Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Struggling along

I'm struggling along this week

over the weekend, I did something (no, I do not know what!) that hurt my back

which means at this point about all I can do is continue the gentle stretching exercises, the ice packs and rest --- I could take Tylenol, but for the back pain it pretty much does nothing, so why trash my liver with it?

it does not make me happy --- we have a lot to do yet in packing, painting, etc to get ready to market the house and I'm basically worthless on that account --- not a good thing

while sitting in my recliner with the ice pack I have been working on this piece

I'm working on the fringing at the bottom --- it had been a while since I fringed something and I had forgotten how time consuming it is

and I got it this far and decided that I wanted all of the fringe to look like it was the same length at the bottom, so I took out a lot of it and started over

definitely time consuming!

as usually happens, working on one project in the "slogging along" stage means I'm already thinking about future pieces

I did this drawing yesterday --- it will need a lot of materials that I don't have on hand, so it will need to wait a while

I'm also thinking about another piece that will be something very out of the ordinary for my pieces --- I don't even have a rough sketch on paper for that one yet

meantime, the work on the next lock/hasp piece is progressing too

today we need to run some errands ---- time to get to that

Sunday, July 20, 2014

catching up

this week I've tried to spend some time catching up on projects that I intended to do 3 weeks ago!

like a little utilitarian sewing at the machine

two pillow cases there for the curved pillow my daughter uses, and a pair of very colorful summer weight pj bottoms for her too

the necklace that I did as a commissioned piece all finished

the lady I did it for was thrilled

this was a fun project, and it's always a nice bonus to know there is someone that wants to buy it at the end!

once I finished the commission piece, I went back to this piece

the bead embroidery is done and now I'm working on the many little tube beads that I need for the "chain" part

since I had finished the hand sewing on the last "hasp and lock", I've been working on this one --- using a whole different approach to part of it to create shadows

yesterday's planned work was pre-empted by an impromptu visit from Mr Cute and his mama

he is just so adorable --- he had a great time playing with the toys at our house -- Tinker Toys (which he calls "tinkers") are for the creating of all kinds of fantastic wheeled objects

his fine motor skills for a 3 1/2 year old amaze me --

I'm all for having the "scheduled work" interrupted by a visit any day!!

.....and now we return to our regularly scheduled program --- back to work!

Monday, July 14, 2014

making God laugh

yes, the past three weeks have been an ample example of the old saying "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans"

those plans for the last three weeks were to take the DH for his Mohs surgery on June 26, then head off to my daughter's house on June 27 to spend 10 days -- partly to house and pet sit while she went on vacation and partly to do some fun things with her and my grandson, then to return home and jump right back into both packing and house fix up

the Mohs part went really well -- the doctor took her "slice", checked it out under the microscope, told us all the edges were clean, bandaged him up and sent us on our way

while we were there I did this little pen and ink sketch and left it as part of a challenge an art group I belong to had posed -- I was happy to see it be picked up by someone that liked it and wanted to have it for her own

the next morning, however, I had to make a visit to the emergency room when my nose began bleeding and I could not get it stopped -- the ER doctor used silver nitrate and sent me home, telling me it was okay for me to travel the 2 hours to my daughter's, so off we went

little did I know that was just the beginning of a saga that stretched over several more days and involved a ride in an ambulance from the Kaiser clinic to the local (to my daughter's home) hospital

(did you know that your eyes and nose are so interconnected that a really bad nose bleed can make the blood come out of your eye?  Scary!!)

by the end of the story I had been in and out of the emergency room FIVE times (I'm dreading when those bills come rolling in even with my insurance!)

at the end of this story, I had a visit with my own doctor's office in the last week and have been told to stop taking the fish oil capsules (I had already been told to stop taking any kind of aspirin) as it can cause the same issue that aspirin can and apparently I'm particularly sensitive to it


while I had a lot of sewing projects I had planned to do while I was at my daughter's, in the end I was able to get only these two pair of shorts for Mr Cute completed --- these was some John Deere licensed fabric that I picked up and they made cute shorts

there is still some of this fabric left, so I plan to make him a new sun hat from some of it too

the DH was more productive than I was -- he rebuilt this little table that my daughter and son-in-law use next to the couch to set their computer on

and he finished putting the wind mill together so it could be installed in their back yard

it's hard to believe this is what it looked like when he started!

since we've been home I've finally gotten back to working on projects -- the pieces of stone for the necklace commission are all ready to be assembled

the machinery on the new sweater form Mr Cute has been knit

and the applique work on another "lock" piece is done --- now it's time to use paint and thread on this one

I'm trying to get back into a routine --- these things take time








Saturday, June 21, 2014

some progress on projects

oh look!  a blog post and it's not even Sunday yet!!

it's been a busy week

I worked on this piece early in the week --- I've almost finished doing the bead embroidery on it, but I've now put it aside to work on this
the piece that I took a commission to do and the ordered materials arrived, so I'm working on this until it is finished   (nothing like knowing a piece is sold to put a little hustle in the work process!)

I've been stitching on this piece

it is the third in a series that deals with forms of locks on shed doors

the hand applique on this is nearly finished

I've also been working on drawings for the next pieces in this series this week
there are about a dozen of these in the works --- finally meeting my goal of creating a series of related art work pieces!

the garage workshop has spilled over into my studio

the DH has been rebuilding a windmill, and we are down to the final painting so it can be put back together

doing the painting of the "fan" however, was deemed to be something more in my area of expertise, so yesterday afternoon I put the red paint on this side of the fan blades --- today I plan to do the other side

looking good!!

meantime, the packing continues --- the DH has been packing up the collectibles from the curio cabinets and the pictures from the walls, and I've been going through more objects --- making three piles --- throw away (or put into recycle bin -- mostly old magazines/plastic containers), give away or pack --- I'll be packing books this week

and I'm still working on the details of the upcoming art quilt show I'm curating

keeping busy here!!!




