January 30, 2011

365: Day 17 Dead Parrot Pirate

Yesterday I mentioned a drawing I completed that continued the theme of Dia de los Muertos in animal form. First there was the Dead Vibrant Cat and then the Dead Vibrant Dog. Well here is a look at my sketch for the Dead Parrot Pirate.

I plan to do this as a quilted work ..maybe as a pillow or a wall hanging. I haven't decided yet.This dead critter is definitely larger than the other two. Parrot Pirate needs some adjustments particularly in the way the claw grasps at the pearl. 

Dyed cheese cloth might look really great for the torn fabric that hangs off his bony wing. Being able to see through the torn cloth to the images beneath could be really mysterious.

I am also thinking about using satin floss in whites, grays, peaches and pinks to embroider the pearl and then go over that with some rainbow transparent thread. This is going to be fun and challenging to create. I sense a fabric shopping trip in the near future.
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January 29, 2011

365: Day 15 & 16 Day of the Vibrant Dead Dog

Inspired by the Vibrant Dead Cat, and commissioned to do so, I made a Vibrant Dead Dog pillow. My dead cat was recently featured in the Skull-A-Day Blog. It's a nice article so please check it out.

My friend Amy wanted a really cool gift for (can't tell you that part in case it's for you) and asked me if I would design a dog skull pillow that would look very much like the Vibrant Dead Cat...especially the teeth. I apologize for the terrible pics, but the lighting here is very dim right now and my daughter is waiting for me so we can watch a movie. I will try to post much better ones tomorrow.

Here is the Vibrant Dead Dog:

Here is the back of the pillow. The buttons are gorgeous! I really wanted to keep them in my stash. Do you think Amy will like it? It was a lot of fun to design and create. The finished size fits a 17"-19" pillow form. By the way, despite what today's title suggests I worked on this for more than just Day 15 & 16.

Wait till you see what I drew today. It actually counts as 365: Day 17 but will have to wait until tomorrow. I will give you a clue: It too is dead but this one searches the high seas..not human. Stay tuned, :P

January 26, 2011

365: Day 14 All Boxed In

Carolann's crane: 5mm
Last night I watched my daughter make tiny origami cranes. Inspired (and wowed), I attempted to make tiny origami boxes. Since I have made several larger boxes in the past as gifts, I thought I might end up with something recognizable.

To make origami so small that it is measured in millimeters, I highly recommend using tweezers. My daughter also suggests using small sticky note squares. Starting off with a true square makes a big difference especially at this challenging size. This probably would have been a little easier if I had used my paper cutter rather than scissors.

My 9mm box and Carolann's bitty crane.
First I measured out a piece of paper 1" square. Then the folding began. Tweezers, the kind used for pearl knotting with very pointy ends, are very useful for creasing the folds as well as coxing the paper into it's final form. My tiny box, complete with a lid is 9mm square.

Both boxes (one is a lid)
How tiny could I go? I cut another square to 3/4". Folding went smoothly, but trying to bend up the sides into a box shape took much longer. I think this is my limit on size. Pics coming as soon as I get the batteries recharged for my camera. :-)

January 25, 2011

365: Day 13 Playtime for Veggies

While making dinner I was thinking about my daily creative activity. Yes, I know I missed yesterday, but I have already forgiven myself for that. I did lots of crafting over the weekend that I didn't blog about so I think that makes up for it. (Wait till you see the quilted pillow. It's almost done!)

There is only one thing to do when you are making dinner and pressed for time: play with your food. Yep, I was peeling those carrots and realized that the curly pieces could be coaxed into art or something I could post here

Rabbit head came first. Carrot ends make perfect eyes. Then I realized that this dude could have a full body so I added that too. Here he is:

But I had one last idea to play with or I should say bunch of scraps to sculpt. This little scene reminds my daughter of Kirby's Epic Yarn. I think she is right.

