Friday, February 29, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I finished page 2 of the Tome today. Wahoo! Another project finished on time. And there's a whole week left in this month! Oh yeah - er - well, there's supposed to be a little doll in that pocket. And - uh - I haven't started it yet . . . BUT, the page is finished!
I wanted to do something about my grandmother, Ursula. When I started going through photos, I discovered I have very few of her - and none of her alone. Next visit with my mother I will have to see what she has. But these photos will do fine for now. The oval one is a 4 generations shot taken when my baby was about 6 months old - so 1970. Apparently I was in my "country girl" mode at that time. Pigtails? Good grief! The little picture (which doesn't show up at all well here) is of my grandparents Ursula and Leslie a few years later. On the other side of the page is one of my favorite photos of all. It is my mother and grandmother taken when they graduated from college. It was right after the war and when she realized she could graduate, my mother asked her mother when she was going to finish her college degree. When they checked on it, they discovered that Ursula had earned enough credits to get her degree at the same time. The local paper did a special interest piece on them and this was the picture they ran. Well they were farmers and the reporter must have thought carrying an empty bushel basket looked authentic!
I had quite a time sorting through my button collection to find just the right buttons. In fact, I wound up sorting the buttons into categories and colors. Now I have a nice box full of ziplock bags with neatly organized buttons. Just too, too efficient!
I even had time to do some beadwork on my doll club project. It is getting close to finished. I decided I want to print some photos for this project and then I can put everything together and there will be yet another finished item. Oh boy, I am on a roll now!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Man, that's way too deep for me! I did not intend to get all philosophical in this blog. Sometimes you just can't help it I guess. Art deals with life and life can get pretty deep.
One last comment. If you ever sign up for an on-line class, be sure to participate in the forum or bulletin board or whatever discussion tool they have. I have taken classes where all I did was print out the lessons and take it from there on my own. The interaction between teacher and students and among students really adds to the courseware and it's worth that extra time!
This group of dolls are the results of a parts swap. Each member made the parts for a 12" doll and we placed the parts in paper bags then drew the parts for our project. There were all colors and styles and some were harder to assemble than others. I wish I had a better picture, but perhaps someone else will come up with one. I think these are amazing!
This month we started working on book dolls. We used a pattern by Elise Peeples for a small doll shaped book to put pictures or drawings in. There were lots of ideas floating around. I love going to club meeting because everyone is so creative and we get so many new ideas from each other. We also picked up fabric and the pattern for next month's project. We are calling it Over the Rainbow and the challenge is to use all six colors plus something from our stash. I will have to do some digging through my piles. I KNOW I have some multi-colored prints in there somewhere! We are beginning with the same pattern and fabrics, but if I know this group that will only be the starting point. I can't imagine us ending up with dolls that look anything alike. Should be fun and this will surely get me back on track to make cloth dolls!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Goal #1: Participate in the Take It Further challenge
How am I doing: I completed the January color challenge and got a start on the January concept. February’s concept pieces are fused and now ready for embroidery.
Lessons Learned: I have some pretty ambitious ideas and a lot of things to do in a month’s time. I need to simplify my designs if I want to stay successful in this challenge.
Next Step: Finish the February TIF piece. I would like to do both options each month, the goal will be to do one and a second one would be “extra-credit.”
Goal #2: Participate in the Stargaze Tome group’s Tome Page-A-Month project
How am I doing: Got page 1 finished – only it wasn’t in January! February’s is ready to go.
Lessons Learned: Again, I need to simplify somewhat. Also, start the Tome earlier in the month. These are usually quick techniques (especially the ones I’ve done before) but a little time management wouldn’t hurt!
Next Step: So start page 2 already!
Goal #3: Complete the Hatmaking class
How am I doing: Lesson 1 – the pillbox hat – was completed on time. And Lesson 2 – a goucho hat – is also complete. Pictures will be available soon.
Lessons Learned: This is one area where I need to get more elaborate! The pillbox hat is very nice – and very dull. Embellishments don’t take very long and they can make a huge difference.
