Wednesday, May 17, 2017

working on art and a visit to the ER

there actually has been quite a bit of work getting done this week
this piece is done

it's amazing how that dark outline makes the flowers pop up from the surface

stitching on the dog has begun -- and it's moving right along

the applique on this piece is progressing slowly -- I have hit the half way stage here -- and now I'm working on the reflected sky in the water below the horizon

this piece is just beginning -- it will be 12" by 12" and mounted on a canvas so it can be wired and hung

the deadline for this piece is in July, and it will hang as part of an exhibit with my other class mates

pretty cool!

and while all of that is in process, I'm thinking about some other pieces too

I have collected this assortment of paintings over the past few years from my dear friend in California

finally got them into a frame!

and now the hang in the family room gallery -- love seeing them every day

love these flowers from my daughter and Mr Cute that they brought me for Mother's Day --- hyacinths that won't wilt!

when they arrived Sunday afternoon, I was out planting garden --- having the extra hands made the planting of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and cucumbers much faster

and Mr Cute put the green bean seeds in the trench at the end of the planter box -- I still need to get a trellis put up for those, but the most of the work is done

(so of course we are forecast to have SNOW in the next two days, so I'll be out covering all of those little plants with clay pots and newspaper)

after that hard work in the garden, Mr Cute and I enjoyed some Frito's as a reward!

when I was in the garden center getting tomato plants, I saw this cool plant in a hanging basket

I don't know what it is, but I love the texture and the colors

this piece, titled Parched Earth:  The Silos was accepted in a local show that will hang at Red Rocks Community College between June 9 and September 1

while the DH was cutting the slat that goes in the back to hang it from, he got his left thumb too close to the still spinning table saw blade

off to the ER we went, and he now has 8 stitches in the end of his thumb --- OUCH!!

in the future I will not be allowing him to rip 2x3s to make slats --- the ER visit is much more expensive than buying a piece of wood that is the right size already!  not to mention the whole injury issue

and Mr Benson is busy being his cute self ---

I'm starting to work on a map to do a quilted piece of his face --- a project for after a couple of others that are on the design wall, but there will be one!

Sunday, May 07, 2017

where does the time go?

seems like I was just out here to post last weekend

but no -- it actually was two weeks ago --

and in that time, you would think I could have actually finished something, but such is not the case

this piece, however, is very close -- just need to finish doing the outlining around the flowers and it will be ready for trimming and binding

this piece is ready to be stitched

I am very pleased with the way this one looks -- and the stitching should make it even better

progress is being made here too -- I'm almost half way with the applique here  (yes, it's folded in half so you aren't actually seeing the bottom half right now)

 since the dog piece is off the design wall, I'm thinking about what the next piece up there will be

considering using this photo that was taken by my daughter to do a piece -- I think I would call this one Cerberus Light
Benson has his own things to say about my doing another dog piece that isn't him

I'll have to think about that

meantime, I realize I haven't shared big news that I got early in April -- back in February I had applied to be Artist in Residence at Caribou Ranch this summer -- I did it sort of as a "what the heck, I'll never get in" thing

imagine my shock when I opened the email and was told  there were 60 artists that applied, 5 were accepted, and I'm one of them!  oh my

I'm already starting lists ---- and lists of lists ---- WOW

Sunday, April 23, 2017


working on projects continues

I'm nearly done with the quilting of this piece -- which is a good thing, since the entry deadline for it is May 1 -- just a week away

then there is this piece

when I had the idea to do this piece about 3 weeks ago, I hoped to have it done in time for that same May 1 deadline

uh -- not so much

for one thing, I just couldn't manage the time well enough between other things to get it all done

for another, I have never done a piece that involved a person since I began using the new technique, and it was a lot more complex thank I envisioned

I will finish this, but clearly not in time for the show I originally wanted to enter it in, but I think a show will present itself for entering this

and since this piece does have a future show in the summer, I have returned to working on this at the design wall

at the current rate, I should be able to get the rest of this ready to stitch this week!

I decided that the biggest mailbox needed a raised flag to be added to it, so I did that this week

there is not a lot of contrast between the mailboxes and the sky, but once I add the silk organza and do the quilting there will be

there are a couple of other pieces in the queue to be quilted, but I should get to this one before too long

and this week I started working on a piece for a show titled "Life Along the Rio Grande"  with a November 2017 deadline

when I first got the invitation to enter, I couldn't figure out why Colorado artists were being invited to participate in a show that has to do with the Rio Grande

I admit, my geography knowledge is not the best for places I've never actually been to -- so I had to go and do some research to discover that the headwaters of the Rio Grande are right here in Colorado

here's the map -- the sort of "paint by number" guide for this piece which will be the first one I've done for a show that has a very defined size requirement -- the full size map is actually for a piece slightly larger than the finished size needs to be so I know I'll have something that is big enough

and this is the color version

this piece may also be the first of a new series of pieces under the loose title "Reflections"

this week's utilitarian sewing involved making new cushions for the love seat in the living room

the original filling in the cushions had been discarded a while back, and some previously used eggshell foam had been substituted in the original covers

until Benson decided that the foam was "magically delicious" and in about 10 minutes while I was doing something out in the garage made an enormous shredded foam mess all over the living room

he wasn't interested in the upholstery fabric that was over the foam (thank goodness!), just the foam -- who knows what goes on in a dog's mind?!

but because he left the fabric alone, and because this was a project I knew I was going to do anyway (that foam was only a temporary fix from the beginning), I already had the new thicker foam on hand that I intended to use for new cushions, creating a pattern to cover the new cushions wasn't hard -- same shape, just thicker

