Monday, June 30, 2014

Cosmos, a mug rug, beach stones

Some of you, my readers, must be tired of seeing this piece, but it is the way I work, in fits and starts here and there, especially when my husband is off and we've got a stretch of impossibly hot sunny days!
Yesterday I was at the beach again. I took a few more pictures but it was so warm, and the water so calm, clear and refreshing, that I spent most of the afternoon in the water.
I took this picture just in front of my in laws. The stone colors are so beautiful together.

I wanted to do a sketch of the wild peas that abound in front if their beach home so I took a few photos. Look how the sunlight is practically glowing through those few leaves!

This afternoon it was too hot to venture anywhere. We were both out this morning, Gord to golf, me to do a couple of errands and we decided that was it. He retreated to the basement rec room while I went to sew.
I sewed the binding on a mug rug that I will take to the shop on Wednesday. I'll hand stitch it back while I'm there.

Then while the machine was set on straight stitch, I quilted along the straight borders of the cosmos piece.

After switching back to free motion quilting, I decided to keep going, stitching a around the top half and stitching down a 'bubble' of Angelina fibre.

I don't like too much bling but a little sparkle here and there catches the eye. The Angelina fibre bubble seems to find its way into a lot of my pieces.
At that point I left it needle down on the machine to write this and then mix up a coleslaw to go with supper.
As I wrote before, I totally changed the direction on the borders and I'm quite happy with it now.

What remains, is to finish up the quilting and add a few hand embellishments, some beading and maybe the odd hand stitch here and there.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A beach kind of day

There are some days when you couldn't ask for more--a sunny, cloudless blue sky, warm temperatures with a gentle breeze along the shoreline--and today was one of those days. Even better, it's the weekend and my husband has 4 days off.
This morning I was up early for breakfast and to make a couple of sandwiches, one for me and one to leave in the frig for Gord. He was picking up lumber, doing some deck construction, and going golfing while I went to the summer market and then on to my in laws at the beach.
I stayed long enough for a visit, lunch and a sandy stroll. I didn't bring my camera but back at the cottage, I thought of my I pad.

It's hard to look up at the distant shoreline, the softly undulating water of the bay and the warm blue sky when this is happening under the feet.

I always want to capture the most beautiful things in paint but when one is simply a part time dabbler, it can sometimes feel inadequate. The important thing is to savour the calm meditative process of drawing and painting, letting it trigger the memory of the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze, and the company of family.

My home is cool thanks to our new mini split which allows me to enjoy the rest of the day doing the things I love. Peaceful and happy.

Fresh goats milk strawberry cream cheese , sourdough rye bread, and the first local strawberries, all from the market this morning.
I picked up 2 small lobsters on my way home so I'm set for supper. Really, what more could one ask? What shall I do for the rest of the day? Shall I knit?

Shall I sew? I am feeling very thankful and filled with contentment, something to savour and store away.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A redo on my cosmos

I'm so contented to-night. I just spent the most peaceful relaxing time in my studio, accompanied by some soft music and pleasant views and sounds from the garden.
A few comments from a friend led me to revisit a piece that was stalled.
I could not seem to find the right border for my cosmos piece. When I emailed her some options, she mentioned that the first border looked a bit dark. At first I said that the lighting was dark, and it was, but it got me thinking.
Finally, having the time tonight, I went at it and replaced the narrow plum border with a bright pink.

I also stitched down some tiny white flowers around the yellow centres. I'm excited now as I think I have the perfect border for it.
I'm anxious to continue now but it's getting dark. I'll get back to it this weekend sometime. We're supposed to be getting some sunny hot weather. I may have to retreat to the cool house at some point.
I also added some cotton yarn for the stems.

