Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Log Cabin Knitting

In case anyone who loves knitting hasn't noticed (what rock do you live under????) Mason Dixon's Ann and Kay are talking about Log Cabin knitting and pushing the boundaries.

Well, Log Cabin and Ball Band were two of my favorite things in their first book... and lots of my knitting life has been spent knitting log cabin stuff.

Start by understanding that I have enough sock yarn in a HUGE variety of colors and I will NEVER be able to knit all those socks.  And, I started just knitting one sock in one colorway and then the next sock, often a different pattern, in a different color.  That left me with a lot of half balls of colors, and there are only so many pairs of sneaker socks (whatever they are called... you know what I mean) that one can wear.

SO I am now showing you pictures of my last 3 log cabin slightly larger than lap blankets.

This one started out as a scarf, so the center part the is yellow at the start was fairly long before I tired of it. ... So I bound off and picked up along the long side to make a larger square and log cabined (do you suppose that can be a verb?) from then on.  I just used one ball until I got tired of it, hunted around for something else I liked and continued until I decided it was time to turn it, bound off, picked up across the piece and kept on going.   SO. It is a log cabin, but since no measuring took place it is a log cabin INSPIRED piece, I guess.

 This is the same piece but it looks so different when the intro piece is vertical, so I shot it from the other side so you could see it.

This is actually the first one I did. It might have started as a washcloth in the Ballband Pattern.  I have a couple of those out of this fine cotton. I had several cones of it and I loved working with it. .. anyway.. I launched into log cabin and kept the Ballband pattern, and changed it slightly here and there. 

This is a bit of a closeup so you can see the patterns..

Finally, this is the last one I kept. (I also made one for my best friend as a sort of wedding present).  I tried to do some increasing around the edges with this one, why I do NOT remember. I don't recommend it.   I wanted a frilly edge for some NOT be deluded into thinking that is an improvement.   But you get a sense of how ANY color can be worked in.  I heard Kaffe Fassett talk once and he said.. if it looks like the color you just added doesn't work, ADD MORE COLORS!... or words to that effect.  He is, as usual, right.  Several times in all the colored ones I would start thinking oops!  and I made myself keep on.. and it resolved itself.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Black and White Class...

As I said yesterday, I am taking a class from Jane Davies.  It is the third online class that I have taken from her and I have learned a lot from each of them.  What is great about her classes that I have not seen in other online classes that I have taken is that she comments on every single thing posted in the class space and the posts are thoughtful and helpful, not just "attagirls".  She has a structure for the class and it moves you through a series of steps and you end up knowing more than when you started. I know I said similar things yesterday, but I decided that some people might only look at today, so Jane gets two posts... VBG!

SO, these are a couple of the class products. Nothing is ever finished that is done to meet the class requirements, but a couple of the things I did this time I found interesting, so here they are.  The class is totally Black and White.  The BEST class was 100 drawings on cheap paper, which was SO much fun I would almost take it again.. still might.  This one was shorter and more structured and really focused on the process of making black and white abstracts.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


I've been over on Instagram a bunch and it's like a quick fix drug. Makes it harder to do a thoughtful post here, I just put up a cat or dog post and I'm good. But I'm going to be here more with my journal entries as soon as I make some!

I've been working through some online classes,  one with Jane Davies that is GREAT!  I'm doing her black and white abstract class and she is teaching me so much. I have taken a couple of her classes and the best part is that she never let's you slide by. If you do the work she gives you thoughtful evaluations and suggestions and never lets you phone it in.

Try it!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How hoarding feeds what I make, though there are more hoards to be revealed

I got some questions about a book I showed on Instagram and here a few posts ago.  I made it ages ago and found it intimidating and so have only recently begun to work on the pages.

I painted paint sample brochures, the kind you get from hardware stores.  They are a variety of sizes and formats, but range from 8 inches by 8 inches to 9 inches by 12 inches or even bigger.  They are all either three or four folds, so open they are really large.  I painted them all with acrylics, with no real plan as to color or theme. I did it over about 3 or 4 days, so continuity was never a consideration.
I bound them into a book with a really simple coptic stitch binding and used some cloth tape that was used to tie up a delivery to help hold them together. I just covered bookboard with some nice paper that I had saved (two hoarder savings in the cover alone!) for the cover, it has a snakeskin texture that you can feel.

Some pics might help here... to show that the trifold and quadrofold pages can be seen in several ways, depending on how they are folded. The interactions between pages is VERY interesting to consider in creating pages.

The right side page here is the same in each of the next two pics.  The left page is folded differently.

Here the furthest left side is folded behind the center page.

Here the page is folded over the center part of the page.

As you can see from the next picture, the pages are different sizes, so the edges do not line up, but I really like being able to see other pages behind the one I am working on at the time.

