Friday, August 29, 2014

yoo hooo... moJo

The new eating regimen is certainly upping the energy level.  I am on a mission to reduce the amount of junk we have collected during our forty year sojourn here.  'Whenever' has been replaced by 'right now'.  Seasonal accessories are limited to favourites and a small designated area.  Likes are with likes and the extras are being pushed ahead of me as I proceed room by room and any extras will be pushed right off the front step at the very end.  Top priority is visually pleasing, low maintenance and easily accessible.

I'm convinced my mojo is trying to get free from the chaos that my playroom has become.  The thought of totally re purposing this room is a bit daunting.  I have got a LOT of stuff.  And worse, I have stuff I don't even know I have.   I can never find the thing I am needing to help Mojo do what Mojo needs to do!

I spent an long afternoon in Ikea with my camera and a pencil and paper.  I am so inspired.  I have some lovely acquisitions for the pink room.  I also have some new ideas as I unearth finds that I have been saving for the big what if... . 

I don't know why it has taken me this long to realize that Ikea have an whole area devoted to office supplies.  And I thought I was organized!!!  :O  If I can sell my sit down quilting cabinet I could reinvest the money in organizational greatness for The Coop and Saucer Playroom.  :)

My mojo likes fabric. Therefore  my BerNina needs the primary and best spot. This is gonna take some sweat equity.  Nina is pulling on her power cord because on my town day I  also picked up an embellishing tool for her.  Needle felting, here I come!  MoJo is making muffled calls in response to all the excitement she is sensing.  I think she is struggling to be free and rise to the surface where she can be seen.  ;~)

The trick is gonna be not to bury my own self in the chaos involved in this transition.  But I am actually  in a frame of mind (mad enough) to do the editing required to have all my tools and supplies readily available. 

Mojo, I'm coming!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Making time with baggage

Whenever I travel I hate schlepping stuff around.  And since one big bag doesn't exactly make things easier I have  learned to travel lighter.  Now why do I not make this amazing insight applicable for traveling through my weekly wanderings???  I am in the process of repacking!  ;^) 

Gee, I bet my mojo is somewhere under the lost luggage turntable!  I hope it is dry when I find it.  lol

Friday, August 22, 2014

Should I go back to a first luv?

My creative life began way back when my mum let me pick the colours for my bedroom.  I have been picking colours and shoving furniture around ever since.

The kitchen makeover is slated for September first which is two weeks before the arrival of most of the kids for a mini family reunion.  :O

 I haven't been feeling particularly creative.

I woke up yesterday morning thinking that I couldn't spend one more night in a BLUE/green bedroom with retro overtones.  The master bedroom  was always supposed to be blush pink and taupe with a classic undertone.  I have some blingy lighting and some hand dyed velvet and some snazzy material for a pink/brown crazy quilt all sitting in boxes.  The Rooster is a romantic so he won't mind!  Mind you, redoing the lighting might just dim his switching abilities!

I briefly thought of switching back into the original master bedroom but the thought of moving all my sewing and art supplies nearly killed my mojo which is starting to lift her head to see what is going on!  ;^)

So today I shall finish trying to put the contents of an eleven square foot blue/green room onto a ten foot pink/orange room and vice versa.  The versa is gonna work way better than the vice, let me tell you!

But I'm gonna luv it!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Not really broken.

I'm not really on a blog break but...

I live one hour from Winnipeg, know nationally as Winterpeg because we can have long brutal winters. 

This past winter was especially long and then spring was just plain cold, wet, and grey.  Then the mosquitoes descended in full strength.  Miserable creatures!  We are now into hot and dry.  lol

But there is also a saying among locals that we have two seasons.  Winter and Construction! 

This is the season I am in right now.  I am not alone as the Rooster has also felt the effects of this challenging year.  We are so behind; bogged down by one problem after another.  And after a meeting the minds, mostly his,  we are making some changes.  Age needn't defeat one but we certainly can't run as fast, as long, nor as hard as we once did.  But we can run smarter!  :)  Yay for the Rooster! We are getting a plan into position.

We are under construction.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Should I be ... a foodie?

DD#1 just spluttered her tea all over the 'puter screen!   But before she reaches for the phone to make her siblings aware of my need for assessment I will say,  NO! 

And before she spills the beans in the comment section, I will confess that my go to supper when the Rooster worked shift work was the no name equivalent of Kraft Dinner.  :O 


I have been diagnosed as gluten intolerant and I need to find some alternatives to toast and pasta.  Hence the recipe research.   It wouldn't hurt to razzle dazzle the Rooster with a few culinary surprises either. 

