Saturday, May 20, 2017

Abstract in Green

The challenge at RSC this month is to use your greens scraps.
My challenge is to sew at all, what with deck replacement noise and a "peeing-poodle-puppy"  who wants to be with me in the studio.

(three peeing episodes within 24 hours in the studio. And yes he was let outside and peed there too. )
(we'll get thru this)

This week I planned to sew free cut curves into basic leaf curves and actually finish a small work.
Life had other plans. So here's what's been accomplished

... I sewed smaller pieces because that took less concentration. I still had to choose pattern and colors, angles and how to put the mosaic together.

strips seemed  boring
In two sessions I sewed these sections and decided to put them in one piece. See the divide there? I needed to decide how to curve piece it.
well, the join is centered, not great for artwork. Still I like the way some fabrics continued the lines across the join, I liked the leaf shapes coming and going, and I am happy anything got sewn. Scraps were used.

Next, you must decide where to trim it. My thought is to border with a thin strip of set in squares of green. Before that I needed an even edge. That's a choice too when you are doing improv work.
Next up is deciding orientation

What if I make the join a stem??? This is a little brown scrap but I'd make a longer one. Like that...
Or this way?
Or the other way with another addition...
or two
or a poodle is always appropriate!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I LIKE Thursdays #37

Here we are again. I can hardly keep up now that they shortened the week to four days (just kidding, I just tell myself I'm not behind, the week is shorter)
I gotta squeeze a post in between bouts of puppy mania!
1. I Like I seeing peony bushes full and smelling sweet. Especially with Iris nest to them.

2. I Like that Milo lets me take the rocks out of his mouth when he eats that and grass. Do they resemble kibble?? Hopefully they don't taste like his kibble.

3 I like Dancing with the Stars, Amazing Race, and Survivor. All on TV at the moment and I enjoy them. I also enjoy Master Chef Junior
 Image result for masterchef junior
where little kids cook better than I ever will I love that they have purpose and passion at such a young age.

Lets see, when I was that age I was going to be a singer/dancer on Broadway. I saw a NYC show when we went to the worlds fair trip and I was 7 ish. Never lost my desire to perform! I lost my waistline, my youthful skin, and gained a bad back (likely from sashaying around on Candie's mules at discos) but still imagine myself a stage actress.

4. I like that the Deck Guy came this week and tore down the relic of a deck and is in process of replacing it with trek. It will take longer than we thought but it should be a strong surface.

5 I like birthday cards and gifts from loved ones! I got a couple Jackie Lawson cards too and love those action cards as well! Thank you to Nancy for these gifts, all flamingo themed.

Love them and you. That venus with a birthday cake is three-d!!!

Thank you to my dear husband who started me on my parental search again by getting this:
And.... I managed to go on a little spree of my own to buy a few selfie gifts. A maroon shirt from Anthropologie (70% off mother's day weekend!!) an ombre blue shirt from J.Jill also about 70% off! And the cool fresh sunglasses!

At least I feel cool wearing them! That's the important thing right?

6. I like sorting fabric when I can't focus on design.

7. I am continuing to like the Book Dying to wake up.
 Here's a quote on Forgiveness I especially liked this week:
 "...nothing lasts forever, and...bad moments from the past should not be left in the way of my future"

8. I like that on one of the shows I enjoy, Southern Charm, a young 20 something man ordered and got really excited to get a Brother Embroidery sewing machine.He's the one under the "R" in charm.
 Image result for southern charm
 His girlfriend mocked him for it, and he stood up for his sewing passion and said she should be happy for his happiness.
That's right! I'd be happy to see a sewing machine show up at the door!!! He said he always liked sewing.

Aren't we beyond saying what hobbies are "male" or "female" Really??

9. Milo asked me to include one of his likes this week
this bandana made by Monika at Tails from the Ranch
"thanks Aunt Monika... I love it. I am growing fast as I can and it fits! Mama read it to me, it says puppy love, and like any good bedtime story I fell asleep"

Mama says thank you too!

Now for others sharing their list of likes for the week, please visit...
6, craftscaviescontras

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The "Choice"

"The Poodle's Choice"

On entertaining a puppy

1. Have  a LOT of biting toys to avoid being chewed on yourself. Those teeth aren't going to waste!

One morning I placed the array of toys in front of Milo to do a VERY SCIENTIFIC TEST

Which toy will he choose? (this morning that is)
Each of these toys has made the cut, they are all happy times for him at some point each day. He could spend SECONDS on each and every one.

I mean SECONDS at a time! Strung together!
Sometimes as much as 60 seconds in a row, with a nylabone!

That means 60 seconds when he isn't eating
1. Dirt
2. Rocks
3. Table legs
4. the wall
5. shoelaces
6. rugs
7. our feet

Which leads me to the VERY SCIENTIFIC TEST 
2. place toys around the poodle perch...

