Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tales of Trial and Terror: A Brief Jaunt Into Watercolor.

Back when I made my Batfit goals for 2016, I included some lofty crafty and creative goals, since that seems to be where my happiness resides-- trying and learning new things!

And now I have a bit of a confession... most of them were written on a lark. Except for a couple of those, I didn't really think I'd do many of them... but it felt right good at the time writing them! Reading them over now, it's quite obvious that not a lot of thought went into that list, hehe; I tried making my goals obtainable... but I guess that only works in cheating myself from the mental growth that should occur.

When I think on it some more, this whole experience was comprised of simple little arbitrary decisions made during the moments they arrived, where I reached the next step as it came rather than a planned route, and suddenly I'm about to attend the first class of Watercolor Painting at the Southwest School of Art.

It started in February all the way into the end of March.
When I began the class, I had silly ideas that watercolor was the easiest of painting mediums... boy, did my bubble burst with a vociferous bang in this class. Granted, I was told our instructor used the most difficult methodology, that being wet on wet application; it was, as he said, the only way to get the charm most of us desire of watercolor. 
It technically wasn't my very first exposure to watercolor; I did "play" a bit with wet on dry not long before taking this class... but other than that I haven't touched it in any meaningful way, and certainly not to the extent to paint a full image.
Now after having completed this class, I found his statements were true-- it did make me too comfortable to learn anything of substance.

The reason he chose to teach this to beginners, he said, was to instill proper technique into people that have no basis for comparison and are therefore not "tainted" by "comfortable bad habits". He claims that wet on dry does not allow the water to play the role it needs to, and consequently forces the artist to be afraid of the water and pigment.

He had interesting ideas about watercolor that I have come to understand and agree with, like how so many of us spent so much time fussing over minutiae. He called that being seduced by the details; likely not an original thought, but it was awful poetic and apt. The cure for this was planning, devising, strategizing our next "move".

For all our preparations, nothing could ease the natural stages of creative work-- I guess it never matters what stage of experience you're at, you're never immune to this. This class was as much a fascinating look into the artistic world as it was equally a ride into the psyche of all who dare beckon the call of creative work.
It really is painful, torture... and all of it coming from these little voices in your head throughout the entire process. Sometimes these voices came out audibly during class-- outside, I bet you'd hear all manner of cursing or slamming down of a paint brush, and wonder why the hell are we subjecting ourselves to this mental anguish?!
Then again, it was an art school...

Our instructor was a bounty of information, and we took in what we could, but the information was so much and we had so little time to absorb it and put it into practice; my only regret was that it went by far too quickly. It was just enough to show me a world where I have long been afraid of taking part in, uncovered a knack I didn't think I possibly had, but so swiftly now over that I crave and yearn to develop this thing!

And I think I may do just that, fall classes are just around the corner now...

Thanks for joining in on my tale of trial and terror!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fashioning My Cyber Microcosm: A Thread In The Weave.

I get the impression from people that I am known only for my sewing, and I get it-- the dominating topic of my personal blog (not a sewing blog) is sewing (ironically). It's not a hard leap to make.

As much as I tout being an avid gamer and lover of things fantasy and sci-fi related, I don't discuss them at length do I? Aside from a little glib on the side bar not much can be seen of my supposed love for anything other than sewing. I have found that my love of sewing underplays my love of gaming, and that my love of gaming underplays my love of sewing.
I think a large part of that is due to expectation and assumption. 
The expectation and assumption that a nerd who sews inevitably cosplays.
It's a logical train of thought, and I won't deny it. 

Khan named for Khan Noonien Singh
I do love these things, I just don't show it in the way many of my ilk do... I know it's a bit queer for someone who spends equal amounts of dollars and hours gaming and upgrading their PC as their craft room to not partake in cosplay... but I get the feeling I let down a lot of people's expectations... frequently, but for the most part inadvertently.

Not that I disapprove of cosplay, mind you. 
I have tried it once or twice to be sure, but truth is my desire to be a certain character is limited to digital format-- to be connected but be assured of the divide between my actual reality, and the reality I've built for myself in the cyber world.
As it is, I spend countless hours simply refining builds, synergizing abilities and subsequently spending even more hours playing, collecting, fussing... is it a wonder then that it can be tough to garner the desire to spend more money and even more time being a character from these games outside the gaming room? Hahah.
Not to mention that it would leave little time for my other avocations, each individually motivated through different themes and different allocations of which I have many of; other expensive pass times, all needing real estate in my brain, all vying for existence in the finite span of my free time and physical constraints! I have difficulty enough quelling this blog of one singular topic! And to be completely frank, I don't want my sewing to be seen as exclusive to my costume making abilities. I want each achievement to shine individually without needing to validate its success and pleasure with something else I do!

