Congratulations to my two blog hop contest winners:
Raven card: Lia
I have sent both of you an e-mail to get your address. Thanks to everyone for participating!
Finally having a quiet day after a very busy week and weekend! I'm enjoying our fresh snow and trying to learn how to use my new iPad mini... Thanks to everyone who has participated in my Facebook "like" contest. There is still time, it goes through today, see the previous post for details. I will draw two names tomorrow morning, Alaska time, lunchtime on the east coast:-)
Once again, the Quilting Gallery, which has a large directory of quilting bloggers, is hosting a Blog Hop. Each participating blogger will be having a giveaway of some sort on their blog, between Nov. 21 and Nov. 26. Click on the bright box at the end of this post, after you are all done here, of course :-), to get to the list of other participating bloggers. (It may not be up until afternoon on the 21st)
But first, what's happening here:
1. My giveaway:
I will be doing a drawing on Nov. 26 , two winners will receive one of the cards pictured below. To enter, 'like' my Facebook page, button in the sidebar to the right, NOT the one at the bottom of the post, that just 'likes' this post...
Please let me know either through a blog comment or Facebook post that you did, Facebook doesn't always notify me or put people on my list, possibly due to people's security settings.... If you have already 'liked' my page, you can still enter by sharing this post on Facebook. (If you do it from Facebook, I will see it, if you do it by pasting a link from here, let me know, otherwise I won't...) And, yes, you can do both if you wish and be entered twice!
***Congratulations to Polly and Lia for winning the cards! Thanks to everyone who participated, and if you are finding this late, feel free to like my page anyway, there will be another contest sometime!
2. Blog hop special sale!
Buy any pattern and get one free, from now through Nov. 26 (no limit). Because I am not tech savvy enough to get the website to do this automatically, if you buy a pattern, I will e-mail you the second pattern of your choice. Be sure to check out my newest one, a quilted menu planner...click the picture to see all of my patterns, or click the Home/Patterns tab above.
If you are new here, check out the tutorials, gallery, and previous posts to see what else I do. I just finished a short blog series on becoming more creative!
NOW, you can click this box to go see what the other quilting bloggers have to offer...thanks for stopping by!
Getting ready for my last bazaar of the season Saturday, lots of things in progress, but no new pictures to post yet... Also, stay tuned for a blog hop with giveaways starting Thursday. If you have a quilting blog and want to get in on it, there is still time to register, click on the box below for info!
Thanks to a friend who let me use a great photo of hers, I now have a new raven silhouette. There are ravens everywhere here, but they ALWAYS fly away if I get within 100 feet with a camera, even if I'm in a car or a building, good grief :-) So I get pretty excited about a good photo that I can use!
My mom, who drew the design, suggested adding more detail to the snowflakes, I think it helped. A little scary to do at this point though :-) I used the Pigma pens, not thread.
For the last day of this series, we're going to cover another 'D" word, design. This is where everything else comes together, and you have to start making decisions about what you are going to do with your project. It can be a little overwhelming to narrow down the millions of possibilities! In the book, Nita Leland calls the design the 'road map' for your project. You can change your mind along the way, but it helps to have some direction to the process. This book has lots of great information on design elements and principles. I'd recommend it or another book, I'm not going to go into them all here. I'm more of a cheerleader, since I'm still learning this stuff too:-) But I do have a few suggestions to get started.
1. start with something simple. I've done quite a few silhouettes, because they are very easy to do. You can have fun with the background, or keep that simple too. It helps build confidence if you don't try to do too much too fast....
2. limit your options by choosing a theme or color scheme, and remember you can change your mind :-)
3. think about your goal for the project...are you trying to say something, or just make something nice to look at? (Which is a valid reason to make art :-))
4. don't let the idea of design intimidate you...
5. if you are not happy with your drawing, you can use copyright free images also, or trace your own photos...I'm really lucky to have a great photographer friend, Mark "Sparky" Stensaas, who lets me use his photos in my quilts. That's where the image for this crane quilt came from.
Here is another great excerpt from the book: (The New Creative Artist: a Guide to Developing Your Creative Spirit)
"Design turns nature into art. What you see in the world around you may be interesting, beautiful, challenging or frightening, but it isn't art until you shape it into art. Flowers. Baskets. Sunsets. Snakes. Anger. Joy. As an artist,
I hope this little series has given you some motivation to try being more creative, in all areas of your life, not just creating artwork. It makes our lives better, and the lives of people around us. Here's a review of the concepts we covered:
1. be willing to take risks and put in time
2. learn to observe
3. change/do things differently
4. experiment and play, try things!
5. practice drawing
6. design is putting it all together and making a plan, it doesn't have to be carved in stone...
Most importantly, have fun! And here is the reindeer quilt, I can tell I'm going to have lots of fun with my new Pigma pens and Prismacolor pencils!
