Archive for March, 2010

yet one more…

March 28, 2010

This free hand machine embroidery is of an urn that stands in memorial on Myrtle Hill in the cemetery in Rome.   My husband and I made a quick visit there this past week while on an errand in Rome.  Early in this blog, I painted some angels from this same cemetery.  I did not take note of the owner of this memorial, but  on this trip I did find my great grandparents’ graves, T.J. Eubanks, Sn. and Edna Stinson Eubanks.  Their stones are small and flat, making them part of the minority on this monument filled hill.I have been having fun doing these paintings with thread.  I am still dissatisfied and am not sure where to go (if anywhere) with them.  This one is about 10″ high and 5″ wide and took several hours to do over the last few days.  I am curious to know how much thread is in it  but  I didn’t take note.

I have another image or two I want to try this way, then I may give it up.  Who knows?

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what doesn’t work

March 26, 2010

As you know, I have been playing around with free hand machine embroidery and it was inevitable that at some point, I would try to create a face with it.  Here it is.

While I am very pleased that I was able to control the fabric enough to get a relative likeness, I am not pleased at all with the results.  The thread is way too shiny (most of it is rayon).  Applying color is similar to pastels, you have a certain selection and you must make do with it.

But…  I could see a huge tapestry-like wall hanging, embroidered faces with bodies and narrative a la William Morris and friends.  Not that I will ever take on a project that size.  Can you even imagine the amount of time that would take?

Here is another shot in progress.   I liked it better at this stage.

Speaking of time…

I know most artist get a little put out when asked how much time did something take to do.  I find that I am just plain interested in the time exerted along with the materials used in creating something.  It is part of the final work of art.  If time were irrelevant, then it seems the link between creation and creator is irrelevant.

Anyway, that’s my opinion and I apologize if I have ever offended you by that question.  So, want to know how long it took me to do this?  🙂

a field of flowers in honor of spring

March 23, 2010

Seems like most people who embroider realistically or stylized, have done a field of flowers.  They seem to go hand and hand.  This is my obligatory, albeit truncated field of flowers from a photo taken at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  It is all machine embroidered and took me several hours to complete.  I look at it and wonder what kind of handwork might enhance it.  Hmmmm…  I just don’t know.

Here is a technical question for you.  I did this on linen dressmaker’s fabric with a fairly tight weave (I love this fabric!).  I scanned it into photoshop and it has a moire effect.  How do I get rid of the moire effect?  At over 50% (at 200 dpi)  it goes away on my screen but that image size is too large to place on the internet.  I made the image above larger to help eliminate it.  I am computer ignorant and self taught at photoshop so please don’t laugh too loudly when you give me the simplest of solutions….

feathering by machine

March 19, 2010

Another machine embroidery piece.  I love this medium!  I can’t imagine you are as impressed with my machine embroidery as I am, but I am having sooooooo much fun.  This feather took less time to create than the pound cake I made today took to bake!  It is about 4 1/2″ high done in cotton thread on linen.

I need to find another application for this.  I have several pieces waiting to be made into book covers!

Here are a couple of hand embroidery done this past week.  I was pleased with them.  I took my doodling of the animals down to the simplest swirl I could.  I have a couple more designs I want to do.  Wouldn’t they be sweet in a baby boy’s room, maybe made into a quilt?  But that means lots more animals.  That’s probably not gonna happen.

the finished book

March 17, 2010

I finished one of the books using my embroidery from a couple of post ago.  Thought I would share it with you.

I am anxious to create something tonight.  Still debating what.

More Inspiration

March 14, 2010

Girls like tools, too.  I, for one, love my sewing machine.  It uses power and has sharp moving parts.  As much a tool as anything my husband has.  After years of sewing on Singers and even working at a Singer store during college, I bought myself a Bernina.   Even after 6 or 7 years, it is so wonderful to sew on, no problems like I always had with Singer.   Sewing can be fairly boring, but if you drop the feed dogs and start stitching while you control the position of the fabric with your hands, then sewing can be your paint brush and becomes so very much fun.

