Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a creative year in 2010. I usually don't post about resolutions or goals because I don't make any. But this year after reading several blog posts, here and here, I was inspired to set one major goal for the year and then develop a plan to meet that goal. I am posting about my goal setting because it was suggested that making your goal public keeps you on track as you feel accountable to the people that have read or you have told about your goal. So here goes.

My major art goal for 2010 is:

Develop my voice as an artist and begin to produce a consistent body of work in my own style.

I have been periodically submitting my work for different shows with minimal results. I think that part of the problem is not having a consistent body of work. That's why I decided to concentrate in this area. The steps I am planning on taking to meet this goal are:

  1. Spend more time in the studio making art. I want to spend at least one hour every day and 6-8 hours on Fridays (my usual studio day). I hope to be creating work at least 12-14 hours per week and I'm going to monitor my time so I can see how I'm doing. I'm not being literal when I say "in the studio", it's just so I spend at least an hour creating something.

  2. Complete one sample or small piece per week. I want to do more sampling and testing before beginning a bigger piece so that I'm not flailing about when in the midst of a piece trying different techniques that don't work.

  3. Practice art/design exercises in my journal for 15-30 minutes per day. This is in addition to the above mentioned "studio time". My design skills definitely need some work so I am going to be seeing what's available in the library. I already checked out a book called 7 Keys to a Great Painting by Jane Hofstetter and it has some very good information about using values and finding the value shapes to make a good underpinning of a painting. It's about using watercolors but can be applied easily to fiber. I've only made it through the first chapter but it seems like it will be helpful.

  4. Develop work in a more 3D format. I have had this on my mind for a while now but I want to do more 3D wet felt sculpture with the addition of machine embroidery. I have an idea brewing on how to do this but more on that later. In relation to this goal, I will be practicing my skills in using resists with felting, making 3D additions to my felt and practicing my machine embroidery skills.

  5. Begin Level II Machine Embroidery at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center which begins November 2010. This is a major investment in both time and money as the course lasts for 18 months and would mean traveling to Washington state at least 7 times in that time frame. To accomplish this goal, I will be applying for an artists grant through the Montana Arts Council and I will need to work out being away from the store on a quarterly basis for a week at a time.

  6. Don't feel guilty about the time spent in the pursuit of these goals. I'm not sure how one accomplishes this but I'll give it a try.

So there it is. I have "told the world" about my goal so I guess I'll have to buck up and follow through. Periodically, I'll try and remember to review how I'm doing. This past year, I decided that I wasn't going to do any more challenges or swaps so I could concentrate on my own work. I did fairly well with this until the end. I signed up to do a book page swap for the year. But I will just consider the book pages to be one of my weekly small pieces and practice making them in "my own style".

Thanks to everyone reading my blog and for all the comments that you make. I really appreciate your feedback and it's nice to know that there are so many kind and wonderful fiber arts people in the world. Happy New Year and I'll leave you with a photo as I hate to have a post with no photos. There were 10 inches of new snow last night! This is sunrise at the Summit House on Big Mountain a couple of days ago. That sea of clouds is the inversion, the valley is cloudy but the mountain has beautiful sunshine!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Petroglyphs, Anyone?

Now that Christmas is past, I can show you the last set of coasters and trivet that I made for my sister.

Her request was for petroglyphs on earth tone wool.

I liked this set and I think it meets her request.

Here's the trivet. It's quite big about 12" square (in felting squareness). She wanted it large so she could set a pizza box on it.

Here are all the coasters. Can you pick out the Swedish moose? I didn't realize they had petroglyphs in Sweden but when I was researching, I found the moose and just had to use it. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday - we went skiing with my new ski boots that I got for Christmas. And a miracle occurred! My feet didn't hurt in my ski boots. It was wonderful as usually I have lots of pain when skiing. What a perfect gift for Christmas. Let it snow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I've finished up all the needle felted Christmas ornaments.

I thought they looked very nice on the tree outside.

It was a little chilly getting the photos...

But the photos look very cheery.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog and leaving all those wonderful comments. I really appreciate hearing from everyone.

The championship football game is on tonight at 8:00 pm eastern time. So if you happen to catch it on ESPN2, please cheer for the Montana Grizzlies! Go Griz!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Felting Forum Holiday Ornament Exchange

Look at this cute package I got from Jude in Australia.

Three felt ornaments that are adorable. I think I'll hang them up in my studio as they will work all year long.

She also included merino and silk.

And here is what I sent to Tess in New Zealand. A little needle felted moose, sunflower card and packed with Wensleydale locks. This was great fun. It's always nice to get a little package in the mail from across the world.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Griz Win!

Sorry, no fiber content here. This is my friend Barb at the Griz game on Sunday. We won and we're going to Chattanooga for the National Championship. She is going to the game in Chattanooga on Friday. She is the friend who is getting the Griz set of coasters and trivet. Can you guess why?? Shall we say, fanatic??

Here's the link to see the entire photo as blogger seems to have chopped off part of the photo.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Coaster/Trivet Sets Finished!!

Just have a few minutes. Sorry for the photo quality but the light is going and I'm in a rush. We've been really busy this week with Christmas parties, Christmas stroll at the store tonight, Griz game tomorrow etc.

This is the trivet for my M-I-L.

And her coasters.

The same flowers as the last set except for the roses.

Here's the leaf trivet to go with the leaf coasters.
Here they are together.
Here's the Griz set drying after I blocked them.
This turned out better than I had hoped.
Maybe I'm getting a little better with FME.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flower Coaster and Trivet Set

I completed another felted and machine embroidered coaster/trivet set. This one has flowers as it's theme. I thread sketched these with a multicolor variegated thread and I'm not sure that I like the results.
Here's the trivet and the pattern is just not well defined.

Here's the tulip,
the lily,

a made up flower,

a morning glory,

a crocus,

another view of a morning glory,
a columbine,
and a poppy. So what do you think of the thread choice? I am considering going over all the flowers again with a deep purple thread so that the designs stand out more. But I don't have a lot of time and would prefer to just leave them. What do you think? (sorry about the way this post is set up, blogger is going crazy again.)