Friday, November 29, 2013

About planning while finishing applique

Remember, I've been talking a lot about planning, organizing, ToDo list making in the summer? Well, it all worked pretty well. In summer. We've been at home, spent lot of time in the garden, went for a walk to the beach, and the life was pretty easy to plan - both kids have been at home with me on vacation, the kindergarden was closed. And by kids being at home I mean that it was quite easy to know what to do and how to handle them and how to keep them even-tempered, for they've constantly been around me.

It's fall now, and my little girl is attending the kindergarden anew again. That means that in the afternoon I may expect any behavior, depending how and what she did in the morning far from me, and how the enviroment/her little friends have been. I may have a kid who's moaning and tired, or over-excited, or sort of defiant, or simply reclusive, or quite simple sick. And whom I have to uplift and motivate for some extra-activities, which I thought would make sence - like music or sport. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes I drop it and we spend a cosy evening reading books and playing indoor.

All that being told, voila, my point - planning work is HARD those days.  Since each day means I have to re-adapt myself and my schedule, and most of time I have to do that, it's become difficult to stick to make schedules that have to be constantly re-arranged.

On the one hand the schedules focus my work, attention, and I spare time, and I love them. On the other hand they leave me frustrated here and there as I realize, the day did not run the way I expected it to run, and all the rearrangements were in vain. And frustration is not something motivating me to keep scheduling. I have to figure out how to make it all work better. I still work on it.

Here's a project that had to look like this last week, but all afore mentioned delayed and fragmented the realisation. Well, at least it moves on, my friends, and I'm happy with that!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Making holiday cards (mock-ups)

I'm still working with the leftovers - here some paper leftovers as I cut bigger sheets to the size of future album pages - and trimmed the rest to the card size of 10 x 15 cm. They are coated with paint leftovers and sometimes patterned with painted crocheted lace. Remember, I've shared recently a card project from other leftovers, which were made from paper and tissue paper leftovers, and dipped in paint. Those are going into my little girl's crafty paper basket, I'm not gonna keep them - they are sort of visually overloaded, and I do not want to use them. The same for my recent canvas mixed media projects - I guess there's the same problem. There're too much effects, details, elements and such, so that there's no clear focus. I have to find the way to keep it straight, simple and focused.

Those crocheted little stars, or flowers, you name it, will probably decorate my holiday greetings this year. I guess, that's the best way of making a star as a central piece - without all the paper patterned fussiness and still visually interesting with nice haptic texture - so that it doesn't need any more colors or  any more processing. It's simple and rich in itself and I kind of like this effect.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How I work

And here a peek into how I'm working.

FIRST: I put the paint and hand print my piece of fabric (here). It's mostly based on a loose sketch from my sketchbook. Mostly I have already some loose composition sketched, but not detailed. 

The basic composition as a sequence of blocks/basic shapes comes from a pencil sketch. I cannot make this very first step digitally, it HAS to be a paper notebook and a pen. I get it better and sooner hand doodling it. But once I get it, I head on to the tablet.

SECOND: I take a picture of the fabric piece and off it goes to the PhotoShop. I still remember my early days of working with fabric and LOT of cutting of pieces in different colors to find the best for the whole composition and then moving them around to find the best placement.  And that stage was quite a difficult and time consuming. Well, I've learned a lot from it, but now I REALLY appreciate working with graphic tablet to make the whole piece work as a whole and choose my colors until I'm satisfied how the whole work looks like. 

Here's the side piece for a future basket.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

LIFE is about being CREATIVE

If you follow me since awhile, you know I have a weak spot for short phrases (or quotes) about life and such. There's been a small edition of ink drawing prints last summer, and I continued to put some of them here and there on fabric scraps and sew pouches. Some of them have been quite simple, some more philosophic, some have been quotes that I came across. 

This one might become a favorite - there's a whole lot ideas that can be put into "LIFE IS ABOUT...".

