Jun 302017
 

Two subtle green arrows to help you see the bunnies in the grass.
The Captain watches two baby bunnies for breakfast.
Even if The Captain doesn’t immediately get into the food bowl, he is always there with me in the kitchen at breakfast time. He’s usually playing a game of, “oh look – I laid my tail under the edge of the fridge and will now stalk it.” I love watching him play that game. He is a self-amusing cat. When he wasn’t there, I worried that I’d shut him in a closet somewhere, or that he was ill. Not to worry, he was watching a different type of breakfast. These two baby bunnies were eating the greenery and frolicking a bit. He watched with interest.

Later, Oz saw what The Captain was looking at and went crazy, meowing, flicking his tail. I had to forcibly remove him from the window when it was time to leave, with him complaining at me the whole time.

Jun 292017
 

I had a few leftover dye samples from making my last swatch board, and I decided to give them another, final use. The colors left were odd, and I did a couple sprinkles of raw powder dye to make them a smidge more interesting. I wasn’t too much into this process, so I tossed each into a bucket and dumped the dye on top. Easy.
Dyed cotton.
This was watermelon and power berry. Worked well, definitely can use some of this in my current quilt.

Dyed cotton.
This was terracota and an unidentified green. I grabbed some reddish powder and it left tiny splotches that never dissolved. I love this effect. I might have to pursue how to make it on purpose – it reminds me of my powdered watercolors.

Dyed cotton.
The last one is on a long strip of fabric which is folded in half over the line. It is a natural scarf like this, maybe a low-key hem treatment to finish it off. The soft orange dye color seems to glow with the sunlight behind it like this. Maybe I’ll leave this piece, maybe I’ll add to it. I’ll let it sit for a while and see. I definitely like it.

I’m kinda tired of dying fabric and will take a break. Now that the samples and leftovers are used up I don’t have anything pushing me to dye. Also, I’ve used that single bottle of dye fixative up and need to order more. I use it as a double-safety fix on my printed fabrics as well as these dye pieces, so I will always be ready with supplies one way or another.

Jun 282017
 

Moxie cat, with Slick.
One of the reasons Moxie prefers Slick is because he puts up with her fussy bullshit. Even if it is 90F, she demands to be snuggled and held. Then she tries to claw your intestines out incidentally when she leaves. No thanks. But, Slick does it. He snuggles that fussy, hot, shedding cat in his arms and sometimes they watch tv together.

Had to blow out the photo a little because of the sunny window backlighting so you could see Moxie.

Jun 272017
 

Fennec foxes in the graveyard.
Another lunchtime painting, this one of fennec foxes enjoying a sunset in the graveyard. On Instagram, a couple artists have started a monthly art subject suggestion of unusual animals and June’s is the fennec fox. This sunset is painted from one in Lion’s Park, when Slick and I had walked and played our hearts out and were stumbling home, tired. I had to stop and take a picture when I saw how colorful, bright and dramatic it was.

My last two lunch painting sessions were interrupted severely and I didn’t get to finish. As soon as I get a chance to complete them, I’ll share them here, too.

Jun 222017
 

Paintings completed on lunch break, not paintings of lunch

I mentioned previously that I’ve been painting on my lunch hour, but haven’t shared much of it. Since I recently started a new sketchbook for this, AND managed to share the first two paintings, I’m going to keep it up. At some point I’ll go back and photo/scan all the first sketchbook, but that is a later project.

Creature discovering coffee.
Slick named this creature a Slork. I was explaining my snippet of dialogue as a thing to do if you meet a strange creature on your morning constitutional. Be reasonably friendly, introduce them to good things in your world, like coffee. This led to an interesting discussion about the addictive nature of coffee combined with the eventual potential for 30 Slorks waiting for you every morning and how expensive that much coffee would be over time compared against the natural benefits of being generous to appreciative recipients and potential supernatural benefits that might come to you from the tribe of Slorks.
We have silly discussions with non-silly connotations sometimes.