It's moving in the direction I envisioned.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sketching cornflowers

Unusually for me, I woke at dawn this morning and had to get up. One can get so much more accomplished when you get out of bed! I put in a wash and folded another one before heading to yoga. It was so nice to chat with a friend over tea afterwards.
The middle part of my day was intense as I finished up the edits on an article I'm writing. It's all done and sent, phew.
I needed to loosen up so I went outside to my garden and took some snaps of the cornflowers. It is way too 'buggy' out there right now to sketch on site!
Back inside, I made a cup of tea (funny how that always goes with my sketching process), gathered up a few supplies to my kitchen table and sat to sketch.

It relaxes me. Sometimes I don't know why I make the tea; it's part of the process I guess. Often I forget to drink it though.

Maybe fodder for some textile work.
While outside, I scooted to our shed and took a quick picture of my small planter hanging there. This is a single petunia. Aren't all those petal variations pretty?

Now I'm going to put together my version of a NLT salad that I found on the net for supper. Hubby is golfing, so no pressure.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I'm a winner!

It seems I'm the winner of this week's draw following a quilt story that I sent to Canadian Quilt Talk at BrandyLynnDesigns.
It will be broadcast in her Thursday podcast at 4pm Pacific time, Thursday.
Oh, and I won a one year subscription to Quilt Pattern Magazine

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sometimes Mondays are productive

We had such a lovely visit on the weekend with my son, his fiancé, and their puppy in their new home.
In between a couple of outings, the men managed to get the deer fence up all except the door which my don will finish up.

I had a really nice visit at the local quilt shop in Quispamsis, called Town and Country Quilts. They even asked if I might be interested in doing a workshop so I left my card and we will talk.
I purchased a few 1/4 meter cuts in colors that I often use for borders on mr textile art.

As you'll notice in the picture, I picked up a few colourful zippers too. I like to make the odd zippered pouch and the zippers not easy to find here.
Last night, before bed, I made a little list of things I'd like to get done this week. Do you do that? It not only keeps me from forgetting important things, it also calms my mind for sleep. Knowing that I've written everything down means I can stop that crazy whirling of thoughts at bedtime.
I got a good start today, making phone calls, checking appointments, and planting 3 hostas. Of course it wasn't simply a matter of sticking them in somewhere (well for 2 it was). I had to go dig up some sod and move a plant to make some space. The Mosquitos were annoying and despite moderate temperatures, I worked up a sweat. So much so that the salt was stinging my eyes!

Can you see the two tiny plants in front of the cedar on the left? I moved the astilbe to the far left and put in the new hosts to the right of it. The dark area is where I lifted the sod to expand the garden. It seems do little, but it sure produced a lot of sweat!
Afterwards, I showered off and went to meet a friend for a quick lunch salad and gave her some fabric that she requested.
I spent my afternoon writing and editing.
Mid afternoon, I stopped to make my version of a rustic potato salad.

Sweet potato, regular potato, boiled egg, chopped celery, chopped red pepper.
Gently fold in Greek yogurt and mayonnaise--1:1, salt, Dijon mustard, paprika, chives and parsley.

The pretty bowl is one I bought from a friend's yard sale for a couple of dollars. It was meant to be for a garden sculpture but I decided it was too nice.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A tiny watercolor

I'm away this weekend visiting my son and his fiancé in their new house. I even got to visit a quilt shop this afternoon where I got a few pieces for myself, a friend and some for my mother- in- law. I hope she likes this cheery combo!
Afterwards, I took their new puppy for a walk around the country roads where I gathered a handful of wildflowers.

He's a pretty well behaved puppy, I think. While I sat at the table painting with my travel watercolor kit and small sketchbook, he slept on my feet. I'm allergic to dogs and had my doubts about this Aussiedoodle that's supposed to be anti allergenic, but so far so good.