January 23, 2011

365: Day12: Left Again

Last night I was thinking about the sad left snowflake I cut out from the night before. My left hand needed a chance to redeem itself. Drawing was the answer and this time I was going to find those pencils. Since I was feeding Sparrow, the kitten, on my bed (prevents fat cat from eating her food) she was the obvious choice for a model.

Changing hands feels interesting and otherly. Something experienced many times before becomes new yet it is very familiar. Unlike trying to cut with scissors, drawing left handed was calming and almost meditative. When I draw or sketch with my right hand I am trying too hard to get it right. Erased lines sometimes fill the page. This time I had no expectations of perfection or even similarity to the model. It also helped that Sparrow turned her head away from me as I was about to draw her face. Hey you can only draw what you see. I think lefty did a darn fine job.

365: Day 11 Lefty Attempt

Today is catch up day for my blog. Friday night, after working on a quilted pillow for most of the day, again I decided to follow the prompt in the book: create with your non-dominant hand. For me that would be my left hand. I was too lazy to look for my pencils so drawing was out. Cut a snowflake left handed seemed to be the obvious and quick choice. I decided to wing it and not draw a pattern to follow. Some how that felt like cheating. It's not a pretty snowflake and it doesn't even look like a snowflake, but it was done completely left handed. Not easy to cut things with your other hand.

My right hand kept trying to step in and save my left from spraining itself. "You are doing it wrong."

"No stop that!" screamed the left--"damn it. It's my turn." In the end my left hand was really sore and I was glad to be done.

January 21, 2011

365: Day 10, Water dripping art

Yesterday I decided to follow another prompt in the book. Create using only water as the medium or inspiration. Then I thought "ooooh it would be fun to tape construction paper to the wall a draw a cat on it using a spray bottle." So, I did, except for the cat part. Water is not so easy to control when it's being sprayed across the room. It also likes to drip down the paper and wall onto the floor. That's all right cause I am sure that spot on the wall needed cleaning any way. You also get whatever the water wants to create. I find a very active imagination to be most helpful when deciphering what you have accomplished.

I did two water paintings. The blue painting I call "Rain on Machu Picchu".

On my second attempt I taped two pieces of pink construction paper on the wall hoping to get more control over the water. Ha. This one is called "Penguin Hiding in Forest." Can you find him?
This is a fun project and I recommend doing this with kids. First, you are only getting water on the floor--some clean naughty fun going on. Secondly the paper dries overnight and you can do it again or make something else. Give it a try. It's a lot of fun.

January 20, 2011

365: Day 9: Necklace for Milkman's Daughter

Layout for the necklace
After spending a fair part of the day doing data checking for a client, I wanted, no needed to doing something creative. I also want to keep up with my goal of creating everyday. I decided to pick up where I left off when I made the ring for the Milkman's daughter. I thought, easy peasy. This can't take too long. Ha. .

It took a couple of well spent hours and you can see for yourself how I did. I am mostly pleased, but there is still one link that doesn't hang properly. Doing another version of this necklace is something I look forward too. For one, I won't be using jump rings to connect the milk plugs. Wire might be a better connector and keep the plugs from flipping around. I would also like to design a clasp using one of the plugs instead of a lobster clasp.
The necklace does behave nicely when worn and even survived a surprise attack from Sparrow (stealth kitten). I think she wants to hide it away with the yarn she has taken from me.

Materials used: 9 milk jug plugs, stainless steel jump rings, black rubber cord, steel lobster clasp, various glass beads and clear AB crystals.
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January 19, 2011

365: Day 8 Altered Book

My assistant Sparrow
Yesterday I followed a prompt in the 365 day journal to alter a book. I am a day late posting this due to several power outages last night.

I decided to use a hard cover version of an Emily Dickinson poetry book I  bought a couple of years ago. Who was I kidding, I wasn't going to read it and it was a cheapo version of her work.

Now, what to do with the book? Hey, I know. Put some of the shells collected from Silver Sands beach in there. That won't take long...just hours.

