Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Good Luck is the Result of Good Planning

That is the fortune I choose for one of these fortune cookies that I finished this week.

Some may remember that I stitched the right hand one at a retreat a month ago. I had also started the other at the retreat and finished the stitching after I got home. This week everything came together to make them up into fortune cookies as models for a class I will be teaching in May. I choose the fortune mentioned in the title of this blog sort of ironically since very little planning and quite a bit of luck was involved in this project coming together. I actually had the idea for the project about five years ago and started stitching it four years ago. But then it went onto the back burner and has been simmering ever since. But the program chair of my local needlepoint guild asked me to step in with a class last minute and this was chosen. So now I had to figure out how to do it! Fortunately (pun intended!) things came together pretty easily with the support of a few blogs out there to confirm I was headed down the correct path.

Speaking of paths, this week's Diva Challenge was to use a labyrinth as a string. I found that I enjoyed the process of drawing the string. Very Zen. But then I realized that the width of the path was going to be very limiting. So I scanned it in and enlarged it.

I decided to use Roel on the way in and Cloudfall on the way out. I found tangling this was similar to tangling a spiral which I did earlier this year. I'm not sure you can really see the labyrinth in the finished piece. If I do this again I will either use simpler patterns or a simpler string as the result is a bit busy for my eye. I'm looking forward to seeing what others have done with this one!

Tangles Used: Roel and Cloudfall

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

I have been working on an ensemble as one of the last few prompts from One Zentangle a Day. It has taken me almost 2 weeks since I haven't worked on it steadily. I can only imagine how long it would have taken if I had done a 3x3 ensemble! Having looked at a few ensembles on-line I choose to make my string a tad representational to pull the piece together. And while I didn't take into account what I had done on previously completed tiles while I was tangling, I did mainly select patterns that had a theme of either spirals or using Fescu as a "seed." I also tried to make each individual tile stand on it's own merit. I enjoyed doing this piece and like the result.

Tangles Used: Top Left- Bubbles, Paizel, Cat-Kin, and Beadlines
Top Right- Crescent Moon, Paushaluv, Nzeppel, and Verdigogh
Bottom Left- Printemps, Ambler, and Sand Swirl
Bottom Right- Limpitz, Tortuca, Five-Oh, Jelly Roll, and Fescu

The Weekly Diva Challenge was to do a tile with Earth Day as a theme. I decided to work on a larger tile for this and used a 6-inch square tile. I also decided to refresh myself on a couple of techniques I used last year. After tracing around a CD I put in the strings for Sky, Land, and Sea and tangled the Land with a white glaze pen by Sakura as a resist. Then I added watercolor to the areas and used a salt technique in the Sea (how appropriate, lol) and a plastic wrap technique in the Sky (which didn't seem to do much). I took an interim picture at this point....

Tangles Used: Kandysnake and Waves

and then added tangles to Sea and Sky using gel pens. The Five-Oh tangle pretty much obliterated the salt pattern in the Sea area. I wasn't really happy with it so decided to add the Universe as a background using marker to fill and white gel pen to create "Widget" stars. I can't say I'm thrilled with the resulting tile but it was fun to do and I learned some more things about the techniques that I was refreshing.

Tangles Added: Five-Oh, Sand Swirl, and Widgets

Have a great week and remember to be good stewards to this amazing planet we call Earth!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Coloring Inside the Lines

When I was a child I was the one who always colored inside the lines. I would very carefully run my crayon along the line so that when I colored in the area I would stay inside those lines! It wasn't until I was well into my adulthood that I learned to let go and enjoy the "mistakes." So this week's Diva Challenge, to trace an object to make a new and interesting string, was perfect. It forced me to focus on the string (line) that I would be coloring in. My strings are usually quite simple but this gave me a chance to do something more complex. I decided to use sheets left over from lasering SpringBoards as a kind of stencil. I allowed my self to explore the shapes that developed, ignore parts of the string and embrace others.

Tangles Used: Quipple, Nzeppel, Florz, Blankett, and Amaze

The Diva mentioned that there had been a previous challenge using stencils as a string. I decided to do that challenge too and used pieces from a math kit I picked up at Daiso a while back. Side note: I did not know until this very minute that they had an on-line store. This could be dangerous!

Tangles Used: 2-n-5, Bateek, C-Bun, Pillows, and Tortuca

I can't wait to see what interesting things others have used for their strings.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Who Let the Cows Out?

Every morning when I get up I look out my front window to see what the horses up hill from our house are doing that day. Rain or shine they are out there. They seem to have cliques and loners just like we do and I enjoy watching them.

Wait a minute. Those aren't horses! Someone changed things up Tuesday and there were cows in the pasture instead of horses. They were standing so still they looked like some sort of weird art installation too! I like the black calf and wonder if his daddy is the huge black bull I met on the trail when I was hiking a while back. I don't know where they came from but they are gone now. So it goes with the ever changing "nature channel" that I view from my window.

On to more artful things, I completed two tiles for the Muster Mixer Challenge this month. We were to combine Luv-A and Ish and I again had fun seeing how these two patterns could play together. I really like the idea of mashing the two ideas together to get a new pattern.

And of course there is the Weekly Diva Challenge. This being the first Monday of the month it is a "Use My Tangle" challenge. This month's tangle comes from Susan Goetter and she named it Fanz. I almost painted myself into a corner with this one. Since I had started at the long edge of the fan string I had drawn I found the fan shapes getting smaller and smaller. I finally realized that what was needed was a decrease like you would do when shaping a knitted hat so I started to do that and it worked like a charm. Whew! You never know which set of knowledge is going to come in handy on any given day. But it is nice to have a full toolbox.

Tangles Used: Fanz and Tipple
May your week be filled with random acts of art!