Monday, August 25, 2014

School Started on August 19

Ok so classes started up again for me on August 19, so now every Tuesday and Thursday I am in classes all day. I am taking a Mixed Media class, Graphics Art which I thought was on the computer but is actually all done manually which may present a challenge as I don't draw. And my last class is Photoshop, which is humorous as well as I don't take pictures to often. However, I took all of these classes in the hopes of furthering my understanding of how to design and properly proportion my work. I have always had ideas but my ability to see things 3-D is seriously lacking in my mind. Each of my classes are 3 hours long and with only about 10 minutes in between classes. My daughter and her friend are also taking classes so it keeps me motivated to go.

Now on the home front I have also been busy, we have begun the remodeling of the kitchen, we pulled out the oven in the wall cabinet and built the basic structure for the new oven and it is now in place. We tore out the old cook top and the new one is in the shop waiting on the new counter tops to arrive. We refinished the front door and replaced the glass in it and I must say I am just loving the front door now. It adds light into the hallway and the deeper color on the door makes it look very nice. Here are some pictures of it now the first picture is what the door looked like before we remodeled it and the second and third picture is looking at it from the outside after the remodel and the fourth is a close up of the window.

I am really pleased with how it all came out. My husband and I each look at a project and we discuss it and look for ideas of what we want once we have decided what we wanted then we look for the material we will need. We went through several ideas for replacing the stained glass that was in the door first. At first we thought about finding a new stained glass but we couldn't really find one that suited us. Then we considered putting in two pieces of glass and filling the space with marbles to give it a dimensional look but that didn't work either. The final result came from a visit to Rockler's where we saw the perfect fit for us and here is the link for where they have several different  pieces to look at.

And a local glass company cut the glass to the size we needed. And now we have the perfect combination that we both enjoy.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Organization and dreams in life

       Organization, well that is a mouthful in and of itself.  According to Merriam-Webster online the definition of organization is three-fold to make it simple I have brought the definition to the forefront of my life.
       : a company, business, club, etc., that is formed for a particular purpose
      : the act or process of putting the different parts of something in a certain order so that they can be found or used easily
      : the act or process of planning and arranging the different parts of an event or activity

So let’s look at the definitions, I can honestly say that at the moment a company is not what I need, so we will skip that definition. Now the second definition is definitely what I am attempting to do with myself and the various areas of my life. And the third definition also applies to what I am trying to do. When organizing it is always difficult to get started because when you think about the whole project it becomes overwhelming. This is what I did, first I began by looking around my house to discover the various different areas that required some form of organization and I chose the smallest area first. Let’s face it we all want to know we are making progress right and as this is the month of August that means school is going to begin and then the full round of Holidays will begin and we know that time becomes a precious commodity.
So first step is to make your list it can be a simple list or a long list whichever is easier for you:
         Example: Fabric Organization
                           Gather all your fabric in one spot, doesn't really matter if that spot is a cabinet, tub, or floor, or in my case a wardrobe bought to store the fabric. Gather either comic book backings like these:

Or Acid free foam core board like this

Measure the space that you will be putting your fabric and wash, dry, iron and then fold your fabric around your chosen backing board. I prefer the comic book backings myself because I don't have that added step of cutting the boards to size. Also rather than buying from Amazon, you can look for a comic book store in your area and they will most likely carry these in stock and for about half the cost.  

Here is a tutorial on wrapping your fabric around the boards.  I thought about writing my own tutorial but you know if you search google your apt to find a tutorial on just about anything and if you don't then you know that it may be a good thing to write one up if you know how to do it easier or there isn't one there. In this case Cut To Pieces by Angela Pingel is great and full of details. She also gives a quick shot on how to store fat quarters here as well.

Go from this 

To this, I am still working on getting this even more organized but this isn't bad for a first swing.

Now you get the picture right. Okay so here are some links on articles about organization.    this is an article on the difference of using plastic to cardboard or metal boxes. It has some good points and it has some rather obvious points but I felt I should be open to suggestion.    this is a website where she offers organization and daily sheets.  You can order notepads or you can order a digital download. Whichever is easiest for you.  This is a great idea for one of those old metal filing cabinets. I know my husband may find this useful in his shop.  this is a way to store all those fabric scraps instead of storing the pieces of fabric to one day use try this one. and here is a free downloadable daily to do list and another complete planner download.

