DIY: Bib Necklace

We are approaching a special date: Valentine´s Day, a good excuse to dress-up. I found this project on the P.S.-I made this… site, that shows how to quickly and easily make a bib necklace can be the perfect complement for this or any other occasion. You can replace the pins with beautiful buttons, stones, found objects and anything you can think of, just put your imagination into gear.

Repeat after yourself

Guerra de la Paz installation

Colors are vital for me, I get energized when I look at nature and I spontaneously worship the Creator.  Although I find exceptional shapes in creation, nothing compares to its colors. Guess what? Colors have to do with light. If everything were to be turned off, and it became dark, colors would so cease to exist: In the tropics, the colors are brighter. Don’t panic, in our lessons we are talking about pigments and what happens when you mix the three primary colors: yellow, red and blue. The result of the mixture produces the range of earthy colors, that we commonly call brown.
If you mix them in equal amounts, you will get a dark brown because blue is a very strong color. If you put more yellow into your mix, you will get a yellowish brown color leaning to ocher. If your mixture is heavy on the red, you will get a reddish brown.

Margarita Mileva rubber-band dress

This time, complete in each of the photos the following sentence and you’ll be an  expert recognizing which of the primary colors it leans toward.

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

 

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

Magdalena Abakanowicz sculpture

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

Magdalena Abakanowicz sculpture

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

Kenia Brea clay modeling

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

My son, Juan José

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

This brown contains a lot of …, a little …, and a pinch of …

Like I said in a previous post, part of my life took place in the Cibao, that is what we call the northern part of the island. There, the land is fertile and it is customary to plant. My grandparents had large cocoa bean plantations, so those who know cocoa and color theory well might assert that the skin covering the individual dried cocoa beans is often a reddish brown, and some times a yellowish brown. When we peel the seed, we find a very dark brown mass that corresponds to the edible part, that is so because that color contains a lots of blue, a little red and a dash of yellow.  Many visual artists use this mix of colors instead of black. I had never, before writing this blog, thought of associating the colors with things that were as personal as my memories; and, this single event makes me think it was worth it. So, in honor of this fruit and my new experience, I leave this delicious recipe that Hershey’s provided for our enjoyment.

Chocolate Sweetheart Cakes for Two

A new one for the price of two

Bravo! You can repeat from memory that the primary colors are yellow, red and blue. Have you ever wondered why they are called primary? It is because they can not be formed by mixing any other color, on the contrary, when mix them, the result is all the other colors (I am speaking of pigments).  In simple mixtures, i.e. two primary colors, will result in a secondary color that will lean toward the strongest color or to that which you add more (i.e. reddish-violet or bluish-violet). Easy, three primary colors and three secondary colors.

Textile sculpture by Guerra de la Paz

Rainbow-hued felted acorns by Flickr user Lilfishstudios

Repeat after me.

Yellow + red = orange

Mark Rothko painting

Kenia Brea necklace inspired by Egon Schiele´s "Field of flowers"

Red + blue = purple

Christian Dior dress

Elizabeth Taylor´s “purple eyes”

Christian Dior dress

Blue + yellow = green

Christian Dior dress

Looking for resources for this entry, I found this beautiful song by Adolfo Utrera and Nilo Menendez, which I dedicate to the memory of my grandmother, Juana Maria, whose “green eyes, serene like a lake, in whose calm waters one day I saw myself. They do not know the sadness that, in my soul, they have left.  Those green eyes, that I never will forget”:  Aquellos Ojos Verdes – Green Eyes.

Like in kindergarten

As a visual artist, I am well aware, that teaching that red, yellow and blue are the primary colors is a sacrilege, because, as my teacher Carlos Montesino always says, they have names and surnames, which I will not mention.

I consider it important to talk to my students about color, and I take the opportunity at every workshop to teach them a little about the subject. There are scientific explanations about color, but to me, they are simply a gift from God, something wonderful, and I would say even magical; because they have the power to influence our mood and even our decision making as individuals. Eventhough I  am conscious that the mastery of color theory is an arduous and complex affair, I recognize the importance of doing so in order to obtain successful results in the projects of art in all its aspects.

So, repeat after me.  The primary colors are:

Yellow

Red

and,

Blue

From here to eternity

In the vast majority of cases, human creations come from visual references. With the exception of pure abstraction, man uses the perception of his environment to create shapes. Looking at this beautiful skeleton of the petals of Hydrangea flowers, I could not resist the idea of sharing some photos of works with lace, which, incidentally, is the preferred fabric in major haute couture collections for this present year. I loved the description from Wikipedia and I motivate you to at least find pictures of some of the mentioned types of lace, my favorites are the natural fiber, without underestimating the synthetic, often essential for jobs that require it.

