Tuesday, July 31, 2012

featured in the Quilting Arts DVD series 1000

My heart is into sewing this afternoon but my body is not cooperating. We opted not to go out to the beach this afternoon since it is threatening thunder showers, correction, it just now started to pour. I thought perhaps I could do a bit of sewing with the fan set up in the doorway to my room but I'm dripping in sweat and just too uncomfortable.
I may find a cooler spot and pick up my knitting. I'm working on a little cotton baby sweater.
And, how exciting, the mailman just brought me my complementary copy of Quilting Arts TV, series 1000, in which one of my pieces is featured as a UFO.
Quilting Arts TV, Series 1000 DVDI could put my feet up and watch that.
Night before last I sat patiently and quietly on my deck and finally got a few, make that about a hundred, bird photos.
Here  is a female hummingbird peaking out from behind the scarlet runner beans.

I've heard the peeping of baby robins lately in the yard. I caught this naughty fellow eating my flower petals and looking all innocent.

 Some of the hummingbird photos came out as a silhouette even though it wasn't taken into the the sun. Kind of of neat though.
The hummingbird at the Russian sage.

I even got a bee.
A gold finch about to bathe.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Birch forest

My husband is doing a bit of painting this morning and we're shortly going to get ready to go to the beach. We may take the kayaks out.

I've been working a bit on the birches. I added some brown branches here and there, and then I stitched in a few clumps of red dogwoods in the foreground. I started with a heavy thread in the bobbin but then wasn't sure if I liked it. The one on the right I did with heavier thread and to the left, a regular thread.

These are both done using the heavier thread. I'm leaning towards the lighter one, but will look at it with a fresh eye to be sure.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunshine days

Well, the hot summer days just keep coming with no rain in sight. I went out to the beach on my own today, as Gord was resting up for his golf game tonight. I had a nice cardio walk on the beach with my sister in law before going for a lovely swim. The ocean seems to be getting warmer by the day.
I picked up a cooked lobster on the way home and added some fresh picked and steamed Swiss chard for my dinner.
Then I pulled out my paints to play a bit while listening to some of the Olympics. Did you catch the opening ceremonies last night? I thought it was quite spectacular and the flame with all it's petals is so beautiful.
I purchased a few Twinkling H2O paint pots some time ago and hadn't tried them. Today, I picked another bouquet. Thought it would be a good time to try them out.

I dabbled with a quick watercolor sketch of some delphinium.

I added some dabs of gold Twinking H2Os, not all that visible.

Then I quickly sketched a coneflower.

I added some Twinkling H2O, jasmine. It's going to take some trial and error with them.

There are lots of pretty flowers blooming right now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a book review

A few weeks ago I received a book called The World of Fairy, courtesy of Ty Hulse, and in return I promised to write a review. Check her website with lots of facts, pictures and information here.
While it is not the usual type of book I might purchase, such as a fiber art book or perhaps a 'how to' art book, it was none the less quite interesting. The book is filled with lovely loose sketches and airy paintings taken from the artist's sketchbook and depicting all manner of fairies. These are accompanied by some assorted facts and histories and stories about all sorts of fairies from all over the world.

Though we generally tend to think of fairies as  friendly, ethereal, little beings that may even grant a wish, it has not always been so. On the contrary some were impish, naughty, downright nasty and even menacing. For example, you might read about the fairies of dead trees that it was believed could haunt a house.

 The belief in fairies goes back in history to pagan times and the stories and myths vary greatly across the world. The artist depicts them in ethereal watercolors and loose sketches that are very apt for their other worldly existence.

I would see this as a great coffee table book. It is written in such a way that you could browse through the pictures and flip to almost any page to read a tidbit about a particular type of fairy.

Although it is nice to pick it up and be able to jump in anywhere, I could have used a bit more organization,  I did find myself flipping from time to time to see if I could match the information with the drawings. Also, since I'm somewhat ADD, I would have found it helpful if it had been arranged perhaps with headings or chapters.

If you're interested in the world of fairies, her blog is quite beautiful.

a birch forest

I went for my Wednesday morning swim today. I've missed a couple of weeks and it felt good to get back to it.

