Thursday, December 31, 2015

Art Before Breakfast

Danny Gregory's book is a fun read, with drawings, to kickstart the drawing process when you think you don't have time. With daily suggestions for sketching over coffee, and a myriad of other ways to fit sketching into your busy work a day schedule, it helps get your creativity going. Sketch booking is a way for me to document ideas, and save them for future reference and to spark finished artworks, whether drawings, paintings, art quilts or mixed media projects.

Sketching "Grab and Go" Tote

This is a perfect solution to my need to have art materials at the ready, whenever I want to draw or paint. This is my sketching tote. Everything is in here that I might need when working on location, or even here at home, out in the yard or indoors. There are no excuses now! It includes a mixed media sketchbook, a smaller sketchbook with 60 pound drawing paper, and a small canvas covered one with lightweight scratch paper. In addition to that, there is a small journal with lined paper, and a small pad of watercolor postcard sized paper. There is a roll of artists low tack tape, to mask off for borders, a box of water soluble sketching pencils in various colors and neutral tones (Stabilo Aquarellable, and Derwent Drawing Pencils and Wash Pencils), and a watercolor paintbox with a brush. Also included are 3 Tombow brush pens, felt tipped and water soluble, and several Pigma Micron waterproof ink pens in different sizes. Also, a Papermate Flair pen, and a regular ball point pen, 2 water rush pens,a mechanical pencil and stick eraser with refills. A calligraphy pen and a set of Tombow Professional drawing pencils rounds out the contents. Lastly, a pair of small scissors, a 6" ruler and a pencil sharpener. These items will give any serious artist plenty of options while on location or back in the studio. There is nothing worse than giving up when inspiration strikes, because it will take too long to gather the materials you need! I hope to get many years of service out of this tote bag, and lots of sketchbooks filled with drawings and paintings!


Happy 2016!

This sewing folder was made to use in my new "Hexie kit"! I am exploring hexagon quilting, and needed something that was extremely small and portable, to work on when traveling. This folder, and the Hexie supplies fit neatly into a small bag or box, and store efficiently in my duffle, backpack or tote bag, when out and about, or in our camper. And, it is always fun to find new fabric treasures while on the road, to add to the Hexie box. 
Began weaving this scarf on my 12" Ashford Rigid Heddle loom. Yarns, in sock weight, found in my stash, are in 2 color ways. The first, a soft baby blue, and the second, creating the windowpane plaid, in a self striping variegated. This is the resulting pattern. I like the way the variegated yarn breaks up the regularity of the check pattern. It appears more pronounced in the darker areas of the yarn, and less noticeable in the lighter blue and gray areas, that almost match the color of the solid yarn. It is set at 12-1/2 ends per inch, perfect for the sock weight yarn. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ashford 12" Knitter's Loom Review

I purchased this little rigid heddle loom last year with the thought that I would use it primarily for sampling before putting any project onto a larger loom. It is small and easy to transport from room to room, and that is nice when I want to sit down and work in my living room rather than in the studio, or perhaps out doors. The entire loom and stand break down easily, and fit into this tote bag! Another plus. After having woven on it a number of times, I have noticed that the warp beam in the back can ride up a bit, and require tightening of the knobs where the loom folds up. A little fiddly,  but overall, a great little loom for the price, and the portability and small size far outweigh the minor engineering issues. I ordered 2 reeds so that I could use 2 at a time, thereby allowing me more flexibility for warps with closer setts. I ordered the reeds in a variety of sizes, for sampling purposes, as well as the double heddle reed support blocks to accommodate them. We have since acquired a camper, and I am pleased to say, this little loom is perfect for,camper travel. Small, lightweight and portable in its tote bag, it is perfect 
to grab and go when we are ready to take off for any road trip. 

Sakiori

The blues are most undoubtedly from indigo dyed cottons, used in the original clothing. When they became ragged and worn out, they were cut up into thin strips and rewoven into new cloth which was then made into new garments. They are beautifully textured, and subtle in their color gradations. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Current Sewing Projects

Tumbling blocks quilt pattern, in a vintage color way called "Betty Dear", although I don't remember the  name of the fabric company that puts it out. I purchased the fabric as a jelly roll, but it did not have a good range of values, so I had to go out and purchase some additional lights and darks to round out the selection. This will become a small bag.
The next photo shows a beautiful complementary color scheme of blues and yellows, in a reproduction Civil War cottons designed by Jo Morton of Andover Fabrics. I cannot wait to try some civilwar era patchwork quilting projects with this. 

July 2014 Handspinning Samples

LThese handspun yarns were created with Ashland Bay Corriedale Top and Cheviot Top. Both tops were blended on my Ashford blending board, with various blends, ranging from dyed wool top, dyed mohair, and Sari silk ribbons that had been cut into flecks and added directly onto the blending board. Some samples were core spun using fine sewing thread in coordinating colors, and/or blended with bits of dyed silk noil. Some plied, some singles.....this was so much fun, and a serendipitous creative venture! It was a spontaneous mixing of colors and textures that yielded terrific results! I will probably use these yarns for Saori weaving, or maybe some fine knitting--the yarn is well suited to scarves or shawlettes.  I am thinking of a linen stitch, perhaps, that would show off all the color gradations, but there are many other options I could try!