Beautiful Spring Weather!

I feel like all that I have been talking about here is wanting spring to get here! Well, the last few days have been beautiful! Mother’s Day we spent in New Hampshire with my family and we went for a little hike at Sandwich Notch.

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The water was cold but it was still fun to pretend that it was almost summer. Stuart stuck his whole head into the water.

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Today I got to work in my trailer studio. I had most of the windows open and it got to be almost 80 Degrees today! I worked on some drawings that I am doing for a show that will be about jewelry that was inspired by what goes into making alcohol. I am creating cards, a poster and a title. I have seen some of the work so far for the show and it is going to be really interesting! I had a glass of wine while I worked on it. Thought this was fitting.

 

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Tomorrow is my birthday and for it I plan on creating Pannier bags for my new bike. I have all of my materials now and this should be a fitting thing for me to do tomorrow.

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Sewing Success!

The beginning of the year I tried to make jeans. I failed for two months and had a really difficult time. I decided to draw for the month of April to remind myself that I can be successful with my creative projects. It has been a great process and I have enjoyed the challenge.

I also started a new Craftsy class called Sewing With Knits by Meg McElwee. It has been an amazing class! She talks about the recommended materials needed and supplies a bunch of free patterns.

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The t-shirt came out way better than I expected! She recommended getting a “Walking Foot” to keep the fabric moving properly and equally through. I didn’t want to spend $50 on a foot for this, but didn’t want to waste my time also. I was going to sew with some oil cloth type fabric as well and learned that this is useful. There were some cheaper models yet there was a lot of reviews saying that they didn’t work for the Janome machine. This neckline has a consistent stitch most likely because of the Walking Foot.

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I also got some twin needles and learned how to use these with some knit tricot for the edges. She purchased it precut in strips. I just bought larger amounts and cut it myself.

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The fit is good but could be great. I usually give a forward shoulder adjustment and noticed that there was a funny thing that happened to the back while wearing it. I may try the adjustment to my next one and see if it is better. Most people wouldn’t notice it, but if you sew and know how well something can fit, you want it that way.

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I also may add a sway back adjustment. It is a tshirt though and this could be fine. I am very pleased with it and look forward to making more! It felt good to be successful with a sewing project. I will try jeans again, but for now I am going to have fun sewing with knits for a little while.


Dewinterizing the Trailer

Today I finally was able to get the trailer aired out. For the winter it was covered with a blue tarp. I was glad that I had done that because there was a pile of snow higher than the back window.

My morning started having my breakfast on my porch looking over at my trailer. I also inventoried my seeds. I replanted my overwintered herbs and felt ready to retarp the trailer.

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This is what the trailer looked like just a short time ago.
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This is now the “Spring” version!
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This summer I will take off the other tarp. First I need to be able to check all of the cracks to make sure they are still in tact. For now, I will keep this tarp on it. It was a very exciting thing to be able to open the windows. This was the same for my apartment as well. We had plastic on most of our house windows and it is a great feeling to be able to remove these and let in some fresh air.
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Seeing the curtains blowing in the wind really meant a lot. Luckily I haven’t noticed any signs of mice yet. I was nervous about not going in here for over three months.

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I didn’t do any work in here today yet. I wanted to air it out first and in a few days I will set it up to begin working again. Yeah to spring!


April Drawings a Day: First Week

I have been working on a drawing a day since the beginning of April. It has been a great project so far. I created a Facebook page for it: April Drawing a Day. I invited some artist friends to join me on the challenge and it has been fun to see what they come up with each day as well.

I have posted my own images on my etsy page. There are 30 days in April and I am going to sell each of these images for $30. Each image has a link to my Etsy page where they are for sale in you are interested in purchasing one.

Thanks!

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A Drawing a Day for the month of April!

Alright, it is April and it is time to start the drawing marathon! I created a Facebook page for it and got a bunch of other artist friends to be part of it!

April Drawing a Day

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If you are interested in seeing the images that people post or interested in doing the challenge as well, just like the page.
Off to the art store to buy some grey paper! (This makes it faster to get to some developed tones into a drawing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my first piece! I am continuing with my seasons pieces till I feel like I have fully developed the idea. What is fun about drawing is that it could lead to inspiration for painting as well.

day1If you are interested in purchasing the piece, I have it available on my etsy:

Snow on Park Street


Being in the studio.

