May "Tide Pools" Blog Hop

Welcome followers and new comers!
The art challenge theme for the month of May over at Art Elements was "Tide Pools"
It’s REVEAL TIME!!!
You can also follow the links at the end of my blurb (if you're still awake) and see other artists' work inspired by this month's theme!!




I decided to take this theme challenge rather literally. I work better in specifics rather than abstract but I did stretch my comfort zone by using free-form crochet as much as possible to replicate creatures and shapes you might find in a tide pool.  The idea of working free-form with NO patterns or stitch counts makes me break out in hives and was a challenge all of its own to my control freak, precision mind. However, I think the end results are very authentic and creative in a seriously one of a kind way!!

I started out by choosing concept photos to use for basic shape ideas and for selecting my color palette. 

Then I gathered yarn that fit in the palette from my ample stash (the yarn has it’s own bedroom in my 2 bedroom apartment, hehheh) so that I could gain inspiration by seeing those colors and textures together without distractions. 
Only swanky yarns are good enough for MY tide pool. All of these are Merino wool, many of them hand dyed and most of the others are from Knit Picks!

I decided to include primarily sea life that looks like landscape such as anemones, coral, sea lettuce, abalone, seaweed, barnacles, algae...you get the idea. I wanted to avoid things like fish and other sea life that would require a pattern. 


I really ended up enjoying how relaxing it was to just sit and create with the yarn, letting things evolve as I made them rather than lots of pre-planning or counting rows and stitches. Shocking, I know!! NOT my style at all.
This sea lettuce is actually made free form but follows a specific geometric formula that occurs in nature called a hyperbolic plane. It’s what causes lettuce leaves or the fins of a snail to ruffle. SO COOL that one of the best ways to interpret this geometric concept in a visual 3D manner is in crochet!!

I also made some more complex shapes that could be abalone or urchins or space aliens. LOL ๐Ÿ˜ I did put in some small conch shells that were made using a pattern. The light shell color added a nice pop that breaks up all of the earth tone terrain rather nicely.
I did decide to add in a pattern-made starfish to honor my original concept photos and at the end, a red octopus, to help bring in some much needed color contrast.
I found the perfect "ugly" yarn in my stash for making the starfish. I haven't liked it for anything since I bought it online, but it was meant to be this starfish!!!



The octopus is of my own design because there really isn't much to him. I've been making little Octopi magnets and dangles lately but I LOVE how this more realistic version of my creation turned out!

I gathered all my bits together and then realized I would have to commit to a final design layout!! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฎ This is NOT my area. 

This part of the process was SO much worse than making the bits. I’m quite good at making the parts of a project but final assembly or spatial layout is so daunting to me. I have no talent whatsoever for interior design, Feng shui or color work. I just wanted someone to take my pieces and tell me where they were supposed to go so they would be combined in the “right way”. When it came to final installation though, it took me a week of stressing over placement to realize there is NO RIGHT WAY. 
Moss/algae was needle felted on to give more texture and create ground cover.

Any combination I could make would have a similar counterpart that exists somewhere in nature. That was the whole idea behind doing this challenge. There IS no right or wrong way; both in nature and in art.


I hope you enjoy my creation as much as I ended up enjoying the making of it. I was actually really sad when I realized it was done...I kind of wish I had a venue to make a large reef installation over a long period of time. (Check out my next post to see several large crocheted reef installations displayed across the world!!)

A little piece of ocean, right in your home!
Tide Pool Aerial View
Thank you so much for hopping by and come back again soon!!! 
Love and Light ๐Ÿ’œ ~ Raven


Please check out the other participants in this months art challenge!!!
Guests
Raven (psst, that's me)
Deborah  
AE Team Members:


Comments

  1. WOW WOW WOW!!! this is amazing!!! you are fantastic!!! and you should not doubt yourself...ever!! the final layout is amazing!! you need to do that big installation! I LOVE THIS!!! so glad you took part and hope you continue to join us in the challenges. Well done your very own blog too, I am going to enjoy very much following you in blog land!

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    1. Thank you so much for inviting me Laney!! I have never done art challenges for my crochet before and I have found it very inspiring! I would be very honored to have you as a follower and hopefully I have set up the blog so that you can. LOL

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  2. Raven that is absoluteLy stunning! As a non crocheter I am amazed that you can create such amazing realism with wool...the colours and textures are fantastic and it really is beautiful. Thank you so much for taking part in out challenge - I hope you'll be a regular.

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    1. Thanks Lesley!! I hope to be able to participate in the coming challenges now that I finally set up a blog to hop along. This was SO fun!

