Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Goals and Revisions

Yes, folks - it's that time again.  I know, I know.  It's just TOO exciting isn't it?  Well, that's enough silliness.  Let's get to it.football_3_lg

If you've been following this thread, you know that I made some adjustments to the goals at the last review.   I was having some real trouble keeping up with everything and getting way too stressed about it.  The fact that I was using a left brain tool to govern development of right brain creativity may have had something to do with it.  Ya think?

Anyway, let's see what the revised goals look like.  In fact, I have "evolved" my overall target slightly as well.  It is now to develop my creativity and identify areas for further exploration.  To see how I turned that around, compare it to the original target



And the individual goals have been turned about as well.

1.  Whenever appropriate use books, tools, and materials collected over the years to explore techniques and create projects that will develop my individual creativity.

2.  Participate in the Take It Further Challenge by completing at least one 11" square for each month, with the end result being a fiber "scrapbook" to be assembled next year.

3.  Keeping doll art as my primary focus, enter challenges and participate in classes, club activities, etc., to continue development of dollmaking skills.

4.  Continue to work on class items (ie, Hatmaking class, Wings class) and group activities (Stargazer Tome, Stitchin Fingers) to cultivate a feeling of having "accomplished something!" as well as explore new ideas.

5.  Review goals every six weeks and adjust as necessary to stay in line with this year's Target.

Sound more right-brained to you?  Vague, maybe?  Wishy washy?  Plenty of fudge room there, I think!

clip_image002[5]I don't want this to become a major long post, so I will do the review later in the week. 

A note about the graphics:  This is what happens when you put "goal" into a clipart search engine.  You get football and archery!  Not to mention soccer, hockey, and bullfighting?  Oh well, pictures from me to come.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Little of This and That

I guess these are the dog days of summer.  I have felt pretty un-motivated lately.  Kind of like the best thing to be doing is putting my feet up!  Problem with that is - not much is getting done!  Oh, a little here, a little there, a little this and that.

Flap sweaterI've been working a bit on the Flap class doll.  I really need to give him his own name!  (That's something I can do with my feet up!)  But he has most of his clothes now.  Finished his jacket today and he has a helmet and goggles yet to go.  Oh yeah, and the wings.  How can he fly without wings??  He iP7260030s a fun guy to work on, but I have to say that those boots are INSANE!  They are cute and turned out pretty well, but why would I want to do that again?


The Studio Journal class is in week five and still going strong.  Lots of lovely ideas floating around!  We've experimented with several design tools on the web.  This stuff can get really addictive!  Last week (or maybe week before) it was kaleidoscopes:Iris-neck

This week it's dingbats!  (NO, not the students!  Those little symbol things that come in your fonts.  You know?)

treble stars

I still need to do my Take It Further piece for July.  It is coming - slowly.  I have doodled lots of ideas in my journal and I think I know where I want to go with the theme.  But, every time I get ready to start on the actual fabric assembly, I get yet another idea and head back to the journal to explore it further.  This could take forever!

It's time for my goals review this week.  Perhaps I'll get to that tomorrow - or perhaps not!  Today it was rainy and much cooler.  You would think that would help the laziness, wouldn't you?  Ha!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Journaling

This week's assignment in the online Studio Journal class I'm taking is to find shapes, patterns, and texture in our surroundings.  The first phase is to take a camera and collect pictures.  So there will be a lot of pictures in this post.  Just thought I oughta warn ya!

Since I live in a rural area, I thought this might be a difficult assignment.  The first day or so, I just tried to look around me with a little more awareness.  Once I got the camera out, things started to POP at me.  And now, I can't turn it off!  A ride to town has me bemoaning not having the camera - even though I have more than enough photos to continue with the lesson.  Like many other aspects of this course, this lesson may lead to a new addiction.  LOL!

Well, let's get to the pictures shall we?  First some circles.  There are a LOT of hay bales out this time of year.  And lots of flowers, too.  Easy!

circles  circle-flowers






Another circle in the guise of a wagonwheel.  Then some diamonds.