My former jeans debacle has made me realize some things lately. A creative person chooses to do things for a reason. I wanted the ultimate challenge of creating jeans. In the sewing world it is one of the hardest things to do. I failed over and over again. For two months this is where my creative energy went.

Once I decided not to try it anymore I felt this weird feeling of relief. I couldn’t quite give up, but I am going to work on some things that I know that I can do for a little while. Then, I will go back to the jeans when I feel satisfied with my creations. I did buy and prepare more fabric so that it is ready when I am ready.

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For me, I know that I can draw and paint. I actually missed working on this while I was working on my jeans. In a studio it is hard to break down one type of work to begin another. I am looking forward to the weather finally warming up so that I can work in my trailer studio again. I am going to set it up for watercolor and gouache. I love drawing and combining these with the looseness of the water media.

This has been the state of the trailer for months now. Once the snow is finally out of the picture I will remove the tarp, air it out and get back into working in there again. It will be a symbol of spring for me.

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What I have been working on is finally finishing some of my Kickstarter pieces. My goal was to have finished them in the fall. Holidays got in the way and then the pieces for my 10 Years later show. Then the jeans just took up all of my time. I look at that now as being selfish. I had some great people donate to my Kickstarter and I should finish their pieces first.

So, I have been working on these and preparing for April. I am going to be creating a piece a day for the month. One of my former Professors from graduate school, Dan Attoe creates a drawing a day. I am a huge fan of his work. He recently got a great write up in Beautiful/Decay. As a painter I really appreciate his work. He spends lots of his time in the studio and this is what I am planning on doing as well. It was perfect timing to come across this article to get some inspiration for getting things done.

Beautiful/Decay: Dan Attoe

I am thinking that the work is going to be inspired by coming out of winter and into spring. It has been really hard to see my friend’s photos from the Pacific Northwest and the gardens they have already started. The gardener in me wants to start growing things and maybe I will put this energy into inspiration for some drawings.

 


The Great Jeans Crusade of 2014

At the beginning of the year I finished my pieces for my Painting Ten Years Later show. My next creative project was to make jeans. I thought that I would be finished with the project in a few days  and I would be proudly wearing jeans.  Well, for two months I tried to make them and kept failing. People don’t really talk about their failures on blogs but I feel that this is a really important thing for me. Other people may have difficult times with this and feel like they are the only one. I haven’t fully given up but I am giving myself a breather from the process.

To give you a visual, this is how many patterns that I made. Basically, you adjust as you go and fit as you go. Once you know how a pant can fit well, it is hard to settle for something that fits just fine. Also, different fabrics have different stretch levels. This makes for a fit that alters. It can be incredibly frustrating.

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Here is the pile of scrapped muslins and destroyed jeans that I tried to fit.

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I can’t make jeans out of these pieces anymore. I decided to cut the usable pieces from this and save them for future jeans. I will get new fabric and rewash the fabric with this. These smaller pieces will be useful for pocket pieces, pockets, belt loops, etc.

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I have been using a Craftsy class to learn how to build jeans. It is called, “Sewing Designer Jeans.” It has been an amazing class, yet the fit part of the jeans just wasn’t working for me. I tried and tried, yet it wasn’t working. I learned an incredible amount from the process.

I also learned what doesn’t work. I came across a few blogs that a professional sewer Kenneth D. King had written. It seemed to be what I had dealt with in fitting issues. He also had a Craftsy Jeans class. There was  a special sale and I decided to go for it. His student’s jeans also looked like they fit really well. His class basically has you start with a pair of jeans that already fits you and a pattern is created from this.

The class is called, “Jean-ious!” So far he has described every fit issue that I had and how to fix it. I haven’t started the jeans but I feel that this will work out really well.

I am going to take a short break for making jeans though. I haven’t been active with painting and drawing and I miss it. I just inventoried my papers, boards, canvases, etc and want to get started on some new work. I will also be posting the remaining work that I have for my etsy page. I also still have a few Kickstarter pieces that just never got finished. The holidays disrupted this and I really should finish this work.

I look forward to making my jeans. Below is a great video that show the details that can go into created jeans. It is a fun process once you can get beyond the fitting aspect. Below is also a place where I am going to post handy blogs/videos/sites that talk about fitting and jeans.

