Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cows

Summer is here and what a perfect day it is! The temperature has cooled slightlly, the high humidity has passed and a breeze is blowing.  No flies. I started the afternoon in my studio because I could not wait to proceed with my new piece. Cows. Yup, I dont know why; they've slways appealed to me. Maybe it has something to do with the graphic quality of the black and white against green and yellow fields. They seem to generally be gentle, slow moving, curious creatures, unlike horses which make me nervous.
I finished the black free motion stitching for now.
I really wanted to add some color with the Neocolor II crayons.
I will do the cows next and work on creating some mixed media such as newspaper transfer, transfers to organza, and stitched deli paper following Jeannie Palmer Moore's methods on her DVD and in her article in the latest Quilting Arts magazine. The view through my studio window was pulling me; I left the piece to dry and headed outside.
Just like in my artwork, my gardens are always a work in progress, so I don't mind a little messyness. I like to do a little here and there until my body tells me to stop. If i listen, it is enough to get my exercise and some fresh air and sun but not enough, usually, to keep me awake in the night with pain or restless legs. I put a little basil in my herb patch near my kitchen.
I stopped to admire the view after I moved the large black planter. Hubby is away but for a lot of things there is a solution. Might take me a little longer but I get it done. I got out the dolly (wheelie cart), carefully maneuvered the planter onto it and moved it to the new spot.
I weeded a bit around the veggies next to the deck. There are pole beans and peas getting started. Peppers, tomatos and Swiss chard.
Admire the view again, lol.
I took a quick run to the garden center for yellow bean seeds which I put in the raised bed. After that that I came in for supper. This is what the table looks like when hubby isn't home. 
Seafood leftovers- salmon and lobster- and my corn and black bean salad- except for the salmon left from our barbecue he can't eat the rest.  Im pretty tired! I also made a batch of granola which i've been missing with my morning berries and yogourt.
As you may have noticed, I dried a line full of bedding. Its time to put my feet up!  I'll leave you with a pic of my grandson, Ollie, taken last  night by my daughter at the soccer field where his dad coaches.
Happy summer!  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Stitching, gardening, sketching

Watching my gardens grow is so satisfying now that the weather is warming. Its such a nice day, although somewhat muggy, which really bothers me.
I'm very lucky to have AC so I can venture outside for a bit until heat threatens to overcome me and then I come back inside and head to my studio. It's win, win.  I managed to pot up another batch of lettuce seeds (the bright green container on the left). I also added some lettuce along with more carrots to my raised bed. I'll be using some of the lettice you see above for a salad to go with the potato salad and marinated chicken breast to be done on the barbecue for supper. Luckily, hubby will do that part.
I wandered around the yard and snipped a few flowers for my table something I love being able to do all summer.
The sketch was done using chalk pastels, water and a bit of mixed media. Done at my kitchen counter while getting the eggs boiled for the salad,
I finished quilting the cosmos piece this morning and it's ready for the binding if i could just decide which fabric. Im leaning towards the lower left.
I still have to make dragonfly bodies to go with the wings but they are the last  thing to be done anyway.  All the while I've been tracing out cows from my photos, enlarging them and printing them.
It's not a subject that I've tried before.  Lots of ideas are floating around in my brain along with some techniques that I'd like to try. What happens to me is I can become sort of stalled with indecision, sometimes unable to move forward. I know what I need to do is to keep moving. That means choose my subject and go with it. For the cows I will have to wait until I can get to my local copier as I want them larger than I could easily achieve at home.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dragonflies wings and cows

