Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Snippets

Here are some projects and blog posts that I'm working on and hope to post soon.  In the meantime, here are some snippets for this lovely Sunday.

Easy and colorful wall art.  There are so many great ideas online and I have a couple of ideas that I've tried.  It doesn't have to be fine art to be fun and add color and whimsy to your walls.  More on this later...

A fun, geometric table runner that is in the works.

Photo challenge ideas...

Granny Square madness...

Embroidered wall art inspired by this quote from Donald Miller's book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
My obsession with journals and gratitude...
Enjoy your Sunday!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Photography - Playing with Silhouettes

We've all taken those photos where the subject is too dark to really make out any facial features.  Until I started learning more about photography, I didn't really know how to prevent this from happening.  Now I realize, if you put the light behind your subject, you are going to have a lot of shadows.  Lighting is such a big part of photography and where the light is coming from makes a huge difference.  However, playing with lighting can be fun and digital photography allows us to do that without wasting film.  Win-win!

One thing I've found to be fun is working with those scenes where the light comes from behind.  It can give you a fun silhouette.  Here are some photos where the backlighting made the photo so much more interesting.

Playing with some self-portraits one day and tried this one.  The light was coming in from the window and the room was rather dark.  A little cheesey but just an example of playing around with lighting to see what you can come up with in your photos.
My parents have a cozy house in the cove of a nearby lake.  One morning my dogs woke me up early so I grabbed my camera and went down to the dock.  It was foggy and the sun was starting to come up behind the view from the dock.  I love the foggy silhouettes of the trees, the neighbor's dock and boat, and the reflection in the lake. 
My husband and I took our 3 boys to the park one evening and I took my camera.  The sun was setting and was on the other side of the slide.  I was able to snap some photos just as it slid behind the slide for a great silhouette shot.  These aren't my kids (my timing wasn't THAT great) but I love this shot.

This was in Hawaii in 2010.  I had just been learning about lighting and this silhouette effect.  The whole time we were there, I wanted to take this photo.  This happened the last night before we left.  We went down by the water outside of our condo at sunset, I relayed my vision to my mother-in-law, and she snapped the photo for me.  We had a lot of photos from that trip and I think this one captures the entire vibe of the trip. 

Over time I've learned to purposefully look for these types of shots but there have been many times that they happened on accident.  Sometimes it can be a happy accident so don't be so quick to delete photos that don't turn out exactly as you wanted.  Look to see what you can make of it first.  You might find a good one that surprises you!

Feel free to share links to some of your favorite silhouette photos in your comments.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Folky Fiber Book

My mom is a quilter.  A few months ago, she came to visit and we had lunch and visited a local fabric shop.  I've always been drawn to colorful and patterned paper, beads, markers, felt, yarn, and anything else that is colorful.  Only recently have I caught the colorful fabric bug as well.  The problem is that I don't really sew and I don't quilt.  I don't have a clue how to use a sewing machine.  Regardless, I've gradually started incorporating fabric into different projects. 

This particular fabric shop was like a candy store - colors, patterns, textures - it was intoxicating.  My mom insisted on buying me some fabric (and who am I to refuse).  I brought it home and then it sat here for a bit because I wasn't sure what to do with it.  I tend to do that sometimes.  I am mostly self taught in many different arts and crafts.  I am always wanting to learn something else.  I am often envious of people who have just one passion and excel at that one thing.  Lately though, I started thinking about the different mediums and things I know how to do.  What if I started to find ways to pull it all together?  Photography, writing, crochet, embroidery, chainmaille, jewelry, recycled materials, etc.  That is what set the idea of this blog in motion.  Maybe my passion is to combine art forms into one that suits me.

As that idea came together, I started this project as a gift for my mom.  She was my inspiration.  I wanted it to be colorful, full of texture, use mediums that I know she likes, and full of positive words.

I started by crocheting the front and back cover for the book.

I then worked on each page of the book.  I'm new to embroidery and I kind of make it up as I go along.  I worked a word into each page, embroidered on fabric, and then sewed the pages onto 4x4 pieces of felt or crocheted 4x4 granny squares.

The pages started to stack up as I went.  I worked on this over the course of a couple of months.  I wasn't always consistent with how often I worked but I tend to work that way.  I would prefer to finish a project I love as it comes to me, rather than force myself to finish sooner and then not be crazy about it.
Music always helps the process flow.  I was digging Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros quite a bit during this project. 

More is a textured felt background and the other is a granny square of the same size in white acrylic yarn.

Putting it all together was the tricky part for me.  I started out by binding the pages to a sturdy piece of felt.  I figured this would be a good way to bind the pages and make sure they are secured and can still be turned easily.

Once they were bound to the brown felt, I crocheted the spine and sewed the felt with the pages to the spine.
The bound pages from the inside of the book.

The spine attached to my cover.  It must be my folk roots but I love a rustic feel to my projects.  I left the edges of the fabric on my pages frayed and I crocheted the edges of the spine to have a frayed look too.
The front cover and the finished product.

My mom loved it and I was really pleased to see my idea come to fruition.  I'm excited to try some other ideas for mixed media fiber books.  I'm thinking about incorporating some different chainmaille techniques for a more industrial look and maybe trying to incorporate fiber and paper collage art.

First blog post complete!  I have more projects, ideas, and snippets of things I'm working on in store.  Please feel free to share my blog with others.  Thanks for reading!