I have a small exhibit now hung in Chanute, KS at the Chanute Art Gallery. it will remain there throughout June. On the 16th there will be a public reception. As I am well aware I am not the best speaker or socially smooth person, so it all is being kept casual and low pressure.
I still am working on the knitting designs and I have an eBook on knitting in progress. But from the looks of an informal survey I conducted over the last 24 hours, it will need to be put on the back burner. Oh, I will still knit. But, realistically getting eBooks completed and on the market sometimes trumps our obsessions. So, it will get completed, just not before the things that pay the bills. As they say, “Girl gotta eat!”
So, today is Memorial Day. Today I am thinking on my goals, as to what to accomplish before Labor Day.
Like many, I have too many irons in the fire. So this weekend was spent narrowing things down and getting focused. Which, lets face it is ALWAYS a battle for me!
I need some input. Which would you find more useful?
1. A guide to painting portraits. In the studio step-by-step.
2. Information on how to publish your own eBooks. A step-by-step on how to have a passive income from your art skills and knowledge.
3. An instructional on knitting lace shawls. Six new patterns to make yourself, along with information on the types of shawls made historically.
People have already been responding on my Facebook page(s). But feel free to also leave a comment below!
Sitting here at my computer, it is a blustery day in Kansas. So windows are shut tight and allergy problems are being attempting to be avoided. I did get out over the weekend though. Sunday marked the annual Neosho Valley Art Exhibit at the Chanute Art Gallery. I was pleasantly surprised to be awarded the Best of Show for the second year in a row.
Mr. Derosa of Coffeyville judged and critiqued the show very professionally. But probably the best comment I heard was ‘The best thing Bob Ross ever did was die.”
Aside from the award it was amazing seeing everyone again. Many of these people I have known close to twenty-five years. Hubby even came with me. :0)
In the studio/office I am working through the piles of “stuff” I have let get away from me. Again I have a VERY large pile of books sitting on the floor, checked out from the library. I prefer to work in an orderly environment and like many always attempting to tame the clutter.
Aside from the expected knitting and art books I also read a number of business books. One particular book that is resonating with me is “Overcoming Underearning” by Barbara Stanny. Women and creatives seem to have a big problem in this area. or, at least I do and many around me do! (Note: Link on cover goes to Amazon, but I am not currently an affiliate.) FYI The copy I have checked out is covered with Post-It Notes for areas I need to look into further.
Easter is going to be here before I know it and we are hoping to have grandkids here that weekend. Oh and their parents too of course. So mentally I am thinking of what I need to get accomplished before then. On the top of the agenda, after getting all the books under control, is to have a painting currently on the easel completed and a shawl for the month of April begun.
The painting is for inclusion in a solo exhibit coming up in June and the shawl is for a collection i want to release later on in the year.
Last week I managed to get a new painted started. I only got as far as starting the underpainting. I have a show in June at a small local gallery co-op and one would think I would feel more pressure to have a LOT of new work to show.
But the truth is I am OBSESSED with knitting. Notice the painting is of hands knitting? Chances are most all new pieces will be knitting themed.
I have decided this is the month I will officially start designing some of my own things. The first thing I have in mind are working with lace. There just happen to be a number of lace weight yarns in my stash calling my name.
I made a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of this year to not buy anymore yarn until July. So far this year I had to buy one skein. ONE. That is pretty darn good if I do say so myself!
NOTE: And it was to finish a lace shawl I was making. (Pats self on back :0)
A few of my paintings are now available at Chanute, Kansas, Comforts of Home. If you haven’t been in there you should! And I don’t say that just because my work is now there. It is a great place to find truly unique items.
And of course pieces are available here on our website :0)
I am juggling painting new pieces for a small show to finish a book, with making one shawl a month for the 2014 year for a future project. I am doing this with a part-time day job and other responsibilities of my home studio business. I am not complaining. I know I am a lucky one to have this problem!
It is not so bad to feel free to use things and events around me that I love, to influence my work. I look out my window and I see birds, plants and every so often a deer or fox in our yard. I live in a small town where walking down the road for a fountain drink also means being waved at by locals in trucks and cars. Many wave whether they actually know me or not. The clerk ringing up my purchase will briefly chat about whatever is the current local hot topic, and it would not be unusual to speak with someone that knew my husband since he was a small child.
I come back and settle in with my to-do list and calendar and am thankful for where I am in the world.
One of my goals this year was to create a shawl each month. Well, February got away from me, and I finished it the first week of March.
I decided to create an Orenburg (Russian) Lace Shawl. Yes, the shortest month of the year I decided to do the most difficult one I could for my skill level. What was I thinking? But in my defense I did get it completed!
The pattern I used was by no means the most difficult of Orenburg Shawls. I wanted to be sure to understand the construction first. I hope to conquer a particular one at a later date. The one I did do came from Knitting Traditions – Spring 2012 issue, “Romashka Scarf From Orenburg”. I used Patons Lace, Vintage Antique, (498 yrds) 2 skeins.
Orenburg shawls are created by a sort of jogging around method. Here I made a short border end, created the first corner, picked up the stitches along its straight edge then turn the second corner. The length of the shawl is made by simply following the chart for the borders and panel. Once you get to the other end I then made the third corner, picked up the stitches along the top while making the top border and finished by creating the fourth corner. Then standard finishing techniques were used so I could call it complete.
Below are images of a recently completed Estonian Lace Scarf. The pattern is Lily of the Valley from “Knitted Lace of Estonia” by Nancy Bush. (Note: Not an affiliate link)
I used Paton’s Lace yarn. It is not as crisp as others I have used in the past, it has more of a halo. An acrylic blend, so I am not sure I like it. If it is not used for another lace shawl I can always use it for baby items. It is soft, and washable! And very inexpensive in comparison.
It is freezing outside, but inside I was more than a little pleased to discover my plant blooming. It was a gift last year for Mother’s Day from a son-in-law. Just a few days before I had made the comment that I “…hoped it would survive until Spring”.
That’ll teach me!
The goal for 2014 is to have one significant shawl completed for each month. I am not sure if I want to begin on a idea that has been peculating in my noggin, or jump right into creating an Orenburg shawl next.
Eventually it will all come together for an eBook tutorial with original designs.
Talk to you all soon and have a wonderful rest of January! Stay warm! And please be sure to leave comments and/or suggestions. I always love hearing from you!