Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I can't come back, I don't know how it works!

 ok, we're not in Oz, but on yesterday's "walk with lab", I spotted this above the houses across the street from us

this is a different balloon from the one that used to land in the field behind our house before they built apartments there

but it might be the same pilot (he lives around the corner)

you can't see it in the picture, but he was close enough that I could see the flame
the edging has begun! 

I'm using a soft gray leather on the back of these, and I love the way the single row of red beads around the edge pulls up the color of the lilies in the center

soon as this step is finished, I'll start working on stringing it all together

my sister is coming to spend a few days

we originally planned to do this back in May, but other things got in the way

her room is ready

I've done some special grocery shopping

still need to vacuum the floors in the family room and the studio

who knows what kind of trouble we'll get into!

Monday, July 29, 2013

weekend update

we're doing little renovation projects around the house and yard

last winter the specialty grass at the front edge of the driveway got killed off (this is what happens in a climate that sometimes does a bunch of 60 degree days in January then goes back below zero!)

the DH dug out all of those grasses over the weekend and we picked up these three little "Burning Bush" plants to replace them with

these are actually little shrubs that are supposed to handle down to -30 degrees and are a really pretty bright red in the fall (hence the name Burning Bush) -- they'll make a great little hedge there
of course a trip to the big box hardware store meant I got to wander through all of the plants

with a cell phone that has a good camera

snapped these pictures (don't you love the water droplets on some of the leaves!)

they're going in the "future artwork" file
did a little more on this project too

have decided that the bottom edge needs some braid and some decorative tacks to finish it off

I'll be going to shop for those today
just one more of these pieces to finish beading

moving right along here --- I've reached the "are we there yet" stage with this project

there's another piece already "cooking" in my head!
this piece gets more exciting every day!!!

loving the way it looks
then there is this little cutie

sent it off to the Hoffman Challenge a while back

and I'm happy to say that for the third time I'll have a piece traveling with the Hoffman pieces all over the country for another year


Saturday, July 27, 2013

upholstery continues

the work continues

it's pretty cool actually seeing some of the fabric actually on the chair!

next step includes the making of a couple of yards of covered welting (cord) to go along the edge of the back of the chair

this is a good example of the danger of over thinking the project -- but now that I've read what I could get my hands on, I have at least come up with a plan


Friday, July 26, 2013

more beadwork

all of the lily flowers are stitched, and yesterday afternoon I got the first of the small panels all filled

only four more of these to go

the walking with the lab has been good for something more than her rehab --- since I take my cell phone with me when we walk, I also have a camera with me --- which means I am back to taking photos of the little things that catch my eye along the way

a week or so ago we had the mystery plant (which I have since learned actually ARE tomatillos, which is what I thought they were) and this morning after the brief attempt to chase the neighborhood cottontail I spotted this pair of leaves standing upright in the grass -- cool!

time to get busy

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

one down

and a few more to go!

looking good

as is this -- I've reached the edge of the tree that has little bits of the sunset peaking through it

then there is this project

which I finally figured out in the last couple of days that I had been going at it the wrong way

a bit of time taking things apart and a fresh start produced this much progress in one session -- Yippee!!

might get this done yet

and once again I love the fact that I have access to a camera at all times!

snapped this photo during one of the "walk with lab" exercises

this is getting filed in my "future inspiration for an art quilt" folder

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

what am I working on

even after spending a lot of time dealing with paperwork, a trip to the store and doing the laundry for the week, I got quite a lot of work done in the studio

this piece is coming along nicely

 and now that the quilt for Mr Cute is all complete, I'm back to really working on this piece

this is already taking on that "did I do that" feel that happens sometimes 

this morning we had a bit of excitement -- after the big black dog and I had done our walk and she had her breakfast, she had a full on dog alert at the patio door

I looked up to see the shadow of a small doe walking the fence line in the field behind our house -- how cool is that!?

unfortunately for my camera, she was so small and so close to the fence that I couldn't even get a picture by going upstairs -- maybe standing on the roof would have done it, but I'm not going there

things have settled down now --- guess I'll have to do real work now

Monday, July 22, 2013

a big quilt for the big boy's bed

I finished the last stitch on this project last night

it is bigger than for a single bed, not as big as a queen bed size, all ready to grace the bed of Mr Cute when his folks make the big switch

it has a label on the back (which I wrote on the back of a left over piece of one of the print fabrics) that includes his name, the name of who made it (his mama and his gramma) and the date

consider it a future heirloom --- if he doesn't wear it out first

wasting no time in turning that pencil drawing into a 3 dimensional reality

I like the way this looks!

and I think this whole piece will all go together quickly now

time to get moving --- laundry to do and groceries to fetch before I can get back in the studio

Sunday, July 21, 2013

new ideas

since I wasn't happy with the way the Egyptian piece was going I did not work on it yesterday except to think about it

at the end of the day, I ended up with this sketch for a whole new approach

the next step is to draw out the patterns on the backing material and start on the beading


the quilting on this project is complete!!  last night I started doing the hand stitching of the binding --- almost done

knitting continues on this piece --- I've turned the corner and now I'm knitting the gusset

one of the coolest knitting tricks ever was the way the ears are knit in as part of the top of the head --- this is where knitters accept the magic of the written symbols and follow blindly along then suddenly you have something you totally did not expect!

