Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kicky Pocket Improvisation

Working on a version of a not yet released pattern
that I'm making for myself.
I can't show the garment
but I can show the pocket I'm improvising.

The samples have patch pockets 
or 'bag' pockets in the side seam.
When I got to the pocket stage
on this garment it was clear
after auditioning options
that neither patch nor bag pockets
were quite right.

When in doubt, 
sleep on it.

Returning to my studio the next morning
and 'circling the wagons',
by moving from computer,
to sewing machine,
to button choosing,
to phone calls,
cleared a space for the perfect pocket
to arise in my awareness.

Funny how surrendering to procrastination 
can work in your favor...

Finished patch pocket with contrast interior and 'piping'.

One pocket 
in a geometric shape
that complimented the fabric
with an opening
that did the same.

I tried on the garment
put my hand where 
it wanted to go into a pocket
and marked that spot with a pin.

Pocket placement marked with a pin.

The idea of the shape
was cut out of a pellon type pattern 'paper'.
When the shape cut from my original concept
 was placed on the garment
I immediately turned it upside down
and it felt perfect. 
A smaller shape was cut 
for the opening.

Pocket pattern with cutout.

I wanted the contrast fabric
to peek out of the pocket opening
and to 'pipe' the opening.
I used Diane Ericson's 'piping' technique
where the facing fabric 
wraps around the edge
giving the illusion of a piping. 
Simply genius!
Fortunately the knit I used was 
a stable double knit with great flexibility
and it worked perfectly.

Pocket shape drawn on back with pins marking corner placement.

Pocket and opening shapes were drawn with chalk
on the back of the garment
and the corners of the opening marked with pins.

Facing for opening cut from contrast fabric.

I didn't have much left of the contrast fabric
so I used as little as possible.

Pocket facing in place on front of garment.

Facing lines up with pins coming from the back.

Pocket facing stitched, opened and trimmed.

I love the houndstooth cover of
my custom Stitch Nerd ham peeking through.

Facing turned to the back -- but not all the way.

Once the 'piping' was in place 
I pinned and pressed it down.

View from the wrong side.

How I determined the side pocket pattern shape.

I realized that I wanted another pocket
on the other side of the garment
but not the same. 
I placed the geometric pocket shape I'd created
on top of a classic pocket pattern piece,
made some small adjustments
to angle the shape
and came up with the piece on the left.

Had just enough contrast fabric left for this pocket.

Finished side pocket.

The contrast fabric in the two pockets
provide just enough variance
to keep things interesting visually.

The two pockets together.

Look for me wearing this garment
at the Sew Expo
in Puyallup, Washington
February 26 to March 1.

Come see all our wonderful fabrics
in booth 830.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beginner's Mind

 There's been this longing
to make my mark,
exacerbated by museum visits
where marvelous paintings
trigger the idea
that maybe I could/should/would 
start making art again. 

Claude Monet Water Lilies.

Then my friend Carol started painting lessons.
Talk about inspiring!
When she mentioned
a painting class she'd signed up for this month
I was in.

I had no idea how terrifying 
this would be...
In the beginning
the mind focused on
The right supplies,
the best supplies,
enough supplies.
Where are all my supplies?
You know.

The first class I ended up with a latte
that was NOT decaf.
Wrong move.
Even so, I did manage to follow the instructions.

My teacher Janis Ellison is very good.
Really knows her stuff.
 More importantly, she is able
to explain the process
to an intuitive artist
who never really 'got'
or was able to articulate
all that data about value,
tone, hue, etc.
I'm still not sure I can explain it
but I have a better understanding now.
(I must have missed something major in school.)

When panicked 
the best thing to do is just start.

A photo I took at Giverny in October 2014.

We started by choosing a photo 
we'd taken from nature
that had light, middle and dark values.

Gotta love Photoshop!

Shifted it to black and white.

4" x 5" first sketch in pencil.

Reduced it to just the values and shapes
in a small pencil sketch.

4" x 5" sketch in Tornbow markers.

Sketched it again using graded markers.

9" x 12" sanded paper mounted on foam core.

Then sketched,
attempting to capture the shapes and values,
on our 'good' paper with chalk.

These techniques are new to me.
I feel lost and unsuccessful.

I remember
beginner's mind.

Carol working on her charcoal sketch.
Janis's demonstration and work area. Value underpainting on right.

This photo shows Janis' work area
with her charcoal value sketch
fixed with alcohol
ready for the next step of watercolor underpainting.
(I seem to be missing the photo of my value underpainting.)


Driving to the second class
I watch my mind churning
over philosophical questions about the why of art,
the value of art and art making
(not light/dark but good/bad value).
That why-bother, how-to,
not-good-enough conversation.