I went the the American Arts Council Craft show at the Galleria over the weekend.  There were so many wonderful artists there.  One artist, Natalia Margulis, worked with free hand machine embroidery that was simply fabulous.  I wish I could have afforded to buy one of her pieces (and about 100 other artist’s pieces).  But, I found her website so we can see her creations.  I think this is the best use of the internet.  Looking at art.

I came home and tried free hand machine embroidery.  I had some beginner’s luck and did the tree on the book cover first.  It was the best I did.  I did the bird next (which actually looks better in person than in the photo) and the house last.

The bird and house are done on water soluble stabilizer.  It dissolves after you have stitched on it  which leaves only the thread.  The book’s cover is done on linen making it a little more stable.  I had better control of the stitch, that’s why you get a bigger picture.  If you look thru the book you see the next with tiny eggs in it.  The eggs are about 1/4″ wide.  The book binding has tapes, I have never done that before and looking at the book, it is obvious.  It might go to Jasper for their upcoming Birdhouse auction but I may be too late.  They said to be creative in my interpretation of a birdhouse.

There were  over 200 artists there.  A lot to be inspired by.

Oh, the inspiration!

March 10, 2010

Just returned from Barnes and Noble.  I am trying to stay out of bookstores with purse strings being so tight these days and add to that,  no more shelf space for books or magazines.  But I saw a magazine that was inspiring to me, Quiltmania.   I held on to it for several minutes before putting it back.  (kept the 3 novels tho’)  I came home and looked up their website.  Who needs magazines anymore??? Their website is beautiful with pictures galore to inspire.

My husband has been doing digital/photoshop artwork for architectural illustration for the last few years.  So he picks up a magazine he wants.  He asked if  I was embarrassed to go thru the check out with it.  Why is it that all digital art magazine have to have scantily clad, overly sexed young ladies on their covers?  Hmm???  He says there is good information it it.  Hmm.

And then the current Somerset magazine on Artful Blogging.  Guessing my blog is not really artful.  Maybe just art-full.  Wonder if it needs a makeover?

Since I have quilting on my mind and haven’t shared many with you, I thought I would now.  I have been commissioned to do some quilt making.  Getting psyched up for it.

This is the whole face of those eyes in my banner above.  I never bound this one.

Here is a butterfly that I never put the binding on.

And a portrait of my father that never got a binding either.

Got a trend going.   I am guessing I was not motivated to finish any of these.  Not sure why except there is no place to display them so why bother.  Binding isn’t my favorite task.And to show you I can make relatively traditional quilts, here is one that will actually cover me up.   The perfect napping quilt.

practicing restraint

March 7, 2010

So, when do you know enough is enough?  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a little bell that goes off when something is done to the best of your ability?

After taking out many stitches, I declare these done.  More embroidery for covers of small empty books.

I desperately want to do more to the bottom image but I think it is more expressive as is.  Now, off to cut paper for the pages inside.

First Friday Fun

March 5, 2010

I met with those wonderful women for our First Friday gathering this morning.  We made paper beads and turned them into necklaces.  Carol brought a wonderful necklace she wanted to duplicate and as adorable as it was, I wanted to make one too.  This is mine using materials on hand.

Look closely at the boot on the right.  If you can see it clearly enough and know what it is, please tell me.  I found two of these and a few other doo dads a long time ago  in my father-in-law’s collection of everything.  I think it may be lead.  If I keep it out of my mouth, do you think I am safe in wearing it?

The beads were created just by rolling strips of paper onto a skewer and gluing the end.  For a black edge, take the bead in stamp it onto an ink pad.  Then string beads and trinkets onto it, run the string thru the tube at the top and add beads on the other side.  The beads move freely but aren’t able to pull back thru the tube.   The one Carol had used ribbons for this , I used colored cotton strings.

I did my best to rid my studio of all jewelry making supplies today.   I have to cull my stash of  extraneous crafting stuff.  Someday my studio will be as I envision it in my dreams…..