twenty

twenty

I like the basic idea of the spiral, but I am not delighted with the contrast between the two threads I used to make it, or the placement of stars along it. 

I am fine; I had a medical test yesterday, and the results were in my favor. The circle for yesterday is over at Flickr. 

eighteen

eighteen

Still experimenting with different glues. I like the swoop down of this one. Although if you turn it over it looks like a fountain. 

seventeen, a river of stars

seventeen

In all my fussing about fusible web for foil, I totally forgot that I have six or seven different glues, any one of which might work also. So I did some controlled testing on scrap fabric, and liked the way this one came out. Also, lots of close reds (I think there are three different reds in there, so it shimmers in an interesting way). 

 

sixteen and testing hypotheses

sixteen

I’m much happier with this one. Although I did forget to edge it before I took its portrait. 

You can look away now, if you are not interested in the more technical aspects!

After yesterday’s issues I dug out a different fusible (Heat and Bond, vs. WonderUnder). It works at a lower temperature, is thicker and heavier, and seems to be working better. I am encouraged by the intensity of the tiny stars – that was not happening with WU. I prefer WU because I usually need to be able to sew through the stuck down fabrics. Heat and Bond heavy weight is not to be stitched through; it does serious damage to needles, and the Heat and Bond lightweight still leaves strange residues. But it is great for foil. 

fifteen

fifteen

And a happy natal day to my brother who turns 50 today. I don't entirely understand how that can be possible because I'm a year and a half older than he is and I'm still 36, but maybe that is relative time for you. 

Today I suffered a complete foil failure. I've been using foil that requires ironing onto something sticky. I had a special glue for it, but the glue is really difficult to control. For these stars I'd been using fusible web. Paper punches make lovely shapes from the paper-backed fusible. I'd iron the shapes down, peel off the paper, and fuse the foil to the fusible. With more or less success.  Today only one star of fifteen foiled and peeled properly. The rest were mangled, fragmented or vanished. 

So I begged a piece of gold origami paper from Alice, and used fusible to make punched out stars iron-on, and ironed them on. 

I think I have a short list of experiments left to try with the foil. I need to see if higher or lower iron temps matter and I need to try two other kinds of fusible. If I don't find some combination of factors that works, I'm done with the stuff. It is shiny, but too frustrating if I can't make it do what I want.

fourteen

fourteen

Fourteen, and a very busy day. 

I had a horse, and a concert, and dinner with friends, and then I remembered I had a circle to make. 

I am remembering why I got so frustrated with foil. It does it not do what I want it to, and it doesn't do it in ways I cannot fix or work around. I don't mind unpreditability, in fact I like working with variegated threads and handpainted fabric. But this looks ugly to me, the edges aren't good, the fusible doesn't hold all the shape of the transfer, it isn't clean…  Two weeks into January, I am remembering why I didn't do much with it before.

And I need to decide how hard I want to push the foil issue – do I stick with it to the end of January, or do I declare this experiment over and go on to other gold stars? Because I still like the idea of counting up to the end of the month. 

when the clocks strike thirteen

thirteen

Timna – you can see all the new reds you gave me yesterday in this one. Well, all the reds except the cowgirls. 

I do not know why I thought of clock faces on the thirteenth instead of the twelfth. Although I do like the star in the center. And I am pleased with the different sizes of stars. 

I took my sewing machine out to Pumpkin Patch Quilts in Lee (a town I am predisposed to like) and after some prodding we decided it needed more work that he could apply to it with me standing there. So I left it (and had to call Al from the parking lot because I was suffering from separation anxiety) and they will call me when it is working properly again. 

Today was a two horse day. Kaboose was very… spicy, having not been ridden for a day. Plus the snow was sliding off the roof of the indoor ring, which makes a noise most horses hate. It is a loud and startling noise, and I don't like it much myself, but when I don't like a noise I flinch. When Kaboose doesn't like a noise, she leaps sideways and makes snorting noises. I managed to stay on through a series of those and then dismounted of my own volition in between noises. It was exciting. 

twelve and a loaner sewing machine

twelve

I am deeply grateful to Timna for the loan of a perfectly lovely, working sewing machine, and a pointer to the people to fix my indisposed machine (Pumpkin Patch Quilts).  Audrey said there was a bakery and a bookstore to visit while they fixed my machine and the guy on the phone sounded very encouraging. So I am feeling surrounded by friends and competence. 

We attended the Winter Concert tonight. It was a very speedy one of its kind, with no jazz, and thus no jazz solos. There was some wonderful playing by the band (especially since I still vividly remember the 4th grade band, and their complete and spectacular failure on one particular piece) and three different vocal groups. Aerin was also in a small woodwind quartet that played two student composed pieces.  I got my knitting into a terrible tangle and had to stop until the lights came back on. Apparently I am still not quite as capable in the dark as I thought. 

eleven and a studio catastrophe

eleven

My sewing machine is broken! Let there be sorrow and wailing and gnashing of teeth, because I cannot function without it. Honestly, I draw with it. I'm kind frantic thinking about how to get it to the fix-it shop and what I'll use until it comes home. The circles can be done by hand, so I have no good excuse to miss any. I just have to figure out how to use what I have on hand. Which is probably good for me. If unpleasant…. 

X

X is ten

As I said yesterday, I knew what today was going to be before it got here. I even have a plan for tomorrow. After that, I’m back top freestyling! I try to make these daily pieces with less forethought, but sometimes I can see a progression so clearly it seems a shame not to make the most of it.