When it comes to lace, I was immediately reminded of the Edwardian era, where fashion was completely overturned in the clothing that incorporated various design and exquisite lace from different backgrounds, as shown in the photograph dating from that period. Of course, even today, it is the inspiration for many fashion and accessory designers.

Two closely related elements since the beginning of a mankind are textile fibers and feathers, whether a primitive plume or amulet, or in the magnificent Victorian or Edwardian periods to the present, both will be part of the ornaments you and I wear, I show you a picture of how my workshop looks this week, this week, among other things, I created these fabric bird wedding cake toppers and some details of lace flowers.

Like every Friday, I would like to leave this DIY project, copied from one of the blogs I visit, which will, undoubtedly, be helpful for some of you.

Our enchanted world

I don´t know if it´s the fabric yoyos research; or because yesterday was my beloved grandmother´s, now deceased, birthday; maybe I’m exhausted from too much work; or perhaps it´s what they call a “midlife crisis”. It doesn´t matter, whatever the cause, all lead me to relive the most unforgettable moments of my life, shared with my beloved sisters, Ray and Flori, and this fills me with longing.
The idea, in principle, to have a blog was no less than telling my story. My husband and many of those who have heard it have made comments like: “I would like to be close, even if looking through a peep hole”, others have suggested that I write a book, and others tell me “those are amazing things, I would like to listen to the three versions in order to compare: something like the Gospels, because these things can not be true”.
My sisters and I, in addition to the shared memories, we have in common things like the love of art, nature and, above all, our faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, not everything is rosy, it’s amazing how we keep the habit of quarreling like children, but as such, nothing happens, everything is forgotten immediately and enjoy it in our own way.
The Paredes sisters are very different women, not superior, but very different. Because of them, I honor the family name that for 25 years, many have not heard, but yes, I am nothing more and nothing less than the middle child, who stayed in her “terrible twos”.

Flori, me, and Ray in our 130,790 square meter backyard

My father is fond of animals, especially cows, and still retains some.

Part of the old corral

Begonias: we really feasted on these flowers, of course, hidden from our grandmother.

Zinnias, our favorite flowers. Hundreds of butterflies settled on them, which we would catch in cans, to later set free in our grandparent´s house.

Cacao trees, from our grandparent´s plantation.

Cocoa beans: I still remember the aroma when it was recently removed from the pods, and as it dried on those big slabs of concrete that, at night, in the moonlight, was our playground.

How many times did we weight ourselves? Each day, each time when our grandfather, who was devoted to the cocoa production and sales, received the locals with their horses loaded with cocoa beans.

That blue pot I picked up from the yard recently, I literally dug it from the yard, this was the pot where several heads of garlic was boiled daily so that my grandfather would have an infusion, one of his eccentricities, and the small vase, I only know that I have seen since I have recollection, one of the many knick-knacks, then called "bisquits" that adorned my granparents´ coffee table.

Part of their "so prized tableware," that was not used daily.

I keep many of their things, but what I treasure in my heart is all the fantastic stories that I lived every day with my sisters in that place called La Bija, in Cotuí, that´s why "I don´t want to grow up"

Textiles galore

In a few days I will give a workshop on how to make fabric yo-yos. I’ve been doing image searches on the web that I will use as a visual support. What an extraordinary world of textiles. I have found from simple, everyday things to the most intricate designs,  Eunsuk Hur, for example. It’s been a fantastic journey, and like any good traveler, I want to share some pictures with you.

Collective Unconscious

I would like to say otherwise, but Kathe Kollwitz did not influence in these works.  In some way, we are the people´s other people. In her memory, and in that of those affected by our human miseries, I dedicate this exhibition.

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Käthe Kollwitz drawing

Kenia Brea drawing

Käthe Kollwitz sculpture

Käthe Kollwitz sculpture

Tips

Photo by Mirna Mercke Schmidt http://blomsterverkstad.blogspot.com

Photo by Mirna Mercke Schmidt http://blomsterverkstad.blogspot.com

These wreaths are made with aromatic herbs that can be purchased at the supermarket; but, something that has always worked for me, is to take samples: small twigs of trees or shrubs growing in the neighborhood and note how long it lasts, in water and out of water. The adventure of seeking out those treasures of nature is undoubtedly priceless. Photo by Mirna Mercke Schmidt http://blomsterverkstad.blogspot.com