Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We were off to a wedding over the weekend. I'm amazed at all the creative ideas that one can gather on these occasions.

Not only were two people joined as one but many ideas can be wedded to our own use.

My eye was drawn to the centre pieces on the table which were burgundy grapes and large plums on glass tiers with white candles and silver Hershey Kisses sprinkled over pink granules. The tables were white cloth and dishes and sparkling glass. Very classy.

Creative ideas are ours to 'steal' whether it be the font on invitations, pattern on the hotel's rugs, the colours of a painting, the swirl on the desert plate, the diamond drop on a guest's ear or the metal grid on a stairway.

Gathering inspiration is for those with eyes to see it and that can be cultivated. Joining it to our works in progress is part of the creative process. What if...


It has been a very hectic few days and doesn't look to be letting up for a few more.

I have been thinking some about the zentangle aspect of black and white works. I do like the programmed stitches in the home sewing machines. They do it well so they should be allowed to do their thing.

The embroidery stitches can be manipulated as they move over the fabric as well. I'm thinking to let the programmed stitches be the first fixed lines. Then maybe some gentle curves applied in the midway of the project and maybe even some fast swings. I could finish with some free motion stitching for fillers.

But not right now. I do like free motion but the push of happenings and deadlines is NOT conducive to free flowing stitching. I'm quitting while I'm ahead and proceeding with the next emergency. ;^)

Happy Hump Day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

How's that for a welcome!

Warm welcome!

Way back when I bought the veranda paint I had white trim, pale yellow for the house wall, medium yellow for the veranda walls and a deeper golden yellow for the door. All exterior porch paint. These were part of the paint collection I want gone by fall. I tossed two when I was done. :)

So I've touched up walls, trim, and broke open the unused can for the door. Why was I thinking a different colour? I think the golden yellow is perfect. I also put a quick coat of white on the small shelf and the quilt rack. But it was too hot and the paint was drying on the brush. So I'll be thinking antique white or maybe some other can that I've forgotten the colour of! Now I'm wondering the old terra cotta colour for the floor or a newer shade of dark chocolate brown.

I hope a busy weekend doesn't hinder the roll of paint inspiration.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Works On Wednesday

If 'the little black dress' is such a staple for the well dressed gal, then I'm thinking 'the little black line' needs to be a part of my style repertoire.

The black line can be written words on stationary, or the back of an envelope.

The black line can be quick strokes with a fine tipped brush on watercolour paper or the mixed media art journal.

The black line can be thread stitched out on fabric; fabulous, smooth, tactile fabric.

I quite like the zentangle phenomenum but I think I'd rather stitch than sketch.

My first post on finding my artistic voice has caused me to set aside Wednesdays to pursue my style. Check out The Needle & Thread Network for this week.

The 3 Creative Studios Technique of the Month is all about Creating Personal Imagery in black and white.

And to further confirm that I am on the right track, Leslie over at MarveLes Art Studios, has absolutely wetted my appetite for stitching in black and white.

Lots of links, but this is also about inspiration, so be inspired as you work wonders on Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rubbing it in

My friend and I rubbed and reminisced as we worked on this old auction find. Good therapy and the blanket box revealed a blue stain hidden in the depths of the very weathered wood.

I am familiar with paste wax on floors but I'd never thought to use it on furniture. I'll definitely be waxing furniture from now on.

We are back to hot which worked well for washing down the veranda. I'll be touching up the walls with some leftover paint.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday sight line

Maybe 30 years ago we added a rough lumber fence to separate the house and farm yards. It made a huge impact on the property. Kinda settled us into the land somehow.

But it is needing some serious help as wind and weather has combined with time to challenge its right to exist.

One thing missing in the design was the focal point. People wondered where the opening was so I decided to incorporate one of those cute insets with an overhead arch.

Well I don't know about the arch but we did make plans for the inset.

