Powered by Blogger.

I have an idea!

My greatest ideas usually come during my morning shower. Reid, my husband, knows this by now. If I come out of the shower and say to him: "Reid, I've been thinking..." I can see a cloud come over his face, and sometimes even a look of panic. He knows an idea is about to come attack him. My ideas often either call for a change in plans we had made over a year ago, or they are about to cost money, or they may entail a whole new order to our lives, (i.e. "we should start cleaning the bird's cage every morning before you leave for work"). Poor man. He usually gives in without a struggle, he's a wonderful husband.

This time, the idea does not affect him. This time it's you guys... And h e r e it is!
I added a slideshow to my blog. I loaded some images of my work and you can see it at the top of the lefthand sidebar.
This is where my idea comes in: have you stitched any of my designs? Have you changed the colors? Would you like to add your piece to the changing slides on my blog. It could be so much fun! If you'd like to participate here is what you need to do: email me a scan of your piece, (best quality possible), along with some information on your color choices and permission for me to put it up on the blog. I'll take care of the rest and let you know when it's up.

If you're interested let me know at the end of this posting in the comments section or you can email me at orna@ornadesign.com.

Now Reid doesn't have to worry till tomorrow morning, time of my next shower.


My addiction? Color

Let's begin with a little color composition to get into the mood...

I've been spending time (too much time) looking for blogs that will inspire me. There are creative and talented people out there. One blogger I've come across seems to be as addicted to color as I am. I could scroll up and down her postings for hours. The way she interprets colors from photographs or paintings is so yummy. Take a look:Kris's color stripes.

When I sew dresses for my little Nina I love mixing fabrics with very different patterns basing the mix on color, of course. When Nina was five she would not hear of wearing dresses. I managed to find a dinosaur patterned fabric and added a more "girlie" fabric to the mix, making a dress that both fulfilled my need for her to wear a dress on her birthday and her need to wear dinosaurs! Here are the fabrics in the mix:

This winter I made another dress for Nina (this time she didn't put up such a fight). Again, I had fun bringing different patterns together with a common color sense.


The setter/removal tool - LOVE it!

This one is brilliant! If you're using brass tacks to attach your canvas to the wooden stretcher bars you know this; about half the tacks bend or break on their way into the wood. By the time you've pushed 10 tacks in (and are only half way around the canvas), your thumb is cramping from pushing.
Have no fear, Corjac is here...

It's the Corjac tack kit and it solves all your tack issues. There are two parts to the kit; the polished red knobbed setter tool has a magnetic tip to hold the brass tacks securely and prevent them from slipping away before you've had a chance to push. You hold the red knob against the palm of your hand, it fits perfectly and just apply a little pressure. There are no bent tacks, no breakage, it guides the tacks straight into the wood.

Done with your piece? The tack removal tool has a wide edge that fits right under the head of the tack and with a little push it pulls the tack out of the wood keeping it in perfect condition! This tool is so great that you won't be too lazy to take your canvas off your stretcher bars for a little tightening. (Now, you could just get the Evertite© stretcher bars, but that's a different tool posting all together...)


A work in progress.

Many of you know that I love strong colors. I'm absolutely not an off-white gal. However, every once in awhile I like to stretch myself and design a piece that challenges me, sort of tie one hand behind my back.
I was experimenting with a piece of marbled canvas given to me by a good friend. I decided to limit myself to just a few colors as well as identically sized squares. There! Now let's see what you can really do, Orna. (That's me talking to myself..)
Each square must have enough interest on it's own merit as well as compliment the entire design. I'm bringing you in on the process. It's pretty messy, all those threads hanging, nothing quite complete, but you get a glimpse of a design struggling to find it's way.
I'll keep you guys posted.


I just met a genius.

About a month ago I decided to convert. No, not that kind of conversion, I meant the PC to MAC kind. I walked into one of those enticing Apple stores and just like someone who has no worries, I pointed and said: "I'll take that and that and one of those and that. Add it up, here's my card." I was about to find out how the other half lived. No more viruses, no more crashing, fun icons, cute sounds and best of all, I get to be an Apple snob.
Then my troubles started. The computers wouldn't talk to each other, one wouldn't print while the other wouldn't work the same software, one wouldn't work with the router and the other wouldn't work without it.
First I tried all my geek friends. They came a
nd went, nothing changed. Next I went out and bought new routers, wires, software, thinking that maybe if I spent enough money my computers would pity me and stop behaving badly. Nope, that didn't work. I called the Geek Squad and four other computer wizard companies, told them my sob story and never heard back. What kind of a snob was I now???
On Friday I thought I'd give it one more try. I called a company I found on Google and THE guy came today at 3 PM. Two hours later everything worked. Everything! I just met a genius!

