Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Day 2015

Today's the Annual Grow Your Blog day, organized and created by Vicki at Two Bags Full, much applause to her, and see the button on the right indicating this.

Welcome to new readers, and welcome back to current readers and followers.  My screen name is Boud, by which I'm often referred to, but my real life name is Liz. This is my art blog (I also have a general purpose blog, Field and Fen here )

Art the Beautiful Metaphor, a joke relating to soccer, the beautiful game, is the blog where I show my current and past art in a range of media, monotypes


 tapestry weaving

ink and wash watercolors

Portrait of the Artist




artist's books

 handmade paper

 here with reverse drawing on glass

 stick weaving


 my exhibits

what's up in the studio

 where I also review other people's exhibits 

 Homefront, a wonderful local organization helping with homeless emergencies and with people's need to restart their lives and whose artists show great work

 Ellarslie, Museum of the City of Trenton

 Mercer County College

and generally give an artist's eye view of the world and gladly welcome input from readers and observers, artists or not.

Sometimes I'm accompanied by my character dolls, the Dollivers, seen above modeling a handknit scarf I designed and made for a friend, five knitted creations with a large wardrobe each, to exhibits and to hindrance in the studio...they mainly live at Field and Fen, though, and if you like them, you can wander over there to see more of their exploits.

There will be a small giveaway to a random commenter on this blogpost, and to see it, scroll back a little way for a picture and description.  No need to have a blog in order to enter, no need to do more than comment in here and you're in.  I'll do the drawing on February 15 and announce the winner in here and get an address from him or her to ship the item to.

Meanwhile, browse enjoy, ask, comment, and thank you for being here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Giveaway gift for Grow your Blog Day January 25

Here's what the lucky random winner will receive, to be announced February 15th.

Image is titled Tidepool, in pearl and other beads, goldwork and other metallic threads, stitched on Belgian linen.  Stitched area is 4 inches by 3 inches, and there's a margin of linen around to enable you to mat or to miter and hem.

Please note that all you need to do enter is comment on this blog on January 25th.  No need to have a blog of your own, no need to sign up as a follower, unless you're dying to do that, just comment and you're in. If you're one of the followers who comment via email rather than onsite, I'll count you in anyway.

Mark your calendar, tell your friends!  Some readers don't know how to comment, but do respond in email, via my mailing list, so I will include you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I'm stitching, I'm stitching!

So glad to report that my wrist is recovered enough to start thinking about stitching again!  and that one reward of organizing the studio was that I found a couple of polaroid image transfers on nylon that I'd made years ago, set aside until I knew what to do next, then sort of forgot.

Here they are. 

These are image transfers before they improved polaroid film to where you couldn't do this any more, where I used to soak the developed picture I'd taken, then remove the actual image from the paper!  great excitement moving an image through the air to settle on whatever surface I wanted it on, here nylon, because I wanted the transparency of the picture and the fabric working together.
 But now I realize these are stitched works waiting to happen.  So today I'm hoping to set up and get to work on this.  

They may be freestanding, or they may be part of a much bigger work I have under way.  We'll see if they're compatible. 

The other fabric you see is a piece of Thai silk, given to us all at the holiday party courtesy of Carol P., who visits Thai relatives and gave us the benefit of one of their gifts.

So this is good! new stitching adventures ahead.  And I have a Jill Paton Walsh Peter Wimsey on CDs to listen to while I work.  Spoken words keep the left brain occupied and the right brain can get on with  its job.

The Grow Your Blog 2015 button up there is about an international blog party next week I'm taking part in.  For more explanation about it, go here and meanwhile I will be thinking up a giveaway, for anyone who comes in here to comment.  If you click on that link, you need to scroll down past the food, to the GYB explanation.

I have two blogs entered, Field and Fen and this one, so there will be two chances of a giveaway aren't you lucky. I have to look through my completed artworks and decide what will be nice to receive.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Field and Fen Makes Incursions into Art the Beautiful, the nerve..

My other blog, Field and Fen, lurched into art territory today, in the midst of studio cleanup and gardening, but since there's art chat, too, you might want to check on it here

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Return to the world of art, with therapeutic knitting

After a long hiatus, injured wrist put stitching out of the realm of the possible, I've tried a little simple knitting, partly to appease my Need to Make Stuff, partly to be a gentle exercise to improve my wrist.  Both of which it has done.  

Can't work for long, but anyway, one Dolliver will be getting a new dress as soon as it's seamed up, and there's another on the needles.  Blondie Firstborn has one of these dresses and it's been a bone of contention among the other four that they don't have one, too.  

