Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Take it Further Challenge March and April

I never knew that sewing could be so tiring! I am absolutely exhausted tonight and I havn't even finished yet! The day started well with a rush of blood to the head and a determination to rid our bedroom of a layer of dust. It was getting to the point of having to climb over dust bunnies to get into bed! ;)
Dusting and hoovering done and DH off to work for an afternoon shift I decided to cut out the pieces for the box I am planning to make for the March TIF challenge. Disaster!!! Yesterday I carefully planned out the pieces I needed to cut for the various parts of the box and made up the sandwich of paper, interfacing, padding and lining. Today I came to cut out all the relevant parts and found my measurements were incorrect! Aaaagh! Serves me right for being clever and trying to get the most parts out of the least paper! Back to the cutting board and the ironing board to cut and fuse fresh pieces. Fortunately I had painted a large piece of brown paper so I had plenty left.
As you may know, I am new to the sewing machine so the actual sewing took me a g e s! However, I present to you my stitched top and base which are now waiting to be hand finished and embellished (but not tonight).

This is the base. It measures 5.75" x 3.75".
This will be the lid and measures 6" x 4".
The lining is a piece of polyester/cotton curtaining. The stitching's a bit ragged but not too bad. I'd love to know how other people get their stitching so neat.
The next step is to turn up the sides and whip stitch them together. I think I'm going to do some Free Machine Embroidery on the lid before I sew up the sides and I'm also thinking of couching a decorative thread into the corners. (Please excuse the colour differences in the photos. It's really difficult to get a clear photograph as the paper is shiny).
As we are now in April, Sharon Boggon has announced the April Challenge and this month the theme is "Change". To quote Sharon, "Some people see change as positive while others are fearful of change. There are stages in life when it is almost unacceptable to change. For instance it is often implied that it is not acceptable to change when you are middle aged and the desire for change at this stage in life is often referred to as a mid life crisis. Yet often at the same time, in the work place expensive consultants are being hired to help corporations and institutions ‘manage change’. We are expected to adapt to different work stresses and embrace change in the work place but changes to our private lives is framed as a bit of an issue. It amuses me (Sharon) when people say we have to learn to live with change as change has always been part of life. As soon as we are born we start to grow in other words we start to change. How do you see change? That is the challenge topic this month."
I have been giving this topic a lot of thought today, especially while I was wielding the duster and the hoover! Like everyone, I have faced lots of changes in life and have sometimes dealt with change better than at others. Sometimes I have risen to the challenge of change, sometimes I have fought against it and sometimes I have deliberately sought change, not least in myself. The greatest recent change has been the direction my art work has taken and that I have found an enlivening and exhilerating change.
You could say that change occurs everytime I take out my art materials and start to create. Since I started working in mixed media and with fabric I have sought to change the way I see the world and the way I represent and interpret it. I have changed the way I have used art materials and I have changed the surface of the supports I have worked with. So, for this challenge, I have started with the brown paper I have just painted (as that has been changed in its appearance and original purpose) and I am going to make a postcard (I think) incorporating only things that have been changed from their original appearance or purpose. (You see, I had to change the use for the piece I had made up in the wrong size! Waste not want not! Lol!) At the moment I have decided to work small so that I do not put too much pressure on myself as I have been finding it difficult to keep up with everything.


artisbliss said...

Your box is turning out beautifully, Julie. I may have to try that out myself. (I'm always coming across things I'd like to try.) What about some guilding wax on the box lid?

Lesley said...

Your box is going to to be lovely Julie and it's great to see the construction phase!

Tha change challenge sounds really interesting too and your postcard idea sounds good :)


Barbara said... lovely..and the way of doing..fantastic...thanks for sharing the photos with us..

Genie said...

Looks great. might give it a go as haven't made boxes as yet, but do have some painted brown paper.

sharon young said...

You sound as if you've met the new TIF challenge head on. Good for you!! I swing directly between both camps, hating change in some ways but longing for it in others.
I think your idea of keeping it small is very sensible, it 's not such a daunting thing to finish then.
Love the way you're progressing with the box, the brown paper technique is brilliant.

freebird said...

I agree with the small! Although the ATC I made for March didn't seem small by the time I was done. Paper sounds good too. I prefer paper over fabric for art but went with fabric last month.

I really like your description of yourself as a butterfly minded, disorganised artist. That sounds like a description I could use for myself. I always want to be trying something new and envy those who can stick with one medium or style! But, I just can not do that. I have to flit from one thing to the next! And yes anything but housework!!!

Deb said...

I think your box is looking great. I'm relatively new to this kind of stitching, although I've been sewing for years, and I find that stitching first with a narrower, more spaced zigzag and then going over it once and even two times more with progressively wider and closer spaced satin stitch yields a smoother finish.