So, in honor of my working computers and to celebrate the beginning of my new life on an IMac, here is a little color inspiration (scanned on my working scanner!).


The fob.

A fob is a medallion or some sort of ornamental chain used to identify a key ring or, in our case, scissors.

Any crafter, seamstress, artist, we are all familiar with the primal, gut wrenching call, "WHERE ARE THE SCISSORS?????". The fob can bring an end to this all too familiar moment of despair.


I am about to bring you into one of my embarrassing little corners, my fiber heap. Can you see the fob?
I've made my point!


Carried way away!

I can't stop.

The Fastenater ® . How clever. I love using this tool for applying my needlepoint to cards I'm making. The staples come in all sorts of shapes and colors. It's a bit hard to get them situated just right, but they sure do make a statement.

I'll be teaching a class at an upcoming ANG Sem
inar and I'll definitely be packing this great tool!


another tool on the march...

The Tumbler. The idea is simple. Take some stainless steel shot, put it in a barrel along with 3 oz. of burnishing compound and water, seal the barrel and mount it on two turning poles: the Tumbler!

Once I've completed making a piece of jewelry I can't wait to see it at its best; shiny and polished. I put my piece in the tumbler and walk off to accomplish some other chore (maybe bust dust with my canister duster... see post). The results are very rewarding.

These are two pieces I'm working on, one pre-tumbler, one post-tumbler.

I LOVE my tumbler!


March of the Tools

A wonderful idea from a favorite blog: the March of Tools, tools we love. Heather Bailey from "Hello my Name is Heather" came up with the idea and I thought why not join? So I'll bring you some of my favorites, check out some of Heather's and please add any of yours. This should be fun, informative, tempting and perhaps expensive...

Let's start with a reasonably priced tool I love: the canister duster buster! I must admit that I don't always remember to use it but once I get started, I'm dust busting anything and everything in sight. The keyboard, the printer, under the table and around the wire mess, the bird's cage, the book case, the junk drawer, yep, anything and everything. The canister gets really cold and then it starts making putt putt sounds and it's empty. These can be ordered in bulk but no matter how many you have on hand you are always caught out of gas just when you've blown a bunch of dust bunnies into the middle of your living room. So there it is! My first Tool of March.

(Wanna see what Heather Bailey has on her list? Click on the March of the Tools logo in the sidebar.)


Budding Flower

This is the gesture for bud in Cambodian ballet. Try it. No, that's not it. Bend your last three fingers back, and make sure your knuckles are pulled in. Ouch!

It takes years and years of training from a very early age to be able to master the art that is Cambodian ballet.

Our little Nina is from Cambodia. Bright and early every Saturday morning she stands tall with her hands ready to make the gestures for sprout, leaf, bud and flower. It is so lovely.


You can never have too many books!

There are new inspirational books out on the market everyday. My "to read" pile keeps piling up, and yet the moment I see something new and enticing out there, Amazon, here I come...

My latest favorite is a magnificent compilation of art by Charley Harper brought together by the designer Todd Oldham. Its a huge book, about 18" x 12". It's so big, turning the pages is almost a workout. Each page reveals another masterpiece. I loved the interesting interviews Todd conducted with Charley, (excuse the first name basis). Back in the 50s Charles Harper illustrated for the Ford Times, a small magazine. He illustrated for books, including Betty Crocker cookbooks. He illustrated for many advertising campaigns, and designed posters for parks and nature centers. His most remarkable works, I believe, are his illustrations of animals, birds in particular.

I love geometric shapes. The clean lines of a triangle or circle make things so clear to me. My work in fiber is geometric. It just makes sense to me. Charley Harper is probably the greatest manipulator of geometrics I have ever come across. With a few shapes (oh, and color, of course), he can draw a bird twisting to preen it's feathers, or stooping to pick up a morsel of food. Just a few lines and some wonderful hues and the moment comes to life.

Google Charley. I think you are in for a treat.


About This Blog

©Orna Willis
All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Orna Willis and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Orna Willis. Any other inquiries please email me at orna@ornadesign.com

Blog Archive