Milo:  "It took SUPER-POODLE reserve to watch the mama place all the fun toys around my home base...
And when she said, "Okay Milo! All done!" I jumped to action!! and chose first.... drum roll please.... the squirrel! 

"I've been working on those ears for a while now. AND the annoying tag! I hate tags and take great pains to remove all tags I see from everything in my reach!"

(Mama: What??! Not the monkey? That monkey with all the legs is fun to shake around!)
(Milo: "not this time. The monkey is asleep Mama, now the squirrel is teasing me!") 

"See that mouse? It is my second favorite!

 I spend a lot of time with that tail and the ears. I've been chewing and chewing and Mama says one day I'll chew them off. I don't know about that but they are sure fun to chew and the mama doesn't yelp like when I start on her fingers so that's good"
yum yum yum!
 " I really like all of these toys but when a puppy needs to really chew  there is nothing as good as a nylabone. The Vet said to use soft ones so as not to break a tooth, but I heard Mama say if he hasn't broken a tooth on Daddy's foot, then they are pretty strong!, hahaha. (where is Daddy? )
I have a chew toy in both sleeping crates. One night Mama put on her sleeping skins I went in my sleeping crate in the bedroom and Mama started to read her book. I wasn't ready for sleep yet, as my pre-bedtime nap made me very not sleepy.

LeeAnna: I was reading, Daddy was snoring, Milo was quiet and then....

Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!


Milo found the little chicken in his bed and decided squeaky toys are fun!
Oh, good.

Well, that is the end of the VERY SCIENTIFIC TEST for now.

Milo: "All toys are my favorite! I've taste-tested each one and they all pass the test! "

" Whew! Working so hard is exhausting.
 Better take a quick nap! I'll get to those drapes later, -gator! "
(you know I will)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Portrait of a Poodle a la Modigliani

Portrait of a Poodle a la Modigliani   (c)LAPaylor  2017

This is another in my STAT series, all 12" square, all based on work of a well known artist, all focusing on texture, most with a poodle. I was inspired to make this one as a part of Alida's Art with Fabric challenge

When you leave here, please visit the others as they show their work all week!

 My piece is inspired by Modigliani. At the Nat'l Gallery of Art in Washington DC, I took a photo of his "woman with red hair"
Image result for modigliani artwork 
and that day I focused on cropping each painting, choosing an element I liked best. You are usually allowed to photograph paintings owned by the National Gallery of Art so it allows for learning as well as enjoyment.

I took a close up of the gesture I liked, the face tilt and hand, and sought to interpret that in fabric. 

Then I sized it according to my design vision, and printed it onto Printed Treasures pre-treated fabric. I used pinking shears to cut that printed image down to the size to suit my composition on a 12" piece. All of my STAT quilts are sized 12" square and on peltex. 
 I chose hand dyed fabrics in blue/tan/ocher. 

I drew a poodle, originally facing the other way (see below) onto a yellow index card, then used that as my pattern for the poodle. 

It will be used in the future I'm sure

Deciding later to have him facing the woman, with the same head angle

I needed to copy the drawing (done on an index card of yellow) mirror image, and use that as my pattern. 

It gave me the long necked silhouette, and a black pencil shaded him enough to give me the face ears and legs. Thread painting with 40 wt black cotton thread helped make it like a drawing in fabric. 
Drawing with thread. 

I loved the mood of that swirly black-on-gray fabric, it reminded me of 1920's wall paper. The gray repeated color in the original painting background, and the poodle.

Modigliani created depth of color for his backgrounds but his compositions were very simple. I tried to capture the sense of that in my piece. He always has long necks, wistful expressions, and deep eyes.

 He surrounded his subjects with nearly white shading around the edge of figures so I went in at the end with white pencil and colored around the poodle. 

It's always a challenge to abstract an idea, to convey a mood or sense of moment without being totally literal. It gives the viewer a chance to engage with the piece, filling in their blanks, making sense of the elements. 

The pinked edge of the photo repeats the line of pinked edge of the poodle

After deciding fabrics,

...I then started creating the pieced checkerboard from the hand-dyes. I had another choice for them in mind at first but after the little half inch blocks were done I decided to make a "screen" as a lot of salons in Paris had painted screens in that era. The color of the screen repeats the red tone in her hair.
Look at the orange seed beads along the floor

All my STAT quilts focus on texture, and the texture here is the pinked free edges of the appliques, the un-quilted panel screen, the complete rug, lined and turned, barely sewn down, the slight fraying on the poodle like hair, visual texture repeat of swirls on wall paper and in the poodle.

Repetition of strong horizontal lines, vertical lines, curve of faces, colors placed to balance the piece were all decisions I had to make. Some fabrics are pieced, some appliqued, some pieced then appliqued.

