October 31, 2014

a heart

Not to get all mushy on you this week, but here's another heart! Remember the one I saw this summer? I seem to have an eye for spotting them on trees! I heart nature.

October 29, 2014

a logo

My dad is newly retired and a recent Grandpa visit allowed me to crank through some serious design work for my dear sister's newest venture.

The name is a tribute to one of her cats and the paw print is that of one of her dogs. I am quite pleased with my choice of typeface. Usually I trend towards the more simple, modern sans serif fonts as being friendlier and cleaner. In this case, however, I think these serifs give an appropriate air of seriousness while still being soft and approachable.

The heart shape within the paw print was there naturally, which I quite love.

October 27, 2014

a quilt back

Not sewn yet but designed, which might have been the trickier part of it anyway.

There is a lot of struggle in pink fabric (bad folds, crooked strips, husband assistance, straight strips, diamonds cut for another quilt) leading up to having that large piece available. Then I realized the large piece wasn't as large as I thought and I had to get creative with the rest of it.

I don't know why it did not occur to me that designing the back was practically like designing a whole new quilt!

October 24, 2014

October 22, 2014

progress on the Tangential quilt

I am so very far behind in my quilt class. This is installment one and as I write this I am days away from reading installment four! Yikes. I keep plugging away though. This is the very top strip of the quilt. I chose to do scraps instead of a solid color for some of the triangles. This took longer when I was doing the cutting but I am very happy with how it looks. I am still really excited about this project!

October 20, 2014

an unconventional acorn wreath

I am just going to fess up right away. I made this wreath last October and then never wrote about it. Hee. And I am not sure I am finished with it anyway.

But – first things first. I was inspired by both a rectangular wreath made from a frame and an all-acorn wreath and decided to combine the two. I've since lost the original links but there are examples aplenty on the ole Pinterest.

After gathering up a variety of sizes of acorns (I love a nearby park to add to my collection), I heated them in the oven to kill any creatures that might be living in them and then got busy with the glue gun! I did do a base that was more organized and built layers evenly. So I would work all the way around the frame over and over, slowly building it up until it was full.

My first thought was to paint some stripes of different widths on it, leaving some "bare" acorn as its own stripe color. I had in mind a yellow gold and some purples. I really wanted it to looked dipped but there didn't seem to be a good way to accomplish that.

My latest thought is metallic spray paint – maybe bronze colored. Instead of taping it off for neat and tidy stripes I would let the overspray speckle the bare acorns. I think I will paint most of it, leaving just the top bit plain. Of course, I don't actually have the spray paint at the moment and the last thing I really need is a new project!

October 17, 2014

late bloomer

A bit of summer resisting the fall of autumn. I should find out how often the honeysuckle blooms in a season.

October 15, 2014

more on the Cascade quilt

A sneak peek of the fabric I chose for the Cascade quilt for my Angled class. I especially like how the patterned fabric for the quilt back pulls everything together. Which is why we bought enough to use for binding and to make a throw pillow!

October 13, 2014

framed-up fall mantel

I've featured the large crewel piece (created by my great-grandmother!) before but this is the first time I used an old window and empty picture frames. Natural treasures from the beach include driftwood and a large seagull feather. Natural treasures from the neighborhood include oak branches, acorns, various seed pods, and a pretty substantial piece of bark that I hauled home from a walk. Upon seeing it my husband only commented "Well, that's where the kids get it." A few pieces of glass including some of my milk glass collection and there it is. I am quite pleased with it and will probably leave it up until Christmas time.

October 10, 2014

a nature doodle

I made this while sitting on my backyard steps, on the phone. It all started with the dead potato bug that became the pupil of the eye.

October 8, 2014

Amanda at ArtPrize 2014: Women's City Club

This has been one of my favorite venues thus far (I will admit at this writing I haven't been to either the Art Museum or the UICA both of which I expect to be fabulous). I was leery of taking my three-year-old in as I had visions of crashing antiques but they were well-prepared for visitors and had great gallery space set up on the lower level. I am wondering if I am more traditional in my art tastes than I thought!

A few of my favorite photography pieces:

Flight by Tim Priest
Such dramatic beauty.

The Bus Never Stopped by Richard Deming Jr.
So last winter was indeed trying. But this image is beautiful.

Lake of the Clouds Sunrise by Kevin Clifford
I might be partial to this image having vacationed in the Upper Peninsula near this place.

A lovely wood block print:

Woodland Wisdom by Donna Mitchell-Collins
I always love the look of any type of block printing. And of course nature as a theme is always beautiful to me.

And of course anything involving fabric and fiber interests me:

Snow by Gloria McRoberts
So so very beautiful and amazing. She really captured the stillness that envelopes a landscape adrift with snow. I would love to watch how she created this.

Carroots by Toni Johnson Mendina
It's quilting! It's fabric! It's inspiring to me. I need to do some experimental wall hangings of my own. Check out the layers of soil.

October 6, 2014

Amanda at ArtPrize 2014: Meijer Gardens

Since this is the last week of ArtPrize I better show you what I want to show you while you still have a chance to see it for yourself!

While I wasn't as impressed with the exhibit at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park as I was in years past, there are still a few pieces worth discussing. I didn't know that photography was allowed (without flash) until I was on my way out so these photos are from the ArtPrize website.

This piece, Armonico CLXVII by Antonella Zazzera, was my very favorite. It is woven out of copper wire and it the size of it amazing. Something so large composed of small, thin strands. It has serious presence.

This one – Wallwave Vibration (anatomy of a diagram) by Loris Cecchini – was pretty awesome as well. I think it made the jury's short list if I remember right. I appreciate that it is all textural and that soft shadows become just as much a part of it as the material it was made of (polyester resub if you were curious).

Feather Child 1 by Lucy Glendinning was just plain disturbing. I can't forget it. I've never seen anything like it before.

This one – House by Osman Khan – also continues to haunt me. My children wanted to buy it sice it was for sale – I think they had visions of playing house – but I can't get it out of my mind for more disturbing reasons. The house is so stark and empty and lonely. And those lights remind me of some very un-home-like places, places that people might live but feel (and are) so much more institutional. There's a better image in this mlive slideshow.

I also feel this one – Die Hutte Brennt / The Shed is on Fire by Katrin Albrecht – deserves a mention. I was intrigued by the medium: bricks made of compressed clothing but not so excited about the installation itself.

October 3, 2014

portrait of a golden oak leaf

So I am certainly not the first person to take a photo of a beautiful fall leaf. But I did try to capture a unique view.

October 1, 2014

Quilt top is finished!

 That's half the battle – right?

I am going to piece the back together with an extra row of pink blocks (mid-quilt design changes you know), a large piece of dark blue that might have once been a curtain, some solid pink, and perhaps some spare blocks in other colors.

I am quilting in straight lines with threads to match the blocks, but shifted slightly. So the pink threads will kind of leak into the yellow band, if you can picture such a thing.

I am thinking I will end up doing a scrappy binding but I haven't settled on that mentally yet.