Saturday, April 29, 2017

Let's "Face it" inspiration from faces

Let's talk about Faces

As an artistic type, and a social scientist, and an actress, I am intrigued by faces. I really look at faces.

What makes a person pretty, approachable, frightening? What makes a gesture recognizable to us? A tilt of the head? an angle of the eyes? the shape of a mouth curling up on one corner? A crease under the eyes making us feel they are about to laugh?

I often pull out interesting faces from ads in magazines. I find Marie Claire to be one of the best for this. All the faces here today are from Marie-Claire. They are almost full page, so almost life size.

What do I do with them other than analyze them for inspiration and beauty?

1. Mostly I sketch them
this can be done by just looking at them or tracing a shape/line, practicing shadows and highlights. The very smallest change in an angle will change the faces meaning. I draw, and draw, and draw. I draw people at restaurants. I practice.

2. Reference for gestures. When I want a face for a doll or quilt, with a certain attitude I look through my file folder of faces to see which one makes me feel that attitude. 

3. When I started making original artwork I had little confidence. So I sometimes traced a face onto watercolor paper, or transferred it to fabric, as a starting point.  Either by using the line drawing as a pattern or a light box to trace it onto fabric. Just as a learning tool for myself

  This is for learning, and  making a piece for yourself, not to be sold or entered into competition. You must get written permission to use an image in that case.

Contact copyright lawyers for real information just to be sure.

 Of course this technique can be done with your original photos . Trace the lines and change the size according to your needs.

I love the shape and strength of these women's faces. The top image is one of quiet strength. The bottom image seems a bit vulnerable. I love her large dark eyes, and the line of her brows to nose to mouth

I have trouble drawing faces that tilt, or glance away from the viewer, so I collect examples. I'm in love with the bottom right image, the surprise! I just might need to know how to draw a surprise face one day!

And the EYES have it!

 there is an amazing amount of expression in the angle of eyes, the amount of iris showing, the nose shadows. 
consider this face! 

wonder if his modeling coach said, "smize! "

Smile with your eyes! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"I Like", Thursday #33 books, crates, cows, tv shows

whew! what a week... 
Welcome to this week's list of likes... 
It's been a hard week of letting go. Letting go of Cole's things that were old, or broken, or just not okay for a new poodle to have... which meant many tears and memories of my poodle son.

It may not make sense, but letting go of things is like letting go of the loved one. Loss is hard.

When I changed the clothes closet from winter to summer clothes and packed away winter for the season, I culled out all the ones that no longer fit or were not attractive. This is also hard for me... letting go of the time I was thinner, letting go of the hope that item would make me feel beautiful, letting go of hard earned money spent on it.

Storing it isn't the answer though.

I took some to a consignment store, and some to goodwill. Now on to the I Likes...

*I Like having more room in the closet and knowing all the clothes are ones that fit and I like. Same with the ( Tote Bag  ) culling, and the pantry clearing. (Pantry Moths needed to be evicted)

*I Like a new bookcase and organizing my books
yep, just a bit too tall
 These books have been piling up on the floor in the family room for over a year. I logged them all into my spreadsheet and found out I bought some twice. WAH!! 
They look very nice on a shelf!

Now they are tidy on a shelf, not in the studio as I planned as the IKEA bookcase is too large. Apparently they no longer make the ones like my studio Billy cases... they are taller or shorter and the shelves fall in odd places for magazine holders. Still, DH put it together, so we found room for it in the family room. 

Do you find when you put things away in a tidy way, you don't use them? Once a book is on the shelf and all I see is the binding, I forget the projects I wanted to try. 

I also went through my copied free patterns and let go about a third I no longer want to make. 
The magazine holders are still full after that. I'd like to say *I Like having more space but they expanded to fill the holders!!!

*I Like, no, love Netflicks. 
They suggested I would enjoy the Scottish show Shetland and we do!!!
Image result for the shetlands bbc
It is somewhat on the order of a sophisticated Midsomer Murders. Current day, believable characters, great scripts. The only negative is there are not a ton of them. Still waiting for Murdoch new season to come out. 

