Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Lost Week

when I last posted here I was working on projects, entering things in shows and getting ready to go any have what was supposed to be a relatively easy procedure to have a polyp removed that was discovered in my colonoscopy

uh, not so much

the polyp turned out to be twice as big originally thought, and while it seemed that every thing was fine, at 1:30 the next morning I was back in surgery having part of the colon removed because the bowel had perforated (and when they do that surgery in the middle of the night, you get a nice 8 inch incision full of staples as a "souvenir", and they don't mess around with taking "just a snip" off the edges)

and just to add insult to that injury, the antibiotic that took care of making sure I didn't develop peritonitis left me open to another nasty infection -- c. diff

so in the end, what was supposed to be an over night stay ended up being a whole week in the hospital and I'll have a lot longer recovery period

my home coming was made quite festive by the roses on the table and the amazing batch of chicken and dumplings that was the evening meal on Sunday

one thing that the longer recovery period means, however is that I will not be able to do the Artist in Residence program at Caribou Ranch this summer

I'm pretty bummed about that

the up side of the reason I can't go this year, is that I have been invited to do it next year without reapplying


before all the "excitement" I had started doing the quilting on this piece

I decided to start at the horizon line and have done most of the stitching in the green area

I still have not figured out exactly how I will make the reflection look more "reflection-like", but I have a bit of time to think about it as it will be a few days (probably not until next week sometime) before I can get back to my studio to work on it

I had also started working on the fence for the garden piece, which was rolling right along

I'm hoping to get back to this one by the end of this week since it is hand work that I'll be able to work on as soon as I can tolerate having the box it's in rest in my lap

the last couple of days in the hospital, I felt well enough to be watching the view from my 5th floor room and snapped a few pictures of sunrise and hot air balloons

I may be able to use these for some art pieces in the future -- sunrise photos are always useful for picking off parts of for landscapes

while I was away,  I was notified that these two pieces that I had entered in shows did not get accepted


which means I'll be watching for other shows to enter them in

this piece, however, was accepted and will be part of a show titled "Gone to the Dogs" in the Niza Knoll gallery in Denver.


very cool news indeed

and while I've been out of commission, Mr Benson has been hanging out at my daughter's house

one evening she sent me this cute "get well card" from him

I'm hoping to have him back at home tomorrow afternoon -- I think by then I will be able to manage taking care of him, and it will give me a reason to walk slowly to the mail box so he can check all of his "p-mail" messages

and for the next week or so, the focus is to heal and get stronger


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

another week, another show entry

it's complete!

and I did the entry yesterday, three days ahead of the deadline

Whooo Hoooo!!!

and so the waiting begins on this one too

still fiddling with this piece before I start quilting on it

I didn't like how dark the clouds there in the center were -- wanted something more orange

but now that those new orange ones are in, I think they may be TOO orange, because now that's the first thing you see, which was not what I had in mind

I may not be done fiddling with this one

I've been working on the drawings for the next big piece

it's based on this photo, that I've been wanting to work with for a while, but just now feel like I might be able to actually do

we'll see how that all goes!

a little utilitarian stitching seemed in order after finishing the big quilting project, so I whipped up two pair of pj bottoms -- one pair for my son in law, and a matching pair for Mr Cute -- my daughter had picked up this great flannel for them

both pairs from start to finish in about an hour

this I can do practically in my sleep!

the DH has been busy in the garage workshop again

these dining room chairs are over 100 years old

and now that the stain has been freshened up and new seats installed, they should last us a few years more

looking good!

Mr Benson got a new toy this week

a toy he got a week before had been decapitated within half an hour after he got it, and when I posted a picture of his handiwork on the FaceBook page of the place that toy came from, they sent him a whole new toy!

he's loving this one too

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Meet Miss Ruby

the old van had served us well

but it was beginning to have issues that were costing us money

and to have the air conditioning problem (the one where it turned from moderately cool air to feeling like you were in a blast furnace when going uphill) was going to cost many $$$$ just to figure out as they would have had to tear out the dash board just to figure out what was going on

no thank you

and I had already decided that now was the time to buy a car that was as new as I could afford because I would likely never buy another car (I tend to run them until they must be replaced -- the van was 15 years old and I bought it used --- and in 15 years, I may be ready to give up driving -- I'll be 81 then!)

so the past couple of months I had been shopping about online, looking at different vehicles

I thought I had my mind made up

I figured I could look like a hamster -- the ones that get used in the KIA commercials for the Soul

it might even been cool to have a car that was painted a color named "alien" (the green one) since we have a dog from Roswell, NM

so off we went to the local dealership to take a look and a test drive

and then I met Miss Ruby

yes, I drove the Soul

but Miss Ruby was the next size up

has more creature comforts --- a back up camera so I can see what's behind me when I'm in reverse --- a CD player (ok, I'm old, my music isn't all on a thumb drive full of MP3 files -- although I can do that too) -- more comfy seats -- bigger wheels (I like sitting up higher so I can see)

and she was a "demo" car -- had a few miles on her (just enough to work out any kinks) -- so I could get her for a bit less than I would have paid for the Soul with the upgrades I would have needed to add


yes, in the classic battle over shoes, I got the ruby red slippers

(now I need to remember to use that cruise control -- law enforcement officers will no doubt find her attractive too!!)

