Spring is finally coming to the midwest, slowly but surely. The temperatures are milder, the grass is greening up, migratory birds have returned.
I decided that this month I wanted to use an actual photo of the buckeye as a basis for the piece. When I went outside to shoot it, I discovered the swelling buds were calling my camera. This closeup has been cropped and manipulated in Photoshop Elements, and printed on silk. I then fused it to a neutral piece that was slightly larger.
These scraps of sky blue were left over from the moon dance piece I talked about last time, and they make a good border--kind of like the sky peeking out with that intense blue we only get at this latitude in spring and fall.
I've been taking a course at Quilt University in using new, nontraditonal stuff. Through that I got entrapped the last few days with transparent ribbon--I'm trying to put it on everything. I used it as a binding on the knots piece (a dark blue that finishes the piece but lets the varigation in the fabric underneath show through), as a border on another piece. And now as strips across this piece. And as part of the beads.
Anyone who knows my art work well would tell you that I am fascinated by the effects of fire and heat on things. I frequently burn the edges of silk, and now I have added melted ribbon to the mix. The strips were first disperse dyed, then sewn in place. Then I melted them with a heat gun hovering over them. I then quilted the background, I wish I had done that before the strips were added, but these pieces are the equivalent of sketches--I learn from the doing, I don't redo them unless they really don't come out (hence the cutup earlier version of this picture currently residing in my stash of bits and pieces).
Wanting to add a dimensional touch, this morning I got the idea of trying to make rolled beads out of the ribbon. I rolled a short length around a wooden skewer, and added some small pieces of another sheer organdy on top. After pinning the ends in place, I went at it with the heat gun. It fused the layers together, and added texture at the same time. The base ribbon has a yellow edge on it, so when I was done the beads echoed the shape of buds on the buckeye.
March is a changeable time in the midwest, 60 one day, 30 the next. Grey one day, clear and windy the next. But it is a time when hope returns, when life returns. By next month the buckeye will probably be in full bloom, I'll be mowing, be outside without a coat. That will be good.