Until next time,
Last week I talked about my college years and my textile & apparel degree. I decided to explore textiles more for my business and only design and make clothes for fun. I enjoy making costumes and an occasional dress or skirt, but my passion was to explore surface design and making textile art. I enjoy designing fabrics through dyeing and printing using different methods to make unique pieces of fabric. Then I use these fabrics to make textile art. When you dye a piece of fabric you can control the colors and somewhat the patterning and make a beautiful piece of fabric that wasn't bought in a store.
This is part of a piece of cotton that I snow dyed last week using yellow, orange, and fuchsia dyes. Snow dyeing creates patterns as the melting snow moves the dye through the fabric. I will write a post all about the dyeing that I did last week soon. I will give you more details about dyeing in that post. I also dyed some silk fabric and ribbon, lace, cheesecloth, rayon ribbon, and cotton embroidery thread all in the same colors. The cotton and cheesecloth were snow dyed. Everything else was just dyed normally. The snow dyeing creates more pastel colors than the regular method. I will have many materials to choose from that all coordinate when I am working on a textile piece. I love having custom designed materials to work with.
Dyeing is only one method of creating colors and patterns on fabric. I also use many more methods that I will talk about in another post. What is one type of design that you either enjoy looking at in other people's art, or that you use in your own art? We all have art that appeals to us whether painting, the written word, quilting, interior design, or something more specific even. I would love to hear from you about what sparks your creative juices. I hope that you can be creative and have a wonderful week.
Until next time,
Last week I told you about how I decided to go to college in Alaska. I started as a Biology major, but quickly realized that while I loved animals I didn't like memorizing all those facts. I didn't enjoy the nuts and bolts of being a scientist. As motherhood became more time consuming I took some time off from college to concentrate on my kids. I took care of my girls while my husband finished his degree. After he got his degree, we also moved to Michigan where he was from. I worked and he finished up getting his teaching degree and started teaching high school. After our girls were older and my baby boy was not so tiny, I decided to go back to college. This time I entered a degree program in textiles and apparel. I had always enjoyed sewing and watching my grandmother sew as a child. I had been spending more of my time sewing for me and my kids and learning how to dye fabric. I thought that this program sounded really interesting and I wanted to expand my knowledge and skills. I really enjoyed learning everything that went along with my degree. I loved learning design principles, art, pattern making, textiles, sewing, how to make a visual statement, and much more. This degree led me to where I am today. I love textiles and the tactile senses and touchable texture that they involve. I also love experimenting with surface design, dyeing, and art materials. My curiosity and love of experimentation from when I was a biology major transferred over to my art today. It is interesting how our lives change and how everything that we experience builds up to make us the person who we are today. We all have layers and interesting stories to tell. I love hearing your stories too. If you would like to share with me I would love to hear from you.
Last week I talked about losing some of my sense of adventure as I got older. I didn't lose all my sense of adventure because I chose to go to college in Alaska. Alaska was far away from all of my family and friends and anyone that I knew. This was a big step for the shy girl who didn't make friends easily. It turned out to be one of the greatest adventures that I had ever had. It was a glorious experience that I never would have wanted to miss. I lived in Alaska for four years. I met my husband and had my first two children during these years. I saw majestic views and had a wonderful time. I have never lived anywhere quite like Alaska. The people and life style are all their own. Life there isn't so concerned with the hustle and bustle that life down here is so focused on. Going to college in Alaska is something that I will always treasure.
I hope you enjoyed another view from my past. I would love it if you would share an adventure that you have had with me. Large or small these adventures give life joy and wonder.
My childhood was spent largely in rural areas. I spent a lot of time living on farms with wide open places around me and mysterious forests to explore. I spent much of my younger years outside playing, exploring, and being an adventurer. When I wasn't outside I often had a book in hand and was immersed in the world of whatever novel I was reading at the time. As soon as I learned to read well, I always had a novel in hand. I still love immersing myself in the world of a novel and keeping my head in the clouds dreaming what it would be like to live there. I grew up as a dreamer and adventurer and often kept to myself. I was very shy and didn't want to play with other children a lot. I'm still pretty much a loner except for family and close friends. I keep in touch with the world through on-line friendships. I like hanging out and working from home.
As a teen I started to lose some of that adventuring spirit I had as a child. It was easier to stay in and read a book than to go outside and do anything. I still enjoyed outdoor activities, but only the ones with a purpose. I didn't wander freely and explore as much as when I was younger.
I hope that you enjoyed this glimpse from my past.
I am starting a new blog series that will tell you a little more about me. I'll write these posts once a week until I'm done telling my story. If you are curious and want to know more about me you'll want to read this series.
I am a 40 something wife and mother of five children. I have been married to the same wonderful man for almost 20 years. I have two girls in college and three boys at home. My youngest hasn't started school yet, so he keeps me pretty busy. Even though my family is widespread in years, I wouldn't change anything. I love my kids and wouldn't want to be without them, even when they are driving me crazy.
My husband is a teacher and a writer with a great sense of humor. He makes me laugh all the time. We have a wonderful marriage even though we have had many ups and downs over the years. If you would like to read some stories about how we got together and started our life together you can go to his website and read the chicken stories. He has written quite a few tales from those years.
