Friday, March 29, 2013
These pics are just ones that I was able to snap pics of while trolling around Los Angeles and Hollywood within the last month or so. When I find them, they feel like little unearthed treasures, secrets of my city. Especially when I stumble on a poster by Morley (do yourself a favor and search #morley for his pics on Instagram. He's guaranteed to make you smile and think and remember)
I love that these artists have decided to simply put their art out there. Where it may be walked by and ignored, but it also may make someone's day.
I don't really have the nerve to become a street artist... Can you imagine me tucking my kids into bed and heading out with stencils and aerosol cans to dodge police so I can get my art seen??? (The thought is quite thrilling and inspiring, but I don't see it happening, if we are honest... Anyone want to volunteer their wall for some big swirls?)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
ravelry.com - It was a free download called Regina.
It was the hardest pattern I have worked on yet but I really enjoyed it and I love the hat.
It was the hardest pattern I have worked on yet but I really enjoyed it and I love the hat.
Friday, March 22, 2013
I often think that people who are attracted to sewing and quilting are the giftgiving type - at least the ones I run with are... Something about the mountains of scraps left over after each project makes you just want to find a use for things and a person to appreciate using them.
I don't know what it is about somebody giving me a gift that makes me feel so special but each one of these things here was given to me by one of my quilty friends on a day that I completely did not expect a present. (If you've read "The Five Love Languages" I'll give you one guess as to what my main one is)...
The Echino wallet is something my generous friend Megan gave me that I have been using for many months but I kept forgetting to show on my blog. She was testing out a pattern and I was the happy recipient of her test. I love it every time I see it.
The red patchwork tote bag and the blue polka-dotted bags were gifts for my friends Hollie and Ramona for my birthday... I love both of them. (The girls and the bags)!
And the little Frida project kit came from a sweet guild friend named Dana who asked for my mailing address and randomly sent this to me out of the blue. What a good mail day!
I could post a zillion other little pics... Things my gal pals have made me (I'll look and see which things I've missed recently), but it's the thought that counts and I just love to know someone thought of me... Don't we all?
Thursday, March 21, 2013
So I decided to ask for the same thing this year only to make it with a little bit more of "Libby" style, I asked people to either wear red or take a photo something red or polkadotted. The result was a influx of emails and texts all day long that made me smile from ear to ear.
The rest of my day was pretty boring, honestly... My husband was out of the country on a business trip, my kids had school and dance lessons, and I had a ton of chores to do at home... Though I did pop out for a quick lunch with an old friend to get my favorite mint lemonade at Bergamot Station. The reality of my birthday is that it really was online. And that was great. I knew I was loved. I was reminded all day long. Who could ask for more?
And in the end, look at these pics! Each one represents a person who was willing to take a minute to show me that my birthday mattered to them.
(The more I think about this, I think we all deserve birthdays like this. Let me know if you need me to wear green or orange or stars or circles someday to make you feel special. I'm in)
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Lately I have been collecting books and sources on lettering because I noticed that so much of my doodling involves things that I'm thinking about. I'm looking at fonts and thinking of different ways that I can express the things that are on my mind. For years I kept a journal that was page after page of my hand writing and my words, But these days I have a desire to say less and draw more so my journal looks a lot more swirly than it used to. Sometimes I write song lyrics down sometimes I'm not writing anything profound and sometimes I have a big question or statement that I want to get answered and so I write it down. If you've ever doodled as a form of meditation you will understand how I can find this calming. I've drawn pages around Bible verses, Mumford songs or pictures of sewing machines and tea in mugs.
This new batch, though, has had a real focus on words and trying to encapsulate the things inside my head. I find it healing. It's a fast, expressive and casual way to explore a thought.
I actually approach it in a similar way to the way I start a collage, by drawing a line on a blank page. I come up with a concept, sentence or a half line of prose-like words that express an idea I want to put into this page or canvas... (Only these are more literal than the collages, and you can actually -usually- see exactly what that phrase was while the collages usually end up with the concept hidden and only hinted at)
I'm excited to see where this path continues to take me. What could be more simple as art supplies than pen and paper and what could open up more potential than a blank page?
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
This year, I hosted it at my new house. 8 people attended, we had an amazing presentation given by a third (actually really successful gallery artist who is also a mutual friend of ours) ... And we let the attendees go to town... They did a great job! You can see their work all assembled on my dining room table below.
I used the opportunity to make three small pieces for my Pay It Forward promise to send handmade surprises to friends....
The luncheon was a blast. The company was great and the art - well, art is great... Isn't it, always?
