Monday, October 27, 2014

Back to normal???

I've been falling into Fall.
 
I am working on my fall wardrobe and this scarf has the colours and feel of fall that I am after.  I am purging my closet to reflect this look.  I am NOT a clothes shopper so I'm adding a few basics via the Internet.  Gee, I hope they arrive before the season is over!  lol

I rehung this shower curtain as it is so very much my fall look.  It was made a long time ago on my old serger.  It is the Yellow Brick Road pattern which I neglected to read carefully.  But I think it is better for the 'modifications! 

The Grand Farmer's new toy is a big hit.  It is a great help for fall work.  Of course, enthusiastic helpers make the job much more interesting as well.   I said. "All three?".  And he said who was he going to ask to get off!!! 

Now I have finished my classes and I seem to be settling into my new work schedule.  I had vowed I'd only post 'finished' projects so hopefully I can leave my new book where it lies and get sewing!  :O  I'd like to return to my normal posting schedule.  Next post will tell if things are really back to normal!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Encouraging links


I am still thinking about blogging and how to do it well.  Design Sponge had a great post this week on 10 Things I Learned from Life About Blogging.  I thought she made some excellent points.  We are all linked together here in blogland where we can learn from life and benefit each other.  :)  Be encouraged!

and Seth-   The Sound of Authenticity.    :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stepping up the pace

I have been busy!  I left early yesterday for my needle punch class so I could check out a new quilt store and I'll be going back!  Then I hit a store selling wool so I could check out wool rovings!  Whoa!   Makes me want to dig out my old needles!  I was thinking I should stay away but then I saw 'modern' spools for making those long ropes of knitted yarn that we did as kids. My grand daughter wants to learn to knit.  I do believe it can be a field trip!  :O   I did hit the book store for coffee break and a foot rest.  I DO luv books!

Speaking of tired feet, I expect my new runners will be paint splattered shortly but they are quite comfy!  They match my thrift shop man's shirt.  Hopefully I can quit ruining my own shirts!  :(  I don't have time for clothes shopping.

oh, man!   Do I LUV this needle punch class!!!   And this isn't even close to being finished but here is a teaser till I have the finished tablet cover.  whoo hoo! 

Spent the day working with my young 'artist'!  How wonderful to do work that I luv.  :)   Makes me wanna quicken the pace even more!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sorta Falling


I think, pardon my language, SNOW will be a welcome event around here.  The Rooster has had us on a big push to remove clutter and simplify.  We collapse into bed rather tired, awake a bit stiff, but otherwise feel tremendously invigorated by the progress we are making! 

It is wonderful to see scrap leaving the yard and smoke billowing!   I was concerned about the 'good' wood but the Rooster says not to worry, he can make more scraps.  LOL  I can relate!!!  Dust in the corners bothers me but the focus is on primary purging and we'll go back next spring/summer to clean and reorganize of the important stuff.

The new job has resulted in a bit of reshuffling.  Looks like two full days rather then one full and two half days.  Not to mention the 'meetings'!!!    But even those are looking to become shorter and not so frequent.  Of course,  I'm also readjusting expectations and daily plans as we sort through all the possibilities and try different things.  The Artist's Statement is taking some time but sorting through favourite styles, techniques, and purpose is fairly enlightening.

I have always liked the concept of the seasons.  I'm a bit behind switching into fall but I have to say that things are really 'Falling' into place.  I scooped up seven canvases at the thrift shop which I can use now and then paint over later.

I've been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.   It is helping my focus and hopefully my productivity.   I've been jotting down thoughts and I plan to begin in November.  She starts with clutter.  Well, actually energy!   Lots of things deplete our energy.  Hello, clutter.  :(  Good bye clutter!  :)

I've been through my closet before.  Its a challenge because old houses don't have much in the way of closets.  But then a link which led to another link which led to something called a Capsule Wardrobe uses a seasonal concept.  Aha!  I have some more sorting to do!  :)  I'm not sure I want to put stuff under my bed as I finally got all the books out from under there.  :(  But surely I can find a place to store out of season coats and sun dresses besides the back of a full closet.  Make that a stuffed closet!  :O

I've had to spruce up the wardrobe a bit with the new job, don't cha know!  A few key pieces and then I want to use my new embellishing skills to personalize my clothing.  Perhaps if I look like an artist, I'll feel like an artist! 

