The January challenge for Take It Further has been issued:
The key concept for January is a feeling we have all had, the feeling of admiration for another. Ask yourself who do you look up to and admire? Why? What is it you admire about them? This is the first Take it Further challenge in 2008. Take the idea, develop it into a resolved design during that month and apply it to fiber or paper.
Every month there will be two options. The second option is a colour scheme. This means that if you don’t like the concept you can work the colour scheme or if you don’t like the colour scheme you can work with the concept. Or you can work with both. (Click on the link to see the colors.)
The concept challenge took my breath away when I first read it. That's exactly that sort of thing that made me think two or three times before committing to the challenge at all. But working with the color scheme would be no challenge whatsoever for me. So I've been thinking about who I admire and what it is about them that I admire.
The list is surprisingly short. Shorter than it used to be in fact. And they are all women. Two in particular stood out in my mind so it became a debate over which one to base my piece on. My preference was not to highlight either one but to showcase the quality I admire that they represent.
The next question was format for my challenge pieces. There's going to be a challenge every month. This will be in addition to all the other projects I have in the works. (I have reached the conclusion that last year was my year for finishing older projects and weeding out. Obviously I didn't get everything done or out of the way but enough was accomplished to allow me to put that stuff back on the back burner for the time being and focus on new endeavors this year.) My goal is to keep these pieces as small and simple as I can without sacrificing design integrity. I'm pretty sure that I will be working within the 4" x 6" postcard format at this point.
We are also supposed to blog about our progress (or process). I've already developed a habit of recording most of my design decisions, etc. as I work on a project so this shouldn't be too difficult for me. However, instead of making my notes in my regular 8.5" x 11" sketchbook I decided to dedicate a small journal to this project so all my notes would be in one place at the end of the year. This notebook features cover art by Dottie Moore.
I have gone so far as to pick out a potential background fabric and two embellishments for my first TIF piece. The quality I admire in other women (I think because I don't seem to possess it myself) is a strong sense of self-identity. They know who they are and what they want to do in the world. I see these women as queens of their respective realms. One of the colors in the challenge color scheme is what I think of as a royal purple. I'm not planning to consciously use the given color scheme but in this case it worked out well. In terms of my construction process, I intend to keep doing what I've been doing with my journal quilts: piece and embellish intuitively. What I want out of this challenge is more practice in the magic of transforming ideas into imagery.