I was delighted when my sewing friend and fellow blogger Myrna Giesbrecht invited me to follow her on the Around the World Blog Hop. As Myrna explained on her entry, we officially met in the lobby of the Ashland Springs Hotel while attending the Spring DOL. While there was immediate recognition, it took a few seconds to realize that we knew each other solely through our blogs! The same day, my husband and I stopped into a restaurant for lunch and the same thing happened with Gayle Ortiz. I have invited Gayle to follow me next week on the 15th. Both women have wonderful blogs documenting their creativity. In addition, both inspired me to start my blog a little over a year ago before I had met them in person.
The Around the World Blog Hop suggests answering four questions.
#1. What am I working on?
This weekend I finished a mask for the annual fundraiser of the Fort Collins Museum of Art . While I can’t show you the 2015 mask until it gets mounted in the show next March, my art website WendyFranzen.com has a page of masks covering the last 10 years.
Later today I’m starting an alternative Christmas tree project made of vintage yardsticks that I have been collecting all year. I hope to show it in next week’s blog.
I’m almost finished with the Lake Placid sweater. Of course that’s not the real name, but if you follow my blog you will know that I usually name my project after the most horrible movie my husband picked while knitting. Do you remember the movie? It’s about a mega-gigantic alligator that has found it’s way to Lake Placid New York. Betty White is feeding it cows, and it crashes a helicopter before they catch it. There is no way I could be making this up!
We drove to Dallas to celebrate Joan’s (Husband’s mom) 90th birthday. Some of you will notice that she follows my blog and often writes clever comments. She is a delight! While on the road trip, I bought tons of new fabric at a great independent Dallas area store Fabrique Fashion Fabrics. Then I bought even more in Santa Fe, NM at Santa Fe Fabrics, so I know I will be sewing something in the next few days.
I also have a few Christmas gifts in the works that I can’t show until they are given to friends. Whew! I love having projects going!
#2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
While I don’t work solely in one genre, there is a universal aesthetic that comes through in my work. My background as an architect appears throughout my work. Math, technology, nature and color all inform my design process. However, I also like to throw in the surprise of something unexpected. This is when I throw process to the wind and try to add a bit of spontaneity to the work.
#3. Why do I create what I do?
I think we all have that one thing that guarantees that we will be happier when we pursue it. My husband is always happier after watching a movie. Yes, a man-eating alligator movie actually cheers him up! If I feel the blues, or pulled in too many directions, I just need to go to my studio. Just looking at my fabric stash or planning a project puts me in a great mood. Creative pursuits define who I am. Wearing or seeing someone else wear a piece that I made gives me much joy.
#4. How does my creating process work?
I’m well trained with 8 years of architecture school and 3 years of art school, so I follow a fairly conventional process.
First, define the problem. Something like I want an alternative Christmas tree.
Second, define the parameters. Where is it going? Does it need to fold up for storage? Is there a specific size or shape needed?
Third, research influences and ideas. This tree is a good form for inspiration.This one gave me the idea of using yardsticks.I love the Internet! While I did not find a tree that was exactly what I am making, the internet provided the inspiration to go in my direction.
Forth, design the project. Somewhere in the previous 3 stages the idea will gel and materials gathering starts. In the case of this tree it took several months to gather that many yardsticks.
Fifth, make it, but be flexible if an idea does not work exactly as planned.
Sounds easy and methodical, but of course there are moments of both frustration and pure inspiration.
Around the World Blog Hop Next week
Please make sure to check out Gayle’s blog: http://gayleygirl.blogspot.com. She is an inspiration to me and many other sewists, and is one busy woman. She owns a bakery and rosticceria/café that opened in 1978. Locals have told me that this is not simply a bakery, but a destination not to be missed! In addition, she’s on her town planning commission, so I have no idea how she manages to sew. Like many of us, she learned to sew as a young girl and has only started again in the last 10 years when she travelled to New Zealand and learned a sweater reconstruction technique from a very creative gal. She sews art clothing and everyday clothing occasionally for sale but mostly for herself.
Thanks Wendy. Can’t wait to see your alternative Christmas tree. I haven’t been feeling too Christmas-ish this year so today I went out and bought some really different for me floral bits to make some kind of floral thing. That’s about all I know. Should be fun. I’m looking forward to Gayle’s entry next week. Great pass.
Thanks for the opportunity Myrna. Finished the tree today, and will add more next year. I’ll show it next week.
Love your makes, Wendy! Thanks to Myrna for getting you to follow her and in doing so introduced me to you. Now I can’t wait to see what Gayle posts! So much fun.
Yum, those fabrics look delish! Are they a muted lavender?
Love the way you approached this blog. The format is so readable. And your history and process are fascinating!
Thanks Gayle. You’re on next and I’m looking forward to your entry! I have to wash all those fabrics next…what a chore, but I love playing with a pile of new fabric.
Thank you for participating in this blog hop. You happen to be further down the “branch” from me. It’s fun to watch where it’s going!
It was good to read more about your background, your process, and what you’re currently working on. Cool stuff!