Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Time and Books

Time…something all of us could use more of. As organization experts tell it, it’s just a matter of structuring your life, making full use of the time you have. Sorry, that’s just not true. You can’t say to yourself, “Ok, I have 20 minutes, go be creative”.  It takes 20 minutes to pull out the materials, never mind putting them away (remember that’s essential to this organizing bit). Then there’s the theory of ….. well, you get the idea.

So not having time, I buy books and materials. I get all excited about these new ideas, making notes in the margins and filling sketchbooks. Then I have to share these discoveries, so Diane is inspired to buy books and materials. What are friends for….. and we’re doing our part to boost the economy.

I’ve tried making rules – for every book that comes into the house I have to make something  using one idea I’ve gotten before I can buy another book. Truth be told, that’s not working so well. There’s so much tantalizing stuff out there – hardcopy books, digital books, online newsletters – and so many techniques I dabble in. No, narrowing my focus is probably not in the cards.

So I have a new goal – to finish up the Just Our Yarn work early enough in the afternoon that I have a couple of hours to play before I have to get dinner together. My goal is twice a week. Seems modest enough.

Here’s my first effort-

Book: Contrasting Elements, by Jae Maries (  The book is a series of exercises to spark creativity. You could begin with any chapter,  I started with  Chapter 1 Energy and Tranquility.

Materials: Only from my stash, no shopping trips. Complementary colors – a navy blue square that had been sun printed and a leftover orange oriental print – for the energy. For tranquility a hand-dyed piece of earthy red/brown with navy specks.

Using a rotary cutter, I randomly cut the complementary colored fabrics into triangular shapes and appliquéd them to the background. This sat around for a few days before it talked to me again.

I had squirreled away transparent leaves, interesting but not sure how to anchor them down. Tried fusing them under chiffon – didn’t stand out enough. Tried a few other things and settled on Wonder-Under. Ok but stiff. As a wall piece this won’t matter and I’ll be quilting over them.

In the meantime….I bought some wonderful woodblock stamps. So much for not shopping. ( To shorten the clean up time, I covered the background stamp with plastic wrap and used textile paints. Not as clear a print but that worked for the background.

I tried it with some leftover dye thicken with print paste – interesting texture from the plastic wrap. Sorry, no pictures. The effect was subtle and my photographic skills are minimal at best.

I’ve pinned the quilt together (that would be the yellow dots in the picture) , but again time…..