Meeting Inspiration

Alison is really great. She always brings something to work on after the meeting. I have brought things in the past and I seriously thought about bringing the BAMaQG IRR quilt to stitch on. I think I need to try my hand at Big Stitch again at home before I start Big Stitching in public.

This time she brought scraps. She brought them to sort out. I didn’t get to ask her how she normally stores them. What I saw was a big bag in which they were shoved.

Alison's String Blocks
Alison’s String Blocks

Alison was sorting scraps to make these 12/5 x 4.5 rectangles to make a quilt from a book called No Scrap Left Behind. She started out using a foundation (tracing paper), but found after a few blocks that she didn’t need it. This is definitely a block you make with what you have and then trim to the right size.

I like how the sizes of the strips are different. Alison said that she doesn’t use any strips larger than 2.5″ wide and I think that makes sense. I like the skinny little strips as well. They add a bit of pop to the block. I am kind of excited to try this, not that I am done making the Bias Rectangles for more of the Spiky 16 patch quilts.

This block sparked my interest. I have a ton of scraps. I do use them, but the piles are not getting any smaller. This block would enable me to use different scraps together. Once finished, I could put the blocks together in different ways to make interesting and fun donation quilts.

ColorPlay: Ruth’s Flower

Ruth's Flower
Ruth’s Flower

DH and I went over to my MIL’s house last night to get the mail and take out the garbage. On my way up the stairs, I saw that one of her flowers had bloomed. Better late than never, I suppose. It was still perfect.

I thought I would use it as my ColorPlay image of the week. Even though I already did a sort of tribute to her, this one seems appropriate as well.

ColorPlay April 13: default
ColorPlay April 13: default

The default palette was actually pretty good this time. I guess the tool couldn’t ignore all of that red-orange.

ColorPlay April 13 n.1
ColorPlay April 13 n.1

My first original palette was all about the various reds, pinks and red-oranges. I couldn’t resist trying to find as many as possible in that photo.

ColorPlay April 13 n.2
ColorPlay April 13 n.2

Can I vary the colors? Yes! Can I create a balanced palette that would make a good set of colors for a quilt? Apparently, only if that quilt palette is monochromatic. This time I went with green. I like green in plants, but not so much in fabric. This palette is not a favorite.

ColorPlay April 13 n.3
ColorPlay April 13 n.3

I decided to create a balanced palette move one circle to each main section of the image. I did come up with a lot of different colors, but am not sure if the palette would make a good group of colors for a quilt. I think not.

ColorPlay April 13 n.4
ColorPlay April 13 n.4

I made a last effort and actually looked for opportunities to add in some neutrals. This one has both Kona Cinnamon and Kona Crimson. They look the same to me and the latter looks nothing like Crimson.

What will you make?

Half Hexie Progress

Half Hexie EPP project - March 2018
Half Hexie EPP project – March 2018

My half hexie EPP project has been languishing while I knit and sew on bindings, and do other handwork. It seems that I last posted about this project in July of 2017. I can’t believe I haven’t worked on it since then. I have been looking for the diamond papers I know I have that I will use to finish off the edges and create a border. I haven’t found them, though I did find the fabric, and that is discouraging. I want to get this done, so I start the La Passacaglia. I think it is silly to start another EPP project with this one in progress.

I found some inspiration on Instagram the other day for my languishing project, which encouraged me to get back in theswing. Pat Bravo posted about a piece made from half hexies that were arranged into triangles. I am not changing horses in the middle of the stream, but it was interesting to see.

I spent the night before last sewing some stars together and then adding them to my larger piece. The top and bottom are pretty straight. Right now my idea is to put diamonds on one of those edges to create the start of a border. The other edge (top or bottom) I will also border with diamonds, but not until it is wide enough for the bed or to be a large cuddle quilt. I am not yet sure what I will do with the right and left edges. I don’t think I can make them straight like the top and bottom, but I will try to get them as straight as possible.

ColorPlay: Window Dressing

ColorPlay: Window Dressing - original
ColorPlay: Window Dressing – original

After a brief hiatus, ColorPlay is back. I was inspired by a window display I saw.

