Saturday, January 30, 2010

A few more drips

To finish up the last few things feels good.

A suggestion from Judi at Approachable Art had me pickling the freezer. I soaked cotton in vinegar and smoothed it onto the front of the freezer with the extra under the lid. This very old freezer has much rust happening on its surface. I LIKE!



I had hoped to try her tutorial for transforming ugly fabric but need another week for that.

Before I rolled up my cloth paper project I decided to at least cut out my sorta favorite spot. I have no idea what to do with it. It is more cardboard than fabric. But I like the image.

Then the Creative Cue for the week was rolling. I immediately thought of that song, "roll'n roll'n, rolling on the river". I'm not always sure where these things lurk in my memory but...

I am still using the water colour crayons but I upped the notch with some glitter glue. I am learning that the idea and the ability to control the medium are something to be mastered. This is very elementary but I did read that babies who miss the crawling step are somewhat compromised in their development. This art book/journal style is very appealing to me. I LIKE IT!

So that sums up my wet week. I hope the next time I have opportunity to splash in the puddles I'll be up off my knees! 8^)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Last splash

The colour theme for winter is rich cranberry and golds. Leaves move through the seasons as a constant so winter features pine needles and pine cones. The house wears its most traditional look during this time of year. With an abundance of white and bare branches outside I want things very cozy and inviting. Books for reading and candles for dreaming. And of course quilts.
Fridays are traditionally house day. Keeping with my Main Focus, which is my own projects for the house and the week's focus of wet I'm giving a peak into the bath. The walls are aqua and the theme nautical. The painted china cabinet holds my collection of blue green glassware. I really like making shower curtains with the serger. I haven't quite hit on the block pattern or fabrics I'd like so while I'm considering I divided the length of this True Romance fabric by King's Road Fabrics into two, joined them, made hems and added button holes to a reinforced top. I'll just enjoy it until inspiration comes. It is one of the few florals that survived the purge.
My understanding of the colour wheel has helped with my design decisions. The light blue green aqua walls are one tip of the Triad colour combo. The other tips are red and yellow/orange. There is very little gold but some in the fabric and the grasses. Beside red is red violet which justifies some of the grasses which are purple. The key is proportion and values.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Ants came marching two by two

Actually the elephants came 2x2. I spent some time playing with the grandson and his new Noah's Ark. The flood being over I returned for another look at the paper cloth and nope, that isn't even a reclamation project. I can't imagine using it for anything. Not wasted, I learned a few things.
Today I continued with the wet focus. The Technique of the Month over at Three Creative Studios is all about painting quilt batting. I had enough of the basement so I spread plastic and gave it a whirl up here in the Coop and Saucer Playroom. First step is drying but I do think I'm going to like this and the mess was minimal.
I'm back to making cranberry blocks. I misjudged the block size. I wanted 4 1/2 inch finished so I could use my square ruler but the ruler is 6 inches square not 5! oh, well; table topper rather than a runner.
... the little one stopped to tie his shoe and they all went marching down...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Back to the desert!

Whoa! I hope no one is waiting for a tutorial! Yikes! Maybe magic happens when it dries! Course it has to survive the wash! Oh, my goodness. Actually, oh my dumbness!

I read about Alchohol Dyed Intererfacing on Common Life into Art. No reflection on Kelli at all. Maybe my stuff wasn't right. low alchohol %, wrong inks (?) and definitely wrong interfacing as some of the stuff disolved in the washing. Then there was the stuff that melded to the newspaper! 8>( She did say if too much colour comes out then heat setting wasn't enough. ??? But I am pleased my $3 iron works as the scorched paper shows. (Enter son, sniff, sniff ; "what for supper???) LOL

Then there was a book study for Kelli's Stitch Alchemy book on the Yahoo Mixed Media Art Friends Group. I got a late start but thought to still do it. I did my base cloth and today was the day to saturate it with juicy colour. !!! I started with yellow and thought I'd work around the full circumference of the colour wheel. okay, plan B! Tame that lemon yellow with some pale green! Pea Soup, that's what's for supper. Go away!

Now there are a few more chapters to do. There is always hope because you can continue to add colour until everything is covered. Course it'll take longer to dry! 8~{

This was letting lovely drips run down. How many ways can drips careen down a sheer drop off? Ah, maybe a slope woulda been better! Now there are some lovely splatters on the floor. vbsigh I decided to squirt some soup over here as well.

