Tangled 2.0

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What’s an artist with too much time on their hands to do once an obsession begins with a new medium?

Take it to the next level.

So, I as I was fighting against the alarm clock yesterday morning, it hit me: the next level of Zentangles. Zentangles are traditionally 3.5″ square tiles of abstract art goodness. Some artists design many of them for collages. Some artists, like myself, possess a love of all colors and a sewing machine…

Do you see where I’m going with this? 🙂

Zentangles. Tiles. Squares. Colors…. Fabrics. Fabric markers… QUILTS.

Yes. Within the last 36 hours, I have built the foundation for my zentangle quilt. After finishing the rest of the design work, I’ll actually set to quilting inside the Zentangle lines to bind the quilt layers together.

I love when projects come together this quickly. I love feeling that “divine spark” for lack of a better term, when the artistic muse blesses your hands, and time flies away, and all you are left with is creation and creating and art and design. Sigh. Bliss!!

Here’s the first photo gallery of the work in progress:

Assembling the supplies — all procured for under $20. And notice the world’s cutest tiny iron, to ensure I actually press my sewn seams after attaching the squares together, just like Grandma taught me. 🙂

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Can’t deny we’re family. We share the same cheekbones! 🙂

Next, cutting out 4″ fabric squares from 1/3 yard cuts of 45″ wide 100% cotton solids in rainbow hues. Did I have to get a 4″ clear plastic official “quilting” ruler? Nosiree, Bob. I found a 4″ cardboard jewelry box for $1 at the craft store. Ka-ching! Art on a budget.

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Fast forward 45 minutes…

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Next came some math for pattern design once I knew how many squares I had. I’ll spare you the convoluted way I came up with all this. Just suffice it to say that it was easily my least favorite part of this project. (My name may be McMath, but the entire disciple hates me.)

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And now… We sew! Chain-stitching pieces together using my brand new heavy-duty Singer sewing machine. Pure bliss!

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And fast forward some more… After all the piecing is done. I realized halfway through that I put a strip into the quilt with the pattern headed the wrong direction. No worries. Just changed the pattern. That’s just how I roll here in my art land 😉

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I hope you enjoyed the photos, and stay tuned! I may have this project wrapped up within the next few days, and I can’t wait to share how it turns out!

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Theatre props: Let’ssss make a Snake!

You got to love having theatre friends. I got a text from my friend M the other day, saying “Hey! We need a puppet snake in a vase on a stick… Can you help?”

Well, of course! So this morning I whipped up a little snake pal from odds and ends I had lying around my studio. It’s pretty nifty being able to create on the fly because I have all my supplies in one space. (Which looks like a hurricane has gone through recently, but you’ll have that in a working space! All I’m saying is don’t judge me by my messy working conditions. I know where everything is!)

So, to start, assemble the snake materials needed…

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I had a leftover styrofoam egg from another project, as well as miscellaneous green fabric and tool. The khaki fabric I used was actually recycled from my fat pants. They no longer fit, so I washed them up, cut them off just above the knee, and cut the seams open. Ta-DAH! Reduce, reuse, recycle, folks!

I started by covering the top half of the egg with the green fabric. (I had cut a large square and started in a corner to cover the head.) I tacked the fabric to the egg with hot glue in a few places, but mostly secured it by pushing the fabric into the egg with an end of a spoon.

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So after the head was covered…

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I started working on the underside of the head and belly. This is the general shape I began with for the belly. Don’t worry that it looks big. We’ll trim it later.

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Then drew out a basic outline of the snake belly with a tan marker on the tabs fabric.

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I added a little more definition to the belly with Zentangles.

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And then finished it up with some shading.

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Now we need to attach the belly to the head. I used the same technique as attaching the green to the head. After attaching, I began trimming the excess fabric away.

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All that’s left now is to attach some eyes and connect the tan and green pieces with some hot glue. Since this is a theatre prop that is in about 30 seconds of one scene for one show, hot gluing the seams will work fine. If it was being used in a more close up venue, I would have sewn the seams.

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Attach the eyes with hot glue, do some artistic folding of the green to make a cobra good, and insert a stick into the styrofoam to hold up the head, and you’re good to go!

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Weekend Project: Knit Lace Mesh Bag

We continue the saga of Candice learning to knit with the introduction of… Double pointed needles (dpn).

I’ve spent the last two days working on a knit lace mesh reusable shopping tote. I found the pattern on Ravelry: The Grrlfriend Market bag by Laura Spradlin. It is a quick knit and great for beginners, because it uses mostly simple stitches including knit, purl, k2tog, yarn over, and cast off purl wise. That’s it!

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The dpn’s come into play because this bag is worked from the bottom up, in the round. Laura’s instructions are easy to follow and I loved the story of how she came up with the pattern.

For my bag, I used size 6 dpn’s, size 7 – 16″ circular needles, and size 10 – 16″circular needles. I used about 100 grams of Lily’s Sugar and Cream cotton yarn, worsted weight. I also had scissors and a yarn needle on hand for finishing.

I loved this project and look forward to making another! The bag stretches a LOT due to the lace pattern, and as this was my first time doing such a thing, when I remake the bag I’ll know better how to adjust for the stretch. Personally, I will make the strap shorter because it stretches out as you load the bag, and I also think I will make the base a big larger before starting the net, and also make the bag taller in the net before I start the top color band. But overall I’m very pleased with how this turned out. I can see using this little bag for quick trips to the farmers market in the summer. 🙂

Enjoy the photos of this fun project!

Here we go… Starting out with the dpn’s. eek!

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Well, so far so good…

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Fast forward about four hours… (I don’t know if this should really take 4 hours. Remember, I’m just learning!) This is the point where you switch from dpn’s to circular needles to start the mesh.

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And fast forward again to the next day, working on the bag and checking for stretch…

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Here’s a look at the inside of the bag, holding it up to the light so you can see the pattern…

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And the finished product, loaded with yarn for the next project!

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