Making something original takes thought. It requires a lot of decision making and in the middle of the process one doesn't know if they are making the best choice or not. That's just part of the process of making, not a lack of ability. Each of us is capable of making art of some kind, it takes courage and vision.

Image result for creativity takes courage tote bag
 I see it in my mind's eye first, then let a piece evolve as I make it. One decision leads to the next, the most important one is to keep going. 

It's a challenge to balance details on small work with simplicity. I did the thread sketching on the poodle before putting on the backing, but there is even quilting throughout, just minimal quilting. The floor has uneven quilted planks. It has facing as I didn't want to introduce another element.
There comes a moment when embellishments are considered. I thought about these elements and liked them, they go with it, but like putting on one too many jewelry pieces they were distracting
In the end they seemed like too much so the only extras were the bugle beads.
I quite love all the STAT quilts and now must have nearly 18. There are other STAT posts  if you're interested.

Thank you for visiting and remember to see what other artists have created at the link HERE
thank you to Alida for encouraging us and hosting the party!

linking to
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays    

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I am my poodle's mother

Happy Mother's Day.
Mother's day is not just for mothers of children.

There are many ways to "mother" someone, many ways to take care of...
I have helped raise nieces and nephews, children of my friends, and myself.

Yes I have had to re-parent myself with kindness after a less than kind childhood.

At the moment I am parenting a poodle puppy.
 He seems to be a bit like a toddler at the moment. Everything goes in his mouth and he wants to do it himself even though he isn't big enough (to do stairs, get fed, jump in the car etc) He has opinions and a temper. And he takes naps
He only weighs 12 lbs and is quite thin according to the Vet even tho this angle gives him a tummy
My goal is to have a well adjusted adult poodle who obeys me (the rules) because he wants to, not out of fear. I was parented by fear. I was well behaved which was all they wanted but I was left fearful with little self esteem.

Better to teach than punish.
Better to show a pup what you want, and present motivation to voluntarily follow the rules.


Fatigue takes it's toll in payment of patience.

There are times you break. You've been pushed beyond perfection and go on automatic and just demand the rules be followed.

He is learning that the noise I make in the back of my throat, and uh uh,  mean stop it. He is learning he can trust me to always say no to certain behaviors. He knows I love him.
look at that wild look in his eye... Fun-loving Poodle boy!
 He tests me but knows I love him.

Sometimes for safety (power cords for example, or running into the street) one might sound harsh, or loud, or even gasp! say NO! So do Mommy-dogs.

I must not only watch the baby to protect him from eating rocks and dirt, but teach him how to get along.
Hi Momma!! Want to play??? teehee
Our goal is to raise a well adjusted adult that knows societal rules and enjoys society and friends. A dog who is enjoyed by society as well.

Just as with children you must teach them not to hurt anyone even accidentally.
My baby-Milo  has been on earth less than three months and is learning lessons  quickly. My goal is to learn them happily and voluntarily so he's happy to be good. He is teaching me as well.

He will be gentle as he grows, not a brute who demands his way. We've all known humans who are demanding. To get there he may be frustrated at times, and feel I'm unfair. He is learning how to cope with disappointment and "NO" while learning what toys are better to teethe on.
Milo trusts me to be consistent, to protect and offer good things. He understands when I am not perfect just as I understand when he makes mistakes because we are less about perfection and more about understanding. We both forgive and forget. And move on toward the goal of being happy and peaceful and exploring the world....
so much to see, hear, taste, and learn!!!

I hope that he is raised to want to be good ...not to be afraid to be bad.

I am aware of differences in raising a puppy from a human...
But there are similarities.

It's not easy to be a good mother but it's a worthy goal.

This dog-mom rap video is from my friend Bonnie
Enjoy! Happy Mother's Day to all who mother 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Leaves of green

Continuing on with the Rainbow Scrap challenge this year at http://superscrappy
the color of the month is green.
My scrap bin of green is so full of all shades and tones and variations of greens...

 When I want to do this month's block, EPP applique leaves I have many choices. Every fabric I choose for a leaf takes it out of the mix for future projects so I have to decide if that fabric will look best in a leaf shape or saved for another time.

I made 16 this time, stitching while the baby napped at my feet.

I tried them on different backgrounds and in different arrangements... compare the impact of them here...

 Background tone makes a difference doesn't it? These are both saturated browns
three different brown backgrounds... and you can note the difference when photographed more than with the eye.
(That brightly colored one may transition to another group when it's all said and done)

Note all the patterns and tones in the leaves. It's my belief more is better, excess is never enough, use it all, all tones can mix together like it does in nature. 
These look like a scientist's study of leaves to me...
 I really like the three-d aspect to these, and because they are on paper and have "body" I can play with them...
And isn't that what it's all about??
linking to among others
oh Scrap Sundays 
 slow stitching Sundays