At first, I thought the dots were part of the items for sale, but then I realized that they were temporary dots and added a lot of fun color to an, otherwise, uninspiring display. The table has a nice shape and the black isn’t terrible, but the pops of color really made me look again at the display.

ColorPlay: Window Dressing - default
ColorPlay: Window Dressing – default

The default palette was pretty uninspiring. Again, the tool pulled out all of the neutrals and produced a shockingly depressing palette from an image that comes across as, at least, relatively, cheerful. I can only guess that the tool analyzes the relative sizes of the shapes in the image and pulls color from those. In that case, the Gotham Grey and the Gold would be understandable.

ColorPlay: Window Dressing - n.1
ColorPlay: Window Dressing – n.1

Enough of that nonsense, however! I saw lime and pink and other colors and I delved in to see if I could make a palette that I would like.

The first palette I created is much better – much more cheerful, I should say. I deliberately stayed away from the black, brown and other neutrals. I especially love the Bright Pink, the Pickle and the Citrus. The combination work well together. I think the Kona Haze gives the other bright colors space to shine.

ColorPlay: Window Dressing n.2
ColorPlay: Window Dressing n.2

The second palette is my favorite, however. I added in more cool colors and it looks like a palette that I would use.

The turquoise, of course, is a favorite, but the two purples, Kona Lupine and Kona Violet, really add to the turquoise. This does not come across as sweet and kidlike as palette n.1.

ColorPlay: Window Dressing n.3
ColorPlay: Window Dressing n.3

The final palette was an attempt to blend my color preferences with the default palette. I am not as enamoured with it as I am with Palette n.2, though I do see the benefits of the group of colors. That Kona Magenta (which looks more like dark violet to me) is a star. I am on the fence about the Clover (green). I purposefully chose the Wasabi, because there is so much of it in the tableau. I am just not sure this palette works together as well as the others.

Let me know what you make!

 

ColorPlay: Year of Colour pt.2

I am not being a snob by spelling color as “colour”. That is how it is spelled on the app/website. You can try it out Year of Colour and find out what colors you post most.

I have been actively seeking out brightly colored images so my palettes would be virtually neutral free. The one from last week was too much fun to limit to one week. Also, I was busy and had to get on.

Year of Colour Rainbow Report
Year of Colour Rainbow Report

Last week I started with one of my iterations of my own Year of Colour. I finished with a mostly blue palette last time.

ColorPlay Jan 26 n.5
ColorPlay Jan 26 n.5

The blue led me to try an all pink palette. I threw in some very light purplish colors as well – Haze and Pearl Pink – before I got to all pink, because I thought they were pink circles. They, as I said, turned out to be very light purplish colors.

ColorPlay Jan 26 n.6
ColorPlay Jan 26 n.6

I did make it to an all pink palette. Very cheerful!

ColorPlay Jan 26 n.7
ColorPlay Jan 26 n.7

The pinks made me think of red. The palette above has some more pinky-reds/dusty rose colors – Coral and Melon – thrown in with the reds.

ColorPlay Jan 26 n.8
ColorPlay Jan 26 n.8

I tried an all green palette and couldn’t find/use enough greens. I barely use green in my quilts anymore. I had to add in the yellow so I didn’t have duplicates.

ColorPlay Jan 26 n.9
ColorPlay Jan 26 n.9

The pink and light purple palette from above made me think that there might still be possibilities, so I tried to go very light. Think this would make a lovely baby quilts.

ColorPlay Jan 26 n 10
ColorPlay Jan 26 n 10

As I said, I could have gone on forever, but I made one last orange palette for your quiltmaking pleasure. the oranges aren’t very bright, so the whole palette looks very Autumnal rather than Creamsicle

You might see this image again. I don’t think I even scratched the surface of this image. I think I can make many more palettes.

 

Another Updated List of Gift Ideas

In 2015, I created a list of gift ideas. As mentioned at that time, I like the idea of giving and making sets of gifts: choosing a fabric and then making a number of items from that fabric. Since then there are lots of new patterns and ideas. As I was making a gift basket of sewn items last year, I came across a few other items that I thought would make great additions to my list and be useful as well. I decided to update this list and get the ideas out to you again.

Mary's Gifts
Mary’s Gifts

You might remember that I made a set of gift items in February of last year for my friend, Mary. They look great all together in the One Hour Basket, IMO.

