Still slowly working on Walk Me. I'm in the left hand rocks and have a bunch to do there. I've got a good 6 inches upward to go until I start in on the castle.
These last couple of days I've been designing. I'm working out some versions of a wide cut GM. I've got a head that will fit on a 15 x 25 mat, another I'm trying on 28 x 33 mat, and a very elaborate one that is a version of the Fall Greenman cross stitch that will fit on a MG Textiles linen burlap 54 x 60 package. I have a hard time designing on just paper so I usually draw out the design on burlap or other backing fabric, then I make interfacing and paper copies of the design. I know, reverse of probably everyone else. I may make a quicky sketch of a design idea, then I will look at a piece of fabric and figure out how it's going to fit, eyeballing, enlarging and expanding as need be. Projectors and other methods have never been useful for me. I'd kill for a larger table to work on but have to make do with what I have. The only exception to designing on fabric first was greencat that I worked out on large sheets of paper first. Though I am working the fall GM out on paper.
I got four snowmen done yesterday. I'm made several large standups and 3-D ones for wide cuts. I'm going to do some for smaller cuts too and make them smaller. I've got one patchwork, one with circles or cat's paws with a matching back side. a plain one, and really over amped on the Barbarian snowman which is a scene rug now with a Viking longboat, sea serpent and fellow barbarian snowmen landing by an ocean. It's 42 x 38, great for a kid's room. Only one of the patchwork snowmen is on monk's, everyone else is on burlap.
Halloween wise I found some freaky kids I did had done in 16" circles for cushions I need to copy. I had forgotten about them. I will be doing some skulls soon. I've got ideas to make 3-D ones with hooking and felting that can be used as purses or decorations. My mind has been also on bats, witches, goblins, warped cats, werewolves, vampires, mad scientists, eyeballs, and Cthulhu critters both cute and realistic. There's also a tribal Pegagus in the works and some other designs I'm adapting from my tattoo flash.
Now if I can get a quarter of what I've designed hooked for the festival.... If I could afford it I'd ask for volunteer hookers to make models up for me but too broke.Though I am curious to see what other people will do with my designs.
The computer is fixed. I have to reinstall some of my programs and get everything close to normal again, but it a lot healthier and working more smoothly then it has been.
Got more work on Walk Me done last night.
Repaired the glaring white spot down by his tail shadow, evened up the edges, I hope at the bottom and got as far as by his front paws by the time I quit.
Original hooking--see white blob behind his tail that doesn't work? Redo of area--much, much better.
I got sucked in what we were watching instead of my work so less progress than I hoped was made. We were watching National Treasure I, new Ashes to Ashes 2 episode, and Northern Exposure 3rd season last night. Tonight will be the second movie, Heroes, Big Bang Theory, and Castle. I usually do a lot of hooking watching shows, when I'm not over at daughter's in the backyard which I haven't made it to this week so far.
People have been writing me about Greenman designs and canvases. Hopefully by mid May, early June I'll have something for sale either on paper or on interfacing for you to put on your own backings. I'm think of around $20-30.00 for it hand drawn on either the paper or interfacing. I can't offer any on backing materials yet. There will be two types one for narrow cuts, yarn or fleece hooking, the other for wide cuts. I would not recommend doing wide cuts #6 and up on the design for the narrow cuts as the face and everything else will come out very distorted looking. And the design for the wide will be similar but not quite the same as the narrow. I need to do a little test hooking on it before I pronounce it okay for wide cuts. The test pattern will be done in Fall colors for the festival. I will also have suggestions for all 4 seasons palettes.
The original designs for these are based on my 4 Seasons Greenmen FanXstitch cross stitch patterns which differ slightly in looks, colors and objects in them. If anyone is interested in the xstitch they are $8.00 each or $25.00 for all 4 as downloadble to your computer PDF's. I take PayPal just email me.
The up loader on the pics quit working so I'll have to do Spring and Winter GMs and my other GN's later.