I'm going out now to check on how the garden fence is going. His fiancé and her mom put the whole thing in last weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In my sketchbook

I've had to scramble the last couple of days to get my textile art and samples finished and finally mailed this morning. Canada Post guarantees arrival by the deadline. Here's hoping.
I also got some writing done for the article, so when the sun came out near supper time, I grabbed my walking poles and headed out for a short walk. I'm still nursing strained ligaments but they are heeling. The knee brace helps, ice packs here and there over the last few days, and I took it easy on my walk.
I came home with a handful of forget me nots and grabbed a few more flowers from my front garden. The simplest of things give me pleasure and ease my stress.
Wildflowers and fresh air do it for me!

To make it even better, I put my feet up while my husband snoozed and did a quick sketch of my little bouquet. Today, I was in the mood for light, loose, and sketchy.

Now, I've got to get moving to clean up the kitchen and then help hubby put the air conditioner in the bedroom.

I'm connecting to The Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A computer crash

Why is it that I tell all my kids to have back up for their computer but I didn't do it for mine?
It is old and I've been gently using it when I need to upload photos and document my art work.
Yesterday, through email, I was asked to write another article for Quilting Arts! Yes, exciting, right? I could hardly sleep thinking about what I needed to do today. I got to it early this morning, organizing my samples to send and doing a few more while taking photos of the process.
I worked at my kitchen room table in a sunny spot. Everything went well and I cleaned up.

I uploaded my photos to my computer to make sure they were good. I went to make a cup of tea to sip while I sat and organized the photos. When I got up, I caught the camera cord which in turn jerked the tower. The screen went blank and now it won't start!!!
I took some deep breaths, checked out my plants on my deck, and called my husband.

A line full of clothes makes me happy and I tried to let the sun after days of rain calm me but I may be freaking out! My husband who looks after most computer problems, said to wait for him. At the very least he can take the hard drive and retrieve the info.
All I can do is sit here numbed.

I turned the power bar and the computer off while I wrote this. It has booted up!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

An Arty day

Despite waking at 4:45AM this morning with running sinuses and taking Benedryl and tea back to bed with me, which then made me groggy for half the day, it turned out to be a satisfying day.
When I finally dragged myself out into the rain, I made my way to a friend's house for an art show.

It was positively magical!

One artist and designer, Karla Branch drove the 9 hours here from Montreal for the show! I took the natural dyeing workshop from her last fall when she was staying with her dad here in Bathurst.
She now has a little shop in Montreal where she paints canvases and repurposes and natural dyes vintage silk and wool clothing.
I purchased this beautiful silk blouse that I've had on since I got home.

The show was at recycling artist Nicole Boudreau's home. Her husband also contributes his driftwood framed mirrors and fish sculptures one of which is hanging on the wall in the above picture.
Sarah Branch also had her very unique pottery.

By the time I finally made it home and I'd had a quick snack, (they even served tea and homemade cookies), I was so tired that I stretched out on my sofa with a couple of magazines and my hand sewing. It wasn't long before I had nodded off. Both my husband and I were napping when his brother arrived and convinced him to go golfing. By this time the rain had stopped. It is still cloudy and damp and I'm quite sure their feet will be wet. I was invited but wet days on the course are not for me.
Truth be told--and we won't tell-- I was content to let my husband go. I dragged out my sketchbook and colored pencils, put on some music and did a quick study of some allium that I picked from my garden this week.

That's not my paint water by the way, it's my glass of milk. Sometimes I have to be careful not to dip my brush into my drink.
I used colored pencils as this is one of those cheap paper sketchbooks. I like them to quickly sketch out ideas for fiber art.

I wondered how it might look with a bit of background design screened on with acrylic paint, so I took it to my paint table and scraped a bit on around the flowers. By this time it is getting a bit dark outside and the I Pad has really picked up the yellow.

It's not as bright a yellow as it seems but that would be ok anyway-- it's an experiment.--and once translated into fabric, would likely be quite different. The final step was to add some blue watercolor over top.
What I do is to let all these ideas rest in my sketchbook and one day I'll be leafing through it for fiber art ideas and something will light a spark.
I've done the allium before but in the vertical position and thought it would be interesting to do them horizontally.