The point is not to use the patterns I use, but to make the gifts in whatever pattern YOU like. This is a list of gift ideas. You can use my pattern suggestions, but using your own will make the gift more personal. There are about a gazillion patterns for a variety of useful bags and sewing items. I am sure you can find some lovely items to make if you look through your pattern drawer.

You might be wondering why I am talking about this in January when you just finished with the holidays. Simply, you will need time to make everything without getting stressed out.

Pincushion – Fig Tree Quilts Petit Gateau pincushion pattern. I like this pattern, because the pattern makes sense, is not difficult and looks like a pincushion. I have made several and they go together very quickly. I use wool roving and some of the Beanie Baby plastic pellets to fill it. I buy both at Beverly’s when they are on sale and keep a supply on hand. The pellets give the pincushion some weight. I don’t use walnut shells, because so many people are allergic to nuts. The only issue I ever have with this pattern is to find an appropriate button to put on top and bottom. Often I make these and don’t think ahead and then find myself wanting to finish, but have no appropriate buttons. Of course, there are plenty of pincushion patterns out there and you should use your favorite.

Needle case – many people don’t do handwork and so this is an inappropriate gift, but it is so cute! Regardless, I find that a bit of hand sewing is needed at various times- in front of the TV, in the car, etc. I found the pattern in the Spring 2013 issue of Modern Patchwork. It was designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale of IHeartLinen. I wasn’t able to find a pattern for it on her blog or the web. The pattern is in RCH’s book, Zakka Style, according to Frances Newcombe from Belly Buttons Boutique. You may be able to find I copy of that magazine on Etsy or eBay. I am sure there are other needlecase patterns out there.

Tissue case – This isn’t something that I would really use, though that might change. It is a nice stocking stuffer or small hostess gift. I got the idea to make them from Valerie over at Evening in the Garden blog. I made a few, which you can see in December gift posts. I used the YouTube tutorial that Valerie used. I found that these make great boutique or Secret Santa Shop items since they are very quick to make.

Lanyard – these are great for guild meetings, but also for hanging scissor sheaths, keys, pens, etc. Think of a chatelaine’s key ring.

One thing that goes well with a lanyard is a nametag. You can make a regular lanyard or one that can hold a phone, credit cards, cash, etc in addition to the nametag. The Little Cell Phone Wallet has most of the features named above except for the nametag part, but you could make a nametag with a pinback and clip it to the Little Cell Phone Wallet

Luggage Tag – I haven’t made one of these, but Pam made a really great one.

Scissor Sheath detail
Scissor Sheath detail

Scissor Sheath – as mentioned above, a scissor sheath can be added to the gift pile and adding a ribbon or fabric hanging loop on it enables the owner to hang it from a lanyard.

Journal/Sketchbook Cover – you can adjust the pattern to accommodate a number of sizes of journals. This pattern, as you have seen many times on this blog, is for a 6.5in x 8in Miquelrius journal.

Pencil roll – I love the pattern by Pink Chalk, but it is no longer available. If you can find it somewhere, such as Etsy, buy it and keep it safe. It is useful and fun even if you are not pen hog like I am. I have made, perhaps, a dozen of them and I want everyone to love them. I always put a few pens in to give people an idea of how to use them. I reported on one of my pencil roll posts that this project took me about 3 hours to make. (updated 1-26-2017)

An Alternative to the pencil roll is a tool holder. I haven’t actually made one of these yet, but I do like the pattern. I like the idea of having my most used items all in one place and viewable to so I don’t have to dig for them.

I also find the Little Cell Phone Wallet by Valori Wells to be useful when I am wearing the Schoolhouse tunic. It does not have pockets and the Little Cell Phone Wallet provides a handy adjunct pocket for my mobile phone and hotel key or similar. It also fits nicely into a gift basket.

An Iron Caddy is useful for those who attend classes or Sew Days. I have the pattern by Sisters Common Threads. I also found a free version from the Tri County Quilters.

You could also add a Sidekick from Jinny Beyer’s store. It is good for handwork and I could have used it on my trip this past weekend. I have the pattern, but haven’t made it yet.

