Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Diane's Gunmetal Mask, Dressy Masks

Diane's Gunmetal Mask, photo credit Bryan Johnson

Mask making continues for me this year and this request was really fun to work on.  Diane has a wedding to go to in October and requested a dressy mask to go with the outfit she's wearing.  I sent her a few fabric and bead samples, she picked one, and then I ran with it. 

Diane's Gunmetal Mask, detail, photo credit Bryan Johnson


I initially had thought about keeping the design super simple and just beading the edging of the mask.  I've been wearing a mask for 40+ hours a week since March and realized that having glinting shiny beads right in front of the eyes was not going to be comfortable, plus the glasses she wears.  So I started sketching some other designs.  Diane's outfit has some uneven or angled hem lines so I decided to use that idea, still keeping the beadwork simple. 

Diane's Gunmetal Mask, photo credit Bryan Johnson

I am in love with how this mask turned out!  If I have someplace dressy to go, I'll be making myself one also.  We're really not going anywhere until all this calms down though, so I don't see me needing one for a while.  This may be a little much for working at Home Depot. Ha.

Diane's Gunmetal Mask, detail, photo credit Bryan Johnson

I had a difficult time narrowing down the photos that Bryan took so you get a few different angles.  Yes, I'm wearing a wig, it's so much easier than doing my hair and I wanted to add a fun twist on these photos anyway.  I got it together in the nick of time for the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild's online COVID Mask Exhibit too. 

Diane's Gunmetal Mask, detail, photo credit Bryan Johnson

This mask has a partner, Diane's husband requested a "vineyard theme" mask and I took to Spoonflower to find designs.  Even though I don't drink anymore I couldn't resist this print and her husband liked this best too: 

Paul's Satin Vineyard Mask

I purchased the vineyard fabric in satin and the fabric is just delicious. You can find this design and others in Bags29's shop on Spoonflower.  Check out the link HERE.

Paul's Satin Vineyard Mask and Diane's Gunmetal Mask


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Halloween and Side Sewing Projcts


Mask making has got me thinking about all sorts of sewing and stitching. I have a collection of clothing that I have wanted to practice darning on and just haven't gotten to.  In the evenings when I'm braindead and poking around on Pinterest I created a board for darning and visible mending. I decided to go with something I couldn't really mess up, black on black with black embroidery floss.  Not exactly "visible" mending, but mending a large hole all the same.


I had to hide this hoodie of Bryan's in my studio because he'd just keep wearing it with the gaping holes in the elbows.  He didn't like the idea of fabric elbow patches so I decided it was time to hand-weave in fresh thread to create fabric. It has a post-apocolyptic feel to it, which seems appropriate with this pandemic going on.  


(Bryan in hoodie, half-awake)

I have been leaning into little projects that pop up in my head that are just for me, the house, us.  Knitting and sewing seems like less "work" than when I'm art-working.  I think that I have really needed this slow down in lecture prep, stress to create new work, etc.  I'll get back to it, but fun little projects and re-roofing my garage work have been very meditative for me. 

As I have been purchasing fabric for masks I sometimes want to make something else.  Next was my lunch bag.


I wanted the lunch bag to fit the take-out containers we love to reuse from Noodles and Company. The handled paper sack I was using finally gave out, and it was just a bit too small for my lunch purposes.  I looked at lunch bags and coolers online but I didn't want anything that large or that stiff.  I took some measurements based on the container and created a bag with a stiff bottom (using the extra firm stabalizer between the fabric) and a floppy top so it can fit in the shallow shelves in the work refrigerator. 



And the third project, Halloween Pillows! 


Ok, I only have 1 done, but it was SO quick and easy. I vaguley remembered learning how to sew piping into a seam when I took costume class in college.  I mostly remembered it being painfully obvious how easy it is for that little bit of extra to class up a seam.  I referenced this tutorial: https://www.mybluprint.com/article/how-to-sew-piping-on-a-pillow  for the piping. 



And for the easy, no zipper, tuck-the-pillow-in-the-cover I followed this post: https://sawdustsisters.com/diy-pillow-cover/



I think I'll get the other pillow done tomorrow before I really get going on some dressy masks that I have been commissioned to make. 



Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Fancy Evil Eye Bangle and Earrings


When I was designing with Evil Eyes in mind, I found so many variations that I couldn't stick to just one, so I drafted 2 different bangles to work with.  I started with the simpler design to see how I felt about this style jewelry.  I also was dragging my feet on picking out colors for this set, I decided to go with one of my defaults, purple.  This particular turquoise was calling to me, so I combined it with one of my favorite neutrals for a base and silver in the middle of the eye.



I'm very happy with how the bangle turned out.  It has the spiraling movement that I felt in a lot of the designs I was looking up. Positivity, Hope and Serenity flowing through my stitching.



The earring set(s) were inspired by all of the mismatched sets I've been seeing lately in the fashion world. I really like the mismatched looks, but I feel like they don't sell well.  


I'm still considering selling this set as 3 different earrings together (above).  It just feels like that's where I wanted this set to go in the first place.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Large Leaf Me Alone Weaving Update


So. Close. To. Done.... with the weaving portion at least. There's still hours of finish work to do once I have this off-loom. I'm weaving the reaminder of the header today.  I always make my warp about a yard longer than my pattern plans for.  I do this for 2 reasons, 1) in case I change my mind after I get a few inches in to the design of the weaving and I have plenty of room to re-start and 2) once the header is finished, I'll weave a mix of plain weave and the two fabrics in green or blue for the remainder of the warp.  The extra fabric I use to stitch leaves for the leaf panel on this piece.