But the proportions are just wrong. So my rooster has given me a temporary visual to study while he makes arrangements to bring back the post pounder. Bless him! But that makes 2 projects started and stalled. Acckkk!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Package in the mail!

3 I'm very pleased with my choices, the amount of fabric and the final $$$. This is mostly because I'm learning what I really like but also keeping it down to what I'll be needing for the current project.

The project in this particular time period is summer. I wanted to get the fabrics organized for the individual fabric accessories that will be in each room for the summer.

The veranda needs to be bright, quick and not so special as it is open to the elements. I had a few of my own fabrics which work well with the theme fabric I ordered. I needed to buy the available kit to get the colours missing from this older selection and I'm possibly going to actually make the quick quilt that was shown.

The hall will borrow a few fabrics from the veranda. I am thinking family vacation theme here with mostly aqua and a few bits of red.

While searching in my stash I found a cotton shirt son #3 wore that was his favorite. Actually, he has taught me a lot about colour as he likes colours that are so different from what I would pick. He even coloured everything striped as child. But what makes accessorizing such a joy is personalizing everything.

I think a Trip Around the World would be so fitting as a throw on the cedar chest. I also found this old fabric that will possibly be pillows.

The kitchen will have the touch of the red cherries but mostly yellow. The stripe is the curtain fabric. The dark aqua in the plaid is perfect for the flow but I won't add any more. I'm pretty certain my kitchen walls won't be yellow but rather taupes and creamy white cabinets. I'm thinking neutral so I can pop colours as the seasons change.

The front room leads off the hall but needs to be pinks with mellow yellow. The rug actually has a teeny bit of aqua and I can add some coloured glass. I'm rejecting the idea of cranberry walls for a more neutral colour. I'm liking the little bits of browns from the sampler squares. I do like pink and brown. I'm seeing a lot of bright pinks in this photo so I may eliminate some of the brighter ones for a more faded look. yum, chocolate dipped strawberries!

The sitting room is very open to the front dining room and branches off into the kitchen. I need it to be a calm neutral space in our busy lives and I luv the fresh look of vintage fabrics with lots of white. I'll be making sure that there is some aqua to keep the cool, fresh, restful look. The magazine shows Malka Dubrawski 's article on Quiet Design with Quiet Fabrics. It is best used for pillows or a small placemat. I already have an aqua wholecloth lap quilt.

Then the shower curtain in the bathroom will use up the blue 30's fabrics I have but with the greens and aquas from the sampler squares I ordered to bring that aqua flow.

That's the down stairs and if I even open the containers for the possible summer projects for the upstairs it'll cost me another day. Lots of fun but the summer is slipping away. I feel the upstairs plan is in pretty good shape

The veranda is stalled as the Rooster is calling for another rooster with a bigger/better toy to help out. So in the meantime we are switching to the front gate and fence redo. I'm going to run right out for some before photos.

pant, pant! What happened to lazy, hazy days of summer???

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fabric Friday

Wonderful package of fabric!

I took the Lil Rascal home yesterday and today I have been hauling groupings all over the house.

I'm happy that I was thrifty, stuck to the plan (pretty much) and have a good flow happening.

I've run out of time so will post The Plan another day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Needle and Thread Network TNTN

Neighbouring Canuck, Monika, at My Sweet Prairie is a passionate blogger and needle artist. I luv her work. She has made a new blog available to Canadian Artists Who Sew. I'll get the button up pronto.

I'm a tad intimidated by the capital A artist part but my goal this year is to find my style and then pursue it. So, Works On Wednesday just may be my commitment to make this happen so I can join the link up. WOW

There are tremendous blogs that offer practical advice for aspiring artists.

So far I'm finding that I need to narrow my options and then leap out on my own so I'm not a copy but an original.

WOW will be my journey.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Going with the flow

Which happens to be blue!

