Friday, November 17, 2017

Life happens

We roll along in life when things are good, not always appreciating it, although I definitely feel I try, and then sometimes life gives us a swift kick. That has been our week. I got sick with weird symptoms - sore back, neck and headache that awakened me in the night which was ccompanied by a high fever and feeling of unwell. After the 5th day, I saw the doctor who sent me to hospital right away for tests and ct scan. Even though nothing showed up, I still had a fever; it was coming down though. The doctor could only conclude that I picked up some weird virus that I may have been more susceptible to with my lowered immune system. Whew! It was scary.

I’ve been forced to slow down. Heck, I laid out flat for a couple days! This quilt has been sitting in a closet for a couple years unbound. I got the binding on before I got sick, luckily, so I could start hand stitching it down. Sorry for the slightly blurry photo. It’s too dark now to retake.



When I felt better, I finished the quilting on a Gelli print and then put together the pyramid pouch yesterday.



I always wanted one made with my own artwork.



It makes me smile. I often make for everyone else which is fun; but sometimes we need a little gift to ourselves.



I wasn’t even up for my yoga or lunch with friends today. I did have to go out for a couple things. It was pretty messy.



My husband’s flight to Labrador did make it out and safely there, thank goodness. He sent a puck with snow and said he’d arrived at the North Pole as there was no snow here when he left. I sent this one back.  And it’s his 60th birthday. I gave him a lazyboy before he left. We’ll do something later.  Another close family member is also suddenly facing some challenges. Again, what a week.

I’ve been cutting scrappy strips for a baby quilt, definitely a happy thing.



It’s from the Missouri Star Quilt co. And that sketch is the whole quilt  not just a block.



I’m cutting lots of 2 1/2” strips for the center that is made from 4, 16 patch blocks. I want it scrappy. This will leave strips for another quilt, not such a bad thing.



Of course there’s been some knitting going on too.

An over the shoulders cowl made with 2 fine yarns held together.



It looks larger and brighter than in real life. The basket is very small. The color is more of a very soft heather.

And here is the book that I read. I’ve put off reading it for a while, not sure if I’d like it but I did. A good read.



I picked up a salad and some cooked, frozen shrimp, an easy supper. Think I’ll find a movie and stitch on that binding.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A new trail-a little creativity.

I simply can’t help it. When the sun is shining, I’m thinking about the winds and the temperature and which trail would be best. Leading up to and following all my joint surgeries I daydreamed about the woods and river trails and now that I’m mobile I must go when I can. That means my sewing/painting time is limited.
A couple of hours sitting sketching while I nibbled on a lunch feeds my soul and thus my desire to be creative.



I try to carry the beauty and the quietness with me as I go through my days.



Sitting quietly sketching is akin to meditating, the mind is quiet, attentive to the details in the moment.

J

I need only refer to my journals to remember the moments.

Once back home after a couple errands, I was determined to squeeze in a little studio time.

It seems like I’m progressing at a turtle’s pace (it is my chosen totem). Using Neocolor II crayons I added some transparent color to deepen the color on the stitched monoprint. On the right side background I used a purple and a light green. On the left I used a medium blue on the fern. The color plus black stitching really makes the prints pop.



Someday I will lightly quikt it and make a pyramid bag.


Another piece that is slowly progressing is my waterfall. I finished the rocks, I think, and added more to the waterfall including a few scraps  of white lace with tiny flowers. There are only a few and one would need to be close to notice. I like the wee bit of whimsy.

J

Next, to finish some of the foliage, the foreground pool and a few touches here and there.

Friday, November 3, 2017

This and that

This is the worst I’ve ever been at blogging except during my surgery times. I’ve got too many distractions! I need to get out when it’s sunny and we’ve had a lot of good weather. I’ve been walking the trails as much as I can. On one of the sunny but cold and windy days this week, I went with a friend to a newer trail that a retired couple has made on their own land. They have provided parking, maps and lovely trails. Isn’t that amazing?



We found a sunny spot with a bench and were able to sit long enough for a snack and a sketch. My friend brought a little piece of hand stitching.

I’ve been to yoga twice this week and to my knitting group. These socks, pattern called Octapuses Garden, are almost done.



While adjusting to the new arthritis medication— there were some side effects that eased after 2 weeks — I’ve been reading. The last book I finished was: 



I could hardly put it down. The setting was mostly in Newfoundland with some in Alberta and Afghanistan.

I sit for short periods at my machine set up for free motion and stitch on the waterfall.  I can see the end in sight. I’m adding white highlights today on the rocks. 


In one of Allison Holts books on seascapes I read about using a dark thread matching the background in the bobbin, a light thread on top and tightening the top tension. You will get an interrupted stitch that can resemble droplets or sparkles. I’ve tried it here.




You can see it on the bottom right in the dark areas. 

I also gathered a few supplies to take to my sewing day tomorrow. I’m going start sewing together a baby quilt top. I’m being strict with myself trying to get a few items finished but I really want to start a quilt for my bed. I have some; however, I’d like something quieter with softer shades and more neutrals. One pattern that I’ve always wanted to try is the MajesticMountains. Today I cut out a sample block following a Bonnie Hunter tutorial. It’s laid out here but not all stitched yet.  



Wow, what a fun block. I won’t do any more now until I gather all the fabrics —batiks I think—so maybe January.

