Saturday, February 5, 2011

some peeks at a Classic and some random thoughts about art and craft

I have been working on a canvas to submit to Somerset Studio for their "Classics" challenge - lots of paint(acrylic and watercolor), paper, fabric, laces, vintage items, and adhesive - the real definition of mixed-media!

I got some fantastic books at the library this week (along with the dvd Inception) - I had asked the library to see if they could get 2 books via interlibrary loan - Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style, both by Natalie Chanin - well, the library ended up purchasing them and I am the first person to check them out - so love the patterns and recipes. Chanin's way of deconstructing teeshirts is explained very well and her projects are so intriguing, stylish, and useful.  I have gotten interested in bookbinding (due to Marit's wonderful blog) and got Book+Art and Cover to Cover - I loved Marit's stitching over the tape - and the 2nd book has instructions on how to do that. I am creating a book project to submit to Somerset Studio and am trying out different book art techniques. I also got a wonderful drawing and painting book - Natural History Painting with the Eden Project - the cover has a watercolor feather on it that I so want to learn to paint. The book also has techniques for painting shells and goodness knows, I have a lot of them from when we cruised on our sailboat.

I will be starting a new knitting project - the Shalom cardigan designed by Meghan McFarlane (free pattern on . Amanda Soule on has knitted 2 of these sweaters, and I love the look of them. This cardigan project is very different from the Jane Thornley free-range style of knitting that I have been doing the past year - the pieces that I have knitted are very artsy but I rarely wear them. I have been thinking about why I create - why I craft - and what types of projects give me the greatest pleasure. Sometimes I look at what I have created and say why - what was the point?   I remember this quote from William Morris: "Never have anything in your house that is not useful or beautiful."  The Shalom cardigan is useful and beautiful.

Do you ever think about your art - your craft, and why you do it - what is its purpose? I read Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions (mentioned in an earlier post) and both she and Natalie Chanin (see above) talk about the art and craft that women created in earlier and poorer times. They couldn't afford to go off to a craft store (of course, they didn't exist) and purchase the newest papers, embellishments, fabrics, and yarns - they had to make do with what they had - and they made beautiful quilts and other domestic use items, useful and stylish clothing, and arts and crafts that brightened their homes and lives. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to inherit such treasures are forever reminded of the resourcefulness and artistic urges of our foremothers (our grandfathers were also creative but mostly their efforts took other formats).

And then too, I have been reading several books about sustainability (and some novels about Tibet) and wonder about the sustainability of the craft of scrapbooking - all that paper!

Anyway, just some things to think about - what do you think?

Have a super weekend - I have to work this morning but plan to paint this afternoon. Tomorrow I am going out to the beach for our annual Gardenfest - hopefully to get some herb plants. Then cast on my new sweater (with yarn from my stash). And finally watch the Superbowl - I bought avocados for guacamole and shrimp to boil, French bread, and a big salad - YUM!


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Loveeeeeeeee the sneaks! And the books you got sound really GOOD! And I am hoping (with fingers crossed) that I am creating something that will be loved forever by the kids... I know that my Mom made blankets, quilts and ceramic pieces that I still have today and LOVE every minute of owning them...and anytime a new person comes to my home and asks about the ceramic pieces, I am proud to say that my Mom made them! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Anonymous said...

Great peaks, and thanks for the links to the books. I'm going to check them out too, I want to learn ALL the bindings (*teehee*) Good luck with submitting your art to Somerset studio - I e-mailed them with my work for the 'art journal issue' (did that last year too), but never heard from them... I guess they don't like my work ór prefer 'the real pieces' - which I don't send... oh well, I keep hoping!

deana said...

Gardenfest at the beach...sounds divine. Especially when I'm surrounded btpy snow right now! Your project looks beautiful and your Super Bowl food sounds yummy! Enjoy!


EverydayMe said...

great sneeks... {{hugs}} Michelle