Thursday, July 20, 2017

Making dragonfly bodies

It seems odd that despite my arthritic fingers and usual clumsiness, I really get into wrapping tiny wires and sewing wings onto dragonflies.
Its absorbing and oddly meditative. There is so much going on right now, my husbands dad is ill and in hospital a coupke hours away, thankfully recouperating and expected home Saturday. My daughter and grandson are arriving Friday. My youngest don is coming Saturday for a night. I spent this morning washing and getting things ready. Hubby assembled a crib from Ikea and ive got the mattress cover on the line today. Putting a crib in downstairs meant clearing out some things. Oh, the dust! Now, that I've taken a break and calmed myself some, I'm heading down to finish up. I wrapped a couple different colors, applied gel medium and clips. A little hollow shimmer thread will come next.
I have ideas for stitching more transluscent wings. I haven't yet had time to plug in and familiarize myself with the new machine.  Im looking forward to the visit though. There will be lots of time later for stitching.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

PEI long weekend

The summer is filled with such good weather and so many little trips that getting any serious art work done is not easy. We do have to take advantage though, both of getting outside and getting away, and the best thing, visiting with family, especially our grandson.
We've ust returned from 4 days on the Island-- two at the cottage and two babysitting Ollie in Charlottetown  at my daughters and her partners while they were away to a wedding. My daughter came to the cottage on Friday. Not many beaches compare those on PEI with its sparkling waters and red sands.
We had perfect weather! It actually got a little warm and muggy on Saturday and Sunday, especially in the apartment. This trip we actually managed a couple of outings without forgetting anything important such as diapers, sunscreen, snacks and a bottle ands thanks to a well packed bag by my daughter!  He liked the splash pad-- quite fascinated by the showers of water.
Then we put his his swim wear on and put him in on the step at the toddler end of the pool.
Afterwards we strolled back to the vehicle, sharing a sundae at the takeout while Ollie napped.
To say that we were tired is a huge understatement. I'm still recouperating and so is Gord. Despite that he said he'd do it every weekend if we could. It's a 4 hour drive, lol! I have what would normally be the two most exciting bits of news but which are almost forgotten in all the fun. I picked up my postage stamp quilt from the Spruce it Up quilt shop in Port Elgin where it was machine quilted.
Quilt
The pattern and stitch is really nice! Now i have to bind it.
 
And, big excitement for me! I brought home a new machine along with a stitch regulator thanks to a little gift from my mom.
Yesterday was catch up day, washing clothes, and picking up groceries. I squeezed in a wee sketch with watercolor at lunch time.
Today, I had one appoinment around noon. I washed more clothes and hung them out and I started another sketch.
I got so sleepy I couldn't get any further. After a little rest I managed to unpack all of the accessories for the machine and clean up the sewing room. I stopped at that though as I'm getting dinner ready early to take out to the mother in laws. I just took a tray if roasted veggies out of oven. Thank goodness for air conditioning!
To go with, I'm going to do homemade crusted haddock in the little bake oven. It takes 7 minutes. Easy, peasy. We'll take our beach towels just in case the weather holds and there's time gor a swim. We coukd get thunder showers.
 
 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cosmos, dragonflies, and nests

I am  easily led astray when it comes to creative endeavours. My intention as i pondered my day this morning, was to make a dragonfly or two for my Cosmos piece which I finished binding yesterday. Something to scratch off my list of 'artwork to finish'.
Here's how my day went: -- met friends for coffee (tea for me) -- errands which included a few groceries ( I decided on tacos for supper) --watered the plants and picked rhubarb-- made a small stewed rhubarb to have over angel food cake at supper and froze some. I didn't add sugar, only a few cut up strawberries, cinnamon and about 2 tsps of maple syrup.
 
--lunch --some sketching to go with my tea The sketching turned into a mixed media conglomeration of ideas and a bit of a mess.  Instead of simply sketching the latest blooms from my garden or beach trip inspired seashells that is my norm,  I worked with symbols that evoke childhood memories. This is a bit of uncharted territory for me. It seems a good way for me right now to get some things that lurk in the back my consciousness out onto paper and eventually to fiber.
The gold frame was torn from the newspaper and has significance for me. It is collaged on so too late to remove. It takes over the page. The newspaper bits of a tv schedule symbolize just that, schedules and routine. The screened design represents wallpaper and are evocative of memories in my past as well as symbolizing nesting. There are tiny free motion stitched outlines of birds done on deli paper, torn and collaged onto the page with gel medium.
I've left it to dry but did take the time to run a Neocolor II crayon over the frame to fade it a bit.
This is a perfect example of why it's good practice to work out ideas, designs and colors in journals before doing it in fiber, something I am doing more often. Its not a great design. However, it was cathartic in smallways and it gives me ideas anout how I want to proceed with my fibre art pieces. Finally, I did make it into my studio (view through my window)
where I pulled out my ziplock of supplies from past dragonfly sessions.
I added a coat of gel medium to see if it would give the wings a bit of stability. Then I wrapped a small folded piece of wire with yarn. Once dry, i thread an embroidery needle with a long double strand of some shiny and sparkly thread and I wrap it tightly around the body and use the needle to afix the ends. I seem to be out of the preferred weight of wire. Even more annoying is that I can't find the organza based wings that I made a couple weeks ago!
During my search for the wings, I did find a lovely piece of lace embroidered with tiny white flowers, exactly what i was looking for to add to another piece of fiber art , (Queen's Lace with Ferns) that is nearing a finish. Notice the little white flowers on the bottom right. The lace is pinned at the moment. I think it looks like it was meant to be there.
That's my day up until now. Shortly I will go get supper started. This evening will be for some exercise and a bit of yoga.  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Mixed media work

