Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chickadees and doodling-- a new APP

I love quiet Sundays, don't you? Of course I know I'm lucky that I'm no longer working and I don't have all the stressof Getting ready for the work week. My main tasks now are to support my husband in his work until he retires and to look after my own health. This morning, hubby and I had a nice breakfast over the paper-- he reads, I do the crossword. He makes the best poached eggs! Afterwards, went for a walk and we went to visit his parents. On our way home we bought an infant baby seat for our car! My daughter bought the same one and let us know it was on sale at Canadian Tire and that there were two in our store. Now I really feel like a grand patent! Here is Ollie trying out his new seat in his dad's car in Charlottetown.
Back in my studio later this afternoon, I added some color to my chickadee monoprints using Neocolor II crayons and a wetted brush. Stitching comes next.
I will iron interfacing to the back before thread painting.
When I'm not in my studio, I may be sitting with my knitting, especially while watching tv.
I've got two different socks on the go, switching back and forth on a whim, lol. My sofa corner gets a little crowded! Yesterday, I discovered a new APP called Amaziograph for $1.39. I usually go for free ones, but couldn't resist it. This is a page of some of the designs I started with.
I took a screen shot. You get the idea. It's very simple to use and addictive. As easy as as touching your finger to the screen and moving it. You'll see more this week. I've emailed myself I few designs that I will print out to play with. I can see them for stamps, stencils, screens and even hand or machine stitching designs. Are you having a nice Sunday?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A little stitching, a little printing

It was so beautiful here yesterday, sunny and mild like spring, that I had to get back out on the snowshoes. This time I went with my friend, Alma. Since my hip replacement I'm jus t beginning to get up to speed and to go with her. She goes with me on her slow days, lol. We were out for an hour and a half! A personal best for me. Along the way we stopped a few times to feed the chickadees, catch our breath after a hilly climb, or grab a bite of clementine.
Each morning upon awakening, I like to consider my options for the day. It's mild again today and still quite lovely and the predicted rain hasn't arrived yet (I wish it wouldn't). I opted to stay inside to spend some time in the studio. And rest the legs a bit. Later, I'll probably do a short bit on my new rowing machine, one handed as I still am not permitted to use the right arm. I did a small bit of free motion stitching, mostly just to see how I liked the color. I'm not sure it shows in the picture but I outlined a couple spots in a purple silk thread after finishing the ferns. Then I decided to add a little more texture using my own screen designs. It's a bit tricky to do this after you've started stitching but I used torn paper to mask any areas I didn't want paint. I just wanted partial prints here and there.
You can make out the pink screened areas above. Here's the whole piece.
It was particularly brave (or foolhardy) of me to print on this pieced and bordered one!
You may think the pink is a bit dark. That was my first thought. I did lighten it up some on the lighter ones and I think once I start stitching around the printed flora, and add the quilting, they will recede. I also added the screen print to another small Gelli print with a shimmery bronze. I'm liking this one.
I cleaned up and ran out to the grocery store and picked up my traditional fast food supper when hubby is away, a small cooked lobster. And the best for last, my happy little grandson, Ollie, now almost 3 months old.
Now, I must go get my supper. I'm having the lobster with a slice of pumpernickel bread and leftover roasted cabbage with mustard vinaigrette. How's that for a combination?  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Nests, birds and feathers

Before my surgery I was experimenting with some monoprinting using black screen printing ink on white fabric. Do you remember? I put them up on my design wall to think about during my recovery. I had time to add some color to a couple with Neocolor II crayons and to try some free motion out lining with black thread. I wasn't inspired.
For a while it was tempting to abandon them for other projects, but after giving them lots of thought, I decided to persevere to see what would emerge. I started with a small piece that wouldn't take a large time investment.
The pink designs in the background are printed using one of my own designs on a thermofax screen. It actually has some significance to me. The prints remind me of the wallpapers that my father Used whenever he was redoing one of our houses where I lived growing up. I think I may like where this is going. Not sure. It's going up on the wall for a bit before I proceed. I'd like to get to this larger piece. I will need to finish adding the color first.
However, I may try a little bird first. The weather here is spring like although we have lots of snow. I'm going to head out on a few errands after lunch and try to leave time to get out on the snow shoes.  Our backyard is filled with several feet of snow.
We have pathways to the sheds and the back door.
It's beautiful! Even more so at dusk when my little snowflake lights along the deck rails come on. Dusk came around 6:00PM last night. We're slowly gaining light.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Free motion embroidery

