Sunday, January 19, 2014

Artzona bound

In just a few days I'm off to Mesa, Arizona for a little thing called ARTZONA.   I've been flinging most of my free time for the last six weeks into making items to trade with 39 other women I have never met, in a city I've never been to, as part of a schedule of events that are being kept under wraps by the organizers.  In other words ... I have no idea what Artzona will be like, but I do know we'll be making art, so whee!

Artzona is a three-day event for face-to-face ATC (aka artist trading card) making and swapping.  I heard about it over on the ATCsForAll forum.  ATCs are little 2.5" x 3.5" works of art that are traded between artists.  (there's a different acronym for cards that are for sale: ACEO, which stands for art card editions and originals).   I joined ATCsForAll a little over a year ago because I hoped the themed challenges would help get me back to drawing regularly.  And ... they did!  But building a huge stockpile of cards to trade at Artzona has helped even more.   I couldn't worry too much about what to draw -- I just needed to draw.  And I did.  And it got easier, and I got better.

Now -- to go give it all away!  Well, except for this baby hippo card, which my husband claimed.  He suggested several of the animals I drew, including the hippo, so I guess he earned it.  If you want to see all the cards I'm taking to Artzona (minus baby hippo), they are here.

For Artzona!  (Not.)

Hearts are another trading theme at Artzona.  They're palm-sized ... well, they're heart shaped objects, made out of whatever medium strikes your fancy.  I decided to sew mine, and then added some beads.  (Look, there is sewing in this post!)   The fabrics I used are leftover from other projects, and also from a bag of cool vintage fabric scraps that my Aunt Dora gave me eons ago.   I was glad to finally have a project that could use some of the beautiful but very small pieces.

Sure, art saves lives ... too bad we can't agree on what art is exactly ...
I didn't want to put my name directly on them, so I attached paper tags with my info.  Fun fact:  the "Art Saves Lives" stamp that I used for the front of the cards was given to me by my husband for Valentine's Day ... in 1991!  We'd only been dating a few weeks, and yet he picked out this stamp and several other items that were very, very "me".  

Finally, some folks bring "signature cards" to Artzona.  I've never seen one, but I gather they're like artist business cards, that represent the artist: their style, likes/dislikes, and other details of interest.  Often they're mass-printed, but also personalized in some way to make them unique.  I was toiling away at my ATCs, so I decided to just get Moo cards printed in lieu of signature cards, using some of the photos I've taken over the years.   This was actually super easy to do, and I think the result is really cool.  I'll probably try out other Moo wares at some point.  (Like the stickers ... ooooo custom stickers!)

The snazzy crown hides my personal details ... because teh Internetz haz a-holes.
So ... Artzona ... I'm ready!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Citrus skirt

Happy 2014!   The sun came out for a while this morning, and I was able to get a few pictures of my last sewing accomplishment for 2013.

Nothing too exciting here ... just another rendition of my "Fuller Moon" skirt.  However, this fabric really spoke to me.  I love the little mandarin oranges that are at their best this time of year: I've been eating them throughout the holidays.  I'm also a native of the great state of Florida, which is strongly associated with citrus.  I found this at High Fashion Fabrics in downtown Houston (back when I lived in downtown Houston -- maybe two years ago).  It's Michael Miller quilting cotton, but has a soft, almost plush-like feel to its surface.  Not all quilting cotton is the same, even from the same designer or manufacturer.  This is one of the good ones!  

For the yoke facing I used a fat quarter from a pack my mother in law gave me for my birthday, which coordinates nicely:

I fixed the waistband problem I'd had on the last couple of skirts I made by going back and re-tracing the Burda 7741 skirt waistband that I used as a starting point for this pattern way back when.  Somehow over the past few years I'd managed to gradually draft in too much curve, why I don't know!  The original waistband is pretty close to perfect.  

I've been feeling the need for new skirts (too many of the ones I made last year just didn't work out as I'd hoped) so today I'm squeezing in just one more, from the same pattern.  After that, I need to focus on my ATCs for the rest of January -- I have a deadline, which I'll explain soon.  Tomorrow, alas, it's back to work, but at least things should start slow, since many people will still be on vacation until Monday.