I have decided:

1) I am messy, VERY messy. The kitchen table is not big enough; the Kitchen is not big enough for me and permanent colour. The basement laundry area is not big enough either. I'm afraid to check my good wool skirt which was hanging nearby nor my accessory shelves at the end of the work table. Any fixed walls may not be big enough. I shall look to the great outdoors.

2) My run down potting shed near the coop will be repurposed for puttering. (I don't really pot, but I can putter with the best of them) I shall do this on warm, sunny days and the chickens can advise all they want.

3) I shall reread some of these directions. Maybe some of my pages stuck together.

4) I'm beginning to think parfait dyeing is really, really easy.

5) Coffee isn't doing it! I may need a bit of the bubbly! After all, it is dry in the desert!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Beginning of Wet Week

The blizzard arrived so it was more a snow day than a wet day. Dear hubby and dear son were constantly crossing my path, if not literally then verbally! Knowing the interruptions weren't going away any faster than the blizzard I chose the simplest project.

I need to build up to the deep dive into the wet world so to wet my toes I have a sketch book for the Three Creative Studio Creative Cue challenge. I am using water colour crayons to colour the backgrounds. Then I swish with the wet paint brush. I'm learning to control the amount of water and to start with the light areas and move to the darker to avoid muddy colour. To continue the kindergarten lessons I cut shapes from card stock and glue them in place. This challenge was the cue TRACK. I live by a railway so using the lessons I learned on line I angled some railway track across the painted page.

This is a small beginning but I actually feel rather pleased! Remember when colouring was fun! What if... creating was always fun!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Summarizing Sunday

I have thought about Stash Busting. It involves math. It also is so NOT me to itemize things. I got rid of a huge amount of floral fabrics. I feel I did considerable busting last year. I have a physical limit that I seem to give heed to. So, no stash counting. But I need to track projects finished and projects started. Not much math is involved in that. Since I have so many ufo's already my goal will be to end up the year with more finished than started. Now the bad news is that I started a new project. But it does fit with my deco goals, is small, and kinda innovative for me. I can work on it during dry times. The FOCUS for the week- wet projects in fabric dyeing and mixed media.

To jump start tomorrow I need to leave my playroom a little tidier than this photo shows it to be. These are the cranberry colours and an accent that has pine needles and cones. I need a table runner for the oak table. With so much whiteness outside I luv to look at deep rich colour tones. It has been a good Sunday.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Setting

Looks like snow days are setting in. A cancellation for tomorrow already because winds are expected to begin blowing and then all the pretty flakes make for a white out. I think I touched a camera setting as everything is pretty dark but this one kinda appealed. The big fat snow flakes aren't showing up though.
I have had a bit of a blizzard happening inside as I tweak the winter decor. Winter is my most traditional season with rich colours, lots of texture from crocheted doilies, tablecloths, dull brass candles, sparkling crystal with pine cones and berries sprinkled around. I luv the smell of cinnamon. And of course lots of quilts.
The focus for this year is personalizing my decor as much as possible. I don't want matchy matchy but what best expresses who we are and how we do life. I have some shelves in the basement set aside for accessories and I absolutely delight in arranging and rearranging vignettes. They never seem to be the same even though the seasons repeat. But then we ourselves are always changing as we have new experiences. To focus I have a colour palette of cranberries and golds. The natural element is leaves so winter is pine needles, pine cones and probably berries. To further simplify I chose squares and rectangles as the quilt block shapes. I have no lack of ideas for quilts, wall hangings, table runners and place mats. 8^) I'm also looking forward to adding my very own touches as I explore mixed media techniques.
The focus for next week is wet stuff. I'm a bit nervous/excited to see what I come up with. I hope the blizzard doesn't turn into a typhoon!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Texture comes from textura "web, texture, structure," from stem of textere "to weave," hence textile. Every single, solitary surface has texture. Smooth as in glass, marble, mirrors, chrome, satin, etc. or rough as in bark, cement, stucco, burlap, etc. Texture is the surface quality of an object.
In the above photo, the white melamine surface is smooth, shiny and hard while the fabrics are smooth, matte and soft. The fabrics themselves look like textured items but they are two dimensional. These give the illusion of touch. They are examples of visual texture, created with the material that we use.
The photo below is very tactile. The objects are soft, hard, shiny, dull, flat, rounded, and very touchable because they are three dimensional. Physical texture is the texture that you can actually feel with your hand.
Texture is what gives a design the feeling of surface. It is the tactile sense of the elements in the design. It is a supporting player in design. If you have good colours in appropriate values in a project but something isn't just right, try changing the visual texture. This is best understood by comparing an unquilted top with a finished quilt. What happens is that a variation is introduced that varies the pattern of light and dark areas on an object.
It may help to understand texture by looking at food. Compare smooth cream of wheat with crunchy granola. Soothing macaroni and cheese as opposed to tantalizing Thai style stir-fry. Different textures for different occasions. Can you feel the difference?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Yay for Cheryl, over at Naptime Quilter. She has relaunched WORKSHOP IN PROGRESS with Workshop Wednesdays.
Traditionally quilting has been a many membered activity. Blogging has enabled the modern quilter to move with new technology (and I'm not referring to the rotary cutter but to the computer) into an entirely new dimension. All the inspiring eye candy that comes with a quick click and so delights the eye can soon make the mouth to droop as the DO, bogs down in the DOING and the DONE sinks below the mire. So I'm very delighted to set aside my Wednesdays as designated progress reports. The last WIP bogged down when I had to buy a new camera. That has been got. The pieces are still on the design wall and the last suggestion was more 3-D leaves. Surely I've had enough time to wrap my mind around that concept. Stay tuned for the progress report!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Going for texture