    All of these links will show you or provide you with ways in which to bring organization to your life and in doing so help you to bring dreams to life as well.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How Life Can Interrupt Your Dreaming

       I got a phone call on Tuesday that caused me to interrupt my intended plans for yesterday. So with that being said, I was not able to work on my Dragon and I got very little done on my Roman Blinds. What I did get done was I pulled up some designs on my embroidery machines and began to stitch them out. I was able to complete one, (which just by the off chance that the person whom these are for happens to stumble upon my blog would see it) I can not post that picture yet. The other piece that I did, hmm, well lets just say that frustration was the name of this piece. I broke 2 count them two needles on this piece then it began to behave. I thought. I got through 18 of 42 color changes.Then the third needle that I placed in, I must not have tightened it down enough, because it got pulled out and skewed the fabric. So, needless to say, several hours of work went down the tube. It is not salvageable to me because it is too far off. The photos below show the overall picture and in the second picture I have shown with arrows how far off the design went and where it started. I must say with hand embroidery this does not happen as often. You can have problems, but they are different kinds of problems. And usually as long as your not doing counted cross-stitch, are fairly easy to fix, On machine embroidery it is often much harder to fix.

So my plan today is to work on this design and hopefully get it done correctly and hopefully get my rings sewn onto my Roman Blinds so they will be ready to hang this weekend. Then I will have one more project marked off my list of projects.

Next time I will post links to sites that can help you organize your projects and possibly get you into a position that helps you to know exactly what you have left to work on. Until then continue to live life and pursue your dream.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

From Dreaming to Actuallity

     Dreaming is fun and it can be healthy, however if all we ever do is dream how then will we progress. Therefore, this past weekend in between working on remodeling our kitchen cabinets, running to stores and appointments, I drew out the outline of my Dragon. I worked on the Dwarven Runes and took a USB drive to a Staples and had them print me a copy of my Project out onto a 24 X 30 sheet it may actually be a bit bigger than that. To do this it cost me about $4. This might seem like a lot of money and when you add it into the overall cost of the project it isn't even a drop. It is I think a necessary step though, by the time I had gotten it home I knew the runes were proportioned well, but the dragon was too small for what I was hoping to do. Which is okay because it was the proportion of the runes that I was having a problem with not the size of the Dragon that I wanted to do. I then took that copy and transferred the runes to another drawing of the dragon that I made that was more to the size that I wanted. I still have to transfer the runes to the plastic vinyl piece that I will use to overlay the canvas as I work on it.

   And to continue to make progress, yesterday I took inventory of the items I have purchased so far to work on my Dragon. I figured the best way for me to keep tabs on everything is to actually write it all out and take pictures of it.  It really is amazing how much material you think you will use but will I end up using all of it well I don't really know, what I do know is that as I have wandered in the shops and online I have found some amazing things for Smaug's creation and they just had to go home with me. Today, I have a few things I still have to do like going grocery shopping, doing laundry, doing ironing and some house keeping. Then I need to finish sewing up my other two roman blinds I did finish one and got it hung and it works for me.  So life does intercede and I must take care of the basics in order to continue making my dreams into an actual piece.

So here are a few quick pics of what is to be used in my Dragon and to give credit where credit is due, many of the items were bought at JoAnn's and Micheal's but I did find this wonderful charm shop online I believe it was at Esty and I have included her business card with my photos because the charms were just so cute and perfect and they were really reasonable priced she is in Canada, hmm I wonder if that means my Dragon is an International Creation?

The Place where I picked up my charms except the crowns and keys.

Let's see we have crossbows, axes, hour glasses, crowns, keys, birds, swords and shields,

Don't you just love this little skull bead. 

This is my roman shade.