Project bag – Jeni Baker Drawstring bag (pattern to purchase). The pattern has multiple sizes. This is good to keep project supplies together. She also has a tutorial for one size – Example

Tote bag – There are lots of different tote bags that I have made. I really like the Jane Market Tote (pattern to purchase). I also like the Eco Market Tote from Favorite things (pattern to purchase). I made a version of that bag with Heart fabric and it is still a great pattern. I have another one in mind. Including a tote bag in your gift selection is a nice way to package all the gifts. Choose any pattern that you like.

One Hour Basket – An alternative to a tote bag, especially for a group of small gifts is the One Hour Basket. This is a free pattern by Hearts and Bees which you can download from Craftsy. She has a new pattern with different sizes as well.

You can use the One Hour Basket or any of the tote bags instead of gift wrapping. Put a pretty ribbon on it and your recipient will be thrilled.

Themes:

You can also think up themes and find patterns that fit the theme. For example:

  • Kitchen: apron, mugrug, potholders, kitchen towels, casserole carrier, roll basket
  • Bath: makeup bag (zipper pouch), towels, tissue cover, stiff holder for TP and such

If you have a machine embroidery machine, the options open up even more. You can monogram some of the larger pieces or add other appropriate embellishments. Get sewing!

ColorPlay: Year of Colour

Last time I did a ColorPlay it was last year. HA! I was trying, again, to make a colorful palette and was moderately successful. This time I think I have done it!

Year of Colour Rainbow Report
Year of Colour Rainbow Report

I used one of the iterations of my Year of Colour report. I have no idea how so much beige got into the report, though I presume it is from my landscape and neighborhood photos. My neighborhood definitely needs more pink and turquoise houses.

ColorPlay Jan 26 default
ColorPlay Jan 26 default

Even the default is fabulous! I do like the Grellow paired with the Watermelon.

ColorPlay.Jan26 n.1
ColorPlay.Jan26 n.1

My first try was very fun and the result pleased me. I like the Coral, Melon and Bright pink combination. I think those colors would look great with the Grellow from above. I thought the Bright Pink would be more violet, a color I am enamoured with lately. Not so much, but I still like it.

I started from one edge to see what I could make. This image has the potential for a lot of palettes. Don’t worry, I won’t make you suffer through hundreds of iterations. 😉

ColorPlay Jan26 n.2
ColorPlay Jan26 n.2

My second try is even more fun. I would think it would be circusy, but it isn’t. I have to admit hunting around for the Papaya. I was actually looking for Grellow, as from above, but found the Papaya and really liked it with the various pinks.

ColorPlay Jan26 n.3
ColorPlay Jan26 n.3

Not sure what I was going for with n.3, but it is pleasing. It inspired me to try for an all blue palette.

ColorPlay Jan 26 n.4
ColorPlay Jan 26 n.4

I thought the all blue palette was too boring so I kept the Medium Pink. I like the combination, especially the Lagoon and the Medium Pink.

There are tons of opportunities for more from this image. I’ll post more next week.

 

Creative Spark #21: Fear

This is another spark I don’t want to confront or acknowledge. Bloomston, however tackles that exact issue in the first paragraph of the spark by saying “Creativity is my own version of anti-anxiety meds**. It’s a self-made panacea and it is usually effective….You can’t stay stuck in your fear if you are already wandering to your next creative project. Creativity is hope. (pg.89).”

After reading the above, I have to confront what I know about my own creativity related fear:

  • I am not afraid of fabric, piecing, new techniques. Frustrated sometimes: yes; afraid: no.
  • I am not afraid of what my next project will be (have you seen my list?)
  • I might be afraid of finishing all my projects and not knowing what to do next.
  • I am afraid of not having time to finish all of my projects.
  • I am not afraid of fabric combinations or combining fabrics.
  • I am not afraid of running out of fabric (can you say design challenge?).
  • I am afraid of not having enough: enough fabric (stop laughing!), enough thread, the right ruler, enough pins, etc.

Yes, I have fears, but I combat them using many methods. “Being creative is the answer right now (pg.90).” I have a goal to sew or draw or do something every day. This is not a 2018 New Year’s Resolution. I have had that goal for a long time and I just keep chipping away. Creating patterns using the Zentangle method is a new way to try and achieve that goal. “Creativity takes courage. It takes courage to be who you are. It takes courage to step into the unknown, to dig around in your soul and see what you find, to follow your passion, to start something new (pg.90).”