First I glued all the edges of the book together and held those  pages taught with a rubber band.

Next the fun part, I took out my  x-acto knife and cut out 4 windows for the shells to sit in. More gluing and painting kept me busy.
It  came out really nice, but I must confess that I still need to do the  cover of the book. All that glue and paint take awhile to dry so I will  leave the cover for another day.

January 17, 2011

365: Day 7 Hair I Go Again

Oh the puns. Those silly puns. Hair today gone tomorrow?? Today's creativity was prompted by a comment from Crazy Rebecca (she is featured in today's 365 Make Something Challenge Blog). She thought my idea to create sculpture from hair found in the shower was too funny. Well Rebecca today's post is for you.

Here is the before pic. I know eewwww. But, I must say it was freshly harvested this morning.  For those of you who want to try this I did learn a few things about sculpting or drawing with hair that might help you:
  • collect more hair than you think you need
  • keep the hair wet or it's just too unruly
  • be flexible in your design--hair does not like to make sharp bends or angles
  • scuplting with your own hair is guilt free: you don't mind throwing it out when you are done and it's organic. :p

I was trying to make a cat, but this pile of hair just didn't want to go there. So I took it back to it's roots--blob form. I call this one "Ode to Cousin IT".

With the help of some used match sticks I was able to sculpt "Big Foot's Skull."

Evil Chickenasaurus. This time i made use of my daughter's glove to make the crest. (There is a chicken fingers joke in there some where).

And just for fun I did this "drawing". It reminds me of my pre-school days. I call it "Hair Landscape." Although now that I look at it, it too is looking monster like. What would you say this was?

365: Day 7, The home is clean

I seem to have skipped two days of creativity. What I got in exchange was a very clean apartment, cleaner than it has been in a long time. Feels good to get rid of junk and move things around. I also got to see family and go to a 1st b-day party. Although I missed the two days, I carry around my 365 book and did think about future projects. My main problem is that I kept thinking big instead of trying to contain my attempts to an hour long activity. Today I get back on track so look for my creative post later in the day. You never know what you will see.

January 14, 2011

365: Day 6 or just follow the book

Here he is...Mr. Alien Pig Head. Well sort of. Today I was nervously doing my taxes, oh the joy of it, and didn't get a chance to be all that creative. Not wanting to miss a day of some creativity, I decided to follow the book: make something from the first fruit or veggie you encounter. Poor grapefruit. I wonder if it's embarrassed.My daughter says he is creepy and boarish (get it?). What would you name him?

January 13, 2011

365: Day 5, A Better Dead Dog

Here he is..My Vibrant Dead Dog. I worked on my sketches again today to get one that was just right and emailed it to my friend. She loved the sketch. 

This little guy is actually going to be quite large when I am done with him. He is destined to greatness as a pillow cover for a couch. Shopping for coordinating fabric and buttons for the back of the pillow was a lot quicker than I thought it would be. I usually get lost for hours in those big craft stores.

So far the 365 project is really working for me!

January 12, 2011

365: Day 4 Flowers and Dead Dogs sort of...

I started working on the sketches for the Vibrant Dead Dog Skull pillow. I am going to email them to my friend for approval and then it's time to make. Here are some of my preliminary sketches. Bonus points if you can find the cat in the picture.

In the Handmade in Portland site there is a great tutorial for making Hip Felt Flowers. These flowers are really cool and would look great on the Vibrant Dead Cat block I made a couple of days ago. I gave it a go and I have to say that the embroidery on the flowers makes all the difference between yuk and very cool. My flower is really great, but it is a little too big for the quilt block. (I used my scanner rather than take a pic this time).

So today I got two creative things done. Not a bad choice of activities for a snow storm filled day.

