Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hopping right along

I hopped into the big city  Thursday for a few supplies.  I decided in the midst of rush hour traffic to go to an old fabric store on my way home.  This is an old business in an old building.  I luved the character and was surprised by the wonderful inventory.  They didn't have the interfacing I was looking for but I did get two pieces of fabric and some double sided fusible.

In the basement is an whole 'nother section!  Good thing I'd already done the check out!  I just luved this centre section and the ones on the right.  I think I may have hit on something good with the monthly wall hangings.  It may be more home dec next year. Pillows???  Chair cushions???

Friday the Rooster tackled our tree. It has two trunks and one was fixed when it split but the second has to go.

The job went better than expected but now we need to think about how to safely tackle the next problem.

It is up quite high.  The darn prairie winds are pretty strong.  We don't want to take out too much of the remaining trunk as I have my shade plants under it.  I suspect this pretty tough willow will be all the better for the pruning but the Rooster needs to be able to still crow when it is all done.  ;>)

I have learned that trees need pruning.  Had we done some many years ago this tree wouldn't have spread and leaned so close to the house.  I think tightening it up will help it withstand the winds better also.  It is a semi weeping silvery birch and is a feature tree. 

I should sketch it.  This week we were to go sketch outside.  It is darn cold but the thought was also to do it out in public.  I chose the town library and they are right;  hardly anyone pays attention.  I wish I'd remembered my little watercolour kit.  Next time!  :)  I must say this class has been worth the money.  I am no capital A artist.  But I am really liking making quick representational sketches of things that will remind me later of what I did this particular week.  And then there is always the hope that the end of this sketchbook will be better than the first!  ;^)

So I shall keeping hoping and hopping!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

wow working on strings and knots

The April Showers wall hanging has all the strips joined together.  The seams are pressed open and I think it is wide enough.  I trimmed the length and dug out the batting and a possible backing.   Next will be some diagonal lines to portray rain.  I hope it doesn't distort.  This is even more low volume than it shows but I'm liking it.

I did get the French knots on the Rose of Sharon block finished.  The next block has a lot of fiddly pieces so I need to get a head start on it.  May baskets!

And here is the modified Irish Chain up on the wall.  I'm deciding if it is the right shape although I had no more background fabric so it is what it is!

I wonder if the TN&TN gals have any knotty problems to work out!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The black and white of it

I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row this week and I don't think I have time to be distracted by any pretty colours.  Here's hoping!  ;~)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lo the winter is past...

Remember that buried fence!  The snow has been moving down and back pretty rapidly this week.  Some snow and rain forecast for tomorrow but I'm believing we are over the hump.  Welcome Spring!

I am away at Sketchbook Skool and it is not too bad.  No detentions and I'm trying to do all my home work.  We aren't allowed to rip out any pages but I'm hopeful that the end the book will be better than the front.  ;^)  I am no sketcher but I'm finding that everyone has their own unique way of seeing, interpreting and then expressing what appeals and it can be very ordinary things but they need to be something the sketcher actually connects with-  my doll's glasses,  my very comfortable flip flops.
 (I understand 'thongs' is no longer politically correct).

I'm starting to make the DYLP my own and finding my groove.  This week was monochromatic.

The April showers wall hanging is about ready to have the strips attached.  I wonder how much it'll shrink on the sides.  :O

I have long wanted to do something with my grandmother's book that she pasted newspaper clippings of poems into.  I also found a sure fire cure for diptheria!  I found some newspaper quilt block patterns also.  I thought they were my mum's but she'd have been seven years old when they first began to be published and my mum didn't make any quilts.  My grandmother again.  She died when my mother was a teenager.  I wonder if she took this suitcase with her when she was in the hospital?   The wooden stationary box was my mum's and I always coveted it.  She kept odds and ends of old jewelry in it and obituary notices.  ??? Anyway, I'm combining an old idea and some new insight with a new to me technique and I'll be posting all about it next month. 

