Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gale's Gallery: Art Anyone Can Create

I can't paint, draw, sew or throw a pot on a wheel.  I have zero understanding of most museum art (just like I hate figuring out the meaning of different types of poetry.)  I supposed that makes me a bit "simple."  Oh well, simple doesn't actually mean dumb, just uncomplicated!  Why clutter my mind with all that useless information????  However, I do like making things and always have.  My very first "project" was likely one of those "loomed" pot holders or a very simple embroidered piece.  I remember "painting" a candy tray (that resembled an ash tray) with a holly on it during a Brownie meeting.  I learned to crochet in 3rd grade, but it took me until 2007 to learn to knit.  It just looked too complicated!


So, I plan to periodically share what I think are interesting techniques, new tools (we all know I'm a bit of a supply hoarder) and books, as well as photos of any kind of thing one can make by hand.  I promise you if I can make it, so can you!

I will mention places that have the cool supplies reasonably priced when I can.  Often it will not be a craft store:)  For my current project I actually had to walk into a tatoo parlor a couple days ago.  I was mortified someone would see me and I parked my Jeep behind the store LOL.  I really needed tiny o-rings.  Of course, they had no clue.  

I love variety and I hate mass producing, so I rotate between mediums (the craft kind, not ethereal!) so I don't get bored.  You won't be interested in every post, but follow because you will surely like something.  It helps to study projects that you don't plan to do because often there is a technique or a tool that will apply to something you do like...

Mostly I will show projects I've done myself, but I plan to ask some experts to "guest blog" when I see something cool that they do.

So follow me to the craft room... in my case the "craft pit" in our basement.  

I would like to start with something that uses scrap fabric, is portable and only requires one tool, some cotton string and the same canvas some of us hooked rugs on as kids.  It's called "Locker Rug Hooking."  There are several books and if you google it you will find complete instructions.  (I modified them of course.  I decided not to sew my strips together, but instead knot them by splicing them and looping one through the hole.  That works better when you aren't sure which color you will use next.)  

I always make my own patterns.  Just find something you like that isn't full of "round" objects and draw it on the canvas.  Beware that these projects use quite a bit of fabric if you have to buy it.  A 1/4 yard will get you maybe 8 square inches.  I like to use vat dyed fabric because the front and back are the same color and if it gets twisted it isn't a big deal.

Although the technique is simple, just pulling up fabric from the back and hooking it with the string to secure, I usually spend several weeks to a couple months working on one project.  A large project is kind of difficult to manage as I like to hold it by the edge to steady it.

My Locker Rug Projects:

"Country Church"

This is actually not a church, but my neighbor Kim's house.  It's a view from my bedroom window, embellished a bit.   I added a wheat field with golden fur yarn for texture.  The stained glass window has several Swarovski crystals.  There is a button for the door handle.  If you look closely (and this photo doesn't do it justice) I change greens for the grass and evergreens as well as the direction I hooked for vertical movement.  The fabric for the roof is a gradient gray to black.  It took about $80 in fabric for this one, so you might want to start smaller.  The size is roughly 3 ft X 2 ft.

"My Monet Impression"

This was my first project.  This is a path (with buttons for rocks) winding through a field of flowers and going into the woods.  I added more fiber to make the trees have texture and crystals in the the pond for reflection (you can maybe see one next to the yellow water lily on the right edge.  The idea was to learn to combine light and shadow for added realism.  Not sure I hit it right there though.  Size is about 18" x 36."

"Patrick"


This was my 2nd project and a Christmas gift for my friend Barb.  We co-bred Patrick and he became a Champion Yorkshire Terrier.  Again, I used horizontal looping for the background and vertical to show how the coat would hang.  I used buttons for his eyes and an authentic show bow.    Since a yorkie is a shaded color breed, I mixed several fabrics to try to show this.  Notice I border all of my projects in black.  You don't have to do that, it's just my thing!  Size is about 3' x 2.'


"Wild Flowers!"

This was my last project.  I used sky fabric (and lots of it) which saved a lot of time.  The table is looped horizontally and the pattern of the fabric looked better to me done vertically.  There are several shapes and sizes of yo-yos all adorned with different button centers.  The fabric for the vase was nasty and shredded easily.  You can't see it, but about half of the flowers are wired and pop out of the wall hanging.    I hand-dyed a doily just for fun.  

I hope you enjoyed this mini art lesson!  I plan to do one once a month until I run out of ideas!

Take care!
Gale


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