Some of you may recognize this piece from a while ago. I've pulled it back out, hopefully to finish for a quilt show this fall.
The leaves were made by cutting up fabrics with a pinking rotary cutter. Next the bits are sandwiched between 2 layers of Glad Cling Wrap Plus which is BPA free. Then it is hooped, and free motion stitched. Finally, I laid it between 2 sheets of newspaper and ironed until all the plastic is melted away. I always do this with a window open.

I tacked the leaf sections down with a glue stick and free motion stitched them to the background.
I'm so anxious to get this part finished so that I can add some red dogwood bushes to the foreground.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A bird bath

I got a rainy day to spend inside but it is still so uncomfortable, it's hard to do anything. My husband is on vacation for these two weeks, so we're doing a few things together.
When it cleared a bit, we went out to arrange the bird bath that I made from second hand store glass.

It isn't full of water yet because I set little stones over the holes with the caulking and one is leaking a bit. When it's dry out we'll add more caulking to the hole. The glass bowl is an old light fixture. I'm quite taken with them and may do another if I find the pieces.

Last night I did a quick little watercolor of a few stones and shells from the beach.
Now I'm going to do a little bit of stitching. So much to do, so little time!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another beach day

I know, some of you might be thinking enough already but this is what I was doing instead of sewing. I did start the day with a bit of machine quilting on a baby quilt. When it got hot, I headed out to the beach on my own for a swim since my husband went golfing.
I've only shown my toes in the water but I really did go in, honest! I was thinking how nice a picture it would be from where I was floating. Didn't think it would be a good idea to take the I Pad with me.

I love the colors at the sea shore.

The view up the beach.

There's my favorite green in the sea weed

I came home and made tofu in marmalade sauce with rice and cauliflower. Mmmm.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What a gorgeous beach day! And the water is so warm. I had a relaxing stroll and a nice swim.

Friday, July 20, 2012

another daisy postcard quilt

We had a break in the hot weather yesterday with a lovely (to me) cooling northwesterly wind. I'd been waiting for a good day to do some clean up in my garden and it was perfect for it. First, I watered a few things, cut a bunch of lavender to dry, and snipped a few flowers for a bouquet to bring inside.
 I've finished another postcard quilt, this time a daisy in pink.
 Something else I did in Tabusintac on Wednesday was to visit the graveyard across from Wendy's to see the gravestone of Charlotte Taylor.
The book,  The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor, by Sally Armstrong  has been out for a while, but I just got around to reading it. It's a wonderful adventurous book about a woman's life settling in the wilderness. And that wilderness just happens to be in the area where we live which makes it even more interesting.
Also, if you feel so inclined, you could check out my postcard at the Quilting Gallery and vote. Voting is supposed to start today and continue until Monday.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

a day in paradise

Yesterday, I visited a friend at her summer place an hours drive from here. They like to refer to it as paradise and it's not hard to see why. Situated at the mouth of a river, the view is spectacular and the breezes refreshing. Their little place is cozy and private. Surrounded by trees, especially the poplars, we could hear the rustling from the room with a view where we sewed. That is a wooden heron by the way, but you can often spy the live ones along the shore.
This is the view from Wendy's sewing machine. It's a wonder she can sew a straight seam!
 Despite the beautiful distractions, I did get the binding sewn on this quilt and then I was able to sit quietly and do some hand stitching.
 Wendy was making granny square blocks to use in a sewing machine cover.
Wendy is also a wonderful decorator, inside and out. This is the front of the garage which was converted into extra space and which houses the sewing room.
 I love the bird baths that she builds from yard sale glass items and puts together with exterior caulking. I'm collecting pieces to try one myself. The top of this one is the glass part of a light fixture.
 The other thing I did last night after the urging of a blogger, was to enter my latest hummingbird postcard into the weekly contest at the  Quilting Gallery. Voting starts Friday morning and runs until Monday, so if you have the time I'd love it if you'd go vote.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

hummingbird postcard

We're still having hot humid weather. It makes me very lethargic and it's hard to get a lot done. I found today marginally better than yesterday, but I did have an appointment this afternoon. This morning I got the binding stitched onto another iris postcard which I will show next time.
Yesterday, I got the binding done on the hummingbird. I quite like the black polka dots.
 I spent the rest of my day today getting a binding ready for one of my quilts, so I can work on that tomorrow when I go to visit a friend at her summer place.
I'm linking as usual to the Needle and Thread Network.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