These are from the Knitted Babes book by Claire Garland, from which the Dollivers came, though adapted from the originals in the book.  I hugely recommend this book as fun as well as very simply presented.  Makes you want to knit all the things.

And it's using yarn from friend Karen's stash, another cool point.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Nameless piece appliques dyed

So, just to prove I do, too, work in the studio still, I dyed those goldwork applique pieces and here's the results.  A kind of soft green, and as hoped the gold threads shine right through.

Not sure whether to do other parts of this work first then the applique, or whether the appliques in place will help determine the rest of the piece.  I'm leaning toward the second.

Friday, December 5, 2014

About that big plan for taking time off from making art..

About that plan to take a bit of time to let new ideas soon as I made that decision, I had a great urge to search through my very small stash of threads and fabrics, and suddenly found a new idea demanding to be heard.  I just can't take orders, even from myself.

I found a remnant of what I think is handblocked Japanese fabric, black design on grey background.  I used another piece of this in an earlier exhibit piece, using the front of the fabric, but looking back at that, now found it okay, but much more timid than what I propose here.

I've stretched this, and plan to use the back of the fabric, and work on the top of the frame, artist style, not the back of the frame, stitcher style, so that the piece will be ready to hang as is, once completed.

You see the chalked-on design, nice curved shapes, and this reminded me of some goldwork samples I made when I was first learning goldwork, teaching myself, and here would be a place to applique them and they'll work.  

I backed them with stick-on plastic, to preserve the edges from fraying, then cut them from their original fabric, and here you see them placed temporarily in what might not be their eventual home.  The white edges will support additional stitching. I might still dye the pieces, too, because the gold threads will shine through well. It would have been good to think of dyeing it before I cut it out, but oh well.

And I've put out a selection of gold and silver threads, including some real gold threads, finally using them, the ones you see on the cardboard tubes, already rolled and ready for action.

So this is what happens when you don't plan to make art. This piece is currently known as No Name, until it develops to where I know what it's about.

I also finally did some moving of lights, so that the table can be useful as a workplace, and the sofa as a nonwork spot.  

I just moved the dining table lamp and switched it with the tasklight I had set up over the sofa.  I think I'll have less competition from cats if I work at a table.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Third Wilderness Piece done, I think

Last part of the wilderness series is now complete.  In my title I say I think it's complete.  Can't tell exactly, but it's framed and I'll get some input before I decide whether to leave it where it is. I like many things about it, but I'm a bit too close to know.

At this point I plan to take a little thinking break about next works to come. Don't know yet what they are, but that's why I need the bit of time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Joy of Art, the Agony of Framing

Or, as wise friend Stefi has been known to say, if you want the pleasure of framing, first you have to go through the boredom and misery of making art...

Anyway, today after framing three pieces, I ran out of strength and patience and all that framing entails, and have not quite finished framing up the rest of my work.  One more wilderness piece and a couple of goldwork pieces to go.

Working in 3D i.e. stumpwork and other similar techniques, creates a particularly shall we say challenging situation for framing, since you can't put the work face down in order to mount the fabric on to the backing, the usual procedure.  

You have to preserve the surface and work sight unseen at the back pulling and adjusting the tapes and getting the artwork properly centered and taut without crushing the fragile embroidery or shoving it out of place.  My nerves were not centered, but definitely taut.  Remembering how many hours go into making this work in the first place, you really don't want things to go all pear shaped in the framing.

And I can only keep up this level of tension, meaning the physical kind, for so long before my hands start to whine and complain.  So I made the pix, for once remembering, I'm very proud to say, to leave the glass off for the pix, insert it after them, so that only had to be done once.  Then I decided that the night wilderness scene and a couple of goldwork pieces had to wait till tomorrow.  And now I'm having a cup of tea and gloating over my progress to date.

 Here's that wheat design I did, rayon thread, gah, with beads and other things on white linen, 8 x 8 inches -- it's a dark and stormy day, so the white doesn't show well here.

And here's the daytime wilderness pieces, with the glasswing insect now in place, along with the or nue sun and the blue and purple stumpwork butterfly.  The second picture is to indicate the frame a bit for you to see the boundaries of the piece.  It's 12 x 12.

The reason I want this framing done is that Sunday is the annual holiday bash of the Embroiderers' Guild, with a show and tell of this year's work, so I wanted to put my best stitch forward.