sometimes, if you are looking at the ordinary things in life, you see something amazing

this morning I set out my fruit to warm a bit while I emptied the dishwasher and fed then walked the dog

when I returned from the walk I picked up the bowl from the counter and with the sun shining on the fruit at just the right angle I could see all these tiny droplets of moisture

Friday, July 19, 2013

another project taking shape

this piece has been in the planning stage for a while now, and since I need to have it finished before Christmas, it was time to get to it

when I start one of these pieces its always a question of where to begin -- in the center?  at the bottom? at the top?

in this case I have begun at the top left corner and I'm working both directions from there

what you see here is the beginning of the big tree that covers much of the top left side of the piece

so far, so good

this thing, however, I'm not so pleased with

having torn apart the original piece down to the pieces here, my original plan was to do some bead embroidery around each one to create some "tiles" that I would then string together to form a new piece

but I'm not pleased with the look of the one bead embroidered tile I've done, so this one is back to the drawing board -- rats

time to get to it -- I have a meeting to attend this afternoon, and I want to get some stuff done before then!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beginning a new/old piece

this necklace had been created a long time ago -- back in the days when I was going to a lot of art shows

but in one of those trips, it came apart at the clasp and I set it aside for future rework

it seemed like a perfect jumping off point to create the themed piece I'm working on right now, so I took it apart down to the base beads

each of those has been stitched down to a backing now and I'll be taking it from there

its a start

real progress being made here --- we're in the home stretch!

since daily walks on on the physical therapy schedule for the dog's recovery from her surgery, I'm getting a good view of the neighborhood at the "ground level"

one of the houses we walk by each day has several of these plants in the front yard in among the other flowers

the blossoms on this are long since gone, and these little pods have formed

what are these?

I have no idea, the closest thing that I can think of are tomatillos, but that is not a usual landscaping plant (they are very prolific, however, as we had "volunteers" come up for a couple of years after our one experiment with growing them in our garden)

I'll be watching these develop -- meantime, I'm pretty pleased with the look of those two photos which were taken with my cell phone, and I may use them for some sort of art work at some point

time to get to it

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

sea horse bracelet

it's all done!

in the next few days I'll get it listed in my Etsy store

since this is done, I've started working on the next piece -- one that I am making specifically to donate it

once again its a piece with a limited palette -- red and silver this time

pictures soon

there is still knitting going on

afghan squares are still getting completed

and I'm getting faster and faster at doing rows around the Christmas project -- I got 12 rows done on that last night and these rows are getting bigger as it goes along

need to go get some cleaning done before I can get back to projects --- Onward!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

cue the tornado music from the Wizard of Oz

yesterday as we were out and about we happened to be in the right place to see and record the funnel cloud over Pike's Peak

weird, weird, weird weather!!

the DH spent some time at a demo yesterday afternoon about using his scroll saw

while he was doing that I was able to sit at a table in a nice air conditioned store and do some drawing

these drawings are to be used in an art piece I've been thinking about and working on for a while

I think I have finally figured out how to get the look I want with this, so as soon as I get some of the other pieces off my list I will give this a try

the quilting on this quilt has begun

it took me about 3 hours to get it ready to be quilted -- trimming the edges, stitching the panels of the backing together and pinning the sandwich together

I had to rearrange the sewing table too -- need to have more open space to the left and the back of the machine so I can manage the bulk of this piece as I put it through the sewing machine

this book arrived on my doorstep back in May and right after it did things got a little crazy.  It traveled with me to California when I went for a funeral and again to my daughter's house when I went to do pet sitting during her vacation

the book stands up well to being read one chapter at a time

Barton takes the reader step by step in a logical progression from finding inspiration for an art quilt to the last stitch in finishing its edge with the focus at each step being "does the design work?"

the book is liberally illustrated with both drawings and photos of finished works, and Barton explains the concepts presented well

I can imagine this book being used as a guide for a self-initiated study;, as there are numerous exercises to do that reinforce the concepts

in fact, I may use it for that very purpose myself in next year's visioning project

Saturday, July 13, 2013

finish work sooner than expected

originally the plan was to only leave the center arcs with the irregular edges and to create a regular rectangular finish at both ends

but as the beading progressed, I found that I like the curvy organic shapes of the seahorses at each end, and decided that it didn't really need all that "fill" work

after sealing the back, yesterday I trimmed away all of the extra felt from the back and started attaching the bead work to the leather backing (which is a lovely soft piece in a wonderful teal color)

the bottom edge (as this picture is oriented) has had the double bead edging stitched on and now I need to do the top edge

should have this done by the middle of next week

which means I'm thinking about the next piece

for several years I've worked with Loveland Opera Theatre to do their fundraising auction

this year's theme is Viva Verdi as a tribute to Giuseppe Verdi's 200th birthday

I'm going to create a piece of jewelry for the auction inspired by Verdi's Aida

this silver plated stamping arrived in the mail yesterday -- it is the double headed falcon used in Egyptian jewelry and other art

I plan to design the necklace around this

after yesterday's photo  I did a little sketching  -- it needs work, but its a start

like I said -- another quilt in the planning

and a glimpse of the knitting project that has been my relaxation the last thing in the evening

it's progressing quite nicely!

time to get to it