Monday, August 22, 2016

Anxiety and inspiration

Each day now I've been slowly cleaning, organizing and putting things away before my surgery on Thursday.

I had plans to go out to my sock knitting group today; however, I had a restless night and woke up with a touch of gastro.

After lunch I started to feel better and I had the urge to head into my studio. I've had this Gelli print hanging by my cutting board all summer where I often looked at it and mused about it. Today, I decided to have a go at it. I thought I'd be done all my creative play this week covering my free motion machine a few times.

But, I felt the need to do something. I backed the piece with interfacing and had a go at free motion outlining with a variegated thread. I became absorbed and felt myself relax.

I finished stitching along all the wildflower shapes and was considering what else I could do. My thought was to sandwich it with s soft batting so I could have a little hand stitching to do while recouperating.

I felt like it needed something else. I was picking up a few books to put away when I started flipping through one called Color + Pattern by Khritian A Howell. Some layered flower patterns by Rachael Taylor inspired me.

I wanted to add another layer but wanted it to stand out so I thought of using my heavier polyester thread in the bobbin. I flipped the piece over, lightly chalked in the leaves and then stitched. I was nervous to turn it over!

It pleases me!

I took a break for a snack and to think about it. I believe I'll add something else before I add the batting and set it aside for hand work.

Anxiety for me at this time really does seem to spark my creativity. This is a little flower play in my sketchbook done with Inktense sticks.

Tomorrow, I'm going to have to do a couple errands and I'm going to have to do something with a couple of large zucchini in the garden.

 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Beginnings and endings

Although I'm really looking forward to a new hip next week, I'm also starting to have a little anxiety about it as well. I had a wee bit of trouble with my sleep last night. This morning I knew a visit to the local market would do me good and since hubby is golfing this weekend, I spent the rest of my day immersed in projects in the sewing studio.

Something fun, I free motion stitched my snippets and fibers to the background with an overlay of netting to keep it contained.

My thinking is to use it as a background for some applique flowers and some dragonflies.

I like this hand dye with it. The color says cosmos.

I finished up the small details on the pin cushion and a needle case. They'll be added to my gift box.

Then I even stitched together a burp pad. I've got a few cut out.

It's not that I'm in a frenzy to finish or that I'm in any way putting stress on myself to do so. It's simply the best way for me to channel my nervous energy.

I've even got two knitting projects almost finished. The afghan above.

And a pair of alpaca socks for my husband.

Of course I can't wait to start some new ones! Last night I put my sock patterns in plastic pages. I've been accumulating different ones since starting up with the local sock knitting group.

Keeping busy is the best thing for me right now. Even if im nervous about the hip replacement surgery, I'm so looking forward to walking, biking and swimming again. I haven't been near my beloved trail and fall will be just the time to be reacquainted.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Mono printing feathers

There is a process I read about ages ago, maybe in Quilting Arts, that I've always wanted to try. It's a monoprinting method.

I started with my design drawn onto tracing paper which is tacked up on the window and overlaid with freezer paper, paper side out.

Using a pencil I then traced the design onto the paper side of the freezer paper. Note that the end product will be reversed unless it is reversed at this point.

I then ironed the waxed side of the freezer paper onto a piece of white cotton fabric.

Using a brayer I rolled fabric screen printing paint onto glass and lightly laid the fabric with the freezer paper design on top, fabric down.

With a pen and being careful not to lay my hand or arm down, I traced the design.

Here is the resulting print on fabric along with a ghost print that I pulled afterwards.

During my convalescence over the next few weeks, I'll have lots of ways to imagine using this piece and how I might produce more with variations. For instance, I'm already thinking I'd like a finer black line. One could start with a painted or dyed fabric or as I plan to do add color later. I have a project percolating. Colors will come as I proceed.
I'm already thinking some sketcherly flowers would be lovely using this method. My body may be slowing but my mind never quits! It is always a nice distraction for me during all my procedures and pains. Thank goodness for my art and it's healing power.
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Little projects and a new idea

My hip replacement is a week away and I'm trying to clean up and finish up a few little things for my gift box.

The first sewing kit is almost done.

And the second one is in progress. I've laid out a few coordinating pieces for the lining and the pocket.

