Because I was having trouble organizing my thoughts around Phoenix Rising, I decided to try making a mood board. Â This is basically a collage that represents your thoughts, ideas, and feelings about the project. Â I’d never made one before, but because most of my ideas were from photos, I thought something graphical might help. Â I took a bunch of images that I had culled from various sources (mostly Google Image search, study group samples, and couture shows) and printed them out, then cut them up and arranged them into this (click for the larger version):
What I learned from this exercise:
- For this piece, the skirt is what is most important to me – nearly 1/3 of the photos were of skirts that I found interesting.
- Of course, that means that I haven’t devoted nearly enough time to the bodice, sleeves, etc. – so I will have to think those through carefully and maybe do a second mood board for the top half of the garment!
- Feathery looks are most important to me (they comprise most of the middle of the board)
- The phoenix in dead center is my inspiration photo – soft and subtle, as opposed to the more dramatic renditions. Â (We’ll see how long that lasts, though, with my penchant for drama!)
- I’m also fascinated by textures – crinkly, feathery, etc.
Here is the somewhat-annotated version of the mood board:
The turquoise circle represents one set of skirt conceptions – soft and feathery, which goes well with the renditions of feathers in the red circle below it. Â The bright blue in top right shows another skirt concept – billowy and airy, with lots of movement – and the yellow-orange at top left shows two other skirt options. Â I moved the yellow-orange circle options off to the side because they don’t look soft enough – almost scaly – and so I probably won’t use them, but I’m not sure enough of that to remove them from the mood board entirely.
The purple on bottom right shows some textures I’d like to capture in the fabric – mostly collapse weaves (one by Betsy Blumenthal and one by Diane Smith) and other heavily textured fabrics. Â Because I clearly want a light, airy skirt with lots of movement, these will likely go on the bodice (if I use them at all).
The green circle at bottom left shows another interpretation of feathers, this time a little more hard-edged. Â I may integrate this patterning into the soft, billowy fabric. Â Or I may not. Â Not sure.
And, finally, the orange circle at center left shows one possibility for the shoulders – little “wings” that project outward from the shoulders. Â Gotta lose the vinyl pants, though. Â 🙂
And, a few updates on various items:
- Su was kind enough to tell me that unless rayon chenille has a non-cellulose core thread (i.e. one that will not burn out), the burned-out ends will tend to work their way out of the fabric with repeated handling/washing. Â Bonnie also helpfully pointed out that dry cleaning can also result in worming. Â So I tested my devore sample by running it through the wash a few times, and yes, the chenille does work its way out eventually. Â This means my devore idea won’t work unless I can find a synthetic-core rayon chenille. Â So far I haven’t found one, so I’m putting the idea on hold. Â Phoenix Rising isn’t going to get a lot of hard use, but I’d like to use a more durable fabric for it.
- Wrote another 1500 words on the book over the weekend, and another 300 or so this morning. Â I’ve decided that unless I make it a priority, I’m never going to finish it. Â So I’ve decided to work on it for a minimum of 30 minutes every morning, right after I wake up. Â I can work on it for longer, of course, but I will spend at least half an hour writing. Â Hopefully that should keep me on track.
- I managed to print out the labels for my surface design experiments yesterday. Â I’ll cut them up whenever I have time.
- I’ve concluded that I have too many projects on my plate at the moment: tie-dyeing T-shirts, the book, Phoenix Rising, quilting class, and systematic surface design samples. Â Â It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m not making progress on anything. Â So I think I’m going to focus on the short-term items first: finishing my quilt blocks for class, tie-dyeing the T-shirts will be first on the priority list. Â I’ll continue working on the book 1/2 hour a day, though, and I’ll work on Phoenix Rising during the week, when it’s hard to do tie-dye (I need a solid chunk of time for that.) Â The surface design samples will have to wait until the quilt blocks and T-shirts are done. Â It’s OK. Â They can wait.