Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2012/365 - Day 305

tweaking...tweaking...almost there, but not quite yet

They're close -- both projects are reeeeeeally really close -- I can feel it.  

I am taking a break right now but I know I will come up with the final designs for my Holly Dolly and my small gift gallery guys before I go to bed.

I can tell I'm onto something because I am getting excited about them again -- so I know the "ah-HA!" moment is about to happen -- but I don't want to push it or over-think it right now --  I am forcing myself to take a short break.

A break to:
  • post today's blog entry so that my midnight deadline isn't hanging over my head
  • do some mindless repetitive activities to clear my head and listen
  • calm down

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2012/365 - Day 304

man -- it's like pulling teeth (only no nitrous cushion)

Yeah, it is true I am not much of a sewing person...but I have developed a way to make the finger puppets and slightly larger non-puppet versions without too much trouble (now).  They took a long time to get most of the snags worked out and I can usually make them without too much difficulty.

I was planning on doing a variation of the slightly larger non-puppet version for the 20-24 pieces I am making for the Paint Creek Holiday Gift Gallery but I am having so much trouble getting them going today!

I ended up trying to make a creature/animal variation (because I could NOT get the original version back today no matter how I tried).  I worked on the Holly Dolly creature in between times.  I will finish all of the pieces in time for my appointment on Friday morning...but it is a struggle for some reason this time around.

The guy on the left is one of the Tooklets that I kept for myself from last year.  It's a good thing I kept one, too...I sure can't get the method back yet!

The guy on the right is what I ended up with after the day/night long battle.

I seriously doubt the end product will look like this, but there may be a glimmer of it in there somewhere.

Yow -- NOT what I had in mind at all!

I will figure it out.

2012/365 - Day 303

gah!  I can't believe I did that!

I missed my midnight posting deadline by ONE minute -- I think I must have dozed off at the keyboard.  I came back into the studio to blog and the next thing I knew I saw that it was 12:01.



Today I worked at the Northville Art House doing day one of intake for the upcoming Small Works All-Media Juried Art Exhibit.  I shared the gallery space with Jeff Cancelosi who was there to greet his artists who were picking up the pieces they made for the show that Jeff curated last month called Vote for Me! -- Artists Respond to the Presidential Election of 2012.

During some of my slower times towards the end of the day (while Jeff's activities were picking up) I was able to work on making more of the spikes I need for my Holly Dolly.  I forgot to take the photo at my intake station, but here they are (back in the studio).

I am getting a good little stockpile going!

This is the postcard for the three events that will be taking place during the Northville Art House's holiday shopping season --  I will blog more about them towards the end of the week.  I am excited about the changes this year -- I think they will be really really great!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012/365 - Day 302

hand sewn creature -- take two

Suzanne came over late last night and we worked on my Holly Dolly creature/design.  Remember I really liked my straight seam but I wasn't sure if that fabric was going to be use-able? wasn' least not for this particular project at this particular time.  I am sure I will do something with the first partial creature (yes, I am that proud of the seam...ha ha ha) eventually.

Thank goodness Suzanne is patient -- that is all I can say.

I don't sew...or read patterns...or understand what diagrams are trying to show.  

When Suzanne helps me with a sewing project, we have to figure out a method of communicating my ideas so she can help me get the basic sewing parts (like seams) executed.

Often we have to try to draw each other pictures.  It is like we are speaking different languages.  Well, okay -- Suzanne and the rest of the world that sews are speaking one language and I am speaking Tookish.


We tried to adapt the original piece, but that fabric is kind of special and it is very very tightly woven and dense (or something)...too hard to work with.

We decided to just start from scratch.  I had a very very simplified basic pattern (for someone who sews) to get an idea of what I wanted to do.

Suzanne ended up having me draw the shape that I was after and then she did the pinning and cutting and sewing on the machine.  Whew!

It is SO like engineering and math -- and SO beyond me!

Suzanne just looks at it and goes "oh"...and does it.   Like the part about making a "sandwich" out of the parts and the whole thing being inside out...she gets it -- that stuff just makes me want to cry.

And there you go -- it isn't exactly what I started out with but it is now my own design.  I am on my own from this point on.

And really -- when I first started thinking of this creature I was imagining it with the navy t-shirt material.  I think the colors of the spikes show up better...and it is a lot softer.

Tonight I mixed up some gesso with a bit of blue acrylic in it so I can see where I've painted and not go snowblind/gessoblind working with the manikin.

Just enough color to see where I've been.

I am getting an idea for the finishing of this surface.  More on this tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2012/365 - Day 301

hand sewn creature -- take one

Suzanne is coming over in a little bit to guide me in making my Holly Dolly creature.  