One grand kiddie is fighting an awful 10 day virus and I lured the other home with the promise of painting.
So I am happy to report I have one thing crossed off my list. I am not so happy that I still have 2/3 of a gallon of neon lime green! I'm tempted to send it home with him! ;^)

Another nice blue flow is that the drought has ended this morning! This is good if I ignore the fact that the grass is already starting to perk up!


While I'm hitting the post button the 'littlest rooster' is preparing his question, "Can duckie have a swim?". !!! And, says I, "No, he can't walk back."!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finding the way

I'm never bored. Stalled sometimes, as I try to figure how to leap the gap, lay a plank, or call in the rooster to fix the track.

Sometimes it does seem, well, maybe actually happen, that I'm just churning away in a circle. When I get dizzy enough I look around to see why, order more track, or get my rooster to slam down the crossing arms!

But a straight line is never going to happen.

What a week! I'm happy there were no derailments and the momentum is beginning to get that rhythmic, clickety clack.

We need to carry the farm/yard/house goals forward. They are the rooster's idea and he wants to work at getting projects done once and for all and done well. Hence Beautification (I like that one), Sustainability (a fancy word for resourceful) and Longevity ( no more temporary fixes)!

The veranda is stretching all these goals so we are having a coffee break while we study the track!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Over exposed!

Seems like my life is a bit over/under exposed just like these pictures. Lots of stuff happening.

DS#3 has moved back home to regroup and head out sometime in the future so I had to modify his old room a bit.

Then I had to see how the pictures looked in the kitchen. I dragged out my first attempt at making a valence. I learned a lot about how not to do it!!! But I still do luv that subtle plaid which originally was going to be a dress. lol

The thrift shop pictures have kinda set the tone for the kitchen, I'm thinking. But I need to think how I can rework those very distinct pieces of furniture. I'm definitely painting them. I'll strip that old wallpaper, add another board to raise that panelling a bit so it no longer cuts the walls at the half way mark, and put the stove back so my new hutch can have pride of place.

Now if the light would just settle in to a soft glow I wouldn't need the dark nor the rose coloured glasses!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Dynamic Duo

I have the 2 grand kiddies today and I'll return them tomorrow. It seemed best to be outside weeding and watering the garden. I did get my Japanese maple 'look alike' planted and 2 more plants for the white garden. But we did also have to round up chickens and get their gate closed!

Saturday son #3 spent the day with us. We picked up a new hot water tank and we made a run for my dining hutch. I'd woken in the middle of the previous night with a panic attack on how I'd maneuver my farmer's long wheel based truck into position and safely get the hutch home. Thanks to my dynamic duo!

No hot water! But the old tank has been muscled out of the way for the new tank and soldering and swearing is happening as I type. The kiddies are slumbering.

I'm not sure what this is but it is certainly enjoying the hot summer and low water. Wish all my endeavors were doing as well!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


A little trip with my friend, a visit to the thrift shop and I now own 3 lovely pictures. I also own and need to collect with the truck on Tuesday the top of a wooden china cabinet. That is purely the result of looking at the DIY blogs. But I am actually quite excited about it. In the early years of our married life I was very adept at 'making do'. I got away from that but I feel the interest, the challenge, the lure of 'what if...' coming back very strong.

So, I have been looking and this hutch seemed to be the right piece.

I'd also just dragged home from my friend's this set. There is another shorter, squarer table that I'm not as enthused about. I see a silk purse in this sow's various ears.

And with all these ideas buzzing in my head I went out to my shed and had another look at this old table I've had sitting around. hmmm

I'm not sure I can afford anymore 'good ideas'! lol My to-do list is getting rather lengthy and the summer seems to be slipping along a bit more quickly. I guess if Summer can be a bit thrifty with her time I bettter learn to be thrifty with my time as well as my money. I'm not exactly known for either. vbsigh

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Decisions. Decisions?

