Sunday, December 5, 2010

rocks & mouse trails

Mouse Trails:

This is the piece I made for the President's challenge at my guild. The theme was "Small World". I scraped three or four colours of acrylic paint onto part of an old sheet, with an expired credit card. Then I stamped into it with more acrylic paint on the bottom of a large round tub. After it dried, I hand cut the little circles (ouch!), layered them like a quilt (it IS a quilting guild) and free motion quilted with my sewing machine. After that, I finished the edges by butting yarn up against the edge and zigzagging it in place. I laid out the circles and then stitched them together, first with a thread bridge (heavier stitching) and then by stitching the weblike strands. None of this was done with any type of stabilizer. I was stitching across the gap!!! You gotta love Bernina's!!! I was worried that it would be too flimsy and wouldn't hold together, but I'm pleased to report that it has.

How does this all relate to "Small World", you say? Well, it's all about how small the world has become with the internet, my communication with like minded artists all over the world, the inspiration I gain and the techniques that I learn. All for the cost of my high-speed internet. The sun shines on all of us and the open thread work represents the lines of communication. North, south, east and mouse travels all over the world. The title of this piece is thanks to a suggestion from my friend Kaite in Australia.

Pinned on the corkboard, while I was contemplating adding more circles, and trying to figure out how the heck I was going to hang this!

Not a great photo, but this is what I eventually decided to do. I added a narrow sleeve on the back, used more of the yarn to make a length of machine wrapped braid and then hung it from one of the beaver sticks I picked up in Sault Ste Marie, last summer. I'll have you know that the bark was REALLY chewed off by a beaver! Right now the piece is hanging on a door, but I think that I'll eventually hang it from a hook on the ceiling.

I'm contemplating entering this in another show in the spring, so will need to take a better photo before then.


My friend Penny in Nova Scotia recently posted about some rocks and a nest. I thought that I would show you my version.

The nest is a bit of wet felting and I've been meaning to wrap some floss around the edges for years. Does anyone know how I coloured the rocks? A couple of you really might know (because you've either done it before or I talked/wrote about it in an earlier email), so please hold off on your answers until we get in a few guesses.

Yeah, I know that three would be more pleasing to the eye, but I only made two! LOL!

Happy guessing!


Beth said...

Very Cool!!!

Do the rocks have anything in common with dominos?

Jan said...

Hi Marie, I love your Small World piece. I can imagine making something similar maybe using green and turning it into more of a tree shape and using it as a Christmas hanging.

I'm thinking along the same lines as Beth in the previous comment as regards coloring the rocks. I love this little nest idea.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Nope, but good guess!!

Carol said...

Hi Anne Marie
This is such a creative idea and choice of color. its wonderful.
Very appropriate for the theme.

kaite said...

whaaat? when did i suggest a name? and what? did i call it little quilts for mice? right now i'm thinking it looks like sumptuous cherries hanging. anyway it's very rich and beautiful. love the teeny nest - is that going into my xmas parcel? LOL, k.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Thanks, Carol! Red is one of my favourite colours, but I don't use it all that often.

Kaite, you probably didn't realize , but you actually told me that you thought the stitching looked like mouse trails. I already knew that it would be about the internet, but you helped me by giving it a name. Thank you for that!

As for the nest, sending wool to Australia would be a little too trite, so no, it's not leaving Canada. Besides, I couldn't split up the set and mailing a rock down under would be just too silly. Imagine the postal clerk's face? LOL!

Penny Berens said...

Clever small world piece! As for the pebbles, I assumed they were felted too!

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Thanks, Penny! They're actual river rocks that have a surface treatment. Guess what it is? Definitely not felting, that's just on the nest.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm not even going to begin to try to guess, but have to say how enthralled I am with mouse trails. I'm in agreement about hanging it from the ceiling - it deserves to be seen from both sides.