Monday, October 29, 2012

No Pattern, No Matter. Design and Sew!

I found these bright orange adult t-shirts. They were small and mediums. I took body measurements, put the shirt on one of my recipients and pinned approximately where the sleeve would need to come below the arm.
Picked up my scissors and started cutting.

I purchased some ribbed cotton for the drop waist and added the cut t-shirt bottom as a ruffle. For the neck, I made a tube with soft flannel fabric and inserted a ribbon for a gathered neck. This was sewn in place of the cut crew neck. Happy designing. Connie

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bead Shopping Trip with a 5 Year Old

A date with our 5 year old granddaughter to go to the bead shop.

She had her pink fur purse with a dollar in quarters and one bill. We had a math lesson about money. She was so frugal with her $2. She asked how much different beads cost. She asked how I know how much things are? I showed her the price tags on the shelves. Next she decided she could spend a dollar on thread and a dollar on beads. Good thing grammies have a little deeper purses.

She got distracted by the toys the store placed right by the children's beads which was fun, but we stayed the course. We left the craft store and drove to a store specializing in beads. It was small but had a huge assortment of beads. Once again she asked about prices and picked up quickly on you can have more if you find ones that don't cost as much. 

We made our selections and left for ice cream. Driving away she mentioned there were no more customers in the store. She asked if more people would come and what happens if they don't, does the store just close? What does the lady do if there are no customers? Too speculative for an answer.

We had our ice cream, played football and Frisbee at the park to finish off our trip. When we returned she threaded the beads through with the order you see above through the tiny holes and tied a knot. On it went, but she decided it was too long. She asked if it could be shorter. She suggested I could go ahead and do it later. She said, "it was too hard to get it in the tiny holes. Grammie, you just do it so good, I will let you finish it some other time." Who would guess so many life skills lie in a trip to the bead shop.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Play, Learn and Grow!

Our first winter in Minnesota was a mild one. Spring is here in temperature just before it is official on the calendar.

We love having our grand kids over for an afternoon and boredom is never far away in our media filled lives. TV, smart phones, cameras, tablets, ipads, iphones, laptops and handheld games for kids have created constant stimuli for all ages.

Many years ago a friend during a play date with our children suggested boredom is a good thing. It allows our children to explore their options to entertain themselves. No need to be plugged-in or signed-up in order to have socialization and intelligent interaction.

Our granddaughters brought their bikes and scooters since it was going to be sunny and warm. The color pencils and paper were brought outside to draw something or anything we spied outdoors. Given the brown grass and lack of flowers, birds or butterflies I began drawing signs, cars and  people in the neighborhood.

I don't recall when the notion of drawing just signs came to mind but the shape of a stop sign came into question. "Can you help me draw one grammie?" Soon I realized how complicated of a shape this was for a five year old. The idea took off. I drew an octagon while she watched. I numbered the sides after finished and then she tried. Much to her amazement she did it!

Then we progressed to sounding out the letters that spell "STOP." Then we drew them. She wanted to do "Go" and then "Turn." All the while taxing my mind as to color of the signs and explaining why the variations in colors and shapes and their meaning to a driver. Soon she was up on her scooter using the signs after she and I drew and lettered all of them. She could recognize the shape, word and motion expected at the time she was shown the sign by me.

What fun we both had and soon her 3 year old sister and poppie were all involved. We took turns holding the signs and giving out directions accordingly. Good time was had by all.

Projects materials: Paper, colors or color pencils and an imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Not All Wrinkles are Bad

The other night while on Pinterest I cropped and uploaded this photo of my daughter's Pug, Mugli. (I know, don't you just love that name?) Within an hour he had been "liked or pinned" by just over 15 random people. Crazy how this reaches people you don't know nor they you or what makes a pin or a like? Perhaps it's because pug's are so cute, funny and quite the clowns.

Mugli's mom had gotten a new tablet, was experimenting with black and white and took this shot. His little mug is so sweet and the lines in the photo are interesting.

Technology today puts such power in our hands. If we take the moment when it is presented and "snap," we may capture something of value. The image is varied in tones and lines while generating powerful insight into a life moment. 

