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Monday, May 30, 2011

For My Aunt, who taught me to Sew

This pincushion is for my favorite Aunt who I blame for my love of sewing. She started me sewing, helped me with my first quilt, gave me my sewing machine and organized my sewing stuff. She liked my pincushion and wanted one so, I made her one last night. Even though it took hours and my eyes hurt from squinting in my dim sewing room, I'm glad it is done and I hope she likes it, even though its not perfect.

I decided to make a little quilt top and bottom for hers, since I liked mine so much. So I made little one inch squares to make a 3x3 9-square block for the top and one for the bottom. I used some grape fabric and left over green from the quilt she helped me with. This was the fun part; I love the little squares..there is something about working with the little scrap pieces that just makes it more fun. 

This last part was the hardest and most frustrating stretch of the project. It was approaching midnight, the thunder storm was wild outside and my needle would not pull through my cushion with the ribbon on it. I even hurt my teeth trying to pull it through with my mouth. I also had a measuring error for the purple band so it turned out to not be a perfect square but, I have a feeling she won't mind so much. To top everything off, my camera broke. So the photos that did make it are blurry and of poor quality. At least its done. I really hope she likes it!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gone Green

Has anyone else heard of an Altered Book? My mom got me started on these and they are pretty cool. The whole idea is to take any old book and turn it into a piece of art, using craft glue, paint and just about anything else you can fit on a page. You can "alter" books, envelopes or pretty much anything, I imagine. I like to alter books because the final result is pretty amazing. Another really cool aspect of this art is that people all across the country enjoy it, too. This means that anybody can join an "altered book" group and pick a theme for their book, and mail it around and have other people work on spreads in it. This results in a book, with a common theme, filled with work from all different artists with different styles. This spread on the top is my favorite, it is from a "Go Green" themed book "swap" I did through Yahoo Groups. All of the books involved had the same go green theme and these three spreads are ones I did. 
I used fabric, scrap book paper and paint to make this little windmill on a hill. Typically, I glue the pages together, about 10 or 20 in between spreads to support them and make an altered book with thick dividers between pages. This allows you to cut into pages and see images on other pages that are glued in, like in this spread of the windmill.
In this spread, I used recycled pieces of cardboard, newspaper and paper to make the background. I even used fake branches! I also got to use my sewing machine to sew a border around the paper with the butterfly on it. The stitches add a unique and unexpected border to the spread. Although this spread is simple, I definitely think it follows the theme and gets the message across.

Speaking of going green, this is an entry I submitted for some Google contest. I didn't win or anything but, I still think it is kind of cool. It goes along with the " go green" theme, too. The "G" is supposed to represent solar power, the first "o" is corn powered gasoline powering a car that is driving around the second "o", the world, while the second "g" is water power, the "l" a windmill and "e" is the recycle symbol. Anyway, I encourage all of you to look into altered books and try one of your own. They make great gifts.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Table of Contents

This year, I got to design the table of contents for our school's yearbook. I clearly used Shel Silverstein as inspiration, especially his book "The Giving Tree." I created the sketch, above, while surrounded by his books. Then, I scanned it into the computer and used photoshop to add color. I think it definitely reflects my school and town with the nature and family friendly atmosphere. I hope everybody else likes it, too.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Simple Self Portrait

Here is a photo process of my self portrait. My brother took the picture of me and It took me a little while to draw the entire thing. I don't usually try to make realistic pieces so, this was a challenge for sure.

Sorry it took so long to get the pictures up, but I've been insanely busy the past few months. I started this in Advanced Art which started the second semester, so I've been working on it since January. I used pencil, colored pencils and pastels for it. Typically I don't like working with pastels but, they really brought closure to the piece: blending in all the colors and creating more bold contrasts.
These are my second favorite pair of TOMS shoes, by the way. I love TOMS, they are my favorite brand of shoe and I own three pairs. For each pair you buy, TOMS donates a pair in Africa.

 I am pretty happy with the final result. Here are some of my other self portraits. The painting is done with acrylic on canvas, and the drawing is pen and ink, marker and pencil. I think i'm about done with making self portraits for a while. The drawing on the right is my all time favorite, though.

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