....So no... I don't cosplay... but I will gladly sit and play a game or sew with you, whichever you prefer.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Butterick 5566

My visit back home to Canada has come and gone, and now I sit here wide awake nearing yet another conscious visit of the witching hour of the night, picking at tiny but bothersome skin tag on my neck.

I can scarcely believe that just a couple days ago I was having a nice visit with my momma, and celebrating my SIL's graduation with the whole lot of in laws and beyond. While it was great spending time with direct and extended family, I regret that my time was quite limited for old friends-- I didn't get to see most of them, and I didn't get to much the last visit either. It's rather overdue if I wish to keep these friendships.

Before I let myself get too real for a mere pattern review, let us focus shall we?
I found out and was intent on entering a project to the Skirt Contest on patternreview.com; it was days before my departure up North, and there wasn't a lot of time to work with. It's a little funny knowing the fact I scrambled then and now that I should realize that the previous skirt I finished still fell within the qualifying dates haha! I rushed for nothing...

Anyway, my choice was Butterick 5566, after some arduous deliberation.
Unfortunately it was a very recent pattern purchase... maybe a couple weeks old at most from the date I made it.
I landed on view D-E, and cut out a size 18.

Not wishing to further breach my commitment to using up old stash, I grabbed some flocked denim I purchased while living in New Mexico (but funny enough purchased during a trip to El Paso) and the remaining yardage of the suede-ish material from my last project (which I have since finished and worn... though no real time shots of that particular one yet).

In a nutshell, this skirt is exceedingly simple, even with the materials I have chosen which can be quite daunting to work with; I say this with what I consider to be the experience of an advanced beginner, maybe intermediate skill level. So really, there is nothing to be that afraid of when making this pattern view.

I'd say the scariest part of this skirt is the ease, which there is plenty of... and in my humble opinion, way too much at points. Especially on the upper hip. I was worried about this and continued with using my main material anyways without making a mock up... but I did hand baste the ever-loving-crap out of every seam to make sure everything matched up.

I did find that discrepancy that I was worried about-- the upper hip did gape. Thankfully the silhouette is simple enough that I simply grabbed ahold of my hip curve ruler and chopped off what needed removing and blended it out with my serger. Not the most professional way of getting things done, but it did the job.

I was particularly impressed with the drafting of the waist facing, I must say. I haven't come across many waist facings I didn't have to majorly tweak to fit; the only tweaking I did was the weight of the interfacing and adjustment of the upper hip being chopped. Though I didn't mess with the curvature, I just simply took off what I needed off the ends; it seemed to do the trick quite well.
I used a medium weight interfacing instead of a lightweight, even under a woven pant weight like the kind I used.
I like a lot of stability in that area, as my stomach protrudes quite awkwardly if there isn't anything bearing down on it like a belt or some such integrated cinching feature, heh.

I got it done in time, and I had hoped to shoot it and the previous skirt during my visit North as the landscape is much better than I have immediately available down here. Though, since I lacked the foresight to know that my time up there would not be mine... nothing was shot. During a visit to Dollarama with my brother however, I was pleasantly surprised to find some nice shooting equipment, and since the exchange rate was in my favor, for mere pocket change I was able to obtain a selfie stick, a bluetooth remote, a few cases, and a selection of mini tripods. Seriously, the dollar stores in Canada rock.

So now I'm able to do my photos all by myself again and without racing the timer! No more relying heavily on the whim of the hubbubs, and no more guilt trips for having the desire to take and share photos of myself from him either.

And of course, I cannot show and tell without a couple of the McCall's skirt.

I usually allot a couple hours for shooting because 1.) it takes a lot of convincing my hubbubs, almost precisely an hour and 2.) retaking and retaking photos because he won't take it seriously enough. This time I was able to shoot not one but two outfits and I got several very good shots! I was very pleased indeed. The quality overall of each shot is definitely up.
If you have any tips of your own for better shots, please, you're more than welcome to share them!

Till next time my lovely ghouls, spook ya later!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...