I started on the sewing this afternoon...this may -- or may not -- be part of the final creature.

Whoa -- I surprised myself by how straight my seam turned out!


Some of the spikes have been put in place -- I hope this will be the actual creature, but I am not sure if this fabric is going to work.  I have many questions for Suzanne.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2012/365 - Day 300

subbing at the Art House and a few more spikes

Today I covered for Carla for a few hours at the Northville Art House.

Carla, on her way out today.

The one task Carla asked me to do was to stuff these 2012 Fall Art Classes flyers.

After I finished, I had some time before closing to make a few more spikes for my Holly Dolly creature. 

I will make more when I get settled in front of the tv later on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012/365 - Day 299

back to sewing the spikes

I have been sort of chair-bound knee is really jacked up still.

I keep moving from the recliner in front of tv -- where I can work on the spikes for the Holly Dolly hand sewn creature --  to the chair at my desk -- where I can spend a little bit of time on the shiny distraction...and I mean a little bit of time (at a time).  I am not going to go into details or belabor this...but I am really hurting.  It is so good to have these small items that I can super concentrate on -- and also set aside -- and then come back to off and on all day today.

I am very happy with the way these are turning out.  Especially that one orange and white stripey one.  That leftover glove finger is wrapped over and around itself and I somehow got the stripes to match up -- and I like how you can see the "surgery" stitches on it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012/365 - Day 298

manikin progress -- with two updates

Last night I worked on the manikin in 3 stages until 3 a.m.  Shortly before I was done I really wrecked my knee when I stood up one last time...for a while I actually thought I was going to have to call an ambulance.  Yow!

Today's blog post is really from that strange time between days...the time after I post at midnight but before I go to bed and get up again for the day (which officially makes it the next day for me).

This is about where he was when I left off with the last blog entry.

His head and body fill out more.

I need a shape for his head...he wants to have a large bear-ish kind of head shape.

Looking around the studio I came across this iron pills bottle.  I cut the top off and it fit just about right over what I've already done to the head.

ha ha ha

Yes -- that is it!

Not exactly the cat creature I was hoping for...but I actually like this a whole lot more.   

Now he needs a more creature-ish body.

Hmmm...the last pair of vinyl gloves I set aside tonight.

Wad 'em up, squeeze the air out, grab a strip of plaster cloth, get it wet, pre-smooth it, work  f-a-s-t  and yay -- it holds on!

Awww...he is coming along nicely.  He needs a face and ears, though. 

Back to the studio to rummage...

Aha!  Plastic jumping frogs!

The heads will be the base for ears.  (no separate photos -- had to work too quickly)

And hey...that body kind of looks like a muzzle to me. separate photos...two layers of plastic frog later and he has a face and ears!

He is not a bear, he is a bear-ish sort of creature.

Slight overhead view.

 I set him aside to dry in the guest bathroom -- more controlled environment and the cats are locked out.

Update -- 10 p.m. Wednesday night

Sadly, I have a sinking, self-loathing feeling that he is not going to be dry enough to paint and get him finished in time for his original purpose -- Go Figure -- a fundraiser auction for ArtsNovi

I was way off on my timing and I thought I had a whole 'nother week to work on this.  The creature took on a personality/shape of its own making as I was working on him (as usually happens when I use plaster cloth and I think I have an idea).  Although I was careful with the layering of the plaster cloth, there are parts that are thicker than others.  The plaster cloth's box states you can speed up the drying time by putting the piece in an oven at a prescribed temperature and length of time.  I have never done this before -- and I was really worried about doing it because of the vinyl gloves and plastic pill bottle inside the structure -- but I decided to try it.

Unfortunately, it made very little difference.  He is still almost as not-dry as when he went into the oven.

I think the darned humidity and stubborn not-quite-Fall-yet weather is having an effect on the drying time as well.

He is back in the guest bathroom again to wait it out.  I feel badly about not finishing him in time for Go Figure.  Maybe I can bid on someone else's finished manikin to make up for it.  I love this guy and I will absolutely finish him when he is dry but I am really disappointed in myself for not following through with the promised piece.

ANOTHER UPDATE -- sometime after midnight... 

It turns out I can still make the actual auction -- I just won't be in the pre-sale display(s) around town!!!  YAY!

WHAT a relief!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012/365 - Day 297

quick blog entry

I have to post this quickly because the plaster cloth is setting up fast and I have to get back to it -- but I also needed to post this before midnight.  

I will probably come back later and edit. (update:  it is now just a little after 3 a.m. -- I will blog the rest of tonight's progress tomorrow.)

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