My niece, who is a chef, was here at the coop for a visit and kindly offered some suggestions.  She and I spent a whole day in Winnipeg touring Asian markets.  Who knew!  I did enjoy it, well, maybe not the octopus thingies,  and came home with bottles, jars, packages, veggies, and spices.  The Rooster would have luved it and I shall be happy to take him on a return visit.  I shall carry on with the weekday cooking and enjoy the weekend respite when his passion for food is released.  But I really do hope he can retire soon!  :)

In the meantime,  I shall continue my search for the best way to express myself with blogging.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Am I worried?

I am not really worried.  Perhaps I should be more worried!  LOL

But I do not have seem to have things together.  In fact, things are in danger of falling apart.  There is a lot of spinning/flapping but not a lot of forward motion!

I have been thinking about making some changes to my blog but I have January 2015 in mind.  I have learned not to be so hasty and this gives lots of tweaking time.   Apparently I am not alone as I am reading about similar transitional thoughts on various other blogs. 

In the meantime I am kinda stuck.  Kinda like my little friend above.  :O  hmmm, what to do???

Shall I get it together or just release and let go?  Stay tuned, as soon as I know, you'll know!  ;^)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Stepping Things UP!

I have been following a new to me blog and I quite like it!  france papillon  She hosts Journal on Monday.

Here is my try at making a journal page spread.

I opened my DYLP journal to a blank part and spread gesso with a plastic card which I like!

Next are sprays  which I also swiped with the card. 

I added printed tissue paper and dulled things a bit with some more gesso spread lightly.

Texture was made by spreading molding paste thru a stencil and then I flipped the stencil over onto the other page for a reverse effect.
I added more colour meaning to kinda hit the tops of the dried molding paste but...

More interest was added by stamping.

I really am on a mission to add fibre to my mixed media work.  I chose a complimentary colour  and sewed the fabric onto some coloured paper.

As seen, the dropper on the acrylic ink kinda exploded but I did like it.  I did spray some water to get some more drips on the left.
I wanted to get the various elements more integrated so I reached for more stamps.

To get some harmony with the fibre I added washi tape, some smudges with the ink pad, and some lines with that nice card again.
 I wasn't thrilled with the bottom left page and tried stencilling some copper.

I also tried a marker.  A water soluble pencil helped bring out the raised hand.

I positioned the stamped fabric with brads and balanced it with the key.  Good enough for a first stepping out!  lol

I'm going to link up with france's 100th JOM and hope that you will check out this great resource!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday- maybe!

We'll see how this works out and maybe move her when we are sure she is done hatching.  :O

Friday, August 1, 2014

How long should Hsteria last???

 August the first!  My, where is the summer going?  The grand kiddies spent some time.

The flowers have really liked cool and rainy.  The raspberries and even the saskatoon bushes have produced the best crop I can remember here on the farm.

The Rooster's new raised bed garden has revived his faith in his agricultural abilities.  

But the mosquitoes and the weeds and the weather have made us all a bit hysterical.  Hopefully things are looking to settle down to regular summer happenings as the forecast shows no clouds and lots of sun.

We should have known!  But then the rooster in the egg laying flock didn't seem to be too energetic.  We moved them to a new area with lots of tall grass.  But then egg production should have been better.  ???  Aha! While I was cutting grass I saw them!  chicks!  Some broody hen has been hiding eggs and she has hatched out a clutch.  We aren't sure how many.  She has snuck out of the main area and has them hidden in some large hay bales that run along the fence line.  Now my Rooster says there is a reason that the egg people went to incubators.  The mortality rate is high what with all the natural predators around. He takes each loss personally.   :O   I hope keeping track of them doesn't drive the little mama crazy!

Speaking of craziness,  I have been giving myself stern words.  Except for some sewing I haven't managed to accomplish very much.  The weekly list of finishes has languished.  But what I have been doing is learning about what I like and that has moved my design sense ahead!  :)

I very much enjoyed Vicki's HSTeria Quilt Along.  I do really like half square triangles.  Turns out I made these particular squares out of a quarter square die so it'll be a bit more of a challenge to sew all of the bias edges together.  But I do like the way it is coming together.

Vicki showed lots of options for various layouts and I want to try another top with the right die. 

Then I won some of Vicki's hand dyed scarps one week and that will be another project with HST's for sure, although I may be hand cutting larger pieces. ;~)

So HSTeria will continue here in this chick's coop!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

a day in the life of...

 The flock with one ram, the ewes and this year's lambs. 

The shearer arrives with his equipment and packer.  This, our final year, also includes spectators!

Some are more helpful than others!  Sweet Pea is our Border Collie.