For the last few days it has been very muggy, culminating in some rain last night and earlier today. Thus, I didn't even need to venture outside to water the garden. I did go to a fundamentals yoga class around noon time and tried to stay focused on myself and my own improvements since starting my yoga at home in April. Difficult to do when the teacher tells you to close your eyes and if you do you'll fall over, lol. I've just sat down with a snack. The green is seaweed, paper thin. If you like dulse this is better, milder and less chewy. And almond milk. I'm lucky to enjoy a lot of healthy and sometimes odd foods, but believe me, I do have my junk food likes too. Popcorn and dark chocolate or most things with chocolate in it.
Yesterday, I started a mixed media piece in my sketchbook, starting with chalk pastels plus water brush, Inktense pencils, rice paper, newspaper, and music paper.
Today, I worked in some value and detail with coloured pencils. 
I'm trying to step outside my box a little and at the same time be thinking about how I might apply this to fabric. An article in the last Quilting Arts by Jeannie Palmer Moore inspired me to try something different in fiber and mixed media. Thus the cows. As usual, i over did some; could have started with sonething a little smaller and more familiar like the shells or even flowers. Lits of ideas for the next one.
It doesn't look like I've done much since last time; however, I was at it for about two hours, and I sure made a mess!
Maybe you'll notice that the eyes are missing. They bothered me so i snipped the stitching out and will re do them.
Besides adding a bit of shading and fused fabric in the background, today i mainly worked on the grey areas of the cows using newspaper transfer on polyester organza. Following Jeannie's example on her DVD, i traced patterns using tracing paper and cut the organza transfer from that. Notice the greyed areas on the cows.
There is still more painting and fusing fabric and transfers left before i get it back to the sewing machine. I finished this little sweater for my Ollie except for the buttons. 
He loves the beach and the ocean! Bottom keft front.
I hope you're having a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Outside chores

I've not had much progress in any fiber art. After a few years dealing with hip pain and mobility issues, you'll understand why I'm out in the yard as much as I can since my hip replacement and other surgeries. I am very mobile right now. Last week, we were at Lake Portage, totally unplugged.
We did some kayaking each day.
I took along my sketchbook and fishing rod.
Even with showers and a thunder storm on one day, when there was a break in the clouds, i fished off the dock and we managed a short paddle.
I didn't catch a trout; they're not known to be plentiful in that lake. It is a very deep lake though and i learned that when fishing from my kayak, I need more weight as the fish would be deeper. It is a very relaxing pass time. I was quite surprised how relaxed my husband was, sitting on the covered deck by the hour, watching the colors in the lake, mountains and sky change by the minute. The sights and sounds of the showery rainy weather was solace to the senses. This week, I'm tending to my small gardens a little at a time. A beetle new to this area has been eating some vegetable gardens. I thought i'd escaped it but found that all the beans which had come up in the raised bed were eaten to the stalk. I found and killed a couple beetles and I've tried replanting.
I spend only an hour or so here and there tending to my plants; it's enough to have a small plot of perrenials, a few annuals, and some veggies.  Enough to have my hands in the earth, to benefit from a small bounty, and to relax in the simple beauty.
I like to spend time on my small deck space where I listen to my little fountain and often to all the birds that frequent the trees, feeders and baths.  
 
I always have small knitting projects on the go like these socks.
Its so nice to be able to walk around the yard and snip a few blooms for inside. I don't grow a lot of showy flowers. I depend a lot on mother nature and simple perrenials.
It adds cheer to a room no matter the size of the bouquet.
Although i haven't really gotten much further with my on going fiber pieces, i feel as though I have. I cleaned and sorted my stufio over the weekend and finally got some inspiration on a piece that was stuck. Satisfaction even though I haven't tried out my ideas yet. I have worked a bit on the cows, adding more color and value in spots. I'm working on some mixed media and bits of fabric to add if i can ever get in there for a day. It's too nice out!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Adding fabrics, trying a gel transfer

Im writing a quick post as I've been busy packing to spend a couple nights with hubby at Portage Lake cabins about an hour from here towards Mount Carlton. There is no tv, wifi,  radio or cell phone coverage! We will take our kayaks. I got my trout fishing licence for the first time! When one is a creator or an artist we can always keep busy. If flies or weather are bad, I'll have my knitting, my sketchbook with paints, books, a baby quilt to stitch the binding down, and my yoga mat. Hubby reads at least and he's an expert napper! I've been adfing a little color with the Neocolor II crayons to my cows piece. Alos, I cut a few pieces of fusible backed fabric to add here and there. 
My first attempt at the gel transfer using gel medium, newspaper, and organza did not work. It's possible Indidn't let it dry long enough so I'm trying another small piece. 
Yes, it's bees. I'm looking for overall color. You'd have to look closely once it's cut up and stitched on small areas . The organza with the paper backing removed would be quite sheer. I do like the idea of the viewer finding little surprises when they get close.
There's still more to be done. The bits of fabric are not attached. Im just getting an idea of how they'd look. It needs more color, texture, and value to add depth. The weather is warming in these first days of summer and I've been soending a lit of time outside--at the beach and in my yard getting my veggies planted.
Yesterday, I had my feet in the water and my hands in the earth. It reminds me of my favourite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
On the Island my grandson  enjoyed yesterday with his parents at the beach too.
I really love that they sit right in the water and play with  him.
I'm going out for a walk and then I must do supper and finish packing.