Family is very important to me and inspires me to do what I do. My faith is also inspires me and makes me who I am today. I am a Catholic and feel the love of God in my life every day. My faith life keeps me grounded and helps me keep others foremost in my mind. I'm not in this world alone and I have the responsibility to do what I can in a real way to help other people. There are many people in this world who don't have someone who cares and I need to try and show that I care in a concrete way. I do this by any way that I can, which sometimes just means donating money to worthy causes. As a mother of young children it is sometimes difficult to get out and participate as much as I would like. I am working on this and hope to do better in the future.
I hope that you have enjoyed this glimpse of my life. Next week I'll tell a bit about my childhood.
I have had all my family members home for the summer. My husband is a high school teacher who also works part time at a local college. He has been home this summer except for when he is teaching his college class. My oldest kid is home this summer too. While working and volunteering took up most of her time, she was still living at home and I got to see her a lot. All of my other kids were also living at home. My second kid spent a lot of time working too, but I got to see her all the time.
Now though life is changing. My second oldest went off for her first year of college. Moving her in and saying good bye was hard. I will miss her even though she is only an hour away from home. My husband went back to his day job now too, so I don't get to spend as much time with him either. I enjoy the time that we have during the summer because I don't get to see him a lot during the school year. He is always busy with two jobs and a lot of grading and prepping for classes too. My oldest goes back to her college at the end of the week. I won't get to see her until Thanksgiving. Her college is too far away for her to come home easily for the weekend. I know that she will be busy with classes and studying and friends anyway. I also have two school age children that go back to school next week. I won't have them around during the day either and the after school activities also start up soon also, so they will be busy in the evenings.
I will be at home with my little one during the day. It is always a bit of an adjustment from having everyone around all the time, to it just being the two of us. I adjust a bit faster than my little one though. He goes from having a lot of people to play with to being just with mommy. I am hoping that having less people around during the day will translate to less chaos and being able to get more accomplished. I have to balance my working time and my mom time however. I know that too soon he will also go away to school and I will miss our time together. I don't want to waste these years by not doing enough with him.
I do want to focus the my time part of my day to creating. I create all the time anyway because I just don't feel complete if I don't, but now I will have a few less distractions. I do have some big plans and things that I want to prepare for too. I'm looking forward to cooler weather and a time of focused work, so that I can get some of my projects done and ready to share with the world. So with that I will leave you to a creative and productive week.
I don't know if you have figured this out yet but, I love texture. Two kinds of texture are actual and visual. Actual texture is the way that the piece feels. Is it rough, soft, smooth, bumpy, etc. I love to add papers, fabrics, ribbons, lace, wax, beads, and many other textural elements to my pieces to create actual texture. Layers of fabrics can add a lot of actual texture that invites the viewer to touch the piece. Visual texture is the pattern that you see. You don't feel a lot of texture, but you can see it. Using stencils with paint or sprays is a great way to get visual texture. Layers of paint and brush strokes also create visual texture. Most of my art uses both kinds of texture at the same time.
I love beautiful things that make me want to touch them. That is one of the reasons that I love to make art quilts. They appeal to both the eyes and hands. My art quilts are meant to be touched and enjoyed, not just looked at. I also love to add texture to my other art as well. My journal pages often include some kind of textural element. I add lace, fabric, and drywall tape to my pages along with the texture that you get from using tissue paper, paint, and gel medium. I don't usually smooth everything out on my pages, because I want to be able to feel the texture. I try to convey that texture through the photos that I take, but of course it is always easier to see in person.
I also love making wearable art because you guessed it, texture. When you have a bracelet or cuff on your arm that begs to be touched, it just lights up your whole day. Being able to see and touch a beautiful piece can help your whole day improve.
I want to appeal to all you art lovers out there that also love texture. I love to make art that you can enjoy visually and texturally. I love to satisfy the craving to touch art, not just stand behind a barrier and look. Here are some bits and pieces of my favorite textured art that I have made over the last several years. All of these pieces have actual texture. Some of these pieces have soft texture and some of them have rough texture, but in all of them the texture adds to the feeling of the piece.
Here are some bits and pieces that have visual texture that is stronger than the actual texture.
I have several tutorials available that have actual textural elements. You can find the tutorials on this page. http://www.handsandharts.com/tutorials.html I am also available to answer questions about my use of texture.
I hope that this helps you understand my work and the ways that you too can use texture.
(URL HIDDEN) AK, United States
Modern cabin in Alaska wooded setting. Warm and comfortable with a full bath, kitchenette, and loft. Twin over full sized bunk bed. Access to carport and space for larger vehicles. Only minutes...
I have a loving husband who thinks I'm a bit crazy to be so obsessed with art. I am a mother of five children from ages 21 to 5. I spend most of my time mothering and keeping house. In my free time I like to play with textiles, art journaling and painting. I have a degree in textile and apparel studies with a design focus. Right now I am more interested in fiber arts than apparel design, but I don't know where my journey will take me.
Check out my husband's website. He is a writer and has written about our life and many other amusing stories.