Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Snow day

This morning I was out for a doctors appointment and a few groceries. Pretty pleased that she cut my blood pressure and diabetes medication in half. All because I finally got the C Pap machine for sleep apnea. To think I kept putting it off. It did take a little getting used to but it wasn’t bad. I sleep more soundly now, only waking up once as opposed to many times a night.  
It’s been pretty quiet here. I’m approaching Christmas with a minimalist attitude this year. Less gifts and we want less. We’re choosing to spend time enjoying family and activities. We’ve just found out that weather permitting, our little one and parents are planning to come for Christmas.

I did have a bit of fun with some wrapping this morning. I think I need to cut more snowflakes.



I’m really hoping we can keep some snow so we can all go snow shoeing. Ollie hasn’t seen snow in any amount yet. Gord wants to make a little slide out back. This was this afternoon on the trail.



It’s snowing now and will be overnight; however, they’re calling for a change to rain tomorrow.

I knit this little monster for Ollie. The red is a litttle hat that will have holes for the ears.



It fits in the palm of my hand.
I hope things aren’t too frantic for you and that you can enjoy some quiet time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Decorating and stamped stitched poinsettias

Last Friday in a small burst of slightly freezing rain, I had a nasty slip on my concrete front steps which necessitated a trip to emergency.  I was very lucky to have no broken bones but extensive bruising and pain as I hit four steps all the way to the bottom.
On Saturday and Sunday, I didn’t move much; I watched a movie each afternoon and did some knitting.



I’m making a size 4 sweater for Ollie in merino wool.

Yesterday, I got out for a couple errands. I can’t stand or sit for too long.

Today, I visited my mother in law at lunch time. I made muffins and I started to put out a few ornaments. We’ve had a wee bit of snow. Tonight we’re supposed to get snow, then freezing rain and rain. I’m hoping for a snow cover before Christmas. We bought a little sled for Our grandson, Ollie.




We enjoy these snowflake lights all winter on our back deck. My husband set them to come on at dusk and off at 10. We really enjoy them at supper. As winter passes it’s interesting to note how the turn on time gets a little later each week.






The snowflake table topper was featured in a Quilting Arts magazine issue several years ago.

I switched out my yearly cushion covers for my poinsettia ones which I made a couple years ago. They are monoprinted, free motion stitched and quilted.



Last year I started a runner. It only needs to be sandwiched and quilted. Maybe I’ll envelope it for speed.



I used a craft foam stamp for the poinsettias.



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The trail, knitting and a label

I’m getting ready today for our quick trip overnight tomorrow to visit our grandson on his 1st birthday. I made cupcakes per my daughters request, sugarless, sweetened with banana and coconut water. She will do a whipped cream topping.
Still, I had time after lunch for a nice hour walk along the trail which follows this stream.



I’m always attracted to colors:



And textures found in old growth:





And glassy reflections:



I’m packed - easy since it’s just a night away and I’ve been sitting here stitching a label on a quilt, a gift for my mom and her husband.



I have new socks on the go. They’re a habit for me. I like to knit in the car too.



This is a cowl/shawl that I just finished.


Next I want to do this sweater for Ollie in a soft grey merino wool.





There’s always something to do.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Auditioning a binding

Finally, I’ve decided to call it enough. I’ve got my waterfall steamed and pinned to a foam block and I’m auditioning some fabrics for the binding.



I may be leaning towards the one on the right above and below with the dots.




I’m considering the darker one, bottom right as well.



It’s funny though; when I view it on my screen I like the way the fabric on the left picks up the golds and greens. Hmm.

On my design wall I’ve loosely laid up the blocks to the baby quilt.



It is such a fun little quilt and I’m sure it will go together quickly. There are enough sewn strips to make another center.

Thanks goodness we got a bit of a melt today and hubby and I were able to get a fair bit of ice chipped and scraped off our paths and steps. We also trimmed the big pine on the front lawn and put lights on it. Except for the extension cords, the Christmas lights are done! I like to turn them on around the 1st of December.

We are heading to Charlottetown this week for our grandson’s first birthday. Can’t wait to see him. He is very active but has his quiet moments.



I’m sending this pic to the printers as as inspiration for a new piece.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wintry trail and my waterfall

I am very happy to be nearing the end of my waterfall! You must be hoping for something new, as am I. There remains only to touch up a bit in the waterfall and in the very foreground water highlights.



I will add a thin batting with a very small amount of quilting and then a binding. My thoughts are already heading to my next piece. There may be more birch trees. I can’t help it, they are so pretty this time of year with the soft grey skies as backdrops. I am not done with them yet.



I was out for an hour on the trail yesterday breaking in a new pair of pricey North Face hikers. I never would have spent so much in younger days. Now, arthritis in my feet and replacement joints mean that I need the best. I never would have thought I’d ever walk so much again and I am taking advantage while I can!



I’m planning a longer hike on Saturday up on our Sentiers Mi’kmaq  trail that runs from here up to Mount Carlton in the center of the province. Nearly 150kms. We will meet nearby and drive a short ways to our starting point. The trail is well marked with the Mi’kmaq turtle symbol signs every km along the way. There is a Facebook page where we can share info and meet people to hike with. Amazing!

I made energy bites to take along as snacks.




The other thing I’m working on here and there is a small baby quilt top. Pattern found on Missouri Star Quilt co.



The center consists of 4, 16 patch blocks which will be set into the star and there will be a small border. I had such fun sewing strips that there enough for another quilt.

That’s my week so far. 

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.