I also had the pieces for a pear pin cushion partly stitched together. All I had to do was to sew the two halves together and it needs the stuffing. I'm going to have to visit my friend (you know who you are) for a bit of crushed walnuts to weight down the bottom before adding the wool.

I get so easily distracted while I'm supposed to be cleaning the studio! Instead of putting away, im pulling things out.

After my last garden piece with all the layers I had a germ of an idea for another piece that I'd like to do as a background for more dragonflies using snippets of fabric and various bits of fiber.

 

The whole thing will be layered with tulle and free motion stitched. That's the fun part. Once it's layered and stitched, the idea is to use it as background for cosmos or sun flowers with dragonflies.

At least I can leave it layed out on the foam core. It will occupy my thoughts during my recuperation.

 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A day trip

We took off on a little excursion today, (no golfing for hubby); the weather was perfect, so off we went. We drove the along the coast to Caraquet where we stopped at a favourite cafe and French bakery called Les Graines Folies for we had a nice lunch. I left with a few loaves of sour dough bread destined for the freezer.

From there we drove down the road to Village Blanchard to a small quilt and yarn shop called Atelier de Tricots et Couture where I dropped off a quilt for machine stitching. I also left with a few things!

She really has a little of everything. I bought yarn which I didn't need, but couldn't resist the colors, Setacolor fabric paint,swaddling muslin, kids prints in flannel, some quilting cotton and a little kit for a child's hat with a soccer ball for the top. The dad of our grandson to be plays and coaches soccer.

On our way back we stopped at Grand Anse beach. It is a lovely sheltered bay; the air was warm and the water was refreshing. We had the aforethought to bring along suits and towels.

While I sat drying (those stones were lovely and warm), I did a tiny sketch of the top of the church.

By that time we were hungry again so we bought a small homemade fry to share from the popular cantine which we ate along with our healthy apple snack, lol.

The breakwaters are built to protect this small wharf.

All in all it really was one of those rare special days that you carry with you in memory through the winter. Something to think about before and after my surgery in less than two weeks.

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Waiting for surgery

My hip replacement is coming in a couple of weeks and while I've got a few things I'd like to finish, summer weather and a back spasm are slowing me down. I've decided I need to slow down some anyway and try to relax a bit.

My garden is flourishing so now besides watering, I need to go round and pick the beans and peas each day. Swiss chard and yellow zucchini squash are also ready.

After lunch I finished all the quilting on the last fiber art pieces that have been hanging around for too long. I won't bore you with more pictures.

I did do a bit free motion work on this small mono printed piece just for fun.

Right now I'm sitting on the deck listening to the trickle of my little fountain and the twitter of goldfinches.

Our birdbath is well used all day-- different types coming at different times.

It's the sparrows and finches at the moment.

My plan for the rest of the afternoon is to sip iced tea and read. Hubby likely won't be home for supper. Nachos may be on the menu for supper.

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bees and dragonflies in the garden

After being away on Prince Edward Island for the long weekend, I've been washing, unpacking and generally catching up. The baby shower for my daughter at the cottage was great and the weather cooperated. In fact it was nice all weekend. With some help, I managed to get onto the beach and into the water for a float. Very uplifting.

Caley seemed really pleased with the nice turn out of friends and family.

I kept the games simple as it was warm and with so many, not easy to move around. Here are some played oh babies that were made. It went over well-- one was an alien baby, one was anatomically correct, lol, (she's having a boy), and one was wrapped in a blanket. My daughter named it burrito baby.

My good things today.

Gifted maple syrup, seashells and feathers, watermelon cucumber salad for supper and homemade ice tea which I'm sipping now on my corner of the sofa. It's much too muggy and warm outside.

These are my night time knitting projects, the socks are done save the stitching, and the afghan is almost done.

In the studio today I added final touches to the dragonflies and bees. These are such fun that someday I'd like make more and even try a tutorial.

I stitched a couple of the tiny bees onto the Garden. Middle top in pic below.

Bottom right below.

The backing is spray basted on and the three dragonflies are pinned in their place. (I think.) You really have to search for them in the pic of the full piece.

Detail

I'll need to stitch them down and finally add the binding.

I'm really trying to get my current work finished before my hip replacement surgery in three weeks. I've got a list! I can hardly believe I'm writing about a hip replacement and that it's going to happen. I'm ready.

I'll leave you with my little sketch from yesterday. Thinking about a future work.