Monday, May 30, 2016

how did it get to the end of May already?!

as I write this I'm having a hard time figuring out where 5 months of the year have gone already -- yes, time must run faster as you get older!

this had something to do with it

and on Friday the final papers on the sale of my parents house were signed

the buyer is going to "flip" it, so I'll be watching to see what they do to the place

early in the week my daughter, son in law and Mr Cute were here to help us set up a gardening area in the back yard

Gypsy was a great help too, as you can see by this picture

Saturday morning the DH and I put the plants in the ground --- tomatoes for putting up and for eating during the summer and poblano peppers which we like the taste of for everything from chili to scrambled eggs -- and a zucchini -- even though my daughter planted one and will share, I need to make pickle relish for our food storage this year, and zucchini is my preferred veggie to make it from, so I hoping for lots of production in both yards (we also eat zucchini raw in salads, roasted as a veggie with an Italian meal and a number of other applications)

since we've not gardened in this yard before, it will be interesting to see how this spot produces

keeping our fingers crossed!

yesterday evening I finished the beading on this piece

now I need to get the backing (which will be a soft black upholstery velour) put on and make the beaded clasp

here's lookin' at you!

quilting on the red dog piece continues

I think it gets better the more stitching I do, and my stitching gets easier as I do more of it too

I had to take a break from working on this early in the week because I was waiting for the fusible I use to arrive

now that is it here, it's back to work, and so far I'm pretty pleased with it

no week is complete without some utilitarian stitching

Mr Cute needed a new sun hat and his mama brought this very cool ninja turtle fabric

this was the best hat yet in terms of my being happy with how it came out -- guess it's time to make the DH a new one with the new techniques I used for this one

office dog
studio dog

big dog!

 Gypsy is 4 months old now -- at her vet visit she weighed 25.6 pounds and got her rabies shot

on Saturday morning she gave us a scare when the pupils of her eyes looked strange -- one being very small and the other very big -- glad to be able to call a vet that knows her and get reassurance -- apparently dogs do this sometimes and on a brown eyed dog I would never have noticed -- oh those devil eyes!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

keeping busy on projects

I'm finally happy with the way this looks

the shadow just adds that dimensional look that I was searching for

I hope to finish up the details in the quilting in some areas and get it faced this week!

and I'm happy with how the stitching is going on this one too

decided that I will not be binding or facing this one -- I'm taking it to a professional framer and have them handle the finish work!

this piece, however, was making me crazy

with all those little tiny pieces in the original "map", I couldn't tell what color which piece was supposed to be

on Saturday afternoon I decided that part of the issue was my trying to make someone else's process work for me -- and it just wasn't

so I went back to the computer and started over with the picture and instead of one layer over it and all the pieces on that, I created several layers -- one for the three biggest trees, one for the smaller trees and one for the little bushes and shrubs

and instead of figuring out how to put in all those little pieces of sky, I just laid a piece of a blue/gray batik down on the upper third of the piece and I will build over that --- much easier!

a little more utilitarian stitching last week

the day bed pillows are looking good!

and I finished the replacement hoodie sweater for my daughter -- lookin' good

meantime the DH was busy in the garage workshop

this little table was a piece I carried home while we were cleaning out my parent's house

and here it is, nicely refinished and in it's new place in my daughter's home - very nice!

the beading continues on this piece -- about a third of the surface has been covered now

and Miss Gypsy is a perfect angel -- when she's asleep!

otherwise, just the usual puppy terrors -- we're all learning to play nicely (and we're starting over in the obedience class because we had so many scheduling problems in the first session)


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

can you hear me now?

back in January I selected a word for the year

my plan was to try to stay focused on getting enough work done to apply for "Juried Artist" status with SAQA by the end of the year

with all else that has needed to be handled already in 2016, I'm feeling like that goal is not attainable this year

but I'm going to try to do better in the next few months and we'll see where that goes

this piece is finally coming together

the corn stalk is attached and the shading at the edge of the leaves (which I'm doing with InkTense pencils and sticks) is in progress

I still need to add some shadowing beneath the corn and do a little more quilting in some of the "cracks" to finish this one

the quilting has begun on this piece -- it's been kind of like the first time I cut into a piece of $85/yard mohair fabric to make a bear -- I've been afraid that I would ruin it -- but being BRAVE is part of making art, and so far I'm pretty pleased with how the stitching is going

and this piece has been begun ---

of course it would make more time to create art quilts if I didn't still do this kind of work, but this feeds my artistic drive as well

and I do occasionally sell these pieces, so I'm going to keep doing this too

this one is finished now and listed in my Etsy shop

and this one has been started

there has been some additional utilitarian sewing going on too

two more pillows put together for the daybed --- more fabric and pillow fillers out of the studio


and I helped the DH set up a new shelving unit in his workshop

(with ulterior motive -- I got the old one for my storage area in the studio!!)

we had a few days of nice weather a week ago, and decided it was time to put out the flower garden on the back deck

so of course we've had days and days of gray, cool, cloudy, rainy ever since

but this weekend we'll probably be in the 80s -- got to love spring in the Rockies!

this week's gratuitous cute puppy picture -- she's getting longer -- and taller

we got her a hard plastic wading pool to use when the weather finally gets hot enough -- she had tried to use her outdoor water bowl for a pool -- which just doesn't work

glad to have a big enough deck to set it up on!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Reasons for happy dancing!