January 11, 2011

365: Day 3 Postscript of Torn Cat

Yesterday I shared my Vibrant Dead Cat as my day 3 project, but did one more thing. Last night I was sitting around with my daughter and we decided to the prompt for day 3: create with a piece of paper without using scissors or cutting the page. So I tore up a cat. I made the whiskers and facial expressions with my nails. She even has a ball of paper yarn to play with.
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January 10, 2011

365: Day 3 The Vibrant Dead Cat

I had a lot of plans for my day three like finally tackling those Japanese beer cans, but I wanted to finish the Mexican Sugar Cat Skull quilt block first. I think it came out really wild and vibrant. It was fun to use up some that fabric stash and all for a good cause. Finishing a project really feels great. Let me know what you think about my latest creation.
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January 9, 2011

365 Creativity Project: Day 2

I was off to a late start but did a lot of work. I decided to do a quilt block for the Skull Quilt project to benefit the fight against domestic violence. It's not due until May, but I was excited and didn't want to risk loosing my enthusiasm or more likely forgetting about it. Here is the link to to the Skull-A-Day blog entry for the Quilt Block Inspiration Skulls.

I thought about ideas for this block most of last night and woke up thinking about it too. I decided to do a Mexican inspired skull, but of a cat instead of a human. Pets can be such a big comfort during difficult times and can bring you out of your head where all the negative messages live. This quilt block is in honor of the pets who help during times of need and for those who were also victims of domestic violence.

The first picture shows my attempts to draw skulls. Not many cats on there, but I decided to try to get a feel for a human skull first. Searching the Internet for pics was a big help.

January 8, 2011

365 Days: Day 1, Jewelry 4 the Milkman's Daughter

Yahoooweeeee! Ha! I did it! I created something really cool. While making my lunch (that French onion soup again) I started playing with milk jug plugs. I have been saving these things for about a year and every now and then throw one or five on the ground for the kitties to play with. They come from milk jugs and look like milk bubbles. I instantly saw (after a year) a necklace, ring, and earrings. I was most excited about the ring and am wearing it. Here is a pic of my ideas and the finished ring:

365 Creativity Enema

January 8th and what did I make this week? Butkus! Nada! Gork! Nothing baby. IDK. Does that yummo French onion soup I labored over count? I didn't create the recipe (Got it from America's Test Kitchen on PBS), but I did mess with the way it was cooked. 4 hours in the oven? NFW. I'm a hungry woman needing lunch so I did it stove top in 1.5 hours. Yeah me. But uh, no creative items made. No wait, I turned a milk jug plug into a cat toy (just drop on floor)! You caught me, I did nothing. 

Why is it so hard to do what I know will give me energy and bring me back to life? Because no one likes an enema! Even a creativity one. It's been a hard year for my family, but still I want to move on or at least off that damn couch. I guess I am somewhat depressed. So I went to the book store (they have chocolate there).

January 5, 2011

That Spacey Feeling & Kirin Ichiban

So much for starting off the new year right. For the last two days my creative goal was to finally turn 2 Japanese beer cans into jewelry. The cans are beautiful and would make really interesting pieces. However, I still feel like crap and my head is all spacey feeling. When I am sick or feeling blue, I just don't have the energy to be very creative or to do much of anything.

Ugh. There they are staring at me, all dusty yet eagerly awaiting transformation. My good friend Penny took me out to lunch over a year ago to "celebrate" being laid off at the end of the day. We ended up at a new

January 2, 2011

Living a Creative Life

One of my goals for this year is to live a more creative life. From the time I was 3 years old I have been making things, all kinds of things. Some really cool and creative, some crap..but it didn't matter then. There was no judgment of intrinsic value or an instant degrading of self if "it" was "meh", just an understanding that working with my hands was fulfilling. Like a kid who makes a mud pie for the first time beaming with pride and joy ...yet oblivious to the mounds of gooshy mud on the floor and now wearing a smudged hand printed t-shirt: "Wow I made this is" is all that mattered.Creation happened. I have an innate desire, a need to create something and often. Often is tremendously important. I realize that it doesn't matter how good "it" is. The art I create for me serves one purpose only...experience the act of creation.