And the road goes on forever...

Friday, December 13, 2019

I'm Off and Running With a New Avocation

First, let me make it perfectly clear I am by no means any kind of “artist”, nor do I have any training. Somehow, I managed to muddle through strengthening a creative streak with my jewelry and then my fabric basket making and have enjoyed some local success at selling these items. I do it primarily as a support for the Humane Society I volunteer for, as a stress reliever, a time-consumer and because I like things that are unique and made by hand.
Just within the past year though, I was having enough problem and pain with the thumb joint of my left hand that I finally saw a hand specialist the first part of December. The outlook is not good. I have late stage 3 (out of 4) osteoarthritis and the joint is not only bone-on-bone but has also grown and thrown off two large bone spurs. The doctor recommends surgery but the recovery time from that, 12 weeks, is so extensive there is no way I can ever consider it until Marc retires and can take over running the household for that period of time. So, for now, I wear a brace and will most likely suck up a cortisone shot soon.
The upshot of all this is that certain movements have almost become prohibitive and wrapping the fabric around the cord to make my baskets is one of them. Although I managed to make quite a few baskets and jewelry for the Fall sale, it was an arduous task.
I was looking for other endeavors I might pursue and have intensely grown an interest in fiber arts. Especially, trying my hand at landscape wall hangings and needle felting. I use applique technique, embellish things with yarns, Sari silk, buttons, embroidery, beading—anything I think can add interest and whimsy to a piece.

Pinterest and You Tube are wonderful things when one is trying to learn new skills on a self-taught basis! My attempts are amateur at best but it is a highly engaging activity that can suck up an entire day in pursuing an idea and bringing it to some sort of form. I lack quilting skills so need to take time to study and practice, practice, practice, free form stitching (an art in itself) and maybe one day I’ll produce items good enough to be sold for the shelter.

My very first attempt with its inspiration photo:

And a special one for Rachael of a highland cow named Ballow, that we met at Loch Ness in Scotland long ago, and one for my son and his wife on their favorite sport, crabbing on the Oregon coast.
Since those, my latest creations have been centered around needle felting or a combination of that with applique. It's all great fun!

To finish off, this is today's creation using vintage handkerchief and hand embroidered applique some long ago person painstakingly and meticulously threaded onto linen. I added some slight beading and Sari silk ribbon. I try to upcycle as many old materials as I can where appropriate as half the fun is scouring them out.