of possibilities. Semi-related--I have a start on my piece for the Breaking Traditions challenge. I'm rust dying a piece of fabric for the backing, then it will be quilted and sent off. Early, but done. That piece is all about a story that is and a story that could be, so it could work. Ooh, killing two birds with one stone, now there's a concept. Now to settle on an idea and run with it. Maybe I'll even like it this time.