Mugli's intense stare probably wonders if there is a treat awaiting him. As humans we may personify our pets and yet, what we share with our pet is a treat for us, simply different. Sometimes not all wrinkles are bad they add character and may be well deserved. Wear them like you own them!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Great Expectations for Yourself!

Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results according to Albert Einstein is insanity. I strongly disagree. I am no genius but "insane," really? That is harsh and untrue. Creating new habits is easier than breaking from old ones. Committing myself to new experiences maybe a stretch to expect something different. However a good stretch is just what I need and regularly to be like a well-oiled machine. 

The outcome will be different, maybe not what you desire or expected but it is not "getting the same results." The brain of a child continues to expand its neurons with new experiences. As adults our older minds adapt and rewire with new experiences building neurons and new connections, a different result. 

I have enjoyed a successful career as a fine artist, not as well known as my father, Jim Savage, of the Western Art and Gift Gallery of Sioux Falls but we had different goals in mind. I moved from fine art to web design and computer generated graphics in the 90's. After 30 years I am starting again as a fine artist with "how-to-paint" books. I am educating myself to understand color theory and how light interacts with the colors.

The status of two of my paintings has reverted back to unfinished. Looking at them with a new eye and no attachment to where they end up. Great expectations for a different outcome is in progress.

A blank canvas or sheet of drawing paper makes me consider what do I want to create?  It can feel like going around in circles, thinking too much instead of simply doing. However it is kind of fun getting out my paints and studying a new style. I can throw them away just like it did when I was in school and was trying to accomplish a lesson to be satisfied enough to hand-in.

"It's what Yeats called the fascination with what's difficult. I'm only trying to do what I can't do." excerpt from Portaits by Michael Kimmelman.

Having great expectations for yourself is difficult and well worth trying. Off to workout with my daughter, I know the results and it works well!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Commit Me, Seriously!

Journaling and Tree Pose 
 Over 55 years of life is a long time. In comparison to the age of a fossil I'm significantly younger. I imagined by now, I would be committed to a cause, purpose or profession. My days would be filled with many meaningful endeavors. Instead, upon my husband retiring, downsizing and moving to the Minneapolis area from our remote Black Hills setting I am still looking to define myself every morning.

Unlike my 5 year old granddaughter who jumps out of bed holding herself back until the clock's numbers flip to the magical 7:00am. She dresses and leaves her bedroom anticipating whether to pester her mother for toast or waffles, neither to be fully eaten while still warm before playing.

What happened to my morning rally cry, "seize the moment," "be all you can be" or "follow your passion." It's been replaced by my recent favorite, give me a break. The scene in the recent 2011 movie, Bridesmaids, when Melissa McCarthy's character, Megan, shows up at Annie Walker's(played by Kristen Wiig) door during a pity party and slaps some life back into her overwhelmed and under motivated attitude. Annie has so much going for her but just can't put it together to equal contentment.

The mornings fly by filling my head with a bit of news, my breakfast with nutrition and my day seems to speed by finding myself at the gym or out running errands. To this I must be committed, a life full of putting my best foot forward and in there lies the point of it all. Simply commit me.

Monday, February 28, 2011

"Happy Garden" Wall Mural Study by Connie Savage Thiewes

8"x10" Study for Wall Mural by CST, 2011
"In America the biggest is the best."Roy Lichtenstein Read more:
Roy Lichtenstein was one of the most important artists associated with American Pop Art. 
My hope for this study is to paint a removable wall mural for my granddaughter, bigger for sure, best remains to be seen. It's composition began as a contour drawing and has evolved into a cartoon-like acrylic wash. Painting the sides created a full escape into the playful world of make-believe.

The comments on my newest painting:
  • Love the colors, wow, BRIGHT!
  • So cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Really cute.
  • Reminds me of Paint-by-numbers.
  • Colors of a Nursery.
  • Cartoon-like and Playful.
  • Love it!

Imagining a place, a 2-year old would love to be during playtime or bedtime is a challenge. Breaking the elements into simple brush strokes, values and hues create an interaction on a simpler less-realistic level. Follow the gum drops down the path and be reminded of being a kid at heart again, at least for a few minutes.