Looks like I'll be sorting things out for the first  month of Fall with the hope of harvesting and preserving good stuff for the clear white look of winter!  I'm hanging onto the good weather though just like these late roses!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The fibre path

Nina is going to school!  :)

We are enrolled with some other embellishers in a four session Needle Punch class.  I think it is gonna be great!  :)

Vicki had  great response to her Cross the Drunkard's Path Quilt Along.  I gathered some fabric for a table runner for fall.  I tend to think folk arty for fall so I chose plaids which was cool 'cause the leaves on closer inspection are teeny mini plaids.  After I cut I realized the trees are directional.  It will been seen from sitting around a table so I figure it'll work.  Lets not sweat the small stuff!  ;~)

I've convinced Mimi that following this path will be as much fun as Nina's class.  Hmm, I may have to race down both paths to see who gets to the finish line first!  :O

Speaking of envy, I thought Vicki's die that cut both shapes was a way better deal than my two separate dies and she got notches!  oh, well!    I'm just happy to be on the fibre path once more!  :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lets try again!

A place for everything  and everything in its place!

First the good news!

The printed paper has been relegated to 15 slots in my wall mounted files. Green is GO and Sew.  Blue is sky is the limit for Mixing up the Medias.  Orange is ornga glad to be working with the kids.  Red is remember strategic planning or there will be a fire!  And purple is the royal kingdom of design.   Phew!  I'm glad that is done.  I should be able to find things but I have a bad habit of leaping in without checking through the helpful stuff I've saved. :(   Note to self-  remember the red!   A few Really good ideas are pinned on my idea board which is behind Mini and is kept small on purpose.  It hopefully reduces visual clutter and I can pin block patterns up for correct placement.   The irons are out of the way so they don't get knocked over when I don't need them.  I couldn't get the basic books into the hanging files but I had a wee bit of room at the end of my big table area.

It is a bit cramped along my sewing wall but I'll stand to sew on Mini.  I had to make some compromises and this just means I can't pile stuff in the walkway.  A bonus for sure.  lol

A deterrent to piling things in front of that west window is the sun.  It'll likely fade anything left laying about for any length of time.  A good incentive to keep the clutter down, I hope!

I haven't actually sat down to Nina and sewn but again, a compromise.  She has room behind her and is easy to slide onto my new stool.  My threads are accessible and  the stash/design wall is handy.

I did put my design board against the fabric wall.  Again a compromise but every time I pass through the upstairs hallway I'm glad to not have to negotiate around it.  Think midnight runs!  :O

The most important piece of furniture in my playroom is the large cutting table. I store rolling storage carts under it.   I had to leave one leaf down.  But it is accessible on both sides because I have a large cupboard against the wall.  I've not much in it but could roll the table forward to access some stuff I rarely use.  I'm not ready to part with the cupboard just yet and if the drawers aren't handy the top is sure useful!  The other end has the ironing station on top of a cupboard of colour coded papers for journals and such.

I've spent some time reflecting on what exactly I want from my mixed media corner.  Fibre is my first luv but this corner turned out to be the roomiest.  The door is off the closet so I can get at things easily.   I have learned that lots of counter space isn't necessary because I only seem to be able to keep about two square feet clear enough to work on.   This is also kinda cluttered visually but I need to be able to reach for the things I need when I need them. Much as I'd like to keep the cutting table for fabric I'm back working with girls who want to develop their creativity so the table sees lots of mixed media use. I just flap down Dollar store shower curtains on it.   It also helps me keep on top of clutter.  ;~)

The die cutter is in the only spot that makes it useful and one bookcase on the fabric storage wall holds finished journals and memory books, beads and buttons,  polymer clay and novelty fabric.  Some of that may not survive the 'next'  purge. 

But for now, everything seems to have found a place and I am back to bare floors!  Now to see if I can keep it that way.  aw! I think even messes may have their place! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


I'm so thankful that there is still time to enjoy all the greenery before the trees are bare and the white stuff swirls around.  These clematis just won't quit and neither will I!

