Saturday, September 24, 2016

when ripping out is progress forward

 you may remember a couple of blog posts ago that I talked about this necklace that I had been working on

I had spent quite a few hours working on it, and I liked the general design, but the more I worked on it the more it began to "cup", until it became very clear that it would never lay flat

which meant it would never be a really "show quality" piece
so earlier this week I took it all apart

everything except the bezels around the stones was removed and I started over

which meant I could keep the parts of the design that I liked best and even improve on them -- like that basket weave look there around the center stone

I have a couple more rows of beading to do on each side and I'll be putting the round stones back on

liking the way this looks even better -- and YES, it will lay flat

and this piece got finished and listed in my Etsy store -- for the first time I can remember, my piece was the first one entered in one of these online challenges

I especially like the eyes on the cat!

progress on this piece has been slow

as I was saying in my last post, after I painted the back deck, I was in a lot of pain

almost 3 weeks later, I'm still hurting, and my doctor has not been able to figure out what the issue is

so I haven't done much work at the design wall

but earlier this week I got back to it -- I'm really pleased with the way it is going now -- the bottom left corner is complete, so I'm on the home stretch!

the quilting on this got delayed too, but I have now finished all of the field parts

next up the rest of the fence then the road

it's coming along!

when I posted the last time I had just begun stitching on this piece, and that blue edge there right beneath the blades is actually the horizon on this piece, which means everything below that will need to be something that is either the wood frame holding up the windmill or drying grasses

so before I headed out to the local fairgrounds for the big Colorado Quilt Council's annual show yesterday, I told the DH that we were on the lookout for "dry grass"

I came home with a nice variety of patterning and color to use on this --

Yippee -- the work can continue!

time to get to it

Sunday, September 11, 2016

getting ready for winter -- it's a pain

this is our back deck

it's big, and it was one of the things we liked about the house when we first looked at it

but it has a down side

if you want these things to last, they need maintenance

which means an annual coat of stain/sealer needs to be applied to the decking and the top of the rails to protect the wood

and it needs to be down before the wet of winter starts

this week I did that coat of paint -- breaking it up into two work days -- one for most of the floor and one for the rest, and I finished it yesterday

let me tell you, this work is not for the weak

my arms and shoulders are so sore I could barely dress myself this morning -- YIKES!

it looks beautiful, but it's going to take me a while to recover

of course painting the deck as not my only activity this week

since the rusting project went so well a couple of weeks ago, I decided I could handle dyeing some silk organza for the fire piece

I took the piece of silk I wanted to dye and crumpled it up in a gallon zip bag then added white vinegar and some pewter colored dye powder and zipped it up

the next morning, all of the dye had been absorbed by the silk and I could wash it out to reveal the very interesting random patterning of the dye on the silk

including some spots that have a very pink overtone

I think it's going to be the perfect top layer over the fire piece!!

time to make up that fiber sandwich and start quilting

just as soon as I finish quilting this one 

I've finished the sky and the mountain and I'm working my want across the field and the fence

moving right along!

this piece is coming along nicely too

I really love the way the sky and mountain background came out

the big blank spot on the side of the big building is there because I'm working on how to create the reflection I need to have there without it being too bright

still thinking about that part

and work has begun on the next piece

the windmill has been through several design changes, but I finally settled on something that I like

the part that is being stitched in this photo is the top left corner of the sky

then there is this

one of the online bead groups I belong to has a challenge running that is titled "Shadow and Shade"

I thought it would be fun to create a cuff bracelet that was silhouettes of cats and pumpkins with shadows behind them

it's getting pretty close to finished

then I'll go back to the other piece

the garden is finally started to produce some edible tomatoes

the San Marzano tomatoes are starting to ripen --- and there are some Early Girl and Cherokee Blacks that are a good size for Fried Green Tomatoes!


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Summer's over -- back to serious work

I know, the calendar says fall begins on September 22, but Labor Day has always felt like the end of summer

time to go back to school -- which always meant new pencils, notebooks -- and CRAYONS!!  -- I do love me a really big box of crayons -- or pencils, or markers, or beads or new spools of thread -- guess it's all about the color

at any rate, this time of year has me thinking about those final projects that need to be done around the house before the weather gets nasty and getting Christmas presents done along with the other art projects that are on going in my studio

on Saturday of our long holiday weekend, my daughter came and got us and we all went off to the fabric store

there's not one of those in our little hamlet just now as the Hancock's store is gone - so we have to drive about 20 minutes to one

this is the annual journey we make to get the fabric for the all important Halloween costume for Mr Cute -- this year I'm making a Captain America costume, which will be fun

along with that fabric, Mr Cute picked out fabric for a new pillow case -- with farm equipment on it of course!  and his mom picked out fabric for a new pillow case for her DH --

these took me about 20 minutes to put together after we ran the fabric through the washer and dryer

so some utilitarian sewing complete -- I'll be working on that costume soon -- and making me some blouses (I picked up some very colorful fabric for that too)

the quilting on the background for the truck is moving right along

I finished the sky and the mountain, and now I've started on the field and the fence

I really like the way this piece is coming out -- it's one of those "did I do that?" moments

and I'm thinking about how I will quilt that road so it looks like parched earth

work on this piece is continuing

after fiddling with the small sample piece long enough to work out the details, I'm pleased with how this is going so far

and this piece is ready for the layering and quilting

but first I need to dye a piece of silk organza gray to be the top layer --

the bead work on this piece is progressing too -- there has been quite a bit of "put it in, take it out" on this as I am working with bugle beads, rectangular beads and square beads and those don't go around curves the same way a row of seed beads does

I think it's going to be a very cool piece in the end

time to get to work!