On the artmaking front, I have really REALLY enjoyed participating in the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap. I tried out some techniques I haven't used before, and made this postcard, with the swap theme of 'Discover'....
It's built on a Timtex base for stability, and has appliqued cotton fabric, free-motion stitching, thread tracing, rubber stamping, and acrylic paint. Since I don't have what I would call "actual painting skills", I am pretty happy with how the paint parts turned out, and thrilled with how the rest of it turned out. The back of the card is a medium-green linen, on which I wrote the following Joseph Campbell quote:
"I say follow your bliss and don't be afraid and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."I hope the recipient, in the United Kingdom, will be happy with this work. I can't wait to see what my partner has made for me!
The great thing about this is that I am going to do more of it. I already have an idea that combines my glass beads with fabric and paint, so I will post pictures when I make another one. Maybe I will bind them into a kind of art journal, I don't know.
I also made a new wrapped-rope bag, which I finally finished. I love it. It's my purse/tote, and I can put quite a lot of stuff in there.
I adore the fabric tassel I made with scraps from the bag itself....cut into 1/2" widths and stitched together at the top, it is a fun decoration for sure. I added one of my glass disc beads and some perle cotton.
I debated shortening the tassel, but I think I like it better long. I know it will fray, and that's kind of the idea.
Below is a closer shot of the texture of the bag itself. It's made using a sort of rag-rug technique, where I wrap strips of fabric around cotton clothesline, and then spiral it into shape, stitching it down with a fairly wide zig-zag. It's fun to see the bag take shape. I learned the technique from this book, It's A Wrap!, and it's fairly easy. It just takes time to complete it. I've made two bags/totes like this, and I'm thinking to make at least one or two more for Christmas gifts.
And a shot of the purse strap, which is cotton webbing I embellished with slices of the bag fabric. It's a messy, scrappy, fraying thing, but again, that's what I was going for, so it's fine. If it frays TOO much, though, I may have to go back over it all with more stitching. So far, so good at the moment.
I wish I could say I have new glasswork to show, but I haven't fired up my torch in a while. The summer's been hectic and hot, and I just haven't felt inclined to make any beads. I'm starting to get ideas, though, and I do have a show coming up in September, so as soon as the kids go back to school, I am blazing my torch up!
I still need to generate the funds to buy the oxygen concentrator to run the new Bobcat. Shouldn't be too hard...there's a show in September, and another one in November, and other random opportunities for holiday sales, so I should be able to raise the $400 ballpark figure without too much trouble. :)
I'm sure you've noticed a scaling-back in my posts here. I'm rethinking my business right now, and trying to figure out how much I really want to do. I know I enjoy making work for sale, and going to a few shows each year to support my glass habit and hang out with artist friends. But I haven't submitted work to magazines, nor have I spent much time in any self-promotion to increase sales or my visibility as an artist. I'm fine with that, as I have been for a while. I just can't balance it all (whew, why is that so hard to admit sometimes?).
Recently, I've had an opportunity to get back into riding horses, something that is near and dear to my heart, even though I didn't really learn to ride until I was twenty. I've been off horses for twelve years, and when my middle daughter, Wren, started riding this year, I realized I really really REALLY wanted to get back to it myself. So about two months ago, I did. I've been riding once a week at the lesson barn where my daughter is riding, taking lessons with Wren's instructor, and re-learning whatever I used to know about horses and riding. It's been an incredible experience, and I am so grateful to my husband, who makes it even remotely possible.
This is me, on Sail The Bay, who is usually called Sailor. He's a 17.2 hand Belgian/Thoroughbred cross gelding, and he is owned by a really nice 16 year old boy who takes lessons at the barn, too.
I really love this sweet, gentle, giant of a horse. He's tough to get and keep moving because he's so huge, but he's great for my over-40 adult rider confidence level. I can't wait til tomorrow, because I have my weekly lesson, AND I get to wear my new boots!
So that's where I'm at these days. Still making stuff, and having fun. I hope your summer has been fantastic, too!