Now some rectangles - and a few circles as well.  These were the unusual ones mostly.  Actually rectangles are all over the place.



I was worried about triangles.  Where am I going to find triangles?  What do you think?  Why, once you start to look, they are everywhere!!  Power poles, towers, everywhere.





I also went looking for pattern and texture.  That one is easier.  An old wooden bridge, a weathered stone building, etc.  No problem!

texture-stone pattern-rusttexture-woodtexture-path



I may have gotten a bit carried away with the "gathering" part of this lesson!  Time to go see what the next phase is.  Back to the basement.  The neighbors should be relieved - no more crazy lady with a camera wandering loose!

See you later.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Doll Class

I've been pretty quiet lately.  It's because I went off to a doll class for a few days.  Not too far - just Topeka - but I did not have access to a computer.  That was pretty painful!!!

But, we learned to make a doll named "Flap."  Now, if you only see pictures of In Progress, it's hard to see why his name is Flap.  He was designed by Nancy Gawron and this is what she told us.  Flap is an ornithologist and over the years he has "bonded" with his birds so that at this point he is almost more bird than man.  He has decided that he wants to experience the joys of flight and be closer to his little friends.  (See Flap and other workshops by Nancy here.)

There were ten of us in class and at the end of the second day, we were far enough along to take some pictures.  Here is what we refer to as the chorus line.  I won't show you the view from the back - this is a family blog, after all!  Suffice to say it generated a lot of laughter.P7190023

But then we got busy making our guys clothing.  There were lots of interesting techniques to learn and we really worked hard.  No one had a finished doll when we went home, but we all have a good start.  Here is a sort of collage of Flaps with their shorts on at least!


We sure had a lot of fun in this class.  Nancy was a great teacher and we had a nice place to spread out.  And each of these guys developed his own individual character!  The club members were all having a good time and we enjoyed each other's company and help.  In some ways I was sorry when the class ended, but I was also pretty tired (as in, exhausted!) and I'm sure I could not have taken one more day!

I have not taken a lot of time to work on my own Flap since I got home.  But I worked a bit on his face and I expect to get going on clothing pretty quick here.  Next post.  In the meantime, here is my Flap with shorts and socks.  Woohoo!  The little picture frame at his feet was a door prize.  We decided that the pictures are of Grandpa Flap and all the guys in the class are brothers and cousins.  There is a family resemblance!


Hope we will see some finished Flaps at the August club meeting.  What a guy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Meet Percy


Percy is a Peacock.  Can you tell?  This fellow has had my full attention for a couple of weeks.  Thank goodness, he's done because he's been a real handful!


Oh! And this is Pegwyn.  Pegwyn is one of Hera's handmaidens and her job is to tend to the celestial flock of peafowl - including Percy.  She is a very sweet maiden and I'm afraid Percy tries to take advantage of her.  Percy thinks he is the favorite, but dome of us have our doubts!

Percy-TU Didn't I tell you he was a handful?  Here he is letting his feet dry before having his tail attached.  From this point on, he was a regular nuisance.  He kept tangling up the threads and throwing beads around and - worst of all - jabbing me with the needle!  And then he would look at me as if to say, "What is your problem, lady?" 

PnP-fullviewPnP-backThe real story, of course, is that this is my Hoffman Challenge entry.  And here are full views of the front and back. 

Back in the 70's, I saw a ventriloquist fellow on TV who had a large Emu for dummy.   He and the Emu would get into scuffles and the physical comedy was hilarious.  At one point, he wound up hanging upside down from a ladder.  I felt a lot like this fellow while I was trying to attach Percy to Pegwyn.    All three of us were upside down at some point or other.  Well, it felt that way!

They are on their way at last.  I hope the judges like them.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Studio Journals class

I am taking an online class at Joggles right now called Studio Journals.  It is not  an "end-product" class, but rather a process class.  The process is how to use a Studio Journal to capture ideas and test designs.  As a way to do this - and to develop the habit of working in the Journal - we are also reviewing basic design principles.  Well, I learned some of it long ago in school, but the years have erased a lot of it, so this is really good for me.  Plus it is way too much fun!