This is another page sized art quilt. The challenge was shapes. The idea I originally had will be better served when we do values so I had to do some quick thinking and my little IKEA figure kinda winked at me so...
This is fused shapes, circles and ovals. The background I like but I could have chosen a better binding. I was looking for that greenish tone in the fabric and the mottles in the brown weren't significant enough.
Now I just couldn't resist a little contrasting picture here to my energetic little running man.

Isn't she just the sweetest little quilterette you've every seen. Not at all worried about big brother who likes to be on duty close by!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fast Forwarding

Where is January going?

A few more curves in life's plan but I think we are going to have ROUTINE happening here in my corner of the world. I never thought I'd like the day when good old spontaneity would welcome regularity! I also need to welcome TIDY as opposed to sorta tidy!
I have also considered joining two more sites. Judy Laquidara's Stashbusting Program and Design wall Monday. I find blogging quite motivating and these would offer some more motivation. But I am also hasty so I need to think about this for another week. I would also need to understand this linking business a whole lot better.
Today is all about texture and my small page art work. I'll let you know how the class turns out!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Eye

By golly! I'm getting it. I am working on Texture in Design for the Monday night class. I needed an example. This web site is loaded- Then I looked around for my own image. The peacock feather and the blind reflection on a smooth melamine surface! hmm, I shoulda shifted the eye a wee bit, but ... At one time I'd have hardly noticed it. yay!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking Ugly in the Face

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but every once in a while I deviate from nice to a more quirky option when I'm buying fabric. When I get it home I question my motives. I then talk to myself like a Dutch uncle. They aren't all supposed to be matchy, matchy nor all prima donnas. But then they languish. How virtuous I feel when one of my "what was I thinking of" fabric choices actually saves the day. 8^)

I like Jane Sassaman and particularly enjoyed a class with her. So the 2 large quirky florals from her collection I like but I have never quite figured what to do with them. The green polka dot is new and says BUSY to me. But I'm calming myself because I'm leaving the old style behind which was 'calm' as well as predictable. This yellow/white leaf print was very much just plain intuition as the yellow is kinda green. But it has been SO useful that I wish I had more. So what if I actually, purposefully started to use these...

