Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Knitting Project

I found a cute little pattern to knit for Ms. M from Lion Brand: Tea Party Top.
Swimsuit Cover-up for Ms. M
I decided, since it is Summer and Ms. M and her Momma like going to the pool, that she should have a knitted, cotton cover-up and this pattern would be perfect for it. Instead of knitting the top part in Garter Stitch I continued in Stocking Stitch all the way up. I also knitted the pattern in-the-round, dividing the front from the back after the decreases. I knitted the back a half inch longer, after the decreases, than the front. This pattern is knitted from the bottom up. I knitted the straps according to the pattern, but I don't like them at all. They seem bulky and are actually too short to tie. I'm going to rip them back and, I think I'll do a braided strap. This project was a quick knit really....if I would have been interested in knitting it quickly I mean. It took me forever though. I like this pattern enough I'm going to cast-on another one in wool for her to wear over a long-sleeved top and leggings when cold weather returns...right after I knit A Simple Baby Pullover for her new brother who will be born this October. ☺☺ 

Ms. M will turn 2 this coming Sunday, which seems kind of amazing that it's been 2 years already. She's a big girl now, with tons of personality:


Update 7.24.14:
Finished the straps and tried it on her. It's big on her, but she likes it. Modifications for future reference:
Don't knit any front straps....hold strap stitches on dpns or other stitch holders; knit back 2" longer than front; 5" straps in back to fold over and 3 needle bind-off back straps to front stitches on holders.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A basket of basil

    Just thought I'd share the flavor of the Summer from Chez SQM:
 Basil.....gobs of it! Love, love, love basil....everything about it and, DH makes the most delicious sourdough focaccia with parmesan cheese and basil....Yummmmm☺

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Struggling it out on paper

     The internet is a fine tool for research. You can find anything you can think of, and even things you'd have never thought of on your own. It's what I do when there seems to be a mometary lapse in mojo. Although the 'momentary' lapse in mojo seems to have lasted a couple of years now. 
     I still knit. I love knitting. There were a couple of years there where I was knitting up to 4 projects at once. There seemed to be a collective energy, and an intense desire to learn techniques and amp up the skill level, for about a year and a half. But that all dwindled away. I ask myself how much of it was the collective energy of knitting along with others. I haven't found an answer to that question. A lot has changed in my microscopic life in the last two years. She'll mark her 2nd birthday this month.
     I know having our granddaughter, and keeping her at home with us for the first year and a half is partly where all the mojo went; didn't have time or energy for anything else. I was glad to do it though; to give her a solid, loving foundation with people she can count on to get her started. She's at nursery school now, and I have more free time again. 
     I was pleasantly surprised when my painting/collaging/mixed media desires popped back into the forefront in April. They'd been absent for 8 years to the point where I looked at the supplies I have and asked myself if I should keep them. I wanted to paint, draw doodles, colour with markers, make little journals, etc... as fast as I could, and then, the energy and ideas dried up again. Frustration. 
     I still knit. I know I said that already. And I still paint. Everything feels unfinished....like there's something to say and I can't find the words to say it....just blank space. 
     Recently we had guests and we were all discussing things that inspire us, motivation, and the discipline to keep going. Someone said music is their passion. That they turned it into their business and it killed their passion. I said, no, the passion is still there. That person has moved away from the business end of their passion and can now return to it as they remember it. I also said, for me, sometimes I just have to sit at my work station and put paint on paper, or get out a pattern, some yarn and needles and cast on. It is the discipline of keeping on doing the thing we're passionate about even when the mojo doesn't seem to be there at all that is part of the passion I think. And I think it is believing it will come back...that it isn't gone forever.
     I know I've let some of the things I'm passionate about go because of the struggles of life. I don't want them to be gone forever though. I pretty sure wanting them back is part of them coming back. I do want that passion back....that thing I took for granted in my youth, that my age and experience has tempered. I like the idea of age and experience tempering the passion. I see it like banking a fire. You don't want the fire to get out of control, and you don't want it to go out so you bank it with experience.
     I still knit because even though my needles aren't smoking, and if you've seen one little shawl or kerchief or scarf you've seen thousands of them, I don't want my skills to diminish. I don't want my love of knitting to return to me where it feels like I'm starting over from scratch again; the same way with the mixed media/painting/doodling. Although I haven't spent as much time or learned as many techniques in this passion yet, it is something I want to devote time and energy to; something I love. 
    Coming full circle to the first sentence of this post I've started drifting away from the internet except for some research or watching video tutorials. Sometimes I've found so much on the internet I've been paralyzed into inaction by having spent so much time on here. 
     Today I was thinking about how much I used to read years ago. I ate books...gobbled them whole in one sitting. I read all the time from when I was a kid. When I was a kid you could find me, most of the time, draped over some piece of furniture with a book in my hands. Later, as an adult, I would read a book thru in one day, then get another one. Somehow I let that go, and I want it back. 
     So, today I got a book that I've had for almost twenty years down from the shelf, and I started to read it. And I went to the art supply shop and got some better quality paints and canvas boards. It's a start. Heart open....waiting for the mojo to return. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mixed Media Journal #1 page 4

A couple of things I really like about art journaling are scraping paint across backgrounds with old credit cards, and Zendoodling. I like trying new techniques, but I can really relax into a more meditative place with painting backgrounds and Zendoodling. 
New page: 
Acrylic-paint, gesso, stencil, Zendoodle, Copic-marker,tissue-paper, ink, rubber-stamp
 I have a few favorite Zendoodles, particularly Betweed, seen here in red/orange/purple, and Hollibaugh, at the top. There are others I like as well, but I find I use these two in most of my doodling. 
I thought to try adding a top layer of tissue paper that has been stamped, but I hadn't tried the technique before and I was concerned the clear gesso I wanted to use would make the marker ink I coloured the circles with bleed. I gave it a try with the tissue paper and stamp in the lower left-hand corner. I sprayed the tissue paper with pink and orange spray ink, then stamped the ranunculus stamp over top that with Archival ink. I applied the clear gesso to the back of the tissue paper and it did make the spray inks blend together, but I don't mind the look. I applied clear gesso over the tissue paper after it was on the page as well. 
I like how it turned out. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Colourful Doodle

I just finished my most recent project::
Zendoodles, markers

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Finally Finished

Sometimes you have art mojo, and sometimes you have finishing detail mojo. My finishing detail mojo went on vacation for a couple of weeks, but I've finally finished the Open Hearts Journal. Last post I mentioned that the Tyvek idea was not successful and that I had another idea. The other idea was to use printed duct tape to bind the hinges and covers together.
Front cover Open Hearts Journal

Back cover Open Hearts Journal
DH drilled 7 holes thru the hinges and cardstock for me, and I used waxed linen thread to stitch them together. I cut spacers out of cardstock and glued them between the pages so there's plenty of room to add ephemera/photos/etc...to the pages. I'm pretty pleased with how it all came out. I would show you the inside covers, but I'm gifting this journal to a friend whose birthday is coming up shortly, and I wrote some personal stuff on the inside.♥
My art mojo hasn't been on vacation though. I'm working on a couple of Zen-doodle pages. I love Zen-doodling. It's very meditative. 


Friday, June 13, 2014

Open Hearts Journal Update

In the previous post I wrote about the experiment I was trying for the hinged cover of the Open Hearts Journal.
I've left it on my work surface this week as I've been attending to other things. I came back to it this morning and I was able to peel the little pieces of chipboard right off the backing:
This material won't work for the cover, but I have another idea...☺