Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Seashells and a Big Old Pine Postcard

It didn't start out to be a great day--I went to bed with hip pain last night and awoke with it at 4AM. I took pain medication but couldn't get back to sleep until it was time to get up to drive my husband to work. My day for the car. I am thankful that I no longer have to go work; I was able to come home after a doctor's appointment and have a bit of a rest.
It is very hot and muggy here today. Thunder storms are forecast for later today. I haven't' ventured out except for my appointment and to water my plants. After the rain the other day, I took this photo of my lily which just came into bloom this week.


In summer, I always have a bouquet in the house although it's a little harder this year since I used some of my flower space for vegetables. I'll add wildflowers to the mix occasionally as well as fern or hosta leaves.
At lunch time, I still felt a little low, but the habit of sketching has become ingrained. It focuses me and takes my mind off the pain. I read somewhere just last night that the act of reating art can increase production of serotonin, so I guess it was just what I needed.
Something else that I saw  recently on Facebook (Martha Stewart, I think) was the idea of using a coffee press to steep loose tea for iced tea. What a great idea! Add some honey and lemon and put it in the frig when cooled.

While I was out this morning, I picked up a roasted chicken breast from the grocer and I made a corn and black bean salad to go with it. Easy. Gave me time to do a bit of stitching.
This is postcard sized 4" by 6". It is based on the picture you see on the I Pad screen taken by my niece.The background was done using the Neocolor II crayons and heat set.
It's going to be a little gift for someone.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A little gift

A lady in the southern part of New Brunswick bought my ticket for the Kaffe Fassett talk that I was unable to make this past weekend in Amherst, NS. I thought it was great that I could sell the ticket; she thanked me by sending me two fat quarters in my favourite colors.
How nice is that? I didn't know there was a quilt shop in a place called Port Elgin called Spruce It Up Quilting. I don't think it would be too far off the highway that one would travel to go to PEI.

I haven't done much walking lately due to my knee and my hip so I haven't brought home many little bits from the trail. The Mosquitos have been pretty thick there anyway. Last night though, I made a little jaunt on my bike around the subdivision and I found a clump of dogbane which I just discovered last year. There was a lot of it so I couldn't resist bringing a tiny bunch home.

When it came time to finish up my lunch and pick up a pencil though, I went for a couple of tiny seashells and an old bottle cap. I almost could use a magnifying glass!

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Colored pencil studies and a small watercolour

Wow, I can't believe how fast the day has passed! I got all my cleaning done this morning, even taking the time at breakfast and lunch for some sketching.

My pile of inspiration is getting a bit unruly, but I'm managing to corral it on a piece of foam core board and a little plate in the centre of my table. Soon I may resort to a small box.
I had planned to go to my sewing studio but stayed in the kitchen area as I was waiting for someone to come look at some work to be done. He was late (men!). I kept busy doing a little watercolour of a picture that my niece took and posted on Facebook. I've always loved big old pine trees!

I used a waterbrush and Koi watercolours by Sakura.

Then I took out a small piece of white cotton fabric and added a quick wash of colour using my Neocolor II crayons.

I recently purchased kits for postcards from Monika Kinner-Wlalen at My Sweet a Prairie and thought I'd try one.
I'll let it dry, add the stabilizer from the kit and a bit of stitching, trying to keep it simple (hard for me to do). It' a postcard after all and I think I'm going to try to actually mail it.

Soon it'll be time to get supper going. I've got to watch my line full of clothes. It's looking a bit dark.
Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Colored pencil sketch and the beach

Wow, we are having a string of fantastic summer weather! I can enjoy it even more that we have the air conditioning to come home to; I run it at about 24C and not continuously so it's not shocking when you come in. Just cool enough for comfort.
My husband went off to a golf tournament today so I packed for the beach.
I did a tiny drawing of seaweed with breakfast.

I stopped at the market for some fresh berries and fresh strawberry goat cheese on my way to my in laws.
I've been nursing a knee injury for about 6 weeks and haven't been able to get into my kayak but I managed it today!

I'm sitting a top it on shore here. You get the idea though, and sorry about that tippy horizon. Does it make you a bit seasick?
The water was beautiful true to its name, The Baie de Chaleurs.

From my backyard I picked a few fresh flowers and now I've flopped on my sofa at home with a tea, my I Pad, and an ice pack.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Colored pencil studies

I've been out these past couple days, yesterday to the shop, and today, I'm going to physio and errands.
Here is my Thursday breakfast sketch.

And here is this morning's

The razor clam is a challenge as are the ripples and curves in little bits of seaweed.
Lots to keep my attention all summer!

It's looking like we'll be having a sunny warm weekend. Time to:

wade barefoot along the sand bars
kayak,
float gently on the swells
visit with family
eat healthy fresh meals made from local produce
collect more specimens for my drawing studies
tend to my garden
draw
focus
slow down
breathe
be thankful

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Seahorse

Over the course of the last week, I've been musing about the seahorse Gelli print piece to which I had thread painted and added some curved piecing. I mentioned in the post that I wasn't sure about the final borders, regretting that I hadn't added them using the curved piecing method.
You can see it here with the first borders before the final ones.

This morning while I was cleaning a few photos off the I Pad, I came across the piece before any borders and my first thought was, 'oh that's pretty'.

Then I had to ask myself what had happened to cause my present unease with it. I believe I'm still being influenced by a comment from a judge on one of my past pieces. She may have been right, or not, but the quilt did go on to have acclaim and it remains one of my favourites.
However, the comment still influences my work, sometimes constructively, it her times negatively. I think that's what happened here. That little voice was pushing my fingers to the darker fabrics while my own instincts were saying no.
And thank you Sue for getting me thinking.
I decided to take all the pieced borders off and redo it. (very carefully, I might add)

Now, I'm happier with it. The colors, though having less contrast, are 'sunnier' reminding me of sunlit waters.
I have laid out the final borders here, but they will be added with curves. Maybe there will be a small mauve strip matching the one at the top that I will put in on the bottom right first.

The blue will be thinner once the seams are added and the quilting and thread painting will tie it all together, as will the final hand embroidery. That's my hope anyway!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cosmos binding, seashell sketch, birds

Now that the worst of the black fly/mosquito season has passed, we are able to once again sit out on our deck in the evenings. I love to do this just before bath/jammy time. Last night was lovely, finally cooling a bit later in the evening. Sometimes I just sit, listening to the leaves rustling in the breeze and the birds twittering, sometimes being captivated by all the colors and movements and sounds.
This is the view from my recliner.
My little fountain provides another gentle melody. It's all enough to lull one into a quite state of bliss!
Some nights I take my camera out and sit patiently with the long lens ready to capture any passing birds. Last night, I was lucky to get the hummingbird although the light was fading.
Their wing speed and strength amaze me. They were flying to this feeder on the day of  Hurricane Arthur when no other birds were around. The way they squeak and chase each other around the yard is amusing.
The goldfinches also have a funny squeak and chase each other. Who needs TV?
The night before, a chickadee came to the top bowl of the fountain and sipped leisurely. I was hoping for its return but no luck. I have even gotten pictures of them splashing in it.
My clematis continues to open. I love this little vignette that can be viewed from my kitchen window.
The more the clematis grows, the more the mask seems to be a part of the tree.
After a little outing this morning, I came into my sewing studio, cut the binding and sewed it on my cosmos piece. It is simply pressed back right now. I will save the hand sewing to be done during my stint at the shop  on Thursday.
At lunch time, I finished up another small seashell study. It was challenging. I will be doing more of this one.

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.