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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WOW Its like riding a bike!

Once upon a time I did a lot of machine quilting.  I am having to relearn my skills.  I could blame a luv that matches quilting in mixed media art but...

One of my first quilts actually intimidated me. I scanned an old photograph, one of the two I have of this quilt.  I did quilting in the ditch for the improvisational pin wheel blocks and some free motion leaves in the corners.  Then I tackled the borders of this queen size quilt.  I drew in a double spine and then I free motion quilted every flower I could visualize and I clustered them like arrangements in a basket . They are in groupings as the spine curves from edge to edge.  I was in some kind of zone and it all happened wonderfully.  The quilt was a gift to my SIL and BIL for their 25th  (1997).  The show theme was seasons and it was called Life Through the Seasons.  It won a third at the guild show and then a first at the Red River Exhibition. I think the deadline for the show made me 'just' do it!  :)   I'm not sure if it even survived hard use as it was done in variegated rayon thread.   :O  But when I think of it I consider it a tough act to follow and perhaps that is why I have kinda avoided doing more.  Which is silly!  So...

I am climbing back on the bike.  I did some straight line and some echoing.  Not enough.  I'm going back and outlining in the ditch.  Not enough.  So...

I'll be doing a continuous free motion curve inside the triangles and then I'll take a big breath and go for a free motion vine in the valleys between those triangles.  I do like doing leaves.

Each of these monthly wall hangings will be a challenge to add more and more quilting.  Spring was a good start because I think of spring as a more simple, almost minimalistic season.  I also need a stiffer batting for wall hangings and this is a thermal batting that once was an ironing station.  I saw an idea for a envelope style finish so I hope it works as I'm feeling like the chains have no beginning or endings.  A few missing links but.... ;^)

The Needle & Thread Network is wonderfully encouraging and has fine examples of quilting that pushes the traditions in using the quilting stitch.  Actually my April Showers idea may need some hand quilting.  Now there is a real challenge as I been there, done it and got a stiff neck.  LOL It is also why I embraced machine quilting!  ;~)   Check out the links in the TN&TN chain, why don't ya!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

documenting/organizing and then...

The prompt for week 13? was to have someone draw on your page and then add to it.  I only know one willing drawer, Eliana.  so...  But her brother wanted a page, too.  The more the merrier!

I thought I had taken a picture of their start but it seems not.  Josh is learning his numbers and is a detail/tool kind of guy.  He did move out of his comfort zone and added a caterpillar.  Eliana is all about random and every colour and quick.  She also seems to like working small.  I was tempted to just leave them.  I did a bit with coloured circles and maybe should have left off the graphite pencil. I highlighted their names.   The paint pen triangles were an after thought as I thought I needed an accent.  I like it!

A bit blurry but Josh's page opens to reveal the to-do page and the calendar page.  I used up an old rub on and added some parts from my part cutting frenzy.  Sometimes I may add an envelope or pocket to the to-do page.  I'm trying to stop writing things on scraps of papers and keep things in one place.  We'll see how creative and practical works out.

And now I'm off to get some sewing done so I'll have more to show for wow Wednesday!

Monday, March 24, 2014

March is stalled

The snow sank a couple of inches but the downward motion and I must admit that the forward motion is also stalled because we are back in the deep freeze.  So I shall take a break from spring cleaning and if I have to look at white it'll be the blank page and some low volume fabrics. 

A bright spot in the week will be Thursday's arrival of an artist in residence!  My namesake and Grand kiddie, Eliana! 

Forward March!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Deep in the depths

We are back down in the freezing cold zone again.  But the sun is shining.  :}  These wee lambs don't mind the cold at all and are up for fun and games.  Early evening they begin to pack and play follow the leader.

