Friday, September 30, 2011

Inspiration Ain't Great? Collaborate!

For those of you who follow this blog more than casually (hi, Mom), you may have noticed that not much has been going on over here lately.

I've got to admit . . . I've been a bit burned out on creating since I finished up my last project.  Maybe it's the change in seasons.  Or perhaps that I've become a lot more mobile since we went down to one car as I shuttle around to preschool, dance class, and Mr. Skooks' workplace throughout the week.  Whatever it is, it's been sapping my mojo . . . and the lack of creative pursuits has been gnawing at the back of my brain.

My poor sewing room is looking a little neglected lately . . . everything is not even cleaned up and put away from the beach bag bonanza.  That is NOT like me, as I know it saps my desire to start new projects when stuff is all tossed around and haphazard in there.

The Sewing Room is a Mess


I had this discussion with Mr. Skooks' mom recently about creative ruts (she's an artist so she gets this better than most), and she encouraged me to just do something small and simple . . . maybe something for my house or something.  You know, just for fun.  No pressure of a deadline.  No pressure of perfection.

I talked to Mr. Skooks about it later and he said the exact same thing.  (Did I mention Mr. Skooks is an artist as well?)

So here I was in the rut, and letting myself get all caught up in the whole BUT WHAT SIMPLE THING CAN I MAKE feeling.  Still pressuring myself for something great.  Or at least blog-worthy.   I guess I figure if you're going to come on over here to read what I've written, I ought to at least make it worth reading.  It was at this moment that I noticed Little Miss doing what she ALWAYS does.  Grabbing a piece of paper and a pen and just going for it.

The girl is crazy with the drawing.  I'm not trying to brag about my four year old, but I'm actually really impressed with her artistic sensibilities at this young age.  I think back to my drawings at that age and I don't recall them being so detailed or involved . . . almost all of her art tells a story of some kind.

Some very good friends of ours are expecting their first baby in the next month or so.  We're going to a baby shower to celebrate this fact at the end of the week and Little Miss became inspired the other day that we should make something for the baby.  She was set on making a blanket for the baby (she REALLY wants to sew on my machine).  I was amenable to this on some levels, but she was set on designing the blanket herself.  And as I've mentioned . . . she loves her some detail.

Bird with Nest Sketchup by Little Miss
This is the least detailed she would allow it to be . . . I told her mutliple times "please keep it simple!!" and this is what I got.

It became clear that this was not going to be something I could easily achieve while still making it baby safe (especially as she was determined that the nest have all the little "sticks" in there since "gee, mom . .  that's what nests are made of after all", so we compromised and I told her we could hoop it and make some fiber art for the baby's nursery wall.

She was STOKED, let me tell you.  In the spirit of keeping it simple and making it something that she would largely be able to help with, I decided to just use felt and used her drawing as a pattern of sorts to make sure it was HER art going up there.  I was just there to facilitate and help with the detail work.

I cut the kinda teeny pieces out of felt and she decided how they should be arranged.  I had her glue them down with some Sobo (would NOT recommend that btw, but it's all I had handy) onto a scrap piece of fabric (actually left over bits from her very first nursery curtains that I made for her room almost 5 years ago!).  After they dried, I did some very easy stitching to bring out the details in the bird and the nest.  Those little curvy lines around the eggs?  Oh, you know I asked Little Miss . . . they're wiggling because they're about to hatch. ;)

I Love You Baby Hoop


I had her write the phrase of her choosing (I helped with the spelling, but she did all the writing) . . . which I then faithfully added to the hoop using my handy transfer pen and stitched up.

The back of this thing was a hot mess . . . for reals.  I have never claimed to be an embroider-er (have I?), and I wasn't going for perfection here . . . CLEARLY:

Hot Mess on the Back

In an effort to clean it up a bit, I decided to try something I have (gasp!) never used . . . a hot glue gun.  I know, WHAT?  But really . . . I only recently came to purchase one, then didn't need it for the project I bought it for, and since then it had just taken up residence on a shelf still in the blister pack.

Hoop Backing Part 1
Here's what it looked like after I initiated Phase One of Cover that Mess Up.  Better, but still kinda janky.

Hoop Backing Part 2
And here it is after Phase 2.  Umm . . . yes.  I am Skooks.  I have a glue gun, and I'm not afraid to use it completely unaware of how to use it.  Oh well . . . the way I see it, this is a project from a 4 year old, so the cover up job on the back matches.  That's it.

And because I'm a glutton for glue gun punishment and burned fingers, I decided to add some ribbon around the outer edge of the hoop:
Ribbon Siding
Thankfully, that part came out a bit better than the backing did.  Le sigh.

Oh well . . . the important thing is that Little Miss was SO happy to make something for the baby and can't wait until she can hand it over in person.

Little Miss Shows Off Her Creation


It's not our first artistic collaboration, and it won't be our last . . . but I really love it and now kind of wish we could keep it!

Bird with Nest Sketchup by Little MissI Love You Baby Hoop

Oh well.  At least I've got one foot out of the rut.  :) 

8 Comments:

Yadira September 30, 2011 at 5:53 PM  

This is VERY cute. I'd love to see her happy face when she hands it over. That nest is the cutest thing.

Rachel September 30, 2011 at 7:19 PM  

OK, I just HAVE to say a few things...When you save up for the worthy, well, you really do it. This was beyond worthy. Really. Really awesome! This project is just so amazing. I know the patience it took (Congrats to you!)to allow it to be hers. I LOVE the project and the process. How awesome!!
P.S. I think you would be perfectly justified in letting the friends know that if they should ever decide to part with it (I wouldn't...LOL)that you want first dibs...LOL

Ashley September 30, 2011 at 11:02 PM  

Wow! What a talented young lady! I am amazed by her vision and how well you two were able to translate it onto the hoop. Beautiful!

P.S. I feel you on the rut. I have been in a sewing slump. I haven't really sewn in a couple of weeks. :( I have done some crafty diy stuff but no sewing. I am going to try to whip up my little ones halloween costume...hopefully that will bring my mojo back. ;)

Cazzyline October 1, 2011 at 7:25 AM  

I love seeing into the whole process of turning the drawing into textile art.

I read something the other day about fallow time between projects and something akin to post partum depression when a Thing you Made goes into the big world. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and dis-inspiration, those blogs seemed so scholarly and detached, like it was something that happened to other people, rather than the person writing! I must remember that if/when I ever try blogging, sometimes what people like to read is what is going on.

ErinShank October 3, 2011 at 9:13 PM  

That is so cute! What a great little artist. I love reading this blog, even though I am craft-impaired!

Kathy October 4, 2011 at 9:14 AM  

What a great team -- mother and daughter -- I think you would do great selling this kind of stuff on your Etsy shop!!! It's so darn cute, who wouldn't love it.

Ronni and Sean October 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM  

Adorable! And will mean a lot, coming from the little one. :)

Katherine October 10, 2011 at 3:53 PM  

That is so adorable! I might be in a rut, except I've agreed to teach a class to my daughter's school on a topic I don't know, so I've been doing a lot of learning! Always inspiring.

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