|A small chicken scratch apron I made using 1/4" check gingham.|
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:
- Pillow Smocking and Fabric Manipulation
- Bobbin Lace Making
- Bead Knitting (small bags)
- Beaded Tatting (tatted jewelry)
- Chicken Scratch, a/k/a cross-stitch
- Bead Weaving Lace
- Refining Drawing Techniques
- 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 that...at 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!