I've started digging and sorting in my playroom closet.  I've been on the lookout for a few books I know I never gave away.  lol

Then I have tweaked the rolling carts a bit which means shuffling the contents for easy access.  It is all good and I am once again getting rid of stuff I won't use.  I wish I could do this once and for all but getting rid of stuff I spent my $$$ on is always painful so I need to wait for some of the 'ouch' to subside before I can release it with a fair thee well, go bless somebody else!  ;^)

The basic work stations stay the same but as I work at them I am always amazed that I can improve my efficiency.  I am also making some sort of progress.  Two applique drawers are now condensed to one.  Of course, some of my supplies are now beside my bedroom chair.  But I am making some forward motion.  :)

I like the concept of making parts with scraps that are left over.  Again, I need to have a system in place and handy for Mini to work on. This also reduces all those leftover bits that take up so much room.

I also decided that this would work for my journals.  I sent lots of printed deli paper and watercolour paper through my die cutter.  These will be useful for mixed media art.  The white tub in the second photo has bits for scrapbooking.  I plan to go through it every month and what I don't have a use for I'll throw away.  It is called 'stuff control'! 
Creativity isn't just about 'art'.  It is a way of life.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Half and half!

Today is split half daylight and half darkness.  I'm thinking I have six of one and half dozen things to do.

 Lambing is half done and the second half is always slower and less trouble than the first half!  The only green I've seen has been in the hay bales!  ;^)

We had a full house Sunday and they all dispersed before another weather system blew in that produced a total whiteout. Thankfully it didn't last long enough to shut everything down.  I had errands in town yesterday and I began to see gravel showing between the high snowbanks and everyone was smiling in town as the sun came out, water started dripping and puddles formed on the sidewalks!  I do believe we have spring happening.

The coffee pot died and the Rooster brought home a new one.  I say this because he bears a lot of responsibility for what happened next. lol   I am trying to deal with life as it is and not what might be.  So I am looking at all the 'what ifs' that we have on the to-do list.  If we did a bump out for a breakfast nook we can have an island with a big farm sink.  The sink awaits in the basement.  I am trying out island positions but the bump out looks further away than ever.  Also the old sink is needy to the point of embarrassing.  Sunday we had the Rooster and about 4 women, several kids and a few sight seers all circling the island!.  (I was off setting a long but  pretty table!)  It was crowded.


So Monday I decided we should just get that sink happening where the old sink is.  But the new white hutch encroaches on the sink space.  Ah, the smaller hutch in the front dining room would work and it is RED!  It was meant to be!

 So I pushed and shoved as much as I could until the Rooster came to finalize the lifting of the top back onto the white cabinet.  Actually the kitchen dishes have a red leaf on them!  The watercolour has bits of red flowers.  And I have a couple of red cooking pots.  I am here to tell you that if you buy what you like it all manages to go together!  :)

 I need those two old Ikea cupboards that were my island but if I took the top off, rotated the square cabinets and put it under the window we have a peninsula instead of an island.  Close enough.  The old elm cupboard was lovely but really too big for squeezing through with the laundry and it needs significant regluing.  Off to the veranda it went and it may find another spot but only after gluing.  The little jelly cupboard is happy to be back holding recipes and tea things.  I haven't done my valence because I'm still considering options.  I did see a lovely faux Roman shade I'd like to figure out. I did antique the very white birdhouse but that is a south window and I can't wait all day for the right angle of light. I'm spring cleaning/decorating!  lol

I put just about all my white ware into the bigger hutch.  The glass doors will keep the dust off and I really think this will be there final resting place as all this switchy switchy is cutting into my 'art' time!   lol This hutch needs another coat and some waxing and its drawers and knobs finished up but all the prep is done. My teacups are handy, my table linens at the ready and I'm pleased. 

I shall change up seasonal decor by alternating my quilts, pillows, and a few appropriate accessories.  I have realized that seeing bare walls and being able to move easily through the rooms is desirable.  Stuff is leaving!  I am luving the fresh feeling and while the hallway is slated for painting next, the spring cleaning is done for the bottom half of the house.  I'm half done and spring is just starting!  :) Now does anybody want coffee?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wow Clogging with the Irish

I had envisioned my modified Irish chain in the traditional setting but the pace quickened in the dance when I laid out the just sewn blocks in a closer knit pattern as I checked for obvious colour repeats.  oooh!

