Sunday, February 26, 2012

February's project

I finally had some time to stitch into my Inukshuk batik. As a matter of fact, I had the entire day today to devote to it and managed to quilt the entire thing -- with time for a walk and another trip out of the house, as well! It was a good, relaxing day and I haven't had a stitch-full day in a long time.

Tomorrow night is another night of batik for the ladies in my class. I hope they'll be as happy with their creations as I am with mine!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Yes, I did make some, despite what everyone said. I enjoy making a yearly resolution or three (or ten) and then seeing at the end of the year what I managed to accomplish. I don't ever beat myself up about missing out on some of them, though, as I know I set myself far too much to do in a year!

My artistic goal was somewhat simple this year -- produce one artistic piece per month. So far, I have managed to paint the nutcracker (see previous post) and am working on another project via the art class I am teaching on Monday evenings.

The class is called "Picasso's Playgroup for Adults" and mimics my daytime Picasso's Playgroup (designed for 2-4 year olds and their caregivers) by offering a variety of art activities each week. It is a chance for adults to get out and play without the pressure of creating masterpieces. So far, we've splashed around a lot of food colouring and paint, done a faux stained glass picture on paper, used an Itajime dyeing technique on paper and made some wonderful placemats. A larger project, started just last week, is batik and I am basically one step ahead of everybody else! Rather than go for the traditional batik, which asks for dye baths and a variety of safety equipment and chemicals, I decided to try painted batik, using fabric paints, which all clean up with water and soap. The wax we are using is soy wax, which is biodegradable and washes out in hot water. I like to iron out as much as I can first, so as not to send too much down the drain (even though it is not supposed to clog the pipes, according to everything I've read). After that, I can wash out the little bit of residual wax in hot soapy water. The advantage to this method is that ironing out the wax also serves to heat-set the paints!

Here is the piece I batiked last week -- it is still a work in progress and is asking to be stitched into, once I've shown this stage to my students, who saw it as a wax-encrusted piece of "something" last Monday night:

Back again

Time flies when you are having fun, resting, relaxing and catching up on projects! I spent the Fall working on a doll for a friend and a quilt for a daughter, both of which were fun, time-consuming and allowed me to take a good break from the demands of school, not to mention the self-imposed expectations of "getting on with it", now that I'm done with school (whatever "it" might be).

At Christmas, I was given a lovely nutcracker to paint by my son (who made it himself from blocks of wood), and that took most of January to do, as I was by then teaching classes again at the Gallery and putting in more hours in preparation for a turnover of employees. The painting went well, though, and was a nice break from the routine of work and chores. The nutcracker will be on display at home until after next Christmas, when it can be stored away with all the rest of our Christmas decorations:

Now that I have had my break, though, it is time to figure out the definition of "it" and "get on with it"!