Friday, November 26, 2010


Using 'Yes' I glued most of the trees to the cool card stock I bought at Paper Zone.    I went with my husband to the woodworking store the other day and right next to it was the Paper Zone.  I said, "I'm gonna run in there and get some stuff."  I must have been taking too long because he eventually came in to see what I was doing.  I asked him what he thought about the color of the cards I had in my hand.  He didn't like it.  He thought it was too lime-green, which it is.  But, I thought it would work great with my trees, which it does.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Next, I cut out a bunch of little tree shapes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Darrell come up to my studio at lunch time to ask if I wanted to go out to lunch.  I had my basket of batiks out and was pulling out greens and cutting them into randomly shaped long triangles.  He watched me for a few minutes, then asked me why I was just hacking up this fabric.
I said, "I don't know...I was bored I guess."
So, we went out to lunch.

When we got back, I started sewing them back together.

Not randomly.

Monday, November 22, 2010


After meeting with my wonderfully inspirational new friends, who gave me input and suggestions for my new project, I was really excited to get back to working on it.

After a little head-scratching about the logistics of what I wanted to do, I made some decisions, and started laying it all out.  I put it on a piece of thin batting over heavy Pellon, spot-gluing it together.

I went against the 'rule' of starting the quilting in the middle and started on the edges, so I wouldn't have too much in the keyhole.  I was worried the whole thing would fall apart before I got it stitched down!

As you can see, I added a yellow border.  I tried purple, but the yellow was definitely better.  My group had suggested just leaving it uneven.  But, being so (I'm not sure of which word to use here!) rigid, traditional, precise, stuck-in-a-rut, I thought it looked really good 'squared-up'.

I like it.  But, I don't know where to go from here.  When is my group meeting up again anyway? 

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Our teacher, Jean Mills, read to us from Tim McCreight's little book Design Language.

It's a great little book, I've just ordered it from Amazon.  It explains basic design elements with great definitions in easy-to-understand language and analogies, with illustrations, too!  

And as for my show-n-tell, they said they really liked it.  We discussed which direction to take it from here, and I got some great ideas about how to finish it.  It was nice to hear that they liked my use of my hand-dyed fabrics and especially liked the colors.  I'm excited to get to work on it.

We don't have another class until January, so I've got quite a bit of time to get to the homework.  We are thinking about 'negative space'.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010


My husband, Darrell Peart, teaches woodworking classes.  This last weekend he taught a new type of class, the first time he's offered it, about design.  Or more to the point, about designing furniture.  I've been watching him, I must admit with little interest, develop this class for several months.  I eventually noticed that he was talking about some very interesting things.  I like his furniture designs, but I had never stopped to think about his methods, or his decision making process when designing.  And he will be the first to tell you that he mostly 'feels' his way to a good design.  But, as he states in his class, he didn't just start out that way.  He started by learning the 'rules'.   Memorizing the 'rules', designing using the 'rules' and then, eventually, abandoning the 'rules' and venturing off into uncharted territory, 'feeling' his way.

I am not very good at that, 'feeling my way' into a good design.  So, I asked him if I could sit in on this class.  He okayed it with the school and I went with him to Port Townsend for the weekend.

Before the class, the students were first to read some chapters about furniture design from a book

that Darrell recommends.  I crammed those chapters in the night before the class, and my head was spinning.   I can't say I had it down very well for class.  But, Darrell is a very good teacher and very patient (I'm not the only one who didn't do my homework either!).

We talked about the 'rules'.  We made drawings to illustrate the 'rules'. 

 It was very enlightening.  I could immediately see how I can use this in my artwork.  

Where Darrell's class was more informative was with the idea of proportion.  Proportion is where good furniture design starts, where any good design starts, really.  

We talked about proportion and and then the primary section, or , as I thought about it (as in artwork), the center of interest.  These are the bones from which all good design (read artwork) comes from.

I took a year of design at Bellevue Community College years ago.  I learned the 'rules of design' then.  But I don't think I've really thought about them when it comes to my artwork.  I didn't become 'immersed' in them.

This is what Darrell taught me:
You learn the rules, inside and out, until you completely understand them and don't have to think about them.  So, that's what I need to focus on - the rules of good design.  Unity, harmony, repetition, proportion, value, you know.  I need to learn them to my bones.  I need them to become second nature...
Then I can throw them out the window and start 'feeling' my way to good design.

All good design needs to start with a good foundation.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010



I made a quick thumbnail sketch of one of Darrell's chairs.  Well, the arm part anyway. I stylized it and came up with a little sketch I liked:

I made a bunch of copies, enlarging some and started moving them around and arranging them:

Then I proceeded to cut up fabric and sewing the pieces together.  I used just my hand-dyed fabrics.  Most of them are dyed using items from nature.  You can see more about that on my other blog.

Here's how it looks so far.  


Tuesday, November 09, 2010