The sheep move down the shoot and the shearer brings them out one at a time.  He is quite fast but questions slowed him down.  He has been shearing for 42 years and 25 years for us.  He is a good friend.

He uses electric clippers and this ewe is one of our few black sheep.

At least one of these is wondering what the lambs have been up to while they have been at the 'beauty parlour'!

Waiting for their turn!  ;~)

You can see that the lambs born this spring are already a good size.  They are not sheared their first year.

The fleeces are packed in these wool bags.  There isn't much demand for wool and our flock's purpose is meat not fleeces.  The wool cheque won't cover the costs of the shearer but the sheep are better for the shearing.

Josh tried to get a few tips for rounding up the sheep but the results weren't very impressive!  lol

And there goes the end of one chapter in our life down on the farm! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday transitions

Sorry about that blank spot last Tuesday.  It has been the result of some mind boggling lacks!  ;~)

I have neglected my mixed media art in favour of sewing.  Not terrible but I miss it.

How to keep all the ducks lined up, the balls in the air and then actually stay on my feet is challenging.

Too many choices paralyzes me so in keeping with the KISS principle...

I worked on a summer canvas for the front room to keep the monthly wall hanging angst quieted. (The May baskets and June bunnies will become baby quilts.)   Tons of fun!  I'm not sure it is finished but it can hang on the wall while I decide.

The worktable Wednesday post didn't happen because I was ignoring the fabric as I reconsider what I want to make for the next wall hanging.  How can I make a traditional quilted wall hanging with kites portrayed in a representational artistic way?  I do have an idea to pursue.   I do think the focus for The Needle and Thread Network was meant to be be more fibre art focused.  As this is also the direction that I want to head into I have been considering my options.  And I think I have just had a very exciting IDEA drop into my lap via blog roll reading!  YES!!!

Sorry to tease but I need to try it.

And then the shearer has phoned to say he is on his way.  Our farm is also in transition and possibly this will be our last shearing so I need to go grab the grand kiddies so they can add this experience to their list of farm memories.

And in the mean time the dill is still taking over the flower beds!   :O

Monday, July 21, 2014


I haven't got a lot to show for these last couple of weeks but boy, have I been reflecting on stuff.

Gee, I hope it isn't a mid life crisis thingy!  :~{  

But I'm starting to 'get' it.  I read on some body's blog that if you do the work, the verb, then take the name, the noun.  If you do art then you are an artist.  Well, at least I am a developing one.  lol

But working on these summer wall hangings is doing me in.  Spring is a more modern minimalist time, to my mind at least.  Perhaps that is why I like starting spring projects.  I'm a wanna be modern minimalist. 
But finishing things means I'm working through the summer stuff and I'm doing traditional cause I think of summer in kind of a traditional, old fashioned way.   But I'm not so thrilled with the wall hangings. I don't think that I want that as my decor.  And if art reflects the artist then I need to do more than tweak a traditional quilt pattern and match the colours to my decor.

Lots of buts.

So if what I learned is true and the first kind of art is representational, how does that translate into quilts?  Do they become abstract works of art?   Is my half square triangles wall hanging a non-objective work of art?

This is good!  Forget the mid-life crisis.  I just think that I'm growing up as an artist and there will be some growing pains.  Something to reflect on!  ;~)

But I think I just lost May and June's wall hangings and gained two baby quilts!  oh dear.  another but!  :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Not so cute

I have been a little 'owly' lately.  Is that still an understood phrase?  lol

The weather is obviously affecting us and if not, then the mosquitoes are actually driving us to distraction.

We are making serious changes to our diet.  Thank you, Mr. Rooster for your support.  ;~)  I am gluten intolerant and I push the limits far too much. I misunderstood the meaning of intolerant; it is not sorta okay!   I am agreeing with recent reads that our diets affect us in all kinds of ways, moods being just one way. 

Then I decided my lengthening hair needed tweaking.  For the first time since I was about four years old, I have bangs!  The first tentative try was way too short so I went further back and cut the hair longer.  It takes some getting used to says she as she brushes them aside AGAIN! 

I need new glasses.  A preliminary try when I made the appointment begs several questions.  Do I want coloured and cute?  Do I want neutral and classic?   Google has all kinds of tips on choosing frames. Who knew???   I will not be making my usual quick decision as the helpful staff gives all sorts of advice, customers line up at the counter and the optometrist waits to mark the exact centre of the eye while his client settles impatiently into the chair. :O  I didn't know the pupil should sit in the centre especially if one has progressive lenses.  This is particularly important for computer or hand work.  duh!  So I shall go the week before with my check list and set aside a couple of possibles.  Stay tuned for a new profile picture!  lol 

But all this brings me to style.  I learned some things during the sketchbook classes.  I am learning lots as I pursue the monthly quilted wall hangings.  And I am starting to recognize some patterns in my journal pages. I'm kinda moving forward but I need a bit more illumination because unlike an owl, I don't work so good in the dark.

