Another chapter in the DIY Wedding. After lovely daughter found her wedding dress for a 100 bucks, we took it to a local (and fabulous) seamstress for some alterations. A bit of pink chiffon here and there and all it needed was a few pink chiffon flowers.
"Oh! No problem," says daft mother of the bride. I've made simple five petal Kanzashi flowers before using (fused interfaced) silk and cotton. Kanzashi flowers are a traditional Japanese craft. Some can be very intricate. I binged on them a couple of years ago using the simplified instructions in Kanzashi in Bloom. Diane Gilleland uses glue for the flowers. I use needle and thread. Crazed purist.
Chiffon is a totally different beast. There were some swear words, there was some sweat. I found this little gadget and the language and temperature improved. I love the Clover products and this is a neat tool which would be pretty simple if you are using cotton and handy with the needle and thread.
If you have some kind of crazy gene and you want to do Kanzashi in chiffon, here's what to do. First get a big bottle of fray check. Follow the instructions on the flower maker, remove the sewn petal from the gadget and trim the excess seam allowance down. Run a bead of fray check around the piece. After the 5 flowers are on the thread and you've pulled all the petals in tight, run more fray check around the center. Tie off and stitched a bead in the center. A flower an hour and head shaking from the husband and son.
The dress looks beautiful. But you'll have to wait till after the wedding to see the whole thing.
Amazing set of comments on Wednesday's post. I hope you'll read through. Now here's the sticky question: how do you manage to improve your craft without freezing yourself with thoughts of "I'm not good enough and I'll never be good enough."?
Boo writes that she is "accused" of being a perfectionist. Yeah, me too. I ignore those folks and see it as craftsmanship. (And btw, I've responded to all of your comments but they aren't showing up in the list - did you get my replies?)
If you can view other's artwork and craftsmanship as an inspiration to you, this is a good thing. It pushes you forward to make your work speak stronger. Alonquin notes that she's worked hard on her drawing skills over the years and used to confuse this skill with talent. I believe that talent is part of the human condition: it is a desire to communicate (in any artform). The craftsmanship (drawing, for instance) can be learned. Artists are often described as craftsmen in terms of their draftsmanship or drawing.
I knew a little girl - all grown up now. She would sing at the top of her voice off-key. It may have been torturous for some but to me it was delightful. A big joyful sound. Someone finally told her that she sang off key and that was the end of that glorious song. She could have learned if someone had taken the time. It still breaks my heart.
I loved Jill's story as well. Beautiful Oops by Jamie Lee Curtis is her recommendation and she read it to her children. Beautiful. Karen makes the distinction between a critical eye and a judgemental eye. Read her comment!
Note: I'm devoting my art time on my embroidery craftsmanship. It hasn't stopped me from working on my new art pieces. I'm just slowing down, experimenting and learning
Amidst the logistics of planning my daughter's wedding is some straight on fun.
The bridesmaids had their hearts set on fascinators and when I found this tutorial on making chiffon flowers, the deal was done. The edges of the fabric curl when held over (ahem, not IN) a candle. A trip to Fabric Row in Philadelphia with my buddy Susan, provided everything necessary to make these frothy confections. Susan found the perfect fabric for the leaves.
It was pretty easy once the fabric circles were cut. The largest circle is about 4.5". Anyway, flowers done, one to go *the bride needs one, right?* And a lovely silk hairband with flowers for our junior bridesmaid.
I'm thinking of all of the sizes and colors you could make these in for pins or embellisments. I made a tiny one - about 2" across that is quite cute.
I managed to make a couple of prints using my new Gelli Artz plate and Golden Open Acrylics. Amazing. Making prints is thrilling for me. I minored in printmaking in art school so this was really REALLY exciting. The cleanest monoprints I've made without a press ever. I am using washi paper and the plan is to turn that into papercloth and do the stitching on it.
I think I need a bigger plate.
In the straight up fabric and stitch, there is more inspiration than there will ever be time to complete ...
The violet and golden in the upper portion of this picture is making me drool ... sun and mountains.
I am off to pack my bag full of stitching while I take over the nursing. Eeegads. I'm a dreadful nurse but my sis, who actually IS a nurse has been there and will train me to take over. I'll bet we do fine! Wish me luck.
Spending some time looking at Helen Frankenthaler in preparation for a MamaCITA show in March reminded me of why I got into this crazy art business in the first place: color. Fields and streams of color.
and a mountain and sunset and wee houses in the foreground. I'm not sure where all of this is going but since sitting and stitching is reliably the only thing I can do right now (ortho pillow on my back, ankle elevated) I'm feeling rather grateful that I love to stitch and very grateful for Helen.
And a note ... Helen Frankenthaler was discussed in my art history classes with a bit of disdain because she pour her color onto raw canvas. Not very ARCHIVAL! How come it was OK for Jackson Pollack? It all seemed so perfect to me at the time and now with the idea of treating raw canvas as a textile or using muslin or vintage linen, it is even more delicious.
It was a great pleasure to attend a local class with CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) Katy Abbott recently. She is a top drawer teacher with tons of energy, enthusiasm and she brings creativity to the mix. Since my first tango with tangling was less than creative, this gave me a TON of pleasure.
Katy was able to describe the difference between "tangling" and doodling. Tangling is mindful; doodling is not. It is that simple. You can read all about the inventors of Zentangle, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas over at Zentangle.com. There are tons of examples of tangles. Take a look at the newsletters, listed here and you'll find enough tutorials to keep you tangling for a long time. All for free.
The materials for Zentangling are really simple: pencil, pen and paper. You can be tangling within minutes after reading this post. The Tanglers-In-Chief recommend a square "tile" available on their website. They also recommend a Micron .01 pen. This is readily available. Not necessary but nice.
I made a long accordian book by slicing down a piece of 11" x 17" paper in half width-wise, yielding two 5.5" x 17" sheets. I folded in one short edge on each sheet, glued them together and commenced with folding up my accordian book. It is a great place to store explorations and practice. I folded up a black accordian book and am using a white pen. My favorite white pens are the Uniball Signa and Gelly Roll White from Sakura (both links from JetPens).
I hope you'll give this a try! It's slightly addictive ...