Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Dog's Life?

I Goggled the term a dog's life and found it has a very ambiguous meaning.  When I first named this quilt I was thinking of the title as a satirical statement on life.  As I read the many entries; "today's" definition means the good life for dogs and "yesterday's" definition means a hard, cruel life for dogs.  Well, anyways, my thoughts behind this quilt are the dog has the good life while it's owners do all the work to support his lifestyle.

I decided to have some fun.  I decided to use velour for the cushions on the chair, silver lame for the frames and Mylar wrapping paper for the lenses.  I am thinking about using a different pattern of stitching for each color to add interest.  I just hope it doesn't end up being too much.

I hand tacked the lenses fearing that machine stitching would perforate the Mylar and making it easy to tear. 

Two of the photos of the family working in the background.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Casey is Pieced

There is nothing better than an icy Monday that lends itself to a two hour delayed opening to start the week.  I have no problem turning over and sleeping an extra two hours.  Then to have another 2 hour delay on Wednesday was the icing on the cake.
This week I used every spare minute to work on piecing the dog and it paid off.  My next challenge is the sunglasses.  I bought silver lame for the frames and I have silver Mylar wrapping paper to use for the lenses of the sunglasses.   Working with both materials for applique purposes will definitely prove to be a trial and error process. If you have any thoughts, let me know.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Piecing Has Begun

The first week back to school after the holidays is always hard.  Going back to school after a two month break was excruciating.  The snow on Tuesday gave me an added bonus- schools were closed in the area, yeah! Then on Wednesday and Thursday we had two hour delayed openings, double yeah!  It made me realize that I am ready to retire, but it is not in the cards just yet.

I know, my life would be a whole lot easier if I would piece the background first.  In this case, I am not real sure just how I am going to treat the chair and the background in general.  So of course, I will add the background  the hard way.

Well, I was able to get some piecing accomplished this week.  I think I will have to add some black shading between the dog and the cushion.  The dark purple and the maroon are blending into each other.  Oh, what looks white on the dog is really a very light purple.  Still thinking about the background.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Dog's Life- A New Challenge

This past week I joined the ranks of my friends and family with the flu.  Most of my time was spent in bed drinking fluids, box of Kleenex, and binge watching Downton Abbey.

As an novice artist/quilter, I am constantly wanting to try something new to challenge and broaden my skills.  My next project is of a friends dog that recently past away.  When I saw this picture posted on Facebook, I knew immediately it was one I could have some fun with it.  The big challenge for me is to make this a whimsical fun wall-hanging.  This week, I was very busy working with the pictures I wanted to use on the wall-hanging.

I put the photo into Photoshop Elements 13, recolored it to black and white.  Then I used the posturized filter to sharpen the edges and bring out the different shades.

Since the original imagine was of poor quality, when I blew it up, it became rather fuzzy.  I blew my picture up using Microsoft word, then I taped the different sections together.  Afterwards, I took my trusty marker and outlined the major shapes before I put the tracing paper over it.

Beginning to realize, I traced too many shapes.  We will see how that plays out as I piece it together.

Next, I manipulated pictures of the family doing house chores I plan to print and add to the wall-hanging.  This took several days because I didn't know what I wanted, but by the third day things started to emerge and come together.   I started a new page,  Photoshop Elements 13 Tutorials, to start documenting how I manipulate my photos.


Whimsical and fun colors are a must- this is the palette for the dog

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Unconditional Love

 Again, I want to thank Rebecca Ebersole of  Snapdragon Photography for giving me permission to use her photograph.  It was her fine work that gave me the inspiration to make this wall-hanging.

  .   This was my first attempt at doing faces.  I decided to paint in the details because I didn't have the confidence to use material or to do thread painting.  Also, I painted some highlights on the material used for the skin because I had a difficult time finding material I wanted to use.  Unfortunately, when I get a paint brush in my hand it is difficult to stop, so I ended up painting a few details on the blue shirt and on the jumper.

Almost Finished

Christmas is right around the corner.  One can feel the excitement in the air, especially with young children.  I have invited my young nieces to come and spend the night on December 23rd to make gingerbread houses.  It will be fun to have them in the house so close to Santa's big arrival.

I decided to do the stitching in the background in tight rows and uniform so as not to detract from the figures.  I also wanted the figures to pop and look three dimensional from the puffiness of the material. 
Of course, time was found to make my "Little One" a dress for Christmas.  I used the same pattern I had used for my daughter thirty some years ago.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Painting the Finer Details

Everyday I feel stronger and working on my wall-hanging is a great way to relax and get better.

I debated whether to use thread or paint to put in the finer details.  As you can see, paint won.  I also wrestled with acrylic vs. watercolor.  Acrylic is more stable, watercolors I have a higher comfort level.  Watercolors won.  I plan to take a course in painting with acrylics because it has been years since I have touched them. The eyebrows and eyelashes are really bothering me.  I think they are too thick and dark.  They  look almost comical.  I will try to fix that problem this week.

The last couple of weeks I had to keep my hands busy even though I was afraid to touch my quilting due to the medications.  I made 15 folded star ornaments to give as presents this year.  All the cutting, pressing, and folding  reminded me why I don't do patch work quilting.   It is also a reminder as to why I hold a lot of respect for those who do.  Critically looking at my work on the ornaments confirmed my decision not to work on my quilt.  They look nice, but they are a reminder why you shouldn't do intricate work after a major physical/emotional trauma and while on pain or muscle relaxer medications.