Posts Tagged ‘four’

04
Jan

The ATC Challenge: Day 4

Posted under Fine Art 1 Comment

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Day 4 of the ATC Challenge’s theme is: SPACE EXPLORATION ROVERS

If it has wheels and it explores other-worldly landscapes, it’s fair game! Today’s theme is in honor of NASA’s Spirit rover landing on Mars on January 4, 2004. I’ll be wearing my NASA t-shirt all day and may have to watch some doctor who since The Martian, which I’m still itching to see, won’t be released until the 12th. Or maybe Guy Pal and I will finally get to go see Star Wars in IMAX! However you want to celebrate humanity’s baby steps out into our solar system today, get drawing, painting, or sketching a rover!

Here’s what I came up with:

IMG_4130

no. 2 0.5mm lead mechanical pencil on sketchpad paper

IMG_4129

PRANG watercolor on hot press watercolor paper

I’m tremendously pleased with both of these. They’re my favorite to date for the #dailyATC challenge. I ran out of space to get the rover’s wheels just right, but it’s still a very detailed yet fast and simple sketch of Spirit. While I’m not fond of the lettering which was inspired by the numbers on the clockface yesterday, the “T” at the end of “Spirit” did come out well and I’ll certainly draw capital T’s like that in the future. It’s a little thing, but it’s a step toward finding my style and becoming an all around better artist.

As for the painting? I love that one so much. I suspect I’ll end up doing a larger painting like it at some point. I love the cool sky contrasting the warm red planet. I enjoyed the watercolor washes to create the soft feeling backdrop for the little rover. While I wasn’t able to get the cracked dry landscape I wanted in this one, the rover tire treads give a great Opportunity (Spirit’s sibling, see what I did there?) to try adding more texture, some shadows and highlights really, to the martian dirt in the foreground. The rover in this painting almost feels like an afterthought when adding it in, particularly compared to the pencil sketch of Spirit, but I love it. Sure, it’s not the best tiny rover painting, but the effect it has on the overall composition just tickles me. Any beginner photography class or portrait sketching or painting class would point out that for a good composition the subject should be positioned so there is more space in front of them than behind. Although we likely cannot see what the subject is looking toward, having more space on their front feels more balanced and comfortable to the person viewing the image. I deliberately placed my rover against the edge of the composition so that we cannot see where he’s headed, only where he’s been. It’s getting pretty deep for a little doodle of an ATC, but I wanted to leave the viewer with the impression that there is so, so much more waiting for us as we explore our universe which we can only imagine.

I did not sign the painting as I feel that it would detract from the overall composition to add my mark. Sometimes on these little ATCs that’s just the way it is. If I were to leave it loose, I’d sign the back. Since it will be mounted in a book with my other dailyATCs, I’m not particularly worried!

 

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25
Feb

Ravellenic Games are OVER

Posted under Weaving No Comments

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Whew. It’s been an insane couple of weeks for me with the Ravellenic Games in full swing. I challenged myself to get all 34 unique medals this year and I just barely made it! I was so busy spinning, knitting, crocheting, and weaving though that I’m quite a bit behind on posting. This means one thing for my readers: get ready for the deluge of awesome projects.

I’m going to kick off with my absolute favorite project of the games this year, my mini notions bag! You got a bit of a preview in the Rainbow Yarns post earlier. I posted those pictures of the yarn with the new electric spinning wheel right before the insanity started and I was challenged by a friend to get all 34 medals. So what did I do with this yarn? Well, not quite yet!

I didn’t want to use just rainbow yarn for a project because I’m just not very into the bright and crazy colors. My best friend teases me relentlessly about my ever so boring love of earth tones. So I went up to my favorite local fiber and yarn shop, Table Rock Llamas, and picked up some jet black merino wool. I quickly spun this into a 2 ply fingering weight yarn. It spun up fast on the new espinner and when a friend was helping me wind it into a center pull ball, we both marveled at how even it was as it flew through the tensioning fingers at high speed. I don’t think I’ve ever spun so much yardage so evenly, much less so quickly. There was approximately 125 yards from 0.8oz of fiber and I used every last drop.

For my project I opted to use the new black yarn with the rainbow crepe yarn. I set aside the rainbow light fingering yarn from the previous post for hexipuffing of course. How could I not? Here’s that crepe yarn again made from rainbow wool and two plies of polyester machine embroidery thread.

My best friend, K, was visiting the night I did this and so she helped provide extra hands to warp my four harness table loom with the black handspun yarn. We learned a very important lesson that night. Never, ever warp a loom with energetic yarn. You’ll be wrestling with it for hours trying to get the kinks out and tension applied evenly! Still, eventually we succeeded and I began weaving a plain tabby cloth immediately working with a shuttle of the rainbow crepe. I made this particular shuttle from lacewood last year for a specific project, hence the absurd length. But it was the only one I could find and I wanted to weave right that second. If I’d had patience, I’d have soaked and possibly weighted the black warp too! Or, you know, put on something other than jammies for the picture.

Before long I had a beautiful finished fabric but more space to go on the loom before running out of warp. Since it was handspun warp I felt extra horrible about wasting it and spent a while glancing frantically about my room trying to find something I could weave across my black warp to make a useable finished fabric.

I settled on a mini skein of solid black aran weight handspun and a second mini skein of DK weight black and gold thread with sequined yarn, both spun at Distaff Day this past January. I quickly worked them up for a bit in a striped pattern until I lost my patience and just had to cut my rainbow fabric off the loom.

From here it went right into the bathroom sink to be hand felted before being stretched out to dry. Given our difficulties warping the highly energetic black, it was a rather surprisingly flat and even fabric that wasn’t trying to curl up on itself. I had expected it to skew like the bias that forms in knits with energetic yarn worked flat.

I spent a day agonizing over how to cut up my fabric. I finally settled on three rectangles to make three little bags, a black and gold coin purse, a small rainbow notions bag, and a large project or double-pointed needle storage pouch. All three would have cotton liners and zipper closures.

Since I was trying for all the medals and the multiple bags would have all earned just more duplicates of the same medals, I didn’t finish them all. Each woven fabric has been sewn into the outer bag and the lining fabric for each liner cut. I did completely finish the bitty rainbow notions bag though and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

At about three-and-a-half inches square, it’s just the right size for a tape measure, stitch markers, a package of yarn needles, and a bit of lifeline thread – you know, just the knitting bag basics! It’s my first ever handwoven from my own handspun. I just love running my hands over the lightly felted fabric.

This was also my first ever bag with a zipper and I’m thrilled at how nicely that came out. I didn’t have any directions or idea what I was doing. I just made it up as I went along and it was so successful I’ll definitely line bags that way in the future too!

Keep an eye out for a bunch more posts loaded up with wonderful finished objects from my 2014 rainbow of Ravellenic projects!

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