Monday, January 3, 2011

Enjoying the Process

I have been working happily on my newest creation- The Italian Coastal Village.  It has been fun.  As I said in my previous post I found that when I created my new quilling board and drew out what was in my mind, all of a sudden the foreground mountain just wasn't big enough.  Yes, I know that for those of you who know me personally- you are smiling and thinking... "Just like Debbie."  It is true, however, now it is too small and I have redrawn it and am much happier with the new proportions.  My husband, Robert, had been passing by and looking very unsatisfied with the old mountain.  He didn't know why he just was.  He hasn't said anything since I redrew it so it must work for him too.

I have put the first layer of rock down on the background and will add another layer or two to the piece in the next few days.  I am busily quilling rocks to add to the foreground mountain as well.  I also created steps for one side of the mountain that will lead down to the water and will do another set soon.  It is coming together. 

I am sorry for the poor quality of pictures but that is what the toy camera on my phone takes.  My daughter has the good pics trapped on her camera.  I will get them soon and replace them with these but for now it gives you and idea. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Christmas Present

Present Giving

Last week I was racking my brain trying to think of just the right Christmas present for some of our family friends.  I just couldn't think of anything.  One of my children said "Why don't you give them some of your quilling ornaments?"  I thought about it and worried that they would not be special enough but I just couldn't think of anything else.  So I put a box together of icicles, snowflake garlands, snowmen, single snowflakes, caroling girls and Christmas tree garlands.  I wrapped it prettily and took it over to their house, still a bit worried.  

You see, I love my work.  I quill because it makes me happy and it pleases my eyes.  However, I am never sure that everyone feels that way so I wasn't sure if they would like it.  I gave the gift to the mother of the house.  She called her children around and opened it.  She had barely gotten the lid off before she started kicking her legs up in the air and yelling with excitement.  She was quite happy to have ornaments for her tree.

It was interesting.  In our daily work, my husband and I work to help refugees.  This particular family had come as refugees years before.  This was the first time they had put a real tree up in their home.  A big tree meant that they did not have enough ornaments.  They had gone to the store and purchased some ornaments but the tree still looked a bit empty.  As she pulled one piece of quilling out at a time and cooed over it, turning it over and examining it, she would hand it to her eldest daughter who put it up on the tree.  The tree filled out handily.

I was pleased.  I had no idea that they had a real tree this year.  The gift was exactly right.  The whole family loved it and the tree was just beautiful.

Monday, December 27, 2010

An Italian Coastal Village - the new project

As per usual someone shows me a picture or I see something and the image rolls around quietly in my mind.  At first very subtly almost hidden from me and then slowly most of the time the idea begins to move to the front of my thoughts.  When the image finally makes its way to the open thoughts it forces me to think about it.  In truth it bugs me and haunts me until I can't take it any more and am unable to ignore it.  

Typically a new idea does not really bother me unless I have not finished my last project.  If that is the case it can be downright irritating but fortunately for me I just finished my  last piece when the new thought, new idea came to me through a picture that my eldest daughter had torn out of an old magazine thinking I would like it.  She was right.  I did like it so much that I caught myself daydreaming.  Eventually I could see it in quilling and then off I go.

A month ago I began the piece.  I began by drawing a rough draft and thinking about the idea.  I then picked colored papers out for the rocks and began to quill and shape the rocks.  As I got a large pile of rocks I began to quill them.  I put them together, one piece at a time.  Slowly a jagged cliff of sharp rocks began to develop.  The colors were beautiful.  I added a bridge.  It looked great too.  However, there was a nagging thought in my mind.  It doesn't fit.  It just doesn't work.  I kept trying to get it to work, knowing that something needed to change.

Finally yesterday I decided what needed to change.  I decided that one of the main problems was that it was too small, the piece I was working on was too small.  That created yet another problem, if it was too small that meant so was my largest quilling board.  I knew what I needed to do then.

I went across the street to our friendly hardware store in search of the correct size board and cork to put on top of it.  The older man who helped me was fun.  He is used to dealing with people who need screws and boards to build things with.  He is not used to an artist dumping her artwork on the counter and looking for a board to do artwork with.  He gave me ideas and let me follow him around as he searched for a board that would please me.  I found a board about the right size and held the already finished part of my latest piece up to the board.  I eyed it and then drew a light pencil mark both horizontally and vertically so that he could saw off the extra piece.

After that he found me cork, spray adhesive and an inexpensive handle.  I smiled at him as I left the store and said "Thanks for all of the help."  He grinned and said "Welcome." and then as if he just realized what he wanted he said, "Bring it in when you're done.  I want to see the finished product."  I promised I would and headed of to closest chain store and found a large pad of graph paper.

When I got back to my studio I put that handle on, adhered the cork and began the large project of covering the whole board with graph paper.  I found a printable ruler on the internet and printed off four of them.  I put one along each of the four edges preparing to be able to use them as a later date to cut paper strips to their proper lengths.  

After I had completed my new fancy board I stood back and looked at it happily.  I was excited!

I then picked up the cliff that I had been working on for the past few weeks.  It still didn't work.  There was just something wrong.  What was it?

I pulled out the pad of graph paper again and pasted multiple sheets together until I had a large rectangle.  I pinned it to the new board and began to sketch.  Finally it worked and I understood the problems that I was having.

So today I began again- this time from a different place in the piece.  Instead of starting with the main focal point in the front I began with the rim of mountains at the back of the piece.  So here we go again.... keep checking back.  I am going to keep you all posted as to my progress- be it good or bad with this piece.