*I Like actually reading then recycling magazines that also piled up over the year.Between recycling whole Entertainment weekly's and parts of quilting magazines, I've pared down considerably!

After Cole passed I kind of gave up. It feels good to sort and recycle and let go of some things no longer needed or wanted. 

Don't you find, if something lays around for a critical period of time, you start to ignore it and not notice it? I do, and then it takes a big effort to sort and throw away, and recycle, and release. 

I'm good at collecting, not so good at releasing. There is some kind of backward guilt (money or time) or remorse but one gets used to clear space too. 

* I Like more space.
We needed to make space for this...

*I Like Amazon. How convenient they make ordering items. We needed a new kennel that was going to cost $149 at petco and we found on Amazon for $45. 
go ahead... it's big enough for you to crawl in!

Cole used my labradaughter Chelsea's old crate but it's now rusty. 

I have to let it go...

PS this is an addition... Just saw my friend Joann's studio re-do... the link is http://teatimegardening

So on to your posts! As always if you did an I Like post of things you liked this week, let me know. 
These fine people did, so please visit them and see what they found to like this week.

6, craftscaviescontras

linking up with  parties from my links page including:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Toting things around...a giveaway

Isn't everyone's dining room used to store stuff???

Our house is not large but it should be large enough for two humans and a poodle.

One of us, I'm not saying who, is a "collector" 
A collector is different from a hoarder. I don't know how but it feels better to me. Yep, it's me, I'm the collector. I suspect crafters have the collector genes. 
One of the things I love is a tote bag. 
We are trying to pare down in anticipation of moving house soon. If we knew where to move we'd be gone already, so in lieu of knowing , we're getting ready. One day I decided to bring all the tote bags out in one staging area to see what I had. By "all" I mean the ones not in use and that I could see.

Hence the first photo.

In an effort to sort them, I created categories.
Self made totes of fabric
plastic such as Houston Quilt show edition bags
quilt show advert bags like Handiquilter of mesh
Embassy Hop collector bags from DC trips to embassies
Tote's given me by friends
Advertising totes given at trade shows
Totes won on shop hops for visiting each shop
book bags given to dh at symposiums

I made piles of each in the dining room, piling them on top of "goliath" the bookcase from IKEA. I thought I was buying one like the others in the studio, but after dh put it together I realized it's a foot taller and wouldn't fit. I had to relocate it into the family room to hold excess books. (have I mentioned I'm a collector??)

I admit to having more than one bag from the book fest which leads to a giveaway!! 
I will share. It's hard for me, being a collector and all, to let anything go. I already sent some to Eliza who loves to read and uses tote bags til they fall apart. I learned it's okay to let go if they go to someone you like! 
So I am willing to let a few more go to a couple people. Yep. I'm going to. Let. Go. (a little)
The book festival used to be marvelous. On the mall in front of the Smithsonian, there was a city of tents, each one hosting a steady stream of authors talking about their books. Heaven! I heard and met so many people I admire, and felt so energized after.

We got tote bags.

Any day when I receive a free tote bag is a good day.
When I visited Houston Quilt show, vendors gave out tote bags too. Since they gave me one each day, I am willing to share them with you. Of course I'm keeping some, heh heh.

They are handy to store projects in, to carry your projects in the car, to store quilts, to use on shopping sprees.

My collecting doesn't stop at mesh bags... I also love the plastic zip bags blankets come in for holding WIPS
and fabric collections...
and have a selection of plastic bins to use in an effort to stash supplies
One of my handiquilter bags is holding those, kind of.
Two memento totes from embassy hops... Keeping these!! Memories of touring the embassy are good.
My memory of Argentina was watching dancers doing the tango to a quartet of musicians so good we bought their cds. We ate smelly fish in Finland, drank beer and ate chocolate in Belgium, danced to music from the Bahamas.
some of my hand made totes. I use them. I pretty much use these totes instead of a purse now, so one's always in use. Storage is a problem however. They kind of defy storing.
So that's kind of my Confession  sharing of a system. It's not perfect but each bag holds a memory of an event I attended. It takes up more space than a digital image, but it's useful.