Bloomston provides some ways to be brave. I am not sure bravery combats creative fear, but it is worth considering. She suggests cultivating “beginner’s mind or shoshin (pg.90).” I like this idea. When you are a beginner, you don’t know that you can’t do something. I resized some blocks in my first quilt, not knowing that beginners didn’t really do that. I also found a block in an issue of Quilter’s Newsletter than I wanted to include. There were no templates or anything, so I had to redraft the block and make the templates. Nobody told me I couldn’t, so I did it. I finished my quilt and while it is isn’t perfect, I did it and wasn’t afraid. I wholeheartedly agree with beginner’s mind. I have been thinking about that lately and wanting to embrace it, thus the Zentangle class. I don’t know if I can capture that mindset with quiltmaking. It is hard to forget what I already know.

I do know that each quilt presents a new challenge. Putting blocks or units together is always a challenge.

“Fake it ’til You Make it (pg.90)” is a phrase with which I agree. I often do not feel confident in certain situations. I act confident and that projects confidence to others. Bloomston has some examples from a Ted Talk about how posture changes the body, which are interesting and worth thinking about. I like the idea of power posing she discusses.

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

 

 

 

 

 

**This is not making an judgments about the need for any kind of mental health medication. If you are struggling, please contact your doctor or ask a friend to contact your doctor.

ColorPlay: Tea Canisters

ColorPlay: Tea Canister -original
ColorPlay: Tea Canister -original

I went shopping with a friend the other day. Mostly I did not buy, but I did take a load of pictures.

This photo was taken in a small grocery store and I loved the different colors of the team canisters. Aren’t they cheerful?

ColorPlay: Tea Canister -default
ColorPlay: Tea Canister -default

As we would all predict, the default palette came out quite neutral based. The program placed the dots almost as far away from the colored canisters as was computerly possible.

I was pleased to see that Kona Mocha again, which is a lovely color…for brown. The Kona Sand looks more like oyster to me.

ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.1
ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.1

For my first image – the one I controlled – I went straight for the colors. this is definitely a circus type palette, which, I think, is kept from being too kid-like with that green. The green looks a little like the green in Jadeite housewares and dishes. It is definitely not sweet. The Grellow helps as well. Looking at the colors, I would say that they are all a little off. The Peridot and the Grellow stand out the most.

ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.2
ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.2

On my second palette, I still wanted color, but not the same colors. The Grellow turned into Butterscotch, which is not an appealing color. The green, now called Leprechaun, still looks good, but the blue, now Kona Coal, does not look cheerful at all. Still, somewhat better than neutrals.

ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.3
ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.3

Unintentionally, I made a warm palette. Almost all of the colors were Fallish or Thankgiving-ish. The names of the colors are comforting names.

I especially like the name Roasted Pecan, though the color looks more like Baby Poop Brown. I don’t suppose the name Baby Poop Brown would be a good marketing choice. How about those red-oranges? Aren’t they great?

ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.4
ColorPlay: Tea Canister -n.4

In an effort to embrace neutrals, I sought out neutrals for palette n.4. This is actually a nice palette, if you like neutrals. Kona Cinnamon is a great color, but I know that Chestnuts are definitely NOT that color.

I couldn’t resist adding some color, thus the purple, though it is called Crimson. I always thought of Crimson as more of a red, but who am I to argue with Robert Kaufman?

ColorPlay: Tea Canister n.5
ColorPlay: Tea Canister n.5

Finally, I wanted to get back to the bright colors. These look very similar to the colors in Palette n.1, but are not the same. I particularly like Noble Purple. Very nice color. I really Kona would be dyed on better greige goods.

Have fun with these palettes!

 

ColorPlay: Pumpkin Pie

ColorPlay: Pumpkin Pie
ColorPlay: Pumpkin Pie

In honor of Thanksgiving, I chose a picture of my pumpkin pie filling in process. I make a maple pumpkin pie. I found the recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine when I first contributed to Thanksgiving about a zillion years ago. Nobody has complained so I keep making it that way.