Monday, June 26, 2017

more work getting done

the process of putting a piece on a 12" by 12" canvas was so satisfactory that I decided to do another one

this piece is titled "Seeing Red", and has been entered (along with Lady Sings the Blues) in a show titled Gone to the Dogs

we'll see if either of them are accepted

I'm making good progress on this piece

all of the quilting is done except for the hands, the walker frame and the background

still thinking positive thoughts about being able to get this done for a show deadline on July 6!

and this piece is coming right along too -- as soon as I finish stitching down the rake itself (miles and miles of edges around all those cuts!) it will be ready for quilting

one of the things that happens when I work on one project right after another -- or concurrently -- is that the shelves where the fabric is stored start to get into disarray

and after almost 2 years in this studio space, the condition of those shelves got to where I couldn't find what I was looking for

so I've been spending some time every day between stitching sessions tidying things up and installing the newly acquired organizer boxes

much better!

(only 6 more shelves to go!!)

meantime, out in the garage workshop, the DH devised some "pots" for my flowers

clever guy fashioned all 6 of these out of one 4 foot piece of shelving lumber, and I think it looks great!  and this is much tidier and easier to move than the clay pots full of gravel we had the first year


Mr Benson doing his best "charm the ladies" pose here --- his FaceBook friend Roxy (a dog that lives with an artist friend of mine) thinks he's quite handsome!

we think so too

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

some finished work -- and progress on others


this is the first piece I have done that is actually mounted on a canvas for hanging

LOVE the way this looks!

and attaching it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and I really like the depth away from the wall when it's hung

this success has me considering creating some other pieces in this size with some other single object "portraits"

the stitching on this piece has begun --- the outline around the end of the nose and the eye is done as is the very deepest part of the ear

since this is another small piece, I hope to have the stitching done on this one this week

which is a good thing, because it's time to start stitching on this piece

I got the background done on it yesterday, so now the details get done with thread -- I just might make the deadline for that July 6 show entry!

over the weekend Mr Cute was here to spend some time with Gramma

his current passion is big boats, and we spent time on the computer downloading some patterns for this pirate ship which we then put together with blue painter's tape

this is where my ability to build 3 dimensional objects from paper or card stock gets challenged, because he truly believes that since I'm an artist I can make anything ---- what a kid!!!

he really wants to make models just now, so I'll be trying to find some age appropriate ones for him (although I recognize in him my own inclination to want to run before walking --- he was very interested in the huge model of an WWII battle ship, which I'm sure would be way beyond both of our abilities!)

having Mr Cute here also meant that Mr Benson got a lot of extra running time

a tired dog is a good dog!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

cranking out new work

despite having a couple of bad days the past week, I have gotten quite a bit of work done on projects

the applique work on this piece is complete now, and it is ready to be quilted

the stitching and facing of this piece is complete

and after what I wrote last post about the blue dog, I created this piece which is titled "Seeing Red"

which is based on this photo of Mr Benson

yup, it's still a dog

I did this one with raw edge stitched applique, and it is a small piece (12" x 12") that I intend to mount on a canvas

which is also what I plan to do with this now completed piece
I painted the outside edges and part of the front of the canvas around the edge with black, and the edge of the fiber piece has been tightly satin stitched, so it is ready to be cut and applied to the canvas

I've never done one this way before, but so far it has not been difficult, and I am pleased with how it looks

this piece is progressing nicely too

even though the first show I would have entered this in is long since closed, I have found a new show that I want to enter it in -- so I need to get this one done by July 6 -- I think I can do that

this is the next piece in the Parched Earth series -- the pattern has been drawn for quite a while, but I ran a few other pieces in ahead of the applique

I started working on the sky last night, and I plan to try some new things with this piece -- we'll see how that all works!

meantime, here on the home front, the green beans that Mr Cute helped me plant on Mother's Day are come up quite nicely, and the DH built this lovely wood framing that I stapled some plastic netting to so those green beans will have a trellis to climb up on

looking good!

and Mr Benson continues to amuse us --

on one of our daily walks to the mailbox this week, he was introduced to Molly, the 2 year old chocolate lab that lives across the street from us --- now he looks forward to seeing Molly every time we take a walk!