Last year around this time I participated in The 100 Days Project organized by Elle Luna. I'm back at it again this year. The 100 Day Project is simple. Pick one thing to do everyday for 100 days.
My goal last year for the project was to carve out a new routine for myself. I created all sorts of things during my time last year. As I followed along with other people's projects I found myself envying those with a hyper focus. I wondered what it would be like to experience the project with a narrow focus. So this year that's what I've chosen to do.
I've shared about Zentangle here on the blog before but I don't think I've talked specifically about strings. Basically a string is a light framework for drawing a Zentangle pattern inside the shape created. They're typically drawn in pencil so that once you've tangled with ink those light lines recede and become unnoticeable. The second thing to know about a string is they're meant to come out of your pencil with ease and without trying to draw something specific.
What I'm sharing with this project is a watercolor string that is actually very noticeable in the finished art. But in creating the watercolor line there is more randomness that occurs compared to drawing a line with a pencil.
I've created my "watercolor strings" a couple of ways. Note that none of those ways was taking a brush to the actual paper. I've dripped the watercolor onto the paper either using a brush or an eyedropper. You can make a bunch in one sitting to create a stockpile of pre-strung tiles.
— Start with full sheets of cotton paper or bond paper.
— Have fun creating color combinations while dripping your water colors on your paper. You'll need to tip the sheet to make the color run, creating your lines.
— Alternately you can water down acrylics instead of watercolors.
— Use a ruler and x-acto knife to trim out as many 3.5 x 3.5 inch tiles as you can. After they're cut they can almost fit together like a puzzle.
— Tangle to your hearts content
— Follow all the instructions in Method 1 but use pre-cut Zentangle tiles instead.
Have you noticed? It's November! This is the perfect time to start thinking about making some handmade gifts for the holidays. I myself am in full make mode gearing up for some craft fairs at the end of the month so I thought hey, why not try a new skill. Something about fall brings out the maker in me and I can't stop exploring even when my time is limited.
I happened upon some images of the Sashiko stitch on Instagram and found them very captivating. So when I noticed Katrina Rodabaugh offering a workshop at Handcraft Studio School I jumped to try it out. I'll admit I may have seen this youtube video and thought I might walk out of the class as a human sewing machine. That's definitely going to take more time.
I have done a little embroidery in the past but would consider myself very novice. While this workshop wasn't billed as being for beginners I would say this stitch to be very beginner friendly. What I liked most about the stitch is how patterns are created by intersecting continuous lines. In some ways it reminded me of Zentangle which is about drawing one line at a time and Sashiko is very much about one line of stitching at a time.
I took this workshop at Handcraft Studio School in Oakland. I've been seeing images from all the fun classes they've been offering but this was the first chance I'd had to visit. They're conveniently located near the freeway in Emeryville with plenty of parking. I think it's really important to nurture the creative spaces in our community so do take a class there if you have the opportunity. Or take any class in your own community if you're not local to the Bay Area. A workshop is a great way to experience a new skill. I love seeing the work of others as I explore something new and I generally learn something from a student as well as from the instructor. Go forth and make! Tis the season!