Next Step: Stretch my embellishment muscles for the next hat in March
Goal #4: Use a book or tool to explore new techniques or refine un-mastered skills – preferably incorporated with the other goals – at lease once a month
How am I doing: I used the Clover Quick Yo-Yo Makers in my January TIF. This month I will be exploring the different types of photo print fabrics in both TIF and Tome.
Lessons Learned: This is the fun part! But maybe I need to plan ahead a bit. February’s technique is almost by default because the Tome depends on photos.
Next Step: Make a list (oh, how I love lists!) of possible books and gadgets to choose from.
Goal #5: Keep doll making as a focus for my creativity
How am I doing: This one has been harder. I’d say that the hat lessons are doll-related, but that’s almost cheating. I have one doll in test muslin but it has a long way to go.
Lessons Learned: I tend to get over-involved in projects that don’t really apply to any goals. I don’t want to abandon everything else, but I do need to monitor my time more carefully.
Next Step: Get that muslin tweaked and start working on the final piece. Doll club is this week so that should help shift the focus.
Goal #6: Enter the Hoffman Challenge – and any other appropriate challenge as they come up
How am I doing: I have an idea and some rough sketches for the Hoffman Challenge. This week I completed Judy Skeel’s Edwardian Hat for the Doll Crafter and Costuming magazine challenge.
Lessons Learned: I think I like making hats! I never wear them myself, but that could change. One never knows. I learned to master taffeta and pulled together some embellishment that is not boring.
Next Step: Got to buy the Hoffman Challenge fabric. Duh!
Goal #7: Review the above 6 goals every 6-weeks and blog about my progress
How am I doing: Here it is. I’ve done it!
Lessons Learned: Time, time, time. I have some great aspirations and may not have the time management skills to pull it off. The review is helping, so I will stick to this agenda and see how it develops.
Next Step: Next review March 25
Glad that's over! Next post we'll be back to pretty pictures - I promise!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
So, why am I nattering about Goals and Resolutions? Especially since I claim to never make resolutions! Well, one of my goals this year is to do a 6-week review of how I’m doing with my Goals – and by extension, my – er -- Resolution. One thing I learned during the years as a supervisor is that goals need constant monitoring if you don’t want to get lost in the jungle! Did you ever work your tail off and then realize you really did not accomplish anything? Been there!
And it’s about time for my 6-week review. Plus, another tool for success is to make your project open so others can see what you are doing. If it’s a secret no one will know when you go off course and give up. So, you all get to watch and (I hope) cheer me on.
My “target” for 2008: Use my weighty collection of resources (books, nifty gadgets, etc.) to develop my design and hand embellishment skills. For years I bought lots of goodies with the excuse that I would have them for when I retired. Well, here we are! The goals that contribute to this target are:
1. Participate in the Take It Further challenge
2. Participate in the Stargaze Tome group’s Tome Page-A-Month project
3. Complete the Hatmaking class I took four (!) years ago
4. Use a book or tool to explore new techniques or refine un-mastered skills – preferably incorporated with the other goals – at lease once a month
5. Keep doll making as a focus for my creativity
6. Enter the Hoffman Challenge – and any other appropriate challenge as they come up
7. Review the above 6 goals every 6-weeks and blog about my progress
OK, now I’m committed (or should be committed, as the case may be!) and it’s too late to turn back. In the next post I will let you see how the progress review goes. Stay tuned.
And when I don't have anything else to do (Ha!) this is what I work on. Slo-o-o-owly making progress.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
And I did! Wahoo! This piece is my sampler from last year's Take A Stitch Tuesday. Every Tuesday, SharonB posted samples of a stitch and where to find instructions. Even though the challenge is over, the weekly postings are still available. I was not officially part of that challenge because (1) I did not have a blog until November, and (2) I was never caught up with the rest of the group! But I tried all the stitches and kept print outs of all the instructions.
It makes quite a big notebook, so today I turned my sampler into a book cover for the instructions. Now I have a nice reference book for a wide variety of stitches. Sweet.
I spent the rest of the day working on the Stargaze Tome front cover. Gosh, I'm tired but there's still some work to go. The ladies don't have faces yet! That's the fun part, so I'm looking forward to my next trip to the basement.
P.S. This is blog number 25. Not a big number, but a milestone nonetheless.