078:365 Cubes

078:365 Cubes
Op art exercise to clear my head as the last two weeks have been busy as bees. I love playing with color, and using painterly cross-hatched parallelograms to create these shapes add to the dimensionality.

Gracie is very cute and warm. Apparently I let him out and forgot about him for an hour. It’s cold out there, but he has a fur coat and likes to chase things. It still makes me worry a little though.

Anyway, he’s now sleeping SMACK in the middle of the bed. Ah well, “Say ‘Goodnight, Gracie’!”

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Handmade Crocheted Scrap Basket

Today I finished a small video and craft project illustrating how to make a colorful basket out of salvaged cloth strips using RipStop Nylon from The Scrap Box, so I just did a small schematic-style sketch of the finished product so I could post my how-to video today:

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Here’s written instructions:

You will need:

A BIG Crochet Hook
And lots of scraps of fabric. Seen here: recycled Ripstop Nylon from The Scrapbox (scrapbox.org)

1) Tie the strips together with square knots, use a butterfly to wrap the strips and keep them neat. Because this particular version uses ripstop, which is extremely slippery and likely to come untied if you trim the ends, you will either try to tuck in the ends of knots connecting the strips as you go, or do them all at the end. They will create a soft fluff inside that cradles the candy or the egg you put into the basket. With non-slippery materials, you can cut the ends shorter or tuck them into the crochet work as you would with yarn.

2) Start crocheting: Cross the end of the strip over itself, reach through and pull the loop into a chain stitch

3) Use the crochet hook to create a chain of three loops

4) Join the ends of your chain

5) Then crochet into BOTH holes created by the chain-stitch loops the “wrong” side is out because it looks more like basket weave.

6) Once you have 9 stitches for the diameter of your spiral-circle, do a row of double crochet to expand the dish.

7) After the double-crochet row, do a row of single-crochet into EACH loop of the double crochet stitches.

8) Then single crochet into each loop until it gets to be the size you want. Since the irregular size of the yarn makes the gauge hard to determine, it could be anywhere from 6-12 rows before the basket is the right size. Keep checking.

9) When the basket is the size you want, switch crochet directions to put the chain part of the single crochet stitches on the outside. This will create a decorative border.

10) After the border-row is finished, make a chain of about 18 stitches and attach to the opposite side of the basket with two single-crochet stitches.

11) Single crochet back across so that the handle has a more solid shape.

12) Tie off decoratively. With ripstop, it’s slippery, so just make a pretty bow or other knot. With other fabrics, tuck in ends as you would with yarn.

Voila! It’s a basket

And Below, please check out the embedded video!

How to Make a Colorful Basket from Scrap Fabric from allida lily on Vimeo.

Dancing

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A few weeks ago, I dug up a symmetry exercise I did with the children in one of my private lessons.

Today, I decided to use the same exercise to guide my thoughts, while I was drawing.

One of the things I love about creating artwork is the kind of order it imposes upon ones thoughts. While drawing, knitting, sewing, folding, or performing other manual processes, there is a moment at which my concentration goes directly into achieving a symphonic result.

By orchestrating the various physical actions, a rhythm also goes into the mind. Like breathing exercises in meditation, the concentration on even, or otherwise controlled repetition, allows a deeper connection to one’s psyche.

The more rational the pattern, the deeper the connection.

Not to discount the cathartic nature of producing a visual product, but by controlling the process, many times, the passions underlying any given moment can come to the surface, and at the end of the drawing, may leave a visual artifact of the state of mind.

By making substantial an ephemeral moment, it allows me the leisure to analyze my feelings at a later time.

In the case of this drawing, I think that there is a battle in my mind about what I desire, and those things about which I feel a responsibility or obligation. The harmony I see expressed in this symmetrical drawing gives me hope that I can find a balance between the two which has been elusive in the past few months.

In a class I took at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a series of our projects was about the tension between fear and desire in public space brought forth more rational meditations about my place in the world, and I hope that I am entering a similar challenge.

I am learning to let myself shine, as the figures mirrored above.

Wheels in Wheels

Sometimes, there’s comfort in setting a rule or a process in motion. Today’s exercise was just that: to follow the same rule from this “Sunshine” drawing but in different colors to see the effect.

The original used the rules of scribbly concentric rows of bright contrasting colors, going in perpendicular directions tangent to or bisecting an imaginary circle in more or less alternating rows. The idea being to create both a radial and an explosive movement in the drawing by enunciating the lines of force.

The resulting image has a different feel because rather than employing specific central and exterior colors, it was done in rings where warm or cool colors dominate. This new one is more like a ring of choreographed dancers or a carousel rather than a blazing sun beating across the sky.

This image emphasizes rotational force, whereas the first one emphasized an explosive force.

The other difference is that I must be in a different mood because the strokes of the pastel in this one seem more controlled, creating a quilt-like feeling.

It’s funny that once you begin to write about product and process, pieces begin to form a dialectic. These two pieces were begun with the idea of similarity, and in fact have created a two-sided conversation instead of a soliloquy.

 

Sunshine

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I love the sun. It’s beautiful, colorful, and bright. But I also hate the sun, and hide from it. It is both lovely and frightening; joyous and angry.

The sun looks blue when you look right at it. If you put a solid thing between yourself and the sun, there’s a glowing corona. Even though it is too bright to really see the variation in sunbeams, there is a movement to sunlight that is hard to express.

A few days ago, I got a sunburn. Being a redhead, this is not an uncommon occurrence, but nonetheless, it always catches me by surprise. I wasn’t out any longer than usual, and I didn’t go to soak up rays. The problem was that instead of taking Sydney at 4:00 PM, we went out at 1:30 PM.