Even if I get things tangled up!  Sorry for the premature posting.  I shall  add the photos and repost as soon as I have time to capture the studio in some great sunlight and all the turkey and fixings have been digested.  We are off to our daughter's for some family time!  I am very thankful for the blessing of family and friends! :)





Saturday, October 11, 2014

The storm before the calm

We are getting some nice weather; terribly windy but fairly warm.  But winter is a coming!  :O

Friday I took a deep breath and pulled out all the drawers, baskets, baggies, etc. that had scrapbooking fodder.  Then I exhaled and ran off to town to do errands.  That only lasted so long and then I had to come home and take a deeper breath.  I changed up some of the drawer contents so they made better sense to me and I got it done.  It took me till bed time and then I went to bed kinda wound up from all that positive energy.  lol

I had tackled my stamps and stencils early in the week and the mixed media corner is pretty much done now except for all the paper just under the counter.  I have one small basket to do and a few more things to find homes for.  I am teaching art at the grand kiddies house every week so lots of stuff is making its way to their art room.  :)

I had thought I could show a finished studio but the Rooster was on a mission today to do more clean up in the yard.  He was a bit frustrated we didn't get started right away but the reality is that we just can't do those twelve hour work days anymore anyway.  In the end he was happy with all we got done. There is still more to do as we've lived here forty years but the barn loft is now done.  I'd post a picture but barn lofts aren't so cute even when 2/3 of the clutter is gone and everything is swept.  That barn is like 30' x 60'!  Besides it is dark up there.  :O

Even though we are kinda pumped by all the progress we are also pleasantly tired and I doubt I'll think about anything beyond the third fence jumping sheep. ;~)  I doubt I'll even hear the rain!    It has been a good week!  Studio reveal is awaiting some finishing touches and a sunny day!   Night night!  zzz.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A crazy path

I decided that part of moving forward involved spending some money!  lol  A little, well, make that a LITTLE stash enhancement seemed necessary.  Big sale on Kona Cotton solids and few pick me up prints!

I thought they all came together rather well.  Now, what to do?

Vicki, over at Field Trips in Fiber, started another Quilt Along-  Cross the Drunkard's Path.   I'd rather enjoyed the HSTeria one which focused on half square triangles but I haven't exactly gotten all those ideas sewn together.  And here she goes again; just after I swore up and down I would not...  blah, blah, blah.  I'm sure I have some who can relate.  :O

BUT...

I do happen to have a few projects on my bucket list and a set of dies that haven't even been out of their packages.  hmmmm  Maybe I could do something small as in not queen size!  ;^)

Now I found the saved page ideas as I'm trying to work out KISS in my studio.  I am doing the final pruning  from four legal sized filing cabinets down to 15 slots on a wall mounted filing system.  I've come a long way baby!  Good thing I have an optimistic 'Can Do' attitude to impossible challenges. :(  Of course working up to the 'Can Do' has taken some time but I think a full (AND FINAL) reveal will be happening soon.  vbsigh!  It has taken about ten years to admit I can't do it all and then another couple to get over the guilt and let go of some stuff I thought I'd want to do. It seems to have been pile by pile, layer by painful layer.  Kinda like removing a bandaid from a stuck wound.  I shoulda just yanked!   Too bad, sew sad;  now move on!!!  And it does feel good and the pack is lighter, the step firmer and the whistle is back!  "I am a happy wanderer...     :)

The Happy Wanderer

 

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.
Chorus:
Val-deri,Val-dera,
Val-deri,
Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
Val-deri,Val-dera.
My knapsack on my back.
I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
"Come! Join my happy song!"
I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev'ry green wood tree.
High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o'er the world we roam.
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God's clear blue sky!                        ha-ha-ha-ha HA!!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

She nailed it!



Seth, over at The Altered Page has been running The Week Links which are a Sunday selection of interesting posts from Blogland.  This last Sunday he posted Grace Bonney from Design Sponge's take on the NY Times When Blogging becomes a Slog article.

