Thursday, November 19, 2009

Art Every Day, Day 19

From this

to this

Here is the final chapter in the reworking of the Crow saga. A whole new background. Even before I tried the crow over the Mt. Hood and other quilts, it seemed to me that what the old background lacked was a sense of space and depth. I have been walking along the pond and noticing the tall grass and cattails and the crows fluttering around, so it seemed that a wetland scene beyond the arched opening would be fitting for the background. It really does seem to me that this new background also pulls you into the scene and makes that surrounding blue checkerboard border seem not so heavy and overpowering. It feels like a vast improvement to me. I am now looking at some of my other older pieces and wondering how they might be improved.

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This morning on our walk we saw a large evergreen tree that had fallen over the fence from someone's yard. The trunk had splintered. Scary sight, but thankfully it had not fallen on the house, but rather over the back fence onto the park land. The top of the tree which was laying near the path was filled with beautiful, long, narrow cones. I can never resist beautiful evergreen cones. (Just ask Ray—he's rolling his eyes as he reads this) So I brought a few home with me. They were covered with sticky pitch though and I was pretty sure I had ruined my gloves. Years ago someone told me how to take care of pitch on big cones, so I brought them home and put them on a newspaper covered cookie sheet and stuck it in the oven at about 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. The pitch melts and drips onto the newspaper. I took them out of the oven and transferred them to wax paper to cool.

The neat part of this treatment is that when the pitch melts it turns clear and shiny and hardens, so the cones look almost like they have been varnished.

Aren't they pretty? And my house smells like a pine forest.

And, by the way, my gloves— I have some spray stuff called De-solv-it that took the pitch off my hands, so I put the gloves on, sprayed all the pitch with the spray stuff, then washed with dishwashing detergent. I think they will survive.

17 comments:

  1. Very good job, the background went from static to being full of implied movement and imminent discovery.

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  2. I love the new background. It is just the right solution.

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  3. You are so good! At art and at remembering trivia, like what do with those pine cones we all love. At Christmas time it would be worth ovening some, just to fill the house with the smell. But by Christmas, alas, I will have forgotten.

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  4. Much better!

    Your pinecones look great on your new dish too.

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  5. Thanks for the great lesson with the evergreen cones.

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  6. The new background adds SO MUCH to the story. Very nice.
    I have never picked up these kinds of cones because they are so sticky. Now I can - thanks for the solution!

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  7. Susan LT6:53 PM

    Your blog posts are like the most delicious candy! Yummy, yummy, yummy. Thank you, Terry, for enriching lives in such an important way.

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  8. Okay, now I don't want to wait for a garden party....I'll bring dessert...just give a date and time.

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  9. Oh yes - the new background works so well, does all you say. Good work and kudos for taking a somewhat scary leap of faith there!

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  10. the new background is perfect, the crow looks very much at home! and thanks for the pine cone lesson... gotta do that!

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  11. Looks good-very distinct-more so than the other background. I am curious to know if you did the reeds all as one piece or if you did them idividually.

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  12. I love your crow quilt!! Gorgeous!!

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  13. I thought it was beautiful before, but it's stunning now. Absolutely amazing.

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  14. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Martha Stewart has nothing on you.
    And the new background makes ALL the difference in the world! Great decision and implementation!

    Mary

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  15. The new bird background is so perfect!

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  16. I love the cattails behind the bird -- excellent addition.My eye also goes to the wonderful fabric underneath the newly baked pine cones!

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  17. just an FYI, pitch comes off with mayo. Always use that when at our cabin in the woods. Easy Peasy

    Lizzie

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