Since last we spoke, the holidays came and went, the new year slipped in on little cat's feet (maybe not my cat, cause he usually enters howling), and the whirlwind of my plans and expectations for continuing at the "University of Cheryl and Her Internet" became a new semester.
|We're paddling as fast as we can, fueled by enthusiasm and caffeine.|
|Dispensed with a tree this year and just added enough|
twinkly lights to warm the night.
White icicle lights are so passe!
|Intentional blur is fun to do.|
|Let's not forget the most meaningful lights of the season.|
Most of what drives me from waking to sleeping these days is ongoing from all I started in 2011. Once experienced it is hard to say "no!" to an interesting challenge. I may not be an athlete, but I am a team player in my Internet world of art, and so I've been completing some races, prepping for others, and standing in great expectation of the starting gun of the new challenges.
One of my long time real world commitments is to my local quilt guild. While I haven't been active with the monthly goings on for some time now, every two years I become immersed in the group show. I am working to finish quilts that may have been started last summer or as long ago as 1999!
|Last summer I was still completing the embroidered ribbon.|
|Perseverance payed off. After a mere 12 years, the quilt is finished and hanging, and ready to be my star entry at the quilt show in March.|
My association with Australian embroidery teacher extraordinaire, Sharon Boggon, has led me to join many hundreds of other fans worldwide to participate in a weekly lesson/challenge to learn or practice 52 different stitches and their variations this year. Everyone involved comes from a different background of skill and interest, so we are all completing our projects to suit our own needs. I am following the lead of a small group blog where members are doing color themed monthly pages to contain all the stitches from that month. At the end of the year, my pages will be sewn into a (hopefully) beautiful fabric reference book.
|Two facing pages ready for the first week's challenge stitch. The completed size of each will be 9x12.|
|On the Aida cloth side I will be practicing a row of the four or five stitches in basic forms.|
|On the right side will be a collage of interesting fabrics to encourage stitch variation and exploration.|
I am a newbie to any kind of drawn and painted art, but last year I was especially taken by the fun of mixed media explorations. I took a class with Jane LaFazio in mixed media for textile arts, and I also participated in two of the Strathmore Online Workshops. Currently we are in week two of the four free lessons with artist, Traci Bautista. Having spent last year collecting many drawing and painting supplies, I am having a ball learning to actually use them effectively. What I am loving about this workshop is that there is no pressure to do anything but have fun, and that is why I am in this game at all!
|The first layer of media set up basic lines and forms to work with by using liquid acrylics sprayed over stencils and other resists.|
|This is the left side of the page as seen above. I stopped layering the media and designs after the paint layers.|
|This is the right side. Here I continued with several more layers of markers and inks.|
In my ongoing lessons with fiber artist, Jude Hill, I am currently playing catch up with a course she taught in 2010, before I knew how wonderful it was to learn this way. So I am working at my own pace to learn to develop story with characters of my own design in her Patchwork Beasts class.
|This photo collage (not to scale) shows the various bases I made in my first two lessons to use for the development of the beasts.|
Finally, I am spending some time adding to my "Frankenstitch" class samplers from the fall, so that I will be up to speed when the advanced class begins this weekend. Can't wait to begin, since we will have the opportunity to create textile art for three dimensional formats.
|In this photo of the buttonhole sampler you can see I have concentrated on the upper left quadrant, adding padding and woven stitches.|
|A closeup of the plain weave and raised buttonhole.|
|Encasing the padded ridges in buttonhole lace and a woven cap.|