This has been a long lunch break! I have (had) a general plan. Now to fill in the gaps. I don't order a lot on line and the last catalogue I could find is from April. So there were serious gaps in my preplanning. I'm not sure I totally stayed with the plan but I'm hoping I got the key fabrics so it'll be kind of a surprise package when it comes. ;^) I'll share all the ooh's and ah's when it arrives.

I inherited a whole LOT of 30's medley of the month packages. Lots of blue which isn't where I'm headed. Not too much aqua which is what I was hunting for. I've had to put away some groupings and pattern ideas for future gift ideas because they just aren't what I've got in mind. But I've managed to keep from getting too overwhelmed and bogged down by colour grouping the best of the bunches, eliminating the No's and just dealing with the maybe's. I'm learning that too much confuses me so putting away the 'also rans' and focusing on my room theme is important. Makes less of a mess, too! I'm also realizing that I enjoy the challenge of creatively coping within my limitations.

It has been a very fun couple of days.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Style

All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl, or something to that effect!

So I took a play day and organized my summer decorating scheme. This involves much hunting, gathering, arranging, scratching of the head, and happy noises. I am getting much better at it as I've revised things numerous times. I am learning that things don't just work out because you desperately want them to work out. So reality is setting aside the very best thing and settling for the second best which in the end makes everything jell and BE the very best.

Summer, to me, is an old fashioned cottage, flowers, tea parties and 'the living is easy'. I am particular about having a theme and a flow for continuity. Pastels speak of summer.

I have a LOT of 30's fabrics so I thought they could be a summer theme. They are mostly quarter yard pieces, which I dispersed into different combos and I hope they fade a bit to fulfill my need for pastels. Cottage isn't about matchy/matchy but I do have some serious gaps so I'm also going to place an order for a few that I need to round out the plan. I'm surprised how much aqua crept into the rooms. I do like it way better than blue. I guess it is really robin egg blue.

The veranda is the first stage of welcome. It is also under construction so hopefully I can also tweak my paint choices which are mostly greens. I am ordering a lot of the colours I need for this room as it needs more than pastels. It gets a lot of light and sees a LOT of traffic. I am really wishing I had fiesta ware but I don't. I have 30's fabric.

The front door, whose colour is puzzling me,(hey, maybe aqua, teal?) is our main entrance into the hallway. This room needs to reflect us, welcome visitors, and transition at least 4 doorways.

The front dining room, just off the front hall is probably the most formal room in the house. The cranberry edged rug says "pinks, please".

The sitting room is our quiet space and I like it subtle.

The kitchen was to be painted mellow yellow but that south window heats up the room so it'll be whites, and creams with yellow accents. The striped fabric comes from 2 cotton duvet covers with the old square pillow cases and typifies summer for me. It has pink, blue, orange, yellow and the green is kinda aqua. I'll make curtains.

The bathroom is seafoam and I've had a 30's shower curtain cut for over a year. But with all the pink in the front room I'm thinking I need to make some changes from pink and yellow. Can blue and green be seen?
The master bedroom fabric package was bought a few years ago and I am so ready to make it.

My guest room has a lot of my parent's stuff so I want a bit of a 50's feel.

The Sunshine Study is golds and is shared by the grandfather's stuff and the grand kiddies. I had lots of the bright reds. The nostalgic Dick and Jane fabric is just about perfect for the look I want.

My playroom needs to be a neutral backdrop for all the 30's fabric I'll be working with to make this a completed plan!

I used the fabrics I had set aside for the upstairs hall in the kitchen. It often seems that the very last step stalls my planning process which means that I fall back to an old habit of starting all over. Not this time! I have a small piece of this fabric and I do like it. It goes so well with the hall rug from which I pulled the room colours that open off it. I just need a wall hanging and this will be the theme fabric.

So there it is. I have it recorded. I'm feeling it is generally a good flow. I can tweak as I go. I now have direction for my summer inspiration. If I feel the overwhelming urge to start something new I definitely have lots of choices and the fabric is grouped and labeled.

But first I think a little tea party is in order!