I'm in a bit of a lull. Yes, the shoulder is healing, but I'm feeling a bit listless and without my usual creative energy. I imagine how nice it would be to curl up under a blanket and stay there for the day, but then at the end of the day I'd be unsatisfied. I start with a few simple chores which then inevitably leads me into my studio. It's like the adage, what's in motion stays in motion. Did I get that right? After getting my bed sheets into the wash, I mixed up these chocolate banana muffins. They're mainly sweetened with banana and unsweetened applesauce. I used a dark cocoa.
After lunch, I dallied at the table. I managed to get my tax papers clipped together and organized. Definitely satisfying! Then I went into my studio to finish the machine stitching on the small Gelli print.
The gold vines are done using the bobbin technique. It is loaded onto the bobbin and stitched from the back. I draw a bit of a guide using a frixon pen. Now I'm ready to sit at my leisure and hand embellish using some fibers that I ordered from Monika Kinner-Whalen at My Sweet Praire Studio.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A little free motion on a Gelli print

Well, I've gotten the neuropathy under control, I think, with the latest increase of gabapentin. Feeling more comfortable. The last couple of days I've had a bit of a raw throat and feel a bit tired, maybe a cold.  Hopefully it will pass. I had some book work to catch up too, so I haven't done any sewing until today. I struggled a bit with the vinyl front bag from last post. Then, I decided I must try doing a little free motion on a Gelli print.  It's a small piece and it was easy to do without taxing the shoulder.
I stopped when the bobbin ran out of thread.
It was so fun to do even just a little! It measures 7" by 10". I'm going too batt it after the free motion and do some hand work. Can't wait! Before my surgery, I ordered a new book which I've been slowly devouring.
There are a lot of different artists and styles featured, some very different from mine.
Lots of eye candy and inspiration to try out some new ideas. I love the idea above of including the sketches. The prints I do, but I have a hard time with raw edges coming from a quilting background. I'm learning to let it go. And lastly, Happy Valentine's from my Ollie.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Zippered bag

Here's a little update on the zippered bag I'm making. This is definitely why I'm better at art than I am at following directions. First, I misread the materials list- I tend to be a little ADD- and I ironed on fusible fleece instead of fusible interfacing. This made it a real challenge to get nice top stitching and putting in the zipper was a trial!
Then, I found this grey fabric and decided I liked it for the inside. I just finished cutting it and ironing the fusible fleece on, but guess what, I cut it a half inch too narrow, lol. I'm leaving it for another day. Sigh....can't wait to get this sling off and get back to some art work. At least it's not for a gift. My daughter asked for one for her diaper bag. Another reason for my struggles is that I'm living in a fog right now. I've had to increase medication for neuropathy that has flared back up, my blood glucose levels are a bit high (no idea why) which also makes me sleepy and I'm generally fatigued. I'm on a new and second medication for my blood pressure and I need to start something for cholesterol. Frustrating. I could stand to loose at least 40 pounds; so far I've lost about 8. On a good note, I've tried to get out for a walk almost every day or a snowshoe, and I bought a rowing machine which I've started at 5 minutes since I'm using only one arm. I've got about ten days before my surgeon's appointment. After that I'll be starting building exercises for my shoulder, not just the passive ones I'm doing now. I'm so anxious to get started and especially to be able to drive again! That's my little rant for  today. This is the real me. One day at a time. Today I walked 40 minutes on snowy streets. I did a wash and hung it downstairs ( we use the drier only for towels and pants.) I made my bed. I cleaned up the kitchen. I did my exercises. I sewed in one side of the zipper. Those are my accomplishments for today. I forgot, these are the socks I've just started. Grey, again, my daughter's favourite.
  My little Ollie wearing my latest sweater. I can't keep up!
  At 4:00pm  my husband is picking me up. We have an appointment at the bank and we'll go for supper afterwards.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Relaxing but Productive Sunday

Caley and baby left yesterday around noon and for a while it felt empty and quiet in the house. She is lucky to have a baby who content and happy  much of the time. When he does fuss, you can find the reason and comfort him quickly.
He had visits with lots of my husband's side of the family including the great grandparents.
We took him snow shoeing.
We took him to lunch on Friday with my group of friends.  And now we keep posted with daily pictures and video chats and look forward to the next time. This morning, hubby and I went snowshoeing. I'm slowly building time and distance. It feels so good to be outside but I'm counting the days until I can get rid of the sling!
After lunch, I stitched the hem on a pair of cords for Gord, and stitched together the 2 1/2" square for a zippered bag.
Not my usual colors. They were requested by my daughter. Grey and beige. I've made a few of these bags and have had two gifted to me. They are very handy for small projects such as these socks that I've slowly been knitting. The yarn is six ply and they're knit on 3.5 needles so a little easier than the 4 ply I usually do.
I put together one more Trip Around the Road block. There are now 13. I need 20.
A batch of peanut butter oatmeal and banana muffins just came out of the oven and hubby is stirring a pot of hot chocolate. He just got in from x country skiing. I'm going to get myself a warm muffin and cup of hot chocolate.