This is the only "page" I feel is sort of finished,

 and in the following closeups you can see the other interesting part about making pages from paint sample books.  Although I did lightly sand the pages if they were shiny, the grid from the sample chips is still visible.  In some places I covered it with collage or something else, in others I used it.  I am still playing with how this works overall.
Left side:


Right side:

Finally... man this post got long.... I have the "red page" I am working on, and it is in pause mode while I think about it some more. I often work on more than one page at a time, so I thought I would show you my next "start" ...

 I have had this picture since the 1980's. Not sure exactly when I shot it.  It is of one of my friend who is also a photography nut.   I cropped it, played with the contrast, and printed it on my laser printer.  Then I did an image transfer using matte gel medium to a page in the journal.  It is on the "first side"  of a trifold page. so there is a totally different page on the left and the page could open further on the right. This page also has lots of semi hidden paint samples on it.  We shall see what happens next..

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Number 3 in the I am a Hoarder series...

I used to print black and white photos in a rental darkroom down on 3rd Street in Manhattan.  It was behind an art gallery, and when the gallery wasn't open you could rent the darkroom.  You could go back there and lock yourself in, turn on the radio and work as long as you wanted.  It was a little slice of heaven.  These are the negatives and many of the prints I made back there.  I want to use them again.  I haven't shot film in ages, but every time I look through these notebooks I want to break out the film cameras and start again.

One story about the darkroom.  I came out one evening, having been in there for hours, to find the street full of police.  I asked what was going on, after I explained where I had come from, since the gallery was closed and dark.  They said that the Hell's Angels had a clubhouse at the other end of the street and they were having a book signing.

After I processed that I asked about the heavy police presence for a book signing in a place not well known to house bigtime readers?   The police said that it was unusual, but the last time they had a book signing there was a shooting, so they were there just as deterrence.

I went home.. New York, the East Side in the 1980's you gotta love it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

step two in the I am a Hoarder series....

I am a firm believer in the premise that the unexamined life is not worth living... hmmm spell check doesn't like the word unexamined.  I certainly think it is a valid word, if not a way to live :-)

In any case.  Years ago... Many many years ago I fell into the book The Artist's Way.  As a result of that I started doing the Daily Pages... 3 pages of handwritten braindump first thing in the morning. It was a habit that stuck and of course generates enormous numbers of pages.  I burn them, or otherwise destroy them on a semi regular basis but they do pile up.  I find them very helpful in purging a lot of things that I might otherwise obsess about.

I haven't purged in a while, so this is the current iteration:

I need to get rid of them soon, as the iron on the right side... its the best use I have found for an iron in years... is failing to hold them up and is getting crowded out of the windowsill. 

As you can see, tags go here too...Most of them are just the dates covered but every once in a while I add "big ideas" or whatever. 

Hoarders can be neat, but they don't have to iron.....

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hi, My name is Jordi and I am a hoarder...of sorts

I did feel the need to qualify the title because I live in a fairly clean home and there are no stashes of gross stuff, but I do hoard some things because "they may come in handy some day".

I was watching Hoarders or whatever the TV show is called the other day (OK, I was watching it because there was no channel playing old Law and Order shows) and I heard a guy who had a yard and a house you could not get into say exactly that phrase and it made me quiver with fear.

So I thought I would start documenting what I DO hoard... and you can judge for yourselves...

So this is area number 1. I have a few little machines (not quite as many as Gill!) that I use regularly and my absolute favorite is my Cinch ... probably not the most sophisticated binding machine in the world etc. but it is little, works well and does exactly what I want to do easily.  I have a zillion of those red coils and I am going to be binding using them forever.

Also, if you forget how to punch holes in larger pieces of paper because it has been 2 weeks since you last did it, it tells you right there on the machine how to do it.  What more could you ask??

I have taken a couple of online classes... You can see Jane Davies name prominently displayed on the tags there.  I tend to print out what I do in the class and the lessons so I can go back to them when the class is over and then I bind them all together.  The others are largely the result of a class I took years ago from SharonB which I don't think she teaches anymore but it was from this perspective.  She is a big advocate of keeping only one "journal" and putting EVERYTHING in the same place and letting the ideas cross pollinate with your grocery lists.  So there are dates and then there are things I might want to look up later written on the tags hanging off each one. 

I think this probably is a bit neat to qualify as a true hoard, but it is MY hoard and I love seeing them every day.  That was the other thing that the hoarder said... sigh.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A NewArt Journal

I made this Journal quite a while ago, out of a bunch of paint sample brochures that I got at the hardware store. They are different sizes, some have rounded corners, all of them had glued on paint samples, and I spread paint over all of them to start with.

It has been sitting around, mostly because I found it intimidating!  It is big, and it has mostly 3 fold pages, which I have not dealt with a lot before.  I guess I needed to ponder it for a while.   I loved the choices I made in binding it, and I will show you that at a later point, but I am going to post a few pages here now to push me to keep going.

This is a look at the whole spread:

Left side:

Center spread:

Right side: