Tuesday, May 31, 2016

AQATW - Kitsch

The latest challenge for my Art Quilts Around the World quilt group was called "Kitsch".
I had great ideas for this, but I'm not certain the final product meets my original expectations. I ended up making a cute little peacock quilt:

I have a friend who makes fairy wings (On Gossamer Wings is the name of her company) and in the process of making the wings she ends up with piles of little glittered circles. She has collected these for me, which I in turn used to create the tail of my peacock: 

I wish that I had centered the body of the bird and moved it more towards the bottom of the quilt. I had quilted the background before I started adding the circles and when I finished the tail, I determined that the bottom just seemed blah, so I added some cut out flowers around the feet. Here is a shot of the tail in progress: 

The body is made of velvet and I used a couple of circles combined to make the eye: 

Oh, and I now recall that I don't want to work with glitter again because it ended up ALL OVER the studio and in the crevices of my sewing machine. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Art Quilts Around the World - Folklore

The latest Art Quilts Around the World challenge was to create a quilt that represents Folklore. I had a lot of thoughts running through my mind, but decided to go for something based on the trip that the ladies in my family took to Alaska last year. While there I became fascinated with the Raven and the images of the Raven in their mythology, therefore, I decided to focus on that idea and created my folklore quilt:

There are many different tales from the different people of Alaska (as well as other indigenous groups throughout the Americas) that have tales based on the Raven. One of my personal favorites is the Tlingit story is the Raven Brings the Sun. Here is what I found on Wikipedia regarding this particular story: 
In Tlingit culture, there are two different raven characters, which can be identified, one is the creator raven - responsible for bringing the world into being and who is sometimes considered to be the individual who brought light to the darkness. When the Great Spirit created all things, he kept them separate and stored in cedar boxes. The Great Spirit gifted these boxes to the animals who existed before humans. When the animals opened the boxes all the things that comprise the world came into being. The boxes held such things as mountains, fire, water, wind, and seeds fora ll the plants. One such box, which was given to Seagull, contained all the light of the world. Seagull coveted his box and refused to open it, clutching it under his wing. All the people asked Raven to persuade Seagull to open it and release the light. Despite begging, demanding, flattering, and trying to trick him into opening the box, Seagull refused. Raven became angry and frustrated, and stuck a thorn in Seagull's foot. Raven pushed the thorn in deeper until the pain caused Seagull to drop the box. Then out of the box came the sun, moon, and stars that brought light to the world and allowed the first day to begin. 
And just because I really enjoyed doing some thread work on on this quilt, here is a closeup of on the Raven: 

Lastly, I attempted to face this quilt rather than do a binding because I felt that this didn't need to have anything stopping the flow. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Life Lessons

My first real job was with McDonalds. I had other jobs in college that included working in a clothing store and a sit down restaurant. While I learned many things at these jobs (how to clean a shake machine, how to make change, how to remove those annoying things on clothes that set off the alarm if you try to walk out), but the biggest thing I can say that I learned was "clean as you go"...you know that idea of cleaning things up as you complete a job rather than stack things up and end up with a big, nasty mess. 

Sadly, as an adult, I'm struggling to remember this one simple lesson. Now, I am very good at cleaning my house when I am planning on having company, but normally I am admittedly disgusting...not like hoarder living in my own filth disgusting, but college frat house or maybe Amerca's Next Top Model house disgusting. I freely admit this and warn anybody to give me a couple hours warning before dropping by (partly to mad dash clean the house and partly to make certain that I have showered and dressed). 

I was reminded today that I must commit myself to cleaning as I go. I was noticing and odd odor wafting from the kitchen and noted that I hadn't cleaned the dishes in the sink for quite some time and something in the sink had turned. Therefore, I was forced to first unload the dishwasher (I habitually just get dishes out of there when needed rather than unloading it) and then load it all back up, get some sink cleaner and scrub down the sink, and then run a disposal deodorizer. There is now a pleasant citrus smell wafting rather than the stench of death coming from the kitchen...how long do we think this will last? 

The dishwasher did just finish running, if I were smart, I would hop up off the couch right now and unload it so that I can then put dirty dishes in the machine as they are used rather than stacking then in the sink...bets on whether that will actually happen?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year...Starting Over

It has been nine months since I last made my presence known here and I have resolved to change that this year. As I try to think back over the past year, I struggle to recall all that occurred over the past year. And because of this, I must make myself document the coming year...so prepare yourselves for months of tantalizing self reflection about working from home and watching the dog sleep with a snippet of creations that I'm working on (quilting, knitting, and with any luck some ceramics if I get the kiln up and going). 

With that promise made, here are a few things that I recall from the past year...

First, some of the quilts that I did complete:  

These are all small art quilts that I have been challenged to do. 

Second, I had a wonderful trip to Alaska with my mom, sister, and niece.  

And just because I can't leave without at least one shot of my love...

This is an example of what I see ever night as I eat my dinner...