We remodeled our kitchen in about 2007 and it has red accents. We are very strict about what color appliances and accessories come into the kitchen. As a result, I received this food processor as a gift one year. I use it for all holiday food prep and it works really well.

ColorPlay: Pumpkin, default
ColorPlay: Pumpkin, default

I found out very quickly that the tight composition of the shot made for a very limited palette. The default palette, as we have found over the year, has a lot of neutrals. However, I found this to be a very warm palette.

ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.1
ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.1

I wanted to try and get more reds, more different reds, so I tried again.

ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.2
ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.2

n.2 has more reds, so I succeeded in that way. I am not that fond of Kona Caramel on its own, but with the reds, it does add something – perhaps a place for the eyes to rest?

ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.3
ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.3

I was able to get even more red tones in.3.  I also changed the Caramel to Kona Latte for a slightly different look. I might like Latte less than Caramel, but I haven’t decided. As with Caramel, it does add something to the heavy red palette.

ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.4
ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.4

I kept a red, but tried out a dark neutral palette. The buttons of the food processor are grey, so I was able to add in Kona Mocha, which I think might be off in terms of names, but it is a nice addition to the palette. Kona Ruby comes from my spoon rest (made by the YM) and I kept it in to keep the palette from becoming too neutral.

ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.5
ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.5

I tried an even more neutral palette for n.5, building on n.4. I, again, kept some red, but changed the specific red from Ruby to Kona Cotton Wine. I wouldn’t make a quilt from this palette, but can see it being used for a very chic house sale.

ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.6
ColorPlay: Pumpkin, n.6

Finally, for the last palette, I went for broke with the reds. I was pleased to see a Kona Lipstick show up! I love the name of that fabric. In this palette, the grey (Kona Mushroom) is the only neutral, though the Kona Mahogany could go either way in terms of it being one of the reds or a neutral

I know the differences are subtle between the palettes above, but it is interesting to see the changes one can make by moving the circles around a picture. As I have said before this is a good exercise.

What palettes have you made?

 

Creative Spark #20: Mission Statement

This feels just like a vision board. Bloomston says “your mission statement is one way to water your grass” (pg.85). I’ll have to believe her and try.

“In this chapter we’ll write a so-called non-business ‘business’ plan — a creative mission statement” (pg.85). In the course of this exercise, she asks us to toss out the “Photoshopped perfectionism” (pg.85) of our creative life. We all know what that is, sometimes called Instagram. 😉 Creative life is not “all tied up in a pretty bow and stylized like a cool magazine lifestyle shot” (pg.85). We “have to start with” our “feet on the earth, even as” we “reach for the stars” (pg.85).

Carrie has a worksheet that will help us envision a creative life. She suggestions that we “look back in our family history” for a “passionate person,” a grandma who loved “to can peaches,” an “uncle who tinkered away in the garage making wooden benches” (pg.86) for inspiration. She wants us to “close your eyes and picture yourself in your creative life. See as many details as you can. Be specific” (pg.86).  The worksheet has good and specific directions for filling it out. Photocopy it so you can use it over and over.

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Creative Spark #19: Vision Board

Go and get your Little Spark book. We are back to fostering “a beginning, a seed, a whisper” (pg.6). Today  is all about vision boards and this is not my thing. Perhaps I don’t believe they will work, so they don’t work, though everyone who has used one says they do work. Perhaps I am just scared of making one and getting what I think I want?

Bloomstad says “A vision board is simply a collage of images you pull from magazines and other places and paste to a board. This exercise puts you directly in touch with your desires. It leaves you with a visual inventory of all the stuff that bubles up from your unconscious mind and hear to illuminate your path and remind you of what you want” (pg.81).

This is the spark that I wish I had a direct line to the author. I think it is my fear talking, but I have questions. Do I really want what I think I want?

The directions for making a vision board are pretty clear. “To make a vision board, tune into your heart and soul. Sidestep your mind by banishing your inner critic, judge, and editor. Those parts of yourself are not welcome for this exercise. Ask them to leave the building. Why? because you are only going to be listening to your desire. Not your desire for your partner, your children, your friends, or your family. Just your desire, for you” (pg.81).