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  3. Hi Raven, this is amazing, I love what you have done . As I was scrolling down and reading I was thinking each component was my favourite, but I don't think I can say I have a favourite because the whole thing is wonderful. Thanks for giving me a smile to start my day

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Each part I made was so fun and addictive, I've already started making another Reef 2.0!! LOL

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  4. OH WOW! I don't even know where to start! I am completely in awe of all your crocheted components. Any of them by themselves would be amazing but when you put them all together it is such a treat for the senses. The colors, textures, the free forms of the sea lettuces and corals. I can't decide which is my favorite. Probably the starfish! Just wonderful how you created this lovely tide pool full of treasures.

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    1. I did get a little carried away once I started making shapes and adding colors but luckily the month long time frame reigned me in on finished size for this one. Haha = D

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  5. And I will add my OH WOW to the mix! I love your post, I love what you made, it's so cool! Not enough words! So many things to look at, you're right that yarn was made for that starfish, the lettuces, wow, all of them wow! Great job! Thanks so much for joining in! Yours is the first post I read and it was so much fun!

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    1. Thank you SO much. I really appreciate the feedback and love to hear what parts people like best!!! Thanks for hopping by.

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  6. This is SO Stunning!!! I am so amazed by what you've created!

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    1. Thanks. I was rather surprised by how much I liked it myself. I figured, it could either be really cool OR look like a hot mess by the time I put it all together!! LOL I'm glad it ended up on the cool side.

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  7. HOLY CRAP! Mine is SO LAME compared to this. I don't even know what to say!!!!! This gave me the excitement jitters bigtime. Fabulous work. LOVE the octo...they are my fav. I can't help but be jealous that you get to stare at it all the time. Dang.

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    1. I plan to hop to everyone else's creations over coffee this morning but I'm glad you like mine!! I actually DON'T have it anymore because the day after I attached the last piece and took blog photos, a customer came by to pick up her order and saw it laying on the living room floor. Her mother is an artist who normally lives in Florida but whose health is failing and would just LOVE my Tide Pool. It just so happened that mom was coming into town THAT NIGHT. The woman bought it to surprise and cheer up her mom and took it with her that very day!!! I was in shock the whole rest of the day. I had planned to sit with it and admire it before even thinking of lending to display elsewhere. I hadn't even gotten a chance to line the underside of the board with felt to finish it but it was just....gone!!! SHOCK.
      I do believe that it went where it was meant to be though.
      Needless to say I have already started making another to help fill the void. LOL

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    2. Wow...you are brave. I can't imagine having a piece leave that quickly...I tend not to sell my work because I get too attached. They are like our children, aren't they? Well, I don't blame her one bit...that is one exquisite piece and I can totally see it being a series or a gallery installation. So freaking cool.

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    3. It definitely broke my heart a little and for the next couple of days I was sad I didn’t get to spend time with it. But I am also a believer of things happening at a specific time for specific reason and I did really feel like it was meant to go to her mom. I will just have to make more! LOL

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  8. Wow, indeed! I absolutely adore this oceanic wonderland. You've done an amazing job with the crocheting, and it certainly looks like you had a lot of fun making these! (You're right about the starfish yarn - it made a gorgeous starfish. :-) )

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    1. Right?!?! See, even UGLY yarn has a purpose in life. And to think I almost gave it away in my last de-stash. =D

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  9. That's fantastic. I can't crochet with yarn if my life depended on it and here each element is great and together they just blow me away!

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    1. Thanks Cat! I am always most in awe of the art forms I have no aptitude or experience with myself. That's why I stalk so many glass artists, quilters and metal workers etc. I couldn't even begin to know how to do the most basic forms of what they do and have SO much appreciation for their skill and artistry!!

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  10. Holy cow!!! You are way more creative with your crocheting than my grandmother was! This is so fantastic and beautiful. You really took crocheting to another level. Incredible!

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    1. Thanks! It was so fun and inspiring to crochet free-form. I'm a strict pattern follower in my work and will rarely even design my own patterns unless it's out of necessity. But doing this free-form style was so relaxing and creative since there was no wrong way or miss counted stitch.
      I guess that should have been one of my labels or tags "not your grandmother's crochet" LOL

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  11. I so love this! It made me smile as soon as I saw it and it is so gorgeous! I also think you should make a big installation somewhere somehow! :)

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    1. If I could find the right venue, I would LOVE that too! I will definitely be making more pieces like this, perhaps smaller segments that could be displayed together in a larger space when combined?? Then it could be a potentially mobile display.!!!! I thought about making a mini reef version in one of those glass ball terrariums on a wire stand too!! Desktop coral reef!!!
      ......in between my orders in my spare time of course! LOL Thanks for hopping by and I'm so glad it make you smile. That is the highest compliment in my opinion!

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    2. OMG all these ideas....YES!!!!

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  12. Wow. That is a lot of work and so cute.

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    1. Once I got started, I couldn't stop!! LOL I had to reign myself in to make sure I had a cohesive installed piece by the end of the month. It's a really good thing there was a time limit!!! : )

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  13. Raven, I'll join the rest and just say WOWEE!! You took the Challenge and ran with it (or should I say hooked it). I love it all but especially that shell and the sea star (starfish). As a crocheter, I'm amazed that you got all this done in 1 month!!