Ok, I've been pretty easy on you so far....we've talked about being adventurous, putting in time, learning to observe, doing things differently, and experimenting and letting yourself play. Today I'm going to use the dreaded "D" word, drawing.... For many people, this is enough to make them break out in a cold sweat, and I'm sometimes one of them :-) I come from a family of people who are great at drawing, and I pretty much figured I missed that gene... But drawing in some form is necessary for just about any form of art. The author of the book I'm reading, "The New Creative Artist: a Guide to Developing Your Creative Spirit", Nita Leland, claims that drawing is a skill that can be learned. It goes back to several of the things we've already talked about; getting over fear, putting in time practicing, and learning to observe. I find my biggest problem is that I try to go too fast...if I slow down, and spend some time on it, I can draw better than I thought, although I still need lots of practice! I'm trying to make myself spend a few minutes a day looking really carefully at something and trying to draw it. Again, your artwork doesn't have to be an exact representation of something, but being able to see and draw what something actually looks like is helpful for making a more artistic version of it.
I recently saw an amazing quilt online, 'Shimmering Symphony' by Karlee Porter, (click here for her website with photos). It appears to be all done with thread, and embellished with crystals, which don't really show in the picture... My thought when I saw it was, "if I could draw something like that, I could sew it", it's the imagining it up and then drawing it that don't come naturally to me. My solution at the time was to send the picture to my mom who CAN draw, and put her on the job. The picture at the top of this post is the result of that. She drew me a picture, and I stitched it. I found some great Pigma pens to add the last few details. I may have left more for the pens if I had had them sooner. :-) I also got some Prismacolor pencils to go with the pens, now I HAVE to draw something so I can do a project with them, stay tuned.... Also, stay tuned for the finished reindeer quilt, lots more to be done on that.
The book has LOTS of suggestions for getting started, and activities to try, (like drawing with both hands at the same time!). I'm not even going to try to get into that here. I will just say if you want to be better at drawing, overcome your fear, get a good book with helpful exercises, and spend time doing it! Another great resource is all of the Zentangle books out there, using doodling to get something on the paper is a great way to get past the fear part :-)
Today's concept is another one that should be easy, but isn't for me! It's the idea of just experimenting and playing... I usually want to have a complete plan before I start anything, but often it's best to just try things and see what happens. I think I'm afraid I'm going to waste time and materials, as I mentioned in an earlier post. If we can just think of it as being like taking a class, it's a little easier! It's not a waste if we are learning, and sometimes something great will come of it!
Sometimes an idea will come from just trying different fabrics next to each other, or trying a new technique. In this photo, I decided to see if I could run some Aquamesh stabilizer through my computer printer, then stitch through it. I taped the stabilizer to a regular piece of paper so it would feed properly, then printed a photo on it. I then stacked it with fabric, batting, and another stabilizer on the back and did some thread sketching and free motion quilting. (That thread matched too well and doesn't show...) Then I washed away the stabilizer. The whole thing took about 20 minutes and very little supplies, I don't know what my problem is:-) The more I learn, the more I realize that being creative is about learning to change our thinking and mental habits!
Here is another quote from the book by Nita Leland:
" Are you worried about inspiration? Sigmund Freud stated, 'When inspiration does not come to me, I go to meet it.' Don't wait for inspiration, it will come as you work."
On a different note, I finally got to make something other than a card. Ok, so it's a lot like my cards, just bigger, and not too fancy, but it was still fun. I'm trying to make a few quick wall quilts, probably just big cards, for another bazaar in a couple of weeks. This one is about 16 x 22 inches. I made the borders different widths on purpose, but I'm not sure it was enough different to look like it wasn't just an accident... :-) It has lots of quilting, which doesn't show in the picture...
So far in this series we have talked about taking risks, putting in time, and learning to be more observant. Today's concept is about doing something different, rather than the same way we always do it. Humans are creatures of habit, but creativity involves doing something new. Nita Leland, the author of the book I'm loosely basing this series on (The New Creative Artist, a Guide to Developing Your Creative Spirit) says, "Change is the stimulus to creativity. Habit is the enemy." In order to grow as an artist, we have to start doing things differently. She claims that anything we do differently in our lives will encourage creativity, because it makes you more aware of what you are doing, instead of doing what you always do. Take a different route around town, use a new spice when cooking, accessorize an outfit differently, all of those are creative things. Another quote from the book, "Creative living brings energy and awareness to art that can't be drawn from any other source." And it's a relatively simple thing to do to get started. When applied to artwork, you could start simply by trying a different technique, or different color scheme than you normally use. It doesn't have to be anything drastic to get your mind going in a different direction.
I'm still working on this too, but here are two quilts made from the same photo, one using applique for the crane, and one using thread sketching.
So, your challenge for today is just to change your routine somehow, to start training your brain to think differently from what you usually do. Not too painful so far, right? :-)
Beret Nelson's On The Trail Creations Blog Page
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and would love to do more traveling and teaching eventually. I also have many tutorials, including some on YouTube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
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