I shall gave to clean this up a bit before hubby comes home. Truthfully, he is very tolerant of my artistic messes that seem to end up in every room in the house. At least he has his 'man cave' to himself.

I've managed to cover the whole coffee table!

Tomorrow once I've made a Father's Day breakfast for hubby and decided on supper, I'm hoping to get into my sewing studio to finish up a couple of things. The weather forecast is not good so that's where I'll likely be.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Binding my cosmos runner

Wow, yesterday, I was on such a high after my weekend away that I hardly stopped all day. Yup, I paid for it last night, kept awake by pain--I over did with my bits of gardening. Vowing to take it easier today, I did put in a few more pansies and seeds, puttered a bit arranging pots and recycled glass, and then came inside.
The deck is under construction and being expanded when my husband has time. Being unable to do my usual veggie garden all around and climbing the rails, I had to resort to a few pots.
Little things like fresh cut flowers as they come into their season make me happy. The apple blossoms have fallen like snow but the allium are in full bloom and the lilac trees are nearing their complete fullness in the next couple of days. There is an order and a repetitiveness to nature that makes one anticipate the small changes each day.
Before coming inside, I set out my latest mushroom like piece assembled from thrift store glass pieces.

 Like my first piece, I've also added a small solar light inside. It was glowing very prettily last night on the deck; I look forward to seeing it in the garden tonight.
Inside, I can view the little garden from my kitchen and sewing room.
I've been listening to soft music, watching the birds bathing and eating the apple blossoms while puttering. This little garden angel that I made at a friend's cottage a few years ago has been pinned through the wings to my bulletin board ever since.
Seeing my garden coming alive again must have inspired me to tack on her wings and add a ribbon hanger.
I have finally gotten my art work ready to put in the shop downtown: I'm going on Thursday, so I finally got the binding on this table runner which I will take with me to hand stitch down.
I was just running a new piece of elastic into the waist of PJ bottoms when I snipped the end of my finger Ouch! I'm typing this with it tightly wrapped in Kleenex. Time to take a break!
I'm connecting to the Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekend visiting my daughter in PEI

I've come through a very challenging few months health wise and I learned this weekend that there is light at the end of the tunnel.i went to visit my daughter who has just begun her BEd at UPEI.
On Friday night she took me to the opening of an Art gallery/restaurant/furniture and clothing store called The Dunes. It was crowded, very artsy, people dressed in lots of funky clothes, and they were circulating wine and finger foods.
The couple summers on the island and winters in Polynesia. There are many things from there in the shop besides a gallery of local artists.
The gardens really took my breath way. I hardly knew where to look.

The living quarters are in this section and was open to the public for this night only.

This is their view.

Those are infinity pools which run all across the front and can be seen from the second floor living area.

I recommend a visit if you're on the island.

As it was overcast Caley took me shopping on Saturday and we ate lunch at my sisters new cafe called the Thoughtful Squash, located in Mount Stewart. Caley had a burger from local beef and I had squash soup with a side of root vegetable chips. All homemade and yummy.
After a nice walk on the Charlottetown promenade and lunch with my mom and her husband, I left for home.
This was the view that I met when I arrived.

Not anything like the fantastic gardens at the Dunes, but still it is my little piece of Heaven and much appreciated. Today the blossoms are falling like snow. I arrived tthe perfect time.
Fleeting beauty that must be savoured in the moment.

I purchased this pretty batik yoga mat from the Dunes. Perfect for meditation and some yoga moves. It sure looks pretty in my living room too.
I finished my day today with a fresh corn and black bean salad and homemade iced tea. I steeped some loose green tea, chilled it, added a fresh squeeze of lime and a dash of honey.
Compared to a few short weeks ago, I'm feeling so much more optimistic. My neuropathy is manageable. I'm so excited to get to some projects, I don't know what to do first!
Shortly I'm going out to do some gardening. I'm looking forward to getting to some sewing and painting, but it will have to wait for a rainy day.