So as you can see, I have lots of reasons to spring ahead!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WOW Not a Random Act

April Showers has been quilted and I went with a hidden edge.  The envelope finish works here as the wall hanging isn't too big.  I also like the idea of unending chains.  ;^)

I had picked a palette for April Showers, my next wall hanging.  I was tempted by some cute umbrellas that I saw but I stuck with the stash, a low volume selection.  I cut slices after roughly figuring amounts.  My math is most always all over the place so we'll see.  I don't have a lot of these kinds of fabrics and I'm feeling stingy!  lol

I tried just sewing strips randomly end to end but I spent a lot of time unsewing.  :(  It would maybe work on a much bigger project but I do find I am very happy auditioning strips and then going off to sew them together and then whacking off where the next one should go.  Now as I'm nearing the other edge I need to get some not so random balance happening.  This is my favourite way of working.  I don't stress but I like to feel I am getting some flow happening.  Hopefully I can get the strips joined to each other by next Wednesday.

My friend Sherry, who shares her creative bliss here tells me this is the month to write letters.  I thought about it last year and this year I am going to do it.  Here are my first postcards.  I'm thinking quick, easy, and that soon there will be blue sky and green grass!  :)

If you  want to see what the gals scattered randomly across Canada are doing you can visit them by clicking on TN&TN and then with purpose or randomness you can click on their thumbnails.  It would be a kindness!

Monday, April 7, 2014

What mood?

 What will this week reveal as it unfolds?

I'm in the mood for some surprises!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Take a deep breath!

First I will exhale and catch up on the finding outs and the finishing ups.

I am happy to report I have edited out two pieces of furniture and I have some bare walls and better yet bare floors.  The dust bunnies that were reading my books have to find another library. lol  I dispersed the books to pertinent rooms, put brown paper covers on some to eliminate visual clutter and boxed up those who might better bless somebody else.

Disregarding the future of  'when we...',  I repositioned the stove for an outside vent,  made the fridge a bit handier and have commissioned a long rolling counter that the kitchen table can butt up to or run alongside.  Best event was adding some more colour.  Who knew the Rooster's red coffee pot would be so affirming!  I'll refinish the wee coffee bar and make a more colourful teacup wall hanging!  I'll leave some space between the upper cabinets and above the big farm sink (which is patiently waiting in the basement)  for a colourful apple or two! ;^)

I think I need a couple more glass shelves for glasses.  They aren't so handy to the fridge anymore but what the hey!  I can possibly spruce up the aqua paint on that old cafeteria table and refinish this old wood unit a similar red to the hutch or even an espresso stain.  I'm short and pouring water down into the coffee pot without standing on tippy toes is a bonus!  lol

I did work on the Irish Chain and as I was finishing up the straight line quilting I got to thinking that I might want to consider the less is more principle.  I think the curved echo in the coloured triangles would be too much.  But I went ahead and I practiced some free motion leaves.  When I drew in the actual area I saw how small it was.   Hmm, maybe a shamrock?  Four leaf clovers were too big and the three leafed clover was pretty tight.  Sew...

I bound it up. I'll throw it in the wash, add a hanging sleeve and call it done.  I have my fabric cut for April Showers so as to be ready for next week.  Perhaps it will more readily accept some free motion stitching but I'm thinking rain is kinda linear.  oops!  May Flowers are coming!  ;~)

The block of the month called for more little yoyo flowers.  Not.  I was checking out old shows on The Quilt Show and Judith Montano inspired me to do some silk ribbon flowers.  I'd forgotten how much fun silk ribbon embroidery is!  :)

I have been kinda busy doing the cleaning and not writing about it but the DYLP is caught up for this week.  It has finally dawned on me that the extra leaf on the right should be flipped to the next set of pages. Oh well.  I'm starting to get the hang of layering.  Phew!  Good thing because...

I started Sketchbook Skool this morning with much fear and trembling.  A waste of time because of course the whole faculty and the classmates are very affirming and encouraging.  I do think these next six weeks will be life changing!  :O  I may change my sketchbook to a soft cover and a lighter weight paper as we'll be near Staples tomorrow.  The size is good.  I learned cursive with a dip pen but if the skill needs revisiting I'll stick with the uniball or pigma pens.  Pencils are not allowed as we need to really commit to the line.  eek! 

There is a hint of spring in the air.  I'm hoping winter doesn't blow back with any kind of bluster. We had snow last night.  But I won't be holding my breath!  ;^)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's on the worktable this week?

I absolutely can't do an ugly picture first so behind the mess is the start for my DYLP for this week.  This is just the first layer and wouldn't ya know I'd pick double flaps for this particular week.  lol  Busy as anything and I did this last night just so it could dry overnight for the next layers.

