Leap for Joy – Finishing an Openwork Piece

Openwork pieces present a special problem when framed.  The areas which have not been stitched can be seen through.  So the back of the frame and the area of canvas folded over will be visible.  This doesn’t make for a very pretty finished piece…

Joy without Masking by Carmen CS
Joy without Masking, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help us to do our work well and attend to all details to make a fitting offering for Your glory and a fitting gift for the people we serve.

Leap for Joy – Stitched

This canvas can be stitched in an afternoon.  A few lovely hours of prayer and service, focussed on others rather than myself.  What a blessing for me!  I just hope it is equally blessing to the people I make the pieces for.

Leap for Joy Stitched by Carmen CS

Leap for Joy Stitched, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, thank you that doing your work can bless others as well as blessing ourselves.

Am I Straining at the Oars?

This is a great post about the importance of process in our lives and our faith..


Under the Cover of Prayer

Am I Straining at the Oars?

by Janis Cox

A few weeks ago I took a full week art course in Experimental Watercolour by Kal Honey at the Haliburton School of the Arts.

One of the quotes Kal posted was this:

Detach from outcome. Commit to process.

I kept thinking about that all week. I am a doer – I look for outcomes. So in my paintings I look to see a pleasant product.

But that week, Kal kept saying, “No, explore and see.”

I fought this. I fought this with every fibre of my being. I didn’t want to watch and explore, I wanted something beautiful right now.

Then I read Oswald Chambers from July 28.

It is the story of the storm in the Bible from Mark 6:45-52.

The disciples are straining at the oars. They have a goal. But their efforts are not producing…

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Leap for Joy – Choosing Fibers

You’d think that picking the fibers for the lamb would be a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to wool, so that was out.  Instead, I opted for Alpaca wool yarn.  This gives a natural look much like sheep’s wool, but without making my hands itch!

Leap for Joy Fibers by Carmen CS

Leap for Joy Fibers, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, please bring comforting things into this family’s life and help them grow in their walk of faith.

Leap for Joy – Painting the Background

Finally, I paint the background.  I’ve chosen to paint it unevenly, as I may decide to leave it openwork.

Wild Colors 10 Leap for Joy 5x7 cu by Carmen CS
Wild Colors 10 Leap for Joy 5×7 cu, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you surround us with green fields in which we can romp and leap for joy!

Leap for Joy – Painting the Lamb

The outline anchors the lamb and makes painting it easier.  Here the design starts to come together.

Leap for Joy Lamb by Carmen CS

Leap for Joy Lamb, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, we are your lambs.  We look to you for protection, healing, comfort, and guidance.

Leap for Joy – Painting the Outline

In painting a design like this where the background is painted and much of the figure is white and therefore unpainted, it works well to paint the outline of the figure first.

Leap for Joy Ghost Canvas by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy Ghost Canvas, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, please bring this mother back to her family in health and joy.

Leap for Joy – Painting Joy

Rather than yellow, I painted Joy in metallic gold.  This will make it pop!

Leap for Joy Joy by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy Joy, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, let joy shine in their life!

Show Me the Way – Painted Canvas

The painted canvas – on decorative cream and gold metallic canvas so the background will not be stitched…

Tulips Painted Canvas

Prayer: Father, please help those she gives care to and those who love them to value her as they ought and to support her rather than undermining her.

Valley of Shadow – Greens and Browns

So, the next step is to pick the right colors in the chosen fiber.  I do this by referencing the original photo and not the painted version.  That way I don’t need to be so careful of the paint colors.  The paint provides a guideline for stitching rather than a precise representation.

In addition to checking the colors against the photo, it is important to check that they work well together.  Here you can see the greens and browns that I have picked for the project.
Valley Of Shadow Greens by Carmen CS
Valley Of Shadow Greens, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.