Sunday, June 15, 2014

how did it get to be Sunday again already?

well, as usual, because time marches on rather I'm pay attention or not

its been a busy week

this piece, which is the first in a series of pieces I'm working on, was juried into a small works show that will hang in a gallery in downtown Denver from July 12 to September 2 --- I'm pretty excited about that

that same show (of which I am the curator, but NOT the juror -- meaning someone with bigger "art chops" than I picked which of the 75 pieces entered will actually hang), was also a source of considerable time expended this week --- there is a lot of paperwork involved in organizing a show, receiving entries, notifying the folks who's work makes the show -- and those that did not --- a couple more weeks of this will go on before we hang the show and the worst of my work is over -- at least until September when I will send the pieces home to their makers


I did manage to get this piece of jewelry finished and listed in my Etsy store

it is part of the June Etsy Bead Weavers challenge on the theme Steampunk

if you're interested in voting on the challenge winner, you can use this link to the blog where voting is going on

I've started working on this piece of bead embroidery to represent a peacock feather

I'll probably be setting it aside for a while though as I just agreed to do a commissioned piece of jewelry


the quilting of the Fiesta piece is finished and the binding is on -- just need to finish adding the sleeve and a label for that piece to be ready to mail


I'm spending more time working on putting things in boxes and rearranging things -- once I finished the machine work on the Fiesta piece, I started moving my studio to the basement

this week I spoke to a couple of different people about the possibility of just selling our house to someone without going through the whole repair it, list it and show it for who knows how many months on end

they talk a good story -- they tell you that you don't have to do any more repairs or painting or whatever the real estate person will tell you you need to do to "stage" a house to sell it -- they tell you that you can take your kitchen appliances if you want -- they tell you that you can leave the old washer and dryer in the basement if you want

like I said, they talk a good story

what they don't tell you is that you need to be prepared to take a bit hit on what you'll get for it --- by my calculations, even accounting for what the commission to the real estate agents would be, we would have to be willing to accept about $60,000 less than we would get in the normal process of list and sell --- just not something we can afford to do

so now I'm working my head around having to have our lives turned upside down for who knows how long to put it on the market -- there must be some reason we need to still be here for a while -- I just wish I had some idea what it is since that would make it less painful

oh well

time to get back to work

Sunday, June 08, 2014

oh deer!

in the past we've only seen the deer in our neighborhood either during the winter or when the hills to the west of us were on fire

this week a young buck was wandering around

I was happy to have my cell phone close at hand to get this picture of him

the fence in our back yard is once again dog secure -- the original fence boards were on the neighbor's side of the fence, and there were several broken ones in this panel

one of the holes was big enough for my dog to put her head through -- and would have been more than big enough for my daughter's little dog to just go on through

after a couple of non-productive discussions with the neighbor, we decided to just handle it on our side of the fence

we'll let them deal with those broken boards on their side

we've also been working on the garden area -- the top level has been cleared, weed block cloth put down, mulch spread and new plants put in

the bottom level will get mulch soon and the wood flower garden has been installed -- looking good!

this piece is slowly coming along -- the hat box looks pretty good, it needs some more stitching and some color added, but I'm pretty pleased with how it's going

here is the fiesta before I put the "sandwich" together

I've started working on the quilting on this and it's coming right along

and then there is this

in 2010 I made the necklace shown in the advertisement for a competition sponsored by Fire Mountain Gems

this past week I was notified that it would be featured in a back cover advertisement in a Ukranian Beading Magazine

very cool!  (just wish I could read everything that's inside!)




Sunday, June 01, 2014

yup, I'm still here

I know, it's been a L O N G time since I posted

last weekend we went to spend the 3 day weekend with our daughter, son in law and grandson, and a lot of this week has been spent dealing with medical procedures and working around the house

there has been some creative work here too, however!

while I was away, I finished this little guy

different from the first winged monkey, but still very cute

these are the pictures of the tractor sweater that show the damage

while I was with my grandson we had a discussion about what he would like the new sweater to look like, and he sat next to me and helped pick colors for the yarn order that went in

as soon as that order arrives, the knitting for the replacement will begin

meantime the damaged sweater came home with me -- I will launder it and then pick it apart to use as much of the yarn as I can in other projects -- probably afghan squares

apparently the third attempt at reworking this piece is actually going to stick

I'm about a third of the way through doing the other side of this piece as well, and I'm hopeful of getting it done by the deadline for the challenge

the first of the lock series is completed -- just in time for me to enter it in a small works show

keeping my fingers crossed that it will make the cut

I'm pretty pleased with it -- the stitching went really well, and my idea to use some vintage snaps stitched on backwards as the "screws" on the hasp worked even better than I thought it would

I've been working a bit on this too

the bottom section has a new hatbox appliqued on and it is ready for me to do some stitching and some painting on that

looking good

this is the fabric I have chosen to be the back of the fiesta quilt
the colors are perfect and it nicely echos the front of the quilt

I should be ready to start the quilting on this piece sometime this week






the DH has been busy in the garage workshop too

 the painting of the decorative garden windmill he's working on has begun

yup, things are moving along here