Slowly working on Walk Me. I'm straightening up the edges on the hooked sides today on the bottom, top, and right sides. Since I am working with an oval hoop I don't necessarily get straight overlaps when I reposition so there's gaps and it looks sort of scalloped in spots. It's not too noticeable until I take it off the hoop and get some perspective on it. I may take out the patch of cream light colored rocks by the dragon's tail. It kind of glares and just doesn't fit there. I'll fill in with similar colored rocks which should make it blend better. I'm learning slowly on how colors effect one another next to each other especially with the larger size strips. I hope my rocks look okay. I have been really trying to make them look like rocks.
Photo uploading is not cooperating today so no pictures. My computer is acting funny so hubby is going to be doing some work on it. So if I'm not on for a day or so that's why. I also need to start designing some stuff for the Fall Heritage Festival and get away from the computer for awhile. If I'm around my computer I get sucked into cyberspace and get lost looking a my groups, Facebook and email or off exploring something on the net. The last day it has been family origins. Still trying to track down when my dad's family came to America and whether we are related to Chief William McIntosh that was on the Trail of Tears.
Still slowly hooking on Walk Me. I'm still in the upper right corner and hope to get most of that section finished tonight, Hooking lots of rocks and hoping I'm getting the shading right so they look like rocks. In a bit I have to cut some more strips as I'm running out of a bunch of colors that I'm using.
Since then and last night
I have been invited to display my work and have a booth with my hooking at the Fall Heritage Festival at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia October 1oth. I will be having my rugs and whatever else I can come up with by then plus do demos of hooking and spinning. Hopefully I'll be able to make some converts to both crafts there. I will also be pushing the recycling angle on the hooking since most of my wool is recycled from old clothes and I'll be doing at least one mat with t-shirts. I also want to do one out of plastic bags and another using acrylic yarns. I really want to use up some of the Lion Brand Homespun yarn I have. I'm both excited and nervous, and hope I can pull it off and look close to professional.
Some more gardening pictures. I did get some tomato plants, peppers and eggplants in pots this week. Kendra has been busy putting Sunflowers in the front.
I haven't been getting as much done as I have been doing on things this week. Blame Facebook. Mysti got me to get on there so I have been exploring it and adding things too it. Also found a motherload of Hawkwind related pages and have been discovering songs and information about the group and their offshoots I didn't know before. Especially about Robert Calvert. I am a long, almost lifetime fan of Hawkwind, which is a UK British Space rock band I have been totally in love with since 1972. I've been to five of their concerts over the years and have gotten to go back stage with the band--they still remember me. I also have done numerous paintings to their music which they have gotten three of. My kids hide out or run off whenever I play any==I think I over amped listening to it when they were little. But no music other than there's has ever hit such deep cords and had such meaning for me over the years. It calms me and makes me feel alive. Their instrumental work is incredible and it's a shame that their talent and genius isn't more recognized and acknowledged. They will be having their 40th aniversary in August this year. I'd kill to be there in the UK for that concert...sigh. Old hippies still rock on.
Meanwhile back to Walk Me. I'm now working in the upper right side of the rug on the second small dragon. I hope the background rocks and the other small dragon look okay. Working small sections like this is hard to see who everything looks together until I take it off the hoop. This is a way bigger scale than I've worked with before. I hope I can find or make a frame where I have more area showing to work on so I can get everything balanced better. I do like working this big, I see real possibilies with it. I used to paint huge paintings, wall and ceiling murals, and do murals on sides of vans so working large scale is no problem it's just being able to see everything in relationship while I'm doing it.
I haven't gotten that much to report. I'm slowly working on Walk Me. Right now I'm working on the right side lower bottom that has one of the mini dragons and lots of rocks. I spent yesterday cutting strips for the rocks and landscape behind the dragon. I had run out of a lot of the light colors like creams and light grays and will be needing my sky colors soon so I took the day to do nothing but cutting #8 strips from a large batch of various colored fabrics while I listened to Hawkwind. I ended up with 2 Walmart bags full of colors, one for the earth tones and one for the sky. I still guessomating on how much each section will need so I probably cut way more than I will actually use on this. When I get through with this project then I'm sort the leftovers into baggies for other projects. I love having cut extra so that there are precut strips ready for another project, just that less I have to cut in the future.