So now that you have just a glimpse of what I have been up to the last few days, I am off and will post some more pre-op photos tomorrow. It is really hard to do this the right way instead of just jumping in and starting this is a whole new experience for me really it is.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One of My Dreams included a Dragon

About 40 years ago I was introduced to the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Dragons, Unicorns, and Magic, I understood that none of these were real and yet they captured my imagination as nothing else could. I looked for things that could be interpreted to represent these items and I found in J.R.R. Tolkien's Books a world that encompassed all of these. In his book the "Hobbit" there was a dragon that destroyed the Dwarven Kingdom under the Moutain his name was "Smaug". Over the years I have fantasized and recreated two portraits of "Smaug" one for my youngest brother and one for my nephew.  However, I have carried the runes of a riddle with me for the last 35 years or so of where I wrote the riddle "Time" out in the Elvish runes that J.R.R. Tolkien created to support his book. The second "Smaug" I did eventually went to my nephew around his 17th or 18th birthday I believe. The second "Smaug" I do have a picture of and was happy with it at the time. It was a whole new experience in working this dragon out. However, in my mind I have always had another image and so I have begun another dragon this time it when completed it will hang in my home for the time being. At about the same time as my fascination with Science Fiction and Fantasy came about is also about the time I picked up needle and thread and began my journey into embroidery.

Since the first time I picked up the needle and thread it has been my meditation, my companion, my imagination, my comfort zone. When I am working with thread and needles my mind loses all stress and I find my creative zone, it overtakes me all to often I will lose track of time while working on an embroidery  project. I have transition often with my needlework I rarely ever buy a kit anymore and all of my work is now a project one that requires planning, practice, examples, and most of all keeping track of what I have tried or not tried in my projects. I bought embroidery machines because I thought That I would be able to work with them much as I do the manual needle and thread. Although I enjoy them, they are not the same as doing one of my projects by hand the machine doing the work does not send me to the same spot. It does not bring out the same creative thoughts that doing it by hand does. However, I do end up coming up with projects for my machines as well. I dream about embroidery, quilting, sewing and within my dreams I often work out solutions and even inspiration. The above picture is the dragon in process. And below is Jessie's completed Dragon. As I begin the process of making my own dragon I will share the steps and thought processes as I go along.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Defining Exactly Your Dream Is

     How do you define exactly what it is you want to do with your life, I had a dream to be a mother, and I achieved that for the last 22 years and more I have been a mother. I also had a dream to attend College and I am, and my children have graduated High School and are both attending College as well. At first when I began to attend College I thought I wanted to teach English, then it became History, then it became something else all of these things interested me but it wasn't what I was passionate about. I have discovered it is important to follow what your passionate about plain and simple.

      But what if I fail often runs through my mind and then I am reminded of what one particularly famous basketball player said:  "If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Michael Jordan" and I remember that it is the practice, the attempts, the failures that make the successes so much more important. I am not talking about getting 'A's on your papers, I am talking about those successes that you just can't help but squeal, whoop, jump up and down, and holler about. Those emotions are not emotions that you deal with every day, because on a daily basis we are all doing what we need to do to maintain our lives. We get into a rut, we do the same thing day in and day out and we wonder why our dreams are not coming about. 

      So I started to work on my dream, and in the process of working on my dream I have organized, de-cluttered and obtained certain tools that I required. Now what do I do, well I belong to several groups that teach various methods of what I enjoy doing and I have been participating in several challenges. What good are these challenges, well they teach you various different techniques for one thing and they also keep you putting yourself out there. Research what it is you wish to do, don't just surf the internet actually go out and look at how other people are doing what you want to do. Get involved on the lowest level if that is the only way in. Be willing to work for what you want, be willing to work at what you want, and be willing to step up to the opportunity when it arrives. Don't close your eyes and pray for it to happen, because you just might miss the opportunity.

      Although my dream is not completely defined, I have a general idea of what I wish to do and that is to create artwork be it in the form of a quilt, a wall hanging, a framed picture, an outfit, or a dish of food. I wish to transform these ideas and images that are in my mind and create a tangible, real object. All to often, what others have said in regards to my work or what they haven't said has created a block or wall for me, as well as, encouraged me to keep plugging away at it. Not everyone will like what I do, that includes those closest to me, family, friends their values, their belief system may not match mine. I know that for many years I was told I could do or be anything I wanted and yet when I did, those same people refused to look at or acknowledge what I had worked so hard at because the subject matter was either something they weren't interested in or they were uncomfortable with it.

Define what your dream is for yourself, research what it takes to achieve your dream, practice, practice, practice and with this method of defining and refining you will achieve your dream. It takes work and dedication, setting goals and taking steps to insure that your living your dream.

