Well, I didn’t think it would take me so long to write another blog post, but here it is – one month later. Sorry about that.
I have been doing a lot of things though. One thing that has consumed a lot of my time for the last few months has been my garden. I think I mentioned that I purchased a few raised bed gardens in early spring. In addition to the purchased raised beds, I built another six raised beds. I raised my seeds using old 2L soda bottles and gallon milk jug – I basically made miniature greenhouses for starting the seeds. I transplanted seedlings for tomatoes (3 varieties), cantaloupe, watermelon, jalapeno peppers, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, Thai basil, cilantro, dill, eggplant, and tomatillo. I ended up purchasing some locally raised seedlings for some interesting varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, and additional herbs, plus I started cucumbers and corn.
I have put so much more work into my garden this year than last year and it certainly shows. I have about four baby watermelons, a couple baby cantaloupes, an enormous butternut squash, and lots of tomatoes just waiting to get ripe. I’ve been picking (and eating) yellow squash and cucumbers! Strawberries from last year’s planting produced several but they are over now.
I’ve also done a lot of sewing. I finally finished my mother in law’s birthday gift dress. Her birthday was only LAST SEPTEMBER. Every time I sewed something for myself, I felt guilty that I hadn’t made her dress. I finally bit the bullet and went for it, after making a muslin of the bodice to check for fit adjustments I had made. I got scared when I ran out of fabric, but realized it was because I was trying to cut the fabric in two layers – once I laid it out as a single layer and traced all the pattern pieces I was able to play pattern piece tetris to make all the pieces fit. It was helpful that she didn’t want the elbow length sleeves though, because I’m not sure I could have made that work with the length of fabric that we had chosen.
I made two versions of the Zadie jumpsuit by Paper Cut patterns. One in a lightweight yellow/green slinky fabric and the second in a wax print that I got years ago from my sister. I also made one more pair of shorts for myself. I started working on another pair this morning and had to walk away. I made silly mistakes that required me to rip out seams twice. I decided I should take a break from it all. I’ll probably pick it up again Monday after a weekend away.
In the art world, I have not done a lot. I’ve done a few doodles with watercolors, and one pastel painting, but that’s it.
I have, unfortunately, spent a lot of money on supplies. Most of it occurred today. Terry Ludwig pastels released the Karen Margulis curated set of 60 soft pastels today. They are expensive but had a significant price reduction for their release and I lost self control and purchased them. About an hour earlier, I had a bit of a binge on the LA Finch fabrics website. Suffice it to say, I have spent pretty much all my disposable income for the next few months. I am actually extremely excited to get both of those purchases though. I am looking forward to adding to my self sewn wardrobe over the next few months. I also can’t wait to swatch out the new pastels and see for myself just how soft and creamy the Terry Ludwig pastels are.,
I will say that I have been thinking about the planning process as it pertains to making art. I tend to just wing it when I paint (watercolors or pastels). I will sometimes often take a good amount of time to do a sketch – often in my sketchbook, and then transfer to watercolor paper. But what I don’t plan is the color scheme. Obviously, I think about what the colors should be, I mean I’m looking at a picture that I took of flowers, or whatever. But when it comes down to it, I just start to grab paint. I do try to limit the number of colors that I choose, but I don’t plan ahead to pick harmonious colors, etc.
So, I plan on implementing two changes to my art practice. 1- I will be doing thumbnail sketches to try looking at a subject from different angles or zoomed out vs. zoomed in and 2- I will try to do a value thumbnail and a color theme thumbnail. I think it may be easier to do the value and color thumbnails with pastels than watercolor, but I’m still going to give it a go. I have several attempted paintings that I haven’t finished because I just don’t like the way it starts to look. I want to finish creating the paintings! I don’t mind if it ends up being a mixed media project.
Oh, speaking of mixed media project, I did actually finish a painting that ended up getting some colored pencil finishing touches. It was a tutorial that I had access to because I belong to the Critique Club on Lindsay Weirich‘s teachable website. Despite some technical difficulties, ie. I forgot to turn off the ceiling fan and my wet paper dried out very quickly, it turned out really well. The colored pencil may not have been 100% necessary, but I prefer the way it turned out with the colored pencil.
Hope all is well in your part of the world and I’ll try to get back here sooner than a month, but I’m not promising it!