Self-Discovery Art Journal Project

I’ve always kept a journal.   I would say the earliest ones I still have are from elementary school.  What was going in my life in those early moments that I needed to work out through keeping a diary?  Well, plenty, of course! There were the boys, who got on my nerves that week, what I thought mom did to ruin my life, cute boys, escapades with friends, dreams I had, my latest music group obsession, and did I mention BOYS?

I periodically wrote through middle school, high school, and some college years, but I had to stop for a while because I found that I only used it to vent all of my angry moments.  I didn’t want remember just the angry parts of my life.

In recent years I’ve returned to the journal, changing its format a few times to more of a daily log.  And as you see, if you’re reading this, I’ve reached out to embrace “the virtual journal” to document my creative goings on.   I guess journaling will always be a part of my life in some format.

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This time I am embracing my interpretation of the art journal.   There are some amazing examples out there.  I can’t guarantee that my journal will be as beautiful and art filled, but I

It will be serious, silly, embellished, written in, quoted up, doodled on, colored, painted, etc. The plan is to make some use of the 92 bazillion unused scrap-booking paper and materials I have from a craft long abandoned.  I have no plan, no format, no layout, no rules to follow, no set topics…just self-discovery and creativity one topic at a time, one moment at a time

 

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All of my random thoughts, favorite quotes, creative writings, photos, likes, dislikes, dreams, and things that I learn about myself through this project will be condensed to several 8 and 1/2 x 11 sheets of colored paper.

– Nizzy

Self-Discovery Art Journal Project

Finally Sold on Dresses…and Capes

It took a while, but I finally came around.  I’m officially sold on wearing dresses.  I’m not planning on replacing my whole wardrobe with them, but let’s say I now appreciate the femininity and ease that a dress offers.

When you are short on time and can’t decide on separates, a dress is simple solution.

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Unfortunately, I did not get to make all of those lovely dresses for the summer as I had planned, but I managed to squeeze out this just before “Fall” showed up.

Now that I”m all for wearing dresses, am I brave enough to bear them in the winter?

Now, for capes (Simplicity 5794), this one I made was purely for costuming purposes, but I’m kind of diggin’ the effortlessness a cape/cloak presents: Just throw it on! No fiddling with buttons, belts, or buckles..just one hook on the neck to encase your body in warmth.

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I added some trim to this basic cape to give it a little somethin’ somethin’.

I might consider making a fashion cape for this season.  If I do, I better get on it now, because it’s already cold.

-Nizzy

Finally Sold on Dresses…and Capes

Gardening has it’s ups…and downs

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There is something wrong with my tomatoes!

The one in the picture above looks pretty mild compared to some of the other beefsteak tomatoes.  Several of them have had really deep, dark, and dry-looking grooves on the tops and they also have holes in them, some small and some large.  However, the leaves are pretty much in tact.  I think it might be the case of a worm (tomato worm, horn worm, pin worm) which means I have to go out there and have a closer look.   This is the part that I DO NOT like about gardening.  Creepy crawlies?! And especially WORMS?!  Oh, dear!

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I was hoping I could snap a clearer picture, but I had to be fast before something landed on me.

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I’m also getting powdery mildew on the leaves of my squash plants.  The fruit itself is fine, but the leaves have this unpleasant look about them.  This condition has affected the zucchini (also infected by stem borer pests), the cucumber plant, and now the butternut squash.

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Plants get sick, too!  Looks like I need to find out the cure for these ailments.

– Nizzy

Gardening has it’s ups…and downs

Tell ’em Why You Mad, Son!

This is my second year for gardening. Last year was really successful! The green beans were delicious, the tomatoes were poppin’, and I had tons of jalapeno to freeze. It was work, but rewarding work, so I’m back at it again this year.

But those strawberries…

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A few weeks ago I noticed that the strawberry patch had quite a few flowers and little green berries budding. I got happy. Hey! More strawberries for me! Much more than the two that I ate last year.  I popped off a couple that were ripe and went on about my business.

Then the animals came.

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Red berries, Half ripened berries, tiny green berries, many of them GONE.  So I got me a piece of chicken wire and I wrapped that fruit up tight.

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Or so I thought. 

The next day even more berries were gone.  I don’t know if it’s the birds or the squirrels, or something else, but I’m mad now.  Those are MY berries. 

I reduced myself to eating a half-ripened berry this morning just to ensure that I got to it before the animals did.  Now, that’s desperation.  I’ve been back and forth several times with myself about on giving up on those berries.  Nu uh!  They can’t have ’em.  Not today!

I’m plotting to get 1/4 in plastic fencing and I’m going to wrap that fruit up so tight that even I will struggle to get to them.  Anything to keep away those berry stealing creatures.

Thank goodness we don’t have deer!

 -Nizzy

 

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Fashion Draping Class

You don’t know how much I looked forward to my Wednesday Draping class.  At the tail end of class, my place of work got a little crazy: lots of happenings, rumors flying about, untruths, finger-pointing, lots of confused, angry people walking about. To be able to throw myself into this project was a blessing. Home life and work life can’t be crazy at the same time or you will lose your mind! So I threw all my crazy energy into my final project. This was something that needed more than just two weeks for construction, but I made it work enough to have something to present in class.

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Patternmaking and Draping once intimidated me, but turns out it’s not as bad as I was thinking. I think I jumped in with the hardest thing I could think of at the time: hand pleating.  I think it’s a pretty decent start with something I haven’t tried before now.  I spent lots of late nights hand basting pleat lines and doing damage control for a couple of pattern mistakes.

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Overall the class was great. I learned a lot and met some great people who I will miss seeing weekly.  Next is to figure out how to apply all my knowledge to some new projects.

