Monday, October 5, 2015

Make time slow down!

Oh my, I know it's been a while and I've been thinking of my readers. I've had the busiest week with  a few commitments. Also, the recent weather has been so lovely that one really must take advantage before it gets too cool.
For example, this past Saturday, was my first guild UFO day of the year which I didn't want to miss. It was so nice out though that I came home by 3PM, so I could get out onto the nearby trail for some sketching. I packed up a small sketching bag, my camera and a little stool.

It's about 5 minutes by bicycle from my house, so just doable for me right now. The woods are so pretty too  with the changing leaf colors and the lower autumn sunlight.

I want to look for a chair that's more comfortable for longer sketching times but this is perfect for now. The air was becoming chilled after I sat for a while.

I'm really enjoying getting out and practicing my sketching skills. Soon it will be too cold.

 I hope I'll get in a few more sessions before it's too cold. There is so much to draw the eye. I've got to get this at another time of day. The ferns in the forefront are very golden but were unfortunately the camera was shaded.

Last week, I was playing with acrylic paints on a heavy watercolor paper and my personally designed screens for a project I had in mind. This is really fun-- to gather some supplies and start applying paint without any real firm ideas of how it will end. Play time. Here is the first layer randomly scattered.

Next screen.

And more.

Then I added a wash of watercolor in blue and green.

After it was dry I cut it all up to make 2 dozen book marks.

These were my party favors! Even though entertaining is totally outside our comfort zone, my husband and I held an open house yesterday in celebration of my 60th birthday. It's actually tomorrow. Several friends contributed with food which really helped. I made mini cupcakes and muffins as well as my own ice tea which was very popular! Gord ordered fruit and veggie trays.
We managed at least 20 or so here and there despite our tiny house. Luckily, it was a beautiful day allowing for a bit of spillover to the deck.
The only pictures we took were of me and another quilter receiving our 60th birthday quilts form our little quilting group. I was very touched to see them all trooping up the driveway. There are no words to express how it felt to see them all and to receive the beautiful quilt.

I have to admit that I wasn't really looking froward to my 60th; I think because of all the physical health issues I've been having--kind of dreading it maybe. Then, when I attended another open house I got the idea that we could do it too and it would make it more of a celebration. I used the opportunity to take donations for my latest charity, The Alzheimer's Society  in honor of my mom. I raised $200.!

I cropped out all the other friends as I haven't' received the OK from all of them to publish  them on my blog. This is my friend Anne. I have always loved the Bento box pattern and especially in bright colors.
I had a pretty peaceful sleep under it last night.

I recommend celebrating simply with friends when you're having a challenging year. Even my daughter surprised me with a quick visit from Prince Edward Island! It was a happy day.

Well, I'm off now to squeeze a little more out of this beautiful fall day.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A beautiful cool fall day

It is a fall day just how I like it, sunny, coolish and great for a bit of outdoor work. I came home from a visit to our little downtown market this morning and sat to a nice lunch of fresh salad greens, sardines, and a slice of whole grain artisan bread with goat cheese.

With my tea I did a sketch of a feather that I found yesterday. That's two feathers found I n three days and I also dreamed of feathers. I wonder what it could mean.

Hubby is gone for the day to a golf tournament which means im on my own for supper. Yippee! Before leaving, he very thoughtfully gathered all the tools for me that I would need to work on another little 2 foot patch of the walkway to the back door. I mentioned that I might like to work on it this afternoon. With the pinched nerve in my back it's hard for me to drag things around the yard.


The little stone top right isn't set to go in there. It's holding the cloth for now. I've got them pretty well fitted and levelled. My husband will lug some sand and spread it over the seams.

I'm sitting with ice packs as I write! We'll see how the back and legs feel tonight. I may do another small section before the ground freezes.

Just after lunch I cut up some yellow zucchini and julienned some carrots to make my favourite Vietnamese style pickles .

They are light tasting, made with rice vinegar, a dash of maple syrup, herbs and garlic. Poured directly into the jar. It will keep about two weeks. I eat them up fast!

Now for the next few hours I can knit, read, or sew, whatever I feel like. We'll see.

I'm wishing you a nice weekend wherever you are in the world.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Found my Spring Fling photos

I checked my recycle bin and yay, I found the photos that I was sure I had taken of my winning fiber art piece, Spring Fling. I remembered taking photos around the same time I took photos of this scary but interesting spider on our shed. I'm fascinated by it's markings, but yes, I'd run screaming if it landed on me!

I remembered that those pictures got accidentally deleted and so I checked the recycle bin in case my tulip piece photos were there with them and sure enough there they were. Thanks to the spider. Maybe I'll reproduce it in fiber someday.

Here it is Spring Fling. Sold

 A closer look.

I was very happy with the dragonfly.

I hope it went to a good home. I shall miss it. Too bad I didn't at least hear where it went, if not who bought it. It's nice to know.

What beautiful weather we've had all fall and its lovely, sunny and warm  again today the first day of  fall.I'm still trying to keep up my little sketch works after breakfast or lunch. Yesterday, I added  drawings of a feather and a fir cone that I picked up at the park to this collaged page.

The leaves which are left over from my fabric mono printing session last week , are collaged to the sketchbook page with matte medium. (I used copy paper to cover painted leaves that I was printing with onto the fabric) Then I drew on the feather and the little cone and added watercolor and Neocolor II crayons.