Don't enslave yourself to a life that doesn't fulfill your dreams, if you live your life to achieve the expectations of what others place on you, then you will have achieved nothing of your own. You will only have resided in this world. Don't sell yourself short before you have given yourself a chance.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pursuing My Dream

 Yesterday I posted about how to start working on your dreams and I told you a little bit about my life and the changes that have occurred in my life. Today, I am going to tell you the steps I have taken to step up and own my dream. My birthday was in the beginning of July and this year my husband and I joined an Mixed Media Art Museum, as a member they have challenges twice a year that would allow me to display a piece of my work. Now my job is to overcome my trepidation and actual attend the monthly meetings, which means I must drive downtown in order to do this and for those of you, who know me know this is not something I am comfortable doing. So the last Friday of this month is the meeting and I am hoping nothing comes up that tells me or gives me an excuse not to go.

 Now the second thing I have begun to do which I actually began in May when my classes ended is to get myself organized. I am not completely there yet, it is happening though. I have gone through every bin, box, drawer, bag of craft and sewing supplies that I have. I have sorted, tossed, folded, ripped, and mingled with everything and put it together by simple virtue of venue, paint is with paint, pencils and pens are together, fabric is sorted, folded, and cut, thread glorious thread, you know I think I have more thread than anything else, I have sewing thread, quilting thread, embroidery machine thread, hand embroidery thread, serger thread, cotton thread, crochet thread, yep you name it I got it. I have rolled and sorted all my hand embroidery thread and have them in little boxes, my machine embroidery thread is together as well as the crochet and sewing thread. Projects were gathered together and listed (well still working on that to be honest). I have acquired a few items that I procrastinated on getting because why ever would I get them they are so expensive and I will never truly branch out and use them right? Well if you never get them you won't ever use them, you will just keep saying I wish I had them.

The third thing I have done is joined some groups online that do a monthly challenge and one of those challenges was to make an art journal cover and this is mine, which I actually made myself, trying different techniques and I posted it as well. I used pastels, and acrylic paints, sharpie markers and thread on fabric to create my notebook. It is not perfect, however it is a start. And that is all that anyone can ask for when beginning the journey of pursuing you dreams.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to start working on your dreams.

Have you ever had a dream, a dream that no matter what never left you? Over the years I have had several of these dreams they bloom and fade and bloom again and yet I never feel quite right about following them. That is until this past few months, over the last two years there have been many changes in my life. My son moved out and is busy living his life,my nephew has found himself the woman he has chosen to marry, my first niece has a daughter of her own, and my second niece well she has graduated college and is working in the field of her choice, and my daughter well she continues to surprise me everyday with the changes that come over her some good some make me shake my head. My husband continues to be a strong support system for me as I flicker from one idea to the next. Almost from the start he has always looked at what I do with amazement and this I think is the main reason I have been persistent in exploring my dreams more avidly. Sometimes, the fear of failure is so strong, or maybe it is the fear of judgement, either way it is fear.

As a child I would look on as my mother sewed and wanted so much to be able to create as she did. I truly felt I had failed in that respect for a very long time. It was not until recently that I accepted that I am creative just not in the same way as she was. It took me 40 years to come to this conclusion and since I hit my 50th year this past July, I can honestly see that my dream did come true. Because of this realization, I am taking a chance and putting it out there for everyone to see. I don't write on a regular basis because well to be honest I don't think about it or if I do think about it, I think what can I write that someone else hasn't written already. And to stay on the honesty kick the fact of the matter is I would write about the struggles of obtaining my dreams and the fact that not everything I make comes out exactly like I want it to, however, it still comes out quite different than what it started out as.

I have moved around so much in my life many people don't understand why when I finally got a home that I could call my own the desire to truly decorate and remodel it to fit me and my husband is so very strong, that having someone who doesn't really know me or him do anything is not something I do very often. There are a few things he and I don't do electricity is definitely one of them,  yard work is another, plumbing yep another one I have come to accept I don't like to do these things. Otherwise as we make the changes to our home it truly begins to develop within our personality range.

So how do you go about starting to work on your dreams, well that is simple the first step is never give up on them no matter what fears, obstacles or changes come about. Remember only you can make your dreams come true. Others can help and encourage but if your not willing to pick up the pieces and put them together they will never come about.