Two rabbits smoking pipes in a burrow.
This one was inspired by two very active rabbits I could see from the window during this morning’s (over-long) meeting. I knew I couldn’t capture their speed and frolicking, but maybe what they’re doing in their downtime. They’ve put up a sign in their borrowed burrow (did you know cottontails don’t make burrows? They make above ground nests, but will reuse abandoned burrows or cubbies) to make it more cozy.

Foxes in the coffee shop, yawning.

Sleepy foxes, starting their day. Free rodent with triple shot.

Painting from my poem.
Poison Pie, a summer special. Inspired by one of my poems I stumbled across again this morning.

One day I’m going to make a book/booklet/zine/some sort of collection of my poems with my art together. One day.

Jun 202017
 

Last week when taking out the trash, I saw a tall yellow flower amongst the weeds. In a hurry to get to work, I delayed taking a picture until the evening, but found it closed. This morning I was out and found another of that flower, this one with multiple buds.

Yellow flower
This flower is the root cause of my latest project, which is turning the center area of our backyard into a wildflower and plant haven. If this weed can survive in our crappy, rocky soil, battle off the horde of dandelions, and look pretty to boot then I need a lot more of this type of plant. The center area has been abused over the years (by us and bad concrete contractors) and will take a lot of work to get back to a “perfect” looking grassy yard. But, I hate grass. I hate mowing, I hate wasting good water that we pay for on needy, stupid, pointless grass. So, I’m going to weekly take a shovel and scrape up the bits of grass, the loads of weeds and plant hearty flowering weeds and plants. These plants will all be selected for their hardiness, ability to survive in our restrictive zone with minimal or no maintenance and for their benefit to honeybees (first), butterflies, and birds. I’ve already got an echinacea planted, along with some specific asters. My aim is to add a plant every week so I’m not overwhelmed.

Tiny apples
While I was doing that, I saw a bright green and found that our apple tree has started production on a new batch of apples! Yea! This is the yearly foreshadowing to the apple harvest battle – how many, if any, apples will we get against the ever-vigilant squirrels, the sudden damaging hail, and the resilient bugs.

We have some damaged old lawn chairs that I’ve brought out. Some minor refinishing work and they’ll be pleasant to sit in on the rare cool evenings we’ll get. We can sit and look at the productive plant life out there. If nothing else, we’ll have less mowing to do and something pretty to look at.

Jun 162017
 

All people, artists or not, have moods about creative focus and things you don’t want to do. Infrequently, I will have an aversion to a project that I think needs progress. Sometimes I can push through that feeling and get some good things done, but if it is a strong aversion, I listen to it.

Years ago, when I was building the workshop, I had a few hours in the evening after getting back from work and felt that I HAD to get some more drywall up, even though I really did not want to. I mustered all my available willpower and went down and got to cutting the drywall and by the time I was done with one sheet I was in tears with frustration and unhappiness and had to quit. Tears would soak into the drywall and leave little bubbles, after all. Hah. Plus, my cuts were imperfect, meaning I was going to have to do more work later to clean it up. But, that experience ratified my personal truth of having a limit when it comes to moods, projects, and sucking it up and getting on with it. Very occasionally, I simply cannot force myself to do certain things. That is okay. There is always something to be done in the workshop, like winding bobbins, cleaning up and organizing, or doing some other, different project.

Last night I entered the workshop with the plan to work on the dyed fabric quilt, but I simply didn’t want to. At this point in the quilt’s creation, I need to feel some drive and inspiration to move forward, because it is okay as it is, but I’m not excited about it. And those fabrics deserve some excitement. Thus, I did not work on the quilt.

With no quilt work going on, I instead thought about what I would like to do, (because I was also not looking forward to cleaning the workshop – I try to do that on weekends) and thought I’d like to make a Scrappy Cat – I haven’t done one for a while. But, the full figure was too much, a Flat Cat would be better and after the cat head cards, maybe it would be nice to do a cat head portrait in fabric. I didn’t want them to be cutesy, nor weird, so (after a coincidental video of Snoop Dogg) I thought I’d make Angry Cat portraits. That idea went fucking wild in my head and now I have about six interesting ideas for this incidental new series. I got one started, but then realized it was going somewhere I couldn’t see the full concept of, so I started a second and MAN! It is coming together! I like it a lot! I’d show photos, but they are still so unfinished that I don’t think the idea comes through yet, it remains in my head. Soon.