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    1. Thanks so much! It was a really fun challenge and I'm excited to see what next month will bring!!!

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  14. Oh my gosh! Words fail with how amazing this is! I love the design and I really loved watching you create each piece and put it all together what a wonderful post I throughly enjoyed reading it!

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    1. I'm so relieved to hear you say that...I was afraid I was including a little too much "making of" info because I'm the type of person that loves to watch the behind the scenes of my favorite movies and getting to see the artisans make the props and the sets. I'm pleased to know that other people enjoy seeing some of the parts as well as the finished seascape!! =D

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  15. Wow your tide pool is fabulous! Your layout is spot on! Really enjoyed your process and your post!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad to hear that the post was okay since I'm better with yarn than computers and have been fighting with some of the set-up of said "blog". I'm still working out some glitches (font sizes, gadgets ? and the like). Feel free to let me know if there is anything that should be tweaked to make it better or easier to navigate!

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  16. When I clicked the link for your post and the first picture popped up on my screen I squeed out loud. I join the "Wow" chorus on this. I've never tried free-form crochet - I have a hard enough time figuring out some patterns. Everything about this piece is perfect including the final composition. Really, spectacular.

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    1. You just made me smile so much with the "squeee" comment and I'm glad I'm not the only one that does that!! I am precision orientated strict pattern follower in most of what I do so the challenge for me with this months project was actually working without the structure and the pattern. The parts are not complex at all but the challenge to crochet without writing things down or counting as I went was very REAL. Control freak here! I'm so pleased you enjoyed my creation and I can't wait to see what comes next!

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  17. Holy Mackerel, Batman! I mena. Yowza. ( I know - not very original to say Wow). First - I am so glad you joined us - and made your peace, even pleasure with the freeform. Second - those colors are delicious. Thirdly - how many hours? I mean this is dedication, passion, fun, and it shows. I am dazzled.

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    1. Thank you. Lol. Free-form and I have come to an understanding in this one area at least and that’s a start!!! Baby steps...

      I do have a swanky yarn fetish that got a chance to play without regard to usual nagging thought of it needing to sell, so that WAS delicious and freeing for sure.
      Hours?!?! Hehheh...I don’t think I could even estimate. I started making bits the day the challenge went up but ONLY worked on it between orders (which took INSANE self-control since it’s all I wanted to work on) so not sure at all.

      Many??? Yes. Many hours I would guess. ๐Ÿ˜‰Normally I gauge my labor hours in movies or episodes worked! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  18. What a fabulous piece. I really enjoyed reading about it's creation... sounds like you had a lot of fun! The end result is stunning!

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    1. Thanks! I did have fun and it helped me to remember why I enjoy crochet so much. Sometimes when you get in the rut of making the same orders too often, you forget to just create and have fun. ;)

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  19. Fabulous, I'm speechless! An absolutely fantastic real tide pool crochet scene!

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    1. Aw shucks. You guys are making my year!! I'm just so glad other people are enjoying this fun challenge as much as I enjoyed making it!

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  20. Raven, this is so amazing! I love all of your components (particularly fond of the conch shells) and how you pulled them all together. So darn cool and imaginative! Good for you breaking out of your normal, patterned comfort zone too.

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    1. I do love the shells. The secret is plain ecru or cream cotton yarn for the crocheting and then when it's done, brush the inside of the shell with blush, eye shadow or bronzer (I used a combo of pink eye shadow and a bronzer for these) to give it that "real shell" pink sheen! Then you can spray with a little hairspray to seal it but the cotton yarn holds it pretty well.
      It's funny the only use my make-up gets anymore is conch shells and the cheeks of my little amigurumi people and dolls!!! LOL

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  21. That is SERIOUSLY COOL! I can't even imagine how long it took. So are you able to hang it or display it somehow?

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    1. I had thought to display it as a mini installation in my dad's emptied fish tank and add on more sections as desired over time and you certainly could design it a little more 2D so it could be a wall mounted piece. Shockingly, one of my customers saw it in my living room when she came to pick up her order and HAD to have it for her ailing mother who used to live in Florida by the ocean and is an artist herself. I believe she planned to display just as a standing sculpture in mom's room.
      I was initially sad to see it leave less than 48 hours after the last stitch was made since I had thought I'd get to admire and spend time with a bit before even sending it to the parent's house.
      However, I'm strong believer in certain things happening for a reason and I think it ended up where it was meant to be, bringing a declining old woman joy. I do hope to make another someday.

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    2. Oh, and it took a little less than a month since I did start it based on the Tide Pool art theme for the month of May. I only worked on it between orders however so it probably technically took a couple of weeks rather than a whole month. I'm terrible about clocking hours for the pieces I make because I like to switch back and forth between at least 2 or 3 projects at all times so that I don't get bored or resentful at my orders. LOL

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