Embedly Powered

Jean Blogs:

The Little Tailoress

Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing

http://www.silhouettepatterns.com/html/media/livestreamchannel/replay_04_29_2013.htm

http://www.silhouettepatterns.com/html/media/livestreamchannel/replay_06_20_2011.htm

 


Painting Opening

This last Friday was the opening for the MECA Painters 10 years later show. It was a great turnout. I took a few photos of the work for those people in the show that live in other areas of the country.

Mali Mrozinski’s amazing sewn piece. She hand died each of these colors from plants that she collected. DSCN5332

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalie Larsen’s incredible drawings.

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From Left to Right: Sage Lewis has a really interesting cut and died piece. In the middle Larissa Mellor’s meticulously stretched calque (tracing paper). To the right is one of my acrylic pieces. This image is from the sideyard at my current apartment.  DSCN5325
Here are Adam Kitzerow’s paintings and funny videos. There was a group during the opening that enjoyed watching it.
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DSCN5337Owen Mckenzie’s pieces were an interesting mix of image and text.DSCN5322

Patrick O’Rourke had a fun blown up piece and a sign hung up at street level.

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Jared Radding tried to play it casual by wanting his pieces propped up against the wall.
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The other artist in the show who is still in Maine is Clint Kaye. His work is an interesting mix between reused items and painted imagery.
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There was a great group of people who ventured through the cold weather for the opening. DSCN5339
Our former professor Honour Mack came to the opening and it was great to hear her interpretation of the show.
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Out of the blue I looked over and saw that my high school art teacher, Betty Brown was at my opening. I went to high school in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and this was a huge surprise. We had a great moment of reconnecting. She had no idea that I was still an artist. It was great to catch her up on what I was doing and hear that she is now lucky enough to be retired and making work again herself. DSCN5345
Some friends came by for the show. Here is Kimmy Convery gracing our presence!

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Thanks so much to Jill Dalton who put the show together! It was a great time and great to have my work with these amazing artists once again.


Winter and the studio.

Having an actual winter has been interesting for me. I have driven through scary snow storms, cross country skied to work, and experienced what it is like to stand and wait for a bus when it is ten below zero. It can be trying but also beautiful. I have been creating my new body of work and it has been inspired by the changes of seasons in my neighborhood. I will be part of a group show soon at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, Maine. It is a Maine College of Art Painters 10 years after graduating show. It is strange timing for me to have moved back to Maine and be part of this event. Below is one of my new pieces and information about the show.

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While deep in the cold and snowy weather I also had to take some photos in the trailer and make it seem like it was a nice summer day. I will disclose soon why I did this. It is very exciting for me.

My old friend Dylan Verner took the photos for me. We both lived in the same housing freshman year of college and I consider him part of my “MECA” family.

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Dylan is also a musician and used his mic stands to hold up lights outside. This was to make it seem like it was a nice sunny day. It worked out well.

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Dylan took some amazing photos and I look forward to sharing them with you. My new portrait on my blog is from this session:

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Being out there for the photo shoot made me wish for warmer days to be able to hang out in my trailer studio again. For now it is resting under a large blue tarp and now a pile of snow.


First real snow storm!

Now that we live in Maine we are getting used to having seasons. Living in Oregon the winters comprised of rain, rain and oh yeah some more rain….. Living in Maine has been VERY cold for us, yet there is something that is different about the cold and snow vs. the rain. Unless you have to drive to work, the snow can be awesome!  You can at least do things with the weather here.

So, before the sun set on us, we got our cross country skies out (mine were from when I was in high school and Stuart found a pair that fit this past summer at a yard sale for $15!). Portland got around a foot of snow. We live on a quiet street and there was enough snow to ski on. It was great! Near our house is a park that we were also able to ski in. Someone had already created a great path with a sled.

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The trailer had some snow on it. It may be the first time that it has experienced it. I tried to rake some of the snow off, but I will need to come up with a better method. I think I may need to get a ladder out for it. I am not entirely sure if I really need to do this, but I figured that the snow is really light right now and it may be easier to remove it this way than for it to become really heavy.

A friend of mine is going to help me take some photos in the trailer soon. We have to make it seem like summer for the photos and this will be really funny. Thankfully I created some transparent curtains that will let light in but won’t show that there is snow outside!
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Is there anything that you like to do in the snow?

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