Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Goddess in Us All

This first photo shows the block that my tree spirit was going to go onto. I did most of stitching on it while on airplanes and in the airports on my way to Iowa. Very productive use of my time. I had figured out approximately what she would cover so that I didn't stitch where she would be sewn on. The halo is a piece of metal that I found one time on a trip to DC. I cleaned it up a bit, filed sections to get some of the shine in areas and added a bit of paint lightly to add more color. I top coated it to help keep it from tarnishing any further. I like the idea of having a slightly tarnished halo. Once I sewed her to the block I added the stars around her for my twilight sky.
Here she is in her full glory, the goddess that is inside each of us. She made get her hair trimmed a bit but I haven't decided yet on that. I still haven't found what I want to put in her hands. I feel that I will know when I find it. I have considered giving her a charm bracelet to hold between her hands but am not sure if that is the look I am after. When the time is right I will know what she wants.
While in Iowa I also spent some time working on my background a bit. I have not put any time into that in a while so I was glad that I had the time to do so. I wanted the biggest impact for my time spent so I chose to work on the ivy that is climbing up the tree. I wrote about it's symbolism with my October block (Ivy speaks of attachment, eternal friendship, fidelity, and wedded love.) The first step was couching down the cord which is a green cotton cord that I added values to using permanent markers. The ivy climbs up over the door, up the tree and onto my butterfly and cougar blocks. The next step was to add the leaves and the tendrils from the main vines. I didn't finish all of that in Iowa but worked on it some at the Wire Fest- Bead-In night and finished the leaves. Getting the Ivy on helped make the tree seem even happier than it was already.

The last picture is of my tree spirit block pinned onto the background. Her fringing will overlap the door but that is fine since it is a secret doorway anyway and she will help hide it a little bit.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's all in the Details

I had thought my life was a bit crazy before it has become more so in the time since my last post. We were originally planning on moving near the end of this year but that has been moved up twice in the last couple of weeks first to mid-August and now the end of June. Looks like we may end up in temporary housing until we find the house we want to buy, we don't want to settle or rush our decision. I have been busy and will only become more so in the near future. Luckily we can put our stuff in non-temporary storage with the Navy until March or so of next year.

I expect the craziness to mean that my blog entries may be a bit delayed and that I may fall behind on some of my blocks. The background will likely be delayed and I won't be able to work on the quilt part of it until we have a home probably. Who knows maybe it will give me more time since I won't have busy work around the house to do and we won't be living in a house that is on the market all summer.

One of the things that I knew I wanted for my Spirit was for her to have beaded jewelry. Since I make my own jewelry and have entered pieces into contest how could she not be adorned in some beaded finery. The photo above shows one of her peyote stitched bracelets. The photo below show her in all of her jewelry. She has CZ teardrops for her earrings and a small rivoli was used for the center of her necklace.

These two photos show where the bulk of my time went on this piece. I made lots and lots of vine fringing. I used 3 different type of flower beads and made slightly different fringes for each type of flower. I spent many hours at my parents home and at Mayo working on all of her fringe. My poor doll spent most of that time upside down since it was easier for me to work that way and I didn't get the tread caught so often that way. I found I couldn't work on it for hours straight because holding it the way I had to made my wrists a bit sore so I broke it up into smaller groups of time. I was amazed that it went quicker than I thought it would. I considered doing another row of fringing but she disagreed with me so I didn't argue with my muse.
In my next post I will show you her block in progress and then what she looks like all done on her block and pinned to the background. I won't sew her on like I have the other blocks because I won't be able to roll the background up with her on it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tree Spirit Comes To Life.

Although my April BJP was finished in April on schedule I haven't taken the time to do any of my blogging about her yet even though it is almost half way through May. I am afraid that getting everything ready for my two and a half week trip to Iowa in late April kept me busy the first half and while I was there I kept busy with shopping and visiting etc. If you want to know what I have been up to please visit my main blog (Artistic Kreations and Passions Blog) Since I got back to the east coast I have spent time in Philly for Wire Fest and then trying to catch up after being gone. Wayne and I also celebrated our 19th anniversary.

I thought I would start with my sketch of this my block that I expected to take the most time and that really thinks outside the box. I found it interesting while I was researching trees and the tree of life how many early civilizations believed in sacred trees and how many had Gods and spirits that lived in or where part of that tree belief. My Tree Spirit is symbolic of that connection to the tree and our connection to the Earth. She is a tree spirit, earth mother, goddess, creative muse and so much more rolled up into one. She also represents all of those qualities that exists with in me since my whole project this year is about a self portrait of who I am.
I knew this project would be a learning experience since I wanted my tree sprit to be dimensional and so I needed to make a doll that I could attach to the block. I haven't made many dolls and I wanted this one to be somewhat realistic so I got to try things to see what would work. I used a pattern that I had kept from a Sew News from years ago for making a mini dress form. I scaled to what I needed and used just the front pieces and attached them to a pice of EZ Felt so that she would have a flat back. The head I just needed the correct size so that I could glue on the face piece that I got at a bead store in Maine a few years ago. The arms I made with pipe cleaners wrapped together with thread so that I had a hand shape. I did flesh gloves for them and put the wires inside of them. I did the main body piece in muslin and then once I had attached the arms I gave her skin over that stitching that to the backing.
First I attached her underskirt gathering it and stitching it to her wait and then I stitched sleeves and attached those. I must admit the little bit of clothing sewing I had done helped when trying to figure out how to make her clothing.
Her dress was made as a wrap dress with 2 separate pieces that I made the with the same pattern just flipping one of them. I sewed them on one at a time.
This last picture show her after she had gotten her hair. I used my hair that I had kept from a hair cut some years ago. It was challenging to work with it and figure out how to attach it to the doll. I ended up with some of the stitches showing so I gave her a bead cap to hide the stitching. My goal before leaving for Iowa was to have her ready to add beading to and of course have all of beading stuff ready to go with me to Iowa so I could work on her. I am glad that I managed to fit it all in.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First Seven Months

I realize I promised this photo weeks ago but I had a lot to do before I headed off to visit my parents in Iowa and then I was gone from home for 2 1/2 weeks so I just never got around to it.

This is the first 7 months of my BJP completed and sewn onto the Sacred Tree background. I promise to start writing about my April block in the near future. My Tree Spirit is completed and I have photos so I just have to figure out what I am going to write about. If you can't wait to see the new block I have the first photos on my web gallery and will get the others on once I download them from the camera.