That’s what I’ve been up to.
 I won’t close without adding a pic of my 11 month old Ollie dressed for Halloween. I can’t wait to see him when we go for his first birthday.




Friday, October 20, 2017

Stitching

I’m so happy to be back in the studio! This morning, I did start a fiddlehead (from the freezer) soup and then I had my usual Friday lunch date with friends. I made a quick stop for a few groceries, hubby arrives after supper from his week away working in Sept Iles, Quebec.
The soup will be puréed with almond milk added. I picked up a fresh 12 grain bread to make a grilled cheese to go with the soup. Yum.



In the studio this afternoon I free motion stitched some confetti scraps sandwiched between layers of solvable interfacing for more foliage.



It looks like this once the Solvy is removed by soaking.


I felt I needed more shades to choose from for the more muted foliage to the left of the falls. 




I added more green in the waterfall area and I starting extending the waterfall down to the pool. More layers to come.

Tomorrow, I had thought I might hike again but I’ve decided to go to our guild UFO day which I haven’t done yet this year. Instead of a long hike, I’ll come home around 3 and get out for a walk on a close trail.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

(Backup) Finally home and stitching

I’ve been off here for a bit haven’t I? We were away for Thanksgiving to our son’s in Lunenburg, NS. We did a bit of hiking on a trail  near Mahone Bay.


The colors were a couple of weeks behind ours up here in northern NB.
My youngest son and fiancé came for the weekend as well. She had never been to the area and wanted to see the scarecrow festival in Mahone Bay. I was so excited to grab time in the yarn shop that I didn’t even think of pictures. We had lunch in a cafe called Oh My Cod where I managed one photo under protest.


It was truly the best seafood chowder ever!


Then we took a drive out to Blue Rocks a famous and very picturesque spot near Lunenburg. Tom Selleck filmed part of his Detective movies there.





I was home for a turn around day and then was off to the Fiber Fest in Amherst NS where I took a garden fairie sculpture workshop from Ann Dunlap. It was a very busy day. We started with this:



Next:


And finally this.


I still have some refining, finishing and embellishing to do here at home. Maybe some beads, fabric, leaves, pointy shoes?

I’ve been out hiking again on the Miq’maq trail again, this time with hubby.





And sketching.





Can you blame me for not having time to stitch or write?




Finally, today after my trip back to Moncton to a doctor yesterday, I’ve been stitching, working on the central section of rocks and foliage.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Ahike, a rope bridge, some stitching

  Recently, I’ve been discovering parts of the old Mi’kmag trail that is being developed here. It runs from Daley Point all the way to mount Carlton and is 100+ Kms. In places where there are rivers or streams the volunteers have built bridges —something I wanted to try. My husband has still been out golfing so I searched on the fb site for someone to go with me. A woman and her dogs joined me yesterday for a short hike. I was trying to get over a sore throat. 
She knows the trails well and took me to this spot called Gordon’s meadows ( my husband is named Gordon) where we ate lunch.


Before getting there I crossed over on the rope bridge further up while she walked across the shallows with her dogs.





It was fun and a bit challenging but not as hard as it might seem. I’m hoping to take my husband up next time.

I came home and stretched out with tea and a book which I’m quite enjoying.



My current socks are called Octopus’ Garden by Jenna Swanson. There are always interesting patterns going round at my knitting group.



This morning while hanging out the bedding, I noticed a woodpecker at our back birdhouse. My husband had seen it yesterday and told me how close he could get for a pic. I took a short movie too; however, I don’t know how to add it in this blog platform. Some research is needed.



Maybe he’s moving in for the winter. I do believe they stay here.

This morning I attended to some much needed cleaning and made pumpkin bran muffins. They are yummy!




That’s it for housework for the week! I like to get it over with so I can concentrate on my artwork which I did this afternoon. I spent over an hour and a half cutting the water and all the little bits on it as well as getting to a bit of the stitching.

 

Before finishing the length and breadth of the waterfall, I need to finish all the surrounding rocks as well as the water. I’m finding it’s still in the ugly stage and thus takes a bit of determination to get back at it. I’m hoping that it’s starting to look more like the scene but there’s still a lot more work.

I’m pretty satisfied with my Monday. I hope your day has been as productive.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

PEI, kayaking, swimming, sketching and stitching

Since my last post, I’ve been to PEI to visit my family, my daughter, my grandson and my mom. We went to the Island Preserve Company for lunch and a short stroll afterwards.



There are lovely gardens and paths along the river and beautiful views from inside the restaurant. The food is great too. I recommend it. Sorry, I didn’t think to get pictures of the inside.
Call me a biased mom but I think these two are pretty cute!



I was back home by the weekend when I enjoyed the weird fall heat wave by getting out in my kayak.



And even went for a swim in the Bay! Anazing on September 23rd.



After a trail walk Sunday, I did a watercolour sketch of a few found items.



This week, I’ve caught up with some much needed housework and  tended the veggie garden. The beans, Swiss chard, lettuce and carrots are still growing in the raised bed. We’ll cover them. Tonight, I picked a bunch of tomatoes, peppers and yellow zucchini.
Finally, today, I spent most of the day in the sewing studio stitching on the waterfall. There’s still lots of work left.



Around 3:00 I stopped to get ready to go to the pool for my swim. I wish I had energy left at night to do more stitching. My head really wants to but the body won’t cooperate.
I’ve got some paperwork for a submission to get done in the morning and a dentist’s appointment later in the day. In between I will be stitching.