Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For December's Show

I rarely use sketch books.  I don't know why.  When ideas pop into my head I just do it.  If I don't have the materials I find them and fast.  But when I go on trips I take a sketch book because I can't just go up to my art room and work on an idea.  When we traveled to Illinois last week for Thanksgiving I took a sketch book.  A few days before we left I had an idea for December's show at Olde Towne Art but knew I wouldn't be able to execute it before we left.  While driving there I asked my husband if I bought a large canvas in IL could we get it home in the minivan.  The show goes up December 1st so that meant I would only have a few days to work on it when we got back.  I thought I could get a jump start on it in IL then finish it in VA.  He said yes we would manage to get it home, HORRAY!!
The initial idea:
When we got there I found the perfect size canvas, 18" X 36".  I then bought some paint and got underway.
The next step was to "build" the shelves.  I went to the local hardware store and looked at the crown moulding section thinking I would find something ornate but eventually settled on a simple piece of wood.  I knew my flower idea would be dramatic so I didn't want it to get too busy.  The pieces of wood were 36" long but I needed them to be 6" so thanks to my sister-in-law's boyfriend I could saw them down right there.
Then paint them black.
I then glued them onto the canvas and painted the pedestal bases.  Next was the fun part, creating the flowers from fabric.  I wanted the centers of the flowers different and the larger perimeter to all be the same.  I wanted to quilt the centers to give it more depth so here I have all of my centers laid out on the batting.
Cut and ready for their backing:
I couldn't quilt the centers yet because I didn't have my sewing machine with me so I pinned the centers to the backing for the drive home.  On the ride home I cut slits from the perimeter towards the center because after I quilted it I wanted to wash the flowers a few times to give the edges a scrappy look. 
The last thing I needed to do before we traveled back home was to make two vases the flowers were to go in.  I needed to do this there because I knew it would take a few days to dry out.  I used air drying clay, sculpted them after Thanksgiving lunch while everyone was taking a nap, and they air dried on the dashboard of our car on the drive home. 
We made it home Saturday night and by Sunday night I  had quilted the flowers and washed them a few times.  They still weren't giving me the depth I wanted.
So when I started making these flowers I ended up with 30 but cut it down to 20 before quilting the middles.  After I quilted the middles I realized that I would only be able to fit 10 onto my canvas.  The 10 that I set aside came in real handy when I went to create that puffy middle I was looking for.

I am going to try to explain it so stick with me.  I balled up pieces of aluminum foil, squirted hot glue into the back center and stuck the ball in there then wrapped it up.  Before it was completely dry I took the second quilted flower, squirted hot glue into the right side center of that and fanned out the first flower (with the aluminum ball) and stuck it to it.  Hence four pieces of fabric and two pieces of batting for one flower.
I couldn't decide what color to paint the vases.  My initial thought was to paint them black but the pedistals were "too black" if that makes sense.  While in my garage I noticed a can of silver spray paint and it was perfect! 
And the final product:

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