Now I have a new problem. A few weeks ago I bought three foam boards to use as project-in-progress boards. The Ganesh quilts are on them and now I have a new series of at least five Angry Cat portraits that need project boards. My choices are to finish the Ganesh quilts to recover the boards, or to buy more project boards. They don’t take much space, they’re always useful, and I have a current need for them. The Ganesh pieces only need a backing and hanger, but I don’t want to do that yet. I think I will wait for a “finishing” mood to come along, and in the meantime buy more foam boards.

This is how my workshop gets overfilled.

Jun 152017
 

Many months ago, I noticed I was working through most of my lunches. That, of course, it a bad idea! My working time includes an hour of lunchtime, I should NOT be working for it. It took a few weeks to break the habit, but I’m taking that hour to do something creative, which is very good for nullifying work stress. My two “at desk” projects are a small hand stitching piece, and watercolor paintings in sketchbooks. Here are two of those.

I like opossums and wanted to portray one in a “pretty” setting to help counteract the negative opinion that many people seem to have about them. This was my first shot at it. I liked it a lot, but I saw that my lines were messy and (for some dumbass reason) thought I should do better. This is a dumb thought because these paintings are quick sketches, fast and loose. The lines SHOULD be all over the place. This is a larger size (new sketchbook) and more detail and color than I normally use for a less-than-one-hour piece.

Anyway.

The next day I did the same painting again. I spent more time on the layout planning and line work preparation. I don’t normally do much or any linework – generally a couple marks here and there to remember where to put what color paint. That alone took most of a lunch hour. Most of the painting had to wait for the second day.

It is more controlled, cleaner lines, but the same general idea of painting. This is fine, but I think I have a miniscule preference for the first, loose and fast style.

So, there you go. Two paintings, almost the same, but different.

Jun 142017
 

I didn’t feel like working on the quilt last night, so I pulled out one of my many unfinished projects and got it done.

This is the largest of my fabric shag pieces. Now it is a clutch, or very large zip pouch. I love this shag!


A teal lining with a little pocket for chapstick or whatever small item.


An almost full sized back pocket. I find these types of pockets useful on bags; they’re handy for flat things you get handed, like receipts, flyers, business cards, coupons, restraining orders, whatever.


Leaning for the dimensional view. It is interfaced fully so that it will hold its shape.

I put it in my Etsy shop, too. My Etsy gets used as an available item show room. I don’t worry about not selling many things; I like the idea that some of my work is able to be seen and purchased, if someone wants it. The possibility exists, and that is my level of “selling” commitment. Sort of a personal gallery.

Tangent, someone thought I was making a full size quilt when they first saw a picture of my fabric shag. My reaction was No, no way. It would be an insane amount of work and result in a shortened-life item since the shaggy bits would continue to unravel over time. That idea has stayed with me, though. I like the idea, crazy though it might be. The big pouch is fun to pet and a quilt would be even better for the tactile satisfaction. Now I am considering it.

Jun 062017
 

Over the weekend, someone ordered a bunch of pins from my Etsy shop, including both sets of cat heads. That gave me a little burst of good mood and I decided I should paint another cat head to make into a thank you card for the order. After I did that, I realized I wanted to do more, so I spent a whole evening painting. I ended up with enough for a card four pack.

Makes a nice set!


I gave them all metallic painted eyes and noses, although you can’t tell from the photos. In person, they sparkle and shine brilliantly! I have to paint those bits all by hand after they’re printed as cards, but it is worth it. I think they’re striking. Goes well with the metallic envelopes, too.

Of course, they’re listed in my Etsy shop, if you want them for yourself.

Jun 052017
 

The Captain

I love this cat. He is clever and curious and has the best love fits.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...