Here is the ugly.  Elaina left on Sunday.  She had her brother and sister in to see her new journal and show them theirs.  :O  Then I had just dumped my new iron down and continued to throw in things as I spring cleaned the other rooms.

Those who know me will roll their eyes.  Laura, that is you!  But I am moving on.  The house is getting its final tweaking.  No more waiting for tomorrow.  If I have things in mind that can happen asap, then I put them in place.  Anything that doesn't fit the immediate plan is leaving.  Painting must wait for a new roof but the Sunshine room is a guys place with masculine reading material.  The gal room has all the pink and yellow stuff and will see white furniture and books like Trixie Beldon, Little House on the Prairies, Little Women and The Secret Garden. The biggest room is the playroom and all sorts of creative books live in there with all sorts of supplies. So we are in the second largest room which has all the green and aqua stuff and our books. I moved the computer out of our room and along  the end wall of the upstairs hall.  I will just live with the big extension cord until the electrician comes around.  I am on a mission to reduce visual clutter.  I am also putting a moratorium on decorating.  It is taking up way too much of my creative time and I could use the time to do some creative garment sewing.  I can't edit the closet as there isn't much in there!  ha!

General books are downstairs.  I wrapped them in brown paper and studying this photo I may put that boxed set back in the front room.  Sh!  I used the Rooster's big roll of freezer paper.  ;^) I'll have to get my letter stamps out for titles.  I can hear the Rooster crowing now!  lol  I like the neutral sitting room.  I like the more colourful but also quiet front dining room.  But that blah kitchen is driving me nuts so we made one more change and I added some more colour.  But that is for tomorrow's reveal.  I have to get the worktable cleared and hopefully get the Irish Chain quilted.  Tomorrow I also start Sketchbook Skool, a six week gift from the Rooster! mmmmwah!

But now I need to get that worktable workable!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fooling Around! Seriously

All that exercise and some wiser diet choices and my spring tonic has kicked in.  Now I am kicking butt with some super sized dust bunnies as I tackle spring cleaning upstairs.  Shoving all my books under the bed for 'tomorrow' wasn't a great idea.  Who was I fooling? 

Speaking of tomorrow, I also kicked its butt.  I am determined to live in today so I am cleaning accordingly.  If it has no use for today and the plan for tomorrow is at all vague...  well, it gets to go find a home somewhere else and not on my property.  vbsigh  Seriously!  I am NOT fooling!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Really in the mood to March!

I have a very busy month coming up.  I need to get in shape for the summer and clean up my poor playroom after a few marathon play dates with the grand kiddie!   Ready, setty, March!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

One for the money, two for the show..

This was a huge quilt, wrong colours, and the odds were against me but I'd have been happy to redecorate!

 Eliana was not interested in the small challenges in the lobby but was sew excited to get into the show.

But that only lasted the first two rows and then it was not sew exciting. The Rooster, however, takes his viewers choice very seriously and prowls around intently making up his mind.  :^)

It was a better show than I've seen in the past so kudos to the committee.  I couldn't find my thread and I don't really need fabric but I did succumb to the spiel for an amazing iron.  I'll let ya know!

Eliana voted for the worm quilt. The Rooster and another lady waxed lyrical over a scrap quilt from old flannel shirts but he did end up voting for the blurry photo above.

This was my favourite!

With this a close second!  Manitoba doesn't show case a lot of the modern quilts but there were a couple.

Three is to get ready for the busy month ahead.  Four is to GO>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What's her name?

Eliana is apparently the Spanish equivalent of Ellen.  We do have a lot in common.

We both  like to do 'art' in our jammies! lol

We aren't much into cooking but we do have some cleaning skills.

Fabric has a great fascination.  Something to remember for both her and me is that  there are basic chores before basic 'art'.

Lots of time for art during this everlasting winter!

Eliana really luvs animals.  This is our sheep dog, Sweet Pea, who apparently needs a collar. We shall look for one at the Dollar Store.  Even our little town has one.

First thing we found was a spring hat and then we couldn't leave the butterfly net behind.  The pink Princess collar turned out to be too small.  :O

We used our art supplies to personalize a board book.  We'll be collecting more ideas at the quilt show that we are visiting today. 

I would say that we differ in colour preferences.  Pink isn't my favourite colour but then I look at my fabric stash and I do have a lot of pink.  Must  be what's her name's influence!  lol