My take is that No, things don't stay the same.  Life changes, evolves, whatever.  After revisiting the reason I blog, I've decided to continue.  I do it for myself.  It is kinda nice to know that sometimes people like to listen but...  I blog (notice the small b) because it is my favourite way to journal.  It kinda reminds me of  'playing office' with my Dad's ol' typewriter.  lol  And the truth be known, I find sharing what I'm doing rather motivating.  And because life does change there will be a few changes as I move forward and try to keep up with an ever changing ME!

So...
I shall start pounding on a different nail (the artist's statement) and consider this one pounded in and secure!  :) 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I'd like to make a statement




As I renew my commitment to blogging I'm also assessing my intentions.

I follow The Textile Blog by John Hopper and he has very interesting posts.  This particular post was about artist statements.  He wraps up his post by saying:

"Above all, an artist statement is a message of being, that is transposed to the outside world. This is me, you are saying, and this is my creative journey. Share this with the world and you share the core of who you are as an individual and as an artist."

hmmm...

The young woman I am working with in my new job has no problem saying, "I want to be an artist!".  I still stutter when I say the word 'artist' but somewhere in blogland I heard the statement-  "If you do the work, then claim the name!".   I DO have a fully equipped playroom that testifies to the work.  :O  So...

It seems a good place for us to begin.  Well, maybe after we ask Wikipedia how to write it!  LOL

P.S. :  I'm still adjusting to my schedule but, darn it, maybe the Rooster was right, I feel great!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Reflections: The first day of the rest of my life

 We just finished having a little reunion here at the coop.  Four out of the five kids were able to come home. 

DD#1, who blesses this blog with pertinent comments that keep me from exaggerating too much, arrived on the Canadian from out west. 

DGD#1 asked me privately why she couldn't go back on the train with her very favourite aunt.  ;^)

DS # 2 and his wife arrived from Seattle by car.  If the Rooster and I can ever get to the coast they'll be happy to 'ferry' us around.  :O   DS#3 and his gal had a short walk to meet us as they call Winnipeg home.

The Rooster and a couple of wee grand kiddies got the new Ikea island and stools put together 'just' before everyone arrived.
Lots of late night meetings and early morning planning sessions were the order of the day.  Laur's jams were dispersed somewhat fairly!   shhh!

A few work parties as well!

The 'art' department was responsible for decorations for the welcome party.  The grand kiddies and I made banners and a tree.  I actually impressed myself with that tree!!!  DD#2 had the kiddies make 'turkey' cookies for the fall theme and they were a big hit as well.  Sorry, nothing left but the crumbs!

 DD#2 likes coordinating family pictures.

Of course getting them all NICELY in the same picture is a bit of a challenge.

This family is all about gathering around a table and food.  With the right incentive some of them will play games.   Since favourite auntie sent it...


Of course, computer games add an whole 'nother dimension. 

We also had less formal dinners.  The weather was perfect for this day.

Our falls are pretty brief as far as colour goes, but the fall flowers and leaves have been especially intense this year.
 A last minute luncheon date for the sisters. Guess who babysat the grand kiddies???  ;^)
 Laura and Cari are a year apart and then followed Michael Charles, Christopher and then Steven.


Some last minute tips on traveling through life...

and we are back to our regular schedule of fall events and getting ready for the next season.

Two weeks of intense family time has surely shaken up the rut I somehow found myself in these past few months.  With a serious nudge from the Rooster I am flying the coop.  :O

I've always been a stay at home mum and homemaker.  Luved it!  I turned 65 this summer and instead of retiring (ha!) I have gotten a job.  I start tomorrow.    It'll be three days a week, not including meetings.   I do expect to still have time to reflect on my life through blogging. 

Ready or not,  it is time to spread those wings.  First one I shall dive bomb will be the Rooster!  ;^) 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

late night thoughts

The first of the family visitors have arrived and I have been up way past my usual bed time.  Then because the routine is totally disrupted and will be for the next ten days I have time to stare at the ceiling and think.

Because blogging is all about sharing one's thoughts here are a couple of things I've been thinking about:

Lynn Krawczyk blogs over at Smudged Textiles and has a great post on pausing.

Seth Apter, a big blog promoter shared a link that gave me something to think about concerning the future of blogging.  Blogging, Now.

Regular blogging shall resume in October. That is after I catch up on my sleep and change from night owl to morning dove!