Monday, May 30, 2016

Progress Made

The tablet weaving project is moving along, albeit slowly. It took me over an hour to recover from the broken thread but I finally got everything untangled and tied off so that I could continue. You can see by the photo that progress has definitely been made.

However, continuing issues with the tensioner have been challenging to overcome. It keeps requiring 'bandage repairs' in order for me to keep moving forward.

The problem is that the screw is stripped. The soft pine wood it is made from was not designed for the amount of usage mine gets.

So, I have to keep stopping and attempting to tighten it up as best as I can. Several wooden toothpicks and a wee bit of my sanity have been sacrificed along the way.

On the weekend, I went to Home Depot and purchased a hardwood dowel and the hardware to make a few more tensioners. Since I don't have the tools or expertise myself, I went to visit my youngest son.

After showing and explaining to him what I needed and why my current tensioner was no longer working for me, he agreed to make me a few.

Of course, he has a 'better' construction idea than mine and I'm okay with that as long as they work. It is way too frustrating to have to keep fixing this old tensioner every time I turn around.

By tomorrow evening, I should have the new ones. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Project Woes

I decided to change creative directions in order to get back on track. I've been stymied lately and really need to get myself motivated again.

So, I turned to the inkle loom. My Etsy shop could use a few more pieces of tablet woven trim. It's been awhile since I've made any new ones and several have sold over the last few months.

This project has been fraught with problems from the start. I selected burgundy and bright yellow crochet cotton to work with this time, a lovely combination.

I chose a very simple pattern that I've used before. I still consider myself a beginner at weaving but I have had success with this design before so it seemed like a good choice.

Then my troubles began. I started warping up the loom only to discover that the tensioner was not doing the job it was hired to do and I ended up having to cut my losses on that thread. I hate wasting supplies but there was no way to recover from it.

I had to get a friend to fix the tensioner for me before I could make another attempt at it. I began to warp up the loom once more. Step one  was completed successfully this time. Hurray!

Trying to establish the pattern is always a bit of a challenge for me. There was a lot of frustration and concentrated effort along the way but I finally got it going the way that I wanted.

I have about 6" of a 9' piece done, when one of the threads break! Are you kidding me? It is at times like this when I can see the value of 'scream therapy'. I cannot believe the bad luck that I'm having with this project.

My task this evening is to see if I can 'fix' it. I am going to be very upset if I can't. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Artistic Block

I’m watching lots of art tutorials and admiring the work of so many fabulous artists online. There are so many techniques that I want to try, so many ideas swirling around my head.

But when it comes down to getting started...putting that first bit of paint down onto paper or canvas...I’m totally intimidated. What if it doesn’t look ‘good’? What if I make a ‘mistake’? The world will surely collapse around me! Right?

I know, I can hear you all now. There are no mistakes in art. Art is a creative expression of your thoughts and feelings. There is no wrong or right, no good or bad. Intellectually, I know and understand this.

Try to tell that to my conflicted brain! The right side (creative) and the left side (logical) start to battle as soon as I sit down at the work table in my studio/office. I pull out materials, lay them out in front of me, and freeze.

 When I have been able to suspend belief though, the results have impressed even me. Take this art journal page that I recently did. After watching a video and working on the cat for quite some time, I was going to throw it out. After all, it wasn’t as ‘good’ as the one in the video. And any attempt at 'fixing' it seemed to make it worse.

However, anyone that I shared a photo of it with thought it was fabulous. So, I took a few deep breaths and plunged in. I committed myself to moving forward and finishing the page in spite of my reservations.

Surprising even me, it turned out pretty good. How can I shut down that logical side of my brain more often and allow art to happen as it should?