Vincent van Gogh, Almond Blossoms. 1890. Oil on canvas. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Source
This one is going to be a WIP for a while. I am attempting to emulate Vincent van Gogh’s Almond Blossoms painting in a scarf which, for the moment, means that I am making a blue scarf that will eventually have lots of flower appliqués on it. The base scarf is my bus-crochet project, since I don’t have to think much about what I am doing because it is just rows of double crochet stitches. What I’m trying to decide now is how to make the flowers.
When looking at the painting, the flowers appear to be almost white; however, after doing a little research on some of the preservation issues facing many of van Gogh’s paintings for another post I wrote, I thought that maybe the blossoms had originally been pink, but the red pigment has since faded. Being as anal as I am, I had to look up what real almond blossoms look like. As you can see, they are dark pink in the center and pale pink to white in the petals. The center also has a distinct greenish, star-shaped sepal (I think that’s the sepal…) around the pistil and stamens. From what I’ve read, almond blossoms are generally white, though some can be pink.
(Apologies for the excessive use of photo filters on the collage above– apparently I am less perceptive of yellow tones when I am half asleep on the bus in the morning). I found a nice sky blue yarn at Michael’s, and last night, I experimented with four different iterations of crocheted almond blossoms (although the pattern I did a couple of variations on, which is from 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Leslie Stanfield, is supposed to be for a meconopsis flower). I’m thinking of going with 2 or 4 for the blossoms. 4 is slightly more work because it includes a slip stitch layer of light pink yarn on the outer edge of the fuchsia, which I have to admit is a little bit of a deterrent. I mean, I’m probably going to have to make 100 of these if I want to achieve the effect I am currently picturing, and crocheting through a slip stitch is kind of a pain. However, I feel like the fuchsia in 2 is too intense juxtaposed directly next to the white petals. I would love another opinion from anyone reading this post!
In less than a week, I whipped out another doll in my quest to perfect a pattern that is more my own creation than someone else’s. I have to say that I am quite happy with how this one turned out. It’s another self-portrait, but I figure that I might as well experiment on interpretations of myself to learn about what I do and don’t like. I made the head bigger, cinched in the waist more (although I am eager to explore different body types), gave more curvature to the back, and got rose-colored embroidery floss for the lips. It’s also a little better at standing on its own because I added 3 pennies per foot. This is in addition to wadded up strips of t-shirt in the legs, which provides more weight than just poly-fill.
For comparison, here is last week’s doll:
I have spent much of the last week finishing some of my WIPs. Some of these were started a month ago, while others are 8 months old. Continue reading
I frequently have moments where non-crafters see one of my crocheted pieces and say, “That’s so cool! Did you knit that?” My own mother talks about how cute my “little knitted things” are. I’ve generally given up on trying to correct people and just try to appreciate the sentiment of admiration. However, there have been occasions when I’ve said, “Actually, it’s crocheted” and the response is often, “Oh ok… What’s the difference between knitting and crochet?”
Before I get to ahead of myself, I must confess right now that I am not a knitter. I learned how to do the basic knit stitch in high school and made a couple unfinished scarves (because I could not figure out how to get the fabric off the needle). Therefore, I apologize in advance if I come off as a little biased towards crochet, but I truly do respect the skill behind both yarncrafts. Continue reading
I must confess that, prior to making this scarf, I was pretty ambivalent to Piet Mondrian and De Stijl (the group in which Mondrian was one of the founding members) in general. At a first glance, Mondrian’s signature style– using the primary three colors (red, yellow, and blue) and primary values (white, black, and gray) in patterns of squares, rectangles, and straight lines– appears almost too simplistic. However, as I worked my way through the scarf, I grew to appreciate the purity of the colors and values, the geometry of the shapes, and the vertical and horizontal lines. But before I get to ahead of myself, the questions that must first be asked are: Who was Piet Mondrian, and what is De Stijl? Continue reading
Gimli, Son of Gloin (one part of the 9-piece “Fellowship” set from Lord of the Rings)
Like most creative types, I frequently feel an invisible itch in my fingers that urges me to make something: a hat, a scarf, a journal entry, a toy, a drawing. When the urge strikes, it feels like it will never be satisfied until I create something that fits my vision. And like most creative types, I’ve been like this my entire life. As a kid, I loved to draw and paint pictures of the things around me or in my head: horses, cats, castles, unicorns. My mom often enrolled me in arts and crafts classes during the summers, and it seemed like every Christmas/Easter/birthday, I got craft kits or art supplies. While I ended up getting a BFA and studied primarily printmaking and photography in college, I have grown more fond of the fiber arts in recent years because of their versatility to create more utilitarian objects, and my primary craft is crochet. Don’t get me wrong, I generally love art– I also have a Master’s in Art History and work with art every day between my two jobs– but a painting can’t keep you warm (though, arguably, the money a person can make from its sale might), and I want anything I create to be physically used. Continue reading