My head has been on family this week. Oldest daughter in FL called yesterday with bad news--she may have throat cancer. She's been having problems with the side of her through swelling up since January. They took a MRI the last time she was in the hospital for it but the first tech read it wrong and told her she didn't have any problems. A second one read it and saw something but sent the report to her primary care doctor but he didn't say anything until her visit to refill her prescription for thyroid meds. He called her at home Friday to have her make an appointment with him soon as possible. She is 40, lives alone, is on Medicare disability but no Medicade. She gets enough to pay for her rent and utilities, and her medicines which are quite expensive as she has other problems besides the thyroid. She gets 16.00 month in food stamps because she "makes too much". She has to go to charity places to get food. She has started to go back to school on line for a graphic artist degree but it'll be awhile until she finishes it. We may have to move her up here to SC and put her in with youngest daughter at the house. I've very worried about her alone and facing all these problems by herself. Right we can only wait and see what happens before me can make any solid plans.
My youngest son that moved to Atlanta is moving back to SC this week as it evidently didn't work out there. He plans on staying with his friend rather than moving back in. If my oldest moves here that'll be six of seven offspring in one spot which hasn't happened before. My daughter in Germany is staying put there with her 2 kids.
I'm going to try and get over to the house today to get laundry and some work done. It is so hard to get work done here as there's too much distraction with the computer and no pretty greenery to look at to inspire and motivate me.
I'm back from my house sitting. I really miss the backyard already. Every morning I take my coffee, a bunch of Rughooker magazines and notebook out to sit at the patio table to wake up and enjoy the greenery of the yard when I'm over there. Just me and my dog, listening to and watching the birds and squirrels. I get up between 7 to 9 AM depending on how rough a night I've had. Hard, long lasting, deep in my chest coughing spells were waking me up a lot with lots of junk coming up. But I always feel so much more alive and creative over there. Here I wake up in front of the computer in a non window room with fluorescent lights and stare at the screen and read my messages and groups. I like the internet but I really didn't miss it that much and enjoyed getting so much done on projects and actually spending lots more time on them as well as planning new ones.
I didn't do any new dyeing or got new clothing to take apart this last week. Still have a bag of clothes to cut and wash up left to do. Spent all day, 8 hours plus cutting up fabric for the Walk Me dragon for the rocky background. I ended up with 2 big Walmart bags full of #8 strips in shades of tans, creams, grays, browns, rust and lavenders in spot dyes, dip dyeing, solids, plaids, herringbones and others. I picked out from the fabrics whatever I though may work. What doesn't get used will be put back in my tubs for future projects and will be that much less I have to cut up.
I did redo the Here Be Dragons mat, and designed a random shapes cats paw runner on some monk's cloth. It'll be about 12 x 50 when done. I haven't decided on a color scheme for it yet. I also played around with my experiment in dimensional and combination felting and hooking. I'm doing a Tree Man on a piece of 19 x 45 burlap. I sort like it but it's bugging me in spots. I'm using my dyed and undyed fleece and rovings and may use some spun yarn and wool strips. I started it Saturday after drwaing the design up Friday. I had been wanting to do this for awhile. I think it's going to end up as a free standing sculpture so I will be doing a back and sewing it into a tube or bowl shape. The goddess maybe be moved to the back instead of coming out of the top like I have it drawn right now. I also have ideas to add branches and leaves to this coming out from the background and am working through several ideas on how I want to achieve this.
I got some hooking done on the Family rug and have now repositioned it to hook a new section. The sun was not cooperating when I took the pictures of the rug off it's frame.
My husband Bill as a Metal Rabbit. The tiger in red is getting hooked not the big head. The tiger is me by the way and after looking at the head I decided it didn't fit in with the rest of the full figure characters.
Got lots more done on Walk Me and the bad picture of it was taken inside on the floor. I am now working on the right side bottom of the mat where the little dragon is.