Carrie gives a list of materials to the reader (pg.83) and directions:

  • “…don’t ‘should’ on yourself — no ‘I should pick this image’ or ‘I should want this one” (pg.83)
  • “When you see something you like rip it out” (pg.83)
  • “…for an hour, rip or cut out images. Then for the next hour paste them down” (pg.83)
  • ” Remove your notions of how pretty your board will look, how perfect, and let it just be…” (pg.83)
  • “Put your board in a spot where you can see it every day. After you look at your board and assimilate its wisdom, you may notice some themes” (pg.83)

She also gives some explanations, such as “sometimes we aren’t always aware of our own greatness  or even what awaits us. Using pleasure and desire as a guide keeps you in your heart and soul and out of your editor and judge” (pg.83)

Finally, Bloomston says something that doesn’t scare me. “New Year’s is a great time to make a new board for setting your intentions for the new year” (pg.83). I watch everyone else set intentions, pick a word, make New Years resolutions and I do nothing. Not because I don’t want to, but because I want to do something meaningful and sustainable. I can probably spend two hours making a vision board for my year. We’ll see.

 

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog from a few weeks ago.

ColorPlay: Shirt

ColorPlay: Shirt
ColorPlay: Shirt

I went to the Retreat last weekend. While there, SIL suggested I do a ColorPlay post on G’s shirt. I thought it would be great because there were a lot of bright-ish colors.

ColorPlay shirt default
ColorPlay shirt default

The default was …neutral, as usual. The Earth looks a little purple.

ColorPlay Shirt n.1
ColorPlay Shirt n.1

The first non-default palette is my favorite. I went to towards the turquoise. Ok, it isn’t really turquoise, it is Candy Green. I have never heard of Candy Green and that name kind of scares me.

ColorPlay Shirt n.2
ColorPlay Shirt n.2

Palette n.2 is an extension of palette n.1. I added a couple of neutrals. I am a fan of the gold, but it works well with the Ultramarine and the Deep Rose.

ColorPlay Shirt n.3
ColorPlay Shirt n.3

Palette n.3 is a combination of the neutral palette and my favorite, palette n.1. The Ultramarine stands out in this crowd. I also like the name of the Spice color.

ColorPlay Shirt n.4
ColorPlay Shirt n.4

Palette n.4 has colors that show up in other palettes. Although I see this as a more colorful image, I also realized that the embroidery was all of the same colors.

Have you made any interesting palettes lately? Please share.

Heard Museum, Part 4: Random Inspiration

Last week, I wrote about the silver collection. Earlier I also talked about the Katsina collection at the Heard Museum. I really could have taken a photo of each Katsina, but I tried restraint instead. The week before, I talked about the Kahlo / Rivera Exhibit.

I only had about two hours to see the whole museum, so I had to focus. the collections described above were mostly the collections on which I focused. As I walked around I saw a few other random items that inspired me.

Hopi Baskets, 1968-69
Hopi Baskets, 1968-69

In an exhibit about weddings, there were numerous items related to that event. One was a beautiful flat basket.

One of the things I like about this basket is the texture combined with the color. I think it would look great on a wall. I also liked the description “Numerous baskets were made by the bride’s family and given to the groom’s family” (Heard Museum information). This information, brief as it is, seems to imply that the groom rather than the bride was the property and the bride’s family had to pay for “the property.” 😉

You know I like metalwork, if you saw my Art Institute of Chicago post. I find grilles and grates to be good sources of inspiration for machine quilting designs. I thought these would be great all over designs. They are also simple and would be nearly continuous.

Dextra Quotskuyva, Hopi-Tewa. Jar, 1976
Dextra Quotskuyva, Hopi-Tewa. Jar, 1976

The thing I like about this pot/bowl is the design around the outside. A quick glance shows a flower, but if you look closer, you see some small birds, butterflies or flying insects. They remind me of dragonflies. I like the way they are integrated into the design of the bowl itself. I keep trying to think of ways to do this with a quilt. It might not be possible, but I am thinking.

Inside of an example log house
Inside of an example log house

I thought this was interesting.  It is a painting housed inside of a Navajo hogan, made of cedar and adobe. You can see the painting in situ in an image on the museum site as part of the exhibit, HOME: Native People in the Southwest.

This museum is well worth a visit. There is a lot to see, so if you go to visit, plan to spend some time there.