30 Oct

Just Checking In (with a drawing)

Sandy appears to have skirted by our little section of VA. We never lost power either, so my sewing machine and I have had some quality time together.

But, since I don’t want to show any of the sewn stuff yet, it’s a good time to catch up on figure drawing.

Figures 10/25/12

Each week, I try to learn something new. I’ve been experimenting with not lifting the pen, or drawing on collaged pages, or adding watercolor later. My favorite pieces are on my Flickr page. This one is in my black and white charcoal on kraft paper comfort zone, but I like it. The proportions are oddly attenuated (I’m not sure how I did that or if I can replicate it), but that’s part of what I like about the drawing. My classmate said it reminded her of the work of Ingres. At the time I couldn’t visualize anything Ingres, but last night the lightbulb went off. The twist, the long back, a certain softness. Yup, it’s there.

28 Oct

3 Days of Halloween

Creeper and Dalek

Tada! My and the kids’ costumes are DONE! We even went to an office party on Saturday where they were well received by those in the know. I was a little disappointed that, given the percentage of complete geeks in this office, more people didn’t recognize either the Dalek, or a Creeper. Most of the kids were younger though, so maybe we fit into a demographic between little kids and their parents.

Buy interfacing, a hula hoop, little plastic cups, bronze spray paint, and a plastic hardhat
Cut out and interface fabric for Dalek
Assemble Dalek dress with straps and hula hoop for shaping
Attach balls to Dalek dress
Cover stiff interfacing hoops for helmet
Paint hardhat helmet
Attach hoops, headlamp, and cups to helmet
Cut fabric for Candy Corn dress
Sew Candy Corn dress
Buy tights to coordinate with dress
Gesso box for creeper head and cut out eye holes
Paint Creeper head with green grid
Paint green hoodie with some green squares
Buy black turtleneck for K
Make white witch’s hat
Paint toilet roll silver and make cardboard mouthpiece for Tusken Raider

All that’s left on the to do list is to make parts for hubby’s Tusken Raider face. I may put that of until the last minute as I am now elbow deep into making a bean bag chair cover that looks like a rock.

21 Oct

10 Days of Halloween

Creeper Costume done!

Mom's Costume

The Creeper costume, and my Candy Corn dress are done. I had to add one more thing to the list (I forgot to get a black turtleneck for my daughter to wear under her Dalek jumper), but the to-do list is still getting shorter!

Buy interfacing, a hula hoop, little plastic cups, bronze spray paint, and a plastic hardhat
Cut out and interface fabric for Dalek
Assemble Dalek dress with straps and hula hoop for shaping
Attach balls to Dalek dress
Cover stiff interfacing hoops for helmet
Paint hardhat helmet
Attach hoops, headlamp, and cups to helmet
Cut fabric for Candy Corn dress
Sew Candy Corn dress
Buy tights to coordinate with dress
Gesso box for creeper head and cut out eye holes
Paint Creeper head with green grid
Paint green hoodie with some green squares
Buy black turtleneck for K

The Dalek dress is mostly assembled as well, so that’s even more progress. I am not sure if I want to add Tusken Raider to the list or just leave that in hubby’s lane. He did set aside a paper tube and order a bunch of ACE bandages, so maybe we have that one pretty well covered after all.

16 Oct

15 Days of Halloween

Dalek Costume

The costume to-do list is getting shorter!

Buy interfacing, a hula hoop, little plastic cups, bronze spray paint, and a plastic hardhat
Cut out and interface fabric for Dalek
Assemble Dalek dress with straps and hula hoop for shaping
Attach balls to Dalek dress
Cover stiff interfacing hoops for helmet
Paint hardhat helmet
Attach hoops, headlamp, and cups to helmet
Cut fabric for Candy Corn dress
Sew Candy Corn dress
Buy tights to coordinate with dress
Gesso box for creeper head and cut out eye holes
Paint Creeper head with green grid
Paint green hoodie with some green squares

I’m half way done with sewing the candy corn dress and painting the Creeper head too. Of course, I’ve left the Dalek body for last since it’s the one I’m least sure about construction-wise. Still, plenty of time. Fifteen days still to go! Oh, and we’re collecting bits to assemble a Tusken Raider now too.