Being curious and open to possibility
appears to be the best option.

Second lesson:
Apply a watercolor underpainting.

Use the opposite color
of the pastel that will be applied later in that area.
(The mind boggles here
and nearly shuts down --
it's as if I never heard this before!)

Then finally
its time to apply the pastel.
Janis demonstrates effortlessly.
(At least it appears that way.)
She talks about applying the pastel
like a whisper on the page.
and easier said than done...

I begin.

Naturally the pastels
don't seem to work as fluidly for me
as they did for Janis...
How does she do that?!

I continue,
having no idea what I am actually doing.

Finally, surrendering to the mark
that my hand is making,
I find the flow 
and lose myself in the process.

Stepping back from the easel
reveals something magical.

is why.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Beginning

Every day
a new beginning.
Every year
new intentions.

May your New Year 2015
be filled with 
more manifestation of your heart's desire
than you can even imagine.

(but not confined to):
deep intimate relationships,
abiding love,
heartfelt gratitude,
satisfying creativity,
inner peace,
loving kindness,
exceptional health,
true compassion,
exciting adventures,
expanding awareness, 
good food
and lots of laughs.

Photo from Pinterest.

What are you intending?

From my heart to yours.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Blessed Time

Love and light
to you and yours
this Holiday season
and all through the upcoming new year.

As the days get longer,
and the weather cools, freezes, warms or dampens,
notice Spring beckoning
from the heart inside.

Whether resting or engaging,
may your time alone or with loved ones
be rich with intimacy,
connection and joy.


A new stocking for Finn
stitched together Christmas Eve morning.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

inside -- at the Palais de Tokyo

What happens
when we go inside?
An infinite universe exists there.
How do we interpret that?

The artists who participated in 'inside'
at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris
were brilliant, thought-provoking,
mediocre, shocking, disgusting
and of course, more.

My niece Madeline and I experienced
this powerful exhibition on our last day in Paris.

My favorite piece was Tape Paris
by Numen/For Use.

Numen/For Use is a collective headed by
Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljković,
working in the fields of conceptual art, scenography, industrial and spatial design.

According to their website:
"It took twelve people ten days to wrap-up the concrete pillars
in the great entrance hall of Palais de Tokyo
into a maze of accessible translucent passageways,
which coil 50 meters (about 164 feet) through the gallery space
and reach the total height of 6 meters (about 20 feet)."

And it's all done with transparent tape.
Wider than you might wrap a gift with
But tape nonetheless.

Not only did it fill the cavernous entry
with a fluid and beautiful form
but you could enter the form
navigating your way from one end
to the other.

Much more work thank I'd expected,
being inside
was slippery, spooky, organic,
moving, evasive, womb-like,
variable and mysterious.

It was also great fun!
Out of control
and completely content.


Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira's
extends to link nature and architecture.

 What to do?

Diagonal Section by Marcius Galan
plays with perceptions 
and rules.

Drawn in pencil in one continuous gesture,
Marc Couturier's monumental mural
Troisième jour [third day]
refers to the Book of Genesis.

Studio Apparatus for Palais de Tokyo ou The Exorcism
by Mike Nelson felt like a bunker or prison.

Street artist Dran's distinctive style covers walls and stairs
with contemporary imagery.

Dran knows what the mind can be like...

Stéphane Thidet, Le Refuge.
Looks like a cabin in the woods.
Do I hear rain?

Not inviting to be inside here.

Performance artist Sven Sachsalber
Looking For a Needle in the Haystack.
Don't know if he finds it.

Happy to see the installation for rest, respite, play
and just plain joy
by the marvelous Sheila Hicks.

With great gratitude for an amazing 2014!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Playtime Paris

This Flea Market poster
perfectly expresses the joy
of play time in Paris.

Another amazing accomplished group of women
having fun together.
Wallowing in the wonder that Paris provides.

Sully's garden splashes autumn's bursts of color.

Cloistered arches lure the eye to a restful infinity.
(and some window shopping).

Always the Seine reminds me to stay in the flow.

Marcy's at the market.

Marcie, Carol and Madeline enjoying cafe life
(after a day of fabric shopping).

Sonia Delaunay's work emits pure joy.

Such strong use of plane and color.

A genius across many genres.
Seeing her exhibit at the
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
even twice wasn't enough!

I guess this napping guard has seen enough...

I can never get enough of the Eiffel Tower.

I love spotting various views and glimpses
day into night as I move about the city.

It was wonderful to have Marissa and Madeline,
two of our nieces, join Marcy and I.

We four Tilton's had fun!

I think Sue had fun too!

I hope you are enjoying life whatever you're doing.