coloring books and postcards

Finally we got a little respite from the heat with some rain last night and mist off and on today. It is cooler, although somewhat muggy. So yeah, I get to do some creating inside today!
Last post, I mentioned making journals/coloring books for kids to sell at the local craft shop. They are a little hand written book for children with half finished pictures, prompts and a little crafting thrown in. The pictures and bits of info have a summertime theme along with a few tidbits about the local area. hey would be good for tourists or local children. I've put some in clear plastic bags and added colored pencils and crafting bits to work with.
 Once I finished that little project, I got back to some textile work today, doing some black thread sketching on two fabric postcards. Then I touched up the color with Neocolor II crayons and Inktense pencils. I will let them cure overnight, iron them to heat set them and add borders. Before adding borders to the daisy one, I will do some French knots. And, I will add some iridescent paint stick to the hummingbird. The borders will all the difference; they come alive when you add the right one.
 Oh darn, I can see the sun is trying to come out. I almost wish for another rainy day so I can stay inside. I know it doesn't sound good wishing for rain. We really did need it though and it's been too warm for me to get anything done. If it's sunny tomorrow, we'll probably golf, but not until later afternoon at least.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

making a children's journal/coloring book

I did my lengths this morning at the spa salt water pool. The sunshine and blue skies made a sparkly  reflection into the pool through the two walls of windows.
I've been working on another little creative endeavor the last couple of days. I sketched out pages for a children's journal that I am making for the craft shop. Today, I set up a make shift light table made from the plexiglass sewing machine surround. I've been tracing over my writing and designs with a black pen, so that I can copy them. I will use a brightly colored card stock for the cover.

While I was out watering some of my plants (it is so hot and dry), I took a picture of this tea cup plant stake that my husband helped me make on the weekend. It is put together with bamboo, a large nut, and some outdoor clear caulking, very simple. I've only had the picture on my frig for a year! Now I want to make a couple more. I'll have to be more careful with the background next time; it is almost lost against the fence.
 Don't you love nasturtiums?
 And the colors in Swiss chard and beet leaves?
They are so common that we forget to really look sometimes. If I didn't like beet greens so much to eat, I might be tempted to add one to my bouquet of flowers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

quilts quilted, some painted daisies

This morning my machine quilter, Nicole, delivered my quilts to me all quilted. I chose to have a simple all over meandering design as it would save me half the price on the two quilts. I am very happy with them. I've had the top finished for this one for some time.
 The allover meandering gives it a nice puffy warm feel and I love the colors as it lays here on my bed. I've already chosen a binding fabric, so I may get to it sometime this week.
 Yesterday, I took my paints and brushes to the shop craft where I worked on painting the rest of the daisies and a hummingbird that I had printed a few weeks ago. After I touch up a few spots, the next step will be to sandwich and add stitching. There are three that measure 8" by 8" and one, a postcard size. I never do two exactly the same though.
 You can see in this detail that I have painted the back of leaves with fabric paint and pressed them onto the  gel printed piece. I like the textural design in the background green as well.
This hummingbird will be postcard size.
I'm linking to the Needle and Thread Network..

Monday, July 9, 2012

a chickadee playing in my fountain

I don't have much to show even though my quilts have been sent off to the quilter. The weather was too nice on the weekend to justify staying in to sew. Well, I would clarify that. It was quite lovely on Saturday, but much too hot and muggy for me. We visited a new market in Beresford on Saturday morning and walked at the beach. By afternoon, it was too hot and sticky for me to do anything really.
Yesterday proved to be a much nicer day with fresh air and a cooling breeze. My husband helped me get a little housework done and then we golfed later in the afternoon. While making lunch, this little fellow/lady (I don't know how to tell the sex of chickadees) arrived at my fountain. One comes everyday; I'm assuming it's the same one. Often, he bathes in the little bowls when the fountain is not running. This time as you may notice it was.
 He contemplated it for a while and finally jumped in.

As for sewing, I did manage to grab a few minutes to sew up the second pillowcase. Another, UFO done!
Now, i must pack up to go to Chal Baie to do my few volunteer hours. Have a great Monday!