I've been away this week to the family cottage on Prince Edward Island for a quick few days. I had an appointment in Moncton 2 hours from here And halfway to the cottage so I decided to pop over for a couple of nights.
It is always nice to visit the island and I was lucky to have very warm weather the first night. After the long day in the car, I welcomed a walk on the beach to stretch the legs.
One never tires of the view. As you can see 8:00 at night mid June is pretty quiet. It was an exceptional though with a 29C temperature. I walked in short sleeves. The very next night, the same time, it was 10C.
 The beach is wide and flat with fine reddish sand. As on any beach there are treasures to see. Look at the colors and the textures.
It's hard to look at the big view with this at one's feet. Lots of fodder for artwork if there ever would be enough time.
My real motive in going over though was to spend a few hours with my little one and also with my my mom who is pre alzeimers.
He's about 6 1/2 months old now. Every day he does something new. We took him to the aquaric center for a swim in the baby/toddler pool. The water temperature is like bath water. Afterwards, he had his bottle and went to bed, so i left and went to pick my mom up. I spent a few hours with her and could see some small changes for the worse. More confusion and more fixation on certain topics. While I'm with her, I seem able to have patience and enjoy our moments. It is afterwards when I think about it that I get a bit teary eyed. My mom is not my mom. The first morning I took my time getting ready to go in town and allowed myself a bit of relaxation by sketching the lupines which are plentiful in the island ditches along roadways right now.
Yesterday was my first day back home and i completely crashed. Except for my lunch date that I barely made, I lolled about. I was feeling back to myself this morning. I finally got a binding on the baby quilt from past posts which I'll show when it's all finished. This afternoon, I fnished free motion stitching the dragon fly wings that I want to use on the cosmos piece. Now, i need to make some bodies.
Their quite thin and not at all stiff. I'm trying something new for me-- a gel medium painted on the back. It dries clear and is supposed to be flexible.
If you read my blog, you'll know I'm always thinking many steps ahead. Too much inspiration! The latest Quilting Arts magazine has an article by Jeannie Palmer Moore about her mixed media methods on canvas. It really interested me and so then I purchased the download of her DVD, Mixed Media Quilt Art: Creating with Paint,Stitch and Canvas. Amaxingly, I had most of the supplies on hand. Im thinking about cows, lol. Behind the tracing paper below is a photo that I took near here a couple of weeks ago. The pencil outline is compiled from two different photos. Next, I will enlarge it. She works the opposite of me. I paint, layer and stitch with black; Jeannie stitches a black outline first and then paints and layers. Ive been a bit creatively stalled lately when it cones to my fibre art and this has hot me going again. It remains to be seen how it'll work for me. It'll be fun trying!
 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Stitching gossamer wings

Since it's a bit grey and damp outside this afternoon, bringing the flies out, I decided to stay inside. I put together a binding for a baby quilt, intending to sew it on; however, so ething else was calling to me. I have been addding dragonflies, bees and other bugs to some of my flowered textile pieces for a long time. The first ones had appliqued bodies and wings stitched directly onto the piece. Gradually, I've experimented with 3 D dragonflies making the bodies by wrapping yarn over wire and stitching wings with various shear fabrics plus angelina fibers. These were made in this manner. I added a layer of water soluable clear stabilizer which I rinsed out leaving a bit for stiffness. The same process was used in the bee's wings.
And here for the dragonfly wings.
I'm happy with the body but I'm still experimenting on the wings. Today, I cut 2 pieces of synthetic organza and a layer of Misty Fuse to fit in between. Then using a pressing sheet I spread out a very thin layer of Angelina fibres to fit the hoop size. It comes out of the bag in strands which can be teased apart and arranged in any shape or size and density.
Once ironed between layers of a pressing sheet it becomes solid.
Next, I sandwiched this between the 2 layers of organza along with the Misty Fuse. The Angelina is so thin that the Misty Fuse would meld all pieces together.  Then, hooped it and picked some fine thread to stitch with.
For reference, i have a dried dragonfly in a baggie.
These may  be a little flimsy without the stabilizer, so I may have to experiment a bit to get more stiffness. Maybe a coating of white glue which dries clear. A little creativity is needed in a day! I hope you've been having some too in whatever you like to do -- sewing, knitting, needlework, sketching, printing, or maybe even cooking. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 2, 2017

