Thursday, January 04, 2007

Resource book

No pictures, rain outside this morning.

I've been working with the idea of a visual journal the past month or so since SharonB wrote some posts about nurturing creativity. Using a visual journal was one of her five key ideas. My design teacher had started me on doing an idea folder. But I'd misunderstood what I was to put in there. Now, I've got going a workable book. I call it my resource book. I look at it just like I do my trial (doodle) cloths which I love and draw on all the time. The resource book is a place where I tuck away "as is" or preliminary ideas. Then they are an available resource to draw on as needed. I put in top loading sheet protectors to tuck away some of the scrap paper I sometimes scribble on, too. Because I can write in it, the resource book almost better than a trial cloth. I'm writing down a few ideas out of what I'm reading and things I've seen. For instance, I had a long drive Saturday and used some of it for an opportunity to watch the sun reflecting off the buildings. I don't want to forget some of those things I saw. And Monday, I ran across an article that someone wrote on a painter's perspective that reinforced my observations. I put these notes in the resource book.

Last night I actually transfered one of these ideas (a cut paper experiment) to fabric. I'm working on the idea and think I know where it is going. I took time to look at the best orientation, where to place the borders, how to do the background and what threads, stitches and colors to use. There is one last color I can't decide -- blue or black. I'm leaning toward blue but black would intensify the colors. I'm thinking about maybe a dark purple. That wouldn't be as harsh as black but might intensify the colors more than the blue. And now to investigate if there is any thread I can use in the color I want. The practical trade off in fiber art! Perhaps one day I will get brave enough to start dying my own threads and fabric.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A corner

Starting a new year is like turning a corner.

Here is a corner from one of the recent designs.

I've been thinking of how to combine exploring the stitch that SharonB is putting out every week with a design piece. It amazes me what can be done with one stitch and how it lends itself to use in designs. While I'm stitching away on the nuts and bolts of finding out what the herringbone stitch can do (SharonB's stitch for week 1 of the challenge). I've been thinking about how to be as diligent in design work.

My biggest need is to realize I must do the hard work of laying out the design and playing with it. The more I get away from the merely decorative work, the more I see my need to plan before stitching. My design teacher keeps saying that. I can see for myself the difficulties I run into! And yet some how I want to skipping over these vital steps and start stitching immediately. I'm going to work on turning this corner!