Off and on during this time I was doing bits of yard work. Managed to get my new grape vines and blackberries planted. Planted some herbs in the dragon topiary. Still have to plant the 2 rose bushes I bought in the front yar. Only one of the 5 I planted last year survived. These two are a white and pale lavender and white with plae pinks. I also have butterfly flowers to plants and a bunch of veggies. Need to get some tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant starters going soon. Eric next door took pity on me and cut half of the big backyard. Though he did kill one of my apple trees as he didn't see it. We may leave the rest of yard to stay wild. It looks so pretty that way with all the morning glories and other native flowering plants and bushes.
Meanwhile back to answering all my accumilated mail and getting caught up on my net groups.
I'll be doing another round of week long house sitting starting tonight until next Tuesday while the kids go up to NC to visit Corey's grandmother for Easter. I'm here long enough to check my mail, and resupply myself for the weekend.
volunteer potato plants
Volunteer strawberry plant.
Views of the backyard and hoping to get someone over to cut the grass. It's a foot tall already.
Most of last week I was sick with sinus and allergies and coughing up my lungs alot. Spring has sprung with a vengeance and the pollen is really bad around here. I finally got some Benadryl and have been taking lots of Echinacea plus drinking herbal teas and feel a little more human and together than I have been. Even the dog was worried a few times and I really need to get a cheap phone for when I'm over there alone. Outside of rain a couple of days the weather has been gorgeous into the 70's mostly and sunny. I love sitting in the backyard and working. We have a round outdoor cast iron table with large umbrella and lots of chairs that I sit at to work. I can finally get the right working angles for my larger projects if I prop them across the table and chairs. I've been able to get lots of work done on both Walk Me and the Family rug. WM is in a large quilting oval hoop and FR is on 30 x 32 stretcher strips. I've been alternating work on both of them.
I got all the wool clothing from the thrift stores washed and dried but not all cut up yet. I had probably 20 jackets, 10 skirts and 7 pants to cut up. I'll get them done this week. Some of the cut up has already hit the dye pots, I tried some experiments in marrying colors. I'd layer different colors together in a scrunched up bundle tied up together with left over wool scraps then put them in a big pot of salted plain water and let them simmer for a couple of hours alone. I got some amazing color combinations that way which will get used sometime in projects. I even tried onion skin dyeing for the first time and got lovely yellows, apricots and golds, though at one point I pushed the colors and added toothpick bits of yellows and oranges to the mix to get the colors I was dyeing for. At the same time I was dyeing the big bundles and there was a lot of purples in the batch so I got purple colored water, I dipped in some of the graduated yellow strips I was doing and got some wonderful shaded lavender and yellow pieces similar to what I had seen in an article by Wanda Kerr in Rughooker's magazine. The purples grayed the yellows just enough that I'll be able to do the kind of graduated shading I have planned for Green Cat on some of the cat flowers.
I only got two designs drawn out, because of being sick and not being able to think. Both are on the new rug wrap I got to try out. One is a half moon shaped welcome style mat that has all the uses for wool, a spindle, rug hook, knitting needles, crochet hook and felting needle plus a large sheep. I've had this in my head for awhile seeing similar ones by different artists on the net. Though none of them had all the craft uses for wool spelled out and the different tools for them. It's 20 x 27. The other didn't turn out that well and I am going to redo it. It was a "here Be Dragons" welcome mat and the dragon just isn't right. The lettering is good but my art work on this sucks. I am hoping this week to get more designs done. I'm thinking of even trying to do some xmas and Halloween mat designs and maybe try designing some 3D pieces too. Maybe a stuffed Dragon?
Also need to take 2headed dragon over to the house to work on so my youngest son can have it for his birthday. The oldest son I am thinking of doing him my revised McIntosh family coat of arms as a mat. I was born a McIntosh. We're from the Oklahoma and Kentucky branch. The family motto is "touch not the cat but with a glove" I had fun with that image. It was going to be a tattoo but I didn't get around to doing it.
62, Mother of 7, grandmother of 9 so far. Fine and commercial artist, crafts person of multiple crafts for 40 plus years. I process wool and other fibers from raw, card. com, dye with food dyes, spin on a German modern wheel, or on handmade spindles. I also wet and needlefelt, knit and crochet, sew, bead, doll and toymaking, and used to design cross stitch patterns for my company FanXstitch and for Stitcher's World Magazine.