I'm connecting to The Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mono printing and making confettie foliage

I've been creatively busy today, completely ignoring the vacuum cleaner waiting in the corner (hubby brings it upstairs for me). I really wanted to test out a mono-print of a poinsettia which I painted onto a Ziploc bag and then pressed to a piece of cotton. I used an extender to keep the paint wet.

On the right are 3 fabrics that I picked as possibilities to go with for a table runner. I will probably try a couple more prints before I choose one to work with. The plan is to add a bit of thread painting, keeping it loose and sketchy.

This afternoon, I worked on the birches, adding some background foliage with stippling and cutting a few more trees.

 Then I cut up some foliage colored fabrics with the wavy rotary cutter.

Some of my readers will have seen this process before. You can find a post about it in the tutorial section under the header. Next, I sandwich the bits I call confetti between 2 pieces of Saran Cling Wrap Plus.

I take it to the machine and free motion stitch in a meandering zigzag making sure to cover all the little bits.

Finally, it gets sandwiched between sheets of newspaper and ironed without steam until all the Saran has melted away.

I like to use pieces that I cut and pull apart for parts of the foliage and ground cover.

The weather changed yesterday after the rain to cooler  temps. Many maritimers took advantage of the record breaking temperatures on Saturday to have a last fling at the beaches and on the waters. We went kayaking at a place called Island Lake about an hours drive from here. My husband is always patient enough to paddle or float around while I stop fro a sketch.

We packed our lunch which we had to eat in the kayaks alongside a shore. There wasn't really a good spot to land and get out.

It is quite different from Portage Lake or Lake Nictau at Mount Carlton--definitely not for swimming-- but still beautiful in its way.

A bit of exciting news that I got on Friday from a guild member was that I won first place in the Kennebecasis Valley Quilt Show in the non traditional category with my tulips piece that I called Spring Fling.

I did photograph it before sending it, but can't seem to find them. Here is just a section that I showed before.

Problem is-- good news, bad news, it also sold! A good thing but I must find those pictures.

Happy Monday!


Monday, September 14, 2015

More Gelli printing

On Saturday, while my husband went golfing, I decided to play a bit more with the Gelli doing some leaf prints.

I simply rolled some fabric paints onto the Gelli, added a bit of texture and then laid on some pressed leaves. Then I laid the white fabric on top and rubbed, transferring as much paint as possible to the fabric..

Once you've pulled the first print and lifted the leaves off the mold, there is some paint left.  A rubbing made onto this is called a ghost print. The paint around the leaves was already transferred to the fabric but most of the the paint underneath the leaves remained.

The next one is also done the same way but this time I added paint to the back of a leaf with a foam brush and pressed it onto the ghost print.

Here I did a print from the Gelli with the leaves as a mask and then printed with the painted leaves afterwards.

I have already picked out a few matching fabrics for a small piece- a mug rug, I think-and packed it up to take with me tomorrow to my 3rd annual retreat at Portage Lake with my son's fiance"s mom, Glenda.

We are planning to work on a Halloween quilt which we've both been cutting the fabric for, but I always like a couple of small things to relieve the monotony of chain piecing. I'm not good at that.

I've got most things packed and ready to go in the morning ,except I'm shortly going to go cut up squash and vegetables to roast-- some of which I'll leave for hubby. We like to have our meals prepared ahead so we can sew! We've got lots of fresh veggies, fruit, treats, and baked ham and chicken for meals.

I took a little break after lunch, to sit and add a few more meandered background leaves to my birches.

I'm ready now to layer on the final appliqued birches and get onto the foreground. Love that part. Sorry, I can only show a little snippet of this one.

At the cabin, we will have no phone or internet, nor TV nor radio. It's quite lovely really. Quiet  with a beautiful view. The weather looks good so we'll be able to take out tea and coffee out to the deck. I always bring a camera and my sketchbook too.  It's only a couple of days but very worth it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Using a Gelli Print

 Last weekend, which was a long one here in Canada, we had spectacular weather, exceptionally warm. I retreated to the studio for a bit of sewing. I wanted to use one of my Gelli prints to demonstrate how one might be use them  following a workshop.

I made a small needle case following this tutorial. 

I made mine just slightly smaller. Oh, and it is perfectly straight, it photographed that way because I wasn't holding it open.

On Saturday, we drove up to Mount Car;ton, a provincial park in central NB. It really is in the middle of nowhere. There are spectacular climbs to the highest peaks in NB, with beautiful views for miles around. Thank goodness, we did those climbs while I ws able.

This time, we took our kayaks, and paddles Lake Nictau where we stopped for lunch on a small island. The water although deep and quite elevated was still beautifully warm.

I couldn't resist a few leaps into the deep waters. I haven't done it in years; it was so much fun!

 It is so pretty and quiet there.

After kayaking, we sat a the beach where I sketched and we ate supper.

 On the really hot muggy day, Monday, I only emerged from my studio around 3:00PM when we went to the beach for a swim. Amazing that on September 7th we were swimming in the Bay and the water was nice.

Today, I've been cutting pieces for a small kit for a zippered bag that I can take on retreat next week at the Portage Lake cabins which are on the way to Mount Carlton.

I've used another two little pieces from my Gelli prints that will go on the front sides and cut matching batiks for the rest.

The rest of the time, I've been working away on my latest birch piece.

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.