I had not, however, figured out what the new upholstery fabric was going to be, so these newly covered new foam cushions are covered with fabric pieces that were from a couple of sheets that had outlived their usefulness as sheets (the outside edges remain structurally usable after the center is shot).  Those cotton covers can just stay on them when I reupholster the rest of the piece and there will be a double cover over the foam

since I did this Benson hasn't touched them --- wondering still what was so tasty about that eggshell!

early in the week I did a one day workshop about silk screening

I last did silk screening about 40 years ago, and things have changed --- A LOT!

the amount of work that I was able to do in one day would have taken a lot longer back then

all of which has me thinking about the possibility of using this technique on some of my art

so I came home from class and ordered a new issue of the Dick Blick catalog so I can look into ordering some supplies --- that should be fun

while I was in class, Benson had to watch dad

which meant he was worn out at the end of the day

not sure what he was dreaming about when I took this picture

maybe the taste of those foam cushions!!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

not the finest moment

there has not been much getting done this week

there was some stitching on this, which is moving along well -- if slowly

and all of the face of the dog is done and I'm now moving downward on the shoulders

I got all of the signs done and started putting in the figures at the bottom of this one and it just did nothing for me

so there was a good deal of ripping out -- both of sewing and knitting and remaking of hats -- I do like the contrast better, but the jury is out on this one for now

and then there is this

I love the fabric (even though I did not love working with it as it is slippery and doesn't take well to any attempt to press it to turn up hems or edges)

and I loved the picture on the pattern -- and I did the dreaded measuring to figure out what size would fit

or not

put in the hem and put it on me and it doesn't fit

not a happy camper --- not sure what I'm doing with it next --- perhaps paint rags

and perhaps this was not a week that I should have been trying to work on clothing, as it has been one of those weeks I'd like to not have had

after months of tests the doctor still has no explanation for why my gut is in an uproar, the latest suggestion is to eliminate gluten (and a number of other things) from my diet to see if that helps

putting this kind of restrictions on what I can put in my mouth and asking me to keep track of every little bit has pretty much put me over the edge into making life awful for everyone around me as well as myself

the little kid in me that I can usually keep in check is back to feeling starved and it's making me want to either kick and scream or to just retreat into a cave

this better be worth it

Sunday, April 02, 2017

cranking out projects

an actual finished project!

this is the snap shot I took with my cell phone right after I took the last stitch in the binding

I did this small (9"x9") piece to submit to Quilting Arts magazine for their Rooster challenge, so this week it will get a final pressing and some photos taken with the studio camera

this piece is done too, and I'm pretty happy with how it came out

and when I set up the photo studio for the rooster, I'll photograph this one too

stitching continues on the columbine piece

the stitching in the white portion (the center petals) of the flowers is done, so now it's on to the purple petals

at the design wall, the work on the dog is coming along nicely

it's amazing how each day's additions make it come more alive

may title this one "Lady Sings the Blues"

the applique work on this piece is complete

this feels like one of those "did I do that?" moments

can't wait to see how this looks with the layer of silk and the quilting!

and since the hand work is done on the mailboxes, it's right in to the next piece!

I'm creating this piece (smaller, about 24"x18") specifically for a show titled Threads of Resistance and it's moving right along

this week's utilitarian sewing is a bit more complex than the pencil bag I put together for Mr Cute!

during several shopping trips where I was looking for some new blouses to wear with blue jeans or light weight capri pants when I go to class I was completely unable to find anything I was happy with

for one thing, the blouses were (select one or more per item) too sheer, too short, too ugly (who puts these colors together!?) or not cut in a way that fits my 66 year old lumpy body

for another thing, they are poorly made (can ANYONE clip a thread?!) and cost more than they are worth

sure, I can still get a $6 t-shirt at Walmart, but I wanted something more

so, after spending a lot of time shopping on Etsy for blouse patterns that were what I really want, and purchased a couple (okay -- bought 3 got 1 free), and then made a trip to the fabric store for materials

this is the beginning of the stitching on the first blouse

it's been YEARS since I've made anything more complicated than an apron or a pair of pajama bottoms, so it's taking a bit of thinking to get back in the swing of this, but I have positive thoughts about how this is going to come out ----- and some more fabric for the other patterns!

when I go to the studio, Benson comes with me and hangs out

on Friday, when I came out of the studio to head back upstairs, this is what I saw on the bottom step

toys (a bird house, a liberty ball and a bee hive) neatly lined up in a row -- nice job Benson!

wonder if I can train him to pick up other things and line them up

probably not!

Friday, March 31, 2017


Hi folks!

I've been here in the studio with mom since the end of January, and this morning she is letting me write the all important blog post (I'm not real sure why it's important, but mom says it is, and we know that Mom Rules!)

We've had a very busy week here

Last Thursday I got visitors

These two little dogs are my cousins or something like that -- and they came to stay here with me and mom and dad while their mommy and daddy (and Mr Cute) went to someplace called California

(which seemed to mean lots of pictures of them around water and bridges and stuff I really don't understand)

While my cousins were here, we played together a lot, we had the "daily chase" as mom calls it where we would run from the kitchen through the living room and mom's office, then down the hall back to living room until mom would yell "All Dogs Out" and open the back door to send us outside to continue our chase.

After the chase and our dinner, we could all nap on the couch (mom is still muttering something about the bad planning of dark furniture and blonde dogs for some reason)

Mom says we all got really silly, but the only silly picture she got was of me because I fell asleep this way (really mom, do we have to show this one?!)

Anyway, it was fun to have company, and I would be okay with having them visit again.

So for now it's back to normal here in the studio.

Mom is making art, and I'm keeping an eye on everything.

And mom will be back to blog the next time!