Monday, December 29, 2014

Plans and A New Word for 2015

A small chicken scratch apron I made using 1/4" check gingham.
It is that time again when the chatter is all about New Year's resolutions.  I have never been real good at resolutions but always start off being quite serious about how things are going to change.  Then after a day or two of that I go back on my merry way doing what I always do.

Last year I did focus more on finishing projects that I had started in the past and then moved on to something new, leaving the UFO(s) in limbo.  I actually did pretty good and completed a lot of projects but sadly not all.  It was a very good year overall.

The other day as I was thinking about the new books I had purchased, new inspiration I was excited about from blogs and that evil Pinterest, and some of the newly acquired supplies I was trying to find places for in my studio, it dawned on me I needed to really hunker down and make use of what was at my disposal.  As a result, my plan for 2015 is to "learn"!

Here in no particular order is my list of new things I want to learn or improve on or even just experiment with:
  1. Pillow Smocking and Fabric Manipulation
  2. Bobbin Lace Making
  3. Bead Knitting (small bags)
  4. Beaded Tatting (tatted jewelry)
  5. Chicken Scratch, a/k/a cross-stitch
  6. Bead Weaving Lace
  7. Refining Drawing Techniques
  8. Hardanger
  9. Beaded Embroidery
Why? you ask.

My grandmother used to do chicken scratch (#5) and pillow smocking (#1) as well as beautiful counted cross-stitching.  I've done some counted cross-stitching in the past and although I enjoyed it I wanted to do something a bit less structured.  Chicken scratch is interesting because when working on checked gingham simple stitches can take on such interesting forms.  I have a few of my grandmother's aprons that she worked her magic on and I just want to play with it a bit.  I bought a variety of checked fabrics at a garage sale this past summer that was priced so I just couldn't pass it up.  Thus the opportunity to play 'fell in my lap'.  I had seen a photo of some pillow smocking and of course had to go to Pinterest where I was blown away by all the possibilities in manipulating fabrics, including ribbons.  I have several books on my 'wish list' but they will have to wait a while.

This is a cross-stitch piece I did.  It was a pattern in a magazine.

Some of my garage sale find.
Lace making just intrigues me.  You will notice four of the things on my list that I want to learn are lace related.  There are links on my side bar to a couple of online lace sites I've joined.  Bobbin Lace (#2) is a beautiful lace that lends itself easily with crazy quilting which I do a lot of.  For Christmas this year my son gave me a bobbin lace kit for beginners!  It has everything you need to get started and a book with simple instructions and patterns.  Bead Tatting (#4) is so pretty.  I found video instructions that I shared on an earlier post.  I taught myself needle tatting a few years ago but must confess I hadn't done much with it, just a few little things.  Some of you know I did a bead journal project in 2012, and my theme was bead embroidered lace.  It was eye opening and I was pretty happy with the results.  Beading Daily offered a Web Seminar on weaving beaded lace (#6) by Cynthia Daniel earlier this month.  She was a lace maker herself and used her expertise to develop woven lace with seed beads.  Having a love of both beading and of lace, I signed up!  Now I need to use what I learned and see what I can do.  The fourth form of lace, (at least it can look very 'lacey' but may just be considered embroidery by some), is Hardanger (#8). I am on a site called Stitchin Fingers (link on my sidebar) and Connie K shares the most incredible Hardanger pieces that she has created.  I was hooked within a short time and have bought a pattern to give it a go.  I am having a hard time finding the right fabric at the right price so it may be later in 2015 when I get started on that.
This is the bobbin lace kit I received at Christmas

Some of the beautiful bead woven lace pieces by Cynthia Daniel

A book 'I need' about bead tatting

One of my embroidered seed bead designs from BJP 2012

Panels were all attached to a piece of antique lace for a banner.

Another of my bead embroidered lace shown with inspiration pc
As you can see I have also chosen a lot of project with beads, another of my passions.  Bead Knitting (#3) is on the list because I have a lot of beads to use in my lifetime and because I bought a beginners bead knitting book in a stash swap.  That plus I love amulet type bags.  I know how to do bead weaving and have made some amulet bags with that technique.  In fact I learned to brick stitch/weave seed beads following instructions for a doll size bag.  I am in the process of trying to round up supplies for bead knitting also.  Bead embroidery (#9) is on the list also because I bought a couple of books on the subject on the stash swap.  I pretty much have what I need for least for now.

Some of my beaded bags.
Top center is the doll purse I taught myself to do.
Finally, another passion of mine is watercolor painting.  I have just bought a bunch of WC paints to replenish some of my old ones.  I found a free online drawing tutorial by Darrel Tank.  At least the first 5 lessons were free, but they were enough to teach me things I never knew or thought about.  They were excellent actually.  He creates amazing portraits.  So I added Drawing Techniques (#7) because the better you can draw the better your paintings.  I plan to practice the techniques he demonstrated and to use his subtle gradations in my watercolor paintings.  I can only offer to share a link here so you can sign up if interested.  I believe these are offered for a limited time.

As you can see I have high expectations and lots of goals for 2015.  I've also signed up for CQJP 2015 and a mini round robin.  Of course with all this hopefully in my future, an attorney I know has asked me to fill in temporarily part-time while his secretary has hip replacement surgery.  It is going to be tough returning to work after being retired and pretty much unemployed for a couple of years.

I am super excited to get started on 2015.  I hope to report back at the end of the year and review what, if anything, I accomplished.  Hope the new year brings each of you much joy!


margaret said...

such a long list of things you are going to do, great to read your are going to have a go at hardanger, I really must start visiting SF again, I do it on 25 & 28 count even weave, if you have no luck I can send you some to have a play with, have quite a lot in a drawer, email me if you would like me to. Like chicken scratch too and the beaded tatting, well i had little go from the video you shared and am adding some to the CQJP blocks

Anita said...

Love your list Connie! Except #1,5 and 8 I think I can add all the others to my list too :-)
Hardanger is fun and it's good to see that in your list.
Wishing you and your family a very happy new year!

Createology said...

Your list is very ambitious yet I truly believe you will accomplish every one of them in 2015. Blessings and Creative Bliss...

Shami Immanuel said...

like your list. In my to do list shuttle tatting is there. I love hardanger but not able to get the hardanger fabric in my place. The apron is very cute. I am also planning for a chicken scratch project this year. I wish u all the best to accomplish the listed task.