The momentum of the new year has me wanting to Do it All. I smacked my fingers a few times for inching towards the enter key so I could join many of the great bees. I have way too many ufo's to do too much new. Those oldies but goodies are pretty much old style and still interesting to me. But when I saw the Three Creative Studios BOM I didn't slap fast enough! lol I said "go quirky", so this will also push me out of my comfort zone. I'm not sure where they will fit in the deco plan. I don't care. They'll be a treat when the mundane begins to bear down. This is block #4 and I've had my coloured pencils out figuring tentative plans for the first 3 blocks that I missed. I'm liking what I see!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I kinda feel like I'm wading thru slough grass. But I'm almost on to firm footing. Even extra curricular activities shouldn't stop progress. My house is my own again. I'm just hitting full stride and the phone announces overnight guests are dropping by tomorrow. I shall not become bogged down. 5 priorities a day; the next thing first. 8~o
Three Creative Studios is continuing with The Discipline in Creative Discipline and I realized my to-do lists are too big, too vague and too inaccessible. I think the white board up above my computer table here in the playroom and a master list in the house binder should work. The white board has focus for the week and 3 sections- DO, Doing, and Done. And so easy to write on, maybe I should have the master list this accessible.
I missed the Creative Cue deadline but I did do it. East- kinda primitive but I can improve This medium, water colour crayons is also new to me. I have a spiral sketchbook and this is all about fiddle and finish! This week's is heel and I do have an idea.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not at all what I expected!

Well I forgot to put a timer on and lifted my head after 2 hours of fiddling. A quick lunch and then I got to sewing strips. I might have gone too subtle as 12 fabric turned into 20! After supper I was considering my options but my daughter phoned to say my grandson needed to come stay with his grand dad and the rest of us needed to go the hospital. The new quilterette arrived shortly after midnight. I was home in bed by 2:30 am and the grandson was up at 6:05! And the 'beat goes on'! 8^)

Now I did manage to get the two halves up on the wall and some trim from the edges pinned to see how it might be. I have a metre of rust gradated fabric that I'm thinking of putting in-between the actual strips. No time just now to continue but the class doesn't get to the cutting step for another week. I'll also need to do a couple of deadlines before I come back to this. I also think I need to use my scanner with its black and white copy ability to figure out these values better. Another consideration is that the yellow will move down and the green up as the movement develops.

A good night's sleep will make everything wonderfully do-able! I wonder if I'll dream in pink???

Friday, January 8, 2010

D Day

This is a bit convoluted but I promise the progression from birth to junior senior citizen will only be a few sentences.

My birthday is June 6th and my Dad was a war veteran who called me his D Day daughter. (ah, a warm fuzzy moment) Anyway, I was the main chauffeur and my very punctual father would greet me at the door saying, "What kept you, daughter?". vbsigh He should have lived to see the day his dear daughter started getting her act together. lol It has taken a goodly amount of time. Hmm, D can also stand for d... it!
My goal this year is Triple F- focus, fiddle and finish. Vickie Welsh wrote about the D word (Creative Discipline) on Three Creative Studios blog. Just 'focusing' on my faults doesn't change them. I have looked at the computer screen and seen a reflection of what the problem is and it is ME! So whereas I had been emphasizing the Finish in Triple F, I now see that it needs to be on Focus and that breaks down to 3 more subtitles. The D words! Determine what needs to happen, Decide on how it'll happen and then Discipline- do it. A terrible thing at my age to find I lack self control . No despair; I have actually progressed to this point in my life where I can now move forward in a positive way.
So focus for this week was basic quilting and I fiddled at numerous things but no finished project as of yet. I was headed there. In trying to combine it with a ufo I was confronted with a new deadline, the bargello quilt. Hmm, but it should go with the deco plan for the upstairs hall where it will hang. The hall needs to bring together 4 rooms and link up with the downstairs hall. It is difficult for me to focus when I have a LOT of choices. So I narrowed down the parameters. I have made some decisions on the various paint colours I'll be needing. I used fabric which I'll take to the paint store. The decor for the winter season is kinda traditional with analogous colours, red violet thru to the golds. The organic shape every season is leaves but evergreen needles and pine cones for winter. The geometric shape will be squares and rectangles . The bargello works! phew
This morning I can cut bargello strips because I have an overall plan. The striped fabric called my name. It has the main colours but the olive green and touch of aqua keep things from being too predictable. Heaven help me that I be called predictable. 8^) I also have a challenge quilt for Three Creative Studios to consider and strips may be a part of that. I am thinking I can keep from starting new projects all the time if I develop an 'inventory' of pre-sewn units in various colour combos. It should jump start creativity as well.
So I still have the focus (basic sewing). The fiddling happens today. I've determined which project and decided the appropriate colours. The discipline will come as I crank my timer for an hour. And D... it, I better have some finished strips before I go to bed tonight; heck before lunch!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Excuse me for barging in.