15 Oct

Breast Pockets

Fiber and mixed media artist Melanie Testa has embarked on a conceptual art project which she hopes will raise awareness of real women and their choices about dealing with breast cancer and in particular foregoing reconstruction after surgery. Read more specifics on her blog here.

Breast Pockets

These are my contribution to the project.

Breast Pocket -- detail

The red one is in honor of my quilt mom Gerrie who is a “half-flattie.” She’s a redheaded free spirit, hence the color and the bird (not to mention her Portland connection so I could “put a bird on it!”). She also loves aspens and the mid century aesthetic, so I’ve tried to convey a bit of that.

Breast Pockets

While the project is primarily to raise awareness about the option not to reconstruct, I made a pair of pockets in honor of my aunt who did choose reconstruction. They could also be for two of my dad’s girlfriends who chose reconstruction. If I thought about it hard enough, I could probably come up with even more women I know who have been affected by the disease. I think this whole project is for them.

Breast Pocket -- detail

My favorite though is the BDU pocket in honor of my mentor Elaine. I chose the older BDU uniform since that was the style Elaine wore when she served. She chose reconstruction after her double mastectomy. But just as she modeled for me the practical and compassionate way to lead family members in an army unit, she also represents to me all the service members I do not know personally who have battled breast cancer at the same time as they train for and fight our nation’s battles. I suspect that these women reflect women as a whole and have chosen many options from chemical treatment to lumpectomies to mastectomies to reconstruction or not.

If you are interested in contributing to Melanie’s project, please comment directly on her blog. She’d like to collect 1000 pockets by October 22nd.

13 Oct

Appalachian Trail

One of our activities while visiting my aunt and uncle was to take a hike to Laurel Falls on the Appalachian Trail. It threatened to rain up until the very last minutes when the weather made good on it’s promise. The misty prelude made for some gorgeous scenery in which one could easily imagine that knights and dragons might come charging past at any minute.

12 Oct

Cabin of Curiosities

Lately I’ve been working on getting back in touch with my long abandoned drawing skills. To that end, I’ve joined a life drawing group, and I took Melanie Testa’s online creative journalling class. I’ve also been periodically poking around The Sketchbook Challenge blog. This month’s theme is Cabinet of Curiosities. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because on my aunt and uncle’s property is “The Dragon House,” which, for all intents and purposes, is a cabin of curiosities!

You must pass the spooky tunnel to get there.

Cabin of Curiosities

And watch out for the guard at the door!

Cabin of Curiosities

But inside is so worthwhile as it is filled with fascinating bones and nests and bits and bobs.

Cabin of Curiosities

If you’re really lucky, my aunt will spin a yarn about one thing or the other, but that is usually reserved for the younger generation.

I borrrowed a few bones and drew them in my journal on a page already started with a camo texture and some fabric bits.

Bones

11 Oct

We Gathered at the River

Welcome to my paternal aunt and uncle’s house. My grandfather helped my uncle build it as a mountain retreat away from his and my aunt’s Florida home. My aunt has filled it with their artwork and a most wonderful collection of mementos and whimsy.

Now that we don’t live an ocean away, and because my dad came to spend the week with us, we went to this magical place to gather with family.

The house overlooks a rushing river but it is also a hillside oasis to enjoy.

Rivulets crisscross the property.

Creatures and vignettes of all sorts dot the landscape.

There are places to wander and to rest.

And places to play. Everything is open for exploration.

This is the view down from the main balcony to the fishpond and river below.

There are (sometimes secret) messages everywhere.

Looking back up at the main house.

Little buildings are tucked away everywhere. There’s a rental house, a play house and several garden sheds, a studio, and this little cabin of curiosities which I’ll show more of later.

Despite the chill and damp, the kids enjoyed a bonfire on our last night.

We could have stayed longer, but we had school to return to. I hope that I don’t have to wait over a decade, as it had been, to return to this magical place