-Nizzy

Fashion Draping Class

Patternmaking Success

To finally get out of my ‘store bought pattern’ comfort zone I took a pattern-making class.  After lots of fittings, lots of muslin samples, and lots of dart manipulations I had only the final week of class to sew up my project.

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The jacket was originally a shirt before I made the fabric selection of denim.  I had to change my design when I realized there was no way to get in it.  I transferred the bust and waist darts  to the neck line and stitched  them down for detail. The petal sleeve was also drafted.

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The skirt was inspired by my Fashion Studies Foundation class mood board and illustration of origami and a four gored skirt with a back inset detail.

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There were a couple of inside finishing details that I slipped up on, but I think I did an okay job for a first time pattern-maker.  Now, on to draping class!

Patternmaking Success

Thursday’s Three Things

So a quick TTT post is all I have again this week!

  • I never got around to posting this necklace (left) I made way back when, but I made a similar one as a gift for my MIL.  Hope she likes it!  November Craft Stash Challenge at it best.

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  • Handmade Holiday Greetings are in the works!   I’m trying to use up as much of the paper stash as possible.  Haven’t made a dent in it yet!

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  • Oh, and I finally joined Instagram (creativelymotivated).   I resisted IG just like I did FB and blogging, but I actually kind of like it.   I just have to figure out how I want to use each of them as they are all the same, but different.  Throw Pinterest in the mix and I’m all “social media’d” out!  I don’t know if I can handle another.

– Nizzy

Thursday’s Three Things

Slow(est) Work

I think there comes a time in a person’s life where they begin to question their reason for doing something, e.g. a career, following a movement, purpose of life.   Sewing and I have had this relationship for a long time.   I know where I want to go with it, but trying to work out the time for it all is a challenge.  It’s slow work!  For me, it’s a frustratingly long process for every stage in the project: the deciding, the cutting, the fitting, the washing and ironing, and the actual construction.  I regularly visit other sewing blogs and it seems they are cranking out these projects like a factory.  I just want to get something done and I want it done NOW.  Yes, friends, I am a product of my generation! 

Instant gratification.

I want it now.

Entitlement.

I need it now. 

I gotta have it. 

Umm, why is this taking so long? 

This isn’t done already? 

*Groan* 

*sigh*

*whine*

*pout*

Drive-thru sewing. 

Well, I had to (have to) take a step back from that, ignore the blogs, re-learn, and constantly remind myself that in my world sewing (and everything else in life) takes time.  I also have responsibilities and other interests that bring me pleasure, Really, what’s my hurry anyway?  It’s not a competition. 

Despite the slow work of sewing, I managed to finish a couple of projects: a skirt (will be posted later) and two craft baskets to organize my out of control pattern collection.  I’m working on a third that you can see in the background.

 

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Colorful fabric from the stash is put to use in Kwik Sew #107.   I’ll be making them until each of those patterns has a basket home.

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Of course, I could buy boxes or baskets and it would certainly speed up the organization process, but what would be the fun in that? 

-Nizzy

Slow(est) Work

What’s My Grade?

September seemed to pass by so quickly however, I managed to squeeze in several simple pairs of earrings.  I’ve tried to stay true to my personal challenge in that no new materials would be used (except notions and findings like thread, jump rings, etc.) and all but one pair of these follow the rule of using what I have in the stash instead of stockpiling beads and fabric like I’m waiting for a Craftpocolypse to begin. 

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Wait…A Craftpocolypse?   I like the sound of that!

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September also was the month I finished the Fashion Studies class.   The instructor was super knowledgable and has further sparked my interest in keeping up with the goings on of the fashion industry.  I’ve learned names of designers (and I never keep up names!), turned my nose up at some fast fashion news stories, learned to appreciate the work that goes into clothing and textile manufacturing, and ogled more 2014 runway shows than ever before.   That last night, my classmates and I brought in and discussed our final projects (mood board (below), illustration (below), technical drawings and swatches), received a gentle critique of or work, and went on our way!  There are only two regrets I have about taking the class:

1. Taking the class for audit.  You haven’t a clue of how well (or how bad) you’ve done.  Although I’m pretty sure compared to others in that industry I would have a lot more to “show and prove”.  On the other hand, learning is ‘spensive!

2. Not trying to “design” a little more.  I froze at the thought of drawing collars, draping, layering, texture, dimension, etc.  I wanted to avoid a complete illustration disaster so I kept it simple enough for my limited drawing skills.

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I was inspired by mathematics, optial illusions, geometry and crisp folds.

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Friends are asking me if I have any plans to make these clothes.  I’ve entertained the idea, but don’t think I will.  At least not yet.  Let’s see what happens in the next class: Patternmaking and Construction.  Maybe these ideas above are simple enough for me practice what I learn.

-Nizzy

What’s My Grade?

Where It All Goes Down

I certainly do have craft room/studio envy when I see some of the lovely spaces on the blogs I encounter, but I try not to get caught up in that because I have a pretty decent space to work in and I’m very thankful for that!  Let’s take a look! 

First, I will introduce you to the latest addition to the space: my cutting table.  My husband built this for me after much of my begging, whining, and complaining about how I needed it to save my back.  He isn’t entirely happy with the result and wants to do it again (hence why it’s not painted), but I’m just glad I don’t have to go into super hunchback mode just to cut and pin some fabric.

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Because that table is so huge in this small room I had to move my bookshelf to a different spot.  Yeah, that’s quite a collection.  Even Debbie strikes a pose for the photo!

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Just a simple table is where I get my sewing and crafting done. 

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Beading and Yarn corner, my stone age tv and stand that houses paper and card supplies.

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Embellishment corner with some jewelry waiting for its photo shoot.

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And that is where it all goes down folks.

– Nizzy

Where It All Goes Down