There are three distinct types of art. 

Representational Art
"Representational artwork aims to represent actual objects or subjects from reality. Subcategories under representational art include Realism, Impressionism, Idealism, and Stylization. All of these forms of representationalism represent actual subjects from reality. Although some of these forms are taking steps toward abstraction, they still fall under the category of representation.  Representational art is perhaps the oldest of the three types of art. It can be traced back to the Paleolithic figurine, The Venus of Willendorf.  It is also the easiest to digest from a viewer's perspective."  To my mind I think of carved idols, cave/wall drawings, botanical sketches, sea and land scapes, portraits, etc.

Abstract Art
"The often misunderstood type of art known as abstraction aims to take subjects from reality but present them in way that is different from the way they are viewed in our reality. This
may take the form of emphasizing lines, shapes, or colors that transform the subject. Abstract art includes the subcategories of Minimalism, Cubism, and Precisionism. Abstraction can also happen when the artist decides to view the subjects in a non- traditional manner.  Abstraction is relatively new to the art world, having it's earliest roots in the deviations from reality taken by the Impressionists.  It began to gain popularity in various forms around the world at the end of the 19th century.  Artists began to take a more intellectual approach to painting."  I see the sixties geometrics, one-eyed full face portraits, ink blots, and sharp edged layering as examples.

Non -objective Art
"The third type of art is often mistaken for Abstract art although it is entirely different from it. Non-Objective art takes nothing from reality. It is created purely for aesthetic reasons. The intent of Non-objective art is to use the elements and principles of art in a way that results in a visually stimulating work. It is purely that simple."  The way I see this is just the texture of the background  and no real focal point.

But notice the subtitles.  I hadn't.  Representationalism for example, has sub titles- Realism, Impressionism, Idealism, and Stylization.  :O 

So far I have been starting with representational.  I think abstract may even be in my future.  And I've learned never to say never so who knows about non-objective!   I've identified that my owl will be somewhere between a kindergarten drawing and a photograph.  I need to decide if it will be a 'regular' owl or one from fantasy.  I must consider the whole point of why I will make an owl and how I'll tell its story because that'll help settle on which representation works best for my voice.  hoo hoo, sorry couldn't resist!    I will likely be veering away from traditional as the overall setting.  Ah, I now have a wee candle burning in my art/sewing room.

I can't quite say "You've come a long way, baby!" but I'm getting closer.  I'm not doing too much navel gazing but I am beginning to 'hone in' on the specifics of my style.

                     One thing I do know,  it is not going to be 'cute'!  ;~)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wow, if you were wondering...

No water was spilled on the worktable during Jolina's visit.  She is not the capital A artist that her sister is.

 That is okay.  I am hoping for capital Q quilter as she is quite domestic.  ;~)

I took the border off the basket quilt and resewed it.  ;(  The problem seemed to be the skinny inner polka dot border.  I may look at this again when I quilt it because it never gets better, it gets worse.  This will be checked off as a finished top and awaits quilting which may become the focus of the months for next year. :(

I unearthed every pink I could find to get all my rabbits 'penned'.  As this evolves I see I need setting triangles.  ???  Solids to the rescue!   At least that is what I'm thinking.

awk, I was going for all different frames and I see I have a double.  I shall leave it.  But...   I am stopping with this photo as I may need to change those three darks.  ???   I'm also thinking that these sorta traditional and, lets face it, cute blocks are beginning to show where my heart is NOT!  Do I really want cute on my front room wall!  :0

Now this actually got a comment from the Rooster as he 'thought' this was kinda bright for me.  lol  I do LUV it.  The half square triangle's are small and I now realize are actually quarter square triangles that I am sewing into HST's.  I used the wrong die when I started cutting.  Die cutting is still pretty new to me.  I do hope I can get the bias edges to behave.  vbsigh  I fussy cut the last 18 theme triangles to get the finished size.  The print is an old fabric that has survived many purges.  I'm so glad that Vicki's HSTeria quilt along coaxed me into doing this!  Now this will go up as a wall hanging as I hate to think what it'll shrink to when sewn together!   I'm just not sure for which month.  September?  The good news is that I'll have all month to quilt it!  ;~)

July's idea is still up on the design wall.  I don't want another cute wallhanging!  I am linking up with The Needle & Thread Network.  I am wondering what everyone has been up to. If anyone else is wondering, well, wonder no more; just click the link!  :)  Yay for sunshine even if I still have my sweater on!