I'm willing to share. I want to share with you, the friends I've gotten to know as quilters and readers.
The people who seek to organize and need to carry or store their stuff too.
I know you can relate to me.

Please, tell my husband it could be worse!
now it's your turn... to win entertain me with a story of what you'd tote/store in the bags and I'll choose winners and send them out.
  Would you prefer book festival or quilting??

These need re-homing. 
I need to stop collecting them..... Bwaaaaahahahahahahahaha!
We'll be connected in a way. I'll know they went to a good home.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Flower of a different color

Let's talk about petals.... colorful petals....

Ah nature is grand isn't it?? The latest tulips my husband brought home to me are brilliant shades of purples and blues with accents of an orangey-gold.


They are magnificent aren't they?? Especially when you see them from different angles. This is how they look on the mantel

Graceful. Colorful. Pretty.  But they are dynamic when seen from the first angle, right? (so much to learn from life, isn't there? )

When Angela at Rainbow Scrap Challenge
chose multi color scraps for the month, I noted even multi scraps become one color in my bins so I went to my stash to see what I could use for my petals this month

I chose 8 and cut petal size pieces to use...


So glad to be using them.

yep, that'll work. Baste through the paper, leave the tips to fold back and forth.
I just love this fabric. I've used it a couple times but really it lives in the petting stash.

 Play around with the pretty little shapes...

I've been hard at work on a purple piece. Another abstract color story... it's so exciting I can hardly leave the studio. But I wanted to play along with so scrappy... be sure to see what the other people are making.  

I'll be linking to other parties on my links page, as well as these...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"I Like" thursdays #32 Azaleas, cows, magazines and more

Welcome to this weeks list of likes! As always I welcome you to also write a post of likes and join us here!
A neighbor's Azalea display!
*I Like the return of Azaleas and this color display! My azaleas are blooming too but not such a display. 
Look at this variety...
 delicate and dynamic. They are white with a hint of pink... just calling out to be painted or sketched. Maybe painted on fabric, then beaded!

Look at the sky behind this tall bird condo
a rare blue day in MD. I looked and watched for a few minutes before I realized this was a fake bird. Wonder why the people did that???

Speaking of blossoms, I like this IPAD cover my husband got me for Easter
it is a brilliant blue and reminds me of paintings I've seen at the National. Why use something plain when you can have a piece of art in your hands for the same price???

And why dress in a plain color when you can dress as if you're one of your quilts...

 Here I am looking like a peacock an artist on bee day

The day called out for color so On came the pink leopard leggings, the tie die tunic,
purple nail polish called "play-date" and my flower bracelet!!! Whee! (are those "what not to wear" people watching me??) * I Like COLORS

*I like Mari at the Academic Quilter  (the link is  academicquilter   )
She is starting a new series on how she organized her new sewing room and here is an excerpt of her post:

"   1. Cleaning out was the goal, not reorganizing things that I would never use again.  I wanted a sewing space that was useful and full of things that made my limited sewing time easier and more fun. Plus I wanted to be able to find things when I needed them.
2. Everything I kept had to be useful or pretty.  I wouldn't keep anything just because I had paid for it, no matter what it cost."

Please visit her when you leave! 
Here's to organization! Finding what we know we own! 

speaking of what I own, look what Micki ( her blog) sent me...
*I Like hand dyes and embellishments sent by a friend for no reason other than friendship

*I Liked going through old quilting magazines this week, sitting on the porch in a pool of pollen, and recycling all the pages I didn't like so I could keep the ones I do like
If there are a couple articles I want to keep, I tear out everything else and keep the cover and the articles. Takes up very little space in a magazine holder to "hold onto" inspiration!

*I Like coughing less... the cough held on for three weeks, but now I am left with pollen allergies. Glad to not be coughing so hard though.

*I Loved these two videos... and all the others I watched where cows ran toward humans playing musical instruments.

