Monthly Archives: November 2016

hanging organizer for file folders made from fabricSlowly but surely I've been getting my work space more organized. Recently I made a file organizer for various projects and tasks. I wanted to use some of the supplies I already had around the house so opted to sew my own (plus I enjoy making things so this worked well for me). I did some searching and found a pretty helpful blog post for sewing my own wall organizer.

For those that are interested, here's the link to the blog post I found for a DIY Fabric Wall Organizer. There are others on the internet, this one just made the most sense to me: http://blog.spoonflower.com/2015/09/diy-fabric-wall-organizer/

There are a few differences between the organizer I made and the blog post I found. Instead of 3 pockets I wanted 5, and I wanted them to overlap to conserve space. I made the backing fabric a bit longer to fit 5 pockets. With a little trial and error and I learned what I needed to do to make this work. I followed most of the directions from the Spoonflower blog post but to get the pockets to overlap I started with the top pocket first. I figured out how much overlap I wanted for each pocket (I positioned and pinned all pockets in place, measured as I went along, then removed them all except the top pocket, #1). I basted the sides of pocket #1 first, then stitched along the bottom only between the two folded sides, being careful not to stitch over the gussets. Then I added one pocket at a time, following a similar procedure to how I attached pocket #1. I placed one pocket at a time. The folded gussets tucked nicely into each other as I overlapped each pocket.

The other difference is that I didn't have any grommets large enough so instead I used a bit of the bias tape to create a loop at the top. I did 2 rows of stitching to reinforce the attachment of the loop to the backing.

To hang my folder organizer, I just use a picture hanger.

I like it. I did have to purchase a few items to complete the project (the bias tape, and the extra stiff interfacing, but I did manage to use what I already had for the majority of the organizer). It's a welcome addition of bright color in these dreary winter months. Plus the 5 different colored pockets allow me to organize projects by their urgency. Red being projects with closer deadlines, and blue/purple being tasks to do as I have time but aren't urgent. And of course the folders have titles that I can read from across the room, I'm just not showing them in the photo.

If you need something to organize your work, and you're not into making your own thing, some keywords I used to find options were: wall organizer, file organizer, hanging folder organizer.

2016 Women's Art FestivalThis is the second year I'll be participating in the Women's Art Festival in Minneapolis. It's going to be another jam packed day of art and music!

This year I'm excited to be sharing a space with Villa Villa Vintage Bag Co. Joanna creates very fashionable bags and purses from old materials. Read more about the bags here: http://www.villavillavintage.com/single-post/2016/07/22/Introducing-VVV-Bag-Co
Check out current available bags here:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/VVVBagCo?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Women's Art Festival
Saturday, December 10th, 2016
9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Colin Powell Center, 2924 4th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
FREE Parking in the Wells Fargo ramp. Get directions here.
A word of caution, do not park on the street. Even though there might appear to be parking, there is not. The No Parking sign is enforced for a very long stretch of the street.

I've been working on a dragon picture and it was suggested I create a maquette to help me figure out the anatomy. Sculpt a dragon? Sounds like a lovely idea to me!

I reused a super basic sculpting block I created from a previous project. It's just a piece of 2x4 with holes drilled into it that are slightly snug for the diameter of the main wire. The main wire is some repurposed, coated electrical wire. I wish I had taken a picture of the initial wire for the body. It's basically a long loop to which I added the aluminum foil. I used the foil to create the main masses so I didn't have to use a lot of extra polymer clay. To create the various limbs or the armature I used about 3 thin sculpture wires for each limb and wrapped them around each other to make a thicker, stronger "skeleton" and to give the clay something to grab on to (sorry I don't remember the gauge, I've had the stuff for ages). I secured the 3-wire bundles to the body and then bulked up the neck and head with foil.
I reused a super basic sculpting block I created from a previous project. It's just a piece of 2x4 with holes drilled into it that are slightly snug for the diameter of the main wire. The main wire is some repurposed, coated electrical wire. I wish I had taken a picture of the initial wire for the body. It's basically a long loop to which I added the aluminum foil. I used the foil to create the main masses so I didn't have to use a lot of extra polymer clay. To create the various limbs or the armature I used about 3 thin sculpture wires for each limb and wrapped them around each other to make a thicker, stronger "skeleton" and to give the clay something to grab on to (sorry I don't remember the gauge, I've had the stuff for ages). I secured the 3-wire bundles to the body and then bulked up the neck and head with foil.

