Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spicy Night Out


This challenge had me stumped. I spent a lot of time thinking about the colors -- thinking in the car, thinking at dance class, thinking while walking the dog -- but I just can't seem to design in my head. I have to use my hands to experiment and play. The kids and dog didn't leave me a lot of time to play. Crazy me thought I would have more time for myself as they got older. I'm learning the hard way that's not the case. I did sneak an afternoon on the computer researching imagery, but didn't come up with much. Next stop on the search was the sewing machine. I went to work free motion quilting and came up with the rough paisley pattern. I thought maybe I would bead and embellish it, but didn't have a real plan in mind. Over the course of 5 days I managed to find the hour needed to quilt the background. Another day's work consisted of pulling out all my spicy paints and setting up my painting station. I snuck in some time for painting in between dropping off the kids at school, walking the dog and heading back to school to pick up my youngest from half day kindergarten. I did have to sacrifice a shower that morning to fit it all in. And then the painted quilt sat there, and sat there, all weekend. I tried laying out some beads, but it lacked a focal point. In desperation yesterday, I went back to the dresses I was playing with for Mother's Day cards a month ago (and relied on Wii Lego Star Wars to babysit). The yellow fabric paper matched the colors of asafoetida and cumin so perfectly I had to use it. I added a little embellishment and there we go. The dress faded into the background a touch, so I added some cumin colored pearlescent power around the edges to create more contrast. I think I need to feather it out a little more now that I see it on the computer screen. Maybe I will sneak that in, maybe I wont.

In the end, I'm really happy with how this one turned out and amazed that I managed to pull it off at the last minute.


10 comments:

Gerrie said...

I don't know how you manage your life as well as you do, Nikki. You are in the most important time of life with your children. You are a fantastic Mom. I just wanted to validate that!

I love the exuberance of this piece. The background looks like the sound of salsa music!

Diane said...

I think this does have a sweet and fun sense about it, Nikki. I love the way you've made the dress more than just a paper dress with that little bead necklace -- that one detail adds so much. And of course I am totally smitten with your background and the swirly paislies. And I agree with Gerrie -- this is such a great time in your life, even with the absence of lots of art time -- and I admire you for pushing to get this done.

Deborah Boschert said...

I love the paislies too! The dress has the perfect little details. I really appreciate the combination of paper and fabric!

Kristin L said...

I think you get a gold star for perseverance! A little Lego Star Wars never hurt anyone, and it's great that you could carve out even a little time for your project. The paisley background is fun and spicy!

Karen said...

I love the background on this Nikki, and I loved reading how you problem solved

Renate said...

Love the piece Nikki! What a unique way to start a piece; from the background and work forward. What a wonderful idea. The paisley background does indeed bring salsa music to mind, which is hot and spicy!

Terry said...

Sometimes the last minute, spontaneous solution is the best! The little dress is so crisp and graphic and the background so swirly and happy! It has a very fresh quality. It all makes me smile.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

I can see a redhead with attitude stepping out in this dress for a spicy night out. Great work!

Terri Stegmiller said...

Oh this is darling. Okay, maybe not the right response for something that is spicy hot! I think your quilt turned out great even though you found it challenging to fit the time in to work on it.

Françoise said...

Love the background too. And that little jewel on the neckline of the dress. What is it made of? Metal? Dough?