Yesterday was one of those days that you hope will happen at least once a week!

this piece, titled Tsalagi (Cherokee) Trail of Tears has been accepted for the Hands All Around exhibit at the Houston quilt show at the end of October

I entered it on a whim at the last minute before the deadline, with the idea of "if you don't enter you can't get in"

I was stunned when the email arrived late in the afternoon telling me that it got in -- Wooo Hooo!

the second great news was that after one day on the market an offer was made and accepted to sell my parents house

another big Wooo Hooo!

in addition to those big things to celebrate, there has continued to be creative work done here

after the first backing had to be discarded, I have now successfully backed and edged this piece so it is now ready for the fringe and the necklace work

the final placement of the corn stalk has been determined and I will begin stitching it down (adding some batting to give it dimension as I go)

my plan after that is to do some additional quilting and to add some color/shadows with inktense pencils

the very first tentative stitching on the dog nose was done yesterday -- lots of positive affirmation going on as I work on this piece!

and some utilitarian sewing is taking place too -- now that the daybed is in place, I have no excuse not to make up those pillows I've been talking about and get that big bag of pillow filling out of my studio!

here are the first two -- there will probably be 4 or 5 more

and of course all of this under the supervision of the studio dog!

Monday, May 09, 2016

final ending and projects moving along

on Tuesday morning I headed off to my parent's house to meet the folks that were scheduled to pick up the last of the items being donated

it was strange to walk through the empty house -- I don't remember ever being in it before the furniture was moved in when I was a child

it goes on the market tomorrow, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks, someone will buy it

on to the next chapter!

one of the things I did last week was to frame this

this hand cut, hand painted metal skunk hung in my dad's garage, and my daughter has always loved it because it reminds her of the conversations she used to have with her grandpa when he would change the oil in her car while she was in college

while we were cleaning out the house she asked if she could have it and they said yes

it fit very nicely into this 12 inch shadow box frame, and she plans to hang it in the area of her basement where they have their "bar" for entertaining -- kind of appropriate in my head -- the skunk originally was on a race car that my dad worked on that was driven by a guy that owned a real bar here in northern Colorado

full circle little skunk!

the surface beading of this is finished, and I am in attempt number two for doing the back and edging

I had worked all around it with 3 rows of size 15 (tiny) beads, but it just didn't lay flat, so yesterday I ripped that out

I'll try again with just 2 rows of delicas -- and it will be easier to do the fringing with those as well

the corn stalk has been appliqued and is ready for me to cut it out and attach it to the quilt -- moving right along!!

we spent some time at our daughter's house yesterday -- Gypsy is now the "big dog" of the bunch (she weighs 20 pounds now)
I can here the Jim Croce song playing in my head for this picture ---- "you don't tug on Superman's cape"!!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

time marches on

and I seem to loose track of it!

perhaps it's because I'm busy

doing things like finishing up the baby quilt for my grand daughter's baby --- cute giraffes stamped -- I finished the binding last night

the fusing work on the Red Dog quilt is complete

I've been taking an online class, learning how to better use a piece of software that I have on my computer

one of the lessons this week taught me how to take the photo of the fused piece and experiment with drawing over it the lines that I might use to quilt it

it's nice to be able to experiment with this without potentially ruining all the prior hard work

work on this piece is progressing nicely -- I think I'll be ready for backing it by the end of this week

last weekend my daughter and son in law moved the daybed frame from the garage workshop to the house --- the DH did a truly AWESOME job building this -- now it's up to me to make the big pillows I have planned to put on it and he can move on to other projects that are on his creative list

at the beginning of the week I was still fussing with this piece -- trying different style plants on it, trying to get the scale right and still being bothered by the look of the sky

my solution is to just cut the sky off

and I've decided to use the wilting corn (on a Georgia O'Keefe scale!) -- this picture shows the paper pattern that I will use to make the fabric one which I can then attach to the piece

and along the way, even though this piece started out to be one thing, it has sent me off in a whole different direction and I'm thinking about an entirely different series of pieces than I began with -- thus it is when you allow yourself to just follow where your ideas lead!

and of course now days no blog post would be complete without gratuitous puppy pictures

this picture from one of our studio sessions when I was quilting the baby quilt

she's getting to be a big dog!!