mitzuk-dragonsculpt-armature3 mitzuk-dragonsculpt2

I decided to try wax paper for the wings because of it's translucent quality (using supplies I had on hand). I like how the light hits the wings. I'm not so sure about how the paper bunches up between the wing bones. For future experiments: someone suggested using nylon stockings for the wings, someone else suggested using parchment paper painted with watercolor and then rubbed with baby oil once dry.
I decided to try wax paper for the wings because of it's translucent quality (using supplies I had on hand). I like how the light hits the wings. I'm not so sure about how the paper bunches up between the wing bones. For future experiments: someone suggested using nylon stockings for the wings, someone else suggested using parchment paper painted with watercolor and then rubbed with baby oil once dry.
mitzuk-dragonsculpt4
I extended a wing, placed a piece of wax paper on top, cut to the shape I wanted, and then taped the wax paper to the wire as well as secured the paper to the beefier part of the wing with polymer clay.

mitzuk-dragonsculpt5 mitzuk-dragonsculpt6 mitzuk-dragonsculpt7 mitzuk-dragonsculpt8I thought I'd share some of the progress shots in an effort to assess what I did, and to share the process in case anyone else is curious about how to do this.

This time around I used what I had on hand. As I do more of these I'll need to learn how to make the armature in a different way because the one I made had some limitations. I think the whole process was worth the effort because it helped me think more about the volumes, and the relationships of the various parts. It also helped me discover areas where I'd like more information and things I'd like to improve. Learning opportunities!

I found this YouTube video to be a little helpful for how to use aluminum foil, and wrapping the wire to create the armature. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQlX79qxBO4

My takeaways, and things that will come with practice:

Learn how to make a more versatile, flexible, and more structurally accurate armature.

Learn to manipulate the clay so the volumes and surface texture are more refined.

I like how pliable the Super Sculpey is and that I can easily scrape it off and reuse it. What I find tricky is trying to create solid looking forms that retain their shape. I might have to switch materials, possibly Chavant NSP Sulphur-Free Plasteline (the instructor had us use it for our Écorché class back in school and I like how easy it was to create crisp shapes, it just took extra work to get the stuff to soften up).

Thinking in mass with my hands really helps me think through a drawing.

mitzuk-spaceshipIn my exploration of creativity I decided to read "Orbiting the Giant Hairball, A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace", by Gordon MacKenzie. He describes the hairball as the rules, procedures, and methods that get developed in organizations. Something worked well once so it gets used as a template for future work. One reason is because it feels safe, it's familiar ground.

One takeaway for me is the idea of my own "hairball" (more questions than answers at the moment). What are some ways I've created my own methods and rules? What are some ways I can use that as framework or a starting point and allow myself to break free of the gravitational pull of that hairball in a spaceship of a different kind?

What color is your spaceship?

P.S. if you're looking for a book the get you thinking about things in a different way, this might be for you https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/100469.Orbiting_the_Giant_Hairball

When at a convention, there's a lot of standing, walking, and carrying of heavy things followed by achy muscles. One bit of gear I wish I had remembered to bring to the last convention was this

a tennis balla tennis ball.

I find it to be a great portable back massage tool (some people like a racquetball instead). I just put it between my back and a wall, lean in, and move around a little to relax some of the muscle knots. This plus a bit of gentle stretching seems to do the trick.