I'm trying a new way of video recording for my YouTube channel, so here's this morning's video of me talking about finishing work, specifically the plans for this double weave pick up.  I hate the way I sound when I'm being recorded, but oh well, I just rattle on a bit here:


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Vintage 70's Look Rainbow Bangle and Earrings


Something somewhere perked up my affinity for 70's looks and patterns lately.  It may have been the many eras that come up throughout Doom Patrol which we have been watching in the evenings.  I needed to get out the graph paper and make something "quick" to work on.  I was going to keep this design really simple with the detail of either side of the "rainbow" in only one place, but I decided to split it. I'm glad I did. I wore it yesterday and I think stripes most of the way around would have been a bit too boring for my taste.


I am still working on a pair of earrings that I'm happy with to compliment this bangle. The first design ended up looking too much like circles rather than a rainbow. They are really lovely on their own though.



The second pair of earrings are hitting closer to the mark, but I think I want a tiny bit of the off-white included in them. I do like creating a little asymmetrical feel to these; I think it could be even more drastic.


I'm taking a little longer to get mask orders made as I'm getting back to focusing on my usual work.  It's nice to be back to beading in the evenings and getting to the end of my large Leaf Me Alone weaving.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Yellow Long-Leaf Earrings


I've been wearing a lot of yellow the past 2 years or so.  I'm glad it's also had some staying power in the fashion world.  I recieved a mailer a few months ago with the below dress in it and I was inspired by its print from White House Black Market.



I happened to already have an earring design that I did years ago that would compliment the feel of this print, so I pulled it out along with some tubes of seed bead color ideas and started in.  The first earring I wasn't happy with (below photo lower right) and I couldn't quite pinpoint why, so I set it down for a few weeks.  I realized later that the dark brown made the earring look too fall-ish.  So I removed that color option and replaced it with silver and white to give it a brighter look. It worked.


Needless to say, I wore the finished pair the next day at work I was so pleased with them.  Sometimes the sucess is a finiahed piece but this time it feels good that I let it sit and was willing to re-do it until I got the feel that I initially wanted.  


I think I'll be keeping this pair in my persoanl stock rather than shipping it out to a gallery right away. Feel free to contact me if you're interested in them though.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Evil Eye Earrings in Fuchsia and Orange


After finishing the Evil Eye Bangle and earrings in blues I started thinking about other colors and their meanings.  I found this website with some color breakdowns: https://evileyecollective.com/pages/evil-eye-meaning



This second pair of evil eye earrings turned out quite stunning.  I'm always wary to use this metallic fuchsia color because it is not color-fast.  I figured that since this is in earring form they won't be touched and rubbed on as much so I'd try it out.  I love how it looks with the neon orange.

Based on my poking around the internet, the orange represents happiness protection and creativity/playfulness.  The pink is friendship protection, calming/contentment/relaxation.



I got on a kick and made a version of these earrings with the same colors but with the orange as the larger focal color.  I guess I could use a bright pop of color to go with masks at work lately.  I'm finding that wearing dangly earrings are easier with the masks.  They show better and I don't accidentally pop off the backing on the stud earrings when I have to remove one side of my mask to drink my coffee.  I've already lost a few backings that way.


This last photo shows the detail on the black beads.  They're faceted to add a little more interest to this design.  I'm glad to be slowing down on mask making to get back to blogging, beads and my large weaving. Updates on that coming soon I hope.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Specialty Masks


So far I've made approximately 120 masks.  I have set aside my weaving and beadwork for a few months but I'm getting back to those this week.

I never have much of an excuse to buy or use fabric (last time was for the River Terrace Church Installation) and this has been a nice little break on these quicker projects.  As I've been mask making, my desire to make some more fun ones stirred.  I reached out to another local artist who makes patches for some special order Star Trek insignias.  I ordered a few Next Generation and Original to play with.  The first mask I made with these is Original Star Trek science/medical blue, complete with the gold rick rack.




In the next ones I'm going to move the insignia and rick rack out to the sides a little further from the middle but all in all I was happy with how this one turned out.

The next Star Trek mask is a Next Generation command red.  I did move the insignia out to the side more and I like it better.  I also felt it needed a black piece of fabric to jazz it up a little like the collars on the uniforms rather then having just the insignia on red fabric.




I turned out having a good Next Gen feel so I have no critisizm of this design.  I've ordered gold/mustard fabric for my next one of these.  the hand stitching for the insignias and rick-rack takes extra, but it's worth it to me.  I'm a bit of a Trekkie and  I think I needed a Star Trek representation in my mask repitior since I have only been able to find Star Wars fabrics since I've been mask making.  Like I mentioned in my previous mask post, this is just another fun accessory to me.  I feel like I have less need to match them with what I'm wearing since we're all kind of settling on whatever masks are out there being made right now.

I couldn't help myself when I saw the below red holographic dragon scale fabric.  This mask is thick, and very warn with the black satin lining, but I don't mind wearing the masks and I really love how this one turned out for something fancier.


Seams Fabric in East Lansing has also been giving me an excuse to but some more fun fabric.  The below print I've been looking at for a while, but I have had no reason to buy this fabric.  I toyed with using it as the header for our bed, but it was way too busy.  At least I can make masks out of it!  (Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to be made with fabric, but I just can't make up new projects for patterns I love).



I also love the dinos and DNA print from Seams



Diane's Gunmetal Mask, Dressy Masks

Diane's Gunmetal Mask , photo credit Bryan Johnson Mask making continues for me this year and this request was really fun to work on.  D...