I've been doing the math. NOT my strong point.

I have way more stuff than square footage but I do I need a machine for quilting. Something has to go so I can get another thing. But winter in the geographical centre of North America is costly. i.e. heating fuel. The bank balance needs a shot of green stuff. So, I gathered together my 1630 Bernina and ALL (what was I thinking) accessories. I have begun the process of offering this whiz bang machine for sale having finally come to terms with the fact that I am not a whiz bang person and don't need bells and whistles. I need basic straight stitch with large throat space and needle down function. A little angst as I contemplate losing her but I'm sure I'll luv her replacement. I just need to crunch some numbers.

And I knew it! The moment I pitched out my files something would need looking for. Last night's quilt group meeting had us all saying yes to a bargello class. It was on my to-do list and in the not so distant past I did have a file on possibilities. My QF had taught a class a few years ago and she ran thru the generalities, showed cross stitch (?) examples and it sounded like serious math to me. whoa But I'm sure once I see it in front of me I'll smack my head, aha! But she is talking basic and I had a look at one example and sure enough I'm for adding strips and things are looking like we may be entering college math. And I'm not even supposed to be considering new stuff. I'm definitely NOT buying as that will seriously compromise any math I've already figured out.

But- the focus for the week is basic quilting and how basic is sewing strips of fabric???

I am also tossing around some deco ideas for lush, warm, rich, simple shapes for my winter theme. Bargello?

The Three Creative Studios challenge could incorporate some bargello. I dunno, but it is good to keep the options open.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Opening the door

Fine time to think about it, but one is supposed to open the back door to shoo out the old and fling open the front door to welcome the new! This morning is the official start for the beginning of the beginning. I'm finding quite a few odds and ends that need some attention. Even a clock needed a new battery. This week is also looking like lots of prenatal doctor visits for the daughter and several meetings. That means lots of interruptions so I'm thinking basic quilting is the focus for the week. I also need to tweak the decorating scheme for the winter season. I have decided on size for the quilt challenge. (24" x 24") and format for the creative cue. (paper) I will iron the latest fabric acquisitions for putting away, pick a ufo, and turn my mind to possibilities for the challenges.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fine Tuning Challenges

I've done a little fiddling with my blogging, added some to my blog list, changed some blog features and I'm still working on linking. I've resisted the urge to plunge into a whole new project but for the plan in the new year I've added a new site, Three Creative Studios, to enhance my play time. They have some creative learning opportunities happening throughout the coming year and I hope to be able to pull a few feathers out and get them to enhance the whole nest experience.
I've been wondering what to focus on first but my frustrated daughter arrived with the tools I lent her and her curtain material. I understand as my own attempt at sheer curtains showed me that there really is a reason to justify their high price. It is called 'angst'. Hopefully I can remember all I learned the hard way before I said, "never again"! Oh, well; but not quite the fine tuning and challenges I had in mind. 8^)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Drum Roll Please

A blue moon as the year goes out and a blue moon as it comes in. It's gonna be a banner year!

The theme for 2010 is Triple F
This stands for lots of things:
Fun, Food, Friends
Fast, Furious, Funky
Find it, Fix it, or Forget it.
But especially FOCUS, FIDDLE, and FINISH
Chickens just naturally lay eggs. Some hide their eggs. But broody hens collect eggs, hide them, sit or brood over them and then happily bring them out for show and tell when the mission has been accomplished. My plan for this year is to stop being an ordinary chick, dropping eggs hither and yon and running around with those noisey roosters. I'm gonna brood! I'll not be scooping up any old eggs, just my own from wherever they have rolled. Some may have passed the 'due date' and those I'll just bury. Pee Yew! Some may be duds and they'll get the same treatment. But if I patiently brood and keep my mind on the goal I'll have something for show and tell when all the other biddys bring out their own successful hatches. I wanna be in the Easter Parade, the Santa Parade and especialy my very own New Years Parade.
The Formula 1 race is about to begin. Ladies, prepare your nests.