Saturday, January 20, 2018

We're All Ears January Challenge

I'm a day late getting these earrings posted from Erin Prais-Hintz' Earrings Everyday January challenge - puppies these days require as much scheduling as do children!  There's weekly puppy play group, training, check ups and shots, daily socialization trips to plan ... but with a sweet face like this, Baxter's worth it!

So, back to earrings!  Erin's challenge this month was ultraviolet - as in Pantone's color of the year (see this past post).  I already had a few ultraviolet beads in the works, but hit a wall with a couple of kiln loads that did not turn out as I expected.  Luckily, these sweet little hearts with daisies made it through!

After the last few months of more ornate earrings, I wanted something simple and used only a few beads.  However, I also wanted some "pop" to the earrings, so I gave the daisies a yellow center and  also used matte finished yellow honey opal beads.  Purple and yellow are complementary colors, each contrasting with the other to add more vibrancy.  I added in a copper lustered crystal for that extra sparkle!

Be sure to visit Erin's post at Earrings Everyday here to see her take on ultraviolet earrings along with several others' who joined in.  Purple is one of my all time favorite colors, so this was a real eye feast for me!  And there were so many different types of beads used ... tin, gemstones, crystals, lampwork glass, lucite, ceramic, silk, and more.

Happy Creating!


Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Inspiration - Snowdrops

Our snowdrops are blooming!  Even in a winter like we're having this year that's mild with warmer, sunny days interspersed, it's still so heartening to see them pop up!  Spring will come!  For those of you going through a snowier, icier winter, I found some quilting inspiration - it just seemed like it should be quilting to keep us all warm and toasty.

This pillow cover from Textile Dreams would also make a good quilt block.  I like different fabrics that were used for the background - the orange really makes it all stand out!  I could definitely see this as the beginning of a spring flowers quilt that would feel fantastic in those final days of winter.

This design by UK artist Carol Arnold is actually a stained glass window, however wouldn't it look lovely as a tile quilt square?!  I can see the background being batik.  And again, what a perfect beginning to a spring flowers quilt.

Esther Aliu's snowdrop quilt square looks like our snowdrops did last year - popping up amidst snowflakes.  These are applique work - and be sure to look at her website here, there is an appliqued tulip square and tons of other amazing applique work!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Inspiration - Ultraviolet

You may have seen that Pantone's color of year for 2018 is Ultraviolet.  The bluey violet is one of my favorite colors!  Pantone is a company that standardizes color matching and gives color forecasts.  You can read more about their reasons for choosing ultraviolet here.

Ultraviolet is one of those color names sometimes used with reddish purples, so just searching for "ultraviolet" yarns or fabrics doesn't necessarily get you the right color.  I've come up with some nice possibilities for fiber enthusiasts if you're excited about creating a color of the year project.

Sweet Georgia Brown has a new color, Lupine, that I'm definitely going to be making something with!  It's on their Superwash Worsted and Tough Love Sock here - Eat.Sleep.Knit also has a fun and very addictive yarn game going on!

For fabric, how about Moda's marbled purple

or this Kaffe Fassett flowered cotton.

DMC embroidery floss is widely available at chain craft stores and has color #333 looks like a great ultraviolet.

And for adding something extra to that yarn work or embroidery, how about this seed bead I found at Fire Mountain Gems.

I'll leave you for this week with an excerpt from the purple poem in Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill.

"Time is purple, just before night when most people turn on the light - but if you don't it's a beautiful sight. ..... the purple sound is the loveliest thing, it's a violet opening in the spring."  

That's how I interpret this year's color!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Inspiration - First Quarter Fiber Art Challenge

If you've been following this blog through the autumn and early winter months, you know I decided to push myself and participate in several bead/jewelry challenges each month.  I can't emphasize how much this has helped me get out of my usual box of how I approach my art work.  I wrote some about it here.  

When I was in art school, the ideas seemed to flow!  Every semester there were new assignments to work on, new techniques to push my art abilities, and people to share art making with.  People who were also working on the same assignments and with the same new techniques - and who showed me ways of approaching problems I'd never even considered.  I was scared to death of critiques when I first went back to school.  This is the culmination of each assignment where you present the piece you worked on and, hopefully, completed.  Everyone then talks about it - what went right, what went wrong, how they interpret what you've created.  These quickly became the classes I looked forward to most!  Sharing what I'd made and seeing what others created with the same parameters was not just educational, it was also lots of fun!

With all these things in mind, I've been looking for fiber art challenges.  I've found several that are specific to certain types of fiber art - such as quilting challenges.  I've found ones that are actually entering your artwork into shows.  What I would really like is a challenge that can be done with any type of fiber art, because I'm all over the board on what I like to work with.  And one that I don't feel the pressure of actually entering a show or gallery presentation.  Just something to work on that I'll be able to share with others who worked on the same challenge, talk about what we did, look at everyone's interpretations and inspirations .... have fun!

So I've decided to host fiber art challenges on this blog.  There are a LOT of people who read this blog - you can check out the always changing number of followers at the left.  And my analytics tell me that every month there are 20,000 to 30,000 page views.  I really, really, really hope that some of you out there will want to give it a try!

I'm going to try four a year.  There will be a photograph, painting, or piece of art that is not fiber art to work with.  Use any technique that is associated with fiber art - there's a lot to work with!  Make it big, small, somewhere in between.  Create something in a few hours or take all three months to work on it.  This can be the first time you've ever used this technique or something you've spent your life practicing.

At the end of March, I'll put up a link you can use to post a photo of your work and a link (if you wish) to a blog, Facebook page, or anywhere else you'd like to talk about what you created.  The rest of us can make positive comments about what we like best.  

Are you in??!!!  Great!!!  Let's get started with the first challenge!

The first quarter's challenge is a photograph I took on a frosty morning on our farm.  We get a lot of fog here and it often "freezes out" covering everything in sparkling diamonds.  I've been inspired by these wonderland creations for years and have always meant to create something based on them.  

Any way your inspiration leads you, go with it!  You might chose to work with the colors, or the theme of frost or winter, or something else that others would never even think of.  You might chose to copy the photo with fibers.  I'll post updates on my piece and cheer everyone on.  On your mark, get set, go!!

Happy Creating!  Deborah