The first one (which might not be finished yet)  is about, well, CREATIVITY, what else.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Playing around with scraps

And here's the basic idea what I'm doing with scraps and what they look like. Here're a couple of A4-size sheets, that were made "by the way" - from leftovers of papers, tiny scraps, some hand printed papers, tissue papers, paint leftovers and some hand made doodles. I've put some gesso to fix all the papers, so that they wouldn't lay around and I wouldn't have waste. Once dried, I've let them wait until I was working with paint and once I got there, those backgrounds have got a coat of paint left over. The initial idea was to make a garland, then I worked around them in PhotoShop and got this funny card that I'm sharing today.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hand printing

There's one special unpredictable thing among others which I enjoy when working with paint - the spontaneous projects emerging from the paint leftovers. I've been preparing new backgrounds - hand painted and hand printed. And I've cleaned my brayers with papers to avoid going to the bathroom and making noise while cleaning them with water (baby boy has been sleeping) - and those papers have given start to a fun and quick project with my little girl. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Around here - about blogging

Last year, as I started blogging, my blog was about a dozen different topics, sketches, photos, trials with fabric surface design, different approaches, different styles, watercolors, ink, and so much this'&'that. And yet I deliberately decided to keep LOTS of inspirational stuff away from the blog, like books, other blogs, art and such, and to post only what I was working on. The reason was that I wanted to find my own voice, to find out whether I'd' be able to develop something...anything consequently, based on techniques which I knew, or which I'd like to try out. I wanted to scroll my blog down and process how I was evolving - so the blog had to have the exclusive focus on what I was doing.

So there's been a whole lot going through the content of this blog, and now I feel it starts getting clear and focused. And that's what I LOVE about blogging. 

There've been days when I hadn't had any idea what to share next, or when I simply felt empty, and there was the pressure to work, to create anything worth sharing. And I was asking myself, is that what I want my life to look like? Constant race for new ideas, for pushing it further and further.

Yes. Yes. And yes! It's hard, I know now. And I start quite often feeling nothing creative in particular. Or there's a sparkle of an idea and I labour to get it all together. It takes time, yes, I've learned to drop a project here and there, and not to force it. I've learned to respect that it's pretty hard to schedule. 

And you know what? Blogging has given me the sense of development. To push it to the final line. To make a lot of steps, sometimes baby steps. Sometimes re-start the project. But to GET TO THE RESULTS. At any price, and not to rest until I get there. So somehow I get the feeling that LOTS of work, and CONSTANT work, and all the errors, all the search and pushing myself through, that all this starts to converge, to build some sort of perspective. 

I work with flowers - drawing, printing, painting, I work with fabric scraps on painted fabrics, I journal my favorite quotes, I love color, I love mixed technique. If there's something that I love being pure, that's drawing. And that's all that you're gonna see here coming soon. I'm gonna make pouches, and develop the idea of FOREST FRIENDS as a baby line, and it's all gonna be colorful, messy, printed, free motion embroided. 

It took me one year to get here (a bit more, actually). ONE WHOLE YEAR. One year of working almost everyday, and non-stop idea spinning in my head. I feel much better now, and it was so worth it for me. I finally get the feeling that I start to come to my own.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Working in mixed technique on canvas

Hello, friends! Currently I've been working at this mixed media project on canvas (started back in October). Flowers and colors - something that I put.. well.... everywhere. Can't change, won't change. All it needs now is something being stenciled onto. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

NEW zipper pouch

Remember there's been a photo with a quick drawing for a zipper pouch in my last post? Well, here's the end result, second attempt. The first one was sewn pretty exactly as I sketched it and it wasn't working. I've changed a bit some details, added another color (there's something fascinating for me in associating orange and rose) and here we are.

12 x 25 cm, fully lined, padded, made of scraps of handprinted corduroy and coarse silk, linen and stenciled piece of a cotton blend. And I couldn't resist to write my right-now-favorite quote from A.Camus about the invincible summer.

Monday, November 4, 2013

There're days...

Well, yes, friends.... there're days when I wake up jam packed with energy at 6 am, play with both kids, get all the cleaning done in the morning, bake a brioche, sun is shining, my sketchbook gets new ideas and and my projects move on. I'm NOT talking today about days like this. Today I'm struggling with some mean flu, sky is low and grey, day lights are poor, and I'm too understrength to get anything done as I planned.

And this is the quote I'm living for right now, when I'm on those days:

In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me lay an INVINCIBLE summer.
-Albert Camus-

Right? Newly got from sunny-windy-rainy-stormy Bretagne with wide sky, open ocean space, smelling sea salt and movement (where even greys were vibrant) back to crispy-greyish-brownish-calm-and-underlighted West-Southern Finland. It sounds like tough.

It sounds, my friends, and it's not - I have my work, I have my studio, I have this quote, that I'm gonna stencil soon, and I SO have the memories of the ocean in my heart, new ideas and ABSOLUTELY no time to moaning. Yes I have flu and fever, but the quote and some hot black sugared tea beat them all down.

Head on to new projects, my friends! 

P.S. this one is bit dull, but that was the assignment for a friend. Next time I get back with my usual colourways.