Thursday, January 30, 2014

AlphabeThursday - K is for King

I’ve noticed in fairy tales that the King usually isn’t a main character in the story.  And many times he  isn’t very nice.  Take the king in The Frog Princess (originally called The Tsarevna Frog), a Russian fairy tale.  This is the first story we are looking at in my workshop, The Year of the Fairy Tale. 

The story begins where the king, called the Tsar, hasn’t made up his mind which son should rule the kingdom.  So he decides to discover their integrity by asking them (he does call them, “dear boys”) to shoot their arrows up in the air; where they land, they are to find their wives.  Kinda crazy, right?  Not really sure how this tests integrity, but you can’t be too literal when it comes to fantasy.

When the youngest son’s arrow is caught by a frog in the middle of a swamp, the Tsar tells his son that he must marry the frog.  And he does.  Destiny.  After the three sons are married, the King still can’t decide who will rule the kingdom.  So he puts his daughter-in-laws through a series of tests.  You can see where this is leading…

Vassilissa, the frog princess, turns out to be both beautiful and clever.  She and the youngest son go through many tests, and they come out ruling the kingdom.  I think the moral of the story is that events have consequences, and one thing leads to another. 

The Frog Princess, by Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov (1848-1926) oil on canvas
You can read the story of The Frog Princess here:

And stop by Ms. Jenny's blog, Off on my Tangentto see 
what other words bloggers chose for the Letter K.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Growing with Sewing #3 - crazy cuts

I’m learning so many new things, I’d thought I would share some.  

Here are my blocks ready to be cut for the first time.  
See the safety pins in the upper right corner?  
This is a tip from Marguerita, to help you keep track of which side is up!

 Another tip I learned was a time-safer: sewing all the blocks together when stitching.  
You clipped them apart after finishing sewing all the seams.  It's true; everything went along very quickly.  

My second cut and sewing went a lot smoother; the experienced seamstress talking here {:-D 
One thing that made things go faster was skipping the pinning process.  One my second seam, I just placed the two pieces of fabric together, and sewed away!  

  After I clipped all the blocks apart, I folded the seam down

 and pressed.  

This is one of my favorite steps.  
At this point I can see what the fabrics look like next to each other.  
And it tells me I'm almost ready for the next cut!

 Instead of taking 4 hours to cut, sew and press, it took about two.  I was surprised.  
And it’s starting to look a bit crazy, eh?  Next cut will be in the other direction!

Linking to Anything Goes
Linking to Fabric Tuesday

Thursday, January 23, 2014

AlphabeThursday - J is for January

January is the first month of the Julian and Gregorian calendar.  A month of new beginnings, starting over.  There’s a lot of things I’m starting this month: a new art workshop called the Year of the Fairy Tale.  I’m also starting a year of quilting – I’m guessing it will take a year to make this quilt!  And this will be the first year for me to be a single woman in a long time.

What about you?  What new life experiences and projects have you started in January?

Come visit Ms. Jenny’s blog, Off on my Tangent and see what other bloggers chose for their Letter J.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

AlphabeThursday - I is for IQ

IQ has always meant to me intelligence.  But then, what is the Q suppose to stand for?  It's Quotient.  So we have Intelligence Quotient, the score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.  William Stern, a German psychologist, was the man who invented this concept.

There's a lot of tests that are used to measure intelligence, and they can be related to music, health age, crime, job performance and so forth.  Just about anything.  Here's a site, if you're so inclined to try your hand at one.  Me?  I hate intelligence tests!

When I think of the phrase IQ nowadays, I think of my cute little car called a Scion IQ.
Forget the tests!

Come visit Ms. Jenny's at her blog Off on my Tangent
and see what other bloggers chose for their Letter I.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Growing with Sewing #2 - Fabric squares for my Crazy Quilt

My fabric squares are cut!  Didn’t know it was going to take so long, just to get to this point.  I had to find and buy the fabric, prewash and starch it all, then cut each square to size.  Finally, (30) 18” x 18” blocks.   I’m following Marguerita McManus crazy way of quilting as you go.  She writes about three steps in sewing your crazy quilt:  1) crazy cuts, 2) crazy quilting and 3) sashing & binding, to put everything together.  I’ll be cutting each block four times.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but I truly love the idea of quilting each block individually. 

After the pre-wash, my backing was very wrinkled.  So I decided to iron it because I’ll need to cut long strips from this fabric for the binding and some sashing.  I know I won’t want to fool with it later.  It took a long time, and it was especially “messy”, using only one ironing board.  I draped the fabric over two chairs – didn’t want to get it dirty after washing it all!

At the very end I used my large table to hold the bulk of the fabric, which was much easier.  Do other quilters pre-wash their fabric?  And how do you iron it when it’s all wrinkled?  Any suggestions? I’d love to hear what others do, being a newbie and all…

Linking to Anything Goes
Linking to Fabric Tuesday

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Macro Monday - Winter Flower

Surprise!  I’ve been watching this hibiscus plant in my house.   It has only one bud on it.   Sunday, after walking into the kitchen with a friend, I turned around and saw that the flower had finally opened.  I’m sure it wasn’t flowering when we walked in, or I would have noticed it. 
How lovely!