I'm all fired up now to make some new collages... ...and I just signed on to host another collage workshop as a fundraiser for our school (Saturday, July 27, no experience necessary, wanna come? Let me know...)
I've participated in the RK solids challenge and the Jay McCarroll "Habitat" - challenge. I've grown each time I have participated, so I try to make each challenge a chance for me to grow...
Given Violet Craft's "Madrona Road" fabric recently, I used it as an opportunity to try a bunch of new skills...
1- working smaller than I normally do - I made table runners (three)
2- working on all three styles of quilting - free-motion, straight line and hand quilting
3- trying a new technique that my buddy Alissa and I made up that we call "fake binding" - it works. I'll show you how in a different post, soon. It's too easy to be called a tutorial, but it is fantastic.
All in all, I used this challenge to work on my skills... Which made it very valuable a lesson indeed.
Monday, March 11, 2013
And thus, the blue quilt was born. I saw something similar in concept in a catalog or magazine I was given at quiltcon. (I cannot take credit for the inspiration) and the white was an old tablecloth, passed on to me by a friend.
Charity quilts never bring in what they are worth, but it will be interesting to see what perceived value might be.
Either way, the scraps got used, the school earns money, and I got to practice my quilting skills. :)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I was so thrilled to be a part of Lotta Jansdotter's "printing on textile" class. It was really enjoyable.
I was a corporate textile designer for 6 years at a huge manufacturer years ago, and before that, I studied textile design for a summer in Florence, Italy. I also took a printmaking class while in my certificate program at the Art Institute of Chicago (which i never finished!) So this is not a new process for me. But it was so much fun to go in all rusty and leave so inspired.
We did both stamping (carving our own stamps, something long term readers will remember that I love to do) - and stenciling. I liked both of them, but the stamping really excited me the most. Partially because I love carving my own stamps so much.
I also have never actually patterned fabric with the intention of using it to sew with. And when she had us making stamped and stenciled designs over pieces of her patterned fabric, suddenly I began to percolate with ideas.
Naturally, I used my go-to doodle swirls for my theme. And also some fun dots. I was sitting next to my friend, Liz, who - used a familiar shape, triangles, for her designs. We giggled at our differences and I even instagrammed the pic of our works in progress asking friends whose work was whose... (It was obvious if you know us).
Lotta was simply adorable. She has this way of simplifying design. Maybe "distilling" is a better word. Everything feels edited and yet cheerful. She is just like that herself as a teacher - refined, yet sparkly with good energy. While we were in class, the folks from Martha Stewart Media were there taking photos of her teaching the class (specifically, while she was leaning over my work, so we'll need to keep our eyes peeled for a Libby photo-bomb in the background of whatever article they are writing on her...)
I'm super glad I took this class. Sometimes we build up things in our heads (especially artistically, I find) that say, "oh it's too hard, even if I did it in the past..." It felt so good to be ridding myself of the stigma that I'm no longer a textile designer. (I still am! I still am!) and I cannot wait to make some more fabric patterns of my own and use them in my work.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
|my messy workspace - I find it almost impossible to work in a tidy manner|
To be honest it wasn't even my intention. When I took AnnaMaria Horner's class she had asked us to bring fabrics that inspired us if we didn't have any current works in progress. I had won this beautiful stack of Lotta Jansdotter fabrics from my guild meeting in October. There are actually a lot of them with solids to match. Not being someone who usually works from one product line, you can see that this could get really intimidating for me to try and find a good use for them. I find them absolutely wonderful but the entire line all at once was really overwhelming for me to look at.
I'm not sure that this quilt actually brings that thought to fruition but it was a great starting point. The class that I was in was called "composing a quilt" and the idea was to move from a sketch to fabric -like a painting or collage. I actually spent some time speaking with AnnaMaria about how I struggle following through with my sketches because I so often improv in a new direction. I love the freedom of improvisation but at the same time sometimes it frustrates me to not be able to see my sketches actually come to life. My strengths most definitely lie in improvisational quilting.
So once I got started making a block, I began the column. From there I added more columns and suddenly by the end of the day I actually had a top. Though I love the balance of the three columns, the quilt is not a size that is very usable right now so I have to determine if I will treat this like art or like a bed quilt which I am usually more prone to do. (I like big quilts).
I find it really funny that I actually meet celebrities in Hollywood pretty regularly and I never ask for pictures or act like an idiot fan girl with them. But here I was at Quiltcon doing just that with fabric designers that I have been a fan of for so long. (Jay gets the biggest kick out of that)
Oh yeah and I also included pictures of the amazing machines that they had for us to work on while we were there. A number of my friends bought them and have them shipped home for free to California to use with their own sewing. Super fun!!!