Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hot off the Press.....or sewing machine!

I have been working behind the scenes doing all kinds of stuff, but not producing anything in large quantities. I just finished two pieces for the next exhibit at LNHC Gallery Headquarters in January, entitled "Blue, The Sky's The Limit."

The first is Tiny Blue Visitor - a little bird picture I have had for a long time. I used my new-to-me enlarger to make the bird bigger than 1", which he was in the photo I have. I think it came out really cute.

The second is another good picture of what I call Blue Time, My Secret Garden which is the time the sun has set and it is almost dark,
the light reflecting off the snow turns everything blue. One of my favorite times of the winter day. This is a view from my kitchen window, with a secret garden out back.

Both pieces have painted backgrounds. I had a lot of creative fun with these too. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's Reveal day again! CONTRAST is the word.

This is my rendition of Contrast. I chose the word, then I did what everyone else in this group probably does, just go blank and scratch my head in puzzlement. What am I going to make?

So I played around with the word….black & white is contrasting, so are a lot of other colors, but I wanted to make something totally different and out of the ordinary. I decided to do, my daughter Sarah, who has very light skin and dark hair = CONTRAST.

First I asked permission to use a photo she had which was a gift for a friend - well she is an adult and I didn’t just want to take her photo without permission.
Then I did some photoshop stuff with it, like change it to “posterized” which gives me about six colors to choose from, rather than look at the subject/colors all at once. It broke the tones up so I could see where to make transitions.

Because the original pic was square, I had to get this enlarged somehow, so I used the copier at work and did it in sections. (Since then a friend has given me an enlarger!)
I then outlined the sections and used a black magic marker to divide up the colors, and then numbered them. Luckily for me, I found a person who does fabric dying in all the shades I was looking for (skin tones) at the Mancuso show in August.

The piece is not sewn, but fused, and I framed it as well.  I thought it would look better this way. I did try some sewing, but it was very distracting and I just wasn’t happy with it.
Check out more fun work at Off The Wall Friday!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Searles Guard Tower

I always feel as though I am continuing a conversation when I come back here to write about what I am or have been working on recently.
Today I started a hat that has been waiting for a year. Just for winter, but you will get to see that eventually as right now it is drying and not very interesting as all.

So back to the guard tower. I finished it and am quite pleased with how it came out. My first "draft" of it had the top where you couldn't see through like you can in real life because of the angle I had created. Fixed that and then went onto other things to do to it.

It was a fun and interesting project and once the frame for it comes, then it will be really, really complete.
It has a printed and painted background.

I have also been working on my Material Mavens piece that is due to be revealed on October 15th! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Searles Guard House Progress

It has been about a week since I have been playing around with this and have a few changes that I think has improved the piece, considerably.

I made the top parts so you can see through them, which helps lighten it. Then I put some walls up that angle away from the tower. Now I need to figure out how to make this look like it does (massive) in person.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Edward Searles and his castles

I happen to live in an unique area. Edward Searles was left a heap of money by his wife Mary Hopkins widow of Mark Hopkins of the Central Pacific Railroad, and he decided to indulge his fancy and build many grand structures, sometimes in collaboration with architect Henry Vaughn.(designer of the National Cathedral)

I decided that I would like to have recreations of a few of his structures. This is a rendition of the Guard House overlooking the pond that is at the base of his castle Stanton Harcourt in Windham.

To be continued........

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Friendship - the challenge word this time.

So after racking my brain and doing way too many things in between, I came up with this scenario for Friendahip.
                                 Just a couple of gals having a relaxing time at the local French Bistro.
Really, I was stumped and it popped into my head and I liked it.

Hand dyed fabrics, purchased fabrics, from a drawing I did. TADA!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Catching up

with myself :)    I posted my last word challenge (SPRING) at the Material Mavens last week and am now catching up to my own blog.

So here is my Spring challenge.....
 This piece was accepted into the Living With Craft Exhibition/sale venue at the League of NH Craftsmen's Fair in August. I'm sure it will go to a good home.

I also did a makeover of my last piece, Double Arch Bridge. Here's the original mounted on a larger frame (14 x 14) which is fabric covered. This was finished a couple of months ago or so I thought.

And then the makeover which is mounted on a smaller frame (12 x 12) with the addition of a larger tree that hangs over the side and some dried leaves and rocks which also hang over the bottom. The blue background is just a wall :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Work...Architecture

I have been enjoying  using (playing with) my new sewing machine and the oodles of stitches it can do. I have had some encouragement from another happy Janome owner and pretty much took off with the ideas that were floating around in my head.

This piece is from a catalogue that arrived at home from a company called Travelsmith. They sell travel clothing and stuff like that (don't travel, but like the clothes.)

Anyway I was very impressed with the corridor of the Mosque that was on the cover so I ripped the cover off and saved it for future fabric creations. This is my interpretation of the exterior hallway section of the building.
I fused the pieces on then embellished them with different stitches.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Carol's Translate

Yes, it is the Material Maven's reveal day again!