I had no idea cows love music. This video is jazz, since I love jazz too. There are many videos of people playing classical, guitars, flutes, whatever and cows running from fields afar to watch and listen.

In case you can't get enough and I know I could watch cows gathering to listen to music all day, here is one of a woman playing guitar. ( in case it doesn't play the link is: HERE)
The cows listen quietly.... til she stops. 
Then they start to murmur...  then yell "encore!" until she restarts. 
Then they become quiet again and listen.

We don't  give enough credit to animals for having feelings!
Just because they don't speak, humans act like they are beneath us. 

In my opinion, we all share the earth and should respect each other. 

Want more fun posts on the random items my pals liked this week? Did you write an "I Like" post of your own to share? Let me know and join a great community trying to keep it positive!
6, craftscaviescontras

linking up with  parties from my links page including:


Monday, April 17, 2017

Studio Tours Polly's Perfect Place

I was lucky enough to tour a really terrific studio where everything has it's place and is in it.
Meet my friend Polly in Maryland. She knits, quilts and does needlework.

 She loves the long table in the center which is her cutting table as well as gathering place for neighbors, bee mates and large family dinners!
Her studio was originally a patio which she enclosed to become her 12' X 24'( I suspect it's larger than that) creative space.

The ironing center was another find at a scratch and dent sale.

She has a closet for asst other crafts and large fabrics, wrapping paper and other items such as a big bin for scraps.
 She says it's for her old age projects!

 The ladder holds quilts made by her grandmother, and herself. She prefers making traditional quilts and using patterns.She still works full time and wants quiltmaking to just be relaxing. Her next project will be using her Kaffe Fasset fabrics.
note: Polly houses her friend's long-arm and is able to use it too! Win win!!
The room holds 12 IKEA sliding drawer units like mine, stacked to make 6 rows, with flat units on top.

The first two rows hold knitting and needlepoint supplies. Then fabrics, and the last two rows are for asst notions.

 The bottom two drawers hold supplies for her grand children to use in their own craft projects made at that grand center table.

She has one book case for knitting and needlework books, and another for quilting books. The magazine holders are labeled, and hold torn out pages she wants to keep together for future projects. Nearby is a comfy easy chair and good lamp.
She had small windows built along the ceiling line to let in light while not being too open to neighbor's eyes. It feels cozy and safe.
Look at the threads!!!

Polly said she was able to receive all of these for $35 because she took a Floriani thread class!

Again, win win.
Polly makes storage beautiful as well as organized.

The answers to my usual questions are here...

1. How long did it take to set up your studio?
 20 years in my head so basically no time at all - but 2 days
2. Did you change or tweak it to work better? How?
 Not really - have moved a piece of furniture around occasionally 
3. Music, TV or no noise? 
Note: the decorative threads are in a display waiting for use! Pretty way to store them
4. Do you crave any snacks when working or stuck on a project? 
5. Do you schedule work time or is it according to mood/inspiration more often? 
6. Is there a machine, or tool you would like to have? 
 A long arm with a computer - I currently have a loaned one from a friend w/o a computer
7. What kind of sewing machine do you have? Iron? Lights? Satisfied with them??
  2 Brothers and a Featherweight , Iron $9 from Kohls - plus a travel panasonic iron - Can lights in the ceiling and a flip light - yes
8. What do you like best about your studio? Least?
 Love everything about it - no minus’
 9. Messy or tidy?
 9/ Very Tidy : >
Editor's Note:
 And that's the truth. Very tidy and a place for everything. Her comment is if you have a designated place for everything it's easy to keep things put away. 
I say I do not have enough space to designate a place for my supplies. I collected it all, like it all, use it, and want to keep it, so that's my problem to deal with lol.
Not every person is tidy, I am definitely able to work in constant chaos. I hope someone will allow us to see their messy studio sometime!!  
Hope you enjoyed the tour, and can use some of her organizational methods. 
See other studio tours on the page at the top or click HERE
this post was featured on
 thanks Connie!