Studio Saturday

It's a lazy Saturday here.  We dropped Grandma off at the airport for her trip back home, which is always a sad sort of thing, so we decided to do nothing of any consequence for the entire morning.  We have succeeded admirably.

It's been a studio day.  I set out to do some straightening up, and instead, immediately picked up my first experiment at knitting with silkworm handkerchiefs and decided to knit some more on it, instead of sorting out the room.  It's such a pretty color — if the hankies hold out, I think I'll try to get a scarf out of this piece.


I also stopped to press a scarf I dyed earlier this week.  The fabric is a Wool/Silk blend.  I'm very pleased with it.


I never made it back to cleaning up, because Ollie showed up, wanting to college.


He is always fun to watch because of his fierce concentration, but he seemed happy with his work.


Just about the time he finished, Ellie showed up, wanting to make a card for a friend.


And really, I realized it was absolutely hopeless.  There was no chance of organizing yarn because the basket had been taken over by a very contented Hermione.


I was not about to be the person to disturb her, so we've called it a morning and our contentedly lazing our way into lunch. 

I think we could all use a lazy studio Saturday every once in a while.  I'm very happy to be having one today!


Technical Difficulties

I apologize for being absent from the blogosphere.  The Judge's dying desktop computer decided to blow the lights out of my photocard reader when I unsuspectingly plugged it into a usb port a couple of weeks ago, so I've been pictureless.  And, as much as I love my IPhone, the photo quality isn't great.  But I have been socking away a few things to post when my new cardreader arrives in the mail.

Until then, I want to share a lovely collage my dear friend Karen Owen has in her etsy store, Karenink.  Her work always has a slightly ephemeral quality to it, and I love the way she plays with eggs and nests.  Isn't this lovely?



A Bit of Dyeing and A Bit of Art

It's that sad ritual of late summer — the beginning of another school year.  Our two youngest started on Friday — we have two more to return, a week apart, to school up north.  In the middle of shopping for clothes and packing, I've managed to steal away a few quiet moments for art.


A long-forgotten back order of roving showed up in the mail a few weeks ago and I've been itching to dye it.  An early Sunday, with no one else up, proved to be just the solution for that.  I decided to dye some complimentary rovings, using the same base colors, thinking that perhaps when it was spun it could be used together somehow.  I've dyed (actually, am dyeing as the last bits are cooking now) about 40 ounces total, both superfine Merino and Blue Faced Leicester, and can't wait for the final results.

While roving was marinating in dye this morning, I found some time to play with a yard sale find — this charming little frozen charlotte head.  She is currently gracing my skein winder, although I'm not sure that it will be her permanent home.  She has such a serious, demure little expression.


Charlotte watched over me while I worked on a canvas I've been playing with.  I very rarely work in this large of a format, but I wanted to play with textures on a larger piece.  This piece went through a very colorful background texturizing stage, which I've now glazed over with white.  I have no idea where it's going, but thought it might be fun to share the process.  I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of the earlier colorful stage as well.


You can see a little bit of the earlier incarnation in the upper left corner.


One fringe benefit of taking the kids back is lots of time while flying and settling in to knit.  I'll be taking a couple of squares of Ellie's quilt along with me, and am trying to decide on a larger project to bring along — probably the Far Away So Close shawl.  I'll share the progress along the road.


Art Journal

I like art journals.  They're intimate, not competitive.  There are no time constraints.  They're personal.  These factors can work against you if you need a little push the right direction, but this year, I'm finding it to be just right.  I'm not in any swaps at the moment, but I've been working in a journal where I've given myself permission to experiment and play, even if the results aren't "art." 

Thought I would share a few fragments with y'all this week, since I haven't been knitting much.








Studio Sunday

Among the joys of a rainy three day weekend is having a lazy studio Sunday.


I'm spending some time dyeing; but as you can see, this one is a surprise for now.  Any guesses?

The multi-blue square I've been working on for the knitted Barn Raising Quilt is finished.  I'm meeting my goal of one a month — I didn't want to shut down all of my other knitting to work on it, but it's hard not to.  The squares all look so pretty together.  I need to pull them all out soon and do a photo of them together for you to see how it's coming along.


I'm devoting most of my day to working on a collage piece.  I started this a while back, prepping the canvas and dyeing a piece of silk organza to lay down as the background.  The problem was, I liked that simple, paler-than-ballet-shoes-pink rectangle so much I became unable to work on it.

Yesterday, an old post card of the Capitol caught my eye and I decided to play with this piece.  It is evolving into a multi-page altered book spread, done on one canvas.  This is an idea I've been playing with for a while.


The basics of each of the three pieces are blanked in, but I'm still working with ideas for unifying the piece and I'm still auditioning the embellishments.  I'm hoping I can find a larger skeleton key tucked away somewhere, as the one thing I definitely want is a long key that stretches all the way across the middle collage.


I like the buttons anchoring the bottom here, but am thinking I may want some darker buttons.  Either way, I'll sew them on as the last step.


I'm still debating how to adhere the mica here.  I rarely use mica, but it seemed just right on this piece.  And that sweet little flower, which came off of an old hat, is definitely destined for this piece.


This last segment is still very unformed.  In the studio it isn't shiny as in the picture, but rather it's a very textural bone colored base for the tiny collage I've temporarily adhered with nail heads (who knew you could make them gold by smashing them into a gold stamp pad and baking the color on with a heat gun?)  This part is very much in play still.  Really, the whole thing is.  I'm glad to have some time to see what it's going to become.


Sally Jean Alexander’s Soldering Class: The Love Bird Necklace


A day with Sally Jean tends to be fun, silly, educational, and ultimately exhausting!  I was so engrossed in the work that I never made it out of the classroom for work.  I'm part way through my Love Bird necklace.  You can see the pieces laid out above.  I still have some sterling chain to solder in place.  Sally uses a clever design involving lobster clasps to make the whole thing go.  I'm really looking forward to wearing this piece.

The class starts with collage, moves on to doing the artwork to go behind each piece of glass, and then on to soldering and assembling.


Sally Jean likes to give out random pages of text for her students to use.  There is always an element of serendipity to the pages.  But never as much so as with mine today, which made reference to Judge B.  Since the Judge is at home, minding a household of children (and hopefully not feeding them too many Hot Pockets), this seemed like a fabulous inclusion for a necklace about love.


Tomorrow is the last day of Art and Soul, and I'm sticking with my theme of soldering, doing one last class with Sally Jean.