Linking to MacroMonday

Thursday, January 9, 2014

AlphabeThursday - H is for Henry, a time traveler

I just saw the best movie.  It came out in 2009 and is called The Time Traveler's Wife.  Before I say anything else, place it on your "Movies to See" list.  The story was taken from a book (published in 2004) by Andrey Niffenegger.  I think it's interesting that the story is not only about the time traveler, but about his wife!  

Henry De Tamble (Eric Bana) is an "adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course."  I don't want to say too much more and ruin the viewing/reading of the story.  It's the first move I've seen in quite a while that had me in tears at the end.  But I got over it...

Here’s the scene when Clare first meets Henry, when she was a little girl.  Would you believe Henry if he appeared naked before you, and he told you he was a time traveler?  Last night after the movie, I watched a neat video on YouTube by Vicky Papaioannou called  “ArtJournal : Take life one cup at a time.”  She a wonderful artist and I loved the way she prepared her background.  So I decided to try it too and make a scene of  someone waiting for a time traveler.

Here’s the first steps you take:
1) rip up little squares of paper (Vicky used cut paper but it’s the same idea.)
2) glue the squares all over the paper. 
3) then paint, glue, etc.  Again, mine was a little different from Vicky's because I used recycled paper not white.  I used all kinds of paints too: Neocolor II watercolor crayons, Adirondack Acrylic Paint dabbers, Dylusion ink sprays, and Pentel oil pastels.  

This is how my art journal spread turned out.   I guess it feels like a long time since I’ve been in my journal, and I had to get my hands on everything!  As a result, the scene turned out a little dark.  I really enjoyed the oil pastels, something I haven’t used too much of.

Come visit Ms. Jenny at her blog “Off on my Tangent” 
and see what others bloggers chose for their Letter H.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Growing with Sewing - working on a jacket

I’ve been waiting so long for my quilting book to arrive.  And it finally did on Saturday.  In the meantime, I thought I’d make a little “jacket” for one of my composition books.  Not very far along yet but I'm getting a feel of the sewing machine.  And it's great.  After I quilted the top of the fabric, it looked much better.   Still have the interior to finish, and a button for the closure.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

AlphabeThursday - G is for Glue It Tuesday

Too bad the last installment for Glue it Tuesday ended last week.  I had a lot of fun sitting at my desk and thinking of gluing projects for my art journal.  Belonging to a linky party, like Glue It Tuesday and AlphabeThursday, not only increases visits to your blog but also helps you find others with similar interests.  For me, it’s arts and crafts: writing, paper and now fabric.

Aimee at Artsyville  was the host of Glue It Tuesday.  I love the bright, fun colors she uses in her artwork.  Check out her washi tape that she is now designing.  They’re wonderful.  I’ve just bought one so far, called Secret Garden.

Here are some other artists who participated in the Glue It Tuesday Blog Hop:

Last year, iHanna’s Blog worked on 365 collages.  That’s a lot of glue!  Here’s a favorite of mine, from December called Welcome to my World.

heARTfully inspired by Linda makes the most unique cards.  You can find them in many art magazines, including Somerset Studio.  And you all know how I love calendars; this is one of Linda’s, for the month of December.

There are so many projects that Diane writes about in her blog A Focused Journey (finding a focus on the other side of 50).   Here’s a  favorite post, called Optimism.

And who says that one art project has to fulfill one blog hop or prompt.  Cheryl over at The Stylish Studio reminds us of ways for using colored paper.  And I have a lot of colored paper!

Hope you enjoyed visiting Glue It Tuesday.  Remember, find your interests online and join other bloggers - it will enrich your time online.  And of course, come by Ms Jenny's blog, "Off on my Tangent" and see what other bloggers chose for the Letter G. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Creative Plans for 2014

How am I going to let my creative side shine next year?

*  2014 is going to be The Year of the Fairy Tale, with Carla Sonheim.
We’ll have fairy tales and special blog posts to read, instructional videos to watch, sketchbook assignments, and projects with different mediums to complete.  This will keep me very busy!

* 2014 is also going to be the year of the quilt.
My first handmade quilt.  For my bed.  It’s going to be a crazy quilt, so I don’t have to follow any specific pattern.  I’m going to “wing it!”  Very exciting.  I’ve ordered a book from Amazon (Crazy Shortcut Quilts) and am waiting patiently for it to arrive.  I also want to make other items with my sewing machine: table runners, placemats, quilted squares for sale, and maybe a doll or two.

* 2014 is going to be the first year to use a Strathmore Watercolor journal,
with 140 lb. paper.  This will make watercolor paper more accessiblity than it ever was before.  And I know if you use good paper, you’ll get better results.

*  2014 will be the first year that I’ll be involved in two book clubs, instead of one.  
Can I do it?  January’s Booklover’s Book Club selection is The Luminaries.  Anybody read it?  It’s a 800+ page hardbound book, but I can’t tell what page I’m on, since I’m reading it electronically!  It’s a novel about the New Zealand gold mines in the mid 19th century and a very unusual string of events that occur.  Hoping the other books aren't so long!  My Women’s Book Club is reading TheSea Captain’s Wife for January.  It's a very interesting non-fiction tale about a woman born poor in New England before the Civil War.  I won't tell you the end, just in case you want to read it.  Very moving and unexpected.  

There are other things I’d like to do more of next year, like learning how to cook healthy meals and getting outside in my yard.  Plus repairing and decorating my house.  Guess you can consider them creative too!  What are your big plans?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...