So here's my Translation of Translate.

1. To render in another language.
2. To change from one form, function, or state to another; convert or transform
3. To express in another medium.
I used these definitions of the word translate to create a necklace from fabric. I felt that it would be perfect to “translate” one medium into another. 
I started by using my NEW sewing machine and using some fancy-nancy stitches, created a "type" of heirloom background for the necklace.

The “buttons or beads” were made by using circle templates. Circles of different sizes were made and then combined to create each of the fourteen “beads” on my necklace. In between the large beads I used some small flat tourmaline beads that I just happened to have. I enjoyed doing this piece and found that it took on a life of its own that needed me to continue until I was done embellishing them with different glass seed beads.
So my translation is the idea of buttons changed to beads into a necklace out of fabric.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

And Today.....

We fine tuned my new sewing table. I got the insert yesterday and because it was Valentines day we put off adjusting it until today.

Table is adjustable from 26.5" to 32"
So, being on the short/small side I looked high and low for the right table. I'm not one of those people that has to have it look like furniture. I didn't think that type suited my working style anyway. I found this "Sew Perfect Table" on the web and saw that the place that sold it was just in Maine, right over the border from us. (well, three hours away) We took a ride to Beddeford and picked up the table, brought it home and set it up.
My DH talked to Tony (store owner) and we needed to lower that table just a bit more so my back would not hurt when sitting at it. we ended up cutting about an inch off the front legs, which brought the height to 26 1/2".

I forgot to mention that we also took the arms off this chair so I could get the full ergonomic benefit of the whole sheebang!

That's what we did today, as well as adjusted the height of the machine for the insert. It all sounds very involved, but came out just fabulous!

Friday, February 14, 2014

What I've been up to.........NQR, sort of

I went out and bought a new machine! A Janome Memory craft 7700 with the large throat. I have been enjoying it since. Great machine and it has revved up my creativity again. I also looked long and hard for a table to use with it as I am small and it is not. The height is important so I don't get back strain and other ouchies.

So I also have been finishing up a jacket I had been working on and made myself a hat for all this cold bitter weather we are having.
Front Open

The jacket and hat both are wool. I've had the pattern for the jacket for a couple of years and just never found the right wool for it. So last year I went up to the Dorr Mill Store and bought some after feeling tons of bolts. You know fabric shopping is a touchy-feely kind of thing.
So here are some pics of my recent endeavors.

And the Hat.   So You see I have been busy, but not quilt related......unless you can count my working on my next word reveal for the Material Mavens. THAT must remain a secret until next month.
Left Side
Right Side


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

No I did not fall off the earth :)

But the Holidays and my dh retiring took up most of my time. I have just finished this piece for my challenge group Material Mavens. The challenge word this time was STRONG.

So this word was a bit of work in thinking it up. I went to shapes as a reference and found that the arch is one of the strongest shapes. Consequently, I chose this Double Arch Bridge which is not far from where I live. I like history and seem to find forgotten places that I take photos of, like this bridge. (my first choice was The Egg - but it seemed too "Easter")

Here's the history of the bridge:

The Double-arch Sandstone Bridge or more commonly known as the Sands Bridge, is a historic dry stone arch bridge over the Spicket River on Hampshire Road in Methuen, Massachusetts. Built without mortar between the stones, parts of it date back to 1735. It was used to handle traffic between Methuen and Salem NH.
The location: Along the old Dracut Path, was a marshy area of the Spicket River that could be forded by horse or cart. The ford eventually was bridged. The earliest town record, from the Town meeting of 1730, show a simple plank bridge was used which required regular maintenance at the cost of the township. The wooden bridge was replaced with the more durable stone arch bridge in 1835. Solid abutment supports were constructed on each river bank. A wooden frame shaped like the underside of the bridge, was constructed over the river. The stones where then set on the frame, without mortar. The bridge was filled in with rubble and dirt, which over time would compress against the abutments. The wooden frame was then removed. If constructed correctly a stone-arch bridge should last indefinitely, the Sands Bridge is not a well built bridge. Photographic evidence shows the keystone had slipped by the late nineteenth century. The bridge was used consistently until it was taken out of service in 1963 when the Spicket River was rerouted and Interstate 93 was built.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places June 20, 1984.

I started with a sketch of the bridge and then went right on to the collecting and cutting of fabric.  I thought I would need to buy some, but decides to NOT get any more fabric - I can do this!

I stitched the stones, the dry leaves are tiny cut up fabrics with a netting sewn over them. I used some Inktense Pencils to do the artsy type of swamp look for the background. The edge was turned to the back in place of a binding.
Anyway, this was done in three days - with all the goings on and holidays, etc, I just think it slipped through the cracks. BUT it is done and I am very happy with it.

Check out more creative work at Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday!