Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friends are Inspiring!

I had an early doctor's appointment today. I was through early and since it was damp and sort of dismal, I got the urge to make Turkey Chili. While doing that,  I packed myself a lunch because I just didn't feel like spending the day at home. I went to visit my friend, Nicole, for lunch. She was at home today doing some of her own art work, but we took a break to eat. We always have a good gab and get inspired with each others work.
Before leaving the sun broke through the clouds, and I just had to take a picture of their garden. I love the fence and the driftwood arbor.

She also gifted me with this journal. I was amazed with it, but even more so when I came home and looked through it again. Each page is it's own work of art.

After lunch, the sun came out and it warmed up considerably. Finally the cold in my bones started to melt away. At home I grabbed my sketchbook and paints and went to my deck to sit on my swing. I did these 2 little sketches. I really do leave too much time in between my sketching sessions and I get very rusty. It's just so hard to make time for everything. Drawing or painting  white flowers I've discovered is tricky and I want to practice this some more.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Group Sewing Day

Today, I met with  6 of a group of about 12 quilters who get together regularly for gabbing and sewing. They planned a day to make purses/bags at a nice little quilt shop called the Chaleur Quilting Company about a half hour drive from here. We took a brown bag lunch and spent the day cutting and sewing.
Instead of the bag (I'm not a purse person) I worked on finishing up the fishing huts piece and made it into a sewing machine cover. I did drive up myself because I'm not able to put in full day, but I sure did enjoy it. There is nothing like getting together with a group of women friends, doing something you love. The gab session at lunch time is good for the soul too. Here are a couple of pictures of the workshop room and the shop.

Here is the machine cover:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gelatin Prints

I'm continuing to be inspired to work on the assorted gelatin prints that I did. I've finished the stitching on this one which I may call 'Mystic House'. It was scanned, and there are actually borders on it which aren't showing. Also, I plan to add beads after the quilting and I did add some fuchsia colored foil (just a touch) to the tree branches in the foreground.

It really was a fairly nice day with the odd shower, mostly sunshine and a bit of wind. It was 'coolish', just the way I like it really, so after doing a bit of paper work and housework, hubby and I went for  a little bike ride. We timed it perfectly in between the showers. Of course I could not come back without a few more wildflowers to press. There's just not enough time to stop and sketch everything I'd like to, so the next best thing is to pick a few. sometimes I put them in water to sketch later, but today I put them in my favorite flower press--the phone book. Just so you know, I would not ever pick anything rare. These are your very common roadside weeds.
I started working on this next one with the seashell. I added some color to the shell with my Inktense pencils and some Neocolor II crayons and then put a border. I'm ready to do some thread painting, quilting and embellishing, but I'm thinking of over printing with a piece of the seaweed I collected last week. I've put the seaweed on top in the 2nd photo to get an idea of how it might look. Of course I will try it on another scrap of fabric first. Maybe it will help me to decide. Any comments would be appreciated.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Journal Exchange Night

Last night was our little group's June journal exchange night. The plan was to pick up supper and go to the beach, but it got very windy in the afternoon and rain was looming. We met at my place instead and were soon driven inside from the deck by the rain. Although there were just 3 of us, we really enjoyed gabbing about all things creative while listening to the background pitter patter of rain. don't you just love that sound.? It's so calming. After tea and some chat, we moved into my sewing room and then gabbed some more.
Our theme this month was 'creepy crawlies' and I have 2 to show at the moment. The first one was done by Nicole Boudreau. She painted on canvas, cut out the shapes and sewed them down along with the other collage pieces to second piece of canvas. Isn't it gorgeous? I'm sorry I did manage a slightly blurry photo.

The second one I did. It was based on the June bugs that were tapping at my sewing room window all month. I applied paint to batik fabric, collaged on the painted bugs, did some free motion with a little tulle and added a touch of foil for sparkle.

Yesterday I spent a tidbit of time at my sewing machine to free motion quilt this little piece that I showed in the last post. It is postcard size and almost finished ( I think). I may add a few beads.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sporting Weekend

I started off the weekend with my husband and a picnic at the beach. At home in the afternoon, I made homemade hummus with roasted vegetables and sandwiched it all in olive bread. Delicious! You can tell that the stomach medication is working and I can get out again. We strolled along the boardwalk where these wild roses were blooming. The smell was wonderful!
Then we went to the waterfront in our downtown where we had an ice cream. I took this pictures of the wild irises there.

On Saturday, we took the kayaks to his parent's place at the beach and we went for our first paddle of the year. I was so happy to be out on the water. There were mostly gentle swells on the ocean side, but as we came into shore there were breakers. I'm not afraid of water, but for some reason I always fear getting flipped in shallow water and maybe getting stuck. I've been paddling for about ten years and never flipped unintentionally, but it happened in the waves just before I got to shore. It was probably a good thing because I slid out of my boat easily and it has taken the fear away.
Yesterday, we went to his parent's again to see his father for Father's Day. In between thunder showers, I picked up some seaweed to press.

This morning was my morning to clean house. I like to get that done and then I'm free to do what I want for the rest of the week. I also started a black bean soup and made rhubarb muffins.
I had just enough time left before I go make my lunch to stamp a flower onto one of my gelatin prints. I want to be able to sit this afternoon and do some hand embroidery on it.
I'm going now to make a sandwich with some if that humus and perhaps tomato and lettuce. The afternoon is mine to enjoy. A friend may drop by as well. what more could I ask?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

3 Days 3 Doctors

I've seen 3 different doctors this week in 3 days. I haven't said much lately because it's just tiresome after a while, but I really still have not been feeling well. I just cannot believe that all this is happening at once. I started thyroid medication 6 weeks ago and I do feel a little more energy. I've been having some blood sugar issues and learned today that I'm glucose intolerant or just pre-diabetic. Also, I've been having terrible stomach pain which radiates to the back. I've started meds for that and pain killers while I wait for a CT scan, ultrasound, endoscopy and an MRI. It seems just unreal! Well, at least I feel a touch better with the new medications, and since I really need to lose the weight I put on with the cortisone, I went for a bike ride after supper to-night. Here is a picture of part of the trail that I love. The mosquitos attacked me when I stopped,  preventing me from taking a good one. I couldn't get out of here fast enough!

I've been doing a little free motion work and hand stitching on one of the gel prints. Here it is so far.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our New Pet and More Gel Prints

When I went to the kitchen at 6:30 this morning to make myself a cup of tea, I found my husband  keeping an eye on this 'pet' in our back yard. He said, "Come look". I replied that I couldn't because I didn't have my glasses on, but when I looked, it was so big, I definitely could see a black and white striped blur. It was in no hurry to leave the yard either.

I took a few pictures, scared it off (gently) and took my tea back to bed.  It was my morning for housework.
After lunch a friend visited and we did some more gel mono printing together. She was very excited with it. I don't think we talked about anything other than this color or that texture for 2 hours we were so caught up. We were playing like kids at the craft table! What fun. Here are some of the ones I did.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sewing Day

A friend from my quilting group had a sewing day at the beach last Thursday. I felt pretty good that day and so, took my little Gem Gold machine to finish stitching down all the fused parts for the fishing huts. I got it all done and added the little black and white border. I do want to add some thread painted flowers to it as well. I forgot that. Also, I'm not sure what to do with it at this point--wall hanging, sewing machine cover? It was a beautiful day too! You can see the little piece of mine laying ob the left side of the table.

Here is the view outside the window--special huh?

There are a few more gel prints that I did last week that I didn't show yet. While viewing them on my design wall, my original thinking was to use each one separately, but as I contemplated them and thought about how they're all the same color and have the same theme, it might be fun to put a few together into one piece. My next step will be to pull out some fabrics and try some layouts.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This morning I had an appointment to pick up copies of all my blood tests to take next week when I go to the endocrinologist. I always try to do several errands in one outing, so I picked up a few more bags of mulch, a small pink Potentilla bush, and the best thing is, I finally found a little bistro table for my deck. I've been looking for a month or so, and there seemed to be nothing in town. My family got together and gave us money for our 30th anniversary which was a couple of weeks ago. I like this one because it has a modern feel and it can be folded up for storage which is good since we don't have a lot of space. It also fits my tiny deck.
The other thing I did today, that I've been wanting to try for a long time is some gelatin printing. This is a case of a sort of happy accident. The gel had bubbles in it which of course came out in the prints. I knew I was stuck with them, but I didn't want to waste the gel, so I tried to work a bit around them. A few I'm quite happy with and I'll be able to add to them with more colors, threads and embellishments. The first one below, didn't have enough paint, but I do like it anyway.

I did a bunch with houses in them.

This one I actually printed from the foam tray I was using for the paint and then I added some stamping. It kind of reminds me of a lake with wild flowers beside it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lovely visit with Mom

My mother and her husband were over from PEI for a visit on the weekend. The five sons and daughters chipped in for two nights at an Auberge and spa here that is lovely. The weather co-operated the first night and we were able to barbecue, enjoy my deck witht he little fountain, and then we went for a walk at the beach. On Saturday morning, mom and I went downtown where we walked, visited a few shops and then had coffee and tea at my favorite cafe. The rain came in after lunch, but that is my rest time anyway. Just before supper I went and joined them at the warm saltwater pool and sauna. It was really nice to spend some time together as we usually only visit the cottage on the Island once in the summer. It's a busy time when all the family is around so this was nice one-on-one time.
I was very tired yesterday afternoon and today, but I did take the time to finish the borders on this quilt. I had to lay it out on my bedroom floor as I can't get far enough back from my design wall. I may not quilt it right away, as I would like to move on to  a few more creative things. I may send it out for machine quilting or do it myself in the fall. I tend to forget that every time  I try one bigger than a baby quilt, I swear I'll never do it again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Knitted Doll

I'm writing a quick post to-night because I probably won't have time in the next few days, as my mother and her husband are coming for the weekend tomorrow.I'm looking forward to it; we don't see each other more than once or twice a year, and it's usually summer time. The weather is not looking promising-- we may have to find some indoor things to do here. There's not much going on here other than the movies.

It rained all day today. Once my housework was done I came into my sewing room and cracked the window open to listen to the soft rainfall.. I really love the sound. I'm almost finished putting the borders onto a quilt so I can't show that yet, but here is a photo of the little knitted doll that I made. Isn't she funny!
I can hear the gold finches singing outside my window as I type this.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guild Night

Last night I attended the final dinner and meeting for the North Star Quilt guild here in Bathurst. It was actually the only meeting I made it to this year. When I work, I've found night time meetings too difficult and since I've been sick and off work, I just couldn't make it. So, it was nice to see everyone again, and I even stayed long enough for the game and the show and tell. We each had a brown paper bag (to carry fabric home in later) and 1/2 meter of fabric from home. We were in 3 groups -- 57 ladies in all-- and when the music played we passed the fabric along. When the music stopped we then had to split our 1/2 meter into 2 parts. One part went into our bag to keep and the other got passed along again. We did this until the fabric was too small to split again. You can imagine the  mess of fabrics one would end up with! The idea is to use the fabrics in any way we can conceive, adding other fabrics if needed, and oh, it will be needed! At the September meeting the projects will be displayed anonymously and then judged for favorites. It's going to take some thought to figure out what to do with this bunch.

 Finally, I can show my latest little project that I made for my son's partner; she received it yesterday. The back of the postcard is copied form one that they sent me form Paris during a vacation they took. The tulips and the sparrow are painted on white muslin following  Tracy Huskamp's directions in her book Nature Inspired. You will find the book in my sidebar. I just realized that I don't seem to have the final picture. I may have deleted it from the camera. The only thing missing here is the left hand binding and the gross grain ribbon that I added to hang it.