You may remember that I had planned to add all kinds of stuff into the wilderness pieces, but having made the small one, which was quite busy, decided I'd rather be spare with the other two, plenty of air around the insects is better than a crowd.  I still promise myself a goldwork bee in stumpwork, though, but he'll have another context.

The silver (it's silver, take my word for it) frame with the schwalm whitework in it amused me hugely because the design on the frame reflects in an updated sort of way the general design of the whitework. Just a little sight gag there.  I starched the whitework, too, figuring why not, the original stitchers probably did, too.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

All Fail, All the Time!

Some time ago I rescued from the dumpster a very sturdy little rubber tire from a small bicycle, and thought, aha, this will make a lervly wreath. 

And I have all kinds of everlasting flowers that I'm tired of seeing in a vase and they'd go just fine attached around this wreath. So time passed, as it does, then today I thought now I'm tired of seeing that tire lying around, I'll see about making my wreath, it now being the season and all that.

So I wrapped it first in a nice bright green embroidered sort of satiny remnant, then with a sparkly narrow ribbon. So far so good, bit ropy, but when it was covered, the flaws wouldn't stand out.

Then  I attempted to attach the everlastings.  And they shed mercilessly all over me, the wreath, the table, the cat helpfully hovering about, and it became clear that if I got them attached, there would be a big shower every time the front door on which the wreath was to live, was opened.  And I realized further as the lawyers say, that the chances are great that my season of sneezin' is the result of these critters. 

So now the wouldbe wreath which looks exactly like a bicycle tire wrapped in green satin, is balanced on a high shelf in case I ever think it's worth doing.  The everlastings now live outdoors.  And at least I know I tried.  

But it looked terrible, as a matter of fact.  Not a bit what I'd envisioned. The thing is that I'm so deadly allergic to real greenery, particularly once it starts to dry, that it would do me in having a wreath of it on my front door and having to pass it several times a day. So that's not an option. That's why I came up with the dried flowers instead.

Then I thought, ah dolls, maybe, but they put up such a concerted scream of protest, even the new ones, that I didn't have the heart.
So this is a Big Art Fail!  Full disclosure.  Which does not lead as far as putting up pix of the big mess...

Reminds me of a wonderful interlude years ago at work when a couple of other artists (we were largely artists with day jobs) decided we'd have an In House Bad Art Show.  With really rotten works we'd made, and like all artists we had plenty to choose from.

Mine was a big red paper deal, supposed to be shaped and puffed out to look like a Japanese fighting fish, a solid paper sculpture hanging from the ceiling, but ending up looking rather like a stuffed red suitcase hanging in the lost property area.  

Then, irony abounded, another staffer, not an artist, a sports type, fell in love with my fish and demanded to have it hanging from the ceiling of her office.  I gave it to her on condition she never mention my name in connection with it.

What I learned today (been reading Robert Fulghum, can you tell?)

1.  it's worth trying because even if you fail you learn something. In this case that I should never have started this project.

2.  the best plans in my hands often change dramatically in the execution

3. I did make bad art, but I had a good laugh.

4. The circular form is not my metier.

5. A wreath is not an item you can hang with irony. 
However, my two latest little dolls having heard the Dollivers wittering on, have caught on and want their picture in here, now.

 Bigger doll points out her hand tatted blouse, (Judy, I didn't cut it, just wound and pinned it)  and her gold lame sweater, and smaller doll not to be outdone, sports her white mohair sweater and silver lame skirt.  And she explains she had not been drinking at all, just having a bit of trouble balancing there.  Take that, Ds!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wilderness silver moon and new notebook

I got the silver disk or nue done, and here you see it on the original fabric 

and cut out and sitting in place ready to be appliqued there, with rays of silver probably shining out from it before I'm done.

This was difficult because with the cold weather and despite major hand care, my fingertips and thumbs are rough and dry and they snag the silk thread sumfink awful, which snags my temper, too. But we survived.

Then since I needed to be making something, I created a little notebook from the giveaway postcard I picked up at the Morven sampler show I blogged about a while back.  

Simple saddle stitching, and my corner punch rounds off the corners nicely.  I still like little notebooks, have made and given away a ton of them, despite keeping a lot of notes on my Ipod.

By the way, this is a great way to spiff up a greeting card -- just insert pages you've cut to match, stitch in place, and you have a nice little notebook with a great cover.  

I've done this to send to people who warranted more than just a card but who aren't big on gifts, figuring this was half way between.  

Incidentally, there are several good books on book making, but for me the most appealing and useful is this one:  

Great step by step and photos, and you see the pages containing some of the steps I used in the stitching