First rhubarb, giraffe of many colors

I love these late spring days when the first crops are growing, the grass and trees are greening, trees and bushes are flowering or about to, and the yard is rife with birds and birdsong. It's been one of those days when the sun would burst out from behind dark clouds lighting everything up and giving me hope that I might go for a walk. Soon enough the clouds move back in, a few rain drops fall and then turn into a shower.  Instead of the walk, I decided instead to pick my first rhubarb and make an old fashioned pudding cake. Hubby is at the airport in Labrador; after about a dozen delays in his work, he seems to be finally able to come home, so I'mll have help to eat it.
This crazy, colorful giraffe pattern has been sitting in a basket along with a collection of cotton yarns for sometime. I don't crochet often but thought I could handle it. I found it on a blog called I Love Buttons by Emma. Isn't it sweet? I think I need it for my grandson's crib (which I'm ordering from Ikea).
I can handle the pattern but it turns out that crocheting is harder on arthritic fingers than knitting. Still, it's so cute that I will do a little at a time here and there which is why I like to have projects I can alternate like this sweater I'm sewing together for Ollie.
 
I finished putting together the 16 patches of home decor remnants. Last year, I  made the first set into a bed cushion.
The plan for this one is to use it to make a new slipcover for my little bedroom chair. I think I'll sandwich and quilt it for better wear and I have grey linen that will suit for the sides and chair back. I'm a very slow decorator!
Meanwhile, I've just taken the rhubarb pudding from the oven. It smells wonderful!
As I sit near the open screen door listening to the rain and birdsong, I'm sipping chagga tea (a tea steeped from a fungus that grows on birches which sounds totally yucky, but is actually quite pleasant tasting)  with my snack.
It's a lovely way to spend a Friday afternoon! Hubby should be home mid evening. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Quilting, sketching, doodling

Have you noticed any posts on facebook about minimalism? I'm connecting with the concept  because for the last several years, i've been feeling stressed by the things around me. Gradually, I've been cleaning closets, dressers and storage rooms when I can. Every week this year, i've taken a box and/or bags to the second hand store. My daughter would scoff at my attempts; she's becoming quite serious about it. As a quilter, and a fiber and mixed media artist with very few local sources for supplies, it's difficult to really clean out. Still, im getting there with the clutter. I'm noticing i do feel calmer in my rooms with less. I'm trying to do the same thing in my studio-- to a degree. I need my stash! However, I seem to have a few unfinished projects and they do add stress. I haven't posted much lately of new giber art work because I've put a bit of a mratorium on new pieces.  As an example of the need for having supplies on hand, while browsing fb this morning, I came across this beautiful video about combining chalk pastels with water on Alicia Burke's blog. I went down to my art clisetvand pulled out my pastels. I've experimented a little in my sketchbook.
http://alisaburke.blogspot.ca/2017/02/mixing-pastels-and-water.html At lunch, i started anither page .
The book you may notice above is one I picked up in the bargain section of the bookstore.
Here is one of the spreads. The sample doodles are on the left and my start on the right with an under layer of chalk pastel and water to soften it. I like to kerp it on my table for tea time doodling.
In recent years my drawings with colored pencils and watercolor have been quite detailed. At the same time i've been wanting to try a little looser style. This technique will be fun to experiment with.
Meantime, I can free motion quilt for anout 10 minutes at a time . It's about 3/4 done.  
It's getting greener and lusher in the yard.
When the weather is good, I've been weeding, mulching, dividing perennials and planting. Radishes, beets and spinach are growing under the old window  on my raised bed. Im lucky to have two machines in my studio, one that i have set up for free motion and the second for straight sewing. One of my unfinished projects is to put together more squares cut from an old sample book. Previuosly, i made a bed cushion. I want to use this for a slip cover on a small chair in my bedroom.
My latest socks just off the needles.
I'm never at a loss for something to do! I just need the time and energy!