Here a some of my pages - just so you know that I AM doing something!

P7090006P7090005The left hand picture is of an exercise in "drawing like you stitch."  This page already had a little sketch of a doll outline, so I filled it in with embroidery stitches and a tassel.  Then I experimented with some of my favorite stitches.

The right hand pic is something called "frottage" - or old fashioned rubbings.  I found some interesting textures around the house.  The round piece is from my hair dryer and I think I could do something with this one.  Some day!

 P7110007 flake This week we are exploring shapes.  First exercise was like cutting snowflakes.  Ooh!  Remember how much fun that was when you were in grade school?  Well, it's still fun today!  Of course, Sarge* thinks I've completely lost it now.  He was already suspecting I'm off my rocker, but now he's SURE!!

*By the way - about Sarge.  My family and close friends are all saying "Who?!!?"  On the rare occasion when I've mentioned my husband on this blog, I've called him "hubby."  Recently he informed me that he doesn't much care for that term (well, he put it just a wee bit stronger!).  So we had a little talk and I told him what some of the other bloggers call their significant other.  He was not crazy about an initial, scorned SO - significant other - or better half, and was really pretty negative about My Hero and LoveBunny.  I can't imagine why! ;-)  Finally, I received grudging approval to refer to him as Sarge.  After all, that is who he was when we met and married.  His mother once told me that he was born a Sergeant, it just took 20 years to get the stripes on his sleeve!

In other news, I have finished the Hoffman Challenge.  Stay tuned for pictures.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Testing . . .and Doll 2

I've already blogged today, but I am testing out a new tool.  Windows Live Writer.  Let's see how this works . . .

In the previous post I mentioned I've been working on two dolls lately.  The second doll is for the Hoffman Challenge.  Many of you know what that is, because I have been seeing a lot of posts on other blogs. 

I think my creation is going well so far.  It just took a really long time to get something going!  My creative Muse is pretty hard to work with sometimes.  We might both agree on an idea or concept, but then we will get signals crossed on just how to realize that idea!  It's a problem!  But it is a problem that I am now beginning to understand.  I've joined some discussions on Stitchin' Fingers about design principles and where ideas come from.  And I am now taking a class from SharonB called Studio Journals, which is helping me see what my Muse needs from me in the first place.  There's always Hope!

So, as for the Hoffman Challenge:  This doll doesn't have a name yet - and she's still in multiple pieces - so all I have to show are some fragment shots.  "Teasers" if you will.

closeup teaser

Stay tuned!

How To Dress A Toad

So it's been a few days since I posted last. The big party was pretty exhausting, but that is not the reason I've been quiet lately. I've been very busy working on dolls!

I have two deadlines in July for special dolls. One is already gone for an exhibit, but here are pictures. The exhibit is at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and our doll club is displaying dolls inspired by children's story books. These will be displayed in the rotunda as you enter the library and there are some great dolls in the group. You will want to see these if you are anywhere near Topeka, Kansas!

My book is "Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame - a real classic. I've always loved the slightly crazy Mr. Toad and his obsession with motor cars.

Let me tell you, folks, creating a toad is not as easy as it looks! But, getting him into his clothes - well, that's another story all together!!

First of all, toads have these huge feet. Thank goodness they are a bit flexible! Those trouser legs were just a wee bit skinny!

With such a generous belly, keeping the pants up once they are on is also challenging. Solution? A bit of needle and thread. Ouch! That's got to smart!

A lovely vest, complete with watch pocket, is next. Nice fit.

Good thing this toad is double-jointed. Putting on a jacket calls for extreme acrobatics sometimes!

It does help to put the sleeves on last. After all, he won't be taking the jacket off and on every day.

Whew! He's dressed at last. Got his driving goggles and - er, what's that in his other hand?

Oh dear. Another motor car in the ditch! Oh, Toad. When will you learn?