This is feeling like a very slow dance to me and frankly boring.  :O

This makes my pulse race and sets my feet a tapping.  :)  Not being able to quickly get this all sewn together is having its benefits. ;~)  I think I will recut those alternate plain blocks and pick up the rhythm of this dance.  My partner is up for the switch in pace. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day to my fellow Needle and Threaders.  hmm, sounds like a dance club to me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Blowing Bubbles

Truth be known, the only bubbles are from a soapy dishrag as I tackle some spring cleaning.  It does inspire me as ideas bubble up and what was a quick project turns into an involved process.  Sometimes the bubble of my idea bursts but sometimes I'm, well, brilliant!   LOL   I do have more fun than kiddies in a bubble bath!

The DYLP for this week is to add magazine images.  I'm starting to think it is time for my spring tonic!  I may wait till some of the soap bubbles subside!  go, Go, GO!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Living in the green zone

I am a procrastinator.  It has been my default setting for far too long.  Fiddling with my 'puter has taught me that you can change default settings.  I am changing mine.  I am no longer going to sit at the yellow/orange light waiting for the next thing to begin to happen.  My default is going to be green. Red lights happen and that I will deal with but I think I'm going to be cruising through all those caution,  wait for ______ before proceeding lights.  Happy St. Patrick's Day. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Going. Growing. Sroinging!

A fire has been lit and is it going!  I follow the  ...And Then We Set It On Fire  blog.  This month is hand stitching.  Last night I couldn't stand it any longer and hunted up a blunt needle, a tangled mass of DMC thread and a very tight weaved fabric with a failed transfer on it.  NOT great choices but...  I have a whole new addiction!  Today I hunted up all those threads and ribbons for a long forgotten BOM tree quilt.  :(  I found a nice, I hope, background fabric I can cut up into random squares.  At the close of day I can plunk myself in my bedroom chair, adjust my light and just go up and down and whichever way I want.  LUV it!!!!  I can even see some beads happening!  Goodness knows I have those, too!   This is gonna go far I think!

Some dear follower asked, ahem, what do I actually do with all these papers I make.  LOL  Good question!  I am looking to curtail art spending and I seem to start journals for any green thought.  So I adhered that printed fabric from earlier this week to a stiff cardboard and gathered all kinds of papers.  I'll make my own journals.  Note the batting from the printing session.  It has hand stitching on it!  :)  I shall learn as I go and start using up all these 'art supplies'.  Think of the green stuff I'll be saving!

I did get the teacup wall hanging blocked and hung.  This is 'good enough' because at some point we'll be putting in an overhead fan and this'll come down.  I learned a thing or three and I expect to make a few more with my own stamped fabric. 

I had kept a few geranium plants over winter.  A few are actually resurrecting and look at this wee little guy.  He has set flowers.  GO!!!!

And if all that isn't enough, Spring could be an event.  The snow on the fence line looks to be sinking in on itself.  The sun is starting to get some heat to its shine.  Sproing away! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Which way to go!

Once we actually get up and onto the public road we face this at our corner and this is the way things look at the moment. 

Now is not the time to strike off in a new direction but I'm not much liking my rut!

This mama stamps her foot when you look at her lambs.  I kinda feel like stamping my foot as well!  ;~)
I think I need to go find my recipe for a spring tonic; one that'll help me leap over a snow bank and let me kick up my heels.  Yoo hoo, Spring!  Where are you???

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

wow, Wednesday again

My worktable is not covered in snow but I thought it fitting to pose my finished holly berries on it.

I cut the backgrounds for the Modern Irish Chain wall hanging.  I was holding my breath as I cut scraps for the last few patches. 

I made my half square triangles and then trimmed them for quick nine patch blocks.  I hope to have the top ready by next week.

I am hand sewing the binding in place on the teacup wall hanging.  I think a wash will smarten it up but I am also evaluating my machine quilting.  Modern to me doesn't have piles of intense quilting but this seems to be missing something.  I may do more in the outside border.  ???
edited: I washed it up and I think the problem is the batting is too soft.  I need a much firmer batting.  :(

I wonder what the TN&TN workers have on their worktable this particular Wednesday???

BTW!  This is my 1000th post.  :)