Friday, September 27, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 09/27

First Snow
27" x 27"
January 2000
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Do you remember the riddle "What is black, white and red all over?" I know two answers to this, perhaps you know more. My personal favorite response was a sunburnt zebra. No surprise that when I started collecting items for a visual inspiration box one of the items I put into my box was of a close-up of zebras such that it was difficult to tell where one zebra began and the other left off. The very first serious series I felt compelled to work on and have returned to time and time again, is my Shifting Values series that began with First Snow. It should come as no surprise that I have been intrigued by zentangles. What is a surprise is that I hadn't tried penning a zentangle of my own until just this week.

How did playing with zentangles influence my week? They are time consuming. Each one took just over an hour from start to finish. However, I did manage to move forward with other art commitments as you can see:

1) Nestling Oysters 

a) Include Nestling Oysters in a call for entry - Started. I selected the call, but then needed to confirm that it met all the criteria with the curator. It took the curator a while to answer. It meets all the criteria, therefore I will fill out the entry next week.

b) Print and attach the label - Done!

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing - Done!

My preferred method to create a random square design is to
cut strips the desired width from multiple fabrics.
Then I sew the short ends together until I have VERY long
length. In this case I took the length and divided into 16
equal lengths. (Folded in half gives you 2 lengths, in
half again, 4 lengths, twice more you have 16.) I then
sewed these together along the long length.

OK, I am several weeks behind on the foundation piecing assignments. However, this is my list of to do items and I make the rules. I did make yet another foundation pieced tress for Express Your Love II. I also made the "fabric" I will cut another tress from. That leaves me two and one half assignments behind.

I cut the fabric from the prior picture into horizontal strips
and then stitched them down to foundation above, matching
seams as I went.

Personally, I find it much easier to just "make" the fabric
and then cut out the shape I need from the pieced fabric.
The next tress will be cut from this. Any waste can be used in
a future project.

b) Free Motion Quilting - Done!

The motif of the week was Undertow. This was a great motif to practice my echo quilting and problem solve how to stitch myself out of corners.

Undertow is the central motif. If you have been following my
blog, then you recognize the prior two assignments that surround
it. I have been using a variegated white to gold polyester thread.
I love the sheen it gives against the black fabric.

3) Visioning Project for next year. 

a) Come up with a fifth idea - Done!

b) Select the most compelling one(s) - Done!

I have committed to working on beefing up my skills with Facebook, Blogger and Photoshop Elements in October, November and December. Then in January I will start Life Book 2014, an on-line participatory class for mixed media artists. There will be a new assignment posted each week. I find something very freeing about working outside of my chosen media. Perhaps because I don't set such a high bar of expectation for myself. At the same time I invariably learn something new and make connections that I can bring into my fiber art.

c) Write up my goal page. - Done!

The very first Zentangle I ever attempted.
I was hooked!
This is my second Zentangle

4) Come up with at least 5 different ideas for a new piece to work on next - Nearly.

I came up with four different zentangles and I liked the 4th so much that I will be interpreting that in thread. Each of these zentangles are 4" x 6". However, I will be blowing up the fiber art one to approximately 48" H x 32" W.

This was my third attempt. Much as liked making and felt good
about my first two, they felt too busy to work effectively as
a piece of fabric art. I knew I wanted to create something with more
focus and graphic appeal. This was an improvement.

This is what I created yesterday and the one
I have started to interpret in fabric and

5) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - I am beginning to think this will be a permanent WIP. 

I have the usual emotions about starting a new work in a new direction. I am hyper energized and terrified, especially since this piece has a deadline I would like to meet and I have no idea whether it is realistic or if the piece will even come together in a compelling way. It is time to sink or swim. Check back next week to see how the following plans work out.

1)Complete Call for Entry for Nestling Oysters 

2) ZenBlooms 

a) Transfer pattern to for ZenBlooms to fabric.

b) Layer and baste quilt.

c) Stitch pattern from the backside so that it bobbin thread marks the pattern on the top side.

d) Let the free motion quilting begin.

3) Leah Day's weekly assignments

Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing

b) Free Motion Quilting

4) Visioning Project - Read and practice the next two Facebook tutorials. 

5) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.


  1. what an intriguing post. I loved seeing the quilting stitch, and am in love with orange right now. It's been a love for almost a year now, actually.
    LeeAnna Paylor

  2. I can't say that orange is my favorite color. Yet I find myself including it time and time again. I am partial to the analogous color scheme of yellow, orange and red. There is just something exciting about warm colors. Another color scheme I turn to with some frequency is the secondary colors, orange, green and purple. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you found the post intriguing.

  3. I also enjoy Zentangles and have incorporated many of the designs in samples. I plan to use them more when I get a few more of the very old UFO's done. I so enjoy your blog, and am inspired by your work. I look forward to your weekly posts. Thanks for sharing so much of your process.

  4. So good to hear from a fellow Zentangle enthusiast.

  5. It was always a Zebra in a Blender at my house. Yeah, we're a little sick and twisted! LOVE you tangles! I can't wait to see it become thread. I have one that I do intend to quilt one day too - its on the list. The very very very long list. :)

    1. Sick and twisted can be what fuels the imagination. You just have to look at much of today's tattoo art.

      I feel blessed to never having artist's block. If the list is long enough there is always something to work on and much of it is compelling. Here's to long lists!

  6. You are having way too much fun! Your zentangles are good; I especially like the large flowers with backgrounds zenned in. I'm deeply absorbed in strips/scraps in free-form fashion right now. Will post some later. I have a month-long solo show coming up at a local university art gallery and am finishing some new pieces for that.
    Martha Ginn

  7. So true, Martha. What can I say? Art is my excuse to play.

    Congratulations on your solo show. Best of luck getting ready for it.